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Book I
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This Book has been carefully proofread.
If you should find an error, however, please let me know.

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Book III

p89 Sextus Julius Frontinus:
Stratagems

Book II

Having in Book I given classes of examples which, as I believe, will suffice to instruct a general in those matters which are to be attended to before beginning battle, I will next in order present examples which bear on those things that are usually done in the battle itself, and then those that come subsequent to the engagement.

Of those which concern the battle itself, there are the following classes:

I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

VI.

VII.

VIII.

Of the matters which deserve attention after battle, I consider that there are the following classes:

IX.

X.

XI.

XII.

XIII.

p91 I. On choosing the time for battle

1 When Publius Scipio was in Spain and had learned that Hasdrubal, leader of the Carthaginians, had marched out and drawn up his troops in battle array early in the morning before they had had breakfast, he kept back his own men till one o'clock, having ordered them to rest and eat. When the enemy, exhausted with hunger, thirst, and waiting under arms, had begun to return to camp, Scipio suddenly led forth his troops, opened battle, and won the day.1

2 When Metellus Pius was waging war against Hirtuleius in Spain, and the latter had drawn up his troops immediately after daybreak and marched them against Metellus' entrenchments, Metellus held his own forces in camp till noon, as the weather at that time of year was extremely hot. Then, when the enemy were overcome by the heat, he easily defeated them, since his own men were fresh and their strength unimpaired.2

3 When the same Metellus had joined forces with Pompey against Sertorius in Spain, and had repeatedly offered battle, the enemy declined combat, deeming himself unequal to two. Later on, however, Metellus, noticing that the soldiers of the enemy, fired with great enthusiasm, were calling for battle, baring their arms, and brandishing their spears, thought it best to retreat betimes before their ardour. Accordingly he withdrew and caused Pompey to do the same.

4 When Postumius was in Sicily in his consulate, his camp was three miles distant from the Carthaginians. Every day the Punic chieftains drew up their line of battle directly in front of the fortifications p93of the Romans, while Postumius offered resistance by way of constant skirmishes, conducted by a small band before his entrenchments. As soon as the Carthaginian commander came to regard this as a matter of course, Postumius quietly made ready all the rest of his troops within the ramparts, meeting the assault of the force with a few, according to his former practice, but keeping them engaged longer than usual. When, after noon was past, they were retreating, weary and suffering from hunger, Postumius, with fresh troops, put them to rout, exhausted as they were by the aforementioned embarrassments.3

5 Iphicrates, the Athenian, having discovered that the enemy regularly ate at the same hour, commanded his own troops to eat at an earlier hour, and then led them out to battle. When the enemy came forth, he so detained them as to afford them no opportunity either of fighting or of withdrawing. Then, as the day drew to a close, he led his troops back, but nevertheless held them under arms. The enemy, exhausted both by standing in the line and by hunger, straightway hurried off to rest and eat, whereupon Iphicrates again led forth his troops, and finding the enemy disorganized, attacked their camp.4

6 When the same Iphicrates had his camp for several days near the Lacedaemonians, and each side was in the habit of going forth at a regular hour for forage and wood, he one day sent out slaves and camp-followers in the dress of soldiers for this service, holding back his fighting men; and as soon as the enemy had dispersed on similar errands, he captured their camp. Then as they came running back from all quarters to the mêlée, unarmed and carrying their bundles, he easily slew or captured them.5

p95 7 When the consul Verginius, in the war with the Volscians, saw the enemy run forward at full stretch from a distance, he commanded his own men to keep steady and hold their javelins at rest. Then, when the enemy were out of breath, while his own army was still strong and fresh, he attacked and routed them.6

8 Since Fabius Maximus was well aware that the Gauls and Samnites were strong in the initial attack, while the tireless spirits of his own men actually waxed hotter as the struggle continued, he commanded his soldiers to rest content with holding the foe at the first encounter and to wear them out by delay. When this succeeded, bringing up reinforcements to his men in the van, and attacking with his full strength, he crushed and routed the enemy.7

9 At Chaeronea, Philip purposely prolonged the engagement, mindful that his own soldiers were seasoned by long experience, while the Athenians were ardent but untrained, and impetuous only in the charge. Then, as the Athenians began to grow weary, Philip attacked more furiously and cut them down.8

10 When the Spartans learned from scouts that the Messenians had broken out into such fury that they had come down to battle attended by their wives and children, they postponed the engagement.

11 In the Civil War, when Gaius Caesar held the army of Afranius and Petreius besieged and suffering from thirst, and when their troops, infuriated because of this, had slain all their beasts of burden9 and come out for battle, Caesar held back his own soldiers, deeming the occasion ill-suited for an engagement, p97since his opponents were so inflamed with wrath and desperation.10

12 Gnaeus Pompey, desiring to check the flight of Mithridates and force him to battle, chose night as the time for the encounter, arranging to block his march as he withdrew. Having made his preparations accordingly, he suddenly forced his enemy to fight. In addition to this, he so drew up his force that the moonlight falling in the faces of the Pontic soldiers blinded their eyes, while it gave his own troops a distinct and clear view of the enemy.11

13 It is well known that Jugurtha, aware of the courage of the Romans, was always wont to engage in battle as the day was drawing to a close, so that, in case his men were routed, they might have the advantage of night for getting away.12

14 At Tigranocerta in Greater Armenia, Lucullus, in the campaign against Mithridates and Tigranes, did not have above 15,000 armed men, while the enemy had an innumerable host, which for this very reason was unwieldy. Taking advantage, accordingly, of this handicap of the foe, Lucullus attacked their line before it was in order, and straightway routed it so completely that even the kings themselves discarded their trappings and fled.13

15 In the campaign against the Pannonians, when the barbarians in warlike mood had formed for battle at the very break of day, Tiberius Nero held back hand his own troops, and allowed the enemy to be hampered by the fog and be drenched with the showers, which happened to be frequent that day. Then, when he noticed that they were weary with standing, and faint not only from exposure but also from exhaustion, he gave the signal, attacked and defeated them.14

p99 16 Gaius Caesar, when in Gaul, learned that it was a principle and almost a law with Ariovistus, king of the Germans, not to fight when the moon was waning. Caesar therefore chose that time above all others for engaging in battle, when the enemy were embarrassed by their superstition, and so conquered them.15

17 The deified Vespasian Augustus attacked Jews on their sabbath, a day on which it is sinful for them to do any business, and so defeated them.16

18 When Lysander, the Spartan, was fighting against the Athenians at Aegospotami, he began by attacking the vessels of the Athenians at a regular hour and then calling off his fleet. After this had become an established procedure, as the Athenians on one occasion, after his withdrawal, were dispersing to collect their troops, he deployed his fleet as usual and withdrew it. Then, when most of the enemy had scattered according to their wont, he attacked and slew the rest, and captured all their vessels.17

On Choosing the Place for Battle

1 Manius Curius, observing that the phalanx of King Pyrrhus could not be resisted when in extended order, took pains to fight in confined quarters, where the phalanx, being massed together, would embarrass itself.18

2 In Cappadocia Gnaeus Pompey chose a lofty site for his camp. As a result the elevation so assisted the onset of his troops that he easily overcame Mithridates by the sheer weight of his assault.19

3 When Gaius Caesar was about to contend with Pharnaces, son of Mithridates, he drew up his line p101of battle on a hill. This move made victory easy for him, since the darts, hurled from higher ground against the barbarians charging from below, straightway put them to flight.20

4 When Lucullus was planning to fight Mithridates and Tigranes at Tigranocerta in Greater Armenia, he himself swiftly gained the level top of the nearest hill with a part of his troops, and then rushed down upon the enemy posted below, at the same time attacking their cavalry on the flank. When the cavalry broke and straightway threw the infantry into confusion, Lucullus followed after them and gained a most notable victory.21

5 Ventidius, when fighting against the Parthians, would not lead out his soldiers until the Parthians were within five hundred paces. Thus by a rapid advance he came so near them that, meeting them at close quarters, he escaped their arrows, which they shoot from a distance. By this scheme, since he exhibited a certain show of confidence, he quickly subdued the barbarians.22

6 At Numistro, when Hannibal was expecting a battle with Marcellus, he secured a position where his flank was protected by hollows and precipitous roads. By thus making the ground serve as a defence, he won a victory over a most renowned commander.23

7 Again at Cannae, when Hannibal learned that the Volturnus River, at variance with the nature of other streams, sent out high winds in the morning, which carried swirling sand and dust, he so marshalled his line of battle that the entire fury of the elements fell on the rear of his own troops, but struck the Romans in the face and eyes. Since this difficulty p103was a serious obstacle to the enemy, he won that memorable victory.24

8 After Marius had settled on a day for fighting the Cimbrians and Teutons, he fortified his soldiers with food and stationed them in front of his camp, in order that the army of the enemy might be exhausted by marching over the interval between the opposing armies. Then, when the enemy were thus used up, he confronted them with another embarrassment by so arranging his own line of battle that the barbarians were caught with the sun and wind and dust in their faces.25

9 When Cleomenes, the Spartan, in his battle against Hippias, the Athenian, found that the latter's main strength lay in his cavalry, he thereupon felled trees and cluttered the battlefield with them, thus making it impassable for cavalry.26

10 The Iberians in Africa, upon encountering a great multitude of foes and fearing that they would be surrounded, drew near a river which at that point flowed along between deep banks. Thus, defended by the river in the rear and enabled by their superior prowess to make frequent onsets upon those nearest them, they routed the entire host of their adversaries.

11 Xanthippus, the Spartan, by merely changing the locality of operations, completely altered the fortunes of the Punic War; for when, summoned as a mercenary by the despairing Carthaginians, he had noticed that the Africans, who were superior in cavalry and elephants, kept to the hills, while the Romans, whose strength was in their infantry, held to the plains, he brought the Carthaginians down to level ground, where he broke the ranks of the p105Romans with the elephants. Then pursuing their scattered troops with Numidians, he routed their army, which till that day had been victorious on land and sea.27

12 Epaminondas, leader of the Thebans, when about to marshal his troops in battle array against the Spartans, ordered his cavalry to engage in manoeuvres along the front. Then, when he had filled the eyes of the enemy with clouds of dust and had caused them to expect an encounter with cavalry, he led his infantry around to one side, where it was possible to attack the enemy's rear from higher ground, and thus, by a surprise attack, cut them to pieces.28

13 Against a countless horde of Persians, three hundred Spartans seized and held the pass of Thermopylae which was capable of admitting only a like number of hand-to‑hand opponents. In consequence, the Spartans became numerically equal to the barbarians, so far as opportunity for fighting was concerned, and being superior to them in valour, slew large numbers of them. Nor would they have been overcome, had not the enemy been led around to the rear by the traitor Ephialtes, the Trachinian, and thus been enabled to overwhelm them.29

14 Themistocles, leader of the Athenians, saw that it was most advantageous for Greece to fight in the Straits of Salamis against the vast numbers of Xerxes's vessels, but he was unable to persuade his fellow Athenians of this. He therefore employed a stratagem to make the barbarians force the Greeks to do what was advantageous for the latter; for under pretence of turning traitor, he sent a messenger to Xerxes to inform him that the Greeks were planning flight, and that the situation would be p107more difficult for the King if he should besiege each city separately. By this policy, in the first place he caused the host of the barbarians to be kept on the alert doing guard-duty all night; in the second place, he made it possible for his own followers, the next morning, with strength unimpaired, to encounter the barbarians all exhausted with watching, and (precisely as he had wished) in a confined place, where Xerxes could not utilise his superiority in numbers.30

III. On the Disposition of Troops for Battle

1 Gnaeus Scipio, when campaigning in Spain against Hanno, near the town of Indibile, noted that the Carthaginian line of battle was drawn up with the Spaniards posted on the right wing — sturdy soldiers, to be sure, but fighting for others — while on the left were the less powerful, but more resolute, Africans. He accordingly drew back his own left wing, and keeping his battle-line at an angle with the enemy, engaged the enemy with his right wing, which he had formed of his sturdiest soldiers. Then routing the Africans and putting them to flight, he easily forced the surrender of the Spaniards, who had stood apart after the manner of spectators.31

2 When Philip, king of the Macedonians, was waging war against the Hyllians,32 he noticed that the front of the enemy consisted entirely of men picked from the whole army, while their flanks were weaker. Accordingly he placed the stoutest of his own men on the right wing, attacked the enemy's left, and by throwing their whole line into confusion won a complete victory.33

p109 3 Pammenes, the Theban, having observed the battle-line of the Persians, where the most powerful troops were posted on the right wing, drew up his own men also on the same plan, putting all his cavalry and the bravest of his infantry on the right wing, but stationing opposite the bravest of the enemy his own weakest troops, whom he directed to flee at the first onset of the foe and to retreat to rough, wooded places. When in this way he had made the enemy's strength of no effect, he himself with the best part of his own forces enveloped the whole array of the enemy with his right wing and put them to rout.34

4 Publius Cornelius Scipio, who subsequently received the name Africanus, on one occasion, when waging war in Spain against Hasdrubal, leader of the Carthaginians, led out his troops day after day in such formation that the centre of his battle-line was composed of his best fighting men. But when the enemy also regularly came out marshalled on the same plan, Scipio, on the day when he had determined to fight, altered the scheme of his arrangement and stationed his strongest troops on the wings, having his light-armed troops in the centre, but slightly behind the line. Thus, by attacking the enemy's weakest point in crescent formation from the flank, where he himself was strongest, he easily routed them.35

5 Metellus, in the battle in which he vanquished Hirtuleius in Spain, had discovered that the battalions of Hirtuleius which were deemed strongest were posted in the centre. Accordingly he drew back the centre of his own troops, to avoid encountering the enemy at that part of the line, until by an enveloping movement of his wings he could surround their centre from all sides.36

p111 6 Artaxerxes, having superior numbers in his campaign against the Greeks, who had invaded Persia, drew up his line of battle with a wider front than the enemy, placing infantry, cavalry, and light-armed troops on the wings. Then by purposely causing the centre to advance more slowly he enveloped the enemy troops and cut them to pieces.37

7 On the other hand, at Cannae Hannibal, having drawn back his flanks and advanced his centre, drove back our troops at the first assault. Then, when the fighting began, and the flanks gradually worked towards each other moving forward according to instructions, Hannibal enveloped within his own lines the impetuously attacking enemy, forced them towards the centre from both sides, and cut them to pieces, using veteran troops of long training; for hardly anything but a trained army, responsive to every direction, can carry out this sort of tactics.38

8 In the Second Punic War, when Hasdrubal was seeking to avoid the necessity of an engagement, and had drawn up his line on a rough hillside behind protective works, Livius Salinator and Claudius Nero diverted their own forces to the flanks, leaving their centre vacant. Having in this way enveloped Hasdrubal, they attacked and defeated him.39

9 After Hannibal had been defeated in frequent battles by Claudius Marcellus, he finally laid out his camp on this plan: Protected by mountains, marshes, or similar advantages of terrain, he so posted his troops as to be able to withdraw his army, practically without loss, within his fortifications, in case the Romans won, but so as to have free option of pursuit, in case they gave way.

10 Xanthippus, the Spartan, in the campaign conducted p113in Africa against Marcus Atilius Regulus, placed his light-armed troops in the front line, holding the flower of his army in reserve. Then he directed the auxiliary troops,40 after hurling their javelins, to give way before the enemy, withdraw within the ranks of their fellow-soldiers, hurry to the flanks, and from there again rush forward to attack. Thus when the enemy had been met by the stronger troops, they were enveloped also by these light-armed forces.41

11 Sertorius employed the same tactics in Spain in the campaign against Pompey.42

12 Cleandridas, the Spartan, when fighting against the Lucanians, drew up his troops in close array, so as to present the appearance of a much smaller army. Then, when the enemy had thus been put off their guard, at the moment the engagement began he opened up his ranks, enveloped the enemy on the flank, and put them to rout.43

13 Gastron, the Spartan, having come to assist the Egyptians against the Persians, and realizing that the Greek soldiers were more powerful and more dreaded by the Persians, interchanged the arms of the two contingents, placing the Greeks in the front line. When these merely held their own in the encounter, he sent in the Egyptians as reinforcements. Although the Persians had proved equal to the Greeks (deeming them Egyptians), they gave way, so soon as they were set upon by a multitude, of whom (as supposedly consisting of Greeks) they had stood in terror.44

14 When Gnaeus Pompey was fighting in Albania, and the enemy were superior in numbers and in cavalry, he directed his infantry to cover their p115helmets, in order to avoid being visible in consequence of the reflection, and to take their place in a defile by a hill. Then he commanded his cavalry to advance on the plain and to act as a screen to the infantry, but to withdraw at the first onset of the enemy, and, as soon as they had reached the infantry, to disperse to the flanks. When this manoeuvre had been executed, suddenly the force of infantry rose up, revealing its position, and pouring with unexpected attack upon the enemy who were heedlessly bent on pursuit, thus cut them to pieces.45

15 When Mark Antony was engaged in battle with the Parthians and these were showering his army with innumerable arrows, he ordered his men to stop and form a testudo.46 The arrows passed over this without harm to the soldiers, and the enemy's supply was soon exhausted.47

16 When Hannibal was contending against Scipio in Africa, having an army of Carthaginians and auxiliaries, part of whom were not only of different nationalities, but actually consisted of Italians, he placed eighty elephants in the forefront, to throw the enemy into confusion. Behind these he stationed auxiliary Gauls, Ligurians, Balearians, and Moors, that these might be unable to run away, since the Carthaginians were standing behind them, and in order that, being placed in front, they might at least harass the enemy, if not do him damage. In the second line he placed his own countrymen and the Macedonians, to be fresh to meet the exhausted Romans; and in the rear the Italians, whose loyalty he distrusted and whose indifference he feared, inasmuch as he had dragged most of them from Italy against their will.

p117 Against this formation Scipio drew up the flower of his legions in three successive front lines, arranged according to hastati, principes, and triarii,48 not making the cohorts touch, but leaving a space between the detached companies through which the elephants driven by the enemy might easily be allowed to pass without throwing the ranks into confusion. These intervals he filled with light-armed skirmishers, that the line might show no gaps, giving them instructions to withdraw to the rear or the flanks at the first onset of the elephants. The cavalry he distributed on the flanks, placing Laelius in charge of the Roman horsemen on the right, and Masinissa in charge of the Numidians on the left. This shrewd scheme of arrangement was undoubtedly the cause of his victory.49

17 In the battle against Lucius Sulla, Archelaus placed his scythe-bearing chariots in front, for the purpose of throwing the enemy into confusion; in the second line he posted the Macedonian phalanx, and in the third line auxiliaries armed after the Roman way, with a sprinkling of Italian runaway slaves, in whose doggedness he had the greatest confidence. In the last line he stationed the light-armed troops, while on the two flanks, for the purpose of enveloping the enemy, he placed the cavalry, of whom he had a great number.

To meet these dispositions, Sulla constructed trenches of great breadth on each flank, and at their ends built strong redoubts. By this device he avoided the danger of being enveloped by the enemy, who outnumbered him in infantry and especially in cavalry. Next he arranged a triple line of infantry, leaving intervals through which to send, according p119to need, the light-armed troops and the cavalry, which he placed in the rear. He then commanded the postsignani,50 who were in the second line, to drive firmly into the ground large numbers stakes set close together, and as the chariots drew near, he withdrew the line of antesignani51 within these stakes. Then at length he ordered the skirmishers and light-armed troops to raise a general battle-cry and discharge their spears. By these tactics either the chariots of the enemy were caught among the stakes, or their drivers became panic-stricken at the din and were driven by the javelins back upon their own men, throwing the formation of the Macedonians into confusion. As these gave way, Sulla pressed forward, and Archelaus met him with cavalry, whereupon the Roman horsemen suddenly darted forth, drove back the enemy, and achieved victory.52

18 In the same way Gaius Caesar met the scythe-bearing chariots of the Gauls with stakes driven in the ground, and kept them in check.

19 At Arbela, Alexander, fearing the numbers of the enemy, yet confident in the valour of his own troops, drew up a line of battle facing in all directions, in order that his men, if surrounded, might be able to fight from all sides.53

20 When Perseus, king of the Macedonians, had drawn up a double phalanx of his own troops and had placed them in the centre of his forces, with light-armed troops on each side and cavalry on both flanks, Paulus in the battle against him drew up a triple array in wedge formation, sending out skirmishers every now and then between the wedges. Seeing nothing accomplished by these tactics, he determined to retreat, in order by this feint to lure p121the enemy after him on to rough ground, which he had selected with this in view. When even then the enemy, suspecting his ruse in retiring, followed in good order, he commanded the cavalry on the left wing to ride at full speed past the front of the phalanx, covering themselves with their shields, in order that the points of the enemy's spears might be broken by the shock of their encounter with the shields. When the Macedonians were deprived of their spears, they broke and fled.54

21 Pyrrhus, when fighting in defence of the Tarentines near Asculum, following the Homeric verse,55 according to which the poorest troops are placed in the centre, stationed Samnites and Epirotes on the right flank, Bruttians, Lucanians, and Sallentines on the left, with the Tarentines in the centre, ordering the cavalry and elephants to be held as reserves.

The consuls, on the other hand, very judiciously distributed their cavalry on the wings, posting legionary soldiers in the first line and in reserve, with auxiliary troops scattered among them. We are informed that there were forty thousand men on each side. Half of Pyrrhus's army was lost; on the Roman side only five thousand.56

22 In the battle against Caesar at Old Pharsalus,57 Gnaeus Pompey drew up three lines of battle, each one ten men deep, stationing on the wings and in the centre the legions upon whose prowess he could most safely rely, and filling the spaces between these with raw recruits. On the right flank he placed six hundred horsemen, along the Enipeus River, which with its channel and deposits had made the locality impassable; the rest of the cavalry he stationed on the left, together with the auxiliary p123troops, that from this quarter he might envelop the troops of Caesar.

Against these dispositions, Gaius Caesar also drew up a triple line, placing his legions in front and resting his left flank on marshes in order to avoid envelopment. On the right he placed his cavalry, among whom he distributed the fleetest of his foot-soldiers, men trained in cavalry fighting.58 Then he held in reserve six cohorts for emergencies, placing them obliquely on the right, from which quarter he was expecting an attack of the enemy's cavalry. No circumstance contributed more than this to Caesar's victory on that day; for as soon as Pompey's cavalry poured forth, these cohorts routed it by an unexpected onset, and delivered it up to the rest of the troops for slaughter.59

23 The Emperor Caesar Augustus Germanicus,60 when the Chatti, by fleeing into the forests, again and again interfered with the course of a cavalry engagement, commanded his men, as soon as they should reach the enemy's baggage-train, to dismount and fight on foot. By this means he made sure that his success should not be blocked by any difficulties of terrain.61

24 When Gaius Duellius saw that his own heavy ships were eluded by the mobile fleet of the Carthaginians and that the valour of his soldiers was thus brought to naught, he devised a kind of grappling-hook. When this caught hold of an enemy ship, the Romans, laying gangways over the bulwarks, went on board and slew the enemy in hand-to‑hand combat on their own vessels.62

p125 IV. On creating panic in the enemy's ranks

1 When Papirius Cursor, the son,63 in his consulship failed to win any advantage in his battle against the stubbornly resisting Samnites, he gave no intimation on his purpose to his men, but commanded Spurius Nautius to arrange to have a few auxiliary horsemen and grooms, mounted on mules and trailing branches over the ground, race down in great commotion from a hill running at an angle with the field. As soon as these came in sight, he proclaimed that his colleague64 was at hand, crowned with victory, and urged his men to secure for themselves the glory of the present battle before he should arrive. At this the Romans rushed forward, kindling with confidence, while the enemy, disheartened at the sight of the dust, turned and fled.65

2 Fabius Rullus Maximus, when in Samnium in his fourth consulship, having vainly essayed in every way to break through the line of the enemy, finally withdrew the hastati66 from the ranks and sent them round with his lieutenant Scipio, under instructions to seize a hill from which they could rush down upon the rear of the enemy. When this had been done, the courage of the Romans rose, and the Samnites, fleeing in terror, were cut to pieces.67

3 The general Minucius Rufus, hard pressed by the Scordiscans and Dacians, for whom he was no match in numbers, sent his brother and a small squadron of cavalry on ahead, along with a detachment of trumpeters, directing him, as soon as he should see the battle begin, to show himself suddenly from the opposite quarter and to order the trumpeters to blow their horns. Then, when the hill-tops re-echoed with p127the sound, the impression of a huge multitude was borne in upon the enemy, who fled in terror.68

4 The consul Acilius Glabrio, when confronted by the army of King Antiochus, which the latter had drawn up in front of the Pass of Thermopylae in Greece, was not only hampered by the difficulties of terrain, but would have been repulsed with loss besides, had not Porcius Cato prevented this. Cato, although an ex-consul, was in the army as a tribune of the soldiers, elected to this office by the people. [Having been sent by Glabrio to make a détour], he dislodged the Aetolians, who were guarding the crest of Mt. Callidromus, and then suddenly appeared from the rear on the summit of a hill commanding the camp of the king. The forces of Antiochus were thus thrown into panic, whereupon the Romans attacked them from front and rear, repulsed and scattered the enemy, and captured their camp.69

5 The consul Gaius Sulpicius Peticus, when about to fight against the Gauls, ordered certain muleteers secretly to withdraw with their mules to the hills near by, and then, after the engagement began, to exhibit themselves repeatedly to the combatants, as though mounted on horses. The Gauls, therefore, imagining that reinforcements were coming, fell back before the Romans, though already almost victorious.70

6 At Aquae Sextiae, Marius, purposing to fight a decisive battle with the Teutons on the morrow, sent Marcellus by night with a small detachment of horse and foot to the rear of the enemy, and, to complete the illusion of a large force, ordered armed grooms and camp-followers to go along with them, and also a large part of the pack-animals, wearing p129saddle-cloths, in order by this means to present the appearance of cavalry. He commanded these men to fall upon the enemy from the rear, as soon as they should notice that the engagement had begun. This scheme struck such terror into the enemy that despite their great ferocity they turned and fled.71

7 Licinius Crassus in the Slave War, when about to lead forth his troops at Camalatrum against Castus and Cannicus, the leaders of the Gauls, sent twelve cohorts around behind the mountain with Gaius Pomptinius and Quintus Marcius Rufus, his lieutenants. When the engagement began, these troops, raising a shout, poured down the mountain in the rear, and so routed the enemy that they fled in all directions with no attempt at battle.72

8 Marcus Marcellus on one occasion, fearing that a feeble battle-cry would reveal the small number of his forces, commanded that sutlers, servants, and camp-followers of every sort should join in the cry. He thus threw the enemy into panic by giving the appearance of having a larger army.73

9 Valerius Laevinus, in the battle against Pyrrhus, killed a common soldier, and, holding up his dripping sword, made both armies believe that Pyrrhus had been slain. The enemy, therefore, panic-stricken at the falsehood, and thinking that they had been rendered helpless by the death of their commander, betook themselves in terror back to camp.74

10 In his struggle against Gaius Marius in Numidia, Jugurtha, having acquired facility in the use of the Latin language as a result of his early association with Roman camps, ran forward to the front line and shouted that he had slain Gaius Marius, thus causing many of our men to flee.75

p131 11 Myronides, the Athenian, in an indecisive battle which he was waging against the Thebans, suddenly darted forward to the right flank of his own troops and shouted that he had already won victory on the left. Thus, by inspiring courage in his own men and fear in the enemy, he gained the day.76

12 Against overwhelming forces of the enemy's cavalry Croesus once opposed a troop of camels. At the strange appearance and smell of these beasts, the horses were thrown into panic, and not merely threw their riders, but also trampled the ranks of their own infantry under foot, thus delivering them into the hands of the enemy to defeat.77

13 Pyrrhus, king of the Epirotes, fighting on behalf of the Tarentines against the Romans, employed elephants in the same way, in order to throw the Roman army into confusion.78

14 The Carthaginians also often did the same thing in their battles against the Romans.79

15 The Volscians having on one occasion pitched their camp near some brush and woods, Camillus set fire to everything which would carry the conflagration up to their entrenchments, and thus deprived his adversaries of their camp.

16 In the same way, Publius Crassus in the Social War narrowly escaped being cut off with all his forces.

17 The Spaniards, when fighting against Hamilcar, hitched steers to carts and placed them in the front line. These carts they filled with pitch, tallow, and sulphur, and when the signal for battle was given, set them afire. Then, driving the steers against the enemy, they threw the line into panic and broke through.80

p133 18 The Faliscans and Tarquinians disguised a number of men as priests, and had them hold torches and snakes in front of them, like Furies. Thus they threw the army of the Romans into panic.81

19 On one occasion the men of Veii and Fidenae snatched up torches and did the same thing.82

20 When Atheas, king of the Scythians, was contending against the more numerous tribe of the Triballi, he commanded that herds of asses and cattle should be brought up in the rear of the enemy's forces by women, children, and all the non-combatant population, and that spears, held aloft, should be carried in front of these. Then he spread abroad the rumour that reinforcements were coming to him from the more distant Scythian tribes. By this declaration he forced the enemy to withdraw.83

V. On Ambushes

1 Romulus, when he had drawn near to Fidenae, distributed a portion of his troops in ambush, and pretended to flee. When the enemy recklessly followed, he led them on to the point where he was holding his men in hiding, whereupon the latter, attacking from all sides, and taking the enemy off their guard, cut them to pieces in their onward rush.84

2 The consul Quintus Fabius Maximus, having been sent to aid the Sutrians against the Etruscans, caused the full brunt of the enemy's attack to fall upon himself. Then, feigning fear, he retired to higher ground, as though in retreat, and when the enemy rushed upon him pell-mell he attacked, and not merely defeated them in battle but captured their camp.85

p135 3 Sempronius Gracchus, when waging war against the Celtiberians, feigned fear and kept his army in camp. Then, by sending out light-armed troops to harass the enemy and retreat forthwith, he caused the enemy to come out; whereupon he attacked them before they could form, and crushed them so completely that he also captured their camp.86

4 When the consul Lucius Metellus was waging war in Sicily against Hasdrubal — and with all the more alertness because of Hasdrubal's immense army and his one hundred and thirty elephants — he withdrew his troops, under pretence of fear, inside Panormus87 and constructed in front a trench of huge proportions. Then, observing Hasdrubal's army, with the elephants in the front rank, he ordered the hastati to hurl their javelins at the beasts and straightway to retire within their defences. The drivers of the elephants, enraged at such derisive treatment, drove the elephants straight towards the trench. As soon as the beasts were brought up to this, part were dispatched by a shower of darts, part were driven back to their own side, and threw the entire host into confusion. Then Metellus, who was biding his time, burst forth with his whole force, attacked the Carthaginians on the flank, and cut them to pieces. Besides this, he captured the elephants themselves.88

5 When Thamyris, queen of the Scythians, and Cyrus, king of the Persians, became engaged in an indecisive combat, the queen, feigning fear, lured Cyrus into a defile well-known to her own troops, and there, suddenly facing about, and aided by the nature of the locality, won a complete victory.89

6 The Egyptians, when about to engage in battle on p137a plain near a marsh, covered the marsh with seaweed, and then, when the battle began, feigning flight, drew the enemy into a trap; for the latter, while advancing too swiftly over the unfamiliar ground, were caught in the mire and surrounded.

7 Viriathus, who from being a bandit became leader of the Celtiberians, on one occasion, while pretending to give way before the Roman cavalry, led them on to a place full of deep holes. There, while he himself made his way out by familiar paths that afforded good footing, the Romans, ignorant of the locality, sank in the mire and were slain.90

8 Fulvius, commander in the Cimbrian war, having pitched his camp near the enemy, ordered his cavalry to approach the fortifications of the barbarians and to withdraw in pretended flight, after making an attack. When he had done this for several days, with the Cimbrians in hot pursuit, he noticed that their camp was regularly left exposed. Accordingly, maintaining his usual practice with part of his force, he himself, with light-armed troops, secretly took a position behind the camp of the enemy, and as they poured forth according to their custom, he suddenly attacked and demolished the unguarded rampart and captured their camp.91

9 Gnaeus Fulvius, when a force of Faliscans far superior to ours had encamped on our territory, had his soldiers set fire to certain buildings at a distance from the camp, in order that the Faliscans, thinking their own men had done this, might scatter in hope of plunder.

10 Alexander, the Epirote, when waging war against the Illyrians, first placed a force in ambush, and then dressed up some of his own men in Illyrian garb, p139ordering them to lay waste his own, that is to say, Epirote territory. When the Illyrians saw that this was being done, they themselves began to pillage right and left — the more confidently since they thought that those who led the way were scouts. But when they had been designedly brought by the latter into a disadvantageous position, they were routed and killed.

11 Leptines, the Syracusan, also, when waging war against the Carthaginians, ordered his own lands to be laid waste and certain farm-houses and forts to be set on fire. The Carthaginians, thinking this was done by their own men, went out themselves also to help; whereupon they were set upon by men lying in wait, and were put to rout.92

12 Maharbal,93 sent by the Carthaginians against rebellious Africans, knowing that the tribe was passionately fond of wine, mixed a large quantity of wine with mandragora, which in potency is something between a poison and a soporific. Then after an insignificant skirmish he deliberately withdrew. At dead of night, leaving in the camp some of his baggage and all the drugged wine, he feigned flight. When the barbarians captured the camp and in a frenzy of delight greedily drank the drugged wine, Maharbal returned, and either took them prisoners or slaughtered them while they lay stretched out as if dead.94

13 Hannibal, on one occasion, aware that both his own camp and that of the Romans were in places deficient in wood, deliberately abandoned the district, leaving many herds of cattle within his camp. The Romans, securing possession of these as booty, gorged themselves with flesh, which, owing to p141the scarcity of firewood, was raw and indigestible. Hannibal, returning by night with his army, finding them off their guard and gorged with raw meat, inflicted great loss upon them.

14 Tiberius Gracchus, when in Spain, upon learning that the enemy were suffering from lack of provisions, provided his camp with an elaborate supply of eatables of all kinds and then abandoned it. When the enemy had got possession of the camp and had gorged themselves to repletion with the food they found, Gracchus brought back his army and suddenly crushed them.95

15 The Chians, when waging war against the Erythreans, caught an Erythrean spy on a lofty eminence and put him to death. They then gave his clothes to one of their own soldiers, who, by giving a signal from the same eminence, lured the Erythreans into an ambush.

16 The Arabians, since their custom of giving notice of the arrival of the enemy by means of smoke by day, and by fire at night, was well known, issued orders on one occasion that these practices should continue without interruption until the enemy actually approached, when they should be discontinued. The enemy, imagining from the absence of the fires that their approach was unknown, advanced too eagerly and were overwhelmed.

17 Alexander of Macedon, when the enemy had fortified their camp on a lofty wooded eminence, withdrew a portion of his forces, and commanded those whom he left to kindle fires as usual, and thus to give the impression of the complete army. He himself, leading his forces around through untravelled regions, attacked the enemy and dislodged them from their commanding position.96

p143 18 Memnon, the Rhodian, being superior in cavalry, and wishing to draw down to the plains an enemy who clung to the hills, sent certain of his soldiers under the guise of deserters to the camp of the enemy, to say that the army of Memnon was inspired with such a serious spirit of mutiny that some portion of it was constantly deserting. To lend credit to this assertion, Memnon ordered small redoubts to be fortified here and there in view of the enemy, as though the disaffected were about to retire to these. Inveigled by these representations, to who had been keeping themselves on the hills came down to level ground, and, as they attacked the redoubts, were surrounded by the cavalry.97

19 When Harrybas, king of the Molossians, was attacked in war by Bardylis, the Illyrian, who commanded a considerably larger army, he dispatched the non-combatant portion of his subjects to the neighbouring district of Aetolia, and spread the report that he was yielding up his towns and possessions to the Aetolians. He himself, with those who could bear arms, placed ambuscades here and there on the mountains and in other inaccessible places. The Illyrians, fearful lest the possessions of the Molossians should be seized by the Aetolians, began to race along in disorder, in their eagerness for plunder. As soon as they became scattered, Harrybas, emerging from his concealment and taking them unawares, routed them and put them to flight.

20 Titus Labienus, lieutenant of Gaius Caesar, eager to engage in battle with the Gauls before the arrival of the Germans, who, he knew, were coming to their aid, pretended discouragement, and, pitching his p145camp across the stream, announced his departure for the following day. The Gauls, imagining that he was in flight, began to cross the intervening river. Labienus, facing about with his troops, cut the Gauls to pieces in the very midst of their difficulties of crossing.98

21 Hannibal, on one occasion, learned that the camp of Fulvius, the Roman commander, was carelessly fortified and that Fulvius himself was taking many rash chances besides. Accordingly, at daybreak, when dense mists afforded cover, he permitted a few of his horsemen to show themselves to the sentries of our fortifications; whereupon Fulvius suddenly advanced. Meanwhile, Hannibal, at a different point, entered Fulvius's camp, and overwhelming the Roman rear, slew eight thousand of the bravest soldiers along with their commander himself.99

22 Once, when the Roman army had been divided between the dictator Fabius and Minucius, master of the horse, and Fabius was watching for a favourable opportunity, while Minucius was burning with eagerness for battle, the same Hannibal pitched his camp on the plain between the hostile armies, and having concealed a portion of his troops among rough rocks, sent others to seize a neighbouring hillock, as a challenge to the foe. When Minucius had led out his forces to crush these, the men placed here and there in ambush by Hannibal suddenly sprang up, and would have annihilated Minucius's army, had not Fabius come to help them in their distress.100

23 When the same Hannibal was encamped in the depths of winter at the Trebia, with the camp of the consul, Sempronius Longus, in plain view and p147only the river flowing between, he placed Mago and picked men in ambush. Then he commanded Numidian cavalry to advance up to Sempronius's fortifications, in order to lure forth the simple-minded Roman. At the same time, he ordered these troops to retire by familiar fords at our first onset. By heedlessly attacking and pursuing the Numidians, the consul gave his troops a chill, as a result of fording the stream in the bitter cold and without breakfast. Then, when our men were suffering from numbness and hunger, Hannibal led against them his own troops, whom he had got in condition for that purpose by warm fires, food, and rubbing down with oil. Mago also did his part, and cut to pieces the rear of his enemy at the point where he had been posted for the purpose.101

24 At Trasimenus, where a narrow way,102 running out between the lake and the base of the hills, led out to the open plain, the same Hannibal, feigning flight, made his way through the narrow road to the open districts and pitched his camp there. Then, posting soldiers by night at various points over the rising ground of the hill and at the ends of the defile, at daybreak, under cover of a fog, he marshalled his line of battle. Flaminius, pursuing the enemy, who seemed to be retreating, entered the defile and did not see the ambush until he was surrounded in front, flank, and rear, and was annihilated with his army.103

25 The same Hannibal, when contending against the dictator Junius,104 ordered six hundred cavalrymen to break up into a number of squadrons, and at dead of night to appear in successive detachments without intermission around the camp of the enemy. Thus all night long the Romans were harassed and p149worn out by sentry duty on the rampart and by the rain, which happened to fall continuously, so that in the morning, when Junius gave the signal for recall, Hannibal led out his own troops, who had been well rested, and took Junius's camp by assault.105

26 In the same way, when the Spartans had draw entrenchments across the Isthmus and were defending the Peloponnesus, Epaminondas, the Theban, with the help of a few light-armed troops, harassed the enemy all night long. Then at daybreak, after he had recalled his own men and the Spartans had also retired, he suddenly moved forward the entire force which he had kept at rest, and burst directly through the ramparts, which had been left without defenders.106

27 At the battle of Cannae, Hannibal, having drawn up his line of battle, ordered six hundred Numidian cavalry to go over to the enemy. To prove their sincerity, these surrendered their swords and shields to our men, and were dispatched to the rear. Then, as soon as the engagement began, drawing out small swords, which they had secreted, and picking up the shield of the fallen, they slaughtered the troops of the Romans.107

28 Under pretence of surrender, the Iapydes handed over some of their to best men to Publius Licinius, the Roman proconsul. These were received and placed in the last line, whereupon they cut to pieces the Romans who were bringing up the rear.

29 Scipio Africanus, when facing the two hostile camps of Syphax and the Carthaginians, decided to make a night attack on that of Syphax, where there was a large supply of inflammable material, and to set fire to it, in order thus to cut down the Numidians p151as the army scurried in terror from their camp, and also, by laying ambuscades, to catch the Carthaginians, who, he knew, would rush forward to assist their allies. Both plans succeeded. For when the enemy rushed forward unarmed, thinking the conflagration accidental, Scipio fell upon them and cut them to pieces.108

30 Mithridates, after repeated defeats in battle at the hands of Lucullus, made an attempt against his life by treachery, hiring a certain Adathas, a man of extraordinary strength, to desert and to perpetrate the deed, so soon as he should gain the confidence of the enemy. This plan the deserter did his best to execute, but his efforts failed. For, though admitted by Lucullus to the cavalry troop, he was quietly kept under surveillance, since it was neither well to put trust at once in a deserter, nor to prevent other deserters from coming. After this fellow had exhibited a ready and earnest devotion on repeated raids, and had won confidence, he chose a time when the dismissal of the staff-officers brought with it repose throughout the camp, and caused the general's headquarters to be less frequented. Chance favoured Lucullus; for whereas the deserter expected to find Lucullus awake, in which case he would have been at once admitted to his presence, he actually found him at that time fast asleep, exhausted with revolving plans in his mind the night before. Then when Adathas pleaded to be admitted, on the ground that he had an unexpected and imperative message to deliver, he was kept out by the determined efforts of the slaves, who were concerned for their master's health. Fearing consequently that he was an object of p153suspicion, he mounted the horse which he held in readiness outside the gate, and fled to Mithridates without accomplishing his purpose.109

31 When Sertorius was encamped next to Pompey near the town of Lauron in Spain, there were only two tracts from which forage could be gathered, one near by, the other farther off. Sertorius gave orders that the one near by should be continually raided by light-armed troops, but that remoter one should not be visited by any troops. Thus, he finally convinced his adversaries that the more distant tract was safer. When, on one occasion, Pompey's troops had gone to this region, Sertorius ordered Octavius Graecinus, with ten cohorts armed after the Roman fashion, and ten cohorts of light-armed Spaniards along with Tarquinius Priscus and two thousand cavalry, set forth to lay an ambush against the foragers. These men executed their instructions with energy; for after examining the ground, they hid the above-mentioned forces by night in a neighbouring wood, posting the light-armed Spaniards in front, as best suited to stealthy warfare, the shield-bearing soldiers a little further back, and the cavalry in the rear, in order that the plan might not be betrayed by the neighing of the horses. Then they ordered all to repose in silence till the third hour of the following day.110 When Pompey's men, entertaining no suspicion and loaded down with forage, thought of returning, and those who had been on guard, lured on by the situation, were slipping away to forage, suddenly the Spaniards, darting out with the swiftness characteristic of their race, poured forth upon the stragglers, inflicted many wounds upon them, and put them to rout, to their great p155amazement. Then, before resistance to this first assault could be organised, the shield-bearing troops, bursting forth from the forest, overthrew and routed the Romans who were returning to the ranks, while the cavalry, dispatched after those in flight, followed them all the way back to the camp, cutting them to pieces. Provision was also made that no one should escape. For two hundred and fifty reserve horsemen, sent ahead for the purpose, found it a simple matter to race forward by short cuts, and then to turn back and meet those who had first fled, before they reached Pompey's camp. On learning of this, Pompey sent out a legion under Decimus Laelius to reinforce his men, whereupon the cavalry of the enemy, withdrawing to the right flank, pretended to give way, and then, passing round the legion, assaulted it from the rear, while those who had followed up the foragers attacked it from the front also. Thus the legion with its commander was crushed between the two lines of the enemy. When Pompey led out his entire army to help the legion, Sertorius exhibited his forces drawn up on the hillside, and thus baulked Pompey's purpose. Thus, in addition to inflicting a twofold disaster, as a result of the same strategy, Sertorius forced Pompey to be the helpless witness of the destruction of his own troops. This was the first battle between Sertorius and Pompey. According to Livy, ten thousand men were lost in Pompey's army, along with the entire transport.111

32 Pompey, when warring in Spain, having first posted troops here and there to attack from ambush, by feigning fear, drew the enemy on in pursuit, till they reached the place of the ambuscade. Then p157when the opportune moment arrived, wheeling about, he slaughtered the foe in front and on both flanks, and likewise captured their general, Perperna.112

33 The same Pompey, in Armenia, when Mithridates was superior to him in the number and quality of his cavalry, stationed three thousand light-armed men and five hundred cavalry by night in a valley under cover of bushes lying between the two camps. Then at daybreak he sent forth his cavalry against the position of the enemy, planning that, as soon as the full force of the enemy, cavalry and infantry, became engaged in battle, the Romans should gradually fall back, still keeping ranks, until they should afford room to those who had been stationed for the purpose of attacking from the rear to arise and do so. When this design turned out successfully, those who had seemed to flee turned about, enabling Pompey to cut to pieces the enemy thus caught in panic between his two lines. Our infantry also, engaging in hand-to‑hand encounter, stabbed the horses of the enemy. That battle destroyed the faith which the king had reposed in his cavalry.113

34 In the Slave War, Crassus fortified two camps close beside the camp of the enemy, near Mt. Cantenna. Then, one night, he moved his forces, leading them all out and posting them at the base of the mountain above mentioned, leaving his headquarters tent in the larger camp in order to deceive the enemy. Dividing the cavalry into two detachments, he directed Lucius Quintius to oppose Spartacus with one division and fool him with a mock encounter; with the other to lure to combat the Germans and Gauls, of the faction of Castus and Cannicus, and, by feigning flight, to draw them on to the spot p159where Crassus himself had drawn up his troops in battle array. When the barbarians followed, the cavalry fell back to the flanks, and suddenly the Roman force disclosed itself and rushed forward with a shout. In that battle Livy tells us that thirty-five thousand armed men, with their commanders, were slain; five Roman eagles and twenty-six standards were recaptured, along with much other booty, including five sets of rods and axes.114

35 Gaius Cassius, when fighting in Syria against the Parthians and their leader Osaces, exhibited only cavalry in front, but had posted infantry in hiding on rough ground in the rear. Then, when his cavalry fell back and retreated over familiar roads, he drew the army of the Parthians into the ambush prepared for them and cut them to pieces.115

36 Ventidius, keeping his own men in camp on pretence of fear, caused the Parthians and Labienus, who were elated with victorious successes, to come out for battle. Having lured them into an unfavourable situation, he attacked them by surprise and so overwhelmed them that the Parthians refused to follow Labienus and evacuated the province.116

37 The same Ventidius, having himself only a small force available for use against the Parthians under Pharnastanes, but observing that the confidence of the enemy was growing in consequence of their numbers, posted eighteen cohorts at the side of the camp in a hidden valley, with cavalry stationed behind the infantry. Then he sent a very small detachment against the enemy. When these by feigning flight had drawn the enemy in hot pursuit beyond the place of ambush, the force at the side rose up, whereupon Ventidius drove the Parthians p161in precipitate flight and slaughtered them, Pharnastanes among them.117

38 On one occasion when the camps of Gaius Caesar and Afranius were pitched in opposite plains, it was the special ambition of each side to secure possession of the neighbouring hills — a task of extreme difficulty on account of the jagged rocks. In these circumstances, Caesar marshalled his army as though to march back again to Ilerda, a move supported by his deficiency of supplies. Then, within a short time, making a small detour, he suddenly started to seize the hills. The followers of Afranius, alarmed at sight of this, just as though their camp had been captured, started out themselves at top speed to gain the same hills. Caesar, having forecast this turn of affairs, fell upon Afranius's men, before they could form — partly with infantry, which he had sent ahead, partly with cavalry sent up in the rear.118

39 Antonius, near Forum Gallorum, having heard that the consul Pansa was approaching, met his army by means of ambuscades, set here and there in the woodland stretches along the Aemilian Way, thus routing his troops and inflicting on Pansa himself a wound from which he died in a few days.119

40 Juba, king in Africa at the time of the Civil War, by feigning a retirement, once roused unwarranted elation in the heart of Curio. Under the influence of this mistaken hope, Curio, pursuing Sabboras, the king's general, who, he thought, was in flight, came to open plains, where, surrounded by the cavalry of the Numidians, he lost his army and perished himself.120

41 Melanthus, the Athenian general, on one occasion came out for combat, in response to the challenge of the king of the enemy, Xanthus, the Boeotian. As p163soon as they stood face to face, Melanthus exclaimed: "Your conduct is unfair, Xanthus, and contrary to agreement. I am alone, but you have come out with a companion against me." When Xanthus wondered who was following him and looked behind, Melanthus dispatched him with a single stroke, as his head was turned away.121

42 Iphicrates, the Athenian, on one occasion in the Chersonesus, aware that Anaxibius, commander of the Spartans, was proceeding with his troops by land, disembarked a large force of men from his vessels and placed them in ambush, but directed his ships to sail in full view of the enemy, as though loaded with all his forces. When the Spartans were thus thrown off their guard and apprehended no danger, Iphicrates, attacking them by land from the rear as they marched along, crushed and routed them.122

43 The Liburnians on one occasion, when they had taken a position among some shallows, by allowing only their heads to appear above the surface of the water, caused the enemy to believe that water was deep. In this way a galley which followed them became stranded on the shoal, and was captured.

44 Alcibiades, commander of the Athenians at the Hellespont against Mindarus, leader of the Spartans, having a large army and numerous vessels, landed some of his soldiers by night, and hid part of his ships behind certain headlands. He himself, advancing with a few troops, so as to lure the enemy on in scorn of his small force, fled when pursued, until he finally drew the foe into the trap which had been laid. Then attacking the enemy in the rear, as he disembarked, he cut him to pieces with the aid of the troops which he had landed for this very purpose.123

p165 45 The same Alcibiades, on one occasion, with about to engage in a naval combat, erected a number of masts on a headland, and commanded the men whom he left there to spread sails on these as soon as they noticed that the engagement had begun. By this means he caused the enemy to retreat, since they imagined another fleet was coming to his assistance.

46 Memnon, the Rhodian, in a naval encounter, possessing a fleet of two hundred ships, and wishing to lure the vessels of the enemy out to battle, made arrangements for raising the masts of only a few of his ships, ordering these to proceed first. When the enemy from a distance saw the number of masts, and from that inferred the number of vessels, they offered battle, but were fallen upon by a larger number of ships and defeated.

47 Timotheus, leader of the Athenians, when about to engage in a naval encounter with the Spartans, as soon as the Spartan fleet came out arrayed in line of battle, sent ahead twenty of his swiftest vessels, to baulk the enemy in every way by various tactics. Then as soon as he observed that the enemy were growing less active in their manoeuvres, he moved forward and easily defeated them, since they were already worn out.124

VI. On Letting the Enemy Escape, lest, Brought to Bay, He Renew the Battle in Desperationa

1 When the Gauls, after the battle fought under Camillus's generalship, desired boats to cross the Tiber, the Senate voted to set them across and to supply them with provisions as well.

On a subsequent occasion also a free passage was p167afforded to the people of the same race when retreating through the Pomptine district. This road goes by the name of the "Gallic Way."125

2 Titus Marcius, a Roman knight, on whom the army conferred the supreme command after the two Scipios were slain, succeeded in enveloping the Carthaginians. When the latter, in order not to die unavenged, fought with increasing fury, Marcius opened up the maniples, afforded room for escape, and as the enemy became separated, slaughtered them without danger to his own men.126

3 When certain Germans whom Gaius Caesar had penned in fought the more fiercely from desperation, he ordered them to be allowed to escape, and then attacked them as they fled.

4 At Trasimenus, when the Romans had been enveloped and were fighting with the greatest fury, Hannibal opened up his ranks and gave them an opportunity of escape, whereupon, as they fled, he overwhelmed them without loss of his own troops.127

5 When the Aetolians, blockaded by Antigonus, king of the Macedonians, were suffering from famine and had resolved to make a sally in face of certain death, Antigonus afforded them an avenue of flight. Thus having cooled their ardour, he attacked them from the rear and cut them to pieces.128

6 Agesilaus, the Spartan, when engaged in battle with the Thebans, noticed that the enemy, hemmed in by the character of the terrain, were fighting with greater fury on account of their desperation. Accordingly he opened up his ranks and afforded the Thebans a way of escape. But when they tried to retreat, he again enveloped them, and cut them down from behind without loss of his own troops.129

p169 7 Gnaeus Manlius, the consul, on returning from battle found the camp of the Romans in possession of the Etruscans. He therefore posted guards at all the gates and roused the enemy, thus shut up within, to such a pitch of fury that he himself was slain in the fighting. When his lieutenants realized the situation, they withdrew the guards from one gate and afforded the Etruscans an opportunity of escape. But when the latter poured forth, the Romans pursued them and cut them to pieces, with the help of the other consul, Fabius, who happened to come up.130

8 When Xerxes had been defeated and the Athenians wished to destroy his bridge,131 Themistocles prevented this, showing that it was better for them that Xerxes should be expelled from Europe than be forced to fight in desperation. He also sent to the king a messenger to tell him in what danger he would be, in case he failed to make a hasty retreat.132

9 When Pyrrhus, king of the Epirotes, had captured a certain city and had noticed that the inhabitants, shut up inside, had closed the gates and were fighting valiantly from dire necessity, he gave them an opportunity to escape.

10 The same Pyrrhus, among many other precepts on the art of war, recommended never to press relentlessly on the heels of an enemy in flight — not merely in order to prevent the enemy from resisting too furiously in consequence of necessity, but also to make him more inclined to withdraw another time, knowing that the victor would not strive to destroy him when in flight.

VII. On Concealing Reverses

1 Tullus Hostilius, king of the Romans, on one occasion had engaged in battle with the Veientines, when the Albans, deserting the army of the Romans, made for the neighbouring hills. Since this action disconcerted our troops, Tullus shouted in a loud voice that the Albans had done that by his instructions, with the object of enveloping the foe. This declaration struck terror into the hearts of the Veientines and lent confidence to the Romans. By this device he turned the tide of battle.133

2 When a lieutenant of Lucius Sulla had gone over to the enemy at the beginning on an engagement, accompanied by a considerable force of cavalry, Sulla announced that this had been done by his own instructions. He thereby not merely saved his men from panic, but encouraged them by a certain expectation of advantage to result from this plan.

3 The same Sulla, when certain auxiliary troops dispatched by him had been surrounded and cut to pieces by the enemy, fearing that his entire army would be in a panic on account of this disaster, announced that he had purposely placed the auxiliaries in a place of danger, since they had plotted to desert. In this way he veiled a very palpable reverse under the guise of discipline, and encouraged his soldiers by convincing them that he had done this.

4 When the envoys of King Syphax told Scipio in the name of their king not to cross over to Africa from Sicily in expectation of an alliance, Scipio, fearing that the spirits of his men would receive a shock, if the hope of a foreign alliance were cut off, p173summarily dismissed the envoys, and spread abroad the report that he was expressly sent for by Syphax.134

5 Once when Quintus Sertorius was engaged in battle, he plunged a dagger into the barbarian who had reported to him that Hirtuleius had fallen, for fear the messenger might bring this news to the knowledge of others and in this way the spirit of his own troops should be broken.135

6 When Alcibiades, the Athenian, was hard pressed in battle by the Abydenes and suddenly noticed a courier approaching at great speed and with dejected countenance, he prevented the courier from telling openly what tidings he brought. Having privately learned that his fleet was beset by Pharnabazus, the commander of the king, he concealed the fact both from the enemy and from his own soldiers, and finished the battle. Then straightway marching to rescue his fleet, he bore aid to his friends.136

7 When Hannibal entered Italy, three thousand Carpetani deserted him. Fearing that rest of his troops might be affected by their example, he proclaimed that they had been discharged by him, and as further proof of that, he sent home a few others whose services were of very little importance.137

8 When Lucius Lucullus noticed that the Macedonian cavalry, whom he had as auxiliaries, were suddenly deserting to the enemy in a body, he ordered the trumpets to sound and sent out squadrons to pursue the deserters. The enemy, thinking that an engagement was beginning, received the deserters with javelins, whereupon the Macedonians, seeing that they were not welcomed by the enemy and were attacked by those whom they were deserting, were forced to resort to a genuine battle and assaulted the enemy.138

p175 9 Datames, commander of the Persians against Autophradates in Cappadocia, learning that part of his cavalry were deserting, ordered the rest of his troops to follow with him. Upon coming up with the deserters, he commended them for outstripping him in their eagerness, and also urged them to attack the enemy courageously. Seized with shame and penitence, the deserters changed their purpose, imagining that it had not been detected.139

10 The consul Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, when the Romans yielded ground in battle, falsely claimed that the enemy had been routed on the other flank. By thus lending courage to his men, he won a victory.140

11 When Marius was fighting against the Etruscans, his colleague Marcus Fabius, commander of the left flank, was wounded, and that section of the army therefore gave way, imagining that the consul had been slain. Thereupon Manlius confronted the broken line with squadrons of horse, shouting that his colleague was alive and that he himself had been victorious on the right flank. By this dauntless spirit, he restored the courage of his men and won the victory.141

12 When Marius was fighting against the Cimbrians and Teutons, his engineers on one occasion had heedlessly chosen such a site for the camp that the barbarians controlled the water supply. In response to the soldiers' demand for water, Marius pointed with his finger toward the enemy and said: "There is where you must get it." Thus inspired, the Romans straightway drove the barbarians from the place.142

13 Titus Labienus, after the Battle of Pharsalia, p177when his side had been defeated and he himself had fled to Dyrrhachium, combined falsehood with truth, and while not concealing the outcome of the battle, pretended that the fortunes of the two sides had been equalized in consequence of a severe wound received by Caesar. By this pretence, he created confidence in the other followers of Pompey's party.143

14 Marcus Cato, having inadvertently landed with a single galley in Ambracia at a time when the allied fleet was blockaded by the Aetolians, although he had no troops with him, began nevertheless to make signals by voice and gesture, in order to give the impression that he was summoning the approaching ships of his own forces. By this earnestness he alarmed the enemy, just as though the troops, whom he pretended to be summoning from near at hand, were visibly approaching. The Aetolians, accordingly, fearing that they would be crushed by the arrival of the Roman fleet, abandoned the blockade.144

VIII. On Restoring Morale by Firmness

1 In the battle in which King Tarquinius encountered the Sabines, Servius Tullius, then a young man, noticing that the standard-bearers fought halfheartedly, seized a standard and hurled it into the ranks of the enemy. To recover it, the Romans fought so furiously that they not only regained the standard, but also won the day.145

2 The consul Furius Agrippa, when on one occasion his flank gave way, snatched a military standard from a standard-bearer and hurled it into the hostile ranks of the Hernici and Aequi. By this act the p179day was saved, for the Romans with the greatest eagerness pressed forward to recapture the standard.146

3 The consul Titus Quinctius Capitolinus hurled a standard into the midst of the hostile ranks of the Faliscans and commanded his troops to regain it.147

4 Marcus Furius Camillus, military tribune with consular power, on one occasion when his troops held back, seized a standard-bearer by the hand and dragged him into the hostile ranks of the Volscians and Latins, whereupon the rest were shamed into following.148

5 Salvius, the Pelignian, did the same in the Persian War.149

6 Marcus Furius, meeting his army in retreat, declared he would receive in camp no one who was not victorious. Thereupon he led them back to battle and won the day.150

7 Scipio, at Numantia, seeing his forces in retreat, proclaimed that he would treat as an enemy whoever should return to camp.151

8 The dictator Servilius Priscus, having given the command to carry the standards of the legions against the hostile Faliscans, ordered the standard-bearer to be executed for hesitating to obey. The rest, cowed by this example, advanced against the foe.152

9 Cornelius Cossus, master of the horse, did the same in an engagement with the people of Fidenae.153

p181 10 Tarquinius, when his cavalry showed hesitation in the battle against the Sabines, ordered them to fling away their bridles, put spurs to their horses, and break through the enemy's line.

11 In the Samnite War, the consul Marcus Atilius, seeing his troops quitting the battle and taking refuge in camp, met them with his own command and declared that they would have to fight against him and all loyal citizens, unless they preferred to fight against the enemy. In this way he marched them back in a body to the battle.154

12 When Sulla's legions broke before the hosts of Mithridates led by Archelaus, Sulla advanced with drawn sword into the first line and, addressing his troops, told them, in case anybody asked where they had left their general, to answer: "Fighting in Boeotia." Shamed by these words, they followed him to a man.155

13 The deified Julius, when his troops gave way at Munda, ordered his horse to be removed from sight, and strode forward as a foot-soldier to the front line. His men, ashamed to desert their commander, thereupon renewed the fight.156

14 Philip, on one occasion, fearing that his troops would not withstand the onset of the Scythians, stationed the trustiest of his cavalry in the rear, and commanded them to permit no one of their comrades to quit the battle, but to kill them if they persisted in retreating. This proclamation induced even the most timid to prefer to be killed by the enemy rather than by their own comrades, and enabled Philip to win the day.157

p183 On Measures taken after Battle

IX. On Bringing the War to a Close after a Successful Engagement

1 After Gaius Marius had defeated the Teutons in battle, and night had put an end to the conflict, he encamped round about the remnants of his opponents. By causing a small group of his own men to raise loud cries from time to time, he kept the enemy in a state of alarm and prevented them from securing rest. He thus succeeded more easily in crushing them on the following day, since they had had no sleep.158

2 Claudius Nero, having met the Carthaginians on their way from Spain to Italy under the command of Hasdrubal, defeated them and threw Hasdrubal's head into Hannibal's camp. As a result, Hannibal was overwhelmed with grief and the army gave up hope of receiving reinforcements.159

3 When Lucius Sulla was besieging Praeneste, he fastened on spears the heads of Praenestine generals who had been slain in battle, and exhibited them to the besieged inhabitants, thus breaking their stubborn resistance.160

4 Arminius, leader of the Germans, likewise fastened on spears the heads of those he had slain, and ordered them to be brought up to the fortifications of the enemy.161

5 When Domitius Corbulo was besieging Tigranocerta and the Armenians seemed likely to make an obstinate defence, Corbulo executed Vadandus, one of the nobles he had captured, shot his head out of a balista, and sent it flying within the fortifications of the enemy. It happened to fall in the p185midst of a council which the barbarians were holding at that very moment, and the sight of it (as though it were some portent) so filled them with consternation that they made haste to surrender.162

6 When Hermocrates, the Syracusan, had defeated the Carthaginians in battle, and was afraid that the prisoners, of whom he had taken an enormous number, would be carelessly guarded, since the successful issue of the struggle might prompt the victors to revelry and neglect, he pretended that the cavalry of the enemy were planning an attack on the following night. By instilling this fear, he succeeded in having the guard over the prisoners maintained even more carefully than usual.

7 When the same Hermocrates had achieved certain successes, and for that reason his men, through a spirit of over-confidence, had abandoned all restraint and were sunk in a drunken stupor, he sent a deserter into the camp of the enemy to prevent their flight by declaring that ambuscades of Syracusans had been posted everywhere. From fear of these, the enemy remained in camp. Having thus detained them, Hermocrates, on the following day, when his own men were more fit, gave the enemy over to their mercy and ended the war.163

8 When Miltiades had defeated a huge host of Persians at Marathon, and the Athenians were losing time in rejoicing over the victory, he forced them to hurry to bear aid to the city, at which the Persian fleet was aiming. Having thus got ahead of the enemy, he filled the walls with warriors, so that the Persians, thinking that the number of the Athenians was enormous and that they themselves had met one army at Marathon while another was now p187confronting them on the walls, straightway turned their vessels about and laid their course for Asia.164

9 When the fleet of the Megarians approached Eleusis at night with the object of kidnapping the Athenian matrons who had made sacrifice to Ceres, Pisistratus, the Athenian, engaged it in battle and, by ruthlessly slaughtering the enemy, avenged his own countrymen. Then he filled these same captured ships with Athenian soldiers, placing in full view certain matrons dressed as captives. The Megarians, deceived by these appearances, thinking their own people were sailing back, and that, too, crowned with victory, rushed out to meet them, in disorder and without weapons, whereupon they were a second time overwhelmed.165

10 Cimon, the Athenian general, having defeated the fleet of the Persians near the island of Cyprus, fitted out his men with the weapons of the prisoners and in the barbarians' own ships set sail to meet the enemy in Pamphylia, near the Eurymedon River. The Persians, recognizing the vessels and the garb of those standing on deck, were quite off their guard. Thus on the same day they were suddenly crushed in two battles, one on sea and one on land.166

X. On Repairing One's Losses after a Reverse

1 When Titus Didius was warring in Spain and had fought an extremely bitter engagement, to which darkness put an end, leaving a large number of slain on both sides, he provided for the burial by night of many bodies of his own men. On the following day, the Spaniards, coming out to perform a like duty, found more of their men slain than of p189the Romans, and arguing according to this calculation that they had been beaten, came to terms with the Roman commander.167

2 Titus Marcius, a Roman knight, who had charge of the remnants of the army [of the Scipios] in Spain, seeing near at hand two camps of the Carthaginians a few miles distant from each other, urged on his men and attacked the nearer camp at dead of night. Since the enemy, being flushed with victory, were without organization, Marcius by his attack did not leave so much as a single man to report the disaster. Granting his troops merely the briefest time for rest, and outstripping the news of his exploit, he attacked the second camp the same night. Thus, by a double success, he destroyed the Carthaginians in both places and restored to the Roman people the lost provinces of Spain.168

XI. On Ensuring the Loyalty of Those Whom One Mistrusts

1 When Publius Valerius had an insufficient garrison at Epidaurus and therefore feared perfidy on the part of the townspeople, he prepared to celebrate athletic contests at some distance from the city. When nearly all the population had gone there to see the show, he closed the gates and refused to admit the Epidaurians until he had taken hostages from their chief men.

2 Gnaeus Pompey, suspecting the Chaucensians and fearing that they would not admit a garrison, asked that they would meanwhile permit his invalid soldiers to recover among them. Then, sending his strongest men in the guise of invalids, he seized the city and held it.

p191 3 When Alexander had conquered and subdued Thrace and was setting out for Asia, fearing that after his departure the Thracians would take up arms, he took with him, as though by way of conferring honour, their kings and officials — all in fact who seemed to take to heart the loss of freedom. In charge of those left behind he placed common and ordinary persons, thus preventing the officials from wishing to make any change, as being bound to him by favours, and the common people from even being able to do so, since they had been deprived of their leaders.169

4 When Antipater beheld the army of the Peloponnesians, who had assembled to assail his authority on hearing of the death of Alexander, he pretended not to understand with what purpose they had come, and thanked them for having gathered to aid Alexander against the Spartans adding that he would write to the king about this.170 But inasmuch as he did not need their assistance at present, he urged them to go home, and by this statement dispelled the danger which threatened him from the now order of affairs.171

5 When Scipio Africanus was warring in Spain, there was brought before him among the captive women a noble maiden of surpassing beauty who attracted the gaze of everyone. Scipio guarded her with the greatest pains and restored her to her betrothed, Alicius by name, presenting to him likewise, as a marriage gift, the gold which her parents had brought to Scipio as a ransom. Overcome by this manifold generosity, the whole tribe leagued itself with the government of Rome.172

p193 6 The story goes that Alexander of Macedon likewise, having taken captive a maiden of exceeding beauty betrothed to the chief of a neighbouring tribe, treated her with such extreme consideration that he refrained even from gazing at her. When the maiden was later returned to her lover, Alexander, as a result of this kindness, secured the attachment of the entire tribe.173

7 When the Emperor Caesar Augustus Germanicus,174 in the war in which he earned his title by conquering the Germans, was building forts in the territory of the Cubii, he ordered compensation to be made for the crops which he had included within his fortifications. Thus the renown of his justice won the allegiance of all.175

XII. What to do for the Defence of the Camp, in case a Commander lacks Confidence in his Present Forces

1 The consul, Titus Quinctius, as the Volscians were about to attack his camp, kept only one cohort on duty, and dismissed the remainder of the army to take their rest, directing the trumpeters to mount their horses and make the round of the camp sounding their trumpets. By exhibiting this semblance of strength, he kept the enemy off and held them throughout the night. Then at daybreak, attacking them by a sudden sortie when they were exhausted with watching, he easily defeated them.176

2 Quintus Sertorius, when in Spain, was completely outmatched by the cavalry of the enemy, who in their excessive confidence advanced up to his very fortifications. Accordingly during the night he constructed p195trenches and drew up his line of battle in front of them. Then when the cavalry approached, as was their wont, he drew back his line. The enemy following close on his heels, fell into the trenches and thus were defeated.177

3 Chares, the Athenian commander, on one occasion was expecting reinforcements, but feared that meanwhile the enemy, despising his small force, would attack his camp. He therefore ordered that a number of the soldiers under his command should pass out at night by the rear of the camp, and should return by a route where they would be clearly observed by the enemy, thus creating the impression that fresh forces were arriving. In this way, he defended himself by pretended reinforcements, until he was equipped with those he was expecting.178

4 Iphicrates, the Athenian, being encamped on one occasion on level ground, happened to learn that the Thracians were intending to come down from the hills, over which there was but a single line of descent, with the purpose of plundering his camp by night. He therefore secretly led forth his troops and posted them on both sides of the road over which the Thracians were to pass. Then when the enemy descended upon the camp, in which a large number of watch-fires, built by the hands of a few men, produced the impression that a mighty host was still there, Iphicrates was enabled to attack them on the flank and crush them.179

XIII. On Retreating

1 When the Gauls were about to fight with Attalus, they handed over all their gold and silver to trusty guards, with instructions to scatter, in case their p197forces should be routed in battle, in order that thereby the enemy might be occupied in picking up the spoils and they themselves might more easily escape.180

2 Tryphon, king of Syria, when defeated, scattered money along the whole line of his retreat. While the cavalry of Antiochus delayed to pick this up, he effected his escape.181

3 Quintus Sertorius, when defeated in battle by Quintus Metellus Pius, being convinced that not even an organized retreat was safe, commanded his soldiers to disband and retire, informing them at what point he desired them to reassemble.182

4 Viriathus, leader of the Lusitanians, extricated himself from an awkward position, and from the menace of our troops, by the same method as Sertorius, disbanding his forces and then reassembling.183

5 Horatius Cocles, when Porsenna's army was pressing hard upon him, commanded his supporters to return over the bridge to the City, and then to destroy the bridge in order that the foe might not follow them. While this was being done, he himself, as defender of the bridgehead, held up the oncoming enemy. Then, when the crash told him that the bridge had been destroyed, he threw himself into the stream, and swam across it in his armour, exhausted though he was by wounds.184

6 Afranius, when fleeing from Caesar near Ilerda in Spain, pitched camp, while Caesar was pressing close upon him. When Caesar did the same and sent his men off to gather forage, Afranius suddenly gave the signal to continue the retreat.185

7 When Anthony was retreating, hard pressed by p199the Parthians, as often as he broke camp at daybreak, his retiring troops were assailed by volleys of arrows from the barbarians. Accordingly one day he kept his men back till nearly noon, thus producing the impression that he had made a permanent camp. As soon as the Parthians had become persuaded of this and had withdrawn, he accomplished his regular march for the remainder of the day without interference.186

8 When Philip had suffered defeat in Epirus, in order that the Romans might not overwhelm him in flight, he secured the grant of a truce to bury the dead. In consequence of this, the guards relaxed their vigilance, so that Philip slipped away.187

9 Publius Claudius, defeated by the Carthaginians in a naval engagement and thinking it necessary to break through the forces of the enemy, ordered his twenty remaining vessels to be dressed out as though victorious. The Carthaginians, therefore, thought our men had proved themselves superior in the encounter, so that Claudius became an object of fear to the enemy and thus made his escape.188

10 The Carthaginians, on one occasion, when defeated in a naval battle, desiring to shake off the Romans who were close upon them, pretended that their vessels had caught on shoals and imitated the movement of stranded galleys. In this way they caused the victors, in fear of meeting a like disaster, to afford them an opportunity of escape.

11 Commius, the Atrebatian, when defeated by the deified Julius, fled from Gaul to Britain, and happened to reach the Channel at a time when the wind was p201fair, but the tide was out. Although the vessels were stranded on the flats, he nevertheless ordered the sails to be spread. Caesar, who was following them from a distance, seeing the sails swelling with the full breeze, and imagining Commius to be escaping from his hands and to be proceeding on a prosperous voyage, abandoned the pursuit.


The Editor's Notes:

1 Scipio's troops have lunch: 206 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. VIII.XVI.1.

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2 Metellus' noonday attack: 76 B.C.

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3 Postumius wears the enemy down: 262 B.C.

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4 Iphicrates attacks at lunchtime: Cf. Polyaen. III.IX.53.

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5 Iphicrates uses non-combatants as a supply force: 393‑392 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. III.IX.52.

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6 Verginius' breathless enemies: 494 B.C. Cf. Livy II.XXX.10 ff.

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7 Fabius Maximus wears down the Gauls and Samnites: 295 B.C. Cf. Livy X.28 ff.

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8 Philip draws out an engagement: 338 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. IV.II.7; Justin. IX.III.9.

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9 their troops had slain all their beasts of burden: The motive was to be less encumbered on the march.

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10 Caesar's desperate opponents: 49 B.C. Cf. Caes. B.C. I.81 ff.

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11 Pompey's night-time encounter: 66 B.C. Cf. Flor. III.V.22‑24; Plut. Pomp. 32 ff.

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12 Jugurtha's battles late in the day: 111‑106 B.C. Cf. Sall. Jug. XCVIII.2.

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13 Lucullus attacks the Armenians before they're ready: 69 B.C. Cf. Plut. Lucul. 26‑28; Appian Mithr. 84‑85.

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14 Tiberius Nero delays battle: 12‑10 B.C. or 6‑9 A.D. The future Emperor Tiberius.

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15 Caesar takes advantage of the enemy's superstition: 58 B.C. Cf. Caes. B. G. I.50; Plut. Caes. 19.

Thayer's Note: The superstition is alive and well. Other things being equal, in horary astrology, modern Western astrologers deprecate starting an enterprise during the waning moon.
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16 Vespasian and the sabbath of the Jews: 70 A.D.

Thayer's Note: August 10th. The Torah, however, specifically permits defense on the Sabbath. For details, including the passage of Josephus, see this page.

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17 Lysander's regular attacks: 405 B.C. Cf. Xen. Hell. II.I.21 ff.; Plut. Lysand. 10‑11.

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18 Manius Curius fights in confined quarters: 281‑275 B.C.

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19 Pompey bears down on the enemy from a height: 66 B.C.

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20 Caesar fires his artillery at the enemy from a height: 47 B.C. Cf. Bell. Alexandr. 73‑76.

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21 Lucullus bears down on the enemy from a height: 69 B.C. Cf. Plut. Lucul. 28; Appian Mithr. 85.

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22 Ventidius — "don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes": 38 B.C. Cf. Flor. IV.IX.6.

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23 Hannibal protects his flanks by hollows and precipitous roads: 210 B.C. According to Livy XXVII.II.4 and Plut. Marc. 24, the result of the battle was indecisive.

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24 Hannibal's enemies have sand in their eyes: 216 B.C. Cf. Val. Max. VII.IV.ext.2; Plut. Fab. 16; Livy XXII.43, 46. In none of these accounts is a river mentioned as the source of the wind. Livy speaks of the ventus Volturnus.

Thayer's Note: Frontinus himself gives other examples of the effects or tactical use of dust and sand in Strat. II.2.8, 12, 4.1, and IV.7.20. The main instances of the subject in other classical writers were collected by E. Echols in Military Dust (CJ 47:285‑288).

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25 Marius tires out his enemies then puts the sun and wind and dust in their eyes: 101 B.C. Cf. Plut. Mar. 26; Polyaen. VIII.X.3.

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26 Cleomenes' prepared battlefield: 510 B.C.

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27 Xanthippus chooses to fight in the plain: 255 B.C. Cf. Polyb. I.33 ff.; Zonar. VIII.13.

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28 Epaminondas raises some dust: 362 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. II.III.14.

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29 the Spartans even the odds in the pass of Thermopylae: 480 B.C. Cf. Herod. VII.201 ff.; Polyaen. VII.XV.5.

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30 Themistocles turns "traitor" and keeps the enemy awake: 480 B.C. Cf. Herod. VIII.75; Plut. Them. 12; Nep. Them. 4.

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31 Scipio attacks the weakest forces: 218 B.C. Cn. Cornelius Scipio Calvus. Cf. Polyb. III.76.

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32 Hyllians: Illyrians.

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33 Philip attacks the weakest forces: 359 B.C. Cf. Diodor. XVI.4.

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34 Pammenes draws away his strongest opponents: 353 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. V.XVI.2.

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35 Scipio changes his formation: 206 B.C. Cf. Livy XXVIII.14‑15; Polyb. XI.22 ff.

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36 Metellus nullifies his opponents' strongest forces: 76 B.C. Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius.

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37 Artaxerxes' slow centre: 401 B.C. Battle of Cunaxa. Cf. Xen. Anab. I.VIII.10.

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38 Hannibal's precision use of his army: 216 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.47; Polyb. III.115.

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39 Xanthippus reserves his best troops: 207 B.C. Battle of the Metaurus. Cf. Livy XXVII.48.

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40 auxiliary troops: These were the "light-armed troops," already mentioned.

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41 Xanthippus' use of his troops: 255 B.C.

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42 Sertorius reserves his best troops: Cf. II.V.31.

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43 Cleandridas' close-order formation: After 443 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. II.X.4.

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44 Gastron's troop switch: Cf. Polyaen. II.16.

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45 Pompey's concealed infantry: 65 B.C. Cf. Dio XXXVII.4.

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46 testudo: In the testudo, the soldiers secured protection by holding their over-lapped shields above their heads, a formation whose appearance suggested the scales of a tortoise.

Thayer's Note: If you need further information, you will find a detailed article, an engraving, and a photograph of a relief on Trajan's Column here.

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47 Mark Antony's testudo: 36 B.C. Cf. Dio XLIX.29‑30; Plut. Anton. 45.

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48 hastati, principes, and triarii: These names designate three successive lines of battle. The hastati were the first line; the two other lines were drawn up behind these.

Thayer's Note: For a much fuller and more adequate explanation, with diagram, see this section of the article Exercitus on the Roman army in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

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49 Scipio's flexible use of the standard Roman battle formation: 202 B.C. Battle of Zama. Cf. Livy XXX.33, 35; Polyb. XV.IX.6‑10, XV.XI.1‑3; Appian Pun. 40‑41. Livy and Polybius put Laelius on the left wing and Masinissa on the right; Appian puts Laelius on the right and Octavius on the left.

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50 postsignani: Troops posted behind the standards.

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51 antesignani: Troops posted in front of the standards and serving for their defence.

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52 Sulla against Archelaus: 86 B.C.

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53 Alexander's army facing in all directions: 331 B.C. Cf. Curt. IV.XIII.30‑32; Diodor. XVII.LVII.5.

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54 Paulus uses up the enemy's spears: 168 B.C. Battle of Pydna. Cf. Livy XLIV.41; Plut. Aem. 20.

Thayer's Note: The date of the battle of Pydna, although it is usually given in the English-speaking world as 168 B.C., was almost certainly in September 172: see Plut. Aem. 17.7 and my note there.

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55 the Homeric verse: Iliad IV.299 seems to have become proverbial; cf. Ammian. Marc. XXIV.VI.9.

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56 The Romans' judicious use of different kinds of troops: 279 B.C. Cf. Plut. Pyrrh. 21.

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57 Old Pharsalus: A town in Thessaly near Pharsalus.

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58 foot-soldiers trained in cavalry fighting: i.e. in fighting in conjunction with cavalry — doubtless after the method detailed in Caesar's Gallic War, I.48.

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59 Caesar's reserves: 48 B.C. Cf. Caes. B.C. III.89, 93, 94; Plut. Caes. 44, Pomp. 69.

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60 The Emperor Caesar Augustus Germanicus: Domitian.

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61 Domitian commands his cavalry to fight on foot: 83 A.D. Cf. Suet. Domit. 6.

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62 Duilius' grappling-hook: 260 B.C. Cf. Flor. II.I.8‑9; Polyb. I.22.

Thayer's Note: For a much fuller and more adequate explanation, with further sources, see the article Corvus of Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

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63 Papirius Cursor, the son: Of the dictator.

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64 Papirius Cursor's colleague: Spurius Carvilius.

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65 Papirius Cursor's phantom reinforcements: 293 B.C. Cf. Livy X.40‑41.

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66 hastati: First-line troops.

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67 Fabius Maximus' use of a hill: 297 B.C. Cf. Livy X.14.

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68 Minucius Rufus' phantom multitude: 109 B.C.

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69 Porcius Cato appears in the enemy's rear: 191 B.C. Cf. Livy XXXVI.14‑19; Plut. Cat. Maj. 12 ff.; Appian Syr. 17 ff.

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70 Sulpicius Peticus' phantom reinforcements: 358 B.C. Peticus was dictator in this year, having been consul in 364 and 361. Cf. Livy VII.14‑15. Appian Gall. 1 gives a different stratagem.

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71 Marius' phantom large cavalry unit: 102 B.C. Cf. Plut. Mar. 20; Polyaen. VIII.X.2.

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72 Licinius Crassus sends a small force around the enemy's rear: 71 B.C.

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73 Marcus Marcellus' loud battle-cry: 216 B.C. Cf. Livy XXIII.XVI.13‑14.

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74 Valerius Laevinus' bloody sword: 280 B.C. Cf. Plut. Pyrrh. 17.

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75 Jugurtha's disinformation: 107 B.C. Cf. Sall. Jug. ci.6‑8.

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76 Myronides' victory: 457 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. I.XXXV.1.

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77 Croesus' camels: 546 B.C. Cf.Herod. I.80; Polyaen. VII.VI.6; they attribute this stratagem to Cyrus.

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78 Pyrrhus' elephants: 280 B.C. Cf. Flor. I.XVIII.8; Plut. Pyrrh. 17.

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79 the Carthaginian elephants: Cf. II.V.4.

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80 incendiary cattle: 229 B.C. Cf. Appian Hisp. 5.

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81 The Faliscan and Tarquinian Furies: 356 B.C. Cf. Livy VII.XVII.3.

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82 The Veientine and Fidenate Furies: 426 B.C. Cf. Livy IV.33; Flor. I.XII.7.

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83 Atheas' phantom reinforcements: Cf. Polyaen. VII.XLIV.1.

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84 Romulus' ambush at Fidenae: Cf. Livy I.14; Polyaen. VIII.III.2.

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85 Fabius Maximus' ambush at Sutri: 310 B.C. Q. Fabius Maximus Rullianus. Cf. Livy IX.35.

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86 Gracchus lures the enemy out: 179 B.C. Cf. Livy XL.48.

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87 Panormus: The modern Palermo.

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88 Lucius Metellus baits the Carthaginian elephants: 251 B.C. Cf. Polyb. I.40.

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89 Thamyris' ambush: 529 B.C. Cf. Justin. I.8; Herod. I.204 ff.

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90 Viriathus lures the enemy into bad terrain: 147‑139 B.C. In II.XIII.4, Viriathus is dux Lusitanorum.

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91 Fulvius deceives the enemy into betraying themselves: Livy XL.30‑32 says that Q. Fulvius Flaccus used this stratagem with the Celtiberians in 181 B.C. There is no account of Fulvius's warring with the Cimbrians.

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92 Leptines lays waste his own land: 397‑396 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. V.VIII.1.

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93 Maharbal: A Carthaginian officer under Hannibal.

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94 Maharbal poisons the water: Polyaen. V.X.1 attributes this stratagem to Himilco, 396 B.C.

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95 Tiberius Gracchus gives the enemy something to chew on: 179‑178 B.C.

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96 Alexander's phantom army: 327 B.C. Polyaen. IV.III.29 and Curt. VII.XI.1 tell of the employment of a different stratagem.

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97 Memnon's deserters: Polyaen. V.XLIV.2 has a slightly different version.

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98 Labienus' departure: 53 B.C. Cf. Caes. B. G. VI.7‑8; Dio XL.31.

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99 Hannibal lures the enemy on: 210 B.C. At Herdonia. Cf. Livy XXVII.1; Appian Hann. 48.

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100 Hannibal capitalizes on the enemy's internal divisions: 217 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.28; Polyb. III.104‑105.

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101 Hannibal's cold-water ambush: 218 B.C. Cf. Livy XXI.54 ff.; Polyb. III.71.

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102 a narrow way at Trasimenus: Generally considered to be the narrow passage between the lake and Monte Gualandro, near Borghetto. Livy's description suits this locality; that of Polybius does not.

Thayer's Note: It's not that simple, and in fact, rather than a consensus, there are a bewildering array of theories and locations, to which the visitor to the Battle of Trasimenus Museum at Tuoro sul Trasimeno will be treated in detail. The main point missed in Bennett's footnote is that Lake Trasimene was much larger in ancient times, and indeed is still shrinking today: so that what is now a fairly wide plain in front of the hilltown of Tuoro — about 7 km E of Borghetto — in Antiquity was mostly occupied by the lake, leaving only a narrow defile.

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103 Hannibal ambushes the Romans at Lake Trasimenus: 217 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.4; Polyb. III.83 ff.

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104 the dictator Junius: M. Junius Pera.

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105 Hannibal wears out the enemy: 216 B.C. At Capua. Cf. Polyaen. VI.XXXVIII.6; Zonar. IX.3.

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106 Epaminondas wears out the enemy: 369 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. II.III.9.

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107 Hannibal's Numidian cavalry infiltrators: 216 B.C. Cf. Livy XXII.48; Val. Max. VII.IV.ext.2; Appian Hann. 20 ff. Livy and Appian give the number as five hundred.

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108 Scipio Africanus's fires: 203 B.C. Cf. Livy XXX.5‑6; Polyb. XIV.4.

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109 Mithridates's foiled attempt at assassination: 72 B.C. Cf. Appian Mithr. 79; Plut. Lucull. 16. The name of the deserter varies in the different accounts.

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110 the third hour: About 9 A.M.

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111 battle of Lauron: 76 B.C. Cf. Plut. Sert. 18; Appian B.C. I.109. The allusion to Livy cannot be identified.

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112 Pompey's ambush in Spain: 72 B.C. Cf. Livy Per. 96; Oros. V.XXIII.13; Appian B.C. I.115.

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113 Pompey's ambush in Armenia: 66 B.C. Cf. Appian Mithr. 98; Dio XXXVI.XLVII.3‑4.

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114 Crassus in the Slave War — a feint and an ambush: 71 B.C. Cf. Livy Per. 97; Plut. Crass. 11; Oros. V.XXIV.6.

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115 Cassius' ambush in Syria: 51 B.C. Cf. Dio XL.29.

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116 Ventidius' surprise attack: 39 B.C.Cf. Dio XLVIII.39‑40; Justin. XLII.IV.7‑8.

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117 Ventidius ambushes the Parthians: 39 B.C. Cf. Dio XLVIII.XLI.1‑4; Plut. Ant. 33.

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118 Caesar feigned attack on a hill: 49 B.C. Cf. Caes. B.C. I.65‑72.

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119 Antonius ambushes Pansa: 43 B.C. Mutina. Cf. Appian B.C. III.66 ff.; Cic. ad Fam. X.30.

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120 Juba's false retreat: 49 B.C. Cf. Caes. B.C. II.40‑42; Dio XLI.41‑42; Appian B.C. II.45.

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121 Melanthus, "Whozat behind you?": Cf. Polyaen. I.19.

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122 Iphicrates' nearly empty ships: 389‑388 B.C. Cf. Xen. Hell. IV.VIII.32 ff.

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123 Alcibiades' amphibian ambush: 410 B.C. Cf. Xen. Hell. I.I.11 ff.; Polyaen. I.XL.9; Diodor. XIII.50.

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124 Timotheus wears the enemy down: 375 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. III.X.6, 12, 16.

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125 the Romans let the Gauls go: 349 B.C. L. Furius Camillus, son of the great Camillus.

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126 Titus Marcius lets the enemy escape, sort of: 212 B.C. Livy XXV.37 gives his praenomen as Lucius.

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127 Hannibal lets the enemy escape, sort of: 217 B.C.

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128 Antigonus lets the enemy escape, sort of: 223‑221 B.C. Antigonus Doson.

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129 Agesilaus lets the enemy escape, sort of: 394 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. II.I.19; Plut. Agesil. 18. Xen. Hell. IV.3 notes the failure of Agesilaus to employ this stratagem.

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130 Gnaeus Manlius' lieutenants let the enemy escape, sort of: 480 B.C. Cf. Livy II.47.

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131 Xerxes' bridge: i.e. the bridge which Xerxes had constructed across the Hellespont at the time of his invasion of Greece.

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132 Themistocles lets Xerxes flee: 480 B.C. Cf. Justin. II.XIII.5 ff.; Polyaen. I.XXX.4. Plut. Them. 16 and Herod. VIII.108 attribute the advice against destroying the bridge to Aristides and Eurybiades respectively.

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133 Tullus Hostilius masks a desertion: Cf. Livy I.27; Val. Max. VII.IV.1; Dionys. III.24. Nep. Ages. 6 and Datam. 6 attributes like stratagems to Agesilaus and Datames.

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134 Scipio simulates an alliance: 204 B.C. Cf. Livy XXIX.23‑24; Polyaen. VIII.XVI.7.

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135 Sertorius enforces silence: 75 B.C.

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136 Alcibiades keeps quiet: 409 B.C.

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137 Hannibal masks a desertion: 218 B.C. Cf. Livy XXI.23.

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138 Lucullus converts a desertion into a cavalry charge: 74‑66 B.C.

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139 Datames averts a desertion: 362 B.C. Nep. Datam. 6, Diodor. XV.91 and Polyaen. VII.XXI.7 give a slightly different version of this episode.

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140 Capitolinus' disinformation: 468 B.C. Cf. Livy II.LXIV.5‑7; Dionys. IX.57.

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141 Marius gets the news out: 480 B.C. According to Livy II.46‑47 and Dionys. IX.11, Q. Fabius and Manlius were wounded, and Marcus Fabius was the author of this stratagem.

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142 Marius' source of water: 102 B.C. Cf. Flor. III.III.7‑10; Plut. Mar. 18.

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143 Labienus' disinformation: 48 B.C.

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144 Cato's signals: 191 B.C.

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145 Tarquin throws a standard into the ranks of the enemy: This type of stratagem was very frequently resorted to. Cf. Florus I.11; Val. Max. III.II.20; Caes. B. G. 4.25; Livy IV.XXIX.3 and passim.

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146 Furius Agrippa throws a standard into the ranks of the enemy: 446 B.C. Cf. Livy III.LXX.2‑11.

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147 Titus Quinctius Capitolinus throws a standard into the ranks of the enemy: There is no other record of Titus Quinctius Capitolinus's warring with the Faliscans. Livy IV.29 attributes this stratagem to Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus in the war with the Volscians, 431 B.C.

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148 Camillus throws a standard-bearer into the ranks of the enemy: 386 B.C. Cf. Livy VI.7‑8.

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149 Salvius throws a standard-bearer into the ranks of the enemy: Plut. Aem. 20 attributes to Salvius a stratagem similar to the first three of this chapter. 168 B.C.

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150 Marcus Furius meets his army in retreat: 381 B.C. Camillus. Cf. Livy VI.24.

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151 Scipio sees his forces retreating: 133 B.C.

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152 Servilius Priscus executes a standard-bearer: 418 B.C. According to Livy IV.46‑47, the battle was with the Aequi, not the Faliscans.

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153 Cornelius Cossus executes a standard-bearer: 426 B.C. Cf. Livy IV.XXXIII.7; Flor. I.XI.2‑3. This stratagem is similar to number 10, rather than number 8.

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154 Marcus Atilius, "You're going to have to fight me": 294 B.C. Cf. Livy X.36. A slightly different version of this story is told in IV.I.29.

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155 Whether his army comes along or not, Sulla fights in Boeotia: 85 B.C. Cf. Plut. Sulla 21; Polyaen. VIII.IX.2; Appian Mithr. 49.

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156 Caesar fights on foot: 45 B.C. Cf. Plut. Caes. 56; Polyaen. VIII.XXIII.16; Vell. II.55.

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157 Philip orders his troops to kill anyone who retreats: Justin. I.VI.10‑13 attributes a similar stratagem to Astyages.

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158 Marius makes noise at night: 102 B.C.

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159 Claudius Nero uses Hasdrubal's head as a projectile: 207 B.C. Cf. Livy XXVII.51; Zonar. IX.9.

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160 Sulla's heads: 82 B.C. Cf. Appian B.C. I.93‑94.

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161 Arminius's heads: A.D.

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162 Corbulo uses Vadandus' head as a projectile: 60 A.D.

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163 Hermocrates buys rest for his men by a ruse: 413 B.C. Cf. Polyaen. I.XLIII.2; Thuc. VII.73; Plut. Nic. 26.

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164 Miltiades doubles his army: 490 B.C. Cf. Herod. VI.115 ff.

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165 Pisistratus' disguise: 604 B.C. Cf. Justin. II.8; Polyaen. I.XX.2; Plut. Solon 8.

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166 Cimon's disguise: 466 B.C. Cf. Thuc. I.100; Polyaen. I.XXXIV.1; Diodor. XI.61.

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167 Titus Didius' night burials: 98‑93 B.C.

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168 Titus Marcius attacks twice: 212 B.C. Livy XXV.37 gives his praenomen as Lucius.

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169 Alexander deports the top ranks of an enemy population: 334 B.C. Cf. Justin. XI.V.1‑3.

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170 Antipater says thank you. . .: i.e. he intentionally acted on the assumption that they had not heard of the death of Alexander, though he knew this assumption to be false.

[decorative delimiter]

171 . . . and dispels danger: 331‑330 B.C.

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172 Scipio Africanus and the beautiful maiden: 210 B.C. Cf. Livy XXVI.50; Val. Max. IV.III.1; Gell. VII.8; Polyb. X.19.

[decorative delimiter]

173 Alexander and the beautiful maiden: Cf. Gell. VII.8; Ammian. Marc. XXIV.IV.27.

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174 the Emperor Caesar Augustus Germanicus: Domitian.

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175 Domitian orders compensation to be paid for the crops of the Cubii: 83 A.D.

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176 Titus Quinctius' trumpets: 468 B.C. Cf. Livy II.64‑65.

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177 Sertorius' surprise for an overconfident cavalry: 80‑72 B.C.

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178 Chares' phantom reinforcements: 366‑338 B.C.

[decorative delimiter]

179 Iphicrates' watch-fires: 389 B.C. This same story is told in I.V.24. Cf. also Polyaen. III.IX.41, 46, 50.

[decorative delimiter]

180 the Gauls scatter their gold: Cic. Pro Lege Manil. ix.22 and Flor. III.V.18 attribute a similar stratagem to Mithridates.

[decorative delimiter]

181 Tryphon scatters money: 134 B.C.

[decorative delimiter]

182 Sertorius' army melts away to re-form elsewhere: 75 B.C. Cf. Plut. Pomp. 19.

[decorative delimiter]

183 Viriathus' army melts away to re-form elsewhere: 147‑139 B.C. Cf. Appian Hisp. 62. Cf. note to II.V.7.

[decorative delimiter]

184 Horatius Cocles holds the bridge: 507 B.C. Cf. Livy II.10; Dionys. V.23‑25; Plut. Publ. 16.

[decorative delimiter]

185 Afranius takes a break, but it was a short one: 49 B.C. Cf. Caes. B.C. I.80.

[decorative delimiter]

186 Anthony sets up camp: 36 B.C.

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187 Philip's truce to bury the dead: 198 B.C.

[decorative delimiter]

188 Publius Claudius celebrates victory: 249 B.C. Battle of Drepanum. Eutrop. II.26, Polyb. I.LI.11‑12, and Oros. IV.X.3, give the number of ships as thirty.


Thayer's Note:

a See also Alexander at Aornus Rock, according to Diodorus (XVII.85.7).


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