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Answer

The picture is by Charles Gleyre (1808-1874) and entitled The Romans Passing Under the Yoke (1858). Livy relates the Roman defeat in his Summaries (LXV), as do Appian and Caesar, who speaks in his Gallic War (I.7) of the Roman army being routed and "sent under the yoke."

The event has great historical significance for the Swiss, whose Helvetian leader Divico defeated the Roman legions in 107 BC. Caesar had commanded his lieutenants Lucius Cassius, Piso, and Publicus to drive the native tribe from the shores of Lake Geneva. But, even though outnumbered and poorly equipped, Divico entrapped the Romans. The heads of their leaders empaled on stakes, the Romans were permitted to surrender and return home, but only if they first passed beneath the yoke (literally represented in the painting) in humiliating recognition of their defeat. The picture is part of the Swiss national iconography, with the mountains around the lake faithfully depicted in the larger image. Ironically, the defeat is thought to have occurred in Gaul.

In the battle of the Caudine Forks (321 BC), a narrow pass near Capua, Roman troops were forced to pass under the yoke by the victorious Samnites, a defeat all the more humiliating because it had occurred without a fight. In 110 BC, the Romans under Aulus Albinus were defeated by the Numantian king Jugurtha and also forced to pass under the yoke.

And the word that derives from the event?

"Subjugate" is from the Latin subjugatus, past participle of subjugare (sub + jugum, yoke), to imply the condition in which men are compelled against their will, like oxen or horses, to submit to another.

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