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Bill Thayer

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I: Part 5

This webpage reproduces part of
The Epitome of Roman History


published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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I: Part 7

Lucius Annaeus Florus

The two books of the Epitome,
extracted from Titus Livius,
of all the wars of seven hundred years

Book I (continued)

XVIIII. The Ligurian War.
XX. The Gallic War.
XXI. The Illyrian War.

 p89  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XVIIII. The Ligurian War

II, 3 The Carthaginian war being ended, a period of rest ensued, brief, indeed, for the Roman people to recover their breath. As a proof of peace and a genuine cessation of hostilities, the door of the temple of Janus was closed for the first time since the reign of Numa; but immediately afterwards it was quickly opened again. 2 For first the Ligurians and then the Insubrian Gauls, and also the Illyrians, races living at the foot of the Alps, that is, at the very entrance of Italy, began to give trouble at the continual instigation of some god, who feared that Rome's arms should suffer from rust and decay. 3 In a word, both these races, continually active and, as it were, at our very doors, provided our recruits with practice in warfare, and the Roman people sharpened the edge of their valour on these two peoplesº as on the whetstone.

 p91  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] 4 The Ligurians, who dwelt close to the foot of the Alps between the rivers Varus and Magra, encircled by thickly-wooded undergrowth, were rather more difficult to find than to conquer. Protected by their position and their facilities for escape, this hardy and active race carried on depredations rather than war, as occasion allowed. 5 And so after their tribes, the Saluvii, the Deciates, the Oxubii, the Euburiates, and the Ingauni had long successfully eluded defeat, Fulvius at last surrounded their lairs with a ring of fire, Baebius brought them down into the plains, and Postumius so thoroughly disarmed them as scarcely to leave them any iron to till the soil.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XX. The Gallic War

II, 4 The Insubrian Gauls, who also dwelt near the Alps, possessed the spirit of wild beasts and stature greater than human, but, as experience proved — for just as their first onslaught was mightier than that of men, so their subsequent attack was feebler than that of women — 2 the bodies of the Alpine races, reared in a moist climate, have a certain similarity to our own snows, for as soon as they become heated in the fray, they immediately break into sweat and are dissolved by light exertion, as snow is melted by the sun. 3 As often on previous occasions, so when Brittomarus was their leader, they swore that they would not doff their belts until they had scaled the Capitol. And so it came to pass; for Aemilius defeated them and ungirt them on the Capitol. 4 Soon afterwards, when Ariovistus was their leader, they vowed to dedicate to their War-god a necklet made from the spoils of our soldiers. Jupiter intercepted their dedication; for  p93 Flaminius set up in honour of Jupiter a golden trophy made from their necklets. 5 During the reign of Viridomarus they had promised to offer up Roman armour to Vulcan; but their vows turned out otherwise, for their king was slain and Marcellus hung up in the temple of Jupiter Feretrius the spolia opima for the second time since father Romulus had done so.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] XXI. The Illyrian War

II, 5 The Illyrians, or Liburnians, dwelt at the very roots of the Alps between the rivers Arsia and Titius and spread widely along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. 2 Under the rule of their queen Teutana, not content with depredations, they added crime to lawlessness. 3 When our ambassadors came to protest against their delinquencies, they slew them, not with the sword, but like sacrificial victims, with the axe, and burnt to death the commanders of our ships. To make their action still more insulting, it was a woman that gave the order. 4 They were, therefore, thoroughly subdued by an army under Gnaeus Fulvius Centimalus; and the axe wielded against the necks of the chiefs made atonement to the shades of our ambassadors.

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Page updated: 29 Oct 08