Colubrarium

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Delatus ego in augusti litoris sinum, qua Salonas usque per anfractus terrae pronum pelagus inlabitur, nactus sum quendam qui se tuis recentibus gestis interfuisse memoraret. “Gothorum” inquit “manus universa cum rege exierat Romana populatum. hoc ut dux* comperit” – iam non exspectavi ut diceret: “progressus est, manum contulit”, neque enim haec a te acta dubitabam, quaesivi statim, ubi qualiter quantosve fudisses. tunc ille: “ad montem” inquit “quem Colubrarium quasi praescia vocavit antiquitas (in eo enim nunc rei publicae venena prostrata sunt), maximam hostium partem improvisus, ut solet, neci dedit fusisque peditum copiis, que plurimae erant, ipse palantes turmas persecutus stantes robore, fugientes alacritate compressit. nec multo post rex ipse cum reliquis copiis suis adfuit defixusque horrore subito calcata prope cadavera…

* sc. Flavius Aëtius

(Flavius Merobaudes, Paneg. 1 fr. 2B 7-24)

When I came down to the winding, majestic shore, where the rushing sea flows in as far as Salonae through indentations of the land, I met someone who related that he had participated in your recent campaigns. “All the forces of the Goths,” he exclaimed, “had sallied forth with their king to ravage Roman territory. When our leader learned of this -” – no longer did I wait for him to say, “He went forth and joined in conflict,” for I did not doubt that this was done by you; I asked immediately where, how, and how many you had put to flight. “At the mountain,” he then replied, “which the ancients as if by premonition called Snake Mountain (for here the poisons of the state have now been destroyed), he surprised – as is his custom – and killed the greatest part of the enemy; once the infantry units, which were very numerous, were routed, he himself followed hard on the scattering cavalry troops and overwhelmed those standing fast with his might, and those fleeing with his eager rapidity. Not long afterwards the king himself was on hand with the remainder of his forces, and, stupefied with sudden horror near the trampled bodies… (tr. Frank M. Clover)

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