Cum Hannibale nihil eo anno rei gestum est. nam neque ipse se obtulit in tam recenti vulnere publico privatoque neque lacessierunt quietum Romani; tantam inesse vim etsi omnia alia circa eum ruerent in uno illo duce censebant. ac nescio an mirabilior adversis quam secundis rebus fuerit, quippe qui cum in hostium terra per annos tredecim, tam procul ab domo, varia fortuna bellum gereret, exercitu non suo civili sed mixto ex conluvione omnium gentium, quibus non lex, non mos, non lingua communis, alius habitus, alia vestis, alia arma, alii ritus, alia sacra, alii prope di essent, ita quodam uno vinculo copulaverit eos ut nulla nec inter ipsos nec adversus ducem seditio exstiterit, cum et pecunia saepe in stipendium et commeatus in hostium agro deesset, quorum inopia priore Punico bello multa infanda inter duces militesque commissa fuerant. post Hasdrubalis vero exercitum cum duce in quibus spes omnis reposita victoriae fuerat deletum cedendoque in angulum Bruttium cetera Italia concessum, cui non videatur mirabile nullum motum in castris factum?
(Livy 28.12.1-6)

With Hannibal there was no campaigning that year. For neither did he invite attack, owing to his very recent wound, a blow national as well as personal, nor did the Romans provoke him so long as he remained inactive; such power they believed to be present in that one commander, even though everything else round him crashed. And I am inclined to think he was more marvellous in adversity than in success. For here he was, carrying on war in the enemy’s land for thirteen years, so far from home with varying fortune, having an army not made up of his own citizens but a mixture of the offscourings of all nations, men who had in common no law, no custom, no language, differing from each other in bearing, in garb, in their arms, differing as to religious rites, sacred observances, one might almost say as to their gods. Yet he somehow bound them together by a single bond, so that no outbreak ensued among the men themselves nor any mutiny against their general. Yet in the enemy’s country both money to pay them and supplies were often wanting—deficiencies which in the previous Punic war had given rise to many unspeakable acts on the part of commanders and soldiers. Certainly after the destruction of Hasdrubal’s army with its commander—and on them he had rested all his hope of victory—, when by retiring into the remote land of the Bruttii he had given up the rest of Italy, who would not find it a marvel that there was no outbreak in his camp? (tr. Frank Gardner Moore)



Restat ut copiae copiis comparentur vel numero vel militum genere vel multitudine auxiliorum. censebantur eius aetatis lustris ducena quinquagena milia capitum. itaque in omni defectione sociorum Latini nominis urbano prope dilectu decem scribebantur legiones; quaterni quinique exercitus saepe per eos annos in Etruria, in Umbria Gallis hostibus adiunctis, in Samnio, in Lucanis gerebat bellum. Latium deinde omne cum Sabinis et Volscis et Aequis et omni Campania et parte Umbriae Etruriaeque et Picentibus et Marsis Paelignisque ac Vestinis atque Apulis, adiuncta omni ora Graecorum inferi maris a Thuriis Neapolim et Cumas et inde Antio atque Ostiis tenus aut socios validos Romanis aut fractos bello invenisset hostes. ipse traiecisset mare cum veteranis Macedonibus non plus triginta milibus hominum et quattuor milibus equitum, maxime Thessalorum; hoc enim roboris erat. Persas Indos aliasque si adiunxisset gentes, impedimentum maius quam auxilium traheret. adde quod Romanis ad manum domi supplementum esset, Alexandro, quod postea Hannibali accidit, alieno in agro bellanti exercitus consenuisset. arma clupei essent illis sarisaeque; Romano scutum, maius corpori tegumentum, et pilum, haud paulo quam hasta vehementius ictu missuque telum. statarius uterque miles, ordines servans; sed illa phalanx immobilis et unius generis, Romana acies distinctior, ex pluribus partibus constans, facilis partienti, quacumque opus esset, facilis iungenti. iam in opere quis par Romano miles? quis ad tolerandum laborem melior? uno proelio victus Alexander bello victus esset: Romanum, quem Caudium, quem Cannae non fregerunt, quae fregisset acies? ne ille saepe, etiamsi prima prospere evenissent, Persas et Indos et imbellem Asiam quaesisset et cum feminis sibi bellum fuisse dixisset, quod Epiri regem Alexandrum mortifero vulnere ictum dixisse ferunt, sortem bellorum in Asia gestorum ab hoc ipso iuvene cum sua conferentem. equidem cum per annos quattuor et viginti primo Punico bello classibus certatum cum Poenis recordor, vix aetatem Alexandri suffecturam fuisse reor ad unum bellum. et forsitan, cum et foederibus vetustis iuncta res Punica Romanae esset et timor par adversus communem hostem duas potentissimas armis virisque urbes armaret, simul Punico Romanoque obrutus bello esset. non quidem Alexandro duce nec integris Macedonum rebus sed experti tamen sunt Romani Macedonem hostem adversus Antiochum Philippum Persen non modo cum clade ulla sed ne cum periculo quidem suo. absit invidia verbo et civilia bella sileant: numquam a pedite, numquam aperta acie, numquam aequis, utique numquam nostris locis laboravimus: equitem, sagittas, saltus impeditos, avia commeatibus loca gravis armis miles timere potest. mille acies graviores quam Macedonum atque Alexandri avertit avertetque, modo sit perpetuus huius qua vivimus pacis amor et civilis cura concordiae.
(Livy 9.19.1-17)

It remains to compare the forces on both sides, whether for numbers, or types of soldiers, or size of their contingents of auxiliaries. The quinquennial enumerations of that period put the population at 250,000. And so at the time when all the Latin allies were in revolt it was the custom to enroll ten legions, by a levy which was virtually limited to the City. In those years frequently four and five armies at a time would take the field, in Etruria, in Umbria (where they also fought the Gauls), in Samnium, and in Lucania. Later on Alexander would have found all Latium, with the Sabines, the Volsci and the Aequi, all Campania, and a portion of Umbria and Etruria, the Picentes and the Marsi and Paeligni, the Vestini and the Apulians, together with the whole coast of the Lower Sea, held by the Greeks, from Thurii as far as Naples and Cumae, and thence all the way to Antium and Ostia—all these, I say, he would have found either powerful friends of the Romans or their defeated enemies. He himself would have crossed the sea with veteran Macedonians to the number of not more than thirty thousand foot and four thousand horse—mostly Thessalians—for this was his main strength. If to these he had added Persians and Indians and other nations, he would have found them a greater burden to have dragged about than a help. Add to this, that the Romans would have had recruits ready to call upon, but Alexander, as happened afterwards to Hannibal, would have found his army wear away, while he warred in a foreign land. His men would have been armed with targets and spears: the Romans with an oblong shield, affording more protection to the body, and the Roman javelin, which strikes, on being thrown, with a much harder impact than the lance. Both armies were formed of heavy troops, keeping to their ranks; but their phalanx was immobile and consisted of soldiers of a single type; the Roman line was opener and comprised more separate units; it was easy to divide, wherever necessary, and easy to unite. Moreover, what soldier can match the Roman in entrenching? Who is better at enduring toil? Alexander would, if beaten in a single battle, have been beaten in the war; but what battle could have overthrown the Romans, whom Caudium could not overthrow, nor Cannae? Nay, many a time—however prosperous the outset of his enterprise might have been—would he have wished for Indians and Persians and unwarlike Asiatics, and would have owned that he had before made war upon women, as Alexander, King of Epirus, is reported to have said, when mortally wounded, contrasting the type of war waged by this very youth in Asia, with that which had fallen to his own share. Indeed when I remember that we contended against the Carthaginians on the seas for four-and-twenty years. I think that the whole life of Alexander would hardly have sufficed for this single war; and perchance, inasmuch as the Punic State had been by ancient treaties leagued with the Roman, and the two cities most powerful in men and arms might well have made common cause against the foe whom both dreaded, he had been crushed beneath the simultaneous attacks of Rome and Carthage. The Romans have been at war with the Macedonians—not, to be sure, when Alexander led them or their prosperity was unimpaired, but against Antiochus, Philippus, and Perses—and not only without ever suffering defeat, but even without incurring any danger. Proud word I would not speak, but never—and may civil wars be silent!—never have we been beaten by infantry, never in open battle, never on even, or at all events on favourable ground: cavalry and arrows, impassable defiles, regions that afford no road to convoys, may well occasion fear in heavy-armed troops. A thousand battle-arrays more formidable than those of Alexander and the Macedonians have the Romans beaten off—and shall do—if only our present love of domestic peace endure and our concern to maintain concord. (tr. Benjamin Oliver Foster)



Eodem anno aedis Iunonis Laciniae detecta. Q. Fulvius Flaccus censor aedem Fortunae Equestris, quam in Hispania praetor bello Celtiberico voverat, faciebat enixo studio ne ullum Romae amplius aut magnificentius templum esset. magnum ornatum ei templo ratus adiecturum, si tegulae marmoreae essent, profectus in Bruttios aedem Iunonis Laciniae ad partem dimidiam detegit, id satis fore ratus ad tegendum quod aedificaretur. naves paratae fuerunt quae tollerent atque asportarent, auctoritate censoria sociis deterritis id sacrilegium prohibere. postquam censor redit, tegulae expositae de navibus ad templum portabantur. quamquam unde essent silebatur, non tamen celari potuit. fremitus igitur in curia ortus est; ex omnibus partibus postulabatur ut consules eam rem ad senatum referrent. ut vero accersitus in curiam censor venit, multo infestius singuli universique praesentem lacerare: templum augustissimum regionis eius, quod non Pyrrhus, non Hannibal violassent, violare parum habuisse, nisi detexisset foede ac prope diruisset. detractum culmen templo, nudatum tectum patere imbribus putrefaciendum. ad id censorem moribus regendis creatum? cui sarta tecta exigere sacris publicis et locare tuenda more maiorum traditum esset, eum per sociorum urbes diruentem templa nudantemque tecta aedium sacrarum vagari! et quod, si in privatis sociorum aedificiis faceret, indignum videri posset, id eum templa deum immortalium demolientem facere, et obstringere religione populum Romanum, ruinis templorum templa aedificantem, tamquam non iidem ubique di immortales sint, sed spoliis aliorum alii colendi exornandique! cum priusquam referretur appareret quid sentirent patres, relatione facta in unam omnes sententiam ierunt ut eae tegulae reportandae in templum locarentur piaculariaque Iunoni fierent. quae ad religionem pertinebant cum cura facta; tegulas relictas in area templi, quia reponendarum nemo artifex inire rationem potuerit, redemptores nuntiarunt.
(Livy 42.3)

In the same year (173 B.C.) the temple of Juno Lacinia was stripped off of its roof. Quintus Fulvius Flaccus as censor was building the temple to Fortuna Equestris which he had vowed while praetor in Spain during the Celtiberian war, striving zealously that there should be no temple in Rome larger or more splendid. Considering that it would add great beauty to the temple if the roof tiles were of marble, he set out for Bruttium and stripped the temple of Juno Lacinia of its tiles up to half their number, thinking that these would be sufficient to cover the building which was now being erected. Ships were made ready to load and transport them, the inhabitants being prevented by the censor’s high office from forbidding the sacrilege. When the censor returned the tiles were unloaded from the ships and were being taken to the temple. Although nothing was said as to where they were obtained, yet such an act could not be concealed. There was accordingly an outcry in the senate: from all sides the demand was made that the consuls should lay the question before that body. But when the censor was summoned and entered the senate-house, one and all assailed him to his face far more violently: the most venerable shrine of that region, a shrine which neither Pyrrhus nor Hannibal had violated, he had not been content with violating but had shamefully robbed it of its covering and well-night destroyed it. The top, they said, had been torn from the temple and the bare framing laid open to be rotted by the rains. Was it for this, they demanded, that a censor was chosen to control behaviour? That the magistrate to whom had been entrusted, in the fashion of the forefathers, the duty of enforcing the repair of public shrines and of contracting for their maintenance, was himself roving through the cities of the allies plundering the temples and stripping off the roofs of sacred edifices! A thing, they continued, which might well seem unworthy if done to private buildings of the allies, he was doing when he destroyed the temples of the immortal gods, and fastening upon the Roman people the guilt of impiety, building temples with the ruins of temples, just as if the immortal gods were not the same everywhere, but that some should be worshipped and adorned with the spoils of others! When it was clear, before the vote was taken, what the sentiment of the Fathers was, when the motion was put, all unanimously decreed that a contract should be let for carrying the tiles back to the temple and that atonements should be offered to Juno. These matters which concerned expiation were scrupulously performed; the contractors reported that the tiles had been left in the court of the temple because no workman could devise a plan for replacing them. (tr. Alfred C. Schlesinger)



Ceterum prae strepitu ac tumultu nec consilium nec imperium accipi poterat, tantumque aberat ut sua signa atque ordines et locum noscerent, ut vix ad arma capienda aptandaque pugnae competeret animus, opprimerenturque quidam onerati magis iis quam tecti. et erat in tanta caligine maior usus aurium quam oculorum. ad gemitus volnerum ictusque corporum aut armorum et mixtos strepentium paventiumque clamores circumferebant ora oculosque. alii fugientes pugnantium globo inlati haerebant; alios redeuntes in pugnam avertebat fugientium agmen. deinde, ubi in omnes partes nequiquam impetus capti et ab lateribus montes ac lacus, a fronte et ab tergo hostium acies claudebant, apparuitque nullam nisi in dextera ferroque salutis spem esse, tum sibi quisque dux adhortatorque factus ad rem gerendam, et nova de integro exorta pugna est, non illa ordinata per principes hastatosque ac triarios, nec ut pro signis antesignani, post signa alia pugnaret acies, nec ut in sua legione miles aut cohorte aut manipulo esset: fors conglobabat, et animus suus cuique ante aut post pugnandi ordinem dabat; tantusque fuit ardor animorum, adeo intentus pugnae animus, ut eum motum terrae qui multarum urbium Italiae magnas partes prostravit avertitque cursu rapidos amnes, mare fluminibus invexit, montes lapsu ingenti proruit, nemo pugnantium senserit.
(Livy 22.3-8)

But the din and confusion were so great that neither advice nor orders could be heard, and so far were the men from knowing their proper standards companies and places, that they had hardly enough spirit to arm and prepare themselves to fight, and some were borne down while more encumbered than protected by their armour. Indeed the fog was so thick that ears were of more use than eyes, and the groans of the wounded, the sound of blows on body or armour and the mingled shouts and screams of assailants and assailed made them turn and gaze, now this way and now that. Some, as they sought to escape, were swept into a crowd of combatants and held there; others, trying to get back into the fight, were turned aside by a throng of fugitives. When attempts to break through had resulted everywhere in failure and they found themselves shut in on the flanks by the mountains and the lake, and in front and rear by the enemy; when it became apparent that their only hope of safety lay in their right arms and their swords; then every man became his own commander and urged himself to action, and the battle began all over again. It was no ordered battle, with the troops marshalled in triple line, nor did the vanguard fight before the standards and the rest of the army behind them, neither did each soldier keep to his proper legion cohort and maniple: it was chance that grouped them, and every man’s own valour assigned him his post in van or rear; and such was the frenzy of their eagerness and so absorbed were they in fighting, that an earthquake, violent enough to overthrow large portions of many of the towns of Italy, turn swift streams from their courses, carry the sea up into rivers, and bring down mountains with great landslides, was not even felt by any of the combatants. (tr. Benjamin Oliver Foster)



Proxima forte hosti erat cohors Paeligna, cuius praefectus Vibius Accaus arreptum vexillum trans vallum hostium traiecit. exsecratus inde seque et cohortem, si eius vexilli hostes potiti essent, princeps ipse per fossam vallumque in castra irrupit. iamque intra vallum Paeligni pugnabant, cum altera parte, Valerio Flacco tribuno militum tertiae legionis exprobrante Romanis ignaviam qui sociis captorum castrorum concederent decus, T. Pedanius princeps primus centurio, cum signifero signum ademisset, “iam hoc signum et hic centurio” inquit “intra vallum hostium erit; sequantur qui capi signum ab hoste prohibituri sunt.” manipulares sui primum transcendentem fossam, dein legio tota secuta est. iam et consul, ad conspectum transgredientium vallum mutato consilio ab revocando ad incitandos hortandosque versus milites, ostendere in quanto discrimine ac periculo fortissima cohors sociorum et civium legio esset. itaque pro se quisque omnes per aequa atque iniqua loca, cum undique tela conicerentur armaque et corpora hostes obicerent, pervadunt irrumpuntque; multi volnerati etiam quos vires et sanguis desereret, ut intra vallum hostium caderent nitebantur. capta itaque momento temporis velut in plano sita nec permunita castra. caedes inde, non iam pugna erat omnibus intra vallum permixtis.
(Livy 25.14.4-10)

Nearest to the enemy happened to be a Paelignian cohort, whose prefect Vibius Accaus seized the banner and threw it over the enemy’s earthwork. Then, with a curse upon himself and the cohort if the enemy should get possession of that banner, he was himself the first to dash over the trench and wall into the camp. And already the Paelignians were fighting inside the wall, when from the other side of the camp, while Valerius Flaccus, tribune of the soldiers of the third legion, was reproaching the Romans for their cowardice in yielding to allies the honour of capturing the camp, Titus Pedanius, first centurion of the principes, took a standard away from the standard-bearer and said “This standard and this centurion will in a moment be inside the enemy’s wall. Let those follow who are to prevent the standard from being captured by the enemy.” First the men of his own maniple followed him as he crossed the trench, then the whole legion. And now the consul at the sight of men crossing the wall changed his plan, turned from recalling his soldiers to arousing and encouraging them, and pointed out to them in what a critical and perilous situation were the bravest cohort of the allies and a legion of their fellow-citizens. And so, each doing his best, over ground favourable and unfavourable, while javelins were being hurled from every side and the enemy were interposing weapons and their bodies, they made their way and burst in. Many wounded men, even those whose strength and blood were ebbing, strove to fall inside the enemy’s wall. And so in a moment’s time the camp was captured, just as if pitched on level ground and not strongly fortified. Then came slaughter, no longer mere battle, since everything inside the wall was in confusion. (tr. Frank Gardner Moore)


Haec Graeco sermone Perseo; Latine deinde suis “exemplum insigne cernitis” inquit “mutationis rerum humanarum. vobis hoc praecipue dico, iuvenes. ideo in secundis rebus nihil in quemquam superbe ac violenter consulere decet nec praesenti credere fortunae, cum quid vesper ferat incertum sit. is demum vir erit, cuius animum neque prosperae res flatu suo efferent nec adversae infringent.”
(Livy 45.8.6)

This the consul said in Greek to Perseus; then he continued in Latin to his staff: “You see before you a notable example of the changefulness of human affairs. I say this especially for you, young men. Therefore, it is proper to offer no insult or violence to anyone, while one is in favourable circumstances, and not to trust to one’s present fortune, since no one knows what evening will bring. He will be truly a man, in a word, whose spirit is neither deflected from its course by the breath of prosperity, nor broken by misfortune.” (tr. Alfred C. Schlesinger)



Quae ab condita urbe Roma ad captam eandem Romani sub regibus primum, consulibus deinde ac dictatoribus decemuirisque ac tribunis consularibus gessere, foris bella, domi seditiones, quinque libris exposui, res cum vetustate nimia obscuras velut quae magno ex intervallo loci vix cernuntur, tum quid rarae per eadem tempora litterae fuere, una custodia fidelis memoriae rerum gestarum, et quod, etiam si quae in commentariis pontificum aliisque publicis privatisque erant monumentis, incensa urbe pleraeque interiere. Clariora deinceps certioraque ab secunda origine velut ab stirpibus laetius feraciusque renatae urbis gesta domi militiaeque exponentur.
(Livy 6.1.1-3)

The history of the Romans from the founding of the City of Rome to the capture of the same – at first under kings and afterwards under consuls and dictators, decemvirs and consular tribunes – their foreign wars and their domestic dissensions, I have set forth in five books, dealing with matters which are obscure not only by reason of their great antiquity – like far-off objects which can hardly be descried – but also because in those days there was but slight and scanty use of writing, the sole trustworthy guardian of the memory of past events, and because even such records as existed in the commentaries of the pontiffs and in other public and private documents, nearly all perished in the conflagration of the City. From this point onwards a clearer and more definite account shall be given of the City’s civil and military history, when, beginning for a second time, it sprang up, as it were from the old roots, with a more luxuriant and fruitful growth. (tr. Benjamin Oliver Foster)