Livy, History of Rome 10

LCL 191: 364-365

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a.u.c.452maritimis infames, terrerent, penitus ad litora Venetorum 5pervenit. Expositis paucis qui loca explorarent, cum audisset1 tenue praetentum litus esse, quod transgressis stagna ab tergo sint inrigua aestibus maritimis; agros haud procul2 capestres cerni,3 6ulteriora colles videri; esse ostium fluminis praealti, quo circumagi naves in stationem tutam possint4—Meduacus amnis erat—: eo invectam classem subire 7flumine adverso iussit. Gravissimas navium non pertulit alveus fluminis; in leviora navigia transgressa multitudo armatorum ad frequentes agros, tribus maritimis Patavinorum vicis colentibus eam oram, 8pervenit. Ibi egressi praesidio levi navibus relicto vicos expugnant, inflammant tecta, hominum pecudumque praedas agunt et dulcedine praedandi longius usque a navibus procedunt.

9Haec ubi Patavium sunt nuntiata—semper autem eos in armis accolae Galli habebant—in duas partes iuventutem dividunt. Altera5 in regionem, qua effusa populatio nuntiabatur, altera, ne cui praedonum obvia fieret, alio6 itinere ad stationem navium—milia 10autem quattuordecim ab oppido aberat—ducta. In naves ignaris7 custodibus interemptis impetus factus, territique nautae coguntur naves in alteram ripam amnis traicere. Et in terra prosperum aeque in


Book X

notorious most of them for their piracies—kept b.c. 302 straight on until he reached the coasts of the Veneti. Having sent a small party ashore to explore the country, and learning that it was a narrow beach that extended in front of them, on crossing which one found behind it lagoons which were flooded by the tides; that not far off level fields could be made out, and that hills were seen rising beyond them, and that a river of great depth—the Mediacus—debouched there, into which they could bring round their ships to a safe anchorage—having learned all this, I say, he ordered the fleet to sail in and make its way up stream. But the channel would not admit the heaviest ships, and the multitude of armed men, passing over into the lighter vessels, kept on till they came to thickly inhabited fields; for three maritime villages of the Patavini were situated there along the river-bank. Disembarking there they left a small body of men to defend the boats, burnt the houses, made spoil of men and cattle, and, lured on by the sweets of pillage, advanced to a greater and greater distance from their ships.

When word of these events was brought to the Patavians, whom the vicinity of the Gauls kept always under arms, they divided their young men into two divisions. One of these marched into the region where the scattered marauding was reported; the other, taking a different road, to avoid falling in with any of the marauders, proceeded to the place where the ships were moored, fourteen miles from the town. The latter party, slaying the guards, who were unaware of their approach, made a rush for the ships, and the terrified sailors were forced to get them over to the other side of the stream. On land,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_10.1926