Livy, History of Rome 3

LCL 133: 6-7

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

Livy

a.u.c. 288–289Romam tulisse, ab Roma Aequis bellum adferre eadem dextera armata quam pacatam illis antea 4dederat. Quorum id perfidia et periurio fiat deos nunc testes esse, mox fore ultores. Se tamen, utcumque sit, etiam nunc paenitere sua sponte Aequos 5quam pati hostilia malle. Si paeniteat, tutum receptum ad expertam clementiam fore: sin periurio gaudeant, dis magis iratis quam hostibus gesturos 6bellum. Haec dicta adeo nihil moverunt quemquam ut legati prope violati sint exercitusque in Algidum 7adversus Romanos missus. Quae ubi Romam sunt nuntiata, indignitas rei magis quam periculum consulem alterum ab urbe excivit. Ita duo consulares exercitus ad hostem accessere acie instructa ut confestim 8dimicarent. Sed cum forte haud multum diei superesset, unus ab statione hostium exclamat: 9“Ostentare hoc est, Romani, non gerere bellum. In noctem imminentem aciem instruitis; longiore luce ad id certamen quod instat nobis opus est. Crastino die oriente sole redite in aciem; erit copia pugnandi; 10ne timete.” His vocibus inritatus miles in diem posterum in castra reducitur, longam venire noctem ratus quae moram certamini faceret. Tum quidem corpora cibo somnoque curant; ubi inluxit postero

6

Book III

he had brought peace from the Aequi to Rome, and b.c. 466–465was then bringing war from Rome to the Aequi in the same right hand, now armed, which he had formerly given them in friendship. Whose faithlessness and perjury were responsible for this, the gods were even then witnesses, and would presently punish the offenders. Yet however that might be, he would himself prefer that the Aequi should even now freely repent, instead of suffering the penalties of war. If they did so, they could count on a safe refuge in the clemency they had already proved; but if they rejoiced in perjury, it was rather with the angry gods than with their enemies that they would be at war. So far were these words from having the slightest effect on anyone, that the envoys narrowly escaped violation, and an army was dispatched to Algidus against the Romans. On the arrival of this news at Rome, the insult, rather than the danger, brought the other consul out from the City. And so two consular armies approached the enemy, drawn up in line of battle, that they might instantly engage them. But since it happened to be near the end of the day, a man called out to them from an outpost of the enemy, “This, Romans, is making a parade of war, not waging it. When night is about to fall, you draw up your battle-line; we need more hours of daylight for the struggle which is close at hand. To-morrow at sunrise form your battle-line again; there will be opportunity for fighting, never fear!” Galled by these words the troops were led back to their camp to await the morrow; the night would be a long one, they felt, that must intervene before the combat. Meanwhile they refreshed themselves with food and

7
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.livy-history_rome_3.1922