Appian, Gallic War 2

Appian of Alexandria (c.95-c.165): one of the most underestimated of all Greek historians, author of a Roman History in twenty-four books.

Although only Appian's books on the Roman Civil Wars survive in their entirety, large parts of the other books, devoted to Rome's foreign wars, have also come down to us. The parts on the Third Punic War, the wars in Iberia, the Illyrian Wars, and the Mithridatic Wars are very important historical sources.

Because these texts have to be reconstructed from several medieval manuscripts, not all editions of Appian's account of Rome's foreign wars are numbered in the same way. On these pages, the separate units of a book are counted strictly chronologically.

The translation was made by Horace White; notes by Jona Lendering. An overview of the fourth-century Gallic Invasions of Latium can be found in S.P. Oakley, A Commentary on Livy. Books VI-X. Volume I: Introduction and Book VI (1997) 360-361.

Later Gallic Invasions

[8] [From an Epitome] At a later period,note when they had made a second invasion, henote overcame them again and enjoyed a triumph in consequence, being then in his eightieth year.

[9] [From an Epitome] A third army of Gauls which invaded Italy was destroyed by the Romans under Titus Poenus.note

[10] [From the Suda] The people beheld the battle [near the Colline gate] from the walls,note and constantly sent fresh troops to take the place of the tired ones. But the tired Gauls having to engage with fresh opponents took to disorderly flight.

[11] [From an Epitome] Afterwards the Boii, the most savage of the Gallic tribes, attacked the Romans.note Gaius Sulpicius,note the dictator, marched against them, and is said to have used the following stratagem. He commanded those who were in the front line to discharge their javelins, and immediately crouch low; then the second, third, and fourth lines to discharge theirs, each crouching in turn so that they should not be struck by the spears thrown from the rear; then when the last line had hurled their javelins, all were to rush forward suddenly with a shout and join battle at close quarters. The hurling of so many missiles, followed by an immediate charge, would throw the enemy into confusion. The spears of the Gauls were not like javelins, but what the Romans called pila, four-sided, part wood and part iron, and not hard except at the pointed end. In this way the army of the Boii was completely destroyed by the Romans.

[12a] [From an Epitome] Another Gallic force was defeated by Popillius, and after this Camillus, son of the former Camillus, defeated the same tribe.note

[12b] [From the Suda] The Gaul, furious and exhausted with loss of blood, pursued Valerius,note hastening in order to grapple with him. As Valerius was all the time dodging just in front of him, the Gaul fell headlong. The Romans felicitated themselves on this second single combat with the Gauls.

[13] [From Constantine Porphyrogenitus, The Embassies] The Senones, although they had a treaty with the Romans, nevertheless furnished mercenaries against them, wherefore the Senate sent an embassy to them to remonstrate against this infraction of the treaty. Britomaris, the Gaul, being incensed against them on account of his father, who had been killed by the Romans while fighting on the side of the Etruscans in this very war, slew the ambassadors while they held the caduceusnote in their hands, and wore the garments of their office. He then cut their bodies in small pieces and scattered them in the fields.

The consul Cornelius,note learning of this abominable deed while he was on the march, moved with great speed against the towns of the Senones by way of the Sabine country and Picenum, and ravaged them all with fire and sword. He reduced the women and children to slavery, killed all the adult males without exception, devastated the country in every possible way, and made it uninhabitable for anybody else. He carried off Britomaris alone as a prisoner for torture.

A little later the Senones (who were serving as mercenaries), having no longer any homes to return to, fell boldly upon the consul Domitius,note and being defeated by him killed themselves in despair. Such punishment was meted out to the Senones for their crime against the ambassadors.

[14] [From an Epitome] Afterwards [Quintus] Aemilius Papus won some trophies from the Gauls.note