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because the barbarians were at that time pressed with a threefold danger. The emperor hastening against them through the Tyrol, the Caesar who was actually in their country cutting off all possibility of retreat, while the neighbouring tribes, whom recent quarrels had convertedinto enemies, were all but treading on their heels; and thus they were surrounded on all sides. But since that time the emperor, having granted them peace, had returned to Italy, and the neighbouring tribes, having all cause of quarrel removed, were again in alliance with them; and the disgraceful retreat of one of the Roman generals had increased their natural confidence and boldness.
17 . Moreover there was another circumstance which at this crisis added weight to the difliculties which pressed upon the Romans. The two royal brothers, who had obtained peace from Constantius in the preceding year, being bound by the obligations of that treaty, neither ventured to raise any disturbance, nor indeed to put themselves in motion at all. But a little after the conclusion of that peace one of them whose name was Gundomadus, and who was the most loyal and the most faithful to his word, was slain by treachery, and then all his tribe joined our enemies; and on this the tribe of Vadomarius also, against his will, as he afiirmed, ranged itself on the side of the barbarians who were arming for war.
18.. Therefore, since all the soldiers of every rank, from the highest to the lowest, approved of engaging instantly, and would not relax the least from the rigour of their determination, on a sudden the standard-bearer shouted out, “ Go forth, O Caesar, most fortunate of all princes. Go whither thy better fortune leads thee. At least we have learnt by your example the power of valour and military skill. Go on and lead us, as a fortunate and gallant champion. You shall see what a soldier under the eye of a warlike general, a witness of the exploits of each individual, can do, and how little, with the favour of the Deity, any obstacle can avail against him.”
19. When these words were heard, without a moment’s delay, the whole army advanced and approached a hill of moderate height, covered with ripe corn, at no great distance from the banks of the Rhine. On its summit were posted three cavalry soldiers of the enemy as scouts,
who at once hastened back to their comrades to announce that the Roman army was at hand; but one infantry soldier who was with them, not being able to keep up with them, was taken prisoner by the activity of some of our soldiers, and informed us that the Germans had been passing over the river for three days and three nights. 20. And when our generals beheld them now at no great distance forming their men into solid columns, they halted, and formed all the first ranks of their troops into a similarly solid body, and with equal caution the enemy likewise halted. 21. And when in consequence of this halt, the enemy saw (as the deserter I mentioned above had informed them) that all our cavalry was ranged against them in our right wing, then they posted all their own cavalry in close order on their left wing. And with them they mingled every here and there a few infantry, skirmishers and light-armed soldiers, which indeed was a very wise ImanoeuVre. 22. For they knew that a cavalry soldier, however skilful, if fighting with one of our men in complete armour, while his hands were occupied with shield and bridle, so that he could use no offensive weapon but the spear which he brandished in his right hand, could never injure an enemy wholly covered with iron mail; but that an infantry soldier, amid the actual struggles of personal conflict, when nothing is usually guarded against by a combatant except that which is straight before him, may crawl unperceivedly along the ground, and piercing the side of the Roman soldier's horse, throw the rider down headlong, rendering him thus an easy victim. 23. When these dispositions had been thus made, the barbarians also protected their right flank with secret ambuscades and snares. Now the whole of these warlike and savage tribes were on this day under the command of Chnodomarius and Serapio, monarchs of more power than any of their former kings. 24. Chnodomarius was indeed the wicked instigator of the whole war, and bearing on his head a helmet blazing like fire, he led on the left wing with great boldness, confiding much on his vast personal strength. And now with great eagerness for the impending battle he mounted
a spirited horse, that by the increased height he might be more oonspicuous, leaning upon a spear of most formidable size, and remarkable for the splendour of his arms. Being indeed a prince who had on former occasions shown himself brave as a warrior and a general, eminent for skill above his fellows, 25. The right wing was led by Serapio, a youth whose beard had hardly grown, but who was beyond his years in courage and strength. He was the son of Mederichus the brother of Chnodomarius, a man throughout his whole life of the greatest perfidy; and he had received the name of Serapio because his father, having been given as a hostage, had been detained in Gaul for a long time, and had there learnt some of the mysteries of the Greeks, in consequence of which he had changed the name of his son, who at his birth was named Agenarichus, into that of Serapio. 26. These two leaders were followed by five other kings who were but little inferior in power to themselves, by ten petty princes, a vast number of nobles, and thirtyfive thousand armed men, collected from various nations partly by pay, and partly by a promise of requiting their service by similar assistance on a future day. 27. The trumpets now gave forth a terrible sound; Severus, the Roman general in command of the left wing, when he came near the ditches filled with armed men, from which the enemy had arranged that those who were there concealed should suddenly rise up, and throw the Roman line into confusion, halted boldly, and suspecting some yet hidden ambuscade, neither attempted to retreat nor advance. 28. Seeing this, Julian, always full of courage at the moment of the greatest difficulty, galloped with an escort of two hundred cavalry through the ranks of the infantry at full speed, addressing them with wonds of encouragement, as the critical circumstances in which they were placed required. 29. And as the extent of the space over which they were spread and the denseness of the multitude thus collected into one body, would not allow him to address the whole army (and also because on other accounts he wished to avoid exposing himself to malice and envy, as well as not
to afieet that which Augustus thought belonged exclusively to himself), he, while taking care of himself as he passed within reach of the darts of the enemy, encouraged all whom his voice could reach, whether known or unknown to him, to fight bravely, with these and similar words :—
30. “Now, my comrades, the fit time for fighting has arrived; the time which l, as well as you, have long desired, and which you just now invited when, with gestures of impatience, you demanded to be led on." Again, when he came to those in"'the rear rank, who were posted in reserve: “Behold,” said he, “my comrades, the longwished-for day is at hand, which incites us all to wash out former stains, and to restore to its proper brightness the Roman majesty. These men before you are barbarians, whom their own rage and intemperate madness have urged forward to meet with the destruction of their fortunes, dea feated as they will now be by our might.”
31. Presently, when making better dispositions for the array of some troops who, by long experience in war, had attained to greater skill, he aided his arrangements by these exhorlations. “ Let us rise up like brave men; let us by our native valour repel the disgrace which has at one time been brought upon our arms, from contemplating which it was that after much delay I consented to take the name of Caesar.”
32. But to any whom he saw ineonsiderately demanding the signal to be given for instant battle, and likely by their rash movements to be inattentive to orders, he said, “I entreat you not to be too eager in your pmsuit of the flying enemy, so as to risk losing the glory of the victory which awaits us, and also never to retreat, except under the last necessity.
33. “ For I shall certainly take no care of those who flee. But among those who press on to the slaughter of the enemy I shall be present, and share with you indiscriminately, provided only that your charge be made with moderation and prudence."
34. Vihile repeatedly addressing these and similar exhortations to the troops, he drew up the principal part of his army opposite to the front rank of the barbarians. And suddenly there arose from the Allemanni a great shout, mingled with indignant cries, all exclaiming with one
A.D. 357." THE BATTLE CF STRASBURG. 115
voice that the princes ought to leave their horses and fight in the ranks on equal terms with their men, lest if any mischance should occur they should avail themselves of the facility of escaping, and leave the mass of the army in miserable plight. 35. When this was known, Chnodomarius immediately leapt down from his horse, and the rest of the princes followed his example without hesitation. For indeed none of them doubted but that their side would be victorious. 36. Then the signal for battle being given as usual by the sound of trumpets, the armies rushed to the combat with all their force. First of all javelins were hurled, and the Germans, hastening on with the utmost impetuosity, brandishing their javelins in their right hands, dashed among the squadrons of our cavalry, uttering fearful cries. They had excited themselves to more than usual rage; their flowing hair bristling with their eagerness, and fury blazing from their eyes. While in opposition to them our soldiers, standing steadily, protecting their heads with the bulwark of their shields, and drawing their swords or brandishing their javelins, equally threatened death to their assailants. 37. And while in the very conflict of battle, the cavalry kept their gallant squadrons in close order, and the infantry strengthened their flanks, standing shoulder to shoulder with closely-locked shields, clouds of thick dust arose, and the battle rocked to and fro, our men sometimes advancing, sometimes receding. Some of the most powerful warriors among the barbarians pressed upon their antagonists with their knees, trying to throw them down; and in the general excitement men fought hand to hand, shield pressing upon shield; while the heaven resounded with the loud cries of the conquerors and of the dying. Presently, when our left wing, advancing forward, had driven back with superior strength the vast bands of German assailants, and was itself advancing with loud cries against the enemy, our cavalry on the right wing unexpectedly retreated in disorder; but when the leading fugitives came upon those in the rear, they halted, perceiving themselves covered by the legions, and renewed the battle. 38. This disaster had arisen from the cuirassiers see ng their commander slightly wounded, and one of their