Thursday, June 17, 2021


Rally Round the Flag, Boys!

Livy 25.14.3-7 (tr. J.C. Yardley):
[3] Such was the commander's plan of campaign, but it was scattered to the winds, just as he was sounding the retreat, by the shouts of soldiers indignantly rejecting the spineless order. [4] The unit closest to the enemy happened to be a Paelignian cohort. Its prefect, Vibius Accaus, grabbed the cohort's banner and hurled it over the enemy rampart. [5] He then called down curses on himself and on the cohort if the enemy got their hands on the banner, and, forging ahead of the others over ditch and rampart, he burst into the Carthaginian camp.

[6] The Paeligni were now fighting within the enemy rampart while, on the other side of the camp, Valerius Flaccus, military tribune of the third legion, was severely reprimanding the Romans for their cowardice in ceding to allies the distinction of taking the camp. [7] Then Titus Pedanius, the first centurion of the principes, took the standard from the bearer and declared: 'This standard and this centurion are soon going to be inside the enemy rampart. Those who are going to prevent its capture by the enemy, follow me!' As he crossed the ditch, his comrades from his maniple were the first to follow him, and then the whole legion came after them.

[3] haec consilia ducis, cum iam receptui caneret, clamor militum aspernantium tam segne imperium disiecit. [4] proxima forte hostibus erat cohors Paeligna, cuius praefectus Vibius Accaus arreptum vexillum trans vallum hostium traiecit. [5] execratus inde seque et cohortem, si eius vexilli hostes potiti essent, princeps ipse per fossam vallumque in castra inrupit.

[6] iamque intra vallum Paeligni pugnabant, cum altera parte Valerio Flacco tribuno militum tertiae legionis exprobrante Romanis ignaviam, qui sociis captorum castrorum concederent decus, [7] 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.

4 forte hostibus Weissenborn: portae hostium codd.: forte [hostium] Madvig: forte hostium castris (vel f. c. h.) Luchs: ea parte hostibus Moritz Mueller: ea parte hosti Riemann
Related post: Standards.

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