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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,10] Ἔτι δ´ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος τὰ εἰς τὸ γενναῖον ἐπαγωγὰ θάρσος τι δαιμόνιον ἐμπίπτει τῇ στρατιᾷ, καὶ ὥσπερ ἐκ μιᾶς ψυχῆς ἅπαντες ἀνεβόησαν ἅμα· Θάρσει τε καὶ ἄγε. καὶ ὁ Ποστόμιος ἐπαινέσας τὸ πρόθυμον αὐτῶν καὶ τοῖς θεοῖς εὐξάμενος, ἐὰν εὐτυχὲς καὶ καλὸν τέλος ἀκολουθήσῃ τῇ μάχῃ, θυσίας τε μεγάλας ἀπὸ πολλῶν ἐπιτελέσειν χρημάτων καὶ ἀγῶνας καταστήσεσθαι πολυτελεῖς, οὓς ἄξει ὁ Ῥωμαίων δῆμος ἀνὰ πᾶν ἔτος, ἀπέλυσεν ἐπὶ τὰς τάξεις. ὡς δὲ τὸ σύνθημα τὸ παρὰ τῶν ἡγεμόνων παρέλαβον καὶ τὰ παρακλητικὰ τῆς μάχης αἱ σάλπιγγες ἐνεκελεύσαντο, ἐχώρουν ἀλαλάξαντες ὁμόσε, πρῶτον μὲν οἱ ψιλοί τε καὶ ἱππεῖς ἀφ´ ἑκατέρων, ἔπειθ´ αἱ πεζαὶ φάλαγγες ὁπλισμούς τε καὶ τάξεις ὁμοίας ἔχουσαι· καὶ γίνεται πάντων ἀναμὶξ μαχομένων καρτερὸς ἀγὼν καὶ ἐν χερσὶ πᾶσα ἡ μάχη. ὡς δὲ πολὺ τὸ παράλογον ἀμφοτέροις τῆς δόξης ἦν· οὐδέτεροι γὰρ ἐλπίσαντες μάχης δεήσειν σφίσιν, ἀλλὰ τῇ πρώτῃ ἐφόδῳ τοὺς πολεμίους ὑπολαβόντες φοβήσειν, Λατῖνοι μὲν τῷ πλήθει τῆς σφετέρας ἵππου πιστεύσαντες, ἧς οὐδὲ τὸ ῥόθιον ᾤοντο τοὺς Ῥωμαίους ἱππεῖς ἀνέξεσθαι, Ῥωμαῖοι δὲ τῷ τολμηρῶς καὶ ἀπερισκέπτως ἐπὶ τὰ δεινὰ χωροῦντες καταπλήξεσθαι τοὺς πολεμίους· ταῦτα ὑπὲρ ἀλλήλων καταδοξάσαντες ἐν ἀρχαῖς τἀναντία ἑώρων γινόμενα. οὐκέτι δὲ τὸ τῶν ἀντιπολεμίων δέος, ἀλλὰ τὸ ἴδιον θάρσος ἑκάτεροι τοῦ τε σωθήσεσθαι καὶ τοῦ νικήσειν αἴτιον σφίσι νομίσαντες ἀγαθοὶ μαχηταὶ καὶ ὑπὲρ δύναμιν ἐφάνησαν. ἐγίνοντο δὲ ποικίλαι καὶ ἀγχίστροφοι περὶ αὐτοὺς αἱ τοῦ ἀγῶνος τύχαι.

Traduction française :

[6,10] While he was still speaking these words to spur them to valour, a kind of confidence inspired by Heaven seized the army and they all, as if with a single soul, cried out together, "Be of good courage and lead us on." Postumius commended their alacrity and made a vow to the gods that if the battle were attended with a happy and glorious outcome, he would offer great and expensive sacrifices and institute costly games to be celebrated annually by the Roman people; after which he dismissed his men to their ranks. And when they had received the watchword from their commanders and the (p269) trumpets had sounded the charge, they gave a shout and fell to, first, the light-armed men and the horse on each side, then the solid ranks of foot, who were armed and drawn up alike; and all mingling, a severe battle ensued in which every man fought hand to hand. However, both sides were extremely deceived in the opinion they had entertained of each other, for neither of them thought a battle would be necessary, but expected to put the enemy to flight at the first onset. The Latins, trusting in the superiority of their horse, concluded that the Roman horse would not be able even to sustain their onset; and the Romans were confident that by rushing into the midst of danger in a daring and reckless manner they should terrify their enemies. Having formed these opinions of one another in the beginning, they now saw everything turning out just the opposite. Each side, therefore, no longer founding their hopes of safety and of victory on the fear of the enemy, but on their own courage, showed themselves brave soldiers even beyond their strength. And various and sudden shifting fortunes marked their struggle.

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Dernière mise à jour : 9/01/2007