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Denys d'Halicarnasse, Les Antiquités romaines, livre VI


Texte grec :

[6,33] Ἐν τούτῳ λέγεται τῷ πολέμῳ τοὺς ἱππεῖς τῶν Ῥωμαίων κρατίστους γενέσθαι, καὶ τὸν ἡγεμόνα αὐτῶν Αὖλον Ποστόμιον Ἄλβον, ὃς ἔσχε τὴν δικτάτορα ἀρχὴν ἐν τῷ πρόσθεν ἐνιαυτῷ. τὸ μὲν γὰρ χωρίον. ἐν ᾧ ἡ μάχη ἐγένετο, ἥκισθ´ ἱππάσιμον ἦν καὶ κολωνούς τε πετρώδεις καὶ φάραγγας βαθείας εἶχεν, ὥστε μηδὲν ἑκατέροις τὴν ἵππον οἵαν τ´ εἶναι προσωφελεῖν. ὁ δὲ Ποστόμιος παρακελευσάμενος τοῖς ἀμφ´ αὑτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ἵππων καταβῆναι καὶ ποιήσας στῖφος ἀνδρῶν ἑξακοσίων, ἐν οἷς μάλιστα ἔκαμνε τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις κατὰ πρανοῦς ὠθουμένοις χωρίου ἡ φάλαγξ, ἐν τούτοις συνάπτει τοῖς πολεμίοις, καὶ αὐτίκα συνίστησιν αὐτῶν τὰς τάξεις. ὡς δ´ ἅπαξ ἀνεκόπησαν οἱ βάρβαροι, θάρσος ἐνέπεσε τοῖς Ῥωμαίοις, καὶ φιλονεικία τοῖς πεζοῖς πρὸς τοὺς ἱππεῖς· καὶ καθ´ ἓν ἀμφότεροι πυργηδὸν ἐξωθοῦσι τὸ δεξιὸν κέρας τῶν πολεμίων ἕως τοῦ λόφου· καὶ οἱ μὲν τοῖς περὶ τὸν χάρακα φεύγουσιν ἑπόμενοι πολλοὺς ἀπέκτειναν, οἱ δὲ τοῖς ἔτι μαχομένοις κατὰ νώτου ἐπῆγον. τρεψάμενοι δὲ κἀκείνους εἰς φυγὴν ἐπίπονόν τε καὶ βραδεῖαν τὴν ἀποχώρησιν ποιουμένους πρὸς ὀχθώδη χωρία ἐδίωκον, τένοντάς τε ὑποκόπτοντες ποδῶν καὶ τὰς ἰγνῦς πλαγίοις τοῖς ξίφεσι διαιροῦντες, ἕως ἐπὶ τὸν χάρακα αὐτῶν ἀφίκοντο. βιασάμενοι δὲ καὶ τούτου τοὺς φύλακας οὐ πολλοὺς ὄντας ἐκράτησαν τοῦ στρατοπέδου καὶ διήρπασαν· ὠφελείας μέντοι οὐ πολλὰς εὗρον, ὅτι μὴ ὅπλα καὶ ἵππους, καὶ εἴ τι ἄλλο πολεμιστήριον χρῆμα ἦν. ταῦτα οἱ περὶ Σερουίλιον καὶ Ἄππιον ὕπατοι ἔπραξαν.

Traduction française :

[6,33] In this battle the Roman horse and their commander Aulus Postumius Albus, who had held the office of dictator the year before, are said to have proved the bravest. It seems that the place where the battle was fought was most unsuitable for the use of cavalry, having both rocky hills and deep ravines, so that the horse could be of no advantage to either side. Postumius, ordering his followers to dismount, formed a compact body of six hundred men, and observing where the Roman battle- line suffered most, being forced down hill, he engaged the enemy at those points and promptly crowded their ranks together. The barbariansº being once checked, courage came to the Romans and the foot emulated the horse; and both forming one compact column, they drove the right wing of the enemy back to the hill. Some pursued that part of them which fled towards their camp and killed many, while others attacked in the rear those who still maintained the fight. And when they had put these also to flight, they followed them in their difficult and slow retreat to the hilly ground, cutting asunder the sinews of both their feet and knees with side blows of their swords, till they came to their (p341) camp. And having overpowered the guards there also, who were not numerous, they made themselves masters of the camp and plundered it. However, they found no great booty in it, but only arms, horses and other equipment for war. These were the achievements of Servilius and Appius during their consulship.

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