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himself the condemnation of the magistrates; but he was par. doned by making his appeal to the people, though his laurels were for ever tarnished.
FIRST DESTRUCTION OF ROME BY THE GAULS. The countries through which the Gauls passed, in their rapid progress, made little resistance; the natives being territied at their vast numbers, the fierceness of their patures, and their dreadful preparations for war. But the rage and impetuosity of this ferocious people were directed solely against Rome. They went on without doing the least intentional injury in their march, breathing vengeance only against the Romans, whom they considered alone as aggressors.
The Roman army, at this conjuncture, was under the command of six military tribunes; the number of their forces, which amounted to forty thousand men, was nearly equal to those of Brennus; but the soldiers were less ohedient, and the generals had not confidence in each other, so as to unite for their mutual safety. The two armies met near the river Allia, eleven miles from the city, both equally confident of victory, both equally disdaining to survive a defeat. The leaders on either side put their forces in array; the Romans, to prevent being surrounded, extended their lines, and placed the best legions in the wings of their army. The Gauls, on the other hand, by a happy disposition, had their choice men in the middle; and with these they made the most desperate attack. The centre of the Roman army, unable to withstand the impetuosity of the charge, quickly gave way; while the two wings saw themselves in a manner divided from each other, and their centre occupied by the enemy. They made for a time, a feeble attempt to unite; but finding it impracticable, a rout ensued, in which the Romans seemed to have lost all power, not only of resistance, but of flight. Nothing but terror and confusion reigned through their broken ranks: the wretched remains of their army were either drowned in attempting to cross the Tiber, or hastened to take refuge in Veii, while only a few of them returned to Rome, with the dreadful intelligence of their overthrow. All hopes of resistance in the field being now over, the remaining inhabitants that were able to bear arms, threw themselves into the capitol, which they fortified, in order to hold out a siege. The rest of the people, a poor and forlorn multitude of old men, women, and children, endeavoured to hide themselves in some of the neighbouring towns, or resolved to await the conqueror's fury, and lie in death under the ruins of their native city. But more particularly the ancient senators and priests, struck with a religious enthusiasm on this occasion, resolved to devote their lives to atone for the crimes of the people, and, habited in their robes of ceremony, placed themselves in the forum, on their ivory chairs. The Gauls, in the mean time, were giving a loose to their triumph, in sharing and enjoying the plunder of the enemies' camp.
Had they indeed immediately marched to Rome upon gaining the victory, the capitol itself would have yielded, but they continued two days feasting upon the field of battle, and, with barbarous pleasure, exulting amidst their slaughtered foes. On the third day after the victory, the facility of which amazed the Gauls themselves, Brennus appeared with all his forces before the city. He was at first much surprised to find the gates wide open to receive him, and the walls defenceless; so that he began to impute the unguarded situation of the place to a stratagem of the Romans.
After proper precautions, however, he entered the city, and marching into the forum, there beheld the ancient senators sitting in their order, observing a profound silence, unmoved and undaunted. The splendid habits, the majestic gravity, and the venerable looks of these old men, who had all borne the highest offices of the state, awed the barbarous enemy into reverence; they took them to be the tutelar deities of the place, and began to offer blind adoration, till one, more forward than the rest, put forth his hand to stroke the beard of Papyrus, who had once enjoyed the dignity of dictator. An insult so gross the noble Roman could not endure, but lifting up his ivory sceptre, struck the savage to the ground. This seemed as a signal for general slaughter; Papyrus fell first, and all the rest shared his fate, without mercy or distinction. Thus the fierce invaders pursued their slaughter for three days successively, sparing neither sex nor age, and then setting fire to the city, in a short time every house was reduced to a heap of ashes, and Rome became nearly a waste.
At this crisis, all the hopes of the Romans were placed in the capitol ; every thing without that fortress was but an extensive scene of misery, desolation, and despair. All the magnificent buildings, which were once the pride of Rome, were now become a heap of shapeless ruins. Nor was it the city alone that felt the utmost rage of the conquerors, but all the neighbouring towns that were accessible to their incursions, shared the same fate, and were burnt without distinction. Still, however, the citadel remained ; and Brennus tried every art in vain to reduce it. He first ineffectually summoned the garrison, with threats, to surrender ; he then resolved to besiege it in form, and encompassed it with his army. Nevertheless, the Romans repelled his attempts with great bravery; for despair had now supplied them with that perseverance and vigour, which had they shown more early, would have saved them from this catastrophe.
The siege had continued for above six months, the provisions of the garrison were almost exhausted, their numbers lessened with continual fatigue, and nothing seemed to remain but death, or submission to the mercy of the conquerors, which was dreaded more even than death itself. In short, they had resolved upon dying, when they were revived from their despondence, by the appearance of a man whom they saw climbing up the rock, and whom they knew, upon his arrival, to be a messenger from their friends without. This person's name was Pontius Comminus, a young plebeian, who had swam across the Tiber by night, passed through the enemy's guards, and with extreme fatigues, climbed up the capitoline rock, with tidings to the besieged, that Camillus, their expatriated dictator, was levying an army for their relief; that the citizens of Ardea, and Veii, had armed in his favour, and had made him their general ; and that he only waited his country's confirmation of their choice, to enter the field and give the barbarians battle.
The Romans were struck with a mixture of rapture and abashment, to find that the man whom they had injuriously spurned from the city, was now, in its desperate state, ready to become its defender. They instantly chose him for their dictator, with an enthusiasm which his virtues deserved, and prepared to sustain the siege with recruited vigour. Thus the messenger, having received his answer and proper instructions, had the good fortune to return to Camillus, though not without encountering a variety of perils.
Meanwhile Brennus carried on the siege with extreme ardour. He hoped speedily to starve the garrison into a capitulation; but they, sensible of his intent, although in actual want, caused several loaves to be thrown into his camp, to convince him of the futility of his expectations. Frustrated in this aim, his hopes were again revived, when some of his-soldiers came to inform him, that they had discovered traces of footsteps which led up to the rock, and by which they supposed the capitol might be surprized. Accordingly, a chosen body of his men were ordered by night upon this dangerous service, which they with great labour and difficulty almost effected; they had got indeed upon the very wall; the Roman sentinel was fast asleep; their dogs within gave no alarm, and all promised an instant victory; when the garrison were awakened by the gabbling of some sacred geese, that had
been kept in the temple of Jugo. The besieged instantly perceived the imminence of their danger, and each snatching the weapon he could instantly find, ran to oppose the assailants. Manlius, a patrician of acknowledged bravery, was the first who exerted all his strength, and inspired courage by his example. He boldly mounted the rampart, and at one effort threw two Gauls headlong down the precipice: others hastened to his assistance, and the walls were cleared of the enemy, almost in an instant.
After this failure, the hopes of the barbarians began to decline, and Brennus seems to have wished for an opportunity of raising the siege with credit. His soldiers often held conferences with the besieged, while upon duty, and the proposals for an accommodation were anxiously desired by the common men, before the chiefs thought of negotiation. At length the commanders on both sides came to an agreement, that the Gauls should immediately quit the city and territories of Rome, upon being paid a thousand pounds weight of gold. This agreement being confirmed by oath on either side, the gold was brought forth; but upon weighing, the Gauls attempted fraudulently to kick the beam, of which the Romans complaining, Brennus insultingly cast his sword and belt into the scale, crying out, that the only portion of the vanquished was to suffer. By this reply, the Romans saw that they were at the victor's mercy; and knew it was in vain to expostulate against any conditions he should be pleased to impose. At this very juncture, however, and while they were thus debating upon the ransom, it was rumoured that Camillus, the dictator, was at the head of a large army, hastening to their relief, and entering the gates of Rome. Camillus actually appeared. soon after, and entering the place of controversy, with the air of one who was resolved not to suffer imposition, demanded the cause of the contest ; of which being informed, he ordered the gold to be taken and carried back to the capitol: “For it has ever (cried he,) been the manner with us Romans, to ransom our country, not with gold, but with iron; it is I only that am to make peace, as being the dictator of Rome, and my sword alone shall purchase it.” The enraged Gauls ran to arms; a battle ensued; and so total was the defeat of Brennus and his followers, that they soon wholly disappeared from Italy, leaving no; traces but those of their ravages behind them.
BATTLE BETWEEN THE GREEKS AND ROMANS.
As the Italian states were unable to defend themselves, they were obliged to call in the assistance of a foreign power, and
have recourse to Pyrrhus, a king of Epirus, to save them from impending ruin.
This prince, possessed of vast courage, ambition, and power, had always kept the example of Alexander, his great predecessor, before his eyes; he was reckoned the most experienced general of his time, and commanded a body of troops, then supposed to be the best disciplined in the world. The Romans, therefore, were no longer to combat with a tumultuary force raised in times of exigence, and depending on their courage alone for victory: they were now to oppose an army levied amongst the most polished people then existing, formed under the greatest generals, and led on by a commander of confirmed merit. Pyrrhus was no sooner applied to for succour by the Tarentines, who, in the name of all the declining states of Italy, conjured him to save them from the threatening distress, than he readily promised to come to their assist
In the mean time, he dispatched over a body of three thousand men, under the command of Cineas, an experienced soldier, and a scholar of the great orator Demosthenes. Nor did he himself remain long before he put to sea with three thousand horse, twenty thousand foot, and twenty elephants, in which the commanders of that time began to place very great confidence. However, only a small part of this great armament arrived in Italy with him ; for many of his ships were dispersed, and some were totally lost in a storm,
Upon his arrival at Tarentum, his first care was to reform the people he came to succour: or observing a total dissolution of manners in this luxurious city, and that the inhabitants were rather occupied with the pleasures of bathing, feasting, and dancing, than care of preparing for war, he gave orders to have all their places of public entertainment shut up, and that they should be restrained in all such amusements as rendered soldiers effeminate. He attempted to repress their licentious manner of treating their governours, and even summoned some, who had mentioned his own name with ridicule, to appear before him. Nevertheless, he was prevented from punishing them by their ingenuous manner of consessing the charge. Yes,” cried they, we have spoken all this against you, and we would have said still more, but that our wine was out.” But though he forgave them with a smile, he took the most prudent precautions to guard himself against their well known insincerity; sending his son out of the city, and removing all those he suspected to be most forward to promote sedition.
Meanwhile, the Romans did all that prudence could suggest, to oppose so formidable an enemy; and the consul Lævinus