History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8).
Vandals.  For men who achieve renown in company with those who have previously met with misfortune naturally claim the better fortune as their own.  Considering all these things, therefore, I say that you should bid the women and children who are lamenting their fate to take courage even now, should summon God to fight with us, should go with enthusiasm against the enemy, and lead the way for our compatriots into this battle.”

III

After both Gelimer and Tzazon had spoken such exhortations, they led out the Vandals, and at about the time of lunch, when the Romans were not expecting them, but were preparing their meal, they were at hand and arrayed themselves for battle along the bank of the stream.  Now the stream at that place is an ever-flowing one, to be sure, but its volume is so small that it is not even given a special name by the inhabitants of the place, but it is designated simply as a brook.  So the Romans came to the other bank of this river, after preparing themselves as well as they could under the circumstances, and arrayed themselves as follows.  The left wing was held by Martinus and Valerian, John, Cyprian, Althias, and Marcellus, and as many others as were commanders of the foederati[3]; and the right was held by Pappas, Barbatus, and Aigan, and the others who commanded the forces of cavalry.  And in the centre John took his position, leading the guards and spearmen of Belisarius and carrying the general’s standard.  And Belisarius also came there at the opportune moment with his five hundred horsemen, leaving the infantry behind advancing at a walk.  For all the Huns had been arrayed in another place, it being customary for them even before this not to mingle with the Roman army if they could avoid so doing, and at that time especially, since they had in mind the purpose which has previously been explained,[4] it was not their wish to be arrayed with the rest of the army.  Such, then, was the formation of the Romans.  And on the side of the Vandals, either wing was held by the chiliarchs, and each one led the division under him, while in the centre was Tzazon, the brother of Gelimer, and behind him were arrayed the Moors.  But Gelimer himself was going about everywhere exhorting them and urging them on to daring.  And the command had been previously given to all the Vandals to use neither spear nor any other weapon in this engagement except their swords.

After a considerable time had passed and no one began the battle, John chose out a few of those under him by the advice of Belisarius and crossing the river made an attack on the centre, where Tzazon crowded them back and gave chase.  And the Romans in flight came into their own camp, while the Vandals in pursuit came as far as the stream, but did not cross it.  And once more John, leading out more of the guardsmen of Belisarius, made a dash against the forces of Tzazon, and again being repulsed from there, withdrew to the

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History of the Wars, Books III and IV (of 8) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.