The Cimbrian Terror

Ōlim Cimbrī et Teutonēs, populī Germāniae, cum fēminīs līberīsque Italiae adpropinquāverant et cōpiās Rōmānās maximō proeliō vīcerant. Ubi fuga legiōnum nūntiāta est, summus erat terror tōtīus Rōmae, et Rōmānī, graviter commōtī, sacra crēbra deīs faciēbant et salūtem petēbant.

Tum Mānlius ōrātor animōs populī ita cōnfīrmāvit:—“Magnam calamitātem accēpimus. Oppida nostra ā Cimbrīs Teutonibusque capiuntur, agricolae interficiuntur, agrī vāstantur, cōpiae barbarōrum Rōmae adpropinquant. Itaque, nisi novīs animīs proelium novum faciēmus et Germānōs ex patriā nostrā sine morā agēmus, erit nūlla salūs fēminīs nostrīs līberīsque. Servāte līberōs! Servāte patriam! Anteā superātī sumus quia imperātōrēs nostrī fuērunt īnfīrmī. Nunc Marius, clārus imperātor, quī iam multās aliās victōriās reportāvit, legiōnēs dūcet et animōs nostrōs terrōre Cimbricō līberāre mātūrābit.”

Marius tum in Āfricā bellum gerēbat. Sine morā ex Āfricā in Italiam vocātus est. Cōpiās novās nōn sōlum tōtī Italiae sed etiam prōvinciīs sociōrum imperāvit. Disciplīnā autem dūrā labōribusque perpetuīs mīlitēs exercuit. Tum cum peditibus equitibusque, quī iam proeliō studēbant, ad Germānōrum castra celeriter properāvit. Diū et ācriter pugnātum est. Dēnique barbarī fūgērunt et multī in fugā ab equitibus sunt interfectī. Marius pater patriae vocātus est. (Beginner’s Guide to Latin)

Long ago the Cimbri and the Teutons, two different tribes of Germany, came to Italy with their women and children and defeated the Roman troops in an important battle. When the flight of the Roman legion was announced, great was the terror of all of Rome, and the Romans, strongly moved, made numerous sacrifices to the gods and prayed for safety.

Then the orator Manlius lifted the spirits of the people: “We received news of a great calamity. Our towns were captured by the Cimbri and the Teutons, our farmers killed, our fields wasted, and the foreign troops are approaching Rome. Therefore, unless we renew the battle with fresh minds and immediately drive the Germans from our country, there will be no safety for our women and children. Save our children! Save our country! Previously we were overcome because our commanders were weak. Now Marius, the famous general, who has already won many other victories, will lead our troops and free our minds of the Cimbrian terror.”

Marius was then waging war in Africa. Without delay he was summoned out of Africa into Italy. He ordered new troops not only from all of Italy but also from the provinces of their allies. He trained his soldiers with strict discipline and perpetual labors. Then, with his infantry and cavalry, which were now eager for war, he quickly moved against the German camps. The battle was fought vehemently all day. Finally the foreigners fled and many were killed in flight by the cavalry. Marius was given the honorific title, Father of the Fatherland.

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