(1) Quīngentēsimō et quadrāgēsimō annō ā conditā urbe L. Aemilius Paulus P. Terentius Varrō contrā Hannibalem mittuntur Fabiōque succēdunt, quī abiēns ambō cōnsulēs monuit, ut Hannibalem, callidum et inpatientem ducem, nōn aliter vincerent quam proelium differendō.

(2) Vērum cum inpatientiā Varrōnis cōnsulis contrādīcente alterō cōnsule [id est Aemilio Paulo] apud vīcum, quī Cannae appellātur, in Āpuliā pūgnātum esset, ambō cōnsulēs ab Hannibale vincuntur.

(3) In eā pūgnā tria mīlia Āfrōrum pereunt; māgna pars dē exercitū Hannibalis sauciātur. Nūllō tamen Pūnicō bellō Rōmānī gravius acceptī sunt; periit enim in eō cōnsul Aemilius Paulus, cōnsulārēs aut praetōriī XX, senātōrēs captī aut occīsī XXX, nōbilēs virī CCC, mīlitum XL mīlia, equitum III mīlia et quīngentī. In quibus malīs nēmō tamen Rōmānōrum pācis mentiōnem habēre dīgnātus est. Servī, quod numquam ante, manūmissī et mīlitēs factī sunt.

    Battle of Cannae, 216 BCE

    For details, see Polybius 3.112–117, Livy 22.45–49.

    (1) Quīngentēsimō et quadrāgēsimō annō: Eutropius was mistaken in the date; it was 216 BCE (Hazzard).

    L. Aemilius Paulus: [L. Aemilius Paulus] was father of the L. Aemilius Paulus [Macedonicus] mentioned in Brev. 4.6–7. He had distinguished himself in his former consulship in the war against the Illyrians. Against his advice the battle of Cannae was fought, and, refusing to fly from the field when the battle was lost, he was slain. He was an aristocrat, and was raised to the consulship by the party to counterbalance the influence of the plebeian P. Terentius Varro (Hazzard).

    Fabiōque: Fabiōque is the dative object of the compound verb succēdunt (AG 370). For more information, see Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator.

    monuit ut ... differendō: order:  monuit (cōnsulēs) ut nōn vincerent Hannibalem, callidum et inpatientem ducem, aliter quam differendō proelium. The adverbial phrase aliter quam =  "in any other way than." Differendō is a gerund, ablative of means.

    (2) inpatientiā Varrōnis: The aristocracy laid all the blame of the defeat on Varro (Hazzard).

    contrādīcente alterō cōnsule: ablative absolute using a present active participle, used concessively (AG 419)

    Cannae: Cannae is a town of Apulia to the south of the Aufidus, about half-way between Canusium and the sea. This was one of the most important battles of the war. Although the Romans greatly outnumbered the Carthaginians, by the skillful maneuvers of Hannibal, they were surrounded on all sides and were cut down without mercy. "For eight hours the work of destruction went on, and at the end 50,000 men lay dead upon the ground. Aemilius Paulus, the Illyrian hero, who, though wounded by a sling early in the day, had clung to his horse, heartening on his men, till he dropped exhausted from his saddle, the proconsul Servilius, the late high-spirited master of the horse, Minucius, both quaestors, twenty-one military tribunes, sixty senators, and an unknown number of knights were among the slain. Nearly 20,000 Roman prisoners were taken. Of the rest, Varro, with a few horsemen only, escaped to Venusia. Amid all this slaughter the conqueror had lost only 5,500 of his infantry and but 200 of that matchless cavalry to whom the victory was mainly due" (Hazzard, quoting Creighton).

    (3) pars dē exercitū: = pars exercitūs; a very rare usage (Hazzard)

    Nūllō ... Pūnicō bellō: "in none of the Punic Wars," ablative of time when (AG 423).

    gravius acceptī sunt: "did they suffer more severely" (Bird). See LS accipio II.C. gravius is a comparative adverb. 

    nōbilēs virī: i.e., men whose ancestors had held high office (Hazzard)

    mentiōnem habēre: usually mentiōnem facere (Hazzard). See Livy 22.61: "Yet, in spite of all their disasters and the revolt of their allies, no one anywhere in Rome mentioned the word "Peace." 

    quod numquam ante: supply factum erat (Hazzard)

    manūmissī: supply sunt. See Livy 22.57. They were liberated because none but freemen could serve in the Roman legions (Hazzard). For more information on the Roman practice of manumission of slaves, see Smith, manumissio.

    Core Vocabulary | Numbers | Dates

    Aemilius, ī, m.

    the name of a Roman gens; Lūcius Aemilius, consul 224 B.C.; Mārcus Aemilius (Mamercus), dictator

    Paulus, ī, m.

    the name of a Roman family; (1) L. Aemilius Paulus, consul 216 B.C.; (2) L. Aemilius Paulus, surnamed Macedonicus, consul 168 B.C.; (3) M. Aemilius Paulus, consul 255 B.C.


    abbreviation of the praenomen or nomen Publius

    Terentius, ī, m.

    (1) M. (Terentius) Varrō, a legate of Pompey in Spain, where he was defeated by Caesar; (2) P. (C.) Terentius Varrō, consul 219 and 216 B.C.

    Varrō, ōnis, m.

    (1) M. (Terentius) Varrō, a legate of Pompey in Spain, where he was defeated by Caesar; (2) P. (C.) Terentius Varrō, consul 219 and 216 B.C.

    Hannibal, alis, m.

    the son of Hamilcar Barca, the great general of the Carthaginians in the second Punic war

    callidus, a, um, adj. shrewd  
    impatiēns, entis [in + patiēns], adj.

    impatient; intolerant, impetuous

    manūmittō, ere, mīsī, missus [manus + mittō]

    to set free, emancipate; enfranchise

    Fabius, ī, m.

    the name of a Roman gens. Fabia familia, the Fabian gens. (1) C. Fabius, consul 477 B.C.; (2) Q. Fabius, the first Roman annalist; (3) C. Fabius Pīctor, consul 269 B.C.

    succēdō, ere, cessī, cessus

    to come up, advance; succeed, follow

    ambō, ae, ō, adj. both
    vērum [vērus, true], adv. truly, certainly; but
    impatientia, ae [impatiēns], f. impatience
    cōnsulāris, e [cōnsul], adj.

    of a consul, of consular rank; as subst., an ex—consul

    vīcus, ī, m. a town, village  
    Cannae, ārum, pl. f.

    a small town in Apulia, where one of the most important battles of the Second Punic War was fought, 216 B.C.

    Apūlia, ae, f.

    a district in the southeastern part of Italy

    Āfer, Āfrī, m.

    an African, especially an inhabitant of Carthage

    sauciō, āre, āvī, ātus [saucius] to wound
    Pūnicus, a, um, adj.

    Phoenician, Punic; Carthaginian; Pūnicum bellum, Punic War, First, 264–241 B.C.; Second, 218–202 B.C.; Third, 149–146 B.C.

    graviter [gravis], adv., comp. gravius, sup. gravissimē

    weightily, vigorously, seriously, with dignity

    senātor, ōris [senātus], m. a senator
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