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When they have thus secured themselves, they live together by companies, with quietness, and decency: as are all their other affairs managed with good order and security. Each company have also their wood, and their corn, and their water brought them, when they stand in need of them. For they neither sup nor dine as they please themselves singly, but all together. Their times also for sleeping, watching, and rising, are notified beforehand by the sound of trumpets. Nor is any thing done without such a signal. And in the morning the soldiery go every one to their centurions, and these centurions to their tribunes, to salute them. With whom all the superior officers go to the general of the whole army: who then gives them the watch-word, and other orders; to be by them carried to all that are under their command. The same is observed when they go to fight : and thereby they turn themselves about on the sudden, when there is occasion for making sallies; and also as they come back when they are recalled in crowds.
Now when they are to go out of their camp, the trumpet gives a sound : at which time nobody lies still; but at the first intimation they take down their tents; and all is made ready for their going out. Then do the trumpets sound again, to order them to get ready for the march. Then they lay their baggage suddenly upon their mules, and other beasts of burden, and stand as at the place of starting, ready to march. They also set fire to their camp: because it will be easy for them to erect another, and that it may not ever be of use to their enemies. Then do the trumpets give a sound the third time, that they are to go out; in order to excite those that, on any account, are a little tardy : that so no one may be out of his rank when the army marches. Then the crier stands at the general's right hand, and asks them, thrice, in their own tongue, whether they be ready to go out to the war or not? To which they reply, as often, with a loud and cheerful voice, “We are ready.” And this they do almost before the question is asked them, as if they were inspired with a kind of martial fury: and at the same time that they so cry out, they lift up their right hands.
When, after this, they are gone out of their camp, they all march without noise, and in a decent manner : and every one keeps his own rank, as if they were going to war. The footmen are armed with breast-plates, and bead-pieces; and have swords on each side ; but the sword which is upon their left side, is much longer than the other.* For that on the right side is not longer than a span. Those footmen also that are chosen out from the rest of the foot soldiers have a spear and a long buckler: besides a saw, a basket, a pickaxe, an axe, a thong of leather, and a book; with provisions for three days. So that a footinan has no great need of a mule to carry his burdens. The horsemen have a long sword on their right sides, and a long pole in their hand.A shield also lies by them obliquely on one side of their horses; with three or more darts that are held in their quiver, having broad points, and not smaller than spears. They have also head-pieces, and breast-plates, in like manner as have all the footmen. And for those that are chosen to be about the general, their armour no way differs from that of the horsemen belonging to other troops. And he always leads the legions forth, to whom the lot assigas that employment.
This is the manner of the marching and resting of the Romans: as also these are the several sorts of weapons they use. But when they are to fight, they leave nothing without forecast, nor to be done off-hand. But counsel is ever first taken before any work is begun : and what has been there resolved upon is put in execution presently. For which reason they seldom commit any errors; and if they have been mistaken at any time, they easily correct those mistakes. They also esteem any errors which they commit upon taking counsel beforehand, to be better than such rash success as is owing to fortune only. Because such a fortuitous advantage tempts them to be inconsiderate : while consultation, though it may sometimes fail of success, has this good in it, that it makes men more careful hereafter. But for the advantages that arise from chance, they are not owing to him that gains them. And as to what melancholy accidents happen unexpectedly, there is this comfort in thein ; that they bad, however, taken the best cousultations they could to prevent them.
* The design of two might be either, to attack at a greater or less distance, for which reason one was longer than the other : or, that the soldier might not be left defenceless in case of losing one, but might immediately employ the other against his antagonist. B.
Now they so manage the preparatory exercises of their weapons, that not the bodies of the soldiers only, but their souls may also become stronger. They are moreover hardened for war by fear. For their laws inflict capital punishments, not only for soldiers running away from their ranks; but for slothfulness and inactivity, though it be but in a lesser degree. Their generals also are still more severe than their laws. For they prevent any imputation of cruelty towards those under condemnation, by the great rewards they bestow on the valiant soldiers. And the readiness of obeying their commanders is so great, that it is very ornamental in peace : but when they come to a battle, the whole army is but one body; so well coupled together are their ranks; so sudden are their turnings about; so sharp their hearing, as to what orders are given them ; so quick their sight of the ensigns ; and so nimble are their hands when they set to work. Whereby it comes to pass, that what they do is done quickly ; and what they suffer, they bear with the greatest patience. Nor can we find any examples where they have been conquered in battle, when they came to a close fight ; either by the multitude of their enemies; or by their stratagems; or by the difficulties in the places they were in : no, nor by fortune neither. For their victories have been surer to them than fortune could have granted them. In a case, therefore, where counsel sill goes before action, and where, after taking the best advice, that advice is followed by so active an army, what wonder is it that Euphrates on the east, the ocean on the west, the most fertile regions of Libya on the south, and the Danube and the Rhine on the north, are the limits of this empire? One might well say, that the Roman possessions are inferior to the Romans themselves.
This account I have given the reader; not so much with the intention of commending the Romans, as of comforting those that have been conquered by them : and for the deterring others from attempting innovations under their government. This discourse of the Roman military conduct, may also be of use to such of the curious as are ignorant of it, and yet have a mind to kuow it. I return now from this digression.
PLACIDUS ATTEMPTS TO TAKE JOTAPATA, AND IS BEATEN OFF.
VESPASIAN MARCHES INTO GALILEE.
VESPASIAN, with his son Titus, had tarried some time at Ptolemais, and had put his army in order. But when Placidus, who had overrun Galilee, and had besides slain a great number of those whom he had caught; (which were only the weaker part of the Galileans, and such as were of timorous souls :) saw that the warriors ran always to those cities whose walls had been built by Josephus, he marched furiously against Jotapata, which was of them all the strongest : as supposing he should easily take it by a sudden surprise ; and that he should thereby obtain great honour to himself among the commanders; and bring a great advantage to them in their future campaign : because, if this strongest place of them all were once taken, the rest would be so affrighted, as to surrender themselves. But he was mistaken in his undertaking. For the men of Jotapata were apprised of his coming to attack them, and came out of the city, and expected him there. So they fought the Romans briskly, when they least expected it; being both many in number, and prepared for fighting, and of great alacrity : as esteeming their couniry, their wives, and their children to be in danger ; and easily put the Romans to flight, and wounded many of them; and slew *seven of them, because their retreat was not made in a disorderly manner : because the strokes only touched the surface of their bodies, which were covered with
* I cannot but here observe an eastern way of speaking, frequent among them, but not usual among us: where the word only or alone is not set down, but perhaps some way supplied in the pronunciation. Thus Josephus here says, that those of Jotapata slew geven of the Romans as they were marching off: because the Romans' retreat was regular ; their bodies were covered over with their armour; and the Jews fought at some distance. His meaning is clear, that these were the reasons why they slew only, or no more than seven. I have met with many the like examples in the Scriptures, in Josephus, &c. but did not note down the particular places. This observation ought to be borne in mind upon many occasions.
their armour in all parts; and because the Jews did rather throw their weapons upon them from a great distance, than venture to come hand to hand with them; and had only light armour on, while the others were completely armed. However, three men of the Jews' side were slain ; and a few were wounded. So Placidus, finding himself unable to assault the city, ran away.
But as Vespasian had a great mind to fall upon Galilee, he marched out of Ptolemais, having put his army into that order wherein the Romans used to march. He ordered those auxiliaries which were lightly armed, and the archers to march first; that they might prevent any sudden insults from the enemy; and might search out the woods that looked suspiciously, and were capable of ambuscades. Next to these followed that part of the Romans which was completely armed, both footmen and horsemen. Next to these followed ten out of every hundred, carrying along with them their arms, and what was necessary to measure out a camp: and, after them, such as were to make the road even, and straight; and if it were any where rough and bard to be passed over, to bed it; and to cut down the woods that hindered their progress, that the army might not be in distress, or tired with their march. Behind these he set such carriages of the army as belonged both to himself, and to the other commanders, with a considerable number of horsemen for their security. After these he marched himself : having with him a select body of footmen, and horsemen, and pikemen. After these came the peculiar cavalry of his own legion : for there were a hundred and twenty horsemen that peculiarly belonged to every legion. Next to these came the mules, that carried the engines for sieges, and the other warlike machines of that nature. After these came the commanders of the cohorts, and tribunes : having about them soldiers chosen out of the rest. Then came the ensigns, encompassing the eagle, which is at the head of every Roman legion; the king, and the strongest of all birds : which seems to them a signal of dominion, and an omen that they shall conquer all against whom they march. These sacred ensigns were followed by the trumpeters. Then came the main army in their squadrons, and battalions, with six men in depth : which were followed at last by a centurion ; who, according to custom, observed the rest. As for the servants of every legiop,