Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/125

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A.D. 357.]
113
THE BATTLE OF STRASBURG.

a spirited horse, that by the increased height he might be more conspicuous, leaning upon a spear of most formidable size, and remarkable for the splendour of his arms. Being indeed a prince who had on former occasions shown himself brave as a warrior and a general, eminent for skill above his fellows.

25. The right wing was led by Serapio, a youth whose beard had hardly grown, but who was beyond his years in courage and strength. He was the son of Mederichus the brother of Chnodomarius, a man throughout his whole life of the greatest perfidy; and he had received the name of Serapio because his father, having been given as a hostage, had been detained in Gaul for a long time, and had there learnt some of the mysteries of the Greeks, in consequence of which he had changed the name of his son, who at his birth was named Agenarichus, into that of Serapio.

26. These two leaders were followed by five other kings who were but little inferior in power to themselves, by ten petty princes, a vast number of nobles, and thirty-five thousand armed men, collected from various nations partly by pay, and partly by a promise of requiting their service by similar assistance on a future day.

27. The trumpets now gave forth a terrible sound; Severus, the Roman general in command of the left wing, when he came near the ditches filled with armed men, from which the enemy had arranged that those who were there concealed should suddenly rise up, and throw the Roman line into confusion, halted boldly, and suspecting some yet hidden ambuscade, neither attempted to retreat nor advance.

28. Seeing this, Julian, always full of courage at the moment of the greatest difficulty, galloped with an escort of two hundred cavalry through the ranks of the infantry at full speed, addressing them with words of encouragement, as the critical circumstances in which they were placed required.

29. And as the extent of the space over which they were spread and the denseness of the multitude thus collected into one body, would not allow him to address the whole army (and also because on other accounts he wished to avoid exposing himself to malice and envy, as well as not