Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/200
grew fierce, while all the squadrons hastened with speed and alacrity to the attack, and our men on their side opposed them with equal fierceness and resolution.
7. Soon many of the enemy fell with their heads crushed by vast stones hurled from scorpions, some were pierced with arrows, others were transfixed with javelins, and strewed the ground with their bodies; others, wounded, fled back in haste to their comrades.
8. Nor was there less grief or less slaughter in the city, where the cloud of arrows obscured the air, and the vast engines, of which the Persians had got possession when they took Singara, scattered wounds everywhere.
9. For the garrison, collecting all their forces, returning in constant reliefs to the combat, in their eagerness to defend the city, fell wounded, to the hindrance of their comrades, or, being sadly torn as they fell, threw down those who stood near them, or if still alive, sought the aid of those skilful in extracting darts which had become fixed in their bodies.
10. So slaughter was met by slaughter, and lasted till the close of day, being scarcely stopped by the darkness of evening, so great was the obstinacy with which both sides fought.
11. And the watches of the night were passed under arms, and the hills resounded with the shouts raised on both sides, while our men extolled the valour of Constantius Caesar as lord of the empire and of the world, and the Persians styled Sapor Saansas and Pyroses, which appellations mean king of kings, and conqueror in wars.
12. The next morning, before daybreak, the trumpet gave the signal, and countless numbers from all sides flocked like birds to a contest of similar violence; and in every direction, as far as the eye could reach, nothing could be seen in the plains and valleys but the glittering arms of these savage nations.
13. And presently a shout was raised, and as the enemy rushed forward all at once, they were met by a dense shower of missiles from the walls; and as may be conjectured, none were hurled in vain, falling as they did among so dense a crowd. For while so many evils surrounded us, we fought as I have said before, with the hope, not of procuring safety, but of dying bravely; and from dawn