Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/610
and equal fortune, nor did any one relax in his sternness as long as his courage could give him strength for exertion. But at last the day yielded to the evening, and put an end to the deadly contest: the barbarians all withdrew, in no order, each taking his own path, and our men returned sorrowfully to their tents.
16. Then having paid the honours of burial to some among the dead, as well as the time and place permitted, the rest of the corpses were left as a banquet to the ill-omened birds, which at that time were accustomed to feed on carcases—as is even now shown by the places which are still white with bones. It is quite certain that the Romans, who were comparatively few, and contending with vastly superior numbers, suffered serious losses, while at the same time the barbarians did not escape without much lamentable slaughter.
1. Upon the melancholy termination of this battle, our men sought a retreat in the neighbouring city of Marcianopolis. The Goths, of their own accord, fell back behind the ramparts formed by their waggons, and for seven days they never once ventured to come forth or show themselves. So our soldiers, seizing the opportunity, raised a barrier, and shut in some other vast multitudes of the barbarians among the denies of the Balkan, in hope, forsooth, that this destructive host being thus hemmed in between the Danube and the desert, and having no road by which to escape, must perish by famine, since everything which could serve to sustain life had been conveyed into the fortified cities, and these cities were safe from any attempt of the barbarians to besiege them, since they were wholly ignorant of the use of warlike engines.
2. After this Richomeres returned to Gaul, to convey reinforcements to that country, where a fresh war of greater importance than ever, was anticipated. These events took place in the fourth consulship of Gratian, and the first of Merobaudes, towards the autumn of the year.
3. In the mean time Valens, having heard of the miserable result of these wars and devastions, gave Saturninus the command