Page:Roman History of Ammianus Marcellinus.djvu/97
arrived at Autun; behaving like a veteran general conspicuous alike for skill and prowess, and prepared to fall upon the barbarians, who were straggling in every direction over the country, the moment fortune afforded him an opportunity.
3. Therefore having deliberated on his plans, and consulted those who were acquainted with the country as to what would be the safest line of march for him to adopt, after having received much information in favour of different routes, some recommending Arbois, others insisting on it that the best way was by Saulieu and Cure.
4. But as some persons affirmed that Silvanus, in command of a body of infantry, had, a short time before, made his way with 8,000 men by a road shorter than either, but dangerous as lying through many dark woods and defiles suitable for ambuscades, Julian became exceedingly eager to imitate the audacity of this brave man.
5. And to prevent any delay, taking with him only his cuirassiers and archers, who would not have been sufficient to defend his person had he been attacked, he took the same route as Silvanus; and so came to Auxerre.
6. And there, having, according to his custom, devoted a short time to rest, for the purpose of refreshing his men, he proceeded onwards towards Troyes; and strengthened his flanks that he might with the greater effect watch the barbarians, who attacked him in numerous bodies, which he avoided as well as he could, thinking them more numerous than they really were. Presently, however, having occupied some favourable ground, he descended upon one body of them, and routed it, and took some prisoners whom their own fears delivered to him; and then he allowed the rest, who now devoted all their energies to flying with what speed they could, to escape unattacked, as his men could not pursue them by reason of the weight of their armour.
7. This occurrence gave him more hope of being able to resist any attack which they might make, and marching forwards with this confidence, after many dangers he reached Troyes so unexpectedly, that when he arrived at the gates, the inhabitants for some time hesitated to give him entrance into the city, so great was their fear of the straggling multitudes of the barbarians.
8. After a little delay, devoted to again refreshing his weary troops, thinking that there was no time to waste, he proceeded