Monday, December 19, 2016

Editio VIII

(Patavium, 262 BC)  After the battles in the forest General Lucius Julius Libo marched the two legions north on the Patavium Road. As they moved out of the steep hills and into the Po River valley the legions split. Two hosts of the armies they had fought during the ambush battles in the forest were north and the other east of the Romans.

Tiberius Pulvillus took Legio IV 'Herculia' into the hills to the east but south of the River Po. He failed to catch up to the enemy Vineti forces, a Celtic tribe who declined battle.

Legio I 'Italia' locked in combat with the Veneti Celts
in the Po River valley.
At the same time General Libo marched towards the Po River and came upon a Vineti force of about fifteen hundred warriors. The Celts had not forded the river and were in a precarious position. The Romans fell out of marching mode and deployed into a two line formation; across the valley floor the Romans advanced then charged the Veneti. In short order the Romans charged and enveloped the Vineti. All but a handful of Celts were slain and the famous 1st Legion had won yet again.

General Libo then had a bridge built across the River Po and marched over it into Patavium proper.
On a steep ridge line a garrison army of Celts had formed line of battle, rather than maneuver Libo sent Legio I up the slope into the Vineti. The Celts charged and the two armies clashed in hand to hand combat. Roman discipline and bravery won the battle, but at a heavy cost. Legio I 'Italia' was by now after three consecutive battles at about half strength.
General Libo's Body Guard of heavy cavalry pushing
up the ridge at the edge of the Po River Valley.

With the garrison army defeated Libo and the 1st Legion marched into the barbarian town of Patavium and took possession.

From the spy network that the Romans had in the region word came in of a shocking surprise. The Veneti previous only having one medium sized host to the east of Patavium actually had another very large army just east of the other. The medium sized force had screened the larger more potent Army of Celts. With Legio IV 'Herculia" leagues to the south over the River Po the General and his Legio I 'Italia' were in a very precarious position.

General Libo immediately dispatched riders with orders for his kin General Pulvillus to "bring the 4th Legion up post haste!"
Roman and Veneti clashing on the ridge in front of Patavium.
Campaign Map after Patavium had been taken. Two Roman Armies are in Cisalpine but not in distance to support each
other. To the east and a bit north are two Venti Celt armies. General Libo could be in trouble!

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