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Single Combat in the Roman Republic*

  • S. P. Oakley (a1)
Abstract

In his discussion of Roman military institutions Polybius described how the desire for fame might inspire Roman soldiers to heroic feats of bravery, including single combat: (6.54.3–4) τ⋯ δ⋯ μέγιστον, οἱ νέοι παρορμ⋯νται πρ⋯ς τ⋯ π⋯ν ὑπομένειν ὑπ⋯ρ τ⋯ν κοιν⋯ν πραγμάτων χάριν το⋯ τυχεῖν τ⋯ς συνακολουθούσης τοῖς ⋯γαθοῖς τ⋯ν ⋯νδρ⋯ν εὐκλείας. πίστιν δ' ἔχει τ⋯ λεγόμενον ⋯κ τούτων. πολλο⋯ μ⋯ν γ⋯ρ ⋯μονο-μάχησαν ⋯κουσίως Ῥωμαίων ὑπ⋯ρ τ⋯ς τ⋯ν ὅλων κρίσεως κτλ. Modern scholars, however, have taken little notice of this remark and some have tried to belittle the importance of single combat at Rome. Thus G. Dumézil alleged that the Romans fought few single combats and that this was significant for their outlook upon war, while R. Bloch described the duels in the seventh book of Livy as ‘un mode de combat absolument étranger à la tradition romaine, mail auquel les Romains ont été contraints par les habitudes et par les défis des Celtes’. W. V. Harris is the only scholar to have understood the importance of monomachy in the Roman Republic, but even he has not assembled all the evidence necessary for an accurate assessment of the phenomenon. This essay is intended to provide a full treatment and thus to make some contribution in a limited but interesting area to our understanding of Roman attitudes to warfare. I have included a list and discussion of all instances of single combat from the Roman Republic which I have discovered and have argued that the custom continued from prehistoric times at least to 45 b.c.

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1 La Religion Romaine Archaïque (1966), 212 = Archaic Roman Religion [trans. Krapp] P. (1970), i. 210 ‘single combats are exceptional’.

2 Bayet J. and Bloch R., Tite-Live Histoire Romaine Tome vii (1968), 109.

3 War and Imperialism in Republican Rome 327–70 B.C. (1979), 38–9.

4 22.6.2–4.

5 Keegan J., The Face of Battle (1976), 100.

6 Loc. cit. above.

7 1.24.1 ‘tamen in re tam clara nominum error mallet, utrius populi Horatii, utrius Curiatii fuerint’.

8 On the Horatii and Curiatii see in particular Münzer F., RE iv. 1830–1 and viii. 2321–7 and also Ogilvie on Liv. 1.24.1–26.14. Apart from Livy there is a long narrative at Dion. Hal. 3.13.1–22.10.

9 See DH 10.37.3, Val. Max. 3.2.24, Plin. nat. 7.101, Gell. 2.11.3 and Fest. 208 L.; also Münzer, RE ii A.2189–90 and the discussion below.

10 See Diod. 12.64.3, Liv. 4.29.5–6, Gell. 1.13.7, 17.21.17; also Snodgrass A. M., JHS 95 (1965), 119–20.

11 The principal sources for the exploit of Manlius are Quadr. fr. 10 (Peter), Liv. 7.9.6–10.4, DH 14.12, Zon. 7.24. Others are listed by Broughton T. R. S., The Magistrates of the Roman Republic [henceforth MRR] (1951), i. 119. On the duels of Torquatus and Valerius Corvus with their respective Gauls see Bayet–Bloch, op. cit. (n. 2), 108–17 (to be used with caution) and Neraudeau J.-P. in Mélanges … J. Heurgon (1976), 685–94, who discusses Manlius in connection with the iuuentus in the Early Republic. The accounts of Livy and Quadrigarius have often been compared; in addition to Neraudeau see for example Heinze R., Die Augusteische Kultur (1930), 97102 = Burck E. (ed.), Wege zu Livius (1967), 378–9, Büchner K., Römische Literaturgeschichte 3 (1962), 360–5 = Burck, op. cit., 380–2, Luce T. J., Livy: The Composition of his History (1977), 224–6 and Lipovsky J. P., A Historiographical Study of Livy Books Six to Ten (1981), 95.

12 See MRR i. 129. The main sources are Liv. 7.26.1–10, DH 15.1.1–4, Zon. 7.25 and Gell. 9.11.1–10 = Quadr. fr. 12 P (which, however, should not be ascribed to Quadrigarius). Terzaghi N., St. Etr. 8 (1934), 157–64, argued that in earlier versions of the story the bird was not made to peck the Gaul and that the references to this in the fragment ascribed wrongly to Quadrigarius are interpolations by Gellius from a later account. Since there are no inconsistencies to be explained away this is all special pleading. Still more incredible is his attempt to link Rutilius Rufus with the formation of the story.

13 See Diod. 5.30.2 κράνη δ⋯ χαλκ⋯ περιτίθενται μεγάλας ⋯ξοχ⋯ς ⋯ξ ⋯αυτ⋯ν ἔχοντα κα⋯ παμμεγέθη ɸαντασίαν ⋯πιɸέροντα τοῖς χρωμένοις. τοῖς μ⋯ν γ⋯ρ πρόσκειται συμɸυ⋯ κέρατα, τοῖς δ⋯ ⋯ρνέων ἢ τετραπόδων ζῴων ⋯κτετυπωμέναι προτομαί. Sil. 5.132–6 describes animals on a Gallic helmet (on this passage see Nicol J., The Historical and Geographical Sources Used by Silius Italicus [1936], 156). Note also Bloch R., REL 47 bis (1969), 165–72 and Keppie L. J. F., Colonisation and Veteran Settlement in Italy 47–14 B.C. (1983), 30.

14 See e.g. Gabba E., JRS 31 (1981), 61.

15 Nos. 74–232 and 75–509; illustrations in Bayet-Bloch, op. cit. (n. 2), figs 1 and 2 and Terzaghi, op. cit. (n. 12), 163. For further discussion in the context of the legend of Aeneas and Turnus, see Small J. P., AJA 78 (1974), 4954 and Studies related to the Theban Cycle on Late Etruscan Urns (1981), 116–21.

16 Rightly rejected by Terzaghi; the idea was developed by Bloch, op. cit. (n. 2), 113–17.

17 The main sources are Liv. 8.7.1–22, App. Samn. 3, Dio fr. 35.2, Zon. 7.26; see further MRR i. 136–7, Münzer F., RE xiv. 1187–8 and Nisbet R. G. M., CQ 9 (1959), 73–4.

18 See Münzer F., RE xiii. 853–4.

19 Marc. 2.1 Μάρκελλος δ⋯ πρ⋯ς οὐδ⋯ν μ⋯ν ἦν μάχης εἶδος ⋯ργ⋯ς οὐδ⋯ ⋯νάσκητος, αὐτ⋯ς δ' ⋯αυτο⋯ κράτιστος ⋯ν τῷ μονομαχεῖν γενόμενος οὐδεμίαν πρόκλησιν ἔɸνγε, πάντας δ⋯ τοὺς προκαλεσαμένους ⋯πέκτεινεν.

20 12.197–8.

21 See Liv. 45.39.16, Plut. Aem. 31.2, Crawford M. H., Roman Republican Coinage (1974), i. 289.

22 4.264–310. Note also 5.137–9 (referring to the helmet of Flaminius): ‘nobile Gargeni spolium, quod rege superbus | Boiorum caeso capiti illacerabile uictor | aptarat, pugnasque decus portabat in omnes’. This may provide further evidence for Silius' understanding of the nature of the Gallic wars.

23 However, the view of Nicol, op. cit. (n. 13), 155 that the abuse spoken by Crixus at 279–81 represents Silius' ethnographical research (in the passage cited below Diodorus records this Gallic boasting and it was probably to be found in Poseidonius) seems fanciful, since such invective is regular in epic. Does the reply of Scipio (286–8) come from ethnographical research?

24 4.355–400.

25 22.44.4, 25.9.7 and 28.33.3 are somewhat less close.

26 See Liv. 23.46.12–47.8, Sil. 13.142–78 and App. Han. 161 (who dates the episode to 211).

27 56 P.

28 See also Nicolet C., MEFRA 74 (1962), 495.

29 See Liv. 25.18.4–15. The story is told differently by Val. Max. 5.1.3.

30 Han. 160.

31 Lib. 188–9.

32 For the sources see Walbank on Pol. 35.5.1–2 and Astin A. E., Scipio Aemilianus (1967), 46 n. 4.

33 See Val. Max. 3.2.21 and Liv. ep. Oxy. 53–4 (slightly divergent) and, for discussion, Kornemann E., Die neue Livius-Epitome (1904), 5960 and Münzer, RE xvii. 1763. There is, however, no need to believe that these stories about Occius were invented under the influence of the career of Siccius Dentatus (no. 2): such influence is more probable from the historical figure to the legendary.

34 See e.g. Liv. 25.18.9 ‘si parum publicis foederibus ruptis dirempta simul et priuata iura esse putet, Badium Campanum T. Quinctio Crispino Romano palam duobus exercitibus audientibus renuntiare hospitium’.

35 See Kinsella, op. cit. (n. 79), 130 and 181 ‘Then they bitterly reproached each other and they broke off their friendship’.

36 7.299–307.

37 6.119–236.

38 I am grateful to Mr G. Herman, who is writing a book on guest-friendship, for discussing this material with me.

39 Mar. 3.2.

40 Frontin. strat. 4.7.5.

41 Ampel. 22.4 ‘Lucius Opimius sub Lutatio Catulo consule in saltu Tridentino prouocatorem Cimbrum interfecit’.

42 Civ. 1.50.219–20.

43 See Barabino G. in Studi Noniani, ed. Bertini F. and Barabino G. (1967), i. 138–41 and Rawson E. D., CQ 29 (1979), 339. The relevant fragments are 70, 96, 121 P; cf. also 71 and 72.

44 Plut. Sert. 13.3–4.

45 See Münzer F., RE vii A. 241, for the sources, which stem from Varro, who served with Pompey. Pliny describes the incident thus: (nat. 7.81) ‘atque etiam hostem ab eo ex prouocatione dimicantem inermi dextera superatum et postremo correptum uno digito in castra tralatum’.

46 Per. 8. By far the best treatment of this incident is to be found in the unpublished Oxford doctoral thesis of Henderson J. G. W., Anecdote and Satire in Phaedrus (1976), 370–85. This is also the best treatment of the Latin literary sources for single combat, and I owe much to it. Henderson has no difficulty in demolishing on pp. 372–3 the fantasy of Havet L., RPh 22 (1898), 177–8, that this tale is based upon the story of the son of Tritanus.

47 Hirt. Gall. 8.48.1–7.

48 [Caes.] Hisp. 25.3–5.

49 [Quint.] decl. min. 317 (pp. 246–9 Ritter).

50 Liv. 4.19.1–6 (almost certainly annalistic reconstruction). However, Propertius (4.10.23–38) describes the exploit of Cossus in terms of a formal duel and Valerius Maximus does the same for Romulus (3.2.3; contrast Liv. 1.10.4 and DH 2.33.2).

51 Dio 51.24.4; see also Groag E., RE xiii 1. 276–7.

52 See the graphic description at Plut. Marc. 6.1–8.6, which may well go back to an eye–witness account.

53 2.6.6–9, 5.36.6–7 and 9.22.4–11 (where Livy's whole account should be rejected as unhistorical; see e.g. Sanctis G. De, Storia dei Romani [1907], ii. 318–23 and Salmon E. T., Samnium and the Samnites [1967], 233–36).

54 Diod. 36.10.1 and 37.23; see also Vogt J., Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology (1974), 77–8.

55 23.23.6.

56 See below n. 141.

59 Cf. also Men. 184–8, Poen. 470–3 and Truc. 621–9.

58 Op. cit. (n. 3), 37–8 and 252.

59 The Campanian evidence is discussed below.

60 For the reconstruction of the primitive ritual, see Charles-Picard G., Les Trophées romains (1957), 130–3 and, especially, Warren L. Bonfante, JRS 60 (1970), 50–7; contra Versnel H. S., Triumphus (1970), 304–13.

61 See e.g. Fowler W. Warde, CR 30 (1916), 153, Picard, Bonfante Warren and Versnel locc. citt. The antiquity of the ceremony was affirmed by Latte K., Römische Religionsgeschichte (1960), 126.

62 The literature on the change from the aristocratic mode of fighting to hoplite warfare is enormous; see e.g. Momigliano A. D., JRS 53 (1963), 117–21,56 (1966),1624, Snodgrass A. M., JHS 85 (1965), 116–20 and Sumner G. V., JRS 60 (1970), 6778.

63 This evidence is assembled and used to illuminate Campanian attitudes to warfare by Nicolet C., MEFRA 74 (1962), 463517, but he was wrong to argue that the artistic evidence pointed to a lost tradition of epic poetry. For a more sophisticated treatment of the Campanian cavalry placing them in their social setting, see Frederiksen M. W., DdA 2 (1968), 331 (and cf. Campania [1984], 143–8).

64 Davie M. R., The Evolution of War: A Study of its Role in Early Societies (1929), 176–95 (especially 177–9). The following paragraphs draw heavily upon this work.

65 See Lea H. C. in Bohannan P. (ed.) Law and Warfare: Studies in the Anthropology of Conflict (1967), 233–53.

66 E. A. Hoebel in Bohannan, op. cit., 195–201.

67 See Keane A. H., Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 13 (1884), 207.

68 See Best E., Journal of the Polynesian Society (henceforth JPS) 12 (1903), 37–9, 13 (1904), 75, The Children of the Mist [Memoirs of the Polynesian Society 6] (1925), 334–5, Tregear E., The Maori Race (1904), 368–70, Downes T. W., JPS 38 (1929), 164, Buck P. H., The Coming of the Maori (1950), 399, Kelly L. G., Tainui: The Story of Hoturoa and his Descendants [Memoirs of the Polynesian Society 25] (1949), 157–8, Vayda A. P., Maori Warfare [Polynesian Society Monographs 2] (1960), 65–7 = Bohannan, op. cit. (n. 65), 370–1.

69 JPS 12 (1903), 37.

70 Downes, loc. cit., believed this to be the general rule.

71 See Best quoted below.

72 Kelly, loc. cit. (n. 68).

73 Buck, loc. cit (n. 68), has a description of one such incident.

74 JPS 13 (1904), 75.

75 See Bancroft H. H., The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America (1875), i. 105–6.

76 Davie, op. cit. (n. 64), 178.

77 See Dawson J., Australian Aborigines (1881), 77, Howitt A. W., The Native Tribes of South East Australia (1904), 332, Davie, op. cit. (n. 64), 178.

78 I am aware that the historicity of events described in these sagas is the subject of debate. In using the sagas as evidence for the ancient Celtic attitude to monomachy I have adopted a position close to that of e.g. Jackson K. H., The Oldest Irish Tradition: A Window on the Iron Age (1964), especially 30–1, and MacCana P., Études Celtiques 13 (1972/1973), 61119.

79 See pages 4–5, 27, 28, 32, 37–8, 40–5, 73, 88–101, 111–12, 114, 119–42, 164–7, 168–205 in the translation of Kinsella T. entitled The Tain (1969).

80 Tac. Germ. 10.3.

81 Biblical scholars have tended to concentrate their energies on elucidating the complexities and problems of the tale rather than in considering the function of single combat in Jewish society at the time of Saul and David. For discussion of the story of David and Goliath see e.g. Hertzberg H. W., I and II Samuel: A Commentary [trans. Bowden J. W.] (1964), 142–55, De Vries S. J., Journal of Biblical Literature 92 (1973), 2336, Jason H., Biblica 60 (1979), 3670. A notable exception is R. de Vaux, who has discussed single combat in the Old Testament in an article variously reprinted: Biblica 40 (1959), 495508 = Bible et Orient (1967), 217–30 = The Bible and the Ancient Near East [trans. McHugh D.] (1972), 122–35. I cite the English translation, to which I owe much.

82 Quotations from the New English Bible (1970).

83 Cf. I Chron. 20.4–8.

84 Cf. I Chron. 11.21–5.

85 See Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 21 (1948), 110–16.

86 II Sam. 8.18, 20.23.

87 See de Vaux, op. cit. (n. 81), 127–9.

88 Op. cit. (n. 81), 129.

89 There is no synoptic treatment of single combat in Ancient Greece. Note, however, Armstrong A. M., GR 19 (1950), 73–9, Glück J. J., AC 7 (1964), 2531, Fenik B., Typical Battle Scenes in the Iliad [Historia Einzelschriften 21] (1968), Ilari V., Guerra e diritto nel mondo antico (1980), i. 54–5. Hellenistic examples are well discussed by Hornblower J., Hieronymus of Cardia (1981), 194–6.

90 Much has been written on this change; see e.g. Snodgrass A. M., JHS 85 (1965), 110–22, Cartledge P., JHS 97 (1977), 1127 and J. B. Salmon, ibid. 84–101.

91 Op. cit. (n. 89).

92 See Hes. frr. 23 and 176 M-W, Hdt. 9.26.3–5, Paus. 1.41.2, 44.10, 4.30.1, 8.5.1, 45.3 and 53.10.

93 Strab. 8.3.33, Paus. 5.4.2–3.

94 Strab. 9.1.7, Frontin. strat. 2.5.41, Paus. 2.18.9, Polyaen. 1.19.

95 Hdt. 5.94.1–2, Strab. 13.1.38, Plut. mor. 858a–b, Diog. Laert. 1.74, Polyaen. 1.25.

96 1.82.1–8.

97 In 420 b.c.; see Thuc. 5.41.2. The original contest should be placed at some point in the middle of the sixth century.

98 5.1.1–2.1; the date is uncertain but must be before the campaign of Melabazus against the Perinthians.

99 Op. cit. (n. 89), 78.

100 Hdt. 6.92.2–3.

101 Plut. Pyrrh. 7.4–5, 24.1–4;16.8–10 and 30.5–6, though they illustrate Pyrrhus' temperament, are somewhat different.

102 Op. cit. (n. 89).

103 See Iust. 23.4.12 ‘Denique aduersus prouocatores saepe pugnauit semperque uictoriam reportauit’.

104 For an interesting discussion of this tension in Spartan society, see Hodkinson S., Chiron 13 (1983), 239–81.

105 Horace et les Curiaces (1942), 11–33.

106 See e.g. Bayet-Bloch, op. cit. (n. 2), 109–13 and REL 47 bis (1969), 166–8.

107 See above.

108 See ‘L'Exploit de Titus Manlius Torquatus’ in Mélanges…J. Heurgon (1976), 685–94 and La Jeunesse dans la Littérature et les Institutions de la Rome Républicaine (1979), especially 249–58.

109 (1979), 249.

110 (1979), 249–50.

111 8.12.1 ‘cui uenienti seniores tantum obuiam exisse constat, iuuentutem et tunc et omni uita deinde auersatam eum exsecratamque’. See (1976), 688.

112 (1976), passim. Note 7.10.1 ‘diu inter primores iuuenum Romanorum silentium fuit’, 10.5 ‘armant inde iuuenem aequales’, 10.12 ‘Romani alacres ab statione obuiam militi suo progressi…ad dictatorem perducunt’.

113 7.10.2–4.

114 See (1976), 692: ‘ensuite l'arrivée des Gaulois suscite des héroismes et le retour à des pratiques guerrières fondées sur le furor et la magie’.

115 See (1976), 692–4 and (1979), 255–6.

116 See e.g. DH 3.19.1–2.

117 See Lipovsky, op. cit. (n. 11), 102–31 for this theme in Livy Books 6–10.

118 On deuotio see now the wide-ranging and suggestive essay on substitutionary sacrifice by Versnel H. S. in Le Sacrifice dans L'Antiquité [Fondation Hardt Entretiens Tome 27] (1981), 135–94.

119 Enemy forces would sometimes flee after the death of their champion; see Liv. 7.11.1 and amongst other societies the practice of the Maoris (for which see Best E., JPS 12 [1903], 37, L. G. Kelly, op. cit. [n. 68], 158 ‘The enemy became panic stricken at the unexpected and sudden end of their leader, and took to flight’, Vayda, op. cit. [n. 68], 367), the flight of the Philistines after Goliath's death (I Sam. 17.51) and also e.g. Plut. Pyrrh. 24.4, Arr. an. 4.24.4–5.

120 There is a good collection of passages illustrating the Roman view of their military discipline by Fiebiger at RE v. 1176–83; see also Lind L. R., TAPhA 102 (1972), 252–3 and note amongst the obiter dicta of ancient authors e.g. Cic. Tusc. 1.2 ‘quid loquar de re militari? in qua cum uirtute nostri multum ualuerunt, turn plus etiam disciplina’, Liv. 2.44.10, Val. Max. 2.7 praef. ‘uenio nunc ad praecipuum decus et ad stabilimentum Romani imperii, salutari perseuerantia ad hoc tempus sincere et incolume seruatum, militaris disciplinae tenacissimum uinculum’.

121 See Liv. 7.10.2–4, 26.2, 23.47.1, 25.18.12, Phaedr. Per. 8.18–25 (where Henderson aptly compares the ‘licet’ of Phaedrus with Liv. 23.47.1 ‘percontaretur liceretne extra ordinem in prouocantem hostem pugnare’), Sil. 13.153–6. Liv. 25.18.12 ‘itaque tantum moratus dum imperatores consuleret permitterentne sibi extra ordinem in prouocantem hostem pugnare’ is remarkably similar in phrasing to 23.47.1. This shows that Livy thought of these scenes in a formulaic manner.

122 See conveniently Walsh P. G., Livy: His Historical Aims and Methods (1961), 71.

123 3.2.21.

124 10.15.4–6.

125 4.25.3–5.

126 5.43.6–7.

127 5.44.1–13.

128 6.38.1–4.

129 7.12.6.

130 7.47–51.

131 CPh 15 (1920), 158–75; cf. Watson G. R., The Roman Soldier (1969), 118.

132 For Livy's view of the matter see further 24.8.3–6.

133 Note especially Caes. Gall. 2.30.4 ‘nam plerumque hominibus Gallis prae magnitudine corporum suorum breuitas nostra contemptui est’. Further illustrative material is collected by Goodyear on Tac. ann. 1.64.2 and by Sherwin-White A. N., Racial Prejudice in Imperial Rome (1967), 57–8; add Sil. 5.110–13 and Veg. mil. 1.1.

134 Griffin J., Homer on Life and Death (1980), 45.

135 Marc. 7.1.

136 Plut. Pyrrh. 24.1–4.

137 Quoted and discussed by Dawson R. M. in Medieval Literature and Folklore Studies [Essays…F. L. Utley] (1970), 305–21, especially 310–21.

138 Lüthi M., Journal of the Folklore Institute 4 (1967), 316. Also analogous are the tales of ill-equipped brigands defying the might of the Roman Emperor; see Shaw B. D., Past and Present 105 (1984), 352 (esp. 43–52) for discussion and analysis from a different point of view.

139 See Harris, op. cit. (n. 3), 9–53 and Hopkins M. K., Conquerors and Slaves (1978), 2537 for recent discussion.

140 See the thorough survey of Maxfield V. A., The Military Decorations of the Roman Army (1981).

141 The four descriptions of the career of Siccius are remarkably similar. Pliny allows Dentatus thirty-four spolia as opposed to Valerius, who recorded thirty-six (though one set of manuscripts may be corrupt), and also records that he took ten prisoners and twenty-one oxen on one occasion and that he was rewarded with a bag of money. Gellius agrees exactly with Valerius. The account of DH, however, is much more extensive. In it one finds, for instance, that on one day Siccius received twelve wounds (37.2), but DH disagrees with Valerius in making Siccius fight nine duels and not eight. Perhaps all four depend ultimately upon Varro, who was cited by Valerius and was interested in such matters (cf. the son of Tritanus, no. 27), though Gellius cites the annalists as his source; see also Maxfield, op. cit. (n. 140), 43–5 for discussion of sources.

142 Similarly commanders might keep a count of the number of battles in which they had fought; see Plin. nat. 7.92 (Julius Caesar compared with the great Marcellus).

143 The standard discussions of spolia are by Marquardt J., Römische Staatsverwaltung ii 2 (1884), 579–81, Lammert F., RE iii A1843–6, K. Latte, op. cit. (n. 61), 129 and H. S. Versnel, loc. cit. (n. 60).

144 Compare e.g. Liv. 6.20.8 and Plin. nat. 7.103.

145 Honourable scars might be of use to a Roman both in his political career and if he was in danger of conviction. Note in particular Cic. 2 Verr. 5.3 ‘ipse [sc. M. Antonius] arripuit M.' Aquilium constituitque in conspectu omnium tunicamque eius a pectore abscidit ut cicatrices populus Romans iudicesque aspicerent aduerso corpore exceptas; simul et de illo uulnere quod ille in capite ab hostium duce acceperat multa dixit eoque adduxit eos qui erant iudicaturi, uehementer ut uererentur ne quem uirum fortuna ex hostium telis eripuisset cum sibi ipse non pepercisset, hic non ad populi Romani laudem sed ad iudicum crudelitatem uideretur esse seruatus’ (Antonius' speech was famous; cf. especially in this context Cic. or. 2.124, Liv. per. 70), Liv. 6.20.8 ‘nudasse pectus insigne cicatricibus bello acceptis’ (cf. Plin. nat. 7.103 ‘XXIII cicatrices aduerso corpore exceperat’), 45.39.16–17 ‘“insigne corpus honestis cicatricibus omnibus aduerso corpore exceptis habeo”. Nudasse deinde se dicitur’ and Ter. Eun. 482–3 ‘neque pugnas narrat neque cicatrices suas | ostentat’. Marius contrasted his scars with the imagines of the nobles (Plut. Mar. 9.2). For other passages mentioning scars see e.g. Liv. 2.23.4, 27.2, 4.58.13, 6.14.6, Val. Max. 6.2.8 and 7.7.1. On the mutilated M. Sergius see Plin. nat. 7.104–5.

146 Nos. 10 and 11 above.

* My interest in single combat was first aroused by reading Livy, but the stimulus to write on this topic came from a suggestion of ProfessorHarris W. V. (see War and Imperialism in Republican Rome 327–70 B.C. [1979], 39 n. 1). An earlier version of this paper was read by Mr M. H. Crawford, Dr T. J. Comell, Professor Harris, Dr J. G. W. Henderson and Dr P. C. Millett. I am grateful to them for their helpful suggestions (and also to all others who have discussed single combat with me), but it should not be assumed that they agree with all that I have written. I am especially indebted to Dr Henderson for the loan of his own copy of his unpublished D.Phil. thesis.

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