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On this page: Brauron – Brauronia – Brennus

BRENNUS.

retreat, perhaps the greatest of his exploits, from Lyncestis ; arid a third before the battle of Ain-phipolis. His own opinion of him seems to have been very high, and indeed we cannot well over­estimate the services he rendered his country. Without his activity, even the utmost temerity in their opponents would hardly have brought Sparta dut of the contest without the utmost disgrace. He is in fact the one redeeming point of the first ten years ; and had his life and career been prolonged, the war would perhaps have come to an earlier conclusion, and one more happy for all parties. As a commander, even our short view of him leads us to ascribe to him such qualities as would have placed his above all other names in the war, though it is true that we see him rather as the captain than the general. To his reputation for " justice, liberality, and wisdom," Thucydides ascribes not only much of his own success, but also the eager­ness shewn for the Spartan alliance after the Athenian disasters at Syracuse. This character was no doubt mainly assumed from motives of policy, nor can we believe him to have had any thought except for the cause of Sparta and his own glory. Of unscrupulous Spartan duplicity he had a full share, adding to it a most unusual dexterity and tact in negotiation ; his powers, too, of elo­quence were, in the judgment of Thucydides, very considerable for a Spartan. Strangely united with these qualities we find the highest personal bravery; apparently too (in Plato's Symposium he is compared to Achilles) heroic strength and beauty. He, too, like Archidamus, was a suc­cessful adaptation to circumstances of the un­wieldy Spartan character: to make himself fit to cope with them he sacrificed, far less, indeed, than was afterwards sacrificed in the age of Lysander, yet too much perhaps to have permitted a return to perfect acquiescence in the ancient discipline. Such rapidity and versatility, such enterprise and daring, were probably felt at Sparta {comp. Thuc. i. 70) as something new and incongruous. His successes, it is known, were regarded there with so much jealousy as even to hinder his obtaining reinforcements. (Thuc. iv. 108.) [A. H. C.]

BRAURON (BpavpowJ, an ancient hero, from whom the Attic demos of Brauron derived its name. (Steph. Byz. s. v.) [L. S.]

BRAURONIA (Bpavpwvia), a surname of Artemis, derived from the demos of Brauron in Attica. Under this name the goddess had a sanc­tuary on the Acropolis of Athens, which contained a statue of her made by Praxiteles. Her image at Brauron, however, was believed to be the most ancient, and the one which Orestes and Iphigeneia had brought with them from Tauris. (Paus. i. 23. § 8 ; Diet, of Ant. s.v. Bpavpcavia.) [L. S.]

BRENNUS. 1. The leader of the Gauls, who in b. c. 390 crossed the Apennines, took Rome, and overran the centre and the south of Italy. His real name was probably either Brenliin, which sig­nifies in Kymrian " a king," or JBran, a proper name which occurs in Welsh history. (Arnold's Rome, vol. i. p. 524.) This makes it probable that he himself, as well as many of the warriors whom he led, belonged to the Kymri of Gaul, though the mass of the invaders are said by Livy (v. 35) and by Diodorus (xiv. 13) to have been Senones, from the neighbourhood of Sens, and must therefore, ac­cording to Caesar's division (B. Q. \. 1) of the Gallic tribes, have been Kelts.

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BRENNUS.

Little is known of him and his Gauls till they came into immediate contact with the Romans, and even then traditionary legends have very much ob­scured the facts of history.

It is clear, however, that, after crossing the Apennines (Diod. xiv. 113; Liv. v. 36), Brennus attacked Clusium, and unsuccessfully. The valley of the Clanis was then open before him, leading down to the Tiber, where the river was fordable; and after crossing it he passed through the country of the Sabines, and advanced along the Salarian road towards Rome. His army now amounted to 70,000 men. (Diod. xiv. 114.) At the Allia, which ran through a deep ravine into the Tiber, about 12 miles from the citv, he found the Roman

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army, consisting of about 40,000 men, strongly posted. Their right wing, composed of the prole­tarians and irregular troops, was drawn up on high ground, covered by the ravine in front and some woody country on the flank ; the left and centre, composed of the regular legions, filled the ground between the hills and the Tiber (Diod. xiv. 114), while the left wing rested on the river itself. Brennus attacked and carried this position, much in the same way as Frederick of Prussia defeated the Austrians at Leuthen. He fell with the whole strength of his army on the right wing of the Ro­mans, and quickly cleared the ground. He then charged the exposed flank of the legions on the left, and routed the whole army with great slaugh­ter. Had lie marched at once upon the city, it would have fallen, together with the Capitol, into his hands, and the name and nation of Rome might have been swept from the earth. But he spent the night on the field. His warriors were busy in cutting off the heads of the slain (Diod. /. c.), and then abandoned themselves to plunder, drunkenness, and sleep. He delayed the whole of the next day, and thus gave the Romans time to secure the Capitol. On the third morning he burst open the gates of the city. Then followed the massacre of the eighty priests and old patricians (Zonar, ii. 23), as they sat, each in the portico of his house, in their robes and chairs of state; the plunder and burning of all the city, except the houses on the Palatine, where Brennus established his quarters (Diod. xiv. 115) ; the famous night attack on the Capitol, and the gallant exploit of Manlius in saving it.

For six months Brennus besieged the Capitol, and at last reduced the garrison to offer 1000 pounds of gold for their ransom. The Gaul brought unfair weights to the scales, and the Roman tri­bune remonstrated. But Brennus then flung his broadsword into the scale, and told the tribune, who asked what it meant, that it meant" vae victis esse," that the weakest goes to the wall.

Polybius says (ii. 18), that Brennus and his Gauls then gave up the city, and returned home safe with their booty. But the vanity of the Ro­mans and their popular legends would not let him so escape. According to some, a large detachment was cut off in an ambush near Caere (Diod. xiv. 117); according to others, these were none others than Brennus and those who had besieged the Capitol. (Strab. v. p. 220.) Last of all, Camillus and a Roman army are made to appear suddenly just at the moment that the gold is being weighed for the Capitol, Brennus is defeated in two battles, he himself is killed, and his whole army slain to a man. (Liv. v. 49.)

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