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On this page: Brent Us – Brettus – Briareus – Briennius – Brietes – Briganticus – Brimo – Brinno – Brisaeus – Briseis – Briseus



2. The leader of a body of Gauls, who had settled in Pannonia, and who moved southwards and broke into Greece b. c. "2/9, one hundred and eleven years after the taking of Rome.

Pyrrhus of Epeirus was then absent in Italy. The infamous Ptolemy Cenuuius had just estab­lished himself on the throne of Macedon. Athens was again free under Olympiodorus (Paus. i. 26), and the old Achaean league had been renewed, with the promise of brighter days in the Pelopon­nesus, when the inroad of the barbarians threatened all Greece with desolation.

Brennus entered Paeonia at the same time that

two other divisions of the Gauls invaded Thrace

-and Macedonia. On returning home, the easy

victory which his countrymen had gained over

Ptolemy in Macedon, the richness of the country,

and the treasures of the temples, furnished him

'with arguments for another enterprise, and he again

advanced southward with the enormous force of

150,000 foot and 61,000 horse. (Paus. x. 19.)

After ravaging Macedonia (Justin. xxiv. 6) he marched through Thessaly towards Thermopylae. Here an army of above 20,000 Greeks was assem­bled to dispute the pass, while a fleet of Athenian triremes lay close in shore, commanding the narrow road between the foot of the cliffs and the beach.

On arriving at the Spercheius, Brennus found the bridges broken, and a strong advanced post of the Greeks on the opposite bank. He waited therefore till night, and then sent a body of men down the river, to cross it where it spreads itself over some marshy ground and becomes fordable. On the Gauls gaining the right bank, the advanced post of the Greeks fell back upon Thermopylae. Brennus repaired the bridges and crossed the river, and advanced hastily by Heracleia towards the pass. At daybreak the fight began. But the ill-armed and undisciplined Gauls rushed in vain upon the Grecian phalanx, and after repeated attacks of incredible fury they were forced to retire with great loss. Brennus then despatched 40,000 of his men across the mountains of Thesssaly into Aetolia, which they ravaged with horrible barbarity. This had the intended effect of detaching the Aetolians from the allied army at Thermopylae; and about the same time some Heracleots betrayed the pass over the mountains by which, two hundred 3Tears before, the Persians had descended on the rear of the devoted Spartans. The Gaul followed the same path. But the Greeks this time, though again surrounded, escaped; for the Athenian fleet carried them safely away before the Gauls attacked them. (Paus. x. 22.)

Brennus, without waiting for those whom he had left on the other side of the pass, pushed on for the plunder of Delphi. Justin says the bar­barians laughed at the notion of dedication to the gods (xxiv. 6) : " The gods were so rich them­selves that they could afford to be givers instead of receivers ;'' and as he approached the sacred hill, he pointed out the statues, and chariots, and other offerings, which were conspicuous around the tem­ple, and which he promised as the golden prizes of the victory. (Justin. xxiv. 8.)

The Delphians had collected about 4000 men on the rock,—a small number to oppose the host of Brennus. But they were strongly posted, and the advantage of the ground, and their own steady conduct, manifestly saved the temple without the supernatural help of Apollo, which is given to them


by the Greek and Roman historians. As the Gauls rushed on from below, the Greeks plied their darts, and rolled down broken rocks from the cliff upon them. A violent storm and intense cold (for it was winter) increased the confusion of the assail­ants. They nevertheless pressed on, till Brennus fainted from his wounds, and was earned out of the fight. They then fled. The Greeks, exas­perated by their barbarities, hung on their retreat, through a difficult and mountainous country, and but few of them escaped to their comrades, whom they had left behind at Thermopylae. ( Paus. x. 23.)

Brennus was still alive, and might have re­covered from his wounds, but according to Pausa-nias he would not survive his defeat, and put an end to his life with large draughts of strong wine—a more probable account than that of Justin (xxiv. 8), who says that being unable to bear the pain of his wounds,- he stabbed himself. [A. G.]

BRENT US (Bpei/Tos), a son of Heracles, who was regarded as the founder of the town of Bren- tesium or Brundusium, on the Adriatic. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Bpevrtfcrioi'.) [L. S.]

BRIAREUS. [aegaeon.]

BRETTUS (Burros), a son of Heracles, from whom the Tyrrhenian town of Brettus and the country of Brettia derived their names. (Steph. Byz. s. v.) [L. S.]

BRIENNIUS, JOANNES, a Greek scholiast on the Basilica, of uncertain date and history. (Basilica, vol. iii. p. 186, Fabrot.) [J. T. G.j

BRIETES, a painter, the father of Pausias of Sicyon. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 11. s. 40.) [W. I.J

BRIGANTICUS, JU'LIUS, was born among the Batavi, and was the son of the sister of Civilis, who hated and was in turn hated by his nephew. Briganticus commanded a squadron of cavalry, with which he first revolted to Caecina, the gene­ral of Vitellius, and afterwards to Vespasian, in A. d. 70. He served under Cerialis in Germany against his uncle Civilis, and fell in battle in this war, a. d. 71. (Tac. Hist. ii. 22, iv. 70, v. 21.)

BRIMO (Bp/yuco), the angry or the terrifying, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Hecate or Persephone (Apollon. Rhod. iii. 861, 1211; Tzetz. ad Lycopli. 1171), Demeter (Arnob. v. p. 170), and Cybele. (Theodoret. Ther. i. 69.9.) The Scholiast on Apollonius (L c.) gives a second derivation of Brimo from Bp6j*os, so that it Avould refer to the crackling of the fire, as Hecate was conceived bearing a torch. [L. S.J

BRINNO, a German of noble birth, was chosen leader of his people, the Canninefates, in their at­tack upon the Romans in a. d. 70. (Tac. Hist. iv. 15.)

BRISAEUS (Bp^o-cobs), a surname of Dio­ nysus, derived from mount Brisa in Lesbos (Steph. Byz. s. v. BptVa), or from a nymph Brisa, who was said to have brought up the god. (Schol. ad I*ers. Sat. i. 76.) [L. S.]

BRISEIS (RpHTijis), a patronymic from Briseus, and the name of Hippodameia, the daugh­ ter of Briseus of Lyrnessus, who fell into the hands of Achilles, and about whom the quarrel arose between Achilles and Agamemnon. (Horn. II. i. 184, &c.; achilles.) [L. S.]

BRISEUS (Bpi(T^s\ the father of Briseis, was a son of Ardys and king of the Leleges at Pedasus, or a priest at Lyrnessus. (Horn. 77. i. 392, ii. 689.) Briseus is said to have hanged himself when he lost his daughter. (Diet. Cret. ii. 17.) [L. S.]

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