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Why and How Galls Ruined Rome: Essay on History

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Rome Troops

Let’s start from the very beginning and talk about beautiful boys and excellent wine. Long ago in a beautiful land of Italy, there was a region called Etruria, where a noble and wise man named Arruntius lived. A handsome boy was in his house, whose name was Lucumo. He was an orphan and the richest man among his fellow citizens. Arruntius had been educating Lucumo since he was a child. After the boy had become a grown-up, he did not leave Arruntiuss’ house as he valued his guardian’s society.

That is what everyone was thinking. Actually, a young man seduced his wife and took her away. Shocked Arruntius appealed to the court, but Lucumo had many friends and was not niggard. Poor Arruntius achieved nothing in the court and left his motherland. Then, he “accidentally” met Galls and regaled them with wine. The beverage enraptured Galls so strongly that they took their weapons and families and moved to The Alps to find the land, which gives such an excellent fruit. That’s how Galls invaded Etruria.

Of the International Law Violators and the Black Day in Calendar

Sometime later, Galls besieged the city of Clouseau, Arruntiusses hometown. Townspeople called Rome for help, which was not dominating the whole Apennines yet, but still was tough. Then Rome sent three esteemed ambassadors of Fabio family. Negotiation was not successful, and the ambassadors persuaded Clouseau residents to start the battle.

They committed a sortie, during which Quintus Fabius Ambust killed one of the Gallic chieftains. Whereas ambassadors should not be at war, Brennus (Senones chieftain) recognized the cunning Roman, after that Galls stopped the fight and sent a note of protest to Rome demanding to give them Fabio brothers.


Romans didn’t want to demonstrate respect, left the brothers in Rome and mockingly appointed them as military tribunes. Galls got angry and briskly moved forward to Rome. Local people prepared for the extermination, but barbarians were offended only by Romans, so the others considered as friends.

The military tribunes brought a large army towards the enemy, which, however, consisted of newbies and poorly trained peasants. The end is predictable a bit - Galls dressed Romans down so hard that the day of the Battle of the Allia became funereal and called “dies Alliensis." Survivors of the massacre had fled to Rome and Veii.

In case Galls chased Romans immediately, the glorious history of Rome should have ended, as sons of Romulus panicked so much that they left the gates and streets of the city without any guard. Only Capitol Hill was strengthened, but before weapons and ammo, they gathered religious shrines there (which was not a very apposite decision). However, there is an opinion which states that city walls were far not the top engineering and there was no reason to defend it. Still, it does not honor Romans, of course.

Since the Capitol was not rubber, senators, including priests, ex-consuls and the victors, not wanting to leave the town, put on the sacred and festive clothes while praying to the gods, dooming themselves to the atoning sacrifice for the fatherland, were seated at a forum in the chair of ivory, waiting for their fate…

Of the Ruin of Rome and the Defense of the Capitol

Galls appeared near the city walls only in three days - stunned by the fulminant victory, they were engaged in the collection of killed people armor. Wide opened gates and guardians’ absence made Brennus think that Romans came up with a cunning plan.

He couldn’t explain such stupidity the other way, after all. Yet, he entered the city then. At the forum, invaders found people in rich robes, who calmly sat in their chairs holding staffs and at the sight of the enemy did not even cry out, did not move, kept the poker face. Fascinated by the spectacle, a long time Galls didn’t dare not only to touch but even get closer to the wonderful elderly, hesitating if they are gods or human beings.

At least, some barbarian bashfully decided to touch one senator’s beard. Senator whacked him with his staff, then the gall drew his sword and hacked the old man to death. So, the party got started. After few days Rome was razed to the ground, almost all captives - men and women, old and young - were killed.


Only defenders of the Capitol survived. As Galls didn’t like to teach mathematics and couldn’t build catapults, Capitol assault failed, and invaders fenced it with guards and just gone wild terrorizing the neighborhood. Part of the Galls moved to Ardea, where once expelled from Rome Marcus Furius Camillus lived.

This marvelous man gathered a group of youngsters and suddenly consumed drunken Gall camp. Good news spread among the neighbor cities in a flash, so those who ran into Veii after the Battle of the Allia sent messengers with a proposal to take command of them. He replied that he would agree if the senators on Capitol Hill will take an appropriate decision. The Senate appointed Camillus as a dictator.

Of Geese and Poor Losers

Meanwhile, in Rome, few Galls noticed the place where Camillus’s messenger climbed to Capitol Hill, saw flattened grass and crumbled clods of earth and reported to the Brennus. After committing a site inspection, he gathered a troop that silently climbed the Hill at midnight. Neither the men nor the dogs did not hear and did not sense anything.

But, amongst the Capitol’s fauna Juno temple’s geese turned up. Food scarcity deprived them of sleep, and ugly, insidious birds heard the Galls approach immediately. With a loud cackle, they moved towards the enemies. The cunning plan failed, so Galls no longer hid and noisily rushed forward. But awakened angry Romans were waiting.

After this incident, the Galls no longer climbed to the Capitol. A seven-month siege was devastating for both parties. Romans were out of food while Galls were suffering from pestilence. As a result, exhausted Roman warriors demanded to throw in the towel or pay ransom to the Galls. The Senate decided to make peace and the future “world ruling nation” has been estimated at a thousand pounds of gold.

Geese Saving Rome

The peace terms were confirmed by the oath, Galls were going to leave the ruined city, but suddenly Camillus appeared. The Galls were smashed, the gold remained in Rome, and the Rome was saved (de jure, of course; de facto it was fully burnt). However, it is only patriotic Roman historians’ words. Some say that Camillus was late, Galls took the gold and the newly made dictator only killed some behindhand units.

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