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Conducting trenches

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman ram and tunnel
Roman ram and tunnel. The latter fortification allowed soldiers to approach the walls of the defending city.

Trenching was an important method of siege warfare in antiquity. According to legend, during the siege of the Etruscan capital Veii in 396 BCE, Roman soldiers digging the tunnel heard a bard over them proclaiming that the victory would be given to the side that offered the gods first to sacrifice the sacred parts of the sacrificial animal.

At that moment, the whole ceremony was performed by the king of the besieged city, who was going to offer tribute to the gods. Suddenly, however, the Roman legionaries finally “punched out” the lecture hall, cut down the gathered people and took over the victim. The city was captured.

  • Titus Livy, Ad urbe condita

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