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Huge ransom for Gauls

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Brennus measuring gold
Brennus measuring gold

After defeating the Romans, led by consul Marcus Popilius Lenas, the Gauls captured and plundered Rome in July 387 or 386 BCE. Gauls agreed to leave the city subject to the payment of a huge ransom by the Romans, amounting to one thousand Roman pounds of gold (approx. 327 kg).

Titus Livius in his book Ab Urbe Condita wrote that the Gauls provided the scales and weights. The Romans, however, noticed that the weights were forged and dared to inform Brennus about it. Then the Gallic leader drew his sword, threw it on the scale and exclaimed: Vae victis! (“Woe to the vanquished”), forcing the Romans to pay even more.

  • Cary M., Scullard H. H., Dzieje Rzymu. Od czasów najdawniejszych do Konstantyna t. I, Warszawa 1992
  • Krawczuk Aleksander, Kronika starożytnego Rzymu
  • Titus Livy, Ab urbe condita, 5.34-49

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