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Marcus Cassius Scaeva

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Legionaries in the graphic
Legionaries in graphics

Roman sources have left us messages about many Roman heroes. One of them was Marcus Cassius Scaeva – centurion of Julius Caesar during the civil war with Pompey. After the battle of Dyrrachium (48 BCE), he was the head of the cohort, which belonged to legio VI. The aim of this unit was to defend a certain fortress against the four legions of Pompey’s army.

According to Suetonius, the commander was to stand in the gate of the stronghold and repel the attacks of enemies with “one eye gone, his thigh and shoulder wounded, and his shield bored through in a hundred and twenty places”. Scaeva, moreover, allegedly had summoned a centurion from a hostile army to send soldiers to safely lead him out of the battlefield as a deserter. Centurion gave the order to two of his soldiers – one of them was killed by Scaeva and the other lost his hand. What’s more, Scaeva’s fortress survived.

  • Suetonius, The Life of Julius Caesar , I.68

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