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Mothers dying after Cannae

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Illustration showing Hannibal fighting in the front line at the Battle of Cannae
Illustration showing Hannibal fighting in the front line at the Battle of Cannae

Titus Livy reports that reportedly the mother of a Roman who managed to escape from the Battle of Cannae in 216 BCE and return to Rome, she died in the hands of her son. Another mother, hearing about her son’s death, sat in grief in front of the house. But when she saw him alive at her door, she died of joy.

As a reminder, a lot of young Romans died in the Battle of Cannae in 216 BCE. Appian of Alexandria reports that 50,000 soldiers were killed on the side of Rome during the clash1. Polybius, in turn, mentions up to 80,000 dead2. The defeat at Cannae was Rome’s greatest defeat in history.

  1. Appian, Wars with Hannibal 25.108
  2. Polybius, The Histories, III.117, 2
  • Titus Livy, Ab urbe condita, 22

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