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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 394: The First Battle Between Theonia and Samnite (I) Bahasa Indonesia

Pamot, who was checking the enemy’s situation in the city, was extremely anxious. Still, he did not dare to send the troops out of the city to block them because the enemy had already surrounded Potentia. And the strength of the Samnites far exceeded the information he had received in advance.

Some of the tribes in the southern part of the Potentian territory became careless and did not evacuate in time as they thought that the Samnites were still far away from them. As a result, they were wiped out or captured by the Samnites or got frightened and desperately retreated further south to the territory of Grumentum.

The panic brought by these fleeing Potentian tribes naturally spread to the tribes north of Grumentum, and they too began making clamour about evacuating to the south. Alexius, who had already received the report from the scouts, felt the urgency of the situation, so he resolutely decided that he could no longer wait for the Senate’s order and immediately led the more than 8,000 soldiers who had all returned to the base and march north.

In the military reform in recent years, Davos had not only equipped each legion with a reconnaissance team of 100 men but also took into consideration that fighting in Italy, with its tall mountain, would make the arms of the light infantry to be sore and numb after a series of long-ranged attacks. At the same time, they also needed to assist the hoplites in attacking the enemy’s flank and making a detour to pursuit them, which was no less physically demanding than the hoplites but less efficient in combat. Therefore, after thinking and discussing it with the strategoi, he added a brigade of light armoured soldiers to each legion, wearing leather helmets, breastplates, shields, shin armour and sandals, with their combat weapons being a 1.2-meter-long double-edged thick iron sword. Only young and middle-aged citizens and preparatory citizens who are good at running and climbing mountains are selected into this brigade to assist the hoplites in combat.

At the same time, Davos also reformed the light infantry brigade. Due to Theonia’s excellent slingers mainly coming from Rhodes*, the scarcity of troops made it difficult for the later established legions to recruit more slingers. Thus, except for the first and second legions, which still had slingers, the light infantry brigades of the other legions consisted of half archers and half peltasts. In addition, the number of excellent Thracian light shields could no longer meet the expansion speed of the Theonian legions, so from the fourth legion onwards, there were no longer light shield infantries. And they were now mainly replaced by peltasts and light-armoured soldiers, thus making the legion establishment more simplified and unified. (Balearic Island, which was another place abundant in slingers, is under the control of the Carthaginians.)

Besides the Engineering Brigade, Cavalry Brigade, Medical Brigade and other auxiliary brigades in the legion, there are now nearly 8,700 men in a Theonian legion today and can be described as a large and fully functional legion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

As Alexius goes north, he had also sent someone to inform Bagul to defend the northern territory of Grumentum.

The Lucanian region is mainly mountainous, and Potentia is the highest altitude in the region, with an average height of over 500 metres. Fortunately, most of the soldiers of the third legions are Lucanians and have lived here since childhood and have adapted to the environment.

The third legion trekked in three columns in the lowlands between the mountains and the river valleys, like a long dragon winding through the mountains, stretching three kilometres or so from the head of the line to the tail…

At this moment, on one of the mountains, the son of the great chieftain of Hirpini – Garni, is closely watching the movement at the foot of the mountain.

“Chief, look!” The warrior beside him suddenly shouted.

“Idiot, keep your voice down!” Garni kicked him and scolded, “Don’t scare the enemy away!”

They could see a flickering golden light on the mountain path hidden by trees. After a while, these golden specks of light turned into a flag held high. At the top of the flag is the bronze statue of Hades holding a bident that dazzles under the sun. The flag holder was a tall military man dressed in complete animal fur, making him looked extraordinarily sturdy. (the fur is from a large hound, symbolising loyalty and bravery. After all, Hade’s loyal dog is the three-headed dog, Cerberus. In addition, according to the modern thinking of Davos, he forbids his men from wantonly hunting animals just for the need of decoration.)

“Hmph, it’s just nice to look at.” A Samnite warrior muttered in a low voice mockingly, “I just don’t know if they could even fight.”

Garni didn’t speak as he continued to stare at the Theonian army that was slowly approaching him. He knew very well in his heart that the reason why his father contacted the two other Samnites clans of Caudini and Pentri to attack Potentia together was not only due to Syracuse’s strong financial support and encouragement but also because of the oppression of the suddenly rising powerful neighbour to the south.

At this moment, he wants to keep his eyes wide open and clearly see what the strange enemy he is about to face is like.

Behind Theonia’s flag bearer was the legion’s flag bearer holding the fluttering black flag embroidered with a golden ‘Theonia’s third legion’. The flag was initially red due to the influence of Rome from his previous life, but as he became more and more integrated into this era and Hades’ belief had penetrated the hearts of the Theonians, so he changed the colour of the military flag into black, representing Hades, the lord of darkness.

Behind the legion’s flag bearer is the flag bearer of the first brigade of the third legion, holding the statue of Thanatos, which is one size smaller than the status of Hades. Then came the legion’s drummer…

Garni rubbed his slightly tired eyes. Even though the Theonian army looked formidable, they had too many of these fancy things.

As he sighed in his mind, his eyes widened at the sight of the following Theonian legionnaires. Black bronze helmet unlike that of the Corinthian helmet that he had seen the Greek soldiers in Campania was wearing. The helmet is like an inverted bowl with the whole face exposed except the part protecting the side of the face. Its style is very similar to that of the Samnite warriors’ helmet, with no decorative feather or colourful horsetail at the top. Black linen breastplate, black shin armour, a spear in the right hand and a shield in the left…

‘Those shields…’ Garni was surprised to find that the shield held by the Theonian soldiers was very similar to their shield. It is half a man high, rectangular in shape with the central front convex and both its sides concave, and the whole shield surface is curved. The only difference is that the shields of the Theonian soldiers are painted black instead of red…

“Weren’t Theonia a Greek city-state? Why aren’t they using their traditional round bronze shield and Corinthian helmet? Instead, they are using something so similar to us Samnites?!”

Garni was surprised. Naturally, he didn’t know that the archon of Theonia had finally completed the upgrading of the legion’s weapon and equipment in recent years. He abandoned the heavy Corinthian helmet and round shield and changed it into a new helmet and large shield. Of course, such a large shield can’t be plated with bronze.

In the Theonian army, apart from the occasional helmet with red, white or purple plume, which must have been worn by the officers and strategoi, the rest were almost entirely black, making the whole legion look like a black snake drilled out of hell, filled with the smell of death and cold.

Garni unconsciously gulped, put on the helmet with rows of colorful plumes and whispered, “Inform Abrini on the other mountain to get ready. Once the enemy’s front army passed under the mountain, we will attack and give these pretentious enemies a good show.”

“Yes, chief!” The cavalryman shook the red flag painted with a wolf’s head on the top of the mountain, which could not be seen by the Theonian soldiers at the bottom, and the Samnites on the other mountain also shook their flag in response.

The Samnites warriors held their breath as they crouched on the ridge, holding their javelins and rocks, waiting for the Theonians to pass under the mountain.

But suddenly, the Theonians stopped advancing, and a strategos on horseback seemed to say something to the soldiers before he rushed back to the army.

After a while, the army began moving forward again. However, after advancing a few steps, they stopped again, and the strategos said something to the soldiers again.

They stop and go three times in a row. And when they were just about to enter the ambush circle, they stopped within a short distance and lingered for too long.

Feeling that his patience was about to run out, Garni rubbed his hands over his stiff, numb body and cursed the Theonians for their slowness.

Just then, a sudden commotion happened on the top of the mountain.

“The enemy is coming! The enemy is coming!…” The warriors shouted loudly.

“What happened?!” Garni asked hurriedly, not caring about the ambush at the moment.

“Chief, the Theonians…the Theonians are coming from the back of the mountain and want to surround us!” The warrior who ran to see the situation hurriedly ran back to report.

In fact, he doesn’t need to report it as Garni could see dark shadows moving between the mountains and forests behind them.

‘Fooled! Those cunning Theonians knew that we prepared an ambush here and had deliberately attracted my attention to the front while they wanted to surround and wipe us out!’ Such thought flashed through Garni’s mind. Still, he was not flustered and immediately ordered, “Blow the horn! Since the Theonians dared to go up the mountain, then let them have the taste the Samnites’ strength!”

A low and long sound of a horn reached the foot of the mountain. And the legatus of the third legion, Alexius, who was at the front of the legion, immediately looked up.

“It seems that the Samnites have discovered our troops.” Litom, the leader of the first brigade, spoke in fluent Greek. Since the time he was humiliated in the Isthmian Games, he spent a lot of time practising his Greek after coming back, which improved significantly.

“Kelisinus, are you sure that there are only 1,000 Samnites on both mountains?” The legion’s adjutant asked Kelisinus, the reconnaissance captain beside him again.


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