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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 395: The First Battle Between Theonia and Samnite (II) Bahasa Indonesia

“I’m sure!” Kelisinus confidently pointed to the mountains ahead and said, “Those Samnites came here after the Potentian tribes. But after getting the information about us from somewhere, they actually tried to ambush us here. However, they do not know that my men had been watching their every move.”

“Kelisinus, I will take note of the contribution you and your men have made today.” Alexius said as he pats his restless horse, “Although our legion hasn’t trained in Potentia, I think you haven’t forgotten the terrain here, Litom.”

“How would I dare forget about it when you have brought us to the southern mountains of Potentia several times in civilian clothes! And the military law has a strict rule that all ranks of officers must engrave the topography of their districts in their mind!” Litom pointed to his own head.

“Lord Davos is a great man!” Exclaimed Alexius. It was this military law that Davos made for the officers and soldiers to strictly implement that made the army prepared in times of war. He also remembered Davos’ advice when he appointed him as the legatus of the legion, “Now is the time to test you, and also to see how powerful the Samnites are!!”

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

Garni saw a flag was waving across the mountain. Apparently, the enemy also attacked Abrini’s group, but he doesn’t have the time to even worry about his friend at this moment. Together with more than one thousand warriors, he rushed down towards the mountain. Except for the colourful plume on his helmet, his equipment was no different from the other warriors, a golden bronze helmet, a loose red short-sleeved robe that reaches to his knee, a leather belt was tied to his waist, his right hand clutching a spear while his left hand carried four javelins.

Considering that he was going to ambush the Theonian army, Garni had only brought out light infantries, who regarded the steep hillside as flat land, could shuttle between rocks and trees, and were as agile as monkeys, stepping on thorns and debris without the slightest pain. Soon, they approached the Theonian army climbing the mountain.

Compared with the rapid descending Samnites, the speed of the Theonian troops ascending the mountain is relatively slow, as they are a mixture of light infantry, light-armoured and hoplites. And they formed up in a loose arc formation in an attempt to encircle all this side of the mountain so that the Samnites could not escape, but they did not expect the Samnites to come so quickly.

As the temporary commander of this mixed force, Kesima, the senior centurion of the second brigade of the third legion, was not flustered. However, if he encountered this situation a few years ago, when they had not yet integrated into Theonia Union, Kesima would undoubtedly lead the warriors of his tribes to meet them in a melee. But now, he is a qualified officer in the Theonian legion.

“Archer, get ready! Hoplites, defend!” At the same time as Kesima gave the order, the hoplites of the legion erected their large shield against the trunk and rock, protecting themselves and the archers, while the light-armoured and peltasts retreated further, making it difficult for the Samnites to attack them unless they charged through the lines of hoplites.

Under the protection of the large shield, the archers calmly pull their bows, aimed their arrows at the Samnites, who are running rapidly. The Samnites’ loose formation, coupled with the mountains and lush trees, reduced their effectiveness, so they needed an accurate focus fire.

The Samnites were up so high that even though they were a hundred metres away from each other, the javelin they threw still flew straight to the hoplites. And the only thing they could hear was the continuous “Bang! Bang! Bang!…” sound, with more than half of the javelins hitting the large shields. Seeing the sharp javelin tip piercing through the shield made the hoplites alarmed, ‘It’s heavy javelins!’

The Theonian archers had also shot out their sharp arrows, while the unprotected and lightly dressed Samnite warriors quickly crawled under a rock or hid behind tree trunks to avoid the arrow.

For a time, javelins and spears came and went in the mountains and forests.

While the Theonian soldiers had stronger protection and the archers had a stable place to shoot arrows, the Samnites relied on their flexibility and the powerful penetration of the javelins to fight back. Although their casualties gradually increased due to their lack of protection, it still did not weaken their morale.

Relying on the cover of trees, Garni and his men managed to approach within 40 metres away from the Theonians. After seeing that the javelin he had thrown had made the large shield of the Theonian hoplites wobble and cause the soldier to almost fall, he weighed his last javelin in his hand and thought to himself, ‘Closer, closer, I am sure I can kill another one!’

After he thought confidently, he suddenly drilled out of the trees, swiftly circled the route and continued to rush down.

The whole Samnite warriors were only about 30 metres away from the enemy. Garni then leaned against a big tree to avoid the enemy’s arrows like the other warriors, and when the archers reloaded the arrows, he came out again and was ready to throw his javelin at the hoplite in front. But suddenly, he saw a shocking scene. The Theonian hoplites suddenly dropped their large shields and made a throwing action.

“Stop, javelin!” Garni’s eyes widened.

The hoplites on the opposite side threw their javelins. The thousands of javelins mixed with arrows flew out, catching the Samnites off guard. Those Samnite warriors who did not have the time to hide were immediately shot by javelins and screamed.

Garni didn’t have the time to judge as after the Theonian hoplites threw their javelins, the peltasts ten metres behind them also rushed up and threw the javelins in their hands again, followed by the light-armoured soldiers. As the Samnites dodged the javelin attacks, the hoplites crossed the defensive line and quickly approached the enemy.

“Retreat! Quickly retreat!…” Garni knew that he shouldn’t act strongly at this moment, as Theonia’s peculiar combination of tactics had disrupted their rhythm, and if they delayed any longer, they might not be able to leave.

Garni gestured while quickly retreating, and the person following him had immediately blown the horn.

However, the speed of Theonia’s light-armoured soldiers is not slow. As Lucanians, they are also good at climbing trees and mountains. Furthermore, they are also wearing light clothes. Therefore, they were about to catch up with the Samnites, not to mention those wounded warriors.

On the rocky mountainside with intertwining trees, javelins fought against leather shields and short swords. The Samnites tried to keep pulling away in order to give full play to their weapon, but once they let the Theonian’s light-armoured soldiers get close, the Samnites became in danger.

One flees and one chase on the mountains, and a fight between javelins and swords could be often seen.

After crossing the mountains, escaping from the pursuit of Theonia, and regrouping with his team, Garni found that there were only more than 500 people following him. He had lost almost half of his men.

By the time he regrouped with Abrini’s team, his good brother was already dying from a javelin wound, and he only had 300 out of the 1,000 warriors he led left.

Initially, he wanted to ambush the Theonian army, but the Theonians instead ambushed him. Garni, who was angry, became depressed, and he could only retreat rapidly to the north with the disabled warriors and defeated army without rest.

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

“These are the Samnites?!” Alexius stared carefully at the bodies on the ground and even touched the thick calluses of their bare feet regardless of their dirtiness, “It’s hard, like a pair of leather. Kesima, you had just fought a battle with the Samnites. Tell me how you felt fighting them.”

Kesima thought for a moment and said, “Legatus, the Samnites are very brave. As you have seen, even though they are all light infantry, they still dare to rush to a place less than 30 metres away from our frontline and throw their javelin… And their quite loose and erratic formation reduced our light infantry’s accuracy. This tactic is very similar to our light infantry tactics… And, you see-” Kesima grabbed a Samnite javelin and handed it to Alexius.

Alexius weighted it with his hand, then put the javelin’s tip close to his eyes as he carefully looked at it. He then became startled, “It’s a javelin with a heavier tip, and its weight is not much different from ours. So is this the cause for why 100 men under you were injured?”

Kesima nodded and said seriously, “I observed that their javelin skills are not as worse as that of lord Epiphanes and his peltasts; whenever they hit a large shield head-on, it often pierces the shield’s plate, which wounded our brothers…”

Alexius stared at the shield pierced by several javelins and said, “According to the soldiers, the Samnites ran fast in the mountains and forests, so you can’t catch them no matter how hard you chase them before they escaped.”

Kesima refuted unconvinced, “The Samnites run very fast, but us, Lucanians, are not worse at climbing mountains and forests as them. If we were not wearing heavier equipment than them, we would have already caught up!”

“From what the Potentians have said, although the Samnites also have heavy infantry wearing breastplates, most of them are light infantry holding javelins…” Alexius looked at the continuous mountains ahead, feeling worried in his mind, “Order the legion to speed up the march and arrive at the upper Basento valley to camp!”

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

In a former Potentian village less than a kilometre north of the city of Potentia, Garni bowed his head in frustration as he stood in front of the great chieftain of the Hirpini, Berani.

Berani didn’t criticise him because of his son’s attacked at the Theonians without authorisation, which resulted in the loss of warriors and officers. He also knew that Garni had already blamed himself for the death of Abrini, so he asked in a gentle tone, “Garni, you are the first chief of the Samnites who fought with the Theonians. Although you have suffered a slight loss, you also found out the strength of our enemy in the south. Tell us, what is the difference between the Theonians and the Campanians in battle?”


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