Brennus (4th century BC)

"Brennus and His Share of the Spoils" by Paul Jamin (1853–1903)

Brennus was a Gallic chieftain of the Senones who was famous for uttering the words “Vae victis!”, which translates to “Woe to the vanquished!” after capturing the entire city of Rome.

In the Battle of the Allia, Brennus defeated the Romans, and entered the city itself. The Senones captured the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempted to buy their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold. According to the famous Roman historian Livy, during a dispute over the weights used to measure the gold (the Gauls had brought their own, heavier-than-standard) Brennus threw his sword onto the scales and uttered the famous words “Vae victis!”, which translates to “Woe to the vanquished!”.

—Wikipedia

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One thought on “Brennus (4th century BC)

  1. I seem to recall that the Romans ended up getting their revenge on the Gauls. Of course, I’ve also read Asterix, so my history of that era has become a bit muddled!

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