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The Battle of Veii (Vae victis!)

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The Battle of Veii
Part of Vae victis!
Veii

Location of Veii within Italy
Date summer 386
Location Italian Peninsula
Result Victory for the Senone
  • Veii is essentially destroyed, along with most people inside
  • Rome is weakened severely and is soon collapsed by
Belligerents
Senone Rome
Commanders and leaders
Brennus Marcus Furius Camillus
Strength
12,000 15,000
Casualties and losses
~900 ~20,000 (including civilians)

The battle of Veii (also known as the siege of Veii) was a conflict in which the Senones took the Roman city of Veii, in order to damage Rome as much as possible. this is often argued to mark the beginning of the end for Rome, as the nation soon collapsed. In the end, it was a brutal and devastating loss for Rome, and would shape the world for centuries.

Background

Directly after the sacking of Rome, the Senones had decided to capture Veii and try to take down what remained of the Roman leadership. The decision was not without opposition from some Senones, but the majority wanted to do as much damage as possible to the Romans. The Senones thus voted to attack veii, and in doing so, they hoped to collapse the Roman Republic.

Battle

The battle was devastating, taking place over nine days, and ended with two-thirds of the people hiding in Veii dead. The first day saw very little fighting, but instead, the Senones tried to cause as much damage to nearby farms as possible, both to gather food for themselves, and to prevent the Romans from taking advantage of winning the battle. During this time, the Romans also fortified their locations, trying to hold out as long as possible. On the second day, a huge Senone attack almost crushed the Roman lines in the lines. This attack was stopped, but at the cost of almost 2000 Roman casualties to only 150 Senone casualties.

The fighting continued similarly on the third, fourth and fifth days, with each further attack devastating the Romans. The most notable attack was on the fourth day, when the Senones actually breached into the city, and were only forced back by a lack of coordination and heavy Roman casualties. Additionally, the Romans began to run out of supplies, and many began to go hungry, causing the need for an attack to break the citizens out of the city. On the fifth day this was attempted, but only halfheartedly, and the Senones were almost able to take advantage of the maneuver to slip into the city.

On the sixth and seventh days, the combat cooled, but attacks on Veii still continued. The Senones appeared to be preparing for a huge assault, and while the Romans tried to send our patrols to disrupt them, that effort was a complete failure. The Romans desperately needed to stop the assault, and eventually, the decision was made to engage the enemy outside the city. Thus, on the eighth day, the Roman army charged out of Veii. The Senones, who were already expecting this, quickly decimated the Roman army, Which within an hour had retreated back into the city walls. The Senones charged in, ripping apart the city, killing any Roman within the range of their swords. Unsurprisingly, the Romans surrendered, and the next day this was made official with the payment of the Senones and Marcus' death.

Aftermath

The defeat of Veii essentially destroyed the Roman Republic, and the nation began descent into anarchy. With no clear leader, Rome soon completely collapsed, and was unable to prevent the Safinei conquest of their former territories. The collapse of Rome this early completely changed the history of Italy and the rest of the world. The Senones, meanwhile, assisted the Etruscan conquest of Umbria, and then returned to their homeland, where they began the slow process of centralization.

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