SUETON: Augustus, 23

[23] Graves ignominias cladesque duas omnino nec alibi quam in Germania accept, Lollianam et Varianam, sed Lollianam maioris infamiae quam detrimenti, Varianam paena exitiabilem, tribus legionibus cum duce legatisque et auxiliis omnibu caesis. Hac nuntiata excubias per urbem indixit, ne quis tumultus existeret, et praesidibus provinciarum propagavit imperium, ut a peritis et assuetis socii continerentur. Vovit et magnos ludos Iovi Optimo Maximo, si res p. in meliorem statum vertisset: quod factum Cimbrico Marsicoque bello erat. Adeo denique consternatum ferunt, ut per continuos menses barba capilloque summisso caput interdum foribu illideret,vociferans: Quintili Vare, legiones redde! diemque cladis quot annis maestum habuerit a lugubrem. He suffered but two severe and ignominious defeats, those of Lollius and Varus, both of which were in Germany. Of these the former was more humiliating than serious, but the latter was almost fatal, since three legions were cut to pieces with their general, his lieutenants, and all the auxiliaries. When the news of this came, he ordered that watch be kept by night throughout the city, to prevent outbreak, and prolonged the terms of the governors of the provinces, that the allies might be held to their allegiance by experienced men with whom they were acquainted. 2 He also vowed great games to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, in case the condition of the commonwealth should improve, a thing which had been done in the Cimbric and Marsic wars. In fact, they say that he was so greatly affected that for several months in succession he cut neither his beard nor his hair, and sometimes he would dash his head against a door, crying: "Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!" And he observed the day of the disaster each year as one of sorrow and mourning.

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