Battle of Lake Vadimo (283 BC)

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Battle of Lake Vadimo
Part of Roman-Gaulish Wars
Date 283 BC
Location Lake Vadimo, Italy
Result Roman victory
Roman Republic Etruscans,
Commanders and leaders
Publius Cornelius Dolabella

The Battle of Lake Vadimo was fought in 283 BC between Rome and the combined forces of the Etruscans and the Gallic tribe the Boii. The Roman army was led by consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella. The result of the battle was a Roman victory.

If we are to go with the works of Appian and Cassius Dio, we must assume that Dolabella's campaign against the Boii occurred after defeating Britomaris of the Senones, who had defeated Metellus Denter the year prior.

There is some confusion as to the result of the Gallic victory at Arretium. According to Appian, it was in the coming year 283 BC that the Consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella defeated Britomaris in retaliation for this battle:[1]

The Senones, although they had a treaty with the Romans, nevertheless furnished mercenaries against them, wherefore the Senate sent an embassy to them to remonstrate against this infraction of the treaty. Britomaris, the Gaul, being incensed against them on account of his father, who had been killed by the Romans while fighting on the side of the Etruscans in this very war, slew the ambassadors while they held the caduceus in their hands, and wore the garments of their office. He then cut their bodies in small pieces and scattered them in the fields.
The consul [Publius] Cornelius [Dolabella], learning of this abominable deed while he was on the march, moved with great speed against the towns of the Senones by way of the Sabine country and Picenum, and ravaged them all with fire and sword. He reduced the women and children to slavery, killed all the adult males without exception, devastated the country in every possible way, and made it uninhabitable for anybody else. He carried off Britomaris alone as a prisoner for torture.
A little later the Senones (who were serving as mercenaries), having no longer any homes to return to, fell boldly upon the consul [Cnaeus] Domitius [Calvinus], and being defeated by him killed themselves in despair. Such punishment was meted out to the Senones for their crime against the ambassadors.

If this is to be believed, then it must be assumed that the consul Publius Cornelius Dolabella undertook both these campaigns in the same year.

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  1. ^ From Constantine Porphyrogenitus, The Embassies: §9] [283 VC]

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