Ab Urbe Condita

T. Livius

Ceterum, seu non omnibus delendi urbem libido erat, seu ita placuerat principibus Gallorum et ostentari quaedam incendia terroris causa, si compelli ad deditionem caritate sedum suarum obsessi possent, et non omnia concremari tecta ut quodcumque superesset urbis, id pignus ad flectendos hostium animos haberent, nequaquam perinde atque in capta urbe primo die aut passim aut late vagatus est ignis.

But whether it was that not all the Gauls desired to destroy the City, or that their leaders had resolved to make a certain show of burning, to inspire alarm, in hopes that the besieged might be driven to capitulate by affection for their homes, but not to burn up all the houses, in order that they might hold whatever remained of the City as a pledge to work on the feelings of their enemies--however this may have been, the fire spread by no means so freely or extensively on the first day as is commonly the case in a captured town.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from T. Livius: History of Rome (Volume III: Books 5-7), Loeb Classical Library Vol. 172, translated by B.O. Foster, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1924, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.