S. P. Oakley (ed.), A Commentary on Livy, Books VI–X, Vol. 2: Books VII–VIII
communis Mars belli: 'the dangers of war which are common to both sides'. communis Mars is an expression favoured by L. (cf. v. 12. 1, viii. 11. 6, 23. 8, 31. 5, xxviii. 19. 11, 41. 14, xxx. 30. 20, xlii. 14. 4 and 49. 4; also x. 28. 1 and xxxvii. 45. 13, where it is used in the context of the balance of war or a battle not tilting towards either side), which goes back to Hom. Il. xviii. 309 ξυνὸς Ἐνυάλιος. Though not found in the other historians, it is common in Cicero and was probably proverbial; note e.g. IIVerr. v. 132, Sest. 12, de or. iii. 167, Mil. 56, Phil. x. 20, and [Virg.] Catal. 9. 50. belli is the certain conjecture of Sigonius for bello, irrationally retained by Bayet.
multiplex quam pro numero: cf. xxi. 59. 9 'sed maior Romanis quam pro numero iactura fuit, quia equestris ordinis aliquot et tribuni militum quinque et praefecti sociorum tres sunt interfecti', and see 7. 5 n. for the idiom.
uolgus aliud: cf. [x] 19. 2 'uolgus aliud trucidatum', Tac. hist. ii. 45. 3 'paucos necessarii ipsorum sepeliuere, ceterum uolgus super humum relictum', iii. 12. 2, iv. 56. 1, and ann. iii. 42. 2; also Liv. vi. 25. 9. For the Graecizing idiom whereby aliud is used despite primores and uolgus not being synonymous, see Munro on Lucr. i. 116, Gudeman on Tac. dial. 9. 6 (his § 12), Riemann (1885) 186, K–S i. 651, and TLL i. 1625. 75–1626. 7.
2. increpantes, quid: thus N. Luterbacher conjectured increpant, quid … , and Heraeus (1890: 460–1) increpant, ecquid … With N's reading the oratio obliqua is introduced by increpantes and quaerendo, and the sentence starts again with his inter se uocibus concitati. The conjectures make the syntax more regular (his would now start a new sentence), but the slight looseness of syntax is quite characteristic of L. (thus, rightly, Heusinger).
4. tam pares uires: thus U and Gr, a reading commended by Gronovius (who had access to Gr) and Häggström (1874: 67); tam uires pares N. The paradosis involves a dislocation of the natural word-order which is perhaps possible in L.: although most of the passages cited by Madvig (1877: 330–2), M. Müller, and Walters fail to provide a true parallel for the position of tam before the noun (nor have I been able to parallel tam followed thus by a noun elsewhere in L.), ii. 20. 8 'tanto ui maiore' and, especially, iv. 60. 3 'tam id laetum' are both analogous; moreover, Müller adduced several instances of adeo in this position. Nevertheless, the paradosis here reads so awkwardly that it is probably best to emend. The reading of U is diplomatically easiest (omission of uires by haplography, then re-insertion in the wrong position), but uires tam pares would perhaps be more stylish; tam⟨en⟩ uires pares (Harant  51, after Holkham 3461, a reading perhaps found in other recentiores) introduces an unwanted particle. On faulty word-order in N, see vol. i, p. 165.
perpetua … potuit: L. imagines that the fortuna of each nation had accustomed the Romans to defeating the Hernici and the Hernici to losing to the Romans. For the idea of Fortuna populi Romani, see vi. 30. 6 n.
5. perlitatum: this use of a substantivized neuter singular of the past participle without accompanying pronoun (usually in the nominative, but occasionally in the accusative) becomes common only with L.; cf. e.g. 13. 4 (accusative) 'equidem, sicubi loco cessum, si terga data hosti … obici nobis possent', 22. 1 'temptatum domi per dictatorem, ut ambo patricii consules crearentur, rem ad interregnum perduxit', i. 53. 1, iv. 16. 4, 49. 6 'temptatum ab L. Decio … ut rogationem ferret', and 59. 7 'cum pronuntiatum repente ne quis praeter armatos uiolaretur reliquam omnem multitudinem uoluntariam exuit armis'. Further instances and discussion at Riemann (1885) 104–6, K–S i. 768–9, and H–S 156–7; see also vi. pg 1102. 9 n. For the sacrifice and taking of the auspicia before battle, see x. 40. 9–11 n.
6. Signi⟨ni⟩s: the palmary supplement is due to Crévier. Signia (modern Segni, 650 m.) lay on a strong defensive site on the northern extremity of the M. Lepini, overlooking the upper Sacco valley; there are extensive remains of polygonal walls dating from the archaic period. Of its history we know little: the town seems to have been founded as a colony by Tarquinius Superbus (i. 56. 3, ii. 21. 7, D.H. iv. 63. 1 [cf. v. 68. 4]), and at viii. 22. 2 L. makes the extraordinary statement that its territory stretched as far as Fregellae;1 it stayed loyal in the Latin and Hannibalic Wars (viii. 3. 9, xxvii. 10. 7); but thereafter it appears in L. in only one incidental reference (xxxii. 2. 4). See further Philipp, RE iiA. 2347–8 and Coarelli (1982) 173–8.
infrequentia … signa: i.e. few men were surrounding and protecting the standards; cf. [x] viii. 34. 10, x. 20. 8, and xxvii. 47. 9. ac was deleted by Karsten (1896: 13), on the ground that it gives the verb palari an improper construction; but we may translate 'the column … was routed and fled through the fields in panic-stricken flight'.
7. nec Romanis incruenta uictoria fuit: a characteristic comment at the end of a Livian battle, usually with a list of Roman casualties following: cf. for the identical words xxvii. 14. 14, xxx. 18. 14, and xxxv. 5. 14; for a very similar expression x. 29. 18, xxvii. 49. 7, xl. 32. 7, xlii. 7. 10, and 66. 10; and note also ii. 56. 15, iv. 17. 8, viii. 29. 12, xxi. 29. 4, xxvii. 12. 12, and xxxvii. 16. 12. At ii. 31. 6 'ubi satis praedae et uictoria incruenta fuit' and Tac. ann. iii. 38. 2 'sine nostro sanguine' we find the opposite idea. For incruentus elsewhere, cf. [x] esp. Curt. iv. 6. 30 'nec Macedonibus incruenta uictoria fuit', Tac. hist. ii. 15. 2 'ne Othonianis quidem incruenta uictoria fuit', 44. 3 'ne Vitellianis quidem incruentam fuisse uictoriam', ann. ii. 18. 1 'magna ea uictoria neque cruenta nobis fuit', Flor. i. 12 (17). 7 'nec incruenta tamen illa uictoria', and Just. xviii. 1. 7 'nec hostibus incruenta uictoria fuit'; also e.g. Sall. Cat. 61. 7, Iug. 92. 4, Tac. Agr. 7. 1, hist. iii. 8. 3, Flor. ii. 32 (iv. 12). 43, and pg 11133 (iv. 12). 56. In general L. affected uictoria fuit and similar formulas; cf. esp. e.g. vi. 42. 7 'nec dubia nec difficilis Romanis … uictoria fuit', x. 14. 21 'minor caedes quam pro tanta uictoria fuit', 36. 15 'ne Romanis quidem laeta uictoria fuit', xxiii. 49. 11 (all with casualties following).
1 At least if we change Segninorum to Signinorum, diplomatically by far the easiest conjecture; see n. ad loc.