I am alive. If you are well, I will be well-pleased. Send my best wishes to your brother.
You have doubtless heard of our defeat at the hands of Pollesthenes the Macedonian. Many scandalous lies have been circulated regarding what happened that day. I wanted to tell you what really happened, and that the army and I, and especially the General, acquitted themselves well.
There was a small woods, that was the cause of all our troubles, on our right flank, which was held by our velites, with the general and his companions beside them. The foot wehre arrayed with the triari watching the enemy horse, and the equites on our far left. The enemy placed their Thracian allies in the woods, with Galatian mercenaries close by. The enemy palangites held the centre, and the enemy’s heavy cavalry faced our triari.
The battle began most unfortunately, when the Thracians, who badly outnumbered our own light infantry, crushed all resistance in the woods. A band of Thracians then rushed out of the woods at the flank of the general just as he was charged by the mercenary Galatians. General Rufius fought this two-pronged attack off most valiantly, and indeed forced the enemy back.
Meanwhile I was posted in the reserve infantry legion and saw the infantry battle degenerate into a swirling mass of moving formations, who pushed each other back and flanked each other in a most confused mess. However, our legions had a very clear advantage. The triari had even rebuffed a cavalry charge in the flank.
However, the wild Thracians (a most barbaric and untameable race) rushed out of the woods again, and fell on General Rufius just as he was pressing the Galatians most hard. Rufius himself was killed, presumably, at this time, as were most of his bodyguard. At this point, the army retired, having lost more than the enemy, and without commander, though we had fought as hard as they.
Tell the peace faction back at Rome that we fought better than any Macedonian on the field, and were only forced to retire by the great numbers of barbarians that pressed against the unfortunate Rufius. In battle, our men are worth two Macedonians, and man-for-man as good as a barbarian- but Rufius had two barbarians for every true Roman beside him. You can say that in the senate.
Write to me after the first debates and tell me if the war faction wins out; I have good hope of winning out here.
Q. Marcus Sullio
Joshua’s Note: This is a fictional account I wrote up from the perspective of a Roman from a DBA battle I just played solo. While the general details are accurate, I have attempted to write it as a real account would have wrote it- a distinct bias, slight exaggeration and not every detail of the battle or dispositions recorded. For instance, Sullio practically ignores the Roman left flank, where very little happened, and mentions the Macedonian auxiliaries “who badly outnumbered our own light infantry” when they only had a 3-2 advantage.