Varro

(Caius Terentius Varro)

~ 216 BC
varro
"WE ARE BEATEN, O ROMANS, IN A GREAT BATTLE, OUR ARMY IS DESTROYED."

Varro is known mostly for being one of the consuls at the Battle of Cannae against Hannibal, which turned out to be the worst defeat in Roman history, with over 50,000 Romans killed in a single battle. Varro was one of the few survivors. He rallied all the remaining forces and returned to Rome to defend the city. Instead of being criticized, he was honored because he did not despair of the fortunes of Rome. Varro's co-consul was Aemilius Paulus, who was killed in the battle. They represented the two contrasting leadership styles of the very divided Roman populace. Varro favored aggressive action against Hannibal, Paulus favored caution and delay. Either approach may have proved successful, but in this case, the divided leadership proved disastrous.


Key events during the life of varro:


Year
Event
216 BC
Elected consul with Aemilius Paulus. Led Romans to defeat at Battle of Cannae.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Battle of Cannae  in  Hannibal  by  Jacob Abbott
Overthrow of Cannae  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Romans Defeated  in  The Story of the Romans  by  H. A. Guerber
Battle of Cannae  in  The Story of Rome  by  Mary Macgregor
How Hannibal Fought and Died  in  Historical Tales: Roman  by  Charles Morris


Contemporary
Short Biography
Fabius Cunctator Elected dictator to resist Hannibal; counseled delay, not direct assault.
Hannibal Carthaginian general, invaded and laid waste to Italy for sixteen years.
Aemilius Paulus Consul at the Battle of Cannae; opposed the confrontation, but died on battlefield.