What Pegman Saw: People of the Bear

Roman Theatre: photo by Luca Comé

My father’s grandfather died… when the bloody-handed red-garbed men from Rome thieved our gold.

Those same red-garbed men set stone-on-stone within our valley. They bridged the rivers, built a road, and built a town. No seer needed to see where they’d fixed their sights; no flights of birds to know we capitulate or die. My father and his brothers, my mother and my aunts gathered stones to hurl at them.

And now in my time, those bloody-handed red-garbed men from Rome come armed. My sons tell me I’m too old to fight, and I tell them I am not. Am I to watch my people die? Hide while those who survive the killing are bound and taken captive, to be sold as slaves? Because the Romans want our pass, and the Salassi are People of the Bear and will not bow.

141 words written for What Pegman Saw: Aosta Valley, Italy.

In 143 BCE Rome seized the gold mines located in Aosta Valley. In 100 BCE they established the city of Eporedia and built road and bridges to access Great St Bernard Pass. In 35 BCE the campaign against the Salassi began in earnest. In 25 BCE it ended in slaughter with 2000 Salassi warriors killed and 40,000 men, women and children taken to Eporedia and sold into slavery. Because the Salassi were People of the Bear and would not bow.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in History, Mostly Micro and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to What Pegman Saw: People of the Bear

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Brilliant vastly unknown piece of history at least in my neck of the woods. Lovely telling as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn Love says:

    Ah, I wonder how many peoples have been lost to history because they did not write and the Romans didn’t think them important enough to report their defeat? I believe the same can be said of some of the American tribes – North and South. We’re shouting our every meal, movement and petty thought and whole empires have passed away, voiceless. This was a stirring snatch of history, brilliantly done

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Lynn. The Romans liked to brag (a Celtic word) so we’re quite well-informed of the tribes they destroyed. And as I understand it a certain amount remainsi regarding the American tribes, written in the journals of priests, mainly French and Spanish. Those tribes had a major misfortune of getting between the Brits and the French. It makes horrific reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, a well written bit of history.
    I’ve done some historical reading, too, and it’s a long story of “same old same old.” Constant invasions & massacres. Once Rome was defeated the Vandals and Gauls and Franks, etc, all had their turns sweeping over parts of Europe, then the Muslim armies moved in. And so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pennygadd51 says:

    This is a powerful story, Crispina. I like the way you repeat “bloody-handed” and “red-garbed”. The descriptions summon up images that are clearer and brighter with every repetition.


  5. Dale says:

    You do have a knack for finding history no one (okay, not me) has ever heard about!
    I love that you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ben Naga says:

    Thank God such things don’t happen today. (Irony)

    Liked by 1 person

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