Vorenus and Pullo

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Lucius Vorenus
A page (p. 118) of Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico with description of actions of T. Pulsio & L. Varenus
Allegiance Julius Caesar
Rank Centurion
Unit Legio XI Claudia
Titus Pullo
Allegiance Julius Caesar, later Pompey
Rank Centurion
Unit Legio XI Claudia
Legio XXIV Vixtrix Rapax
Battles/wars Battle of Pharsalus

Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo[1] were two Roman centurions of the 11th Legion (Legio XI Claudia) mentioned in the personal writings of Julius Caesar.

Known life

Vorenus and Pullo appear in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Book 5, Chapter 44. The episode describes the two as centurions, approaching the first ranks, who shared a bitter personal rivalry, and takes place in 54 BC when the Nervii attacked the legion under Quintus Cicero in their winter quarters in Nervian territory.

In an effort to outdo Vorenus, Pullo charged out of the fortified camp and attacked the enemy. Pullo casts his javelin into one of the enemy from a short distance, but his belt is simultaneously pierced by a spear, preventing him from drawing his sword, and he is surrounded by other Nervii. Just then, Vorenus, following Pullo from the fortifications, reached the site of the mêlée and engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. After slaying one of the enemy and driving back the rest, Vorenus lost his footing on the irregular terrain. As the Nervii drew closer to him, Pullo came to his rescue. After slaying many of their opponents, the two retreated to the fortifications amidst roaring applause from their comrades, or "covered with glory," as described by Caesar.[2][3]

In the Civil War of 49 BC, Pullo was assigned to the XXIV Victrix Rapax, a new Italian legion commanded by the legate Gaius Antonius. In 48 BC, Antonius was blockaded on an island and forced to surrender; Pullo was apparently responsible for most of his soldiers switching sides to fight for Pompey. Later that year, he is recorded bravely defending Pompey's camp in Greece from Caesar's attack shortly before the Battle of Pharsalus.[4]

Fictional depictions


  1. ^ His nomen is given as Pulfio, Puleio, Pullio, Pulcio or Pulcia in various manuscripts.
  2. ^ Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico 5.44
  3. ^ The Conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar, p. 125 (Penguin 1982) ISBN 978-0-14-044433-9
  4. ^ Dio Cassius, Roman History 41.40; Julius Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Civili 3.67
  5. ^ "The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Review: The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston". Kirkus Reviews. September 3, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2016.

External links

  • The Real Pullo and Vorenus by Ross Cowan
  • De Bello Gallico: 5.44 (Latin original)
  • The War in Gaul: 5:44 (English translation by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn)
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