Saturday, 1 January 2011



Readers are referred to the fairly lengthy introduction to the Fifth Book of this work which Sabidius published on his blog on 31st August 2010, most of which is equally relevant to this book as well.

After a short introductory chapter which gives geographic and ethnographic information about Gaul, Book I of the Gallic Wars provides an account of the two campaigns which Caesar conducts during his first summer as proconsul in Transalpine Gaul in 58 B.C. Chapters 2-29 deal with his war with the Helvetii (today's Swiss) and Chapters 30-54 cover his war with the Germans. Caesar took up his appointment in Gaul  with an apparent determination to make a substantial military reputation for himself, and, despite the very skilful manner in which he justifies the rationale for these wars in what were not just proconsular despatches to the Senate in Rome but also deliberate pitches to win public esteem, it is fairly clear that he was determined to provoke war in both cases. The Romans had a long-standing dread of peoples north of the Alps, stemming back to the sacking of Rome itself by the Gauls in 390 B.C., and with the more recent invasions of the Cimbri and Teutones in 105-101 B.C. still within living memory, Caesar's victories in 58 B.C. will therefore have been greeted with great popular enthusiasm, as he will indeed have intended. But, while, to us, who have the advantage of being able to read history backwards, these early triumphs of the great general appear inevitable, they will certainly not have seemed so at the time, and, indeed, it is clear that Caesar took an astonishing degree of personal risk by conducting wars with two very considerable military powers with armies which were to a very large extent composed of men recently recruited and scarcely trained. At the same time these troops were not yet used to his command, and indeed his own experience of military high command  was relatively limited - he had won some successes against Lusitanian rebels during his time as propraetor in Further Spain in 61-60 B.C. but had been obliged to forego a triumph in 60 B.C. in order to be able to stand for the consulship. Nevertheless, Caesar must have had a very high estimate of his own military ability to have taken on two such tough opponents so early in his proconsulship with such untried forces, and with so much at stake for him politically. As it turned out, his confidence in himself was justified by the outcome of these two campaigns in 58 B.C., and these successes proved to be the foundations stones of an astonishing period of military triumphs in which Caesar subdued not only Gaul in 58-50 B.C., but also the whole Roman world in the civil wars of 49-45 B.C. If the campaigns of 58 B.C. initiated this period of Caesar's military success, they also saw the beginning of that close relationship between Caesar and his troops which was undoubtedly at the heart of his greatness as a general. Apart from his strategic and tactical genius, Caesar's ability to strike a rapport with his legionaries was remarkable. This is well illustrated in Chapter 40 of this book in which Caesar, having summoned all the officers and centurions of his six legions together, berates them on the dread of the Germans which has apparently infused the ranks. Concerning this J.B.Greenough et al. in their 'Commentary on Caesar's Gallic Wars' (Boston. Ginn & Company.1898) write as follows:

"This speech, one of the most remarkable, if not one of the most famous, of antiquity, stamps Caesar as a consummate orator as well as an able general. His whole fortunes may be said to have depended on this campaign, at the outset of which he is confronted with a mutiny. By this skillfully contrived address in which he glosses over the difficulties of the undertaking, which he must have known well, he contrives to inspire in his soldiers the Roman spirit, which was invincible whenever it was really roused. Caesar's marvellous conquest of Gaul depended quite as much upon the devotion of his soldiers as on his unequalled ability as a general." 

The text for this translation of Caesar's Gallic Wars Book I is taken from the edition in the 'Elementary Classics' series, edited by the Rev. Arthur S. Walpole, M.A. (London, Macmillan & Co. Ltd. 1882, revised 1961.) 

Chapter 1.  Gaul is divided into three parts, viz. Belgium, Gaul proper and Aquitaine.

Gaul, as a whole, is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, (and those) who in their own language are called  Celts, in ours Gauls, a third. All these differ among themselves in language, customs and laws. The river Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani, the Matrona (i.e. the Marne) and the Sequana (i.e. the Seine) from the Belgae. Of all these (peoples), the Belgae are the bravest, on account of the fact that they are farthest removed from the civilisation and refinement of the Province (i.e. Gallia Narbonnensis or 'Provence'), and merchants least often resort to them and import those things which tend to the mind being enervated, and they are the nearest to the Germans, who dwell across the Rhine, with whom they continually wage war. For this reason, the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in valour, because they contend with the Germans in almost daily battles, when they are either keeping them off from their own territories, or are themselves waging war in their territories. The one region of those (peoples) which, (as) has been said, the Gauls occupy, takes its beginning from the river Rhone; it is bounded by the river Garonne, the Ocean and the territories of the Belgae; it touches too, on the side of the Sequani and the Helvetii, the river Rhine; it stretches towards the seven plough-oxen, (viz. the seven stars of the Wain constellation, i.e. the North). The (lands of the) Belgae rise from the extreme frontier of Gaul: they extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; they look to the seven plough-oxen (i.e. the North) and the rising sun (i.e. the East). Aquitaine extends from the river Garonne to the Pyrenean mountains and that part of the Ocean which is near Spain; it looks between the setting of the sun (i.e. the West) and the seven plough-oxen (i.e. the North).

THE HELVETIAN WAR: ( Chapters 2-29).

Chapter 2.  Orgetorix persuades the Helvetii to conquer the whole of Gaul. 

Among the Helvetii, Orgetorix was by far the most distinguished and most wealthy (man). Marcus Messala and Marcus Piso (being) consuls (i.e. in 61 B.C.), he, led by desire for kingship, formed a conspiracy with the nobility, and persuaded the people to go forth from their territory with all their belongings: to win the sovereignty of all Gaul was quite easy, since they exceeded all (men) in valour. He persuaded them of it the more easily through this, because the Helvetii are confined on all sides by the nature of the country: on one side (there being) the river Rhine, very broad and very deep, which separates the Helvetian territory from the Germans on another side by the Jura, a very high mountain, which is (situated) between the Sequani and Helvetii; on the third (side) lake Leman ( i.e. Geneva) and the river Rhone, which separates our province from the Helvetii. In these circumstances (lit. from these things) it happened that they both roamed about less widely and could less easily make war upon their neighbours; in which respect, (as) men desirous of waging war, they were affected with great regret. Moreover, considering (lit. in proportion to) the multitude of their people and considering (lit. in proportion to) their renown for warfare and bravery, they thought that they had  (too) narrow boundaries, although these extended 240 miles (lit. thousands of paces) in length (and) 180 in breadth.

Chapter 3.  Orgetorix aims at royal power.

Induced by these considerations and stirred by the authority of Orgetorix, they determined to procure those things which were necessary for their setting out, to buy up beasts of burden and as great a number of carts as possible, to undertake as much sowing as possible, so that corn should be at hand on the march, (and) to establish peace and friendship with their neighbours. They reckoned that a two-year period were sufficient for them for the purpose of these things having to be accomplished: for the third year they fix the expedition by a (special) law. Orgetorix is chosen for the purpose of these matters having to be completed. He took upon himself an embassy to the states. On this journey, he persuades Casticus, the son of Catamantaledes, a man of the Sequani, whose father had held the kingship among the Sequani for many years and had been styled (as) a friend of the Roman people by the Senate, to seize the kingship in his own state, which his father had held before (him); he seeks to show them that to accomplish their attempts is a very easy thing to do, on account of the fact that he himself was (so he said) about to secure the sovereignty of his own state: there was (he said) no doubt but that the Helvetii had the most power in all Gaul; he assures (them) that he will bring about the kingships for them. Incited by this speech, they give a pledge and an oath among themselves, and they hope that, the kingship having been seized, they will, through the three most powerful and most stable nations, be able to gain possession of all Gaul. 

Chapter 4.  Orgetorix escapes condemnation only by intimidation and a convenient death.

This design was revealed to the Helvetii by informers (lit. through information). In accordance with their customs, they compelled Orgetorix to stand trial (lit. plead his cause) in fetters; it was necessary that the punishment that he should be burned by fire would befall (him, if) condemned. On the day appointed for him to stand trial (lit. plead his cause), Orgetorix gathered from all quarters to the trial his household, to the number of ten thousand men, and led together to the same place all his retainers and debtors, of whom he had a great number; by their (means) he rescued himself from having to stand trial (lit. plead his cause). When the state, incensed on account of this matter, sought to assert its rights by arms, and the magistrates were gathering a multitude of men  from the country districts, Orgetorix died; nor was the suspicion absent, as the Helvetii thought, that he himself had brought about (lit. determined) his own death.

Chapter 5.  The Helvetii do not abandon their plan; their preparations for the exodus.

After his death, the Helvetii, nevertheless (lit. by nothing the less), attempt to do that which they had resolved (upon), namely, to go forth from their territories. When they considered that they were now prepared for this undertaking, they set fire to all their strongholds, about twelve in number, to their villages, about twelve (in number), (and) the rest of their private buildings; they burn up all the corn, except what they intended to carry with them, in order that, the hope of a return home having been removed, they might be the more ready for all the perils having to be undertaken; (and) they order everyone to carry forth from his home (enough) meal (lit. ground food) for himself for three months. They persuade the Rauraci and the Tulingi and the Latobrigi, their neighbours, that, employing the same plan, their strongholds and villages having been burned down, they should set out together with them; and they adopt to themselves as their allies, the Boii, whom they had received ( lit. having been received) into their own number (lit. to themselves), (and) who had dwelt across the Rhine and had crossed into Norican territory and were attacking Noreia.

Chapter 6.  They propose marching through 'the Province'.

There were in all two routes, by which routes they could go forth from their home(land): one through the Sequani, narrow and difficult, between Mount Jura and the river Rhone, by which carts could scarcely be led in single file; moreover a very high mountain was overhanging (it), so that a very few men could easily block (them); the other through our province, much easier and freer of obstacles, on account of the fact that the Rhone flows between the boundaries of the Helvetii and of the Allobroges, who had lately been pacified, and it is crossed in some places by a ford. The furthest town of the Allobroges and the nearest to the borders of the Helvetii is Geneva. From this town a bridge extends to the Helvetii. They thought that they would either persuade the Allobroges, because they were not yet well disposed (lit. in a good mind) towards the Roman people, or would compel (them) by force, to allow them to go through their territories. All things having been prepared for their expedition, they name a day on which day they should all assemble on the bank of the Rhone. This day was on the fifth day before the Kalends of April (i.e. the 28th March), Lucius Piso and Aulus Gabinius (being) consuls (i.e. 58 B.C.).

Chapter 7.  Caesar, then at Rome, objects strongly, and marches with all speed to Geneva.

When it had been reported to Caesar that they were attempting to make their journey through our province, he hastens to set out from the City and he strives (to reach) Further Gaul by (as) rapid (lit. great) marches as he can, and he arrives in the neighbourhood of Geneva. He orders the whole Province (to furnish) the greatest number of soldiers that it could [there was in all (only) one legion in Further Gaul], and he orders the bridge, which was at Geneva, to be broken down. When the Helvetii are informed (lit. made more sure) of his arrival, they send to him (as) envoys the most illustrious men of their state, in which deputation Nummeius and Verucloetius held the chief place, to say that it was their intention (lit. it was in their mind) to make their journey through the Province without (doing) any harm, on account of the fact that they had no other route: (and to say) that they begged that it might be permitted to them to do this by his leave. Caesar, because he remembered (lit. had it in his memory) that the consul Lucius Cassius had been killed and his army defeated and sent under the yoke by the Helvetii, did not think that a concession should be made (lit. that it ought to be granted); nor did he consider that men of a hostile disposition, the opportunity having been given of a journey through the Province, would refrain from outrage and damage. However, in order that an interval might elapse, until the soldiers, whom he had ordered, might assemble, he replied to the envoys that he would spend (a certain) time in deliberating; if they wanted anything, they might return near the Ides of April (i.e. the 13th April).    

Chapter 8.  He builds a fortification on the south bank of the Rhone; the enemy are unable to get by.

Meanwhile, with that legion, which he had with him, and with the soldiers, who had assembled from the Province, he continues for ten miles (lit. thousand paces) a rampart, to a height of sixteen feet, and a trench from Lake Leman (i.e. Geneva), which flows into the river Rhone, to Mount Jura, which separates the territories of the Sequani from the Helvetii. This work having been completed, he posts garrisons, (and) strongly fortifies redoubts, in order that he may the more easily intercept (them), if they attempt to cross against his will (lit. himself being unwilling). When that day, which he had appointed for the envoys, came, and the envoys returned to him, he says that, in accordance with the custom and precedents of the Roman people, he cannot grant to anyone a passage through the Province, and he makes it clear that (he) will prevent (them) if they try to use force. The Helvetii, disappointed in this hope, having tried, sometimes (lit. not never) during the day, more often at night, (to see) if they could break through, (some) with boats having been joined (together) and several rafts having been constructed, others by fords of the Rhone, where there was the least depth of river, (but), having been repulsed by the fortified (strength) of our works and by the concentration of our soldiers and their missiles, they desisted from this attempt.

Chapter 9.  Another possible route is through the Sequani, who allow the Helvetii to pass through their territory.

One way was left, (namely) through the Sequani, by which they could not go, with the Sequani unwilling. Since they could not persuade them on their own account, they send envoys to Dumnorix the Aeduan, in order that, with him (as) their intercessor, they might obtain (their objective) from the Sequani. Dumnorix, through popularity and liberality had very great (influence) among the Sequani, and was friendly to the Helvetii, because out of that state he had married (lit. led into matrimony) the daughter of Orgetorix, and, having been induced by desire for the kingship, was keenly aiming at a revolution (lit. new things) and wished to have the greatest (number) of states bound (to him) by his benevolence (towards them). Therefore, he undertakes the affair, and obtains from the Sequani their agreement to allow the Helvetii to go through their territories that they should give hostages between themselves: the Sequani, in order that they should not prevent the Helvetii from their march; the Helvetii, so that they should pass through without mischief and outrage.

Chapter 10.  Caesar, fearing for the 'Province', raises forces and crosses the Rhone. 

It is reported to Caesar that the Helvetii were intending (lit. it was in mind to the Helvetii) to make a march through the land of  the Sequani and of the Aedui into the territories of the Santones, who are not far distant from the land of the Tolosates (i.e. Toulouse), which is a state in the Province. If this should happen, he understood that it would (be attended) with great danger to the Province that it should have warlike men, enemies of the Roman people, (as) neighbours to a district unprotected (lit. lying open) and very rich (lit. very great) in corn. For these reasons he placed his legate, Titus Labienus, in command of those fortifications which he had made; he himself hastens to Italy by forced (lit. great) marches, and there he enrols two legions and leads out from their winter quarters three (legions) which were wintering around Aquileia, and with these five legions he hastens to march by what was the shortest route to Further Gaul across the Alps. There, the Ceutrones and the Graioceli and the Caturiges, the higher ground having been taken, try to obstruct the army on its march. These having been routed in several engagements, he arrives in the territories of the Vocontii in the Further Province on the seventh day from Ocelum, which is the last (stronghold) in the Hither Province: thence he leads his army into the territories of the Allobriges, (and) from the Allobriges to the Segusiani. These (people) are the first beyond the Province across the Rhone.

Chapter 11.  The Aedui (into whose country the Helvetii have arrived), Aedui Ambarri, and Allobroges ask Caesar for aid; he determines on immediate action. 

By now the Helvetii had led their own forces across through the defiles and the territories of the Sequani, and had arrived in the territories of the Aedui and were ravaging their lands. The Aedui, since they could not defend themselves and their possessions from them, send envoys to Caesar to ask for help: (pleading) that they had at all times so well deserved of the Roman people that their fields ought not to be laid waste, their children led off into slavery and their strongholds stormed. At the same time the Aedui Ambarri, close associates and kinsmen of the Aedui, inform Caesar (lit. make Caesar more certain) that they, their fields having been laid waste, could not easily ward off the violence of the enemy from their strongholds. Likewise the Allobroges, who had villages and possessions across the Rhone, betake themselves in flight to Caesar and point out (to him) that they have nothing left (lit. that there is nothing left to them) except the soil of their land. Having been induced by these circumstances, Caesar decided that he ought not to wait (lit. that it was not appropriate for him to wait) until, all the property of his allies having been destroyed, the Helvetii should arrive among the Santones.

Chapter 12.  Caesar overtakes the Helvetii as they are crossing the Arar (Saone), and annhilates one division of their army.

There is a river, the Arar (i.e. the Saone), which flows through the lands of the Aedui and the Sequani into the Rhone with incredible slowness, such that it cannot be determined by the eye in which direction it is flowing. This the Helvetii were in the act of crossing by rafts and boats having been joined (together). When Caesar was informed by scouts that the Helvetii had already conveyed three parts of their forces across that river, but that the fourth part had been left behind  on this side of the river Arar, having set out from the camp with three legions in the course of the third watch, he came up to that division which had not yet crossed the river. Attacking them encumbered with baggage and not expecting (him), he cut down a great part of them: the rest entrusted themselves to flight and hid in the nearest woods. That canton was called the Tigurine; for the whole Helvetian state was divided into four cantons. This single canton, when it had left its homeland, within the memory of our fathers had slain the consul Lucius Cassius and had sent his army under the yoke. Thus, whether by chance or by the design of the immortal gods, that part of the Helvetian state which had inflicted a signal calamity upon the Roman people, paid the penalty first. In this matter Caesar avenged not only public but also private wrongs, because the Tigurini had slain the legate Lucius Piso, the grandfather of his father-in-law, Lucius Piso in the same battle in which (they had slain) Cassius.

Chapter 13.  The Helvetii in a high tone ask for peace.

This battle having been undertaken, in order that he can pursue the remaining forces of the Helvetii, he provides for a bridge being built on the Avar, and so he leads his army across (it). The Helvetii, alarmed by his sudden arrival, when they learned that he had effected in a single day what they themselves had accomplished, with difficulty, in twenty days, (that is) to cross the river, send envoys to him; the head of this embassy was Divico, who had been the leader of the Helvetii in the war with Cassius. He treated with Caesar thus: that, if the Roman people were to make peace with the Helvetii, the Helvetii would go to that district, and would (remain) there, wherever Caesar might determine and wish for them to be: but, if they should persist in pursuing (them), let him remember (he said) both the former (lit. old) disaster of the Roman people and the ancient valour of the Helvetii. As to the fact that he had suddenly attacked one canton, (at a time) when those who had crossed the river could not bring help to their (people), let him not, on that account, either attribute very much to his own valour or despise them. (And) that they had so learned from their fathers and ancestors that they would rather contend with valour than rely upon artifice and ambuscade. Let him not, therefore, bring it about that the place where they had taken their stand should take its name from the disaster of the Roman people and an annihilation of its army, or hand down a memorial (of this to posterity).

Chapter 14.  Caesar demands hostages and satisfaction for injuries done to the allies. The Helvetii refuse.

To these (words) Caesar replied thus: The less (need) of hesitation was caused to him, because he kept in his memory those events, which the envoys of the Helvetii had called to mind, and he was the more incensed (by them) (lit. he bore (them) the more heavily) in that the Roman people had not suffered (them) in accordance with their deserts: (now) if they had been aware of any wrong by themselves, it would not have been difficult to be on their guard; but they had been deceived by this, because they did not know that (anything) had been done by themselves, on account of which they should be afraid, and they did not think it was necessary to be afraid without reason. But (even) if he were willing to forget the former outrage, could he also set aside his memory of their recent wrongs, in that, against his will (lit. with him unwilling), they had attempted a passage thorough the Province by force, (and) in that they had molested the Aedui, the Ambarri and the Allobroges? The fact that they boasted so insolently of their victories, and the fact that they wondered that they had committed their outrages with impunity for so long, tended in the same (direction). For the immortal gods were wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish in proportion to their wickedness sometimes greater prosperity (lit. more prosperous affairs) and longer impunity in order that these men may suffer more grievously from the change of circumstances. Although these things are so, yet, if hostages were given to him by them, in order that he may be sure that they will do those things which they may promise, and, if they were to give satisfaction to the Aedui for the wrongs which they had inflicted upon them and their allies, and likewise to the Allobroges, he would make peace with them. Divico replied: that the Helvetii had been so trained by their ancestors that they were accustomed to receive, not to give, hostages: of that fact the Roman people were witnesses. This reply having been given, he departed.

Chapter 15.  The Helvetii gain the advantage in a slight cavalry fight. Caesar follows the enemy with caution.  

On the following day they move their camp from that place. Caesar does the same, and sends forward all his cavalry to the number of four thousand, which he had collected (lit. he held, having collected) from all of the Province and from the Aedui and their allies, in order to observe in which direction the enemy were making their march. These, having followed up too eagerly the rear of their column, join battle with the cavalry of the Helvetii on unfavourable (lit. alien) ground; and a few of our men fall. The Helvetii, having been elated by this battle, because with five hundred horsemen they had repelled so great a mass of cavalry, began to resist (us) more boldly and, from the rear of their column, to provoke our men to battle. (But) Caesar restrained his men from battle and held (it) sufficient for the present to prevent the enemy from plundering, foraging and depredation. They made their march for about fifteen days in such a way that there was a distance of no more than five or six miles each day between the rear of the enemy's column and our vanguard.

Chapter 16.  Caesar expresses to the leaders of the Aeduans his anger at the delays which have occurred in their delivering corn to the Roman army.

Meanwhile, Caesar kept asking the Aedui daily for the corn which they had promised on behalf of their state. For on account of the cold, because Gaul, as has been said before, has been situated towards the North (lit. the seven plough-oxen), not only was the corn in the fields not ripe but there was at hand not even a sufficiently great supply of cattle-fodder: moreover, he could not make use of that corn which he had conveyed by ships along the river Arar, on account of the fact that the Helvetii, from whom he was unwilling to retire, had diverted their march from the Arar. The Aedui kept putting (him) off from day to day: they said it was being gathered, it was being brought, it was (already) at hand. When he realised that he was being delayed too long, and that the day was near, on which day it was necessary (for him) to measure out corn to the soldiers, their chiefs having been called together, of which he had a large number in his camp, among them Divitiacus and Liscus, who held the chief magistracy, which the Aedui call the Vergobret, (and) who is elected annually and has the power of life and death over his people, he reprimands them heavily, because he is not being helped by them at so urgent a time, with the enemy (being) so near, (and) at a time when (corn) could neither be bought nor taken from the fields; especially, since he has to a great extent undertaken this war, induced by their prayers, he compla ins even more seriously because he has been forsaken.

Chapter 17.  Liscus explains to Caesar that these corn supplies have been deliberately withheld by those Aeduans who are hostile to the Romans.

Then, at long last, Liscus, moved by Caesar's speech, discloses what he had previously been silent about: that there are some (lit. not none) whose influence with the people has very great weight, (and) who have more power in a private station than the magistrates themselves. (He says) that these men, by seditious and reckless speech, were deterring the populace from bringing the corn which they ought (to bring): (they tell them) that, if they can no longer maintain the supremacy of Gaul, it is better to endure the rule of Gauls than of Romans, nor do (they) doubt but that, if the Romans conquered the Helvetii, they are intending to snatch their freedom away from the Aedui, together with the rest of Gaul. By these very men, (he says) that our plans, and what things are being done in the camp, are disclosed to the enemy: (and) that they cannot be restrained by him. Nay moreover, because, having been compelled (to do so), he has divulged to Caesar this pressing matter, he perceives with what great risk he has done this, and for that reason he has been silent for (as) long as he could.

Chapter 18.  Following his enquiries, it emerges that the main agent of the Romans' difficulties is Dumnorix, the brother of Divitiacus.

Caesar felt that, by this speech of Liscus, Dumnorix, the brother of Divitiacus, was indicated, but, because he was unwilling for these matters to be bandied about with too many people being present, he speedily dismisses the council, (but) keeps Liscus back. He enquires from (him, when he is) alone, about those things which he had said in the assembly. He now speaks more freely and more boldly. He enquires about the same things from others in private (lit. with each one set apart); he discovers that the facts are (these): that Dumnorix, himself, (a man) of the greatest audacity, in great favour with the people on account of his liberality, is desirous of a revolution (lit. new arrangements). For several years, he has held in contract the customs and all the other taxes of the Aedui at a low price, on account of the fact that, with him bidding, no one (else) dares to bid against (him). By these means he has both increased his own private property and has acquired ample resources for bribery; he maintains permanently at his own expense, and keeps around himself, a great number of cavalry, (and) not only at home but also among the neighbouring states he is extremely influential, and, for the sake of (maintaining) this influence, he has given his mother (in marriage) among the Bituriges, to  the most noble and most powerful man there; he himself has taken a wife from the Helvetii, (and) has given his sister on his mother's side (i.e. his half-sister) and his female relatives in marriage into other states. He favours and wishes the Helvetii well, on account of this relationship, and, moreover, he hates, on his own account, both Caesar and the Romans, because, on their arrival, his power (was) diminished, and his brother Divitiacus was restored to his old position of influence and dignity. If anything should happen to the Romans, he entertains the greatest hope of his kingship being won through the Helvetii; (but) under the rule of the Roman people, he despairs not only of the kingship but also of that influence which he (already) has. Caesar also discovered, on enquiring into that unsuccessful cavalry engagement, which had occurred a few days beforehand, that the start of that flight (had been) made by Dumnorix and his cavalry (for Dumnorix was in command of the cavalry which the Aedui had sent for aid to Caesar): by their flight the rest of the cavalry were stricken with panic.

Chapter 19.  Caesar asks Divitiacus to agree that action should be taken against Dumnorix.

These things having been discovered, since to these suspicions the most certain facts are added, namely, that he had led the Helvetii through the territories of the Sequani, that he had provided for hostages to be given between them, that he had done all these things, not only without his orders, and (without those) of the state, but also with (their) not knowing (of it) themselves, that he was reprimanded by the (chief) magistrate of the Aedui, he considered that he should order (them) to punish (lit. proceed against) him or (do so) himself.  One thing stood in the way of all these procedures, namely, that his brother Divitiacus' very high regard for the Roman people, his very great good will towards himself, his eminent fidelity, justice (and) moderation: for he feared that by the punishment of this man he should hurt the feelings of Divitiacus. Therefore, before he should attempt anything, he orders Divitiacus to be summoned to him, and, the every day interpreters having been withdrawn, he converses with him through Gaius Valerius Procillus, chief of the province of Gaul, his own intimate friend, in whom he had the fullest confidence: he reminds (him) of what things were said about Dumnorix in the council of the Gauls, with himself (i.e. Divitiacus) being present, and shows (him) what each one had said about him separately in his presence. He begs and exhorts (him) that, without offence to his feelings, he may either determine (the case) concerning him himself, or that he may order the state to determine (the case).

Chapter 20.  Divitiacus intercedes for his brother with Caesar, who merely warns Dumnorix.

Divitiacus, embracing Caesar, begins to implore (him) not to determine anything too severe against his brother: (he said) that he knew these (charges) were true, and that no one took more pain from this than himself, on account of the fact that, when he himself (was) very (powerful) at home and in the rest of Gaul through his influence, (and) he had very little power on account of his youth, he (i.e. Dumnorix) had grown powerful through him (i.e. Divitiacus); (now) he was using this resource and power not only for the purpose of his influence being lessened, but also to his ruin. However, he himself was influenced both by fraternal love and by the opinion of the populace. But, if anything too severe by Caesar were to befall him, since he himself held this position of friendship with him, no one would think that it had been done without (lit. not with) his consent; from this circumstance it would (happen) that the hearts of all Gaul would be turned away from him. Since he was, tearfully, begging these things from Caesar with many words, Caesar takes his right hand; comforting (him), he begs (him) (to) make an end of entreating; (and) he assures (him) that his influence with him is of such great (weight) that he will forgive both the injury to the republic and his own unhappiness in deference to his wish and prayers. He summons Dumnorix to him; he calls in his brother; he points out what he censures in him; he sets out what he knows himself, (and) what the state is complaining of; he warns that he should avoid all grounds for suspicion for the future (lit. the time remaining): he says that he pardons the things that have gone before in consideration of his brother. (But) he sets spies over Dumnorix in order that he may know what he does and to whom he speaks.

Chapter 21.  Caesar resolves to attack the enemy both in front and rear.

On the same day, having been informed (lit. having been made more certain) by scouts that the enemy were encamped at the foot of a mountain eight miles (lit. eight thousand paces) from his own camp, he sent (persons) to ascertain what the nature of the mountain was and what kind of ascent (there was at various points) on its circuit. It was reported back that it was easy. During the third watch, he orders Titus Labienus, his legate with praetorian powers (lit. in the place of a praetor), to climb the highest ridge of the mountain with two legions and those guides who had reconnoitred the route; he explains what his plan is. At about the fourth watch, he himself hastens to them by the same route by which the enemy had gone, and he sends all the cavalry before him. Publius Considius, who was reputed (to be) very skilled in military matters and had been in the army of Lucius Sulla and afterwards in (the army) of Marcus Crassus, is sent forward.

Chapter 22.  The attack is baulked by a false alarm.

At dawn (lit. first light), when the top of the mountain was held by Labienus, (and) he himself was not further than a mile and a half (lit. one thousand and  five hundred paces) from the enemy's camp, nor, as he afterwards learned from captives, had either his own arrival or (that) of Labienus been discovered, Considius, his horse at full gallop (lit. having been let go), rushes up to him, (and) says that the mountain was being held by the enemy: that he has discovered this by means of the Gallic arms and accoutrements. Caesar leads off his forces to the next hill, and draws up a battle-line. Labienus, as it had been ordered to him by Caesar not to join battle unless his own forces had been seen near the enemy's camp, in order that the attack upon the enemy might take place at one time, the mountain having been occupied, was waiting for our men, and abstained from battle. At last, the day (being) far (spent), Caesar learned through scouts both that the mountain was held by his own men and that the enemy had struck camp, and that Considius, panic-stricken with fear had reported to him, as if seen, (something) which he had not seen. On that day, he follows the enemy at the interval to which he had become accustomed, and pitches his camp three miles (lit. three thousand paces) from their camp.

Chapter 23.  Caesar marches to Bibracte, followed by the Helvetii.

On the next day from that day, because in all (only) a space of two days was left (to the time) when it was necessary for him to measure out the corn to his army, and, as he was no further than eighteen miles from Bibracte, by far the largest and best provisioned town of the Aedui, he thought that it was necessary (for him) to attend to the corn supply: (so) he diverts his course from the Helvetii and hastens to go to Bibracte. This circumstance is reported to the enemy by deserters from Lucius Aemilius, the captain of the Gallic horsemen. The Helvetii, either because they thought that the Romans, stricken with fear, were withdrawing from them, all the more (so), because on the previous day, the higher ground having been seized, they had not joined battle, or for this (reason), because they were confident that they (i.e. the Romans) could be cut off from their corn supplies, their plan having been altered and their route having been changed, began to pursue and provoke our men in the rear of the column.

Chapter 24.  Caesar engages the Helvetii in battle near Bibracte.

After he notices this, Caesar draws off his forces to to the nearest hill, and sent the cavalry to check the enemy's attack. He himself, meanwhile, drew up on the middle of the hill a triple battle-line of four veteran legions [as (he had done) thus above]; but he ordered that the two legions, which he had very recently enrolled in Hither Gaul, and all the auxiliaries be placed on the highest ridge, and that the whole mountain be completely filled with men, and that meanwhile the baggage should be brought together into one place, and that that (position) should be entrenched by those men who had been placed in the upper line. The Helvetii, having followed with all their carts, collected their baggage into one place; they themselves, our cavalry having been repulsed by their very close array, (and) a phalanx having been formed, advanced up to our front line.

Chapter 25.  After fierce fighting the Helvetii are forced by the Romans to retreat, but, with the arrival of the Boii and Tulingi, they return to the fray. 

Caesar, the horses having been removed out of sight, firstly his own, then (those) of all (others), in order that, the danger of all having been made equal, he might do away with the hope of flight, having encouraged his men, joined battle. His soldiers, their javelins having been hurled from the higher ground, easily broke up the enemy's phalanx, and, that having been dispersed, they made a charge against them with their swords drawn. It was a great hindrance to the Gauls in fighting (lit. for the purpose of the fight) in that several of their shields having been pierced and pinned fast together by one cast of javelins, since the iron(-head) had bent itself, they could neither pull (it) out, nor, with their left hand encumbered, fight with sufficient ease, so that many (of them), their arm having been tossed about for a long time, preferred to cast away the shield from their hand, and to fight with their body unprotected (lit. naked).  At length, worn out by wounds, they began both to retreat (lit. take back the foot), and, because a mountain was around a mile off, to betake themselves thither. The mountain having been taken, and our men advancing up, the Boii and the Tulingi, who with around fifteen thousand men brought up the enemy's rear (lit. closed the enemy's line of march) and were a protection to the rearguard, attacking from their march our men on their exposed flank, (began) to surround them, and, seeing this, the Helvetii, who had betaken themselves on to the mountain, began to press forward again and to renew the battle. The Romans faced about and charged (lit. bore their reversed ensigns upon) (the enemy) in two divisions: the first and second line, to resist those (who had been) defeated and driven back; the third, to withstand those arriving.

Chapter 26.  Having been defeated at the end of this great battle, the Helvetii flee to the Lingones, but the latter are warned by Caesar no to help them.

Thus, the battle facing in both directions (lit. being twofold), the fighting continued (lit. it was fought) for a long time and fiercely. When they could no longer sustain the attacks of our men, some (i.e. the Helvetii), as they had begun (to do), betook themselves to the mountain, the others (i.e. the Boii and Tulingi) devoted themselves  to their baggage and carts. For, in the course of the whole of this battle, although the fighting continued (lit. it was fought) from the seventh hour to evening, no one could see a foe turning his back. Even round the baggage there was fighting (lit. it was fought) till late in the night, on account of the fact that they had constructed their carts as a barricade, and from this vantage ground they continued to hurl missiles upon our advancing men, and some kept thrusting pikes and lances between their carts and wheels, and were wounding our men. When there had been fighting (lit. it had been fought) for a long time, our men gained possession of their baggage and camp. There, the daughter and one of the sons of Orgetorix was captured. From this battle around a hundred and thirty persons survived, and marched continuously for the whole of that night: their march having been interrupted for no part of the night, they arrived at the borders of the Lingones on the fourth day, since our men had not been able to pursue them for the space of three days, having delayed on account of the wounds of their soldiers and on account of the burial of those (who had been) killed. Caesar sent letters and messengers to the Lingones, (with orders) that they should not help them with corn or with (any)thing else: (he said) that, if they should aid (them), he would regard (them) in the same light (lit. position) in which (he regarded) the Helvetii. A space of three days having elapsed (lit. having been put between), he began to follow with all his forces.

Chapter 27.  The Helvetii are compelled to surrender, but a group of men from the Verbigene canton break away and make for the Rhine.  

The Helvetii, induced by the want of all things, sent envoys to him about surrender. When these had met him on the march, and had thrown themselves at his feet, and, speaking as suppliants, had, tearfully, begged for peace, and he had ordered them to await his arrival in that place whither they then were, they obeyed. When Caesar arrived thither, he demanded hostages, their weapons, (and) the slaves, who had deserted to them. While these things were being sought out and collected together, night having intervened (lit. having been put between), around six thousand men of that canton, which is called the Verbigene, either stricken with fear, lest, their weapons having been handed over, they were punished with execution, or induced by the hope of safety, because they thought that,  amid so great a multitude of prisoners, their flight might either be concealed or altogether overlooked, having departed at night-fall (lit. at first night) from the camp of the Helvetii, hastened to the Rhine and to the territories of the Germans.

Chapter 28.  The men of the Verbigene canton, having been returned, are slaughtered. The other Helvetii and their allies are ordered to return home and rebuild their houses, and the Allobriges are required to feed them. The Boii are permitted to settle in the lands of the Aedui.

When Caesar learned this, he commanded those through whose territory they had gone to seek (them) out and bring (them) back, if they wished to be free of blame in his eyes (lit. with regard to himself): (those) having been brought back he treated in the category of enemies; hostages, weapons and deserters having been handed over, the rest were admitted to a surrender. He ordered the Helvetii, the Tulingi and the Latovices to return to their own territories, whence they had set out, and, because there was nothing at home, all the produce, by which they might support their hunger, having been destroyed, he ordered the Allobriges to make (available) to them a supply of corn; he ordered that they themselves should rebuild the towns and villages which they had burned. He did this chiefly for this reason, because he was unwilling that that country from which the Helvetii had departed, should be unoccupied, lest the Germans, who dwell across the Rhine, should, on account of the excellent farmlands, cross over from their territories into the lands of the Helvetii and become neighbours to the province of Gaul and to the Allobriges. The Aedui requesting (it), he granted that the Boii might settle within their territories, because they were known for their distinguished valour; to these they gave farmlands, and they afterwards admitted them into an equal state of rights and freedom as they were (in) themselves.

Chapter 29.  Documents giving statistics as to the number of Helvetii.

In the camp of the Helvetii were found lists, written in Greek letters, in which lists an account had been drawn up, name by name, (showing) what number had gone forth from their homeland of those, who were able to bear arms, and likewise boys, old men and women separately. Of all those items the total  was 263,000 heads of the Helvetii, 36,000 of the Tulingi, 14,000 of the Latovici, 16,000 of the Rauraci, (and) 32,000 of  the Boii; out of these, (those) who could bear arms (amounted) to about 92,000. The total of all was about 368,000. A census of those who returned home having been held, as Caesar had ordered, the number of 110,000 was found.

THE GERMAN WAR: Chapters 30-54.

Chapter 30.   Congratulations pour in upon Caesar. - Deputation of the Gauls to him.

The war with the Helvetii having been completed, ambassadors from almost the whole of Gaul, the chief men of the states, assembled at Caesar'(s camp) to congratulate (him): (they said) that, although they were aware that he had exacted punishment on the Helvetii for the old wrongs to the Roman people (done) by them, yet that circumstance had happened no less to the advantage of the land of Gaul than to the Roman people, on account of the fact that the Helvetii, their affairs (being) most prosperous, had quitted their homes with this design, to wage war upon the whole of Gaul and to gain possession of an empire, and to select, out of a great abundance, a place for habitation, which they had judged (to be) the most convenient and the most productive in all Gaul, and to hold the rest of the states as tributaries. They asked that it might be permitted to them to proclaim an assembly of the whole of Gaul on an appointed day, and to do that with Caesar's consent: (they said) that they had certain things which out of common consent they wished to ask from him. This request (lit. matter) having been permitted, they decided on a day for the assembly, and they ordained under an oath (of secrecy) among themselves that no one should publish (the record of their deliberations) except those it should be entrusted by general agreement.

Chapter 31.  Divitiacus begs Caesar to aid the Gauls against the tyrannic Ariovistus.

That assembly having been broken up, the same chief men of the states, who had been before, returned to Caesar and asked that it might be permitted to them to treat with him in private concerning their own safety and (that) of others. That request (lit. matter) having been granted, they all threw themselves, in tears, at Caesar's feet: (they said) that they were no less concerned and anxious about this, that those things which they should say should not be disclosed, than that they might obtain those things which they wanted, on account of the fact that, if it were disclosed, they saw that they should come into the greatest torture. For these men, Divitiacus the Aeduan spoke: (he said) that there were two parties in the whole of Gaul: the Aedui held the primacy of one of these, the Arverni of the other. When these had been struggling violently between themselves for dominion, it happened that the Germans were summoned at a price by the Arverni and the Sequani. About 15,000 of them had at first crossed the Rhine: after these wild and uncivilised men had become had become very fond of the lands, the refinement and the abundant resources of the Gauls, more were brought over; there were now up to the number of 120,000 (of them) in Gaul. With these, the Aedui and their client (states) had repeatedly (lit. once and again) struggled in arms; having been routed, they had sustained a great calamity, (and) all their nobility, all their senate, (and) all their cavalry had been lost. Broken by these battles and disasters, (those) who, both by their valour and by the  hospitality and friendship of the Roman people, had previously been most powerful in Gaul, were (now) compelled to give the most noble men of their state (as) hostages to the Sequani, and to bind the state by an oath that they would neither demand the return of the hostages nor would they seek help from the Roman people nor would they refuse to be forever under their bidding and sway. He was the (only) one out of all the state of the Aedui who could not be prevailed upon to take the oath or to give his children (as) hostages. But a worse thing had happened to the victorious Sequani than to the defeated Aedui, on account of the fact that Ariovistus, the king of the Germans, had settled in their territories, and had seized a third part of the land of the Sequani, which was the best in all Gaul, and was now ordering the Sequani to depart from another third part, on account of the fact that a few months before 24,000 men of the Harudi had come to him, for whom space and dwellings were to be provided. The result (lit.It) would be that, in a few years, they would all be driven out of the territories of Gaul, and all the Germans would cross the Rhine: for neither is (the land of) Gaul suitable to be compared with the land of the Germans, nor (is) the former's (i.e. the Gauls') way of life suitable to be compared with the latter's (i.e. the Germans'). Moreover, Ariovistus, when once he had conquered the forces of the Gauls in battle, which battle occurred near Magetobriga, (began) to rule haughtily and cruelly, to demand (as) hostages the children of each of the principal nobles, and to inflict upon them all     modes (of punishment) and of torture, if anything be performed not to his nod or to his pleasure. He was a savage, passionate and reckless man; (they) cannot endure his commands any longer. Unless there was something of help in Caesar and the Roman people, it would be necessary for all the Gauls to do the same as the Helvetii had done, (that is), to emigrate from their homeland, to seek another dwelling-place (and) other settlements remote from the Germans, and to try whatever fortune may befall (them). If these things were to be disclosed to Ariovistus, he did not doubt but that he would inflict the most severe punishment upon all the hostages who he had with him. Caesar, either by his own authority and (that) of his army, or by his recent victories, or by the name of the Roman people, can deter (him), so that a greater mass of Germans does not cross the Rhine, and can defend the whole of Gaul from the outrage of Ariovistus.

Chapter 32.  The bearing of the Sequani. 

This speech by Divitiacus having been delivered, all who were present began, with loud weeping, to beg help from Caesar. Caesar noticed that the Sequani, alone out of all, did none of those things which the rest were doing, but gazed sadly on the ground with their heads bowed down. He enquired of them, wondering, what was the reason for this conduct (lit. thing). The Sequani did not reply at all, but, silently, remained in the same (state of) sadness. When he had, repeatedly, enquired of them, and could not extract any response at all, the same Divitiacus the Aeduan replied (saying that): the lot of the Sequani was more wretched and more grievous than (that) of the rest on this (account), because they alone do not dare, even in secret, to complain or ask for help, and they shudder at the cruelty of Ariovistus (even when he is) absent, just as if he were present in person, on account of the fact that to the rest, at any rate, the opportunity of flight was given, but all tortures were having to be endured by the Sequani, who had admitted Ariovistus within their borders, (and) whose towns were all in his power.

Chapter 33.  Caesar promises to interfere.

These things having been ascertained, Caesar cheered the spirits of the Gauls with his words and promised that this matter should be a concern to him: he had great hopes that Ariovistus, induced both by his kindness and his authority, would make an end to his outrages. This speech having been delivered, he dismissed the assembly. And next to these (considerations) many things induced him wherefore to think that this matter needed to be considered and taken up by him, especially as he saw that the Aedui, named (as they had been) frequently by the Senate (as) brethren and kinsmen, were being held in servitude and in the sway of the Germans, and he understood that their hostages were with Ariovistus and the Sequani; (now) this in so great an empire (as that) of the Roman people he considered was very shameful to himself and to the republic. Moreover, that the Germans, should become accustomed, little by little, to cross the Rhine, and that a great multitude of them should come into Gaul he saw (would be) very dangerous to the Roman people; nor did he consider that wild and savage men would be likely to restrain themselves, when they had occupied all of Gaul, from going forth into the Province, and thence pushing on into Italy, as the Cimbri and Teutoni had done before, particularly since (only) the Rhone separated the Sequani from our province; he thought that it was necessary to meet these possibilities (lit. things) as promptly as possible. Furthermore, Ariovistus, for his part, had taken to himself such great airs, (and) such great arrogance, that he did not seem endurable.

Chapter 34.  Caesar summons Ariovistus to a conference, which Ariovistus scornfully refuses to attend.

For this reason it pleased him to send envoys to Ariovistus to request of him to choose some spot, equidistant from both of them, for a meeting: (he said that) he wished to treat with him concerning public affairs and matters of the highest importance to both of them. To this deputation Ariovistus responded: (saying that) if he had any need of something (lit. if there was any need to him) from Caesar, he would have gone to him; if he wanted him for anything, it behoved him to go to him. Besides, he did not dare to go without his army into those parts of Gaul which Caesar had in his possession, nor could he, without great expense and exertion, bring together his army to one place. Moreover, it seemed strange to him what business Caesar had (lit. there was to Caesar) or to the Roman people at all, in his part of Gaul, which he had conquered in war.

Chapter 35.  Caesar gives  Ariovistus an ultimatum.

These responses having been brought back to Caesar, Caesar again sends envoys to him with these injunctions: (he says that) since, (although) having been treated with the very great kindness of himself and of the Roman people, when in his consulship he had been named king and friend by the Senate, he returns these thanks to him and to the people of Rome, (namely) that he was reluctant to come to a conference, having been invited, nor did he consider that it was necessary for him to speak and to learn about their common business, these were the things which he demanded from him: firstly, that he did not bring (any) further across the Rhine into Gaul any multitude of men: next, that he restored the hostages which he had from the Aedui and that it was allowed to them, with his consent, to restore those which they had; and that he did not provoke the Aedui by outrage, nor wage war upon them and their allies. If he were, accordingly, to do this, he and the Roman people would have (lit. there would be in respect of himself and the Roman people) a perpetual favour and friendship towards him: if he did not obtain (these things), he, since, Marcus Messala and Marcus Piso (being) consuls (i.e. in 61 B.C.), the Senate had decreed that whoever held Gaul (as) hther is province should defend the Aedui and the other friends of the Roman people, in so far as he could do (so) to the advantage of the Roman people, would not overlook the wrongs of the Aedui.

Chapter 36.  Ariovistus replies defiantly.

To these things, Ariovistus replied (thus): that the right of war was that (they) who had conquered should govern those whom they had conquered in what manner they wished: likewise the Roman people had been accustomed to rule those whom they had conquered, not according to the prescription of another, but in accordance with their own will. If he, for his part, did not dictate to the Roman people in what manner they should exercise their right, it was not appropriate for him to be hindered by the Roman people in (the enjoyment of) his own right. The Aedui, since they had tried the fortune of war, and had engaged in arms and been conquered, had become tributaries to him. Caesar was doing (him) an injustice, in that by his arrival he was making his revenues less valuable to him (lit. worse for him). He would not give back their hostages, but he would not make war upon them or their allies wrongfully (lit. with injustice), if they kept to that which they had agreed upon, and paid their tribute every year; if they did not do this, the name brethren of  Roman people would not help them (lit. would be a great way off from them). As to Caesar threatening him that he would not overlook the wrongs of the Aedui, no one had (ever) fought with him without his own ruin. He might join issue when he wished: he would find out what the invincible Germans, very highly trained in arms, (and) who during fourteen years had not gone under a roof, were able (to do) by their valour.

Chapter 37.  Caesar receives further news: from the Aedui about the depredations of the Harudes, and from the Treviri that the Suebi were seeking to cross the Rhine as well.

At the same time (in which) these injunctions were brought back to Caesar, envoys also came from the Aedui and the Treviri: the Aedui, to complain that the Harudes, who had recently been transported into Gaul, were ravaging their territories: (and that) they had not been able to purchase the good will of Ariovistus even by giving hostages; and the Treviri, (to complain) that a hundred cantor him to ons of the Suebi had settled on the bank of the Rhine, in order to try to cross the Rhine: the brothers Nasuas and Cimberius were in command of them. Caesar, having been greatly disturbed by these things, considered that it was necessary for him to make haste, lest, if this new band of Suebi should have joined itself to the old forces of Ariovistus, it would be less possible ( for him) to be resisted.

Chapter 38.  Caesar occupies Vesontio.

When he had proceeded on the journey for three days, it was reported to him that Ariovistus was hastening with all his forces with the purpose of Vesontio (i.e. Besancon), which is the largest town of the Sequani, being seized, and had advanced three days' journey from his own territories. Caesar thought that it was necessary for him to take the greatest precautions that this should not happen. For indeed, there was in that town the greatest abundance of all things which were required for war, and it was so fortified by the nature of the ground that it gave a great opportunity for war to be conducted, on account of the fact that the river Doubs almost surrounds the whole town, traced around, as it were, with a pair of compasses; a mountain of great height shuts in the remaining space, which is no further than one thousand and six hundred feet, where the river leaves a gap, such that the roots of the mountain extend to the river's banks on each side. A wall put around (it) makes this a citadel and joins (it) with the town. Hither Caesar hastens by forced (lit. great) marches by night and by day, and, the town having been seized, he places a garrison there.

Chapter 39.  Dread of the Germans in the minds of the soldiers.

While he delayed for a few days near Vesontio for the sake of the corn supply and the commissariat, from the enquiries of our men and the remarks (lit. voices) of Gauls and traders, who asserted that the Germans were (men) of huge size of bodies, incredible courage and skill in arms [they said that they, having met with them, often could not bear even their countenance and the sharp glance of their eyes], such a great fear suddenly seized hold of the army that it perturbed the minds and spirits of all (the men) in no slight degree. This first arose from the military tribunes (lit. tribunes of the soldiers), prefects and the other who, having followed Caesar for the sake of friendship, had no great experience of military affairs; of these, each, a separate excuse   having been brought forward, which he said was a necessary (reason) for him to set out, began to ask that it be permitted (to him) to leave with his consent; some, induced by shame, remained in order to avoid the suspicion of fear. They could not put on a brave face (lit. compose their countenance) nor sometimes (even) check their tears; (but) hidden in their tents, they either bewailed their fate, or, with their comrades, they deplored the common danger. Everywhere throughout the whole camp wills were sealed. By the remarks (lit. voices) and fear of these men, even those who had great experience in service (lit. camp), soldiers, centurions and (those) who were in command of the cavalry, were gradually disconcerted. (Those of them) who wished themselves to be thought less timid said that they did not fear the enemy, but the narrowness of the road and the vastness of the forests which came between themselves and Ariovistus, or they feared (for) the supply of corn, lest it could not be brought in easily enough. Some had even reported to Caesar that when he gave the order that the camp be struck (lit. moved) and an advance be made (lit. the standards be raised), the soldiers would not be obedient (lit. listening) to his word, nor advance (lit. carry the standards), on account of their fear.

Chapter 40.  Caesar addresses a conference of all his officers, and tells them not to fear the Germans.

When he had noticed these things, a council having been called and the centurions of all ranks having been summoned to this council, he rated them severely: firstly, because they supposed that it was appropriate for them to enquire (lit. it ought to be enquired) or to reflect upon (lit. it ought to be thought) in what direction or for what object they were being led. (He said) that Ariovistus, himself being consul (i.e. in 59 B.C.), had most avidly sought the friendship of the Roman people: why should anyone judge that he would so rashly depart from his duty? Indeed, he was persuaded (lit. it was persuaded to him) that, his demands having been ascertained and the fairness of his conditions having been clearly discerned, he would reject neither his nor the Roman people's favour. But, if impelled by rage and madness, he were to make war upon (them), what in the end were they afraid of? Or why should they despair of their own valour or of his own competence? Of this enemy, a trial had been made in the memory of our fathers, when, the Cimbri and the Teutoni having been defeated by Gaius Marius, the army was seen (as) deserving no less praise than the commander himself. It had been made recently, too, in the rebellion of the slaves, whom, however, the experience and training which they had received from us, assisted to some extent. From this it could be judged how much advantage resolution has in itself, on account of the fact that those whom they had feared without reason (when they were) unarmed, they had afterwards conquered (when) armed and victorious. Finally, these were the same men, whom, the Helvetii, having met frequently with them, not only in their own, but also in their, territories, have generally defeated, and, yet, they have not been able to be be equal to our army. If the unsuccessful battle and flight of the Gauls disturbed any, these, if they enquired, might discover that Ariovistus, with the Gauls exhausted by the long duration of the war, since he had, for many months, kept himself within his camp and in the marshes and had not given (them) a chance of attacking him (lit. a chance at him), having suddenly attacked (them) despairing now of battle and having been dispersed, defeated (them) more by stratagem and cunning than by valour. (Those) who were attributing their own fear to a pretence about the corn supply or the narrowness of the road were acting presumptuously, as they seemed either to be despairing of the general's (performance of his) duty or to be dictating (to him). These things were of concern (to him): the Sequani, the Leuci (and) the Lingones were furnishing the corn, and the crops were already ripe in the fields; as for the road, they would, in a short time, be able to judge (for) themselves. As to its being said that they would not be  obedient (lit. listening) to his command nor advance (lit. carry the standards), he was not at all  disturbed by that matter: for he knew that in whatever cases an army had not been obedient (lit. listening) to command, either, an affair having been badly managed, fortune had failed (them), or, some crime having been discovered, avarice had been conclusively proved:  his own integrity (and) his good fortune in the war with the Helvetii, had been seen clearly throughout his whole life. Therefore, he would do at once what he had intended to postpone to a more distant day, and he would strike camp the next night around the fourth watch, so that he could ascertain as soon as possible, whether shame and duty, or fear, would prevail among them. But, even if no one were to follow, yet, he would go with only the tenth legion, about which he was not in doubt, and this should be his body-guard (lit. praetorian cohort). Caesar both favoured this legion especially, and, on account of its valour, trusted (it) very greatly.

Chapter 41.  The legions' martial spirit having been recovered, Caesar leads them towards the Germans. 

This address having been delivered, the minds of all were changed in a remarkable manner, and the highest ardour and eagerness for the war being waged were engendered, and the tenth legion gave thanks to him first, through their military tribunes (lit. tribunes of the soldiers), because he had formed the very highest opinion of it, and assured (him) that it was very ready for the war to be prosecuted. Then, the remaining legions treated with their military tribunes (lit. tribunes of the soldiers) and the centurions of the first rank to make due apology to Caesar; (they said) that they had not ever doubted or feared, nor supposed that the determination of the  policy (lit. the most important things) of the war (was) theirs, but was the general's. Their apology having been accepted, and the road having been reconnoitred by Divitiacus, because, out of (all) others, he had the greatest confidence in him, (he found) that, by means of a circuit of more than fifty miles (lit. thousands [of paces]), he might lead his army through open areas, (and so) he set out in the fourth watch, as he said (he would). On the seventh day, since he did not interrupt his march, he was informed (lit. made more certain) by his scouts that the forces of Ariovistus were four and twenty miles (lit. thousand of paces) away from our men.

Chapter 42.  A conference between Caesar and Ariovistus takes place.

Caesar's arrival having been ascertained (by him), Ariovistus sends envoys to him: (he says) that the thing which he had asked for before with regard to a conference was permitted to happen, so far as he was concerned (lit. in respect of himself), since he (i..e. Caesar) had come nearer, and he considered that he might (now) do it without danger. Caesar did not reject the proposal, and began to think that he (i.e. Ariovistus) was now returning to a sound state of mind, since he was proffering, of his own accord, the thing which he had previously utterly refused (him) when he asked it (lit. asking), and he (i.e. Caesar) was coming into a great expectation that, in accordance with his own very great kindnesses and (those) of the Roman people towards him, and his own demands being made known, the result (lit. it) would be that he would desist from his stubbornness. The fifth day from that day was appointed for the conference. Meanwhile, when envoys were being sent continually between them, Ariovistus demanded that Caesar should not bring any foot-soldier to the conference: (he said) that he was afraid lest he were surrounded by him through treachery: that each of them should come with cavalry; (and) that he would not come on (any) other basis. Caesar, as he did not wish the conference to be cancelled, an excuse having been interposed, and he did not dare to entrust his own safety to the cavalry of the Gauls, decided that it would be most expedient, all the horses having been taken away from the Gallic cavalry, to mount upon them the legionary soldiers of the tenth legion, whom he trusted as greatly as possible, in order that he might have as trustworthy as possible an escort, if there should be any need for action. When this was done, one of the soldiers of the tenth legion remarked not unwittily: that Caesar was doing more than he had promised: he had promised to have the tenth legion in place of his body-guard (lit. praetorian cohort), (but) he was (now) enrolling (them) into horse.

Chapter 43.  The demands of Caesar.

There was a large plain, and in it a mound of earth of considerable (lit. sufficient) size. Thither, as had been appointed, they came for the conference. Caesar stationed the legion, which he had brought on horseback, two hundred paces from this mound. Likewise, the cavalry of Ariovistus halted at an equal distance. Ariovistus (then) demanded that they should converse on horseback and that, besides themselves, they should bring ten men each to the conference. When they were come to this (place), Caesar, at the beginning of his speech, recalled his own and the Senate's kindnesses towards him, (namely) that he had been called king, that (he had been called) friend, by the Senate, (and) that presents had been sent (to him) in abundance; he sought to explain that this circumstance had both happened to a very few men, and that  it had been customary for it to be bestowed in return for important personal services (lit. the great services of men); that he, although he had no right of approach nor a just reason for receiving (them), had obtained these prizes through his own and the Senate's kindness and munificence. He also proceeded to explain what long-standing and what  genuine reasons for a close relationship existed between themselves and the Aedui, how frequent and how honourable (were) the decrees of the Senate which had been passed in respect of them, (and) how the Aedui had always (lit. for all time) held the primacy of the whole of Gaul, before even they had actively sought our friendship. This was the custom of the Roman people, to desire that its allies and friends should not only lose nothing of their possessions (lit. of their own), but should be advanced in influence, dignity and honour: who (then) could endure that something which they had brought (with them) to the friendship of the Roman people should be torn from them? He demanded the same things which he had given in commissions to his envoys, that he should not make was upon the Aedui or their allies; he should restore the hostages; if he could return no part of the Germans to their home-land, at least he should not allow any more (of them) to cross the Rhine.

Chapter 44.  The answer of Ariovistus.

Ariovistus replied briefly (lit. a few words) to Caesar's demands, (but) he talked at length (lit. many words) concerning his own virtues: (he said) that he had not crossed the Rhine of his own accord, but having been asked and having been summoned by the Gauls; he had not left home and kindred without great expectation of (lit. and) great rewards: he had settlements in Gaul, having been granted by (the Gauls) themselves, (and) hostages, having been given by their own consent; he was taking by right of war the tribute which victors had been accustomed to impose upon the defeated. He had not made war upon the Gauls but the Gauls upon himself; all the states of Gaul had come for the purpose of him being attacked and had set up camp against him ; all their forces had been driven back and overcome by himself in a single battle. If they wished to try (the issue) again, he was ready to fight it out once more; if they wished to enjoy peace, it was unfair to make an objection concerning the tribute, which they had paid of their own free-will up to that time. If, through the action of the Roman people, this tribute were to be remitted and those who had surrendered were  to be drawn away (from him), he would reject the friendship of the Roman people as heartily as he had sought (it). As for his bringing over a host of Germans into Gaul, he was doing this for the sake of himself being protected, not Gaul being attacked: there was evidence of this fact, in that he had not come, except having been asked, and in that he had not made war, but had warded (it) off.  He had come into Gaul before the Roman people (had). never before this time had the army of the Roman people gone beyond the frontiers of the Province of Gaul. What was he (i.e. Caesar) wanting for himself? Why was he coming into his sphere of occupation (lit. possessions)? This was his province of Gaul, just as that was ours. As it ought not to be pardoned in himself, if he were to make an attack on our territories, so likewise we were unjust in that we were obstructing (him) in his own jurisdiction. As for his saying that the Aedui had been called brethren by the Roman people, he was not so uncivilised nor so ignorant of affairs that he was not aware that the Aedui had neither rendered assistance to the Romans in their recent war with the Allobroges, nor had they enjoyed the assistance of the Roman people in those struggles which the Aedui had had with himself and with the Sequani.
He was bound to suspect that Caesar, in that he was keeping an army in Gaul, friendship being feigned, was (really) keeping (it) for the sake of him being crushed. Unless (therefore) he departed and led his army out of his districts, he would regard him, not as a friend, but as an enemy. And if he were to kill him, he should have done something pleasing to many of the nobles and leading men of the Roman people: he had had this confirmed by these very men through their messengers, (and) he could purchase the favour and friendship of all of these by his death. But, if he would depart and hand over to him the free possession of Gaul, he would recompense him with a great reward, and would complete whatever wars he wished to wage without any trouble and risk to him.

Chapter 45.  Caesar begins to reply.  

Many things were stated by Caesar to this effect, (showing) for what reason he could not desist from this business: neither his own nor the Roman people's custom would allow that he abandoned the most highly deserving allies, nor did he consider that Gaul was (the property) of Ariovistus rather than of the Roman people. The Arverni and the Ruteni had been defeated in war by Quintus Fabius Maximus, (and) the Roman people had pardoned them, and had neither reduced them into a province nor imposed tribute (upon them). But, if in every case it was right that the most ancient period be regarded, (then) was the sovereignty of the Roman people most just; if it was right that the decree of the Senate be observed, (then) Gaul, which, (although) having been conquered in war, it (i.e. the Senate) had willed to enjoy its own laws, ought to be free.

Chapter 46.  German treachery baulked by Caesar's foresight.

While these things were being transacted in the conference, it was reported to Caesar that the cavalry of Ariovistus were approaching nearer the mound, and were riding up to our men (and) hurling stones and darts at them. Caesar makes an end of speaking, and betook himself to his men, and ordered them not to throw back any dart upon the enemy at all. For, although he saw that an engagement with the cavalry would be without danger to his chosen legion, yet he did not think it was appropriate to engage, so that it could not be said, the enemy having been routed, that they had been entrapped by him at a conference through (misplaced) trust. When it was spread abroad among the common soldiery what arrogance  Ariovistus had employed in the conference, in that he had forbidden the whole of Gaul to the Romans, and  his cavalry had made an attack on our men, and how this action had broken up the conference, a much greater eagerness and greater zeal was infused into our army.

Chapter 47.  A second conference: Ariovistus seizes Caesar's two envoys, Procillus and Metius.

Two days afterwards, Ariovistus sends envoys to Caesar: (they said) that he wished to treat with him about those things which they had begun to treat over (lit. it had been begun to have treated between them), but had not been concluded: (he asked) that either he should again determine a day for a conference or, if he were not willing to do that, that he should send to him one of his [officers]. He thought that he should with great danger send to him a representative from among his men and that he should expose (him) to savage men. He instructed them to find out what Ariovistus should say and to report back to him. It seemed most expedient to send to him Gaius Valerius Procillus, the son of Gaius Valerius Caburus, a young man of the highest courage and accomplishment, whose father had been awarded with citizenship by Gaius Valerius Flaccus , both on account of his fidelity and on account of his knowledge of the Gallic language, which Ariovistus, through long practice, now employed fluently, and, as in his (case) The Germans had (lit. there was to the Germans) no grounds for offence, and (as a colleague) Marcus Metius, who had enjoyed Ariovistus' hospitality.  (But) when Ariovistus had seen them before him in the camp, he exclaimed, his army being present: why were they come to him? or was it for the sake of spying? He prevented (them) attempting to speak, and threw (them) into chains.

Chapter 48.  Ariovistus draws nearer: cavalry encounter. 

On the same day, he moved his camp forward, and pitched (it) under a hill six miles (lit. thousand paces) from Caesar's camp. On the day after that day, he led his forces past Caesar's camp, and made his camp two miles beyond him with this intention, that he might cut Caesar off from the corn and provisions which were to be brought up from the Sequani and the Aedui. For five successive days from that day Caesar led forth his own forces in front of the camp and had a battle-line drawn up, in order that, if Ariovistus wished to engage in battle, the opportunity should not be lacking to him. On all these days, Ariovistus kept his army in camp, (but) engaged daily in cavalry skirmishes. The kind of battle in which the Germans had trained themselves was this. There were six thousand horsemen and the same number of very swift and very courageous foot-soldiers, whom separately each (cavalryman) had selected out of the whole army for the sake of his own protection: with these they were associated in battle. To these the horsemen retreated (lit. betook themselves): these, if there was an emergency (lit. anything untoward), rushed forward, (and) if anyone, a very severe wound having been received, had fallen down from his horse, they stood around (him); if it were necessary to advance further or to retire more speedily, their swiftness was so great from practice that, having been supported by the horses' manes, they could keep pace with their running.

Chapter 49.  Skirmishing for several days.

When he perceived that he was keeping himself in camp, (and) in order that he might not be cut off from his supplies any longer, Caesar chose a suitable position for a camp beyond that place in which position the Germans had encamped, at about six hundred paces from them, and, a triple battle-line having been drawn up, he marched to that place. He ordered the first and second lines to be in arms, (and) the third to fortify the camp. This place was about six hundred paces distant from the enemy, as has been stated. Thither, Ariovistus sent light-armed troops, about sixteen thousand in number, with all his cavalry, which forces were to frighten our men and hinder (them) in their fortification. None the less (lit. by nothing otherwise), Caesar, as he had determined before, ordered two two lines to drive off the enemy, (and) the third to complete the work (of fortification). The camp having been fortified, he left therein two legions and part of the auxiliaries, (and) he led back the remaining four (legions) into the larger camp.

Chapter 50.  The Germans are at first reluctant to join battle. 

On the next day, in accordance with his previous practice, Caesar led out his forces from both camps, and, having advance a little (distance) from the larger camp, drew up his line of battle, and gave the enemy the opportunity of fighting. Battle was maintained (lit. it was fought) vigorously right up to evening. At the setting of the sun, many wounds having been both inflicted and received, Ariovistus led back his army to camp. When Caesar enquired of his captives for what reason Ariovistus did not fight it out in battle, he discovered this (to be) the cause, that it was the custom among the Germans that their matrons should declare through lots and divinations whether it was to their advantage for battle to be joined, or not; (and) that they spoke thus: it was not the will of the gods that the Germans should conquer if they had engaged in battle before the new moon.  

Chapter 51.  Both sides prepare for battle.

On the day after that day, Caesar left what seemed to be sufficient as a guard for each camp, (and then) stationed all the auxiliaries in front of the smaller camp in the sight of the enemy, in order that he might make use of the auxiliaries for a show, because he was not strong in the mass of his legionary troops in proportion to the number of the enemy; he himself, a triple battle-line having been drawn up, advanced right up to the enemy's camp. Then at last, of necessity, the Germans led their own forces out of camp and positioned them at equal intervals according to their tribes, Harudes, Marcomani, Triboces, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii, Suebi, and surrounded their whole battle-array with chariots and carts, so that not any hope remained in flight. Thereupon they placed their women, who, with outstretched hands (and) weeping, entreated (the men) advancing into battle not to deliver them into slavery to the Romans.

Chapter 52.  Battle is joined.

Caesar appointed to command each legion a separate legate and the quaestor, so that each man might have them (as) witnesses of his valour. He himself joined battle from the right wing, because he had observed that section of the enemy to be least steady. Accordingly our men, the signal having been given, vigorously made an attack upon the enemy, and the enemy rushed froward so suddenly and rapidly that time was not given for casting javelins at the enemy. Javelins having been laid aside, and there was a sword fight (lit. it was fought with swords) hand-to-hand. But the Germans, in accordance with their custom, a phalanx having been formed, sustained the attacks of our swords. Several of our men were found to have leapt upon the phalanx and to have pulled up the shields with their hands [and to have wounded (the enemy) from above]. Although the battle-line of the enemy (was) routed on the left wing (and) was put to flight, they (still) pressed heavily upon our battle-line from the right wing due to the multitude of their men. When he had noticed this, Publius Crassus, a young man, who was in command of our cavalry, as he was more free than those who were employed within the battle-line, sent the third line as a relief to our struggling men.

Chapter 53.  The Germans are routed and pursued to the Rhine.

So, the battle was restored, and the Germans turned to flight (lit. turned their backs), and they did not cease from fleeing until they reached the river Rhine, about five miles (lit. thousand paces) from that spot. There, a very few either, trusting in their strength endeavoured to swim across, or, boats having been found, procured their own safety; among these was Ariovistus, who, finding a small boat tied to the bank, escaped in it; our men, having caught (them) up with the cavalry, killed all the rest. There were two wives of Ariovistus, one a Suebian by nation, whom he had brought with him from home, the other, a Norican, the sister of king Voccio, whom, having been sent by her brother, he had married (lit. he had led [into matrimony]) in Gaul: both perished in that flight; (there were) two daughters: of these one (was) killed, the other was captured. Gaius Valerius Procillus, when he was being dragged (along) by his guards in the flight, bound by three (sets of) manacles, came upon Caesar himself, pursuing the enemy with his cavalry.  This circumstance, indeed, brought to Caesar no less pleasure than the victory itself, because he saw a most distinguished man of the Province of Gaul, his intimate and guest-friend, snatched from the hands of the enemy (and) restored to him, nor had fortune reduced the very great joy and exultation (of that day) by his death. Likewise Marcus Metius was found and brought back to him (i.e. Caesar).

Chapter 54.  Arrangements for the winter.

(News of) this battle having been reported across the Rhine, the Suebi, who had come to the banks of the Rhine, began to return homewards; the Ubii, who live next to the Rhine, pursuing them, (while they were ) terrified, killed a great number of them. Caesar, two very great wars having been concluded in one summer, withdrew his army into winter-quarters among the Sequani a little earlier than the time of year required; he appointed Labienus over the winter-quarters; he himself set out for Hither Gaul for the purpose of the assizes being held.




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