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Book II

I.--Whilst these things were going forward in Spain, Caius Trebonius,
Caesar's lieutenant, who had been left to conduct the assault of
Massilia, began to raise a mound, vineae, and turrets against the town,
on two sides: one of which was next the harbour and docks, the other on
that part where there is a passage from Gaul and Spain to that sea which
forces itself up the mouth of the Rhone. For Massilia is washed almost
on three sides by the sea, the remaining fourth part is the only side
which has access by land. A part even of this space, which reaches to
the fortress, being fortified by the nature of the country, and a very
deep valley, required a long and difficult siege. To accomplish these
works, Caius Trebonius sends for a great quantity of carriages and men
from the whole Province, and orders hurdles and materials to be
furnished. These things being provided, he raised a mound eighty feet in

II.--But so great a store of everything necessary for a war had been a
long time before laid up in the town, and so great a number of engines,
that no vineae made of hurdles could withstand their force. For poles
twelve feet in length, pointed with iron, and these too shot from very
large engines, sank into the ground through four rows of hurdles.
Therefore the arches of the vineae were covered over with beams a foot
thick, fastened together, and under this the materials of the agger were
handed from one to another. Before this was carried a testudo sixty feet
long, for levelling the ground, made also of very strong timber, and
covered over with every thing that was capable of protecting it against
the fire and stones thrown by the enemy. But the greatness of the works,
the height of the wall and towers, and the multitude of engines retarded
the progress of our works. Besides, frequent sallies were made from the
town by the Albici, and fire was thrown on our mound and turrets. These
our men easily repulsed, and, doing considerable damage to those who
sallied, beat them back into the town.

III.--In the meantime, Lucius Nasidius, being sent by Cneius Pompey with
a fleet of sixteen sail, a few of which had beaks of brass, to the
assistance of Lucius Domitius and the Massilians, passed the straits of
Sicily without the knowledge or expectation of Curio, and, putting with
his fleet into Messana, and making the nobles and senate take flight
with the sudden terror, carried off one of their ships out of dock.
Having joined this to his other ships, he made good his voyage to
Massilia, and, having sent in a galley privately, acquaints Domitius and
the Massilians of his arrival, and earnestly encourages them to hazard
another battle with Brutus's fleet with the addition of his aid.

IV.--The Massilians, since their former loss, had brought the same
number of old ships from the docks, and had repaired and fitted them out
with great industry: they had a large supply of seamen and pilots. They
had got several fishing-smacks, and covered them over, that the seamen
might be secure against darts: these they filled with archers and
engines. With a fleet thus appointed, encouraged by the entreaties and
tears of all the old men, matrons, and virgins to succour the state in
this hour of distress, they went on board with no less spirit and
confidence than they had fought before. For it happens, from a common
infirmity of human nature, that we are more flushed with confidence, or
more vehemently alarmed at things unseen, concealed, and unknown, as was
the case then. For the arrival of Lucius Nasidius had filled the state
with the most sanguine hopes and wishes. Having got a fair wind, they
sailed out of port and went to Nasidius to Taurois, which is a fort
belonging to the Massilians, and there ranged their fleet and again
encouraged each other to engage, and communicated their plan of
operation. The command of the right division was given to the
Massilians, that of the left to Nasidius.

V.--Brutus sailed to the same place with an augmented fleet: for to
those made by Caesar at Arelas were added six ships taken from the
Massilians, which he had refitted since the last battle and had
furnished with every necessary. Accordingly, having encouraged his men
to despise a vanquished people whom they had conquered when yet
unbroken, he advanced against them full of confidence and spirit. From
Trebonius's camp and all the higher grounds it was easy to see into the
town--how all the youth which remained in it, and all persons of more
advanced years, with their wives and children, and the public guards,
were either extending their hands from the wall to the heavens, or were
repairing to the temples of the immortal gods, and, prostrating
themselves before their images, were entreating them to grant them
victory. Nor was there a single person who did not imagine that his
future fortune depended on the issue of that day; for the choice of
their youth and the most respectable of every age, being expressly
invited and solicited, had gone on board the fleet, that if any adverse
fate should befall them they might see that nothing was left for them to
attempt, and, if they proved victorious, they might have hopes of
preserving the city, either by their internal resources or by foreign

VI-.-When the battle was begun, no effort of valour was wanting to the
Massilians, but, mindful of the instructions which they had a little
before received from their friends, they fought with such spirit as if
they supposed that they would never have another opportunity to attempt
a defence, and as if they believed that those whose lives should be
endangered in the battle would not long precede the fate of the rest of
the citizens, who, if the city was taken, must undergo the same fortune
of war. Our ships being at some distance from each other, room was
allowed both for the skill of their pilots and the manoeuvring of their
ships; and if at any time ours, gaining an advantage by casting the iron
hooks on board their ships, grappled with them, from all parts they
assisted those who were distressed. Nor, after being joined by the
Albici, did they decline coming to close engagement, nor were they much
inferior to our men in valour. At the same time, showers of darts,
thrown from a distance from the lesser ships, suddenly inflicted several
wounds on our men when off their guard and otherwise engaged; and two of
their three-decked galleys, having descried the ship of Decimus Brutus,
which could be easily distinguished by its flag, rowed up against him
with great violence from opposite sides: but Brutus, seeing into their
designs, by the swiftness of his ship extricated himself with such
address as to get clear, though only by a moment. From the velocity of
their motion they struck against each other with such violence that they
were both excessively injured by the shock; the beak, indeed, of one of
them being broken off, the whole ship was ready to founder, which
circumstance being observed, the ships of Brutus's fleet, which were
nearest that station, attack them when in this disorder and sink them

VII.--But Nasidius's ships were of no use, and soon left the fight; for
the sight of their country, or the entreaties of their relations, did
not urge them to run a desperate risk of their lives. Therefore, of the
number of the ships not one was lost: of the fleet of the Massilians
five were sunk, four taken, and one ran off with Nasidius: all that
escaped made the best of their way to Hither Spain, but one of the rest
was sent forward to Massilia for the purpose of bearing this
intelligence, and when it came near the city, the whole people crowded
out to hear the tidings, and on being informed of the event, were so
oppressed with grief, that one would have imagined that the city had
been taken by an enemy at the same moment. The Massilians, however,
began to make the necessary preparations for the defence of their city
with unwearied energy.

VIII.--The legionary soldiers who had the management of the works on the
right side observed, from the frequent sallies of the enemy, that it
might prove a great protection to them to build a turret of brick under
the wall for a fort and place of refuge, which they at first built low
and small, [to guard them] against sudden attacks. To it they retreated,
and from it they made defence if any superior force attacked them; and
from it they sallied out either to repel or pursue the enemy. It
extended thirty feet on every side, and the thickness of the walls was
five feet. But afterwards, as experience is the best master in
everything on which the wit of man is employed, it was found that it
might be of considerable service if it was raised to the usual height of
turrets, which was effected in the following manner.

IX.-When the turret was raised to the height for flooring, they laid it
on the walls in such a manner that the ends of the joists were covered
by the outer face of the wall, that nothing should project to which the
enemy's fire might adhere. They, moreover, built over the joists with
small bricks as high as the protection of the plutei and vineae
permitted them; and on that place they laid two beams across, angle-ways,
at a small distance from the outer walls, to support the rafters
which were to cover the turret, and on the beams they laid joists across
in a direct line, and on these they fastened down planks. These joists
they made somewhat longer, to project beyond the outside of the wall,
that they might serve to hang a curtain on them to defend and repel all
blows whilst they were building the walls between that and the next
floor, and the floor of this story they faced with bricks and mortar,
that the enemy's fire might do them no damage; and on this they spread
mattresses, lest the weapons thrown from engines should break through
the flooring, or stones from catapults should batter the brickwork.
They, moreover, made three mats of cable ropes, each of them the length
of the turret walls, and four feet broad, and, hanging them round the
turret on the three sides which faced the enemy, fastened them to the
projecting joists. For this was the only sort of defence which, they had
learned by experience in other places, could not be pierced by darts or
engines. But when that part of the turret which was completed was
protected and secured against every attempt of the enemy, they removed
the plutei to other works. They began to suspend gradually, and raise by
screws from the first-floor, the entire roof of the turret, and then
they elevated it as high as the length of the mats allowed. Hid and
secured within these coverings, they built up the walls with bricks, and
again, by another turn of the screw, cleared a place for themselves to
proceed with the building; and, when they thought it time to lay another
floor, they laid the ends of the beams, covered in by the outer bricks
in like manner as in the first story, and from that story they again
raised the uppermost floor and the mat-work. In this manner, securely
and without a blow or danger, they raised it six stories high, and in
laying the materials left loop-holes in such places as they thought
proper for working their engines.

X.--When they were confident that they could protect the works which lay
around from this turret, they resolved to build a musculus, sixty feet
long, of timber, two feet square, and to extend it from the brick tower
to the enemy's tower and wall. This was the form of it: two beams of
equal length were laid on the ground, at the distance of four feet from
each other; and in them were fastened small pillars, five feet high,
which were joined together by braces, with a gentle slope, on which the
timber which they must place to support the roof of the musculus should
be laid: upon this were laid beams, two feet square, bound with iron
plates and nails. To the upper covering of the musculus and the upper
beams, they fastened laths, four fingers square, to support the tiles
which were to cover the musculus. The roof being thus sloped and laid
over in rows in the same manner as the joists were laid on the braces,
the musculus was covered with tiles and mortar, to secure it against
fire, which might be thrown from the wall. Over the tiles hides are
spread, to prevent the water let in on them by spouts from dissolving
the cement of the bricks. Again, the hides were covered over with
mattresses, that they might not be destroyed by fire or stones. The
soldiers under the protection of the vineae, finish this whole work to
the very tower, and suddenly, before the enemy were aware of it, moved
it forward by naval machinery, by putting rollers under it, close up to
the enemy's turret, so that it even touched the building.

XI.--The townsmen, affrighted at this unexpected stroke, bring forward
with levers the largest stones they can procure; and pitching them from
the wall, roll them down on the musculus. The strength of the timber
withstood the shock; and whatever fell on it slid off, on account of the
sloping roof. When they perceived this, they altered their plan and set
fire to barrels, filled with resin and tar, and rolled them down from
the wall on the musculus. As soon as they fell on it, they slid off
again, and were removed from its side by long poles and forks. In the
meantime, the soldiers, under cover of the musculus, were looting out
with crowbars the lowest stones of the enemy's turret, with which the
foundation was laid. The musculus was defended by darts, thrown from
engines by our men from the brick tower, and the enemy were beaten off
from the wall and turrets; nor was a fair opportunity of defending the
walls given them. At length several stones being picked away from the
foundation of that turret next the musculus, part of it fell down
suddenly, and the rest, as if following it, leaned forward.

XII.--Hereupon, the enemy, distressed at the sudden fall of the turret,
surprised at the unforeseen calamity, awed by the wrath of the gods, and
dreading the pillage of their city, rush all together out of the gate
unarmed, with their temples bound with fillets, and suppliantly stretch
out their hands to the officers and the army. At this uncommon
occurrence, the whole progress of the war was stopped, and the soldiers,
turning away from the battle, ran eagerly to hear and listen to them.
When the enemy came up to the commanders and the army, they all fell
down at their feet, and besought them "to wait till Caesar's arrival;
they saw that their city was taken, our works completed, and their tower
undermined, therefore they desisted from a defence; that no obstacle
could arise, to prevent their being instantly plundered at a beck, as
soon as he arrived, if they refused to submit to his orders." They
inform them that, "if the turret had entirely fallen down, the soldiers
could not be withheld from forcing into the town and sacking it, in
hopes of getting spoil." These and several other arguments to the same
effect were delivered, as they were a people of great learning, with
great pathos and lamentations.

XIII.--The lieutenants, moved with compassion, draw off the soldiers
from the work, desist from the assault, and leave sentinels on the
works. A sort of a truce having been made through compassion for the
besieged, the arrival of Caesar is anxiously awaited; not a dart was
thrown from the walls or by our men, but all remit their care and
diligence, as if the business was at an end. For Caesar had given
Trebonius strict charge not to suffer the town to be taken by storm,
lest the soldiers, too much irritated both by abhorrence of their
revolt, by the contempt shown to them, and by their long labour, should
put to the sword all the grown-up inhabitants, as they threatened to do.
And it was with difficulty that they were then restrained from breaking
into the town, and they were much displeased, because they imagined that
they were prevented by Trebonius from taking possession of it.

XIV.--But the enemy, destitute of all honour, only waited a time and
opportunity for fraud and treachery. And after an interval of some days,
when our men were careless and negligent, on a sudden, at noon, when
some were dispersed, and others indulging themselves in rest on the very
works, after the fatigue of the day, and their arms were all laid by and
covered up, they sallied out from the gates, and, the wind being high
and favourable to them, they set fire to our works; and the wind spread
it in such a manner that, in the same instant, the agger, plutei,
testudo, tower, and engines all caught the flames and were consumed
before we could conceive how it had occurred. Our men, alarmed at such
an unexpected turn of fortune, lay hold on such arms as they could find.
Some rush from the camp; an attack is made on the enemy: but they were
prevented, by arrows and engines from the walls, from pursuing them when
they fled. They retired to their walls, and there, without fear, set the
musculus and brick tower on fire. Thus, by the perfidy of the enemy and
the violence of the storm, the labour of many months was destroyed in a
moment. The Massilians made the same attempt the next day, having got
such another storm. They sallied out against the other tower and agger,
and fought with more confidence. But as our men had on the former
occasion given up all thoughts of a contest, so, warned by the event of
the preceding day, they had made every preparation for a defence.
Accordingly, they slew several, and forced the rest to retreat into the
town without effecting their design.

XV.--Trebonius began to provide and repair what had been destroyed, with
much greater zeal on the part of the soldiers; for when they saw that
their extraordinary pains and preparations had an unfortunate issue,
they were fired with indignation that, in consequence of the impious
violation of the truce, their valour should be held in derision. There
was no place left them from which the materials for their mound could be
fetched, in consequence of all the timber, far and wide, in the
territories of the Massilians, having been cut down and carried away;
they began therefore to make an agger of a new construction, never heard
of before, of two walls of brick, each six feet thick, and to lay floors
over them of almost the same breadth with the agger, made of timber. But
wherever the space between the walls, or the weakness of the timber,
seemed to require it, pillars were placed underneath and traversed beams
laid on to strengthen the work, and the space which was floored was
covered over with hurdles, and the hurdles plastered over with mortar.
The soldiers, covered overhead by the floor, on the right and left by
the wall, and in the front by the mantlets, carried whatever materials
were necessary for the building without danger: the business was soon
finished--the loss of their laborious work was soon repaired by the
dexterity and fortitude of the soldiers. Gates for making sallies were
left in the wall in such places as they thought proper.

XVI.--But when the enemy perceived that those works, which they had
hoped could not be replaced without a great length of time, were put
into so thorough repair by a few days' labour and diligence, that there
was no room for perfidy or sallies, and that no means were left them by
which they could either hurt the men by resistance or the works by fire,
and when they found by former examples that their town could be
surrounded with a wall and turrets on every part by which it was
accessible by land, in such a manner that they could not have room to
stand on their own fortifications, because our works were built almost
on the top of their walls by our army, and darts could be thrown from
our hands, and when they perceived that all advantage arising from their
engines, on which they had built great hopes, was totally lost, and that
though they had an opportunity of fighting with us on equal terms from
walls and turrets, they could perceive that they were not equal to our
men in bravery, they had recourse to the same proposals of surrender as

XVII.--In Further Spain, Marcus Varro, in the beginning of the
disturbances, when he heard of the circumstances which took place in
Italy, being diffident of Pompey's success, used to speak in a very
friendly manner of Caesar. That though, being pre-engaged to Cneius
Pompey in quality of lieutenant, he was bound in honour to him, that,
nevertheless, there existed a very intimate tie between him and Caesar;
that he was not ignorant of what was the duty of a lieutenant, who bore
an office of trust; nor of his own strength, nor of the disposition of
the whole province to Caesar. These sentiments he constantly expressed
in his ordinary conversation, and did not attach himself to either
party. But afterwards, when he found that Caesar was detained before
Massilia, that the forces of Petreius had effected a junction with the
army of Afranius, that considerable reinforcements had come to their
assistance, that there were great hopes and expectations, and heard that
the whole Hither province had entered into a confederacy, and of the
difficulties to which Caesar was reduced afterwards at Ilerda for want
of provisions, and Afranius wrote to him a fuller and more exaggerated
account of these matters, he began to regulate his movements by those of

XVIII.--He made levies throughout the province; and, having completed
his two legions, he added to them about thirty auxiliary cohorts: he
collected a large quantity of corn to send partly to the Massilians,
partly to Afranius and Petreius. He commanded the inhabitants of Gades
to build ten ships of war; besides, he took care that several others
should be built in Spain. He removed all the money and ornaments from
the temple of Hercules to the town of Gades, and sent six cohorts
thither from the province to guard them, and gave the command of the
town of Gades to Caius Gallonius, a Roman knight, and friend of
Domitius, who had come thither sent by Domitius to recover an estate for
him; and he deposited all the arms, both public and private, in
Gallonius's house. He himself [Varro] made severe harangues against
Caesar. He often pronounced from his tribunal that Caesar had fought
several unsuccessful battles, and that a great number of his men had
deserted to Afranius. That he had these accounts from undoubted
messengers, and authority on which he could rely. By these means he
terrified the Roman citizens of that province, and obliged them to
promise him for the service of the state one hundred and ninety thousand
sesterces, twenty thousand pounds weight of silver, and a hundred and
twenty thousand bushels of wheat. He laid heavier burdens on those
states which he thought were friendly disposed to Caesar, and billeted
troops on them; he passed judgment against some private persons, and
condemned to confiscation the properties of those who had spoken or made
orations against the republic, and forced the whole province to take an
oath of allegiance to him and Pompey. Being informed of all that
happened in Hither Spain, he prepared for war. This was his plan of
operations. He was to retire with his two legions to Gades, and to lay
up all the shipping and provisions there. For he had been informed that
the whole province was inclined to favour Caesar's party. He thought
that the war might be easily protracted in an island, if he was provided
with corn and shipping. Caesar, although called back to Italy by many
and important matters, yet had determined to leave no dregs of war
behind him in Spain, because he knew that Pompey had many dependants and
clients in the Hither province.

XIX.--Having therefore sent two legions into Further Spain under the
command of Quintus Cassius, tribune of the people; he himself advances
with six hundred horse by forced marches, and issues a proclamation,
appointing a day on which the magistrates and nobility of all the states
should attend him at Corduba. This proclamation being published through
the whole province, there was not a state that did not send a part of
their senate to Corduba, at the appointed time; and not a Roman citizen
of any note but appeared that day. At the same time the senate at
Corduba shut the gates of their own accord against Varro, and posted
guards and sentinels on the wall and in the turrets, and detained two
cohorts (called Colonicae, which had come there accidentally), for the
defence of the town. About the same time the people of Carmona, which is
by far the strongest state in the whole province, of themselves drove
out of the town the cohorts, and shut the gates against them, although
three cohorts had been detached by Varro to garrison the citadel.

XX.--But Varro was in greater haste on this account to reach Gades with
his legion as soon as possible, lest he should be stopped either on his
march or on crossing over to the island. The affection of the province
to Caesar proved so great and so favourable, that he received a letter
from Gades, before he was far advanced on his march: that as soon as the
nobility of Gades heard of Caesar's proclamation, they had combined with
the tribune of the cohorts, which were in garrison there, to drive
Gallonius out of the town, and to secure the city and island for Caesar.
That having agreed on the design they had sent notice to Gallonius, to
quit Gades of his own accord whilst he could do it with safety; if he
did not, they would take measures for themselves; that for fear of this
Gallonius had been induced to quit the town. When this was known, one of
Varro's two legions, which was called Vernacula, carried off the colours
from Varro's camp, he himself standing by and looking on, and retired to
Hispalis, and took post in the market and public places without doing
any injury, and the Roman citizens residing there approved so highly of
this act, that every one most earnestly offered to entertain them in
their houses. When Varro, terrified at these things, having altered his
route, proposed going to Italica, he was informed by his friends that
the gates were shut against him. Then indeed, when intercepted from
every road, he sends word to Caesar that he was ready to deliver up the
legion which he commanded. He sends to him Sextus Caesar, and orders him
to deliver it up to him. Varro, having delivered up the legion, went to
Caesar to Corduba, and having laid before him the public accounts,
handed over to him most faithfully whatever money he had, and told him
what quantity of corn and shipping he had, and where.

XXI.--Caesar made a public oration at Corduba, in which he returned
thanks to all severally: to the Roman citizens, because they had been
zealous to keep the town in their own power; to the Spaniards, for
having driven out the garrison; to the Gaditani, for having defeated the
attempts of his enemies, and asserted their own liberty; to the Tribunes
and Centurions who had gone there as a guard, for having by their valour
confirmed them in their purpose. He remitted the tax which the Roman
citizens had promised to Varro for the public use: he restored their
goods to those who he was informed had incurred that penalty by speaking
too freely, having given public and private rewards to some: he filled
the rest with flattering hopes of his future intentions; and having
stayed two days at Corduba, he set out for Gades: he ordered the money
and ornaments which had been carried away from the temple of Hercules,
and lodged in the houses of private persons, to be replaced in the
temple. He made Quintus Cassius governor of the province, and assigned
him four legions. He himself, with those ships which Marcus Varro had
built, and others which the Gaditani had built by Varro's orders,
arrived in a few days at Tarraco, where ambassadors from the greatest
part of the nearer province waited his arrival. Having in the same
manner conferred marks of honour both publicly and privately on some
states, he left Tarraco, and went thence by land to Narbo, and thence to
Massilia. There he was informed that a law was passed for creating a
dictator, and that he had been nominated dictator by Marcus Lepidus the

XXII.--The Massilians, wearied out by misfortunes of every sort, reduced
to the lowest ebb for want of corn, conquered in two engagements at sea,
defeated in their frequent sallies, and struggling moreover with a fatal
pestilence, from their long confinement and change of victuals (for they
all subsisted on old millet and damaged barley, which they had formerly
provided and laid up in the public stores against an emergency of this
kind), their turret being demolished, a great part of their wall having
given way, and despairing of any aid, either from the provinces or their
armies, for these they had heard had fallen into Caesar's power,
resolved to surrender now without dissimulation. But a few days before,
Lucius Domitius, having discovered the intention of the Massilians, and
having procured three ships, two of which he gave up to his friends,
went on board the third himself, having got a brisk wind, put out to
sea. Some ships, which by Brutus's orders were constantly cruising near
the port, having espied him, weighed anchor, and pursued him. But of
these, the ship on board of which he was, persevered itself, and
continuing its flight, and by the aid of the wind got out of sight: the
other two, affrighted by the approach of our galleys, put back again
into the harbour. The Massilians conveyed their arms and engines out of
the town, as they were ordered: brought their ships out of the port and
docks, and delivered up the money in their treasury. When these affairs
were despatched, Caesar, sparing the town more out of regard to their
renown and antiquity than to any claim they could lay to his favour,
left two legions in garrison there, sent the rest to Italy, and set out
himself for Rome.

XXIII.--About the same time Caius Curio, having sailed from Sicily to
Africa, and from the first despising the forces of Publius Attius Varus,
transported only two of the four legions which he had received from
Caesar, and five hundred horse, and having spent two days and three
nights on the voyage, arrived at a place called Aquilaria, which is
about twenty-two miles distant from Clupea, and in the summer season has
a convenient harbour, and is enclosed by two projecting promontories.
Lucius Caesar, the son, who was waiting his arrival near Clupea with ten
ships which had been taken near Utica in a war with the pirates, and
which Publius Attius had had repaired for this war, frightened at the
number of our ships, fled the sea, and running his three-decked covered
galley on the nearest shore, left her there and made his escape by land
to Adrumetum. Caius Considius Longus, with a garrison of one legion,
guarded this town. The rest of Caesar's fleet, after his flight, retired
to Adrumetum. Marcus Rufus, the quaestor, pursued him with twelve ships,
which Curio had brought from Sicily as convoy to the merchantmen, and
seeing a ship left on the shore, he brought her off by a towing rope,
and returned with his fleet to Curio.

XXIV.--Curio detached Marcus before with the fleet to Utica, and marched
thither with his army. Having advanced two days, he came to the river
Bagrada, and there left Caius Caninius Rebilus, the lieutenant, with the
legions; and went forward himself with the horse to view the Cornelian
camp, because that was reckoned a very eligible position for encamping.
It is a straight ridge, projecting into the sea, steep and rough on both
sides, but the ascent is more gentle on that part which lies opposite
Utica. It is not more than a mile distant from Utica in a direct line.
But on this road there is a spring, to which the sea comes up, and
overflows; an extensive morass is thereby formed; and if a person would
avoid it, he must make a circuit of six miles to reach the town.

XXV.--Having examined this place, Curio got a view of Varus's camp,
joining the wall and town, at the gate called Bellica, well fortified by
its natural situation, on one side by the town itself, on the other by a
theatre which is before the town, the approaches to the town being
rendered difficult and narrow by the very extensive out-buildings of
that structure. At the same time he observed the roads very full of
carriages and cattle which they were conveying from the country into the
town on the sudden alarm. He sent his cavalry after them to plunder them
and get the spoil. And at the same time Varus had detached as a guard
for them six hundred Numidian horse, and four hundred foot, which king
Juba had sent to Utica as auxiliaries a few days before. There was a
friendship subsisting between his [Juba's] father and Pompey, and a feud
between him and Curio, because he, when a tribune of the people, had
proposed a law, in which he endeavoured to make public property of the
kingdom of Juba. The horse engaged; but the Numidians were not able to
stand our first charge; but a hundred and twenty being killed, the rest
retreated into their camp near the town. In the meantime, on the arrival
of his men-of-war, Curio ordered proclamation to be made to the merchant
ships, which lay at anchor before Utica, in number about two hundred,
that he would treat as enemies all that did not set sail immediately for
the Cornelian camp. As soon as the proclamation was made, in an instant
they all weighed anchor and left Utica, and repaired to the place
commanded them. This circumstance furnished the army with plenty of

XXVI.--After these transactions, Curio returned to his camp at Bagrada;
and by a general shout of the whole army was saluted imperator. The next
day he led his army to Utica, and encamped near the town. Before the
works of the camp were finished, the horse upon guard brought him word
that a large supply of horse and foot sent by king Juba were on their
march to Utica, and at the same time a cloud of dust was observed, and
in a moment the front of the line was in sight. Curio, surprised at the
suddenness of the affair, sent on the horse to receive their first
charge, and detain them. He immediately called off his legions from the
work, and put them in battle array. The horse began the battle: and
before the legions could be completely marshalled and take their ground,
the king's entire forces being thrown into disorder and confusion,
because they had marched without any order, and were under no
apprehensions, betake themselves to flight: almost all the enemy's horse
being safe, because they made a speedy retreat into the town along the
shore, Caesar's soldiers slay a great number of their infantry.

XXVII.--The next night two Marsian centurions, with twenty-two men
belonging to the companies, deserted from Curio's camp to Attius Varus.
They, whether they uttered the sentiments which they really entertained,
or wished to gratify Varus (for what we wish we readily give credit to,
and what we think ourselves, we hope is the opinion of other men),
assured him, that the minds of the whole army were disaffected to Curio,
that it was very expedient that the armies should be brought in view of
each other, and an opportunity of a conference be given. Induced by
their opinion, Varus the next day led his troops out of the camp: Curio
did so in like manner, and with only one small valley between them, each
drew up his forces.

XXVIII.--In Varus's army there was one Sextus Quintilius Varus who, as
we have mentioned before, was at Corfinium. When Caesar gave him his
liberty, he went over to Africa; now, Curio had transported to Africa
those legions which Caesar had received under his command a short time
before at Corfinium: so that the officers and companies were still the
same, excepting the change of a few centurions. Quintilius, making this
a pretext for addressing them, began to go round Curio's lines, and to
entreat the soldiers "not to lose all recollection of the oath which
they took first to Domitius and to him their quaestor, nor bear arms
against those who had shared the same fortune, and endured the same
hardships in a siege, nor fight for those by whom they had been
opprobriously called deserters." To this he added a few words by way of
encouragement, what they might expect from his own liberality, if they
should follow him and Attius. On the delivery of this speech, no
intimation of their future conduct is given by Curio's army, and thus
both generals led back their troops to their camp.

XXIX.--However, a great and general fear spread through Curio's camp,
for it is soon increased by the various discourses of men. For every one
formed an opinion of his own; and to what he had heard from others,
added his own apprehensions. When this had spread from a single author
to several persons, and was handed from one another, there appeared to
be many authors for such sentiments as these: ["That it was a civil war;
that they were men; and therefore that it was lawful for them to act
freely, and follow which party they pleased." These were the legions
which a short time before had belonged to the enemy; for the custom of
offering free towns to those who joined the opposite party had changed
Caesar's kindness. For the harshest expressions of the soldiers in
general did not proceed from the Marsi and Peligni, as those which
passed in the tents the night before; and some of their fellow soldiers
heard them with displeasure. Some additions were also made to them by
those who wished to be thought more zealous in their duty.]

XXX.--For these reasons, having called a council, Curio began to
deliberate on the general welfare. There were some opinions, which
advised by all means an attempt to be made, and an attack on Varus's
camp; for when such sentiments prevailed among the soldiers, they
thought idleness was improper. In short, they said, "that it was better
bravely to try the hazard of war in a battle, than to be deserted and
surrounded by their own troops, and forced to submit to the greatest
cruelties." There were some who gave their opinion, that they ought to
withdraw at the third watch to the Cornelian camp; that by a longer
interval of time the soldiers might be brought to a proper way of
thinking; and also, that if any misfortune should befall them, they
might have a safer and readier retreat to Sicily, from the great number
of their ships.

XXXI.--Curio, censuring both measures, said, "that the one was as
deficient in spirit, as the other exceeded in it: that the latter
advised a shameful flight, and the former recommended us to engage at a
great disadvantage. For on what, says he, can we rely that we can storm
a camp, fortified both by nature and art? Or, indeed, what advantage do
we gain if we give over the assault, after having suffered considerable
loss; as if success did not acquire for a general the affection of his
army, and misfortune their hatred? But what does a change of camp imply
but a shameful flight, and universal despair, and the alienation of the
army? For neither ought the obedient to suspect that they are
distrusted, nor the insolent to know that we fear them; because our
fears augment the licentiousness of the latter, and diminish the zeal of
the former. But if, says he, we were convinced of the truth of the
reports of the disaffection of the army (which I indeed am confident are
either altogether groundless, or at least less than they are supposed to
be), how much better to conceal and hide our suspicions of it, than by
our conduct confirm it? Ought not the defects of an army to be as
carefully concealed as the wounds in our bodies, lest we should increase
the enemy's hopes? but they moreover advise us to set out at midnight,
in order, I suppose, that those who attempt to do wrong may have a
fairer opportunity; for conduct of this kind is restrained either by
shame or fear, to the display of which the night is most adverse.
Wherefore, I am neither so rash as to give my opinion that we ought to
attack their camp without hopes of succeeding; nor so influenced by fear
as to despond: and I imagine that every expedient ought first to be
tried; and I am in a great degree confident that I shall form the same
opinion as yourselves on this matter."

XXXII.--Having broken up the council he called the soldiers together,
and reminded them "what advantage Caesar had derived from their zeal at
Corfinium; how by their good offices and influence he had brought over a
great part of Italy to his interest. For, says he, all the municipal
towns afterwards imitated you and your conduct; nor was it without
reason that Caesar judged so favourably, and the enemy so harshly of
you. For Pompey, though beaten in no engagement, yet was obliged to
shift his ground, and leave Italy, from the precedent established by
your conduct. Caesar committed me, whom he considered his dearest
friend, and the provinces of Sicily and Africa, without which he was not
able to protect Rome or Italy, to your protection. There are some here
present who encourage you to revolt from us; for what can they wish for
more, than at once to ruin us, and to involve you in a heinous crime? or
what baser opinions could they in their resentment entertain of you,
than that you would betray those who acknowledged themselves indebted to
you for everything, and put yourselves in the power of those who think
they have been ruined by you? Have you not heard of Caesar's exploits in
Spain? that he routed two armies, conquered two generals, recovered two
provinces, and effected all this within forty days after he came in
sight of the enemy? Can those who were not able to stand against him
whilst they were uninjured resist him when they are ruined? Will you,
who took part with Caesar whilst victory was uncertain, take part with
the conquered enemy when the fortune of the war is decided, and when you
ought to reap the reward of your services? For they say that they have
been deserted and betrayed by you, and remind you of a former oath. But
did you desert Lucius Domitius, or did Lucius Domitius desert you? Did
he not, when you were ready to submit to the greatest difficulties, cast
you off? Did he not, without your privacy, endeavour to effect his own
escape? When you were betrayed by him, were you not preserved by
Caesar's generosity? And how could he think you bound by your oath to
him, when, after having thrown up the ensigns of power, and abdicated
his government, he became a private person, and a captive in another's
power? A new obligation is left upon you, that you should disregard the
oath, by which you are at present bound; and have respect only to that
which was invalidated by the surrender of your general, and his
diminution of rank. But I suppose, although you are pleased with Caesar,
you are offended with me; however I shall not boast of my services to
you, which still are inferior to my own wishes or your expectations.
But, however, soldiers have ever looked for the rewards of labour at the
conclusion of a war; and what the issue of it is likely to be, not even
you can doubt. But why should I omit to mention my own diligence and
good fortune, and to what a happy crisis affairs are now arrived? Are
you sorry that I transported the army safe and entire, without the loss
of a single ship? That on my arrival, in the very first attack, I routed
the enemy's fleet? That twice in two days I defeated the enemy's horse?
That I carried out of the very harbour and bay, two hundred of the
enemy's victuallers, and reduced them to that situation that they can
receive no supplies either by land or sea? Will you divorce yourselves
from this fortune and these generals; and prefer the disgrace of
Corfinium, the defeat of Italy, the surrender of both Spains, and the
prestige of the African war? I, for my part, wished to be called a
soldier of Caesar's; you honoured me with the title of Imperator. If you
repent your bounty, I give it back to you; restore to me my former name
that you may not appear to have conferred the honour on me as a

XXXIII.--The soldiers, being affected by this oration, frequently
attempted to interrupt him whilst he was speaking, so that they appeared
to bear with excessive anguish the suspicion of treachery, and when he
was leaving the assembly they unanimously besought him to be of good
spirits, and not hesitate to engage the enemy and put their fidelity and
courage to a trial. As the wishes and opinions of all were changed by
this act, Curio, with the general consent, determined, whenever
opportunity offered, to hazard a battle. The next day he led out his
forces and ranged them in order of battle on the same ground where they
had been posted the preceding day; nor did Attius Varus hesitate to draw
out his men, that, if any occasion should offer, either to tamper with
our men or to engage on equal terms, he might not miss the opportunity.

XXXIV.-There lay between the two armies a valley, as already mentioned,
not very deep, but of a difficult and steep ascent. Each was waiting
till the enemy's forces should to attempt to pass it, that they might
engage with the advantage of the ground. At the same time, on the left
wing, the entire cavalry of Publius Attius, and several light-armed
infantry intermixed with them, were perceived descending into the
valley. Against them Curio detached his cavalry and two cohorts of the
Marrucini, whose first charge the enemy's horse were unable to stand,
but, setting spurs to their horses, fled back to their friends: the
light-infantry being deserted by those who had come out along with them,
were surrounded and cut to pieces by our men. Varus's whole army, facing
that way, saw their men flee and cut down. Upon which Rebilus, one of
Caesar's lieutenants, whom Curio had brought with him from Sicily
knowing that he had great experience in military matters, cried out,
"You see the enemy are daunted, Curio! why do you hesitate to take
advantage of the opportunity?" Curio, having merely "expressed this,
that the soldiers should keep in mind the professions which they had
made to him the day before," then ordered them to follow him, and ran
far before them all. The valley was so difficult of ascent that the
foremost men could not struggle up it unless assisted by those behind.
But the minds of Attius's soldiers being prepossessed with fear and the
flight and slaughter of their men, never thought of opposing us; and
they all imagined that they were already surrounded by our horse, and,
therefore, before a dart could be thrown or our men come near them,
Varus's whole army turned their backs and retreated to their camp.

XXXV.-In this flight one Fabius, a Pelignian and common soldier in
Curio's army, pursuing the enemy's rear, with a loud voice shouted to
Varus by his name, and often called him, so that he seemed to be one of
his soldiers, who wished to speak to him and give him advice. When
Varus, after being repeatedly called, stopped and looked at him, and
inquired who he was and what he wanted, he made a blow with his sword at
his naked shoulder and was very near killing Varus, but he escaped the
danger by raising his shield to ward off the blow. Fabius was surrounded
by the soldiers near him and cut to pieces; and by the multitude and
crowds of those that fled, the gates of the camps were thronged and the
passage stopped, and a greater number perished in that place without a
stroke than in the battle and flight. Nor were we far from driving them
from this camp; and some of them ran straightway to the town without
halting. But both the nature of the ground and the strength of the
fortifications prevented our access to the camp; for Curio's soldiers,
marching out to battle, were without those things which were requisite
for storming a camp. Curio, therefore, led his army back to the camp,
with all his troops safe except Fabius. Of the enemy about six hundred
were killed and a thousand wounded, all of whom, after Curio's return,
and several more under pretext of their wounds, but in fact through
fear, withdrew from the camp into the town, which Varus perceiving and
knowing the terror of his army, leaving a trumpeter in his camp and a
few tents for show, at the third watch led back his army quietly into
the town.

XXXVI.--The next day Curio resolved to besiege Utica, and to draw lines
about it. In the town there was a multitude of people, ignorant of war,
owing to the length of the peace; some of them Uticans, very well
inclined to Caesar, for his favours to them; the Roman population was
composed of persons differing widely in their sentiments. The terror
occasioned by former battles was very great; and therefore they openly
talked of surrendering, and argued with Attius that he should not suffer
the fortune of them all to be ruined by his obstinacy. Whilst these
things were in agitation, couriers, who had been sent forward, arrived
from king Juba, with the intelligence that he was on his march, with
considerable forces, and encouraged them to protect and defend their
city, a circumstance which greatly comforted their desponding hearts.

XXXVII.--The same intelligence was brought to Curio; but for some time
he could not give credit to it, because he had so great confidence in
his own good fortune. And at this time Caesar's success in Spain was
announced in Africa by messages and letters. Being elated by all these
things, he imagined that the king would not dare to attempt anything
against him. But when he found out, from undoubted authority, that his
forces were less than twenty miles distant from Utica, abandoning his
works, he retired to the Cornelian camp. Here he began to lay in corn
and wood, and to fortify his camp, and immediately despatched orders to
Sicily, that his two legions and the remainder of his cavalry should be
sent to him. His camp was well adapted for protracting a war, from the
nature and strength of the situation, from its proximity to the sea, and
the abundance of water and salt, of which a great quantity had been
stored up from the neighbouring salt-pits. Timber could not fail him
from the number of trees, nor corn, with which the lands abounded.
Wherefore, with the general consent, Curio determined to wait for the
rest of his forces, and protract the war.

XXXVIII.--This plan being settled, and his conduct approved of, he is
informed by some deserters from the town that Juba had stayed behind in
his own kingdom, being called home by a neighbouring war, and a dispute
with the people of Leptis; and that Sabura, his commander-in-chief, who
had been sent with a small force, was drawing near to Utica. Curio
rashly believing this information, altered his design, and resolved to
hazard a battle. His youth, his spirits, his former good fortune and
confidence of success, contributed much to confirm this resolution.
Induced by these motives, early in the night he sent all his cavalry to
the enemy's camp near the river Bagrada, of which Sabura, of whom we
have already spoken, was the commander. But the king was coming after
them with all his forces, and was posted at a distance of six miles
behind Sabura. The horse that were sent perform their march that night,
and attack the enemy unawares and unexpectedly; for the Numidians, after
the usual barbarous custom, encamped here and there without any
regularity. The cavalry having attacked them, when sunk in sleep and
dispersed, killed a great number of them; many were frightened and ran
away. After which the horse returned to Curio, and brought some
prisoners with them.

XXXIX.--Curio had set out at the fourth watch with all his forces,
except five cohorts which he left to guard the camp. Having advanced six
miles, he met the horse, heard what had happened, and inquired from the
captives who commanded the camp at Bagrada. They replied Sabura. Through
eagerness to perform his journey, he neglected to make further
inquiries, but looking back to the company next him, "Don't you see,
soldiers," says he, "that the answer of the prisoners corresponds with
the account of the deserters, that the king is not with him, and that he
sent only a small force which was not able to withstand a few horse?
Hasten then to spoil, to glory; that we may now begin to think of
rewarding you, and returning you thanks." The achievements of the horse
were great in themselves, especially if their small number be compared
with the vast host of Numidians. However, the account was enlarged by
themselves, as men are naturally inclined to boast of their own merit.
Besides, many spoils were produced; the men and horses that were taken
were brought into their sight, that they might imagine that every moment
of time which intervened was a delay to their conquest. By this means
the hopes of Curio were seconded by the ardour of the soldiers. He
ordered the horse to follow him, and hastened his march, that he might
attack them as soon as possible, while in consternation after their
flight. But the horse, fatigued by the expedition of the preceding
night, were not able to keep up with him, but fell behind in different
places. Even this did not abate Curio's hopes.

XL.--Juba, being informed by Sabura of the battle in the night, sent to
his relief two thousand Spanish and Gallic horse, which he was
accustomed to keep near him to guard his person, and that part of his
infantry on which he had the greatest dependence, and he himself
followed slowly after with the rest of his forces and forty elephants,
suspecting that as Curio had sent his horse before, he himself would
follow them. Sabura drew up his army, both horse and foot, and commanded
them to give way gradually and retreat through the pretence of fear;
that when it was necessary he would give them the signal for battle, and
such orders as he found circumstances required. Curio, as his idea of
their present behaviour was calculated to confirm his former hopes,
imagined that the enemy were running away, and led his army from the
rising grounds down to the plain.

XLI.--And when he had advanced from this place about sixteen miles, his
army being exhausted with the fatigue, he halted. Sabura gave his men
the signal, marshalled his army, and began to go around his ranks and
encourage them. But he made use of the foot only for show; and sent the
horse to the charge: Curio was not deficient in skill, and encouraged
his men to rest all their hopes in their valour. Neither were the
soldiers, though wearied, nor the horse, though few and exhausted with
fatigue, deficient in ardour to engage, and courage: but the latter were
in number but two hundred: the rest had dropped behind on the march.
Wherever they charged they forced the enemy to give ground, but they
were not able to pursue them far when they fled, or to press their
horses too severely. Besides, the enemy's cavalry began to surround us
on both wings and to trample down our rear. When any cohorts ran forward
out of the line, the Numidians, being fresh, by their speed avoided our
charge, and surrounded ours when they attempted to return to their post,
and cut them off from the main body. So that it did not appear safe
either to keep their ground and maintain their ranks, or to issue from
the line, and run the risk. The enemy's troops were frequently
reinforced by assistance sent from Juba; strength began to fail our men
through fatigue; and those who had been wounded could neither quit the
field nor retire to a place of safety, because the whole field was
surrounded by the enemy's cavalry. Therefore, despairing of their own
safety, as men usually do in the last moment of their lives, they either
lamented their unhappy deaths, or recommended their parents to the
survivors, if fortune should save any from the impending danger. All
were full of fear and grief.

XLII.--When Curio perceived that in the general consternation neither
his exhortations nor entreaties were attended to, imagining that the
only hope of escaping in their deplorable situation was to gain the
nearest hills, he ordered the colours to be borne that way. But a party
of horse, that had been sent by Sabura, had already got possession of
them. Now indeed our men were reduced to extreme despair: and some of
them were killed by the cavalry in attempting to escape: some fell to
the ground unhurt. Cneius Domitius, commander of the cavalry, standing
round Curio with a small party of horse, urged Curio to endeavour to
escape by flight, and to hasten to his camp; and assured him that he
would not forsake him. But Curio declared that he would never more
appear in Caesar's sight, after losing the army which had been committed
by Caesar to his charge, and accordingly fought till he was killed. Very
few of the horse escaped from that battle, but those who had stayed
behind to refresh their horses having perceived at a distance the defeat
of the whole army, retired in safety to their camp.

XLIII.--The soldiers were all killed to a man. Marcus Rufus, the
quaestor, who was left behind in the camp by Curio, having got
intelligence of these things, encouraged his men not to be disheartened.
They beg and entreat to be transported to Sicily. He consented, and
ordered the masters of the ships to have all the boats brought close to
the shore early in the evening. But so great was the terror in general
that some said that Juba's forces were marching up, others that Varus
was hastening with his legions, and that they already saw the dust
raised by their coming; of which not one circumstance had happened:
others suspected that the enemy's fleet would immediately be upon them.
Therefore, in the general consternation, every man consulted his own
safety. Those who were on board of the fleet, were in a hurry to set
sail, and their flight hastened the masters of the ships of burden. A
few small fishing boats attended their duty and his orders. But as the
shores were crowded, so great was the struggle to determine who of such
a vast number should first get on board, that some of the vessels sank
with the weight of the multitude, and the fears of the rest delayed them
from coming to the shore.

XLIV.--From which circumstances it happened that a few foot and aged
men, that could prevail either through interest or pity, or who were
able to swim to the ships, were taken on board, and landed safe in
Sicily. The rest of the troops sent their centurions as deputies to
Varus at night, and surrendered themselves to him. But Juba, the next
day having spied their cohorts before the town, claimed them as his
booty, and ordered a great part of them to be put to the sword; a few he
selected and sent home to his own realm. Although Varus complained that
his honour was insulted by Juba, yet he dare not oppose him: Juba rode
on horseback into the town, attended by several senators, amongst whom
were Servius Sulpicius and Licinius Damasippus, and in a few days
arranged and ordered what he would have done in Utica, and in a few days
more returned to his own kingdom, with all his forces.

Julius Caesar

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