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Book I


I.--All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae
inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are
called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other
in language, customs and laws. The river Garonne separates the Gauls
from the Aquitani; the Marne and the Seine separate them from the
Belgae. Of all these, the Belgae are the bravest, because they are
farthest from the civilisation and refinement of [our] Province, and
merchants least frequently resort to them and import those things which
tend to effeminate the mind; and they are the nearest to the Germans,
who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war;
for which reason the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in
valour, as they contend with the Germans in almost daily battles, when
they either repel them from their own territories, or themselves wage
war on their frontiers. One part of these, which it has been said that
the Gauls occupy, takes its beginning at the river Rhone: it is bounded
by the river Garonne, the ocean, and the territories of the Belgae: it
borders, too, on the side of the Sequani and the Helvetii, upon the
river Rhine, and stretches towards the north. The Belgae rise from the
extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine;
and look towards the north and the rising sun. Aquitania extends from
the river Garonne to the Pyrenaean mountains and to that part of the
ocean which is near Spain: it looks between the setting of the sun and
the north star.

II.--Among the Helvetii, Orgetorix was by far the most distinguished and
wealthy. He, when Marcus Messala and Marcus Piso were consuls, incited
by lust of sovereignty, formed a conspiracy among the nobility, and
persuaded the people to go forth from their territories with all their
possessions, [saying] that it would be very easy, since they excelled
all in valour, to acquire the supremacy of the whole of Gaul. To this he
the more easily persuaded them, because the Helvetii are confined on
every side by the nature of their situation; on one side by the Rhine, a
very broad and deep river, which separates the Helvetian territory from
the Germans; on a second side by the Jura, a very high mountain which is
[situated] between the Sequani and the Helvetii; on a third by the Lake
of Geneva, and by the river Rhone, which separates our Province from the
Helvetii. From these circumstances it resulted that they could range
less widely, and could less easily make war upon their neighbours; for
which reason men fond of war [as they were] were affected with great
regret. They thought, that considering the extent of their population,
and their renown for warfare and bravery, they had but narrow limits,
although they extended in length 240, and in breadth 180 [Roman] miles.

III.--Induced by these considerations, and influenced by the authority
of Orgetorix, they determined to provide such things as were necessary
for their expedition--to buy up as great a number as possible of beasts
of burden and waggons--to make their sowings as large as possible, so
that on their march plenty of corn might be in store--and to establish
peace and friendship with the neighbouring states. They reckoned that a
term of two years would be sufficient for them to execute their designs;
they fix by decree their departure for the third year. Orgetorix is
chosen to complete these arrangements. He took upon himself the office
of ambassador to the states: on this journey he persuades Casticus, the
son of Catamantaledes (one of the Sequani, whose father had possessed
the sovereignty among the people for many years, and had been styled
"_friend_" by the senate of the Roman people), to seize upon the
sovereignty in his own state, which his father had held before him, and
he likewise persuades Dumnorix, an Aeduan, the brother of Divitiacus,
who at that time possessed the chief authority in the state, and was
exceedingly beloved by the people, to attempt the same, and gives him
his daughter in marriage. He proves to them that to accomplish their
attempts was a thing very easy to be done, because he himself would
obtain the government of his own state; that there was no doubt that the
Helvetii were the most powerful of the whole of Gaul; he assures them
that he will, with his own forces and his own army, acquire the
sovereignty for them. Incited by this speech, they give a pledge and
oath to one another, and hope that, when they have seized the
sovereignty, they will, by means of the three most powerful and valiant
nations, be enabled to obtain possession of the whole of Gaul.

IV.--When this scheme was disclosed to the Helvetii by informers, they,
according to their custom, compelled Orgetorix to plead his cause in
chains; it was the law that the penalty of being burned by fire should
await him if condemned. On the day appointed for the pleading of his
cause, Orgetorix drew together from all quarters to the court all his
vassals to the number of ten thousand persons; and led together to the
same place, and all his dependants and debtor-bondsmen, of whom he had a
great number; by means of these he rescued himself from [the necessity
of] pleading his cause. While the state, incensed at this act, was
endeavouring to assert its right by arms, and the magistrates were
mustering a large body of men from the country, Orgetorix died; and
there is not wanting a suspicion, as the Helvetii think, of his having
committed suicide.

V.--After his death, the Helvetii nevertheless attempt to do that which
they had resolved on, namely, to go forth from their territories. When
they thought that they were at length prepared for this undertaking,
they set fire to all their towns, in number about twelve--to their
villages about four hundred--and to the private dwellings that remained;
they burn up all the corn, except what they intend to carry with them;
that after destroying the hope of a return home, they might be the more
ready for undergoing all dangers. They order every one to carry forth
from home for himself provisions for three months, ready ground. They
persuade the Rauraci, and the Tulingi, and the Latobrigi, their
neighbours, to adopt the same plan, and after burning down their towns
and villages, to set out with them: and they admit to their party and
unite to themselves as confederates the Boii, who had dwelt on the other
side of the Rhine, and had crossed over into the Norican territory, and
assaulted Noreia.

VI.--There were in all two routes by which they could go forth from
their country--one through the Sequani, narrow and difficult, between
Mount Jura and the river Rhone (by which scarcely one waggon at a time
could be led; there was, moreover, a very high mountain overhanging, so
that a very few might easily intercept them); the other, through our
Province, much easier and freer from obstacles, because the Rhone flows
between the boundaries of the Helvetii and those of the Allobroges, who
had lately been subdued, and is in some places crossed by a ford. The
furthest town of the Allobroges, and the nearest to the territories of
the Helvetii, is Geneva. From this town a bridge extends to the
Helvetii. They thought that they should either persuade the Allobroges,
because they did not seem as yet well-affected towards the Roman people,
or compel them by force to allow them to pass through their territories.
Having provided everything for the expedition, they appoint a day on
which they should all meet on the bank of the Rhone. This day was the
fifth before the kalends of April [_i.e._ the 28th of March], in the
consulship of Lucius Piso and Aulus Gabinius [B.C. 58].

VII.--When it was reported to Caesar that they were attempting to make
their route through our Province, he hastens to set out from the city,
and, by as great marches as he can, proceeds to Further Gaul, and
arrives at Geneva. He orders the whole Province [to furnish] as great a
number of soldiers as possible, as there was in all only one legion in
Further Gaul: he orders the bridge at Geneva to be broken down. When the
Helvetii are apprised of his arrival, they send to him, as ambassadors,
the most illustrious men of their state (in which embassy Numeius and
Verudoctius held the chief place), to say "that it was their intention
to march through the Province without doing any harm, because they had"
[according to their own representations] "no other route:--that they
requested they might be allowed to do so with his consent." Caesar,
inasmuch as he kept in remembrance that Lucius Cassius, the consul, had
been slain, and his army routed and made to pass under the yoke by the
Helvetii, did not think that [their request] ought to be granted; nor
was he of opinion that men of hostile disposition, if an opportunity of
marching through the Province were given them, would abstain from
outrage and mischief. Yet, in order that a period might intervene, until
the soldiers whom he had ordered [to be furnished] should assemble, he
replied to the ambassadors, that he would take time to deliberate; if
they wanted anything, they might return on the day before the ides of
April [on April 12th].

VIII.--Meanwhile, with the legion which he had with him and the soldiers
who had assembled from the Province, he carries along for nineteen
[Roman, not quite eighteen English] miles a wall, to the height of
sixteen feet, and a trench, from the lake of Geneva, which flows into
the river Rhone, to Mount Jura, which separates the territories of the
Sequani from those of the Helvetii. When that work was finished, he
distributes garrisons, and closely fortifies redoubts, in order that he
may the more easily intercept them, if they should attempt to cross over
against his will. When the day which he had appointed with the
ambassadors came, and they returned to him, he says that he cannot,
consistently with the custom and precedent of the Roman people, grant
any one a passage through the Province; and he gives them to understand
that, if they should attempt to use violence, he would oppose them. The
Helvetii, disappointed in this hope, tried if they could force a passage
(some by means of a bridge of boats and numerous rafts constructed for
the purpose; others, by the fords of the Rhone, where the depth of the
river was least, sometimes by day, but more frequently by night), but
being kept at bay by the strength of our works, and by the concourse of
the soldiers, and by the missiles, they desisted from this attempt.

IX.--There was left one way, [namely] through the Sequani, by which, on
account of its narrowness, they could not pass without the consent of
the Sequani. As they could not of themselves prevail on them, they send
ambassadors to Dumnorix the Aeduan, that through his intercession they
might obtain their request from the Sequani. Dumnorix, by his popularity
and liberality, had great influence among the Sequani, and was friendly
to the Helvetii, because out of that state he had married the daughter
of Orgetorix; and, incited by lust of sovereignty, was anxious for a
revolution, and wished to have as many states as possible attached to
him by his kindness towards them. He, therefore, undertakes the affair,
and prevails upon the Sequani to allow the Helvetii to march through
their territories, and arranges that they should give hostages to each
other--the Sequani not to obstruct the Helvetii in their march--the
Helvetii, to pass without mischief and outrage.

X.--It-is again told Caesar that the Helvetii intend to march through
the country of the Sequani and the Aedui into the territories of the
Santones, which are not far distant from those boundaries of the
Tolosates, which [viz. Tolosa, Toulouse] is a state in the Province. If
this took place, he saw that it would be attended with great danger to
the Province to have warlike men, enemies of the Roman people, bordering
upon an open and very fertile tract of country. For these reasons he
appointed Titus Labienus, his lieutenant, to the command of the
fortification which he had made. He himself proceeds to Italy by forced
marches, and there levies two legions, and leads out from winter-quarters
three which were wintering around Aquileia, and with these five
legions marches rapidly by the nearest route across the Alps into
Further Gaul. Here the Centrones and the Graioceli and the Caturiges,
having taken possession of the higher parts, attempt to obstruct the
army in their march. After having routed these in several battles, he
arrives in the territories of the Vocontii in the Further Province on
the seventh day from Ocelum, which is the most remote town of the Hither
Province; thence he leads his army into the country of the Allobroges,
and from the Allobroges to the Segusiani. These people are the first
beyond the Province on the opposite side of the Rhone.

XI.--The Helvetii had by this time led their forces over through the
narrow defile and the territories of the Sequani, and had arrived at the
territories of the Aedui, and were ravaging their lands. The Aedui, as
they could not defend themselves and their possessions against them,
send ambassadors to Caesar to ask assistance, [pleading] that they had
at all times so well deserved of the Roman people, that their fields
ought not to have been laid waste--their children carried off into
slavery--their towns stormed, almost within sight of our army. At the
same time the Ambarri, the friends and kinsmen of the Aedui, apprise
Caesar that it was not easy for them, now that their fields had been
devastated, to ward off the violence of the enemy from their towns: the
Allobroges likewise, who had villages and possessions on the other side
of the Rhone, betake themselves in flight to Caesar and assure him that
they had nothing remaining, except the soil of their land. Caesar,
induced by these circumstances, decides that he ought not to wait until
the Helvetii, after destroying all the property of his allies, should
arrive among the Santones.

XII.--There is a river [called] the Saone, which flows through the
territories of the Aedui and Sequani into the Rhone with such incredible
slowness, that it cannot be determined by the eye in which direction it
flows. This the Helvetii were crossing by rafts and boats joined
together. When Caesar was informed by spies that the Helvetii had
already conveyed three parts of their forces across that river, but that
the fourth part was left behind on this side of the Saone, he set out
from the camp with three legions during the third watch, and came up
with that division which had not yet crossed the river. Attacking them,
encumbered with baggage, and not expecting him, he cut to pieces a great
part of them; the rest betook themselves to flight, and concealed
themselves in the nearest woods. That canton [which was cut down] was
called the Tigurine; for the whole Helvetian state is divided into four
cantons. This single canton having left their country, within the
recollection of our fathers, had slain Lucius Cassius the consul, and
had made his army pass under the yoke [B.C. 107]. Thus, whether by
chance, or by the design of the immortal gods, that part of the
Helvetian state which had brought a signal calamity upon the Roman
people was the first to pay the penalty. In this Caesar avenged not only
the public, but also his own personal wrongs, because the Tigurini had
slain Lucius Piso the lieutenant [of Cassius], the grandfather of Lucius
Calpurnius Piso, his [Caesar's] father-in-law, in the same battle as
Cassius himself.

XIII.--This battle ended, that he might be able to come up with the
remaining forces of the Helvetii, he procures a bridge to be made across
the Saone, and thus leads his army over. The Helvetii, confused by his
sudden arrival, when they found that he had effected in one day what
they themselves had with the utmost difficulty accomplished in twenty,
namely, the crossing of the river, send ambassadors to him; at the head
of which embassy was Divico, who had been commander of the Helvetii in
the war against Cassius. He thus treats with Caesar:--that, "if the
Roman people would make peace with the Helvetii they would go to that
part and there remain, where Caesar might appoint and desire them to be;
but if he should persist in persecuting them with war, that he ought to
remember both the ancient disgrace of the Roman people and the
characteristic valour of the Helvetii. As to his having attacked one
canton by surprise, [at a time] when those who had crossed the river
could not bring assistance to their friends, that he ought not on that
account to ascribe very much to his own valour, or despise them; that
they had so learned from their sires and ancestors, as to rely more on
valour than on artifice or stratagem. Wherefore let him not bring it to
pass that the place, where they were standing, should acquire a name,
from the disaster of the Roman people and the destruction of their army
or transmit the remembrance [of such an event to posterity]."

XIV.--To these words Caesar thus replied:--that "on that very account he
felt less hesitation, because he kept in remembrance those circumstances
which the Helvetian ambassadors had mentioned, and that he felt the more
indignant at them, in proportion as they had happened undeservedly to
the Roman people: for if they had been conscious of having done any
wrong it would not have been difficult to be on their guard, but for
that very reason had they been deceived, because neither were they aware
that any offence had been given by them, on account of which they should
be afraid, nor did they think that they ought to be afraid without
cause. But even if he were willing to forget their former outrage, could
he also lay aside the remembrance of the late wrongs, in that they had
against his will attempted a route through the Province by force, in
that they had molested the Aedui, the Ambarri, and the Allobroges? That
as to their so insolently boasting of their victory, and as to their
being astonished that they had so long committed their outrages with
impunity, [both these things] tended to the same point; for the immortal
gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their
guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that
they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances.
Although these things are so, yet, if hostages were to be given him by
them in order that he may be assured they will do what they promise, and
provided they will give satisfaction to the Aedui for the outrages which
they had committed against them and their allies, and likewise to the
Allobroges, he [Caesar] will 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 witness." Having given this reply, he withdrew.

XV.--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 drawn together from all parts of the Province and
from the Aedui and their allies), to observe towards what parts the
enemy are directing their march. These, having too eagerly pursued the
enemy's rear, come to a battle with the cavalry of the Helvetii in a
disadvantageous place, and a few of our men fall. The Helvetii, elated
with this battle because they had with five hundred horse repulsed so
large a body of horse, began to face us more boldly, sometimes too from
their rear to provoke our men by an attack. Caesar [however] restrained
his men from battle, deeming it sufficient for the present to prevent
the enemy from rapine, forage, and depredation. They marched for about
fifteen days in such a manner that there was not more than five or six
miles between the enemy's rear and our van.

XVI.--Meanwhile, Caesar kept daily importuning the Aedui for the corn
which they had promised in the name of their state; for, in consequence
of the coldness (Gaul being, as before said, situated towards the
north), not only was the corn in the fields not ripe, but there was not
in store a sufficiently large quantity even of fodder: besides he was
unable to use the corn which he had conveyed in ships up the river
Saone, because the Helvetii, from whom he was unwilling to retire, had
diverted their march from the Saone. The Aedui kept deferring from day
to day, and saying that it was being "collected--brought in--on the
road." When he saw that he was put off too long, and that the day was
close at hand on which he ought to serve out the corn to his soldiers,--
having called together their chiefs, of whom he had a great number in
his camp, among them Divitiacus, and Liscus who was invested with the
chief magistracy (whom the Aedui style the Vergobretus, and who is
elected annually, and has power of life and death over his countrymen),
he severely reprimands them, because he is not assisted by them on so
urgent an occasion, when the enemy were so close at hand, and when
[corn] could neither be bought nor taken from the fields, particularly
as, in a great measure urged by their prayers, he had undertaken the
war; much more bitterly, therefore, does he complain of his being

XVII.--Then at length Liscus, moved by Caesar's speech, discloses what
he had hitherto kept secret:--that "there are some whose influence with
the people is very great, who, though private men, have more power than
the magistrates themselves: that these by seditious and violent language
are deterring the populace from contributing the corn which they ought
to supply; [by telling them] that, if they cannot any longer retain the
supremacy of Gaul, it were better to submit to the government of Gauls
than of Romans, nor ought they to doubt that, if the Romans should
overpower the Helvetii, they would wrest their freedom from the Aedui
together with the remainder of Gaul. By these very men [said he] are our
plans, and whatever is done in the camp, disclosed to the enemy; that
they could not be restrained by _him_: nay more, he was well aware that,
though compelled by necessity, he had disclosed the matter to Caesar, at
how great a risk he had done it; and for that reason, he had been silent
as long as he could."

XVIII.--Caesar perceived that, by this speech of Liscus, Dumnorix, the
brother of Divitiacus, was indicated; but, as he was unwilling that
these matters should be discussed while so many were present, he
speedily dismisses the council, but detains Liscus: he inquires from him
when alone, about those things which he had said in the meeting. He
[Liscus] speaks more unreservedly and boldly. He [Caesar] makes
inquiries on the same points privately of others, and discovers that it
is all true; that "Dumnorix is the person, a man of the highest daring,
in great favour with the people on account of his liberality, a man
eager for a revolution: that for a great many years he has been in the
habit of contracting for the customs and all the other taxes of the
Aedui at a small cost, because when _he_ bids, no one dares to bid
against him. By these means he has both increased his own private
property and amassed great means for giving largesses; that he maintains
constantly at his own expense and keeps about his own person a great
number of cavalry, and that not only at home, but even among the
neighbouring states, he has great influence, and for the sake of
strengthening this influence has given his mother in marriage among the
Bituriges to a man the most noble and most influential there; that he
has himself taken a wife from among the Helvetii, and has given his
sister by the mother's side and his female relations in marriage into
other states; that he favours and wishes well to the Helvetii on account
of this connection; and that he hates Caesar and the Romans, on his own
account, because by their arrival his power was weakened, and his
brother, Divitiacus, restored to his former position of influence and
dignity: that, if anything should happen to the Romans, he entertains
the highest hope of gaining the sovereignty by means of the Helvetii,
but that under the government of the Roman people he despairs not only
of royalty but even of that influence which he already has." Caesar
discovered too, on inquiring into the unsuccessful cavalry engagement
which had taken place a few days before, that the commencement 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); that
by their flight the rest of the cavalry was dismayed.

XIX.--After learning these circumstances, since to these suspicions the
most unequivocal facts were added, viz., that he had led the Helvetii
through the territories of the Sequani; that he had provided that
hostages should be mutually given; that he had done all these things,
not only without any orders of his [Caesar's] and of his own state's,
but even without their [the Aedui] knowing anything of it themselves;
that he [Dumnorix] was reprimanded by the [chief] magistrate of the
Aedui; he [Caesar] considered that there was sufficient reason why he
should either punish him himself, or order the state to do so. One thing
[however] stood in the way of all this--that he had learned by
experience his brother Divitiacus's very high regard for the Roman
people, his great affection towards him, his distinguished faithfulness,
justice, and moderation; for he was afraid lest by the punishment of
this man, he should hurt the feelings of Divitiacus. Therefore, before
he attempted anything, he orders Divitiacus to be summoned to him, and
when the ordinary interpreters had been withdrawn, converses with him
through Caius Valerius Procillus, chief of the province of Gaul, an
intimate friend of his, in whom he reposed the highest confidence in
everything; at the same time he reminds him of what was said about
Dumnorix in the council of the Gauls, when he himself was present, and
shows what each had said of him privately in his [Caesar's] own
presence; he begs and exhorts him, that, without offence to his
feelings, he may either himself pass judgment on him [Dumnorix] after
trying the case, or else order the [Aeduan] state to do so.

XX.-Divitiacus, embracing Caesar, begins to implore him, with many
tears, that "he would not pass any very severe sentence upon his
brother; saying, that he knows that those [charges] are true, and that
nobody suffered more pain on that account than he himself did; for when
he himself could effect a very great deal by his influence at home and
in the rest of Gaul, and he [Dumnorix] very little on account of his
youth, the latter had become powerful through his means, which power and
strength he used not only to the lessening of his [Divitiacus]
popularity, but almost to his ruin; that he, however, was influenced
both by fraternal affection and by public opinion. But if anything very
severe from Caesar should befall him [Dumnorix], no one would think that
it had been done without his consent, since he himself held such a place
in Caesar's friendship; from which circumstance it would arise that the
affections of the whole of Gaul would be estranged from him." As he was
with tears begging these things of Caesar in many words, Caesar takes
his right hand, and, comforting him, begs him to make an end of
entreating, and assures him that his regard for him is so great that he
forgives both the injuries of the republic and his private wrongs, at
his desire and prayers. He summons Dumnorix to him; he brings in his
brother; he points out what he censures in him; he lays before him what
he of himself perceives, and what the state complains of; he warns him
for the future to avoid all grounds of suspicion; he says that he
pardons the past, for the sake of his brother, Divitiacus. He sets spies
over Dumnorix that he may be able to know what he does, and with whom he

XXI.--Being on the same day informed by his scouts that the enemy had
encamped at the foot of a mountain eight miles from his own camp, he
sent persons to ascertain what the nature of the mountain was, and of
what kind the ascent on every side. Word was brought back that it was
easy. During the third watch he orders Titus Labienus, his lieutenant
with praetorian powers, to ascend to the highest ridge of the mountain
with two legions, and with those as guides who had examined the road; he
explains what his plan is. He himself during the fourth watch, hastens
to them by the same route by which the enemy had gone, and sends on all
the cavalry before him. Publius Considius, who was reputed to be very
experienced in military affairs, and had been in the army of Lucius
Sulla, and afterwards in that of Marcus Crassus, is sent forward with
the scouts.

XXII.--At day-break, when the summit of the mountain was in the
possession of Titus Labienus, and he himself was not further off than a
mile and half from the enemy's camp, nor, as he afterwards ascertained
from the captives, had either his arrival or that of Labienus been
discovered; Considius, with his horse at full gallop, comes up to him--
says that the mountain which he [Caesar] wished should be seized by
Labienus, is in possession of the enemy; that he has discovered this by
the Gallic arms and ensigns. Caesar leads off his forces to the next
hill: [and] draws them up in battle-order. Labienus, as he had been
ordered by Caesar not to come to an engagement unless [Caesar's] own
forces were seen near the enemy's camp, that the attack upon the enemy
might be made on every side at the same time, was, after having taken
possession of the mountain, waiting for our men, and refraining from
battle. When, at length, the day was far advanced, Caesar learned
through spies that the mountain was in possession of his own men, and
that the Helvetii had moved their camp, and that Considius, struck with
fear, had reported to him, as seen, that which he had not seen. On that
day he follows the enemy at his usual distance, and pitches his camp
three miles from theirs.

XXIII.--The next day (as there remained in all only two days' space [to
the time] when he must serve out the corn to his army, and as he was not
more than eighteen miles from Bibracte, by far the largest and best-stored
town of the Aedui) he thought that he ought to provide for a
supply of corn; and diverted his march from the Helvetii, and advanced
rapidly to Bibracte. This circumstance is reported to the enemy by some
deserters from Lucius Aemilius, a captain of the Gallic horse. The
Helvetii, either because they thought that the Romans, struck with
terror, were retreating from them, the more so, as the day before,
though they had seized on the higher grounds, they had not joined
battle; or because they flattered themselves that they might be cut off
from the provisions, altering their plan and changing their route, began
to pursue and to annoy our men in the rear.

XXIV.--Caesar, when he observes this, draws off his forces to the next
hill, and sent the cavalry to sustain the attack of the enemy. He
himself, meanwhile, drew up on the middle of the hill a triple line of
his four veteran legions in such a manner that he placed above him on
the very summit the two legions which he had lately levied in Hither
Gaul, and all the auxiliaries; and he ordered that the whole mountain
should be covered with men, and that meanwhile the baggage should be
brought together into one place, and the position be protected by those
who were posted in the upper line. The Helvetii, having followed with
all their waggons, collected their baggage into one place: they
themselves, after having repulsed our cavalry and formed a phalanx,
advanced up to our front line in very close order.

XXV.--Caesar, having removed out of sight first his own horse, then
those of all, that he might make the danger of all equal, and do away
with the hope of flight, after encouraging his men, joined battle. His
soldiers, hurling their javelins from the higher ground, easily broke
the enemy's phalanx. That being dispersed, they made a charge on them
with drawn swords. It was a great hindrance to the Gauls in fighting,
that, when several of their bucklers had been by one stroke of the
(Roman) javelins pierced through and pinned fast together, as the point
of the iron had bent itself, they could neither pluck it out, nor, with
their left hand entangled, fight with sufficient ease; so that many,
after having long tossed their arm about, chose rather to cast away the
buckler from their hand, and to fight with their person unprotected. At
length, worn out with wounds, they began to give way, and as there was
in the neighbourhood a mountain about a mile off, to betake themselves
thither. When the mountain had been gained, and our men were advancing
up, the Boii and Tulingi, who with about 15,000 men closed the enemy's
line of march and served as a guard to their rear, having assailed our
men on the exposed flank as they advanced [prepared] to surround them;
upon seeing which, the Helvetii, who had betaken themselves to the
mountain, began to press on again and renew the battle. The Romans
having faced about, advanced to the attack in two divisions; the first
and second line to withstand those who had been defeated and driven off
the field; the third to receive those who were just arriving.

XXVI.--Thus was the contest long and vigorously carried on with doubtful
success. When they could no longer withstand the attacks of our men, the
one division, as they had begun to do, betook themselves to the
mountain; the other repaired to their baggage and waggons. For during
the whole of this battle, although the fight lasted from the seventh
hour [_i.e._ 12 (noon)--1 P.M.] to eventide, no one could see an enemy
with his back turned. The fight was carried on also at the baggage till
late in the night, for they had set waggons in the way as a rampart, and
from the higher ground kept throwing weapons upon our men, as they came
on, and some from between the waggons and the wheels kept darting their
lances and javelins from beneath, and wounding our men. After the fight
had lasted some time, our men gained possession of their baggage and
camp. There the daughter and one of the sons of Orgetorix were taken.
After that battle about 130,000 men [of the enemy] remained alive, who
marched incessantly during the whole of that night; and after a march
discontinued for no part of the night, arrived in the territories of the
Lingones on the fourth day, whilst our men, having stopped for three
days, both on account of the wounds of the soldiers and the burial of
the slain, had not been able to follow them. Caesar sent letters and
messengers to the Lingones [with orders] that they should not assist
them with corn or with anything else; for that if they should assist
them, he would regard them in the same light as the Helvetii. After the
three days' interval he began to follow them himself with all his

XXVII.--The Helvetii, compelled by the want of everything, sent
ambassadors to him about a surrender. When these had met him in the way
and had thrown themselves at his feet, and speaking in suppliant tone
had with tears sued for peace, and [when] he had ordered them to await
his arrival, in the place where they then were, they obeyed his
commands. When Caesar arrived at that place, he demanded hostages, their
arms, and the slaves who had deserted to them. Whilst those things are
being sought for and got together, after a night's interval, about 6000
men of that canton which is called the Verbigene, whether terrified by
fear, lest, after delivering up their arms, they should suffer
punishment, or else induced by the hope of safety, because they supposed
that, amid so vast a multitude of those who had surrendered themselves,
_their_ flight might either be concealed or entirely overlooked, having
at night-fall departed out of the camp of the Helvetii, hastened to the
Rhine and the territories of the Germans.

XXVIII.--But when Caesar discovered this, he commanded those through
whose territories they had gone, to seek them, out and to bring them
back again, if they meant to be acquitted before him; and considered
them, when brought back, in the light of enemies; he admitted all the
rest to a surrender, upon their delivering up the hostages, arms, and
deserters. He ordered the Helvetii, the Tulingi, and the Latobrigi to
return to their territories from which they had come, and as there was
at home nothing whereby they might support their hunger, all the
productions of the earth having been destroyed, he commanded the
Allobroges to let them have a plentiful supply of corn; and ordered them
to rebuild the towns and villages which they had burnt. This he did,
chiefly on this account, because he was unwilling that the country, from
which the Helvetii had departed, should be untenanted, lest the Germans,
who dwell on the other side of the Rhine, should, on account of the
excellence of the lands, cross over from their own territories into
those of the Helvetii, and become borderers upon the province of Gaul
and the Allobroges. He granted the petition of the Aedui, that they
might settle the Boii, in their own (_i.e._ in the Aeduan) territories,
as these were known to be of distinguished valour to whom they gave
lands, and whom they afterwards admitted to the same state of rights and
freedom as themselves.

XXIX.--In the camp of the Helvetii, lists were found, drawn up in Greek
characters, and were brought to Caesar, in which an estimate had been
drawn up, name by name, of the number which had gone forth from their
country of those who were able to bear arms; and likewise the boys, the
old men, and the women, separately. Of all which items the total was:-

Of the _Helvetii_ [lit. of the heads of the Helvetii] 263,000
Of the _Tulingi_ 36,000
Of the _Latobrigi_ 14,000
Of the _Rauraci_ 23,000
Of the _Boii_ 32,000
The sum of all amounted to 368,000

Out of these, such as could bear arms [amounted] to about 92,000. When
the _census_ of those who returned home was taken, as Caesar had
commanded, the number was found to be 110,000.

XXX.--When the war with the Helvetii was concluded, ambassadors from
almost all parts of Gaul, the chiefs of states, assembled to
congratulate Caesar, [saying] that they were well aware, that, although
he had taken vengeance on the Helvetii in war, for the old wrongs done
by them to the Roman people, yet that circumstance had happened no less
to the benefit of the land of Gaul than of the Roman people, because the
Helvetii, while their affairs were most flourishing, had quitted their
country with the design of making war upon the whole of Gaul, and
seizing the government of it, and selecting, out of a great abundance,
that spot for an abode which they should judge to be the most convenient
and most productive of all Gaul, and hold the rest of the states as
tributaries. They requested that they might be allowed to proclaim an
assembly of the whole of Gaul for a particular day, and to do that with
Caesar's permission, [stating] that they had some things which, with the
general consent, they wished to ask of him. This request having been
granted, they appointed a day for the assembly, and ordained by an oath
with each other, that no one should disclose [their deliberations]
except those to whom this [office] should be assigned by the general

XXXI.--When that assembly was dismissed, the same chiefs of states, who
had before been to Caesar, returned, and asked that they might be
allowed to treat with him privately (in secret) concerning the safety of
themselves and of all. That request having been obtained, they all threw
themselves in tears at Caesar's feet, [saying] that they no less begged
and earnestly desired that what they might say should not be disclosed
than that they might obtain those things which they wished for; inasmuch
as they saw that, if a disclosure were made, they should be put to the
greatest tortures. For these Divitiacus the Aeduan spoke and told him:--
"That there were two parties in the whole of Gaul: that the Aedui stood
at the head of one of these, the Arverni of the other. After these had
been violently struggling with one another for the superiority for many
years, it came to pass that the Germans were called in for hire by the
Arverni and the Sequani. That about 15,000 of them [_i.e._ of the
Germans] had at first crossed the Rhine: but after that these wild and
savage men had become enamoured of the lands and the refinement and the
abundance of the Gauls, more were brought over, that there were now as
many as 120,000 of them in Gaul: that with these the Aedui and their
dependants had repeatedly struggled in arms, that they had been routed
and had sustained a great calamity--had lost all their nobility, all
their senate, all their cavalry. And that broken by such engagements and
calamities, although they had formerly been very powerful in Gaul, both
from their own valour and from the Roman people's hospitality and
friendship, they were now compelled to give the chief nobles of their
state as hostages to the Sequani, and to bind their state by an oath,
that they would neither demand hostages in return, nor supplicate aid
from the Roman people, nor refuse to be for ever under their sway and
empire. That 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. On that account he had fled from his state and had gone to the
senate at Rome to beseech aid, as he alone was bound neither by oath nor
hostages. But a worse thing had befallen the victorious Sequani than the
vanquished Aedui, for Ariovistus, the king of the Germans, had settled
in their territories, and had seized upon a third of their land, which
was the best in the whole of Gaul, and was now ordering them to depart
from another third part, because a few months previously 24,000 men of
the Harudes had come to him, for whom room and settlements must be
provided. The consequence would be, that in a few years they would all
be driven from the territories of Gaul, and all the Germans would cross
the Rhine; for neither must the land of Gaul be compared with the land
of the Germans, nor must the habit of living of the latter be put on a
level with that of the former. Moreover, [as for] Ariovistus, no sooner
did he defeat the forces of the Gauls in a battle, which took place at
Magetobria, than [he began] to lord it haughtily and cruelly, to demand
as hostages the children of all the principal nobles, and wreak on them
every kind of cruelty, if everything was not done at his nod or
pleasure; that he was a savage, passionate, and reckless man, and that
his commands could no longer be borne. Unless there was some aid in
Caesar and the Roman people, the Gauls must all do the same thing that
the Helvetii had done, [viz.] emigrate from their country, and seek
another dwelling place, other settlements remote from the Germans, and
try whatever fortune may fall to their lot. If these things were to be
disclosed to Ariovistus, [Divitiacus adds] that he doubts not that he
would inflict the most severe punishment on all the hostages who are in
his possession, [and says] that Caesar could, either by his own
influence and by that of his army, or by his late victory, or by name of
the Roman people, intimidate him, so as to prevent a greater number of
Germans being brought over the Rhine, and could protect all Gaul from
the outrages of Ariovistus."

XXXII.--When this speech had been delivered by Divitiacus, all who were
present began with loud lamentation to entreat assistance of Caesar.
Caesar noticed that the Sequani were the only people of all who did none
of those things which the others did, but, with their heads bowed down,
gazed on the earth in sadness. Wondering what was the reason of this
conduct, he inquired of themselves. No reply did the Sequani make, but
silently continued in the to same sadness. When he had repeatedly
inquired of them and could not elicit any answer at all, the same
Divitiacus the Aeduan answered, that--"the lot of the Sequani was more
wretched and grievous than that of the rest, on this account, because
they alone durst not even in secret complain or supplicate aid; and
shuddered at the cruelty of Ariovistus [even when] absent, just as if he
were present; for, to the rest, despite of everything, there was an
opportunity of flight given; but all tortures must be endured by the
Sequani, who had admitted Ariovistus within their territories, and whose
towns were all in his power."

XXXIII.--Caesar, on being informed of these things, cheered the minds of
the Gauls with his words, and promised that this affair should be an
object of his concern, [saying] that he had great hopes that Ariovistus,
induced both by his kindness and his power, would put an end to his
oppression. After delivering this speech, he dismissed the assembly;
and, besides those statements, many circumstances induced him to think
that this affair ought to be considered and taken up by him; especially
as he saw that the Aedui, styled [as they had been] repeatedly by the
senate "brethren" and "kinsmen," were held in the thraldom and dominion
of the Germans, and understood that their hostages were with Ariovistus
and the Sequani, which in so mighty an empire [as that] of the Roman
people he considered very disgraceful to himself and the republic. That,
moreover, the Germans should by degrees become accustomed to cross the
Rhine, and that a great body of them should come into Gaul, he saw
[would be] dangerous to the Roman people, and judged that wild and
savage men would not be likely to restrain themselves, after they had
possessed themselves of all Gaul, from going forth into the province and
thence marching into Italy (as the Cimbri and Teutones had done before
them), particularly as the Rhone [was the sole barrier that] separated
the Sequani from our province. Against which events he thought he ought
to provide as speedily as possible. Moreover, Ariovistus, for his part,
had assumed to himself such pride and arrogance that he was felt to be
quite insufferable.

XXXIV.--He therefore determined to send ambassadors to Ariovistus to
demand of him to name some intermediate spot for a conference between
the two, [saying] that he wished to treat with him on state-business and
matters of the highest importance to both of them. To this embassy
Ariovistus replied, that if he himself had had need of anything from
Caesar, he would have gone to him; and that if Caesar wanted anything
from him he ought to come to him. That, besides, neither dare he go
without an army into those parts of Gaul which Caesar had possession of,
nor could he, without great expense and trouble, draw his army together
to one place; that to him, moreover, it appeared strange what business
either Caesar or the Roman people at all had in his own Gaul, which he
had conquered in war.

XXXV.--When these answers were reported to Caesar, he sends ambassadors
to him a second time with this message "Since, after having been treated
with so much kindness by himself and the Roman people (as he had in his
consulship [B.C. 59] been styled 'king and friend' by the senate), he
makes this recompense to [Caesar] himself and the Roman people, [viz.]
that when invited to a conference he demurs, and does not think that it
concerns him to advise and inform himself about an object of mutual
interest, these are the things which he requires of him; first, that he
do not any more bring over any body of men across the Rhine into Gaul;
in the next place, that he restore the hostages which he has from the
Aedui, and grant the Sequani permission to restore to them with his
consent those hostages which they have, and that he neither provoke the
Aedui by outrage nor make war upon them or their allies; if he would
accordingly do this," [Caesar says] that "he himself and the Roman
people will entertain a perpetual feeling of favour and friendship
towards him; but that if he [Caesar] does not obtain [his desires], that
he (forasmuch as in the consulship of Marcus Messala and Marcus Piso
[B.C. 61] the senate had decreed that, whoever should have the
administration of the province of Gaul should, as far as he could do so
consistently with the interests of the republic, protect the Aedui and
the other friends of the Roman people) will not overlook the wrongs of
the Aedui."

XXXVI.--To this Ariovistus replied, that "the right of war was, that
they who had conquered should govern those whom they had conquered, in
what manner they pleased; that in that way the Roman people were wont to
govern the nations which they had conquered, not according to the
dictation of any other, but according to their own discretion. If he for
his part did not dictate to the Roman people as to the manner in which
they were to exercise their right, he ought not to be obstructed by the
Roman people in his right; that the Aedui, inasmuch as they had tried
the fortune of war and had engaged in arms and been conquered, had
become tributaries to him; that Caesar was doing a great injustice, in
that by his arrival he was making his revenues less valuable to him;
that he should not restore their hostages to the Aedui, but should not
make war wrongfully either upon them or their allies, if they abided by
that which had been agreed on, and paid their tribute annually: if they
did _not_ continue to do that, the Roman people's name of 'brothers'
would avail them nought. As to Caesar's threatening him that be would
not overlook the wrongs of the Aedui, [he said] that no one had ever
entered into a contest with _him_ [Ariovistus] without utter ruin to
himself. That Caesar might enter the lists when he chose; he would feel
what the invincible Germans, well-trained [as they were] beyond all
others to arms, who for fourteen years had not been beneath a roof,
could achieve by their valour."

XXXVII.--At the same time that this message was delivered to Caesar,
ambassadors came from the Aedui and the Treviri; from the Aedui to
complain that the Harudes, who had lately been brought over into Gaul,
were ravaging their territories; that they had not been able to purchase
peace from Ariovistus, even by giving hostages: and from the Treviri,
[to state] that a hundred cantons of the Suevi had encamped on the banks
of the Rhine, and were attempting to cross it; that the brothers, Nasuas
and Cimberius, headed them. Being greatly alarmed at these things,
Caesar thought that he ought to use all despatch, lest, if thus new band
of Suevi should unite with the old troops of Ariovistus, he [Ariovistus]
might be less easily withstood. Having, therefore, as quickly as he
could, provided a supply of corn, he hastened to Ariovistus by forced

XXXVIII.--When he had proceeded three days' journey, word was brought to
him that Ariovistus was hastening with all his forces to seize on
Vesontio, which is the largest town of the Sequani, and had advanced
three days' journey from his territories. Caesar thought that he ought
to take the greatest precautions lest this should happen, for there was
in that town a most ample supply of everything which was serviceable for
war; and so fortified was it by the nature of the ground as to afford a
great facility for protracting the war, inasmuch as the river Doubs
almost surrounds the whole town, as though it were traced round it with
a pair of compasses. A mountain of great height shuts in the remaining
space, which is not more than 600 feet, where the river leaves a gap, in
such a manner that the roots of that mountain extend to the river's bank
on either side. A wall thrown around it makes a citadel of this
[mountain], and connects it with the town. Hither Caesar hastens by
forced marches by night and day, and, after having seized the town,
stations a garrison there.

XXXIX.--Whilst he is tarrying a few days at Vesontio, on account of corn
and provisions; from the inquiries of our men and the reports of the
Gauls and traders (who asserted that the Germans were men of huge
stature, of incredible valour and practice in arms, that ofttimes they,
on encountering them, could not bear even their countenance, and the
fierceness of their eyes)--so great a panic on a sudden seized the whole
army, as to discompose the minds and spirits of all in no slight degree.
This first arose from the tribunes of the soldiers, the prefects and the
rest, who, having followed Caesar from the city [Rome] from motives of
friendship, had no great experience in military affairs. And alleging,
some of them one reason, some another, which they said made it necessary
for them to depart, they requested that by his consent they might be
allowed to withdraw; some, influenced by shame, stayed behind in order
that they might avoid the suspicion of cowardice. These could neither
compose their countenance, nor even sometimes check their tears: but
hidden in their tents, either bewailed their fate, or deplored with
their comrades the general danger. Wills were sealed universally
throughout the whole camp. By the expressions and cowardice of these
men, even those who possessed great experience in the camp, both
soldiers and centurions, and those [the decurions] who were in command
of the cavalry, were gradually disconcerted. Such of them as wished to
be considered less alarmed, said that they did not dread the enemy, but
feared the narrowness of the roads and the vastness of the forests which
lay between them and Ariovistus, or else that the supplies could not be
brought up readily enough. Some even declared to Caesar that when he
gave orders for the camp to be moved and the troops to advance, the
soldiers would not be obedient to the command, nor advance in
consequence of their fear.

XL.--When Caesar observed these things, having called a council, and
summoned to it the centurions of all the companies, he severely
reprimanded them, "particularly for supposing that it belonged to them
to inquire or conjecture, either in what direction they were marching,
or with what object. That Ariovistus, during his [Caesar's] consulship,
had most anxiously sought after the friendship of the Roman people; why
should any one judge that he would so rashly depart from his duty? He
for his part was persuaded that, when his demands were known and the
fairness of the terms considered, he would reject neither his nor the
Roman people's favour. But even if, driven on by rage and madness, he
should make war upon them, what after all were they afraid of?--or why
should they despair either of their own valour or of his zeal? Of that
enemy a trial had been made within our fathers' recollection, when, on
the defeat of the Cimbri and Teutones by Caius Marius, the army was
regarded as having deserved no less praise than their commander himself.
It had been made lately, too, in Italy; during the rebellion of the
slaves, whom, however, the experience and training which they had
received from us, assisted in some respect. From which a judgment might
be formed of the advantages which resolution carries with it,--inasmuch
as those whom for some time they had groundlessly dreaded when unarmed,
they had afterwards vanquished, when well armed and flushed with
success. In short, that these were the same men whom the Helvetii, in
frequent encounters, not only in their own territories, but also in
theirs [the German], have generally vanquished, and yet cannot have been
a match for our army. If the unsuccessful battle and flight of the Gauls
disquieted any, these, if they made inquiries, might discover that, when
the Gauls had been tired out by the long duration of the war,
Ariovistus, after he had many months kept himself in his camp and in the
marshes, and had given no opportunity for an engagement, fell suddenly
upon them, by this time despairing of a battle and scattered in all
directions, and was victorious more through stratagem and cunning than
valour. But though there had been room for such stratagem against savage
and unskilled men, not even [Ariovistus] himself expected that thereby
our armies could be entrapped. That those who ascribed their fear to a
pretence about the [deficiency of] supplies and the narrowness of the
roads, acted presumptuously, as they seemed either to distrust their
general's discharge of his duty, or to dictate to him. That these things
were his concern; that the Sequani, the Leuci, and the Lingones were to
furnish the corn; and that it was already ripe in the fields; that as to
the road they would soon be able to judge for themselves. As to its
being reported that the soldiers would not be obedient to command, or
advance, he was not at all disturbed at that; for he knew that in the
case of all those whose army had not been obedient to command, either
upon some mismanagement of an affair, fortune had deserted them, or,
that upon some crime being discovered, covetousness had been clearly
proved [against them]. His integrity had been seen throughout his whole
life, his good fortune in the war with the Helvetii. That he would
therefore instantly set about what he had intended to put off till a
more distant day, and would break up his camp the next night, in the
fourth watch, that he might ascertain, as soon as possible, whether a
sense of honour and duty, or whether fear had more influence with them.
But that, if no one else should follow, yet he would go with only the
tenth legion, of which he had no misgivings, and it should be his
praetorian cohort."--This legion Caesar had both greatly favoured, and
in it, on account of its valour, placed the greatest confidence.

XLI.-Upon the delivery of this speech, the minds of all were changed in
a surprising, manner, and the highest ardour and eagerness for
prosecuting the war were engendered; and the tenth legion was the first
to return thanks to him, through their military tribunes, for his having
expressed this most favourable opinion of them; and assured him that
they were quite ready to prosecute the war. Then, the other legions
endeavoured, through their military tribunes and the centurions of the
principal companies, to excuse themselves to Caesar, [saying] that they
had never either doubted or feared, or supposed that the determination
of the conduct of the war was theirs and not their general's. Having
accepted their excuse, and having had the road carefully reconnoitred by
Divitiacus, because in him of all others he had the greatest faith, [he
found] that by a circuitous route of more than fifty miles he might lead
his army through open parts; he then set out in the fourth watch, as he
had said [he would]. On the seventh day, as he did not discontinue his
march, he was informed by scouts that the forces of Ariovistus were only
four and twenty miles distant from ours.

XLII.--Upon being apprised of Caesar's arrival, Ariovistus sends
ambassadors to him, [saying] that what he had before requested as to a
conference, might now, as far as his permission went, take place, since
he [Caesar] had approached nearer, and he considered that he might now
do it without danger. Caesar did not reject the proposal and began to
think that he was now returning to a rational state of mind, as he
spontaneously proffered that which he had previously refused to him when
requesting it; and was in great hopes that, in consideration of his own
and the Roman people's great favours towards him, the issue would be
that he would desist from his obstinacy upon his demands being made
known. The fifth day after that was appointed as the day of conference.
Meanwhile, as ambassadors were being often sent to and fro between them,
Ariovistus demanded that Caesar should not bring any foot-soldier with
him to the conference, [saying] that "he was afraid of being ensnared by
him through treachery; that both should come accompanied by cavalry;
that he would not come on, any other condition." Caesar, as he neither
wished that the conference should, by an excuse thrown in the way, be
set aside, nor durst trust his life to the cavalry of the Gauls, decided
that it would be most expedient to take away from the Gallic cavalry all
their horses, and thereon to mount the legionary soldiers of the tenth
legion, in which he placed the greatest confidence; in order that he
might have a body-guard as trustworthy as possible, should there be any
need for action. And when this was done, one of the soldiers of the
tenth legion said, not without a touch of humour, "that Caesar did more
for them than he had promised; he had promised to have the tenth legion
in place of his praetorian cohort; but he now converted them into

XLIII.--There was a large plain, and in it a mound of earth of
considerable size. This spot was at nearly an equal distance from both
camps. Thither, as had been appointed, they came for the conference.
Caesar stationed the legion, which he had brought [with him] on
horseback, 200 paces from this mound. The cavalry of Ariovistus also
took their stand at an equal distance. Ariovistus then demanded that
they should confer on horseback, and that, besides themselves, they
should bring with them ten men each to the conference. When they were
come to the place, Caesar, in the opening of his speech, detailed his
own and the senate's favours towards him [Ariovistus], "in that he had
been styled king, in that [he had been styled] friend, by the senate--
in that very considerable presents had been sent him; which circumstance
he informed him had both fallen to the lot of few, and had usually been
bestowed in consideration of important personal services; that he,
although he had neither an introduction, nor a just ground for the
request, had obtained these honours through the kindness and munificence
of himself [Caesar] and the senate. He informed him too, how old and how
just were the grounds of connexion that existed between themselves [the
Romans] and the Aedui, what decrees of the senate had been passed in
their favour, and how frequent and how honourable; how from time
immemorial the Aedui had held the supremacy of the whole of Gaul; even
[said Caesar] before they had sought our friendship; that it was the
custom of the Roman people to desire not only that its allies and
friends should lose none of their property, but be advanced in
influence, dignity, and honour: who then could endure that what they had
brought with them to the friendship of the Roman people, should be torn
from them?" He then made the same demands which he had commissioned the
ambassadors to make, that [Ariovistus] should not make war either upon
the Aedui or their allies, that he should restore the hostages; that, if
he could not send back to their country any part of the Germans, he
should at all events suffer none of them any more to cross the Rhine.

XLIV.--Ariovistus replied briefly to the demands of Caesar; but
expatiated largely on his own virtues, "that he had crossed the Rhine
not of his own accord, but on being invited and sent for by the Gauls;
that he had not left home and kindred without great expectations and
great rewards; that he had settlements in Gaul, granted by the Gauls
themselves; that the hostages had been given by their own good-will;
that he took by right of war the tribute which conquerors are accustomed
to impose on the conquered; that he had not made war upon the Gauls, but
the Gauls upon him; that all the states of Gaul came to attack him, and
had encamped against him; that all their forces had been routed and
beaten by him in a single battle; that if they chose to make a second
trial, he was ready to encounter them again; but if they chose to enjoy
peace, it was unfair to refuse the tribute, which of their own free-will
they had paid up to that time. That the friendship of the Roman people
ought to prove to him an ornament and a safeguard, not a detriment; and
that he sought it with that expectation. But if through the Roman people
the tribute was to be discontinued, and those who surrendered to be
seduced from him, he would renounce the friendship of the Roman people
no less heartily than he had sought it. As to his leading over a host of
Germans into Gaul, that he was doing this with a view of securing
himself, not of assaulting Gaul: that there was evidence of this, in
that he did not come without being invited, and in that he did not make
war, but merely warded it off. That he had come into Gaul before the
Roman people. That never before this time did a Roman army go beyond the
frontiers of the province of Gaul. What [said he] does [Caesar] desire?
--why come into his [Ariovistus's] domains?--that this was his province
of Gaul, just as that is ours. As it ought not to be pardoned in him, if
he were to make an attack upon our territories; so, likewise, that we
were unjust to obstruct him in his prerogative. As for Caesar's saying
that the Aedui had been styled 'brethren' by the senate, he was not so
uncivilized nor so ignorant of affairs, as not to know that the Aedui in
the very last war with the Allobroges had neither rendered assistance to
the Romans, nor received any from the Roman people in the struggles
which the Aedui had been maintaining with him and with the Sequani. He
must feel suspicious that Caesar, though feigning friendship as the
reason for his keeping an army in Gaul; was keeping it with the view of
crushing him. And that unless he depart, and withdraw his army from
these parts, he shall regard him not as a friend, but as a foe; and
that, even if he should put him to death, he should do what would please
many of the nobles and leading men of the Roman people; he had assurance
of that from themselves through their messengers, and could purchase the
favour and the friendship of them all by his [Caesar's] death. But if he
would depart and resign to him the free possession of Gaul, he would
recompense him with a great reward, and would bring to a close whatever
wars he wished to be carried on, without any trouble or risk to him."

XLV.--Many things were stated by Caesar to the effect [to show]: "why he
could not waive the business, and that neither his nor the Roman
people's practice would suffer him to abandon most meritorious allies,
nor did he deem that Gaul belonged to Ariovistus rather than to the
Roman people; that the Arverni and the Ruteni had been subdued in war by
Quintus Fabius Maximus, and that the Roman people had pardoned them and
had not reduced them into a province or imposed a tribute upon them. And
if the most ancient period was to be regarded--then was the sovereignty
of the Roman people in Gaul most just: if the decree of the senate was
to be observed, then ought Gaul to be free, which they [the Romans] had
conquered in war, and had permitted to enjoy its own laws."

XLVI.--While these things are being transacted in the conference, it was
announced to Caesar that the cavalry of Ariovistus were approaching
nearer the mound, and were riding up to our men, and casting stones and
weapons at them. Caesar made an end of his speech and betook himself to
his men; and commanded them that they should by no means return a weapon
upon the enemy. For though he saw that an engagement with the cavalry
would be without any danger to his chosen legion, yet he did not think
proper to engage, lest, after the enemy were routed, it might be said
that they had been ensnared by him under the sanction of a conference.
When it was spread abroad among the common soldiery with what
haughtiness Ariovistus had behaved at the conference, and how he had
ordered the Romans to quit Gaul, and how his cavalry had made an attack
upon our men, and how this had broken off the conference, a much greater
alacrity and eagerness for battle was infused into our army.

XLVII.--Two days after, Ariovistus sends ambassadors to Caesar, to state
"that he wished to treat with him about those things which had been
begun to be treated of between them, but had not been concluded"; [and
to beg] that "he would either again appoint a day for a conference; or,
if he were not willing to do that, that he would send one of his
[officers] as an ambassador to him." There did not appear to Caesar any
good reason for holding a conference; and the more so as the day before
the Germans could not be restrained from casting weapons at our men. He
thought he should not without great danger send to him as ambassador one
of his [Roman] officers, and should expose him to savage men. It seemed
[therefore] most proper to send to him C. Valerius Procillus, the son of
C. Valerius Caburus, a young man of the highest courage and
accomplishments (whose father had been presented with the freedom of the
city by C. Valerius Flaccus), both on account of his fidelity and on
account of his knowledge of the Gallic language, which Ariovistus, by
long practice, now spoke fluently; and because in his case the Germans
would have no motive for committing violence; and [as his colleague] M.
Mettius, who had shared the hospitality of Ariovistus. He commissioned
them to learn what Ariovistus had to say, and to report to him. But when
Ariovistus saw them before him in his camp, he cried out in the presence
of his army, "Why were they come to him? was it for the purpose of
acting as spies?" He stopped them when attempting to speak, and cast
them into chains.

XLVIII.--The same day he moved his camp forward and pitched under a hill
six miles from Caesar's camp. The day following he led his forces past
Caesar's camp, and encamped two miles beyond him; with this design--that
he might cut off Caesar from, the corn and provisions which might be
conveyed to him from the Sequani and the Aedui. For five successive days
from that day, Caesar drew out his forces before the camp, and put them
in battle order, that, if Ariovistus should be willing to engage in
battle, an opportunity might not be wanting to him. Ariovistus all this
time kept his army in camp: but engaged daily in cavalry skirmishes. The
method of battle in which the Germans had practised themselves was this.
There were 6000 horse, and as many very active and courageous foot, one
of whom each of the horse selected out of the whole army for his own
protection. By these [foot] they were constantly accompanied in their
engagements; to these the horse retired; these on any emergency rushed
forward; if any one, upon receiving a very severe wound, had fallen from
his horse, they stood around him: if it was necessary to advance
farther: than usual, or to retreat more rapidly, so great, from
practice, was their swiftness, that, supported by the manes of the
horses, they could keep pace with their speed.

XLIX.--Perceiving that Ariovistus kept himself in camp, Caesar, that he
might not any longer be cut off from provisions, chose a convenient
position for a camp beyond that place in which the Germans had encamped,
at about 600 paces from them, and having drawn up his army in three
lines, marched to that place. He ordered the first and second lines to
be under arms; the third to fortify the camp. This place was distant
from the enemy about 600 paces, as has been stated. Thither Ariovistus
sent light troops, about 16,000 men in number, with all his cavalry;
which forces were to intimidate our men, and hinder them in their
fortification. Caesar nevertheless, as he had before arranged, ordered
two lines to drive off the enemy: the third to execute the work. The
camp being fortified, he left there two legions and a portion of the
auxiliaries; and led back the other four legions into the larger camp.

L.--The next day, according to his custom, Caesar led out his forces
from both camps, and having advanced a little from the larger one, drew
up his line of battle, and gave the enemy an opportunity of fighting.
When he found that they did not even then come out [from their
entrenchments], he led back his army into camp about noon. Then at last
Ariovistus sent part of his forces to attack the lesser camp. The battle
was vigorously maintained on both sides till the evening. At sunset,
after many wounds had been inflicted and received, Ariovistus led back
his forces into camp. When Caesar inquired of his prisoners, wherefore
Ariovistus did not come to an engagement, he discovered this to be the
reason--that among the Germans it was the custom for their matrons to
pronounce from lots and divination whether it were expedient that the
battle should be engaged in or not; that they had said, "that it was not
the will of heaven that the Germans should conquer, if they engaged in
battle before the new moon."

LI.--The day following, Caesar left what seemed sufficient as a guard
for both camps; [and then] drew up all the auxiliaries in sight of the
enemy, before the lesser camp, because he was not very powerful in the
number of legionary soldiers, considering the number of the enemy; that
[thereby] he might make use of his auxiliaries for appearance. He
himself, having drawn up his army in three lines, advanced to the camp
of the enemy. Then at last of necessity the Germans drew their forces
out of camp, and disposed them canton by canton, at equal distances, the
Harudes, Marcomanni, Tribocci, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii, Suevi; and
surrounded their whole army with their chariots and waggons, that no
hope might be left in flight. On these they placed their women, who,
with dishevelled hair and in tears, entreated the soldiers, as they went
forward to battle, not to deliver them into slavery to the Romans.

LII.--Caesar appointed over each legion a lieutenant and a questor, that
every one might have them as witnesses of his valour. He himself began
the battle at the head of the right wing, because he had observed that
part of the enemy to be the least strong. Accordingly our men, upon the
signal being given, vigorously made an attack upon the enemy, and the
enemy so suddenly and rapidly rushed forward, that there was no time for
casting the javelins at them. Throwing aside [therefore] their javelins,
they fought with swords hand to hand. But the Germans, according to
their custom, rapidly forming a phalanx, sustained the attack of our
swords. There were found very many of our soldiers who leaped upon the
phalanx, and with their hands tore away the shields, and wounded the
enemy from above. Although the army of the enemy was routed on the left
wing and put to flight, they [still] pressed heavily on our men from the
right wing, by the great number of their troops. On observing which, P.
Crassus, a young man, who commanded the cavalry--as he was more
disengaged than those who were employed in the fight--sent the third
line as a relief to our men who were in distress.

LIII.--Thereupon the engagement was renewed, and all the enemy turned
their backs, nor did they cease to flee until they arrived at the river
Rhine, about fifty miles from that place. There some few, either relying
on their strength, endeavoured to swim over, or, finding boats, procured
their safety. Among the latter was Ariovistus, who meeting with a small
vessel tied to the bank, escaped in it: our horse pursued and slew all
the rest of them. Ariovistus had two wives, one a Suevan by nation, whom
he had brought with him from home; the other a Norican, the sister of
king Vocion, whom he had married in Gaul, she having been sent [thither
for that purpose] by her brother. Both perished in that flight. Of their
two daughters, one was slain, the other captured. C. Valerius Procillus,
as he was being dragged by his guards in the flight, bound with a triple
chain, fell into the hands of Caesar himself, as he was pursuing the
enemy with his cavalry. This circumstance indeed afforded Caesar no less
pleasure than the victory itself; because he saw a man of the first rank
in the province of Gaul, his intimate acquaintance and friend, rescued
from the hand of the enemy, and restored to him, and that fortune had
not diminished aught of the joy and exultation [of that day] by his
destruction. He [Procillus] said that in his own presence the lots had
been thrice consulted respecting him, whether he should immediately be
put to death by fire, or be reserved for another time: that by the
favour of the lots he was uninjured. M. Mettius, also, was found and
brought back to him [Caesar].

LIV.--This battle having been reported beyond the Rhine, the Suevi, who
had come to the banks of that river, began to return home, when the
Ubii, who dwelt nearest to the Rhine, pursuing them, while much alarmed,
slew a great number of them. Caesar having concluded two very important
wars in one campaign, conducted his army into winter quarters among the
Sequani, a little earlier than the season of the year required. He
appointed Labienus over the winter quarters, and set out in person for
Hither Gaul to hold the assizes.

Julius Caesar

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