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Book IV

I.-The following winter (this was the year in which Cn. Pompey and M.
Crassus were consuls), those Germans [called] the Usipetes, and likewise
the Tenchtheri, with a great number of men, crossed the Rhine, not far
from the place at which that river discharges itself into the sea. The
motive for crossing [that river] was that, having been for several years
harassed by the Suevi, they were constantly engaged in war, and hindered
from the pursuits of agriculture. The nation of the Suevi is by far the
largest and the most warlike nation of all the Germans. They are said to
possess a hundred cantons, from each of which they yearly send from
their territories for the purpose of war a thousand armed men: the
others who remain at home, maintain [both] themselves and those engaged
in the expedition. The latter again, in their turn, are in arms the year
after: the former remain at home. Thus neither husbandry nor the art and
practice of war are neglected. But among them there exists no private
and separate land; nor are they permitted to remain more than one year
in one place for the purpose of residence. They do not live much on
corn, but subsist for the most part on milk and flesh, and are much
[engaged] in hunting; which circumstance must, by the nature of their
food, and by their daily exercise and the freedom of their life (for
having from boyhood been accustomed to no employment, or discipline,
they do nothing at all contrary to their inclination), both promote
their strength and render them men of vast stature of body. And to such
a habit have they brought themselves, that even in the coldest parts
they wear no clothing whatever except skins, by reason of the scantiness
of which a great portion of their body is bare, and besides they bathe
in open rivers.

II.--Merchants have access to them rather that they may have persons to
whom they may sell those things which they have taken in war, than
because they need any commodity to be imported to them. Moreover, even
as to labouring cattle, in which the Gauls take the greatest pleasure,
and which they procure at a great price, the Germans do not employ such
as are imported, but those poor and ill-shaped animals which belong to
their country; these, however, they render capable of the greatest
labour by daily exercise. In cavalry actions they frequently leap from
their horses and fight on foot; and train their horses to stand still in
the very spot on which they leave them, to which they retreat with great
activity when there is occasion; nor, according to their practice, is
anything regarded as more unseemly, or more unmanly, than to use
housings. Accordingly, they have the courage, though they be themselves
but few, to advance against any number whatever of horse mounted with
housings. They on no account permit wine to be imported to them, because
they consider that men degenerate in their powers of enduring fatigue,
and are rendered effeminate by that commodity.

III.--They esteem it their greatest praise as a nation that the lands
about their territories lie unoccupied to a very great extent, inasmuch
as [they think] that by this circumstance is indicated that a great
number of nations cannot, withstand their power; and thus on one side of
the Suevi the lands are said to lie desolate for about six hundred
miles. On the other side they border on the Ubii, whose state was large
and flourishing, considering the condition of the Germans, and who are
somewhat more refined than those of the same race and the rest [of the
Germans], and that because they border on the Rhine, and are much
resorted to by merchants, and are accustomed to the manners of the
Gauls, by reason of their approximity to them. Though the Suevi, after
making the attempt frequently and in several wars, could not expel this
nation from their territories, on account of the extent and population
of their state, yet they made them tributaries, and rendered them less
distinguished and powerful [than they had ever been].

IV.--In the same condition were the Usipetes and the Tenchtheri (whom we
have mentioned above), who for many years resisted the power of the
Suevi, but being at last driven from their possessions, and having
wandered through many parts of Germany, came to the Rhine, to districts
which the Menapii inhabited, and where they had lands, houses, and
villages on either side of the river. The latter people, alarmed by the
arrival of so great a multitude, removed from those houses which they
had on the other side of the river, and having placed guards on this
side the Rhine, proceeded to hinder the Germans from crossing. They,
finding themselves, after they had tried all means, unable either to
force a passage on account of their deficiency in shipping, or cross by
stealth on account of the guards of the Menapii, pretended to return to
their own settlements and districts; and, after having proceeded three
days' march, returned; and their cavalry having performed the whole of
this journey in one night, cut off the Menapii, who were ignorant of,
and did not expect [their approach, and] who, having moreover been
informed of the departure of the Germans by their scouts, had without
apprehension returned to their villages beyond the Rhine. Having slain
these, and seized their ships, they crossed the river before that part
of the Menapii, who were at peace in their settlements over the Rhine,
were apprised of [their intention]; and seizing all their houses,
maintained themselves upon their provisions during the rest of the
winter.

V.--Caesar, when informed of these matters, fearing the fickle
disposition of the Gauls, who are easily prompted to take up
resolutions, and much addicted to change, considered that nothing was to
be entrusted to them; for it is the custom of that people to compel
travellers to stop, even against their inclination, and inquire what
they may have heard, or may know, respecting any matter; and in towns
the common people throng around merchants and force them to state from
what countries they come, and what affairs they know of there. They
often engage in resolutions concerning the most important matters,
induced by these reports and stories alone; of which they must
necessarily instantly repent, since they yield to mere unauthorised
reports; and since most people give to their questions answers framed
agreeably to their wishes.

VI.--Caesar, being aware of their custom, in order that he might not
encounter a more formidable war, sets forward to the army earlier in the
year than he was accustomed to do. When he had arrived there, he
discovered that those things, which he had suspected would occur, had
taken place; that embassies had been sent to the Germans by some of the
states, and that they had been entreated to leave the Rhine, and had
been promised that all things which they desired should be provided by
the Gauls. Allured by this hope, the Germans were then making excursions
to greater distances, and had advanced to the territories of the
Eburones and the Condrusi, who are under the protection of the Treviri.
After summoning the chiefs of Gaul, Caesar thought proper to pretend
ignorance of the things which he had discovered; and having conciliated
and confirmed their minds, and ordered some cavalry to be raised,
resolved to make war against the Germans.

VII.--Having provided corn and selected his cavalry, he began to direct
his march towards those parts in which he heard the Germans were. When
he was distant from them only a few days' march, ambassadors come to him
from their state; whose speech was as follows:--"That the Germans
neither make war upon the Roman people first, nor do they decline, if
they are provoked, to engage with them in arms; for that this was the
custom of the Germans handed down to them from their forefathers, to
resist whatsoever people make war upon them and not to avert it by
entreaty; this, however, they confessed,--that they had come hither
reluctantly, having been expelled from their country. If the Romans were
disposed to accept their friendship, they might be serviceable allies to
them; and let them either assign them lands, or permit them to retain
those which they had acquired by their arms; that they are inferior to
the Suevi alone, to whom not even the immortal gods can show themselves
equal; that there was none at all besides on earth whom they could not
conquer."

VIII.--To these remarks Caesar replied in such terms as he thought
proper; but the conclusion of his speech was, "That he could make no
alliance with them, if they continued in Gaul; that it was not probable
that they who were not able to defend their own territories, should get
possession of those of others, nor were there any lands lying waste in
Gaul which could be given away, especially to so great a number of men,
without doing wrong [to others]; but they might, if they were desirous,
settle in the territories of the Ubii; whose ambassadors were then with
him, and were complaining of the aggressions of the Suevi, and
requesting assistance from him; and that he would obtain this request
from them."

IX.--The ambassadors said that they would report these things to their
countrymen; and, after having deliberated on the matter, would return to
Caesar after the third day, they begged that he would not in the
meantime advance his camp nearer to them. Caesar said that he could not
grant them even that; for he had learned that they had sent a great part
of their cavalry over the Meuse to the Ambivariti, some days before, for
the purpose of plundering and procuring forage. He supposed that they
were then waiting for these horse, and that the delay was caused on this
account.

X.--The Meuse rises from mount Le Vosge, which is in the territories of
the Lingones; and, having received a branch of the Rhine, which is
called the Waal, forms the island of the Batavi, and not more than
eighty miles from it it falls into the ocean. But the Rhine takes its
course among the Lepontii, who inhabit the Alps, and is carried with a
rapid current for a long distance through the territories of the
Sarunates, Helvetii, Sequani, Mediomatrici, Tribuci, and Treviri, and
when it approaches the ocean, divides into several branches; and, having
formed many and extensive islands, a great part of which are inhabited
by savage and barbarous nations (of whom there are some who are supposed
to live on fish and the eggs of sea-fowl), flows into the ocean by
several mouths.

XI.--When Caesar was not more than twelve miles distant from the enemy,
the ambassadors return to him, as had been arranged; who meeting him on
the march, earnestly entreated him not to advance any farther. When they
could not obtain this, they begged him to send on a despatch to those
who had marched in advance of the main army, and forbid them to engage;
and grant them permission to send ambassadors to the Ubii, and if the
princes and senate of the latter would give them security by oath, they
assured Caesar that they would accept such conditions as might be
proposed by him; and requested that he would give them the space of
three days for negotiating these affairs. Caesar thought that these
things tended to the self-same point [as their other proposal]; [namely]
that, in consequence of a delay of three days intervening, their horse
which were at a distance might return; however, he said, that he would
not that day advance farther than four miles for the purpose of
procuring water; he ordered that they should assemble at that place in
as large a number as possible the following day, that he might inquire
into their demands. In the meantime he sends messengers to the officers
who had marched in advance with all the cavalry to order them not to
provoke the enemy to an engagement, and if they themselves were
assailed, to sustain the attack until he came up with the army.

XII.--But the enemy, as soon as they saw our horse, the number of which
was 5000, whereas they themselves had not more than 800 horse, because
those which had gone over the Meuse for the purpose of foraging had not
returned, while our men had no apprehensions, because their ambassadors
had gone away from Caesar a little before, and that day had been
requested by them as a period of truce, made an onset on our men, and
soon threw them into disorder. When our men, in their turn, made a
stand, they, according to their practice, leaped from their horses to
their feet, and stabbing our horses in the belly and overthrowing a
great many of our men, put the rest to flight, and drove them forward so
much alarmed that they did not desist from their retreat till they had
come in sight of our army. In that encounter seventy-four of our horse
were slain; among them, Piso, an Aquitanian, a most valiant man, and
descended from a very illustrious family; whose grandfather had held the
sovereignty of his state, and had been styled friend by our senate. He,
while he was endeavouring to render assistance to his brother who was
surrounded by the enemy, and whom he rescued from danger, was himself
thrown from his horse, which was wounded under him, but still opposed
[his antagonists] with the greatest intrepidity, as long as he was able
to maintain the conflict. When at length he fell, surrounded on all
sides and after receiving many wounds, and his brother, who had then
retired from the fight, observed it from a distance, he spurred on his
horse, threw himself upon the enemy, and was killed.

XIII.--After this engagement, Caesar considered that neither ought
ambassadors to be received to audience, nor conditions be accepted by
him from those who, after having sued for peace by way of stratagem and
treachery, had made war without provocation. And to wait till the
enemy's forces were augmented and their cavalry had returned, he
concluded, would be the greatest madness; and knowing the fickleness of
the Gauls, he felt how much influence the enemy had already acquired
among them by this one skirmish. He [therefore] deemed that no time for
converting measures ought to be afforded them. After having resolved on
these things and communicated his plans to his lieutenants and quaestor
in order that he might not suffer any opportunity for engaging to escape
him, a very seasonable event occurred, namely, that on the morning of
the next day, a large body of Germans, consisting of their princes and
old men, came to the camp to him to practise the same treachery and
dissimulation; but, as they asserted, for the purpose of acquitting
themselves for having engaged in a skirmish the day before, contrary to
what had been agreed and to what, indeed, they themselves had requested;
and also if they could by any means obtain a truce by deceiving him.
Caesar, rejoicing that they had fallen into his power, ordered them to
be detained. He then drew all his forces out of the camp, and commanded
the cavalry, because he thought they were intimidated by the late
skirmish, to follow in the rear.

XIV.--Having marshalled his army in three lines, and in a short time
performed a march of eight miles, he arrived at the camp of the enemy
before the Germans could perceive what was going on; who being suddenly
alarmed by all the circumstances, both by the speediness of our arrival
and the absence of their own officers, as time was afforded neither for
concerting measures nor for seizing their arms, are perplexed as to
whether it would be better to lead out their forces against the enemy,
or to defend their camp, or seek their safety by flight. Their
consternation being made apparent by their noise and tumult, our
soldiers, excited by the treachery of the preceding day, rushed into the
camp: such of them as could readily get their arms for a short time
withstood our men, and gave battle among their carts and baggage-waggons;
but the rest of the people, [consisting] of boys and women (for they had
left their country and crossed the Rhine with all their families), began
to fly in all directions; in pursuit of whom Caesar sent the cavalry.

XV.--The Germans when, upon hearing a noise behind them, [they looked
and] saw that their families were being slain, throwing away their arms
and abandoning their standards, fled out of the camp, and when they had
arrived at the confluence of the Meuse and the Rhine, the survivors
despairing of farther escape, as a great number of their countrymen had
been killed, threw themselves into the river and there perished,
overcome by fear, fatigue, and the violence of the stream. Our soldiers,
after the alarm of so great a war, for the number of the enemy amounted
to 430,000, returned to their camp, all safe to a man, very few being
even wounded. Caesar granted those whom he had detained in the camp
liberty of departing. They however, dreading revenge and torture from
the Gauls, whose lands they had harassed, said that they desired to
remain with him. Caesar granted them permission.

XVI.--The German war being finished, Caesar thought it expedient for him
to cross the Rhine, for many reasons; of which this was the most
weighty, that, since he saw the Germans were so easily urged to go into
Gaul, he desired they should have their fears for their own territories
when they discovered that the army of the Roman people both could and
dared pass the Rhine. There was added also, that that portion of the
cavalry of the Usipetes and the Tenchtheri, which I have above related
to have crossed the Meuse for the purpose of plundering and procuring
forage, and was not present at the engagement, had betaken themselves,
after the retreat of their countrymen, across the Rhine into the
territories of the Sigambri, and united themselves to them. When Caesar
sent ambassadors to them, to demand that they should give up to him
those who had made war against him and against Gaul, they replied, "That
the Rhine bounded the empire of the Roman people; if he did not think it
just for the Germans to pass over into Gaul against his consent, why did
he claim that anything beyond the Rhine should be subject to his
dominion or power?" The Ubii also, who alone, out of all the nations
lying beyond the Rhine, had sent ambassadors to Caesar, and formed an
alliance and given hostages, earnestly entreated "that he would bring
them assistance, because they were grievously oppressed by the Suevi;
or, if he was prevented from doing so by the business of the
commonwealth, he would at least transport his army over the Rhine; that
that would be sufficient for their present assistance and their hope for
the future; that so great was the name and the reputation of his army,
even among the most remote nations of the Germans, arising from the
defeat of Ariovistus and this last battle which was fought, that they
might be safe under the fame and friendship of the Roman people." They
promised a large number of ships for transporting the army.

XVII.--Caesar, for those reasons which I have mentioned, had resolved to
cross the Rhine; but to cross by ships he neither deemed to be
sufficiently safe, nor considered consistent with his own dignity or
that of the Roman people. Therefore, although the greatest difficulty in
forming a bridge was presented to him, on account of the breadth,
rapidity, and depth of the river, he nevertheless considered that it
ought to be attempted by him, or that his army ought not otherwise to be
led over. He devised this plan of a bridge. He joined together at the
distance of two feet, two piles, each a foot and a half thick, sharpened
a little at the lower end, and proportioned in length to the depth of
the river. After he had, by means of engines, sunk these into the river,
and fixed them at the bottom, and then driven them in with rammers, not
quite perpendicularly, like a stake, but bending forward and sloping, so
as to incline in the direction of the current of the river; he also
placed two [other piles] opposite to these, at the distance of forty
feet lower down, fastened together in the same manner, but directed
against the force and current of the river. Both these, moreover, were
kept firmly apart by beams two feet thick (the space which the binding
of the piles occupied), laid in at their extremities between two braces
on each side; and in consequence of these being in different directions
and fastened on sides the one opposite to the other, so great was the
strength of the work, and such the arrangement of the materials, that in
proportion as the greater body of water dashed against the bridge, so
much the closer were its parts held fastened together. These beams were
bound together by timber laid over them in the direction of the length
of the bridge, and were [then] covered over with laths and hurdles; and
in addition to this, piles were driven into the water obliquely, at the
lower side of the bridge, and these serving as buttresses, and being
connected with every portion of the work, sustained the force of the
stream: and there were others also above the bridge, at a moderate
distance; that if trunks of trees or vessels were floated down the river
by the barbarians for the purpose of destroying the work, the violence
of such things might be diminished by these defences, and might not
injure the bridge.

XVIII.--Within ten days after the timber began to be collected, the
whole work was completed, and the whole army led over. Caesar, leaving a
strong guard at each end of the bridge, hastens into the territories of
the Sigambri. In the meantime ambassadors from several nations come to
him, whom, on their suing for peace and alliance, he answers in a
courteous manner, and orders hostages to be brought to him. But the
Sigambri, at the very time the bridge was begun to be built, made
preparations for a flight (by the advice of such of the Tenchtheri and
Usipetes as they had amongst them), and quitted their territories and
conveyed away all their possessions, and concealed themselves in deserts
and woods.

XIX.--Caesar, having remained in their territories a few days, and burnt
all their villages and houses, and cut down their corn, proceeded into
the territories of the Ubii; and having promised them his assistance, if
they were ever harassed by the Suevi, he learned from them these
particulars: that the Suevi, after they had by means of their scouts
found that the bridge was being built, had called a council, according
to their custom, and sent orders to all parts of their state to remove
from the towns and convey their children, wives, and all their
possessions into the woods, and that all who could bear arms should
assemble in one place; that the place thus chosen was nearly the centre
of those regions which the Suevi possessed; that in this spot they had
resolved to await the arrival of the Romans, and give them battle there.
When Caesar discovered this, having already accomplished all those
things on account of which he had resolved to lead his army over,
namely, to strike fear into the Germans, take vengeance on the Sigambri,
and free the Ubii from the invasion of the Suevi, having spent
altogether eighteen days beyond the Rhine, and thinking he had advanced
far enough to serve both honour and interest, he returned into Gaul, and
cut down the bridge.

XX.--During the short part of summer which remained, Caesar, although in
these countries, as all Gaul lies towards the north, the winters are
early, nevertheless resolved to proceed into Britain, because he
discovered that in almost all the wars with the Gauls succours had been
furnished to our enemy from that country; and even if the time of year
should be insufficient for carrying on the war, yet he thought it would
be of great service to him if he only entered the island, and saw into
the character of the people, and got knowledge of their localities,
harbours, and landing-places, all which were for the most part unknown
to the Gauls. For neither does any one except merchants generally go
thither, nor even to them was any portion of it known, except the
sea-coast and those parts which are opposite to Gaul. Therefore, after
having called up to him the merchants from all parts, he could learn
neither what was the size of the island, nor what or how numerous were
the nations which inhabited it, nor what system of war they followed,
nor what customs they used, nor what harbours were convenient for a
great number of large ships.

XXI.--He sends before him Caius Volusenus with a ship of war, to acquire
a knowledge of these particulars before he in person should make a
descent into the island, as he was convinced that this was a judicious
measure. He commissioned him to thoroughly examine into all matters, and
then return to him as soon as possible. He himself proceeds to the
Morini with all his forces. He orders ships from all parts of the
neighbouring countries, and the fleet which the preceding summer he had
built for the war with the Veneti, to assemble in this place. In the
meantime, his purpose having been discovered, and reported to the
Britons by merchants, ambassadors come to him from several states of the
island, to promise that they will give hostages, and submit to the
government of the Roman people. Having given them an audience, he after
promising liberally, and exhorting them to continue in that purpose,
sends them back to their own country, and [despatches] with them
Commius, whom, upon subduing the Atrebates, he had created king there, a
man whose courage and conduct he esteemed, and who he thought would be
faithful to him, and whose influence ranked highly in those countries.
He orders him to visit as many states as he could, and persuade them to
embrace the protection of the Roman people, and apprise them that he
would shortly come thither. Volusenus, having viewed the localities as
far as means could be afforded one who dared not leave his ship and
trust himself to barbarians, returns to Caesar on the fifth day, and
reports what he had there observed.

XXII.--While Caesar remains in these parts for the purpose of procuring
ships, ambassadors come to him from a great portion of the Morini, to
plead their excuse respecting their conduct on the late occasion;
alleging that it was as men uncivilised, and as those who were
unacquainted with our custom, that they had made war upon the Roman
people, and promising to perform what he should command. Caesar,
thinking that this had happened fortunately enough for him, because he
neither wished to leave an enemy behind him, nor had an opportunity for
carrying on a war, by reason of the time of year, nor considered that
employment in such trifling matters was to be preferred to his
enterprise on Britain, imposes a large number of hostages; and when
these were brought, he received them to his protection. Having collected
together and provided about eighty transport ships, as many as he
thought necessary for conveying over two legions, he assigned such
[ships] of war as he had besides to the quaestor, his lieutenants, and
officers of cavalry. There were in addition to these eighteen ships of
burden which were prevented, eight miles from that place, by winds, from
being able to reach the same port. These he distributed amongst the
horse; the rest of the army he delivered to Q. Titurius Sabinus and L.
Aurunculeius Cotta, his lieutenants, to lead into the territories of the
Menapii and those cantons of the Morini from which ambassadors had not
come to him. He ordered P. Sulpicius Rufus, his lieutenant, to hold
possession of the harbour, with such a garrison as he thought
sufficient.

XXIII.--These matters being arranged, finding the weather favourable for
his voyage, he set sail about the third watch, and ordered the horse to
march forward to the farther port, and there embark and follow him. As
this was performed rather tardily by them, he himself reached Britain
with the first squadron of ships, about the fourth hour of the day, and
there saw the forces of the enemy drawn up in arms on all the hills. The
nature of the place was this: the sea was confined by mountains so close
to it that a dart could be thrown from their summit upon the shore.
Considering this by no means a fit place for disembarking, he remained
at anchor till the ninth hour, for the other ships to arrive there.
Having in the meantime assembled the lieutenants and military tribunes,
he told them both what he had learnt from Volusenus, and what he wished
to be done; and enjoined them (as the principle of military matters, and
especially as maritime affairs, which have a precipitate and uncertain
action, required) that all things should be performed by them at a nod
and at the instant. Having dismissed them, meeting both with wind and
tide favourable at the same time, the signal being given and the anchor
weighed, he advanced about seven miles from that place, and stationed
his fleet over against an open and level shore.

XXIV.--But the barbarians, upon perceiving the design of the Romans,
sent forward their cavalry and charioteers, a class of warriors of whom
it is their practice to make great use in their battles, and following
with the rest of their forces, endeavoured to prevent our men landing.
In this was the greatest difficulty, for the following reasons, namely,
because our ships, on account of their great size, could be stationed
only in deep water; and our soldiers, in places unknown to them, with
their hands embarrassed, oppressed with a large and heavy weight of
armour, had at the same time to leap from the ships, stand amidst the
waves, and encounter the enemy; whereas they, either on dry ground, or
advancing a little way into the water, free in all their limbs, in
places thoroughly known to them, could confidently throw their weapons
and spur on their horses, which were accustomed to this kind of service.
Dismayed by these circumstances and altogether untrained in this mode of
battle, our men did not all exert the same vigour and eagerness which
they had been wont to exert in engagements on dry ground.

XXV.--When Caesar observed this, he ordered the ships of war, the
appearance of which was somewhat strange to the barbarians and the
motion more ready for service, to be withdrawn a little from the
transport vessels, and to be propelled by their oars, and be stationed
towards the open flank of the enemy, and the enemy to be beaten off and
driven away with slings, arrows, and engines: which plan was of great
service to our men; for the barbarians being startled by the form of our
ships and the motions of our oars and the nature of our engines, which
was strange to them, stopped, and shortly after retreated a little. And
while our men were hesitating [whether they should advance to the
shore], chiefly on account of the depth of the sea, he who carried the
eagle of the tenth legion, after supplicating the gods that the matter
might turn out favourably to the legion, exclaimed, "Leap, fellow
soldiers, unless you wish to betray your eagle to the enemy. I, for my
part, will perform my duty to the commonwealth and my general." When he
had said this with a loud voice, he leaped from the ship and proceeded
to bear the eagle toward the enemy. Then our men, exhorting one another
that so great a disgrace should not be incurred, all leaped from the
ship. When those in the nearest vessels saw them, they speedily followed
and approached the enemy.

XXVI.--The battle was maintained vigorously on both sides. Our men,
however, as they could neither keep their ranks, nor get firm footing,
nor follow their standards, and as one from one ship and another from
another assembled around whatever standards they met, were thrown into
great confusion. But the enemy, who were acquainted with all the
shallows, when from the shore they saw any coming from a ship one by
one, spurred on their horses, and attacked them while embarrassed; many
surrounded a few, others threw their weapons upon our collected forces
on their exposed flank. When Caesar observed this, he ordered the boats
of the ships of war and the spy sloops to be filled with soldiers, and
sent them up to the succour of those whom he had observed in distress.
Our men, as soon as they made good their footing on dry ground, and all
their comrades had joined them, made an attack upon the enemy, and put
them to flight, but could not pursue them very far, because the horse
had not been able to maintain their course at sea and reach the island.
This alone was wanting to Caesar's accustomed success.

XXVII.--The enemy being thus vanquished in battle, as soon as they
recovered after their flight, instantly sent ambassadors to Caesar to
negotiate about peace. They promised to give hostages and perform what
he should command. Together with these ambassadors came Commius the
Atrebatian, who, as I have above said, had been sent by Caesar into
Britain. Him they had seized upon when leaving his ship, although in the
character of ambassador he bore the general's commission to them, and
thrown into chains: then after the battle was fought, they sent him
back, and in suing for peace cast the blame of that act upon the common
people, and entreated that it might be pardoned on account of their
indiscretion. Caesar, complaining that after they had sued for peace,
and had voluntarily sent ambassadors into the continent for that
purpose, they had made war without a reason, said that he would pardon
their indiscretion, and imposed hostages, a part of whom they gave
immediately; the rest they said they would give in a few days, since
they were sent for from remote places. In the meantime they ordered
their people to return to the country parts, and the chiefs assembled
from all quarters, and proceeded to surrender themselves and their
states to Caesar.

XXVIII.--A peace being established by these proceedings four days after
we had come into Britain, the eighteen ships, to which reference has
been made above, and which conveyed the cavalry, set sail from the upper
port with a gentle gale; when, however, they were approaching Britain
and were seen from the camp, so great a storm suddenly arose that none
of them could maintain their course at sea; and some were taken back to
the same port from which they had started;--others, to their great
danger, were driven to the lower part of the island, nearer to the west;
which, however, after having cast anchor, as they were getting filled
with water, put out to sea through necessity in a stormy night, and made
for the continent.

XXIX.--It happened that night to be full moon, which usually occasions
very high tides in that ocean; and that circumstance was unknown to our
men. Thus, at the same time, the tide began to fill the ships of war
which Caesar had provided to convey over his army, and which he had
drawn up on the strand; and the storm began to dash the ships of burden
which were riding at anchor against each other; nor was any means
afforded our men of either managing them or of rendering any service. A
great many ships having been wrecked, inasmuch as the rest, having lost
their cables, anchors, and other tackling, were unfit for sailing, a
great confusion, as would necessarily happen, arose throughout the army;
for there were no other ships in which they could be conveyed back, and
all things which are of service in repairing vessels were wanting, and
corn for the winter had not been provided in those places, because it
was understood by all that they would certainly winter in Gaul.

XXX.--On discovering these things the chiefs of Britain, who had come up
after the battle was fought to perform those conditions which Caesar had
imposed, held a conference, when they perceived that cavalry, and ships,
and corn were wanting to the Romans, and discovered the small number of
our soldiers from the small extent of the camp (which, too, was on this
account more limited than ordinary because Caesar had conveyed over his
legions without baggage), and thought that the best plan was to renew
the war, and cut off our men from corn and provisions and protract the
affair till winter; because they felt confident that, if they were
vanquished or cut off from a return, no one would afterwards pass over
into Britain for the purpose of making war. Therefore, again entering
into a conspiracy, they began to depart from the camp by degrees and
secretly bring up their people from the country parts.

XXXI.--But Caesar, although he had not as yet discovered their measures,
yet, both from what had occurred to his ships, and from the circumstance
that they had neglected to give the promised hostages, suspected that
the thing would come to pass which really did happen. He therefore
provided remedies against all contingencies; for he daily conveyed corn
from the country parts into the camp, used the timber and brass of such
ships as were most seriously damaged for repairing the rest, and ordered
whatever things besides were necessary for this object to be brought to
him from the continent. And thus, since that business was executed by
the soldiers with the greatest energy, he effected that, after the loss
of twelve ships, a voyage could be made well enough in the rest.

XXXII.--While these things are being transacted, one legion had been
sent to forage, according to custom, and no suspicion of war had arisen
as yet, and some of the people remained in the country parts, others
went backwards and forwards to the camp, they who were on duty at the
gates of the camp reported to Caesar that a greater dust than was usual
was seen in that direction in which the legion had marched. Caesar,
suspecting that which was [really the case],--that some new enterprise
was undertaken by the barbarians, ordered the two cohorts which were on
duty to march into that quarter with him, and two other cohorts to
relieve them on duty; the rest to be armed and follow him immediately.
When he had advanced some little way from the camp, he saw that his men
were overpowered by the enemy and scarcely able to stand their ground,
and that, the legion being crowded together, weapons were being cast on
them from all sides. For as all the corn was reaped in every part with
the exception of one, the enemy, suspecting that our men would repair to
that, had concealed themselves in the woods during the night. Then
attacking them suddenly, scattered as they were, and when they had laid
aside their arms, and were engaged in reaping, they killed a small
number, threw the rest into confusion, and surrounded them with their
cavalry and chariots.

XXXIII.--Their mode of fighting with their chariots is this: firstly,
they drive about in all directions and throw their weapons and generally
break the ranks of the enemy with the very dread of their horses and the
noise of their wheels; and when they have worked themselves in between
the troops of horse, leap from their chariots and engage on foot. The
charioteers in the meantime withdraw some little distance from the
battle, and so place themselves with the chariots that, if their masters
are overpowered by the number of the enemy, they may have a ready
retreat to their own troops. Thus they display in battle the speed of
horse, [together with] the firmness of infantry; and by daily practice
and exercise attain to such expertness that they are accustomed, even on
a declining and steep place, to check their horses at full speed, and
manage and turn them in an instant and run along the pole, and stand on
the yoke, and thence betake themselves with the greatest celerity to
their chariots again.

XXXIV.-Under these circumstances, our men being dismayed by the novelty
of this mode of battle, Caesar most seasonably brought assistance; for
upon his arrival the enemy paused, and our men recovered from their
fear; upon which, thinking the time unfavourable for provoking the enemy
and coming to an action, he kept himself in his own quarter, and, a
short time having intervened, drew back the legions into the camp. While
these things were going on, and all our men engaged, the rest of the
Britons, who were in the fields, departed. Storms then set in for
several successive days, which both confined our men to camp and
hindered the enemy from attacking us. In the meantime the barbarians
despatched messengers to all parts and reported to their people the
small number of our soldiers, and how good an opportunity was given for
obtaining spoil and for liberating themselves for ever, if they should
only drive the Romans from their camp. Having by these means speedily
got together a large force of infantry and of cavalry, they came up to
the camp.

XXXV.--Although Caesar anticipated that the same thing which had
happened on former occasions would then occur--that, if the enemy were
routed, they would escape from danger by their speed; still, having got
about thirty horse, which Commius the Atrebatian, of whom mention has
been made, had brought over with him [from Gaul], he drew up the legions
in order of battle before the camp. When the action commenced, the enemy
were unable to sustain the attack of our men long, and turned their
backs; our men pursued them as far as their speed and strength
permitted, and slew a great number of them; then, having destroyed and
burnt everything far and wide, they retreated to their camp.

XXXVI.--The same day, ambassadors sent by the enemy came to Caesar to
negotiate a peace. Caesar doubled the number of hostages which he had
before demanded; and ordered that they should be brought over to the
continent, because, since the time of the equinox was near, he did not
consider that, with his ships out of repair, the voyage ought to be
deferred till winter. Having met with favourable weather he set sail a
little after midnight, and all his fleet arrived safe at the continent,
except two of the ships of burden which could not make the same port
which the other ships did, and were carried a little lower down.

XXXVII.--When our soldiers, about 300 in number, had been drawn out of
these two ships, and were marching to the camp, the Morini, whom Caesar,
when setting forth for Britain, had left in a state of peace, excited by
the hope of spoil, at first surrounded them with a small number of men,
and ordered them to lay down their arms, if they did not wish to be
slain; afterwards however, when they, forming a circle, stood on their
defence, a shout was raised and about 6000 of the enemy soon assembled;
which being reported, Caesar sent all the cavalry in the camp as a
relief to his men. In the meantime our soldiers sustained the attack of
the enemy, and fought most valiantly for more than four hours, and,
receiving but few wounds themselves, slew several of them. But after our
cavalry came in sight, the enemy, throwing away their arms, turned their
backs, and a great number of them were killed.

XXXVIII.--The day following Caesar sent Labienus, his lieutenant, with
those legions which he had brought back from Britain, against the
Morini, who had revolted; who, as they had no place to which they might
retreat, on account of the drying up of their marshes (which they had
availed themselves of as a place of refuge the preceding year), almost
all fell into the power of Labienus. In the meantime Caesar's
lieutenants, Q. Titurius and L. Cotta, who had led the legions into the
territories of the Menapii, having laid waste all their lands, cut down
their corn and burnt their houses, returned to Caesar because the
Menapii had all concealed themselves in their thickest woods. Caesar
fixed the winter quarters of all the legions amongst the Belgae. Thither
only two British states sent hostages; the rest omitted to do so. For
these successes, a thanksgiving of twenty days was decreed by the senate
upon receiving Caesar's letter.

Julius Caesar

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