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Book V


I.--Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius being consuls, Caesar when
departing from his winter quarters into Italy, as he had been accustomed
to do yearly, commands the lieutenants whom he appointed over the
legions to take care that during the winter as many ships as possible
should be built, and the old repaired. He plans the size and shape of
them. For despatch of lading, and for drawing them on shore, he makes
them a little lower than those which we have been accustomed to use in
our sea; and that so much the more, because he knew that, on account of
the frequent changes of the tide, less swells occurred there; for the
purpose of transporting little and a great number of horses, [he makes
them] a little broader than those which we use in other seas. All these
he orders to be constructed for lightness and expedition, to which
object their lowness contributes greatly. He orders those things which
are necessary for equipping ships to be brought thither from Spain. He
himself, on the assizes of Hither Gaul being concluded, proceeds into
Illyricum, because he heard that the part of the province nearest them
was being laid waste by the incursions of the Pirustae. When he had
arrived there, he levies soldiers upon the states, and orders them to
assemble at an appointed place. Which circumstance having been reported
[to them], the Pirustae send ambassadors to him to inform him that no
part of those proceedings was done by public deliberation, and assert
that they were ready to make compensation by all means for the injuries
[inflicted]. Caesar, accepting their defence, demands hostages, and
orders them to be brought to him on a specified day, and assures them
that unless they did so he would visit their state with war. These being
brought to him on the day which he had ordered, he appoints arbitrators
between the states, who should estimate the damages and determine the

II.--These things being finished, and the assizes being concluded, he
returns into Hither Gaul, and proceeds thence to the army. When he had
arrived there, having made a survey of the winter quarter, he finds
that, by the extraordinary ardour of the soldiers, amidst the utmost
scarcity of all materials, about six hundred ships of that kind which we
have described above, and twenty-eight ships of war, had been built, and
were not far from that state that they might be launched in a few days.
Having commended the soldiers and those who had presided over the work,
he informs them what he wishes to be done, and orders all the ships to
assemble at port Itius, from which port he had learned that the passage
into Britain was shortest, [being only] about thirty miles from the
continent. He left what seemed a sufficient number of soldiers for that
design; he himself proceeds into the territories of the Treviri with
four legions without baggage, and 800 horse, because they neither came
to the general diets [of Gaul], nor obeyed his commands, and were,
moreover, said to be tampering with the Germans beyond the Rhine.

III.--This state is by far the most powerful of all Gaul in cavalry, and
has great forces of infantry, and as we have remarked above, borders on
the Rhine. In that state, two persons, Indutiomarus and Cingetorix, were
then contending with each other for the supreme power; one of whom, as
soon as the arrival of Caesar and his legions was known, came to him;
assures him that he and all his party would continue in their
allegiance, and not revolt from the alliance of the Roman people, and
informs him of the things which were going on amongst the Treviri. But
Indutiomarus began to collect cavalry and infantry, and make
preparations for war, having concealed those who by reason of their age
could not be under arms in the forest Arduenna, which is of immense
size, [and] extends from the Rhine across the country of the Treviri to
the frontiers of the Remi. But after that, some of the chief persons of
the state, both influenced by their friendship for Cingetorix, and
alarmed at the arrival of our army, came to Caesar and began to solicit
him privately about their own interests, since they could not provide
for the safety of the state; Indutiomarus, dreading lest he should be
abandoned by all, sends ambassadors to Caesar, to declare that he
absented himself from his countrymen, and refrained from coming to him
on this account, that he might the more easily keep the state in its
allegiance, lest on the departure of all the nobility the commonalty
should, in their indiscretion, revolt. And thus the whole state was at
his control; and that he, if Caesar would permit, would come to the camp
to him, and would commit his own fortunes and those of the state to his
good faith.

IV.--Caesar, though he discerned from what motive these things were
said, and what circumstance deterred him from his meditated plan, still,
in order that he might not be compelled to waste the summer among the
Treviri, while all things were prepared for the war with Britain,
ordered Indutiomarus to come to him with 200 hostages. When these were
brought, [and] among them his son and near relations whom he had
demanded by name, he consoled Indutiomarus, and enjoined him to continue
in his allegiance; yet, nevertheless, summoning to him the chief men of
the Treviri, he reconciled them individually to Cingetorix: this he both
thought should be done by him in justice to the merits of the latter,
and also judged that it was of great importance that the influence of
one whose singular attachment towards him he had fully seen, should
prevail as much as possible among his people. Indutiomarus was very much
offended at this act, [seeing that] his influence was diminished among
his countrymen; and he, who already before had borne a hostile mind
towards us, was much more violently inflamed against us through
resentment at this.

V.--These matters being settled, Caesar went to port Itius with the
legions. There he discovers that forty ships which had been built in the
country of the Meldi, having been driven back by a storm, had been
unable to maintain their course, and had returned to the same port from
which they had set out; he finds the rest ready for sailing, and
furnished with everything. In the same place, the cavalry of the whole
of Gaul, in number 4000, assembles, and [also] the chief persons of all
the states; he had determined to leave in Gaul a very few of them, whose
fidelity towards him he had clearly discerned, and take the rest with
him as hostages; because he feared a commotion in Gaul when he should be

VI.--There was together with the others, Dumnorix, the Aeduan, of whom
we have made previous mention. Him in particular he had resolved to have
with him, because he had discovered him to be fond of change, fond of
power, possessing great resolution, and great influence among the Gauls.
To this was added that Dumnorix had before said in an assembly of
Aeduans, that the sovereignty of the state had been made over to him by
Caesar; which speech the Aedui bore with impatience and yet dared not
send ambassadors to Caesar for the purpose of either rejecting or
deprecating [that appointment]. That fact Caesar had learned from his
own personal friends. He at first strove to obtain by every entreaty
that he should be left in Gaul; partly, because, being unaccustomed to
sailing, he feared the sea; partly, because he said he was prevented by
divine admonitions. After he saw that this request was firmly refused
him, all hope of success being lost, he began to tamper with the chief
persons of the Gauls, to call them apart singly and exhort them to
remain on the continent; to agitate them with the fear that it was not
without reason that Gaul should be stript of all her nobility; that it
was Caesar's design to bring over to Britain and put to death all those
whom he feared to slay in the sight of Gaul, to pledge his honour to the
rest, to ask for their oath that they would by common deliberation
execute what they should perceive to be necessary for Gaul. These things
were reported to Caesar by several persons.

VII.--Having learned this fact, Caesar, because he had conferred so much
honour upon the Aeduan state, determined that Dumnorix should be
restrained and deterred by whatever means he could; and that, because he
perceived his insane designs to be proceeding farther and farther, care
should be taken lest he might be able to injure him and the
commonwealth. Therefore, having stayed about twenty-five days in that
place, because the north wind, which usually blows a great part of every
season, prevented the voyage, he exerted himself to keep Dumnorix in his
allegiance [and] nevertheless learn all his measures: having at length
met with favourable weather, he orders the foot soldiers and the horse
to embark in the ships. But, while the minds of all were occupied,
Dumnorix began to take his departure from the camp homewards with the
cavalry of the Aedui, Caesar being ignorant of it. Caesar, on this
matter being reported to him, ceasing from his expedition and deferring
all other affairs, sends a great part of the cavalry to pursue him, and
commands that he be brought back; he orders that if he use violence and
do not submit, that he be slain: considering that Dumnorix would do
nothing as a rational man while he himself was absent, since he had
disregarded his command even when present. He, however, when recalled,
began to resist and defend himself with his hand, and implore the
support of his people, often exclaiming that "he was free and the
subject of a free state." They surround and kill the man as they had
been commanded; but the Aeduan horsemen all return to Caesar.

VIII.--When these things were done [and] Labienus, left on the continent
with three legions and 2000 horse, to defend the harbours and provide
corn, and discover what was going on in Gaul, and take measures
according to the occasion and according to the circumstance; he himself,
with five legions and a number of horse, equal to that which he was
leaving on the continent, set sail at sunset and [though for a time]
borne forward by a gentle south-west wind, he did not maintain his
course, in consequence of the wind dying away about midnight, and being
carried on too far by the tide, when the sun rose, espied Britain passed
on his left. Then, again, following the change of tide, he urged on with
the oars that he might make that port of the island in which he had
discovered the preceding summer that there was the best landing-place,
and in this affair the spirit of our soldiers was very much to be
extolled; for they with the transports and heavy ships, the labour of
rowing not being [for a moment] discontinued, equalled the speed of the
ships of war. All the ships reached Britain nearly at mid-day; nor was
there seen a [single] enemy in that place, but, as Caesar afterwards
found from some prisoners, though large bodies of troops had assembled
there, yet being alarmed by the great number of our ships, more than
eight hundred of which, including the ships of the preceding year, and
those private vessels which each had built for his own convenience, had
appeared at one time, they had quitted the coast and concealed
themselves among the higher points.

IX.--Caesar, having disembarked his army and chosen a convenient place
for the camp, when he discovered from the prisoners in what part the
forces of the enemy had lodged themselves, having left ten cohorts and
300 horse at the sea, to be a guard to the ships, hastens to the enemy,
at the third watch, fearing the less for the ships for this reason,
because he was leaving them fastened at anchor upon an even and open
shore; and he placed Q. Atrius over the guard of the ships. He himself,
having advanced by night about twelve miles, espied the forces of the
enemy. They, advancing to the river with their cavalry and chariots from
the higher ground, began to annoy our men and give battle. Being
repulsed by our cavalry, they concealed themselves in woods, as they had
secured a place admirably fortified by nature and by art, which, as it
seemed, they had before prepared on account of a civil war; for all
entrances to it were shut up by a great number of felled trees. They
themselves rushed out of the woods to fight here and there, and
prevented our men from entering their fortifications. But the soldiers
of the seventh legion, having formed a testudo and thrown up a rampart
against the fortification, took the place and drove them out of the
woods, receiving only a few wounds. But Caesar forbade his men to pursue
them in their flight any great distance; both because he was ignorant of
the nature of the ground, and because, as a great part of the day was
spent, he wished time to be left for the fortification of the camp.

X.--The next day, early in the morning, he sent both foot-soldiers and
horse in three divisions on an expedition to pursue those who had fled.
These having advanced a little way, when already the rear [of the enemy]
was in sight, some horse came to Caesar from Quintus Atrius, to report
that the preceding night, a very great storm having arisen, almost all
the ships were dashed to pieces and cast upon the shore, because neither
the anchors and cables could resist, nor could the sailors and pilots
sustain the violence of the storm; and thus great damage was received by
that collision of the ships.

XI.--These things being known [to him], Caesar orders the legions and
cavalry to be recalled and to cease from their march; he himself returns
to the ships: he sees clearly before him almost the same things which he
had heard of from the messengers and by letter, so that, about forty
ships being lost, the remainder seemed capable of being repaired with
much labour. Therefore he selects workmen from the legions, and orders
others to be sent for from the continent; he writes to Labienus to build
as many ships as he could with those legions which were with him. He
himself, though the matter was one of great difficulty and labour, yet
thought it to be most expedient for all the ships to be brought up on
shore and joined with the camp by one fortification. In these matters he
employed about ten days, the labour of the soldiers being unremitting
even during the hours of night. The ships having been brought up on
shore and the camp strongly fortified, he left the same forces which he
did before as a guard for the ships; he sets out in person for the same
place that he had returned from. When he had come thither, greater
forces of the Britons had already assembled at that place, the chief
command and management of the war having been entrusted to
Cassivellaunus, whose territories a river, which is called the Thames,
separates from the maritime states at about eighty miles from the sea.
At an earlier period perpetual wars had taken place between him and the
other states; but, greatly alarmed by our arrival, the Britons had
placed him over the whole war and the conduct of it.

XII.--The interior portion of Britain is inhabited by those of whom they
say that it is handed down by tradition that they were born in the
island itself: the maritime portion by those who had passed over from
the country of the Belgae for the purpose of plunder and making war;
almost all of whom are called by the names of those states from which
being sprung they went thither, and having waged war, continued there
and began to cultivate the lands. The number of the people is countless,
and their buildings exceedingly numerous, for the most part very like
those of the Gauls: the number of cattle is great. They use either brass
or iron rings, determined at a certain weight, as their money. Tin is
produced in the midland regions; in the maritime, iron; but the quantity
of it is small: they employ brass, which is imported. There, as in Gaul,
is timber of every description, except beech and fir. They do not regard
it lawful to eat the hare, and the cock, and the goose; they, however,
breed them for amusement and pleasure. The climate is more temperate
than in Gaul, the colds being less severe.

XIII.--The island is triangular in its form, and one of its sides is
opposite to Gaul. One angle of this side, which is in Kent, whither
almost all ships from Gaul are directed, [looks] to the east; the lower
looks to the south. This side extends about 500 miles. Another side lies
towards Spain and the west, on which part is Ireland, less, as is
reckoned, than Britain by one-half; but the passage [from it] into
Britain is of equal distance with that from Gaul. In the middle of this
voyage is an island, which is called Mona; many smaller islands besides
are supposed to lie [there], of which islands some have written that at
the time of the winter solstice it is night there for thirty consecutive
days. We, in our inquiries about that matter, ascertained nothing,
except that, by accurate measurements with water, we perceived the
nights to be shorter there than on the continent. The length of this
side, as their account states, is 700 miles. The third side is towards
the north, to which portion of the island no land is opposite; but an
angle of that side looks principally towards Germany. This side is
considered to be 800 miles in length. Thus the whole island is [about]
2000 miles in circumference.

XIV.--The most civilised of all these nations are they who inhabit Kent,
which is entirely a maritime district, nor do they differ much from the
Gallic customs. Most of the inland inhabitants do not sow corn, but live
on milk and flesh, and are clad with skins. All the Britons, indeed, dye
themselves with wood, which occasions a bluish colour, and thereby have
a more terrible appearance in fight. They wear their hair long, and have
every part of their body shaved except their head and upper lip. Ten and
even twelve have wives common to them, and particularly brothers among
brothers, and parents among their children; but if there be any issue by
these wives, they are reputed to be the children of those by whom
respectively each was first espoused when a virgin.

XV.--The horse and charioteers of the enemy contended vigorously in a
skirmish with our cavalry on the march; yet so that our men were
conquerors in all parts, and drove them to their woods and hills; but,
having slain a great many, they pursued too eagerly, and lost some of
their men. But the enemy, after some time had elapsed, when our men were
off their guard, and occupied in the fortification of the camp, rushed
out of the woods, and making an attack upon those who were placed on
duty before the camp, fought in a determined manner; and two cohorts
being sent by Caesar to their relief, and these severally the first of
two legions, when these had taken up their position at a very small
distance from each other, as our men were disconcerted by the unusual
mode of battle, the enemy broke through the middle of them most
courageously, and retreated thence in safety. That day, Q. Laberius
Durus, a tribune of the soldiers, was slain. The enemy, since more
cohorts were sent against them, were repulsed.

XVI.--In the whole of this method of fighting since the engagement took
place under the eyes of all and before the camp, it was perceived that
our men, on account of the weight of their arms, inasmuch as they could
neither pursue [the enemy when] retreating, nor dare quit their
standards, were little suited to this kind of enemy; that the horse also
fought with great danger, because they [the Britons] generally retreated
even designedly, and, when they had drawn off our men a short distance
from the legions, leaped from their chariots and fought on foot in
unequal [and to them advantageous] battle. But the system of cavalry
engagement is wont to produce equal danger, and indeed the same, both to
those who retreat and those who pursue. To this was added, that they
never fought in close order, but in small parties and at great
distances, and had detachments placed [in different parts], and then the
one relieved the other, and the vigorous and fresh succeeded the

XVII.--The following day the enemy halted on the hills, a distance from
our camp, and presented themselves in small parties, and began to
challenge our horse to battle with less spirit than the day before. But
at noon, when Caesar had sent three legions, and all the cavalry with C.
Trebonius, the lieutenant, for the purpose of foraging, they flew upon
the foragers suddenly from all quarters, so that they did not keep off
[even] from the standards and the legions. Our men making an attack on
them vigorously, repulsed them; nor did they cease to pursue them until
the horse, relying on relief, as they saw the legions behind them, drove
the enemy precipitately before them, and, slaying a great number of
them, did not give them the opportunity either of rallying or halting,
or leaping from their chariots. Immediately after this retreat, the
auxiliaries who had assembled from all sides, departed; nor after that
time did the enemy ever engage with us in very large numbers.

XVIII.--Caesar, discovering their design, leads his army into the
territories of Cassivellaunus to the river Thames; which river can be
forded in one place only, and that with difficulty. When he had arrived
there, he perceives that numerous forces of the enemy were marshalled on
the other bank of the river; the bank also was defended by sharp stakes
fixed in front, and stakes of the same kind fixed under the water were
covered by the river. These things being discovered from [some]
prisoners and deserters, Caesar, sending forward the cavalry, ordered
the legions to follow them immediately. But the soldiers advanced with
such speed and such ardour, though they stood above the water by their
heads only, that the enemy could not sustain the attack of the legions
and of the horse, and quitted the banks, and committed themselves to

XIX.--Cassivellaunus, as we have stated above, all hope [rising out] of
battle being laid aside, the greater part of his forces being dismissed,
and about 4000 charioteers only being left, used to observe our marches
and retire a little from the road, and conceal himself in intricate and
woody places, and in those neighbourhoods in which he had discovered we
were about to march, he used to drive the cattle and the inhabitants
from the fields into the woods; and, when our cavalry, for the sake of
plundering and ravaging the more freely, scattered themselves among the
fields, he used to send out charioteers from the woods by all the
well-known roads and paths, and, to the great danger of our horse, engage
with them; and this source of fear hindered them from straggling very
extensively. The result was that Caesar did not allow excursions to be
made to a great distance from the main body of the legions, and ordered
that damage should be done to the enemy in ravaging their lands and
kindling fires only so far as the legionary soldiers could, by their own
exertion and marching, accomplish it.

XX.--In the meantime, the Trinobantes, almost the most powerful state of
those parts, from which the young man Mandubratius embracing the
protection of Caesar had come to the continent of Gaul to [meet] him
(whose father, Imanuentius, had possessed the sovereignty in that state,
and had been killed by Cassivellaunus; he himself had escaped death by
flight), send ambassadors to Caesar, and promise that they will
surrender themselves to him and perform his commands; they entreat him
to protect Mandubratius from the violence of Cassivellaunus, and send to
their state some one to preside over it, and possess the government.
Caesar demands forty hostages from them, and corn for his army, and
sends Mandubratius to them. They speedily performed the things demanded,
and sent hostages to the number appointed, and the corn.

XXI.--The Trinobantes being protected and secured from any violence of
the soldiers, the Cenimagni, the Segontiaci, the Ancalites, the Bibroci,
and the Cassi, sending embassies, surrender themselves to Caesar. From
them he learns that the capital town of Cassivellaunus was not far from
that place, and was defended by woods and morasses, and a very large
number of men and of cattle had been collected in it. (Now the Britons,
when they have fortified the intricate woods, in which they are wont to
assemble for the purpose of avoiding the incursion of an enemy, with an
entrenchment and a rampart, call them a town.) Thither he proceeds with
his legions: he finds the place admirably fortified by nature and art;
he, however, undertakes to attack it in two directions. The enemy,
having remained only a short time, did not sustain the attack of our
soldiers, and hurried away on the other side of the town. A great amount
of cattle was found there, and many of the enemy were taken and slain in
their flight.

XXII.--While these things are going forward in those places,
Cassivellaunus sends messengers into Kent, which, we have observed
above, is on the sea, over which districts four several kings reigned,
Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus, and Segonax, and commands them to
collect all their forces, and unexpectedly assail and storm the naval
camp. When they had come to the camp, our men, after making a sally,
slaying many of their men, and also capturing a distinguished leader
named Lugotorix, brought back their own men in safety. Cassivellaunus,
when this battle was reported to him, as so many losses had been
sustained, and his territories laid waste, being alarmed most of all by
the desertion of the states, sends ambassadors to Caesar [to treat]
about a surrender through the mediation of Commius the Atrebatian.
Caesar, since he had determined to pass the winter on the continent, on
account of the sudden revolts of Gaul, and as much of the summer did not
remain, and he perceived that even that could be easily protracted,
demands hostages, and prescribes what tribute Britain should pay each
year to the Roman people; he forbids and commands Cassivellaunus that he
wage not war against Mandubratius or the Trinobantes.

XXIII.--When he had received the hostages, he leads back the army to the
sea, and finds the ships repaired. After launching these, because he had
a large number of prisoners, and some of the ships had been lost in the
storm, he determines to convey back his army at two embarkations. And it
so happened, that out of so large a number of ships, in so many voyages,
neither in this nor in the previous year was any ship missing which
conveyed soldiers; but very few out of those which were sent back to him
from the continent empty, as the soldiers of the former convoy had been
disembarked, and out of those (sixty in number) which Labienus had taken
care to have built, reached their destination; almost all the rest were
driven back, and when Caesar had waited for them for some time in vain,
lest he should be debarred from a voyage by the season of the year,
inasmuch as the equinox was at hand, he of necessity stowed his soldiers
the more closely, and, a very great calm coming on, after he had weighed
anchor at the beginning of the second watch, he reached land at break of
day and brought in all the ships in safety.

XXIV.--The ships having been drawn up and a general assembly of the
Gauls held at Samarobriva, because the corn that year had not prospered
in Gaul by reason of the droughts, he was compelled to station his army
in its winter-quarters, differently from the former years, and to
distribute the legions among several states: one of them he gave to C.
Fabius, his lieutenant, to be marched into the territories of the
Morini; a second to Q. Cicero, into those of the Nervii; a third to L.
Roscius, into those of the Essui; a fourth he ordered to winter with T.
Labienus among the Remi in the confines of the Treviri; he stationed
three in Belgium; over these he appointed M. Crassus, his questor, and
L. Munatius Plancus and C. Trebonius, his lieutenants. One legion which
he had raised last on the other side of the Po, and five cohorts, he
sent amongst the Eburones, the greatest portion of whom lie between the
Meuse and the Rhine, [and] who were under the government of Ambiorix and
Cativolcus. He ordered Q. Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta,
his lieutenants, to take the command of these soldiers. The legions
being distributed in this manner, he thought he could most easily remedy
the scarcity of corn; and yet the winter-quarters of all these legions
(except that which he had given to L. Roscius to be led into the most
peaceful and tranquil neighbourhood) were comprehended within [about]
100 miles. He himself in the meanwhile, until he had stationed the
legions and knew that the several winter-quarters were fortified,
determined to stay in Gaul.

XXV.--There was among the Carnutes a man named Tasgetius, born of very
high rank, whose ancestors had held the sovereignty in his state. To him
Caesar had restored the position of his ancestors, in consideration of
his prowess and attachment towards him, because in all his wars he had
availed himself of his valuable services. His personal enemies had
killed him when in the third year of his reign, many even of his own
state being openly promoters [of that act]. This event is related to
Caesar. He fearing, because several were involved in the act, that the
state might revolt at their instigation, orders Lucius Plancus, with a
legion, to proceed quickly from Belgium to the Carnutes, and winter
there, and arrest and send to him the persons by whose instrumentality
he should discover that Tasgetius was slain. In the meantime, he was
apprised by all the lieutenants and questors to whom he had assigned the
legions, that they had arrived in winter-quarters, and that the place
for the quarters was fortified.

XXVI.--About fifteen days after they had come into winter-quarters, the
beginning of a sudden insurrection and revolt arose from Ambiorix and
Cativolcus, who, though they had met with Sabinus and Cotta at the
borders of their kingdom, and had conveyed corn into our winter-quarters,
induced by the messages of Indutiomarus, one of the Treviri,
excited their people, and after having suddenly assailed the soldiers,
engaged in procuring wood, came with a large body to attack the camp.
When our men had speedily taken up arms and had ascended the rampart,
and sending out some Spanish horse on one side, had proved conquerors in
a cavalry action, the enemy, despairing of success, drew off their
troops from the assault. Then they shouted, according to their custom,
that some of our men should go forward to a conference, [alleging] that
they had some things which they desired to say respecting the common
interest, by which they trusted their disputes could be removed.

XXVII.--C. Arpineius, a Roman knight, the intimate friend of Q.
Titurius, and with him Q. Junius, a certain person from Spain, who
already on previous occasions had been accustomed to go to Ambiorix, at
Caesar's mission, is sent to them for the purpose of a conference:
before them Ambiorix spoke to this effect: "That he confessed that for
Caesar's kindness towards him he was very much indebted to him, inasmuch
as by his aid he had been freed from a tribute which he had been
accustomed to pay to the Aduatuci, his neighbours; and because his own
son and the son of his brother had been sent back to him, whom, when
sent in the number of hostages, the Aduatuci had detained among them in
slavery and in chains; and that he had not done that which he had done
in regard to the attacking of the camp, either by his own judgment or
desire, but by the compulsion of his state; and that his government was
of that nature, that the people had as much of authority over him as he
over the people. To the state moreover the occasion of the war was this
--that it could not withstand the sudden combination of the Gauls; that
he could easily prove this from his own weakness, since he was not so
little versed in affairs as to presume that with his forces he could
conquer the Roman people; but that it was the common resolution of Gaul;
that that day was appointed for the storming of all Caesar's
winter-quarters, in order that no legion should be able to come to the
relief of another legion, that Gauls could not easily deny Gauls,
especially when a measure seemed entered into for recovering their common
freedom. Since he had performed his duty to them on the score of patriotism
[he said], he has now regard to gratitude for the kindness of Caesar; that
he warned, that he prayed Titurius by the claims of hospitality, to
consult for his and his soldiers' safety; that a large force of the
Germans had been hired and had passed the Rhine; that it would arrive in
two days; that it was for them to consider whether they thought fit,
before the nearest people perceived it, to lead off their soldiers when
drawn out of winter-quarters, either to Cicero or to Labienus; one of
whom was about fifty miles distant from them, the other rather more;
that this he promised and confirmed by oath, that he would give them a
safe passage through his territories; and when he did that, he was both
consulting for his own state, because it would be relieved from the
winter-quarters, and also making a requital to Caesar for his

XXVIII.--Arpineius and Junius relate to the lieutenants what they had
heard. They, greatly alarmed by the unexpected affair, though those
things were spoken by an enemy, still thought they were not to be
disregarded; and they were especially influenced by this consideration,
that it was scarcely credible that the obscure and humble state of the
Eburones had dared to make war upon the Roman people of their own
accord. Accordingly, they refer the matter to a council, and a, great
controversy arises among them. L. Aurunculeius, and several tribunes of
the soldiers and the centurions of the first rank, were of opinion "that
nothing should be done hastily, and that they should not depart from the
camp without Caesar's orders"; they declared, "that any forces of the
Germans, however great, might be encountered by fortified winter-quarters;
that this fact was a proof [of it]; that they had sustained the first
assault of the Germans most valiantly, inflicting many wounds upon them;
that they were not distressed for corn; that in the meantime relief
would come both from the nearest winter-quarters and from Caesar"; lastly,
they put the query, "what could be more undetermined, more undignified,
than to adopt measures respecting the most important affairs on the
authority of an enemy?"

XXIX.--In opposition to those things Titurius exclaimed, "That they
would do this too late, when greater forces of the enemy, after a
junction with the Germans, should have assembled; or when some disaster
had been received in the neighbouring winter-quarters; that the
opportunity for deliberating was short; that he believed that Caesar had
set forth into Italy, as the Carnutes would not otherwise have taken the
measure of slaying Tasgetius, nor would the Eburones, if he had been
present, have come to the camp with so great defiance of us; that he did
not regard the enemy, but the fact, as the authority; that the Rhine was
near; that the death of Ariovistus and our previous victories were
subjects of great indignation to the Germans; that Gaul was inflamed,
that after having received so many defeats she was reduced under the
sway of the Roman people, her pristine glory in military matters being
extinguished." Lastly, "who would persuade himself of this, that
Ambiorix had resorted to a design of that nature without sure grounds?
That his own opinion was safe on either side; if there be nothing very
formidable, they would go without danger to the nearest legion; if all
Gaul conspired with the Germans, their only safety lay in despatch. What
issue would the advice of Cotta and of those who differed from him,
have? from which, if immediate danger was not to be dreaded, yet
certainly famine, by a protracted siege, was."

XXX.--This discussion having been held on the two sides, when opposition
was offered strenuously by Cotta and the principal officers, "Prevail,"
said Sabinus, "if so you wish it"; and he said it with a louder voice,
that a great portion of the soldiers might hear him; "nor am I the
person among you," he said, "who is most powerfully alarmed by the
danger of death; these will be aware of it, and then, if any thing
disastrous shall have occurred, they will demand a reckoning at your
hands; these, who, if it were permitted by you, united three days hence
with the nearest winter-quarters, may encounter the common condition of
war with the rest, and not, as if forced away and separated far from the
rest, perish either by the sword or by famine."

XXXI.--They rise from the council, detain both, and entreat, that "they
do not bring the matter into the greatest jeopardy by their dissension
and obstinacy; the affair was an easy one, if only they all thought and
approved of the same thing, whether they remain or depart; on the other
hand, they saw no security in dissension." The matter is prolonged by
debate till midnight. At last Cotta, being overruled, yields his assent;
the opinion of Sabinus prevails. It is proclaimed that they will march
at day-break; the remainder of the night is spent without sleep, since
every soldier was inspecting his property, [to see] what he could carry
with him, and what, out of the appurtenances of the winter-quarters, he
would be compelled to leave; every reason is suggested to show why they
could not stay without danger, and how that danger would be increased by
the fatigue of the soldiers and their want of sleep. At break of day
they quit the camp, in a very extended line and with a very large amount
of baggage, in such a manner as men who were convinced that the advice
was given by Ambiorix, not as an enemy, but as most friendly [towards

XXXII.--But the enemy, after they had made the discovery of their
intended departure by the noise during the night and their not retiring
to rest, having placed an ambuscade in two divisions in the woods, in a
suitable and concealed place, two miles from the camp, waited for the
arrival of the Romans; and when the greater part of the line of march
had descended into a considerable valley, they suddenly presented
themselves on either side of that valley, and began both to harass the
rear and hinder the van from ascending, and to give battle in a place
exceedingly disadvantageous to our men.

XXXIII.--Then at length Titurius, as one who had provided nothing
beforehand, was confused, ran to and fro, and set about arranging his
troops; these very things, however, he did timidly and in such a manner
that all resources seemed to fail him: which generally happens to those
who are compelled to take council in the action itself. But Cotta, who
had reflected that these things might occur on the march, and on that
account had not been an adviser of the departure, was wanting to the
common safety in no respect; both in addressing and encouraging the
soldiers, he performed the duties of a general, and in the battle those
of a soldier. And since they [Titurius and Cotta] could less easily
perform everything by themselves, and provide what was to be done in
each place, by reason of the length of the line of march, they ordered
[the officers] to give the command that they should leave the baggage
and form themselves into an orb, which measure, though in a contingency
of that nature it was not to be condemned, still turned out
unfortunately; for it both diminished the hope of our soldiers and
rendered the enemy more eager for the fight, because it appeared that
this was not done without the greatest fear and despair. Besides that
happened, which would necessarily be the case, that the soldiers for the
most part quitted their ensigns and hurried to seek and carry off from
the baggage whatever each thought valuable, and all parts were filled
with uproar and lamentation.

XXXIV.--But judgment was not wanting to the barbarians; for their
leaders ordered [the officers] to proclaim through the ranks "that no
man should quit his place; that the booty was theirs, and for them was
reserved whatever the Romans should leave; therefore let them consider
that all things depended on their victory." Our men were equal to them
in fighting, both in courage and in number, and though they were
deserted by their leader and by fortune, yet they still placed all hope
of safety in their valour, and as often as any cohort sallied forth on
that side, a great number of the enemy usually fell. Ambiorix, when he
observed this, orders the command to be issued that they throw their
weapons from a distance and do not approach too near, and in whatever
direction the Romans should make an attack, there give way (from the
lightness of their appointments and from their daily practice no damage
could be done them); [but] pursue them when betaking themselves to their
standards again.

XXXV.--Which command having been most carefully obeyed, when any cohort
had quitted the circle and made a charge, the enemy fled very
precipitately. In the meantime, that part of the Roman army, of
necessity, was left unprotected, and the weapons received on their open
flank. Again, when they had begun to return to that place from which
they had advanced, they were surrounded both by those who had retreated
and by those who stood next them; but if, on the other hand, they wished
to keep their place, neither was an opportunity left for valour, nor
could they, being crowded together, escape the weapons cast by so large
a body of men. Yet, though assailed by so many disadvantages, [and]
having received many wounds, they withstood the enemy, and, a great
portion of the day being spent, though they fought from day-break till
the eighth hour, they did nothing which was unworthy of them. At length,
each thigh of T. Balventius, who the year before had been chief
centurion, a brave man and one of great authority, is pierced with a
javelin; Q. Lucanius, of the same rank, fighting most valiantly, is
slain while he assists his son when surrounded by the enemy; L. Cotta,
the lieutenant, when encouraging all the cohorts and companies, is
wounded full in the mouth by a sling.

XXXVI.--Much troubled by these events, Q. Titurius, when he had
perceived Ambiorix in the distance encouraging his men, sends to him his
interpreter, Cn. Pompey, to beg that he would spare him and his
soldiers. He, when addressed, replied, "If he wished to confer with him,
it was permitted; that he hoped what pertained to the safety of the
soldiers could be obtained from the people; that to him however
certainly no injury would be done, and that he pledged his faith to that
effect." He consults with Cotta, who had been wounded, whether it would
appear right to retire from battle, and confer with Ambiorix; [saying]
that he hoped to be able to succeed respecting his own and the soldiers'
safety. Cotta says he will not go to an armed enemy, and in that

XXXVII.--Sabinus orders those tribunes of the soldiers whom he had at
the time around him, and the centurions of the first ranks, to follow
him, and when he had approached near to Ambiorix, being ordered to throw
down his arms, he obeys the order and commands his men to do the same.
In the meantime, while they treat upon the terms, and a longer debate
than necessary is designedly entered into by Ambiorix, being surrounded
by degrees, he is slain. Then they according to their custom shout out
"Victory," and raise their war-cry, and, making an attack on our men,
break their ranks. There L. Cotta, while fighting, is slain, together
with the greater part of the soldiers; the rest betake themselves to the
camp from which they had marched forth, and one of them, L. Petrosidius,
the standard bearer, when he was overpowered by the great number of the
enemy, threw the eagle within the entrenchments and is himself slain
while fighting with the greatest courage before the camp. They with
difficulty sustain the attack till night; despairing of safety, they all
to a man destroy themselves in the night. A few escaping from the
battle, make their way to Labienus at winter-quarters, after wandering
at random through the woods, and inform him of these events.

XXXVIII.--Elated by this victory, Ambiorix marches immediately with his
cavalry to the Aduatuci, who bordered on his kingdom; he halts neither
day nor night, and orders the infantry to follow him closely. Having
related the exploit and roused the Aduatuci, the next day he arrived
among the Nervii, and entreats "that they should not throw away the
opportunity of liberating themselves for ever and of punishing the
Romans for those wrongs which they had received from them"; [he tells
them] "that two lieutenants have been slain, and that a large portion of
the army has perished; that it was not a matter of difficulty for the
legion which was wintering with Cicero to be cut off, when suddenly
assaulted; he declares himself ready to co-operate in that design." He
easily gains over the Nervii by this speech.

XXXIX.--Accordingly, messengers having been forthwith despatched to the
Centrones, the Grudii, the Levaci, the Pleumoxii, and the Geiduni, all
of whom are under their government, they assemble as large bodies as
they can, and rush unexpectedly to the winter-quarters of Cicero, the
report of the death of Titurius not having as yet been conveyed to him.
That also occurred to him which was the consequence of a necessary
work,--that some soldiers who had gone off into the woods for the
purpose of procuring timber and therewith constructing fortifications,
were intercepted by the sudden arrival of [the enemy's] horse. These
having been entrapped, the Eburones, the Nervii, and the Aduatuci and
all their allies and dependants, begin to attack the legion: our men
quickly run together to arms and mount the rampart: they sustained the
attack that day with great difficulty, since the enemy placed all their
hope in despatch, and felt assured that, if they obtained this victory,
they would be conquerors for ever.

XL.--Letters are immediately sent to Caesar by Cicero, great rewards
being offered [to the messengers] if they carried them through. All the
passes having been beset, those who were sent are intercepted. During
the night as many as 120 towers are raised with incredible despatch out
of the timber which they had collected for the purpose of fortification:
the things which seemed necessary to the work are completed. The
following day the enemy, having collected far greater forces, attack the
camp [and] fill up the ditch. Resistance is made by our men in the same
manner as the day before: this same thing is done afterwards during the
remaining days. The work is carried on incessantly in the night: not
even to the sick, or wounded, is opportunity given for rest: whatever
things are required for resisting the assault of the next day are
provided during the night: many stakes burnt at the end, and a large
number of mural pikes are procured: towers are built up, battlements and
parapets are formed of interwoven hurdles. Cicero himself, though he was
in very weak health, did not leave himself the night-time for repose, so
that he was forced to spare himself by the spontaneous movement and
entreaties of the soldiers.

XLI.--Then these leaders and chiefs of the Nervii, who had any intimacy
and grounds of friendship with Cicero, say they desire to confer with
him. When permission was granted, they recount the same things which
Ambiorix had related to Titurius, namely, "that all Gaul was in arms,
that the Germans had passed the Rhine, that the winter-quarters of
Caesar and of the others were attacked." They report in addition also,
about the death of Sabinus. They point to Ambiorix for the purpose of
obtaining credence; "they are mistaken," say they, "if they hoped for
any relief from those who distrust their own affairs; that they bear
such feelings towards Cicero and the Roman people that they deny them
nothing but winter-quarters and are unwilling that this practice should
become constant; that through their [the Nervii's] means it is possible
for them [the Romans] to depart from their winter-quarters safely and to
proceed without fear into whatever parts they desire." To these Cicero
made only one reply: "that it is not the custom of the Roman people to
accept any condition from an armed enemy: if they are willing to lay
down their arms, they may employ him as their advocate and send
ambassadors to Caesar: that he believed, from his [Caesar's] justice,
they would obtain the things which they might request."

XLII.--Disappointed in this hope, the Nervii surround the winter-quarters
with a rampart eleven feet high, and a ditch thirteen feet in
depth. These military works they had learnt from our men in the
intercourse of former years, and, having taken some of our army
prisoners, were instructed by them: but, as they had no supply of iron
tools which are requisite for this service, they were forced to cut the
turf with their swords, and to empty out the earth with their hands and
cloaks, from which circumstance the vast number of the men could be
inferred; for in less than three hours they completed a fortification of
ten miles in circumference; and during the rest of the days they began
to prepare and construct towers of the height of the ramparts, and
grappling irons, and mantlets, which the same prisoners had taught them.

XLIII.--On the seventh day of the attack, a very high wind having sprung
up, they began to discharge by their slings hot balls made of burnt or
hardened clay, and heated javelins, upon the huts, which, after the
Gallic custom, were thatched with straw. These quickly took fire, and by
the violence of the wind, scattered their flames in every part of the
camp. The enemy following up their success with a very loud shout, as if
victory were already obtained and secured, began to advance their towers
and mantlets, and climb the rampart with ladders. But so great was the
courage of our soldiers, and such their presence of mind, that though
they were scorched on all sides, and harassed by a vast number of
weapons, and were aware that their baggage and their possessions were
burning, not only did no one quit the rampart for the purpose of
withdrawing from the scene, but scarcely did any one even then look
behind; and they all fought most vigorously and most valiantly. This day
was by far the most calamitous to our men; it had this result, however,
that on that day the largest number of the enemy was wounded and slain,
since they had crowded beneath the very rampart, and the hindmost did
not afford the foremost a retreat. The flame having abated a little, and
a tower having been brought up in a particular place and touching the
rampart, the centurions of the third cohort retired from the place in
which they were standing, and drew off all their men: they began to call
on the enemy by gestures and by words, to enter if they wished; but none
of them dared to advance. Then stones having been cast from every
quarter, the enemy were dislodged, and their tower set on fire.

XLIV.--In that legion there were two very brave men, centurions, who
were now approaching the first ranks, T. Pulfio, and L. Varenus. These
used to have continual disputes between them which of them should be
preferred, and every year used to contend for promotion with the utmost
animosity. When the fight was going on most vigorously before the
fortifications, Pulfio, one of them, says, "Why do you hesitate,
Varenus? or what [better] opportunity of signalising your valour do you
seek? This very day shall decide our disputes." When he had uttered
these words, he proceeds beyond the fortifications, and rushes on that
part of the enemy which appeared the thickest. Nor does Varenus remain
within the rampart, but respecting the high opinion of all, follows
close after. Then, when an inconsiderable space intervened, Pulfio
throws his javelin at the enemy, and pierces one of the multitude who
was running up, and while the latter was wounded and slain, the enemy
cover him with their shields, and all throw their weapons at the other
and afford him no opportunity of retreating. The shield of Pulfio is
pierced and a javelin is fastened in his belt. This circumstance turns
aside his scabbard and obstructs his right hand when attempting to draw
his sword: the enemy crowd around him when [thus] embarrassed. His rival
runs up to him and succours him in this emergency. Immediately the whole
host turn from Pulfio to him, supposing the other to be pierced through
by the javelin. Varenus rushes on briskly with his sword and carries on
the combat hand to hand, and having slain one man, for a short time
drove back the rest: while he urges on too eagerly, slipping into a
hollow, he fell. To him, in his turn, when surrounded, Pulfio brings
relief; and both having slain a great number, retreat into the
fortifications amidst the highest applause. Fortune so dealt with both
in this rivalry and conflict, that the one competitor was a succour and
a safeguard to the other, nor could it be determined which of the two
appeared worthy of being preferred to the other.

XLV.--In proportion as the attack became daily more formidable and
violent, and particularly because, as a great number of the soldiers
were exhausted with wounds, the matter had come to a small number of
defenders, more frequent letters and messengers were sent to Caesar; a
part of which messengers were taken and tortured to death in the sight
of our soldiers. There was within our camp a certain Nervian, by name
Vertico, born in a distinguished position, who in the beginning of the
blockade had deserted to Cicero, and had exhibited his fidelity to him.
He persuades his slave, by the hope of freedom, and by great rewards, to
convey a letter to Caesar. This he carries out bound about his javelin,
and mixing among the Gauls without any suspicion by being a Gaul, he
reaches Caesar. From him they received information of the imminent
danger of Cicero and the legion.

XLVI.--Caesar having received the letter about the eleventh hour of the
day, immediately sends a messenger to the Bellovaci, to M. Crassus,
questor there, whose winter-quarters were twenty-five miles distant from
him. He orders the legion to set forward in the middle of the night and
come to him with despatch. Crassus set out with the messenger. He sends
anther to C. Fabius, the lieutenant, ordering him to lead forth his
legion into the territories of the Atrebates, to which he knew his march
must be made. He writes to Labienus to come with his legion to the
frontiers of the Nervii, if he could do so to the advantage of the
commonwealth: he does not consider that the remaining portion of the
army, because it was somewhat farther distant, should be waited for; but
assembles about 400 horse from the nearest winter-quarters.

XLVII.--Having been apprised of the arrival of Crassus by the scouts at
about the third hour, he advances twenty miles that day. He appoints
Crassus over Samarobriva and assigns him a legion, because he was
leaving there the baggage of the army, the hostages of the states, the
public documents, and all the corn, which he had conveyed thither for
passing the winter. Fabius, without delaying a moment, meets him on the
march with his legion, as he had been commanded. Labienus, having learnt
the death of Sabinus and the destruction of the cohorts, as all the
forces of the Treviri had come against him, beginning to fear lest, if
he made a departure from his winter-quarters, resembling a flight, he
should not be able to support the attack of the enemy, particularly
since he knew them to be elated by their recent victory, sends back a
letter to Caesar, informing him with what great hazard he would lead out
his legion from winter-quarters; he relates at large the affair which
had taken place among the Eburones; he informs him that all the infantry
and cavalry of the Treviri had encamped at a distance of only three
miles from his own camp.

XLVIII.--Caesar, approving of his motives, although he was disappointed
in his expectation of three legions, and reduced to two, yet placed his
only hopes of the common safety in despatch. He goes into the
territories of the Nervii by long marches. There he learns from some
prisoners what things are going on in the camp of Cicero, and in how
great jeopardy the affair is. Then with great rewards he induces a
certain man of the Gallic horse to convey a letter to Cicero. This he
sends written in Greek characters, lest the letter being intercepted,
our measures should be discovered by the enemy. He directs him, if he
should be unable to enter, to throw his spear with the letter fastened
to the thong inside the fortifications of the camp. He writes in the
letter, that he having set out with his legions, will quickly be there:
he entreats him to maintain his ancient valour. The Gaul apprehending
danger, throws his spear as he had been directed. It by chance stuck in
a tower, and, not being observed by our men for two days, was seen by a
certain soldier on the third day: when taken down, it was carried to
Cicero. He, after perusing it, reads it out in an assembly of the
soldiers, and fills all with the greatest joy. Then the smoke of the
fires was seen in the distance, a circumstance which banished all doubt
of the arrival of the legions.

XLIX.--The Gauls, having discovered the matter through their scouts,
abandon the blockade, and march towards Caesar with all their forces:
these were about 60,000 armed men. Cicero, an opportunity being now
afforded, again begs of that Vertico, the Gaul, whom we mentioned above,
to convey back a letter to Caesar; he advises him to perform his journey
warily; he writes in the letter that the enemy had departed and had
turned their entire force against him. When this letter was brought to
him about the middle of the night, Caesar apprises his soldiers of its
contents, and inspires them with courage for fighting: the following
day, at the dawn, he moves his camp, and, having proceeded four miles,
he espies the forces of the enemy on the other side of a considerable
valley and rivulet. It was an affair of great danger to fight with such
large forces in a disadvantageous situation. For the present, therefore,
inasmuch as he knew that Cicero was released from the blockade, and
thought that he might, on that account, relax his speed, he halted there
and fortifies a camp in the most favourable position he can. And this,
though it was small in itself, [there being] scarcely 7000 men, and
these too without baggage, still by the narrowness of the passages, he
contracts as much as he can, with this object, that he may come into the
greatest contempt with the enemy. In the meanwhile, scouts having been
sent in all directions, he examines by what most convenient path he
might cross the valley.

L.--That day, slight skirmishes of cavalry having taken place near the
river, both armies kept in their own positions: the Gauls, because they
were awaiting larger forces which had not then arrived; Caesar, [to see]
if perchance by pretence of fear he could allure the enemy towards his
position, so that he might engage in battle, in front of his camp, on
this side of the valley; if he could not accomplish this, that, having
inquired about the passes, he might cross the valley and the river with
the less hazard. At day-break the cavalry of the enemy approaches to the
camp and joins battle with our horse. Caesar orders the horse to give
way purposely, and retreat to the camp: at the same time he orders the
camp to be fortified with a higher rampart in all directions, the gates
to be barricaded, and in executing these things as much confusion to be
shown as possible, and to perform them under the pretence of fear.

LI.--Induced by all these things the enemy lead over their forces and
draw up their line in a disadvantageous position; and as our men also
had been led down from the ramparts, they approach nearer, and throw
their weapons into the fortification from all sides, and sending heralds
round, order it to be proclaimed that, if "any, either Gaul or Roman,
was willing to go over to them before the third hour, it was permitted;
after that time there would not be permission"; and so much did they
disregard our men, that the gates having been blocked up with single
rows of turf as a mere appearance, because they did not seem able to
burst in that way, some began to pull down the rampart with their hands,
others to fill up the trenches. Then Caesar, making a sally from all the
gates, and sending out the cavalry, soon puts the enemy to flight, so
that no one at all stood his ground with the intention of fighting; and
he slew a great number of them, and deprived all of their arms.

LII.--Caesar, fearing to pursue them very far, because woods and
morasses intervened, and also [because] he saw that they suffered no
small loss in abandoning their position, reaches Cicero the same day
with all his forces safe. He witnesses with surprise the towers,
mantlets, and [other] fortifications belonging to the enemy: the legion
having been drawn out, he finds that even every tenth soldier had not
escaped without wounds. From all these things he judges with what danger
and with what great courage matters had been conducted; he commends
Cicero according to his desert and likewise the legion; he addresses
individually the centurions and the tribunes of the soldiers, whose
valour he had discovered to have been signal. He receives information of
the death of Sabinus and Cotta from the prisoners. An assembly being
held the following day, he states the occurrence; he consoles and
encourages the soldiers; he suggests that the disaster, which had been
occasioned by the misconduct and rashness of his lieutenant, should be
borne with a patient mind, because by the favour of the immortal gods
and their own valour, neither was lasting joy left to the enemy, nor
very lasting grief to them.

LIII.--In the meanwhile the report respecting the victory of Caesar is
conveyed to Labienus through the country of the Remi with incredible
speed, so that, though he was about sixty miles distant from the
winter-quarter of Cicero, and Caesar had arrived there after the ninth
hour, before midnight a shout arose at the gates of the camp, by which
shout an indication of the victory and a congratulation on the part of
the Remi were given to Labienus. This report having been carried to the
Treviri, Indutiormarus, who had resolved to attack the camp of Labienus
the following day, flies by night and leads back all his forces into the
country of the Treviri. Caesar sends back Fabius with his legion to his
winter-quarters; he himself determines to winter with three legions near
Samarobriva in three different quarters, and, because such great
commotions had arisen in Gaul, he resolved to remain during the whole
winter with the army himself. For the disaster respecting the death of
Sabinus having been circulated among them, almost all the states of Gaul
were deliberating about war, sending messengers and embassies into all
quarters, inquiring what further measure they should take, and holding
councils by night in secluded places. Nor did any period of the whole
winter pass over without fresh anxiety to Caesar, or without his
receiving some intelligence respecting the meetings and commotions of
the Gauls. Among these, he is informed by L. Roscius, the lieutenant
whom he had placed over the thirteenth legion, that large forces of
those states of the Gauls, which are called the Armoricae, had assembled
for the purpose of attacking him and were not more than eight miles
distant; but intelligence respecting the victory of Caesar being carried
[to them], had retreated in such a manner that their departure appeared
like a flight.

LIV.--But Caesar, having summoned to him the principal persons of each
state, in one case by alarming them, since he declared that he knew what
was going on, and in another case by encouraging them, retained a great
part of Gaul in its allegiance. The Senones, however, which is a state
eminently powerful and one of great influence among the Gauls,
attempting by general design to slay Cavarinus whom Caesar had created
king among them (whose brother, Moritasgus, had held the sovereignty at
the period of the arrival of Caesar in Gaul, and whose ancestors had
also previously held it) when he discovered their plot and fled, pursued
him even to the frontiers [of the state], and drove him from his kingdom
and his home; and, after having sent ambassadors to Caesar for the
purpose of concluding a peace, when he ordered all their senate to come
to him, did not obey that command. So far did it operate among those
barbarian people, that there were found some to be the first to wage
war; and so great a change of inclinations did it produce in all, that
except the Aedui and the Remi, whom Caesar had always held in especial
honour, the one people for their long standing and uniform fidelity
towards the Roman people, the other for their late service in the Gallic
war, there was scarcely a state which was not suspected by us. And I do
not know whether that ought much to be wondered at, as well for several
other reasons, as particularly because they who ranked above all nations
for prowess in war, most keenly regretted that they had lost so much of
that reputation as to submit to commands from the Roman people.

LV.--But the Treviri and Indutiomarus let no part of the entire winter
pass without sending ambassadors across the Rhine, importuning the
states, promising money, and asserting that, as a large portion of our
army had been cut off, a much smaller portion remained. However, none of
the German states could be induced to cross the Rhine, since "they had
twice essayed it," they said, "in the war with Ariovistus and in the
passage of the Tenchtheri there; that fortune was not to be tempted any
more." Indutiomarus disappointed in this expectation, nevertheless began
to raise troops, and discipline them, and procure horses from the
neighbouring people and allure to him by great rewards the outlaws and
convicts throughout Gaul. And such great influence had he already
acquired for himself in Gaul by these means, that embassies were
flocking to him in all directions, and seeking, publicly and privately,
his favour and friendship.

LVI.--When he perceived that they were coming to him voluntarily; that
on the one side the Senones and the Carnutes were stimulated by their
consciousness of guilt, on the other side the Nervii and the Aduatuci
were preparing war against the Romans, and that forces of volunteers
would not be wanting to him if he began to advance from his own
territories, he proclaims an armed council (this according to the custom
of the Gauls is the commencement of war) at which, by a common law, all
the youth were wont to assemble in arms; whoever of them comes last is
killed in the sight of the whole assembly after being racked with every
torture. In that council he declares Cingetorix, the leader of the other
faction, his own son-in-law (whom we have above mentioned, as having
embraced the protection of Caesar, and never having deserted him) an
enemy and confiscates his property. When these things were finished, he
asserts in the council that he, invited by the Senones and the Carnutes,
and several other states of Gaul, was about to march thither through the
territories of the Remi, devastate their lands, and attack the camp of
Labienus: before he does that, he informs them of what he desires to be

LVII.--Labienus, since he was confining himself within a camp strongly
fortified by the nature of the ground and by art, had no apprehensions
as to his own and the legion's danger, but was devising that he might
throw away no opportunity of conducting the war successfully.
Accordingly, the speech of Indutiomarus, which he had delivered in the
council, having been made known [to him] by Cingetorix and his allies,
he sends messengers to the neighbouring states and summons horse from
all quarters: he appoints to them a fixed day for assembling. In the
meantime, Indutiomarus, with all his cavalry, nearly every day used to
parade close to his [Labienus's] camp; at one time, that he might inform
himself of the situation of the camp; at another time, for the purpose
of conferring with or of intimidating him. Labienus confined his men
within the fortifications and promoted the enemy's belief of his fear by
whatever methods he could.

LVIII.--Since Indutiomarus was daily advancing up to the camp with
greater defiance, all the cavalry of the neighbouring states which he
[Labienus] had taken care to have sent for, having been admitted in one
night, he confined all his men within the camp by guards with such great
strictness, that that fact could by no means be reported or carried to
the Treviri. In the meanwhile Indutiomarus, according to his daily
practice, advances up to the camp and spends a great part of the day
there: his horse cast their weapons, and with very insulting language
call out our men to battle. No reply being given by our men, the enemy
when they thought proper, depart towards evening in a disorderly and
scattered manner, Labienus unexpectedly sends out all the cavalry by two
gates; he gives this command and prohibition, that, when the enemy
should be terrified and put to flight (which he foresaw would happen, as
it did), they should all make for Indutiomarus, and no one wound any man
before he should have seen him slain, because he was unwilling that he
should escape, in consequence of gaining time by the delay [occasioned
by the pursuit] of the rest. He offers great rewards for those who
should kill him: he sends up the cohorts as a relief to the horse. The
issue justifies the policy of the man, and, since all aimed at one,
Indutiomarus is slain, having been overtaken at the very ford of the
river, and his head is carried to the camp: the horse, when returning,
pursue and slay all whom they can. This affair having been known, all
the forces of the Eburones and the Nervii which had assembled, depart;
and for a short time after this action, Caesar was less harassed in the
government of Gaul.

Julius Caesar

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