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Book VI

I.--Caesar, expecting for many reasons a greater commotion in Gaul,
resolves to hold a levy by the means of M. Silanus, C. Antistius
Reginus, and T. Sextius, his lieutenants: at the same time he requested
of Cn. Pompey, the proconsul, that since he was remaining near the city
invested with military command for the interests of the commonwealth, he
would command those men whom when consul he had levied by the military
oath in Cisalpine Gaul, to join their respective corps, and to proceed
to him; thinking it of great importance, as far as regarded the opinion
which the Gauls would entertain for the future, that the resources of
Italy should appear so great, that if any loss should be sustained in
war, not only could it be repaired in a short time, but likewise be
further supplied by still larger forces. And when Pompey had granted
this to the interests of the commonwealth and the claims of friendship,
Caesar having quickly completed the levy by means of his lieutenants,
after three legions had been both formed and brought to him before the
winter [had] expired, and the number of those cohorts which he had lost
under Q. Titurius had been doubled, taught the Gauls, both by his
dispatch and by his forces, what the discipline and the power of the
Roman people could accomplish.

II.--Indutiomarus having been slain, as we have stated, the government
was conferred upon his relatives by the Treviri. They cease not to
importune the neighbouring Germans and to promise them money: when they
could not obtain [their object] from those nearest them, they try those
more remote. Having found some states willing to accede to their wishes,
they enter into a compact with them by a mutual oath, and give hostages
as a security for the money: they attach Ambiorix to them by an alliance
and confederacy. Caesar, on being informed of their acts, since he saw
that war was being prepared on all sides, that the Nervii, Aduatuci, and
Menapii, with the addition of all the Germans on this side of the Rhine
were under arms, that the Senones did not assemble according to his
command, and were concerting measures with the Carnutes and the
neighbouring states, that the Germans were importuned by the Treviri in
frequent embassies, thought that he ought to take measures for the war
earlier [than usual].

III.-Accordingly, while the winter was not yet ended, having
concentrated the four nearest legions, he marched unexpectedly into the
territories of the Nervii, and before they could either assemble, or
retreat, after capturing a large number of cattle and of men, and
wasting their lands and giving up that booty to the soldiers, compelled
them to enter into a surrender and give him hostages. That business
having been speedily executed, he again led his legions back into
winter-quarters. Having proclaimed a council of Gaul in the beginning of
the spring, as he had been accustomed [to do], when the deputies from
the rest, except the Senones, the Carnutes, and the Treviri, had come,
judging this to be the commencement of war and revolt, that he might
appear to consider all things of less consequence [than that war], he
transfers the council to Lutetia of the Parisii. These were adjacent to
the Senones, and had united their state to them during the memory of
their fathers, but were thought to have no part in the present plot.
Having proclaimed this from the tribunal, he advances the same day
towards the Senones with his legions and arrives among them by long

IV.--Acco, who had been the author of that enterprise, on being informed
of his arrival, orders the people to assemble in the towns; to them,
while attempting this and before it could be accomplished, news is
brought that the Romans are close at hand: through necessity they give
over their design and send ambassadors to Caesar for the purpose of
imploring pardon; they make advances to him through the Aedui, whose
state was from ancient times under the protection of Rome. Caesar
readily grants them pardon and receives their excuse at the request of
the Aedui; because he thought that the summer season was one for an
impending war, not for an investigation. Having imposed one hundred
hostages, he delivers these to the Aedui to be held in charge by them.
To the same place the Carnutes send ambassadors and hostages, employing
as their mediators the Remi, under whose protection they were: they
receive the same answers. Caesar concludes the council and imposes a
levy of cavalry on the states.

V.--This part of Gaul having been tranquillized, he applies himself
entirely both in mind and soul to the war with the Treviri and Ambiorix.
He orders Cavarinus to march with him with the cavalry of the Senones,
lest any commotion should arise either out of his hot temper, or out of
the hatred of the state which he had incurred. After arranging these
things, as he considered it certain that Ambiorix would not contend in
battle, he watched his other plans attentively. The Menapii bordered on
the territories of the Eburones, and were protected by one continued
extent of morasses and woods; and they alone out of Gaul had never sent
ambassadors to Caesar on the subject of peace. Caesar knew that a tie of
hospitality subsisted between them and Ambiorix: he also discovered that
the latter had entered into an alliance with the Germans by means of the
Treviri. He thought that these auxiliaries ought to be detached from him
before he provoked him to war; lest he, despairing of safety, should
either proceed to conceal himself in the territories of the Menapii, or
should be driven to coalesce with the Germans beyond the Rhine. Having
entered upon this resolution, he sends the baggage of the whole army to
Labienus, in the territories of the Treviri and orders two legions to
proceed to him: he himself proceeds against the Menapii with five
lightly-equipped legions. They, having assembled no troops, as they
relied on the defence of their position, retreat into the woods and
morasses, and convey thither all their property.

VI.--Caesar, having divided his forces with C. Fabius, his lieutenant,
and M. Crassus, his questor, and having hastily constructed some
bridges, enters their country in three divisions, burns their houses and
villages, and gets possession of a large number of cattle and men.
Constrained by these circumstances, the Menapii send ambassadors to him
for the purpose of suing for peace. He, after receiving hostages,
assures them that he will consider them in the number of his enemies if
they shall receive within their territories either Ambiorix or his
ambassadors. Having determinately settled these things, he left among
the Menapii, Commius the Atrebatian with some cavalry as a guard; he
himself proceeds toward the Treviri.

VII.--While these things are being performed by Caesar, the Treviri,
having drawn together large forces of infantry and of cavalry, were
preparing to attack Labienus and the legion which was wintering in their
territories, and were already not further distant from him than a
journey of two days, when they learn that two legions had arrived by the
order of Caesar. Having pitched their camp fifteen miles off, they
resolve to await the support of the Germans. Labienus, having learned
the design of the enemy, hoping that through their rashness there would
be some opportunity of engaging, after leaving a guard of five cohorts
for the baggage, advances against the enemy with twenty-five cohorts and
a large body of cavalry, and, leaving the space of a mile between them,
fortifies his camp. There was between Labienus and the enemy a river
difficult to cross and with steep banks: this neither did he himself
design to cross, nor did he suppose the enemy would cross it. Their hope
of auxiliaries was daily increasing. He [Labienus] openly says in a
council that "since the Germans are said to be approaching, he would not
bring into uncertainty his own and the army's fortunes, and the next day
would move his camp at early dawn. These words are quickly carried to
the enemy, since out of so large a number of cavalry composed of Gauls,
nature compelled some to favour the Gallic interests. Labienus, having
assembled the tribunes of the soldiers and principal centurions by
night, states what his design is, and, that he may the more easily give
the enemy a belief of his fears, he orders the camp to be moved with
greater noise and confusion than was usual with the Roman people. By
these means he makes his departure [appear], like a retreat. These
things, also, since the camps were so near, are reported to the enemy by
scouts before daylight.

VIII.--Scarcely had the rear advanced beyond the fortifications when the
Gauls, encouraging one another "not to cast from their hands the
anticipated booty, that it was a tedious thing, while the Romans were
panic stricken, to be waiting for the aid of the Germans, and that their
dignity did not suffer them to fear to attack with such great forces so
small a band, particularly when retreating and encumbered," do not
hesitate to cross the river and give battle in a disadvantageous
position. Labienus suspecting that these things would happen, was
proceeding quietly, and using the same pretence of a march, in order
that he might entice them across the river. Then, having sent forward
the baggage some short distance and placed it on a certain eminence, he
says, "Soldiers, you have the opportunity you have sought: you hold the
enemy in an encumbered and disadvantageous position: display to us your
leaders the same valour you have ofttimes displayed to your general:
imagine that he is present and actually sees these exploits." At the
same time he orders the troops to face about towards the enemy and form
in line of battle, and, despatching a few troops of cavalry as a guard
for the bag gage, he places the rest of the horse on the wings. Our men,
raising a shout, quickly throw their javelins at the enemy. They, when,
contrary to their expectation, they saw those whom they believed to be
retreating, advance towards them with threatening banners, were not able
to sustain even the charge, and, being put to flight at the first
onslaught, sought the nearest woods: Labienus pursuing them with the
cavalry, upon a large number being slain, and several taken prisoners,
got possession of the state a few days after; for the Germans who were
coming to the aid of the Treviri, having been informed of their flight,
retreated to their homes. The relations of Indutiomarus, who had been
the promoters of the revolt, accompanying them, quitted their own state
with them. The supreme power and government were delivered to
Cingetorix, whom we have stated to have remained firm in his allegiance
from the commencement.

IX.--Caesar, after he came from the territories of the Menapii into
those of the Treviri, resolved for two reasons to cross the Rhine; one
of which was, because they had sent assistance to the Treviri against
him; the other, that Ambiorix might not have a retreat among them.
Having determined on these matters, he began to build a bridge a little
above that place, at which he had before conveyed over his army. The
plan having been known and laid down, the work is accomplished in a few
days by the great exertion of the soldiers. Having left a strong guard
at the bridge on the side of the Treviri, lest any commotion should
suddenly arise among them, he leads over the rest of the forces and the
cavalry. The Ubii, who before had sent hostages and come to a
capitulation, send ambassadors to him, for the purpose of vindicating
themselves, to assure him that "neither had auxiliaries been sent to the
Treviri from their state, nor had they violated their allegiance"; they
entreat and beseech him "to spare them, lest, in his common hatred of
the Germans, the innocent should suffer the penalty of the guilty: they
promise to give more hostages, if he desire them." Having investigated
the case, Caesar finds that the auxiliaries had been sent by the Suevi;
he accepts the apology of the Ubii, and makes minute inquiries
concerning the approaches and the routes to the territories of the
Suevi. X.--In the meanwhile he is informed by the Ubii, a few days
after, that the Suevi are drawing all their forces into one place, and
are giving orders to those nations which are under their government to
send auxiliaries of infantry and of cavalry. Having learned these
things, he provides a supply of corn, selects a proper place for his
camp, and commands the Ubii to drive off their cattle and carry away all
their possessions from the country parts into the towns, hoping that
they, being a barbarous and ignorant people, when harassed by the want
of provisions, might be brought to an engagement on disadvantageous
terms: he orders them to send numerous scouts among the Suevi, and learn
what things are going on among them. They execute the orders, and, a few
days having intervened, report that all the Suevi, after certain
intelligence concerning the army of the Romans had come, retreated with
all their own forces and those of their allies, which they had
assembled, to the utmost extremities of their territories: that there is
a wood there of very great extent, which is called Bacenis; that this
stretches a great way into the interior, and, being opposed as a natural
barrier, defends from injuries and incursions the Cherusci against the
Suevi, and the Suevi against the Cherusci: that at the entrance of that
forest the Suevi had determined to await the coming up of the Romans.

XI.--Since we have come to this place, it does not appear to be foreign
to our subject to lay before the reader an account of the manners of
Gaul and Germany, and wherein these nations differ from each other. In
Gaul there are factions not only in all the states, and in all the
cantons and their divisions, but almost in each family, and of these
factions those are the leaders who are considered according to their
judgment to possess the greatest influence, upon whose will and
determination the management of all affairs and measures depends. And
that seems to have been instituted in ancient times with this view, that
no one of the common people should be in want of support against one
more powerful; for none [of those leaders] suffers his party to be
oppressed and defrauded, and if he do otherwise, he has no influence
among his party. This same policy exists throughout the whole of Gaul;
for all the states are divided into two factions.

XII.--When Caesar arrived in Gaul, the Aedui were the leaders of one
faction, the Sequani of the other. Since the latter were less powerful
by themselves, inasmuch as the chief influence was from of old among the
Aedui, and their dependencies were great, they had united to themselves
the Germans and Ariovistus, and had brought them over to their party by
great sacrifices and promises. And having fought several successful
battles and slain all the nobility of the Aedui, they had so far
surpassed them in power, that they brought over, from the Aedui to
themselves, a large portion of their dependants and received from them
the sons of their leading men as hostages, and compelled them to swear
in their public character that they would enter into no design against
them; and held a portion of the neighbouring land, seized on by force,
and possessed the sovereignty of the whole of Gaul. Divitiacus urged by
this necessity, had proceeded to Rome to the senate, for the purpose of
entreating assistance, and had returned without accomplishing his
object. A change of affairs ensued on the arrival of Caesar, the
hostages were returned to the Aedui, their old dependencies restored,
and new acquired through Caesar (because those who had attached
themselves to their alliance saw that they enjoyed a better state and a
milder government), their other interests, their influence, their
reputation were likewise increased, and in consequence, the Sequani lost
the sovereignty. The Remi succeeded to their place, and, as it was
perceived that they equalled the Aedui in favour with Caesar, those, who
on account of their old animosities could by no means coalesce with the
Aedui, consigned themselves in clientship to the Remi. The latter
carefully protected them. Thus they possessed both a new and suddenly
acquired influence. Affairs were then in that position, that the Aedui
were considered by far the leading people, and the Remi held the second
post of honour.

XIII.--Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of
any rank and dignity: for the commonality is held almost in the
condition of slaves, and dares to undertake nothing of itself and is
admitted to no deliberation. The greater part, when they are pressed
either by debt, or the large amount of their tributes, or the oppression
of the more powerful, give themselves up in vassalage to the nobles, who
possess over them the same rights without exception as masters over
their slaves. But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the
other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred,
conduct the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters
of religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the
purpose of instruction, and they [the Druids] are in great honour among
them. For they determine respecting almost all controversies, public and
private; and if any crime has been perpetrated, if murder has been
committed, if there be any dispute about an inheritance, if any about
boundaries, these same persons decide it; they decree rewards and
punishments if any one, either in a private or public capacity, has not
submitted to their decision, they interdict him from the sacrifices.
This among them is the most heavy punishment. Those who have been thus
interdicted are esteemed in the number of the impious and the criminal:
all shun them, and avoid their society and conversation, lest they
receive some evil from their contact; nor is justice administered to
them when seeking it, nor is any dignity bestowed on them. Over all
these Druids one presides, who possesses supreme authority among them.
Upon his death, if any individual among the rest is pre-eminent in
dignity, he succeeds; but, if there are many equal, the election is made
by the suffrages of the Druids; sometimes they even contend for the
presidency with arms. These assemble at a fixed period of the year in a
consecrated place in the territories of the Carnutes, which is reckoned
the central region of the whole of Gaul. Hither all, who have disputes,
assemble from every part, and submit to their decrees and
determinations. This institution is supposed to have been devised in
Britain, and to have been brought over from it into Gaul; and now those
who desire to gain a more accurate knowledge of that system generally
proceed thither for the purpose of studying it.

XIV.--The Druids do not go to war, nor pay tribute together with the
rest; they have an exemption from military service and a dispensation in
all matters. Induced by such great advantages, many embrace this
profession of their own accord, and [many] are sent to it by their
parents and relations. They are said there to learn by heart a great
number of verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training
twenty years. Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to writing,
though in almost all other matters, in their public and private
transactions, they use Greek characters. That practice they seem to me
to have adopted for two reasons; because they neither desire their
doctrines to be divulged among the mass of the people, nor those who
learn, to devote themselves the less to the efforts of memory, relying
on writing; since it generally occurs to most men, that, in their
dependence on writing, they relax their diligence in learning
thoroughly, and their employment of the memory. They wish to inculcate
this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct,
but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men
by this tenet are in a great degree excited to valour, the fear of death
being disregarded. They likewise discuss and impart to the youth many
things respecting the stars and their motion, respecting the extent of
the world and of our earth, respecting the nature of things, respecting
the power and the majesty of the immortal gods.

XV.--The other order is that of the knights. These, when there is
occasion and any war occurs (which before Caesar's arrival was for the
most part wont to happen every year, as either they on their part were
inflicting injuries or repelling those which others inflicted on them),
are all engaged in war. And those of them most distinguished by birth
and resources, have the greatest number of vassals and dependants about
them. They acknowledge this sort of influence and power only.

XVI.--The nation of all the Gauls is extremely devoted to superstitious
rites; and on that account they who are troubled with unusually severe
diseases and they who are engaged in battles and dangers, either
sacrifice men as victims, or vow that they will sacrifice them, and
employ the Druids as the performers of those sacrifices; because they
think that unless the life of a man be offered for the life of a man,
the mind of the immortal gods cannot be rendered propitious, and they
have sacrifices of that kind ordained for national purposes. Others have
figures of vast size, the limbs of which formed of osiers they fill with
living men, which being set on fire, the men perish enveloped in the
flames. They consider that the oblation of such as have been taken in
theft, or in robbery, or any other offence, is more acceptable to the
immortal gods; but when a supply of that class is wanting, they have
recourse to the oblation of even the innocent.

XVII.--They worship as their divinity, Mercury in particular, and have
many images of him, and regard him as the inventor of all arts, they
consider him, the guide of their journeys and marches, and believe him
to have very great influence over the acquisition of gain and mercantile
transactions. Next to him they worship Apollo, and Mars, and Jupiter,
and Minerva; respecting these deities they have for the most part the
same belief as other nations: that Apollo averts diseases, that Minerva
imparts the invention of manufactures, that Jupiter possesses the
sovereignty of the heavenly powers; that Mars presides over wars. To him
when they have determined to engage in battle, they commonly vow those
things they shall take in war. When they have conquered, they sacrifice
whatever captured animals may have survived the conflict, and collect
the other things into one place. In many states you may see piles of
these things heaped up in their consecrated spots; nor does it often
happen that any one, disregarding the sanctity of the case, dares either
to secrete in his house things captured, or take away those deposited;
and the most severe punishment, with torture, has been established for
such a deed.

XVIII.--All the Gauls assert that they are descended from the god Dis,
and say that this tradition has been handed down by the Druids. For that
reason they compute the divisions of every season, not by the number of
days, but of nights; they keep birthdays and the beginnings of months
and years in such an order that the day follows the night. Among the
other usages of their life, they differ in this from almost all other
nations, that they do not permit their children to approach them openly
until they are grown up so as to be able to bear the service of war; and
they regard it as indecorous for a son of boyish age to stand in public
in the presence of his father.

XIX.--Whatever sums of money the husbands have received in the name of
dowry from their wives, making an estimate of it, they add the same
amount out of their own estates. An account is kept of all this money
conjointly, and the profits are laid by: whichever of them shall have
survived [the other], to that one the portion of both reverts, together
with the profits of the previous time. Husbands have power of life and
death over their wives as well as over their children: and when the
father of a family, born in a more than commonly distinguished rank, has
died, his relations assemble, and, if the circumstances of his death are
suspicious, hold an investigation upon the wives in the manner adopted
towards slaves; and if proof be obtained, put them to severe torture,
and kill them. Their funerals, considering the state of civilization
among the Gauls, are magnificent and costly; and they cast into the fire
all things, including living creatures, which they suppose to have been
dear to them when alive; and, a little before this period, slaves and
dependants, who were ascertained to have been beloved by them, were,
after the regular funeral rites were completed, burnt together with

XX.--Those states which are considered to conduct their commonwealth
more judiciously, have it ordained by their laws, that, if any person
shall have heard by rumour and report from his neighbours anything
concerning the commonwealth, he shall convey it to the magistrate and
not impart it to any other; because it has been discovered that
inconsiderate and inexperienced men were often alarmed by false reports
and driven to some rash act, or else took hasty measures in affairs of
the highest importance. The magistrates conceal those things which
require to be kept unknown; and they disclose to the people whatever
they determine to be expedient. It is not lawful to speak of the
commonwealth, except in council.

XXI.--The Germans differ much from these usages, for they have neither
Druids to preside over sacred offices, nor do they pay great regard to
sacrifices. They rank in the number of the gods those alone whom they
behold, and by whose instrumentality they are obviously benefited,
namely, the sun, fire, and the moon; they have not heard of the other
deities even by report. Their whole life is occupied in hunting and in
the pursuits of the military art; from childhood they devote themselves
to fatigue and hardships. Those who have remained chaste for the longest
time, receive the greatest commendation among their people: they think
that by this the growth is promoted, by this the physical powers are
increased and the sinews are strengthened. And to have had knowledge of
a woman before the twentieth year they reckon among the most disgraceful
acts; of which matter there is no concealment, because they bathe
promiscuously in the rivers and [only] use skins or small cloaks of
deers' hides, a large portion of the body being in consequence naked.

XXII.--They do not pay much attention to agriculture, and a large
portion of their food consists in milk, cheese, and flesh; nor has any
one a fixed quantity of land or his own individual limits; but the
magistrates and the leading men each year apportion to the tribes and
families, who have united together, as much land as, and in the place in
which, they think proper, and the year after compel them to remove
elsewhere. For this enactment they advance many reasons--lest seduced by
long-continued custom, they may exchange their ardour in the waging of
war for agriculture; lest they may be anxious to acquire extensive
estates, and the more powerful drive the weaker from their possessions;
lest they construct their houses with too great a desire to avoid cold
and heat; lest the desire of wealth spring up, from which cause
divisions and discords arise; and that they may keep the common people
in a contented state of mind, when each sees his own means placed on an
equality with [those of] the most powerful.

XXIII.--It is the greatest glory to the several states to have as wide
deserts as possible around them, their frontiers having been laid waste.
They consider this the real evidence of their prowess, that their
neighbours shall be driven out of their lands and abandon them, and that
no one dare settle near them; at the same time they think that they
shall be on that account the more secure, because they have removed the
apprehension of a sudden incursion. When a state either repels war waged
against it, or wages it against another, magistrates are chosen to
preside over that war with such authority, that they have power of life
and death. In peace there is no common magistrate, but the chiefs of
provinces and cantons administer justice and determine controversies
among their own people. Robberies which are committed beyond the
boundaries of each state bear no infamy, and they avow that these are
committed for the purpose of disciplining their youth and of preventing
sloth. And when any of their chiefs has said in an assembly "that he
will be their leader, let those who are willing to follow, give in their
names"; they who approve of both the enterprise and the man arise and
promise their assistance and are applauded by the people; such of them
as have not followed him are accounted in the number of deserters and
traitors, and confidence in all matters is afterwards refused them. To
injure guests they regard as impious; they defend from wrong those who
have come to them for any purpose whatever, and esteem them inviolable;
to them the houses of all are open and maintenance is freely supplied.

XXIV.--And there was formerly a time when the Gauls excelled the Germans
in prowess, and waged war on them offensively, and, on account of the
great number of their people and the insufficiency of their land, sent
colonies over the Rhine. Accordingly, the Volcae Tectosages seized on
those parts of Germany which are the most fruitful [and lie] around the
Hercynian forest (which, I perceive, was known by report to Eratosthenes
and some other Greeks, and which they call Orcynia) and settled there.
Which nation to this time retains its position in those settlements, and
has a very high character for justice and military merit: now also they
continue in the same scarcity, indigence, hardihood, as the Germans, and
use the same food and dress; but their proximity to the Province and
knowledge of commodities from countries beyond the sea supplies to the
Gauls many things tending to luxury as well as civilization. Accustomed
by degrees to be overmatched and worsted in many engagements, they do
not even compare themselves to the Germans in prowess.

XXV.--The breadth of this Hercynian forest, which has been referred to
above, is to a quick traveller, a journey of nine days. For it cannot be
otherwise computed, nor are they acquainted with the measures of roads.
It begins at the frontiers of the Helvetii, Nemetes, and Rauraci, and
extends in a right line along the river Danube to the territories of the
Daci and the Anartes: it bends thence to the left in a different
direction from the river, and owing to its extent touches the confines
of many nations; nor is there any person belonging to this part of
Germany who says that he either has gone to the extremity of that
forest, though he had advanced a journey of sixty days, or has heard in
what place it begins. It is certain that many kinds of wild beasts are
produced in it which have not been seen in other parts; of which the
following are such as differ principally from other animals, and appear
worthy of being committed to record.

XXVI.--There is an ox of the shape of a stag, between whose ears a horn
rises from the middle of the forehead, higher and straighter than those
horns which are known to us. From the top of this, branches, like palms;
stretch out a considerable distance. The shape of the female and of the
male is the same; the appearance and the size of the horns is the same.

XXVII.--There are also [animals] which are called elks. The shape of
these, and the varied colour of their skins, is much like roes, but in
size they surpass them a little and are destitute of horns, and have
legs without joints and ligatures; nor do they lie down for the purpose
of rest, nor, if they have been thrown down by any accident, can they
raise or lift themselves up. Trees serve as beds to them; they lean
themselves against them, and thus reclining only slightly, they take
their rest; when the huntsmen have discovered from the footsteps of
these animals whither they are accustomed to betake themselves, they
either undermine all the trees at the roots, or cut into them so far
that the upper part of the trees may appear to be left standing. When
they have leant upon them, according to their habit, they knock down by
their weight the unsupported trees, and fall down themselves along with

XXVIII.-There is a third kind, consisting of those animals which are
called uri. These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the
appearance, colour, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are
extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have
espied. These the Germans take with much pains in pits and kill them.
The young men harden themselves with this exercise, and practice
themselves in this kind of hunting, and those who have slain the
greatest number of them, having produced the horns in public, to serve
as evidence, receive great praise. But not even when taken very young
can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape, and
appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen. These
they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as
cups at their most sumptuous entertainments.

XXIX.--Caesar, after he discovered through the Ubian scouts that the
Suevi had retired into their woods, apprehending a scarcity of corn,
because, as we have observed above, all the Germans pay very little
attention to agriculture, resolved not to proceed any farther; but, that
he might not altogether relieve the barbarians from the fear of his
return, and that he might delay their succours, having led back his
army, he breaks down, to the length of 200 feet, the farther end of the
bridge, which joined the banks of the Ubii, and, at the extremity of the
bridge raises towers of four stories, and stations a guard of twelve
cohorts for the purpose of defending the bridge, and strengthens the
place with considerable fortifications. Over that fort and guard he
appointed C. Volcatius Tullus, a young man; he himself, when the corn
began to ripen, having set forth for the war with 40 Ambiorix (through
the forest Arduenna, which is the largest of all Gaul, and reaches from
the banks of the Rhine and the frontiers of the Treviri to those of the
Nervii, and extends over more than 500 miles), he sends forward L.
Minucius Basilus with all the cavalry, to try if he might gain any
advantage by rapid marches and the advantage of time, he warns him to
forbid fires being made in the camp, lest any indication of his approach
be given at a distance: he tells him that he will follow immediately.

XXX.--Basilus does as he was commanded; having performed his march
rapidly, and even surpassed the expectations of all, he surprises in the
fields many not expecting him; through their information he advances
towards Ambiorix himself, to the place in which he was said to be with a
few horse. Fortune accomplishes much, not only in other matters, but
also in the art of war. For as it happened by a remarkable chance, that
he fell upon [Ambiorix] himself unguarded and unprepared, and that his
arrival was seen by the people before the report or information of his
arrival was carried thither; so it was an incident of extraordinary
fortune that, although every implement of war which he was accustomed to
have about him was seized, and his chariots and horses surprised, yet he
himself escaped death. But it was effected owing to this circumstance,
that his house being surrounded by a wood, (as are generally the
dwellings of the Gauls, who, for the purpose of avoiding heat, mostly
seek the neighbourhood of woods and rivers) his attendants and friends
in a narrow spot sustained for a short time the attack of our horse.
While they were fighting, one of his followers mounted him on a horse:
the woods sheltered him as he fled. Thus fortune tended much both
towards his encountering and his escaping danger.

XXXI.--Whether Ambiorix did not collect his forces from cool
deliberation, because he considered he ought not to engage in a battle,
or [whether] he was debarred by time and prevented by the sudden arrival
of our horse, when he supposed the rest of the army was closely
following, is doubtful; but certainly, despatching messengers through
the country, he ordered every one to provide for himself; and a part of
them fled into the forest Arduenna, a part into the extensive morasses;
those who were nearest the ocean, concealed themselves in the islands
which the tides usually form; many, departing from their territories,
committed themselves and all their possessions to perfect strangers.
Cativolcus, king of one-half of the Eburones, who had entered into the
design together with Ambiorix, since, being now worn out by age, he was
unable to endure the fatigue either of war or flight, having cursed
Ambiorix with every imprecation, as the person who had been the
contriver of that measure, destroyed himself with the juice of the yew
tree, of which there is a great abundance in Gaul and Germany.

XXXII.--The Segui and Condrusi, of the nation and number of the Germans,
and who are between the Eburones and the Treviri, sent ambassadors to
Caesar to entreat that he would not regard them in the number of his
enemies, nor consider that the cause of all the Germans on this side the
Rhine was one and the same; that they had formed no plans of war, and
had sent no auxiliaries to Ambiorix. Caesar, having ascertained this
fact by an examination of his prisoners commanded that if any of the
Eburones in their flight had repaired to them, they should be sent back
to him; he assures them that if they did that, he will not injure their
territories. Then, having divided his forces into three parts, he sent
the baggage of all the legions to Aduatuca. That is the name of a fort.
This is nearly in the middle of the Eburones, where Titurius and
Aurunculeius had been quartered for the purpose of wintering. This place
he selected as well on other accounts as because the fortifications of
the previous year remained, in order that he might relieve the labour of
the soldiers. He left the fourteenth legion as a guard for the baggage,
one of those three which he had lately raised in Italy and brought over.
Over that legion and camp he places Q. Tullius Cicero and gives him 200

XXXIII.--Having divided the army, he orders T. Labienus to proceed with
three legions towards the ocean into those parts which border on the
Menappii; he sends C. Trebonius with a like number of legions to lay
waste that district which lies contiguous to the Aduatuci; he himself
determines to go with the remaining three to the river Sambre, which
flows into the Meuse, and to the most remote parts of Arduenna, whither
he heard that Ambiorix had gone with a few horse. When departing, he
promises that he will return before the end of the seventh day, on which
day he was aware corn was due to that legion which was being left in
garrison. He directs Labienus and Trebonius to return by the same day,
if they can do so agreeably to the interests of the republic; so that
their measures having been mutually imparted, and the plans of the enemy
having been discovered, they might be able to commence a different line
of operations.

XXXIV.--There was, as we have above observed, no regular army, nor a
town, nor a garrison which could defend itself by arms; but the people
were scattered in all directions. Where either a hidden valley, or a
woody spot, or a difficult morass furnished any hope of protection or of
security to any one, there he had fixed himself. These places were known
to those that dwelt in the neighbourhood, and the matter demanded great
attention, not so much in protecting the main body of the army (for no
peril could occur to them altogether from those alarmed and scattered
troops), as in preserving individual soldiers; which in some measure
tended to the safety of the army. For both the desire of booty was
leading many too far, and the woods with their unknown and hidden routes
would not allow them to go in large bodies. If he desired the business
to be completed and the race of those infamous people to be cut off,
more bodies of men must be sent in several directions and the soldiers
must be detached on all sides; if he were disposed to keep the companies
at their standards, as the established discipline and practice of the
Roman army required, the situation itself was a safeguard to the
barbarians, nor was there wanting to individuals the daring to lay
secret ambuscades and beset scattered soldiers. But amidst difficulties
of this nature as far as precautions could be taken by vigilance, such
precautions were taken; so that some opportunities of injuring the enemy
were neglected, though the minds of all were burning to take revenge,
rather than that injury should be effected with any loss to our
soldiers. Caesar despatches messengers to the neighbouring states; by
the hope of booty he invites all to him, for the purpose of plundering
the Eburones, in order that the life of the Gauls might be hazarded in
the woods rather than the legionary soldiers; at the same time, in order
that a large force being drawn around them, the race and name of that
state may be annihilated for such a crime. A large number from all
quarters speedily assembles.

XXXV.--These things were going on in all parts of the territories of the
Eburones, and the seventh day was drawing near, by which day Caesar had
purposed to return to the baggage and the legion. Here it might be
learned how much fortune achieves in war, and how great casualties she
produces. The enemy having been scattered and alarmed, as we related
above, there was no force which might produce even a slight occasion of
fear. The report extends beyond the Rhine to the Germans that the
Eburones are being pillaged, and that all were without distinction
invited to the plunder. The Sigambri, who are nearest to the Rhine, by
whom, we have mentioned above, the Tenchtheri and Usipetes were received
after their retreat, collect 2000 horse; they cross the Rhine in ships
and barks thirty miles below that place where the bridge was entire and
the garrison left by Caesar; they arrive at the frontiers of the
Eburones, surprise many who were scattered in flight, and get possession
of a large amount of cattle, of which barbarians are extremely covetous.
Allured by booty, they advance farther; neither morass nor forest
obstructs these men, born amidst war and depredations; they inquire of
their prisoners in what parts Caesar is; they find that he has advanced
farther, and learn that all the army has removed. Thereon one of the
prisoners says, "Why do you pursue such wretched and trifling spoil;
you, to whom it is granted to become even now most richly endowed by
fortune? In three hours you can reach Aduatuca; there the Roman army has
deposited all its fortunes; there is so little of a garrison that not
even the wall can be manned, nor dare any one go beyond the
fortifications." A hope having been presented them, the Germans leave in
concealment the plunder they had acquired; they themselves hasten to
Aduatuca, employing as their guide the same man by whose information
they had become informed of these things.

XXXVI.--Cicero, who during all the foregoing days had kept his soldiers
in camp with the greatest exactness, and agreeably to the injunctions of
Caesar, had not permitted even any of the camp-followers to go beyond
the fortification, distrusting on the seventh day that Caesar would keep
his promise as to the number of days, because he heard that he had
proceeded farther, and no report as to his return was brought to him,
and being urged at the same time by the expressions of those who called
his tolerance almost a siege, if, forsooth, it was not permitted them to
go out of the camp, since he might expect no disaster, whereby he could
be injured, within three miles of the camp, while nine legions and all
the cavalry were under arms, and the enemy scattered and almost
annihilated, sent five cohorts into the neighbouring cornlands, between
which and the camp only one hill intervened, for the purpose of
foraging. Many soldiers of the legions had been left invalided in the
camp, of whom those who had recovered in this space of time, being about
300, are set together under one standard; a large number of soldiers'
attendants besides, with a great number of beasts of burden, which had
remained in the camp, permission being granted, follow them.

XXXVII.--At this very time, the German horse by chance come up, and
immediately, with the same speed with which they had advanced, attempt
to force the camp at the Decuman gate, nor were they seen, in
consequence of woods lying in the way on that side, before they were
just reaching the camp: so much so, that the sutlers who had their
booths under the rampart had not an opportunity of retreating within the
camp. Our men, not anticipating it, are perplexed by the sudden affair,
and the cohort on the outpost scarcely sustains the first attack. The
enemy spread themselves on the other sides to ascertain if they could
find any access. Our men with difficulty defend the gates; the very
position of itself and the fortification secures the other accesses.
There is a panic in the entire camp, and one inquires of another the
cause of the confusion, nor do they readily determine whither the
standards should be borne, nor into what quarter each should betake
himself. One avows that the camp is already taken, another maintains
that, the enemy having destroyed the army and commander-in-chief, are
come thither as conquerors; most form strange superstitious fancies from
the spot, and place before their eyes the catastrophe of Cotta and
Titurius, who had fallen in the same fort. All being greatly
disconcerted by this alarm, the belief of the barbarians is strengthened
that there is no garrison within, as they had heard from their prisoner.
They endeavour to force an entrance and encourage one another not to
cast from their hands so valuable a prize.

XXXVIII.-P. Sextius Baculus, who had led a principal century under
Caesar (of whom we have made mention in previous engagements), had been
left an invalid in the garrison, and had now been five days without
food. He, distrusting his own safety and that of all, goes forth from
his tent unarmed; he sees that the enemy are close at hand and that the
matter is in the utmost danger; he snatches arms from those nearest, and
stations himself at the gate. The centurions of that cohort which was on
guard follow him; for a short time they sustain the fight together.
Sextius faints, after receiving many wounds; he is with difficulty
saved, drawn away by the hands of the soldiers. This space having
intervened, the others resume courage, so far as to venture to take
their place on the fortifications and present the aspect of defenders.

XXXIX.--The foraging having in the meantime been completed, our soldiers
distinctly hear the shout; the horse hasten on before and discover in
what danger the affair is. But here there is no fortification to receive
them, in their alarm: those last enlisted and unskilled in military
discipline turn their faces to the military tribune and the centurions;
they wait to find what orders may be given by them. No one is so
courageous as not to be disconcerted by the suddenness of the affair.
The barbarians, espying our standard in the distance, desist from the
attack; at first they suppose that the legions, which they had learned
from their prisoners had removed farther off, had returned; afterwards,
despising their small number, they make an attack on them at all sides.

XL.-The camp-followers run forward to the nearest rising ground; being
speedily driven from this they throw themselves among the standards and
companies: they thus so much the more alarm the soldiers already
affrighted. Some propose that, forming a wedge, they suddenly break
through, since the camp was so near; and if any part should be
surrounded and slain, they fully trust that at least the rest may be
saved; others, that they take their stand on an eminence, and all
undergo the same destiny. The veteran soldiers, whom we stated to have
set out together [with the others] under a standard, do not approve of
this. Therefore encouraging each other, under the conduct of Caius
Trebonius, a Roman knight, who had been appointed over them, they break
through the midst of the enemy, and arrive in the camp safe to a man.
The camp-attendants and the horse following close upon them with the
same impetuosity, are saved by the courage of the soldiers. But those
who had taken their stand upon the eminence having even now acquired no
experience of military matters, neither could persevere in that
resolution which they approved of, namely, to defend themselves from
their higher position, nor imitate that vigour and speed which they had
observed to have availed others; but, attempting to reach the camp, had
descended into an unfavourable situation. The Centurions, some of whom
had been promoted for their valour from the lower ranks of other legions
to higher ranks in this legion, in order that they might not forfeit
their glory for military exploits previously acquired, fell together
fighting most valiantly. The enemy having been dislodged by their
valour, a part of the soldiers arrived safe in camp contrary to their
expectations; a part perished, surrounded by the barbarians.

XLI.--The Germans, despairing of taking the camp by storm, because they
saw that our men had taken up their position on the fortifications,
retreated beyond the Rhine with that plunder which they had deposited in
the woods. And so great was the alarm, even after the departure of the
enemy, that when C. Volusenus, who had been sent with the cavalry,
arrived that night, he could not gain credence that. Caesar was close at
hand with his army safe. Fear had so pre-occupied the minds of all,
that, their reason being almost estranged, they said that all the other
forces having been cut off, the cavalry alone had arrived there by
flight, and asserted that, if the army were safe, the Germans would not
have attacked the camp: which fear the arrival of Caesar removed.

XLII.--He, on his return, being well aware of the casualties of war,
complained of one thing [only], namely, that the cohorts had been sent
away from the outposts and garrison [duty], and pointed out that room
ought not to have been left for even the most trivial casualty; that
fortune had exercised great influence in the sudden arrival of their
enemy; much greater, in that she had turned the barbarians away from the
very rampart and gates of the camp. Of all which events, it seemed the
most surprising that the Germans, who had crossed the Rhine with this
object, that they might plunder the territories of Ambiorix, being led
to the camp of the Romans, rendered Ambiorix a most acceptable service.

XLIII.--Caesar, having again marched to harass the enemy, after
collecting a large number [of auxiliaries] from the neighbouring states,
despatches them in all directions. All the villages and all the
buildings, which each beheld, were on fire: spoil was being driven off
from all parts; the corn not only was being consumed by so great numbers
of cattle and men, but also had fallen to the earth, owing to the time
of the year and the storms; so that if any had concealed themselves for
the present, still, it appeared likely that they must perish through
want of all things, when the army should be drawn off. And frequently it
came to that point, as so large a body of cavalry had been sent abroad
in all directions, that the prisoners declared Ambiorix had just then
been seen by them in flight, and had not even passed out of sight, so
that the hope of overtaking him being raised, and unbounded exertions
having been resorted to, those who thought they should acquire the
highest favour with Caesar, nearly overcame nature by their ardour, and
continually a little only seemed wanting to complete success; but he
rescued himself by [means of] lurking-places and forests, and, concealed
by the night, made for other districts and quarters, with no greater
guard than that of four horsemen, to whom alone he ventured to confide
his life.

XLIV.--Having devastated the country in such a manner, Caesar leads back
his army with the loss of two cohorts to Durocortorum of the Remi, and,
having summoned a council of Gaul to assemble at that place, he resolved
to hold an investigation respecting the conspiracy of the Senones and
Carnutes, and having pronounced a most severe sentence upon Acco, who
had been the contriver of that plot, he punished him after the custom of
our ancestors. Some fearing a trial, fled; when he had forbidden these
fire and water, he stationed in winter quarters two legions at the
frontiers of the Treviri, two among the Lingones, the remaining six at
Agendicum, in the territories of the Senones; and, having provided corn
for the army, he set out for Italy, as he had determined, to hold the

Julius Caesar

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