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Book II

This webpage reproduces part of
Gallic War

Julius Caesar

Loeb Classical Library

The text is in the public domain.

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Book IV

Gallic War

 p139  Book III

1 When he was starting for Italy, Caesar sent Servius Galba with the Twelfth Legion and a detachment of cavalry to the district of the Nantuates, Veragri, and Seduni, which reaches from the borders of the Allobroges, from the Lake of Geneva, and from the river Rhone to the summits of the Alps. The reason for sending him was that he wished to open up a route​1 through the Alps by which traders had been accustomed to travel, but at great risk and on payment of great tolls; and Caesar gave him permission to station his legion in this locality for the winter, if he thought it necessary. A certain number of successful engagements were fought; several of the enemy's forts were taken by storm; then deputies were sent to Galba from all sides, hostages given, and peace made. So Galba decided to station two cohorts in the district of the Nantuates, and to winter himself with the remaining cohorts of the legion in a hamlet of the Veragri called Octodurus. It is set in a valley, with no great space of level about it, and shut in all round by very lofty mountains. As the hamlet was divided in two by a river, Galba granted one part of it to the Gauls, and assigned the other, which the Gauls evacuated, to his cohorts to winter in. He fortified the place with rampart and trench.

 p141  2 Several days had passed in winter quarters, and Galba had given orders for cornº to be brought in from the neighbourhood when on a sudden his scouts informed him that in the night every soul had withdrawn from that part of the hamlet which he had granted to the Gauls, and that the heights overhanging were occupied by an enormous host of Seduni and Veragri. Several causes had contributed to make the Gauls suddenly adopt the plan of renewing the war and crushing the legion. In the first place, they despised the small numbers of a legion, from which, never at full establishment, two cohorts had been withdrawn, and a considerable number of private soldiers sent off to seek supplies. In the second place, they supposed that, because of the disadvantage of position, since they themselves would charge down from the heights into the valley and hurl their missiles, not even their first onset could be withstood. Moreover, they were indignant that their children had been taken away from them under the title of hostages; and they were convinced that the Romans were endeavouring to seize the peaks of the Alps and to add those districts to their neighbouring Province, not only for the sake of the routes, but to secure a permanent occupation.

3 This was the information received by Galba. Now he knew that the construction and entrenchment of the winter quarters were not fully completed, and that no adequate provision had been made for corn and supplies in general, because he had come to the conclusion that, as surrender had been made and hostages received, no warlike development was to be apprehended. He therefore summoned with speed a council of war, and proceeded to ask for expressions of opinion. The danger that had arisen  p143 was as serious as it was sudden and unexpected, and indeed by this time almost all higher ground was seen to be packed with a host of armed men, while, with the communications interrupted, reinforcements could not be attempted nor supplies brought up. In the council, therefore, the chance of safety was almost despaired of, and not a few opinions were expressed in favour of abandoning the baggage, making a sortie, and striving to win safety by the same routes which had brought them thither. None the less, the majority decided to reserve this expedient to the final emergency, and meanwhile to await the issue and defend the camp.

4 After a short interval — so short that it scarcely allowed time to complete the dispositions and arrangements determined upon — the enemy, upon a signal given, charged down from all sides, and hurled volleys of stones and javelins against the rampart. At first the Roman troops repelled them gallantly with strength unimpaired, and discharged not a missile in vain from their higher station;​2 and if any part of the camp was stripped of defenders and seemed to be hard pressed, they sped thither to render assistance. But they were at a disadvantage, because when any of the enemy, wearied by the long continuance of the battle, retired from the fighting line, others with strength unimpaired would step into their places; but nothing of the kind could be done by the Romans on account of their scantiness of numbers, and not only had a wearied man no chance of retiring from the battle, but not even a wounded man could leave the spot where he had been posted and look after himself.

 p145  5 The fighting actually went on for more than six hours on end, and not only the strength but the missiles of the Romans were failing; the enemy were pressing on more fiercely, and beginning, as our energies slackened, to break down the rampart and fill in the trench. At this juncture Publius Sextius Baculus, the senior centurion (whom we have mentioned​3 as disabled by several wounds in the battle with the Nervii), and with him Gaius Volusenus, a military tribune, a man of great sagacity and courage, hastened to Galba, and informed him that the only hope of safety was to try the last expedient in making a sortie. Galba accordingly summoned the centurions, and speedily instructed the troops to make a short pause in the fighting, and merely to intercept the missiles discharged against them, and to refresh themselves after their effort; then, upon a given signal, to burst from the camp and place all hope of safety in courage.

6 They did as they were bid; and suddenly from all the gates a sortie was made, leaving the enemy no chance of learning what was afoot, nor of rallying. So there was a complete change of fortune; the Romans surrounded on every side and slew the multitude which had come in hope of capturing the camp, and of more than thirty thousand men (for that was known to be the number of the natives who came against the camp) more than a third were slain, while the rest were driven in headlong flight, and not suffered to stand fast even on the higher ground. Thus all the forces of the enemy were routed, and the Romans, stripping off the arms of the slain, retired to their own entrenched camp. This battle  p147 over, Galba declined to try fortune too often: he remembered that there was a great difference between the purpose of his coming into winter quarters and the state of things which he had found, and he was very greatly concerned by the lack of corn and supplies. Accordingly, on the next day he caused all the buildings of that hamlet to be burnt, and made haste to return to the Province; and, as there was no enemy to hinder him or delay his march, he brought the legion safely into the territory of the Nantuates, and then into that of the Allobroges, and there wintered.

7 After these events Caesar had every reason to suppose that Gaul was at peace again, for the Belgae were defeated, the Germans driven out, and the Seduni in the Alpine region conquered; therefore after the beginning of winter he had set out for Illyricum, desiring to visit the tribes there also and to become acquainted with the country. But at this point war broke out suddenly in Gaul, of which the cause was as follows. Publius Crassus the younger with the Seventh Legion had been wintering by the Ocean in the country of the Andes. As there was a lack of corn in those parts, he despatched several commandants and tribunes into the neighbouring states to seek it. Of these officers Titus Terrasidius was sent among the Esubii, Marcus Trebius Gallus among the Curiosolites, Quintus Velanius with Titus Silius among the Veneti.

8 These Veneti exercise by far the most extensive authority over all the sea‑coast in those districts, for they have numerous ships, in which it is their custom to sail to Britain, and they excel the rest in the theory and practice of navigation. As the sea is very boisterous, and open, with but a few harbours here and  p149 there which they hold themselves, they have as tributaries almost all those whose custom is to sail that sea. It was the Veneti who took the first step, by detaining Silius and Velanius, supposing that through them they should recover their own hostages whom they had given to Crassus. Their authority induced their neighbours — for the Gauls are sudden and spasmodic in their designs — to detain Trebius and Terrasidius for the same reason, and, rapidly despatching deputies among their chiefs, they bound themselves by mutual oath to do nothing save by common consent, and to abide together the single issue of their destiny. Moreover, they urged the remaining states to choose rather to abide in the liberty received from their ancestors than to endure Roman slavery. The whole sea‑coast was rapidly won to their opinion, and they despatched a deputation in common to Publius Crassus, bidding him restore their hostages if he would receive back his own officers.

9 Caesar was informed by Crassus concerning these matters, and, as he himself was at some distance, he ordered men-of‑war to be built meanwhile on the river Loire, which flows into the Ocean, rowers to be drafted from the Province, seamen and steersmen to be got together. These requirements were rapidly executed, and so soon as the season allowed he himself hastened to join the army. The Veneti and likewise the rest of the states were informed of Caesar's coming, and at the same time they perceived the magnitude of their offence — they had detained and cast into prison deputies, men whose title had ever been sacred and inviolable among all nations. Therefore, as the danger was great, they began to prepare for war on a corresponding scale, and especially to provide naval equipment, and the more  p151 hopefully because they relied much on the nature of the country. They knew that on land the roads were intersected by estuaries, that our navigation was hampered by ignorance of the locality and by the scarcity of harbours, and they trusted that the Roman armies would be unable to remain long in their neighbourhood by reason of the lack of corn. Moreover, they felt that, even though everything should turn out contrary to expectation, they were predominant in sea‑power, while the Romans had no supply of ships, no knowledge of the shoals, harbours, or islands in the region where they were about to wage war; and they​4 could see that navigation on a land-locked sea was quite different from navigation on an Ocean very vast and open. Therefore, having adopted this plan, they fortified their towns, gathered corn thither from the fields, and assembled as many ships as possible in Venetia, where it was known that Caesar would begin the campaign. As allies for the war they took to themselves the Osismi, the Lexovii, the Namnetes, the Ambiliati, the Morini, the Diablintes, and the Menapii; and they sent to fetch auxiliaries from Britain, which lies opposite those regions.

10 The difficulties of the campaign were such as we have shown above; but, nevertheless, many considerations moved Caesar to undertake it. Such were the outrageous detention of Roman knights, the renewal of war after surrender, the revolt after hostages given, the conspiracy of so many states — and, above all, the fear that if this district were not dealt with the other nations might suppose they had the same liberty. He knew well enough that almost all the Gauls were bent on revolution, and could be recklessly and rapidly aroused to war; he knew also that all men are  p153 naturally bent on liberty, and hate the state of slavery. And therefore he deemed it proper to divide his army and disperse it at wider intervals before more states could join the conspiracy.

11 Accordingly he despatched Titus Labienus, lieutenant-general, with the cavalry to the territory of the Treveri, who live next the river Rhine. His instructions were to visit the Remi and the rest of the Belgae, and to keep them loyal, and to hold back the Germans, who were said to have been summoned by the Belgae to their assistance, in case they should endeavour to force the passage of the river by boats. Publius Crassus, with twelve cohorts from the legions and a large detachment of cavalry, was ordered to start for Aquitania, to prevent the despatch of auxiliaries from the tribes there into Gaul, and the junction of the two great nations. Quintus Titurius Sabinus, lieutenant-general, was despatched with three legions to the territory of the Venelli, the Curiosolites, and the Lexovii, to keep that force away from the rest. Decimus Brutus the younger was put in command of the fleet, and of the Gallic ships already ordered to assemble from the territory of the Pictones, the Santoni, and the others now pacified, and was ordered to start as soon as possible for the country of the Veneti, whither Caesar himself hastened with the land force.

12 The positions of the strongholds were generally of one kind. They were set at the end of tongues and promontories, so as to allow no approach on foot, when the tide had rushed in from the sea — which regularly happens every twelve hours — nor in ships, because when the tide ebbed again the ships would be damaged in shoal water. Both circumstances, therefore, hindered the assault of the strongholds;  p155 and, whenever the natives were in fact overcome by huge siege-works — that is to say, when the sea had been set back by a massive mole built up level to the town-walls — and so began to despair of their fortunes, they would bring close inshore a large number of ships, of which they possessed an unlimited supply, and take off all their stuff and retire to the nearest strongholds, there to defend themselves again with the same advantages of position. They pursued these tactics for a great part of the summer the more easily because our own ships were detained by foul weather, and because the difficulty of navigation on a vast and open sea, with strong tides and few — nay, scarcely any — harbours, was extreme.

13 Not so the ships of the Gauls, for they were built and equipped in the following fashion. Their keels were considerably more flat than those of our own ships, that they might more easily weather shoals and ebb‑tide. Their prows were very lofty, and their sterns were similarly adapted to meet the force of waves and storms. The ships were made entirely of oak, to endure any violence and buffeting. The cross-pieces were beams a foot thick, fastened with iron nails as thick as a thumb. The anchors were attached by iron chains instead of cables. Skins and pieces of leather finely finished were used instead of sails, either because the natives had no supply of flax and no knowledge of its use, or, more probably, because they thought that the mighty ocean-storms and hurricanes could not be ridden out, nor the mighty burden of their ships conveniently controlled, by means of sails. When our own fleet encountered these ships it proved its superiority only in speed and oarsman­ship; in all other respects, having regard  p157 to the locality and the force of the tempests, the others were more suitable and adaptable. For our ships could not damage them with the ram (they were so stoutly built), nor, by reason of their height, was it easy to hurl a pike, and for the same reason they were less readily gripped by grapnels. Moreover, when the wind began to rage and they ran before it, they endured the storm more easily, and rested in shoals more safely, with no fear of rocks or crags if left by the tide; whereas our own vessels could not but dread the possibility of all these chances.

14 Caesar had taken several towns by assault, when he perceived that all his labour availed nothing, since the flight of the enemy could not be checked by the capture of towns, nor damage done to them; accordingly he determined to await the fleet. It assembled in due course, and so soon as it was sighted by the enemy about two hundred and twenty of their ships, fully prepared and provided with every kind of equipment, sailed out of harbour and took station opposite ours. Brutus, who commanded the fleet, and his tribunes and centurions in charge of single ships, were by no means certain what to do or what plan of battle they were to pursue. For our commanders knew the enemy could not be damaged by the ram; while, even when turrets were set up on board, the lofty sterns of the native ships commanded even these, so that from the lower level missiles could not be hurled properly, while those discharged by the Gauls gained a heavier impact. One device our men had prepared to great advantage — sharp-pointed hooks let in and fastened to long poles, in shape not unlike siege-hooks. When by these contrivances the halyards which fastened the yards  p159 to the masts were caught and drawn taut, the ship was rowed hard ahead and they were snapped short. With the halyards cut, the yards of necessity fell down; and as all the hope of the Gallic ships lay in their sails and tackle, when those were torn away all chance of using their ships was taken away also. The rest of the conflict was a question of courage, in which our own troops easily had the advantage — the more so because the engagement took place in sight of Caesar and of the whole army, so that no exploit a little more gallant than the rest could escape notice. The army, in fact, was occupying all the hills and higher ground from which there was a near view down upon the sea.

15 When the yards had been torn down as described, and each ship was surrounded by two or three, the troops strove with the utmost force to climb on to the enemy's ships. When several of them had been boarded, the natives saw what was toward; and, as they could think of no device to meet it, they hastened to seek safety in flight. And they had headed all their vessels down the wind, when suddenly a calm so complete and absolute came on that they could not stir from the spot. This circumstance was in the highest degree fortunate for the settlement of the business, for our troops pursued and boarded the vessels one by one, with the result that of all the number very few, when night came on, reached the land. The battle, indeed, lasted from about the fourth hour to sunset.

16 This engagement finished the campaign against the Veneti and the whole sea‑coast. For, on the one hand, all the fighting men, nay, all the older men who had any sagacity or distinction, had there assembled; on the other, they had collected in one  p161 place every single ship they had anywhere; and after such losses​5 the rest of their men had no point to retire to, no means of defending the towns. Accordingly they surrendered themselves and all they had to Caesar. He decided that their punishment must be the more severe in order that the privilege of deputies might be more carefully preserved by the natives for the future. He therefore put the whole of their senate to the sword, and sold the rest of the men as slaves.

17 During these events in the land of the Veneti Quintus Titurius Sabinus, with the force received from Caesar, reached the borders of the Venelli. Their chief, Viridovix, held the supreme command of all the revolted states, from which he had raised an army, and large levies​6 besides. Further, in the last few days the Aulerci, Eburovices, and the Lexovii, after putting their senate to death because they refused to approve the war, closed their gates and joined Viridovix. Moreover, from every corner of Gaul a great host of desperadoes and brigands had gathered, whom the hope of plunder and the passion for war seduced from the daily toil of agriculture. Sabinus confined himself to camp, in a spot suited for any emergency. Viridovix had encamped against him two miles away, and daily led out his forces to give him a chance of fighting, so that at last Sabinus not only incurred the contempt of the enemy, but was assailed by occasional reproaches even of the Roman troops; indeed, he created so strong an impression of cowardice that at length the enemy ventured to come up to the rampart of the camp. He pursued these tactics  p163 because he deemed it improper for a lieutenant-general to fight an engagement with so large a host of the enemy, especially in the absence of his commander-in‑chief, unless on favourable ground or on some opportunity offered.

18 When this impression of timidity had been confirmed, he chose out a fit man and a cunning, one of the Gauls whom he had with him as auxiliaries. He induced him by great rewards and promises to go over to the enemy, and instructed him in what he would have done. When the pretended deserter had reached the enemy, he set before them the timidity of the Romans, explained to them how Caesar himself was in straits and hard pressed by the Veneti, and told them that no later than next night Sabinus was to lead his army secretly out of his camp and to set out to the assistance of Caesar. Upon hearing this, they all cried with one consent that the chance of successful achievement should not be lost — that they should march upon the camp. Many considerations encouraged the Gauls to this course: the hesitation of Sabinus during the previous days, the confirmation given by the deserter, the lack of victuals (for which they had made too careless a provision), the hope inspired by the Venetian war, and the general readiness of men to believe what they wish. With these thoughts to spur them on, they would not suffer Viridovix and the rest of the leaders to leave the council until they had their permission to take up arms and press on to the camp. Rejoicing at the permission given as though at victory assured, they collected faggots and brushwood to fill up the trenches of the Romans and marched on the camp.

 p165  19 The position of the camp was on high ground, with a gradual slope from the bottom of about a mile. Hither the Gauls hastened at great speed to give the Romans the least possible time to assemble and to arm; and they arrived out of breath. Sabinus exhorted his troops, and gave the signal which they longed for. The enemy were hampered by reason of the burdens which they were carrying, and he ordered a sudden sortie to be made from two gates. The order was executed with the advantage of ground; the enemy were inexperienced and fatigued, the Romans courageous and schooled by previous engagements. The result was that without standing even one of our attacks the Gauls immediately turned and ran. Hampered as they were, our troops pursued them with strength unimpaired and slew a great number of them; the rest our cavalry chased and caught, and left but a few, who had got away from the rout. So it chanced that in the same hour Sabinus learnt of the naval battle, and Caesar of Sabinus' victory; and all the states at once surrendered to Sabinus. For while the temper of the Gauls is eager and ready to undertake a campaign, their purpose is feeble and in no way steadfast to endure disasters.

20 About this time Publius Crassus had reached Aquitania, a district which, as has been said before, for extent of territory and number of inhabitants is to be reckoned as a third part of Gaul. He understood that he was to conduct a campaign in the localities where a few years before Lucius Valerius Praeconinus, the lieutenant-general, had been defeated and slain, and from which the proconsul Lucius Mallius had escaped with the loss of his baggage; he understood, therefore, that he must  p167 exercise no common care. Accordingly he provided a supply of corn, he collected auxiliaries and cavalry, and he further called up singly many brave men from Toulouse and Narbonne, communities of the Province of Gaul adjacent to the regions concerned; he then marched his army into the borders of the Sotiates. Hearing of his approach, the Sotiates collected a large force, with cavalry, in which lay their chief strength, and attacked our column on the march. First of all they engaged in a cavalry combat; then, when their cavalry were beaten, and ours pursued, they suddenly unmasked their infantry force, which they had posted in ambush in a valley. The infantry attacked our scattered horsemen and renewed the fight.

21 The battle was long and fierce. The Sotiates, with the confidence of previous victories, felt that upon their own courage depended the safety of all Aquitania: the Romans were eager to have it seen what they could accomplish under a young leader without the commander-in‑chief and the rest of the legions. At last, however, after heavy casualties the enemy fled from the field. A large number of them were slain; and then Crassus turned direct from his march and began to attack the stronghold of the Sotiates. When they offered a brave resistance he brought up mantlets and towers.​7 The enemy at one time attempted a sortie, at another pushed mines as far as the ramp and the mantlets — and in mining the Aquitani are by far the most experienced of men, because in many localities among them there are copper-mines and diggings. When they perceived that by reason of the efficiency of our troops no advantage was to be gained by these expedients,  p169 they sent deputies to Crassus and besought him to accept their surrender.

22 Their request was granted, and they proceeded to deliver up their arms as ordered. Then, while the attention of all our troops was engaged upon that business, Adiatunnus, the commander-in‑chief, took action from another quarter of the town with six hundred devotees, whom they call vassals. The rule of these men is that in life they enjoy all benefits with the comrades to whose friendship they have committed themselves, while if any violent fate befalls their fellows, they either endure the same misfortune along with them or take their own lives; and no one yet in the memory of man has been found to refuse death, after the slaughter of the comrade to whose friendship he had devoted himself. With these men Adiatunnus tried to make a sortie; but a shout was raised on that side of the entrenchment, the troops ran to arms, and a sharp engagement was fought there. Adiatunnus was driven back into the town; but, for all that, he begged and obtained from Crassus the same terms of surrender as at first.

23 After receiving arms and hostages Crassus set his march for the borders of the Vocates and the Tarusates. At this juncture the natives, alarmed by the information that a town fortified alike by natural position and by the hand of man had been carried within a few days of his arrival, began to send deputies about in every direction, to conspire together, to deliver hostages to each other, and to make ready a force. They even sent deputies to those states of Nearer Spain which border on Aquitania, inviting succours and leaders from thence. Upon their arrival they attempted the campaign with great prestige and a great host of men. And  p171 as their leaders for the same they selected men who had served for the whole period with Quintus Sertorius and were believed to be past masters of war. These leaders, in Roman fashion, set to work to take up positions, to entrench a camp, and to cut off our supplies. Crassus remarked that his own force by reason of its slender numbers could not easily be split up, while the enemy could range at will, beset the roads, and yet leave sufficient garrison for their camp; and that for this reason his corn and supplies were less conveniently brought up, while the numbers of the enemy daily increased: he therefore considered that he must not delay to fight a decisive battle. He referred the question to a council of war; and, perceiving that all were agreed, he appointed the following day for the battle.

24 At dawn he brought out all his force and formed double line, with the auxiliaries massed in the centre; then he waited to see what plan the enemy would adopt. Although they considered that they could fight an action safely by reason of their numbers and their past glory in war and the smallness of the Roman force, they still thought it safer to close the roads and cut off supplies, and so to secure victory without bloodshed. And further, if through lack of corn the Romans began to retire, they had it in mind to attack them when they were encumbered in column by the weight of their packs, so that their spirit would be weaker. This plan was approved by their leaders; therefore, when the Roman force was brought out, they kept in camp. Crassus perceived this; and, inasmuch as the enemy by their hesitation had created an impression of timidity and increased the eagerness of our soldiers for action, and a general protest was heard against longer delay before an  p173 advance on the camp, he harangued his troops, and then amid general enthusiasm he pressed on to the enemy's camp.

25 Arrived there, some proceeded to fill up the trenches, others by many volleys of missiles to clear the defenders from the rampart and fortifications, while the auxiliaries, in whom Crassus had no great confidence for actual fighting, by handing up stones and missiles and carrying sods to make a ramp, gave the appearance and impression of fighting troops. Meanwhile the enemy, for their part, fought in no irresolute or cowardly fashion, and their missiles discharged from a higher level fell to some purpose. A party of cavalry, however, having moved round the enemy's camp, reported to Crassus that it was not fortified with the same care on the rear side, and might easily be approached there.

26 Crassus exhorted the cavalry commanders to incite their men by great rewards and promises, and showed what he would have done. In accordance with his orders they led out the cohorts which had been left to guard the camp and were unwearied by exertion; and, having led them a long way round, so as not to be seen from the enemy's camp, they rapidly reached the fortifications above mentioned while the eyes and attention of all were set on the actual fight. They threw down the fortifications, and established themselves in the enemy's camp before they could be clearly seen by them or their action perceived. But when shouting was heard in that quarter the Romans, with strength renewed, began, as is frequent and usual where there is hope of victory, to assault the more vigorously. The enemy, surrounded on all sides and in utter despair, hastened to lower themselves over the fortifications and to seek safety  p175 in flight. The cavalry chased them over plains wholly without shelter; and of fifty thousand, the number known to have assembled from Aquitania and the Cantabrian country, they had left scarce a quarter when they returned to camp late at night.

27 Upon hearing of this battle the greatest part of Aquitania surrendered to Crassus, and of its own motion sent hostages, among whom were representatives of the Tarbelli, Bigerriones, Ptianii, Vocates, Tarusates, Elusates, Gates, Ausci, Garumni, Sibuzates, Cocosates. A few of the most distant tribes, trusting in the season, as winter was at hand, omitted to do this.

28 In the general pacification of Gaul the Morini and Menapii remained under arms, and had never sent deputies to Caesar to treat for peace. About this same time, although the summer was almost over, he led his army against them, believing that the campaign could be speedily completed. These tribes, however, started upon the campaign with tactics quite different from the rest of the Gauls. For, perceiving that the most powerful tribes which had fought an action had been beaten and vanquished, and possessing continuous forests and marshes, they conveyed themselves and all their stuff thither. Caesar reached the outskirts of these forests, and determined to entrench a camp, having in the meanwhile seen nothing of the enemy. When, however, our men were scattered at work, the enemy suddenly dashed out of all parts of the forest and charged our troops. These speedily took up arms, and drove the enemy back into the forests: a considerable number of them were slain, but as the Romans pursued too far in almost impassable places they lost a few of their own side.

 p177  In the days then remaining Caesar set to work to cut down the forests, and, to prevent any flank attack on troops unarmed and unprepared, he placed all the timber felled on the side toward the enemy, and also piled it as a rampart on both flanks. With incredible rapidity a great space was cleared in a few days, until the enemy's cattle and the rearward of their baggage were in our keeping, while they themselves sought the denser forests. But then such storms ensued that the work was of necessity interrupted, and the continual rains made it impossible to keep the troops longer under canvas. Accordingly, after laying waste all the fields of the enemy, and burning villages and farm-buildings, Caesar brought back his army, and placed it in winter quarters among the Aulerci, the Lexovii, and the rest of the states which had recently waged war.

The Editor's Notes:

1 i.e. over the Great St. Bernard.

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2 i.e. from the "command" of the rampart.

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3 II.25.

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4 The Veneti.

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5 i.e. of both men and ships.

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6 i.e. of irregular forces: but many delete magnasque copias.

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7 See Appendix A.

Page updated: 9 Nov 13