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This webpage reproduces
The Spanish War

by an unknown author, attached to the name of
Julius Caesar

Loeb Classical Library
1955

The text is in the public domain.

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

p311 Caesar
Spanish War


[image ALT: A map of Baetica (a region of southern Spain) in the time of the war between Caesar and Pompey.]

Thayer's Note: The map — a larger, fully readable version (836K) opens in a separate window — is from the end of the volume, where it is titled "Map 6". I've added the Google map of the area today; at a somewhat different scale, unavoidably.

1 Now that Pharnaces had been overcome and Africa recovered, and those who had made good their escape from these battles with the young Cn. Pompeius1 had . . . and he had gained possession of Further Spain, while Caesar was occupied in Italy exhibiting games, . . . to make it easier to gather together defensive forces for the purposes of resistance, Pompeius proceeded to throw himself upon the protection of each individual state. However in this way mustered a good large force, partly by entreaties, partly by violent measures, he was now playing havoc with the province. In these circumstances some states sent reinforcements of their own accord, while on the other hand some shut their gates against him. And if, whenever he took any of their towns by force, there was any rich citizen of that township who had deserved well of Cn. Pompeius, yet in view of his great wealth some other charge would always be brought against him, in order that he might be done away with and his money used to provide a handsome share‑out for the plunderers. This policy enabled a p313few men to reap profits on the enemy side, and their resources correspondingly increased; whereas its effect upon the states opposed to Pompeius was to make them send more frequent messages to Italy urgently requesting assistance to be sent to them.

2 C. Caesar, who was now in his third dictatorship and had been appointed to a fourth, had had much business to complete before he took to the road; but this was now disposed of, and he had come post haste to Spain to finish off the war. Envoys from those in Corduba who had deserted the cause of Cn. Pompeius had met Caesar and now reported that the town of Corduba could be captured by night, because it was by surprise that Pompeius had mastered his rivals in that province, and moreover, Pompeius himself had revealed his own fears of Caesar's arrival by the fact that he had posted couriers at all points to notify him of Caesar's coming. They also advanced many other plausible reasons besides this. Caesar was thereby encouraged and informed Q. Pedius and Q. Fabius Maximus, the two officers he had previously appointed to command his army, that he had arrived, adding instructions that the cavalry which had been raised in the province should support him. But he came up with them more expeditiously than they themselves anticipated, and so did not have the cavalry to support him as he himself had wished.

3 At the same time there was the brother, Sextus Pompeius, who was holding Corduba with a garrison force, that town being regarded as the capital of the province; whereas the young Cn. Pompeius himself was attacking the town of Ulia, and had now been engaged there for some months or so. On learning p315of Caesar's arrival, envoys left this town unbeknown to Cn. Pompeius' outposts, came to Caesar, and proceeded to entreat him to send them help at the earliest opportunity. Caesar, who was aware that the township in question had always deserved well of the Roman people, promptly gave orders that six infantry cohorts and a corresponding number of cavalry should set out at the second watch; and in command of them he put L. Vibius Paciaecus, a well-known member of that province, and one that knew it pretty well.2 Now it so chanced that at the very time he came to Cn. Pompeius's outposts he was beset by bad weather and a violent gale. So severe was the storm and so dark did it make the approaches to the town that they could scarcely recognise their next-door neighbours. To them indeed this drawback proved of the utmost advantage. And so, when they had got thus far, he bade the horsemen go up in file,3 and they pushed rapidly forward to the town straight through their opponent's positions. When they were in the middle of their positions someone asked who they were; and one of our men told the questioner to hold his tongue: 'just at the moment they were trying to come up to the wall so as to capture the town.' It was in fact partly the disconcerting effect of this reply, partly the difficulties of the storm, which prevented the sentries from displaying proper attention to their duties. When they came up to the gate they gave the pass-word and were admitted by the townsfolk: the infantry were deployed in various sectors of the town and p317stayed inside, while the cavalry raised a shout and sallied forth against the enemy camp. Thus, in the course of this operation, which had taken the enemy unawares, well nigh the majority of the troops in this camp thought they were as good as captured.

4 Having despatched this relief force to Ulia, Caesar marched to Corduba with the object of inducing Pompeius to abandon his assault of Ulia; and while on the march he sent on ahead some heavy-armed infantry troops — brave soldiers — accompanied by cavalry. No sooner had they come within sight of the town than they all took to the horses; but this manoeuvre it was quite impossible for the men of Corduba to observe. Now as they were approaching Corduba, a good large force came out of the town and cut the cavalry to pieces, and the heavy-armed infantry we have just mentioned now dismounted. They then fought a great battle, to such effect that out of the countless host but few men retired back into the town. In his alarm at this reverse Sextus Pompeius was constrained to send a despatch to his brother urging him to come promptly to his aid, to prevent Caesar's capturing Corduba before Gnaeus himself could arrive there. Accordingly, though Cn. Pompeius had almost captured Ulia, he was disturbed by his brother's despatch and proceeded to march to Corduba with his forces.

5 When Caesar came to the river Baetis he could not cross it owing to the depth of the stream; so he lowered into it wicker baskets filled with stones, laid beams on top of them, and thus made a bridge, by which he brought his forces across to a camp divided into three sections. He was now encamped over against the town in the area of the bridge, and p319his camp was, as we have just mentioned, divided into three sections. When Pompeius arrived there with his forces he pitched a camp on the same principle on the opposite side. In order to cut him off from the town and the supplies it afforded, Caesar began to carry a line of fortifications to the bridge,4 and Pompeius adopted tactics on similar lines. Whereupon a race took place between the two commanders as to which of them should seize the bridge first; and this race gave rise to daily skirmishes on a small scale in which now our troops, now theirs, would come out on top. This situation had now developed into a more intensive struggle, and both sides being more passionately bent on holding their ground had embarked upon hand-to‑hand fighting and formed a solid mass near the bridge; and as they approach the river's banks they were flung headlong into it, packed tightly as they were. At this point the two sides vied with each other not merely in piling one death upon another but in matching mound of dead with mound.5 Several days were passed in this fashion, and Caesar was anxious to bring his opponents down to favourable ground, if by any means he could do so, and fight a decisive action at the earliest opportunity.

6 Observing that his opponents were by no means willing to do this, Caesar led his forces across the river and ordered large fires to be lit at night, so as p321to entice them into the plain just as he had drawn them away from Ulia; and in this manner he set out for Ategua, the strongest garrison of Pompeius. When Pompeius got to know of this from deserters, on the first day that afforded him the opportunity he quitted the mountain passes and retired to Corduba with a numerous train of carts and laden mules.6 Caesar began to assault Ategua by surrounding it with siege works and fortified lines. Now a message had been brought to him concerning Pompeius to the effect that he was setting out that day; and by way of safeguarding himself against Pompeius' coming Caesar had occupied several forts where in some cases cavalry, in others infantry forces could be posted as outlying pickets and sentries to protect his camp: yet, in these circumstances, it so chanced that when Pompeius did arrive there was a very thick mist in the early morning. And so in the resulting gloom the Pompeians surrounded Caesar's cavalry with a number of infantry cohorts and squadrons of horse, and cut them up so severely that but few men barely managed to escape that massacre.

7 The following night Pompeius burned his camp and, passing through the valleys on the far side7 of the river Salsum, established a camp on a hill between the two towns of Ategua and Ucubi. Meanwhile Caesar had completed his emplacements and all his other dispositions which were required for assaulting the town, and proceeded to carry forward a ramp furnished with mantlets. Now this area is mountainous and offers natural obstructions to military operations: it is divided by a plain — the basin of the river p323Salsum — in such a way, however, that the river is nearest Ategua, the distance being about two miles.8 It was in this direction, namely that of Ategua, that Pompeius had his camp pitched in the mountains in sight of both towns, without, however, venturing to come to the aid of his comrades. He had the eagles and standards of thirteen legions; but among those which he thought afforded him any solid support two were native legions, having deserted from Trebonius; a third had been raised from the local Roman settlers; a fourth was one which was once commanded by Afranius and which Pompeius had brought with him from Africa;9 while the rest were made up of runaways or auxiliaries. As for light-armed units and cavalry, our troops were in fact far superior both in quality and quantity.

8 Besides this, there was another factor which prompted Pompeius to protract hostilities10 — the hilly type of country by no means unsuitable for the fortification of camps. In fact, practically the whole region of Further Spain, fertile as it is and correspondingly well watered, makes a siege a fruitless p325and difficult task. Here too, in view of the constant sallies of the natives, all places which are remote from towns are firmly held by towers and fortifications, as in Africa, roofed over with rough-cast, not tiles. Moreover, they have watch-towers in them, commanding a view far and wide by reason of their altitude. Again, a large proportion of the towns of this private are more or less protected by the mountains and are established in naturally elevated positions, with the result that the approach to them, involving as it does a simultaneous climb, proves a difficult task. Thus it is their natural position that holds them aloof from sieges, and as a result the townships of Spain are no easy prey to an enemy, as proved to be the case in this war. To take the present instance: Pompeius had his camp established between the above-mentioned towns of Ategua and Ucubi, in sight of both of them; and some four miles distant from his camp there lies a hillock — a natural elevation which goes by the name of the Camp of Postumius;11 and there Caesar had established a fort for purposes of defence.

9 Now Pompeius observed that this fort was screened by its natural position on the same ridge of hills and was some distance away from Caesar's camp; and he further observed that Caesar, cut off as he was from it by the river Salsum, was not likely to let himself be committed to sending support, considering the very difficult character of the ground. Accordingly, with the courage of his convictions, he set out at the third watch and proceeded to attack the fort. On their approach they suddenly raised a shout and began to launch heavy volleys of missile weapons, with the result that they wounded a large proportion p327of the defenders. Whereupon the latter began to fight back from the fort; and when the tidings were brought to Caesar in his main camp he set out with three legions to succour our hard-pressed troops. When he reached them the enemy retired in rout and panic,12 with many killed and several captured, including two centurions. Many in addition threw away their arms and fled, and eighty of their shields were brought back by our men.

10 On the following day Arguetius arrived with cavalry from Italy. He brought with him five standards belonging to the men of Saguntia,13 which he took from the inhabitants of that town. I omitted to mention in its proper place the arrival of the cavalry who came to Caesar from Italy with Asprenas. That night Pompeius burned his camp and proceeded to march towards Corduba.14 A king named Indo, who had accompanied the cavalry, bringing with him troops of his own, pursued the enemy's column somewhat too eagerly, and in the process was cut off and killed by troops of the native legions.

11 On the next day our cavalry fared somewhat far afield in the direction of Corduba in pursuit of those who were carrying supplies from the town to Pompeius' camp. Fifty of the latter were captured and brought with their pack animals to our camp. That day Q. Marcius, who was one of Pompeius' military tribunes, deserted to us. At the third watch of the night there was very sharp fighting in the area of the p329town, and many fire-brands were discharged. Just before this time15 a Roman knight named C. Fundanius deserted to us from the enemy lines.

12 On the next day two soldiers from one of the native legions were captured by our cavalry: they asserted they were slaves. Immediately on their arrival they were recognised by troops who had formerly been with Fabius and Pedius and had deserted from Trebonius.16 No opportunity was afforded of reprieving them, and they were executed by our troops. At the same time some couriers were captured who had been sent from Corduba to Pompeius and had come to our camp in error: their hands were cut off and they were then let go. At the second watch the enemy observed his usual custom of hurling from the town a large quantity of fire-brands and missiles, spending a good long time in the process and wounding a large number. When the night had now passed they made a sally against the Sixth legion when our men were busily occupied on a field-work,17 and began a brisk engagement; but their sharp attack was contained by our troops despite the support which the townsmen derived from the higher ground. Having once embarked upon their sally, our opponents were none the less repulsed by the gallantry of our troops, although the p331latter were labouring under the disadvantage of a lower position; and after sustaining very heavy casualties they withdrew back into the town.

13 On the next day Pompeius began to carry a line of fortifications from his camp to the river Salsum; and when a few of our horsemen on outpost duty were discovered by the enemy, who were in greater strength, they were driven from their post, and three of them were killed. It was on that day that A. Valgius — his father was a senator and his brother was in Pompeius' camp — left all his kit behind, mounted his horse and deserted. A spy from the Second legion, on Pompeius' side,18 was captured by our troops and put to death; and at the same time a sling-bullet was discharged which bore the following inscription: 'On the day you advance to capture the town I shall lay down my shield.'19 This raised hopes in some of our men, who, feeling confident that they could now climb the wall and gain possession of the town without danger, proceeded on the next day to construct a field-work adjoining the wall; and having demolished a good large section of the first wall, . . . Whereupon, their lives being spared by the townsfolk as if they belonged to their own side,20 . . . the latter begged Caesar to get p333rid of the heavy-armed troops who had been put in charge of the defence of the town by Pompeius. Caesar's reply to them was that his habit was to impose conditions, not to accept them. On their return to the town with this reply, the inhabitants raised a shout, discharged volleys of missiles of all sorts, and went into action along the entire circuit of the battlements; and this led to a strong conviction among quite a large number of the men in our lines that they would make a sally that day. As a result a cordon of troops was thrown round the town and very violent fighting went on for some time; in the course of which a missile was discharged by our men from apiece of heavy artillery and demolished a tower, knocking out five members of the enemy crew who manned distant, as well as a slave whose regular duty it was to keep watch on that piece of artillery.

14 Earlier on that day21 Pompeius established a fort across22 the river Salsum without meeting any opposition from our troops; and this put him under a misapprehension and led him to boast inasmuch as he had occupied a position which was as good as in our territory. Likewise on the following day he again pursued his usual tactics and made a fairly extensive sweep, in the course of which at one point where our cavalry were picketed several squadrons of ours with some light-armed troops were attacked and dislodged from their position; and then, because of their small numbers, both our horsemen and the light-armed troops were completely crushed amidst the squadrons of their opponents. This action took place in view of both camps, and now the Pompeians were boasting with yet greater triumph on the ground that they had begun to p335sweep further ahead while our men were retreating further back. But when on favourable ground our men took them on again with their customary outstanding gallantry, they cried out and refused to engage battle.23

15 With nearly all armies what normally happens in a cavalry battle is this: when a cavalryman is once dismounted and closes in with an infantryman to engage him, he is not by any means regarded as a match for the latter. However, it uttered out quite otherwise in this battle. When picked light-armed infantry took our cavalry by surprise by coming forward to engage them, and when this manoeuvre was observed in the course of the fighting, quite a number of our horsemen dismounted. As a result, in a short time our cavalry began to fight an infantry action, to such good purpose that they dealt death right up close to the rampart. In this battle24 on our opponents' side there fell one hundred and twenty-three men; and of those who were driven back to their camp not a few had been stripped of their arms and many were wounded. On our side there fell three men; twelve infantrymen and five horsemen were wounded. Later on that day the old routine p337was observed and fighting broke out along the battlements. After discharging a very large number of missile weapons and firebrands at our troops, who were on the defensive, the enemy embarked upon an abominable and completely ruthless outrage; for in our sight they proceeded to massacre some of their hosts25 in the town, and to fling them headlong from the battlements — a barbarous act, and one for which history can produce no precedent.

16 In the closing hours of this day the Pompeians sent a courier, without the knowledge of our men, with instructions that in the course of that night those in the town should set our towers and rampart on fire and make a sally at the third watch. Accordingly, after they had hurled fire-brands and a quantity of missile weapons and spent a very large part of the night in so doing, they opened the gate which lay directly opposite Pompeius' camp and was in sight of it, and made a sally with their entire forces. With them they brought out brushwood and hurdles to fill up the trenches, as well as hooks for demolishing and then burning the straw-thatched huts which had been built by our men to serve as winter quarters; they also brought silver and clothing besides, so that, while our men were busily engaged in looting it, they could wreak havoc upon them and then retire to Pompeius' lines. For in the belief that they could carry through their enterprise he spent the whole night on the move in battle formation on the far side26 of the river Salsum. But although this operation had come as a surprise to our men, yet, relying on their valour, they repulsed the enemy, inflicted heavy casualties upon them, and drove them back to the town,27 taking possession of their booty and p339equipment and capturing some alive, who were put to death the next day. It was at this same period that a deserter arrived from the town with the news that, after the massacre of the townsfolk, Junius, who had been in a mine,28 protested that it was an abominable crime and outrage that his people had committed; for inasmuch as the burghers had given them the protection of their altars and hearths they had done nothing to deserve such punishment: rather had they themselves polluted hospitality by a crime. Junius had said a lot more besides, according to the deserter's account, and his words had frightened them and caused them to refrain from further massacres.

17 So the next day Tullius came as an envoy, accompanied by Cato and Antonius, and held talk with Caesar as follows: 'Would indeed that the immortal gods had caused me to have become a soldier of yours, rather than one of Pompeius', and vouchsafed that I should now display this unflinching valour of mine on your victorious side, and not at his debacle. Now that his prestige, fraught with disaster, has slumped so far that in this our present plight we, citizens of Rome, not only stand in need of protection, but on account of the grievous calamity of our country are accorded the status of public enemies; we, who alike won no success either when at first fortune smiled upon his deeds of arms or later when she frowned upon them; we, who have constantly borne up under so many attacks of legions and have as constantly, in operations by day and night, formed targets for the thrusts of swords and the flight of p341missiles; we, who are now vanquished and forsaken by Pompeius and vanquished by your valour, do now earnestly entreat you in your mercy to save us, and beg you to . . .'29 'As I have shewn myself to foreign peoples, even so will I show myself to my fellow citizens when they surrender.'

18 The envoys were now sent back and on their arrival at the gate Tiberius Tullius went inside; and when, as Cato was going in, Antonius failed to follow him, Cato30 turned back to the gate and grabbed the fellow. Observing this action, Tiberius immediately drew a dagger and stabbed Cato's hand. So they31 fled back to Caesar. It was at this same time that a standard-bearer from the First legion deserted to us and it became known that on the day when the cavalry action was fought his own unit32 lost thirty-five men, but that they were not allowed to report this in Cn. Pompeius' camp or to say that any man had been lost. A slave, whose master was in the Caesar's camp — he had left his wife and sons behind in the town — murdered his master and then got away unobserved from Caesar's lines to Pompeius' camp . . . and he sent a message written on a bullet to apprise Caesar of the defence measures which were being taken in the town. Accordingly, when this message had been received, and the man who normally discharged the bullet bearing an inscription p343had returned to the town, . . .33 At a later period two brothers, Lusitanians, deserted and reported a speech which Pompeius had delivered, to the effect that, since he could not come to the assistance of the town, they must withdraw by night out of sight of their opponents in the direction of the sea. One man, according to this account, retorted that they should rather go into battle than display the signal for retreat; whereupon the author of this remark had his throat cut. At the same time some of Pompeius' couriers were arrested on their way to the town. Caesar presented their despatches34 to the townsfolk and directed that any of the couriers who wanted his life to be spared must set fire to a wooden tower belonging to the townsfolk, undertaking to grant him complete amnesty if he did so. But it was a difficult task for anyone to set fire to that tower without risking disaster; thus when any of them came close up to it, his legs were tied with a rope and he was killed by the townsfolk. That same night a deserter reported that Pompeius and Labienus had been filled with indignation at the massacre of the townsfolk.

19 At the second watch, as a result of a heavy salvo of missiles, a wooden tower of ours sustained damage which extended from its base up to the second and third storeys. Simultaneously there was very heavy fighting along the battlements, and the townsfolk, taking advantage of a favourable wind, set on fire our tower as aforementioned. The following day a p345mother of a family leapt down from the battlements and slipped across to our lines and told us that he had arranged with her household to desert to Caesar all together; but her household, she said, had been taken by surprise and massacred. It was at this time also that a missive was thrown down from the wall, which was found to contain the following message: 'L. Munatius greets Caesar. If you grant me my life, now that I am abandoned by Cn. Pompeius, I will guarantee to display the same unwavering courage in support of you as I have shewn to him.' At the same time the envoys from the townsfolk who had come out to Caesar before now came to him, saying that, if he would spare their lives, they would surrender the town the following day. His reply to them ran thus: 'I am Caesar and I will be as good as my word.' Accordingly, on February 19th he took possession of the town and was hailed as Imperator.

20 When Pompeius got to know from deserters that the surrender of the town had taken place, he moved his camp towards Ucubi, built forts at intervals in that locality, and proceeded to keep within his emplacements. Caesar struck his camp and moved it closer to that of Pompeius. It was at this same time that early in the morning one of the heavy-armed troops from a native legion deserted to us and reported that Pompeius had assembled the inhabitants of the town of Ucubi and given them orders as follows, namely that they were to make careful and searching inquiry who were in favour of a victory for his side, and who on the contrary favoured victory for his enemies. Just before this the slave who, as we have described p347above, had murdered his master was arrested in a mine in the captured town: he was burned alive. At the same period eight heavy-armed centurions deserted to Caesar from a native legion; our cavalry came into conflict with the enemy cavalry and quite a number of our light-armed troops died of their wounds. That night some scouts were caught — three slaves and one soldier from a native legion. The slaves were crucified, the soldier beheaded.

21 On the next day some cavalry and light-armed troops came over to us from the enemy's camp. At that time too about forty of their horse dashed out upon a watering party of ours, killing some of its members and leading others off alive: eight of their horsemen were taken prisoner. The following day Pompeius beheaded seventy-four men35 who were said to be in favour of a victory for Caesar: the remainder he ordered to be escorted back into the town; but a hundred and twenty of them escaped and came to Caesar.

22 36 Just prior to this time the envoys from Ursao who had been captured in the town of Ategua set forth, accompanied by some of our men, to report to their fellow citizens of Ursao what had taken place and ask them what hopes they could entertain of Cn. Pompeius when they saw hosts being massacred and many other crimes too being perpetuated by those to whom the latter gave admittance as garrison troops. When the party reached Ursao, our men, who comprised Roman knights and senators, did not venture to enter the town, apart from those who were members of that community. An exchange of views then took place between the p349two sides; whereupon, as the envoys were rejoining our men who were outside the town, the townsmen followed them up from behind with an armed party and then massacred them. There were two survivors, who fled and reported the incident to Caesar . . . and the men of Ursao sent investigators to the town of Ategua. And when they had definitely established that the envoys' account was correct, and that the incidents had occurred just as they had related, a crowd of townsfolk quickly gathered, and they began to stone and shake their fists at the man who had massacred the envoys, shouting that he had been responsible for their own undoing. So when he had barely been rescued from his perilous plight, he besought the townsfolk for leave to go on a mission to Caesar, saying that he would satisfy the latter. Permission being granted, he set out from the town, collected a bodyguard and, when he had made it a good large force, contrived by treachery to be taken back into the town by night. Whereupon he carried out a wholesale massacre, killed the leading men who had been opposed to him, and took the town under his own control. — Just before this deserting slaves reported that the goods of the townsfolk37 were being sold, and that it was forbidden to go out beyond the rampart except ungirt,38 for the reason that, ever since the day when Ategua was captured, quite a number of people in their panic had been seeking asylum in Baeturia; that they had no prospects of success in view and that, if any man deserted from our side, he was shoved39 into some p351light-armed unit and drew no more than seventeen asses a day.40

23 In the period which followed Caesar moved up his camp and proceeded to carry a line of fortifications to the river Salsum. At this point, while our men were busily engaged in the operation, a fair number of the enemy swooped down upon them from higher ground and, as our men carried on with their work, there were not a few casualties among them from the heavy volleys of enemy missiles. Hereupon, as Ennius puts it, "our men gave ground for a brief space." Consequently, when our men observed that they were giving ground more than their wont, two centurions from the Fifth legion crossed the river and restored the battle line;41 and as they drove their more numerous enemies back, displaying dash and gallantry of an exceptional order, one of them succumbed to a heavy volley of missiles discharged from higher ground. And so his colleague now began an uphill fight; and when he observed that he was being completely surrounded, he retreated and lost his footing. As this gallant officer fell not a few of the enemy made a rush to plunder his decorations; but our cavalry crossed the river and from lower ground proceeded to drive the enemy to p353their rampart. And so, in their too eager anxiety to carry destruction within the area of the latter's defence positions, they were cut off by enemy squadrons and light-armed troops. Had not their gallantry been of the highest order, they would have been captured alive; for they were, moreover, hemmed in so tightly by the emplacements of the camp as to make it well nigh impossible for a horseman to defend himself in the restricted space. As a result of both types of engagement42 — quite a number of men were wounded, including Clodius Arquitius; but although both sides were engaged at such close quarters, no‑one was lost on our side apart from the two centurions, who bore themselves with outstanding distinction.

24 On the next day43 the forces of both sides converged upon Soricaria.44 Our men proceeded to build fortified lines. When Pompeius observed that he was in process of being cut off from the fortress of Aspavia,45 which is five miles distant from Ucubi, this circumstance peremptorily demanded that he should enter the lists; yet, for all that, he gave his opponents no opportunity of engaging him on favourable ground, but from a hillock . . . they set about capturing a lofty knoll, and made such good progress that Caesar had no option but to approach unfavourable ground. When accordingly the forces of both sides had launched an attack upon this lofty knoll, our men forestalled the enemy and hurled them back on to the level ground. This led to a successful action by our troops: on all sides their p355opponents gave ground, and our men were engaged in a massacre of no mean proportions. It was the high ground,46 not the enemy's valour, which proved the latter's salvation; and even relying upon its aid they would, but for the approach of evening, have been deprived of all support by our less numerous forces. As it was, their casualties comprised three hundred and twenty-three light-armed and a hundred and thirty-eight legionaries, apart from those who were stripped of their arms and equipment. Thus by this present retribution did the enemy atone for his slaughter of our two centurions the day before.

25 On the following day Pompeius'47 force followed a similar routine and returned to the same spot, where they employed those old established tactics of theirs; for with the exception of his cavalry at no point did his troops venture to commit themselves to favourable ground. While our men were engaged on their task of fortification, the enemy cavalry forces began to launch attacks; and simultaneously his legionary troops kept clamorously demanding to have their turn, seeing that their normal role was to support the cavalry — you might have supposed them to be straining madly at the leash; when our men advanced a good long way from a shallow valley and halted on more favourable ground in the plain. However, there was no doubt about it, the enemy all lacked the courage to come down into the plain to engage — all except one man, Antistius Turpio; and he, confident in his strength, began to indulge in taunts, claiming that there was nobody a match for him on the opposite side. Hereupon, p357like the traditional encounter between Achilles and Memnon, Q. Pompeius Niger, a Roman knight from Italica, advanced from our ranks to encounter him. All men's minds were now distracted from their work and bent upon this spectacle — such was the effect of the dauntless spirit of Antistius — and the armies were arrayed over against one another; for the chances of victory were nicely balanced between the two warring champions, so that it almost seemed as if their duel meant the final decision and cessation of hostilities. So fanatically eager were they all, each man gripped by the enthusiasm of the champions and supporters of his own side. As for the two champions, what with their dashing courage, now that they had moved into the plain for the encounter, and the inwrought work of their shields — emblems of their fame — flashing in front of them . . . and their duel would almost certainly have put an end to the action, unless, owing to the attack of the enemy cavalry noted above, . . . Caesar posted some light-armed troops not far from the emplacement to give cover. While our cavalry were withdrawing to camp, the enemy pursued them too eagerly, whereupon the light-armed troops one and all raised a shout and charged them. This created a panic among them and they retired to their camp sustaining heavy losses in the course of their rout.

26 In recognition of the gallantry of the Cassian squadron Caesar awarded it three thousand denarii and its commander five golden collars; he also awarded the light-armed troops two thousand denarii. On this day A. Baebius, C. Flavius and A. Trebellius, who were Roman knights from the town of Asta, deserted to Caesar, with their p359horses practically covered in silver.48 They reported that all the Roman knights in the camp of Pompeius had taken an oath to desert; but a slave had informed against them, and they had all been thrown into prison; they themselves were among this number, but had seized their opportunity and deserted. It was on this day too that a despatch was intercepted49 which Cn. Pompeius was sending to Ursao: it read:*

'If you are well, I am delighted: I for my part am well.50 Although, in accordance with our usual good luck, we have so far kept the enemy on the run to our satisfaction, yet, if they gave us the chance of engaging them on favourable ground, I should have finished the war sooner than your belief suggests. But as it is, they lack the courage to bring down their inexperienced army into the field, and, pinned down so far by our forces,51a they are prolonging hostilities. They have in fact laid siege to individual townships, and it is from them that they derive their supplies. I shall accordingly not only protect the townships which belong to our side, but shall finish the war at the first opportunity. I intend to send you . . . cohorts. When we take the field we shall deprive them of their vital supplies, and they will then come down to fight.'51b

27 Later on, when our men were busily engaged on a field-work, a number of our cavalry were killed while collecting wood in an olive grove. Some slaves deserted to us, who reported that since March 5th, the day when the battle took place at Soricaria, there had been grave alarm, and Attius p361Varus had been in command of the fortified zone. On that day Pompeius moved his camp and established it in an olive grove over against Spalis. Before Caesar set out for the same locality, the moon was observed at approximately the sixth hour. As Pompeius52 had thus withdrawn his camp, he accordingly instructed his garrison force which he had left behind to set fire to Ucubi, so that, when the town was burned out, they should retire to his principal camp. Later on Caesar proceeded to assault the town of Ventipo; and when it capitulated he marched to Carruca,53 and pitched camp over against Pompeius. Pompeius burned the town54 for having barred its gates to his forces; and a soldier who had murdered his own brother in camp was intercepted by our troops and clubbed to death. From this area Caesar marched into the plain of Munda,55 and on his arrival there established his camp over against Pompeius.

28 On the following day Caesar was minded to take the road with his forces when scouts came back with the news that Pompeius had been in battle formation since the third watch. On receipt of this news Caesar displayed the flag-signal for action. Now the reason why Pompeius had led out his forces was this: p363he had previously sent a despatch to the citizens of Ursao, who were supporters of his, saying that Caesar was unwilling to come down into the valley because the greater part of his army was inexperienced. This despatch stiffened the morale of the townsfolk considerably. Pompeius therefore, relying on this conviction,56 supposed that he could carry the whole thing off; for where he had established his camp he was protected not only by the natural conformation of the ground but also by the fortifications of the town itself. For, as we have pointed out earlier,57 it is lofty country, bastioned by hills with an occasional intervening plain; and this, it so happened, was the case on the present occasion.

29 Between the two camps ran a plain, extending for some five miles, so that there were two factors which made for the protection of Pompeius' troops — the town, and the lofty nature of the ground. Extending from the town the plain ground nearest to it levelled out, and ran down to where a stream ran in front of it, which made the ground there extremely awkward for Caesar's troops to approach the Pompeians; for the soil to the right of the river's course was marshy and full of bog‑holes. Consequently, when Caesar saw their battle line deployed, he had no doubt that p365his opponents would advance to the level ground to do battle in the middle of the plain. This area was in full view of all. Moreover, with a level plain like that and a calm, sunny day, it was a tempting situation for cavalry — a wonderful, longed‑for and well-nigh heaven-sent opportunity for engaging battle. Our men were delighted — though some also had misgivings — at the thought that the welfare and fortunes of everyone were being brought to the point that no one could tell for certain what would prove to be the luck vouchsafed them an hour later. And so our men advanced to do battle; and we supposed that the enemy would do likewise: but our opponents would not venture to advance far from the defences of the town: on the contrary, they were establishing themselves in the town close to the wall. And so our men advanced. From time to time the favourable nature of the ground would sorely tempt the enemy to press on to victory under such conditions; but, none the less, they would not depart from their accustomed tactics so as to forsake either the high ground or the town. And when our men, advancing at a moderate pace, came up closer to the stream, their opponents remained consistently on the defensive on the steep ground.

30 Their battle line was composed of thirteen legions, and was screened on the flanks by cavalry as well as six thousand light-armed troops, while in addition there were nearly as many again auxiliary troops besides: our forces comprised eighty cohorts58 and eight thousand cavalry. So when our men, as they approached, reached the unfavourable ground at the farthest limit of the plain, the enemy were ready on higher ground, making it extremely dangerous for our p367men to pursue their passage to the higher level. When Caesar observed this, to avoid any blunder being perpetrated owing to rashness or faulty judgment, he began to restrict the operational area.59 But when it came to the ears of the men that he was doing so, they were bitterly disgusted, as they took it to mean that their chance of deciding the conflict was being hampered. This delay made the enemy keener: it was fear, they thought, that was preventing Caesar's forces from joining battle: and although by displaying themselves they gave our men the opportunity of engaging them on steep ground, yet it was only at great risk that one could approach them. On our side the men of the Tenth legion held their proper post — the right wing; while the men of the Third and Fifth legions together with all the rest of our forces — the auxiliary troops and the cavalry — held the left wing. The shout was raised and the battle joined.

31 Hereupon, although our men were superior in point of valour, their opponents offered a very spirited resistance from their higher position; and so furious proved the shouting on both sides, so furious the charging with its attendant volley of missiles, that our men well nigh lost their confidence in victory. In fact, as regards attacking and shouting — the two chief methods of demoralising an enemy — both sides stood on equal terms of comparison. But, though they accordingly brought to the contest an equal fighting capacity in both these departments of battle, yet the enemy masses were pinned down by our volleys of heavy javelins, and fell in heaps. Our right wing, p369as we have explained, was held by the men of the Tenth legion; and despite their small numbers, their gallantry none the less enabled them by their exertions to inspire no little panic among their opponents. They proceeded, in fact, to exert strong pressure on the enemy, driving him back from his positions, with the result that he began to transfer a legion from his right, to give support and to prevent our men from outflanking him. As soon as this legion had been set in motion Caesar's cavalry began to exert pressure on the enemy left wing,60 so that, no matter how gallantly the enemy might fight, he was afforded no opportunity of reinforcing his line. And so, as the motley din — shouts, groans, the clash of swords — assailed their ears, it shackled the minds of the inexperienced with fear. Hereupon, as Ennius puts it, "foot forces against foot and weapons grind 'gainst weapons"; and in the teeth of very strong opposition our men began to drive the enemy back. The town, however, stood them in good stead. And so they were routed and put to flight on the very day of the Liberalia;61 nor would they have survived, had they not fled back to their original starting point. In this battle there fell some thirty thousand men — if anything, more — as well as Labienus and Attius Varus, both of whom were buried where they fell, and about three thousand Roman knights besides, some from Rome, some from the province. Our losses amounted to about a thousand men, partly cavalry, partly infantry; while our wounded totalled about five hundred. Thirteen legionary eagles belonging to the enemy were captured; and in addition he had the following standards and rods of office . . .

p371 32 . . . those who, after surviving this rout, had made the town of Munda their refuge, and our men were of necessity compelled to blockade them. Shields and javelins taken from among the enemy's weapons were placed to serve as a palisade, dead bodies as a rampart; on top, impaled on sword points, severed human heads were ranged in a row all facing the town, the object being not merely to enclose the enemy by a palisade, but to afford him an awe‑inspiring spectacle by displaying before him this evidence of valour. Having thus encircled the tomb with the javelins and spears taken from the corpses of the enemy, the Gallic troops now proceeded to assault it. From this battle the young Valerius escaped to Corduba with a few horsemen, and delivered his report of it to Sextus Pompeius, who was present there. On learning of these events, the latter divided what money he had with him among his present cavalry force, told the townsfolk that he was setting out for peace talks with Caesar, and left town at the second watch. Cn. Pompeius, attended by a few horsemen and some infantry, pressed forward on the other hand to the naval fortified base of Carteia, a town which lies one hundred and seventy miles away from Corduba. When he had reached the eighth milestone from Carteia, P. Caucilius, who had formerly been in command of Pompeius' camp, sent a message dictated by Pompeius saying that he was in a bad way, and they must send a litter in which he could be carried into the town. A litter and bearers were despatched, and Pompeius was carried to Carteia. His partisans forgathered at the house to which he had been brought — each supposing his visit to have been a private one — to make enquiry p373of him what were his intentions about the war; but when a crowd of them had forgathered, Pompeius left his litter and threw himself upon their protection.

33 After the battle Caesar invested Munda with a ring of emplacements and came to Corduba. The survivors of the carnage who had taken refuge there seized the bridge; and when Caesar62 arrived there they proceeded to jeer, saying — 'There are few of us survivors from the battle: where were we to seek refuge?' And so they fell to fighting from the bridge.63 Caesar crossed the river and pitched camp. Now the ringleader of all this unrest, as well as the head of a gang of slaves and freedmen, was Scapula;64 and when he came to Corduba as a survivor from the battle he summoned his slaves and freedmen, had himself built a lofty pyre, and ordered a banquet to be served on the most lavish possible scale and the finest tapestries likewise to be spread out; and then and there he presented his slaves with money and silver. After himself, in due course he fell to upon the banquet, and ever and anon anointed himself with resin and nard. Accordingly, at the latest possible moment, he bade a slave and a freedman — the latter was his concubine — the one to cut his throat, the other to light the pyre.

p375 34 Now as soon as Caesar pitched his camp over against the town its occupants proceeded to quarrel; so much so that the sound of the shouting and brawling between the supporters of Caesar on the one hand, and Pompeius on the other, reached our camp. There were two legions in this town which had been raised partly from deserters, while others were slaves of the townsmen who had been set free by Sextus Pompeius; and now in view of Caesar's approach they began to desert. The Thirteenth legion proceeded to defend the town, whereas the men of the Ninth, as soon as they became involved in the fray, seized some of the towers and battlements. Once again65 they sent envoys to Caesar, requesting that he should send in his legions to support them; and when the refugees got to know of it they proceeded to set fire to the town.66 But they were overpowered by our men and put to death, to the number of twenty‑two thousand men, not counting those who lost their lives outside the battlements. Thus did Caesar gain possession of the town. While he was occupied here, the survivors of the battle who had been shut up (in Munda), as we described above,67 made a sally, only to be driven back into the town with very heavy losses.

35 On Caesar's marching to Hispalis envoys came to him to entreat his pardon. So when he reached the town, he sent in Caninius as his deputy, accompanied by a garrison force, while he himself pitched camp near the town. Now inside the town there was a p377good large group of supporters of Pompeius, who thought it scandalous that a garrison should have been admitted unbeknown to a certain Philo — the man who had been the most ardent champion of the Pompeian faction, and was a very well-known figure throughout Lusitania. This man now set out for Lusitania without the knowledge of our garrison troops, and at Lennium met Caecilius Niger, a foreigner, who had a good large force of Lusitanians. Returning to Hispalis, he penetrated the fortifications by night and thus gained re‑admission to the town; whereupon they massacred the garrison and sentries, barred the gates, and renewed hostilities.

36 In the course of these proceedings envoys from Carteia duly reported that they had Pompeius in their hands. They thought they stood to gain by this good deed, which might offset their previous offence in having barred their gates to Caesar. At Hispalis the Lusitanians kept up the fight without a moment's pause; and when Caesar observed their stubbornness he was afraid that, if he made strenuous efforts to capture the town, these desperadoes might fire the town and destroy the walls. So after holding consultations he allowed the Lusitanians to make a sally by night — a course which the latter never supposed was deliberate policy. Accordingly, they made a sally, and in the process fired some ships which were alongside the river Baetis. While our men were occupied with the fire, the Lusitanians took to flight and were cut down by our cavalry. This led to the recovery of the town; whereupon Caesar proceeded to march to Asta, from which township envoys came to him to surrender it. As for the survivors of the battle who had taken refuge in the p379town of Munda, a somewhat protracted siege led a good large number to surrender; and on being drafted to form a legion they swore a mutual oath that during the night at a given signal their comrades in the town should make a sally, while they carried out a massacre in the camp. But this plot was discovered; and when at the third watch on the following night the pass-word was given, they were all cut down outside the rampart.68

37 While Caesar was on the move and attacking the remaining towns, the men of Carteia began to fall out on the question of Pompeius. There was the party which had sent envoys to Caesar: there was another party which espoused the cause of Pompeius. Civil discord being thus stirred up, they seized the gates: much blood was shed: Pompeius, who was wounded,69 seized twenty warships, and took to flight. As soon as the news of his escape reached Didius, who was at Gades in command of a squadron, he forthwith began to give chase; and from Carteia too the hunt was likewise taken up forthwith by infantry and cavalry marching in swift pursuit. On the fourth day of their voyage Pompeius' party put in to land, since they had been ill provided and without water when they sailed from Carteia. While they were getting water Didius hastened up with his fleet, captured some of their ships, and burned the rest.

p381 38 Pompeius took to flight with a few companions and occupied a certain spot which possessed natural defences. When the cavalry and infantry cohorts which had been despatched in his pursuit learned of this from scouts they had sent on ahead, they pushed on day and night. Now Pompeius was seriously wounded in the shoulder and left leg; added to which he had also sprained his ankle, which hampered him very much. So a litter was employed to carry him off to this redoubt and, once arrived there, he continued to be carried about in it. One of the Lusitanians who had been despatched from his escort on reconnaissance in accordance with normal military routine was now spotted by the Caesarian force, and Pompeius was promptly surrounded by the cavalry and cohorts. It was a difficult place to approach: that in fact was the very reason why Pompeius had chosen himself a naturally fortified position, so that, no matter how great a force was brought up to it, a handful of men might be able to defend it from higher ground. On their arrival our men came up close to it only to be driven back with javelins. As they gave ground the enemy pressed upon them the more eagerly and called an immediate halt to their advance. When this manoeuvre had been repeated several times it became obvious that it was a very risky business for our men. The enemy70 then began to fortify his position with a circumvallation; our men, however, acting with speed and despatch, carried a similar circumvallation along the high ground, to enable them to p383encounter their opponents on an equal footing. When the latter observed this move they took refuge in flight.

39 Pompeius, as we have pointed out above, was wounded and had sprained his ankle, and this handicapped him in flight; moreover, the difficult nature of the ground made it impossible for him to have recourse to riding horseback or driving to assist his escape to safety. On all sides our troops were carrying on the work of slaughter. Cut off from his entrenchment and having lost his supporters, Pompeius now resorted to a ravine, to a spot where the ground was eaten away; and there in a cave he proceeded to hide himself, so that, short of his being given away by a prisoner, it was no easy matter for our men to find him. By such means in fact he was discovered there and put to death. When Caesar was at Gades, the head of Pompeius was brought to Hispalis on April 12th, and there publicly exhibited.

40 Filled with delight at the death of young Pompeius, Didius, whom we mentioned above, withdrew to a nearby stronghold, beached some of his ships for a refit, and . . . Those Lusitanians who survived the battle rallied to their standard and, when a good large force had been mustered, duly proceeded against Didius. Although he displayed no lack of care in guarding his ships, yet their constant sallies enticed him on occasions to leave his stronghold, with the result that in the course of almost daily battles they laid a trap for him, dividing up their forces into three groups. There were some who were detailed to burn the ships; some to repel an enemy relief force, when the ships had once been p385fired: these parties were posted in such a way as to be entirely hidden from view, whereas the remainder marched into battle in full view of all. Accordingly, when Didius advanced with his forces from his stronghold to drive them back, the signal was displayed by the Lusitanians, the ships were set on fire, and simultaneously those who had advanced to battle from the stronghold — they were now pursuing the same retreating bandits, who had turned tail on that same signal — were surprised by the ambushing party, which raised a shout and surrounded them from the rear.71 Didius met a gallant death with many of his men; some in the course of the fighting seized some pinnaces which were close inshore, while quite a number, on the other hand, swam off to the ships moored in deep water, weighed anchor, and then began to row them out to sea, thereby saving their lives. The Lusitanians gained possession of the booty. Caesar left Gades and hastened back to Hispalis.

41 Fabius Maximus, who had been left behind by Caesar to attack the enemy garrison at Munda, besieged that town in a continuous series of operations by day and night. Now that they were cut off the enemy fell to fighting amongst themselves; and after a welter of bloodshed they made a sally. Our troops did not fail to take this opportunity of recovering the town and captured the remaining men alive, to the number of fourteen thousand. Our men now set out for Ursao, a town which was buttressed by massive fortifications, to such an extent that in itself the place seemed adapted to p387assail72 an enemy by virtue of its natural site as well as its artificial fortification. Added to this, apart from a single fountain in the town itself, there was no water to be found anywhere in the neighbourhood under eight miles from the town; and this was a great advantage to the townsfolk. Then again there was the additional circumstance that materials for a rampart, . . . and timber, which they habitually used for the construction of towers and mantlets, was not to be found under six miles' distance from the town; and in order the more to safeguard himself against an attack upon it, Pompeius had had all the timber in the neighbourhood felled and dumped inside it. Thus our troops were under the necessity of detaching men to carry timber thither from Munda, the town they had just recently captured.

42 While these operations were proceeding at Munda and Ursao, Caesar left Gades and returned to Hispalis, and on the day after his arrival there summoned an assembly of the people. He reminded them that at the outset of his quaestorship73 he had made that province above all others his own special concern, and had liberally bestowed on it such benefits as lay in his power at that time; that when subsequently he had been promoted to the praetorship74 he had asked the Senate to rescind the taxes which Metellus75 had imposed, and had secured the province immunity from paying the money in question; that having once taken upon himself to champion the province he had defended it, not only introducing numerous deputations into the Senate p389but also undertaking legal actions both public and private, and thereby incurring the enmity of many men. Similarly, during the period of his consulship76 he had bestowed on the province in his absence such advantages as lay in his power. Yet both in the present war and in the period before it he was well aware that they had been unmindful of all these advantages, and ungrateful for them, both towards himself and towards the Roman people. 'You,' he went on, 'who are well acquainted with the law of nations and the established usages of Roman citizens, have none the less behaved like savages and have laid violent hands more often than once upon the inviolable magistrates of the Roman people, and designed the dastardly murder of Cassius77 in broad daylight in the middle of the forum. You have also so hated peace that this province has never ceased to be occupied by the legions of the Roman people. With you good deeds count as misdeeds, and vice versa. Consequently you have never been able to maintain harmony in peace or high morale in war. It was you who harboured the young Cn. Pompeius after his flight; it was at your instigation that, albeit a private citizen, he seized the rods of office and usurped military command, put many citizens to death, raised armed forces to fight the Roman people, and laid waste the territories of the province. On what field did you come out victorious? Or didn't you take into consideration the fact that, if I were done away with, the Roman people possessed legions which could not only offer you resistance but could also cause the heavens to fall? By their glorious deeds of valour . . .'


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 i.e. the elder of the two sons of Cn. Pompeius Magnus. His departure from Africa before the decisive battle of Thapsus is mentioned in Bell. Afr. ch. 23, where is described as setting course for the Balearic Islands. From references in Cicero and Dio it appears that he was ill in the summer of 46, but crossed to the mainland of Spain in the autumn and attacked New Carthage. Klotz's restoration of the sentence could, I think, imply that all the Pompeian survivors — including those from Thapsus — eventually joined the young Pompeius in Spain.

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2 Klotz, however, interprets:— 'a man familiar with that province and not without military knowledge.'

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3 Or possibly — 'bade the infantry mount pillion'. The subsequent rapid advance, as well as the mention of the cavalry's being numerically equal to the infantry, tends, I rather think, to support this interpretation. It would, however, fit much better in the next chapter, where the infantry undoubtedly took to the horses for a time. Perhaps the author was confused about the details of the two sorties, and attributed somewhat allusively to both the tactics which properly belonged only to one.

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4 viz. the permanent bridge over the Baetis (Guadalquivir), the northern end of which must have been in the hands of Sextus: Caesar's object was to deny its use to Gnaeus. Caesar's line presumably ran from his own bridgehead at the southern end of his pile bridge to the southern end of the permanent bridge: Gnaeus' line must have been a contravallation.

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5 The exact import of this colourful expression is not easy to decide. As it seems likely that the purpose of the whole sentence is merely to emphasize the extent of the carnage, the tumuli are probably the burial mounds, or possibly the piles of corpses. The elaborate balance of expression suggests, I think, that tumulos tumulis are the rival barrows. Klotz, however, interprets the latter phrase as meaning 'they made the barrows to look like hills.'

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6 See Appendix B, p397.

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7 i.e. S of the river.

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8 Klotz, who puts a full stop after sit, takes this last phrase as meaning 'Some two miles distant from the sector concerned of the town Pompeius had his camp . . .' I have followed the punctuation of Holmes and Du Pontet.

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9 It seems very difficult to identify these four reliable legions with any certainty. The only Pompeian legions definitely named in the narrative are:— the First (ch. 18); the Second (ch. 13); and the Thirteenth (ch. 34). From Bell. Alex. chs. 50‑54 it is clear that Cassius, whom Trebonius succeeded as governor of Further Spain, had five legions: the Twenty-first and the Thirtieth (raised in Italy); the Second (long quartered in Spain); the 'native legion' (always thus named); and the Fifth (newly raised in Spain by Cassius himself). Of these the Second, Fifth and the native legion joined the mutiny against Cassius, and shewed Pompeian sympathies; for which reason it would not seem surprising if they were opposing Caesar now. Holmes was satisfied that the other of the two native legions here mentioned was the Fifth; but he assumed, without accounting for the reference in ch. 13, that the Second had now joined Caesar. Klotz, on the other hand, asserting that there was never more than one native legion in Spain, adopts Mommsen's emendation and reads vernacula e<t secunda>. This drastic course seems indeed the only method of including the Second; and the Fifth might well be the one described as 'raised from the local Roman settlers'. But the whole problem is obscure. See also ch. 13, note 1 (trans.).

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10 i.e. his strategic decision not to relieve Ategua was influenced not only by his inferiority in troops, but also by the terrain.

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11 This is usually identified with the modern hill of Harinilla, some 3 miles SW of Teba. It was probably named after L. Postumius Albinus, propraetor of Further Spain in 180‑179.

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12 or — 'were panic-stricken by the ensuing rout, and many were killed . . .'

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13 Possibly, the place mentioned by Pliny (III.1.15) in a list of tributary Baeturian towns under the jurisdiction of Cadiz. If so, he would seem to have come by sea. Klotz, however, assumes the reference to be Saguntum. See Index.

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14 Klotz plausibly suggests that Castra Postumiana was a serious threat to his lines of communication with Corduba; and that having failed to capture it, he now decided to withdraw farther West.

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15 I think that Holmes was right in assuming that this curious temporal phrase refers back to the past (literally — 'at this past time'); and that the author employs it whenever his chronology has got out of hand. Thus, just as in ch. 10 the arrival of Arguetius reminds him to mention belatedly the earlier arrival of Asprenas, so here the desertion of Q. Marcius reminds him of that of Fundanius. Its use below in chs. 20 and 22 seems similar. Klotz, however, apparently takes it to mean 'when this time had now gone past.'

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16 cf. p322 note 2 (trans.). It is clear that not all the troops who had mutinied against Cassius and later deserted Trebonius were now on Pompey's side. Some editors, however, suspect the text.

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17 In this phrase, which recurs below in ch. 27 the word opus seems to have its technical meaning — 'work of fortification.' Klotz interprets: 'scattered among the fortifications.'

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18 cf. p322, note 2 (trans.). Klotz regards the addition of Pompeiana as 'remarkable, since Caesar did not have a Second legion.' It is true that in the narrative there is no mention of the Second as fighting on Caesar's side. But neither is there any mention of the Twenty-first, Twenty-eighth, or Thirtieth, all of which may well have participated. I am inclined to think that Pompeiana is no accidental addition, but that it signified clearly one of two things: either that there were two Second legions (just as there were apparently two Fifth legions), and that this was not Caesar's Second; or, if there was but one Second legion, that now, after months of wavering loyalty, it was on Pompey's side. To the author's contemporaries it was doubtless perfectly clear which was the meaning intended.

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19 Some editors render 'display a shield as a signal'; but the undertaking to offer no armed resistance seems to me to suit the context better. Though apparently in the singular number (Fleischer conjectured posituros), the message was no doubt interpreted as reflecting the attitude of many of the townsfolk.

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20 The mutilated state of the MSS. will permit no more than a disjointed rendering. It would seem that the storming party was captured, but that the townsfolk sent its members back unharmed, accompanied by a deputation to Caesar offering terms of surrender.

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21 I interpret Nipperdey's restoration, on the analogy of the phrase hoc praeterito tempore in ch. 11 above, as meaning 'in the past (earlier) period of that day.' Klotz retains the MSS. reading, which he explains as a Genitive Absolute meaning 'that time having gone past.'

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22 i.e. N of the river.

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23 Klotz, who retains the MSS. reading ex simili, assumes qui to refer to the Caesarian cavalry mentioned above, the subject changing abruptly to Pompeiani at aversati sunt. His rendering would thus apparently be: 'When these squadrons of ours had been received back on favourable ground and, as usual, had raised the war cry with the same bravery, the Pompeians refused battle.' But the sense seems to me very strained; and the fact that Pompeiani is subject of the clause which immediately precedes makes the repeated change of subject exceptionally harsh. It is perhaps more reasonable to assume that Pompeiani is subject throughout, and that recipio is here used in the sense of rursus excipio.

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24 The reader may well be puzzled by the respective casualties resulting, apparently, from the outpost skirmish described in ch. 14 above. It would seem that the figures are grossly distorted if only three Caesarians were killed out of several squadrons and some light-armed troops overrun by the enemy cavalry! (cf. Introduction, p306, and, for official suppression of casualty figures, ch. 18). But I rather suspect that cavalry reinforcements were despatched by Caesar and fought a second, and more evenly-matched action closer to Pompey's camp; and that brief details of this were originally given towards the end of ch. 14. If it is to this second action that the casualty figures relate, then it is not surprising that the Pompeians refused a third challenge on ground favourable to Caesar.

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25 i.e. the Pompeian troops massacred those of the local townsfolk whom they suspected of siding with Caesar.

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26 Probably S of the river.

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27 Or, if oppido is the adverb, 'completely drove them back.'

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28 This abrupt reference led Mommsen to conjecture unum in place of Iunium. Klotz considers that, though no mine has so far been mentioned, sapping was so constant in sieges that the apparent oversight is a natural one.

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29 . . . grant us our lives.' To which Caesar replied: (according to Klotz's conjecture).

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30 Klotz too assumes that Cato is the subject. He remarks that such abrupt changes of subject are not uncommon in the lively, colloquial style, and quotes parallel examples from Cicero, Livy and Seneca.

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31 sc. Tiberius and Antonius. See Appendix C, p401.

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32 Here, probably, a maniple, nominally comprising 200 men.

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33 I have followed Klotz in assuming two gaps in this extraordinary narrative. For no likely explanation occurs to me why the slave should have sent such a message to Caesar from Pompey's camp. Whether it was his master or his mistress he killed (in ch. 20 most MSS. read dominam), and whether he was loyal to Caesar or to Pompey, it seems impossible to account consistently for his actions and subsequent fate.

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34 Klotz believes that these despatches notified the commandant of Ategua that Pompey was withdrawing. This seems probable, and would explain why Caesar passed them on so promptly.

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35 viz. men of Ucubi: the author here resumes his narrative of chapter 20, which he interrupted to relate earlier incidents.

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36 See Appendix D, p403, for a discussion of this chapter.

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37 Of Ucubi, he may mean: see Appendix D, p404.

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38 i.e. without a belt, the wearing of which might enable them to conceal weapons.

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39 The use of coicere here appears to be disparaging.

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40 This is the traditional interpretation, but the sense is far from satisfactory. Reckoning 10 asses = 1 denarius this would amount to over 600 denarii a year; whereas the legionaries' pay, as increased by Caesar, was only 225 denarii a year. Klotz's reading ·X·VII (sc. per mensem = 84 denarii a year) is attractive.

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41 It would seem that Caesar's main camp was still N of the river Salsum, whereas Pompeius was S of it. But Caesar may well have had detachments holding strong points across the river (e.g. Castra Postumiana, ch. 8); and the present context suggests, I think, that his sappers were working S of the river and that their desperate plight was observed by their comrades, and relieved by the cavalry, from N of the river.

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42 i.e. either infantry and cavalry, or, as Klotz suggests, with the enemy cavalry and light-armed units.

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43 March 5th, as ch. 27 shows.

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44 Both Holmes and Klotz accept Stoffel's identification of Soricaria with Castro del Rio, on the right bank of the Salsum, 6 miles SE of Ategua.

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45 Stoffel sited it some 2 miles SE of Soricaria, and S of the river. Hence it would appear that Caesar had now — if not before — crossed the Salsum.

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46 This appears, as Holmes has remarked, to be distinct both from the grumus and the tumulus mentioned earlier. No doubt it was some hill nearby to which the Pompeians had been able to fight their way out.

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47 So Holmes: Caesar's, according to Klotz. But the author normally uses noster to denote the Caesarians; and the phrase pari consuetudine seems to me to refer rather to the third sentence of ch. 24. The 'same spot' would seem to be the neighbourhood of the lofty knoll, and not the high ground mentioned later.

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48 Presumably, as Klotz explains, they brought all their valuables with them. In the next sentence 'all the Roman knights' must refer only to those from Asta.

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49 Yet from ch. 28 it appears that this despatch — or a copy of it — eventually got through. cf. ch. 18.

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50 Abbreviation of — Si valetis gaudeo, ego valeo. This is one of the conventional greetings with which many a Roman letter began.

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51a 51b See p405.

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52 In this sentence and the following one the Latin presents a striking example of the ambiguity mentioned in the Introduction, p307. Pompeius is almost certainly subject of iussit, and the camp is presumably his; and so one expects — in default of any indication to the contrary — Pompeius to be subject in the following sentence too. But Caesar must obviously be subject of posuit and is apparently also the subject of coepisset and fecit.

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53 Carruca is not otherwise known: its general position can thus be inferred only from this context — somewhere between Ventipo (close to the modern Casariche) and Munda. Klotz, however, who assumes throughout that operations were confined to a relatively small area, tentatively places Ventipo, Carruca and Spalis at distances respectively of only 7, 8 and 11 kilometres S of Aspavia on the Salsum.

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54 i.e. Carruca.

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55 Its position is disputed: I have followed Holmes and Veith in locating it some six miles NW of Ursao (Osuna). Stoffel and Klotz place it at Montilla, some thirty-five miles NE of Ursao; while Hübner identifies it with a place known locally as Campo de Munda, about 30 miles S of Ursao.

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56 Klotz takes this to mean the more confident attitude of the men of Ursao. But would their increased confidence by itself lead Pompey to think he could carry the whole thing off? It seems to me more likely that what the author really meant was this: "The reason why Pompey had led his forces out was that Caesar — so he had told the men of Ursao in a despatch, which considerably encouraged them — was unwilling to come down to engage. Pompey accordingly, relying on this conviction (viz. that Caesar would decline battle), supposed he could carry the whole thing off."

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57 The reference seems to me to be to the general description of Baetica given in ch. 8 rather than to that of the Ategua-Ucubi district in ch. 7. Stoffel assumes the latter on the supposition that Munda was on the site of the modern Montilla, rather less than ten miles SW of Ucubi.

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58 i.e. eight legions — 4 veteran (III, V, VI and X) and 4 of recruits; the cavalry included a detachment of Numidians led by Bogud.

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59 The phrase locum definire has been variously explained by editors. But if it be assumed that Caesar's troops had already crossed the stream, it may, I think, imply that Caesar ordered a strictly limited advance up the slope, since he was unaware as yet of the strength of the enemy's prepared positions on the heights.

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60 I have retained the MSS. reading, although some emend to give the sense 'from their own left wing', i.e. on the enemy's right. But as the Pompeian legion was already crossing over, it seems to me that increased pressure by the cavalry on the enemy's left wing might well have made effective reinforcement impracticable.

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61 The festival in honour of Liber or Bacchus, celebrated on March 17th.

Thayer's Note: see the article Bacchanalia in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.
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62 This seems to be the normal interpretation, though the jeering remark seems rather pointless as addressed to Caesar. I am inclined to believe that the words Qui ex caede . . . de ponte are parenthetical and refer to the time when the refugees first arrived. If so, the sense will be: On their arrival there they began to jeer, viz. at the members of the Caesarian faction, who wished them further, since their presence would lessen the chances of reaching a composition with Caesar. The following chapter tends, I think, to confirm this interpretation.

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63 i.e. down from their position on it. If, however, the alternative interpretation given in the note above is accepted, the meaning might well be: 'And so they (sc. the refugees, who had seized the bridge, and the Caesarian partisans in the town) fell to fighting for control of the bridge.'

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64 Scapula and Aponius had been elected as leaders by the legions who had previously mutinied against Q. Cassius Longinus and later expelled his successor, Trebonius.

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65 cf. ch. 2.

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66 The state of the text makes the sketchy narrative still harder to follow. It looks rather as if the Thirteenth and the 'refugees' (survivors from Munda mentioned above in ch. 33?) were still bent fanatically on resistance, while the Ninth (?) was ready to surrender.

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67 in ch. 32.

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68 This rendering assumes that tessera refers to signo; that the plot was allowed to take place by night, as originally planned; but that the authorities, warned in advance, intervened and cut down all the insurgents (omnes = both groups?) outside the rampart. Klotz, however, holds the view that the conspirators were arrested as soon as the plot was discovered, and then, very early next morning, led outside the rampart and there executed. The fact that, as he observes, such executions commonly took place around dawn and outside the rampart (cf. Bell. Afr. ch. 46) favours this view; against it may perhaps be argued that the verb concidere is more appropriate to a surprise attack.

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69 That Pompey had been wounded at Munda seems implied in ch. 32, and details are given below in ch. 38. But whether he sustained further injuries on this occasion is by no means clear.

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70 In this and the following sentence all the subjects are left unspecified in the Latin: several interpretations are therefore possible.

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71 Klotz's punctuation (as followed here) whereby eodem signo is taken with fugientis — the latter word apparently implying both the initial act of turning about and the subsequent retreat — seems to yield the most satisfactory sense.

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72 ad oppugnandum hostem appears to mean 'to assail a (besieging) enemy', the implication possibly being 'go over to the offensive against'; but the text is very uncertain.

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73 69 B.C. in Further Spain.

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74 62 B.C.

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75 Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius had, together with Cn. Pompeius Magnus, crushed the rebellion of Sertorius in Spain 80‑72. The imposts mentioned here were probably punitory.

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76 59 B.C. with Bibulus.

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77 Bell. Alex. ch. 52.

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* [The following note appears separately after Appendix D, on p405:]

Additional Note
(Spanish War, ch. 26, p359)

In two passages in this short despatch the interpretation given by Klotz in his commentary is as follows:—

(i) Reading 'nostrisque adhuc freti praesidiis', he renders 'relying on the strong places until now belonging to us', explaining that the allusion is in particular to the provisions Caesar had captured at Ategua.

(ii) Reading 'profecto nostro commeatu privati necessario ad dimicandum descendent' he apparently renders 'assuredly, when they are deprived of the provisions we have collected (sc. and have fallen into their hands), they will of necessity come down to fight'.

This interpretation does, I admit, considerably improve the general sense; but whether the Latin text can in either case be fairly thus interpreted seems open to doubt.


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