PLUTARCH: "CAESAR"

Published in Greek Translation

A.  Chapters 1-14: Caesar's early life and his political career down to his first consulship. (100-59 B.C.)   (N.B.  Many think that the opening paragraphs of this Life, describing the birth and boyhood of Caesar, have been lost.) Chapter 1.  When Sulla was ruling (in Rome), being able neither by inducements nor by intimidation, to separate Cornelia, the daughter of the Cinna, (who had been) the sole ruler, from Caesar, he confiscated her dowry. Now the cause of Caesar's hatred towards Sulla was his relationship to Marius. For the elder Marius was married to Julia, the sister of Caesar's father, from whom was born the younger Marius (who) was Caesar's cousin, and he was not contented, because he was overlooked by Sulla at the outset by reason of the multitude of his proscriptions (lit. murders) and on account of his (many) engagements, but he came forward before the people, canvassing for the priesthood, (when) he was scarcely yet a lad, (and), Sulla, being set against (him), on the one hand, arranged for him to fail in this, and on the other hand (while) deliberating about putting (him) to death, with some saying that there was no point in killing so very (young) a boy, he said that they had no sense if they did not see that there were many Mariuses in this boy. This speech having been reported to Caesar, he hid himself in (the land of) the Sabines, wandering about for some time, (and) then, (while) transporting himself by night to another abode on account of sickness, he fell into the hands of some soldiers of Sulla (while they were) scouring these districts and gathering up those lying hidden (there). Persuading their leader Cornelius with (a bribe of) two talents, he was freed, and, immediately going down to the sea, he sailed off to King Nicomedes in Bithynia, (and) having tarried with him for a little while (lit. for a not very long time) (and) then sailing back, he was captured near the island of Pharmacusa by some pirates, (who were) even then controlling the sea with their large fleets (of ships) and innumerable skiffs. Chapter 2. So, firstly, having been asked by them for a ransom of twenty talents, he laughed (at them) for not knowing whom they had captured, and agreed that he would give them fifty of his own accord; then, having sent his followers (lit. those around him) to various cities (lit. some of his followers to one city, some to another) for the raising of the money, (and), having been left with one friend and two attendants among the most murderous Cilician men, he treated (them) so contemptuously that, sending (to them) whenever he was trying to sleep, he gave orders (to them) to keep silent. Then, for thirty-eight (lit. forty lacking two) days, as if he were not being watched by them, but was being attended (by them) as a body-guard, he played and trained with (them) with marked unconcern. Also, writing poems and speeches, he read some (of these) to them (as) hearers, and he called those not admiring (them) illiterates and barbarians to their face, and with laughter often threatened to hang them. Now they were delighted (by this), attributing this freedom of speech to a certain simplicity and boyishness. But, when the ransom-money came from Miletus, and, having paid (it), he was set free, immediately manning some ships, he put to sea from the harbour of Miletus against the pirates, and, catching (them) still lying at anchor off the island, he seized most of them, and made their property his booty, and, putting the men into prison in Pergamum, he went himself to Junius, who was governing Asia, as being a matter for (lit. as it belonged to) him, being the praetor, to punish the captives. But with him casting longing eyes on the money, Caesar, leaving him to his own devices (lit. allowing him to rejoice), went to Pergamum, and, taking the pirates out (of prison), he crucified (them) all, just as he had, (when he was) on the island, often said beforehand, (while) appearing to be in jest. Chapter 3.  After this, with Sulla's power now being on the wane, and those at home calling him (to return), he sailed to Rhodes for the purpose of study under (lit. in accordance with) Apollonius, the (son) of Molon, under whom Cicero also studied, (lit. to whom Cicero also hearkened), an illustrious sophist (lit. [a man] who gave remarkable lectures) and who was considered to be decent in respect of his way of life, and Caesar is said, too, to have produced the best (performances) with regard to political speeches, and to have cultivated his inborn ability most assiduously, so that he held the second (rank) indisputably, but to have eschewed the first (rank), as he was more occupied (in being) first in power and in arms, (thus) not attaining the effectiveness in speaking to which nature was directing (him), by reason of the campaigns and political activity, through which he gained the supremacy. And so, on a later occasion, he begged that he, himself, should not be measured, in respect of the speech of a military man, against the ability of a clever orator, who also brought plenty of leisure to this (gift). Chapter 4.  Returning to Rome, he prosecuted Dolabella for the maladministration of his province, and many of the cities of Greece gave evidence for him; Dolabella was acquitted (lit. escaped justice), but Caesar, repaying Greece for its support, acted as its advocate in prosecuting Publius Antonius for corruption before Marcus Lucullus, the praetor of Macedonia, and he was so effective that Antonius appealed to the tribunes, claiming that he was not having a fair trial in Greece against Greeks, and in Rome much favour shone upon him with regard to his advocacy, and good-will also came upon (him) from the people for his friendly dealings (with them) with regard to his salutations, as he was (lit. [with him] being) courteous beyond his years. He also had (lit. There was to him also) a certain gradually increasing influence with regard to politics, in consequence of his dinner-parties and hospitality and the splendour about his whole way of living. His enemies, at first thinking that this would soon fade, with his expenses having dried up, watched (it) blossom among the common people (lit. the many): but, later on, (it) having become great and hard to subvert, and aiming directly at (lit. walking straight towards) total revolution, they realised that no beginning of anything should be considered a small (matter), which a continuous state cannot quickly make important, if it acquired the fact that it was not checked from its having been considered insignificant. Then, Cicero, the first man who is thought to have looked at him with suspicion and to have feared for the republic like the smiling (surface) of the sea, and who observed the sternness of character beneath his kind and affable (exterior), said that he saw a tyrannical purpose in all the rest of his schemes and political actions, but he said, "When I see his hair so carefully arranged (and) him adjusting (it) with a single finger, this man does not seem likely to me to conceive of (lit. to put into his mind) so great a crime (as) the overthrow of the republic." So this then (belongs to) a later (period). Chapter 5.  He received the first proof of the good-will of the people towards him, when, competing against Gaius Popilius for the military tribuneship, he was elected before (him), and (he received) a second and more conspicuous (proof), when, being the nephew of Julia, the deceased wife of Marius, he delivered a magnificent encomium concerning her in the Forum, and with regard to her funeral procession he ventured to bring out the images of Marius, these then being seen for the first time since the republic (came) under Sulla, his followers having been pronounced (public) enemies. For, with some crying out against Caesar for this reason, the people shouted (them) down decisively, welcoming (him) with applause, and admiring (him) for bringing back to the city, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius after such a long time. Now, it was the custom among the Romans to recite funeral orations over elderly women, but as this was not in vogue for young women, Caesar was the first man to speak (thus) over his deceased wife; and this brought him considerable favour, and he so captivated the mob by his grief that they loved (him as) a man (who was) gentle and full of feeling. Having buried his wife, he went out to Spain (as) quaestor to Vetus, one of the praetors, a man whom he both always continued to honour, and whose son he in turn made his quaestor when he himself was governing. With him having served in this office, he married Pompeia (as) his third wife, having a daughter by Cornelia who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. Deploying outlays of money unsparingly and appearing to exchange a transient and short-lived fame for a very great expense, but in truth purchasing the greatest things for a small (price), he is said (to have been) a debtor to the extent of one thousand and three hundred talents before he was appointed to any public office; and, after this, having been appointed (as) curator of the Appian Way, he lavished very great sums of money illed the from his own resources, and, then, when he was aedile, he provided three hundred pairs of gladiators, and, with all his other expenditures and extravagances on theatrical shows, processions and (public) dinners, he obliterated (lit. washed away) the ambitions (of all those who had come) before him, so that he disposed the people, each and every one of them, to seek new offices and fresh honours, with which to repay him. Chapter 6.  There being two factions in the city, that of Sulla being very powerful and that of Marius, which, faring very poorly at that time, had been cowed and scattered, he, wishing to strengthen this (faction) and attach (it) to himself, during the ostentatious displays which were still being held, had secretly made images of Marius and trophy-bearing Victories, which, bringing (them) to the Capitol by night, he set up (there). At day-break, all those things gleaming with gold and rendered with exquisite craftsmanship and, through inscriptions, his successes over the Cimbri were made manifest to spectators, (and) there was amazement at the daring of the man who had put (them) up - for it was not unclear -, and, word (of this), spreading around, brought all the people to this sight; but some cried out that Caesar, (by) setting up again honours which had been buried by laws and decrees, was aiming at a tyranny, and that he was attempting this by the people being softened up beforehand, (to see) whether they they had been (sufficiently) tamed by him through his ostentatious displays to allow (him) to amuse himself with such things and to make innovations; the followers of Marius, however, encouraging one another, suddenly appeared in such amazing numbers, and filled the Capitol with their applause, and, with many (of them) gazing at the features of Marius, tears came through joy, and Caesar was highly extolled with praises as being the (one) man (who was) worthy of his relationship to Marius, and, the Senate having been convened, to (talk) about these (matters), Lutatius Catulus, at that time a man of especially good repute among the Romans, arising and denouncing Caesar, uttered the memorable (saying): "No longer by underground mining," he said, "but now, Caesar, by engines of war, you are capturing the republic." But, when Caesar, defending himself against this (charge), convinced the Senate, those who admired him were still more elated, and exhorted (him) to lower his pretensions for no one, for (they said that), with the people being willing, he would surpass all (others) and would hold the first place (in the republic). Chapter 7.  At this time, the chief priest, Metellus, having died, and the priesthood being contested, with Isauricus and Catulus, most illustrious men and very influential in the Senate, being among (the candidates for it), Caesar did not give way to them, but, going to the people, he stood for the office. The regard (of the electors) appearing about equal, Catulus, dreading more the uncertainty, through being the more worthy (of his competitors), sent (messages) trying to persuade Caesar to withdraw from his ambitious designs by (offering him) large sums of money. But he said that he would borrow more to keep in the contest.   The day (of the election) having arrived, and his mother, not without tears, accompanying him to the door, (on) kissing her, he said, "Mother, today you will see your son either the chief priest or an exile," but, the vote having been taken and the contest having occurred, he prevailed, and caused the Senate and the nobles fear that he would lead the people on to every kind of recklessness. Therefore, the followers of (lit. those around) Piso and Catulus found fault with Cicero for sparing Caesar during the affair about Catiline, when he gave (his enemies) a hold (over him). For Catiline, having planned not only to subvert the constitution, but (also) to destroy the whole government and to throw all matters into confusion, was himself expelled (from the city), having stumbled into lesser investigations before his ultimate plans had been uncovered, but he left Lentulus and Cethegus behind (him) in the city (as) his successors in the conspiracy; whether Caesar secretly gave any encouragement and assistance to these men is uncertain, but, (with them) having been overwhelmingly condemned in the Senate, and the consul Cicero having asked each person for his opinion with regard to their punishment, (all) the others down to Caesar urged that they be put to death, but Caesar, having stood up, delivered a speech which expressed concern that to put to death men of high rank and of a brilliant lineage did not seem (to him) in line with their traditions or just, except in the case of extreme necessity, but that, if, having been confined, they were kept under guard in the cities of Italy, which Cicero himself might select, until such time as Catiline was overcome, afterwards during peace and at their leisure, the Senate should be enabled (lit. it should be permitted to the Senate) to decide (what should be done) with regard to each one of them. Chapter 8. This opinion seeming so humane and his speech on it having been delivered so powerfully, not only (those) who having got up (to speak) after him, supported (him), but also many of those who had spoken before him changed the opinion which they had expressed to his, until the issue came round to Cato and Catulus, and, with them vigorously setting themselves against (it), and Cato even raising suspicion against him on account of his speech at the same time and attacking (him) violently, the men were handed over to be put to death, and many of the young men who were guarding Cicero at that time, running up, offered their drawn swords to Caesar. But it is said that Curio, throwing his toga around (him), drew (him) out of danger, and that Cicero, himself, when the young men looked (to him for a sign), shook his head, (either) through fear of the people or because he thought that the murder (would be) unjust and outside the law. Now, if this was true, I do not understand why Cicero did not write about it in the book about his consulship, but he later got the blame for not having then made best use of the opportunity for getting rid of Caesar, shrinking from the people, who were excessively attached to Caesar, who in fact having even come to the Senate after a few days, with him speaking in defence of himself concerning (those things) about which he was under suspicion, and falling foul of hostile noises, since the mob realised that the time for which the Senate had been sitting was beyond what was customary, (and) came up with shouting and surrounded the Senate House, crying out for the man and demanding that he should be sent forth. Now, for this reason, Cato, especially fearing a revolution of the poor, who, fixing their hopes on Caesar, were kindling a fire among all the population, persuaded the Senate to distribute a monthly grain-ration to them, as a result of which expenditure, seven and a half million (lit. seven hundred and fifty myriad) (drachmas) a year were added to the other expenses (of the republic); however, this measure manifestly extinguished the great fear at that time, and broke and disrupted the greatest (part) of Caesar's power at the critical moment, with him about to be praetor and to be more formidable on account of this office. Chapter 9.  Nothing disturbing happened during his (praetorship) but a certain unfavourable incident affected Caesar with regard to his household. Publius Clodius was a man patrician by birth and conspicuous for his wealth and eloquence, but in his insolence and audaciousness second to no one of those (who were) notorious for their evil-living.This man was in love with Pompeia, Caesar's wife, and she was not unwilling, but the night-guarding of the women's quarters was strict, and Caesar's mother Aurelia, a wise woman, looking after the young wife, always made a meeting difficult and full of risk for them. Now the Romans have (lit. there is to the Romans) a deity whom they call the Good (Goddess), just as the Greeks (have one they call) the Woman's (Goddess). The Phrygians also, claiming (her) as their own, say that she was the mother of King Midas; and the Romans (say that she was) a Dryad nymph (who was) wedded to Faunus, and the Greeks (that she was) the unnameable (one) of the mothers of Dionysus. For this reason (the women) celebrating her festival cover their tents with vine-branches, and a sacred serpent is set beside the goddess in accordance with the myth. (It is) not lawful for a man to attend, nor to be in the house, when the sacred (rites) are being celebrated, but these woman are said to perform many (rites) by themselves (which are) connected with the Orphics during their sacred service. So, whenever the time for the festival comes round, the (houseowner) himself, (being) a consular or praetorian man absents himself, and every male (with him); then his wife, taking possession of the house, arranges (everything), and the most important (ceremonies) are performed at night with games being mingled up during the night-long celebrations, and with much musical activity being present at the same time. Chapter 10.  With Pompeia celebrating this festival at that time, Clodius, not yet bearded, and thinking that on this account he would escape notice, having assumed the clothes and attire of a lute-girl, came (to the house), as it seemed with the appearance of a young woman. And, meeting with open doors, he was let in by a maidservant who was aware (of the secret), but, with her having run on ahead to inform Pompeia, and some time having passed, with Clodius not being patient (enough) to remain where he had been left, and roaming around in the large house, an attendant of Aurelia, falling upon (him), called upon (him) to play (as) indeed (one) woman (might play with another) woman, and, when he was not wishing (to do so), she dragged (him) into the midst (of everyone) and enquired who he was and whence (he he had come). With Clodius saying that he was waiting for Pompeia's Abra - this was the very name by which she was called - and with him becoming conspicuous through his voice, the attendant immediately leapt away from (him) with a scream towards the lights and the throng, crying out that a man had been caught, and, with the women having been startled, Aurelia put an end to the sacred rites of the goddess and covered up (the emblems), and then, ordering the doors to be closed, she went about the house with torches, searching for Clodius. He was found, seeking refuge in the room of the young girl, with whom he had entered, and, having become visible, he was driven out of doors by the women, and the women, going home at once, told their husbands about the business of that night, and in the day word spread through the city that Clodius had committed a crime, and owed satisfaction not only to those (who had been) affronted, but also to the city and to the gods. And so, one of the tribunes indicted Clodius for sacrilege, and the most influential men from the Senate combined together against him, bearing witness both to his other shocking abominations, and (to) his adultery with his sister, who had been married to Lucullus. But against the eager efforts of these men, the people, having set themselves against (them), supported Clodius, and were of great help (to him) with regard to the jurors, (who were) panic-stricken and afraid of the mob. Caesar divorced Pompeia at once, but, having been summoned (as) a witness at the trial, he said that he knew nothing about the charges against Clodius. When, his statement appearing incredible, the prosecutor asked (him), "Why, then, did you divorce your wife?" he said, "Because I thought my (wife) should not even be under suspicion." Some say that Caesar said this, (as he was) thinking in this way, but others that (he was) showing favour to the people, (who were) eager to save Clodius. And so he escaped the charge, with the majority of jurors giving in their verdicts in illegible writing in order that they might neither risk the lives with regard to the people (by) condemning (him), nor be held in disrepute among the nobility by acquitting (him). Chapter 11.  Immediately after his praetorship, Caesar, having received Spain as his province, as it was very hard for him to settle matters concerning the money-lenders (who were) harassing (him) and causing a commotion, had recourse to Crassus, who was the richest man among the Romans, but (who was) needing Caesar's acuteness and energy for his political campaign against Pompey. Then, with Crassus having met the demands of the most difficult and inexorable of his creditors and having given his personal surety for eight hundred and thirty talents, he left for his province by these means. It is said that, with him crossing the Alps and passing by some barbarian village inhabited by very few men and poor (to look at), his companions said, "Presumably, there are here some rivalries over office-holding and conflicts over primacy and jealousies among the powerful towards one another, are there not?" Then, (it is said) Caesar said to them most earnestly, "I would wish to be first among them rather than second among Romans." In the same way, (it is said) again that in Spain, (with him) being at his leisure, (and) reading some (part) of the histories of Alexander, he had become completely (bound up) in himself, and then burst into tears: with his friends wondering at the reason (for this), he said, "Does it not seem to you that it is worthy of grief, that, if Alexander, being at the same age (as me), was already ruling over so many people, nothing remarkable has yet been achieved by me?" Chapter 12.  At any rate, when he reached Spain, he was active at once, such that within a few days he raised ten cohorts in addition to the twenty which were there beforehand, and, advancing with his army against the Callaici and Lusitani, he conquered (them) and went on as far as the outer sea, subduing the tribes which were not previously obedient to the Romans. Having settled the affairs of war successfully, he managed the problems of peace no worse, establishing concord between the cities, and, in particular, healing the dissensions between debtors and their creditors. For he ordered that a creditor should receive two thirds (lit. parts) of the incomes of his debtors each year, and so on until the loan should be discharged. Esteemed for these (reasons), he retired from the province, having become wealthy himself and having enriched (lit. benefited) his soldiers from their campaigns, and having been saluted (as) 'imperator' by them. Chapter 13.  Now, since it is necessary for those suing for a triumph to while away time outside (the city), and those canvassing for the consulship to do (so while) being present in the city, he, being in such a conflict of laws, and arriving (home) at the time of the consular elections themselves, sent (a message) to the Senate, requesting that it should be granted to him, (while) being outside (the city), to put forward his candidature for the consulship through the agency of his friends. But with Cato, at first insisting upon the (letter of the) law with regard to his claim, then, when he saw that many (senators) had been won over by Caesar's attentions, adjourning the matter through (wasting) time and (through) exhausting the day in speaking, Caesar decided that, forgoing the triumph, he would try for the consulship. So, coming forward, he immediately adopted a policy, which somehow deceived everyone except Cato, and this was (to effect) the reconcilation of Pompey and Crassus, the most powerful men in the city, whom Caesar, (by) bringing (them) together into friendship from their quarrel, and (by) concentrating the strength of both (of them) upon himself, by an act enabling a kindly greeting, changed the constitution of the state without anyone noticing (it) (lit. escaped notice, [while] changing the constitution of the state). But the quarrel between Caesar and Pompey did not bring on the civil wars, as most men supposed, but rather their friendship, in the first place contriving the destruction of the aristocracy, and only then quarrelling between themselves. And, in the case of Cato, (who was) often foretelling what was to come, it came about that he received the reputation of a peevish (and) interfering man, and afterwards (that) of a wise but unlucky counsellor.   Chapter 14.  But then Caesar, supported in the midst of the friendship of Crassus and Pompey, pressed on towards the consulship, and, having been triumphantly elected along with Calpurnius Bibulus and having entered into this office, he immediately proposed measures, appropriate not to a consul but to a most radical tribune, introducing certain allotments and distributions of land, with a view to the gratification of the multitude. With the great and the good (elements) in the Senate opposing (these measures), (and as he had been) previously standing in need of a pretext, crying out and bearing witness that he was being driven to the (Assembly of the) People by necessity due to the arrogance and obstinacy of the Senate, he hastened before it, and, flanked by Crassus on the one side and by Pompey on the other, he asked (them) whether they approved his laws. Then, (with them) declaring that they did approve (them), he urged (them) to assist (him) against those who had threatened to resist (him) with swords. They promised (to do so), and Pompey even added that he would come against swords with swords, (while) bringing a buckler as well; for this reason he distressed the nobles, who heard this remark, (which they considered) not worthy of their esteem for him nor appropriate to the respect due to the Senate, but manic and juvenile, but the people were delighted (by it). Then Caesar, trying to avail himself of the power of Pompey still more, as he had (lit. there was to him) a daughter Julia, (who was) betrothed to Servilius Caepio, betrothed her to Pompey, and said that he would give the (daughter) of Pompey to Servilius, (although) she was not unbetrothed but engaged to Faustus, the son of Sulla. And shortly afterwards Caesar married (lit. led [to the altar]) Calpurnia, a daughter of Piso, and got Piso elected to the forthcoming consulship, with Cato also protesting vehemently at that very moment and exclaiming that it was an intolerable (state of affairs), the chief magistracy being prostituted  by marriages, and (men) introducing one another to provinces, military commands and positions of power by means of women. So, Caesar's colleague, Bibulus, since he accomplished nothing (by) obstructing his laws, but often ran the risk, together with Cato, of being killed in the forum, completed his term of office having shut himself up in his house. But Pompey, having got married, filled the forum with armed men and ratified these laws with the people, while giving to Caesar the whole of Gaul, this side of the Alps and beyond (lit. within and without the Alps), together with Illyricum and four legions for a period of five years. In the case of Cato, who had tried to speak against these (measures), Caesar haled (him) off to prison, supposing that he would appeal to the tribunes: but, with him walking off without speaking, Caesar, seeing that not only the most influential men were displeased but also that the populace, out of respect for Cato's virtue, were following (him) in silence and with downcast (looks), himself secretly begged one of the tribunes to get Cato released. Only a very few of the other senators used to go to the Senate with him (i.e. Caesar), and the rest, being displeased, were not to be seen. Then, with a certain Considius, (one of) the very old (senators) telling (him) that they were not convening because they were afraid of the weapons and the soldiers, Caesar said (to him), "Why then do you, being in fear of these things, not stay at home too?" Considius said, "Because my old age makes me fearless: for, as the life (which is) left (to me) is short, it does not require much forethought." But it was thought that the most disgraceful of the public actions of that time (was) to elect (as) tribune, during the consulship of Caesar, that Clodius by whom the (law) had been broken with regard to his marriage and the forbidden all-night vigils. He (i.e. Clodius), however, was elected for the removal of Cicero: and Caesar did not go forth on his campaign until (lit. earlier than) he, together with Clodius, had formed a faction against Cicero, and had assisted in casting (him) out of Italy. B.  Chapters 15-27:  The Gallic War (58-51 B.C.) Chapter 15.  Such, then, are said to be the (events of his life) prior to his Gallic campaigns. But the period of the wars which he fought after this, and of the campaigns by which he subjugated Gaul, with him, as it were, making another beginning and entering into some different way of life and (one) of fresh circumstances, showed him not to be inferior (as) a soldier and (as) a commander to any of those who have been most admired for their leadership and who have proved themselves the greatest (in these respects). But, if one compares (him) with men such as Fabius and Scipio and Metellus, and (with) the men of his own time or a little before him, (like) Sulla and Marius and both Luculli, or even Pompey himself, whose fame for every kind of excellence concerning war was then in full bloom right up to the sky, the achievements of Caesar surpass (them all), one in the difficulty of the places in which he fought, another in the extent of the country which he acquired, another in the numbers and strength of the enemies whom he defeated, another in the savage and treacherous (dispositions) of the enemies whom he won over, another in his reasonableness and mildness towards those whom he had captured, another in his gifts and favours towards those who served alongside (him), and above all in the fact that he fought the most battles and killed the greatest number of adversaries. For, although he waged war in Gaul for not even ten years, he took by storm more than eight hundred cities, subdued three hundred tribes, and, (while) successively meeting in pitched battle three million (lit. three hundred by ten thousand) men, he killed a million (lit. a hundred [times ten thousand]) in hand-to-hand fighting, and took as many others captive. Chapter 16.  The zeal of his soldiers expressed itself in such good-will with regard to himself that those who had in no way surpassed others in their earlier campaigns became invincible and irresistible in the face of every danger for the sake of Caesar's reputation; for instance, such a man was Acilius, who in the naval battle off Massilia, having boarded an enemy vessel, had his right man cut off by a sword, but he did not give up his shield (held) by his other hand, but, dashing (it) into the faces of his foes, he forced (them) back, and took possession of the ship; and then (there was) Cassius Scaeva, who in the battle at Dyrrachium, having been struck in the eye with arrow and having been transfixed in his shoulder by one javelin and in his thigh by another one, called out to the enemy as though he intended to surrender. Then, with two (of them) coming up, he lopped off the shoulder of one with his sword, and, smiting the other in the face, he drove (him) back, and got away safely himself, with his companions supporting (him). And again, in Britain, with the enemy having set upon the foremost centurions, who had fallen into a place (which was) marshy and full of water, a soldier, with Caesar himself observing the battle, (while) thrusting himself into the midst (of the fighting) and displaying many conspicuous deeds of daring, rescued the centurions, with the barbarians having been routed, and then he himself, making his way back with difficulty after all (the others), threw himself into the marshy stream and, without his shield, sometimes swimming, and sometimes wading, just got across. With those around Caesar being amazed and coming to meet (him) with cries of joy (lit. with joy and crying), he, himself, very greatly downcast and with tears in his eyes, fell at the feet of Caesar, begging his pardon for having let go of his shield. And again in Libya, the comrades of Scipio, having captured a ship of Caesar's, in which Granius Petro, who had been appointed (as) quaestor, was sailing, made booty of  the other (soldiers), but told the quaestor that they would spare his life (lit. give [him] deliverance); he. however, saying that with Caesar's soldiers it was the custom not to receive, but to give, mercy, stabbing himself with his sword, killed (himself). Chapter 17.  Such ambitions and passions for distinction Caesar himself cultivated and nurtured, in the first place (by) making it clear, through his unstinting distribution of honours, that he was not amassing wealth from the wars for his own luxury or for any self-indulgence, but that he was setting this aside as common prizes treasured by him for valour, and that he was offering as much of the wealth to the deserving among his soldiers as he was keeping for himself; and, in the second place by willingly undergoing every danger and not refusing any forms of hard work. (His men) were not surprised at his love of danger on account of his love of honour, but his acceptance of toils beyond his body's apparent power of endurance did astound (them), because he was slight in respect of his physical stature, white and soft in respect of his skin, and ailing in respect of his head and subject to epileptic fits, with this malady first attacking him in Corduba, (however) he did not make this weakness an excuse for easy living, but his military service a cure for his poor health, fighting off his illness and keeping his body tough by wearisome journeys, a simple diet, camping continuously in the open air and enduring hardship. In fact, he got most of his sleep in carriages or litters, (while) devoting his rest-time to business, and in the day-time he was conveyed to fortresses, cities and fortified camps, with one slave sitting beside him, having been trained to write at the same time as travelling, and with one soldier standing at his back holding a sword, and he drove so intensely that, (while) making his first journey from Rome he reached the Rhone in seven days (lit. on the eighth day). It had been easy for him to ride from boyhood, for he had been accustomed, (while) placing his hands behind his back and keeping them clasped (there), to ride his horse at full gallop. And in that campaign he trained (himself) to dictate letters on horseback, and to keep two scribes busy at the same time, or, as Oppius says, even more (than that), and it is said, moreover, that Caesar was the first to arrange to converse with his friends by means of letters, with (him) being unable to wait for face-to-face meetings in relation to matters where he was pressed for time, on account of the number of his engagements and the size of the city. They consider the proof of his indifference to his diet (to be) as follows, that, with his host Valerius Leo, (while) entertaining him to dinner at Milan, serving asparagus dressed with myrrh instead of olive-oil, he ate (it) quite calmly himself, and rebuked his friends, when they were unable to endure (it). "Surely," he said, "it was enough not to partake of things which were disagreeable, but the man finding fault with such boorishness is boorish himself. Once, too, on a journey, having been forced by a storm into a poor man's hut, when he found nothing more than one room (which was) scarcely able to accommodate one man, saying to his friends that it was necessary for the honours to go to the strongest but for necessities (to go) to the weakest, he told Oppius to stop there; and he himself together with the others lay down to sleep under the projecting roof of the doorway.
Read more...

CAESAR: "DE BELLO GALLICO": BOOK VII

Published in Latin Translation

THE SEVENTH YEAR OF THE WAR: 52 B.C:   THE WAR WITH VERCINGETORIX


Introduction.

Book VII of Caesar's "Gallic War", which has ninety chapters, is by far the longest of the eight books of which this work is composed. At the same time, because it includes the record of the pan-Gallic uprising led by Vercingetorix, which for a time appeared to put at risk all Caesar's previous conquests, it provides an exciting account of the most critical campaign during his years as proconsul in Gaul. The final part of the book - Chapters 69-89 - deals with the decisive battle around the hill-town of Alesia, in which a heavily outnumbered Roman army of  70,000, although caught between a Gallic army of 80,000 besieged in Alesia and an army of up to 260,000 coming to their relief, eventually triumphs and completely defeats and breaks Vercingetorix and his rebels. Although some mopping up operations are necessary in the following year, 52. B.C. is thus the decisive date in the process by which the Celtic tribes of Gaul became Romanised. Yet, if Caesar and his army had been defeated at Alesia, which at one stage in the battle appeared to be a likely outcome, it is possible that this could have been one of  most disastrous defeats in the history of the Roman Republic, and Caesar's reputation as an invincible general, on which his future career was based, would have been damaged, probably irreparably. 
 
Book VII is also significant in that it highlights both Caesar's strengths and weaknesses as a general. To look at his weaknesses first, the most striking thing is Caesar's almost total lack of interest in careful prior planning for the campaigns which he fought. One might think that his constant references in his works to the "res frumentaria", i.e. the commissariat or corn supply, implies that Caesar gave a high priority to the organisation of this key aspect of campaigning. The truth is in fact quite the opposite. Caesar's armies were rarely adequately fed. In Gaul Caesar left the commissariat largely in the hands of allied tribes, especially the Aedui, despite the fact that their commitment to such support was often lukewarm. In Chapter 17 Caesar specifically mentions the Aedui's negligence in supplying the army with corn, and offers to discontinue the siege of Avaricum if the  troops were suffering too much from the resulting scarcity. Another weakness was his total failure to train cavalry. For cavalry, Caesar was mainly dependent on his Gallic allies, the quality of which was not high, and the number of these, rarely more than 4,000, was scarcely adequate. At times these deficiences placed his army at serious risk. His near defeat by the Nervii at the River Sambre in 57 B.C. had been the result of his cavalry's failure to discover the whereabouts of the enemy. The same happened again in 52 B.C. when Caesar's army on column of route to Alesia was surprised near Dijon by Vercingetorix's cavalry, and if the latter had been  more resolute themselves the consequences could have been dire for the Romans. After the Aedui and the Arverni had joined the insurrection, Caesar's ability to rely on Gallic cavalry effectively ceased and he had to resort to the desperate expedient of sending for cavalry reinforcements from those German tribes beyond the Rhine whom he had successfully pacified in previous campaigns (see Chapter 65 below). Fortunately for Caesar, these German horsemen proved very effective. Their successful skirmishes against Gallic cavalry in the early stages of the siege of Alesia was no doubt a contributory factor in Vercingetorix's decision to send away all his cavalry from Alesia before the ring of contravallation was closed. This decision proved disastrous for Vercingetorix and the Gauls, as it enabled the Romans to conduct foraging expeditions unchallenged, and thus maintain the blockade of Alesia for longer than would otherwise have been possible. However, if Caesar had been unable to recruit these German cavalry auxiliaries, the consequences could have been very serious indeed, and his effective dependence on foreign horsemen at all stages of his Gallic campaign was undoubtedly a serious weakness. Another weakness of Caesar was his tendency to divide his army and then to seek to achieve strategic targets for which he was inadequately equipped with men. His decision to detach four legions under the command of Labienus for operations against the Senones and the Parisii (see Chapter 57) was a significant factor behind Caesar's set back at Gergovia, when 750 men were lost. The presence of these four legions in addition to the seven already there, could have led to a different outcome at Gergovia. Furthermore, Labienus' force of four legions was itself at considerable risk, as Caesar himself acknowledges (see Chapter 56), and but for the tactical acumen of Labienus could have got into serious difficulties in the circumstances of a general insurrection. The only other serious defeat suffered by Caesar during his military career, that at Dyrrachium in 48 B.C. during the Civil War, also resulted from his prior detachment of two legions and 500 cavalry under Domitius Calvinus to operate against Metellus Scipio. Once again the presence of these troops might have led to defeat being avoided. 
 
However, despite these serious weaknesses in his profile as a general, Caesar's record of almost unbroken success in Gaul from 58 to 51 and later during the Civil War from 49 to 45 testifies to his remarkable qualities as a military leader. Two tributes to him are quoted below. The first is from the introduction to "Caesar: The Conquest of Gaul", translated by S.A. Handford, Penguin Classics, 1951:  "Caesar's own contribution was that of a superb tactician and military leader. No man ever knew better how to surprise and baffle his opponents by speed of movement, or how to snatch victory out of a battle that was very nearly a defeat by throwing in reserves at just the right place and the right time. No man ever won greater respect or more affectionate loyalty from his troops. For eight years of hard fighting, hard digging, and hard living, they gave him everything he asked of them" (p. 22). The second quotation comes from "Julius Caesar, man, soldier, and tyrant", by Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1965: "As a leader of men Caesar stood head and shoulders above the generals of his day, and it is more as a fighting than as a thinking soldier that his generalship has been judged ... First, it must be borne in mind that normally the battles of his day were parallel engagements in which the aim was to exhaust and then to penetrate the enemy's front. They were methodical operations in which, when both sides were similarly trained and organized, success depended largely on superiority of numbers. Caesar modified these tactics by basing his campaigns, not on superiority of numbers and meticulous preparations but on celerity and audacity. By surprising his opponent he caught him off-guard, and got him so thoroughly rattled that either he refused his challenge to fight and in consequence lost his prestige, or, should he respond, was morally half-beaten before the engagement took place" (p. 321). Another cause of his success was the confidence which his men had in him. This is demonstrated in the aftermath of the defeat at Gergovia, when Caesar lectures his soldiers for disobeying his orders (See Chapter 52 below). The implicit message of Caesar's speech was that the Roman army might not always be victorious, but that Caesar himself was invincible. This was certainly the message which Caesar wished to convey in his despatches to Rome, and his soldiers believed it. 
 
In Book VII, it is at the siege of Alesia, that these extraordinary qualities of Caesar are best exemplified. His plan to build two parallel lines of entrenchment around Alesia, the eleven mile line of contravallation to blockade Alesia and the fourteen mile line of circumvallation to defend the besieging Roman army from the vast Gallic relief force that had been raised, was in itself almost unprecedented and the execution of the plan by Caesar's legionaries equally remarkable. While the loving detail with which Caesar describes the diabolical refinements with which these entrenchments were equipped, viz. the lily, the pit, the spurs, the staghorn, the  boundary markers (see Chapters 72-73), reflect the Romans' delight in the practical skills of their engineers, there can be no doubt that these defensive techniques were crucial in allowing an army of around 70,000 to hold successfully at bay opposing forces totalling around 340,000. But, in the end the sheer determination and courage of Caesar's eleven veteran legions, their skills honed to perfection by seven years of hard campaigning, were decisive. As at the battle of the Sambre, Caesar's personal appearance in the battle at the moment of crisis on the upper fortifications inspires his men to almost superhuman effort, and his masterly ploy in sending his cavalry force to take the Gauls in the rear is the decisive factor in breaking the resolve of the Gauls to maintain the struggle. 

Book VII also contains a number of features which raise questions in the minds of the reader, which are not easy to resolve. Throughout the book Caesar treats Vercingetorix with considerable respect and portrays him as a worthy protagonist. Whether this respect is genuine or is manufactured in order to increase the credit of his final victory, is not, however, clear. At the same time he appears to know a great deal about both Vercingetorix's motivation, as well as about his actions and decisions. But it is not clear whether this knowledge stems from the direct evidence of witnesses, including perhaps that of Vercingetorix himself after his capture, or whether it is conjecture. Nor does Caesar mention his ultimate fate. Tradition has it that Vercingetorix was required to march in Caesar's Gallic War triumph in 46 B.C., after which he was strangled in the Tullianum, the customary treatment of such prisoners of war at the culmination of a triumph. Admirers of Caesar, aware of his much vaunted policy of clemency during the Civil War, struggle to reconcile this brutal treatment of Vercingetorix with his apparent respect for him as displayed in Book VII.  It has been pointed out that the only source we actually have for Vercingetorix's execution is Cassius Dio, writing at the beginning of the Third Century A.D., and that a number of his other charges of cruelty against Caesar, where these can be compared with the statements of others, appear to be untrue. Perhaps, then, Caesar may have spared Vercingetorix's life, as the Emperor Claudius was to do in 51 A.D. in the case of the British leader Caractacus. Another related issue is the apparent understanding that Caesar shows for the desire of the Gauls to maintain or recover their former independence, and his readiness to put into the mouths of barbarian speech-makers some sharp criticisms of the Romans and their tyrannical intentions. This motif is evident in a number of passages in the "Gallic Wars", and indeed is a familiar one in later Roman historians. The most  renowned example of this is perhaps the speech, which Tacitus, prior to the battle of Mons Graupius in Perthshire in 83 A.D. puts into the mouth of the Caledonian chief Calgacus, who famously declared of the Romans, "Robbery, butchery, rapine, the liars call Empire; they create a desolation and call it peace" (Tacitus' "Agricola", Ch. 30). In Book VII such sentiments are also reflected in the long speech of Critognatus (see Chapter 77 below), who after advocating cannibalism as preferable to the surrender of Alesia, asks, "But what else do the Romans seek or what else do they want, except, induced by envy, to settle in the lands and states of those whom they know by reputation to be noble and powerful in war?" It is not clear how far, if at all, Caesar's apparent understanding of, and sympathy with the desire of his antagonists for freedom is genuine, or whether such sentiments are included simply to magnify respect for his opponents, and thus to magnify the credit for their eventual defeat, or alternatively are included to entertain the reader through the pathos which such statements may engender. Another question which arises is the amount of text Caesar devotes to cataloguing the treachery of his former allies, the Aedui, in Chapters 5, 17, 37-40, 42-43 and 54-55. In view of Caesar's previous reaction to disloyalty or treachery- for instance he had flogged Acco, the Senonian chieftain, to death in 53 B.C. - one might have expected condign punishment to have been meted out to the Aedui, particularly in view of their massacre of the garrison at the Romans' baggage depot of Noviodunum,  (see Chapter 55). The disloyalty of their leaders Convictolitavis, Litaviccus, Eporedorix and Viridomarus was flagrant, and in the context of the extremely favourable treatment which this tribe had received from Caesar (see Chapter 54), and the trouble which he takes to spell out the extent of their deceit and ingratitude in the chapters just mentioned, it is perhaps surprising that he treats them and their main co-conspirators, Vercingetorix's own tribe, the Arverni, with such mildness after the end of the action at Alesia (see Chapters 89-90), especially when the men from the other tribes, who had owed less to the Romans in the first place, should have been enslaved at once. Perhaps Caesar had realised that his merciless treatment of Acco had been counter-productive, and it is possible that his famous policy of clemency stems from this moment. Certainly he was to find that his generous treatment of both the Bituriges and the Bellovaci (see Book VIII) was to lead to substantial dividends in respect of pacification.  

Sabidius has written of Caesar's qualities as a writer in the introductions to other books of this work which  he has translated. No repetition is required here. Having said that, Book VII is full of instances of the ablative absolute (these are all underlined in the translation below), gerundives and impersonal passives, which are the constructions most difficult to translate in a literal form into English. It is interesting that, while in Book II Caesar uses a period of 118 words, with a gradually rising crescendo of tension, when he is describing the action at the battle of the Sambre, he adopts a very different approach in Book VII when describing the engagement at Alesia (see Chapters 84-88 in particular). Note the vividness and power of the descriptive passages, the short quick sentences, the freshness and vigour created by the absence of connective conjunctions, and the rapidity of the whole composition. Please note too that in his translation below Sabidius indicates Latin main verbs in the narrative by the use of italics.

The text used for this translation is  "Caesar: Gallic War VII", edited by the Rev. John Bond, M.A. and Arthur S. Walpole, M.A., in the Elementary Classics series, Macmillan & Co., 1887. In his translation Sabidius has taken account of the notes attached to this text, and also those of J.B. Greenhough et al., to their edition of "Caesar's Gallic War", Ginn & Company, 1898.


Chapter 1.  A new rising planned.

Gaul (being) at peace, Caesar sets out for Italy, as he had determined, in order to hold the provincial assizes (lit. for the purpose of the provincial assizes being held). There he learnsabout the killing of (Publius) Clodius (Pulcher) and, having been informed of the decree of the Senate (to the effect) that all the men of military age in (lit. all the younger men of) Italy should take the military oath together, he began to hold a levy throughout the (lit. in the whole) province. These events are rapidly reported to Transalpine Gaul. On their own account, the Gauls add to the rumours and invent what the situation seemed to require, (namely) that Caesar was detained by the disturbance in the City and that amidst such great discords he could not come to his army. Urged on by this opportunity, inasmuch as they were already lamenting that they (had been) subjected to the sovereignty of the Roman people before (these events had occurred), they begin to hatch (lit. form) plots more freely and more daringly. The chieftains of Gaul, meetings having been arranged between themselves in woods and in remote spots, complain about the death of Acco; they point out that this fate could fall upon themselves, and they bewail the common plight (lit. fortune) of Gaul; by all kinds of promises and rewards they demand that some (tribe) should commence hostilities (lit. make a beginning of war) and even at the risk of their own lives that they should champion the freedom of Gaul. In the first place they say that means had (lit. were needing) to be devised so that Caesar should be cut off from his army before their secret plans were divulged. (They said) that this was easy because neither would the legions dare, in the absence of their general (lit. their general [being] absent), to leave their winter-quarters, nor could the general reach the legions without a guard. Finally, (they said) that it was better to be slain on the battle-field than not to recover that ancient renown in war which they had received from their ancestors.  



Chapter 2.  The Carnutes offer to begin the uprising. 

These matters having been deliberated, the Carnutes declare that they would decline no danger for the sake of the common safety, and promise that they would be the first of all to make war, and, since they cannot in the present (circumstances) take precautions by means of hostages between themselves, in order that the affair should not be divulged, they askthat there there should be an assurance (lit. that it be assured) by oath and pledged word,their military standards having been brought together, by which custom their most solemn rituals are made binding, that, when they commenced hostilities (lit. the beginning of the war having been made), they should not be deserted by the rest (of the Gauls). Then, the Carnutes having been applauded, the oath having been given by all who were present, (and) a date for their enterprise having been agreed, they depart (lit. it is departed) from the council.




Chapter 3.  The Carnutes massacre some Romans at Cenabum.

When that day came, the Carnutes with Gutruatus and Conconnetodumnus (as) leaders, (both) desperate men, at a given signal (lit. the signal having been given), rush at Cenabum (i.e. Orlearns) and kill the Roman citizens who had settled there for the purpose of trading, among them Gaius Fufius Cita, an honourable Roman knight, who by order of Caesar was in charge of the corn supply, and plunder their property. The news (of this) is speedily conveyedto all the states of Gaul. For, whenever quite an important or quite a remarkable event has occurred, they indicate (this) through their fields and districts by a shout; the others takethis up in turn and pass (it) on to their neighbours, as happened on this occasion. For, although these things had been done at Cenabum at sunrise (lit. with the sun rising), they were heard about before the first watch had been (lit. having been) completed (i.e. between 9.00 and 10.00 p.m.) in the lands of the Arverni (i.e. Auvergne), which is a distance of around a hundred and sixty miles (lit. thousand paces). 


Chapter 4.  Vercingetorix the Arvernian.  

There (i.e. in Auvergne) in like manner Vercingetorix, the son of Celtillus, a young men of the highest influence, whose father had held the chieftainship of the whole of Gaul and had been put to death by his state on account of this reason, because he had aimed at the kingship, his dependants having been called together,  easily fired (them) up. His design having been made known, there is a rush (lit. it is rushed) to arms. He is hindered by his uncle Gobannitio and the other chiefs who were not of the opinion that this course of action (lit. fortune) should be attempted, (and) he is expelled from Gergovia; however he does not give up (lit. desist) but in the fields he holds a levy of the destitute and the desperate. This band (of men) having been gathered together, he brings over to his way of thinking whomsoever he approaches from his state; he exhorts (them) to take up arms on behalf of the general freedom, and, large forces having been assembled, he drives out of the state his opponents, by whom he had been expelled a short time before. He is called king by his (followers). He sends out ambassadors in every direction; he entreats (them) to remain in their loyalty (to him). He quickly attaches to himself the Senones, the Parisii, the Pictones, the Cadurci, the Turoni, the Aulerci, the Lemovices, the Andi, and all the other (tribes) who border on the Ocean. The supreme command is bestowed upon him with the consent of all.This authority having been conferred (on him), he demands hostages from all these states,he orders a fixed number of soldiers to be sent to him quickly, he determines how many arms each state should furnish at home, and by when (lit. before what time); he paysespecial attention to the cavalry. To the utmost diligence, he adds the utmost severity of authority; he compels the wavering by the magnitude of his punishment. For, a greater crime having been committed, he kills (the perpetrators) by fire and every kind of torture, (and) for a slighter cause he sends (them) home with their ears cut off or with one of their eyes gouged out, so that they may be an example to the rest, and terrify the others by the magnitude of their punishment. 


Chapter 5.  Doubtful conduct of the Aedui.  The Bituriges join the Arverni.

An army having been speedily gathered by these punishments, he sends Lucterius of the Cadurci, a man of the utmost daring, with part of his forces into (the territories of) the Ruteni; he himself sets out for (the lands of) the Bituriges. On his arrival, the Bituriges sendenvoys to the Aedui, under whose protection they were, to ask for help, so that (lit. whereby) they could the more easily withstand the forces of the enemy. The Aedui (acting) on the advice of the deputies, whom Caesar had left with the army, send forces of cavalry and infantry in aid to the Bituriges. When they came to the river Loire, which separates the Bituriges from the Aedui, having delayed for a few days and not daring to cross the river,they return home and report to our deputies that they had returned, because they feared (lit. fearing) the treachery of the Bituriges, whom they had learned had this plan (lit. to whom they had learned that there was this plan), that, if they should cross the river, they themselves on the one side, and the Arverni on the other, would surround them. Because it is not at all clear to us whether they did this for the reason which they gave out to our deputies, or having been induced by treachery, it does not seem proper that it should (lit. that it was needing to) be definitely stated as certain. On their departure, the Bituriges join themselves at once with the Arverni.  


 Chapter 6.  Caesar is perplexed.

These events having been reported to Caesar in Italy, at a time when he understood that matters in the City had arrived at a more advantageous state through the vigour of Gnaeus Pompeius (Magnus), he sets out for Transalpine Gaul. When he arrived there, he was greatly at a loss (lit. he was  affected by a great difficulty) (as to) by what means he could reach his army. For, if he should summon the legions into the province, he realised that they would have to fight battles on the journey in his absence (lit. with him [being] absent); if he himself should strive to (reach) the army, he saw that his own safety would not be properly entrusted, even to those who, at that time, seemed (to be) at peace (lit. pacified). 

Chapter 7.  Caesar goes to Narbo.

In the meantime, Lucterius of the Cadurci, having been sent into (the territories of) the Ruteni, wins over that state to the Arverni. Advancing into (the lands of) the Nitiobriges and the Gabali, he receives hostages from both (tribes) and, a great band (of men) having been gathered together, he endeavours to make a sally into the Province in the direction of Narbo. This circumstance having been reported (to him), Caesar deemed that to set out for Narbo should take precedence over (lit. was needing to be put in front of) all of his plans. When he arrives there, he encourages the fearful, he stations garrisons in the (lands of) Ruteni of the Province, the Volscae, the Arecomici, (and) the Tolosates, and around Narbo, which places were adjacent to the enemy, (and) he orders part of the forces from the Province and the supplementary levy, which he had brought from Italy, to come together in (the lands of) the Helvii, which border upon the territories of the Arverni. 


Chapter 8.  Caesar crosses the Cevennes.  Vercingetorix moves southwards.  


These things having been arranged, Lucterius having now been checked and kept at a distance, because he thought (it) dangerous to enter within (the line of) the garrisons, he(i.e. Caesar) sets out for (the lands of) the Helvii. Although Mount Cevenna (i.e. the Cevennes range), which separates the Arverni from the Helvii, was blocking their route with very deep snow at this most severe time of year, yet the snow six feet in depth having been cleared and the roads thus opened up by the utmost exertion of his soldiers, he reached (the territories of) the Arverni. These people having been caught off their guard, because they thought themselves fortified by (Mount) Cevenna, as by a wall, and that the paths had not ever been open at this time of year even to a solitary wayfarer (lit. man), he (i.e. Caesar)orders the cavalry to patrol as widely as they can and to inflict as much terror as possible on the enemy. These (tidings) are speedily conveyed to Vercingetorix by rumour and by messengers; panic-stricken, all the Arverni surround him and beseech (him) to take care of their property and not to allow themselves to be plundered by the enemy, especially when he can see that the whole war has been transferred in their direction (lit. against them). Influenced by their entreaties, he moves his camp from (the territory) of the Bituriges (and) in the direction of (lit. turned towards) the Arverni. 


Chapter 9.  Vercingetorix besieges Gorgobina. 

But Caesar, having delayed in this location for two days, because he had anticipated that these things would turn out (so) in practice for Vercingetorix, leaves the army on the pretext of the supplementary levy and the cavalry being assembled, and puts the young (Decimus Junius) Brutus in command of these forces; he instructs him that the cavalry should deploy in all directions as widely as possible: (he says) that he would endeavour (lit. would give [himself] the task) not to be absent from the camp for longer than three days. These mattershaving been arranged, he reaches Vienna (i.e. Vienne) by the longest marches which he can (manage), with his (men) not expecting (him). Obtaining there fresh cavalry, which he had sent on to that place several days previously, his march having been interrupted neither by day nor by night, he hastens through (the territories of) the Aedui into (the lands of) the Lingones, where two legions were in winter-quarters, so that, if even any plan concerning his own safety had been formed by the Aedui, he would forestall (it) by the rapidity (of his movements). When he arrived there, he sends (word) to the rest of the legions and gathers(them) all into one place, before the news of his arrival could be reported to the Arverni (lit. before it could be reported to the Arverni about his arrival). This circumstance having been learned of, Vercingetorix leads his army back again into (the lands of) the Bituriges and, setting out thence for Gorgobina, a town of the Boii, whom, after they had (lit. having) been defeated in the Helvetian War, Caesar had settled there and made tributary to the Aedui, he began to attack (it). 


Chapter 10.  Caesar determines to relieve Gorgobina. 


This action brought great difficulty to Caesar in the way of a plan (of campaign) being adopted, (as he was afraid) that, if he should confine his legions in one place, during the remaining part of the winter, the whole of Gaul should revolt, when the tributaries of the Aedui were reduced (lit. the tributaries of the Aedui having been reduced; (on the other hand he was afraid) that, if he were to withdraw (them) from their winter-quarters too early, he should be troubled by difficult conveyancing (arrangements) in respect of the corn supply. Nonetheless, it seemed (to him) preferable to endure to the end every hardship than to alienate the good-will of all of his (friends), so great a disgrace having been accepted. So, exhorting the Aedui with regard to provisions being supplied, he sends (word) to the Boii to inform (them) of his coming and to encourage (them) to remain (firm) in their allegiance, and to withstand the enemy's attack with great resolution. Two legions and the baggage of the whole army having been left at Agedincum (i.e. Sens), he sets out for (the territories) of the Boii.  


Chapter 11.  On the way he besieges Vellaunodunum.

On the next day, when he came to Vellaunodunum, a town of the Senones, he began to attack (it), in order that he should not leave any of the enemy behind him, (and) so that (lit. whereby) he might the more readily make use of his corn supply, and in two days he had surrounded (it) with a rampart; on the third day, envoys having been sent from the town (to talk) about surrender, he orders their arms to be collected, their pack animals to be brought forth, (and) six hundred hostages to be given. To complete these (matters), he leaves Gaius Trebonius. He himself, in order to make his march as soon as possible, sets out for Cenabum, (a town) of the Carnutes; they, the news about the siege of Vellaunodunum having then been brought (to them) for the first time, as they thought that this business would turn out to be conducted over a longer time, were preparing a garrison to (lit. which they would) send there with the purpose of Cenabum being defended. He arrives here in two days. His camp having been pitched before the town, (but) having been prevented by the time of day,he defers his attack to the next (day), he orders whatever was of use for that enterprise (to be prepared), and, fearing that, because the bridge over the river Loire extended to (lit. touched) the town of Cenabum, they might escape from the town at night, he orders two legions to keep watch under arms. The people of Cenabum, coming out from the town in silence a little before midnight, began to cross the river. This occurrence having been reported (to him) by his scouts, Caesar, the gates having been set on fire, sends in the legions which he had ordered to be at the ready, and gains possession of the town, (and) all but a very few in the number of the enemy having escaped (lit. having been missed), were captured, because the narrowness of the bridge and the roads had prevented (lit. cut off) the multitude's escape. He plunders and burns the town, and gives the booty to his soldiers, andhe leads his army over the Loire and so arrives in the territory of the Bituriges.  


Chapter 12.  Vercingetorix leaves Gorgobina and delays the capitulation of Noviodunum. 


 Vercingetorix, when he had he had learned of Caesar's arrival, abandoned (lit. desistedfrom) the siege and sets out to meet Caesar. He (i. e. Caesar) had begun to attack Noviodunum, a stronghold of the Bituriges, located on his route. When envoys came to him from this town to beg (him) to pardon them and to spare (lit. take care of) their lives, he, in order that he might complete the rest of his designs with that rapidity with which he had accomplished (lit. followed up) most of them, orders their arms to be collected, their pack-horses to be brought forth, (and) hostages to be given. A part of the hostages having now been given up, when the rest (of the terms) were being carried out, some centurions and a few soldiers having been sent inside to look for the arms and the pack-horses, the enemy's cavalry, which had outstripped Vercingetorix's main column, was seen in the distance. As soon as the townspeople beheld this, and so entertained (lit. came into) the hope of assistance, a shout having been raised, they began to take up arms, to shut the gates and to man the wall. When the centurions in the town realised from the signalling of the Gauls that some new design was being formed, their swords having been drawn, they seized the gates and withdrew all their men safely. 


Chapter 13.  Noviodunum yields a little later. Then Caesar starts for Avaricum. 



Caesar orders the cavalry to be drawn out of the camp, (and) engages in a cavalry battle; his men being now in trouble, he sends in their support about four hundred German horsemen, whom he had resolved at the beginning to keep with himself. The Gauls could not withstand their charge, and, having been put to flight, retreated (lit. betook themselves) to their main column, many men having been lost, These men having been utterly routed, the townspeople, panic-stricken once more, brought to Caesar those men by whose efforts they considered the common people had been aroused, (and whom they had) seized, and they surrendered themselves to him. These things having been accomplished, Caesar set out for the town of Avaricum (i.e. Bourges), which was the largest and most highly fortified (stronghold) in the territories of the Bituriges, and in a most fertile area of the country, because he felt sure that, this town having been recovered, he would bring the state of the Bituriges back into his power. 


Chapter 14.  Vercingetorix's speech to his men.

So many successive setbacks having been received at Vellaunodunum, at Cenabum, (and) at Noviodunum, Vercingetorix summoned his men to a council. He tells (them) that the war should (lit. was needing to) be prosecuted in a manner very different from (what) had been adopted previously. By all means it was necessary for this matter to be attended to (lit. it was needing to be attended to in respect of this matter),   (that is) that the Romans should be prevented from foraging and (getting) supplies. That this was easy, because they themselves were well supplied with cavalry and because they were assisted by the time of year. That the forage could not be cut; that the enemy, having been scattered by necessity, would look for (it) in storehouses; that all these (enemy detachments) could be daily destroyed by their cavalry. Furthermore, the interests of private property must be sacrificed (lit. neglected) for the sake of the (common) good (lit. safety): that it was necessary that the villages and storehouses should be burned in every direction to such a distance from the route as they (i.e. the Romans) seemed able to penetrate (lit. get to) for the sake of foraging. That an abundance of these things could be supplied to themselves, because they would be assisted by the resources of those in whose territories the war would be waged; that the Romans either would not endure the shortage, or would advance further from the camp (only) with considerable danger; and that it did not matter whether they slew them or stripped (them) of their baggage, (as) if this were lost (lit. this having been lost, the war could not be waged. Moreover, that it was necessary for their towns to be burned, which were not secure from every danger by fortification and by the nature of their position, lest they should be a refuge for their own men for the purpose of military service being shirked, or they should be exposed to the Romans for the purpose of an abundance of supplies and booty being seized. That, if these (sacrifices) should seem too heavy or too bitter, they should consider it much more grievous that their children and their wives should be dragged off into slavery (and) themselves slain, (something) which would inevitably happen to the conquered.  


Chapter 15.  The Gauls decide not to burn, but to defend, Avaricum.

This view having been approved by the consent of all, more than twenty towns of the Bituriges are burned in one day. This same thing happens in the other states. Fires were to be seen in all directions; though everyone endured these with great regret, yet they offeredthemselves this consolation, that they felt sure that they would speedily recover all they had lost (lit. the things having been lost) by a well-nigh assured victory. There is a debate (lit. it is deliberated) about Avaricum in the general council, (whether) it was right for it to be burned or defended. The Bituriges throw themselves at the feet of all the Gauls, (begging) that they should not be compelled to set fire with their own hands to the most beautiful city in almost the whole of Gaul, which was a protection and an ornament to the state; they saythat they could easily defend (it) owing to the nature of its position, inasmuch as, having been surrounded on every side by a river and a marsh, it has one entrance, and a very narrow (one at that). Leave was granted to (those who were) requesting (it), Vercingetorix at firstdissuading (them), (but) afterwards conceding, owing both to their prayers and to compassion for the multitude. Suitable defenders are chosen for the town. 


 Chapter 16.  Vercingetorix encamps sixteen miles away.   


Vercingetorix follows Caesar by shorter marches, and selects for his camp a location, defended by marshes and woods, sixteen miles (lit. thousand paces) distant from Avaricum. There he learned through his regular scouts what was going on at Avaricum from hour to hour (lit. in respect of [every] single hour of the day), and (then) he ordered what he wished to be done. He kept under observation all our foraging and corn-supplying (expeditions), and, whenever they were obliged to advance (lit. they advanced of necessity) too far, he attacked (them when they were thus) dispersed and caused them great losses (lit. andaffected [them] with great inconvenience), although in so far as skilful planning could provide (against this danger) (lit. as it could be provided [against] by strategy), it was metby our men in such a way that they went (lit. it was gone) at uncertain times and by different routes. 


Chapter 17.  Difficulty about supplies, and distress of the Romans.  


His camp having been pitched at that side of the town, which, having been left free by the river and by the marsh, had a narrow approach, as we have said above, Caesar begins to prepare a rampart, to bring up mantlets, and to construct two towers; for, the nature of of the place prevented circumvallation. He did not cease to urge on the Boii and the Aedui concerning the corn-supply; of these, one (i.e. the Aedui), because they were acting with no zeal, did not help (him) much, the other (i.e. the Boii), their resources not (being) great, because their state was small and weak, swiftly consumed what they had. The army having been embarrassed by (lit. having been affected with the utmost difficulty in) its corn-supply, through the indigence of the Boii, the slackness of the Aedui, and the burning of the store-houses to such a point that the soldiers lacked corn for several days and satisfied (lit. supported) their extreme hunger with cattle driven from the more remote villages, yet no voice was heard unworthy of the majesty of the Roman people and their previous victories. Moreover, when Caesar addressed each of the legions at work, and said that he would raise (lit. give up) the siege, if they were suffering from the scarcity too bitterly, theyunanimously begged him not to do that: (they said) that they had served for several years under his command (lit. with him commanding), that they had not received any failure (lit. disgrace), and had, in no instance, departed with the task unaccomplished (lit. having been begun); that they would regard it in the light (lit. place) of a disgrace, if they were to abandon the siege (once it had been) begun; that it was better to endure every hardship than not (to) avenge the Roman citizens who had perished at Cenabum owing to the treachery of the Gauls. They entrusted these same (opinions) to the centurions and military tribunes, so that they might be communicated to Caesar. 


Chapter 18.  A battle imminent.  


When the towers had now approached the wall, Caesar discovered from captives that Vercingetorix, his forage having been exhausted, had pitched his camp nearer to Avaricum, and that he himself with his cavalry and the lightly-armed men who were accustomed to fight among the horsemen, had set out for the purpose of (laying) an ambush in that place whither he thought that our men would come the next day to forage. These things having been learned about, (and) having set out in silence in the middle of the night, he reachedthe enemy's camp (early) in the morning. They, Caesar's arrival having been quickly learned about through scouts, hid their wagons and baggage in the thickest (parts of) the woods, (and) drew up all their forces in a high and open position. This action having been reported (to him), Caesar quickly ordered their packs to be piled together, and their arms to be got ready (for action). 


Chapter 19.  Strong position of the Gauls.  


There was a hill, sloping gently upwards from the bottom. A marsh, difficult (to cross) andawkward, (but) not broader than fifty feet, surrounded it on almost every side. The Gauls,the causeways having been broken down, established themselves on this hill, trusting in the strength of the position (lit. with a trust in the position), and, having been drawn up by tribes [in accordance with their states], they held all the fords and wooded passages [of that marsh], so resolved (lit. ready in mind) that, if the Romans should try to break through that marsh, they would overwhelm (them) from their higher position (while they were) struggling (lit. sticking) (in the morass), so that whoever saw the nearness of the position would imagine (them) ready for fighting almost on an equal footing (lit. in almost equal battle), (but) whoever carefully observed the inequality of the conditions would realise that they were making a display of an empty pretence. Caesar points out to his soldiers, indignant that the enemy could endure the sight of them with so small a space lying (lit. having been put) between (them), with what great loss and how many deaths of gallant men it would be necessary for the victory to cost; (and) when he saw them so determined (lit. ready in mind) to decline no danger on behalf of his renown, (he tells them) that he ought to be condemned of the utmost unjustice if he did not hold their lives dearer than his own welfare. Having thus pacified (lit. consoled) his soldiers, he leads (them) back to camp on the same day, andbegins to prepare the other things which are necessary for (lit. pertaining to) the siege of the town. 


Chapter 20.  Vercingetorix accused of treachery. He defends himself. 


When he returned to his men, Vercingetorix (was) accused of treachery, in that he had moved his camp too near the Romans, in that he had gone off with all the cavalry, in that he had left such great forces without any person in command (lit. without a command), (and) in that, on his departure, the Romans had come at such a favourable opportunity and with such great speed; that all things could not have happened by chance or without design; that he preferred to hold the sovereignty of Gaul by the permission of Caesar than by the favour of themselves: having been accused in such a manner, he replied (as follows) to these (charges): - that he had (as they said) moved the camp (had been) done owing to the shortage of forage (and) even with them encouraging (this), he had advanced nearer to the Romans (had been) urged (on him) by the favourable nature of the ground, which could defend itself on its own account without any fortification; that, in truth, the employment of the cavalry ought not to have been missed on marshy ground and had been of use in that place whither it had marched. That he, (while) departing, had handed the supreme command to no one, lest he should be impelled by the eagerness of the multitude towards fighting, inasmuch as he saw that all (of them) were zealous for this action on account of the weakness (lit. softness) of their spirit, because they could not endure hardship any longer. That, if the Romans by chance appeared, thanks were due (lit. needing to be felt) to fortune, (and) if, having been summoned by the information of someone, to that person, because they were able both to discern from their higher ground their paucity (of numbers) and to despise the courage (of those) who, not having dared to fight, withdrew (lit. betook themselves) shamefully to their camp. That he was desiring (lit. feeling the want of) no power from Caesar through treachery, because he could have (it) by a victory which was already assured to him and to all the Gauls; moreover, he is ready to resign (his command) to them, if they think that they are assigning (lit. seem [to themselves] to be assigning) honour to him rather than receiving (lit. to be receiving) security from him. "So that you may understand," he says, "that these things were said by me truthfully, listen to these Roman soldiers." He (then) produces some slaves whom he had taken prisoner on a foraging (expedition) a few days before, and (whom) he had tortured by hunger and by (confinement in) chains. They, having already been told beforehand what to say (when) questioned, saythat they are Roman legionary soldiers; that, having been induced by hunger and want, they went out of the camp (to see) if they could find any corn or cattle in the fields; (they say) that the whole army was oppressed by a similar scarcity, and that the strength of anyone was not now sufficient nor could they bear the labour of the work; and therefore that the general had now decided that, if he had achieved nothing in the siege, he would withdraw (lit. draw off) his army in three days. "You have these benefits," says Vercingetorix, "from me; (me) by whose efforts you see so great (and) victorious an army exhausted by famine without your blood (being shed); it has been arranged by me that no (lit. not any) state shall receive within its territories this (army) (while it is) withdrawing (lit. betaking itself) shamefully in flight." 


 21.  The Gauls accept his defence, and resolve to send ten thousand men to Avaricum. 


The whole multitude shouts out and clash their arms together, in accordance with their custom, which they were used to doing in the case of a man whose speech they approved;(they declare) that Vercingetorix was a great general and that his good faith should not be doubted (lit. that it [was] not needing to be doubted with regard to his good faith), nor could the war be conducted with a better strategy. They decide that ten thousand men, having been picked from all their forces, should be sent into the town, and they resolve that the common safety should not (lit. that it [was] not appropriate to) be entrusted to the Bituriges alone, because they realised that the crown (lit. the ultimate [issue]) of victory rested (lit. stood) almost upon that (one point), (namely) if they were to hold that town. 
 
22.  Details of the siege.

 

To the remarkable valour of our soldiers devices of every kind were opposed on the part of the Gauls, as their race was (possessed) of the utmost ingenuity and was most apt at all things being copied and made which had been suggested (lit. handed over) by someone (else). For, they both turned aside the grappling-hooks by means of nooses, which, when they had caught hold of (them), they drew back inside (the town) by windlasses, and they undermined the mound by mines, (which they did) the more skilfully, because they are in their territories (lit. among them) extensive iron-workings, and so every kind of mining operation is known and practised (by them). Moreover, they had furnished the whole wall with storied towers on every side, and had covered these over with hides. Then, in frequent sallies, by day and by night, they either tried to set fire to the mound or attack the soldiers engaged in the (siege) work, and, as fast as the ramp had raised these (towers), they equalled the height of our towers by fresh scaffolding (lit. by poles having been joined together) on their own towers, and they obstructed the open gangways by means of timbers burnt and sharpened at the end, and by boiling pitch, and by stones of very great weight, and (so) prevented (our men) from approaching the walls. 


Chapter 23.  The Gallic walls.  

 
But Gallic walls are almost all of the following type (lit. shape). Wooden beams (or balks)are placed on the ground at right angles (lit. perpendicular) (to the line of the wall) continuously along its (entire) length, standing apart at equal intervals with two feet each between them. These are mortised (lit. bound tightly) on the inside and covered with plenty of (lit. much) earth, and those intervals, which we have mentioned, are filled up (lit.stuffed) in front with stones. These having been laid and cemented together, another row isadded in such a manner that that same interval can be kept and the beams cannot touch one another (lit. extend between themselves) but, kept apart by equal spaces, each (row) is kept firmly in its place, with single stones having been placed between (them). So, the whole structure is knit together stage by stage (lit. successively), until the proper height of the wall is attained. This work is both not unsightly with regard to appearance and variety, with alternate beams and stones, which keep their order in straight lines, and it possesses in particular very considerable opportunities for utility and the defence of the cities, both because the stone protects (it) from fire, and (because) the timber (protects it) from the battering-ram, as this, having been mortised (lit. bound tightly) in the inside with continuous beams, mostly forty feet each (in length), can neither be broken through nor torn asunder. 


Chapter 24.  The mound is fired by the Gauls.


The siege having been hindered by so many of these things, yet the soldiers, although they had been delayed during the whole of the time by the cold and the constant showers,overcame all these (difficulties) by their continuous effort (lit. labour), and in twenty-five days constructed a mound three hundred and thirty feet broad (and) eighty feet high. When this almost touched the enemy's wall, and Caesar, in accordance with his custom, kept watch (lit. slept out) near the work, and encouraged his soldiers that no  (lit. not any) time at all should be lost (lit. should be omitted) from the work, shortly before the third watch they noticed (lit. it was noticed) that the mound was emitting smoke, as the enemy had set it on fire, and, at the same time, a shout having been raised along the entire wall, a sally was made from two gates on each side of (our) towers. Some (of the enemy) were hurling from long range torches and dry wood from the wall on to the ramp, and were pouring (on to it) pitch and other things by which fire can be aroused, with the result that a plan could scarcely be formed (lit. entered into) (as) to where one should run (lit. it should be run) first, or to what point help should be brought. However, as two legions were always keeping watch (lit. sleeping out) in front of the camp, in accordance with Caesar's practice, and (several) more were at work in turns (lit. the times having been distributed), it was quicklyarranged that some should oppose the sallies, (that) others should drag back the towers and cut a gap in the ramp (lit. cut the ramp asunder), but (that) the whole host should rush from the camp to extinguish (the fire) (lit. for the purpose of [the fire] being extinguished). 


Chapter 25.  The Romans are successful in extinguishing the fire.  


When the battle (lit. it) was being fought in every spot, the remaining part of the night having been spent, and the hope of victory was all the time being renewed on the part of the enemy, (all) the more (so) because they saw that the breastworks of our towers (had been) burnt away, and observed that (our men) having been exposed did not come forward for the purpose of bringing assistance, and that, for their part, fresh men were always replacing weary ones, and that the safety of the whole of Gaul depended (lit. [was] based) on that instant of time, (an incident) happened before our eyes (lit. with us looking on), which, having seemed worthy of record, we thought ought not to be omitted (lit. that it was right that it was not omitted). A certain Gaul, (standing) before the gate of the town, was hurlinginto the fire in the direction of a tower lumps of grease and pitch passed (to him) by hand; (he was) pierced by (a dart from) a cross-bow, and fell dead (lit. lifeless). One of those nearest (to him), stepping over (him) as he lay (lit. lying) (there), performed that same duty; the second man having been killed in the same way by a shot from a cross-bow, a third man succeeded (him) and a fourth man (succeeded) the third, nor was this spot left vacant by the defenders, until (lit. before), (the fire on) the mound having been extinguished, andthe enemy having been cleared away on every side, an end to the fighting was made

 

 

Chapter 26.  The Gauls' plan of flight foiled. 


The Gauls, having tried every (expedient), as nothing had succeeded, on the next dayadopted a plan to escape from the town, with Vercingetorix encouraging and ordering (this). (By) attempting it in the silence of the night, they hoped that they would effect (it) with no great loss (lit. throwing away) of their men, on account of the fact that the camp of Vercingetorix was not far distant from the town, and a marsh, which came between without a break, must hinder the Romans from pursuing (them). And they were now preparing to do this by night, when their matrons suddenly rushed into a public (place), and, throwing (themselves) weeping at the feet of their (husbands), besought (them) with every prayer not to abandon to the enemy for punishment themselves and their shared children, whom the weakness of their nature and of their physical strength prevented from taking to flight (lit. from flight being adopted). When they saw that they were persisting in their resolution, as fear does not usually admit compassion, they begin to cry out and make signals to the Romans about the flight. The Gauls, panic-stricken by the fear of this, (namely) lest the roads might be seized beforehand by the Romans, gave up (lit. desisted from) their plan. 
 


Chapter 27.  The Romans prepare to storm the town. 

On the next day Caesar, a tower having been moved forward and the siege works, which he had been preparing to do, having been completed (lit. arranged), when a heavy shower arose (lit. a heavy shower having arisen), thought this (was) not an unsuitable time for his plan being executed, because he saw that the guards on the wall had been deployed somewhat (lit. a little) too carelessly, and he ordered his own men to go about their work in a more leisurely fashion, and showed (them) what he wished to be done. And, the legionaries having been put in fighting order (lit. got ready) in secret within the camp and (under the cover of) the mantlets, he, exhorting (them) to reap now at last the fruits of victory in return for their very great exertions, proposed rewards for those who should scale the wall first, and gave the signal to the soldiers. They suddenly flew out from all directions and swiftly occupied the wall. 


Chapter 28.  The town of Avaricum is taken.

The enemy, greatly alarmed by this sudden attack (lit. recent happening), (and) having been dislodged from the wall and towers, stood fast in a wedge-shaped formation in the market-place and the more open places, with this intention, that, if an attack came (lit. it was come) against (them) from any direction, the battle-line having been drawn up, they would fight to the finish. When they saw that no one was descending (lit. letting himself down) to the level ground, but that (all of the Romans) were flowing (lit. were being poured around) around the entire wall on every side, fearing lest the hope of escape was being removed altogether, their arms having been cast down, they made for the most remote parts of the town in a continuous rush, and there some were slain by the (foot) soldiers, since they blocked (lit. overwhelmed) themselves on their own account, owing to the narrow outlet of the gates, (and) others, having got through the gates already, (were slain) by the cavalry. Nor was there anyone who was concerned about booty. Thus aroused by the massacre at (lit. of) Cenabum and by the fatigue of the siege works, they spared neither those worn out (lit. brought to an end) by old age, nor women nor children. In short, out of all that number, which was about forty thousand, scarcely eight hundred, who fled from (lit. flung themselves out of) the town, the first cry having been heard, reached Vercingetorix unharmed. He, now late at night (lit. the night now [being] far [spent]), received them from their flight in silence, fearing lest some mutiny might arise in the camp on account of their gathering together and the compassion of the crowd, so that, his friends and the chiefs of the states having been stationed at intervals for some distance along the road, caused (them) to be separated and conducted to their own people at that part of the camp which had been assigned to each state from the beginning. 


Chapter 29.  Vercingetorix not discouraged. His new plans.

An assembly having been summoned on the next day, he consoled and encouraged (his men) that they should not lose heart (lit. be let down in spirit) unduly nor be disturbed by the disaster. (He said) that the Romans had conquered (them) neither by valour nor in battle (lit. on the battle-line), but by a particular stratagem and by knowledge of siege (works), with which matter they were unacquainted themselves. That, if anyone should expect every outcome in war (to be) successful, he erred. That it had never seemed right to him that Avaricum was defended, to which circumstance he had themselves (as) his witnesses; but, through the imprudence of the Bituriges and the too ready compliance of the rest (of them), (it had) happened that the disaster was sustained (lit. received); but that he would, however, swiftly remedy this by greater advantages. For that he would unite to (them), by his exertions (lit. diligence), those states which had differed from the rest of the Gauls, and that he would bring about one plan (of action) for the whole of Gaul, the unanimous resolve of which not even (the whole) world (lit. orbit of the earth) could withstand; and that he had this already almost effected. That, in the meantime, it was reasonable that agreement should be obtained from them for the sake of the common security, so that (lit. whereby) they might withstand the more easily the sudden attacks of the enemy. 


Chapter 30.  By his vigorous speech and action, Vercingetorix rouses the Gauls.  


This speech was not unwelcome to the Gauls, above all (lit. and especially) because he himself had not been disheartened (wanting in spirit), so great a disaster having been sustained (lit. received), and that he had not concealed himself in a secret (spot) and fled from the gaze of the multitude; and it was believed that he had more foresight (lit. to foresee more in his mind) and (more) forethought (lit. to perceive more in advance), because, before anything had happened (lit. the situation [being] unimpaired), he had at first thought that Avaricum should (lit. was needing to) be burned and afterwards (lit. was needing to) be abandoned. Therefore, (just) as adverse circumstances diminish the authority of other generals, so, on the contrary, his prestige was daily enhanced, (despite) a disaster having been sustained. At the same time, they began to entertain (lit. to come into) the hope, by reason of his assurance, of the other states being united to (their side); and on this occasion the Gauls, for the first time, began to fortify their camp, and were so strengthenedin spirit that, (although being) men unaccustomed  to toil, they considered that all things should be suffered by them which should be commanded (by him).   


Chapter 31.  Vercingetorix's vigorous efforts to win over the other states, and to recruit more men.  


Nor did Vercingetorix endeavour (lit. toil in his mind) any less than he had promised, to unite (to their side) the other states, and (to) try to entice them by gifts and promises. For this task he chose suitable men, each of whom, either by guileful speech or by friendliness, should be able easily to win (them) over (lit. captivate [them]). (Those) who had escaped,Avaricum having been stormed, he causes to be armed and clothed; at the same time, in order that his diminished forces should be reinforced (lit. renewed), he levies a fixed quota of soldiers from the states, (saying) what (number) and before what day he wishes (them) to be brought to his camp, and he orders all the archers, of whom there was a very large number in Gaul, to be collected and sent to him. By these means, that (number of men) which had perished at Avaricum is speedily made good. In the meantime, Teutomatus, the son of Ollovico, king of the Nitiobroges, whose father had been called friend by our senate,came to him with a great number of his own cavalry and (those) whom he had hired from Aquitania. 


Chapter 32.  Caesar is asked to arbitrate on the chief magistracy of the Aedui. 


Caesar, staying at Avaricum for several days and there obtaining a most plentiful supply of corn and other provisions, refreshed his army from its exertion and its privation. The winter being now almost finished (lit. completed), since he was invited (lit. summoned) by the very time of the year for war to be waged, and he had determined to set out towards the enemy, (to see) whether he could entice (them) from the marshes and woods or put pressure (on them) by means of a blockade, some chieftains of the Aedui come to him (as) ambassadors to entreat (him) to help their state at a time of extreme emergency: (they said) that their affairs were in the utmost danger, because, while single magistrates had of old been accustomed to be appointed to hold the sovereign power (i.e. the office of Vergobret) for a year, two (men) were (now) exercising this office and both of them were saying that they had been appointed in accordance with their laws. That one of them was Convictolitavis, a flourishing and illustrious young man, (and) the other (was) Cotus, born of a most ancient family and himself a man of the greatest influence and of extensive connections, whose brother Valetiacus had exercised the same office in the previous year. That the whole state was (up) in arms; that their senate (was) divided, the people (were) divided, (and) belonging to each of them (were) their own adherents. That if the dispute was fomented any longer, (the result) would be that one part of the state would come into collision with the other; that it depended upon his activity and authority that this did not happen.    


Chapter 33.  Caesar's decision.  


Although Caesar considered that it was ruinous to leave (lit. depart from) the war and the enemy, yet not (being) unaware of what great disasters have been accustomed to arise from (internal) disputes, (and fearing) lest a state so large and so (closely) connected to the Roman people, which he himself had always fostered and honoured in every respect, should have recourse (lit. descend) to violence and arms, and (lest) that party which felt less sure (of itself) should summon assistance from Vercingetorix, he considered that this matter ought to be prioritised (lit. that it was needing to be prioritised in respect of this matter), and, because, under the laws of the Aedui, those who held the highest magistracy were not allowed (lit. it was not permitted to those who held the highest magistracy) to go out of its territories, he decided to set out for (the lands of) the Aedui himself lest he seemed to be belittling any (aspect) of their rights and laws, and he summoned the whole of their senate and (those) between whom the dispute was to (meet) him at Decetia (i.e. Decize). When almost all the state had assembled there and he was told that (one) brother (had been) appointed by (another) brother, a few (people) having been secretly gathered together at a different place (lit. a place other [than]) and at a different time from (lit. at a time other than) (what) was due, when their laws not only forbade two (men) from one family from being appointed (as) magistrates, but even from being in the senate (together), he compelled Cotus to lay down his authority (and) ordered Convictolitavis, who had been elected by priests in accordance with the practice of the state in the absence of any magistrates (lit. the [succession of] magistrates having been interrupted), to hold the power.    


Chapter 34.  Caesar marches upon Gergovia. 


This decree having been put between (them), (and) exhorting the Aedui to put behind them (lit. forget) their disputes and disagreements, and, all these issues having been set aside, to devote (themselves) to this war and expect from him, Gaul having been subdued, those rewards which they should have earned, and to send  swiftly to him all their cavalry and ten thousand infantry, in order that he might place them in garrisons to protect (lit. for the sake of) the corn supply, he divided his army into two parts: he gave four legions to (Titus Atius) Labienus to be led against the Senones and the Parisii, (and) he himself led six (legions) into (the lands of) the Arverni, along the river Allier towards the town of Gergovia; he assignedpart of the cavalry to him, (and) part for himself. This circumstance having been learned about, Vercingetorix, all the bridges of this river having been broken up, begins to make a march along the other bank of the river. 


Chapter 35.  Caesar's stratagem. 

When each army was in sight of the other, and was pitching camp almost opposite (lit. in a straight line to) the (other) camp, scouts having been posted in different places, lest the Romans, a bridge having been built anywhere, should lead their forces over (it), Caesar's situation was in great difficulties, lest he should be hindered by the river for the greater part of the summer, because the Allier is not generally to be crossed by ford as a rule before the autumn. Therefore, in order that this might not happen, his camp having been pitched in a wooded spot, exactly opposite (lit. in a straight line to) one of those bridges which Vercingetorix had caused to be cut down, on the next day he stopped with two legions in a secret (place); he sent (on) the rest of his forces with all the baggage, as usual (lit. as he had been accustomed [to do]), certain cohorts having been kept back (lit. taken), so that the number of legions should appear to remain constant. These having been ordered to go forward as far as they could, when now from the time of day he had conjectured (lit. had formed an idea) that they had arrived (lit. it had been arrived) at an encampment, he beganto rebuild a bridge on the same piles, the lower part of which remained unimpaired. The work having been quickly effected and the legions having been led across, and a suitable place for a camp having been chosen, he recalled the rest of his troops. This action having been ascertained, Vercingetorix preceded (him) by forced (lit. long) marches, in order that he should not be compelled to fight a pitched battle against his will.  


Chapter 36.  Caesar reconnoitres Gergovia and occupies rising ground.

From that position Caesar reached Gergovia at the end of the fifth day's march (lit. at the fifth encampment), and a light cavalry battle having occurred on that day, the situation of the city, which, having been located on a very high mountain, had difficult approaches on all sides, (and this) having been reconnoitred, he despaired of taking it by storm (and)determined not to deal (with it) by means of a blockade before he had arranged a corn supply. But Vercingetorix, his camp having been pitched near the town, had placed the forces of each state separately around himself, and all the hills of that ridge having been occupied, where it could be viewed from above, it afforded a formidable appearance, andhe ordered the chiefs of those states, whom he had chosen for the purpose of an (action) plan to be adopted by him, to come to him daily at dawn (lit at first light), (to see) whether anything seemed necessary to be communicated or (anything seemed) necessary to be arranged, nor did he let almost any day pass but that it would be observed in an equestrian skirmish with archers taking part (lit. having been put amongst [them]) what spirit and (what) courage there was in each one of his (followers). There was a hill opposite (lit. in a straight line to) the town at the very foot of that mountain, excellently fortified and precipitous (lit. cut away all round) on every side, which, if our men could get control (of it) the enemy appeared likely to be excluded both from a great part of their water (supply) and from free foraging. But that place was held by them with a garrison, albeit not a too strong one. Caesar, setting out from the camp in the silence of the night, (and) gaining possession of the place, the garrison having been dislodged before any help could be brought (lit. it could be arrived for the purpose of help) from the town, he stationed two legions there, andcaused to be dug (lit. drew across) from the larger camp to the lesser (one) a double trench, twelve feet (broad) in each case, so that even individual (soldiers) could come and go safe from any sudden assault of the enemy.   


Chapter 37. Conspiracy of Convictolitavis and Litaviccus. 

While these things are being done at Gergovia, Convictolitavis the Aeduuan, to whom we have pointed out that the magistracy (had been) awarded by Caesar, having been bribed (lit. solicited by money) by the Arverni, confers with certain young men, the chief of whom were Litaviccus and his brothers, youths born of a most distinguished family. He shares the bribe with them and exhorts (them) to remember that they were free and born for command. (He said) that the state of the Aedui was the (only) thing which was delaying the most certain victory of Gaul; (and) that the other (states) were kept in check by its authority; that, this (state) having been won over (lit. carried across), the Romans would have no foothold (lit. there would be for the Romans no place for standing) in Gaul. That he had been treated with some kindness by Caesar, yet (only) to the extent that he had won the entirely just case (which had been) before him; but he assigned more (weight) to the general freedom. For why should the Aedui come to Caesar (as) an arbitrator concerning their rights and their laws, rather than the Romans (coming) to the Aedui? The young men having been speedily persuaded by the magistrate's speech and by the bribe, when they declared that they would be the very first men in his plot, a means of executing (it) was sought, because they were not sure that the state could be induced to undertake war (lit. towards war being undertaken) rashly. It was agreed (lit. it seemed good [to them]) that Litaviccus should be put in command of those ten thousand (men) that were being sent to Caesar for the war and should see to them being led (there), and that his brothers should go before (him) to Caesar.They determined by what means it should be decided (lit. it should seem good [to them]) that the other things were carried out. 


Chapter 38.  Stratagem of Litaviccus.

Litaviccus, (the command of) the army having been received, when he was about thirty miles away from Gergovia, the soldiers having suddenly been called together, says, with tears in his eyes (lit. weeping), "Whither are we marching? All our cavalry and all our nobility have perished; the chief men of our state, Eporedorix and Viridomarus, having been accused of treason, have been put to death by the Romans, their case unheard. Learn about these things from the very men who have escaped from the actual massacre; for I, my brothers and all my relations having been slain, am prevented by grief from declaring what has been done." Those men are brought forward whom he had told what he wished to be said, and expoundthe same things as Livaticcus had asserted to the host: (they said) that the horsemen of the Aedui (had been) killed because they were said to have conversed with the Arverni; that they had concealed themselves among the multitude of the soldiers and had (thus) escaped from the midst of the slaughter. The Aedui shout out and implore Litaviccus to provide for their interests (lit. look after them). "As if in truth," says he, "it is a matter for deliberation, andit is not necessary, rather, for us to hasten to Gergovia and join ourselves together with the Averni. Or do we doubt that (lit. but that) the Romans, this abominable crime having been committed, are now rushing to slay us (lit. for the purpose of us being slain)? Therefore, if there is any spirit in us, let us avenge (lit. follow up) the death of those who have perished in a most unworthy manner, and so let us slay these brigands." He points to those Roman citizens who were together (with him) in reliance upon his protection; he seizes a large quantity of corn and provisions, (and) he kills the very same men, (whom he had) cruelly tortured. He sends messengers throughout the whole state of the Aedui, and rouses (them)thoroughly by the same falsehoods about the slaughter of the horsemen and the chieftains;he exhorts (them) to avenge (lit. follow up) their wrongs in the same manner as he has done.


Chapter 39.  Eporedorix informs Caesar of these events. 

Eporedorix, the Aeduan, a young man of the highest rank (lit. position) and of very great influence in his own state (lit. at home), and together (with him) Viridomarus, of equal age and influence, but of lower birth, whom, having been commended (lit. introduced) to him by Divitiacus, Caesar had advanced from a humble position to the highest rank, had come along together in the troop of cavalry, having been summoned by him by name. They had (lit.there was to them) a struggle themselves concerning precedence (lit. chieftainship), and in that dispute about the magistrates one had contended with the utmost of his resources on behalf of Convictolitavis, and the other on behalf of Cotus. Of these (two), Eporedorix,Litaviccus' plot having been learned about, reports the matter to Caesar at about mid-night;he entreats (him) not to allow their state to defect from its alliance (lit. friendship) with the Roman people, (something) which he foresees would happen if so many thousands of men joined themselves with the enemy, (as) neither could their relatives neglect their safety nor (could) the state reckon (it) of slight account. 


Chapter 40.  Caesar advances to meet the conspirators and exposes their deceit. 

Caesar, having been affected with great anxiety owing to this news, because he had always especially indulged the state of the Aedui, with no hesitation having been allowed to elapse (lit. having been interposed),
leads out from the camp four legions in light-armed array and all his cavalry, and there wasno opportunity (lit. space) at such a (critical) time for the camp to be contracted, because the situation seemed to be dependent on speed; he leaves his legate, Gaius Fabius (Maximus) in the camp with two legions as a garrison. When he ordered that the brothers of Litaviccus should be seized, he discovers that they had fled to the enemy shortly before. Encouraging his soldiers not to be disheartened (lit. perturbed) by the fatigue of a march at this critical moment (lit. time), (and) advancing twenty-five miles, all (of his men being) most eager, (and) catching sight of the column of the Aedui, the cavalry having been sent against (them), he checks and hampers their march, and commands all (his men) that they should not kill anyone. He orders Eporedorix and Viridomarus, whom they were thinking (had been) killed, to move about amongst their horsemen and to address their (friends). These (two) having been recognised, and Litaviccus' deception having been perceived, the Aedui begin to stretch out their hands, to indicate their surrender, and, their arms having been cast away, to beg for mercy (lit. to pray that their death be averted). Litaviccus with his attendants, for whom, in accordance with the customs of the Gauls, it is wrong to desert one's patrons, even in the most dire misfortunes, escapes to Gergovia. 


Chapter 41.  Caesar returns to Gergovia.

Caesar, messengers having been sent to the state of the Aedui, to tell (them) that (they) whom he could have put to death by the right of war, had been spared (lit. saved) by his kindness, and three hours of the night having been granted to his army for rest, he struck camp for Gergovia. Almost in the middle of the journey, horsemen sent by Fabius explain (to him) that in what great danger there their situation was. They pointed out that their camp (had been) attacked by a very large force, while fresh men were frequently relieving weary ones and exhausting, owing to their incessant toil, our men, who had to remain constantly on the rampart unrelieved (lit. in whose case it was constantly needing to be endured on the rampart [as] the same men), on account of the size of the camp. (They said) that many men (had been) wounded by a swarm (lit. multitude) of arrows and of every kind of missile; that the artillery engines were of great use for the purpose of these things being withstood. That Fabius, on the departure of the (enemy), two gates having been left (for use), is blocking up the rest and is adding breastworks to the ramparts, and is preparing himself for the next day and a similar eventuality. These things having been ascertained, Caesar reached the camp before sunrise owing to the very great zeal of his soldiers. 



Chapter 42.  Violent conduct of the Aedui.

While these things were being done near Gergovia, the Aedui, the first messages from Litaviccus having been received, leave no time (lit. interval [of time]) for (the truth) to be ascertained. Greed impels some (of them), anger and the rashness which is inborn in that race of men, such that they treat an idle rumour as a certain fact, (impels) others. They plunder the goods of Roman citizens, they perform massacres (of some), (others) they drag away into slavery. Convictolitavis encourages the action (which has) started (lit. [which has been] inclining forwards), and goads the people to fury, so that, crime having been committed, they may be ashamed (lit. it may shame [them]) to return to good sense. Theyentice (lit. draw) out of the town of Cabillonum, a pledge (of safety) having been given, the military tribune Marcus Aristius, (while) making the journey to his legion; they compel those who had settled there for the sake of trading to do the same thing. Immediately attacking (them) on their journey, they strip (them) of all their baggage; they blockade (those) resisting for a day and a night; many having been slain on both sides, they rouse a (still) greater host of armed men. 


Chapter 43.  The Aedui send deputies to Caesar who receives them mildly.

In the meantime, the news having been brought that all their soldiers were being kept in Caesar's power, they rush in a body to Aristius, (and) they point out to Aristius that nothing had been done by public design, they decree an enquiry about the plundered property, they confiscate the property of Litaviccus and his brothers, and they send deputies to Caesar with the purpose of themselves being cleared. They do these things for the sake of their men being recovered, but, tainted by the crime and captivated by the profits (arising) from the plundered property, as that business involved (lit. pertained to) many, (and) panic-stricken by fear of punishment, they begin to form (lit. enter into) secret plans for war, and theysound out (lit. sollicit) the other states by means of deputations. Although Caesar was aware of these things, yet he addresses the deputies as mildly as he can: (he says) that he thought none the worse of the state (lit. that he was not judging anything concerning the state more severely) on account of the ignorance and fickleness of the mob, nor was his own good-will lessening (lit. nor was [anything] lessening concerning his own good-will) towards the Aedui.He himself, anticipating a greater uprising in Gaul, (and) so that he might not be surrounded by all the states, began to form (lit. enter into) plans as to the manner in which he might depart from (the neigbourhood of) Gergovia, and again concentrate all his army, in order that his departure, arising from fear of a revolt, should not seem like flight. 


CHAPTERS 44-53.  SIEGE OF GERGOVIA.

Chapter 44.  Operations at Gergovia.

To (him) considering these things, an opportunity of an action being successfully conductedseemed to occur. For, when he had come to the lesser camp for the sake of the works being inspected, he noticed that a hill, which was held by the enemy, (and) which on previous days could scarcely be seen because of the crowd (standing upon it), (was) stripped of men. Astonished (by this), he asks the reason (for it) from deserters, a great number of whom were flocking to him daily. It was agreed amongst (them) all what Caesar had already ascertained himself through his scouts, that the crest of that ridge was almost flat, but that this (was) wooded and narrow (at the point) where there was access to the other side of the town; that they were extremely anxious about this spot, and were not now of any other opinion, but that, with one hill having been occupied by the Romans, if they were to lose the other, they would appear (to be) almost surrounded and cut off from all egress and from foraging: that all (of them) had been summoned (lit. called out) by Vercingetorix to fortify this (place) (lit. for the purpose of this [place] being fortified). 


Chapter 45.  Operations at Gergovia (continued).

This circumstance having been ascertained, Caesar sends (out) several squadrons of cavalry;he orders these to patrol around at about midnight in every direction a little more noisily (than usual). At dawn (lit. first light) he orders a large number of pack-horses and baggage mules to be brought forth from the camp and the pack-saddles to be taken off them, and the muleteers, with helmets (on their heads) to ride around the hills with the appearance and in the guise of cavalry. To these he adds a few horsemen (with instructions) to roam around more widely for the sake of a show. He orders (them) all to seek the same destinations. These (proceedings) were seen from the town at a distance, as there was a view down into the camp from Gergovia, but, at so great a distance, it could not be discovered for certain what was their real (meaning). He sends one legion to the same ridge, and, (it) having advanced a little (way), he stations (it) on lower ground and conceals (it) in the woods. Suspicion is increased in (the minds of) the Gauls, and all their troops are led across to that (spot) to defend it (lit. for the purpose of fortification). Caesar, seeing that the enemy's camp (is) unoccupied, the insignia of his men having been covered and their military standards  concealed, transfers the soldiers from the greater camp to the lesser (one) in scattered groups, and shows the legates, whom he had put in command of each of the legions, what he wishes to be done; first and foremost he advises (them) to restrain their soldiers, lest through zeal for fighting and in the hope of booty they should advance too far;he sets out what disadvantage the unfavourable nature of the ground has, and he emphasisesthat this can be remedied by quickness only; that it was a question of a surprise (attack), not of a pitched battle. These matters having been explained, he gives the signal (for action), and at the same time sends the Aedui by another ascent (route) on the right-hand side. 


Chapter 46.  Teutomatus is surprised. 

The town's wall was a thousand and twenty paces distant from the plain and the foot (lit. beginning) of the ascent in a straight line, if no bend intervened; whatever deviation had been added to this (amount)  for the purpose of the climb being mitigated, that increasedthe distance of the route. Almost in the middle of the hill, the Gauls had constructed (lit.drawn forward) a six foot wall, (built) out of large stones, (extending) in length as the nature of the hill allowed, in order to retard the attack of our men, and, all the lower space having been left unoccupied, they had left the higher part of the hill right up to the wall of the town with camps crowded together. The signal (for action) having been given, the soldiers quickly arrive at this fortification, and, passing across it, take possession of three camps; and so great was their speed in these camps being taken that Teutomatus, the king of the Nitiobroges, having been suddenly surprised in his tent, as he had gone to rest at midday, scarcely escaped (lit. saved himself) from the hands of the plundering soldiers. 


Chapter 47.  Alarm of the garrison. Valour of L. Fabius, centurion.  

Having obtained that object which he had envisaged in his mind, Caesar ordered the withdrawal to be sounded, and he, at once, halted (lit. halted the standards of) the tenth legion, with which he was (located). But the soldiers of the other legions, the sound of the trumpet not having been heard, because rather a large valley lay between, were, however,subject to efforts by the military tribunes and the legates to hold (them) back, as it had been ordered by Caesar, but, elated by the hope of a swift victory and by the flight of the enemy and the favourable battles of previous periods, they thought that nothing was so difficult for them that they could not attain (it) by their valour, nor did they make an end of the pursuit until they came up to the wall of the town and its gates. But then, a clamour having arisen from every part of the city, (those) who were further away, panic-stricken by the sudden tumult, since they thought that the enemy were within the gates, fled from (lit.flung themselves out of) the town. Matrons began to hurl their clothes and silver from the wall, and, hanging (over it) with bare breasts and with hands outstretched, besought the Romans to spare them, and not to fail to refrain from (killing) (lit. and not to keep their hands not even from) women and children, just as they had done at Avaricum; some, having descended (lit. having let themselves down) from the wall by their hands, surrendered to our soldiers. Lucius Fabius, a centurion of the tenth legion, whom it was known had said among his men that day that he was aroused by the plunder of Avaricum and that he would not permit that anyone should climb the wall before (him), getting hold of three members of his company and, having been raised up by them, scaled the wall; he himself, taking hold of each of them in turn, lifted (them) up on to the wall.  


Chapter 48.  Reaction of the garrison.

In the meantime, those who had gathered at the other end of the town in order to defend it (lit. for the sake of fortification), having been aroused in the first place by the clamour (which had been) heard, then also by the frequent messages that the town was held by the Romans, their cavalry having been sent forward, hastened thither in a great concourse. As each of them came first, he took up his position under the wall and swelled the number of their fighting men. When a great host of them had assembled, the matrons, who shortly before were stretching out their hands to the Romans from the wall, began to entreat their own men and, in accordance with Gallic custom, to show their dishevelled hair and to bring forward their children into view. To the Romans the contest was equal neither in ground nor in number; at the same time, exhausted both by running and by the duration of the battle,they could not withstand (men who were) fresh and uninjured.


Chapter 49.  Caesar takes precautionary steps to limit his losses.

When he saw that the battle (lit. that it) was being fought on unfavourable ground and that the enemy's forces 
were increasing, Caesar, fearing for his men, sent (word) to Titus Sextius, the legate whom he had left on guard in the lesser camp, to lead out his cohorts quickly from the camp and station (them) at the bottom of the hill on the right-hand side of the enemy, so that, if he should see that our men (had been) driven from their position, he might deter the enemy from pursuing (them) freely. He himself, proceeding with his legion a little (distance) from that place where he had taken up position, awaited the outcome of the battle. 
 
Chapter 50.  The centurion M. Petronius saves his men.

While the battle (lit. it) was being fought most fiercely hand-to-hand, (and) the enemy was trusting in their position and in their numbers (and) our men in their courage, the Aeduiwere suddenly seen on the exposed flank of our men, (those same Aedui) whom Caesar had sent by another ascent (route) for the sake of the (enemy's) forces being diverted. Through the similarity of their arms these men very greatly alarmed our men, and, although they were seen with their right shoulders bare, which was usually (taken) to be the token of pacified men, yet the soldiers imagined that this very thing (had been) done by the enemy with the purpose of them being deceived. At the same time, the centurion Lucius Fabius and (those) who had climbed the wall together (with him), having been surrounded and slain,were hurled off the wall. Marcus Petronius, a centurion of the same legion, when he had tried to cut down the gates, being overwhelmed by the multitude of the enemy and despairing of himself, many wounds now having been received (by him), says to the members of his company who had followed (him), "Since I cannot save you together with myself, I shall at least indeed provide for your lives, (you) whom I, induced by the desire for glory, have led into this danger. The chance having been given to you, make sure that you (lit. doyou) take care of yourselves." At the same time he rushed into the midst of the enemy, and two (men) having been slain, he drives the others a little (distance) from the gate. With his men attempting to support (him), he says, "You are trying to help (save) my life in vain, as my blood and strength are now deserting (me). Therefore go away, while you (still) have the opportunity (lit. while the opportunity is (still) there to you, and retreat (lit. betakeyourself) to the legion." So, shortly afterwards he fell fighting, and was the means of salvation to his men. 
 
Chapter 51.  Reserves check the Gauls' advance, but forty-six centurions and almost seven hundred Roman soldiers are lost.

 

Our men, since they were being hard pressed on every side, were dislodged from their position, forty-six centurions having been lost. But the tenth legion, which had taken up position as a reserve on ground a little more level, checked those Gauls pursuing too eagerly. Cohorts of the thirteenth legion, which, having been led out from the lesser camp (together) with the legate Titus Sextius, had taken the higher ground, had supported it in turn. As soon as they had reached (lit. touched) the plain, they haltedtheir standards turned with determination against the enemy. Vercingetorix led his men back from the foot (lit. the roots of) the hill within the fortifications. On that day little less than seven hundred soldierswere missing.


Chapter 52.  Caesar rebukes his soldiers.

On the next day Caesar, a parade having been called, rebuked the rashness and desire (for battle) of his soldiers, in that they had decided for themselves whither it seemed good that they should advance (lit. it was needing to be advanced) and what (it seemed good) that they should do (lit. that it was needing to be done), and they had not halted, the signal for retreat (lit. for [themselves] being withdrawn) having been given, nor had it been possible for them to be held back by the military tribunes and legates. He explained what the disadvantage of ground could (effect), (something) which he had (well) understood at Avaricum, when, the enemy having been surprised without a general and without cavalry, he had foregone a certain victory, in order that not even a slight loss (of men) should occur on account of disadvantage of ground. (He said) that as much as he admired the intensity of valour (lit. greatness of mind) of those whom no camp fortifications, no mountain's height, no town's wall had been able to check, he reproached (them) as much for their indiscipline and presumption, because they thought that they knew more than their commander-in-chief about victory and the outcome of actions; that he required from a soldier forbearance and self-restraint no less than courage and determination (lit. greatness of mind).  


Chapter 53.  After taking steps to raise the morale of his troops, Caesar withdraws to the lands of the Aedui.

This parade having been held, and the soldiers having been encouraged at the end of his speech that they should not be dispirited (lit. perturbed in spirit) on account of this reason, nor should they attribute to the valour of the enemy something which disadvantage of ground had brought about, (and) devising the same (plans) for marching away which he had contemplated before, he led the legions out of the camp and formed a battle-line at a suitable location. When Vercingetorix would in no way the more (readily) descend to level ground, a cavalry skirmish (lit. slight cavalry battle), and above all a favourable (one), having occurred, he led the army back into camp. When he had performed this same thing on the next day, (and) thinking that enough had been done for the bravado of the Gauls to be reduced and the spirits of the soldiers to be strengthened, he struck camp in the direction of the (territories of the) Aedui. The enemy not even then pursuing (them), on the third day he repairs the bridge at the river Allier and led his army across by means of it. 


Chapter 54.  The defection of the Aedui.

Having been greeted there by the Aeduans, Viridomarus and Eporedorix, he learns that Litaviccus with all his cavalry (has) set out with the purpose of the Aedui being solicited (to rebel); (they said) that it was necessary that they themselves should precede (him) with the purpose of the state being confirmed (in its allegiance). Although he now regarded the treachery of the Aedui (to have been) detected in many matters, and he considered that the revolt was likely to be precipitated by their departure, yet he did not determine that they should (lit. [were] needing to) be detained, (for fear) lest he should appear either to inflict a wrong (on them) or betray (lit. give) any suspicion of fear. He expounded briefly to them (when) departing his services to the Aedui; what kind of people and how humbled he had found (them), driven into their towns, deprived of (lit. punished in respect of) their fields, all their resources plundered, a tribute imposed (on them), hostages extorted (from them) with the utmost insult, and to what prosperity and to what power he had led (them) that they had not only returned to their former position, but seemed to have surpassed the dignity and influence of all (previous) eras. These admonitions (lit. commissions) having been given (to them), he dismissed them from his presence (lit. from himself). 


Chapter 55.  The Aedui massacre the garrison of Noviodunum.

Noviodunum (i.e. Nevers) was a town of the Aedui situated in an advantageous position on the banks of the Loire. Hither Caesar had conveyed all the hostages of Gaul, the corn, the public money, (and) a great part of his own and the army's baggage; hither he had sent a great number of horses, purchased in Italy and Spain on account of this war. When Eporedorix and Viridomarus had come to this (place) and had learned about the disposition of the state, that Litaviccus had been received by the Aedui at Bibracte, which is a town of very great influence amongst them, that the magistrate Convictolitavis and a great part of the Senate had gone to meet him, that ambassadors had been publicly sent to Vercingetorix about peace and an alliance being secured, they thought that so great an opportunity should not be lost (lit. neglected). Therefore, the garrison of Noviodunum and (those) who had gathered thither for the sake of trading having been put to death, they divided the money and the horses amongst themselves, (and) arranged for the hostages of the states to be conducted to the magistrate at Bibracte; the town they burned, in order that it could not be of any use to the Romans, as they were of the view that it could not be held by themselves;they carried away in boats what corn they could hurriedly (take), (and) they destroyed (lit.ruined) the remainder with river (water) and fire. They themselves began to collect forces from neighbouring districts, to place garrisons and piquets on the banks of the Loire, to display cavalry in all places for the sake of terror being inspired, (and to see) if they could cut the Romans off from their corn supply [or to expel (them), having been reduced by want, into the province]. In this hope it assisted them much that the Loire had swollen on account of the snows, so that it appeared that it could not be crossed by ford at all. 


Chapter 56.  Caesar hurries to the rescue. 

These developments having been discovered, Caesar concluded that he should make haste (lit. it was needing to be hastened by him), (even) if a risk should (lit. were needing to) be taken in the bridges being completed, in order that he might engage decisively, before a greater (enemy) force should be gathered there. For, both the dishonour and the disgrace of doing so (lit. of the thing) and the barrier of (lit. the opposing) Mount Cevenna and the difficulty of the roads, and, in particular, (the fact) that he was extremely anxious for Labienus, (whom he had) detached, and those legions which he had sent together (with him), (all these things) prevented (him), his plan having been altered, diverting his route to the Province, when many people (lit. not no one) even then considered that it should (lit. it was needing to) be done of necessity. And so, very long marches having been performed by day and by night, against the expectation (lit. opinion) of everyone he came to the Loire, and, a ford having been found through the cavalry, a suitable (one) considering the emergency (lit. the necessity of the situation), such that just their arms and shoulders could be free of the water for the purpose of their weapons being held up, the cavalry having been positioned in different lines in order to break the force of the current (lit. water), and the enemy having been confounded by the first sight (of him), he led his army across unharmed, and, having obtained corn and a supply of cattle from the fields, (and) his army having been replenished by these things, he started to make a march into (the territories of) the Senones. 


 Chapter 57.  Labienus' campaign near Lutetia. 

While these things are being done in the presence of Caesar, Labienus, that new levy, which had lately come from Italy having been left at Agedincum (i.e. Sens) to be a guard for the baggage, marches with four legions to Lutetia (i.e. Paris). This is a town of the Parisii, which is situated on an island in the river Seine. His arrival having been discovered by the enemy, a large force gathered from the neighbouring states. The supreme command was entrusted to Camulogenus of the Aulerci, who, (while) almost worn out with age, was yet called to that distinction on account of his exceptional knowledge of military strategy. When he noticed that there was a continuous marsh, which flowed into the Seine and greatly impeded (the conditions in) that area, he determined to prevent our men from crossing. 


Chapter 58.  Labienus takes Metiosedum. 

At first, Labienus tried to move up mantlets to fill up the marsh with hurdles and waste material and to build (lit. fortify) a road. After he had perceived that this (was) too difficult, issuing in silence from the camp at the third watch, he reached Metiosedum (i.e. Melun) by the same way by which he had come. This is a town of the Senones, situated on an island in the Seine, as we have said a little before with regard to Lutetia. Around fifty boats having been seized and quickly joined together and soldiers having been put in these and the townspeople, of which a great number had been called out to the war, having been terrified by the suddenness of the action, he takes possession of the town without a struggle. The bridge, which the enemy had cut down in previous days, having been repaired, he leads his army across (it) and began to march (lit. make a march) down stream to Lutetia. The enemy, the situation having been learned of from those who had escaped from Metiosedum,order Lutetia to be set on fire and the bridges of that town to be cut down; they themselves, marching from the marsh to the banks of the Seine, take up position right opposite (lit. in a straight line to) Lutetia (and) over and against Labienus' camp. 


Chapter 59.  Labienus surrounded. 

Caesar was now reported (lit. heard) to have departed from Gergovia, and rumours began to be brought concerning the revolt of the Aedui and the successful uprising in Gaul, and in conversations the Gauls kept asserting that Caesar, having been excluded from his march and from (the crossing of) the Loire, and having been compelled by the lack of corn, had hastened to the Province. But the Bellovaci, who had been previously disloyal on their own account (lit. by themselves), the revolt of the Aedui having been learned about, began to gather forces and openly to prepare for war. Then, Labienus, the change of circumstances (being) so very great (lit. very great by far), realised that he must adopt a plan (lit. that a plan was needing to be adopted by him) (which was) different from (lit. other than) what he had previously deemed right, and he no longer thought to devise means (lit. planned) to acquire any (territory) and to provoke the enemy to battle, but (only) to lead his army back to Agedincum in safety (lit. unharmed). For indeed, on one side the Bellovaci, the state which has the greatest reputation for valour in Gaul, was pressing (upon him), (and) Camulogenus with an army ready (for action) and well armed, was holding the other. Furthermore, a very great river kept the legions cut off (lit. shut off) from the garrison and the baggage. Such great difficulties having been suddenly put in his path, he saw that he must seek help (lit. that help was needing to be sought) by the strength of his own resolve.   


Chapter 60.  Labienus' stratagem begins. 

A council-of-war having been called together a little before evening, exhorting (his soldiers) to execute with care and with energy those things which he had ordered, he assigns the ships which he had brought down from Metiosedum individually to Roman knights, and orders(them), the first watch having been completed,  to sail (lit. proceed) down river in silence for four miles (lit. thousand paces), and to wait for him there. He leaves the five cohorts which he considered to be the least firm in action (lit. for the purpose of fighting) in the camp as a guard; he orders the five remaining (cohorts) of the same legion to set out at around midnight up river with all their baggage with a great uproar. He looks around for some small boats also; he sends these in the same direction, urged on by the great noise of their oars. He himself a little after, marching out in silence with three legions, seeks that place whither he had ordered the ships to be summoned. 


Chapter 61.  The next steps in Labienus' stratagem.

When he had come (lit. it had been arrived), the enemy's scouts, as they were stationed at every part of the river, (being) off guard, because a great storm had suddenly arisen, are overwhelmed by our men; the infantry (lit. army) and the cavalry, with the Roman knights, whom he had put in charge of the business, supervising (them), are sent across. At almost one (and the same) time a little before daylight, the enemy learned (lit. it was announcedto the enemy) that there was an unusual uproar (lit. an uproar beyond custom) in the Romans' camp, and that a large column was coming up river and the sound of oars was to be heard in the same quarter, and that soldiers were being taken across in ships a little below (that point). These things having been heard, because they thought that the legions were crossing in three places, and that they all, having been alarmed by the revolt of the Aedui, were preparing for flight, they divided their own force also into three parts. For, a guard having been left opposite the camp, and a small band (of men) having been sent in the direction of Metiosedum, (with orders) to advance as far as the ships should have proceeded,they led the rest of their force against Labienus. 


Chapter 62.  Camulogenus slain. Labienus is victorious. 

At daybreak (lit. first light), all our men had been taken across and the enemy's battle-linebegan to be visible. Labienus, exhorting his soldiers to keep in their memory their previous courage and their very successful battles and (to) imagine that Caesar himself, under whose leadership they had so often conquered their enemies, was present in person, gives the signal for battle. At the first encounter on the right wing, where the seventh legion had taken its position, the enemy are driven back and thrown into flight: on the left (wing), which position the twelfth legion held, although the front (lit. first) ranks had fallen, transfixed by javelins, still the rest resisted most keenly, and no one gave any indication (lit. suspicion) of flight. Camulogenus, the leader of the enemy, was present with his men in person (lit. himself) and was urging them on. The outcome of victory (being) still uncertain, when what was happening (lit. been done) on the left wing had been reported to the tribunes of the seventh legion, they displayed the legion to the enemy's rear (lit. behind the enemy's back), and attacked (lit. moved forward their standards). Not even then did any one of them depart from that spot, but all (of them) were surrounded and slain. But those who had been left on guard over and against Labienus' camp, when battle (had been) joined,went to the support of their (comrades) and took possession of a hill, but they could not sustain the attack of our victorious soldiers. Thus, intermingled with their own fugitives, (those) whom the woods and the mountains did not hide, were slain by our cavalry. This business having been completed, Labienus returns to Agedincum, where the baggage of the whole army had been left; from there he reaches Caesar with all his force in tree days (lit. on the third day).



Chapter 63.  General council of Gauls at Bibracte.

The revolt of the Aedui having been learned about, the war is enhanced. Embassies are sent around in all directions; in so far as they can prevail by influence, authority (or) money, they strive towards the states being incited (to rebel); having got possession of the hostages whom Caesar had lodged among them, they terrify waverers (lit. the hesitant) by the execution of (some of) them. The Aedui ask Vercingetorix to come to them and share his strategies for war being waged. Their request having been obtained, they urge that the supreme command should be entrusted to themselves, and, the matter having been reduced into a dispute, a council of the whole of Gaul is convened at Bibracte. They come together in great numbers from all quarters at the same place. The question is consigned to the votes of the multitude; all to a man (lit. to one [man]), approve Vercingetorix (as) their commander. The Remi, the Lingones and the Treviri were absent from this meeting, the (two) former because they were pursuing their alliance with the Romans, the Treviri because they were too far distant and were being hard pressed by the Germans, which was the reason why they were absent from the whole of the war and sent auxiliary troops to neither side. The Aeduibear with great indignation that they (have been) disappointed of the chief position, they lament the change in their fortune, and miss Caesar's indulgence towards them, and yet, war having been undertaken, they do not dare to part their counsel from the rest. Eporedorix and Viridomarus, young men of the highest expectations, obey Vercingetorix reluctantly.  


Chapter 64.  Orders from Vercingetorix. 

He, for his part, demands hostages from the other states and he fixes a day for this (proceeding); he orders all the cavalry, fifteen thousand in number, to assemble quickly. He says that he would be content with the infantry which he had had before, and that he would not tempt fortune or fight a pitched battle (lit. fight on the battle-line), but that, since he had an abundance of (lit. he was overflowing with) cavalry, it would be very easy to prevent the Romans from obtaining corn supplies and forage. Only let them, with their own hands (lit. themselves) and without complaint (lit. with an even mind) destroy (lit. spoil) their corn and set fire to their buildings, by which sacrifice (lit. throwing away) of private property let them see that they will obtain perpetual dominion and freedom. These matters having been settled, he levies ten thousand infantry from the Aedui and the Segusiavi, who are neighbours of the Province; to this he adds eight hundred horsemen. He puts the brother of Eporedorix in command of these, and orders war to be waged on the Allobroges. In the other direction, he sends the Gabali and the nearest cantons of the Arverni against the Helvii, (and) likewise (he sends) the Ruteni and the Cadurci against the Volcae Arecomici for the purpose of their territories being laid waste. Notwithstanding (this), by secret messages and embassies he tries the temper of  the Allobroges, whose minds he hopes have not yet settled down from their earlier war. To their chiefs he promises money, but to the state (he promises) the rule of the whole of the Province.  


Chapter 65.  Caesar summons reinforcements from Germany.

A guard of twenty-two cohorts had been provided to meet all these contingencies, and this (lit. which), (raised) from the Province itself by the legate Lucius (Julius) Caesar, was opposed (to the enemy) at all points. The Helvii, engaging in battle with their neighbours of their own accord, are repulsed, and Gaius Valerius Donnotaurus, son of Caburus, the chief man of the state, and several others having been slain, are forced (to withdraw) within their towns and walls. The Allobroges, numerous garrisons having been stationed in different places along the Rhine, defend their borders with great care and energy. Caesar, because he realised that the enemy were superior in cavalry, and (because), the roads having been blocked, he could in no respect be relieved from the Province and Italy, sends (word) across the Rhine into Germany to those states which he had pacified in earlier years and summonsfrom them cavalry and lightly armed infantry who were accustomed to fight amongst them. On their arrival, because they were using less than suitable horses, he takes horses from the military tribunes and the rest of the Roman knights and re-enlisted veterans, and distributes(them) among the Germans. 


Chapter 66.  Speech of Vercingetorix.

In the meantime, while these things are being done, the contingent of the enemy from the Arverni and the cavalry, which had been levied for the whole of Gaul, come together. A great number of these having been collected, when Caesar was marching (lit. making a march) into (the territories of) the Sequani through the outermost borders of the Lingones, so that (lit. whereby) help for the Province could be brought the more easily, Vercingetorixencamped in three camps about ten miles (lit. thousand paces) from the Romans, and the commanders of his cavalry having been summoned to a meeting, he points out that the time of victory had come: that the Romans were fleeing into the Province and leaving Gaul. That this is enough for the purpose of their immediate liberty to be secured; (but) that too little (advantage) was gained with regard to peace and tranquillity for the rest of time: for, a greater force having been assembled, they would come back, and they would not make an end of waging war. Therefore, they must attack (them while) encumbered (with baggage) on column (of route). If the infantry should be obliged to bring help to their (comrades) and should be delayed in so doing (lit. in this [action]), the march could not be accomplished; if,their baggage having been abandoned, they were to look to their own security, something which he felt sure (was) more likely to happen, they would be stripped both of the enjoyment of necessary things and of their dignity. For, with regard to the enemy's cavalry, they themselves ought not indeed to doubt that none of them would venture to advance even beyond their main column. So that (lit. whereby) they might do this with the greater spirit, he would draw up all his force in front of the camp, and they would be a means of terror to the enemy. The cavalry shout out together that they should be bound by a most solemn oath, that he should not be received under a roof, (and) that he should not have access to his children, nor to his parents, (and) to his wife, if he had not ridden twice through the main column of the enemy. 


Chapter 67.  Caesar defeats their cavalry. 

The proposal having been approved and all having been bound by an oath, on the next day,the cavalry having been divided into three parts, two (of them) showed themselves in battle array on two flanks, (and) one began to hinder our march at the front (lit. in the first [part]) of the column. This circumstance having been reported, Caesar orders his cavalry, having also been divided into three sections, to advance (lit. go) against the enemy. The action (lit.it) is fought simultaneously (lit. together) in every quarter. The main column halts; the baggage is received within (the ranks of) the legions. If, at any point, our men appear to be distressed or too hard pressed, Caesar ordered the men to advance (lit. the standards to be moved forward) and a battle-line to be formed; this action both obstructed the enemy in their pursuit, and encouraged our men by the hope of support, At length, the Germans on the right flank, having gained the top of the ridge, dislodge the enemy from their position;they pursue (those) fleeing as far as the river, where Vercingetorix had encamped with his foot soldiers, and slay several (of them). The rest, this action having been observed, fearing lest they should be surrounded, entrust themselves to flight. Carnage occurs in every place. Three of the noblest of the Aedui are brought to Caesar: Cotus, the commander of the cavalry, who had had that dispute with Convictolitavis at the last election, and Cavarillus, who had been in command of the infantry troops after the revolt of Litaviccus, and Eporedorix, under whom (as) leader the Aedui had contended in war with the Sequani before Caesar's arrival.


Chapter 68.  They march to Alesia. 


All his cavalry having been routed, Vercingetorix led his troops back (in the same order) as he had arranged (them) in front of the camp, and immediately began to march (lit. make a march) to Alesia, a town which belongs to (lit. which is of) the Mandubii, and he orders the baggage to be speedily brought out of the camp and to follow after him. Caesar, his baggage having been taken to the nearest hill (and) two legions having been left as its guard, pursuing (them) as far as the time of day permitted, about three thousand of the enemy's rearguard (lit. of the last [part] of the enemy's column) having been killed, pitchedcamp at Alesia on the next day. The city's site having been reconnoitred and the enemy (being) greatly alarmed, because they had been repulsed by cavalry, on which section of their army they had been especially confident, (and) urging his soldiers to (endure) their toil, he began to surround (the town) with a rampart. 
 

CHAPTERS 69-89.  SIEGE OF ALESIA.

Chapter 69.  The position of Alesia.

The town of Alesia itself was (situated) on the summit of a hill in a very lofty (lit. raised) position, so that it appeared that it could not be taken except by a siege; two rivers washedthe bases of this hill on two (different) sides. Before this town lay a plain about three miles in length; hills, a moderate distance lying in between (lit. having been interposed), (and) with an equal degree of height, surrounded the town on all the other sides. The army of the Gauls had filled all this space under the part of the hill which looked towards the rising sun, and had marked out a trench and a wall six feet in height. The circuit of that fortification which was begun by the Romans stretched (lit. held on) for eleven miles. The camp was pitched in a suitable location and twenty-three forts (were) constructed on it (lit. there), (and) in these forts piquets were stationed during the day, lest any sally should occur; by night these same (forts) were occupied by sentinels and by strong garrisons. 


Chapter 70.  The Germans successfully harass the Gauls.

The work having been begun, a cavalry battle occurs in that plain, which we have described (lit. pointed out) above (as) broken by hills (and) extending (lit. lying open) for three miles in length. The contest is maintained (lit. it is contended) with the utmost vigour. Our men being distressed, Caesar despatches the Germans and draws up the legions in front of the camps [lest any sally should suddenly be made by the enemy's infantry]. Our men's courage is enhanced by the additional support (lit. protection) of the legions; the enemy, having been put to (lit. thrown into) flight, impede themselves by their very large number and, the gates having been left too narrow, they are crowded together in a huddle. The Germans pursue(them) with (all) the more vigour right up to the fortifications. A great slaughter occurs; some, their horses having been abandoned, endeavour to cross the trench and climb over the wall. Caesar orders the legions, which he had stationed in front of the rampart, to be moved forward a little (distance). The Gauls who were within the fortifications were no lessalarmed, (and,) thinking that an attack was to be made upon (lit. it was to be incurred towards) them immediately, shout out in unison (the call) to arms; panic-stricken, some rushinto the town. Vercingetorix orders the gates to be shut, lest the camp be undefended. Many men having been slain, (and) several horses having been taken, the Germans retire (lit.withdraw themselves). 


Chapter 71.  Policy of Vercingetorix.

Vercingetorix adopts the plan to send away from him all his cavalry by night. He gives the commission to  those departing that each of them should go to his own state and compel to (join) the war all (those) who in accordance with their age could bear arms. He declares to them his own merits and entreats (them) to have regard for his own safety, and not to surrender him (who had) deserved very well with regard to the general freedom to the enemy for torture. He points out (to them) that, if they should be too remiss, eighty thousand chosen men would perish. That, a calculation having been made (lit. entered into), he had barely (enough) corn for thirty days, but that he could hold out (lit. it could be endured) for just a little longer through economising. These commissions having been given,he sends the cavalry (away) in silence in the second watch  (at a point) where our work was uncompleted (lit. had been interrupted). He orders all the corn to be brought to him; he ordains capital punishment for those who should not obey (him): he distributes man by man the cattle, a great supply of which had been brought there by the Mandubii; he began to measure out the corn sparingly and little by little. He accepted into the town all the troops whom he had stationed in front of the town. By these measures he prepares to await the reinforcements (lit. auxiliary troops) of Gaul and to carry on the war.  


Chapter 72.  Caesar's works.  

These proceedings having been ascertained from deserters and captives, Caesar devised the following kinds of fortifications. He dug (lit. drew) a trench forty feet (wide) with perpendicular sides, such that the bottom of this trench  should extend (lit. lie open) as far as the edges of the trench were apart at the top of the trench. He set back all the other fortifications four hundred feet from that trench; this (he did) with this intention, lest, since he had, of necessity, embraced so extensive an area, and the whole body (of the works) could not easily be surrounded by a ring of soldiers, a large number of the enemy should, suddenly or at night, make a dash (lit. fly) at the fortifications, or should be able to cast their javelins against our men (who had been) engaged on the works. This interval lying between (lit. having been interposed), he dug (lit. drew) two trenches fifteen feet broad (and) of the same depth; the inner (one) of these, (being) on flat and low-lying ground, he filled with water diverted from the river. Behind these he constructed a rampart and a palisade twelve feet (high). To this he attached a parapet and battlements with large stags' horn (stakes) projecting out at the junction of the breastworks and the rampart, to check the enemy's ascent, and he put towers around the whole of the works, which were situated at a distance of eighty feet between them. 



Chapter 73.  Caesar's works (continued).

It was necessary, at the same time, both  to collect timber and to forage and for very great fortifications to be constructed, with our troops who were used to advancing some distance from camp having been reduced in number; and sometimes (lit. not never) the Gauls tried to attack (lit. make an attempt on) our works, and to make a sally in considerable force from the town by several gates. For this reason Caesar thought that he should add (lit. that it was needing to be added) further to these works, in order that the fortifications could be defended by a lesser number of soldiers. Therefore, the trunks of trees or some very thick branches having been cut down, and their tops stripped of bark and sharpened to a point, continuous trenches were dug (lit. drawn) five feet deep. These stakes, having been sunk into these and having been firmly fastened at the bottom, so that they could not be torn out,were projecting (from the ground) by their branches. There were five rows joined and intertwined between each other (lit. themselves). (Those) who had entered within them (lit. thither) would impale themselves on the sharpest of stakes. They called these boundary markers. In front of these, diagonal rows having been arranged in a quincunx (i.e. a figure of five), pits were dug three feet in depth on a gradually narrower incline to the bottom. In these, tapering stakes with the thickness of a thigh, sharpened at the top and (with the point) hardened in the fire, were sunk in such a manner that they projected not more than four fingers (i.e. three inches) from the ground; at the same time, for the sake of strengthening (them) and making them secure, a foot of each (stake) was packed down with earth at the bottom of the pit (lit. ground); the remaining part of the pit was covered overwith twigs (lit. osiers) and brushwood. Eight rows of this kind (were) dug (lit. drawn) (and)they were three feet apart from each other (lit. between themselves). They called this a lily on account of its likeness to that flower. In front of these, logs a foot long, iron hooks having been fixed in (them), were wholly buried in the ground and were planted in all places, with small intervals lying between (them) (lit. having been interposed); these they called spurs.  



Chapter 74.  Caesar decides to build a second line of fortification facing outwards. 

These works having been completed, following the most favourable (lit. most even) ground that he could, considering the nature of the locality, (and) enclosing (lit. embracing) (an area of) fourteen miles, he constructed, against an external enemy, parallel fortifications of the same kind (but) facing in the other direction (lit. having been turned away) from those, so that the guards of these fortifications could not be surrounded even by an immense multitude, if it should happen thus [owing to the departure of their (cavalry)]; and, in order that they (lit. it) might not be compelled to go out of the camp with (great) risk, he ordersall to have forage and corn collected for thirty days. 


Chapter 75.  Enormous gathering of Gauls. 

While these things were being done at Alesia, the Gauls, a council of their chief men having been convened, determine that not all those who could bear arms should (lit. [were] needing to) be called out, as Vercingetorix thought, but that a fixed number should (lit. [were] needing to) be levied from each state, (for fear) lest, so great a multitude having assembled, they could neither control nor distinguish between their own men, nor have the means of providing (them) with corn. They demand thirty-five thousand (men) from the Aedui and their dependants, the Segusiavi, the Ambivareti, the Aulerci Brannovices and the Brannovii; an equal number from the Arverni, in conjunction with (lit. having been joined to) the Eleuteti, the Cadurci, the Gabali (and) the Velavi, who were accustomed to being under the sovereignty of the Arverni; twelve thousand each from the Sequani, the Senones, the Bituriges, the Santoni, the Ruteni (and) the Carnutes; ten (thousand) from the Bellovaci; eight (thousand) each from Pictones and the Turoni and the Parisii and the Helvetii; five thousand each from the Ambiani, the Mediomatrices, the Petrocorii, the Nervii, the Morini and the Nitiobroges; the same number from the Aulerci Cenomani; four thousand from the Atrebates, the same number from from the Veliocassi; three (thousand) each from the Lemovices and the Aulerci Eburovices; two (thousand) each from the Rauricii and the Boii; (and) thirty thousand from all of the states which border on the Ocean (i.e. the Atlantic) and who are usually (lit. in accordance with their custom) called Armoricans, in which number are the Curiosolites, the Redones, the Ambibarii, the Caletes, the Osismi, the Veneti, the Lexovii (and) the Venelli. Of these, the Bellovaci did not fulfil their quota, because they declared that they would wage war with the Romans on their own account and at their own discretion, nor would they obey the order of anyone; however, having been asked by Commius, in consideration of their guest-friendship with him they sent two thousand (men) together (with him). 


Chapter 76.  They set out to relieve Alesia. 

As we have stated (lit. pointed out) beforehand, Caesar had, in previous years, employed the faithful and valuable service of this Commius in Britain; in consideration of these merits, he had ordered that his state should be exempt (from taxes), its rights and laws should be restored, and had made the Morini subject to him. Yet, so great was the consensus among all the Gauls in relation to their freedom being claimed and their former renown in war being recovered, that they were influenced neither by benefits nor by the memory of friendship, and they all devoted themselves to (lit. fell upon) that war with both their heart and strength. Eight thousand cavalry and about two hundred and fifty thousand infantry having been assembled, these were reviewed in the territory of the Aedui, and their number was calculated, and commanders were appointed (lit. determined). The supreme command was entrusted to Commius of the Atrebates, to the Aeduans Viridomarus and Eporedorix, and to Vercassivellaunus of the Arverni, the cousin of Vercingetorix. To them are assigned (men) selected from the states, by whose advice the war should be conducted. All set out for Alesia, eager and full of confidence, and there was not anyone of them who imagined that even the sight of so great a host could be withstood, especially in a double-fronted battle, since (on the inside) the action would consist of (lit. when it would be fought by) a sally from the town, (and) on the outside so great a force of cavalry and infantry would be seen.
 
Chapter 77.  Famine at Alesia.  Critognatus advocates cannibalism.

 

But (those) who were besieged in Alesia, the day having been passed on which they had expected the assistance of their countrymen, all their corn having been consumed, (being) unaware of what was being done in the (territory of the) Aedui, (and) an assembly having been convened, deliberated over the outcome of their fortunes. And, various opinions having been expressed, some of which argued for a laying down (of arms), others for a sally, while their strength sufficed, the speech of Critognatus appears worthy not to be omitted on account of its remarkable and abominable cruelty. He, sprung from the highest rank (lit. position) among the Arverni, and possessed of great influence, says, "I am going to saynothing concerning the opinion of those who call a most shameful servitude by the name of surrender, and I do not think that they should be regarded in the position of citizens or that they should be summoned to the council. My business is with those who approve of a sally; in their advice the memory of our former valour appears to reside in the opinion of all of you. To be unable to bear privation for a short time, that is faintness (lit. softness) of spirit, not courage. (Those) who, of their own accord, would offer themselves to death, are more easily found than (those) who would patiently endure distress. And I should approve of this opinion - (for) the authority (of those who hold it) has very great power with me - if I should foresee no sacrifice (lit. throwing away) to occur except our own lives; but, in our plan to be adopted, we should have regard for the whole of Gaul, which we have aroused (to come) to our aid. Eighty thousand men having been slain on one spot, what courage do you think our relatives and friends would have (lit. there would be to our relatives and friends), if they should be forced to fight it out in battle almost over our very bodies? Do not (lit. Be unwilling to) deprive of your support those who have disregarded their own peril for the sake of your safety, and by your folly and rashness or by your weakness of mind lay all of Gaul low and subject (it) to permanent slavery. Or do you have doubts about their loyalty and their resolution, because they have not come on the (appointed) day?  What then? Do you supposethat the Romans are toiling daily in those outer fortifications for the sake of amusement? If you cannot be encouraged by their (i.e. those of the Gallic relief army) despatches, every approach having been blocked up, use them (i.e. the Roman workers) as witnesses that their arrival is approaching; greatly alarmed by the fear of this event, they are occupied day and night in this work. So what is my advice? To do what our ancestors did in the war, by no means equal, with the Cimbri and the Teutones; they, having been driven into the towns, and compelled by a similar privation, sustained life by the corpses of those who appeared useless for war owing to their age, and did not surrender themselves to the enemy. (Even) if we did not have a precedent for this action, still I should consider (it) a most glorious thing that it should be established for the sake of freedom and that it should be handed down to posterity. For what was there in that war like (this)? Gaul having been ravaged, and a great calamity having been inflicted, the Cimbri indeed eventually departed from our territories and sought other lands; they left us our rights, laws, lands and liberty. But what else do the Romans seek or what (else) do they want, except, induced by envy, to settle in the lands and the states of those whom they know by their reputation (to be) noble and powerful in war? For they have not waged war on any other terms. But if you are unaware of those things which are going on in distant countries, look at neighbouring Gaul (i.e. the Province or Narbonese Gaul), which, having been reduced to a province, its rights and laws having been changed, (and) having been subjected to the axes (of the lictors), is oppressed by perpetual slavery." 


Chapter 78.  The elderly, women and children are expelled form Alesia.

Opinions having been expressed, they determine that those who were incapacitated for war, owing to bodily state or age, should depart from the town, and that they should try everything before having to resort (lit. descending) to Critognatus' suggestion; however, they should avail themselves (lit. it would be necessary to make use) of that advice, if the the situation should compel (them) or assistance should be delayed, rather than that terms of either surrender or peace should be undergone. The Mandubii, who had received them into the town, are compelled to go forth with their children and their wives. When these come to the Romans' fortifications, weeping, they beg with every entreaty that they should help them with food, (after) having been taken into slavery. But Caesar, guards having been stationed on the rampart, forbade (them) to be admitted (lit. received). 


Chapter 79.  Reinforcements under Commius.

In the meantime, Commius and the other generals, to whom the supreme command had been consigned (lit. allowed) arrive at Alesia with all their force, and a hill outside (it) having been occupied, encamp no further than a mile from our fortifications. On the next day, the cavalry from the camp having been led forth, they fill all that plain, which we have explained extended (lit. lay open) three miles (lit. thousand paces) in length, and station on the higher ground their infantry troops, (who had been) moved (lit. withdrawn) a short (distance) from that spot. There was a view down on to the plain from the town of Alesia.These relieving troops having been seen, they rush together; mutual congratulation occurs (lit. congratulation occurs between them) and their minds are elated with (lit. are incitedto) joy. Accordingly, their troops having been led out, they encamp before the town, andcover over the nearest trench with hurdles and fill it with earth, and prepare themselves for a sally and all eventualities. 


Chapter 80.  Fierce engagement.

The whole of his army having been deployed on each part of the fortifications, so that, if the need should arise (lit. come), each man should hold and know his own station, Caesar ordersthe cavalry to be led forth from the camp and that battle should be joined. There was a commanding view (lit. a view down) from every part of the camp, which occupied the top of the surrounding ridge (lit. of the ridge on all sides), and all the soldiers were eagerlyawaiting the outcome of the fight. The Gauls had placed scattered archers and light-armed infantry among their horsemen, to bring support to their retreating men, and to withstand the attacks of  our cavalry. Several (of our cavalrymen), having been unexpectedly wounded by these men, left the battle. When the Gauls felt sure that their men were on top (lit. superior) in the battle, and that our men were hard pressed by (weight of) numbers, both those who were confined by the fortifications and those who had come to their aid sought to encourage the minds of their countrymen by shouting and yelling from all quarters. Because the action was being carried on in the sight of all, and (because) neither a brave nor a cowardly deed could be concealed, both the desire for praise and the fear of disgrace stirredboth sides to (acts of) valour. When the action (lit. it) was fought from midday almost to sunset (lit. the setting of the sun), with victory (being) doubtful, the Germans, in one part (of the field) made an assault on the enemy in compact squadrons, and drove (them) off;these having been put to (lit. thrown into) flight, the archers were surrounded and slain. Likewise, in other parts of the field, our men, pursuing the retreating (enemy) right up to their camp, did not give an opportunity for them to be rallied. Moreover, those who had come forth from Alesia, withdrew (lit. betook themselves) into the town dejected and with victory having almost been despaired of. 


Chapter 81.  Attack on Roman entrenchments. 

One day having been allowed to elapse, and an immense quantity of hurdles, scaling ladders and poles with grappling hooks having been made in this interval, the Gauls, going forth from their camp in silence in the middle of the night, approach the fortifications on the plain. A shout having suddenly been raised, so that by its indication (those) who were besieged in the town could learn of their arrival, they prepare to throw down hurdles (into the trenches), to dislodge our men from the rampart by slings, arrows (and) stones, and to undertake the other things which are necessary for (lit. pertain to) an assault. At the same time, Vercingetorix
gives the signal (for action) to his men by a trumpet, and leads (them) forth from the town. Our men, as a place had been assigned to each man, as on previous days, come up to the fortifications; they frighten off the Gauls with one-pounder slings and the stakes which they had placed in the (fortification) works, and with  leaden bullets. Visibility having been removed by the darkness, many wounds are received on both sides. Several missiles are hurled by the artillery engines. But, Marcus Antonius and Gaius Trebonius, the legates, to whom these parts had been assigned (lit. had fallen) for the purpose of defence, despatched(soldiers who had been) withdrawn from the more remote forts to whatever part (of the field) they had understood that our men were being hard pressed, as a means of support for these men. 
 
Chapter 82.  The Gauls fail to make progress.
 
While the Gauls were quite some distance away from the entrenchment, they profited more from the large quantity of their missiles; when they advanced nearer, they either entangledthemselves, unsuspecting, on the spurs, or, having sunk (lit. having been borne down) into the pits, they were transfixed, or they perished, having been shot by the artillery (lit. mural) darts from the rampart and the towers. Many wounds having been received from all sides, (and) no (part of) the entrenchment having been forced, when daylight approached, fearing lest they might be surrounded by a sally from the upper camp on their exposed flank, they retreated (lit. betook themselves) to their countrymen. But those within, while they bring forward the things which had been prepared by Vercingetorix for a sally, (and) fill up the former trench, (yet,) having delayed for quite a long time in these matters being executed,they learned that their comrades had retreated before they came near to the fortifications. So, they returned to the town without achieving their purpose (lit. the matter [being]unfinished). 
 
 
Chapter 83.  The relieving army plans another attack.
 
Having twice been repulsed with great loss, the Gauls consult over what they should do; they summon (those who are) knowledgeable about the locality; from these they learn about the position and the fortifications of the upper camp. On the north (side) there was a hill which our men had not been able to include within their (fortification) work on account of the extent (lit. magnitude) of its circumference: of necessity, they made their camp on ground (which was) somewhat (lit. almost) uneven and gently sloping. The legates Gaius Antistius Reginus and Gaius Caninius Rebilus were occupying this camp with two legions. The area having been reconnoitred by their scouts, the enemy's generals select from their entire complement sixty thousand (men) from those states which had the greatest reputation for courage; they secretly decide between themselves what seems good (to them) to be done and in what manner. They fix the time for attacking (the camp), when it should seem to be midday. In command of this force they put Vercassivellaunus, one of the four generals and a relative of Vercingetorix. Coming forth from their camp at the first watch, the march having almost been completed by dawn (lit. daylight), he concealed himself behind a mountain, andordered his soldiers to refresh themselves from their exertions during the night. When noon now seemed to be at hand, he hastened towards that camp, which we have mentioned above; and at the same time the cavalry began to approach the fortifications on the plain, and the rest of the troops (began) to show themselves in front of the camp. 
 
Chapter 84.  Sortie from the town.
 
Vercingetorix, having observed his countrymen from the citadel of Alesia, issues forth from the town; he brings forth hurdles, long poles, movable pent-houses, grappling-hooks and the other things which he had prepared for the purpose of (making) a sally. There is fighting (lit. it is fought) in all places at one time, and every (expedient) is tried; whichever part (of the fortifications) is least strong, there is a rush (lit. it is rushed) to it. The army of the Romans is divided across their very extensive (lines of) fortification, nor does it easily reachseveral positions. The shouting, which arose from the combatants in their rear (lit. behind their backs),  tends greatly to our men being scared, because they perceive that the risk to themselves depends (lit. stands firmly) on the safety of others; for generally all things which are distant disturb men's minds more seriously. 
 
Chapter 85.  Caesar's personal supervision. 
 
Caesar, having found a suitable spot, learns what is happening in each part (of the battle-field); he sends assistance to (those who are) struggling. It occurs to the minds of both sides that this is the one time in which there should be the greatest exertion (lit. in which it is proper for it it be especially exerted): the Gauls despair of all safety unless they should break through the fortifications; the Romans expect an end to all their labours if they shall gain the day (lit. keep hold of the business). The struggle is especially fierce (lit. it isstruggled especially) at the upper fortifications, whither we have said that Vercassivellaunus (had been) sent. The unfavourable downward slope (lit. the unfavourable slope [added] to a declivity) has a great effect. Some hurl missiles, others advance, a tortoise having been formed; fresh men in turn replace the weary. Earth is heaped up (lit. cast) by all against the fortifications and gives the Gauls the (means of) ascent, and covers over those things which the Romans had concealed in the ground; neither their arms nor their strength are any longer sufficient for our men.
 
Chapter 86.  Labienus is sent to relieve the  distressed soldiers. 
 
These things having been observed, Caesar sends Labienus with six cohorts as a means of support to his struggling (men); he orders (him), if he could not hold his ground (lit. withstand [them]), his cohorts having been drawn off, to fight through (making) a sally; (but) that he was not to do that unless through necessity. He himself goes to the rest (of his troops), (and) encourages (them) not to succumb to the strain; he tells (them) that the fruit of all their previous engagements depends on that day and that hour. The (enemy) on the inside, the positions on the plains having been despaired of, on account of the great size of the fortifications, make an attempt on the precipitous positions straight from a climb. Hither they convey those (engines) which they had prepared. They dislodge the defenders from the towers by the immense quantity of their missiles, they fill up the trenches with earth and hurdles, (and) they tear down the rampart and parapet with grappling-hooks. 
 
Chapter 87.  Caesar in battle.
 
Caesar first sends the young Brutus with some cohorts, then (lit. after [that]) the legate Gaius Fabius with others; lastly he himself, when the battle was raging (lit. it was fought) more fiercely, brought up fresh (troops) in support. The battle (front) having been restoredand the enemy having been repulsed, he hastened to that place whither he had sent Labienus; he withdrew four cohorts from the nearest fort, (and) he orders some of the cavalry to follow him, and others to go round the outer entrenchments and attack the enemy in the rear (lit. at the back). Labienus, when neither the rampart nor the ditches could withstand the force of the enemy, forty cohorts, which, having been withdrawn from the nearest guard-posts, chance has presented, having been collected, informs Caesar (lit.makes Caesar more sure) by messengers what he thought should (lit. was needing to) be done. Caesar hurries to take part in the battle.  
 

Chapter 88.  Slaughter of the Gauls.

His arrival having been ascertained through the colour of his cloak, which he was accustomed to use in battle as a distinguishing mark, and the squadrons of cavalry and the cohorts, which he had ordered to follow him, having been seen, as these downward slopes and depressions were visible from their higher positions, the enemy join battle. A shout having been raised on both sides, the shout is taken up in turn along the rampart and the whole of the entrenchments. Our men, their javelins having been discarded, do the business with their swords. Suddenly, the cavalry are seen in the (enemy's) rear (lit. behind the [enemy's] back); (and) the other cohorts draw near. The enemy turn their backs (to flee); the cavalry encounter (those) fleeing. A great slaughter occurs. Sedulius, the leader and chief of the Lemovices is killed; Vercassivellaunus of the Arverni is taken alive in flight; seventy-four military standards are brought to Caesar; (only) a few out of so great a number retreat (lit. betake themselves) safely to their camp. (The others,) beholding from the town the slaughter and flight of their countrymen, safety having been despaired of, lead their troops back from the fortifications. This event having been heard about, a flight of the Gauls from their camp occurs immediately. And (lit. as to which), if the soldiers had not been exhausted by their frequent reinforcement missions and by the exertions of the whole day, all the enemy's force could have been destroyed. Just after midnight the cavalry, having been sent (out), overtake the rear (lit. the last) of the (enemy's) column; a great number (of men) are taken and slain, (and) the rest scatter (lit. disperse) in flight to their (respective) states.   


Chapter 89.  Vercingetorix surrenders.

On the next day, a council having been called, Vercingetorix stresses that he had undertaken that war not for the sake of his own needs but (for the sake) of the common freedom, and that, since it was necessary to yield (lit. it was needing to be yielded) to fortune, he offershimself to them for one of two purposes, whether they should wish through his death to give satisfaction to the Romans or surrender (him) alive. Envoys are sent to Caesar concerning these matters. He orders their arms to be surrendered (and) their chiefs to be produced. Hehimself took his seat on the entrenchments in front of the camp; their leaders are broughtbefore him. Vercingetorix is surrendered and they throw down their arms. The Aedui and the Arverni having been kept back, (to see) whether through them he could regain their states, he distributes one of the other captives to each (soldier) throughout the whole army in the name of booty. 



Chapter 90.  Winter quarters of Roman legions.  A thanksgiving is granted. 

These matters having been completed, he sets out for (the territories of) the Aedui; he recovers that state. To that place envoys (were) sent by the Arverni, to promise that they would do what he should command. He demands a great number of hostages. He sends the legions to winter-quarters. He returns about twenty thousand prisoners-of-war to the Aedui and the Arverni. He orders Titus Labienus to march with two legions (into the lands of) the Sequani; he attaches Marcus Sempronius Rutilus to him. He places his legate Gaius Fabius and Lucius Minucius Basilus with two legions in (the territories of) the Remi, in order that they should not suffer (lit. receive) any damage from the neighbouring Bellovaci. He sendsGaius Antistius Reginus into (the lands of) the Ambivareti, Titus Sextius into (the territories of) the Bituriges, (and) Gaius Caninius Rebilus into (those of) the Ruteni with one legion each. He stations Quintus Tullius Cicero and Publius Sulpicius (Rufus) at Cabillo and Matisco among the Aedui for the sake of the corn supply. He himself decides to winter at Bibracte.These events having been learned about [through despatches], a general thanksgiving is granted at Rome.
Read more...

CAESAR: "DE BELLO GALLICO": BOOK IV

Published in Latin Translation

Introduction.


Sabidius has previously translated Books I. II, III and V of Caesar's "Gallic War"; all of these translations with their separate introductions may be found elsewhere on this blog. This, the fourth book of Caesar's commentaries on the "Gallic War", provides an account of the campaigns which Caesar fought in the year 55 B.C., that is shortly after the renewal of the First Triumvirate between Pompey , Crassus and himself, which had led to a five-year extension of his proconsular imperium. While his victories in this year were not on such a spectacular scale as in the three previous years, his twin exploits of crossing the Rhine and sailing to Britain created new precedents for the Roman army and led to great enthusiasm in Rome. 

Before either of these events, however, Caesar was confronted with the invasion of Gaul by two German tribes, the Usipites and the Tencteri. While Caesar is renowned for his policy of  clemency towards defeated enemies, he was also capable of extreme ruthlessness when he felt the circumstances necessitated it. His brutal treatment of these two tribes (see Chapters 14-15 below) is perhaps the most notorious example of this. By seizing on a relatively small breach of a truce which he had arranged with these two tribes, he detained  their chiefs who had come to his camp to sue for peace, and then, having defeated their leaderless men, he proceeded to massacre up to 400,000 men, women and children, to the extent that these tribes were virtually wiped out. This savage treatment, and the breach of faith that had allegedly preceded it, appears to have caused some concern in Rome, and indeed it is reported in Plutarch's "Life of Caesar" that his bitter personal enemy, Cato the Younger, during a debate in the Senate went so far as to suggest that Caesar should be handed over to the barbarians in order to expiate that breach of faith, and thus avoid the divine vengeance which might otherwise fall upon the Roman people. While Cato's politically motivated diatribe cut no ice with Roman public opinion, and indeed the Senate, delighted at Caesar's twin exploits of crossing the Rhine and invading Britain voted an unprecedented thanksgiving of twenty days (see Chapter 38 below), there is little doubt that Caesar's treatment of the Usipetes and the Tencteri was cruel and verging on the treacherous. This is brought out by the brief and elliptical manner in which he glosses over what actually happened (see Chapters 14-15 once more). Caesar was a past master of using his apparently neutrally phrased narrative, always couched in the impersonal third person, to show his achievements and his decisions in the best possible light from the point of view of his own reputation, but when what had happened was perhaps somewhat less than creditable his approach is not to lie outright but to abbreviate, if not to obscure, the account. In this case, unpleasant as the facts in the business of the Usipetes and the Tencteri appear to be, Caesar would probably have justified his transactions on the grounds of absolute necessity. If the Rhine was to be established as a secure Eastern boundary for Gaul, he had to stop Gallic tribes from appealing to German tribes for help and to deter Germans from wishing to come over the Rhine into Gaul. In this context there can be little doubt that Caesar's ruthless suppression of the Usipetes and the Tencteri achieved its objectives. 

While the two campaigns which followed, the crossing of the Rhine and the exploratory raid into Britain, may actually have achieved little of substance, these two exploits fired the imagination of his compatriots back in Rome and created great excitement. At the same time they provided a further boost to Caesar's prestige and political influence in Rome, which was of course the principal purpose behind them. The building of a bridge to span a river as broad as the Rhine was a truly remarkable achievement in itself. That it was done in only ten days is even more astonishing. The Romans were very proud of the engineering skills of their soldiers and indeed Caesar dwells lovingly on the details of the bridge-building in Chapter 17. The technical details are a little difficult to translate, and different translations feature different interpretations, but for this translator the description is made easier to understand by the sketch of the bridge and its components on page 52 of the textbook used.

The arrival of the Romans on the soil of Britain in the late summer of 55 B.C. is of course a date of great significance for British history, because it is the first recorded interaction between Britain and the mighty empire of Rome. In some ways Caesar's two visits, this one and the longer one in the following year, were false dawns, not only because little of substance was achieved as a result of them, but because the actual conquest of Britain by the Romans under the Emperor Claudius was delayed until 43 A.D. Nevertheless it is hard to exaggerate the excitement which Caesar's two visits to the mythical and mysterious island generated in Rome - almost akin to the lunar landing by American astronauts in 1969. And generations of British schoolchildren have listened to, and drawn pictures of, the evocative scene in Chapter 26 when the standard-bearer or "aquilifer" of the Tenth Legion leaps into the waves to encourage his reluctant comrades to make it to land. While both of Caesar's exploits in this year may seem like publicity stunts, they do also illustrate something else about Caesar, namely, his belief in his "lucky star" (see his "pristinam fortunam" at the end of Chapter 26), and his willingness to take risks which other Roman generals of his age would have sought to eschew.  By this stage his troops shared in this belief and would have followed him anywhere, as they indeed did in this year, and as they continued to do so in the years ahead.

The text for this translation comes from "Caesar: Gallic War IV", edited by Clement Bryans, M.A., and published by Macmillan in the "Elementary Classics" series in 1886.  As he has done in other recent translations, Sabidius has highlighted main verbs by the use of italics, and has underlined ablative absolute phrases, which are common in this as in other of Caesar's works. Once again, Sabidius had sought to produce a translation which sticks as closely as possible to the sentence structure of the Latin text. Where it has been considered desirable to offer a slightly more colloquial rendering of certain words or phrases, the more literal version is placed in brackets thereafter.


Chapter 1.

In that winter which followed - (now) this was the year with Gnaeus Pompeius (Magnus) (and) Marcus (Licinius) Crassus (as) consuls - the German Usipetes, and likewise the Tencteri, crossed the Rhine with a great multitude of men, not far from the sea, (at the point) where the the Roman armyine flows into (it). The reason for their crossing was (the fact) that, having been thoroughly harassed by the Suebi for several years, they were being hard pressed by war and were being prevented from the cultivation of their land. The nation of the Suebi is by far the greatest and the most warlike of all the Germans. They are said to have a hundred cantons, from each of which they draw a thousand armed men every year. The rest, who have stayed at home, maintain (lit. nourish) themselves and those men; the latter in turn are again under arms in the year afterwards, (while) the former remain at home. Thus neither agriculture nor the systematic practice (lit. the theory and practice) of war is interrupted. But among them there is not any private and (therefore) separate land, nor are they allowed (lit. is it permitted [to them]) to remain in one place (for) longer than a year for the purpose of habitation. They do not live much on corn, but for the most part on milk and cattle(-meat), and they are much (engaged) in hunting (excursions); (and) this circumstance, owing to their type of food and their daily exercise and the freedom of their life, in that from boyhood, having been trained by no service or discipline, they are said to do nothing at all against their inclination, both promotes (lit. nourishes) their strength andmakes (them) men of an immense size of body. And indeed they have brought themselves to such a habit that (even) in the coldest places they do not have any clothing except animal-skins, on account of the scantiness of which a great part of their body is bare, and they bathe (lit. wash [themselves]) in the rivers. 

Chapter 2.

There is access to traders more on this account, that they may have (someone) to whom they can sell (those things) which they have taken in war (rather) than because they require any thing to be imported. Nay even as to draught-horses, in which the Gauls delight very greatly and which they procure at a high price, they do not employ imported (ones) but the crooked and misshapen (ones) which are born among them, (and) by daily exercise they render these to be (capable) of the greatest labour. In cavalry actions they often leap down from their horses and fight on foot, and they have trained their horses  to remain in the same spot, (and) to these they retire (lit. betake themselves) speedily, whenever there is the need; nor, in accordance with their customs, is anything considered more shameful and more indolent than to make use of saddles. Accordingly, however few (they may be), they dare to advance against (lit. to approach) any number of horsemen equipped with saddles. [They do notallow any wine to be imported to them at all, because they think that men become enervated for the purpose of hardship being endured and are made effeminate by that commodity.]

Chapter 3.

They consider their greatest glory as a nation that the land on their borders should be unoccupied to the widest extent possible: (and they think) that it is made evident by this circumstance that a great number of states cannot withstand their force. So the land on one side is said to be untenanted for about sixty miles (lit. sixty thousand paces) from (the territory of) the Suebi. On the other side, the Ubii come close up, whose state was (once) extensive and prosperous, as it is conceived among Germans, and (who) are somewhat (lit. a little) more civilised than others of the same race, on account of the fact that they border on the Rhine, and traders keep visiting them frequently and they themselves have grown accustomed to the habits of the Gauls on account of their proximity (to them). Although the Suebi, having tested them often in many wars, have not been able to drive (them) from their territory on account of the size and importance of their state, yet they have made (them) their tributaries and have reduced (them so as to be) more humble and. weak (than they have ever been).

Chapter 4. 

In the same situation (lit. case) were the Usipetes and the Tencteri, of whom we have spoken above, who, although they withstood the force of the Suebi for many years, having at last been driven from their lands and having wandered for three years in many districts of Germany, reached the Rhine. The Menapii were inhabiting these regions and were holding lands, buildings and villages on each side of the river, but, greatly alarmed at the approach of so great a host, they withdrew from those buildings which they possessed across the river, and, having placed guards at different positions on the near side of the river, prevented the Germans from crossing. Since, having tried everything, they could neither force a crossing (lit. contend with force) on account of their lack of ships, nor cross over secretly because of the Menapian sentries, they pretended to retire (lit. turn themselves back) to their own settlements and districts, and, having proceeded on a three days' journey,they returned again, and, the whole of this march having been completed by their cavalry in a single night, they caught the Menapii unaware and off-guard, who, having been informed (lit. made more certain) of the departure of the Germans by their scouts, had moved backinto their villages across the Rhine without fear. These having been slain and their ships having been seized, they crossed the river before that section of the Menapii who were on the near side of the Rhine could be informed (lit. made more sure), and, all their buildings having been occupied, they maintained themselves on their supplies for the remaining part of the winter.

Chapter 5.

Having been informed of these things, and fearing the vacillation of the Gauls, because they are fickle with regard to any plans to be adopted and are generally eager for change (lit. new things), Caesar considered that nothing should (lit. [was] suitable to) be entrusted to them. For it is (a mark) of Gallic custom both to compel travellers to stop, even against their will, and to enquire what each of them has heard or has learned about every subject, and in their towns a crowd surrounds any traders and forces (them) to declare from what regions they come and what affairs they know of there. Having been disturbed by these facts and reports, they often adopt (lit. enter into) resolutions on the most important matters, which it is necessary that they repent of at once (lit. on the spot), since they are slaves to uncertain rumours and most (of the traders) give answers invented (lit. reply with fictions) at their own inclination. 

Chapter 6.

This custom having been learned about, Caesar, in order that he might not encounter a more serious war, sets out for the army earlier than he was accustomed (to do). When he had arrived thither, he discovered that those things which he had suspected would happen had (already) occurred; that embassies had been sent to the Germans by some (lit. not none) of the states, and that they had been urged to withdraw from the Rhine, and that everything which they had asked for will have been got ready. Having been inspired (lit. induced) by this expectation, the Germans were ranging more widely and had arrived at the territory of the Eburones and the Condrusi, who are dependants of the Treviri. The chieftains of Gaul having been summoned, Caesar considered that those things which he had learned should (lit. were needing to) be concealed by him, and, their spirits having been calmed and encouraged, and cavalry having been ordered, he decided to wage war on (lit. with) the Germans. 

Chapter 7.

A corn supply having been provided and his cavalry having been selected, he began to make a march to those places, in which locations he heard that the Germans were. When he was a few days' march away from those (places), envoys came from them, whose speech was as follows: that the Germans neither made war upon the Roman people first, but nor did they decline, if they were provoked, to (lit. but that they would) contend in arms, in that it was the custom of the Germans, handed down by their ancestors, to resist anyone who made war (upon them) and not to ask for quarter (lit. to beg off). That they said these things however, that they came (there) reluctantly, having been expelled from their home; if the Romans wanted their good-will, let them either assign them lands, or allow (them) to retain those (lands) which they had won by (force of) arms: that they yielded to the Suebi alone, to whom not even the immortal gods could be equal; that there was no one else on earth whom they could not conquer.

Chapter 8.

To these (remarks) Caesar replied as it seemed proper (to answer); but the conclusion of his speech was (as follows): that he could have (lit. there could be to him) no alliance with them, if they remained in Gaul; that it was not right that (those) who could not defend their own territories should seize (those) of others; that there were not any lands lying vacant in Gaul which could be given (away) to such an especially large horde without injury (to others); but that they might (lit. that it was permitted [to them]), if they wished, (lit. to) settle in the territories of the Ubii, whose ambassadors were with him (to) complain about the outrages of the Suebi and (to) seek help from him: (and) that he would require this from the Ubii. 

Chapter 9.

The envoys said that they would report these things to their (people) and that, the matter having been deliberated on, they would return to Caesar three days later (lit. after the third day): in the meantime they asked that he should not move his camp nearer to them. Caesarsaid that not even that (request) could be obtained from him. For he had learned that a great part of their cavalry had been sent across the Meuse to the (lands of) the Ambivariti some days before for the purpose of plundering and foraging: he supposed that this cavalry was awaited and that the delay was interposed because of that reason.

Chapter 10.

The Meuse flows forth from the Vosges mountain (range), which is in the territory of the Lingones, and, a certain branch having been received from the Rhine, which is called the Waal, forms the island of the Batavi, and no further than eighty miles (lit. thousand paces) from the Ocean it flows into the Rhine. The Rhine, however, rises in the (land of the) Lepontii, who live in the Alps, and runs at full speed for a long distance through the territories of the Nantuates, Helvetii, Sequani, Mediomatrices, Tibuci and Treviri, and where it approached the Ocean it flows down into several branches, many large islands having been formed, a great part of which are inhabited by savage and barbarous tribes, of which there are (some) that are supposed to live on fish and birds' eggs, and flows into the Ocean by many mouths.

Chapter 11.

When Caesar was not more than twelve miles (lit. thousand paces) distant from the enemy, their envoys returned to him, as had been arranged; they, meeting (him) on the march, earnestly entreated him not to advance any further. When they could not obtain this (request), they asked him to send (word) (lit. send forward) to those cavalrymen who had gone out in front of the column and prevent them from fighting, and to give (them) the opportunity of sending envoys to the Ubii; if the chieftains and council of the latter would give them security by an oath, they indicated that they would accept those terms which might be proposed by Caesar; (and they asked that) he might give them the space of three days for these matters to be settled. Caesar thought that all these (pleas) tended to that same (end), (namely) that, a delay of three days having been interposed, their cavalry, which was absent, might return; however, he said that he would not, on that day, advance further than four miles (lit. thousand paces) for the sake of (procuring) water; (and that) as large a number (of them) as possible should assemble thither on the following day, so that he could learn about their demands. Meanwhile, he sends (word) to the commanders, who had gone forward with the whole cavalry, to tell (them) not to provoke the enemy to an engagement, and, if they were provoked themselves, (to) hold their ground, until he himself had come up nearer with the army.

Chapter 12.

But the enemy, as soon as (lit. when first) they saw our cavalry, the number of which was five thousand, whereas they had not more than eight hundred horsemen, because those who had gone across the Meuse for the purpose of foraging had not yet returned, our men being in no way fearful, because their envoys had departed from Caesar (only) a short (time) before, and that day had been requested by them for a truce, a charge having been made,had thrown our men into disorder; (our men) in turn resisting, they jumped down on to their feet, in accordance with their custom, our horses having been stabbed in the belly (lit. underneath), and several of our men having been thrown to the ground, they put the rest to flight and drove (them) into such a state of panic that they did not desist from flight until they had come in sight of our column. In that battle seventy-four of our horsemen were (lit. are) slain, among them a very brave man, Piso of Aquitania, sprung from a most distinguished line, whose grandfather had held the sovereignty in his state, (and who) had been named (as) a friend by our senate. He, when he was trying to bring help to his brother, (who had been) hemmed in by the enemy, rescued him from danger, (but) he himself, having been thrown from his wounded horse, resisted very bravely for as long as he could: when, having been surrounded, he had fallen, many wounds having been received, and his brother, who had at that time retired from the fray, had noticed this from afar, his horse having been spurred on, he flung himself upon (lit. offered himself to) the enemy and was killed.

Chapter 13. 

This engagement having occurred, Caesar considered that the envoys should no longer (lit. were no longer worthy to) be heard by him, nor should any conditions (lit. were any conditions fit to) be accepted (by him) from those who, peace having been sought, had made war unprovoked (lit. of their own accord) through treachery and ambush; he judged that it would indeed be the height of folly to wait, while the enemy's forces should be increased and their cavalry should return, and, the fickleness of the Gauls having been appreciatedhe felt how much weight the enemy had acquired in their minds from a single engagement; (and so) he concluded that no opportunity should be given to them for the purpose of plans being adopted. These things having been determined, and his plans having been shared with his legates and his quaestor, so that that he should not let pass any chance of a battle (lit. any battle-day), an event occurred very fortuitously, (namely) that on the morning of the day after that day, practising the same deceit and dissimulation, a large body of Germans, all the chieftains and the senior men in point of birth having been included, came to him in his camp, partly, as it was asserted, for the sake of themselves being exculpated, in that they had joined battle on the previous day contrary to what had been agreed and (to what) they themselves had requested, (and) partly to obtain whatever they could by deception in way of the truce. Having been delighted that they had come into his power (lit. had been offered to him), he ordered that they should be detained, (and) he himself led all his forces out of the camp, and commanded the cavalry, which he thought to have been intimidated by the recent engagement, to follow in the rear of the column. 

Chapter 14.

A triple line having been formed, and a march of eight miles having been quickly accomplished, he arrived at the enemy's camp before the Germans could perceive what was being done. Having been suddenly panic-stricken by all the circumstances, both by the speed of our arrival and the departure of their (leaders), the opportunity having been afforded neither for a plan to be adopted nor for arms to be taken up, they were  thrown into doubtas to whether it was better to lead their forces against the enemy, or to defend their camp, or to seek safety in flight. When their consternation was indicated by their uproar and tumult, our soldiers, enraged by the treachery of the previous day, burst into their camp. In this place (those) who could quickly take up their arms resisted our men for a short while and joined battle amongst their carts and baggage-wagons; but the rest of the horde, (consisting) of children and women [for they had left their homes and crossed the Rhine with all their (families)] began to flee in all directions; Caesar sent his cavalry with the purpose of them being pursued.

Chapter 15.

The Germans, a noise having been heard behind their backs, when they saw that their (families) were being slain, their arms having been thrown away and their war-standards having been abandoned, rushed wildly (lit. flung themselves) out of their camp, and, when they had arrived at the confluence of the Meuse and the Rhine, further flight having been despaired of, (and) a great number having been killed, the survivors threw themselvesheadlong into the river and there perished, overcome by fear, fatigue (and) the force of the stream. Our men, all unharmed to a single (man), with very few having been wounded, (and freed) from the dread of a great war, since the number of the enemy had been four hundred and thirty thousand souls, retired (lit. betook themselves) to their camp. Caesar gave the opportunity of departing to those who had been retained in the camp. They, fearing punishments and tortures (at the hands) of the Gauls, whose lands they had ravaged (lit. harassed) said that they wished to remain with him. Caesar gave them the freedom (to do so).

THE CROSSING OF THE RHINE (Chapters 16-19)

Chapter 16.

The war with the Germans having been finished, Caesar decided, for many reasons, that he should cross the Rhine (lit. that the Rhine was needing to be crossed by him); of these the most weighty was that (fact) that, since he saw the Germans so easily induced to go into Gaul, he wanted them to have fears for their own possessions as well, when they understood that the army of the Roman people both could and dared to cross the Rhine. And besides (lit.it was also added that) that section of the cavalry of the Usipetes and the Tencteri which, (as) I have mentioned above, had crossed the Meuse for the sake of plundering and foraging, and had not taken part in the battle, after the rout of their countrymen had withdrawn (lit. had betaken themselves) across the Rhine into the territory of the Sugambri, and had joined themselves together with them. When Caesar had sent messengers to them to demand that they should hand over to him (those) who had made war on him and on Gaul, they replied(as follows): that the Rhine was the boundary of the empire of the Roman people: if he thought (it was) unjust for the Germans to go into Gaul without his consent (lit. with him [being] unwilling), why did he claim that anything across the Rhine was under his dominion or power? The Ubii, on the other hand, who alone out of all those people living across the Rhine had sent ambassadors to Caesar, (and) had made an alliance and given hostages, earnestly entreated (him) to bring them assistance, because they were being grievously oppressed by the Suebi; or, if he were prevented from doing this by affairs of state, at least (lit. only) to transport his army across the Rhine: (they said) that that would be sufficient for their assistance and (their) hope for the future (lit. subsequent time). That the name and the reputation of his army was so great, even with regard to the remotest tribes of the Germans, Ariovistus having been defeated and this most recent battle having occurred, that they could be secure under the fame and friendship of the Roman people. They promised a large supply of boats for the purpose of the army being transported.

Chapter 17.

For those reasons which I have mentioned, Caesar had resolved to cross the Rhine; but he thought that it was not sufficiently safe, and he judged that it was not (a reflection) of his own dignity or (that) of the Roman people, to cross by boats. Therefore, although the very great difficulty of a bridge being constructed was presented (to him), on account of the width, the fast current (lit. the rapidity), and the depth of the river, yet he considered that he should attempt to do this (lit. that it was needing to be attempted by him) or, otherwise, that he should not lead the army across (lit. that the army was not due to be led across). He coupled together (lit. between themselves) at a distance of two feet pairs of beams a foot and a half (thick), sharpened a little at the base (and in length) measured in proportion to the depth of the river. When he had fixed these things, (which had been) lowered into the river by means of derricks, he had (them) driven home with pile-drivers, not vertically (lit. straight at the perpendicular) in the manner of a pile, but slanting forwards and sloping, so that they inclined in accordance with the flow (lit. natural tendency) of the stream, (and) opposite to these he also placed two (beams), coupled in the same manner, at a distance of forty feet from the base (of each), directed (lit. turned) against the force and current (lit. onrush) of the river. Both of these (pairs) were kept apart by timbers two feet (thick), inserted from above, as far as (the distance between) the joining of these beams (lit. as far as the joining of these beams was apart), with a pair of clamps at the extremities at each end; these (beams) having been kept apart and secured in opposite directions, so great wasthe strength of the work, and such (was) the arrangement of the structure, that the greater the force of the water (that) rushed down (lit. spurred itself on), the more tightly (the beams which had been) fastened held together. These (trestles) were protected by timber laid down lengthwise and covered over with saplings (lit. long poles) and fascines (i.e. faggots of brushwood); and in addition (lit. notwithstanding [that]) piles were also driven inaslant on the side of the river, placed underneath as a buttress and connected with the whole structure (lit. work), in order to withstand the force of the river, and likewise other (piles) (were driven in) a little distance above the bridge, so that, if the trunks of trees, or if boats, were despatched by the barbarians for the purpose of the work being broken down, the force of such things might be reduced, and that they might not harm the bridge.

Chapter 18.

Within ten days (from the time) in which the timber had begun to be collected, the whole work having been completed, the army is taken across. A strong guard having been left at each end of the bridge, Caesar hastens into the territory of the Sugambri. In the meantime, ambassadors come to him from several states; to these seeking peace and an alliance, he replies in a generous manner, and orders hostages to be brought to him. (But) the Sugambri, from that (very) time at which the bridge was begun to be built, flight having been prepared, with those, whom they had among them from the Tencteri and Usipetes encouraging (this), had quitted their territory, and had carried away all their (possessions) and hid themselves in remote fastnesses and forests. 

Chapter 19.

Having stayed in their territory for a few days, all their villages and houses having been burned and their corn having been cut, Caesar proceeded (betook himself) into the territory of the Ubii, and, having promised (that he would give) them help if they were hard pressed by the Suebi, he learned these things from them: that the Suebi, after they had discovered that a bridge was being built, a council having been held in accordance with their custom, had despatched messengers (telling the people) to evacuate their towns, (and) lodge their  children, wives and all their (possessions) in the forests, and that all who could bear arms were to gather in one place; that this had been chosen (in) about the middle of those districts which the Suebi held: that here they were awaiting the arrival of the Romans and had determined to fight it out on this spot. When Caesar discovered this, all those things having been accomplished, for the purpose of which he had determined to lead his army across, (namely) to strike terror into the Germans, to take vengeance on the Sugambri, (and) to free the Ubii from their blockade, eighteen days altogether having been spent across the Rhine, (and) thinking that enough (had been) accomplished, both for the purpose of renown and for the purpose of expediency, he withdrew (lit. betook himself) to Gaul, andbroke down the bridge.

FIRST INVASION OF BRITAIN (Chapters 20-36)

Chapter 20.

With (only) a small part of the summer having been left, yet Caesar, although in these regions, because all of Gaul looks towards the north (lit. the seven plough-oxen), winters are early, was intent upon setting out for Britain, because he understood that in almost all his campaigns against the Gauls assistance had been supplied to our enemies from there, andhe considered that, (even) if the time of year should be insufficient for the purpose of war, still it would be of great service to him, if he had at least (lit. only) visited the island, and had observed the character of the people, and had learned about the localities, the harbours and the landing-grounds; (for) almost all of these things were unknown to the Gauls. For no one hardly ever went to that (place) except traders, nor even to them was any (part of it)known except the sea-coast and those districts opposite Gaul. Therefore, traders from all parts having been called to him, he could discover neither how great was the size of the island, nor what or how many tribes inhabited (it), nor what degree of skill in war (lit. what practice of war) they possessed or what customs they observed (lit. employed), nor what harbours were suitable for a great number of large ships.

Chapter 21.


For the purpose of these matters being known, before he were to make the attempt, thinking Gaius Volusenus to be suitable (for this), he sends (him) forward with a war-ship. He commissions him, all these things having been explored, to return to him as soon as possible. He himself with all his forces sets out for the (country of the) Morini, because from there was the shortest crossing to Britain. He commands ships from all parts of the neighbouring districts and the fleet, which he had built the previous summer for the war against the Veneti, to assemble in this place. In the meantime, his purpose having been discovered and having been reported to the Britons by traders, envoys from several of the island's states come to him to promise that they will give hostages and submit to the authority of the Roman people. These (envoys) having been heard, he, making promises generously and encouraging (them) to remain in that frame of mind, sends them back home, and together with them he sends Commius, whom, the Atrebates having been conquered, he had appointed (as) king there, (a man) whose courage and counsel he approved of, and whose influence was highly esteemed in these regions. He orders him (to) visit (as many) states as he can and encourage (them) to accept the protection of the Roman people. Volusenus, all districts having been observed, as far as the opportunity could be afforded to him, since he did not dare to leave his ship and entrust himself to barbarians, returns to Caesar on the fifth day and reports what things he had observed there.

Chapter 22.

While Caesar remains in these places for the sake of ships being procured, envoys came to him from a large section of the Morini to apologise (lit. to excuse themselves) for their policy in the previous season, because, (being) barbarian people and (thus) unacquainted with our way of life, they had made war upon the Roman people, and (to) promise that they would do those things which he should command. Caesar, thinking that this (overture) had occurred quite opportunely for him, because he neither wished  to have an enemy behind  his back, nor did he have the chance of war being waged on account of the time of year, and he did not consider that this business of such trivial matters should be preferred to (lit. should be set before) (his expedition) to Britain, orders them (to provide) a large number of hostages. These having been brought to (him), he receives them into his protection. About eighty transport ships having been collected and concentrated (lit. drawn together), which (amount) he considered would be enough for two legions to be transported, he assignedwhat war-ships he had in addition to his quaestor, his legates and his commanders. To thiswere added eighteen transport ships, which were detained by wind eight miles (lit. thousand paces) off from that place from being able to come to the same port: these he assigned to the cavalry. The rest of the army he gave to his legates Quintus Titurius Sabinus and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta, to be led against the Menapii and against those cantons of the Morini, from whom no envoys had come to him; he ordered his legate Publius Sulpicius Rufus to hold the port with such a garrison as he considered would be sufficient.

Chapter 23.

These things having been arranged, (and) having obtained weather suitable for sailing, heweighed anchor (lit. loosed [his anchor]) at about the third watch, and ordered the cavalry to proceed to the further harbour and embark (lit. mount their ships) and follow him. Since (this) was carried out somewhat (lit. a little) tardily by them, he himself reached Britain with the first ships at about the fourth hour of the day, and there he beheld the forces of the enemy displayed in arms on all the hills. The nature of this place was such, and the sea wasso hemmed in by steep cliffs, that a missile could be hurled from the higher ground on to the shore. Thinking this place by no means suitable for disembarking, he waited at anchor till the ninth hour, while the rest of the ships assembled there. In the meantime, the legates and military tribunes having been called together, he both pointed out what he had learned from Volusenus and what he wished to be done, and he warned, as the tactics of military matters (and) especially the affairs of the sea require, inasmuch as these things have a swift and uncertain movement, (that) all things should be performed by them at his nod and at once (lit. at the time). These having been dismissed (to their posts), (and) having obtained both a favourable wind and tide at the same (lit. the one) time, the signal having been givenand his anchor having been weighed (lit. raised), advancing about seven miles (lit. thousand paces) from that place, he brought in his ships, the shore (being) open and level.

Chapter 24.

But the barbarians, the Romans' purpose having been understood, their cavalry and their charioteers, which kind (of warrior) they are accustomed to use in battles, having been sent forward, (and) following up with the rest of their forces, sought to prevent our (men) from disembarking from their ships. (In this) there was the greatest difficulty because of these reasons, (namely) that, on account of their size, our ships could not be grounded except in deep (water), while for our soldiers, the places (being) unknown (to them), with their hands encumbered (and) [having been oppressed] by the great and heavy burden of their armour, it was necessary at one and the same time both to leap down from the ships, and to stand firm in the waves, and to engage the enemy, whereas they, either from dry (ground) or advancing a little into the water, with their limbs free, (and) the places (being) well-known (to them), could hurl their missiles boldly and spur on their horses (which were) accustomed (to this). Dismayed by these circumstances, and altogether unskilled in this kind of  fighting, our (men) did not employ the same vigour and zeal, which they were accustomed to exert in battles on land.

Chapter 25.

When Caesar noticed this, he ordered the war-ships, the appearance of which was both rather strange to the barbarians and the movement (of which) was more ready to suit the occasion, to be withdrawn a little from the transport ships, and to be propelled by their oars and to be positioned alongside the enemy's exposed flank, and that the enemy should be driven off and dislodged from there; this plan was of great service to our (men). For the barbarians, disturbed by the shape of our ships and by the motion of our oars and also by the unfamiliar nature of our artillery-machines, halted and retreated (lit. carried back their feet), (if) only a little. And, with our soldiers hesitating, chiefly on account of the depth of the sea, (the man) who was carrying the eagle of the tenth legion, appealing to the gods that this action should turn out happily for the legion, said, "Jump down, soldiers, unless you wish to betray your eagle to the enemy: I, at any rate, shall have done my duty to the republic and to my commander." When he had said this with a loud voice, he threw himselfforth from the ship.Then our (men), exhorting one another (lit. between themselves) that so great a disgrace should not be permitted, leapt down from the ship in one body. Likewise, when (the men) from the nearest ships saw them, following (them) up, they approached the enemy.

Chapter 26.

There was fierce fighting (lit. it was fought fiercely) on both sides. Our (men), however, as they could neither preserve their ranks nor get a firm foothold (lit. stand on [the ground] firmly) nor follow their standards, and, (as) one (man) from (one) ship (and another) from another attached himself to whatever standard he met, they were thrown into greatdisorder; but the enemy, all the shallows having been known (to them), when they saw from the shore some soldiers scattered and disembarking from a ship, their horses at the gallop (lit. having been spurred on), attacked (them while they were) encumbered, manysurrounded a few, (and) others hurled  missiles at  the whole body (of our men) on their exposed flank. When Caesar noticed this, he ordered the skiffs of the war-ships (and) also the reconnaissance boats to be filled with soldiers, and, whomsoever he saw in distress, he sent help to them. Our (men), as soon as they were standing on dry (land), made a charge against the enemy, all their (comrades) following (them), and put them to flight, but they could not pursue (them) very far, because the cavalry had not been able to hold their course and make the island. This one thing was wanting to Caesar to complete his previous good fortune.

Chapter 27.

The enemy having been overcome, as soon as they had recovered (lit. withdrawn themselves) from their flight, at once sent envoys to Caesar to sue for (lit. [to talk] about) peace; they promised that (they) would give hostages and would do whatever he should require. Together with these envoys came Commius the Atrebatian, whom (as) I have shown above, (had been) sent ahead into Britain by Caesar. They had seized him (when) disembarking from his ship, although he was bearing Caesar's commissions in the capacity of an ambassador, and had thrown (him) into chains; then, the battle having taken place, they sent (him) back. With regard to the peace being sought, they cast the blame for that action upon the mass of the people, and asked that they might be pardoned on account of their ignorance. Caesar, having complained that, although, envoys having been sent to the continent voluntarily, they had sought peace from him, they had made war (upon him) without cause, said that he was pardoning their ignorance and that he required hostages; some of these they gave immediately, (and) they said that they would give the others in a few days (after they had been) summoned from more distant places. In the meantime, they ordered their (people) to move back to their fields, and chieftains began to assemble from all parts and to entrust themselves and their states to Caesar.

Chapter 28.  A storm upsets Caesar's plan.

Peace having been established by these measures, on the fourth day after their arrival (lit. it was arrived) in Britain, the eighteen ships, concerning which there has been an explanation (lit. it has been explained) above,    which had taken the cavalry on board, set sail (lit.loosed [their anchors]) from the upper port in a gentle breeze. When they were approaching Britain and could be (lit. were being) seen from the camp, so great a storm suddenly arosethat not one (of them) could hold their course, but some were carried back to the same (place) from where they had set out, (while) others were driven down to the lower part of the island, which is nearer (to) the west (lit. the setting of the sun), with great danger to themselves; they, however, after they had dropped anchor (lit. their anchors having been dropped), when they began to be filled with waves, sailing out into the deep (sea) of necessity on a foul night, made for the continent. 

Chapter 29.  Some ships destroyed.


On the same night it happened that there was a full moon, which day (of the month) is accustomed to produce very high sea tides in the ocean, and that was unknown to our (men). So, at one (and the same) time both the tide had filled the war-ships, in which Caesar had seen to his army being transported and which he had drawn up on to dry (land), and the storm was battering the transport (ships) which were riding at anchor (lit. which had been fastened to anchors), nor was any opportunity afforded our (men) either for managing or for helping (them). Several ships having been wrecked, since the remainder, their cables, their anchors and the rest of their tackle having been lost, were unfit for sailing, great consternation, a thing which was bound to happen, was caused throughout the whole army. For there were no other ships (available) so that they could be conveyed back by them, and all things which were of service for ships being repaired were lacking, and, because it was known to everyone that they were due to winter in Gaul, corn had not been provided in those places for the winter.

Chapter 30.  British chiefs take advantage of the confusion.

These things having been found out, the chieftains of Britain, who had gathered together at Caesar's (headquarters), conversing among themselves, since they were becoming aware that cavalry and ships and corn were wanting to the Romans, and were discovering the small number of our soldiers from the smallness of the camp, which was even more compact for this reason, because Caesar had conveyed the legions across without their baggage, thoughtthat it was the best course of action (lit. the best thing in the doing), a rebellion having been made, to cut our (men) off from corn and supplies and to prolong the campaign into the winter, because they were confident that, them having been defeated, or their return having been prevented, no one would afterwards cross over into Britain. And so, a conspiracy having been formed once more, they began, little by little to depart from the camp and to draw in their (men) secretly from the fields.

Chapter 31.  Remedial action by Caesar. 

But, although he had not yet discovered their plans, yet both from the fate (lit. outcome) of his ships and from that (very fact) that they had stopped giving hostages, Caesar began to suspect that it would turn out (lit. be) as it (actually) happened. He therefore began to acquire the resources to meet all eventualities. For he both brought corn from the fields into the camp daily, and he used the timber and bronze of those ships which had been most seriously damaged for the purpose of the others being repaired, and he ordered (those things) which were of use for those (purposes) to be brought from the continent. And so, since the task (lit. it) was carried out by the soldiers with the greatest zeal, although twelve ships had been lost (lit. twelve ships having been lost), he brought it about that it was reasonably possible to sail in the rest (lit. for the rest to be sailed). 

Chapter 32.  Ambushed in the field.

While these things were being done, one legion, which was called the Seventh, having been sent, as usual (lit. in accordance with custom) to gather corn, and no (lit. not any) suspicion of war having as yet (lit. at that time) arisen (lit. been interposed), since some of the people remained in the fields and others even kept returning from time to time to the camp, those who were on guard-duty in front of the gates of the camp reported to Caesar that a larger dust-cloud than usual (lit. than custom admitted of) could be seen in that direction into which area the legion had made its march. Caesar, suspecting what (lit. that which) was (happening), (namely) that something of a new plan had been adopted (lit. entered into) by the barbarians, ordered the cohorts which were at the guard-posts to set out with him in that direction, two of the remaining cohorts to take their place on guard, (and) the rest to be armed and to follow him closely at once. When he had advanced a little further from the camp, he noticed that his (men) were being hard-pressed by the enemy and were (only) holding their ground with difficulty, and that, the legion (being) closely packed, missiles were being hurled at (it) from all sides. For, because one area was left, all the corn from the other areas having been reaped, the enemy, suspecting that our (men) would be coming hither, had lain in wait in the woods during the night; then, attacking (them) suddenly (while they were) scattered, their arms having been put down, (and) occupied in reaping, a few having been killed, they had thrown the rest into confusion, their ranks having been broken, and at the same time had surrounded (them) with cavalry and chariots.

Chapter 33.  Chariot-fighting.

Their manner of fighting from their chariots is this. Firstly, they drive about in all directions, and hurl their missiles, and generally throw (the enemy's) ranks into confusion through the very dread of their horses and the noise of their wheels, and, when they have penetrated (lit. threaded themselves in between) the squadrons of cavalry, they jump down from their horses and fight on foot. Meanwhile, the charioteers gradually retire from the battle, andposition their chariots in such a way, that, if the fighters (lit. they) are hard-pressed by the number of the enemy, they may have a ready retreat to their own (side). Thus, they displayin battle the mobility of cavalry and the stability of infantry, and by daily practice and training they achieve so much that they are accustomed to check their galloping horses (lit. horses [which have been] spurred on) (even) in a sloping and steep location, and to guide and turn (them) in an instant (lit. in a short [time]), and (then) to run along the pole and stand on the yoke, and thence to return (lit. betake themselves) very quickly into their chariots.

Chapter 34.  A lull in the fighting.

Owing to these circumstances, to our (men who had been) thrown into confusion by the new form of fighting Caesar brought help at a most opportune time: for indeed upon his arrival, the enemy halted, (and) our (men)  recovered (lit. betook themselves) from their fear. This having been done, thinking that the time was disadvantageous for provoking (the enemy) and for battle being joined, he remained (lit. kept himself) on his own ground, and after a short time (lit. a short time having been allowed to pass) he led the legions back to the camp. While these things were being done, with all our (men) (being) busy (lit. having been occupied), the remaining (Britons), who were in the fields, departed. Storms followed for several successive days, such that they both confined our (men) to camp and prevented the enemy from fighting. Meanwhile, the barbarians sent out messengers to all parts, andproclaimed to their (people) the small number of our soldiers, and pointed out how great an opportunity was being given of booty being obtained and of themselves being liberated forever (lit. in perpetuity), if they should (only) have driven the Romans from their camp. By these means a large number of infantry and cavalry having been gathered speedily together,they came up to the camp.

Chapter 35.  The enemy routed.


Although Caesar saw that the same thing would occur (lit. would be) that had happened on previous days, (namely) that, if the enemy were driven back, they would escape danger due to their speed, yet, having obtained about thirty horsemen, whom Commius the Atrebatian, who has been mentioned (lit. concerning whom it has been told) before, had brought over with himself, he formed the legions in battle-formation before the camp. Battle having been joined, the enemy were not able to bear the onslaught of our soldiers for long, and fled (lit.turned their backs [in flight]). Pursuing them as far as their speed and strength would allow (lit. by as much ground as they could achieve by running and strength), (the Romans) slewseveral of them, (and) then, all the farm-buildings far and wide having been set on fire,they returned (lit. betook themselves) to camp.

Chapter 36.  Peace and return to Gaul.

On the same day envoys sent by the enemy came to Caesar to sue for (lit. [to talk] about) peace. (In reply) to them Caesar doubled the number of hostages which he had previously demanded, and ordered that they should be brought to the continent, because, with the day of the equinox (being) near, he did not consider, his ships (being) damaged, that his sailing should (lit. was fit to) be exposed (lit. subjected) to the winter. Obtaining suitable weather,he set sail (lit. untied his ships) himself a little after mid-night; all of these (ships) reachedthe continent intact; but, of these, two transport ships, which could not make the same ports which the others (did), were carried a little further down (the coast). 

Chapter 37. 

When about three hundred soldiers had been disembarked from these ships, and were marching to the camp, the Morini, whom Caesar, (when) setting out for Britain, had left pacified, induced by the hope of plunder, at first surrounded (them) with a not so very large number of their (men) and ordered (them), if they did not wish that they should be killed, to lay down their arms. When they, a circle having been formed, sought to defend themselves, about six thousand men assembled swiftly at a shout. This circumstance having been reported (to him), Caesar sent all the cavalry from the camp as help to his (men). In the meantime, our soldiers withstood the enemy's attack and fought most valiantly for more than four hours, and, with (only) a few wounds having been received (by them), slew several of them. But as soon as (lit. after) our cavalry came into sight, the enemy, their arms having been thrown down, fled (lit. turned their backs [in flight]) and a great number of them were killed.

Chapter 38.

On the following day, Caesar sent his legate Titus (Atius) Labienus with those legions which he had brought back from Britain against the Morini, who had made a rebellion. They, since they did not have (anywhere) in which they could retreat (lit. betake themselves) on account of the dry state of the marshes, which they had used (as) a place of refuge the previous year, almost all came into the power of Labienus. On the other hand, the legates Quintus Titurius (Sabinus) and Lucius (Aurunculeius) Cotta, who had led their legions into the territory of the Menapii, all their lands having been laid waste, their corn having been cut (and) their buildings having been burned, returned (lit. betook themselves) to Caesar because the Menapii had concealed themselves in their thickest woods. Caesar established the winter-quarters of all the legions in (the lands of) the Belgae. Thither only two states (lit. two states in all) sent hostages from Britain, (and) the rest omitted (to do this). These things having been achieved, on receipt of Caesar's despatches, a (public) thanksgiving of twenty days was decreed by the Senate.
Read more...

CAESAR: "DE BELLO GALLICO": BOOK VI.

Published in Latin Translation

THE GREAT CONFRONTATION

Introduction. 


Sabidius has already translated the seven books of the "De Bello Gallico" (The Gallic War)actually attributed to Caesar (Book VIII is thought to have been written by Aulus Hirtius), and these translations can be accessed by readers via Sabidius' site map. He has now translated the third book of the "De Bello Civili" (The Civil War), which is the last of the three books under this title actually written by Caesar, since it is clear that the following three books, entitled the Alexandrian, African and Spanish Wars respectively, were written by others. 
 
Book III of the "De Bello Civili" is easily the longest of Caesar's books and consists of 112 chapters. The content of the Book covers the progress of the War in 48 B.C. Caesar follows Pompey across the Adriatic into Greece, although he experiences some difficulties in the transport from Italy of a large part of his army. After a tense struggle, in which Caesar attempts to blockade Pompey's army around the coastal city of Dyrrhacium, he suffers a significant setback, and is obliged to withdraw his forces deeper inland. Pompey pursues him to Thessaly, and is eventually lured into meeting Caesar in a pitched battle at Pharsalus, where he suffers a disastrous defeat. After fleeing to Egypt, Pompey is murdered on his arrival there. Caesar has followed him, however, and the book ends somewhat abruptly, while Caesar with a small expeditionary force is being besieged in his quarters which are centred around the royal palace at Alexandria. The fact that the book does not end at a natural break point, such as the death of Pompey or Caesar's return to Italy in 47, suggests that the book, and indeed the work as a whole, was never finished, and some have thought that its completion was interrupted by his assassination on the Ides of March 44. Indeed, there is no clear evidence that any of the three books written by Caesar were published in his lifetime, and all that can safely be said is that they were composed during the Civil War itself, with the intention of seeking to win over neutral opinion or those of his antagonists who were not too violently opposed to him. Thus much attention is given by him in Book III to presenting his cause and his actions in the best possible light: for instance, he emphasises the efforts he made to reach an accommodation with Pompey, the many instances of his renowned 'clementia', when he showed mercy to captured opponents, and the readiness of so many Greek towns to open their gates to him, sometimes contrary to the wishes of their Pompeian garrisons. On the other hand he draws attention to many examples of his opponents' unsatisfactory or unreasonable behaviour. Prominent examples of this are Bibulus' cruelty in killing the crews of captured ships (Chapter 8); Libo's insincerity in the negotiations about a truce (Chapter 17); Labienus' sabotaging of peace talks between the soldiers of the two armies (Chapter 19); Scipio's maltreatment of the inhabitants of Pergamum and the province of Asia as a whole (Chapters 31-32); and Labienus' insulting treatment of Caesarian captives after the setback at Dyrrachium (Chapter 71).  Above all, however, is the devastating way in which Caesar exposes the self-seeking and petty-minded behaviour of his senior senatorial opponents immediately prior to the battle of Pharsalus (Chapters 82-83). 

 

From a historical viewpoint, the focal point of Book III is the battle of Pharsalus (see Chapters 85-99), not only the greatest battle of the Civil War of 49-45, but perhaps the most famous battle ever fought between Romans themselves. Indeed in the following century the poet Lucan was to produce his famous work, "Pharsalia", in hexameter verse on this very subject. Caesar's victory was achieved very much against the odds, because he was heavily outnumbered by the army of Pompey, who had 45,000 legionary infantry and 7,000 cavalry in the field against his 22,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry. Caesar gives careful attention to the drawing up of the battle-lines of both sides, and who was in charge of which sections of the respective fronts. Pompey expected that his preponderance in cavalry would allow him to win the day. His plan was to gather most of his horsemen on his left flank, and, after they had driven Caesar's inferior cavalry forces from the field, to then roll up the exposed right flank of Caesar's battle-line, and thus circumvent the rest of his army. However, Caesar had correctly anticipated Pompey's battle plan, and, in order to forestall it, he withdrew six cohorts from the third line of his infantry drawn up, as they were, in the customary 'triplex acies', in order to form a fourth line, which, posted at an oblique angle a little behind his right wing, and masked by the usual dust-clouds created by the formation of thousands of men, was invisible to the enemy. Pompey's cavalry advanced as expected, quickly pushing back Caesar's cavalry, but, poorly led and in a state of disorder, they were suddenly confronted by Caesar's fourth line, who, using their javelins ('pila') as spears, thrust them into the faces of Pompey's cavalrymen so effectively that they rapidly withdrew from the field in a state of panic. In effect, Caesar had 'trumped' Pompey's 'ace', since the fourth line, having slaughtered Pompey's archers and slingers, who had been left defenceless by their cavalry's precipitate withdrawal, then turned on Pompey's left flank, just at the moment when Caesar ordered his third line, inactive until that point, to advance to the support of his first two lines that had successfully managed to hold their own against Pompey's greater numbers of legionaries. The result was a massacre, an estimated 15,000 Pompeians being killed and 24,000 taken prisoner. A disconsolate Pompey was later reported to have said, with regard to the collapse of his cavalry, that he felt betrayed by them, since the rout had been caused by the very people to whom he had looked to deliver victory; but the real lesson of this battle was that Pompey's army, despite its significantly greater numbers, was no match for Caesar's better trained and more experienced soldiers, with their greater sense of morale, arising surely from their justified belief in the genius of their leader. 
 
Sabidius has already written at some length about Caesar's language in the separate introductions to each of the seven books of the "De Bello Gallico" (see the Site Map to this blog). Once again the Ablative Absolute device is used to a significant extent in Book III of the "De Bello Civili", and in the translation below these are translated literally, and underlined as well. Caesar makes more widespread use of these than most other Latin authors, and this does create some difficulties for the reader. For instance Chapter 103 begins with six of these Ablative Absolute phrases in succession, before the main action of the paragraph can begin. Another device is his use of Indirect Discourse (or Reported Speech). On some occasions there are long passages with no main verbs specified - for instance, in Chapter 10 following the words, "The gist of these proposals was as follows", there are nineteen lines without a main verb specified. (I say 'specified' since verbs of 'thinking' or 'telling' have to be understood). In the translation below, because Sabidius has put the English translations of Latin main verbs into italics, a long piece of Indirect Discourse becomes quickly evident, because no words have been placed in italics for many lines, or, where they do exist, they have been inserted into the narrative in brackets. Indirect Discourse also creates difficulties with regard to the correct tense into which the successive infinitives, or subjunctives, should be translated, and this can become more difficult when Caesar uses the Historic Present, as he frequently does, for vividness or emphasis. In fact each translator has to find his own salvation in these instances, and no general rule can easily be applied. With regard to the Historic Present, as a whole, Sabidius has chosen to translate it into a past tense, for, as he has said elsewhere, its prolonged use can become both confusing and repetitive. In general, however, he follows his usual practice of offering as literal a translation as possible within the context of providing a rendering in English which is readily understandable to the reader. Wherever possible, however, any departure from the literal sense of the Latin words is accompanied by an alternative version in brackets. (This practice is particularly common in the case of gerundives and impersonal verbs.) The purpose of Sabidius' translations remains to facilitate the ready understanding of the meaning of the Latin words and the structure of the Latin sentences. It is Sabidius' belief that colloquial or free translations of the Latin original into allegedly more agreeable everyday English can distort the author's intended meaning with only a very marginal benefit being offered in terms of the accessibility of the English.  

 

Caesar's constant recourse to the use of the Ablative Absolute and Indirect Discourse can readily be explained by the nature of his writing. He classifies both the "De Bello Gallico" and the "De Bello Civili" as "Commentarii", (i.e. reports or notes), upon which a more polished work of historical writing might later be based. Ablative Ablatives allow a large amount of information to be processed with a minimum of words, and represent encapsulated statements of fact which serve as background to what is being said in the rest of the sentence or paragraph. Indirect Discourse, as used by him is a form of 'barebones reporterage', or compressed statement, in which much information, normally important to the structure of the sentence, such as person, and the distinction between the subject and object, is stripped away, because it is obvious. Such linguistic usage was highly suitable to a military context, in which despatches to the Senate and People of Rome from the front, or communiques to subordinates, might be composed, when compressed, yet factual language would be seen as a suitable example of Roman pragmatism and practicality. While this accounts for what is otherwise particular to Caesar's style, what is so interesting is that the quality of his writing was such that it created a genre in itself. Indeed, ancient sources describe him as a leader or proponent of the puristic style of Latin writing, called the Attic style, as opposed to the more highly wrought or aphoristic style, of which Cicero was seen as the  most significant exemplar. Nevertheless, Cicero, who in the tradition of classical literature would normally have seen a polished style as an essential quality of historical writing, was to say of Caesar's  "Commentarii" in his "Brutus", written in 46, that, "They are like nude figures, upright and beautiful, stripped of all ornament of style as if they had removed a garment. His aim was to provide source material for others who might wish to write history, and perhaps he has gratified the insensitive, who may wish to use their curling-tongs on his work; but men of good sense he has deterred from writing." What he meant, and goes on to make clear, was that Caesar's writing was so elegant in its lucidity and simplicity that only the unwise would seek to improve on it. It is important to stress the quality of Caesar's Latin, because, although he is the first author to whom young students of Latin have traditionally been introduced, his Latin can actually be quite difficult to translate. Terseness and compression are qualities that are hallmarks of the Latin language as a whole, and in Caesar's case the impersonal military concision which one associates with his Ablative Absolutes are especially good examples of these qualities; but, as the poet Horace in his "Ars Poetica" was later to say: "Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio (I labour to be brief, and I become obscure)". There are perhaps moments when this is true of Caesar's prose as well, since he frequently omits words which he considers can be understood from an earlier sentence or are obvious from the context as a whole, but for the most part the clarity and brevity of his style is admirable.

Book III of "The Civil War" is an outstanding example of Caesar's prose, being terse and restrained without ever becoming monotonous or repetitive.  Sabidius hopes that anyone who reads this translation below will want to read it in the original Latin as well.

 

The Latin text used is that of Renatus du Pontet, published at Oxford by the Clarendon Press, 1901, as made available by the www.perseus.tufts.edu.website. 

  
I.  Caesar in Italy - Pompey's preparations (Chapters 1-6).

Chapter 1.  With (Gaius Julius) Caesar (as) dictator holding the elections, Julius Caesar and Publius Servilius (Vatia Isauricus) were appointed consuls; for this was the year in which he could (lit. it was permitted to him to) become consul. These matters having been completed, as credit was rather tight throughout (lit. in the whole of) Italy, and money owed was not being paid, he decided that arbitrators should be chosen; (that) estimates of the property and possessions (of debtors) should be made at the value which each of these things had been (worth) before the war, and such (payments) should be handed over to the creditors. In fact, he thought this was the most suitable (way) for the fear of the cancellation of debts (lit. new tablets, i.e. rubbing out all account books and starting from scratch), which is generally accustomed to accompany wars and civil conflicts, to be removed or lessened, and for the credit of debtors to be protected. Also, with praetors and tribunes of the plebs putting bills to the people, he restored to their former state certain people (who had been) condemned for corruption under a law of Pompey's (i.e. of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) during that period in which Pompey had had a garrison of legions in the city - these cases had been carried through in a single day with some jurymen hearing (them) (and)others passing sentence - (because) he valued (these men) who had offered themselves to him at the beginning of the civil war, in case he wished to make use of their services in the war, just as if he had (actually) used (them), since they had given him the opportunity (to do so). For he had determined that they ought to be restored by a decision of the people rather than that it should be seen that (they had been) restored by his benevolence, so that he should not appear either ungrateful in returning thanks (lit. thanks being returned) or presumptuous in forestalling the generosity of the people (lit. the generosity of the people being forestalled). 
 
Chapter 2.  He allotted eleven days to these matters, and the Latin holidays and all the elections being carried out, and (then) abdicated (lit. detached himself from) the dictatorship and set out from the city and reached Brundisium. Thither he had orderedtwelve legions (and) all the cavalry to muster (lit. go). But he found only (enough) ships to enable, at a pinch, fifteen thousand legionary soldiers and five hundred horsemen to be transported. This one thing, (namely) a shortage of ships, hindered Caesar from bringing the war to a speedy conclusion (lit. was lacking to Caesar for the purpose of speed in the war being brought to an end). Besides, these very forces were embarked in smaller numbers than this, because many had been lost in so many wars in Gaul, and the long march from Spain had reduced (them by) a great number, and an unhealthy autumn in Apulia and around Brundisium (after they had come) from the most wholesome regions of Gaul and Spain had affected the whole army with sickness. 
 
Chapter 3.  Pompey, having obtained the space of a year to prepare his forces (lit. for the purpose of his forces being prepared), because he had been free from war and unharassed by an enemy, had gathered together a great fleet from Asia and the Cycladic islands, from Corcyra, Athens, Pontus, Bithynia, Syria, Cilicia, Phoenicia (and) Egypt, had seen to it that a great (fleet) was built in all those places, had exacted a large (sum of) money (which he had) levied  from Asia, Syria, and all the kings, dynasts and tetrarchs and from the free peoples of Achaea, (and) had compelled the (tax-farming) companies of those provinces of which he was in control himself to pay him a large (amount) of money.  
 
Chapter 4.  He had raised nine legions of Roman citizens: five, which he had brought across from Italy; one of veterans from Cilicia, which (he had) made up from two and called 'the twin'; one of veteran soldiers from Crete and Macedonia, who, having been discharged by their previous commanders, had settled in these provinces; (and) two from Asia, whom (Lucius Cornelius) Lentulus (Crus) had caused to be enrolled. In addition, he had distributeda large number (of men) from Thessaly, Boeotia, Achaea and Epirus among the legions under the name of reinforcements; with these he had mixed the men of (Gaius) Antonius. Beside these, he was awaiting two legions from Syria with (Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius) Scipio (Nasica). He had archers, three thousand in number, from Crete (and) Lacedaemon, from Pontus and Syria and other states, two cohorts of slingers of six hundred men (each) and seven thousand cavalrymen. Of these, Deiotarus had brought six hundred Galatians, (and) Ariobarzanes five hundred from Cappadocia. Cotys had supplied about the same number from Thrace and had sent his son Sadala (with them); two hundred were from Macedonia, of whom Rhascypolis, (a man) of great valour, was in command; five hundred of the men of Gabinius from Alexandria, Gauls and Germans, whom Aulus Gabinius had left there as a garrison at the court of King Ptolemy, (Gnaeus) Pompeius, the son, had brought over with his fleet; eight hundred he had collected from the number of his own slaves and his own herdsmen; three hundred Tarcandarius Castor and Domnilaus had supplied from Gallograecia (i.e. Galatia) - of these the first had come in person (lit. at the same time) and the secondhad sent his son -; two hundred - among these a majority (were) mounted archers - had been sent by Antiochus of Commagene, upon whom Pompey bestowed a large reward. To this he had added Dardani and Bessi, some mercenaries and others recruited by order or voluntarily, (and) likewise men from Macedonia and from Thessaly and from other tribes and states, and so he made up that number which we have mentioned above (i.e. the seven thousand cavalrymen).  
 
Chapter 5.  He had procured a very large quantity of corn from Thessaly, Asia, Egypt, Crete, Cyrene and other regions. He had decided to winter in Dyrrachium, Apollonia and the other coastal towns, in order to prevent Caesar from crossing the sea, and for this reason he had stationed his fleet all along the sea coast. Pompeius the son was in command of the Egyptian ships, Decimus Laelius and Gaius (Valerius) Triarius the Asiatic (ones), Gaius Cassius (Longinus) the Syrian, Gaius (Claudius) Marcellus with Gaius Coponius the Rhodian, (and) (Lucius) Scribonius Libo and Marcus Octavius the Liburnian and Achaean fleet. But Marcus (Calpurnius) Bibulus, having been put in charge of all maritime affairs, was managingeverything; the supreme command was centred in him. 
 
Chapter 6.  When he (i.e. Caesar) came to Brundisium, addressing his soldiers, (he toldthem) that, since they had almost reached (lit. it had almost come to) the end of their toils and dangers, they might leave their slaves and baggage behind (them) in Italy with an easy mind, and that they should climb aboard the ships lightly kitted, so that a greater number of soldiers could be embarked, and that they should put all their trust in (lit. entrust everything to) victory and his generosity, (and,) with everyone exclaiming that he should order as he wished (and) that they would readily (lit. with an easy mind) do whatever he had commanded, he set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] his ships) on the fourth of January. The next day he reached land. Obtaining a quiet anchorage at Acroceraunia (lit. the Ceraunian rocks) amidst some hazardous locations, and mistrusting every harbour because he thought it would be held by his adversaries, he disembarked his troops at that place which is called Palaeste with all his ships entirely (lit. to a single [ship]) undamaged. 
 
II.  Negotiations in Epirus (Chapters 7-19).

Chapter 7.  (Quintus) Lucretius Vespillo and Minucius Rufus were at Oricum with the eighteen Asiatic ships, of which they were in command by order of Decimus Laelius, (and) Marcus Bibulus (was) at Corcyra with a hundred and ten ships. But the former, lacking confidence, did (not) venture out of harbour, although Caesar had brought only twelve ships, of which four were decked, and Bibulus, his ships unprepared and their oarsmen dispersed,did not come up early enough, because Caesar was sighted off the coast before any report at all of his approach could be brought to those regions.

Chapter 8.  His troops having been disembarked, the ships were sent back to Brundisium by Caesar on the same night, so that the other legions and the cavalry could be carried across. His legate (Quintus) Fufius Calenus was in charge of this task, (with orders) to apply despatch in transporting the legions (lit. in the legions being transported).  But his ships, having left the land too late and not making use of the nocturnal breeze, came to griefduring the return (journey). For Bibulus, having been informed (lit. made more sure) of Caesar's approach, (and,) hoping that he could come upon some part of our ships (while they were) loaded, met (them when they were) empty, and, having got about thirty, he ventedhis fury at his own negligence and his disappointment upon them, and set fire to (them) all, and killed the sailors and captains in the same fire, hoping that the remaining (men) would be deterred by the extent of the punishment. This business having been completed, he occupied with his fleet the anchorages from Sason to the harbour of Oricum and all the shore-lines everywhere (lit. far and wide), and, the guard-posts having been carefully arranged, he himself sleeping out aboard ship in the most severe winter (weather) and not shirking any labour or duty, nor awaiting any reinforcements, if (only) he could come to grips with Caesar.

Chapter 9.  On the departure of the Liburnian (ships) from Illyricum, Marcus Octavius, with those ships which he had, arrived at Salona. There, the Dalmatians and the other barbarian (peoples) having been stirred up, he turned Issa aside from its alliance with Caesar. The town (i.e. Salona), however, was protected both by the nature of its position and by its hill. But the Roman people fortified themselves, wooden towers having been quickly built, and, as they were incapable of resisting on account of their small number, (and) having been weakened by numerous wounds, they resorted to extreme (measures) of assistance, andfreed all their adult slaves and made (ropes for) their catapults from the shorn hair of all their women. Their (determined) view having been learned of, Octavius surrounded the town with five separate camps and began to press them by a siege and by attacks at one (and the same) time. They, having been prepared to endure everything, were struggling in particular from their lack of corn. Deputies having been sent to Caesar, they sought help from him on this matter; they sustained their other difficulties by themselves as (best) they could. A longperiod (of time) having elapsed, since the length of time of the siege had made Octavius' men somewhat careless, (and) getting an opportunity from their departure at the time of midday, their women and children having been stationed on the wall, lest any (part) of their daily routine might be missed, they themselves, a band (of men) having been formed with those whom they had very recently freed (from slavery), broke into the nearest of Octavius' camps. This having been stormed, they attacked a second in the same assault, then a third and a fourth and next the remaining (one), and drove them out of every camp, and, a great number having been slain, they compelled the rest and Octavius himself to take refuge in their ships. This was the outcome of the siege. Winter was now approaching, and, with such great losses having been received, Octavius, the siege of the town having been despaired of, withdrew (lit. betook himself) to Pompey at Dyrrachium.

Chapter 10.  We have mentioned that Lucius Vibullius Rufus, an officer of Pompey's, had twice come into Caesar's power, once at Corfinium, (and) again in Spain. By virtue of his kindnesses (to him), Caesar considered him a suitable (person) to send to Gnaeus Pompey with proposals, and he understood that he had influence with Gnaeus Pompey. The gist of these proposals was as follows: that both of them should make an end of their obstinacy and lay down (lit. depart from) their arms and not tempt fortune any further. That both of them had suffered enough serious misfortunes to enable (these) to serve as a lesson and (as) warnings (to them) to fear other calamities: he (i.e. Pompey), having been expelled from Italy, (had suffered) from Sicily and Sardinia and the two Spains having been lost, together with a hundred and thirty cohorts of Roman citizens; he himself (i.e. Caesar) (had suffered a great setback) through the death of (Gaius Scribonius) Curio and the loss of his African army, and from the surrender of (Gaius) Antonius and his soldiers at Curicta (i.e. Corcyra Nigra). Therefore, let them spare themselves and the republic, since from their own misfortunes they already had proof enough of how great the power of fortune can be (lit. how greatly fortune can prevail) in war. This was the one (and only) time for discussions about peace, while each was confident and they both seemed equal; but, if fortune should give only a little (advantage) to one, he who thought (himself) superior would not observe the terms of peace, nor would (he) who was sure he would possess everything be content with an equal share. That, since they had not been able to agree the terms of peace previously, (these) should be sought from the Senate and from the people in Rome. That it ought to concern the Senate and to be pleasing to themselves, if each of them were at once to swear an oath at a public meeting that he would dismiss his army in the next three day period. That, the arms and support, upon which they now relied, having been laid aside, both of them must (lit. should of necessity) be content with the decision of the people and the Senate. So that these things could the more easily appear worthy of Pompey's support (lit. be approved by Pompey), (he said) that he would dismiss all his land forces everywhere.


Chapter 11.  Vibullius, having been put ashore at Corcyra, thought it was nonetheless necessary to inform Pompey (lit. make Pompey more sure) of Caesar's sudden approach, so that he could adopt a plan with regard to it, before he began to discuss the proposals (lit. it was begun concerning the proposals being discussed), and, for this reason, his journey having been continued without a break by night and by day, and the pack-horses having been changed at every town for the sake of speed, he hastened to Pompey, to report that Caesar was coming towards (him). At that time Pompey was in Candavia and was making his way from Macedonia to winter-quarters at Apollonia and Dyrrachium. But, alarmed at the new situation, he began to make for Apollonia by forced marches, lest Caesar should occupy the states on the sea shore. But he (i.e. Caesar), his soldiers having been disembarked, set out for Oricum on the same day. When he arrived there, Lucius (Manlius) Torquatus, who was in command of the town on Pompey's order, and had a garrison of Parthini there, attempting, the gates having been shut, to defend the town, when he ordered the Greeks to climb up on to the wall and take up arms, but they said that they would not fight against the authority of the Roman people, and even tried to admit Caesar of their own accord, all assistance having been despaired of, opened the gates and surrendered himself and the town to Caesar, andwas preserved unharmed by him. 

Chapter 12.  Oricum having been occupied, Caesar set out for Apollonia without any delay having elapsed. His approach having been heard about, Lucius Staberius, who was in command there, began to bring water into the citadel, and to fortify it and to demand hostages from the inhabitants of Apollonia. But they refused to give (any) or to shut the gates against the consul or to take upon themselves a judgment contrary to what the whole of Italy and the Roman people had judged. Their will having been learned of, Staberius fledsecretly from Apollonia. They (i.e. the inhabitants) sent envoys to Caesar and admitted(him) into the town. The inhabitants of Byllis, (and) of Amantia, and the other neighbouring states, and the whole of Epirus followed them, and, envoys having been sent to Caesar, they promised to do what he required (of them). 

Chapter 13.  But Pompey, these things, which had been done at Oricum and at Apollonia,having been ascertained, being afraid for Dyrrachium, hastened thither by daytime and nocturnal marches. At the same time, Caesar was said to be approaching; and so great a panic fell upon his army, because in his haste (lit. hurrying) he had joined night together with day and had not interrupted his journey, that almost every man from Epirus and the neighbouring regions deserted their standards, (and) several (of them) threw down their weapons, and their march seemed like a flight. But, when Pompey halted near Dyrrachium and instructed that a camp should be marked out, with the army being panic-stricken even then, (Titus Atius) Labienus stepped forward first and swore that he would not desert him and would undergo the same fate (as he), whatever fortune should allot to him. The other legates swore this same (oath); the military tribunes and centurions followed (them), and the whole army swore likewise. The road to Dyrrachium having already been occupied, Caesar made an end to his haste and pitched camp by the river Apsus in the territories of the people of Apollonia, so that the states (that had) deserved well (of him) might be protected by a guard, and there he resolved to await the arrival of his other legions from Italy, and to winter in tents (lit. under skins). Pompey did this as well, and, his camp having been pitched on the other side of the river Apsus, he brought all his troops and auxiliaries together there. 

Chapter 14.  The legions and the cavalry having been put into ships at Brundisium, Calenus, as he had been instructed by Caesar, in as far as he had the amount of ships (required), set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] his ships) and, having proceeded a short distance from port,he received a despatch from Caesar, in which he was informed (lit. made more sure) that all the harbours and (the whole) coast-line were occupied by their adversaries' fleet. This having been ascertained, he withdrew (lit. betook himself) into the harbour and recalled all his ships. One of these, which went onwards (lit. persisted), and did not comply with Calenus' order, because it was without soldiers and was being run for a private purpose, was carriedto Oricum and stormed by Bibulus; he wreaked his vengeance on slaves and freemen, even youths, and slew them all (lit. to a single man). So, the safety of the whole army depended on (lit. was in accord with) a short (space of) time and a great chance.

Chapter 15.  Bibulus, as has been stated above, was with his fleet off Oricum, and, as he was debarring Caesar from the sea and the harbours, so he was debarred himself from all the land of these regions. For, with garrisons having been stationed, the whole coast-linewas being held by Caesar, and no opportunity was arising of fetching wood or water, or of mooring his ships near land. His situation was one of (lit. was in) great difficulty, and they were being overwhelmed by the most severe shortages of essential supplies, to such an extent that he was obliged to bring in wood and water, just like their other provisions, in transport ships from Corcyra, and it even happened on one occasion, (when they were) experiencing rather violent storms, that they were forced to catch the nocturnal dew from the skins with which their ships had been covered. However, they bore these difficulties patiently and calmly (lit. with a calm mind), and they did not think that they should should expose the shores (lit. that the shores [were] needing to be exposed) or abandon the harbours (lit. the harbours [were] needing to be abandoned by them). But, when they were in the difficulties which I have described and Libo had joined (lit. had united himself with) Bibulus, they both spoke with the legates Manius Acilius (Glabrio) and (Lucius) Statius Murcus, one of whom was in command of the town wall (and) the other of the garrisons on land: (they said) that they wished to speak with Caesar, if such an opportunity were granted to them. To this they added a few (words) to back this up (lit. for the sake of the matter being confirmed), that they thought it right that there should be a discussion (lit. that it should be discussed) about a settlement. In the meantime, they asked that there should be a truce, and (this) they obtained from them. For what they were proposing seemed important, and they knew that Caesar desired it in the highest degree, and it was imagined that some progress had been made (lit. something had been progressed) from Vibullius' proposals. 

Chapter 16.  Having set out with a single legion with the purpose of the more distant states being secured and (the issue of) the corn supply, which he was managing within tight constraints, being settled, he was at that time at Buthrotum, a town opposite to Corcyra. There, having been informed (lit. made more sure) by a dispatch from Acilius and Murcus of the requests of Libo and Bibulus, he left his legion; he himself returned to Oricum. When he arrived there, they were summoned to a conference. Libo appeared and apologised forBibulus, because he was (a man) of very hot-temper, and besides had a private feud with Caesar conceived from their aedileship and praetorship; (he said) that for that reason he had avoided the conference, lest matters of the highest expectation and the greatest importance should be hindered by his irascibility. That it was and always had been the greatest desire of Pompey that there should be a settlement (lit. it should be settled) and a laying down of arms (lit. it should be departed from arms), but they did not have any power in that matter on account of the fact that they had promised Pompey the supreme (command) of the war and all (other) matters through a decision of the (war) council. But, Caesar's demands having been ascertained, (he said) that they would send (them) to Pompey and would carry on the rest (of the negotiations) through them with themselves suggesting (it). In the meantime, let the truce be maintained until a messenger could return (lit. it could be returned) from him, and let neither side harm the other. To this he added a few (words) concerning their cause and concerning their forces and auxiliaries.

Chapter 17.  To these comments Caesar did not then think that he should make a response (lit. that it was proper for it to be replied to [by him]) nor do we now think that (there is) a sufficient reason that it should be placed on the record. (But) Caesar required that he should be allowed (lit. it should be permitted to him) to send envoys to Pompey without any risk (to them), and that they (i.e. Libo and Bibulus) should (either) guarantee that this would be (the case) or that they should bring (the envoys, who had been) received by them, to him. That, as it pertained to the truce, the operation of the war had been so divided that they could impede with their fleet his ships and his reinforcements, just as he could bar them from (fresh) water and land. If they wanted this (constraint) to be removed from them, they should relax their blockade of the seas; (but, he said) that, if they kept their (blockade) up, he would retain his one also. But nevertheless there could be a discussion (lit. it could be discussed) even if they did not remove these (blockades), and this situation would not be a hindrance to that. Libo neither received Caesar's envoys nor guaranteed their safe conduct (lit. took responsibility for their danger), but referred the whole matter to Pompey; he pressed this one (point) about a truce, and he urged (it) most vehemently. When Caesar realised that he had organised this entire discussion to escape from his immediate danger and privation (lit. for the sake of his immediate danger and privation being avoided), and that he was not bringing any hope or terms of peace, he returned (lit. betook himself) to his other plans for the war.

Chapter 18.  Bibulus, having been kept away from land for several days and having been seized with a serious illness from the cold and fatigue, as he could not have (it) seen to and he was not willing to abandon the commission (which he had) undertaken, could not withstand the virulence of his disease. On his death (lit. With him having died), the supreme command reverted to no one, but each (admiral) managed his own fleet separately at his own discretion. Vibullius, the alarm, which Caesar's sudden arrival had aroused, having been allayed, as soon as it was over, Libo and Lucius Lucceius and (Gnaeus Pompeius) Theophanes, with whom Pompey was accustomed to consult over the most important matters, having been summoned, began to discuss Caesar's proposals. Pompey interruptedhim as he was entering upon his speech, and forbade (him) from saying any more. "What need do I have (lit. What need is there to me) of a life or of a state, which I shall appear to have (only) by the generosity of Caesar? An opinion of this sort cannot possibly be removed, when I shall be thought to have been brought back to Italy, from which I set out (voluntarily)." The war having been concluded, Caesar learned of these things having happened from those who were present at the conversation. Nevertheless, he still tried by other methods to discuss peace by means of conferences.

Chapter 19.  Between the two camps, (that) of Pompey and (that) of Caesar, there was only a single river, the Apsus, and the soldiers had frequent conversations among themselves, and, by the agreements of those speaking, no weapon was thrown during that time. He (i.e. Caesar) sent his legate Publius Vatinius to the very bank of the river to do such things as most pertained to peace, and to shout out frequently in a loud voice, (asking) whether citizens were allowed (lit. it was permitted to citizens) to send two envoys to (other) citizens (to talk) about peace, (something) which even the fugitives from the Pyrenaean mountains (i.e. the remnants of the army of Quintus Sertorius) and the pirates had been allowed (to do) (lit. [something] which it had even been permitted to the fugitives from the Pyrenaean mountains and the pirates [to do]), especially when they were doing this in order that citizens might not decide the issue with (other) citizens by arms. He said many things in a humble voice, as was fitting in relation to his own safety and (that) of everyone, and (he was) heard in silence by soldiers of both (armies). There was a reply (lit. It was replied) from the other side that Aulus (Terentius) Varro undertook that he would come to a conference on the next day and would see together (with them) how (lit. according to what means) envoys could come in safety and set forth what they wished; and a fixed time was appointed for this meeting. When there was a meeting there on the next day, a large number of men from both sides assembled, and there was a great expectation of this event and all minds appeared to be intent upon peace. Titus Labienus came forward from the crowd, and the talk of peace having been superseded, began to converse and to argue with Vatinius. Suddenly (a shower of) missiles, (which had been) let loose from all directions,interrupted (them) in the midst of their conversation; he (i.e. Vatinius) escaped these (missiles), having been protected by the arms of his soldiers; however, several men were wounded, among these the centurions Cornelius Balbus, Marcus Plotius and Lucius Tiburtius, and some soldiers. Then Labienus (exclaimed): "Now then, stop talking about peace; for, without Caesar's head having been delivered to us, there can be no peace." 

III.  Trouble in Italy (Chapters 20-22).

Chapter 20.  During the same period (in Rome), the praetor Marcus Caelius Rufus, the cause of debtors having been taken up (by him), placed his official chair near the platform of Gaius Trebonius, the urban praetor, and promised, that, if anyone should appeal (to him) with regard to the evaluation (of property) and the (system of) payments, as Caesar had determined (when) present (in Rome), he would be of assistance. But it transpired, due to the fairness of judgment and the humanity of Trebonius, who thought that, in these (difficult) times, justice should (lit. was needing to) be administered in a merciful and moderate manner, that (people) could not be found, by whom the initiation of an appeal could be produced. For to plead poverty and to complain either of one's own calamity or (of that) of the times, and to assert the difficulties of auctioning (one's property) is perhaps (the mark) of a moderate spirit; but to retain one's possessions (completely) intact, (in the case of those) who confess themselves to be in debt, what sought of mentality, what sort of impudence is that? So, no one was found to ask for that. Moreover, Caelius was discovered(to be) more exacting than those for whose advantage (the matter) pertained. And, starting from this beginning, lest he should appear to have embarked upon (so) shameful a cause in vain, he promulgated a law to the effect that money owed should be paid after a period of six years without any interest. 

Chapter 21.  When the consul Servilius and the other magistrates opposed (this) and he achieved less than his expectation, in order to arouse the passions of the people (lit. for the purpose of the passions of the people being aroused), the former law having been abandoned, he promulgated two (others), one by which he remitted a year's rent on dwellings to tenants, the other on cancellation of debts, and, an assault by the mob having been made on Gaius Trebonius, and several (persons) having been wounded, it drove him from his platform. The consul Servilius reported to the Senate on these proceedings, and the Senate voted that Caelius should (lit. was needing to) be removed from public affairs. In accordance with this decree, the consul barred him from the Senate, and, (when he was) attempting to harangue (the people), escorted (him) down from the rostrum. Smarting from this disgrace and from his resentment, he pretended publicly that he would go off to (join) Caesar; (but,) messengers having been secretly sent to (Titus Annius) Milo, who, (Publius) Clodius (Pulcher) having been murdered, had been condemned on that account, because he (still) had the remnants of a troop of gladiators from the great games (which he had) given,joined (forces) with him, and sent him to the district around Thurii to incite the herdsmen (lit. for the purpose of the herdsmen being incited). He, himself, when he came to Casilinum, and his military standards and weapons were seized at one (and the same) time, and having been shut out of Capua, his household having been seen at Naples, (and) his plans to arrange the betrayal of the town having been revealed, and fearing danger because the community had taken up arms and considered that he must (lit. was needing to) be treated in the position of a (public) enemy, dropped his plan and diverted himself from that path. 

Chapter 22.  In the meantime, Milo, letters having been sent around to the towns (saying) that he was doing those things which he was doing on the instructions, and with the authority, of Pompey, (and that) these commissions had been conveyed to him through Vibullius, was trying to win over (those) whom he considered to be struggling due to debt. When he could achieve nothing with these (people), some convicts having been freed, he began to assault Cosa in the territory of Thurii. There, when (he attacked the town which was being defended) by the praetor Quintus Pedius with one legion, he perished, having been struck by a stone (thrown) from the wall. And Caelius, having set out, as he kept saying, to (join) Caesar, reached Thurii. There, when he sought to win over certain men of that town, and promised money to Caesar's Gallic and Spanish cavalrymen, who had been sent there as a garrison, he was killed by them. So the beginnings of such great events, which, through the preoccupation of the magistrates and (the troubles) of the times, had made (all) Italy anxious, had a quick and easy ending.

IV.  Antony runs the gauntlet (Chapters 23-30).

Chapter 23.  Libo, having sailed from Oricum with the fleet of fifty ships, of which he was in command, came to Brundisium and seized an island which was opposite the harbour of Brundisium, because he thought it was better to keep a watch on that one place, from which it was necessary for our men to set out, than the whole coast-line and its harbours, (which had been) blockaded by a guard. He, owing to his sudden arrival, took and set fire to some transport ships (lit. set fire to some transport ships [which he had] taken) and took away one (which was) loaded with grain, and caused great alarm to our men, and, soldiers and archers having been landed (lit. put on land), he dislodged a garrison of cavalry, and profited to such an extent from the favourable nature of his position that he sent a dispatch to Pompey, (saying) that he might order, if he wished, the rest of his ships to be beached and repaired; (and) that he would hold back Caesar's reinforcements with his own fleet.

Chapter 24.  At this time Antony (i.e. Gaius Antonius) was at Brundisium; relying on the courage of his soldiers, he covered the boats of about sixty of his war-ships with wicker hurdles and screens and on them he put aboard some selected troops and stationed these separately at several points on the coast, and he ordered two ships with three banks of oars, which he had caused to be built at Brundisium, to progress to the mouth of the harbour to exercise the oarsmen (lit. for the purpose of the oarsmen being exercised). When Libo saw these advancing towards (him), he sent five quadriremes against them, hoping that they could be intercepted, and, when these approached our ships, our veterans began to withdrawinto the harbour, (and) they, flushed with excitement, pursued (them) incautiously. Then,the signal having been given, Antony's boats suddenly bore down on (lit. urged themselves onagainst) the enemy from all directions, and, at the first encounter, they took one quadrireme out of these (five), (together) with its oarsmen and marines, (and) forced the rest to flee ignominiously. In addition to this loss, it happened that they were prevented from fetching water by the cavalry (which had been) stationed by Antony along the sea-shore. Distressed by (the want of) this necessity and by the disgrace (of his defeat), Libodeparted from Brundisium and gave up the blockade of our men.  

Chapter 25.  Many months had now (passed) and winter was well advanced, and the ships and legions had not come to Caesar from Brundisium, and several opportunities for this happening seemed to Caesar to have been missed, as favourable winds had often blown, to which he thought they must surely entrust (themselves) (lit. to which it was surely needing to be entrusted [by them]). And, as more time passed, so (those) who were in command of (Pompey's) fleet were keener to (act as) guards (of the coast), and they had a greater faith in their preventing (the landing of our men), and they were reproved in frequent dispatches from Pompey, since they had not prevented Caesar from coming in the first place, (and were being urged) that they should stop the rest of his army, and they were expecting a season with gentler winds (which would prove) daily more difficult for transporting (men). Alarmed by these circumstances, Caesar wrote quite sharply to his (officers) at Brundisium, (instructing) that, (when they) got a suitable wind, they should not miss the chance of sailing, if they could possibly hold a course to the coast of the Apollonians, and bring their ships into land there. Those parts were mainly free from the guard of ships, as they did not dare to venture too far from the harbours.

Chapter 26.  They (i.e. Caesar's officers), their boldness and courage having been exhibited,with Mark Antony and Fufius Calenus directing (them), (and) with the soldiers themselves strongly encouraging (them) and not refusing any danger in return for Caesar's safety, (on) obtaining a south wind, set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] their ships) and on the next daysailed past Apollonia and Dyrrachium. When they were seen from the mainland, (Gaius) Coponius, who was in command of the Rhodian fleet at Dyrrachium, led his ships out of harbour, and when, with a gentler wind, they had already come near to our (ships), the same south wind sprang up and served as a protection for our men. But he did not cease from his efforts for that reason, but hoped that, through the toil and perseverance of his sailors, the violence of the gale could be overcome, and he none the less kept on pursuing (our men who had been) carried past Dyrrachium by the extreme force of the wind. Our men, (while) making use of the kindness of fortune, feared however an attack of their fleet, if by chance the wind should abate. Reaching a port, which is called Nymphaeum, three miles (lit. three thousand paces) beyond Lissus, they put their ships in there - this port was protected from a south-west wind, (but) was not secure from a south wind - and they considered the danger of a storm (to be) less than (that) of the (enemy's) fleet. As soon as they entered (lit. it was entered) within (the harbour), by (a stroke of) incredible good fortune, the south wind, which had been blowing for two days, veered round to (lit. turned itself towards) the south-west.

Chapter 27.  Here one can (lit. it was permitted [to one] to) observe a sudden change of fortune. A most secure harbour was receiving those who had just been alarmed for themselves; (and those) who had brought danger to our ships were forced to feel alarm at their own (danger). And so, the circumstances having been changed, the storm bothprotected our ships and battered the Rhodian ships to such an extent that all the decked ships, sixteen in number, were shattered and lost as wrecks, and, out of the large number of oarsmen and marines, some were dashed against the rocks and killed (lit. some, having been dashed against the rocks, were killed), and others were hauled off by our men, and of these all were spared and (lit. all, having been spared, were) sent back home by Caesar.

Chapter 28.  Two of our ships, their passage having been accomplished more slowly, having been brought together during the night, since they were unaware of what place the others had reached, lay at anchor off Lissus. Otacilius Crassus, who was in command of Lissus,several boats and smaller vessels having been sent out, prepared to storm them; at the same time he began discussions about their surrender, and promised quarter to those (who) surrendered (themselves). One ship of these (two) had taken on board two hundred and twenty (men) from a legion of recruits, the other a little less than two hundred (men) from a legion of veterans. Here one could understand (lit. it was permitted [to one] to be understood) what great protection there can be to men from firmness of spirit. For, the recruits, terrified by the great number of ships and worn out by the high seas and by sea-sickness, his oath that the enemy would not harm them at all having been accepted,surrendered themselves to Otacilius; all of them, having been brought before him, were slain most cruelly in his sight contrary to the sanctity of his oath. On the other hand, the soldiers from the legion of veterans, having been afflicted likewise by the evils of storm and bilge-water, did not consider that anything of their former courage should (lit. was needing to) be discarded, and, the first part of the night having been prolonged by terms being discussed and by the pretence of their surrender, they compelled the helmsman to bring the ship in to land, (and) finding a suitable spot, they passed the night there, and at dawn (lit. at first light), around four hundred cavalry, who were guarding that part of the sea-shore, as well as some armed men from the garrison who had followed them, having been sent against them by Otacilius, they defended themselves, and some of their (attackers) having been slain, they retreated (lit. betook themselves) to our men unharmed.

Chapter 29.  This having happened, the corporation of Roman citizens, who occupied Lissus, a town which Caesar had previously assigned to them and had caused to be fortified,admitted Antony and was of help (to him) in every matter. Otacilius, fearing for himself,fled from the town and went to Pompey. All his forces, the sum of which was three legions of veterans and one of recruits, and eight hundred cavalrymen, having been disembarked, Antony sent most of the ships back to Italy in order to transport the rest of his soldiers and cavalry (lit. for the purpose of the rest of his soldiers and cavalry being transported), and he left the ferry-boats, which are a kind of Gallic ship, at Lissus with this purpose, that, if by any chance Pompey, thinking Italy was free (of soldiers), should transport his army thither - and this idea was widespread among the common people -, Caesar should have some means of pursuing (him), and he quickly sent messengers to him (informing him) in what areas he had landed his army and what (number) of soldiers he had brought across. 

Chapter 30.  Caesar and Pompey learned of these (events) at almost the same time. Forthey had seen the ships sailing past Apollonia and Dyrrachium, (and) they had, themselves,directed their march after them by land, but for the first (few) days they were unawarewhither they had been carried. And, this information having been ascertained they bothadopted a different plan for themselves: Caesar, to join forces (lit. unite himself) with Antony as soon as possible; Pompey, to oppose (lit. set himself against) (them while) approaching on their march, and (to see) if he could attack them unsuspecting in an ambush. And both of them led out their armies from their base (lit. standing) camps by the River Apsus on the same day, Pompey secretly and by night, Caesar openly and by day. But Caesar's march was the further due to a detour (lit. a longer route) upstream (lit. the river [being] adverse), so that he could cross (it) by a ford. Pompey, his march (being) straightforward, because it was not necessary for him to cross the river (lit. the river was not needing to be crossed by him), hurried towards Antony by forced marches. And, when he learned that he was approaching, he, having found a suitable spot, concentrated his forces there, and keptall his men in camp, and prevented fires from being made, in order that (lit. by which [means]) his arrival might be the more secret. These (events) were immediately reported to Antony by some Greeks. Messengers having been sent to Caesar, he stayed (lit. kept himself) in camp for one day; on the next day Caesar reached him. His arrival having been learned of, Pompey, (fearing) lest he might be trapped between the two armies, withdrew from his position and went with all his forces to Asparagium in the territory of the people of Dyrrachium, and pitched camp there in a suitable spot.

V.  The legates in Macedonia (Chapters 31-38).

Chapter 31.  During this period, Scipio, some losses having been sustained around Mount Amanus, had called himself 'imperator'. This having happened, he had proceeded to demandlarge (sums of) money from the local communities and rulers, he had likewise exacted from the tax-farmers of his province the money owed by them for two years as well as a loan from them for the following year, and had levied cavalry from the whole province. These things having been collected, (and) his neighbouring enemies, the Parthians, who shortly before had killed the commander Marcus (Licinius) Crassus and had kept Marcus Bibulus under siege,having been left behind him, he led his legions and cavalry out of Syria. Since the province had fallen into  the highest (state of) anxiety and fear of a war with Parthia, and since some soldiers' voices had been heard (saying) that they would go against the enemy, if they were led, (but) that they would not bear arms against a citizen and a consul, his legions having been led off into Pergamum and into winter-quarters in the most opulent cities, he made (them) very large payments of money and, to encourage (the loyalty of) his soldiers (lit. for the sake of his soldiers being encouraged [to be loyal]), gave the cities over to them to be plundered.

Chapter 32.  Meanwhile, (sums of) money were being exacted most fiercely throughout (lit. in all of) the province. In addition, many (imposts) of various kinds were being devised to (satisfy) his avarice. A tax was laid on each head of a slave and of a freeman; columns, doors, grain, soldiers, arms, oarsmen, engines, (and) carriages were made subject to duty; if only a name could be found for such a thing, this seemed sufficient for money to be collected. Not only in the cities, but almost in (all) the villages and fortresses, individuals with authority were put in charge. Of these, (the man) who did anything with great severity and with great cruelty was thought (to be) both the best of men and (the best of) citizens. The province was full of lictors and officials, who, apart from the (sums of) money demanded, also served their own private gain; for they continually said, so as to cover their most shameless conduct with a respectable pretext, that they, having been driven from their home and country, were in want of all necessary things. To this was added the most exorbitant (rates of) interest, as is generally accustomed to happen in war-time, with all available money having been demanded; in these circumstances, they said that postponement for a day is a gift. So, the province's debt multiplied in this two-year period. None the less, for that reason (taxes) were demanded from the Roman citizens of that province, and they asserted that these (were) loans exacted by a decree of the Senate; (and) the tax for the ensuing year (was demanded) from the tax-farmers as an advance loan, as they had done in Syria.

Chapter 33.  Moreover, Scipio ordered the money (which had been) deposited in the temple of Diana at Ephesus to be removed. And, an appointed day for this having been determined, when he came to the temple, several men of the senatorial order, whom he had summoned,having been invited (to attend), a dispatch from Pompey was delivered to him, (informing him) that Caesar had crossed the sea with his legions; (he was ordered to) hasten to join (lit. come to) him with his army and to regard everything (else) which (he was doing) behind that. This dispatch having been received, he sent away (those) whom he had summoned; he, himself, began to prepare for his journey to Macedonia and set out after a few days. This circumstance saved (lit. brought security to) the money of Ephesus.

Chapter 34.  Caesar, Antony's army having been joined with, (and) the legion, which he had stationed (there) for the sake of the sea-coast being protected, having been led out of Oricum, thought that the provinces should (lit. were needing to) be tested by him and that he should advance further (lit. that it was needing to be advanced further [by him]); and, when ambassadors came to him from Thessaly and Aetolia to promise that, if he were to send a garrison (lit. a garrison having been sent), the states of those peoples would do (the things which he had) ordered, he sent Lucius Cassius Longinus with a legion of recruits, which was called the twenty-seventh, and two hundred cavalry into Thessaly, (and) likewise Gaius Calvisius Sabinus with five cohorts and a few cavalrymen into Aetolia; he urged them strongly to make provision for a corn supply, because these districts were nearby. He orderedGnaeus Domitius Calvinus with two legions, the eleventh and the twelfth, and five hundred cavalry to proceed to Macedonia; Menedemus, the chief man of those areas, having been sent (as) an ambassador from that part of this province which was called 'free', professed the the enthusiastic support of all his people.

Chapter 35.  Of these, Calvisius, having been received on his first arrival with the utmost good-will of all the people of Aetolia, the (enemy's) garrisons at Calydon and Naupactus having been expelled, took possession of all Aetolia. Cassius arrived in Thessaly with his legion. Since there were two factions there, he enjoyed a varied reception from the communities: Hegesaretos, a man of long established influence, was a supporter of Pompey's interests; Petraeus, a young man of the highest nobility, was keenly assisting Caesar with his own and his followers' resources.

Chapter 36.  At the same time Domitius arrived in Macedonia; and, when numerous deputations from the local communities began to come to him, it was reported (to him) that Scipio was close at hand with his legions, with great speculation and rumour of everyone; for in the case of novelty rumour generally precedes the event. He, not delaying in any place in Macedonia, proceeded towards Domitius with great impetus, and, when he was twenty miles (lit. thousand paces) away from him, he suddenly made for (lit. directed himself towards) Cassius Longinus in Thessaly. He did this so quickly that his approach and his arrival were reported simultaneously, and, so that he might make his march more speedily, he leftMarcus Favonius at the river Haliacmon, which separates Macedonia from Thessaly, with eight cohorts as a guard for the legions' baggage, and ordered a fortress to be built there. At the same time, the cavalry of King Cotys, which was accustomed to hover (lit. be) around Thessaly, swooped down on Cassius' camp. Then, Cassius panic-stricken with fear, Scipio's arrival having been ascertained, and cavalry, which he thought was Scipio's, having been seen, made for (lit. directed himself towards) the mountains which enclose Thessaly, and from these places began to make his march towards Ambracia. But a dispatch from Marcus Favonius overtook Scipio (as he was) hurrying in pursuit, (saying) that Domitius was close by (him) with his legions, and that he could not remain (lit. keep himself) where he had been stationed (as) a guard without assistance from Scipio. This dispatch having been received, Scipio changed his plan and his line of march; he stopped pursuing Cassius, (and) hastened to bring help to Favonius. Therefore, his march having been conducted by day and night without a break, he reached him at a moment so opportune that the dust of Domitius' army was perceived at the same time as the first of Scipio's vanguard was seen. Thus, the energy of Domitius brought safety to Cassius, and the speed of Scipio (brought safety) to Favonius.

Chapter 37.  Scipio, having remained for two days in his base (lit. stationary) camp by the Haliacmon river, which flowed between him and Domitius' camp, at dawn (lit. first light) on the third day led his army across (it) by a ford, and, a camp having been pitched, early on the following day he drew up his forces before the front of his camp. Then Domitius alsothought, his legions having been brought out, that he ought to (lit. that it was not needing to be doubted by him, but that he should) decide the issue in battle. But, since there was a plain (stretching for) about three miles (lit. thousand paces) between the two camps, Domitius brought his battle-line up to Scipio's camp, (but) he persisted in not departing from his rampart. But Domitius' men having been restrained with difficulty, it happened that a battle was not fought (lit. it was not contended in battle), and (this was) especially because a stream with steep banks, (which was) bordering on Scipio's camp, hindered the advances of our men. When Scipio understood their eagerness and keenness for battle, suspecting that he would either be forced to fight, against his will, on the following day, or that (he) who had come with great expectation, should stay (lit. keep himself) in his camp with great disgrace, his reckless advance had a shameful ending, and at night, without even (the signal for packing up) the baggage having been proclaimed, he crossed the river and went back to the same area from which he had come, and there pitched camp at a spot near the river (which was) elevated by nature. A few days having elapsed, he placed a cavalry ambush at night in the place where our men had been generally accustomed to go for fodder in the preceding days; and, when Quintus (Atius) Varus, Domitius' cavalry commander, had come in accordance with daily routine, they suddenly rose up out of their ambush. But our men bravely withstood their attack, and each man quickly returned to (his place in) the ranks, and they all, on their own part, made a charge against the enemy. About eighty of them having been killed, (and) the rest having been thrown into flight, they returned (lit. betookthemselves) to camp, with (only) two (men) having been lost.

Chapter 38.  These things having been transacted, Domitius, hoping that Scipio could be enticed into battle, pretended that he was striking camp, having been induced by a shortage in his corn supply, and (the signal for packing up) the baggage having been announced in accordance with military custom, (and,) having advanced for three miles (lit. thousand paces), he stationed all his army and cavalry in a suitable and concealed spot. Scipio, (being) ready to follow, sent forward a large contingent of cavalry to reconnoitre Domitius' route and discover (it) (lit. for the purpose of Domitius' route being reconnoitred and discovered). When they had advanced, and their leading squadrons had entered the (place of) ambush,their suspicions having been aroused by the neighing of horses, they began to retreat (lit. betake themselves) to their own men, and (those) who were following them, observing their speedy withdrawal, halted. Our men, their ambush having been discovered, (fearing) that they should await the rest in vain, came upon and intercepted two squadrons (lit. having come upon two squadrons, intercepted [them]). Among these was Marcus Opimius, the commander of the cavalry. All the rest (of the men) of these squadrons they either killed or captured and brought (lit. or brought [them], having been captured,) to Domitius.

VI.  Stalemate at Dyrrachium (chapters 39-58).

Chapter 39.  Caesar, his garrisons having been drawn away from the sea-coast, as has been mentioned above (see Chapter 34), left three cohorts at Oricum to protect the town (lit. for the sake of the town being protected) and entrusted to them the guarding of the war-ships, which he had brought across from Italy. The legate Manius Acilius was in charge of this duty and the town. He brought our ships back into the inner (part of) the harbour behind the town and moored (them) to the land, and he placed a sunken transport ship in the mouth of the harbour and fastened a second (one) to it; on top of this he built a tower and put (it) at the very entrance of the harbour (lit. he put at the very entrance of the harbour a tower having been built [by him]) and filled (it) with soldiers and entrusted (it) to be guarded (by them) against all sudden emergencies.

Chapter 40.  These events having been learned about, Gnaeus Pompeius, the son, who was in command of the Egyptian fleet, came to Oricum and, (after) striving zealously by means of a tow-rope and many cables, he hauled up the submerged ship, and, attacking with several ships, in which he had constructed towers of equal size, the other ship, which had been put on guard by Acilius, so that, (by) fighting from a loftier position and (through) continually sending in fresh men for tired ones, and at the same time at other points attempting (to scale) the walls of the town by land with ladders and from the fleet in order to divide the forces of his adversaries, he overcame our men through their fatigue and the large number of his missiles, and, the defenders, all of whom, having got to their feet, escaped in small boats, having been dislodged, he stormed that ship, and at the same time on the other side (of the town) he seized the natural mole (which was) opposite, which had almost made the town an island, and brought across into the inner (part of the) harbour four biremes (which he had) impelled by a lever, four wooden rollers having been placed underneath. So, attacking from both sides the war-ships which were moored to the land and (were) unmanned, he carried four of them off and set fire to the rest. This business having been completed, he left Decimus Laelius, whom he had removed from (command of) the Asiatic fleet, to prevent provisions from being brought into the town from Byllis and Amantia. He, himself, having gone to Lissus, (and) attacking thirty transport ships, which had been left within the port by Mark Antony, set fire to (them) all; attempting to storm Lissus, (but) having been delayed for three days by defending Roman citizens, who were of that community, and by the soldiers, whom Caesar had sent (there) as a garrison, a few men having been lost, he departed thence without achieving his purpose (lit. the matter [being] unfinished).

Chapter 41.  When he realised that Pompey was at Asparagium, Caesar, having set out for that place with his army, the town of the Parthini, in which Pompey had a garrison, having been stormed on the march, reached Pompey in Macedonia on the third day and pitchedcamp beside him, and on the following day, all his forces having been led out, (and) a battle-line having been drawn up, he gave Pompey the opportunity of fighting it out. When he noticed that he was remaining in (lit. keeping himself within) his entrenchments, his army having been led back to camp, he thought that he should adopt another plan (lit. that another plan was needing to be adopted by him). Accordingly, on the following day he set out for Dyrrachium with all his forces by a long detour and by a difficult and narrow path, hoping that Pompey could either be forced towards Dyrrachium or (could) be cut off from it, because he had gathered together there all his food supplies and his equipment for the whole war: (and) so it happened. For Pompey, at first being unaware of his purpose because he had seen (him) setting off from that district, thought that he had been forced to depart due to a difficulty with his corn supply; afterwards, having been informed (lit. made more sure) by his scouts, he struck camp the next day, hoping that he could counteract him by a shorter route. Caesar, suspecting that this would be (the case), and encouraging his soldiers to endure the fatigue cheerfully (lit. with an easy mind), his march having been interrupted for (only) a small part of the night, came to Dyrrachium early in the morning, when Pompey's vanguard was perceived in the distance, and pitched camp there.

Chapter 42.  Pompey, having been cut off from Dyracchium, when he could not attain his objective, employing an alternative plan, built a camp on an elevated place, which is called Petra and (which) has fairly easy access to ships and protects them from certain winds. He ordered some of his war-ships to muster there, and grain and foodstuffs to be conveyed (there) from Asia and from all the regions which he controlled. Caesar, thinking that the war was going to be conducted for rather a long time, and despairing of supplies from Italy, because the entire coast was occupied by Pompey's forces with great diligence, and his own fleets, which he had constructed during the winter in Sicily, Gaul and Italy, were detained,sent his legates Quintus Tillius and Lucius Canuleius to Epirus for the sake of the corn supply, and, as these districts were rather far away, he built granaries in designated places, andassigned the conveyance of the grain to the neighbouring states. He likewise ordered that a search was to be made for (lit. it was to be searched for) whatever corn there might be in Lissus, the (territory of the) Parthini and all their strongholds. This (quantity) was very small, both due to the nature of their land, as their country is rough and mountainous and (the inhabitants) enjoy imported grain, and because Pompey had foreseen this, and in the preceding days he had occupied the (territory of the) Parthini as an occasion for plunder, and, their houses having been pillaged and ransacked, he had carried off by means of his cavalry all the grain (which had been) gathered to Petra.

Chapter 43.  These events having been heard about, Caesar adopted a plan from the nature of the terrain. For around Pompey's camp there were several high and rugged hills. Firstly,he occupied these with garrisons and built on them. Then, a line of entrenchment having been extended from fortress to fortress, as the nature of each position allowed, he began to surround Pompey, (and he did this) bearing in mind the following (considerations): that he enjoyed a restricted supply of corn, and that Pompey was so strong due to his large amount of cavalry that he could bring up corn and foodstuffs for his army with less danger, and, at the same time, so that he should prevent Pompey from foraging and (thus) make his cavalry ineffective for waging war (lit. for war being waged), and, thirdly, (that) he should reduce the reputation, upon which he appeared chiefly to rely among foreign peoples, when a report should spread throughout the world that he was being blockaded by Caesar and did not dare to engage in battle.

Chapter 44.  Pompey was not willing to leave (lit. depart from) the sea and Dyrrachium, because he had concentrated there all his equipment for the war, (namely) missiles, weapons (and) siege-engines, and was bringing up grain and foodstuffs for his army, and he could not prevent Caesar's entrenchments unless he was willing to fight it out in battle, (something) which he had decided that he should not do (lit. that it was not needing to be done [by him]) at that time. He was left pursuing an extreme battle strategy, (namely) to occupy as many hills as possible and to hold with his garrisons as wide an area as possible, and to spread Caesar's forces as widely apart as he could; and this happened. For, twenty-four fortresses having been built, (and through) embracing fifteen miles in a circuit, he obtained fodder within this space; and there were within this area many crops (lit. things sown by hand), on which he could graze his animals for a time. And, just as our men were seeing to it that their entrenchments (were) continuous, so that Pompey's men should not burst through at any point and attack our men behind their backs, so they were making a continuous line of entrenchments in their inner space, lest our men should enter at any point and be able to beset them from the rear. But they were winning in these works, because they had an advantage both in their number of soldiers and (because) they had a smaller perimeter to their space. Whatever positions Caesar wanted to take (lit. were needing to be taken by Caesar), although Pompey had decided to hold back all his forces and not to fight (a pitched battle), nevertheless he sent archers and slingers, of whom he had a large number, to positions of his own (choice), and many of our men were being wounded, and a great fear of arrows had come upon (them), and almost our soldiers had made jerkins or coverings of felt or of quilt or of hide, through which they might ward off the missiles. 

Chapter 45.  In seizing these posts (lit. In these posts being seized), each man exerted great energy: Caesar, in order to contain Pompey as tightly as possible; Pompey, in order to occupy as many hills as possible in as great a circuit as possible; and frequent skirmishes occurredfor that reason. In (one of) these, when Caesar's ninth legion had seized a certain post and had begun to fortify (it), Pompey occupied a hill (which was) close to and opposite to this position, and began to hamper our men in their work, and, as on one side the approach (to our position) was almost on level (ground), at first archers and slingers having been thrown around, (and) then a great multitude of light-armed (troops) having been sent and ballistic engines having been brought up, he hindered our fortification works. Nor was it easy for our men to defend themselves and work at the fortifications at one (and the same) time. When Caesar saw that his men were being exposed to injury (lit. were being wounded) from all directions, he ordered them to withdraw and to abandon the position. Their retreat routewas down (lit. by means of) a slope. But they (ie. Pompey's men), on this (account), pressed on (all) the more keenly, and did not allow our men to retire, because they seemed to be leaving their position having been induced by fear. Pompey is said, (while) boasting among his men, to have remarked at this point that he would not object to being thought of (as) a general of no experience, if Caesar's legions had withdrawn without severe damage from a position whither they had rashly advanced.

Chapter 46.  Caesar, feeling anxious at the withdrawal of his men, ordered hurdles to be brought to the edge of the hill (as a protection) against the enemy and to be placed in their way, (and) that, soldiers having been concealed behind these, a ditch should be dug to a fair breadth, and that the ground should be obstructed as much as possible in all directions. He, himself, stationed slingers at suitable points in order to serve as protection to our men (while they were) withdrawing. These arrangements having been completed, he ordered the legion to be withdrawn. At this, Pompey's men began, more insolently and audaciously (then ever), to pursue and press our men hard, and they pushed over the hurdles (which had been) put in front of our entrenchments in order to cross the trenches. When he observed this, Caesar, fearing that they might appear not to have been withdrawn, but to have been routed, and that a greater setback might be suffered, (and) encouraging our men (when they were) at about the half-way stage (lit. at about the middle of the distance) through Antony, who was in command of that legion, ordered the signal to be given by trumpet and an attack to be made on the enemy. The soldiers of the ninth legion suddenly hurled their spears in unison (lit. having come together), and, from a lower position, rushing at the charge up the slope, they drove Pompey's men headlong (before them) and forced them to turn to flight (lit. to turn their backs); The upright hurdles, and the long poles (which had been) placed in their way, and the trenches, (which had been) established, served as a great hindrance to them in their retreat. But our men, who thought it sufficient to get away without damage,several (of their men) having been killed, (and) five of their own men in all having been lost, quietly retired, and, some other hills a little short of that position having been seized, they completed their (system of) fortifications.

Chapter 47.  This was a new and unusual method of warfare, both with regard to so large a number of forts, and so great an area and such great entrenchments and the whole nature of the blockade, as well as with regard to other circumstances also. For whichever men have have tried to besiege another, they (have) attacked an enemy unnerved and weakened, orhave hemmed in (one) overcome in battle or demoralised by some misfortune, when they, themselves, have been superior in the number of cavalry and foot-soldiers; but the reason for a siege is generally accustomed to be this, (namely) to cut the enemy off from (a supply of) corn. But now Caesar was trying to confine forces (which were) fresh and unharmed with an inferior number of soldiers, when they were abounding with plenty of everything; for, on a daily basis, a large number of ships was combining to bring in supplies, nor could any wind blow but that it had a favourable course from some direction (or other). Whereas he, himself, all the the corn from far and wide having been consumed, was in the greatest difficulties. But yet his soldiers were bearing these (circumstances) with exceptional patience. For they recalled that they, having suffered the same (situation) in Spain the previous year, had, by their efforts and endurance, brought a very great war to an end; they remembered that they, having endured a great scarcity at Alesia, (and) even a much greater (one) at Avaricum, had come away victors over the greatest tribes. They did not object tobarley, when it was given to them, nor vegetables; indeed, they held in high esteem the cattle (meat), of which commodity there was a most plentiful supply from Epirus.

Chapter 48.  There was also a kind of root, found by those who were off-duty (lit. disengaged from work), which was called 'chara', (and) which, having been mixed with milk, greatly relieved their want. They made it into something resembling bread. There was a large supply of this. When, in conversation, Pompey's men taunted our men with famine (lit. threw famine against our men) they commonly used to throw loaves made from this at them, in order to dash (lit. reduce) their hopes.

Chapter 49.  The corn was now beginning to ripen, and mere hope sustained their want, and they trusted that in a short time they would have plenty. And frequent voices of soldierswere heard (when they were) on guard and in conversation (with each other), (saying) that they would live on bark from trees before Pompey would slip from their hands. They alsolearned with gladness from deserters that their horses were being sustained, but that that their other animals had perished; moreover that they themselves were not enjoying good health, with the cramped conditions of the place, and the foul smell (emanating) from the large number of corpses, and their daily toil, (as they were) unaccustomed to (construction) work, as well as having suffered from the extreme shortage of water. For Caesar had eitherdiverted all the rivers and all the streams which ran down (lit. extended) to the sea, or had dammed (them) by great works, and, as these districts were mountainous and rugged, he had barricaded the defiles of the valleys, with stakes having been driven into the ground, and had conveyed earth to (these places) to hold back the water. So, they were forced by necessity to look for low and marshy places and to dig wells, and they added this to their daily tasks; but these springs were quite a long distance away from their guard-posts, and quickly dried up in the hot conditions. Caesar's army, on the other hand, was enjoying the best of health and a plentiful supply of water, (and) had an abundance of every kind of provision except corn; (and) they saw a better time approaching daily and greater hopes being laid before them with the ripening of the corn.

Chapter 50.  In this new kind of warfare, new methods of fighting were being devised by both sides. When they noticed from our fires that our cohorts were sleeping at night beside the fortifications, attacking in silence, they shot all their arrows among the multitude and immediately retired (lit. betook themselves) to their men. Our men, having been taught by experience of these circumstances discovered this (as) a remedy, (namely) to make fires in one place (and sleep in another) ....

(N.B.  There is a considerable break in the manuscripts here. From Appian, Book 2, Chapter 60, it may reasonably be inferred that the missing passage described an unsuccessful attack by Caesar on Dyrrachium, and then an attack on Caesar's lines by Pompey. The text begins again with an account of how this attack was beaten off.)

Chapter 51.  In the meantime, Publius (Cornelius) Sulla, whom Caesar, (as he was) departing, put in charge of the camp, having been informed (lit. made more sure) (of this),came to the assistance of the cohort with two legions; on his arrival Pompey's men wereeasily repulsed. Indeed, they did not withstand the sight or the charge of our men, and, their front ranks having been overthrown, the rest turned to flight (lit. turned themselves around) and abandoned their position. But Sulla recalled our men (while they were) in pursuit (lit. pursuing [them]), lest they chased (them) too far. In fact, most people think that, if he had wished, the war could have been finished on that day. His decision does not seem worthy to be censured. For the functions of a legate are different from (lit. other than) (those) of a commander; one does everything to order, the other should (lit. ought to) take measures freely in accordance with the general interest (lit. the gist of events). Having been left in the camp by Caesar, Sulla, his men having been freed, was content with this, and did notwish to engage in a battle, an event which, in any case, might perhaps bring misfortune, lest he might seem to have taken upon himself the duties of the commander. The situation with regard to their retreat
brought great difficulty to Pompey's men. For, having advanced from an unfavourable position, they had halted on the top (of a hill); if they were to withdraw (lit. betake themselves) down (lit. by means of) the slope, they dreaded our men pursuing (them) from higher ground; nor was much time left until sunset (lit. the setting of the sun); for, in the hope of the business being concluded, they had prolonged the encounter almost until nightfall. So, Pompey, his plan having been adopted from necessity and on the spur of the moment, occupied a certain hillock, which was so far from our fortress that no missile, discharged from a ballistic engine, could be directed towards (them). At this spot he took up his position and fortified it, and kept all his men there.

Chapter 52.  At the same time, there was fighting (lit. it was being fought) at two further places; for Pompey had attempted (to take) several forts simultaneously so as to keep our men apart (lit. for the sake of our men being separated), in order that help could not be provided (lit. it could not be assisted) from the neighbouring guard-posts. In one place (Lucius) Volcatius Tullus withstood the assault of a legion with three cohorts, and drove itfrom the position; in another (place) some Germans, having sullied out from our entrenchments, several (of the enemy) having been slain, retired (lit. betook themselves) to their men in safety.

Chapter 53.  So, six battles having happened on one day, three at Dyrrachium and three at the fortifications, when a computation of them all was held, we found that up to two thousand in number of the Pompeians had fallen, several (being) recalled veterans and centurions; in that number was (Publius) Valerius Flaccus, son of that Lucius (Valerius Flaccus) who had governed Asia (as) praetor; and six military standards were taken. Our men had lost (lit. were missing) not more than twenty in all these skirmishes. But in the fortthere was no one at all among the soldiers but that he was wounded, and from one cohort four centurions had lost eyes. And, when they wished to produce proof of their exertions and their danger, they counted up in front of Caesar about thirty thousand arrows (which had been) fired into the fort, and, the shield of the centurion (Cassius) Scaeva having been brought to him, a hundred and twenty holes were found in it. As he had done (such) a service to him and to the republic, Caesar announced that he was promoting him, (after he had been) presented with two hundred thousand (sesterces), from the eighth rank to the (rank of) primipilus (i.e. senior centurion of the legion) - for it was clear that the fort had been saved in great measure by his efforts - and, afterwards, he lavishly presented the cohort with double pay, corn, clothing, food rations and military decorations.


Chapter 54.  Pompey, some large fortifications having been added at night, constructedsome towers in the ensuing days, and, these works having been raised to a height of fifteen feet, he covered that part of the camp with mantelets, and, five days having elapsed, getting a second cloudy night, with all the gates of the camp having been barricaded, (and)obstacles having been put in front (of them) as a hindrance, he led his army out of the camp in silence at the beginning of the third watch (lit. the third watch having been entered), and withdrew (lit. betook himself) to his old fortifications.

Chapter 55.  Every day after that Caesar drew up his army in battle-order on level ground, such that he brought his legions almost up to Pompey's camp, in case Pompey was willing to engage in a battle; and the front line was only so far distant from his rampart that no missile could be directed (at it) from a ballistic engine. But Pompey, in order to maintain his esteem and reputation among men, positioned his army in front of his camp in such a way that its third line was right up against (lit. touching) the rampart, (and) indeed that his whole army, (when) drawn up, could be covered by missiles (which had been) fired from the rampart.

Chapter 56.  Aetolia, Acarnania (and) Amphilochus having been recovered by Cassius Longinus and Calvisius Sabinus, as we have mentioned (see Chapter 35 in the case of Aetolia; the recovery of Acarnania and Amphilochus may have been described in the lost passages between Chapters 50 and 51), Caesar thought that he should try Achaea (lit. that Achaea was needing to be tried by him) and that he should advance (lit. it was needing to be advanced [by him]) a little further. So, he sent Quintus Calenus there, and joined Sabinus and Cassius with their cohorts to him. Their arrival having been ascertained (by him), (Publius) Rutilius Lupus, who, having been sent by Pompey, was in control of Achaea, beganto fortify the Isthmus (of Corinth), to keep Fufius out of Achaea. Calenus recovered Delphi, Thebes and Orchomenus with the consent of those states themselves, subdued others by force, (and) endeavoured to win over the other states, envoys having been sent around (to them). Fufius was usually occupied in these matters. 


Chapter 57.  When these things were being done in Achaea and at Dyrrachium, and it was known that Scipio had come to Macedonia, Caesar, not forgetting his original purpose, sentto him (Aulus) Clodius, his own and that man's (i.e. Scipio's) friend, whom, having been introduced in the first place and recommended by him, he had begun to regard in the number of his close associates. He gave him (i.e. Clodius) a letter and a verbal message to him (i.e. Scipio), the gist of which was as follows: that he (had) tried everything with regard to peace; that nothing (had) yet been done he regarded as the fault of those whom he had chosen to be his agents in that matter, because they were afraid of putting his proposals to Pompey at an inopportune moment. That he was (a man) of such authority that he could not only explain freely what he recommended, but also (that) he could, to a great extent, reproach and direct (him if he were) going astray; moreover, that he was in command of an army on his own account, so that, besides his authority, he also had the strength to exercise compulsion. That, if he were to do this, everyone would refer the credit for the quiet of Italy, the peace of the provinces (and) the security of the empire having been secured to (him) alone. Clodius referred these proposals to him, and during the first (few) days, he was, as he seemed, readily heard, (but) in succeeding (days) he was not admitted to any discussion, Scipio having been castigated by Favonius, as we afterwards learned, the war having been brought to an end, and he withdrew (lit. betook himself) to Caesar without achieving his purpose (lit. the matter [being] unfinished).

Chapter 58.  Caesar, so that (lit. by which means) he might the more easily contain Pompey's cavalry at Dyrrachium, and prevent (it) from (getting) fodder, strengthened the two approaches (to the town), which we have said were narrow, with large (construction) works, and placed fortresses at these positions. When he realised that nothing was being achieved by his cavalry, after a few days (lit. a few days having elapsed) Pompey withdrew it again by ship to his own lines (lit. to himself) within the fortifications. There was such a shortage of fodder that they were feeding their horses with leaves stripped from trees, and with the tender roots of reeds (which they had) pounded up; for they had consumed the corn (which had been) sown within their entrenchments. And they were being obliged to bring in fodder from Corcyra and Acarnania after a long voyage (lit. a long distance of sailing coming in between), and, as the supply of that commodity was less, to supplement (it) with barley, and to maintain their cavalry by this means.  But, when not only the barley and the fodder from all these places and the grass (which had been) cut, but even the foliage from the trees, had begun to fail, the horses having been wasted with hunger, Pompey thought that he should attempt something of a sally (lit. that something of a sally was needing to be attempted by him). 

VII.  Setbacks for Caesar (Chapters 59-74).

Chapter 59.  There were among the number of horsemen around Caesar two brothers, the Allobroges Roucillus and Aegus, sons of Adbucillus, who had held the chieftaincy in his state for many years, men of exceptional courage, of whose excellent and most gallant services Caesar had availed himself in all the Gallic wars. For these reasons he had entrusted to them the most honoured offices in their own state and had seen to it that they had been selected for the senate on an exceptional basis (lit. outside the [usual] arrangement), and had bestowed (upon them) lands in Gaul (which had been) captured from the enemy and large rewards of monetary value, and had made (them) wealthy (men) from needy (ones). On account of their valour they were (held) in high esteem not only with Caesar but were alsoregarded (as) beloved among the army; but, relying on Caesar's friendship, and puffed up with stupid and barbarous arrogance, they began to look down on their own people, cheatthe cavalry of their pay, and divert all the plunder to their own use. They all (i.e. the cavalry) went to Caesar and complained openly of their wrongdoings, and to these other (charges) they added that a false number of cavalry had been reported by them, whose pay they were embezzling.

Chapter 60.  Caesar, not thinking that this was the (proper) time for their punishment, and overlooking a lot on account of their valour, deferred the matter; he severely rebuked them in private, inasmuch as they were making money out of the cavalry, and advised that they should look for everything from his friendship and should hope for future things on the basis of his past services. However, these matters brought upon them indignation and scorn on the part of everyone, and they understood that this was so both from the reproaches of others and also from their personal judgment and a guilty conscience (lit. the knowledge in their minds). Induced by this (sense of) shame and thinking that perhaps they were not being acquitted but were being reserved for another occasion, they decided to leave (lit. depart from) us and to try a new fortune and experience new friendships. And, having spoken with a few of their adherents, with whom they ventured to commit so great a crime, they firstattempted, as we afterwards learned, the war having been brought to an end, to kill Gaius Volusenus, the commander of the cavalry, in order that they might appear to have deserted to Pompey with some service (having been performed); when this seemed too difficult and no opportunity for accomplishing (it) was afforded (to them), borrowing as much money as they could, as though they were wanting to give satisfaction to their men and restore what they had embezzled, a large number of horses having been purchased, they deserted to Pompey (together) with those whom they had (as) associates in their plot.

Chapter 61.  Pompey led them around all his guard-posts and showed (them) off, because they were born in a noble rank and splendidly equipped, and were reckoned (to be) brave men and had been (held) in esteem with Caesar, and because something new and contrary to usual practice had occurred. For before that time, no one, either an infantry soldier or a cavalryman, had deserted from Caesar to Pompey, while they were deserting almost daily from Pompey to Caesar, most commonly indeed all those soldiers (who had been) enrolled in Epirus and Aetolia and those regions which were being held by Caesar. But they (i.e. the brothers Roucillus and Aegus), all things having been ascertained, whether what had not been completed in our fortification works, or what was seen, by those who were pretty skilful in military matters, to be deficient in the times of events and the intervals between posts, the varying (degrees of) diligence having been observed according as to whether the temperament or zeal of each of those who were in charge of the arrangements was prevailing, reported all these things to Pompey.

Chapter 62.  These things having been ascertained, (and) a plan for a sally having already been adopted, as has been mentioned before, he ordered his soldiers to make coverings for their helmets out of osiers (i.e. wicker-work) and to provide (materials for) the trench (i.e. fascines, or faggots of brushwood used to fill in ditches). These things having been prepared,he embarked at night a great number of light-armed (troops) and all (the material for) the trench into boats and pinnaces (lit. fast ships), and, just after mid-night, sixty cohorts from his main camp having been brought down, he led (them) to that part of the fortifications which extended to the sea and was furthest away from Caesar's main camp. To the same (place) he sent the ships, which we have mentioned (as) having been filled with (material for) the trench and light-armed troops, as well as the war-ships which he had at Dyrrachium, and issued instructions as to what he wished to be done by each (commander). To this (part of the) fortifications, Caesar had the quaestor (Publius Cornelius) Lentulus Marcellinus positioned with the ninth legion, and had despatched Fulvius Postumus in support (lit. [as] a helper), because he was not in full health.

Chapter 63.  There was in that place a ditch fifteen-foot (wide) and, facing the enemy, a rampart ten feet in height, and the mound of this rampart extended the same distance in width. Six hundred feet away from that (place) (lit. An interval of six hundred feet from that [place] having intervened,) there was another rampart with slightly lower fortifications facing in the opposite direction. For Caesar, fearing that our men might be surrounded by ships, had made this double rampart in that place, so that, if there should be fighting on two sides, resistance should be possible (for us) (lit. if it were to be fought in a two-sided battle, it could be resisted). But the extent of the (lines of) fortification and the continual toil for all those days, inasmuch as he had included (lit. embraced) within his entrenchments seventeen miles (lit. thousand paces) in circumference, did not give (him) a chance of completing (the work). Therefore, the transverse rampart, facing the sea, which would join these two (lines of) fortification, had not yet been finished. This circumstance was known to Pompey, having been reported (to him) by the Allobrogian fugitives, and it brought great disadvantage to our men. For, when our cohorts of the ninth legion had camped outside by the sea, the Pompeians suddenly arrived at daybreak (lit. first light); at the same time, some soldiers, sailing around in their ships, began to hurl their missiles at the outer rampart, and the ditches were filled with fascines, and the legionary (soldiers), scaling ladders having been brought up, alarmed the defenders of the inner fortification with ballistic engines and missiles of every kind, and a vast horde of archers surrounded (them) on both sides. Moreover, the coverings of osiers on their helmets defended (them) well from the blows of the stones, which were to our men their only weapons. So, when our men were being hard pressed in every way and were holding out with great difficulty, the defect in our fortifications was noticed, and, having been disembarked from their ships by means of the sea, they (i.e. Pompey's men) made an attack upon our men from the rear, and, (after they had been) ejected from each of the two (lines of) fortification, forced (them) to flee (lit. turn their backs).

Chapter 64.  This disorder having been reported (to him), Marcellinus despatched some cohorts to the relief of our struggling men. These (cohorts), seeing (the men) fleeing, couldneither put heart into them by their arrival, nor sustain the enemy's assault. So, whatever (contingent) was added to the assistance, this, having been infected by the panic of those fleeing, (merely) increased the terror and the danger; for their retreat was being impededby the large number of men. In that battle, when the eagle-bearer had suffered (lit. had been affected with) a serious wound, and was growing weaker (lit. was failing in his strength), (on) seeing our cavalry, he said, "I have guarded this (eagle) with great diligence for many years both (while) alive and now, (when) dying, I restore (it) to Caesar with the same fidelity. Do not (lit. Be unwilling to) allow, I beseech (you) any dishonour to be sustained in the field (lit. in the military business), (something) which has not happened in Caesar's army before, and carry (this) to him safely (lit. unharmed)." By this chance, the eagle was saved, although all the centurions of the first cohort were slain (lit. all the centurions of the first cohort having been slain), except the senior centurion of the second line. 

Chapter 65.  And now the Pompeians, after the great slaughter of our men, were approaching Marcellinus' camp, no small amount of terror having been struck into the remaining cohorts, and Mark Antony, who was holding the nearest guard-post, this event having been reported (to him), was observed coming down from the higher ground with twelve cohorts. His arrival checked the Pompeians and encouraged our men to recover (lit. restrain themselves) from their extreme terror. Not long afterwards, a signal having been made by smoke from fort to fort, as was the custom on earlier occasions, Caesar came to the same (place) with some cohorts (which had been) drawn from his outposts. This loss having been ascertained, when he noticed that Pompey (had) advanced beyond our (line of) fortifications to a camp next to the sea, so that he could forage freely and also have access (lit. and not have no access at all) to ships, his strategy for the war having been changed, since he could keep to his plan, he ordered (a camp) to be built alongside Pompey.

Chapter 66.  This fortification work having been completed, it was noticed by Caesar's scouts that some cohorts, (a number) which appeared (to them) as good as a legion, were behind the wood and were being led to the old camp. The situation of the camps was as follows: a few days earlier, when Caesar's ninth legion had been opposing (lit. had put itself in the way of) Pompey's forces, and, as we have said, was building entrenchment works around (them), he pitched a camp in that spot. This (camp) bordered on a certain wood, andwas not further away from the sea than three hundred paces. Afterwards, his plan having been changed for certain reasons, Caesar moved his camp a little distance beyond that place, and, after a few days (lit. a few days having elapsed), Pompey occupied this same spot, and, because he had intended to keep several legions in that place, he added greater fortification works, the inner rampart having been left (standing). Thus the lesser camp enclosed within the greater took the place of a fortress and a citadel. Also, he dug (lit.drew) an entrenchment from the left-hand corner of the camp to the river, about four hundred paces (away), so that (lit. by which means) his troops might fetch water freely and without risk. But he also, his design having been changed for certain reasons which it is not necessary to relate, left that place. In this condition the camp remained for several days; indeed all its fortifications were intact.

Chapter 67.  His scouts reported to Caesar that the standard of a legion (had been) taken to that (place). (Those who were) in certain higher forts confirmed that this same thing (had been) seen. This place was about five hundred paces away from Pompey's new camp. Hoping that he could overwhelm this legion, and wishing to make good the losses of that day, Caesar left two cohorts in that entrenchment to give the appearance of fortification work;he himself led out, by an indirect route, (and) as covertly as he could, the remaining cohorts, thirty-three in number, in which was the ninth legion, many of its centurions having been lost and the number of its soldiers reduced, in a double line against Pompey's legion and the smaller camp. Nor did his first supposition deceive him. For, he even reached (it) before Pompey could be aware (of it), and, although the fortifications of the camp were strong, yet (by) swiftly attacking with his left wing, in which he himself was (placed), he drove the Pompeians down from the rampart. A 'hedgehog' (i.e. a barrier consisting of a wooden beam studded with sharp spikes) had been blocking the gates. There was fighting (lit. it was fought) here for a short time, since our men were trying to break in, (and) they were defending the camp, with Titus Puleio, on whose responsibility, (as) we have shown, the army of Gaius Antonius (had been) betrayed, fighting very bravely in defence of that place.  But, nevertheless, our men prevailed through their valour, and, the 'hedgehog' having been cut down, they burst firstly into the larger camp, then also into the smaller camp, which had been enclosed within the larger camp, as the routed legion had retreated (lit. betaken itself) thither; they killed a good many (who were) defending themselves there.

Chapter 68.  But fortune, which exerts great power both in all other matters and especially in war, effects great shifts in affairs from slight causes; (and) so it happened on this occasion. The cohorts on Caesar's right wing, through ignorance of the area, followed the (line of) fortification which we have shown above extended from the camp to the river, since they were looking for a gate and they thought that this was the fortification of the camp. But, when they (lit. it was) realised that it was joined to the river, the fortification having been demolished with no one defending (it), they crossed (it), and all our cavalryfollowed these cohorts.

Chapter 69.  In the meantime, Pompey, after quite a long interval (lit. this fairly long interval having intervened), and the situation having been reported (to him), led five legions, (which he had) withdrawn from their fortification work, to the support of his men. At the same time, his cavalry was approaching our cavalry, and his battle-line, (which had been) drawn up, was seen by our men, who had seized the camp, and suddenly everythingchanged. Pompey's legion, encouraged by the expectation of speedy support, began trying to resist at the rear gate, and, of their own accord, made an attack on our men. Caesar's cavalry, as they were climbing along the entrenchments by a narrow passage, fearing for their (line of) retreat, began to flee (lit. made a beginning of flight). The right wing, which had been cut off from the left, the cavalry's panic having been observed, in order that they should not be overwhelmed inside the fortifications, began to withdraw by that route through which they had rushed forward, and most of them threw themselves headlong from the ten-foot rampart into the trenches, lest they should fall into the narrow passages, and,the first (of them) having been trampled down, the rest procured safety and a means of escape (lit. a way out) for themselves by means of their bodies. The soldiers on the left wing, when they perceived from the rampart that Pompey was close at hand, and that their men were fleeing, fearing lest they might be cut off by the narrow passages, since they had the enemy outside and inside (the fortifications), began to plan their retreat by the same direction whither they had come, and everything was full of turmoil, consternation (and) flight, to such an extent that, when Caesar grasped (lit. took hold with his hand of) the standards of those fleeing and ordered (them) to halt, some, their horses at the gallop (lit.[the reins of] their horses having been released), continued to flee in the same direction, (and) others, out of fear, even dropped their standards, nor did anyone halt at all.

Chapter 70.  Among these very great troubles, compensating factors occurred, whereby our entire army was not destroyed, inasmuch as Pompey, fearing an ambush, because, I suppose, those things had happened contrary to the expectations of someone who had, (only) a little time before, seen his own men fleeing from the camp, did not venture to approach the entrenchments for some time, and (as) his cavalry was delayed by the narrow passage-ways, and moreover by these having been occupied by Caesar's troops. Thus, trivial circumstanceshad great consequences for both sides. For the (line of) fortifications,(which had been) drawn from the camp to the river, interrupted Caesar's victory, (which), Pompey's camp having already been stormed, (was) now almost at hand, (and) the same circumstance,with the speed of those pursuing having been impeded, brought safety to our men.

Chapter 71.  In these two battles in one day, Caesar lost nine hundred and sixty soldiers and some notable Roman knights, Tuticanus Gallus, the son of a senator, Gaius Felginas from Placentia, Aulus Granius from Puteoli, (and) Marcus Sacrativir from Capua, five military tribunes and thirty-two centurions. But the great part of all of these men perished without any wound, having been crushed in the trenches and on the fortifications and on the banks of the river; and thirty-two military standards were lost. Pompeius was hailed as 'imperator', and afterwards allowed himself to be so greeted, but he was neither accustomed to make use (of it) in his letters, nor to display the badge of laurel in his fasces. But Labienus, when he had obtained agreement from him that the prisoners should be handed  over to him, (and after) all (of them) had been brought out, as it seemed, for the sake of display, in order that (lit. by which [means]) confidence (in him as) a deserter might be regarded (as) greater, addressing (them as) fellow-soldiers and asking them in insulting terms (lit. with great insult in words) whether veteran soldiers were in the habit of fleeing, put (them) to death in the sight of all.

Chapter 72.   So much confidence and  spirit came to the Pompeians as a result of these events that they did not ponder over their strategy for the war, but they appeared to themselves to have been victorious already. They did not consider that the small number of our soldiers, the difficulty of our position and its confined space, the camp having been occupied (by them) before, and the two-fold fear (of attack) within and without the fortifications, nor that our army (had been) separated into two parts, when one part could not bring assistance to the other, had been the reasons (for our defeat). They did not add to these (considerations) that there had been fighting (lit. [it had been] fought) not in accordance with a vigorous assault, nor a battle, having happened, and that our own men had brought greater loss on themselves from their (small) number and their confined space than they had received from the enemy. Lastly, they did not remember the common misfortune of war, how often trifling causes, whether through false suspicion or sudden panic or interposing religious scruple, have inflicted great damage, or how often an army had come to grief (lit. it had come to grief within an army) due to the failings of a general or the fault of a tribune. But, just as if they had been victorious through their own valour, or (as though) no reversal of fortunes could occur, they made known their victory on that day through out the world (lit. orbit of the earth) by word of mouth (lit. by report) and by despatches.

Chapter 73.  Caesar, having been driven away from his previous intentions, thought that he should change his whole strategy for the war (lit. that his whole strategy for the war was needing to be changed by him). And so, at one (and the same) moment, all his guard-posts having been led back, and the blockade having been abandoned, and the army having been mustered in one spot, he held a discourse with his soldiers and encouraged (them) not to suffer (too) seriously (from) what had happened, nor to be alarmed by these events, but to put this one setback, and that a moderate (one), against their many successful engagements.(He said) that they should give thanks to fortune (lit. that thanks was needing to be given to fortune [by them]), that they had taken Italy without some bloodshed, that they had pacified the two Spanish (provinces) belonging to the most warlike of men with the most skilled and experienced of generals, (and) that they had brought back under their control the neighbouring provinces (which were) full of corn (i.e. Thessaly, Aetolia and Macedonia). Lastly, that they should remember with what good fortune they had all been transported safely (lit. unharmed) through the midst of the enemy's fleets, with not only the ports but also the coasts having been filled (with their soldiers). But if not everything turned out favourably, that they should assist fortune (lit. that fortune was needing to be assisted) by their industry. That whatever loss had been sustained should be attributed to the fault of anyone at all rather than to his own. (He declared) that he had given (them) level ground for fighting, that he had taken possession of the enemy's camp, that he had driven (them) out, and overcome (them in the) fighting. But whetheric their own anxiety, or some mistake, or even fortune (itself) had interrupted a victory (that was) almost achieved and about to happen, that they all needed to make an effort (lit. that an effort was needing to be made by all [of them]), in order to repair the damage through their valour. But if this were to be done, that it would turn out, as it had happened at Gergovia, that their loss would turn to their benefit, and that (those) who had been afraid to fight before would offer themselves for battle voluntarily.   

Chapter 74.  This discourse having been held, he marked several standard-bearers with disgrace, and demoted (them) (lit. moved [them] in rank). Indeed, such great grief on account of this setback and such great zeal to repair their disgrace (lit. for their disgrace being repaired) had come upon the whole army that no one felt the want of an order either from a tribune or a centurion, but each man imposed on himself even heavier labours (then usual) in place of punishment, and, at the same time, they were all burning with desire for fighting, while some men of higher rank, influenced by (considerations of) strategy, also thought that they should remain in that place (lit. that it was needing to be kept in that place [by them]), and that the issue should (lit. was needing to) be committed to battle. On the other hand (lit. Against this), Caesar was not sufficiently confident in his demoralised troops and thought that that they should be given some time to lay revive their spirits (lit. that an interval (of time) was needing to be interposed for their spirits to be revived), andhe was exceedingly anxious about the corn supply, with the fortifications having been abandoned. 

 VIII.   Caesar moves to Thessaly (Chapters 75-81).

Chapter 75.   And so, without delay (lit. no delay having elapsed), account having been taken of the wounded and sick only, he sent all the baggage ahead in silence early in the night from the camp to Apollonia, and told (them) not to stop before the journey (had been) completed. One legion was sent as their escort. These operations having been accomplished,he retained two legions in the camp, sent the rest ahead, (after they had been) led out through several gates during the fourth watch, by the same route, (and then) a little later (lit. a small interval [of time] having elapsed), in order both to preserve military procedure, and (so that) his setting out might be discovered as late as possible, ordered that the signal be given (for striking camp), and, leaving at once and following the rear of the column, hesoon disappeared out of sight of the camp. Nor, indeed, did Pompey, his (i.e. Caesar's) plans having been ascertained, effect any delay in following (him), but, looking in the same direction, (to see) if he could catch (them) on a march hampered with baggage and frightened, he led his army out of camp and sent his cavalry ahead to delay the rear of our column (lit. for the purpose of the rear of our column being delayed), but he could not overtake (it), because Caesar, on a march unencumbered with baggage, had got a long way ahead. But when they reached (lit. it was come to) the river Genusus, because, the banks (being) steep (lit. difficult), their cavalry had caught up our hindmost men, it detained(them) in battle. Caesar set his own cavalry against them, and mixed in (with them) four hundred of his front-line light-armed men, who made such good progress that, battle with their cavalry having been joined, they drove (them) all back and killed several (of them), and retired (lit. they betook themselves) to the column without loss (lit. unharmed).

 Chapter 76.  The exact march, which he had proposed for that day, having been completed, and his army having been led across the river Genusus, Caesar took up position in his old camp opposite Asparagium, and kept all his foot-soldiers within the rampart of the camp, and ordered the cavalry, (which had been) sent out for the purpose of foraging, to return without delay by the rear gate. In like manner, Pompey, his march on that day having been completed, took up his position in his old camp near Asparagium. His soldiers, because they were free from construction work, the fortifications (being) intact, some proceededsome distance for the sake of fetching wood and fodder, others, a large part of the beasts of burden and the baggage having been left behind, because they had taken the decision to go out in a hurry, (and) having been induced by the proximity of their former camp to recover these things (lit. with the purpose of these things being brought back), their arms having been deposited in their tents, left their entrenchments. These men having been hampered from pursuit, (something) which Caesar had foreseen, at about the time of midday, the signal for marching having been given, he led out his army, and, that day's march having been doubled, he advanced about eight miles (lit. thousand paces) from his position. Pompeycould not do this owing to the departure of his troops.

Chapter 77.  Similarly on the next day, Caesar, the baggage having been sent forward early in the night, departed himself just after the fourth watch, so that, if he should be forced to fight (lit. if any necessity for fighting should be imposed [upon him]), he should meet the sudden emergency with his army unencumbered. He did this same thing on succeeding days. By these means he ensured (lit. it was effected) that, although the rivers were very deep and the routes very difficult (lit. the rivers [being] very deep and the routes very difficult), he received no setback. For Pompey, a delay having been incurred on the first day, and his efforts having been undertaken in vain on the succeeding days, when he exerted himself by forced marches and was keen to catch up with those (who had) got ahead (of him), on the fourth day made an end of the pursuit, and decided that he should adopt another plan (lit. another plan was needing to be adopted by him).

Chapter 78.  It was necessary for Caesar to go to Apollonia to deposit the wounded, pay the army, encourage his allies, (and) leave garrisons (lit. for the purpose of the wounded being deposited, pay being given to the army, the allies being encouraged, [and] garrisons being left) in the cities. But he assigned to these matters only as much time as was necessary for (a man) in a hurry (lit. for a hurrying [man]). Being anxious for Domitius, lest he should be surprised by Pompey's arrival, he hastened towards him with all speed and urged on by eagerness. However, his strategy for the entire campaign was based on the following considerations: that, if Pompey marched by the same route, he could force him, (once he had been) taken away from the sea coast and from those supplies which he had prepared at Dyrrachium, and (had been) removed from his corn and his provisions, to fight with him on equal terms of warfare; if he were to cross over into Italy, his army having joined forces (lit. having been united with) Domitius, he could march through Illyricum to the relief of Italy; (and) if he tried to attack Apollonia and Oricum and exclude him from the whole sea coast, he could, Scipio having been besieged, force him to bring help to him of necessity. Accordingly, messengers having been sent ahead, Caesar wrote to Gnaeus Domitius andpointed out what he wished to be done, and (a number of) cohorts having been left as garrisons, four at Apollonia, one at Lissus, (and) three at Oricum, and (those) who had been disabled on account of their wounds having been deposited, he began to make his march through Epirus and Athamania. Pompey also, guessing (lit. judging through conjecture) about Caesar's intentions, considered that he should hasten to Scipio (lit. that it was needing to be hastened to Scipio by him), if Caesar should direct his march thither in order to bring help to Scipio, (but,) if he should be unwilling to quit (lit. depart from) the sea coast and Oricum, because he was waiting for legions and cavalry from Italy, (then) he himself might attack Domitius with all his forces.

Chapter 79.  For these reasons, each of them applied himself to speed, both in order that he might be of assistance to his own (forces), and so that he might not miss an opportunity of time for crushing his enemies (lit. for his enemies being crushed). But (his engagements) atApollonia had diverted Caesar from the direct route; Pompey (on the other hand) had an easy march through Candavia into Macedonia. Another unexpected difficulty arose because Domitius, who for several days had had his camp placed near to Scipio's camp, had left (lit. departed from) that place and had (then) made a march to Heraclia Sentica, which is near to Candavia, as fortune itself seemed to expose him to Pompey. At that time, Caesar was unaware of this. At the same time, letters having been despatched by Pompey through all the provinces and states (telling) about the battle (which had) happened at Dyrrachium (in) much more enlarged and exaggerated (terms) than the (actual) events had justified, (and) a rumour had spread abroad that Caesar (had been) driven to flee, with almost all his forces having been lost.  These (reports) had made the roads dangerous (and) had turned some of these states from their alliance with him. Due to these things it happened that those sent by several routes from Caesar to Domitius, and from Domitius to Caesar, could by no means complete their journey. But the Allobroges and the associates of Roucillus and Aegus, whom we have shown (as) having fled to Pompey, having caught sight of Domitius' scouts on the road, either on account of their old acquaintance, as they had waged war together in Gaul, or (through being) puffed up with vainglory, set forth everything which had happened, andtold (them) of Caesar's setting out and Pompey's approach. Having been informed (lit. made more sure) by these (scouts), Domitius, (who was) scarcely ahead (of them) (lit. preceding [them]) by an interval of four hours, avoided the danger by the kindness of the enemy, andcame to meet Caesar, (as he was) coming (on his march), at Aeginium, which is on the way to and opposite Thessaly.   

Chapter 80.  His army having been united, Caesar arrived at Gomphi, which is the first town in Thessaly, (as one is) coming from Epirus. The people there had sent ambassadors to Caesar on their own initiative a few months before, (saying) that he might make use of all their resources, and had sought a garrison of soldiers from him. But the report, which we have spoken of above, concerning the battle of Dyrrachium, which it had exaggerated in many aspects, had already preceded him . And so, Androsthenes, the ruler of Thessaly, since he preferred to be the associate of Pompey in victory (rather) than the ally of Caesar in adverse circumstances, gathered all the large number of slaves and freemen from the countryside, and closed the gates, and sent messengers to Scipio and Pompey, (asking them) to come to his aid: (he said) that he could rely on the fortifications of the town, if he were relieved quickly; (but that he) could not withstand a lengthy investment. The departure of the armies from Dyrrachium having been ascertained, Scipio had taken his legions to Larissa; (and) Pompey was not yet nearing Thessaly. Caesar, his camp having been fortified, orderedscaling ladders and penthouses, and screens to be made, for a sudden assault. These things having been done, (while) exhorting his soldiers, he told (them) how much advantage might be had with regard to relieving their shortage of supplies (lit. with regard to their shortage of supplies being relieved) by their taking possession of a well-stocked and wealthy town, (and) at the same time (how much) terror they might strike into other states through the example of this town, and (how) this should be done speedily, before any help could rush in. Accordingly, taking advantage of the exceptional enthusiasm of his soldiers, beginning to attack the town, (despite) its very high walls, after the ninth hour on the same day on which he had arrived, he stormed (it) before sunset (lit. the setting of the sun), and gave (it) to his soldiers for the purpose of plundering, and at once moved his camp from the town and went to Metropolis, so that he preceded any messengers and reports of the town having been stormed.

Chapter 81.  The inhabitants of Metropolis, having been influenced by the same rumours, (and) at first employing the same plan, shut their gates, and manned their walls with armed men, but soon afterwards, the fate of the state of Gomphi having been ascertained from some prisoners, whom Caesar had caused to be brought up to the wall, they opened their gates. These people having been preserved with very great care, (and) the good fortune of the people of Metropolis having been compared with the fate of the inhabitants of Gomphi,there was no state in Thessaly, except the people of Larissa, who were being held by the very large contingents of Scipio, that did not obey Caesar and carry out (lit. but that it obeyed and carried out) his commands. He, finding a suitable place in that countryside for the provision of corn, which was now almost ripe, decided to await Pompey's arrival there and to make it (lit. confer upon it) his entire theatre of operations (lit. strategy) for the war.

IX.  Pompey follows (Chapters 82-84). 

Chapter 82.  Pompey arrived in Thessaly a few days afterwards, and, (when) giving an address to his whole army, he gave thanks to his own men, (and) he exhorted Scipio's soldiers, that, with victory now having been secured, they should wish to be participants in the booty and the rewards, and, all his legions having been admitted into one camp, he shared the honour (of command) with Scipio, and ordered the trumpet to be sounded at his (i.e. Scipio's) tent, and another commander's tent to be pitched for him. Pompey's forces having been increased, and two great armies having been united, his former reputation wasconfirmed with everyone, to such an extent that, whatever time should elapse, that seemed (merely) to delay their return to Italy, and, if ever Pompey did anything rather slowly or with a degree of caution, they would declare that it was the business of a single day, but that he took pleasure in command and having ex-consuls and ex-praetors in the number of his slaves. And they now began to dispute openly among themselves about military commands or about priesthoods, and they designated (people to) the consulship for (several) years (to come), (and) some were laying claim to the houses and property of those who were in Caesar's camp; and there was great controversy among them in their council-of-war, as to whether the registration of (Quintus) Lucilius Hirrus (as a candidate) in his absence at the next praetorian election ought to be allowed, as he had been sent by Pompey against the Parthians, when his friends were imploring Pompey's assurance that he would fulfil (the undertakings) which he had received (when) departing, so that he should not appear (to have been) cheated by means of his authority, (but) the rest were objecting that one man should not take precedence over all (those who had been) amidst equal toils and dangers.

Chapter 83.  (Lucius) Domitius (Ahenobarbus), Scipio, and (Publius Cornelius) Lentulus Spinther, in their daily quarrels about Caesar's priesthood, had already descended openly to the most virulent verbal invective, when Lentulus proffered the respect due to his age, Domitius boasted of his influence and prestige in the city, (and) Scipio was relying on his relationship with Pompey. Acutius Rufus even charged Lucius Afranius before Pompey with betrayal of the army, (something) which he declared had happened in Spain. Domitius said in the council that he was resolved (lit. it seemed good to him) that three tablets should be given for judgment to those who were in the senatorial order and who had been present together with them in the war, (so that) they could pass sentence on each one (of them) who had remained in Rome, and (each one) who had been within Pompey's garrisons but had taken no part in the military action: one would be (for those) who voted that (they) should be freed from all peril, the second (for those) who were wishing to condemn (them) to loss of civic rights, (and) the third (for those) who wished to punish (them) with a fine. In short,they were all busying themselves either with their own advancement (lit. offices) or with monetary rewards or with pursuing their enemies (lit. their enemies being pursued), andthey were not considering by what means they could win victory, but in what manner they should make use of victory.

Chapter 84.  A corn supply having been arranged, and his soldiers' (morale) having been strengthened, and a long enough period of time having elapsed from the battle at Dyrrachium, so that it appeared (to him) that the spirit of his troops had been sufficiently observed, he considered that he ought to put to the test whatever intention or wish Pompey had for joining battle (lit. that Pompey's intention or wish to join battle was needing to be put to the test). Accordingly, he led his army out of camp and drew up a battle-line, at first on their own ground, and some distance away from Pompey's camp, but on succeeding days (in such a way) that he advanced from his own camp and brought up his battle-line under Pompey's hills. This action made his army more confident every day. However, with regard to his cavalry, he kept to his former tactic, as we have described (see Chapter 75), so that, since they were in many degrees inferior in number, he ordered some young and light-armed infantrymen, (who had been) selected from the front-line men for their swiftness in battle, to fight with the cavalry, (and) they, through daily practice, also acquired a familiarity with this kind of fighting. By these means it was brought about that a thousand cavalrymen might venture, even on rather open ground, to withstand a charge of seven thousand Pompeians, when the need was present, nor were they greatly dismayed by the large number of them. For, indeed, even during these days, he undertook a successful cavalry battle, and killed, (together) with certain (others), one Allobrogian out of the two, whom we have mentioned above (see Chapter 60) as having deserted to Pompey.

X.  The battle of Pharsalus (Chapters 85-101). 


Chapter 85.  Pompey, who had his camp on a hill, drew up his battle-line on the lowest spurs of the mountain, all the time waiting, as it seemed, (to see) if Caesar would expose himself to unfavourable ground. Caesar, thinking that Pompey could by no means be lured into battle, decided that this was the most appropriate method of (conducting) the war, (namely) to move his camp from that spot and always to be on the march, with this in mind (lit. bearing these things in mind), that by moving his camp (lit. by his camp being moved) and by going to several places (lit. by several places being gone to) he should enjoy a more advantageous corn supply, and, at the same time, that (by being) on the march he might get some opportunity for fighting a battle, and (that) by daily marches he might exhaust Pompey's army, (which was) unaccustomed to toil. These matters having been decided, the signal for marching having already been given and the tents having been struck, he (lit. it was) noticed that Pompey's battle-line had advanced a little further forward (than usual) beyond its daily practice, so that he could fight a battle without being (lit. so that it could be fought not) in an unfavourable position. Then, Caesar said to his men, when the column was already at the gates, "We must put off the march (lit. The march is needing to be put off by us) for the time being, and we must think about battle (lit. it is needing to be thoughtabout battle), just as we have always asked for. Let our minds be ready (lit. let us be readyin mind) for battle; we shall not easily find an opportunity afterwards." And he immediatelyled out his forces lightly armed.

Chapter 86.   Pompey also, as it was afterwards learned, with the encouragement of all his (friends), had decided to engage in battle. For indeed he had even declared in council during the preceding days that, before the battle-lines should clash together, it would happen that Caesar's army would be routed. When most people were surprised at this, he said, "I knowthat I am promising something (that is) almost incredible; but listen to the tactics of my plan, so that (lit. by which means) you may go into battle with a more confident spirit. I have persuaded our cavalry, and they have confirmed to me that they will do it, that, when the armies are within quite close range (lit. it has been approached quite closely), they should attack Caesar's right wing on its exposed flank, and, their battle-line having been surrounded from the rear, rout their army, (after it has been) thrown into confusion, before any missile should be hurled at the enemy by us. In this way we shall put an end to the war without any risk to our legions and almost without any casualties. However, this is not difficult, since we are so very strong in cavalry." At the same time he gave them notice that their minds should be ready (for battle) (lit. that they should be ready in mind [for battle]) on the following day, and since the opportunity for fighting a battle, as they had often been eagerly requesting, was come, (he exhorted them) not to disappoint their own expectations nor (those) of others.

Chapter 87.  Labienus came after him, in order, when he had belittled Caesar's forces, to extol Pompey's plan with the highest praises: "Do not (lit. Be unwilling to) think, Pompey,"he said, "that this is the army which totally conquered Gaul and Germany. I took part in all the battles and I am not speaking thoughtlessly about something (of which I am) ignorant. A very small part of that army (now) survives, a large part (of it) has gone completely, (something) which was bound to happen with so many battles, the autumn pestilence in Italycarried off many, many have left for home, (and) many have been left behind on the continent. Have you not heard that the cohorts at Brundisium are made up out of those who remained by reason of ill-health? These forces which you see (now) were recruited from the levies in Cisalpine (lit. Hither) Gaul during those years, and the majority are from the colonies north of the Po. Moreover, what was the pick (of them) perished in the two battles at Dyrrachium." When he had said these things, he swore an oath that he would not return to camp except (as) a victor, and he exhorted the others to do the same. Praising this (proposal), Pompey swore the same (oath); nor indeed did was there anyone among the rest (of them) who hesitated to swear. When these things had happened in the council, they broke up (lit. it was broken up) amidst great hope and the joy of all; and in their minds they were already anticipating victory, as it seemed that no assurance could be given in vain concerning so important a matter and by so experienced a general.   

Chapter 88.  
When Caesar approached Pompey's camp, he observed that his battle-line (had been) drawn up in the following manner: on the left wing were the two legions (which had been) handed over by Caesar at
the beginning of the dispute in accordance with the decree of the Senate; of these, one was called the First, (and) the other the Third. Pompey himself was at that location. Scipio was holding the centre of the line with his Syrian legions. The Cilician legion, having been joined together with the Spanish cohorts, which we have mentioned (had been) brought over by Afranius, were stationed on the right wing. Pompey believed that these were (lit. that he had these [as]) his steadiest (cohorts). He had interspersed the rest between the centre of line and the wings, and he made up his cohorts to the number of a hundred and ten. Thesewere forty-five thousand (men), (plus) about two (thousand) recalled veterans, who, (coming) from the privileged soldiers of former armies, had flocked to (join) him; he dispersed these throughout the (lit. in the whole) battle-line. He stationed the remaining seven cohorts as a guard for the camp and the neighbouring forts. A certain river with steep banks (i.e. the Enipeus) was protecting his right wing; for this reason he placed all his cavalry, and all his archers and slingers, on the left wing.

Chapter 89.   Caesar, maintaining his previous arrangement, had stationed the Tenth legion on the right wing, and the Ninth on the left, although it had been severely weakened by the battles at Dyrrhacium, and he attached the Eighth to it in such a way that he almost made one (legion) out of the two, and he ordered one to be of assistance to the other. He hadeighty cohorts stationed in the battle-line, the sum of which was twenty-two thousand (men); he left seven cohorts as a garrison for the camp. He put Antony in charge of the left wing, Publius Sulla the right, and Gnaeus Domitius the centre of the line. He himself took up his position opposite Pompey. At the same time, those dispositions (of the enemy), as we have mentioned, having been noticed, (and) fearing lest his right wing might be surrounded by the large number of their cavalry, he rapidly extracted one cohort from each (legion) in the third line, and from them established a fourth (line) and placed (it) opposite the cavalry, and gave (them) his instructions (lit. made known what he wished to be done), and warnedthat victory on that day would depend on the valour of those cohorts. At the same time, he commanded the third line, and the army as a whole, not to charge without his order; (andhe said) that he would give them a signal with his flag when he wished that to happen. 

Chapter 90.  When he was exhorting his army to battle, in accordance with military custom, and was proclaiming his good services to them at all times, he especially recalled that he could call (lit. employ) his soldiers (as) witnesses to the great earnestness with which he had sought peace, what (efforts) he had made through Vatinius by conversations (with Labienus), what (efforts he had made) through Aulus Clodius (by conversations) with Scipio, (and) in what ways he had striven with Libo with regard to envoys being sent. (He said) that he had never wished to spill soldiers' blood, nor to deprive the republic of this or the other army.This speech having been delivered, he gave the signal to his soldiers (who were) demanding (it) and (who were) burning with desire for battle.

Chapter 91.  There was in Caesar's army a recalled veteran (named Gaius) Crastinus, a man of surpassing valour, who in the previous year had or marched with him (as) the primipilus (i.e. senior centurion) in the Tenth legion. The signal having been given, this man said, "Follow me, (those of you) who were men in my maniple (i.e. company) and give service to your commander as you have resolved. Only this one battle is left; this having been completed, he (will recover) his dignity and we shall recover our liberty." At the same time. looking back at Caesar, he said, "I shall act to day, General, in such a manner that you will give thanks to me, either alive or dead." When he had said these things, he was the first on the right wing to charge (lit. he charged first on the right wing), and about a hundred and twenty chosen troops, volunteers from this century, followed him.

Chapter 92.  Between the two battle-lines there was so much space left that there was enough for a charge by both armies. But Pompey had ordered his men to await Caesar's assault, and not to budge (lit. move themselves) from their position and allow their battle-line to be disrupted; and he was said to have done this on the advice of Gaius (Valerius) Triarius, in order that the initial charge and impact (lit. force) of their (i.e. Caesar's) soldiers might be broken, and their battle-line stretched out, and (so that) they (i.e. the Pompeians), (still) arranged in their ranks, might attack (them while they were) disordered. And he expected that their javelins would do less damage (lit. fall more lightly) than if,these missiles having been discharged, they should be running forward themselves, (and) at the same time that it would happen that Caesar's soldiers, through running twice the distance (lit. by a double run), would be out of breath and exhausted by fatigue. It seemedto us that this was done by Pompey without sufficient reason, on account of the fact that there is a certain eagerness of spirit in everyone, which is inflamed by desire for battle. Generals ought not to repress this, but to encourage (it); nor was it instituted of old in vain, that signals from all sides should sound together and everyone raise a war-cry; by these means, they thought that the enemy would be scared and one's own men inspired. 

Chapter 93.  But, when, the signal having been given, our troops ran forward with their javelins couched (lit. with hostile javelins), and noticed that Pompey's men were not running to meet them (lit. that it was not being run to meet [them] by Pompey's men), they, (being) experienced through practice and trained in previous battles, checked their charge of their own accord and halted at almost the mid-point of the space (between them), lest they should arrive with their strength exhausted, and, a short space of time having elapsed, andtheir charge having been renewed again, they discharged their javelins, and quickly drewtheir swords, as they (lit. it) had been ordered by Caesar. Nor indeed were the Pompeiansfound wanting in the circumstances. For they both caught the missiles (which had been) discharged (at them) and bore the onset of the legions, and they kept their ranks, and, their javelins having been released, reverted to their swords. At the same time, all the cavalrygalloped forward from Pompey's left wing, as they (lit. it) had been instructed, and a whole horde of archers rushed forth. Our cavalry did not withstand their attack, but, having been dislodged from their position, they withdrew a little, and Pompey's cavalry beganto press them the more vigorously, and to deploy (lit. spread themselves out) in squadrons, and to surround our battle-line on its exposed flank. When Caesar observed this, he gave the signal to the fourth line, which he had arranged in the number of six cohorts. They rushed forward quickly, and with hostile standards made an attack on Pompey's cavalry with such great force that not one of them could withstand (it), and they all, wheeling around, not only abandoned their position, but spurred on, forthwith, by flight, they sought the highest mountains. These men having been withdrawn, all the archers and slingers, having been left defenceless (and) without protection, were slain. In the same attack the cohorts encircled the left wing, with the Pompeians in the battle-line still fighting and resisting, and attacked them in the rear.

Chapter 94.  At the same time, Caesar ordered his third line, which had been inactive and had remained (lit. held itself) in its position up to that time, to advance. So, when fresh and unscathed men took the place of weary (ones), and others were attacking (them) from the rear, the Pompeians could not hold out, and they all fled (lit. turned their backs). Nor indeed was Caesar mistaken (lit. had it deceived Caesar) in thinking that the origin of victory would arise from those cohorts which had been placed in the fourth line to oppose (lit. opposite) the cavalry, as he himself had publicly declared in encouraging his men (lit. in his men being encouraged). For, in the first place, the cavalry were repulsed by them, the slaughter of the archers and slingers (was) carried out by them, (and) the Pompeian battle-line was surrounded from the left wing and the beginning of the rout (was) effected by them. But, when Pompey saw that his cavalry (had been) routed, and observed that that part (of his army) upon which he especially relied (was) panic-stricken, despairing of the others,he quitted the battle-field, and at once rode (lit. conveyed himself by horse) to his camp, and said loudly to those centurions, whom he had placed in post at the praetorian gate, in order that the soldiers could hear, "Guard the camp and defend (it) diligently, if anything rather awkward should occur. I am going round to the other gates and will make sure of the camp's guards." When he had said these things, he rode (lit. conveyed himself) to his tent, nervous in the highest degree, and yet (still) awaiting the outcome. 

Chapter 95.  The Pompeians having been driven in their flight within their entrenchments, Caesar, thinking that no respite (lit. interval) should be given to (them) in their panic,exhorted his soldiers to take advantage of the kindness of fortune and attack the camp. Although exhausted by the great heat - for the battle had been prolonged up to midday - yet they, ready in their minds for every (sort of) toil, obeyed his command. The camp waszealously defended by the cohorts which had been left there as a garrison, and even more keenly by the Thracian and foreign auxiliaries. For the majority of the troops who had fled for refuge from the battle-field, both terrified in spirit and exhausted by fatigue, their arms and military standards having been dropped, were thinking more about further flight than about defence of the camp. Nor indeed, could (those) who had been stationed on the rampart sustain the multitude of missiles any longer, but, weakened by their wounds, they abandoned their position, and employing their centurions and military tribunes (as) guides,they fled together to the highest hill-tops, which extended to their camp.

.Chapter 96.  In Pompey's camp, one could (lit. it was permitted to) see pavilions (which had been) erected, a great weight of silver (which had been) laid out, tents (which had been) spread with sods of turf, the tents of Lucius Lentulus and several others (which had) even (been) covered with ivy, and many things besides, which indicated too much luxury and a confidence in victory, so that it could readily be inferred that those who were acquiring these unnecessary pleasures had no fears at all concerning the outcome of that day. But these men reproached Caesar's most wretched and most long-suffering army, which had been all the time lacking everything with regard to indispensable necessity, with self-indulgence. When our men were already busy inside their rampart, Pompey, finding a horse, (and) his general's insignia having been stripped off, rushed (lit. flung himself) out of his camp by the rear gate, and at once hastened to Larissa at the gallop (lit. his horse having been spurred on). Nor did he stop there, but with the same speed, collecting a few of his men in his flight, his nocturnal journey not having been interrupted, he reached the sea in the company of thirty cavalrymen, and embarked upon a grain-ship, all the time complaining, as it was said, that he had been so greatly mistaken (lit. that it had so greatly deceived him) in his opinion that he appeared almost (to have been) betrayed, the beginning of the flight having been caused  by the very kind of men from whom he had expected victory.

Chapter 97.  Caesar, having taken possession of the camp, entreated his soldiers, that, (being) intent upon plunder, they should not let slip the opportunity of undertaking the rest of their task (lit. for the rest of their task being undertaken). Their consent having been obtained, he began to invest the hill with an entrenchment. As the hill was without any water, the Pompeians, despairing of this position, (and) the hill having been abandoned, allbegan to retreat along its ridges towards Larissa. This action having been noticed, Caesardivided his forces, and ordered some of the legions to stay in Pompey's camp, sent othersback to his own camp, (and) took four legions with him and started to intercept the Pompeians by a more convenient route, and, having advanced six miles (lit. thousand paces),he drew up his battle-line. This action having been noticed, the Pompeians halted on a certain hill. A river flowed past the foot of the hill. Caesar, having exhorted his troops, although they were tired due to their continual labour all day and night was coming on, nevertheless cut off the river from the hill by an entrenchment, so that the Pompeians could not fetch water during the night. This work having been completed, they, envoys having been sent, began to talk about surrender. A few men of senatorial rank, who had joined (lit. united themselves to) them, sought safety during the night.

Chapter 98.  At dawn (lit. first light) Caesar ordered all those who had encamped on the hill to come down from the higher ground to the plain and discard their weapons. When they did this without any objection, and, throwing themselves to the ground weeping, they begged him for mercy with hands outstretched (lit. with open palms), reassuring (them), he ordered them to get up, and, saying a few (words) to them about his leniency, so that they might have less fear (lit. whereby they might exist with less fear), he spared (them) all andcommitted (them) to the protection of his own soldiers, so that none of them should be harmed nor lose any of his (property). This care having been applied, he ordered the other legions in the camp to come and meet him, and those which he had taken with him to rest in their turn and return to the camp, and he arrived at Larissa on the same day.

Chapter 99.  In that battle he was deprived of not more than two hundred men, but he lostaround thirty centurions, (all of them) valiant men. Crastinus, of whom we have made mention above, was also killed, fighting very bravely, a sword having been thrust right into his mouth. Nor was that false, which he had said, (when) marching into battle. For thus Caesar considered that Crastinus' courage in that battle had been most outstanding, andjudged that he deserved very well of him. Of Pompey's army, about fifteen thousand (men)appeared to have fallen, but more than fifteen thousand came into captivity - for the cohorts, which had been in the forts as a garrison, gave themselves up to Sulla -, many besides fled for refuge to the neighbouring states, and a hundred and  eighty military standards and nine eagles were brought to Caesar from that battle. Lucius Domitius, (while) fleeing from the camp on the hill-top, was slain by the cavalry, when his strength failed him die to exhaustion.

Chapter 100.  At the same time, Decimus Laelius came to Brundisium with his fleet, and, with the same tactic, as we have described before (see Chapter 23), (was) employed by Libo, he occupied an island opposite the harbour of Brundisium. Similarly, Vatinius, who was in command at Brundisium, some boats having been decked and fitted out, enticed outLaelius' ships, and, of these, he took one quinquereme and two smaller (vessels) in the narrow (entrances) to the harbour, and likewise he managed to prevent the marines from obtaining water by means of  the cavalry (which he had) stationed (there). But Laelius, taking advantage of a more convenient time of year for sailing, brought up water from Corcyra and Dyrrachium in his transport-ships, nor was he deterred from his mission, norcould he be expelled from the harbour and the island, either by the disgrace of his ships having been lost, nor by the want of necessary provisions, before the battle (which had) occurred in Thessaly (was) known about.

Chapter 101.  At about this time, Cassius came to Sicily with a fleet of Syrians, Phoenicians and Cilicians, and, since Caesar's fleet had been divided into two parts - the praetor Publius Sulpicius (Rufus) was in command of one part by the straits at Vibo, (and) Marcus Pomponius of the other (part) at Messana -, Cassius swooped down on Messana with his ships before Pomponius was aware of his approach, and, finding him in a state of confusion, with no guards and no fixed ranks, the wind (being) strong and favourable, he sent in transport-ships filled with pine-wood and pitch, and tow and other things which are combustible (lit. intended for fire-raising) against Pomponius' fleet, and set fire to thirty-five of his ships, of which twenty were decked. And so great a panic arose from this action, that, although there was a legion on guard at Messana, the town could scarcely be defended, and, if some news of Caesar's victory had not been brought by the cavalry (which had been) stationed (there), the majority (of people) were of the opinion that it would have been lost (lit. it would have been that it was lost). But, the news having been brought very opportunely, the town was defended; and Cassius then set out for Sulpicius' fleet at Vibo, and, our ships having beenbrought into land on account of the same fear, (events) happened in the same manner as before; Cassius, obtaining a following wind, sent in about forty transport-ships (which had been) fitted out for fire-raising, and, flames having taken hold on each wing, five ships were consumed. And, when the fire began to creep over a wider distance on account of the force of the wind, the soldiers from the legions of veterans in the ranks of the sick, who had been left on guard over the ships, could not endure the disgrace, but, on their own initiative, got aboard some ships and cast off from the land, and, an attack having been made upon Cassius' fleet, they captured two quinqueremes, on one of which was Cassius, but, having been taken off on a small boat, Cassius escaped; in addition, two triremes were sunk. Not long afterwards news came (lit. it was learned) about the battle (which had) happened in Thessaly, so that even the Pompeians were convinced (lit. so that belief occurred to the Pompeians themselves); for before that time they thought that it had been invented by Caesar's officers and friends. These facts having been ascertained, Cassius departed from these regions with his fleet. 

XI.  Pompey's death (Chapters 102-105).

Chapter 102.  Caesar thought that, all (other) things having been put aside (lit. left), he should pursue Pompey (lit. it was necessary for Pompey to be pursued by him) in whatever direction he had retreated (lit. betaken himself) in his flight, so that he could not raise (lit. procure) any other forces and renew the war, and he advanced daily by as long a march as he could make with the cavalry, and ordered one legion to follow by shorter stages. An edicthad been published in Pompey's name at Amphipolis, to the effect that all the young men of that province, (both) Greeks and Roman citizens, should gather for the purpose of swearing the (military) oath. But whether Pompey had published (this) to avert suspicion (lit. for the sake of suspicion being averted), in order that he could conceal his plan of further flight, or whether he was trying, if no one should stop (him), to keep hold of Macedonia with fresh levies, could not be judged. He lay at anchor for one night, and, his friends at Amphipolis having been summoned to (see) him, and money for essential expenses having been gathered by request and Caesar's approach having been ascertained, he departed from that place, and in a few days came to Mytilene. Having been delayed for two days by a storm, and some pinnaces having been added to his other ships, he arrived at Cilicia, and thence Cyprus. There he learned that, with the agreement of all the people of Antioch and of the Roman citizens who were doing business there, the citadel had been seized with the intention of excluding him (lit. of him being excluded) and that messengers (had been) despatched to those who were said to have retreated (lit. betaken themselves) in flight to the neighbouring states, (telling them) not to go to Antioch; (and that) if they did that, their lives would be in great danger (lit. there would be a great danger to their lives). This same thing happened to Lucius Lentulus, who had been consul in the previous year, and to the ex-consul Publius Lentulus, and to several others at Rhodes; these, when they had come to the island, werenot admitted into the town and port, and, messages having been sent to them that they should leave (lit. depart from) that area, they set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] their ships) (much) against their will. For the news of Caesar's approach was now being brought to these states.

Chapter 103.  These circumstances having been learned about, Pompey, his plan of Syria being visited having been set aside, money having been raised from the companies of tax-farmers and having been taken from certain private individuals, and a great weight of bronze (coins) having been loaded on to the ships for military purposes, and two thousand men having been armed, some whom he had selected from the household slaves of the tax-farmers (and) others (whom) he had gathered from the merchants, and whom each of his (friends) thought suitable for the purpose, reached Pelusium. By chance, King Ptolemy (XIV Dionysus) was there, a boy in age, (when) waging war against (lit. with) his sister Cleopatra (VII), whom a few months before he had expelled from the kingdom by means of his relatives and friends; and Cleopatra's camp was not a long distance away from his camp. Pompey sent (messengers) to him, (asking) that he might be received in Alexandria in return for his hospitality and friendship to his father, and (that) he might be protected by his resources. But (the men) who had been sent by him, the duty of their mission having beencompleted, began to converse quite freely with the King's soldiers, and to urge them to give their services to Pompey, and not to despise his ill-fortune. Among this number were several of Pompey's troops, whom, having been taken from his army in Syria, Gabinius had conducted to Alexandria, and, the war having been finished, he had left with Ptolemy (XIII Auletes), the boy's father.

Chapter 104.  
These things having been learned about, the King's friends, who were in charge of the kingdom on account of his (young) age, either having been induced by fear, as they afterwards declared, lest, the royal army having been suborned, Pompey took control of Alexandria and Egypt, or his ill-fortune having been despised, as enemies generally spring from friends in a calamity, replied generously in public to those, who had been sent by him, and bade him come to the King; (but) they, a plot having been secretly entered into,despatched Achillas, an officer of the King, (and) a man of singular audacity, and Lucius Septimius, a military tribune, to murder Pompey (lit. for the purpose of Pompey being murdered). Having been courteously addressed by them, and having been deluded by some acquaintance with Septimius, who had led a company under him in the war against the pirates, he embarked in a little boat with a few of his (friends); there he was murdered by Achillas and Septimius. Likewise, Lucius Lentulus was seized by the King, and put to death in prison.

Chapter 105.  When Caesar came to Asia, he found that Titus Ampius (Balbus) was trying to remove the money from the temple of Diana at Ephesus, and that he had summoned all the senators from the province, so that he might employ them (as) witnesses to the amount of money (involved), but, having been interrupted, had fled. So, on two occasions, Caesar had saved (lit. brought help to) the money of Ephesus. It was also established that, at the temple of Minerva in Elis, the days having been retraced and enumerated, on the day in which Caesar had fought his successful battle, the image of Victory, which had been placed before Minerva herself, and had hitherto looked towards the image of Minerva, had turned itself around to face (lit. towards) the folding-doors and threshold of the temple. On the same day, at Antioch in Syria such a great noise of an army and (so loud) a sound of (trumpet) signals was heard on two occasions, that the community ran to the walls armed. This same thing happened at Ptolemais (i.e. Acre). And at Pergamum, in the secret and hidden (parts) of the temple, which the Greeks call sanctuaries, (and) in which it is not lawful (for anyone) except priests to go, drums sounded. Likewise, at Tralles, in the temple of Victory, where they had consecrated a statue of Caesar, a palm-tree was shown, during those days, to have sprouted up within the building from the pavement, between the joints of the stones. 

XII.  Caesar at Alexandria (Chapters 106-112).

Chapter 106.  Having stayed in Asia for a few days, Caesar, when he heard that Pompey (had been) seen in Cyprus, conjecturing that he was making his way to Egypt, because of his connections with that kingdom and the other advantages of that place, went to Alexandria with one legion, which he had ordered to follow him from Thessaly, and a second (one), which he had summoned from his legate Quintus Fufius in Achaea, and eight hundred cavalrymen, and ten war-ships (lit. long ships) from Rhodes and a few from Asia. In thesethere were three thousand two hundred legionaries; the rest, having been overcome by wounds in battle and by the toil and the extent of the march, were not able to follow (him). But Caesar, relying on the fame of his exploits (lit. the things which he had done), did nothesitate to set out with inadequate (lit. weak) forces, thinking that all places would be equally safe for him. At Alexandria he learned of Pompey's death, and there, just (as he was) disembarking from his ship, he heard the shouting of soldiers, whom the King had left in the town as a garrison, and saw a mob rushing towards him, because the 'fasces' were being carried before (him). With regard to this, the whole crowd were proclaiming that this was diminishing the majesty of the King. This commotion having been allayed, frequent riotsoccurred on successive days due to the gathering of the crowd, and several soldiers were killed in the streets in all parts of the city.

Chapter 107.  These things having been observed, he ordered that the other legions, which he had formed from Pompey's soldiers, should be brought to him from Asia. For he himselfwas forcibly (lit. of necessity) detained by the Etesian winds, which blow (as) most unfavourable winds for (those) sailing from Alexandria. In the meantime, thinking that the disputes of the sovereigns were matters of concern (lit. pertained) to the Roman people and to himself, because he was consul, and that it was all the more consistent with his duty (to act), because in his earlier consulship an alliance had been made with their father Ptolemy by a law and a decree of the Senate, he made it clear (lit. disclosed) that he had decided (lit. it seemed good to him) that King Ptolemy and his sister Cleopatra should disband their armies and settle debate their disputes before him in a court of law rather than (settle them) by (force of) arms between themselves.

Chapter 108.  Because of the (young) age of the boy, his tutor, a eunuch, Pothinus by name,was in charge of the kingdom. Firstly, he began to complain and express his indignation among his (friends) that the King was being summoned to plead his cause (lit. for the purpose of his cause being pleaded); then, having secured some supporters for his plan from the King's friends, he secretly summoned the army from Pelusium to Alexandria, and put the same Achillas, whom we have mentioned above (see Chapter 104), in charge of all these forces. This man, having been aroused (and) inspired by his promises and by (those) of the King, he gave (him) his instructions (lit. he told [him] what he wished to be done) by despatches and by messengers. In the will of Ptolemy the father, the elder of his two sons, and the one of his two daughters who was the more advanced in age, had been designated (as) his heirs. In the same will, Ptolemy entreated the Roman people, by all the gods and by the treaty which he had made at Rome, to see that these things were carried out. One copy of his will had been taken to Rome by his ambassadors, in order that it might be deposited in the treasury - when this could not be deposited (there) on account of the public seizures, it was lodged with Pompey -, another (copy) from the same original, (which had been) left behind and sealed up in Alexandria, was revealed.

Chapter 109.  When there was a debate (lit. it was debated) about these matters before Caesar, and he very much wanted to settle these disputes between the sovereigns as a friend to both parties and as an arbiter, the King's army and all his cavalry was suddenly reported to be coming to Alexandria. Caesar's forces were by no means so great that he could rely on them, if he should need to fight a battle (lit. if [a battle] was needing to be fought [by him]) outside the town. His remaining recourse was (lit. It remained) to stay (lit. keep himself) in his positions within the town, and to discover Achillas' intentions. However, he ordered all his troops to remain (lit. exist) in arms, and exhorted the King to send (those) of his close associates whom he had with the most influence (as) envoys to Achillas and to make clear (lit. show) what his will was. Dioscorides and Serapion, (the persons) sent by him, who had both been ambassadors at Rome and had had considerable influence with Ptolemy the father, went to Achillas. When they came into his presence (lit. into his sight), before he heard (them) or learned for what purpose they had been sent, he ordered them to be seized and put to death; one of them, a wound having been received, and having been taken up by his (friends), (was) carried off as dead; the other was killed. This having happened, Caesararranged to have the King under his control (lit. in his power), supposing that the King's name would have great authority among his (people), and so that the war would appear (to have been undertaken) as the private (plot) of a few brigands rather than through the design of the King.

Chapter 110.   The forces with Achillas were such that they did not seem worthy to be despised either in number or in quality of men or in their experience of military affairs. Forhe had twenty thousand (men) under arms. These consisted of Gabinius' soldiers, who had become accustomed to (lit. had come into the habit of) the lifestyle and licentiousness of Alexandria, and had disregarded (lit. forgotten) the name and discipline of the Roman people, and had married wives (lit. had led wives [to the altar]), from whom most of them had children. To these were added (men who had been) collected from the pirates and freebooters of Syria and the province of Cilicia and the neighbouring areas. In addition, many convicted criminals (lit. many men condemned to death) and exiles had gathered(there). All our runaway slaves had (lit. There was to all our runaway slaves) a safe refuge and an assured way of life in Alexandria, (on condition) that, their names having been given, they were enrolled as soldiers (lit. they existed in the number of soldiers). If anyone of them should be apprehended by his master, he was rescued by the common agreement of the soldiers, who themselves averted any violence to their (comrades) because they were involved in a similar guilt. They were accustomed to demand that friends of the King (be put) to death, they (were accustomed) to plunder the property of the wealthy, to besiege the King's palace for the sake of increasing their pay (lit. their pay being increased), to expel some from the throne, (and) to summon others (to it) by some ancient practice of the Alexandrian army. There were, besides, two thousand cavalry. They were all veterans ofseveral wars in Alexandria, they had restored Ptolemy the father to his throne (i.e. in 55 B.C.), had killed the two sons of Bibulus (i.e. in 50 B.C.), (and) had waged war against (lit. with) the Egyptians. They had experience of military matters from these sources.

Chapter 111.
  Trusting in these forces, and scorning the small number of Caesar's troops, Achillas occupied Alexandria, except that part of the town which Caesar was holding with his soldiers, trying in his initial assault to burst into his palace. But Caesar, his cohorts having been posted throughout the streets, withstood his attack. At the same time, there was fighting (lit. it was fought) at the harbour, and this affair produced by far the most severe struggle. For, the forces having been divided, fighting was going on (lit. it was being fought) in several streets, and the enemy were attempting with their large multitude (of men) to take control of the war-ships (lit. long ships). Fifty of these had been sent as assistance to Pompey, and, the battle in Thessaly having taken place, they had returnedhome, all (of them) quadriremes and quinqueremes, suitably equipped and fitted out for sailing in all circumstances, except those twenty-two, all (of them) decked, which were accustomed to be in Alexandria for its protection.  If they were to seize these, Caesar's fleet having been taken (from him), they would have the harbour and the whole sea in their power, and would prevent Caesar from (procuring) provisions and reinforcements. Accordingly, (the battle) was conducted with as great an effort as it ought to be conducted, when one side could see victory in this situation, and the other side (could see) that their safety depended (on it). But Caesar kept control of the situation, and set fire to all those ships, and the others which were in the dockyards, because he could not guard so wide (an area) with (so) small a force, and he immediately disembarked his men (lit. put his men outof their ships) by the Pharos.


Chapter 112.  The Pharos is a tower of prodigious height, constructed by wonderful works on an island; it took its name from the island. This island, lying opposite Alexandria, forms a harbour; but, a mole of nine hundred paces in length having been built out into the sea by previous kings, it is joined with the town by a narrow causeway and a bridge. On this islandthere are houses belonging to Egyptians and a village of the size of a town, and, when any ships, through carelessness or through bad weather, depart a little from their course, they (i.e, the inhabitants) are in the habit of plundering (them) like (lit. in the manner of) pirates. But against the will of those by whom the Pharos is held (lit. with those by whom the Pharos is held [being] unwilling), there cannot be any access by ships to the harbour, on account of the narrow straits. Then, being anxious on account of this, Caesar, the enemy having been preoccupied by the fighting, and troops having been disembarked, seized the Pharos and placed a garrison there. By these actions it was arranged that corn supplies and reinforcements could be brought to him by ship. For he had sent around to all the neighbouring provinces and had summoned reinforcements from them. In other parts of the town, the fighting went (lit. it was fought) in such a way that they parted (lit. it was departed) equal in battle, and neither side was overcome - the confined position caused this - and, a few men on both sides having been killed, Caesar, having secured the most essential positions, fortified (them) during the night. In this area of the town there was a small part of the palace, into which he himself had been introduced at the beginning for the purpose of living (quarters), and a theatre (was) joined to the house, which acquired the position of a citadel, and he had access to the harbour and to the royal dockyards. He augmented these fortifications on subsequent days, so that he might have (these) thrown up in place of a wall, and (so that) he might not be compelled to fight against his will (lit. unwillingly). Meanwhile, the younger daughter of King Ptolemy (i.e. Arsinoe), hoping for possession of the throne (while it was) empty, escaped from (lit. flung herself out of) the palace to (join) Achillas, and began to direct the war together (with him). But a quarrel quickly arosebetween them concerning the leadership, and these circumstances increased the bounties (distributed) among the soldiers; for both tried to win over their affections (lit. minds) through their sacrifices. While these things were being done among the enemy, Pothinus, the boy's tutor and the regent of the kingdom, (who was) in Caesar's part of the town, when he sent messengers to Achillas and urged (him) not to desist from the enterprise nor to lose heart, was put to death by Caesar, his intermediaries having been betrayed and apprehended. These (events) were the beginnings of the Alexandrian war.
Read more...

CAESAR: "DE BELLO CIVILI": BOOK III

Published in Latin Translation

THE GREAT CONFRONTATION

Introduction. 


Sabidius has already translated the seven books of the "De Bello Gallico" (The Gallic War)actually attributed to Caesar (Book VIII is thought to have been written by Aulus Hirtius), and these translations can be accessed by readers via Sabidius' site map. He has now translated the third book of the "De Bello Civili" (The Civil War), which is the last of the three books under this title actually written by Caesar, since it is clear that the following three books, entitled the Alexandrian, African and Spanish Wars respectively, were written by others. 
 
Book III of the "De Bello Civili" is easily the longest of Caesar's books and consists of 112 chapters. The content of the Book covers the progress of the War in 48 B.C. Caesar follows Pompey across the Adriatic into Greece, although he experiences some difficulties in the transport from Italy of a large part of his army. After a tense struggle, in which Caesar attempts to blockade Pompey's army around the coastal city of Dyrrhacium, he suffers a significant setback, and is obliged to withdraw his forces deeper inland. Pompey pursues him to Thessaly, and is eventually lured into meeting Caesar in a pitched battle at Pharsalus, where he suffers a disastrous defeat. After fleeing to Egypt, Pompey is murdered on his arrival there. Caesar has followed him, however, and the book ends somewhat abruptly, while Caesar with a small expeditionary force is being besieged in his quarters which are centred around the royal palace at Alexandria. The fact that the book does not end at a natural break point, such as the death of Pompey or Caesar's return to Italy in 47, suggests that the book, and indeed the work as a whole, was never finished, and some have thought that its completion was interrupted by his assassination on the Ides of March 44. Indeed, there is no clear evidence that any of the three books written by Caesar were published in his lifetime, and all that can safely be said is that they were composed during the Civil War itself, with the intention of seeking to win over neutral opinion or those of his antagonists who were not too violently opposed to him. Thus much attention is given by him in Book III to presenting his cause and his actions in the best possible light: for instance, he emphasises the efforts he made to reach an accommodation with Pompey, the many instances of his renowned 'clementia', when he showed mercy to captured opponents, and the readiness of so many Greek towns to open their gates to him, sometimes contrary to the wishes of their Pompeian garrisons. On the other hand he draws attention to many examples of his opponents' unsatisfactory or unreasonable behaviour. Prominent examples of this are Bibulus' cruelty in killing the crews of captured ships (Chapter 8); Libo's insincerity in the negotiations about a truce (Chapter 17); Labienus' sabotaging of peace talks between the soldiers of the two armies (Chapter 19); Scipio's maltreatment of the inhabitants of Pergamum and the province of Asia as a whole (Chapters 31-32); and Labienus' insulting treatment of Caesarian captives after the setback at Dyrrachium (Chapter 71).  Above all, however, is the devastating way in which Caesar exposes the self-seeking and petty-minded behaviour of his senior senatorial opponents immediately prior to the battle of Pharsalus (Chapters 82-83). 

 

From a historical viewpoint, the focal point of Book III is the battle of Pharsalus (see Chapters 85-99), not only the greatest battle of the Civil War of 49-45, but perhaps the most famous battle ever fought between Romans themselves. Indeed in the following century the poet Lucan was to produce his famous work, "Pharsalia", in hexameter verse on this very subject. Caesar's victory was achieved very much against the odds, because he was heavily outnumbered by the army of Pompey, who had 45,000 legionary infantry and 7,000 cavalry in the field against his 22,000 infantry and 1,000 cavalry. Caesar gives careful attention to the drawing up of the battle-lines of both sides, and who was in charge of which sections of the respective fronts. Pompey expected that his preponderance in cavalry would allow him to win the day. His plan was to gather most of his horsemen on his left flank, and, after they had driven Caesar's inferior cavalry forces from the field, to then roll up the exposed right flank of Caesar's battle-line, and thus circumvent the rest of his army. However, Caesar had correctly anticipated Pompey's battle plan, and, in order to forestall it, he withdrew six cohorts from the third line of his infantry drawn up, as they were, in the customary 'triplex acies', in order to form a fourth line, which, posted at an oblique angle a little behind his right wing, and masked by the usual dust-clouds created by the formation of thousands of men, was invisible to the enemy. Pompey's cavalry advanced as expected, quickly pushing back Caesar's cavalry, but, poorly led and in a state of disorder, they were suddenly confronted by Caesar's fourth line, who, using their javelins ('pila') as spears, thrust them into the faces of Pompey's cavalrymen so effectively that they rapidly withdrew from the field in a state of panic. In effect, Caesar had 'trumped' Pompey's 'ace', since the fourth line, having slaughtered Pompey's archers and slingers, who had been left defenceless by their cavalry's precipitate withdrawal, then turned on Pompey's left flank, just at the moment when Caesar ordered his third line, inactive until that point, to advance to the support of his first two lines that had successfully managed to hold their own against Pompey's greater numbers of legionaries. The result was a massacre, an estimated 15,000 Pompeians being killed and 24,000 taken prisoner. A disconsolate Pompey was later reported to have said, with regard to the collapse of his cavalry, that he felt betrayed by them, since the rout had been caused by the very people to whom he had looked to deliver victory; but the real lesson of this battle was that Pompey's army, despite its significantly greater numbers, was no match for Caesar's better trained and more experienced soldiers, with their greater sense of morale, arising surely from their justified belief in the genius of their leader. 
 
Sabidius has already written at some length about Caesar's language in the separate introductions to each of the seven books of the "De Bello Gallico" (see the Site Map to this blog). Once again the Ablative Absolute device is used to a significant extent in Book III of the "De Bello Civili", and in the translation below these are translated literally, and underlined as well. Caesar makes more widespread use of these than most other Latin authors, and this does create some difficulties for the reader. For instance Chapter 103 begins with six of these Ablative Absolute phrases in succession, before the main action of the paragraph can begin. Another device is his use of Indirect Discourse (or Reported Speech). On some occasions there are long passages with no main verbs specified - for instance, in Chapter 10 following the words, "The gist of these proposals was as follows", there are nineteen lines without a main verb specified. (I say 'specified' since verbs of 'thinking' or 'telling' have to be understood). In the translation below, because Sabidius has put the English translations of Latin main verbs into italics, a long piece of Indirect Discourse becomes quickly evident, because no words have been placed in italics for many lines, or, where they do exist, they have been inserted into the narrative in brackets. Indirect Discourse also creates difficulties with regard to the correct tense into which the successive infinitives, or subjunctives, should be translated, and this can become more difficult when Caesar uses the Historic Present, as he frequently does, for vividness or emphasis. In fact each translator has to find his own salvation in these instances, and no general rule can easily be applied. With regard to the Historic Present, as a whole, Sabidius has chosen to translate it into a past tense, for, as he has said elsewhere, its prolonged use can become both confusing and repetitive. In general, however, he follows his usual practice of offering as literal a translation as possible within the context of providing a rendering in English which is readily understandable to the reader. Wherever possible, however, any departure from the literal sense of the Latin words is accompanied by an alternative version in brackets. (This practice is particularly common in the case of gerundives and impersonal verbs.) The purpose of Sabidius' translations remains to facilitate the ready understanding of the meaning of the Latin words and the structure of the Latin sentences. It is Sabidius' belief that colloquial or free translations of the Latin original into allegedly more agreeable everyday English can distort the author's intended meaning with only a very marginal benefit being offered in terms of the accessibility of the English.  

 

Caesar's constant recourse to the use of the Ablative Absolute and Indirect Discourse can readily be explained by the nature of his writing. He classifies both the "De Bello Gallico" and the "De Bello Civili" as "Commentarii", (i.e. reports or notes), upon which a more polished work of historical writing might later be based. Ablative Ablatives allow a large amount of information to be processed with a minimum of words, and represent encapsulated statements of fact which serve as background to what is being said in the rest of the sentence or paragraph. Indirect Discourse, as used by him is a form of 'barebones reporterage', or compressed statement, in which much information, normally important to the structure of the sentence, such as person, and the distinction between the subject and object, is stripped away, because it is obvious. Such linguistic usage was highly suitable to a military context, in which despatches to the Senate and People of Rome from the front, or communiques to subordinates, might be composed, when compressed, yet factual language would be seen as a suitable example of Roman pragmatism and practicality. While this accounts for what is otherwise particular to Caesar's style, what is so interesting is that the quality of his writing was such that it created a genre in itself. Indeed, ancient sources describe him as a leader or proponent of the puristic style of Latin writing, called the Attic style, as opposed to the more highly wrought or aphoristic style, of which Cicero was seen as the  most significant exemplar. Nevertheless, Cicero, who in the tradition of classical literature would normally have seen a polished style as an essential quality of historical writing, was to say of Caesar's  "Commentarii" in his "Brutus", written in 46, that, "They are like nude figures, upright and beautiful, stripped of all ornament of style as if they had removed a garment. His aim was to provide source material for others who might wish to write history, and perhaps he has gratified the insensitive, who may wish to use their curling-tongs on his work; but men of good sense he has deterred from writing." What he meant, and goes on to make clear, was that Caesar's writing was so elegant in its lucidity and simplicity that only the unwise would seek to improve on it. It is important to stress the quality of Caesar's Latin, because, although he is the first author to whom young students of Latin have traditionally been introduced, his Latin can actually be quite difficult to translate. Terseness and compression are qualities that are hallmarks of the Latin language as a whole, and in Caesar's case the impersonal military concision which one associates with his Ablative Absolutes are especially good examples of these qualities; but, as the poet Horace in his "Ars Poetica" was later to say: "Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio (I labour to be brief, and I become obscure)". There are perhaps moments when this is true of Caesar's prose as well, since he frequently omits words which he considers can be understood from an earlier sentence or are obvious from the context as a whole, but for the most part the clarity and brevity of his style is admirable.

Book III of "The Civil War" is an outstanding example of Caesar's prose, being terse and restrained without ever becoming monotonous or repetitive.  Sabidius hopes that anyone who reads this translation below will want to read it in the original Latin as well.

 

The Latin text used is that of Renatus du Pontet, published at Oxford by the Clarendon Press, 1901, as made available by the www.perseus.tufts.edu.website. 

  
I.  Caesar in Italy - Pompey's preparations (Chapters 1-6).

Chapter 1.  With (Gaius Julius) Caesar (as) dictator holding the elections, Julius Caesar and Publius Servilius (Vatia Isauricus) were appointed consuls; for this was the year in which he could (lit. it was permitted to him to) become consul. These matters having been completed, as credit was rather tight throughout (lit. in the whole of) Italy, and money owed was not being paid, he decided that arbitrators should be chosen; (that) estimates of the property and possessions (of debtors) should be made at the value which each of these things had been (worth) before the war, and such (payments) should be handed over to the creditors. In fact, he thought this was the most suitable (way) for the fear of the cancellation of debts (lit. new tablets, i.e. rubbing out all account books and starting from scratch), which is generally accustomed to accompany wars and civil conflicts, to be removed or lessened, and for the credit of debtors to be protected. Also, with praetors and tribunes of the plebs putting bills to the people, he restored to their former state certain people (who had been) condemned for corruption under a law of Pompey's (i.e. of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) during that period in which Pompey had had a garrison of legions in the city - these cases had been carried through in a single day with some jurymen hearing (them) (and)others passing sentence - (because) he valued (these men) who had offered themselves to him at the beginning of the civil war, in case he wished to make use of their services in the war, just as if he had (actually) used (them), since they had given him the opportunity (to do so). For he had determined that they ought to be restored by a decision of the people rather than that it should be seen that (they had been) restored by his benevolence, so that he should not appear either ungrateful in returning thanks (lit. thanks being returned) or presumptuous in forestalling the generosity of the people (lit. the generosity of the people being forestalled). 
 
Chapter 2.  He allotted eleven days to these matters, and the Latin holidays and all the elections being carried out, and (then) abdicated (lit. detached himself from) the dictatorship and set out from the city and reached Brundisium. Thither he had orderedtwelve legions (and) all the cavalry to muster (lit. go). But he found only (enough) ships to enable, at a pinch, fifteen thousand legionary soldiers and five hundred horsemen to be transported. This one thing, (namely) a shortage of ships, hindered Caesar from bringing the war to a speedy conclusion (lit. was lacking to Caesar for the purpose of speed in the war being brought to an end). Besides, these very forces were embarked in smaller numbers than this, because many had been lost in so many wars in Gaul, and the long march from Spain had reduced (them by) a great number, and an unhealthy autumn in Apulia and around Brundisium (after they had come) from the most wholesome regions of Gaul and Spain had affected the whole army with sickness. 
 
Chapter 3.  Pompey, having obtained the space of a year to prepare his forces (lit. for the purpose of his forces being prepared), because he had been free from war and unharassed by an enemy, had gathered together a great fleet from Asia and the Cycladic islands, from Corcyra, Athens, Pontus, Bithynia, Syria, Cilicia, Phoenicia (and) Egypt, had seen to it that a great (fleet) was built in all those places, had exacted a large (sum of) money (which he had) levied  from Asia, Syria, and all the kings, dynasts and tetrarchs and from the free peoples of Achaea, (and) had compelled the (tax-farming) companies of those provinces of which he was in control himself to pay him a large (amount) of money.  
 
Chapter 4.  He had raised nine legions of Roman citizens: five, which he had brought across from Italy; one of veterans from Cilicia, which (he had) made up from two and called 'the twin'; one of veteran soldiers from Crete and Macedonia, who, having been discharged by their previous commanders, had settled in these provinces; (and) two from Asia, whom (Lucius Cornelius) Lentulus (Crus) had caused to be enrolled. In addition, he had distributeda large number (of men) from Thessaly, Boeotia, Achaea and Epirus among the legions under the name of reinforcements; with these he had mixed the men of (Gaius) Antonius. Beside these, he was awaiting two legions from Syria with (Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius) Scipio (Nasica). He had archers, three thousand in number, from Crete (and) Lacedaemon, from Pontus and Syria and other states, two cohorts of slingers of six hundred men (each) and seven thousand cavalrymen. Of these, Deiotarus had brought six hundred Galatians, (and) Ariobarzanes five hundred from Cappadocia. Cotys had supplied about the same number from Thrace and had sent his son Sadala (with them); two hundred were from Macedonia, of whom Rhascypolis, (a man) of great valour, was in command; five hundred of the men of Gabinius from Alexandria, Gauls and Germans, whom Aulus Gabinius had left there as a garrison at the court of King Ptolemy, (Gnaeus) Pompeius, the son, had brought over with his fleet; eight hundred he had collected from the number of his own slaves and his own herdsmen; three hundred Tarcandarius Castor and Domnilaus had supplied from Gallograecia (i.e. Galatia) - of these the first had come in person (lit. at the same time) and the secondhad sent his son -; two hundred - among these a majority (were) mounted archers - had been sent by Antiochus of Commagene, upon whom Pompey bestowed a large reward. To this he had added Dardani and Bessi, some mercenaries and others recruited by order or voluntarily, (and) likewise men from Macedonia and from Thessaly and from other tribes and states, and so he made up that number which we have mentioned above (i.e. the seven thousand cavalrymen).  
 
Chapter 5.  He had procured a very large quantity of corn from Thessaly, Asia, Egypt, Crete, Cyrene and other regions. He had decided to winter in Dyrrachium, Apollonia and the other coastal towns, in order to prevent Caesar from crossing the sea, and for this reason he had stationed his fleet all along the sea coast. Pompeius the son was in command of the Egyptian ships, Decimus Laelius and Gaius (Valerius) Triarius the Asiatic (ones), Gaius Cassius (Longinus) the Syrian, Gaius (Claudius) Marcellus with Gaius Coponius the Rhodian, (and) (Lucius) Scribonius Libo and Marcus Octavius the Liburnian and Achaean fleet. But Marcus (Calpurnius) Bibulus, having been put in charge of all maritime affairs, was managingeverything; the supreme command was centred in him. 
 
Chapter 6.  When he (i.e. Caesar) came to Brundisium, addressing his soldiers, (he toldthem) that, since they had almost reached (lit. it had almost come to) the end of their toils and dangers, they might leave their slaves and baggage behind (them) in Italy with an easy mind, and that they should climb aboard the ships lightly kitted, so that a greater number of soldiers could be embarked, and that they should put all their trust in (lit. entrust everything to) victory and his generosity, (and,) with everyone exclaiming that he should order as he wished (and) that they would readily (lit. with an easy mind) do whatever he had commanded, he set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] his ships) on the fourth of January. The next day he reached land. Obtaining a quiet anchorage at Acroceraunia (lit. the Ceraunian rocks) amidst some hazardous locations, and mistrusting every harbour because he thought it would be held by his adversaries, he disembarked his troops at that place which is called Palaeste with all his ships entirely (lit. to a single [ship]) undamaged. 
 
II.  Negotiations in Epirus (Chapters 7-19).

Chapter 7.  (Quintus) Lucretius Vespillo and Minucius Rufus were at Oricum with the eighteen Asiatic ships, of which they were in command by order of Decimus Laelius, (and) Marcus Bibulus (was) at Corcyra with a hundred and ten ships. But the former, lacking confidence, did (not) venture out of harbour, although Caesar had brought only twelve ships, of which four were decked, and Bibulus, his ships unprepared and their oarsmen dispersed,did not come up early enough, because Caesar was sighted off the coast before any report at all of his approach could be brought to those regions.

Chapter 8.  His troops having been disembarked, the ships were sent back to Brundisium by Caesar on the same night, so that the other legions and the cavalry could be carried across. His legate (Quintus) Fufius Calenus was in charge of this task, (with orders) to apply despatch in transporting the legions (lit. in the legions being transported).  But his ships, having left the land too late and not making use of the nocturnal breeze, came to griefduring the return (journey). For Bibulus, having been informed (lit. made more sure) of Caesar's approach, (and,) hoping that he could come upon some part of our ships (while they were) loaded, met (them when they were) empty, and, having got about thirty, he ventedhis fury at his own negligence and his disappointment upon them, and set fire to (them) all, and killed the sailors and captains in the same fire, hoping that the remaining (men) would be deterred by the extent of the punishment. This business having been completed, he occupied with his fleet the anchorages from Sason to the harbour of Oricum and all the shore-lines everywhere (lit. far and wide), and, the guard-posts having been carefully arranged, he himself sleeping out aboard ship in the most severe winter (weather) and not shirking any labour or duty, nor awaiting any reinforcements, if (only) he could come to grips with Caesar.

Chapter 9.  On the departure of the Liburnian (ships) from Illyricum, Marcus Octavius, with those ships which he had, arrived at Salona. There, the Dalmatians and the other barbarian (peoples) having been stirred up, he turned Issa aside from its alliance with Caesar. The town (i.e. Salona), however, was protected both by the nature of its position and by its hill. But the Roman people fortified themselves, wooden towers having been quickly built, and, as they were incapable of resisting on account of their small number, (and) having been weakened by numerous wounds, they resorted to extreme (measures) of assistance, andfreed all their adult slaves and made (ropes for) their catapults from the shorn hair of all their women. Their (determined) view having been learned of, Octavius surrounded the town with five separate camps and began to press them by a siege and by attacks at one (and the same) time. They, having been prepared to endure everything, were struggling in particular from their lack of corn. Deputies having been sent to Caesar, they sought help from him on this matter; they sustained their other difficulties by themselves as (best) they could. A longperiod (of time) having elapsed, since the length of time of the siege had made Octavius' men somewhat careless, (and) getting an opportunity from their departure at the time of midday, their women and children having been stationed on the wall, lest any (part) of their daily routine might be missed, they themselves, a band (of men) having been formed with those whom they had very recently freed (from slavery), broke into the nearest of Octavius' camps. This having been stormed, they attacked a second in the same assault, then a third and a fourth and next the remaining (one), and drove them out of every camp, and, a great number having been slain, they compelled the rest and Octavius himself to take refuge in their ships. This was the outcome of the siege. Winter was now approaching, and, with such great losses having been received, Octavius, the siege of the town having been despaired of, withdrew (lit. betook himself) to Pompey at Dyrrachium.

Chapter 10.  We have mentioned that Lucius Vibullius Rufus, an officer of Pompey's, had twice come into Caesar's power, once at Corfinium, (and) again in Spain. By virtue of his kindnesses (to him), Caesar considered him a suitable (person) to send to Gnaeus Pompey with proposals, and he understood that he had influence with Gnaeus Pompey. The gist of these proposals was as follows: that both of them should make an end of their obstinacy and lay down (lit. depart from) their arms and not tempt fortune any further. That both of them had suffered enough serious misfortunes to enable (these) to serve as a lesson and (as) warnings (to them) to fear other calamities: he (i.e. Pompey), having been expelled from Italy, (had suffered) from Sicily and Sardinia and the two Spains having been lost, together with a hundred and thirty cohorts of Roman citizens; he himself (i.e. Caesar) (had suffered a great setback) through the death of (Gaius Scribonius) Curio and the loss of his African army, and from the surrender of (Gaius) Antonius and his soldiers at Curicta (i.e. Corcyra Nigra). Therefore, let them spare themselves and the republic, since from their own misfortunes they already had proof enough of how great the power of fortune can be (lit. how greatly fortune can prevail) in war. This was the one (and only) time for discussions about peace, while each was confident and they both seemed equal; but, if fortune should give only a little (advantage) to one, he who thought (himself) superior would not observe the terms of peace, nor would (he) who was sure he would possess everything be content with an equal share. That, since they had not been able to agree the terms of peace previously, (these) should be sought from the Senate and from the people in Rome. That it ought to concern the Senate and to be pleasing to themselves, if each of them were at once to swear an oath at a public meeting that he would dismiss his army in the next three day period. That, the arms and support, upon which they now relied, having been laid aside, both of them must (lit. should of necessity) be content with the decision of the people and the Senate. So that these things could the more easily appear worthy of Pompey's support (lit. be approved by Pompey), (he said) that he would dismiss all his land forces everywhere.


Chapter 11.  Vibullius, having been put ashore at Corcyra, thought it was nonetheless necessary to inform Pompey (lit. make Pompey more sure) of Caesar's sudden approach, so that he could adopt a plan with regard to it, before he began to discuss the proposals (lit. it was begun concerning the proposals being discussed), and, for this reason, his journey having been continued without a break by night and by day, and the pack-horses having been changed at every town for the sake of speed, he hastened to Pompey, to report that Caesar was coming towards (him). At that time Pompey was in Candavia and was making his way from Macedonia to winter-quarters at Apollonia and Dyrrachium. But, alarmed at the new situation, he began to make for Apollonia by forced marches, lest Caesar should occupy the states on the sea shore. But he (i.e. Caesar), his soldiers having been disembarked, set out for Oricum on the same day. When he arrived there, Lucius (Manlius) Torquatus, who was in command of the town on Pompey's order, and had a garrison of Parthini there, attempting, the gates having been shut, to defend the town, when he ordered the Greeks to climb up on to the wall and take up arms, but they said that they would not fight against the authority of the Roman people, and even tried to admit Caesar of their own accord, all assistance having been despaired of, opened the gates and surrendered himself and the town to Caesar, andwas preserved unharmed by him. 

Chapter 12.  Oricum having been occupied, Caesar set out for Apollonia without any delay having elapsed. His approach having been heard about, Lucius Staberius, who was in command there, began to bring water into the citadel, and to fortify it and to demand hostages from the inhabitants of Apollonia. But they refused to give (any) or to shut the gates against the consul or to take upon themselves a judgment contrary to what the whole of Italy and the Roman people had judged. Their will having been learned of, Staberius fledsecretly from Apollonia. They (i.e. the inhabitants) sent envoys to Caesar and admitted(him) into the town. The inhabitants of Byllis, (and) of Amantia, and the other neighbouring states, and the whole of Epirus followed them, and, envoys having been sent to Caesar, they promised to do what he required (of them). 

Chapter 13.  But Pompey, these things, which had been done at Oricum and at Apollonia,having been ascertained, being afraid for Dyrrachium, hastened thither by daytime and nocturnal marches. At the same time, Caesar was said to be approaching; and so great a panic fell upon his army, because in his haste (lit. hurrying) he had joined night together with day and had not interrupted his journey, that almost every man from Epirus and the neighbouring regions deserted their standards, (and) several (of them) threw down their weapons, and their march seemed like a flight. But, when Pompey halted near Dyrrachium and instructed that a camp should be marked out, with the army being panic-stricken even then, (Titus Atius) Labienus stepped forward first and swore that he would not desert him and would undergo the same fate (as he), whatever fortune should allot to him. The other legates swore this same (oath); the military tribunes and centurions followed (them), and the whole army swore likewise. The road to Dyrrachium having already been occupied, Caesar made an end to his haste and pitched camp by the river Apsus in the territories of the people of Apollonia, so that the states (that had) deserved well (of him) might be protected by a guard, and there he resolved to await the arrival of his other legions from Italy, and to winter in tents (lit. under skins). Pompey did this as well, and, his camp having been pitched on the other side of the river Apsus, he brought all his troops and auxiliaries together there. 

Chapter 14.  The legions and the cavalry having been put into ships at Brundisium, Calenus, as he had been instructed by Caesar, in as far as he had the amount of ships (required), set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] his ships) and, having proceeded a short distance from port,he received a despatch from Caesar, in which he was informed (lit. made more sure) that all the harbours and (the whole) coast-line were occupied by their adversaries' fleet. This having been ascertained, he withdrew (lit. betook himself) into the harbour and recalled all his ships. One of these, which went onwards (lit. persisted), and did not comply with Calenus' order, because it was without soldiers and was being run for a private purpose, was carriedto Oricum and stormed by Bibulus; he wreaked his vengeance on slaves and freemen, even youths, and slew them all (lit. to a single man). So, the safety of the whole army depended on (lit. was in accord with) a short (space of) time and a great chance.

Chapter 15.  Bibulus, as has been stated above, was with his fleet off Oricum, and, as he was debarring Caesar from the sea and the harbours, so he was debarred himself from all the land of these regions. For, with garrisons having been stationed, the whole coast-linewas being held by Caesar, and no opportunity was arising of fetching wood or water, or of mooring his ships near land. His situation was one of (lit. was in) great difficulty, and they were being overwhelmed by the most severe shortages of essential supplies, to such an extent that he was obliged to bring in wood and water, just like their other provisions, in transport ships from Corcyra, and it even happened on one occasion, (when they were) experiencing rather violent storms, that they were forced to catch the nocturnal dew from the skins with which their ships had been covered. However, they bore these difficulties patiently and calmly (lit. with a calm mind), and they did not think that they should should expose the shores (lit. that the shores [were] needing to be exposed) or abandon the harbours (lit. the harbours [were] needing to be abandoned by them). But, when they were in the difficulties which I have described and Libo had joined (lit. had united himself with) Bibulus, they both spoke with the legates Manius Acilius (Glabrio) and (Lucius) Statius Murcus, one of whom was in command of the town wall (and) the other of the garrisons on land: (they said) that they wished to speak with Caesar, if such an opportunity were granted to them. To this they added a few (words) to back this up (lit. for the sake of the matter being confirmed), that they thought it right that there should be a discussion (lit. that it should be discussed) about a settlement. In the meantime, they asked that there should be a truce, and (this) they obtained from them. For what they were proposing seemed important, and they knew that Caesar desired it in the highest degree, and it was imagined that some progress had been made (lit. something had been progressed) from Vibullius' proposals. 

Chapter 16.  Having set out with a single legion with the purpose of the more distant states being secured and (the issue of) the corn supply, which he was managing within tight constraints, being settled, he was at that time at Buthrotum, a town opposite to Corcyra. There, having been informed (lit. made more sure) by a dispatch from Acilius and Murcus of the requests of Libo and Bibulus, he left his legion; he himself returned to Oricum. When he arrived there, they were summoned to a conference. Libo appeared and apologised forBibulus, because he was (a man) of very hot-temper, and besides had a private feud with Caesar conceived from their aedileship and praetorship; (he said) that for that reason he had avoided the conference, lest matters of the highest expectation and the greatest importance should be hindered by his irascibility. That it was and always had been the greatest desire of Pompey that there should be a settlement (lit. it should be settled) and a laying down of arms (lit. it should be departed from arms), but they did not have any power in that matter on account of the fact that they had promised Pompey the supreme (command) of the war and all (other) matters through a decision of the (war) council. But, Caesar's demands having been ascertained, (he said) that they would send (them) to Pompey and would carry on the rest (of the negotiations) through them with themselves suggesting (it). In the meantime, let the truce be maintained until a messenger could return (lit. it could be returned) from him, and let neither side harm the other. To this he added a few (words) concerning their cause and concerning their forces and auxiliaries.

Chapter 17.  To these comments Caesar did not then think that he should make a response (lit. that it was proper for it to be replied to [by him]) nor do we now think that (there is) a sufficient reason that it should be placed on the record. (But) Caesar required that he should be allowed (lit. it should be permitted to him) to send envoys to Pompey without any risk (to them), and that they (i.e. Libo and Bibulus) should (either) guarantee that this would be (the case) or that they should bring (the envoys, who had been) received by them, to him. That, as it pertained to the truce, the operation of the war had been so divided that they could impede with their fleet his ships and his reinforcements, just as he could bar them from (fresh) water and land. If they wanted this (constraint) to be removed from them, they should relax their blockade of the seas; (but, he said) that, if they kept their (blockade) up, he would retain his one also. But nevertheless there could be a discussion (lit. it could be discussed) even if they did not remove these (blockades), and this situation would not be a hindrance to that. Libo neither received Caesar's envoys nor guaranteed their safe conduct (lit. took responsibility for their danger), but referred the whole matter to Pompey; he pressed this one (point) about a truce, and he urged (it) most vehemently. When Caesar realised that he had organised this entire discussion to escape from his immediate danger and privation (lit. for the sake of his immediate danger and privation being avoided), and that he was not bringing any hope or terms of peace, he returned (lit. betook himself) to his other plans for the war.

Chapter 18.  Bibulus, having been kept away from land for several days and having been seized with a serious illness from the cold and fatigue, as he could not have (it) seen to and he was not willing to abandon the commission (which he had) undertaken, could not withstand the virulence of his disease. On his death (lit. With him having died), the supreme command reverted to no one, but each (admiral) managed his own fleet separately at his own discretion. Vibullius, the alarm, which Caesar's sudden arrival had aroused, having been allayed, as soon as it was over, Libo and Lucius Lucceius and (Gnaeus Pompeius) Theophanes, with whom Pompey was accustomed to consult over the most important matters, having been summoned, began to discuss Caesar's proposals. Pompey interruptedhim as he was entering upon his speech, and forbade (him) from saying any more. "What need do I have (lit. What need is there to me) of a life or of a state, which I shall appear to have (only) by the generosity of Caesar? An opinion of this sort cannot possibly be removed, when I shall be thought to have been brought back to Italy, from which I set out (voluntarily)." The war having been concluded, Caesar learned of these things having happened from those who were present at the conversation. Nevertheless, he still tried by other methods to discuss peace by means of conferences.

Chapter 19.  Between the two camps, (that) of Pompey and (that) of Caesar, there was only a single river, the Apsus, and the soldiers had frequent conversations among themselves, and, by the agreements of those speaking, no weapon was thrown during that time. He (i.e. Caesar) sent his legate Publius Vatinius to the very bank of the river to do such things as most pertained to peace, and to shout out frequently in a loud voice, (asking) whether citizens were allowed (lit. it was permitted to citizens) to send two envoys to (other) citizens (to talk) about peace, (something) which even the fugitives from the Pyrenaean mountains (i.e. the remnants of the army of Quintus Sertorius) and the pirates had been allowed (to do) (lit. [something] which it had even been permitted to the fugitives from the Pyrenaean mountains and the pirates [to do]), especially when they were doing this in order that citizens might not decide the issue with (other) citizens by arms. He said many things in a humble voice, as was fitting in relation to his own safety and (that) of everyone, and (he was) heard in silence by soldiers of both (armies). There was a reply (lit. It was replied) from the other side that Aulus (Terentius) Varro undertook that he would come to a conference on the next day and would see together (with them) how (lit. according to what means) envoys could come in safety and set forth what they wished; and a fixed time was appointed for this meeting. When there was a meeting there on the next day, a large number of men from both sides assembled, and there was a great expectation of this event and all minds appeared to be intent upon peace. Titus Labienus came forward from the crowd, and the talk of peace having been superseded, began to converse and to argue with Vatinius. Suddenly (a shower of) missiles, (which had been) let loose from all directions,interrupted (them) in the midst of their conversation; he (i.e. Vatinius) escaped these (missiles), having been protected by the arms of his soldiers; however, several men were wounded, among these the centurions Cornelius Balbus, Marcus Plotius and Lucius Tiburtius, and some soldiers. Then Labienus (exclaimed): "Now then, stop talking about peace; for, without Caesar's head having been delivered to us, there can be no peace." 

III.  Trouble in Italy (Chapters 20-22).

Chapter 20.  During the same period (in Rome), the praetor Marcus Caelius Rufus, the cause of debtors having been taken up (by him), placed his official chair near the platform of Gaius Trebonius, the urban praetor, and promised, that, if anyone should appeal (to him) with regard to the evaluation (of property) and the (system of) payments, as Caesar had determined (when) present (in Rome), he would be of assistance. But it transpired, due to the fairness of judgment and the humanity of Trebonius, who thought that, in these (difficult) times, justice should (lit. was needing to) be administered in a merciful and moderate manner, that (people) could not be found, by whom the initiation of an appeal could be produced. For to plead poverty and to complain either of one's own calamity or (of that) of the times, and to assert the difficulties of auctioning (one's property) is perhaps (the mark) of a moderate spirit; but to retain one's possessions (completely) intact, (in the case of those) who confess themselves to be in debt, what sought of mentality, what sort of impudence is that? So, no one was found to ask for that. Moreover, Caelius was discovered(to be) more exacting than those for whose advantage (the matter) pertained. And, starting from this beginning, lest he should appear to have embarked upon (so) shameful a cause in vain, he promulgated a law to the effect that money owed should be paid after a period of six years without any interest. 

Chapter 21.  When the consul Servilius and the other magistrates opposed (this) and he achieved less than his expectation, in order to arouse the passions of the people (lit. for the purpose of the passions of the people being aroused), the former law having been abandoned, he promulgated two (others), one by which he remitted a year's rent on dwellings to tenants, the other on cancellation of debts, and, an assault by the mob having been made on Gaius Trebonius, and several (persons) having been wounded, it drove him from his platform. The consul Servilius reported to the Senate on these proceedings, and the Senate voted that Caelius should (lit. was needing to) be removed from public affairs. In accordance with this decree, the consul barred him from the Senate, and, (when he was) attempting to harangue (the people), escorted (him) down from the rostrum. Smarting from this disgrace and from his resentment, he pretended publicly that he would go off to (join) Caesar; (but,) messengers having been secretly sent to (Titus Annius) Milo, who, (Publius) Clodius (Pulcher) having been murdered, had been condemned on that account, because he (still) had the remnants of a troop of gladiators from the great games (which he had) given,joined (forces) with him, and sent him to the district around Thurii to incite the herdsmen (lit. for the purpose of the herdsmen being incited). He, himself, when he came to Casilinum, and his military standards and weapons were seized at one (and the same) time, and having been shut out of Capua, his household having been seen at Naples, (and) his plans to arrange the betrayal of the town having been revealed, and fearing danger because the community had taken up arms and considered that he must (lit. was needing to) be treated in the position of a (public) enemy, dropped his plan and diverted himself from that path. 

Chapter 22.  In the meantime, Milo, letters having been sent around to the towns (saying) that he was doing those things which he was doing on the instructions, and with the authority, of Pompey, (and that) these commissions had been conveyed to him through Vibullius, was trying to win over (those) whom he considered to be struggling due to debt. When he could achieve nothing with these (people), some convicts having been freed, he began to assault Cosa in the territory of Thurii. There, when (he attacked the town which was being defended) by the praetor Quintus Pedius with one legion, he perished, having been struck by a stone (thrown) from the wall. And Caelius, having set out, as he kept saying, to (join) Caesar, reached Thurii. There, when he sought to win over certain men of that town, and promised money to Caesar's Gallic and Spanish cavalrymen, who had been sent there as a garrison, he was killed by them. So the beginnings of such great events, which, through the preoccupation of the magistrates and (the troubles) of the times, had made (all) Italy anxious, had a quick and easy ending.

IV.  Antony runs the gauntlet (Chapters 23-30).

Chapter 23.  Libo, having sailed from Oricum with the fleet of fifty ships, of which he was in command, came to Brundisium and seized an island which was opposite the harbour of Brundisium, because he thought it was better to keep a watch on that one place, from which it was necessary for our men to set out, than the whole coast-line and its harbours, (which had been) blockaded by a guard. He, owing to his sudden arrival, took and set fire to some transport ships (lit. set fire to some transport ships [which he had] taken) and took away one (which was) loaded with grain, and caused great alarm to our men, and, soldiers and archers having been landed (lit. put on land), he dislodged a garrison of cavalry, and profited to such an extent from the favourable nature of his position that he sent a dispatch to Pompey, (saying) that he might order, if he wished, the rest of his ships to be beached and repaired; (and) that he would hold back Caesar's reinforcements with his own fleet.

Chapter 24.  At this time Antony (i.e. Gaius Antonius) was at Brundisium; relying on the courage of his soldiers, he covered the boats of about sixty of his war-ships with wicker hurdles and screens and on them he put aboard some selected troops and stationed these separately at several points on the coast, and he ordered two ships with three banks of oars, which he had caused to be built at Brundisium, to progress to the mouth of the harbour to exercise the oarsmen (lit. for the purpose of the oarsmen being exercised). When Libo saw these advancing towards (him), he sent five quadriremes against them, hoping that they could be intercepted, and, when these approached our ships, our veterans began to withdrawinto the harbour, (and) they, flushed with excitement, pursued (them) incautiously. Then,the signal having been given, Antony's boats suddenly bore down on (lit. urged themselves onagainst) the enemy from all directions, and, at the first encounter, they took one quadrireme out of these (five), (together) with its oarsmen and marines, (and) forced the rest to flee ignominiously. In addition to this loss, it happened that they were prevented from fetching water by the cavalry (which had been) stationed by Antony along the sea-shore. Distressed by (the want of) this necessity and by the disgrace (of his defeat), Libodeparted from Brundisium and gave up the blockade of our men.  

Chapter 25.  Many months had now (passed) and winter was well advanced, and the ships and legions had not come to Caesar from Brundisium, and several opportunities for this happening seemed to Caesar to have been missed, as favourable winds had often blown, to which he thought they must surely entrust (themselves) (lit. to which it was surely needing to be entrusted [by them]). And, as more time passed, so (those) who were in command of (Pompey's) fleet were keener to (act as) guards (of the coast), and they had a greater faith in their preventing (the landing of our men), and they were reproved in frequent dispatches from Pompey, since they had not prevented Caesar from coming in the first place, (and were being urged) that they should stop the rest of his army, and they were expecting a season with gentler winds (which would prove) daily more difficult for transporting (men). Alarmed by these circumstances, Caesar wrote quite sharply to his (officers) at Brundisium, (instructing) that, (when they) got a suitable wind, they should not miss the chance of sailing, if they could possibly hold a course to the coast of the Apollonians, and bring their ships into land there. Those parts were mainly free from the guard of ships, as they did not dare to venture too far from the harbours.

Chapter 26.  They (i.e. Caesar's officers), their boldness and courage having been exhibited,with Mark Antony and Fufius Calenus directing (them), (and) with the soldiers themselves strongly encouraging (them) and not refusing any danger in return for Caesar's safety, (on) obtaining a south wind, set sail (lit. loosened [the sails of] their ships) and on the next daysailed past Apollonia and Dyrrachium. When they were seen from the mainland, (Gaius) Coponius, who was in command of the Rhodian fleet at Dyrrachium, led his ships out of harbour, and when, with a gentler wind, they had already come near to our (ships), the same south wind sprang up and served as a protection for our men. But he did not cease from his efforts for that reason, but hoped that, through the toil and perseverance of his sailors, the violence of the gale could be overcome, and he none the less kept on pursuing (our men who had been) carried past Dyrrachium by the extreme force of the wind. Our men, (while) making use of the kindness of fortune, feared however an attack of their fleet, if by chance the wind should abate. Reaching a port, which is called Nymphaeum, three miles (lit. three thousand paces) beyond Lissus, they put their ships in there - this port was protected from a south-west wind, (but) was not secure from a south wind - and they considered the danger of a storm (to be) less than (that) of the (enemy's) fleet. As soon as they entered (lit. it was entered) within (the harbour), by (a stroke of) incredible good fortune, the south wind, which had been blowing for two days, veered round to (lit. turned itself towards) the south-west.

Chapter 27.  Here one can (lit. it was permitted [to one] to) observe a sudden change of fortune. A most secure harbour was receiving those who had just been alarmed for themselves; (and those) who had brought danger to our ships were forced to feel alarm at their own (danger). And so, the circumstances having been changed, the storm bothprotected our ships and battered the Rhodian ships to such an extent that all the decked ships, sixteen in number, were shattered and lost as wrecks, and, out of the large number of oarsmen and marines, some were dashed against the rocks and killed (lit. some, having been dashed against the rocks, were killed), and others were hauled off by our men, and of these all were spared and (lit. all, having been spared, were) sent back home by Caesar.

Chapter 28.  Two of our ships, their passage having been accomplished more slowly, having been brought together during the night, since they were unaware of what place the others had reached, lay at anchor off Lissus. Otacilius Crassus, who was in command of Lissus,several boats and smaller vessels having been sent out, prepared to storm them; at the same time he began discussions about their surrender, and promised quarter to those (who) surrendered (themselves). One ship of these (two) had taken on board two hundred and twenty (men) from a legion of recruits, the other a little less than two hundred (men) from a legion of veterans. Here one could understand (lit. it was permitted [to one] to be understood) what great protection there can be to men from firmness of spirit. For, the recruits, terrified by the great number of ships and worn out by the high seas and by sea-sickness,