Julius Caesar.

C. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum. Caesar's Commentaries: the Gallic war, books I-Iv, with selections from books V-VII and from the civil war; online

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troops from a platform, suggestus (VI. 3). Access to all parts
of the camp was made by means of passageways, viae (V. 49).

335. a. The tents, tabernacula (I. 39), were of leather (Plate
VII, 3) ; hence sub pellibus, lit. under hides, means in tents
(III. 29). Each was calculated to hold ten men ; but a cen-
turion seems generally to have had more room to himself
than the soldiers.

b. The winter quarters, hiberna, were made more comfortable
by the substitution of straw- thatched huts, casae (V. 43), for

c. In a hostile country a strong guard was kept before the
gates of the camp (IV. 32). In the earlier times, and probably
in Caesar's army, the password, admitting to the camp, was
different each night; it was written on slips of wood, which
were given by the commander to the military tribunes, and
passed by these to the men on duty.

336. Many Roman camps became the nucleus of permanent


The Roman Art of War 631

settlements, which survive in cities to-day. A marked instance
is the city of Chester, England, the name of which is derived
from castra ; so Rochester comes from Rodolphi castra.


337. a. When the Roman force was far outnumbered by the
enemy, the legionary soldiers might be arranged in a double
line, duplex acies (III. 24), or even in a single line, acies simplex,

First Line.

Second Line.

Third Line.

Figure 186. — Acies triplex.

One legion in triple line formation, showing the arrangement of the ten cohorts, and of
the three maniples and six centuries in each cohort.

Four cohorts are shown in the first line, three in the second, and three in the third.

In each cohort the three maniples stand side by side. Each maniple is represented as
divided into two centuries, one century being behind the other.

The men in each maniple probably stood 8 ranks deep, each century being formed in 4

as at the battle of Ruspina, near Hadrumetum (264). But
under ordinary circumstances Caesar drew up his legions in a
triple line, triplex acies, as in the battles with the Helvetians,
Ariovistus, and the Usipetes and Tencteri. This arrangement
was probably as follows (Eig. 186) :

(1) Eour cohorts of each legion stood in the first line ; about
160 feet behind them stood three cohorts ; and ordinarily the
remaining three cohorts of the legion were posted still farther
back as a reserve. At the battle of Pharsalus there were only
two cohorts in Caesar's third line (as indicated on Map 20),
one cohort from each legion having been drawn of! to form a


Companion to Caesar


fourth line ; and there were probably only two cohorts in the
third line at the battle with Ariovistus (Map 4), one cohort
from each legion being required for guard duty at the camps.

(2) In each cohort the
three maniples stood side
by side, one of the centu-
ries in each maniple being
behind the other.

The soldiers in each
battle line stood about
three feet apart each way ;
and there is some reason
for supposing that in
Caesar's cohorts the men
stood 8 ranks deep.

The standard-bearers
(Fig. 187) did not stand
in the front rank, but
were protected by soldiers
selected for their agility
and strength, the men
before the standards, ante-
signani (C. III. 84).

b. As the first line went
into action the second fol-
lowed closely behind; as
the men of the first fell
or withdrew exhausted,
those of the second pressed
forward and took their
places ; in case of need
the third line advanced
and in like manner re-
lieved the combined first
and second. In the battle with the Helvetians the whole third
line faced about and repelled an attack on the rear (Map 3).

Figure 1 87. — Standard-bearer.

This standard-bearer belongs to a time some-
what later than Caesar ; whether Caesar's stand-
ard-bearers wore bearskins on their heads or not,
we do not know.

§342] The Roman Art of War 633

338. When circumstances required it, soldiers were massed
in serried ranks, as in a wedge-shaped column, wedge, cuneus
(VI. 40), or under a turtle-shell roof, testudo (used by the Gauls,
VII. 85). For defense sometimes a force was formed into a
circle, orbis, corresponding with our hollow square (IV. 37).

339. The place of the light-armed troops and cavalry was
ordinarily at first in front of the triple line, or on the wings.
They opened the engagement by skirmishing, prevented flank
movements of the enemy, drew the brunt of the attack if the
legions wished to take another position, and were employed in
various other ways as occasion demanded. The cavalry were
utilized especially to cut down the fleeing.


340. The taking of walled towns was accomplished either
by sudden storming without long preparation, repentina oppug-
natio (G. III. 80), or oppugnatio (VII. 36) ; by siege blockade,
obsidio (VII. 69), or obsessio (VII. 36), which aimed to repel
all attempts of the enemy to escape or secure supplies, and to
reduce him by starvation, as at Alesia (VII. 69-90) ; or by
siege and storming, longinqua oppugnatio (C. III. 80), with the
help of appliances to break down the enemy's fortifications
and gain admission to the city, as at Avaricum (VII. 16-28).

In storming a city the forces rushed forward, tried to batter
down the gates, fill up the moat, and mount the walls with

341. The siege was begun by extending a line of works, in
case the nature of the site allowed, entirely around the place to
be reduced. Then a siege embankment, or mole, agger, a wide
roadway of timber and earth, was begun outside the reach of
the enemy's weapons ; it was gradually prolonged toward the
city wall, and raised until at the front the top was on a level
with the wall, or even higher.*

342. a. The workmen at the front were protected by mov-
able breastworks, plutei (cf. Plate IX, 4, 5), or by arbor-sheds, or

C ~"~~

634 Companion to Caesar (§343

sappers' huts, vineae (II, 12 ; see Plate IX, 9), made of timber
or of thick wickerwork, with rawhides stretched over the out-
side as a protection against fire. Rows of arbor-sheds were
placed along the sides of the mole to afford passageways to
the front (Plate IX, 2); a long arbor-shed was called a mousie,
musculus (VII. 84 ; C. II. 10). A sappers' shed with a sloping
roof of strong boards specially adapted for use in undermining
a wall was called a turtle-shell shed, testudo (Plate VII, 10).

b. Movable towers, turres ambulatoriae (II. 12, 31), to be filled
with soldiers, were built out of range of the enemy's missiles

and brought up near the

walls, usually on the siege

embankment, which sloped

gently from the rear up

to the wall (Plate IX, 7 ;

Figure 188. — Wall hook. Plate XII).

Iron head of a wall hook, found in the remains C. In the lowest Story

of the Gallic wall at Besancon, ancient Vesontio. of ^ mova bl e tower, Or

under a separate roof, was the battering ram, aries (II. 32), an
enormous beam with a metallic head which was swung against
the walls with terrific force (Plate VII, 1). The attacking
force tried also to pry stones out of the walls with wall hooks,
falces (murales), light poles with a strong iron hook at the
end (VII. 22 ; Fig. 188), and clear the walls of defenders by
means of artillery of the. torsioner type, tormenta.

d. Walls and ramparts were mounted by means of Beating
ladders, scalae (V. 43).

343. For throwing heavy missiles the Romans had torsioners,
tormenta (VII. 81), so named from the method of developing
the force required for hurling ; tormentum is derived from
torqueo, twist. This was obtained by twisting with great ten-
sion strong ropes of hair (Fig. 189), which were suddenly re-
leased by means of a trigger ; the force was utilized for the
shooting of missiles by a mechanism of which there were three
principal types :

a. The catapult, catapulta (Plate IX, 8), for shooting large


The Roman Art of War


arrows or darts. A small catapult is called soorpion, scorpio,
by Caesar (VII. 25).

b. The ballista, ballista (Plate VII, 8), which cast stones ; the
trough was sharply inclined, while that of the catapult was
nearly horizontal. The ballista is not mentioned by Caesar.

I 1*11 !


Figure 189. — Head of a catapult, restored. In the Museum of
St. Germain, near Paris.

a, a. Tightly twisted ropes.

b, b. Arms, to which are attached the cords connected with the trigger. The methods
of loading and discharging artillery of this kind are easily understood from the figures
shown in Plate VII, 8, and Plate IX, 8.

c. The wild ass, onager (Plate VII, 7), which hurled stones,
but was probably not used in Caesar's time.

Where the ground allowed, the walls were undermined and
tunnels run under the town.

344. The besieged met mines by counter-mines. With great
hooks they tried to catch the head of the battering ram and
hold it, or let down masses of wood or wickerwork along the

636 Companion to Caesar [§345

side of the wall to deaden the force of the blow, or drew
the wall hooks over into the city with windlasses (VII. 22).
By frequent sallies, eruptiones (VII. 22), they endeavored
to destroy the works of the besiegers, drove the workmen
from their posts, and hurled firebrands into the sheds and

345. Owing to the amount of wood used in siege works the
danger from fire was great. Once even the siege embankment
was burned (VII. 24). When a breach had been made in the
wall, or a gate battered down, an attack was begun wherever
it was thought possible to force an entrance. The siege em-
bankment and towers were connected with the top of the wall
by means of planks and beams thrown across (Plate XII).
Detachments of soldiers, holding their oblong shields close
together above their heads, formed a turtle-shell roof, testudo,
under which they marched up close to the walls and tried to
scale them, or entered the breach (Plate VII, 6).


346. a. The battleships or galleys, naves longae (III. 9), of
Caesar's time were propelled mainly by oars ; they had only
one mast, and generally one large sail (Fig. 146). There were
usually three rows or banks of oars, hence the name trireme,
navis triremis (C. II. 6) or triremis (C. III. 101), but some-
times vessels with two banks of oars were used, bireme, biremis
(C. III. 40), and even five banks, quinquereme, quinqueremis
(C. III. 101). The rowers kept time to the sound of a horn or
click of a hammer.

b. The rudders, gubernacula, were not like those of to-day,
but consisted of two large paddles thrust down into the sea,
one on each side of the stern (Fig. 146); they were controlled
by the steersman, gubernator (III. 9). The anchor was like
those of our own time.

c. At the prow, near the water line, was the ship's beaky
rostrum (III. 13), consisting of one or more sharp metal-

§348] The Roman Art of War 637

pointed beams projecting in front, for use in ramming a
hostile ship (Figures 24, 146). When the galleys were not iu
use they might be drawn up on the shore (IV. 29).

d. Before the galley went into action the sail was rolled
up and the mast taken down ; a tower, turris (III. 14), was
raised on the front part of the ship, from which missiles could
be hurled over into a vessel near at hand ; grappling-hooks,
ferreae manus (lit. iron hands; C. II. 6), were provided, by
which the opposing ship might be seized, and a movable
bridge that could be thrown across in boarding.

e. For the carrying of his troops Caesar used transports, one-
rariae naves (IV. 22), which were broader and slower than the
galleys (Fig. 202, in the Vocabulary); these were accompanied
by galleys as escort (V. 8).

/. The admiral's ship, or flag-ship, was distinguished by a
red banner, vexillum, resembling that used by the general on
land (324, b, 3).

347. The naval tactics of the Romans consisted mainly in
either propelling a vessel with great force against a rival and
crushing the side by ramming, or in catching hold of the hostile
craft with grappling-hooks, pulling alongside, springing over
on it, and settling the conflict with a hand-to-hand light
(Plate XI). In the sea-fight with the Venetans, who had
only sailing vessels, the Roman sailors crippled the enemy's
ships by cutting down the sail yards ; the legionaries on the
galleys then boarded the Venetan ships and despatched the
crews (III. 13-15).

Galleys were used on the Mediterranean until 'the beginning
of the nineteenth century.


348. The Gauls wore trousers, bracae, which the Romans con-
sidered barbaric. The Gallic military cloak, sagulum (V. 42),
was apparently smaller than that of the Roman soldiers.


Companion to Caesar


Figure 190.—
Gallic sword and

Found at Alesia.
The handle has
rusted away.

349. The Gallic infantry were protected by
large oblong or oval shields, of wood or metal
(called by Caesar, scuta, I. 25 ; Figures 19, 48,
and 131), and by helmets of metal on which
sometimes horns, and even wheels, appeared
(Figures 46 and 131).

The offensive weapons of the Gauls were a
long sword (Figures 39 and 190), and several
types of missile for throwing (Figures 40, 43),
as javelins, gaesa (III. 4), spears, matarae
(I. 26), and darts, tragulae (I. 26), or veruta
(V. 44).

350. The Gallic standard, in many cases
at least, was an image of a boar mounted
on a pole (Figures 30, 42).

Signals in Gallic armies were given on a
curved war-trumpet, carnyx, which terminated
in the head of an animal or serpent (Figures
19, 151).

351. The clothing of the Germans was
largely of skins (IV. 1), but the more ad-
vanced wore trousers, like the Gauls, and
confined their long hair in a kind of knot
(Fig. 66).

The principal weapons of the Germans were
a shield and spear, and a long sword with a

single edge (Fig. 67).


Forty Exercises reprinted, by permission, from

Latin Composition, by Bernard M. Allen and John L. Phillips,

of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

Figure 191. — Roman inkstand, reed pen, and book partly

unrolled, with title on a small tag attached at the end.

From an ancient wall painting.


352. Normal Order, a. When the emphasis is evenly distributed
in a Latin sentence, the Subject comes first, the Predicate last, and
the Modifiers of the Predicate precede the Verb in this order : Indirect
Object, Direct Object, Adverb or Adverbial Phrase; as, Is sibi lega-
tionem ad civitates suscepit, he took upon himself the misson of envoy
to the states (I. 3).

b. Genitives, Adjectives, Possessive Pronouns, and Ordinal Nu-
merals when unemphatic follow their Nouns; as gloria belli, reputa-
tion for war (I. 2) ; cupiditate regni, by desire of kingly power (I. 9) ;
locis patentibus maximeque frumentariis, open and exceedingly
productive country (I. 10) ; filiam suam, his daughter (I. 3) ; die
quarto, on the fourth day (1.26).

c. The Demonstrative Pronouns hie, iste, ille, is, the Intensive
ipse, and Adjectives indicating quantity or position when unemphatic
precede their Nouns ; as, His rebus, by these conditions (I. 3) ; ipse
imperator, the general himself (I. 40) ; tres populos, three peoples
(I. 3) ; magnum numerum, a great number (1. 4) ; extremum oppi-
dum, the furthest town (I. 6) ; superiore acie, the upper line (I. 24).

353. Order according to Emphasis, a. For the sake of emphasis
the Normal Order of words in the sentence may be reversed, the
Subject being placed last; as, Apud Helvetios longe nobilissimus
fuit et ditissimus Orgetorix, Among the Helvetians Or get or ix was
far the highest in rank, and wealthiest (I. 2).

b. Genitives, Adjectives, Possessive Pronouns, and Ordinal Nu-
merals when emphatic precede their Nouns ; as, regni cupiditate, by
desire of kingly power (I. 2) ; inimico animo, of hostile disposi-
tion (I. 7) ; decima legio, the tenth legion (I. 41).

c. When emphatic, the Demonstratives hie, iste, ille, is, the In-
tensive ipse and Adjectives indicating quantity or position follow
their nouns; as, in insula ipsa, in the island itself (V. 12) ; Galliae
totius, of entire Gaul (I. 31); partes tres, three parts (I. 1) ;
locis superioribus, the higher places (I. 10).

d. For the sake of emphasis words belonging together in construc-
tion are often separated ; as, aliud iter haberent nullum, they had



Exercises in Latin Composition


no other way (I. 7) ; magno ad pugnam erat impediments, was a
great hindrance (I. 25).

e. An important word in a clause may be made emphatic by
placing it before the conjunction introducing the clause; as Diu
cum esset pugnatum, When the fighting had continued a long time
(I. 26).


354. In writing Latin the Sequence of Tenses should be particu-
larly noted when a Subjunctive is required in a Dependent Clause.
For convenience of reference the statement of the grammar (177, a)
is here supplemented by a tabular outline :



quid faciam


► (incomplete ac-




quid fecerim


(completed ac-




quid facerem


(incomplete ac-




quid fecissem


(completed ac-



He asks, is asking

He will ask

He will have asked

He asks, is asking

He will ask

He will have asked


He asked, was asking

He asked

He had asked

He asked, was asking

He asked

He had asked

what I am

what I did,
or have

Table Illustrating Sequence of Tenses

Main Verb

Followed by Subjunctive

Referring to the Same
or Later Time

Referring t«> Previous

Future Perfect



5 a

a «

/ K








§ 357] Exercises in Latin Composition 643


355. Purpose in Latin may be expressed in five ways :
By the use of ut with the Subjunctive (196, a) ;

By the use of a Relative with the Subjunctive (193, a) ;

By ad with the Accusative of the Gerund or the Gerundive Con-
struction (230, 3) ;

By causa with the Genitive of the Gerund or the Gerundive Con-
struction (230, 1) ;

By the Supine in -um (231, a and b).


356. a. "May" and "might" often appear in clauses expressing
Purpose, which are translated into Latin by ut with the Subjunctive;
as, " in order that they might be more ready," ut paratiores essent
(I. 5). 196, a.

b. "May" and "might" may also express Permission and be best
translated by licet with the Dative of the Person and the Infinitive;
as, " We may discuss with him," nobis cum eo agere licet, lit. ' it
is permitted to us,' etc. 73, b, and 222, a.

357. a. " Must " implies Necessity, and is translated by the Passive
Periphrastic conjugation (73, e, and 229, c), or by necesse est with
the Infinitive, or Infinitive with Subject- Accusative, the Infinitive with
necesse est being the Subject of est ; as, ' as was bound to happen,'
quod necesse erat accidere, lit. ' which was necessary to happen,'
quod accidere being the subject of erat (IV. 29).

b. " Ought," implying Obligation or Propriety, is translated either
by the Passive Periphrastic conjugation (73, e, and 229, c), by oportet
and the Present Infinitive with Subject Accusative (73, a), or by
debeo with a Present Infinitive ; since " ought " is a defective verb,
past time is expressed in English by the Past Infinitive with " ought,"
while in Latin past time is expressed by the Principal Verb and only
the Present Infinitive is used. Thus :

Present Time
They ought to fight bravely "

fortiter pugnare debent
eos fortiter pugnare oportet
eis fortiter pugnandum est

Past Time
;ht to have
os ages obsides ei mittendi erant

f obsides mittere debuit
He ought to have sent , eum obsid - g mittere oportuit


Personal. 39, a and b ; 87, a and 6 ; 155, 156. B. 242; A. 295; H. 500.

Demonstrative and Intensive. 42-45, 46; 160-162; B. 246-249; A. 296-
298; H. 505-507.

Reflexive. 40, a and b; 158, a and 6; 159. B. 244; A. 299, and 300, 1, 2;
H. 502-504.

2. 1. These often carry on war with them
2. That river separates all these from the Belgians. 3. We
call you Gauls. 4. They call themselves Celts. 5. The
Helvetians carry on war with the Germans, and fight in their
territory. 6. They all differ from one another. 7. The
Belgians inhabit this part of Gaul, and call themselves the
bravest of all. 8. Their boundaries are narrow in propor-
tion to the number of men.

PRONOUNS— Continued

Relative. 47 ; 163, a and b. B. 250, 251 ; A. 304-306, and 308, a; H. 510.
Possessive. 41 ; 157, a-c, 158, e, B. 243; A. 302, a, c, d, e ; H. 601.

Book I. 3, 4. 1. Casticus had been called our friend.
2. He will seize the royal power in his own state. 3. Divi-
ciacus, who held the leadership, was a brother of Dumnorix.
4. They will establish peace with those states which are near-
est. 5. They were influenced by his speech, and gave a
pledge to one another. 6. His father held the royal power
for many years. 7. He will take all his clients with him to
the trial. 8. Dumnorix, to whom he gave his daughter in
marriage, was very powerful. 9. You attempted the same
thing in your state.


I, 8] Exercises in Latin Composition 645


PRONOUNS — Continued

Interrogative. 48, a and b. B. 90; A. 148, 152; H. 511.
Indefinite. 49, a and b ; 168. B. 252; A. 309-314; H. 512-515.
Direct Questions. 179, a. B. 162; A. 330-333; H. 378.
Ablative of Agent and Means. 126, a; 131, a, b, and c. B. 216; A. 405;
H. 468, and 1.

Book I. 5, 6. 1. Were all the towns and villages burned
by the Helvetians ? 2. Certain l of the Rauraci adopted the
same plan, and started out with them. 3. If there is any-
road by which we can 2 go from home, we will burn all our
towns and villages. 4. What did they try to do when 3 they
went out from home ? 5. They cannot persuade their neigh-
bor, can they, to attempt to do this ? 6. They permitted
them to go through their territory.

1 certain ; quidam and numerals take ex with the Ablative instead of the
Partitive Genitive. 97, d.

2 can ; note mood in text. 194, a.

3 when ; use ubi. Note construction in text.



Book I. 7, 8. Lake Geneva empties into the Rhone, which is
a river in Gaul between the (country of the) Sequanians * and
the (country of the) Allobroges. Caesar built a rampart ten
feet high from this lake to the Jura mountains, which sepa-
rate the (country of the) Helvetians from the (country of the)
Sequanians. When this rampart was finished, he fortified
redoubts ; and after stationing 2 garrisons, he was able very
easily to stop those who tried to cross over. The Helvetians
were intending to march through the Province because they
could not go by any other route ; and so 3 they fastened many
boats together, and made rafts by which they crossed the
Rhone at, its shallowest point.

1 282. 2 after stationing ; use Ablative Absolute. 144, a and 6.

3 and so, itaque. 237, a.

646 Exercises in Latin Composition p, 9


Indirect Questions. 204. B. 300; A. 573, 574; H. 649, n.

Sequence of Tenses. 177, a, and 354. B. 267, 268 ; A. 482-484 ; H. 543-545.

Book I. 9, 10. 1. He does not understand why they are
sending envoys. 2. He announced what 1 the Helvetians
were planning. 3. They found out why he had enrolled
two legions. 4. Did Caesar know whether Dumnorix was a
friend of the Helvetians or not? 5. Caesar knew what 1
was being done by the Helvetians. 6. He does not know
whether they obtained their request. 7. Can he find out
why they led their legions out from winter quarters ? 8. I
asked him whether Caesar was passing the winter there, or
had gone into Gaul.

what, plural.


Subjunctive of Purpose. 196, a, b, and 193, a, b. B. 282; A. 531; H.
568, 590.

Constructions of Place. 119, a, b, and 120, a; 130, a and b; 145, a, b, c;
146. B. 182, 228, 229, 232; A. 426, 427; H. 418, and 4, 419, 1, and 461, 462,
483, 484.

Book I. 11, 12. 1. The Aeduans, in order to defend them-
selves and their possessions, asked help of l Caesar. 2. They
sent an army to keep off the at'tack of the enemy. 3. They
had nothing left at home. 4. When the Tigurini had gone
out from home, they sent Cassius's army under the yoke.
5. He will cross the river in order to be able to judge in

Online LibraryJulius CaesarC. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum. Caesar's Commentaries: the Gallic war, books I-Iv, with selections from books V-VII and from the civil war; → online text (page 54 of 73)