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legion had not run down from the heights to support him when he was in
danger of being overpowered, and broken the ranks of the enemy, it is
supposed that not a single Roman would have escaped. Encouraged by
Cæsar's intrepidity, the Romans fought, as the saying is, beyond their
strength, but yet they could not put the Nervii to flight, who
defended themselves till they were cut to pieces. Out of sixty
thousand only five hundred are said to have escaped; and three
senators out of four hundred.

XXI. The Senate on receiving intelligence of this victory, decreed
that for fifteen days[491] there should be sacrifices to the gods and
cessation from all business, with feasting, which had never been done
before, for so long a time. For the danger was considered to have been
great, so many nations having broken out at once; and because Cæsar
was the conqueror, the good will of the many towards him made the
victory more splendid. And accordingly, having settled affairs in
Gaul, he again spent the winter in the plain of the Padus, and
employed himself in intriguing at Rome. Not only the candidates for
the offices of the State carried their election by Cæsar supplying
them with money which they spent in bribing the people, and directed
all their measures to the increase of Cæsar's power, but the greater
part of the Romans most distinguished for rank and political power,
came to see him at Luca,[492] Pompeius and Crassus, and Appius, the
governor of Sardinia, and Nepos, proconsul of Iberia, so that there
were a hundred and twenty lictors there, and more than two hundred
senators. Their deliberations resulted in this: it was agreed that
Pompeius and Crassus should be made consuls, and that Cæsar should
have an allowance of money and five additional years in his province,
which to all reflecting people seemed the most extravagant thing of
all. For those who were receiving so much from Cæsar, urged the Senate
to grant him money as if he had none, or rather compelled the Senate
to do it, groaning as it were over its own decrees. Cato, indeed, was
not present, for he had been purposely sent out of the way on a
mission to Cyprus; and Favonius, who affected to imitate Cato, finding
he could do nothing by his opposition, hastily left the Senate and
began to clamour to the people. But nobody attended to him, some from
fear of displeasing Pompeius and Crassus, but the greater part kept
quiet to please Cæsar, living on hopes from him.

XXII. Cæsar again returned to his troops in Gaul where he found much
war in the country, for two great German nations had just crossed the
Rhenus for the purpose of getting land; the one nation was called
Usipes,[493] and the other Tenteritæ. Respecting the battle with them,
Cæsar says in his Commentaries,[494] that the barbarians, while they
were treating with him during a truce, attacked on their march and so
put to flight his own cavalry to the number of five thousand with
eight hundred of their own, for his men were not expecting an attack;
that they then sent other ambassadors to him intending to deceive him
again, whom he detained, and then led his army against the barbarians,
considering all faith towards such faithless men and violators of
truces to be folly. But Tanusius[495] says that while the senate were
decreeing festivals and sacrifices for the victory, Cato delivered it
as his opinion, that they ought to give up Cæsar to the barbarians,
and so purge themselves of the violation of the truce on behalf of the
city, and turn the curse on the guilty man. Of those who had crossed
the river there were slaughtered to the number of four hundred
thousand, and the few who recrossed the river were received by the
Sugambri[496] a German tribe. Cæsar laying hold of this ground of
complaint against the Germans, and being also greedy of glory and
desirous to be the first man to cross the Rhenus with an army, began
to build a bridge over the river, which was very broad, and in this
part of the bed spread out widest, and was rough, and ran with a
strong current so as to drive the trunks of trees that were carried
down and logs of wood against the supports of the bridge,[497] and
tear them asunder. But Cæsar planted large timbers across the bed of
the river above the bridge to receive the trees that floated down, and
thus bridling the descending current, beyond all expectation he
accomplished the completion of the bridge in ten days.

XXIII. Cæsar now led his troops over the river, no one venturing to
oppose him, and even the Suevi, the most valiant of the Germans,
retired with their property into deep woody valleys. After devastating
with fire the enemy's country and encouraging all those who favoured
the Romans, he returned into Gaul after spending eighteen days in
Germany. His expedition against the Britanni[498] was notorious for
its daring: for he was the first who entered the western Ocean with
an armament and sailed through the Atlantic sea, leading an army to
war; and by attempting to occupy an island of incredible magnitude,
which furnished matter for much dispute to numerous writers, who
affirmed that the name and the accounts about it were pure inventions,
for it never had existed and did not then exist, he extended the Roman
supremacy beyond the inhabited world. After twice crossing over to the
island from the opposite coast of Gaul, and worsting the enemy in many
battles rather than advantaging his own men, for there was nothing
worth taking from men who lived so wretched a life and were so poor,
he brought the war to a close not such as he wished, but taking
hostages from the king and imposing a tribute, he retired from the
island. On his return he found letters which were just going to cross
over to him from his friends in Rome, informing him of his daughter's
death, who died in child-birth in the house of her husband Pompeius.
Great was the grief of Pompeius, and great was the grief of Cæsar; and
their friends were also troubled, as the relationship was now
dissolved which maintained peace and concord in the State, which but
for this alliance was threatened with disturbance. The child also died
after surviving the mother only a few days. Now the people, in spite
of the tribunes, carried Julia[499] to the Field of Mars, where her
obsequies were celebrated; and there she lies.

XXIV. As the force of Cæsar was now large, he was obliged to
distribute it in many winter encampments. But while he was on his road
to Italy, according to his custom, there was another general rising of
the Gauls, and powerful armies scouring the country attempted to
destroy the winter camps, and attacked the Roman entrenchments. The
most numerous and bravest of the revolted Gauls under Abriorix
destroyed Cotta[500] and Titurius with their army; and the legion
under Cicero[501] they surrounded with sixty thousand men and
blockaded, and they came very near taking the camp by storm, for all
the Romans had been wounded and were courageously defending themselves
above their strength. When this intelligence reached Cæsar, who was at
a distance, he quickly turned about, and getting together seven
thousand men in all, he hurried to release Cicero from the blockade.
The besiegers were aware of his approach and met him with the
intention of cutting him off at once, for they despised the fewness of
his numbers. But Cæsar, deceiving the enemy, avoided them continually,
and having occupied a position which was advantageous to one who had
to contend against many with a small force, he fortified his camp, and
kept his men altogether from fighting; and he made them increase the
height of the ramparts and build up the gates as if they were afraid,
his manœuvre being to make the enemy despise him, till at last when
they made their assault in scattered bodies, urged by self-confidence,
sallying out he put them to flight and killed many of them.

XXV.[502] The frequent defections of the Gauls in those parts were
thus quieted, and also by Cæsar during the winter moving about in all
directions and carefully watching disturbances. For there had come to
him from Italy three legions to replace those that had perished,
Pompeius having lent him two of those which were under his command,
and one legion having been newly raised in Gaul upon the Padus. But in
the course of time there showed themselves, what had long in secret
been planted and spread abroad by the most powerful men among the most
warlike tribes, the elements of the greatest and the most dangerous of
all the wars in Gaul, strengthened by a numerous body of young men
armed and collected from all quarters, and by great stores brought
together, and fortified cities, and countries difficult of access. And
at that time, during the winter, frozen rivers and forests buried in
snow, and plains overflowed by winter torrents, and in some parts
paths that could not be discovered for the depth of the snow, and in
other parts the great uncertainty of a march through marshes and
streams diverted from their course, seemed to place the proceedings of
the insurgents altogether beyond any attempt on the part of Cæsar.
Accordingly many tribes had revolted, but the leaders of the revolt
were the Arvenni and the Carnuntini; Vergentorix was elected to the
supreme direction of the war, he whose father the Gauls had put to
death on the ground of aiming at a tyranny.

XXVI. Vergentorix,[503] dividing his force into many parts, and
placing over them many commanders, began to gain over all the
surrounding country as far as those who bordered on the Arar, it being
his design, as Cæsar's enemies in Rome were combining against him, to
rouse all Gaul to war. If he had attempted this a little later, when
Cæsar was engaged in the civil war, alarms no less than those from the
invasion of the Cimbri would have seized on Italy. But now Cæsar, who
appears to have had the talent for making the best use of all
opportunities in war, and particularly critical seasons, as soon as he
heard of the rising, set out on his march, by the very roads[504] that
he traversed, and the impetuosity and rapidity of his march in so
severe a winter letting the barbarians see that an invincible and
unvanquished army was coming against them. For where no one believed
that a messenger or a letter-carrier from him could make his way in a
long time, there was Cæsar seen with all his army, at once ravaging
their lands, and destroying the forts, taking cities, and receiving
those who changed sides and came over to him, till at last even the
nation of the Edui[505] declared against him, who up to this time had
called themselves brothers of the Romans, and had received signal
distinction, but now by joining the insurgents they greatly
dispirited Cæsar's troops. In consequence of this, Cæsar moved from
those parts, and passed over the territory of the Lingones,[506]
wishing to join the Sequani, who were friends, and formed a bulwark in
front of Italy against the rest of Gaul. There the enemy fell upon him
and hemmed him in with many ten thousands, upon which Cæsar resolved
to fight a decisive battle against the combined forces, and after a
great contest, he gained a victory at last, and with great slaughter,
routed the barbarians; but at first it appears that he sustained some
loss, and the Aruveni show a dagger[507] suspended in a temple, which
they say was taken from Cæsar. Cæsar himself afterwards saw it, and
smiled; and when his friends urged him to take it down, he would not,
because he considered it consecrated.

XXVII. However, the chief part of those who then escaped, fled with
the king to the city of Alesia.[508] And while Cæsar was besieging
this city, which was considered to be impregnable by reason of the
strength of the walls and the number of the defenders, there fell upon
him from without a danger great beyond all expectation. For the
strength of all the nations in Gaul assembling in arms came against
Alesia, to the number of three hundred thousand; and the fighting men
in the city were not fewer than one hundred and seventy thousand; so
that Cæsar being caught between two such forces and blockaded, was
compelled to form two walls for his protection, the one towards the
city, and the other opposite those who had come upon him, since, if
these forces should unite, his affairs would be entirely ruined. On
many accounts then, and with good reason, the hazard before the walls
of Alesia was famed abroad, as having produced deeds of daring and
skill such as no other struggle had done; but it is most worthy of
admiration that Cæsar engaged with so many thousands outside of the
town and defeated them without it being known to those in the city;
and still more admirable, that this was also unknown to the Romans who
were guarding the wall towards the city. For they knew nothing of the
victory till they heard the weeping of the men in Alesia and the
wailing of the women, when they saw on the other side many shields
adorned with silver and gold, and many breastplates smeared with
blood, and also cups and Gallic tents conveyed by the Romans to their
camp. So quickly did so mighty a force, like a phantom or a dream,
vanish out of sight and disperse, the greater part of the men having
fallen in battle. But those who held Alesia, after giving no small
trouble to themselves and to Cæsar, at last surrendered; and the
leader of the whole war, Vergentorix, putting on his best armour, and
equipping his horse, came out through the gates, and riding round
Cæsar who was seated, and then leaping down from his horse, he threw
off his complete armour, and seating himself at Cæsar's feet, he
remained there till he was delivered up to be kept for the triumph.

XXVIII.[509] Cæsar had long ago resolved to put down Pompeius, as
Pompeius also had fully resolved to do towards him. For now that
Crassus had lost his life among the Parthians, who kept a watch over
both of them, it remained for one of them, in order to be the chief,
to put down him who was, and to him who was the chief, to take off the
man whom he feared, in order that this might not befall him. But it
had only recently occurred to Pompeius to take alarm, and hitherto he
had despised Cæsar, thinking it would be no difficult thing for the
man whom he had elevated to be again depressed by him; but Cæsar, who
had formed his design from the beginning, like an athlete, removed
himself to a distance from his antagonists, and exercised himself in
the Celtic wars, and thus disciplined his troops and increased his
reputation, being elevated by his exploits to an equality with the
victories of Pompeius; also laying hold of pretexts, some furnished by
the conduct of Pompeius himself, and others by the times and the
disordered state of the administration at Rome, owing to which, those
who were candidates for magistracies placed tables in public and
shamelessly bribed the masses, and the people being hired went down to
show their partisanship not with votes on behalf of their briber, but
with bows and swords and slings. And after polluting the Rostra with
blood and dead bodies, they separated, leaving the city to anarchy,
like a ship carried along without a pilot, so that sensible men were
well content if matters should result in nothing worse than a monarchy
after such madness and such tempest. And there were many who even
ventured to say publicly that the state of affairs could only be
remedied by a monarchy, and that they ought to submit to this remedy
when applied by the mildest of physicians, hinting at Pompeius. But
when Pompeius in what he said affected to decline the honour, though
in fact he was more than anything else labouring to bring about his
appointment as dictator, Cato, who saw through his intention,
persuaded the Senate to appoint him sole consul, that he might not by
violent means get himself made dictator, and might be contented with a
mere constitutional monarchy. They also decreed an additional period
for his provinces: and he had two, Iberia[510] and all Libya, which he
administered by sending Legati and maintaining armies, for which he
received out of the public treasury a thousand talents every year.

XXIX. Upon this, Cæsar began to canvass for a consulship by sending
persons to Rome, and also for a prorogation of the government of his
provinces. At first Pompeius kept silent, but Marcellus[511] and
Lentulus opposed his claim, for they hated Cæsar on other grounds, and
they added to what was necessary what was not necessary, to dishonour
and insult him. For they deprived of the citizenship the inhabitants
of Novum Comum[512] a colony lately settled by Cæsar in Gaul; and
Marcellus, who was consul, punished with stripes one of the Senators
of Novum Comum who had come to Rome, and added too this insult, "That
he put these marks upon him to show that he was not a Roman," and he
told him to go and show them to Cæsar. After the consulship of
Marcellus, when Cæsar had now profusely poured forth his Gallic wealth
for all those engaged in public life to draw from, and had released
Curio[513] the tribune from many debts, and given to Paulus the consul
fifteen hundred talents, out of which he decorated the Forum with the
Basilica, a famous monument which he built in place of the old one
called Fulvia; - under these circumstances, Pompeius, fearing cabal,
both openly himself and by means of his friends exerted himself to
have a successor[514] appointed to Cæsar in his government, and he
sent and demanded back of him the soldiers[515] which he had lent to
Cæsar for the Gallic wars. Cæsar sent the men back after giving each
of them a present of two hundred and fifty drachmæ. The officers who
led these troops to Pompeius, spread abroad among the people reports
about Cæsar which were neither decent nor honest; and they misled
Pompeius by ill-founded hopes, telling him that the army of Cæsar
longed to see him, and that while he with difficulty directed affairs
at Rome owing to the odium produced by secret intrigues, the force
with Cæsar was all ready for him, and that if Cæsar's soldiers should
only cross over to Italy, they would forthwith be on his side: so
hateful, they said, had Cæsar become to them on account of his
numerous campaigns, and so suspected owing to their fear of monarchy.
With all this Pompeius was inflated, and he neglected to get soldiers
in readiness, as if he were under no apprehension; but by words and
resolution he was overpowering Cæsar, as he supposed, by carrying
decrees against him, which Cæsar cared not for at all. It is even said
that one of the centurions who had been sent by him to Rome, while
standing in front of the Senate-house, on hearing that the Senate
would not give Cæsar a longer term in his government. "But this," he
said, "shall give it," striking the hilt of his sword with his hand.

XXX. However, the claim of Cæsar at least had a striking show of
equity. For he proposed that he should lay down his arms and that when
Pompeius had done the same and both had become private persons, they
should get what favours they could from the citizens; and he argued
that if they took from him his power and confirmed to Pompeius what he
had, they would be stigmatizing one as a tyrant and making the other a
tyrant in fact. When Curio made this proposal before the people on
behalf of Cæsar, he was loudly applauded; and some even threw chaplets
of flowers upon him as on a victorious athlete. Antonius, who was
tribune, produced to the people a letter[516] of Cæsar's on this
subject which he had received, and he read it in spite of the
consuls. But in the Senate, Scipio, the father-in-law of Pompeius,
made a motion, that if Cæsar did not lay down his arms on a certain
day, he should be declared an enemy. Upon the consuls putting the
question, whether they were of opinion that Pompeius should dismiss
his troops, and again, whether Cæsar should, very few voted in favour
of the former question, and all but a few voted in favour of the
latter; but when Antonius[517] on his side moved that both should
dismiss their troops, all unanimously were in favour of that opinion.
Scipio made a violent opposition, and Lentulus, the consul, called out
that they needed arms to oppose a robber, and not votes, on which the
Senate broke up and the Senators changed their dress as a sign of
lamentation on account of the dissension.

XXXI. But when letters had come from Cæsar by which he appeared to
moderate his demands, for he proposed to surrender everything else
except Gaul within the Alps and Illyricum with two legions, which
should be given to him to hold till he was a candidate for a second
consulship, and Cicero the orator, who had just returned from Cilicia
and was labouring at a reconciliation, was inducing Pompeius to
relent, and Pompeius was ready to yield in everything else except as
to the soldiers, whom he still insisted on taking from Cæsar, Cicero
urged the friends of Cæsar to give in and to come to a settlement on
the terms of the above-mentioned provinces and the allowance of six
thousand soldiers, only to Cæsar. Pompeius was ready to yield and to
give way; but the consul Lentulus would not let him, and he went so
far as to insult and drive with dishonour from the Senate both Curio
and Antonius, thus himself contriving for Cæsar the most specious of
all pretexts, by the aid of which indeed Cæsar mainly excited the
passions of his men, pointing out to them that men of distinction and
magistrates had made their escape in hired vehicles in the dress of
slaves. For, putting on this guise through fear, they had stolen out
of Rome.

XXXII. Now Cæsar had about him no more than three hundred horse and
five thousand legionary soldiers; for the rest of his army, which had
been left beyond the Alps, was to be conducted by those whom he sent
for that purpose. Seeing that the commencement of his undertaking and
the onset did not so much require a large force at the present, but
were to be effected by the alarm which a bold stroke would create and
by quickly seizing his opportunity, for he concluded that he should
strike terror by his unexpected movement more easily than he could
overpower his enemies by attacking them with all his force, he ordered
his superior officers and centurions with their swords alone and
without any other weapons to take Ariminum, a large city of Gaul,
avoiding all bloodshed and confusion as much as possible; and he
intrusted the force to Hortensius.[518] Cæsar himself passed the day
in public, standing by some gladiators who were exercising, and
looking on; and a little before evening after attending to his person
and going into the mess-room and staying awhile with those who were
invited to supper, just as it was growing dark he rose, and
courteously addressing the guests, told them to wait for his return,
but he had previously given notice to a few of his friends to follow
him, not all by the same route, but by different directions. Mounting
one of the hired vehicles, he drove at first along another road, and
then turning towards Ariminium, when he came to the stream which
divides Gaul within the Alps from the rest of Italy (it is called
Rubico[519] , and he began to calculate as he approached nearer to
the danger, and was agitated by the magnitude of the hazard, he
checked his speed; and halting he considered about many things with
himself in silence, his mind moving from one side to the other, and
his will then underwent many changes; and he also discussed at length
with his friends who were present, of whom Pollio Asinius[520] was
one, all the difficulties, and enumerated the evils which would ensue
to all mankind from his passage of the river, and how great a report
of it they would leave to posterity. At last, with a kind of passion,
as if he were throwing himself out of reflection into the future, and
uttering what is the usual expression with which men preface their
entry upon desperate enterprises and daring, "Let the die be cast," he
hurried to cross the river; and thence advancing at full speed, he
attacked Ariminum before daybreak and took it. It is said that on the
night before the passage of the river, he had an impure dream,[521]
for he dreamed that he was in unlawful commerce with his mother.

XXXIII. But when Ariminum was taken, as if the war had been let loose
through wide gates over all the earth and sea at once, and the laws of
the state were confounded together with the limits of the province,
one would not have supposed that men and women only, as on other
occasions, in alarm were hurrying through Italy, but that the cities
themselves, rising from their foundations, were rushing in flight one



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