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The Works of Julius Caesar, (parallel English/Latin) tr. W.A. McDevitte and W.S. Bohn [1869], at

Gallic Wars Book 7 (52 B.C.E.)

7:1Gaul being tranquil, Caesar, as he had determined, sets out for Italy to hold the provincial assizes. There he receives intelligence of the death of Clodius; and, being informed of the decree of the senate, [to the effect] that all the youth of Italy should take the military oath, he determined to hold a levy throughout the entire province. Report of these events is rapidly borne into Transalpine Gaul. The Gauls themselves add to the report, and invent what the case seemed to require, [namely] that Caesar was detained by commotions in the city, and could not, amid so violent dissensions, come to his army. Animated by this opportunity, they who already, previously to this occurrence, were indignant that they were reduced beneath the dominion of Rome, begin to organize their plans for war more openly and daringly. The leading men of Gaul, having convened councils among themselves in the woods, and retired places, complain of the death of Acco: they point out that this fate may fall in turn on themselves: they bewail the unhappy fate of Gaul; and by every sort of promises and rewards, they earnestly solicit some to begin the war, and assert the freedom of Gaul at the hazard of their lives. They say that special care should be paid to this, that Caesar should be cut off from his army before their secret plans should be divulged. That this was easy, because neither would the legions, in the absence of their general, dare to leave their winter quarters, nor could the general reach his army without a guard: finally, that it was better to be slain in battle, than not to recover their ancient glory in war, and that freedom which they had received from their forefathers. Quieta Gallia Caesar, ut constituerat, in Italiam ad conventus agendos proficiscitur. Ibi cognoscit de Clodii caede [de] senatusque consulto certior factus, ut omnes iuniores Italiae coniurarent, delectum tota provincia habere instituit. Eae res in Galliam Transalpinam celeriter perferuntur. Addunt ipsi et ad fingunt rumoribus Galli, quod res poscere videbatur, retineri urbano motu Caesarem neque in tantis dissensionibus ad exercitum venire posse. Hac impulsi occasione, qui iam ante se populi Romani imperio subiectos dolerent liberius atque audacius de bello consilia inire incipiunt. Indictis inter se principes Galliae conciliis silvestribus ac remotis locis queruntur de Acconis morte; posse hunc casum ad ipsos recidere demonstrant: miserantur communem Galliae fortunam: omnibus pollicitationibus ac praemius deposcunt qui belli initium faciant et sui capitis periculo Galliam in libertatem vindicent. In primis rationem esse habendam dicunt, priusquam eorum clandestina consilia efferantur, ut Caesar ab exercitu intercludatur. Id esse facile, quod neque legiones audeant absente imperatore ex hibernis egredi, neque imperator sine praesidio ad legiones pervenire possit. Postremo in acie praestare interfici quam non veterem belli gloriam libertatemque quam a maioribus acce perint recuperare.
7:2While these things are in agitation, the Carnutes declare "that they would decline no danger for the sake of the general safety, and promise" that they would be the first of all to begin the war; and since they can not at present take precautions, by giving and receiving hostages, that the affair shall not be divulged, they require that a solemn assurance be given them by oath and plighted honor, their military standards being brought together (in which manner their most sacred obligations are made binding), that they should not be deserted by the rest of the Gauls on commencing the war. His rebus agitatis profitentur Carnutes se nullum periculum communis salutis causa recusare principesque ex omnibus bellum facturos pollicentur et, quoniam in praesentia obsidibus cavere inter se non possint ne res efferatur, ut iureiurando ac fide sanciatur, petunt, collatis militaribus signis, quo more eorum gravissima caerimonia continetur, ne facto initio belli ab reliquis deserantur. Tum collaudatis Carnutibus, dato iureiurando ab omnibus qui aderant, tempore eius rei constituto ab concilio disceditur.
7:3When the appointed day came, the Carnutes, under the command of Cotuatus and Conetodunus, desperate men, meet together at Genabum, and slay the Roman citizens who had settled there for the purpose of trading (among the rest, Caius Fusius Cita, a distinguished Roman knight, who by Caesar's orders had presided over the provision department), and plunder their property. The report is quickly spread among all the states of Gaul; for, whenever a more important and remarkable event takes place, they transmit the intelligence through their lands and districts by a shout; the others take it up in succession, and pass it to their neighbors, as happened on this occasion; for the things which were done at Genabum at sunrise, were heard in the territories of the Arverni before the end of the first watch, which is an extent of more than a hundred and sixty miles. Vbi ea dies venit, Carnutes Cotuato et Conconnetodumno ducibus, desperatis hominibus, Cenabum signo dato concurrunt civesque Romanos, qui negotiandi causa ibi constiterant, in his Gaium Fufium Citam, honestum equitem Romanum, qui rei frumentariae iussu Caesaris praeerat, interficiunt bonaque eorum diripiunt. Celeriter ad omnes Galliae civitates fama perfertur. Nam ubicumque maior atque illustrior incidit res, clamore per agros regionesque significant; hunc alii deinceps excipiunt et proximis tradunt, ut tum accidit. Nam quae Cenabi oriente sole gesta essent, ante primam confectam vigiliam in finibus Arvernorum audita sunt, quod spatium est milium passuum circiter centum LX.
7:4There in like manner, Vercingetorix the son of Celtillus the Arvernian, a young man of the highest power (whose father had held the supremacy of entire Gaul, and had been put to death by his fellow-citizens, for this reason, because he aimed at sovereign power), summoned together his dependents, and easily excited them. On his design being made known, they rush to arms: he is expelled from the town of Gergovia, by his uncle Gobanitio and the rest of the nobles, who were of opinion, that such an enterprise ought not to be hazarded: he did not however desist, but held in the country a levy of the needy and desperate. Having collected such a body of troops, he brings over to his sentiments such of his fellow-citizens as he has access to: he exhorts them to take up arms in behalf of the general freedom, and having assembled great forces he drives from the state his opponents, by whom he had been expelled a short time previously. He is saluted king by his partisans; he sends embassadors in every direction, he conjures them to adhere firmly to their promise. He quickly attaches to his interests the Senones, Parisii, Pictones, Cadurci, Turones, Aulerci, Lemovice, and all the others who border on the ocean; the supreme command is conferred on him by unanimous consent. On obtaining this authority, he demands hostages from all these states, he orders a fixed number of soldiers to be sent to him immediately; he determines what quantity of arms each state shall prepare at home, and before what time; he pays particular attention to the cavalry. To the utmost vigilance he adds the utmost rigor of authority; and by the severity of his punishments brings over the wavering: for on the commission of a greater crime he puts the perpetrators to death by fire and every sort of tortures; for a slighter cause, he sends home the offenders with their ears cut off, or one of their eyes put out, that they may be an example to the rest, and frighten others by the severity of their punishment. Simili ratione ibi Vercingetorix, Celtilli filius, Arvernus, summae potentiae adulescens, cuius pater principatum Galliae totius obtinuerat et ob eam causam, quod regnum appetebat, ab civitate erat interfectus, convocatis suis clientibus facile incendit. Cognito eius consilio ad arma concurritur. Prohibetur ab Gobannitione, patruo suo, reliquisque principibus, qui hanc temptandam fortunam non existimabant; expellitur ex oppido Gergovia; non destitit tamen atque in agris habet dilectum egentium ac perditorum. Hac coacta manu, quoscumque adit ex civitate ad suam sententiam perducit; hortatur ut communis libertatis causa arma capiant, magnisque coactis copiis adversarios suos a quibus paulo ante erat eiectus expellit ex civitate. Rex ab suis appellatur. Dimittit quoque versus legationes; obtestatur ut in fide maneant. Celeriter sibi Senones, Parisios, Pictones, Cadurcos, Turonos, Aulercos, Lemovices, Andos reliquosque omnes qui Oceanum attingunt adiungit: omnium consensu ad eum defertur imperium. Qua oblata potestate omnibus his civitatibus obsides imperat, certum numerum militum ad se celeriter adduci iubet, armorum quantum quaeque civitas domi quodque ante tempus efficiat constituit; in primis equitatui studet. Summae diligentiae summam imperi severitatem addit; magnitudine supplici dubitantes cogit. Nam maiore commisso delicto igni atque omnibus tormentis necat, leviore de causa auribus desectis aut singulis effossis oculis domum remittit, ut sint reliquis documento et magnitudine poenae perterreant alios.
7:5Having quickly collected an army by their punishments, he sends Lucterius, one of the Cadurci, a man the utmost daring, with part of his forces, into the territory of the Ruteni; and marches in person into the country of the Bituriges. On his arrival, the Bituriges send embassadors to the Aedui, under whose protection they were, to solicit aid in order that they might more easily resist the forces of the enemy. The Aedui, by the advice of the lieutenants whom Caesar had left with the army, send supplies of horse and foot to succor the Bituriges. When they came to the river Loire, which separates the Bituriges from the Aedui, they delayed a few days there, and, not daring to pass the river, return home, and send back word to the lieutenants that they had returned through fear of the treachery of the Bituriges, who, they ascertained, had formed this design, that if the Aedui should cross the river, the Bituriges on the one side, and the Arverni on the other, should surround them. Whether they did this for the reason which they alleged to the lieutenants, or influenced by treachery, we think that we ought not to state as certain, because we have no proof. On their departure, the Bituriges immediately unite themselves to the Arverni. His suppliciis celeriter coacto exercitu Lucterium Cadurcum, summae hominem audaciae, cum parte copiarum in Rutenos mittit; ipse in Bituriges proficiscitur. Eius adventu Bituriges ad Aeduos, quorum erant in fide, legatos mittunt subsidium rogatum, quo facilius hostium copias sustinere possint. Aedui de consilio legatorum, quos Caesar ad exercitum reliquerat, copias equitatus peditatusque subsidio Biturigibus mittunt. Qui cum ad flumen Ligerim venissent, quod Bituriges ab Aeduis dividit, paucos dies ibi morati neque flumen transire ausi domum revertuntur legatisque nostris renuntiant se Biturigum perfidiam veritos revertisse, quibus id consili fuisse cognoverint, ut, si flumen transissent, una ex parte ipsi, altera Arverni se circumsisterent. Id eane de causa, quam legatis pronuntiarunt, an perfidia adducti fecerint, quod nihil nobis constat, non videtur pro certo esse proponendum. Bituriges eorum discessu statim cum Arvernis iunguntur.
7:6These affairs being announced to Caesar in Italy, at the time when he understood that matters in the city had been reduced to a more tranquil state by the energy of Cneius Pompey, he set out for Transalpine Gaul. After he had arrived there, he was greatly at a loss to know by what means he could reach his army. For if he should summon the legions into the province, he was aware that on their march they would have to fight in his absence; he foresaw too that if he himself should endeavor to reach the army, he would act injudiciously, in trusting his safety even to those who seemed to be tranquilized. His rebus in Italiam Caesari nuntiatis, cum iam ille urbanas res virtute Cn. Pompei commodiorem in statum pervenisse intellegeret, in Transalpinam Galliam profectus est. Eo cum venisset, magna difficultate adficiebatur, qua ratione ad exercitum pervenire posset. Nam si legiones in provinciam arcesseret, se absente in itinere proelio dimicaturas intellegebat; si ipse ad exercitum contenderet, ne eis quidem eo tempore qui quieti viderentur suam salutem recte committi videbat.
7:7In the mean time Lucterius the Cadurcan, having been sent into the country of the Ruteni, gains over that state to the Arverni. Having advanced into the country of the Nitiobriges, and Gabali, he receives hostages from both nations, and, assembling a numerous force, marches to make a descent on the province in the direction of Narbo. Caesar, when this circumstance was announced to him, thought that the march to Narbo ought to take the precedence of all his other plans. When he arrived there, he encourages the timid and stations garrisons among the Ruteni, in the province of the Volcae Arecomici, and the country around Narbo which was in the vicinity of the enemy; he orders a portion of the forces from the province, and the recruits which he had brought from Italy, to rendezvous among the Helvii who border on the territories of the Arverni. Interim Lucterius Cadurcus in Rutenos missus eam civitatem Arvernis conciliat. Progressus in Nitiobriges et Gabalos ab utrisque obsides accipit et magna coacta manu in provinciam Narbonem versus eruptionem facere contendit. Qua re nuntiata Caesar omnibus consiliis antevertendum existimavit, ut Narbonem proficisceretur. Eo cum venisset, timentes confirmat, praesidia in Rutenis provincialibus, Volcis Arecomicis, Tolosatibus circumque Narbonem, quae loca hostibus erant finitima, constituit; partem copiarum ex provincia supplementumque, quod ex Italia adduxerat, in Helvios, qui fines Arvernorum contingunt, convenire iubet.
7:8These matters being arranged, and Lucterius now checked and forced to retreat, because he thought it dangerous to enter the line of Roman garrisons, Caesar marches into the country of the Helvii; although mount Cevennes, which separates the Arverni from the Helvii, blocked up the way with very deep snow, as it was the severest season of the year; yet having cleared away the snow to the depth of six feet, and having opened the roads, he reaches the territories of the Arverni, with infinite labor to his soldiers. This people being surprised, because they considered themselves defended by the Cevennes as by a wall, and the paths at this season of the year had never before been passable even to individuals, he orders the cavalry to extend themselves as far as they could, and strike as great a panic as possible into the enemy. These proceedings are speedily announced to Vercingetorix by rumor and his messengers. Around him all the Arverni crowd in alarm, and solemnly entreat him to protect their property, and not to suffer them to be plundered by the enemy, especially as he saw that all the war was transferred into their country. Being prevailed upon by their entreaties he moves his camp from the country of the Bituriges in the direction of the Arverni. His rebus comparatis, represso iam Lucterio et remoto, quod intrare intra praesidia periculosum putabat, in Helvios proficiscitur. Etsi mons Cevenna, qui Arvernos ab Helviis discludit, durissimo tempore anni altissima nive iter impediebat, tamen discussa nive sex in altitudinem pedum atque ita viis patefactis summo militum sudore ad fines Arvernorum pervenit. Quibus oppressis inopinantibus, quod se Cevenna ut muro munitos existimabant, ac ne singulari quidem umquam homini eo tempore anni semitae patuerant, equitibus imperat, ut quam latissime possint vagentur et quam maximum hostibus terrorem inferant. Celeriter haec fama ac nuntiis ad Vercingetorigem perferuntur; quem perterriti omnes Arverni circumsistunt atque obsecrant, ut suis fortunis consulat, neve ab hostibus diripiautur, praesertim cum videat omne ad se bellum translatum. Quorum ille precibus per motus castra ex Biturigibus movet in Arveruos versus.
7:9Caesar, having delayed two days in that place, because he had anticipated that, in the natural course of events, such would be the conduct of Vercingetorix, leaves the army under pretense of raising recruits and cavalry: he places Brutus, a young man, in command of these forces; he gives him instructions that the cavalry should range as extensively as possible in all directions; that he would exert himself not to be absent from the camp longer than three days. Having arranged these matters, he marches to Vienna by as long journeys as he can, when his own soldiers did not expect him. Finding there a fresh body of cavalry, which he had sent on to that place several days before, marching incessantly night and day, he advanced rapidly through the territory of the Aedui into that of the Lingones, in which two legions were wintering, that, if any plan affecting his own safety should have been organized by the Aedui, he might defeat it by the rapidity of his movements. When he arrived there, he sends information to the rest of the legions, and gathers all his army into one place before intelligence of his arrival could be announced to the Arverni. Vercingetorix, on hearing this circumstance, leads back his army into the country of the Bituriges; and after marching from it to Gergovia, a town of the Boii, whom Caesar had settled there after defeating them in the Helvetian war, and had rendered tributary to the Aedui, he determined to attack it. At Caesar biduum in his locis moratus, quod haec de Vercingetorige usu ventura opinione praeceperat, per causam supplementi equitatusque cogendi ab exercitu discedit; Brutum adulescentem his copiis praeficit; hunc monet, ut in omnes partes equites quam latissime pervagentur: daturum se operam, ne longius triduo ab castris absit. His constitutis rebus suis inopinantibus quam maximis potest itineribus Viennam pervenit. Ibi nactus recentem equitatum, quem multis ante diebus eo praemiserat, neque diurno neque nocturno itinere intermisso per fines Aeduorum in Lingones contendit, ubi duae legiones hiemabant, ut, si quid etiam de sua salute ab Aeduis iniretur consili, celeritate praecurreret. Eo cum pervenisset, ad reliquas legiones mittit priusque omnes in unum locum cogit quam de eius adventu Arvernis nuntiari posset. Hac re cognita Vercingetorix rursus in Bituriges exercitum reducit atque inde profectus Gorgobinam, Boiorum oppidum, quos ibi Helvetico proelio victos Caesar collocaverat Aeduisque attribuerat, oppugnare instituit.
7:10This action caused great perplexity to Caesar in the selection of his plans; [he feared] lest, if he should confine his legions in one place for the remaining portion of the winter, all Gaul should revolt when the tributaries of the Aedui were subdued, because it would appear that there was in him no protection for his friends; but if he should draw them too soon out of their winter quarters, he might be distressed by the want of provisions, in consequence of the difficulty of conveyance. It seemed better, however, to endure every hardship than to alienate the affections of all his allies, by submitting to such an insult. Having, therefore, impressed on the Aedui the necessity of supplying him with provisions, he sends forward messengers to the Boii to inform them of his arrival, and encourage them to remain firm in their allegiance, and resist the attack of the enemy with great resolution. Having left two legions and the luggage of the entire army at Agendicum, he marches to the Boii. Magnam haec res Caesari difficultatem ad consilium capiendum adferebat, si reliquam partem hiemis uno loco legiones contineret, ne stipendiariis Aeduorum expugnatis cuncta Gallia deficeret, quod nullum amicis in eo praesidium videretur positum esse; si maturius ex hibernis educeret, ne ab re frumentaria duris subvectionibus laboraret. Praestare visum est tamen omnis difficultates perpeti, quam tanta contumelia accepta omnium suorum voluntates alienare. Itaque cohortatus Aeduos de supportando commeatu praemittit ad Boios qui de suo adventu doceant hortenturque ut in fide maneant atque hostium impetum magno animo sustineant. Duabus Agedinci legionibus atque impedimentis totius exer citus relictis ad Boios proficiscitur.
7:11On the second day, when he came to Vellaunodunum, a town of the Senones, he determined to attack it, in order that he might not leave an enemy in his rear, and might the more easily procure supplies of provisions, and draw a line of circumvallation around it in two days: on the third day, embassadors being sent from the town to treat of a capitulation, he orders their arms to be brought together, their cattle to be brought forth, and six hundred hostages to be given. He leaves Caius Trebonius his lieutenant, to complete these arrangements; he himself sets out with the intention of marching as soon as possible, to Genabum, a town of the Carnutes, who having then for the first time received information of the siege of Vellaunodunum, as they thought that it would be protracted to a longer time, were preparing a garrison to send to Genabum for the defense of that town. Caesar arrived here in two days; after pitching his camp before the town, being prevented by the time of the day, he defers the attack to the next day, and orders his soldiers to prepare whatever was necessary for that enterprise; and as a bridge over the Loire connected the town of Genabum with the opposite bank, fearing lest the inhabitants should escape by night from the town, he orders two legions to keep watch under arms. The people of Genabum came forth silently from the city before midnight, and began to cross the river. When this circumstance was announced by scouts, Caesar, having set fire to the gates, sends in the legions which he had ordered to be ready, and obtains possession of the town so completely, that very few of the whole number of the enemy escaped being taken alive, because the narrowness of the bridge and the roads prevented the multitude from escaping. He pillages and burns the town, gives the booty to the soldiers, then leads his army over the Loire, and marches into the territories of the Bituriges. Altero die cum ad oppidum Senonum Vellaunodunum venisset, ne quem post se hostem relinqueret, quo expeditiore re frumentaria uteretur, oppugnare instituit idque biduo circumvallavit; tertio die missis ex oppido legatis de deditione arma conferri, iumenta produci, sescentos obsides dari iubet. Ea qui conficeret, a. Trebonium legatum relinquit. Ipse, ut quam primum iter faceret, Cenabum Carnutum proficiscitur; qui tum primum allato nuntio de oppugnatione Vellaunoduni, cum longius eam rem ductum iri existimarent, praesidium Cenabi tuendi causa, quod eo mitterent, comparabant. Huc biduo pervenit. Castris ante oppidum positis diei tempore exclusus in posterum oppugnationem differt quaeque ad eam rem usui sint militibus imperat et, quod oppidum Cenabum pons fluminis Ligeris contingebat, veritus ne noctu ex oppido profugerent, duas legiones in armis excubare iubet. Cenabenses paulo ante mediam noctem silentio ex oppido egressi flumen transire coeperunt. Qua re per exploratores nuntiata Caesar legiones quas expeditas esse iusserat portis incensis intromittit atque oppido potitur, perpaucis ex hostium numero desideratis quin cuncti caperentur, quod pontis atque itinerum angustiae multitudinis fugam intercluserant. Oppidum diripit atque incendit, praedam militibus donat, exercitum Ligerem traducit atque in Biturigum fines pervenit.
7:12Vercingetorix, when he ascertained the arrival of Caesar, desisted from the siege [of Gergovia], and marched to meet Caesar. The latter had commenced to besiege Noviodunum; and when embassadors came from this town to beg that he would pardon them and spare their lives, in order that he might execute the rest of his designs with the rapidity by which he had accomplished most of them, he orders their arms to be collected, their horses to be brought forth, and hostages to be given. A part of the hostages being now delivered up, when the rest of the terms were being performed, a few centurions and soldiers being sent into the town to collect the arms and horses, the enemy's cavalry which had outstripped the main body of Vercingetorix's army, was seen at a distance; as soon as the townsmen beheld them, and entertained hopes of assistance, raising a shout, they began to take up arms, shut the gates, and line the walls. When the centurions in the town understood from the signal-making of the Gauls that they were forming some new design, they drew their swords and seized the gates, and recovered all their men safe. Vercingetorix, ubi de Caesaris adventu cognovit, oppuguatione destitit atque obviam Caesari proficiscitur. Ille oppidum Biturigum positum in via Noviodunum oppugnare instituerat. Quo ex oppido cum legati ad eum venissent oratum ut sibi ignosceret suaeque vitae consuleret, ut celeritate reliquas res conficeret, qua pleraque erat consecutus, arma conferri, equos produci, obsides dari iubet. Parte iam obsidum tradita, cum reliqua administrarentur, centurionibus et paucis militibus intromissis, qui arma iumentaque conquirerent, equitatus hostium procul visus est, qui agmen Vercingetorigis antecesserat. Quem simul atque oppidani conspexerunt atque in spem auxili venerunt, clamore sublato arma capere, portas claudere, murum complere coeperunt. Centuriones in oppido, cum ex significatione Gallorum novi aliquid ab eis iniri consili intellexissent, gladiis destrictis portas occupaverunt suosque omnes incolumes receperunt.
7:13Caesar orders the horse to be drawn out of the camp, and commences a cavalry action. His men being now distressed, Caesar sends to their aid about four hundred German horse, which he had determined, at the beginning, to keep with himself. The Gauls could not withstand their attack, but were put to flight, and retreated to their main body, after losing a great number of men. When they were routed, the townsmen, again intimidated, arrested those persons by whose exertions they thought that the mob had been roused, and brought them to Caesar, and surrendered themselves to him. When these affairs were accomplished, Caesar marched to the Avaricum, which was the largest and best fortified town in the territories of the Bituriges, and situated in a most fertile tract of country; because he confidently expected that on taking that town, he would reduce beneath his dominion the state of the Bituriges. Caesar ex castris equitatum educi iubet, proelium equestre committit: laborantibus iam suis Germanos equites circiter CCCC summittit, quos ab initio habere secum instituerat. Eorum impetum Galli sustinere non potuerunt atque in fugam coniecti multis amissis se ad agmen receperunt. Quibus profligatis rursus oppidani perterriti comprehensos eos, quorum opera plebem concitatam existimabant, ad Caesarem perduxerunt seseque ei dediderunt. Quibus rebus confectis, Caesar ad oppidum Avaricum, quod erat maximum munitissimumque in finibus Biturigum atque agri fertilissima regione, profectus est, quod eo oppido recepto civitatem Biturigum se in potestatem redacturum confidebat.
7:14Vercingetorix, after sustaining such a series of losses at Vellaunodunum, Genabum, and Noviodunum, summons his men to a council. He impresses on them "that the war must be prosecuted on a very different system from that which had been previously adopted; but they should by all means aim at this object, that the Romans should be prevented from foraging and procuring provisions; that this was easy, because they themselves were well supplied with cavalry, and were likewise assisted by the season of the year; that forage could not be cut; that the enemy must necessarily disperse, and look for it in the houses, that all these might be daily destroyed by the horse. Besides that the interests of private property must be neglected for the sake of the general safety; that the villages and houses ought to be fired, over such an extent of country in every direction from Boia, as the Romans appeared capable of scouring in their search for forage. That an abundance of these necessaries could be supplied to them, because they would be assisted by the resources of those in whose territories the war would be waged: that the Romans either would not bear the privation, or else would advance to any distance from the camp with considerable danger; and that it made no difference whether they slew them or stripped them of their baggage, since, if it was lost, they could not carry on the war. Besides that, the towns ought to be burned which were not secured against every danger by their fortifications or natural advantages; that there should not be places of retreat for their own countrymen for declining military service, nor be exposed to the Romans as inducements to carry off abundance of provisions and plunder. If these sacrifices should appear heavy or galling, that they ought to consider it much more distressing that their wives and children should be dragged off to slavery, and themselves slain; the evils which must necessarily befall the conquered. Vercingetorix tot continuis incommodis Vellaunoduni, Cenabi, Novioduni acceptis suos ad concilium convocat. Docet longe alia ratione esse bellum gerendum atque antea gestum sit. Omnibus modis huic rei studendum, ut pabulatione et commeatu Romani prohibeantur. Id esse facile, quod equitatu ipsi abundent et quod anni tempore subleventur. Pabulum secari non posse; necessario dispersos hostes ex aedificiis petere: hos omnes cotidie ab equitibus deligi posse. Praeterea salutis causa rei familiaris commoda neglegenda: vicos atque aedificia incendi oportere hoc spatio ab via quoque versus, quo pabulandi causa adire posse videantur. Harum ipsis rerum copiam suppetere, quod, quorum in finibus bellum geratur, eorum opibus subleventur: Romanos aut inopiam non laturos aut magno periculo longius ab castris processuros; neque interesse, ipsosne interficiant, impedimentisne exuant, quibus amissis bellum geri non possit. Praeterea oppida incendi oportere, quae non munitione et loci natura ab omni sint periculo tuta, neu suis sint ad detractandam militiam receptacula neu Romanis proposita ad copiam commeatus praedamque tollendam. Haec si gravia aut acerba videautur, multo illa gravius aestimare, liberos, coniuges in servitutem abstrahi, ipsos interfici; quae sit necesse accidere victis.
7:15This opinion having been approved of by unanimous consent, more than twenty towns of the Bituriges are burned in one day. Conflagrations are beheld in every quarter; and although all bore this with great regret, yet they laid before themselves this consolation, that, as the victory was certain, they could quickly recover their losses. There is a debate concerning Avaricum in the general council, whether they should decide, that it should be burned or defended. The Bituriges threw themselves at the feet of all the Gauls, and entreat that they should not be compelled to set fire with their own hands to the fairest city of almost the whole of Gaul, which was both a protection and ornament to the state; they say that "they could easily defend it, owing to the nature of the ground, for, being inclosed almost on every side by a river and a marsh, it had only one entrance, and that very narrow." Permission being granted to them at their earnest request, Vercingetorix at first dissuades them from it, but afterward concedes the point, owing to their entreaties and the compassion of the soldiers. A proper garrison is selected for the town. Omnium consensu hac sententia probata uno die amplius XX urbes Biturigum iucenduntur. Hoc idem fit in reliquis civitatibus: in omnibus partibus incendia conspiciuntur; quae etsi magno cum dolore omnes ferebant, tamen hoc sibi solati proponebant, quod se prope explorata victoria celeriter amissa reciperaturos confidebant. Deliberatur de Avarico in communi concilio, incendi placeret an defendi. Procumbunt omnibus Gallis ad pedes Bituriges, ne pulcherrimam prope totius Galliae urbem, quae praesidio et ornamento sit civitati, suis manibus succendere cogerentur: facile se loci natura defensuros dicunt, quod prope ex omnibus partibus flumine et palude circumdata unum habeat et perangustum aditum. Datur petentibus venia dissuadente primo Vercingetorige, post concedente et precibus ipsorum et misericordia vulgi. Defensores oppido idonei deliguntur.
7:16Vercingetorix follows closely upon Caesar by shorter marches, and selects for his camp a place defended by woods and marshes, at the distance of fifteen miles from Avaricum. There he received intelligence by trusty scouts, every hour in the day, of what was going on at Avaricum, and ordered whatever he wished to be done; he closely watched all our expeditions for corn and forage, and whenever they were compelled to go to a greater distance, he attacked them when dispersed, and inflicted severe loss upon them; although the evil was remedied by our men, as far as precautions could be taken, by going forth at irregular times' and by different ways. Vercingetorix minoribus Caesarem itineribus subsequitur et locum castris deligit paludibus silvisque munitum ab Avarico longe milia passuum XVI. Ibi per certos exploratores in singula diei tempora quae ad Avaricum agerentur cognoscebat et quid fieri vellet imperabat. Omnes nostras pabulationes frumentationesque observabat dispersosque, cum longius necessario procederent, adoriebatur magnoque incommodo adficiebat, etsi, quantum ratione provideri poterat, ab nostris occurrebatur, ut incertis temporibus diversisque itineribus iretur.
7:17Caesar pitching his camp at that side of the town which was not defended by the river and marsh, and had a very narrow approach, as we have mentioned, began to raise the vineae and erect two towers: for the nature of the place prevented him from drawing a line of circumvallation. He never ceased to importune the Boii and Aedui for supplies of corn; of whom the one [the Aedui], because they were acting with no zeal, did not aid him much; the others [the Boii], as their resources were not great, quickly consumed what they had. Although the army was distressed by the greatest want of corn, through the poverty of the Boii, the apathy of the Aedui, and the burning of the houses, to such a degree, that for several days the soldiers were without corn, and satisfied their extreme hunger with cattle driven from the remote villages; yet no language was heard from them unworthy of the majesty of the Roman people and their former victories. Moreover, when Caesar addressed the legions, one by one, when at work, and said that he would raise the siege, if they felt the scarcity too severely, they unanimously begged him "not to do so; that they had served for several years under his command in such a manner that they never submitted to insult, and never abandoned an enterprise without accomplishing it; that they should consider it a disgrace if they abandoned the siege after commencing it; that it was better to endure every hardship than to not avenge the names of the Roman citizens who perished at Genabum by the perfidy of the Gauls." They intrusted the same declarations to the centurions and military tribunes, that through them they might be communicated to Caesar. Castris ad eam partem oppidi positis Caesar, quae intermissa [a] flumine et a paludibus aditum, ut supra diximus, angustum habebat, aggerem apparare, vineas agere, turres duas constituere coepit: nam circumvallare loci natura prohibebat. De re frumentaria Boios atque Aeduos adhortari non destitit; quorum alteri, quod nullo studio agebant, non multum adiuvabant, alteri non magnis facultatibus, quod civitas erat exigua et infirma, celeriter quod habuerunt consumpserunt. Summa difficultate rei frumentariae adfecto exercitu tenuitate Boiorum, indiligentia Aeduorum, incendiis aedificiorum, usque eo ut complures dies frumento milites caruerint et pecore ex longinquioribus vicis adacto extremam famem sustentarent, nulla tamen vox est ab eis audita populi Romani maiestate et superioribus victoriis indigna. Quin etiam Caesar cum in opere singulas legiones appellaret et, si acerbius inopiam ferrent, se dimissurum oppugnationem diceret, universi ab eo, ne id faceret, petebant: sic se complures anuos illo imperante meruisse, ut nullam ignominiam acciperent, nusquam infecta re discederent: hoc se ignominiae laturos loco, si inceptam oppugnationem reliquissent: praestare omnes perferre acerbitates, quam non civibus Romanis, qui Cenabi perfidia Gallorum interissent, parentarent. Haec eadem centurionibus tribunisque militum mandabant, ut per eos ad Caesarem deferrentur.
7:18When the towers had now approached the walls, Caesar ascertained from the captives that Vercingetorix after destroying the forage, had pitched his camp nearer Avaricum, and that he himself with the cavalry and light-armed infantry, who generally fought among the horse, had gone to lay an ambuscade in that quarter, to which he thought that our troops would come the next day to forage. On learning these facts, he set out from the camp secretly at midnight, and reached the camp of the enemy early in the morning. They having quickly learned the arrival of Caesar by scouts, hid their cars and baggage in the thickest parts of the woods, and drew up all their forces in a lofty and open space: which circumstance being announced, Caesar immediately ordered the baggage to be piled, and the arms to be got ready. Cum iam muro turres appropinquassent, ex captivis Caesar cognovit Vercingetorigem consumpto pabulo castra movisse propius Avaricum atque ipsum cum equitatu expeditisque, qui inter equites proeliari consuessent, insidiarum causa eo profectum, quo nostros postero die pabulatum venturos arbitraretur. Quibus rebus cognitis media nocte silentio profectus ad hostium castra mane pervenit. Illi celeriter per exploratores adventu Caesaris cognito carros impedimentaque sua in artiores silvas abdiderunt, copias omnes in loco edito atque aperto instruxerunt. Qua re nuntiata Caesar celeriter sarcinas conferri, arma expediri iussit.
7:19There was a hill of a gentle ascent from the bottom; a dangerous and impassable marsh, not more than fifty feet broad, begirt it on almost every side. The Gauls, having broken down the bridges, posted themselves on this hill, in confidence of their position, and being drawn up in tribes according to their respective states, held all the fords and passages of that marsh with trusty guards, thus determined that if the Romans should attempt to force the marsh, they would overpower them from the higher ground while sticking in it, so that whoever saw the nearness of the position, would imagine that the two armies were prepared to fight on almost equal terms; but whoever should view accurately the disadvantage of position, would discover that they were showing off an empty affectation of courage. Caesar clearly points out to his soldiers, who were indignant that the enemy could bear the sight of them at the distance of so short a space, and were earnestly demanding the signal for action, "with how great loss and the death of how many gallant men the victory would necessarily be purchased: and when he saw them so determined to decline no danger for his renown, that he ought to be considered guilty of the utmost injustice if he did not hold their life dearer than his personal safety." Having thus consoled his soldiers, he leads them back on the same day to the camp, and determined to prepare the other things which were necessary for the siege of the town. Collis erat leniter ab infimo acclivis. Hunc ex omnibus fere partibus palus difficilis atque impedita cingebat non latior pedibus quinquaginta. Hoc se colle interruptis pontibus Galli fiducia loci continebant generatimque distributi in civitates omnia vada ac saltus eius paludis obtinebant sic animo parati, ut, si eam paludem Romani perrumpere conarentur, haesitantes premerent ex loco superiore; ut qui propinquitatem loci videret paratos prope aequo Marte ad dimicandum existimaret, qui iniqui tatem condicionis perspiceret inani simulatione sese ostentare cognosceret. Indignantes milites Gaesar, quod conspectum suum hostes perferre possent tantulo spatio interiecto, et signum proeli ecentes edocet, quanto detrimento et quot virorum tortium morte necesse sit constare victoriam; quos cum sic animo paratos videat, ut nullum pro sua laude periculum recusent, summae se iniquitatis condemnari debere, nisi eorum vitam sua salute habeat cariorem. Sic milites consolatus eodem die reducit in castra reliquaque quae ad oppugnationem pertinebant oppidi administrare instituit.
7:20Vercingetorix, when he had returned to his men, was accused of treason, in that he had moved his camp nearer the Romans, in that he had gone away with all the cavalry, in that he had left so great forces without a commander, in that, on his departure, the Romans had come at such a favorable season, and with such dispatch; that all these circumstances could not have happened accidentally or without design; that he preferred holding the sovereignty of Gaul by the grant of Caesar to acquiring it by their favor. Being accused in such a manner, he made the following reply to these charges:--"That his moving his camp had been caused by want of forage, and had been done even by their advice; that his approaching near the Romans had been a measure dictated by the favorable nature of the ground, which would defend him by its natural strength; that the service of the cavalry could not have been requisite in marshy ground, and was useful in that place to which they had gone; that he, on his departure, had given the supreme command to no one intentionally, lest he should be induced by the eagerness of the multitude to hazard an engagement, to which he perceived that all were inclined, owing to their want of energy, because they were unable to endure fatigue any longer. That, if the Romans in the mean time came up by chance, they [the Gauls] should feel grateful to fortune; if invited by the information of some one they should feel grateful to him, because they were enabled to see distinctly from the higher ground the smallness of the number of their enemy, and despise the courage of those who, not daring to fight, retreated disgracefully into their camp. That he desired no power from Caesar by treachery, since he could have it by victory, which was now assured to himself and to all the Gauls; nay, that he would even give them back the command, if they thought that they conferred honor on him, rather than received safety from him. That you may be assured," said he, "that I speak these words with truth; -listen to these Roman soldiers!" He produces some camp-followers whom he had surprised on a foraging expedition some days before, and had tortured by famine and confinement. They being previously instructed in what answers they should make when examined, say, "That they were legionary soldiers, that, urged by famine and want, they had recently gone forth from the camp, [to see] if they could find any corn or cattle in the fields; that the whole army was distressed by a similar scarcity, nor had any one now sufficient strength, nor could bear the labor of the work; and therefore that the general was determined, if he made no progress in the siege, to draw off his army in three days." "These benefits," says Vercingetorix, "you receive from me, whom you accuse of treason-me, by whose exertions you see so powerful and victorious an army almost destroyed by famine, without shedding one drop of your blood; and I have taken precautions that no state shall admit within its territories this army in its ignominious flight from this place." Vercingetorix, cum ad suos redisset, proditionis insimulatus, quod castra propius Romanos movisset, quod cum omni equitatu discessisset, quod sine imperio tantas copias reliquisset, quod eius discessu Romani tanta opportunitate et celeritate venissent: non haec omnia fortuito aut sine consilio accidere potuisse; regnum illum Galliae malle Caesaris concessu quam ipsorum habere beneficio--tali modo accusatus ad haec respondit: Quod castra movisset, factum inopia pabuli etiam ipsis hortantibus; quod propius Romanos accessisset, persuasum loci opportunitate, qui se ipsum munitione defenderet: equitum vero operam neque in loco palustri desiderari debuisse et illic fuisse utilem, quo sint profecti. Summam imperi se consulto nulli discedentem tradidisse, ne is multitudinis studio ad dimicandum impelleretur; cui rei propter animi mollitiem studere omnes videret, quod diutius laborem ferre non possent. Romani si casu intervenerint, fortunae, si alicuius indicio vocati, huic habendam gratiam, quod et paucitatem eorum ex loco superiore cognoscere et virtutem despicere potuerint, qui dimicare non ausi turpiter se in castra receperint. Imperium se ab Caesare per proditionem nullum desiderare, quod habere victoria posset, quae iam esset sibi atque omnibus Gallis explorata: quin etiam ipsis remittere, si sibi magis honorem tribuere, quam ab se salutem accipere videantur. "Haec ut intellegatis," inquit, "a me sincere pronuntiari, audite Romanos milites." Producit servos, quos in pabulatione paucis ante diebus exceperat et fame vinculisque excruciaverat. Hi iam ante edocti quae interrogati pronuntiarent, milites se esse legionarios dicunt; fame et inopia adductos clam ex castris exisse, si quid frumenti aut pecoris in agris reperire possent: simili omnem exercitum inopia premi, nec iam vires sufficere cuiusquam nec ferre operis laborem posse: itaque statuisse imperatorem, si nihil in oppugnatione oppidi profecissent, triduo exercitum deducere. "Haec," inquit, "a me," Vercingetorix, "beneficia habetis, quem proditionis insimulatis; cuius opera sine vestro sanguine tantum exercitum victorem fame consumptum videtis; quem turpiter se ex fuga recipientem ne qua civitas suis finibus recipiat a me provisum est."
7:21The whole multitude raise a shout and clash their arms, according to their custom, as they usually do in the case of him of whose speech they approve; [they exclaim] that Vercingetorix was a consummate general, and that they had no doubt of his honor; that the war could not be conducted with greater prudence. They determine that ten thousand men should be picked out of the entire army and sent into the town, and decide that the general safety should not be intrusted to the Bituriges alone, because they were aware that the glory of the victory must rest with the Bituriges, if they made good the defense of the town. Conclamat omnis multitudo et suo more armis concrepat, quod facere in eo consuerunt cuius orationem approbant: summum esse Vercingetorigem ducem, nec de eius fide dubitandum, nec maiore ratione bellum administrari posse. Statuunt, ut X milia hominum delecta ex omnibus copiis in oppidum mittantur, nec solis Biturigibus communem salutem committendam censent, quod paene in eo, si id oppidum retinuissent, summam victoriae constare intellegebant.
7:22To the extraordinary valor of our soldiers, devices of every sort were opposed by the Gauls; since they are a nation of consummate ingenuity, and most skillful in imitating and making those things which are imparted by any one; for they turned aside the hooks with nooses, and when they had caught hold of them firmly, drew them on by means of engines, and undermined the mound the more skillfully on this account, because there are in their territories extensive iron mines, and consequently every description of mining operations is known and practiced by them. They had furnished, more over, the whole wall on every side with turrets, and had covered them with skins. Besides, in their frequent sallies by day and night, they attempted either to set fire to the mound, or attack our soldiers when engaged in the works; and, moreover, by splicing the upright timbers of their own towers, they equaled the height of ours, as fast as the mound had daily raised them, and countermined our mines, and impeded the working of them by stakes bent and sharpened at the ends, and boiling pitch and stones of very great weight, and prevented them from approaching the walls. Singulari militum nostrorum virtuti consilia cuius que modi Gallorum occurrebant, ut est summae genus sollertiae atque ad omnia imitanda et efficienda, quae ab quoque traduntur, aptissimum. Nam et laqueis falces avertebant, quas, cum destinaverant, tormentis introrsus reducebant, et aggerem cuniculis subtrahebant, eo scientius quod apud eos magnae sunt ferrariae atque omne genus cuniculorum notum atque usitatum est. Totum autem murum ex omni parte turribus contabulaverant atque has coriis intexerant. Tum crebris diurnis nocturnisque eruptionibus aut aggeri ignem inferebant aut milites occupatos in opere adoriebantur, et nostrarum turrium altitudinem, quantum has cotidianus agger expresserat, commissis suarum turrium malis adaequabant, et apertos cuniculos praeusta et praeacuta materia et pice fervefacta et maximi ponderis saxis morabantur moenibusque appropinquare prohibebant.
7:23But this is usually the form of all the Gallic walls. Straight beams, connected lengthwise and two feet distant from each other at equal intervals, are placed together on the ground; these are mortised on the inside, and covered with plenty of earth. But the intervals which we have mentioned, are closed up in front by large stones. These being thus laid and cemented together, another row is added above, in such a manner, that the same interval may be observed, and that the beams may not touch one another, but equal spaces intervening, each row of beams is kept firmly in its place by a row of stones. In this manner the whole wall is consolidated, until the regular height of the wall be completed. This work, with respect to appearance and variety, is not unsightly, owing to the alternate rows of beams and stones, which preserve their order in right lines; and, besides, it possesses great advantages as regards utility and the defense of cities; for the stone protects it from fire, and the wood from the battering ram, since it [the wood] being mortised in the inside with rows of beams, generally forty feet each in length, can neither be broken through nor torn asunder. Muri autem omnes Gallici hac fere forma sunt. Trabes derectae perpetuae in longitudinem paribus intervallis, distantes inter se binos pedes, in solo collocantur. Hae revinciuntur introrsus et multo aggere vestiuntur: ea autem, quae diximus, inter valla grandibus in fronte saxis effarciuntur. His collocatis et coagmentatis alius insuper ordo additur, ut idem illud intervallum servetur neque inter se contingant trabes, sed paribus intermissae spatiis singulae singulis saxis interiectis arte contineantur. Sic deinceps omne opus contexitur, dum iusta muri altitudo expleatur. Hoc cum in speciem varietatemque opus deforme non est alternis trabibus ac saxis, quae rectis lineis suos ordines servant, tum ad utilitatem et defensionem urbium summam habet opportunitatem, quod et ab incendio lapis et ab ariete materia defendit, quae perpetuis trabibus pedes quadragenos plerumque introrsus revincta neque perrumpi neque distrahi potest.
7:24The siege having been impeded by so many disadvantages, the soldiers, although they were retarded during the whole time by the mud, cold, and constant showers, yet by their incessant labor overcame all these obstacles, and in twenty-five days raised a mound three hundred and thirty feet broad and eighty feet high. When it almost touched the enemy's walls, and Caesar, according to his usual custom, kept watch at the work, and encouraged the soldiers not to discontinue the work for a moment: a little before the third watch they discovered that the mound was sinking, since the enemy had set it on fire by a mine; and at the same time a shout was raised along the entire wall, and a sally was made from two gates on each side of the turrets. Some at a distance were casting torches and dry wood from the wall on the mound, others were pouring on it pitch, and other materials, by which the flame might be excited, so that a plan could hardly be formed, as to where they should first run to the defense, or to what part aid should be brought. However, as two legions always kept guard before the camp by Caesar's orders, and several of them were at stated times at the work, measures were promptly taken, that some should oppose the sallying party, others draw back the towers and make a cut in the rampart; and moreover, that the whole army should hasten from the camp to extinguish the flames. His tot rebus impedita oppugnatione milites, cum toto tempore frigore et assiduis imbribus tardarentur, tamen continenti labore omnia haec superaverunt et diebus XXV aggerem latum pedes CCCXXX, altum pedes LXXX exstruxerunt. Cum is murum hostium paene contingeret, et Caesar ad opus consuetudine excubaret milites que hortaretur, ne quod omnino tempus ab opere intermitteretur, paulo ante tertiam vigiliam est animadversum fumare aggerem, quem cuniculo hostes succenderant, eodemque tempore toto muro clamore sublato duabus portis ab utroque latere turrium eruptio fiebat, alii faces atque aridam materiem de muro in aggerem eminus iaciebant, picem reliquasque res, quibus ignis excitari potest, fundebant, ut quo primum curreretur aut cui rei ferretur auxilium vix ratio iniri posset. Tamen, quod instituto Caesaris semper duae legiones pro castris excubabant pluresque partitis temporibus erant in opere, celeriter factum est, ut alii eruptionibus resisterent, alii turres reducerent aggeremque inter scinderent, omnis vero ex castris multitudo ad restinguendum concurreret.
7:25When the battle was going on in every direction, the rest of the night being now spent, and fresh hopes of victory always arose before the enemy: the more so on this account because they saw the coverings of our towers burnt away, and perceived, that we, being exposed, could not easily go to give assistance, and they themselves were always relieving the weary with fresh men, and considered that all the safety of Gaul rested on this crisis; there happened in my own view a circumstance which, having appeared to be worthy of record, we thought it ought not to be omitted. A certain Gaul before the gate of the town, who was casting into the fire opposite the turret balls of tallow and fire which were passed along to him, was pierced with a dart on the right side and fell dead. One of those next him stepped over him as he lay, and discharged the same office: when the second man was slain in the same manner by a wound from a cross-bow, a third succeeded him, and a fourth succeeded the third: nor was this post left vacant by the besieged, until, the fire of the mound having been extinguished, and the enemy repulsed in every direction, an end was put to the fighting. Cum in omnibus locis consumpta iam reliqua parte noctis pugnaretur, semperque hostibus spes victoriae redintegraretur, eo magis, quod deustos pluteos turrium videbant nec facile adire apertos ad auxiliandum animadvertebant, semperque ipsi recentes defessis succederent omnemque Galliae salutem in illo vestigio temporis positam arbitrarentur, accidit inspectantibus nobis quod dignum memoria visum praetereundum non existimavimus. Quidam ante portam oppidi Gallus per manus sebi ac picis traditas glebas in ignem e regione turris proiciebat: scorpione ab latere dextro traiectus exanimatusque concidit. Hunc ex proximis unus iacentem transgressus eodem illo munere fungebatur; eadem ratione ictu scorpionis exanimato alteri successit tertius et tertio quartus, nec prius ille est a propugnatoribus vacuus relictus locus quam restincto aggere atque omni ex parte summotis hostibus finis est pugnandi factus.
7:26The Gauls having tried every expedient, as nothing had succeeded, adopted the design of fleeing from the town the next day, by the advice and order of Vercingetorix. They hoped that, by attempting it at the dead of night, they would effect it without any great loss of men, because the camp of Vercingetorix was not far distant from the town, and the extensive marsh which intervened, was likely to retard the Romans in the pursuit. And they were now preparing to execute this by night, when the matrons suddenly ran out-into the streets, and weeping cast themselves at the feet of their husbands, and requested of them, with every entreaty, that they should not abandon themselves and their common children to the enemy for punishment, because the weakness of their nature and physical powers prevented them from taking to flight. When they saw that they (as fear does not generally admit of mercy in extreme danger) persisted in their resolution, they began to shout aloud, and give intelligence of their flight to the Romans. The Gauls being intimidated by fear of this, lest the passes should be pre-occupied by the Roman cavalry, desisted from their design. Omnia experti Galli, quod res nulla successerat, postero die consilium ceperunt ex oppido profugere hortante et iubente Vercingetorige. Id silentio noctis conati non magna iactura suorum sese effecturos sperabant, propterea quod neque longe ab oppido castra Vercingetorigis aberant, et palus, quae perpetua intercedebat, Romanos ad insequendum tardabat. Iamque hoc facere noctu apparabant, cum matres familiae repente in publicum procurrerunt flentesque proiectae ad pedes suorum omnibus precibus petierunt, ne se et communes liberos hostibus ad supplicium dederent, quos ad capiendam fugam naturae et virium infirmitas impediret. Vbi eos in sententia perstare viderunt, quod plerumque in summo periculo timor misericordiam non recipit, conclamare et significare de fuga Romanis coeperunt. Quo timore perterriti Galli, ne ab equitatu Romanorum viae praeoccuparentur, consilio destiterunt.
7:27The next day Caesar, the tower being advanced, and the works which he had determined to raise being arranged, a violent storm arising, thought this no bad time for executing his designs, because he observed the guards arranged on the walls a little too negligently, and therefore ordered his own men to engage in their work more remissly, and pointed out what he wished to be done. He drew up his soldiers in a secret position within the vineae, and exhorts them to reap, at least, the harvest of victory proportionate to their exertions. He proposed a reward for those who should first scale the walls, and gave the signal to the soldiers. They suddenly flew out from all quarters and quickly filled the walls. Postero die Caesar promota turri perfectisque operibus quae facere instituerat, magno coorto imbre non inutilem hanc ad capiendum consilium tempestatem arbitratus est, quod paulo incautius custodias in muro dispositas videbat, suosque languidius in opere versari iussit et quid fieri vellet ostendit. Legionibusque intra vineas in occulto expeditis, cohortatus ut aliquando pro tantis laboribus fructum victoriae perciperent, eis qui primi murum ascendissent praemia proposuit militibusque signum dedit. Illi subito ex omnibus partibus evolaverunt murumque celeriter compleverunt.
7:28The enemy being alarmed by the suddenness of the attack, were dislodged from the wall and towers, and drew up, in form of a wedge, in the market place and the open streets, with this intention that, if an attack should be made on any side, they should fight with their line drawn up to receive it. When they saw no one descending to the level ground, and the enemy extending themselves along the entire wall in every direction, fearing lest every hope of flight should be cut off, they cast away their arms, and sought, without stopping, the most remote parts of the town. A part was then slain by the infantry when they were crowding upon one another in the narrow passage of the gates; and a part having got without the gates, were cut to pieces by the cavalry: nor was there one who was anxious for the plunder. Thus, being excited by the massacre at Genabum and the fatigue of the siege, they spared neither those worn out with years, women, or children. Finally, out of all that number, which amounted to about forty thousand, scarcely eight hundred, who fled from the town when they heard the first alarm, reached Vercingetorix in safety: and he, the night being now far spent, received them in silence after their flight (fearing that any sedition should arise in the camp from their entrance in a body and the compassion of the soldiers), so that, having arranged his friends and the chiefs of the states at a distance on the road, he took precautions that they should be separated and conducted to their fellow countrymen, to whatever part of the camp had been assigned to each state from the beginning. Hostes re nova perterriti muro turribusque deiecti in foro ac locis patentioribus cuneatim constiterunt, hoc animo ut si qua ex parte obviam contra veniretur acie instructa depugnarent. Vbi neminem in aequum locum sese demittere, sed toto undique muro circumfundi viderunt, veriti ne omnino spes fugae tolleretur, abiectis armis ultimas oppidi partes continenti impetu petiverunt, parsque ibi, cum angusto exitu portarum se ipsi premerent, a militibus, pars iam egressa portis ab equitibus est interfecta; nec fuit quisquam, qui praedae studeret. Sic et Cenabi caede et labore operis incitati non aetate confectis, non mulieribus, non infantibus pepercerunt. Denique ex omni numero, qui fuit circiter milium XL, vix DCCC, qui primo clamore audito se ex oppido eiecerunt, incolumes ad Vercingetorigem pervenerunt. Quos ille multa iam nocte silentio ex fuga excepit, veritus ne qua in castris ex eorum concursu et misericordia vulgi seditio oreretur, ut procul in via dispositis familiaribus suis principibusque civitatum disparandos deducendosque ad suos curaret, quae cuique civitati pars castrorum ab initio obvenerat.
7:29Vercingetorix having convened an assembly on the following day, consoled and encouraged his soldiers in the following words: "That they should not be too much depressed in spirit, nor alarmed at their loss; that the Romans did not conquer by valor nor in the field, but by a kind of art and skill in assault, with which they themselves were unacquainted; that whoever expected every event in the war to be favorable, erred; that it never was his opinion that Avaricum should be defended, of the truth of which statement he had themselves as witnesses, but that it was owing to the imprudence of the Bituriges, and the too ready compliance of the rest, that this loss was sustained; that, however, he would soon compensate it by superior advantages; for that he would, by his exertions, bring over those states which severed themselves from the rest of the Gauls, and would create a general unanimity throughout the whole of Gaul, the union of which not even the whole earth could withstand, and that he had it already almost effected; that in the mean time it was reasonable that he should prevail on them, for the sake of the general safety, to begin to fortify their camp, in order that they might the more easily sustain the sudden attacks of the enemy." Postero die concilio convocato consolatus cohortatusque est ne se admodum animo demitterent, ne perturbarentur incommodo. Non virtute neque in acie vicisse Romanos, sed artificio quodam et scientia oppugnationis, cuius rei fuerint ipsi imperiti. Errare, si qui in bello omnes secundos rerum proventus exspectent. Sibi numquam placuisse Avaricum defendi, cuius rei testes ipsos haberet; sed factum imprudentia Biturigum et nimia obsequentia reliquorum uti hoc incommodum acciperetur. Id tamen se celeriter maioribus commodis sanaturum. Nam quae ab reliquis Gallis civitates dissentirent, has sua diligentia adiuncturum atque unum consilium totius Galliae effecturum, cuius consensui ne orbis quidem terrarum possit obsistere; idque se prope iam effectum habere. Interea aequum esse ab eis communis salutis causa impetrari ut castra munire instituerent, quo facilius repentinos hostium impetus sustinerent.
7:30This speech was not disagreeable to the Gauls, principally, because he himself was not disheartened by receiving so severe a loss, and had not concealed himself, nor shunned the eyes of the people: and he was believed to possess greater foresight and sounder judgment than the rest, because, when the affair was undecided, he had at first been of opinion that Avaricum should be burnt, and afterward that it should be abandoned. Accordingly, as ill success weakens the authority of other generals, so, on the contrary, his dignity increased daily, although a loss was sustained: at the same time they began to entertain hopes, on his assertion, of uniting the rest of the states to themselves, and on this occasion, for the first time, the Gauls began to fortify their camps, and were so alarmed that although they were men unaccustomed to toil, yet they were of opinion that they ought to endure and suffer every thing which should be imposed upon them. Fuit haec oratio non ingrata Gallis, et maxime, quod ipse animo non defecerat tanto accepto incommodo neque se in occultum abdiderat et conspectum multitudinis fugerat; plusque animo providere et praesentire existimabatur, quod re integra primo incendendum Avaricum, post deserendum censuerat. Itaque ut reliquorum imperatorum res adversae auctoritatem minuunt, sic huius ex contrario dignitas incommodo accepto in dies augebatur. Simul in spem veniebant eius adfirmatione de reliquis adiungendis civitatibus; primumque eo tempore Galli castra munire instituerunt et sic sunt animo confirmati, homines insueti laboris, ut omnia quae imperarentur sibi patienda existimarent.
7:31Nor did Vercingetorix use less efforts than he had promised, to gain over the other states, and [in consequence] endeavored to entice their leaders by gifts and promises. For this object he selected fitting emissaries, by whose subtle pleading or private friendship, each of the nobles could be most easily influenced. He takes care that those who fled to him on the storming of Avaricum should be provided with arms and clothes. At the same time that his diminished forces should be recruited, he levies a fixed quota of soldiers from each state, and defines the number and day before which he should wish them brought to the camp, and orders all the archers, of whom there was a very great number in Gaul, to be collected and sent to him. By these means, the troops which were lost at Avaricum are speedily replaced. In the mean time, Teutomarus, the son of Ollovicon, the king of the Nitiobriges, whose father had received the appellation of friend from our senate, came to him with a great number of his own horse and those whom he had hired from Aquitania. Nec minus quam est pollicitus Vercingetorix animo laborabat ut reliquas civitates adiungeret, atque eas donis pollicitationibusque alliciebat. Huic rei idoneos homines deligebat, quorum quisque aut oratione subdola aut amicitia facillime capere posset. Qui Avarico expugnato refugerant, armandos vestiendosque curat; simul, ut deminutae copiae redintegrarentur, imperat certum numerum militum civitatibus, quem et quam ante diem in castra adduci velit, sagittariosque omnes, quorum erat permagnus numerus in Gallia, conquiri et ad se mitti iubet. His rebus celeriter id quod Avarici deperierat expletur. Interim Teutomatus, Olloviconis filius, rex Nitiobrigum, cuius pater ab senatu nostro amicus erat appellatus, cum magno equitum suorum numero et quos ex Aquitania conduxerat ad eum pervenit.
7:32Caesar, after delaying several days at Avaricum, and, finding there the greatest plenty of corn and other provisions, refreshed his army after their fatigue and privation. The winter being almost ended, when he was invited by the favorable season of the year to prosecute the war and march against the enemy, [and try] whether he could draw them from the marshes and woods, or else press them by a blockade; some noblemen of the Aedui came to him as embassadors to entreat "that in an extreme emergency he should succor their state; that their affairs were in the utmost danger, because, whereas single magistrates had been usually appointed in ancient times and held the power of king for a single year, two persons now exercised this office, and each asserted that he was appointed according to their laws. That one of them was Convictolitanis, a powerful and illustrious youth; the other Cotus, sprung from a most ancient family, and personally a man of very great influence and extensive connections. His brother Valetiacus had borne the same office during the last year: that the whole state was up in arms; the senate divided, the people divided; that each of them had his own adherents; and that, if the animosity would be fomented any longer, the result would be that one part of the state would come to a collision with the other; that it rested with his activity and influence to prevent it." Caesar Avarici complures dies commoratus summamque ibi copiam frumenti et reliqui commeatus nactus exercitum ex labore atque inopia refecit. Iam prope hieme confecta cum ipso anni tempore ad gerendum bellum vocaretur et ad hostem proficisci constituisset, sive eum ex paludibus silvisque elicere sive obsidione premere posset, legati ad eum principes Aeduorum veniunt oratum ut maxime necessario tempore civitati subveniat: summo esse in periculo rem, quod, cum singuli magistratus antiquitus creari atque regiam potestatem annum obtinere consuessent, duo magistratum gerant et se uterque eorum legibus creatum esse dicat. Horum esse alterum Convictolitavem, florentem et illustrem adulescentem, alterum Cotum, antiquissima familia natum atque ipsum hominem summae potentiae et magnae cognationis, cuius frater Valetiacus proximo anno eundem magistratum gesserit. Civitatem esse omnem in armis; divisum senatum, divisum populum, suas cuiusque eorum clientelas. Quod si diutius alatur controversia, fore uti pars cum parte civitatis confligat. Id ne accidat, positum in eius diligentia atque auctoritate.
7:33Although Caesar considered it ruinous to leave the war and the enemy, yet, being well aware what great evils generally arise from internal dissensions, lest a state so powerful and so closely connected with the Roman people, which he himself had always fostered and honored in every respect, should have recourse to violence and arms, and that the party which had less confidence in its own power should summon aid from Vercingetorix, he determined to anticipate this movement; and because, by the laws of the Aedui, it was not permitted those who held the supreme authority to leave the country, he determined to go in person to the Aedui, lest he should appear to infringe upon their government and laws, and summoned all the senate, and those between whom the dispute was, to meet him at Decetia. When almost all the state had assembled there, and he was informed that one brother had been declared magistrate by the other, when only a few persons were privately summoned for the purpose, at a different time and place from what he ought, whereas the laws not only forbade two belonging to one family to be elected magistrates while each was alive, but even deterred them from being in the senate, he compelled Cotus to resign his office; he ordered Convictolitanis, who had been elected by the priests, according to the usage of the state, in the presence of the magistrates, to hold the supreme authority. Caesar, etsi a bello atque hoste discedere detrimentosum esse existimabat, tamen non ignorans quanta ex dissensionibus incommoda oriri consuessent, ne tanta et tam coniuncta populo Romano civitas, quam ipse semper aluisset omnibusque rebus ornasset, ad vim atque arma descenderet, atque ea pars quae minus sibi confideret auxilia a Vercingetorige arcesseret, huic rei praevertendum existimavit et, quod legibus Aeduorum eis, qui summum magistra tum obtinerent, excedere ex finibus non liceret, ne quid de iure aut de legibus eorum deminuisse videretur, ipse in Aeduos proficisci statuit senatumque omnem et quos inter controversia esset ad se Decetiam evocavit. Cum prope omnis civitas eo convenisset, docereturque paucis clam convocatis alio loco, alio tempore atque oportuerit fratrem a fratre renuntiatum, cum leges duo ex una familia vivo utroque non solum magistratus creari vetarent, sed etiam in senatu esse prohiberent, Cotum imperium deponere coegit, Convictolitavem, qui per sacerdotes more civitatis intermissis magistratibus esset creatus, potestatem obtinere iussit.
7:34Having pronounced this decree between [the contending parties], he exhorted the Aedui to bury in oblivion their disputes and dissensions, and, laying aside all these things, devote themselves to the war, and expect from him, on the conquest of Gaul, those rewards which they should have earned, and send speedily to him all their cavalry and ten thousand infantry, which he might place in different garrisons to protect his convoys of provisions, and then divided his army into two parts: he gave Labienus four legions to lead into the country of the Senones and Parisii; and led in person six into the country of the Arverni, in the direction of the town of Gergovia, along the banks of the Allier. He gave part of the cavalry to Labienus and kept part to himself. Vercingetorix, on learning this circumstance, broke down all the bridges over the river and began to march on the other bank of the Allier. Hoc decreto interposito cohortatus Aeduos, ut controversiarum ac dissensionis obliviscerentur atque omnibus omissis his rebus huic bello servirent eaque quae meruissent praemia ab se devicta Gallia exspectarent equitatumque omnem et peditum milia decem sibi celeriter mitterent, quae in praesidiis rei frumentariae causa disponeret, exercitum in duas partes divisit: quattuor legiones in Senones Parisiosque Labieno ducendas dedit, sex ipse in Arvernos ad oppidum Gergoviam secundum flumen Elaver duxit; equitatus partem illi attribuit, partem sibi reliquit. Qua re cognita Vercingetorix omnibus interruptis eius fluminis pontibus ab altera fluminis parte iter facere coepit.
7:35When each army was in sight of the other, and was pitching their camp almost opposite that of the enemy, scouts being distributed in every quarter, lest the Romans should build a bridge and bring over their troops; it was to Caesar a matter attended with great difficulties, lest he should be hindered from passing the river during the greater part of the summer, as the Allier can not generally be forded before the autumn. Therefore, that this might not happen, having pitched his camp in a woody place opposite to one of those bridges which Vercingetorix had taken care should be broken down, the next day he stopped behind with two legions in a secret place; he sent on the rest of the forces as usual, with all the baggage, after having selected some cohorts, that the number of the legions might appear to be complete. Having ordered these to advance as far as they could, when now, from the time of day, he conjectured they had come to an encampment, he began to rebuild the bridge on the same piles, the lower part of which remained entire. Having quickly finished the work and led his legions across, he selected a fit place for a camp, and recalled the rest of his troops. Vercingetorix, on ascertaining this fact, went before him by forced marches, in order that he might not be compelled to come to an action against his will. Cum uterque utrimque exisset exercitus, in conspectu fereque e regione castris castra ponebant dispositis exploratoribus, necubi effecto ponte Romani copias traducerent. Erat in magnis Caesaris difficultatibus res, ne maiorem aestatis partem flumine impediretur, quod non fere ante autumnum Elaver vado transiri solet. Itaque, ne id accideret, silvestri loco castris positis e regione unius eorum pontium, quos Vercingetorix rescindendos curaverat, postero die cum duabus legionibus in occulto restitit; reliquas copias cum omnibus impedimentis, ut consueverat, misit, apertis quibusdam cohortibus, uti numerus legionum constare videretur. His quam longissime possent egredi iussis, cum iam ex diei tempore coniecturam ceperat in castra perventum, isdem sublicis, quarum pars inferior integra remanebat, pontem reficere coepit. Celeriter effecto opere legionibusque traductis et loco castris idoneo delecto reliquas copias revocavit. Vercingetorix re cognita, ne contra suam voluntatem dimicare cogeretur, magnis itineribus antecessit.
7:36Caesar, in five days' march, went from that place to Gergovia, and after engaging in a slight cavalry skirmish that day, on viewing the situation of the city, which, being built on a very high mountain, was very difficult of access, he despaired of taking it by storm, and determined to take no measures with regard to besieging it before he should secure a supply of provisions. But Vercingetorix, having pitched his camp on the mountain near the town, placed the forces of each state separately and at small intervals around himself, and having occupied all the hills of that range as far as they commanded a view [of the Roman encampment], he presented a formidable appearance; he ordered the rulers of the states, whom he had selected as his council of war, to come to him daily at the dawn, whether any measure seemed to require deliberation or execution. Nor did he allow almost any day to pass without testing in a cavalry action, the archers being intermixed, what spirit and valor there was in each of his own men. There was a hill opposite the town, at the very foot of that mountain, strongly fortified and precipitous on every side (which if our men could gain, they seemed likely to exclude the enemy from a great share of their supply of water, and from free foraging; but this place was occupied by them with a weak garrison): however, Caesar set out from the camp in the silence of night, and dislodging the garrison before succor could come from the town, he got possession of the place and posted two legions there, and drew from the greater camp to the less a double trench twelve feet broad, so that the soldiers could even singly pass secure from any sudden attack of the enemy. Caesar ex eo loco quintis castris Gergoviam pervenit equestrique eo die proelio levi facto perspecto urbis situ, quae posita in altissimo monte omnes aditus difficiles habebat, de expugnatione desperavit, de obsessione non prius agendum constituit, quam rem frumentariam expedisset. At Vercingetorix castris, prope oppidum positis, mediocribus circum se intervallis separatim singularum civitatium copias collocaverat atque omnibus eius iugi collibus occupatis, qua despici poterat, horribilem speciem praebebat; principesque earum civitatium, quos sibi ad consilium capiendum delegerat, prima luce cotidie ad se convenire iubebat, seu quid communicandum, seu quid administrandum videretur; neque ullum fere diem intermittebat quin equestri proelio interiectis sagittariis, quid in quoque esset animi ac virtutis suorum perspiceret. Erat e regione oppidi collis sub ipsis radicibus montis, egregie munitus atque ex omni parte circumcisus; quem si tenerent nostri, et aquae magna parte et pabulatione libera prohibituri hostes videbantur. Sed is locus praesidio ab his non nimis firmo tenebatur. Tamen silentio noctis Caesar ex castris egressus, priusquam subsidio ex oppido veniri posset, deiecto praesidio potitus loco duas ibi legiones collocavit fossamque duplicem duodenum pedum a maioribus castris ad minora perduxit, ut tuto ab repentino hostium incursu etiam singuli commeare possent.
7:37While these affairs were going on at Gergovia, Convictolanis, the Aeduan, to whom we have observed the magistracy was adjudged by Caesar, being bribed by the Arverni, holds a conference with certain young men, the chief of whom were Litavicus and his brothers, who were born of a most noble family. He shares the bribe with them, and exhorts them to "remember that they were free and born for empire; that the state of the Aedui was the only one which retarded the most certain victory of the Gauls; that the rest were held in check by its authority; and, if it was brought over, the Romans would not have room to stand on in Gaul; that he had received some kindness from Caesar, only so far, however, as gaining a most just cause by his decision; but that he assigned more weight to the general freedom; for, why should the Aedui go to Caesar to decide concerning their rights and laws, rather than the Romans come to the Aedui?" The young men being easily won over by the speech of the magistrate and the bribe, when they declared that they would even be leaders in the plot, a plan for accomplishing it was considered, because they were confident their state could not be induced to undertake the war on slight grounds. It was resolved that Litavicus should have the command of the ten thousand, which were being sent to Caesar for the war, and should have charge of them on their march, and that his brothers should go before him to Caesar. They arrange the other measures, and the manner in which they should have them done. Dum haec ad Gergoviam geruntur, Convictolitavis Aeduus, cui magistratum adiudicatum a Caesare demonstravimus, sollicitatus ab Arvernis pecunia cum quibusdam adulescentibus colloquitur; quorum erat princeps Litaviccus atque eius fratres, amplissima familia nati adulescentes. Cum his praemium communicat hortaturque, ut se liberos et imperio natos meminerint. Vnam esse Aeduorum civitatem, quae certissimam Galliae victoriam detineat; eius auctoritate reliquas contineri; qua traducta locum consistendi Romanis in Gallia non fore. Esse nonnullo se Caesaris beneficio adfectum, sic tamen, ut iustissimam apud eum causam obtinuerit; sed plus communi libertati tribuere. Cur enim potius Aedui de suo iure et de legibus ad Caesarem disceptatorem, quam Romani ad Aeduos veniant? Celeriter adulescentibus et oratione magistratus et praemio deductis, cum se vel principes eius consili fore profiterentur, ratio perficiendi quaerebatur, quod civitatem temere ad suscipiendum bellum adduci posse non confidebant. Placuit ut Litaviccus decem illis milibus, quae Caesari ad bellum mitterentur, praeficeretur atque ea ducenda curaret, fratresque eius ad Caesarem praecurrerent. Reliqua qua ratione agi placeat constituunt.
7:38Litavicus, having received the command of the army, suddenly convened the soldiers, when he was about thirty miles distant from Gergovia, and, weeping, said, "Soldiers, whither are we going? All our knights and all our nobles have perished. Eporedirix and Viridomarus, the principal men of the state, being accused of treason, have been slain by the Romans without any permission to plead their cause. Learn this intelligence from those who have escaped from the massacre; for I, since my brothers and all my relations have been slain, am prevented by grief from declaring what has taken place. Persons are brought forward whom he had instructed in what he would have them say, and make the same statements to the soldiery as Litavicus had made: that all the knights of the Aedui were slain because they were said to have held conferences with the Arverni; that they had concealed themselves among the multitude of soldiers, and had escaped from the midst of the slaughter. The Aedui shout aloud and conjure Litavicus to provide for their safety. As if, said he, it were a matter of deliberation, and not of necessity, for us to go to Gergovia and unite ourselves to the Arverni. Or have we any reasons to doubt that the Romans, after perpetrating the atrocious crime, are now hastening to slay us? Therefore, if there be any spirit in us, let us avenge the death of those who have perished in a most unworthy manner, and let us slay these robbers." He points to the Roman citizens, who had accompanied them, in reliance on his protection. He immediately seizes a great quantity of corn and provisions, cruelly tortures them, and then puts them to death, sends messengers throughout the entire state of the Aedui, and rouses them completely by the same falsehood concerning the slaughter of their knights and nobles; he earnestly advises them to avenge, in the same manner as he did, the wrongs, which they had received. Litaviccus accepto exercitu, cum milia passuum circiter XXX ab Gergovia abesset, convocatis subito militibus lacrimans, "Quo proficiscimur," inquit, "milites? Omnis noster equitatus, omnis nobilitas interiit; principes civitatis, Eporedorix et Viridomarus, insimulati proditionis ab Romanis indicta causa interfecti sunt. Haec ab ipsis cognoscite, qui ex ipsa caede fugerunt: nam ego fratribus atque omnibus meis propinquis interfectis dolore prohibeor, quae gesta sunt, pronuntiare." Producuntur hi quos ille edocuerat quae dici vellet, atque eadem, quae Litaviccus pronuntiaverat, multitudini exponunt: multos equites Aeduorum interfectos, quod collocuti cum Arvernis dicerentur; ipsos se inter multitudinem militum occultasse atque ex media caede fugisse. Conclamant Aedui et Litaviccum obsecrant ut sibi consulat. "Quasi vero," inquit ille, "consili sit res, ac non necesse sit nobis Gergoviam contendere et cum Arvernis nosmet coniungere. An dubitamus quin nefario facinore admisso Romani iam ad nos interficiendos concurrant? Proinde, si quid in nobis animi est, persequamur eorum mortem qui indignissime interierunt, atque hos latrones interficiamus." Ostendit cives Romanos, qui eius praesidi fiducia una erant: magnum numerum frumenti commeatusque diripit, ipsos crudeliter excruciatos interficit. Nuntios tota civitate Aeduorum dimittit, eodem mendacio de caede equitum et principum permovet; hortatur ut simili ratione atque ipse fecerit suas iniurias persequantur.
7:39Eporedirix, the Aeduan , a young man born in the highest rank and possessing very great influence at home, and, along with Viridomarus, of equal age and influence, but of inferior birth, whom Caesar had raised from a humble position to the highest rank, on being recommended to him by Divitiacus, had come in the number of horse, being summoned by Caesar by name. These had a dispute with each other for precedence, and in the struggle between the magistrates they had contended with their utmost efforts, the one for Convictolitanis, the other for Cotus. Of these Eporedirix, on learning the design of Litavicus, lays the matter before Caesar almost at midnight; he entreats that Caesar should not suffer their state to swerve from the alliance with the Roman people, owing to the depraved counsels of a few young men which he foresaw would be the consequence if so many thousand men should unite themselves to the enemy, as their relations could not neglect their safety, nor the state regard it as a matter of slight importance. Eporedorix Aeduus, summo loco natus adulescens et summae domi potentiae, et una Viridomarus, pari aetate et gratia, sed genere dispari, quem Caesar ab Diviciaeo sibi traditum ex humili loco ad summam dignitatem perduxerat, in equitum numero convenerant nominatim ab eo evocati. His erat inter se de principatu contentio, et in illa magistratuum controversia alter pro Convictolitavi, alter pro Coto summis opibus pugnaverant. Ex eis Eporedorix cognito Litavicci consilio media fere nocte rem ad Caesarem defert; orat ne patiatur civitatem pravis adulescentium consiliis ab amicitia populi Romani deficere; quod futurum provideat, si se tot hominum milia cum hostibus coniunxerint, quorum salutem neque propinqui neglegere, neque civitas levi momento aestimare posset.
7:40Caesar felt great anxiety on this intelligence, because he had always especially indulged the state of the Aedui, and, without any hesitation, draws out from the camp four light-armed legions and all the cavalry: nor had he time, at such a crisis, to contract the camp, because the affair seemed to depend upon dispatch. He leaves Caius Fabius, his lieutenant, with two legions to guard the camp. When he ordered the brothers of Litavicus to be arrested, he discovers that they had fled a short time before to the camp of the enemy. He encouraged his soldiers "not to be disheartened by the labor of the journey on such a necessary occasion," and, after advancing twenty-five miles, all being most eager, he came in sight of the army of the Aedui, and, by sending on his cavalry, retards and impedes their march; he then issues strict orders to all his soldiers to kill no one. He commands Eporedirix and Viridomarus, who they thought were killed, to move among the cavalry and address their friends. When they were recognized and the treachery of Litavicus discovered, the Aedui began to extend their hands to intimate submission, and, laying down their arms, to deprecate death. Litavicus, with his clansmen, who after the custom of the Gauls consider it a crime to desert their patrons, even in extreme misfortune, flees forth to Gergovia. Magna adfectus sollicitudine hoc nuntio Caesar, quod semper Aeduorum civitati praecipue indulserat, nulla interposita dubitatione legiones expeditas quattuor equitatumque omnem ex castris educit; nec fuit spatium tali tempore ad contrahenda castra, quod res posita in celeritate videbatur; Gaium Fabium legatum eum legionibus duabus castris praesidio relinquit. Fratres Litavicci eum comprehendi iussisset, paulo ante reperit ad hostes fugisse. Adhortatus milites, ne necessario tempore itineris labore permoveantur, cupidissimis omnibus progressus milia passuum XXV agmen Aeduorum conspicatus immisso equitatu iter eorum moratur atque impedit interdicitque omnibus ne quemquam interficiant. Eporedorigem et Viridomarum, quos illi interfectos existimabant, inter equites versari suosque appellare iubet. His cognitis et Litavicci fraude perspecta Aedui manus tendere, deditionem significare et proiectis armis mortem deprecari incipiunt. Litaviccus cum suis clientibus, quibus more Gallorum nefas est etiam in extrema fortuna deserere patronos, Gergoviam profugit.
7:41Caesar, after sending messengers to the state of the Aedui, to inform them that they whom he could have put to death by the right of war were spared through his kindness, and after giving three hours of the night to his army for his repose, directed his march to Gergovia. Almost in the middle of the journey, a party of horse that were sent by Fabius stated in how great danger matters were, they inform him that the camp was attacked by a very powerful army, while fresh men were frequently relieving the wearied, and exhausting our soldiers by the incessant toil, since on account of the size of the camp, they had constantly to remain on the rampart; that many had been wounded by the immense number of arrows and all kinds of missiles; that the engines were of great service in withstanding them; that Fabius, at their departure, leaving only two gates open, was blocking up the rest, and was adding breast-works to the ramparts, and was preparing himself for a similar casualty on the following day. Caesar, after receiving this information, reached the camp before sunrise owing to the very great zeal of his soldiers. Caesar nuntiis ad civitatem Aeduorum missis, qui suo beneficio conservatos docerent quos iure belli interficere potuisset, tribusque horis noctis exercitui ad quietem datis castra ad Gergoviam movit. Medio fere itinere equites a Fabio missi, quanto res in periculo fuerit, exponunt. Summis copiis castra oppugnata demonstrant, cum crebro integri defessis succederent nostrosque assiduo labore defatigarent, quibus propter magnitudinem castrorum perpetuo esset isdem in vallo permanendum. Multitudine sagittarum atque omnis generis telorum multos vulneratos; ad haec sustinenda magno usui fuisse tormenta. Fabium discessu eorum duabus relictis portis obstruere ceteras pluteosque vallo addere et se in posterum diem similemque casum apparare. His rebus cognitis Caesar summo studio militum ante ortum solis in castra pervenit.
7:42While these things are going on at Gergovia, the Aedui, on receiving the first announcements from Litavicus, leave themselves no time to ascertain the truth of those statements. Some are stimulated by avarice, others by revenge and credulity, which is an innate propensity in that race of men to such a degree that they consider a slight rumor as an ascertained fact. They plunder the property of the Roman citizens, and either massacre them or drag them away to slavery. Convictolitanis increases the evil state of affairs, and goads on the people to fury, that by the commission of some outrage they may be ashamed to return to propriety. They entice from the town of Cabillonus, by a promise of safety, Marcus Aristius, a military tribune, who was on his march to his legion; they compel those who had settled there for the purpose of trading to do the same. By constantly attacking them on their march they strip them of all their baggage; they besiege day and night those that resisted; when many were slain on both sides, they excite a great number to arms. Dum haec ad Gergoviam geruntur, Aedui primis nuntiis ab Litavicco acceptis nullum sibi ad cognoscendum spatium relinquunt. Impellit alios avaritia, alios iracundia et temeritas, quae maxime illi hominum generi est innata, ut levem auditionem habeant pro re comperta. Bona civium Romanorum diripiunt, caedes faciunt, in servitutem abstrahunt. Adiuvat rem proclinatam Convictolitavis plebemque ad furorem impellit, ut facinore admisso ad sanitatem reverti pudeat. Marcum Aristium, tribunum militum, iter ad legionem facientem fide data ex oppido Cabillono educunt: idem facere cogunt eos, qui negotiandi causa ibi constiterant. Hos continuo (in) itinere adorti omnibus impedimentis exuunt; repugnantes diem noctemque obsident; multis utrimque interfectis maiorem multitudinem armatorum concitant.
7:43In the mean time, when intelligence was brought that all their soldiers were in Caesar's power, they run in a body to Aristius; they assure him that nothing had been done by public authority; they order an inquiry to be made about the plundered property; they confiscate the property of Litavicus and his brothers; they send embassadors to Caesar for the purpose of clearing themselves. They do all this with a view to recover their soldiers; but being contaminated by guilt, and charmed by the gains arising from the plundered property, as that act was shared in by many, and being tempted by the fear of punishment, they began to form plans of war and stir up the other states by embassies. Although Caesar was aware of this proceeding, yet he addresses the embassadors with as much mildness as he can: "That he did not think worse of the state on account of the ignorance and fickleness of the mob, nor would diminish his regard for the Aedui." He himself, fearing a greater commotion in Gaul, in order to prevent his being surrounded by all the states, began to form plans as to the manner in which he should return from Gergovia and again concentrate his forces, lest a departure arising from the fear of a revolt should seem like a flight. Interim nuntio allato omnes eorum milites in potestate Caesaris teneri, concurrunt ad Aristium, nihil publico factum consilio demonstrant; quaestionem de bonis direptis decernunt, Litavicci fatrumque bona publicant, legatos ad Caesarem sui purgandi gratia mittunt. Haec faciunt reciperandorum suorum causa; sed contaminati facinore et capti compendio ex direptis bonis, quod ea res ad multos pertinebat, timore poenae exterriti consilia clam de bello inire incipiunt civitatesque reliquas legationibus sollicitant. Quae tametsi Caesar intellegebat, tamen quam mitissime potest legatos appellat: nihil se propter inscientiam levitatemque vulgi gravius de civitate iudicare neque de sua in Aeduos benevolentia deminuere. Ipse maiorem Galliae motum exspectans, ne ab omnibus civitatibus circumsisteretur, consilia inibat quemadmodum ab Gergovia discederet ac rursus omnem exercitum contraheret, ne profectio nata ab timore defectionis similis fugae videretur.
7:44While he was considering these things an opportunity of acting successfully seemed to offer. For, when he had come into the smaller camp for the purpose of securing the works, he noticed that the hill in the possession of the enemy was stripped of men, although, on the former days, it could scarcely be seen on account of the numbers on it. Being astonished, he inquires the reason of it from the deserters, a great number of whom flocked to him daily. They all concurred in asserting, what Caesar himself had already ascertained by his scouts, that the back of that hill was almost level; but likewise woody and narrow, by which there was a pass to the other side of the town; that they had serious apprehensions for this place, and had no other idea, on the occupation of one hill by the Romans, than that, if they should lose the other, they would be almost surrounded, and cut off from all egress and foraging; that they were all summoned by Vercingetorix to fortify this place. Haec cogitanti accidere visa est facultas bene rei gerendae. Nam cum in minora castra operis perspiciendi causa venisset, animadvertit collem, qui ab hostibus tenebatur, nudatum hominibus, qui superioribus diebus vix prae multitudine cerni poterat. Admiratus quaerit ex perfugis causam, quorum magnus ad eum cotidie numerus confluebat. Constabat inter omnes, quod iam ipse Caesar per exploratores cognoverat, dorsum esse eius iugi prope aequum, sed hunc silvestrem et angustum, qua esset aditus ad alteram partem oppidi; huic loco vehementer illos timere nec iam aliter sentire, uno colle ab Romanis occupato, si alterum amisissent, quin paene circumvallati atque omni exitu et pabulatione interclusi viderentur: ad hunc muniendum omnes a Vercingetorige evocatos.
7:45Caesar, on being informed of this circumstance, sends several troops of horse to the place immediately after midnight; he orders them to range in every quarter with more tumult than usual. At dawn he orders a large quantity of baggage to be drawn out of the camp, and the muleteers with helmets, in the appearance and guise of horsemen, to ride round the hills. To these he adds a few cavalry, with instructions to range more widely to make a show. He orders them all to seek the same quarter by a long circuit; these proceedings were seen at a distance from the town, as Gergovia commanded a view of the camp, nor could the Gauls ascertain at so great a distance, what certainty there was in the maneuver. He sends one legion to the same hill, and after it had marched a little, stations it in the lower ground, and congeals it in the woods. The suspicion of the Gauls are increased, and all their forces are marched to that place to defend it. Caesar, having perceived the camp of the enemy deserted, covers the military insignia of his men, conceals the standards, and transfers his soldiers in small bodies from the greater to the less camp, and points out to the lieutenants whom he had placed in command over the respective legions, what he should wish to be done; he particularly advises them to restrain their men from advancing too far, through their desire of fighting, or their hope of plunder, he sets before them what disadvantages the unfavorable nature of the ground carries with it; that they could be assisted by dispatch alone: that success depended on a surprise, and not on a battle. After stating these particulars, he gives the signal for action, and detaches the Aedui at the same time by another ascent on the right. Hac re cognita Caesar mittit complures equitum turmas; eis de media nocte imperat, ut paulo tumultuosius omnibus locis vagarentur. Prima luce magnum numerum impedimentorum ex castris mulorumque produci deque his stramenta detrahi mulionesque cum cassidibus equitum specie ac simulatione collibus circumvehi iubet. His paucos addit equites qui latius ostentationis causa vagarentur. Longo circuitu easdem omnes iubet petere regiones. Haec procul ex oppido videbantur, ut erat a Gergovia despectus in castra, neque tanto spatio certi quid esset explorari poterat. Legionem unam eodem iugo mittit et paulum progressam inferiore constituit loco silvisque occultat. Augetur Gallis suspicio, atque omnes illo ad munitionem copiae traducuntur. Vacua castra hostium Caesar conspicatus tectis insignibus suorum occultatisque signis militaribus raros milites, ne ex oppido animadverterentur, ex maioribus castris in minora traducit legatisque, quos singulis legionibus praefecerat, quid fieri velit ostendit: in primis monet ut contineant milites, ne studio pugnandi aut spe praedae longius progrediantur; quid iniquitas loci habeat incommodi proponit: hoc una celeritate posse mutari; occasionis esse rem, non proeli. His rebus eitis signum dat et ab dextra parte alio ascensu eodem tempore Aeduos mittit.
7:46The town wall was 1200 paces distant from the plain and foot of the ascent, in a straight line, if no gap intervened; whatever circuit was added to this ascent, to make the hill easy, increased the length of the route. But almost in the middle of the hill, the Gauls had previously built a wall six feet high, made of large stones, and extending in length as far as the nature of the ground permitted, as a barrier to retard the advance of our men; and leaving all the lower space empty, they had filled the upper part of the hill, as far as the wall of the town, with their camps very close to one another. The soldiers, on the signal being given, quickly advance to this fortification, and passing over it, make themselves masters of the separate camps. And so great was their activity in taking the camps, that Teutomarus, the king of the Nitiobriges, being suddenly surprised in his tent, as he had gone to rest at noon, with difficulty escaped from the hands of the plunderers, with the upper part of his person naked, and his horse wounded. Oppidi murus ab planitie atque initio ascensus recta regione, si nullus anfractus intercederet, MCC passus aberat: quidquid huc circuitus ad molliendum clivum accesserat, id spatium itineris augebat. A medio fere colle in longitudinem, ut natura montis ferebat, ex grandibus saxis sex pedum murum qui nostrorum impetum tardaret praeduxerant Galli, atque inferiore omni spatio vacuo relicto superiorem partem collis usque ad murum oppidi densissimis castris compleverant. Milites dato signo celeriter ad munitionem perveniunt eamque transgressi trinis castris potiuntur; ac tanta fuit in castris capiendis celeritas, ut Teutomatus, rex Nitiobrigum, subito in tabernaculo oppressus, ut meridie conquieverat, superiore corporis parte nudata vulnerato equo vix se ex manibus praedantium militum eriperet.
7:47Caesar, having accomplished the object which he had in view, ordered the signal to be sounded for a retreat; and the soldiers of the tenth legion, by which he was then accompanied, halted. But the soldiers of the other legions, not hearing the sound of the trumpet, because there was a very large valley between them, were however kept back by the tribunes of the soldiers and the lieutenants, according to Caesar's orders; but being animated by the prospect of speedy victory, and the flight of the enemy, and the favorable battles of former periods, they thought nothing so difficult that their bravery could not accomplish it; nor did they put an end to the pursuit, until they drew nigh to the wall of the town and the gates. But then, when a shout arose in every quarter of the city, those who were at a distance being alarmed by the sudden tumult, fled hastily from the town, since they thought that the enemy were within the gates. The matrons begin to cast their clothes and silver over the wall, and bending over as far as the lower part of the bosom, with outstretched hands beseech the Romans to spare them, and not to sacrifice to their resentment even women and children, as they had done at Avaricum. Some of them let themselves down from the walls by their hands, and surrendered to our soldiers. Lucius Fabius a centurion of the eighth legion, who, it was ascertained, had said that day among his fellow soldiers that he was excited by the plunder of Avaricum, and would not allow any one to mount the wall before him, finding three men of his own company, and being raised up by them, scaled the wall. He himself, in turn, taking hold of them one by one drew them up to the wall. Consecutus id quod animo proposuerat, Caesar receptui cani iussit legionique decimae, quacum erat, continuo signa constituit. Ac reliquarum legionum milites non exaudito sono tubae, quod satis magna valles intercedebat, tamen ab tribunis militum legatisque, ut erat a Caesare praeceptum, retinebantur. Sed elati spe celeris victoriae et hostium fuga et superiorum temporum secundis proeliis nihil adeo arduum sibi esse existimaverunt quod non virtute consequi possent, neque finem prius sequendi fecerunt quam muro oppidi portisque appropinquarunt. Tum vero ex omnibus urbis partibus orto clamore, qui longius aberant repentino tumultu perterriti, cum hostem intra portas esse existimarent, sese ex oppido eiecerunt. Matres familiae de muro vestem argentumque iactabant et pectore nudo prominentes passis manibus obtestabantur Romanos, ut sibi parcerent neu, sicut Avarici fecissent, ne a mulieribus quidem atque infantibus abstinerent: nonnullae de muris per manus demissae sese militibus tradebant. Lucius Fabius, centurio legionis VIII, quem inter suos eo die dixisse constabat excitari se Avaricensibus praemiis neque commissurum, ut prius quisquam murum ascenderet, tres suos nactus manipulares atque ab eis sublevatus murum ascendit: hos ipse rursus singulos exceptans in murum extulit.
7:48In the mean time those who had gone to the other part of the town to defend it, as we have mentioned above, at first, aroused by hearing the shouts, and, afterward, by frequent accounts, that the town was in possession of the Romans, sent forward their cavalry, and hastened in larger numbers to that quarter. As each first came he stood beneath the wall, and increased the number of his countrymen engaged in action. When a great multitude of them had assembled, the matrons, who a little before were stretching their hands from the walls to the Romans, began to beseech their countrymen, and after the Gallic fashion to show their disheveled hair, and bring their children into public view. Neither in position nor in numbers was the contest an equal one to the Romans; at the same time, being exhausted by running and the long continuation of the fight, they could not easily withstand fresh and vigorous troops. Interim ei qui ad alteram partem oppidi, ut supra demonstravimus, munitionis causa convenerant, primo exaudito clamore, inde etiam crebris nuntiis incitati, oppidum a Romanis teneri, praemissis equitibus magno concursu eo contenderunt. Eorum ut quisque primus venerat, sub muro consistebat suorumque pugnantium numerum augebat. Quorum cum magna multitudo convenisset, matres familiae, quae paulo ante Romanis de muro manus tendebant, suos obtestari et more Gallico passum capillum ostentare liberosque in conspectum proferre coeperunt. Erat Romanis nec loco nec numero aequa contentio; simul et cursu et spatio pugnae defatigati non facile recentes atque integros sustinebant.
7:49Caesar, when he perceived that his soldiers were fighting on unfavorable ground, and that the enemy's forces were increasing, being alarmed for the safety of his troops, sent orders to Titus Sextius, one of his lieutenants, whom he had left to guard the smaller camp, to lead out his cohorts quickly from the camp, and post them at the foot of the hill, on the right wing of the enemy; that if he should see our men driven from the ground, he should deter the enemy from following too closely. He himself, advancing with the legion a little from that place where he had taken his post, awaited the issue of the battle. Caesar, cum iniquo loco pugnari hostiumque augeri copias videret, praemetuens suis ad Titum Sextium legatum, quem minoribus castris praesidio reliquerat, misit, ut cohortes ex castris celeriter educeret et sub infimo colle ab dextro latere hostium constitueret, ut, si nostros loco depulsos vidisset, quo minus libere hostes insequerentur terreret. Ipse paulum ex eo loco cum legione progressus, ubi constiterat, eventum pugnae exspectabat.
7:50While the fight was going on most vigorously, hand to hand, and the enemy depended on their position and numbers, our men on their bravery, the Aedui suddenly appeared on our exposed flank, as Caesar had sent them by another ascent on the right, for the sake of creating a diversion. These, from the similarity of their arms, greatly terrified our men; and although they were discovered to have their right shoulders bare, which was usually the sign of those reduced to peace, yet the soldiers suspected that this very thing was done by the enemy to deceive them. At the same time Lucius Fabius the centurion, and those who had scaled the wall with him, being surrounded and slain, were cast from the wall. Marcus Petreius, a centurion of the same legion, after attempting to hew down the gates, was overpowered by numbers, and, despairing of his safety, having already received many wounds, said to the soldiers of his own company who followed him: "Since I can not save you as well as myself, I shall at least provide for your safety, since I, allured by the love of glory, led you into this danger, do you save yourselves when an opportunity is given." At the same time he rushed into the midst of the enemy, and slaying two of them, drove back the rest a little from the gate. When his men attempted to aid him, "In vain," he says, "you endeavor to procure me safety, since blood and strength are now failing me, therefore leave this, while you have the opportunity, and retreat to the legion." Thus he fell fighting a few moments after, and saved his men by his own death. Cum acerrime comminus pugnaretur, hostes loco et numero, nostri virtute confiderent, subito sunt Aedui visi ab latere nostris aperto, quos Caesar ab dextra parte alio ascensu manus distinendae causa miserat. Hi similitudine armorum vehementer nostros perterruerunt, ac tametsi dextris humeris exsertis animadvertebantur, quod insigne +pacatum+ esse consuerat, tamen id ipsum sui fallendi causa milites ab hostibus factum existimabant. Eodem tempore Lucius Fabius centurio quique una murum ascenderant circumventi atque interfecti muro praecipitabantur. Marcus Petronius, eiusdem legionis centurio, cum portam excidere conatus esset, a multitudine oppressus ac sibi desperans multis iam vulneribus acceptis manipularibus suis, qui illum secuti erant, "Quoniam," inquit, "me una vobiscum servare non possum, vestrae quidem certe vitae prospiciam, quos cupiditate gloriae adductus in periculum deduxi. Vos data facultate vobis consulite." Simul in medios hostes irrupit duobusque interfectis reliquos a porta paulum summovit. Conantibus auxiliari suis "Frustra," inquit, "meae vitae subvenire conamini, quem iam sanguis viresque deficiunt. Proinde abite, dum est facultas, vosque ad legionem recipite." Ita puguans post paulum concidit ac suis saluti fuit.
7:51Our soldiers, being hard pressed on every side, were dislodged from their position, with the loss of forty-six centurions; but the tenth legion, which had been posted in reserve on ground a little more level, checked the Gauls in their eager pursuit. It was supported by the cohorts of the thirteenth legion, which, being led from the smaller camp, had, under the command of Titus Sextius, occupied the higher ground. The legions, as soon as they reached the plain, halted and faced the enemy. Vercingetorix led back his men from the part of the hill within the fortifications. On that day little less than seven hundred of the soldiers were missing. Nostri, cum undique premerentur, XLVI centurionibus amissis deiecti sunt loco. Sed intolerantius Gallos insequentes legio decima tardavit, quae pro subsidio paulo aequiore loco constiterat. Hanc rursus XIII legionis cohortes exceperunt, quae ex castris minoribus eductae cum Tito Sextio legato ceperant locum superiorem. Legiones, ubi primum planitiem attigerunt, infestis contra hostes signis constiterunt. Vercingetorix ab radicibus collis suos intra munitiones reduxit. Eo die milites sunt paulo minus septingenti desiderati.
7:52On the next day, Caesar, having called a meeting, censured the rashness and avarice of his soldiers, "In that they had judged for themselves how far they ought to proceed, or what they ought to do, and could not be kept back by the tribunes of the soldiers and the lieutenants;" and stated, "what the disadvantage of the ground could effect, what opinion he himself had entertained at Avaricum, when having surprised the enemy without either general or cavalry, he had given up a certain victory, lest even a trifling loss should occur in the contest owing to the disadvantage of position. That as much as he admired the greatness of their courage, since neither the fortifications of the camp, nor the height of the mountain, nor the wall of the town could retard them; in the same degree he censured their licentiousness and arrogance, because they thought that they knew more than their general concerning victory, and the issue of actions: and that he required in his soldiers forbearance and self-command, not less than valor and magnanimity." Postero die Caesar contione advocata temeritatem cupiditatemque militum reprehendit, quod sibi ipsi iudicavissent quo procedendum aut quid agendum videretur, neque signo recipiendi dato constitissent neque ab tribunis militum legatisque retineri potuissent. Euit quid iniquitas loci posset, quid ipse ad Avaricum sensisset, cum sine duce et sine equitatu deprehensis hostibus exploratam victoriam dimisisset, ne parvum modo detrimentum in contentione propter iniquitatem loci accideret. Quanto opere eorum animi magnitudinem admiraretur, quos non castrorum munitiones, non altitudo montis, non murus oppidi tardare potuisset, tanto opere licentiam arrogantiamque reprehendere, quod plus se quam imperatorem de victoria atque exitu rerum sentire existimarent; nec minus se ab milite modestiam et continentiam quam virtutem atque animi magnitudinem desiderare.
7:53Having held this assembly, and having encouraged the soldiers at the conclusion of his speech, "That they should not be dispirited on this account, nor attribute to the valor of the enemy, what the disadvantage of position had caused;" entertaining the same views of his departure that he had previously had, he led forth the legions from the camp, and drew up his army in order of battle in a suitable place. When Vercingetorix, nevertheless, would not descend to the level ground, a slight cavalry action, and that a successful one, having taken place, he led back his army into the camp. When he had done this, the next day, thinking that he had done enough to lower the pride of the Gauls, and to encourage the minds of his soldiers, he moved his camp in the direction of the Aedui. The enemy not even then pursuing us, on the third day he repaired the bridge over the river Allier, and led over his whole army. Hac habita contione et ad extremam orationem confirmatis militibus, ne ob hanc causam animo permoverentur neu quod iniquitas loci attulisset id virtuti hostium tribuerent, eadem de profectione cogitans quae ante senserat legiones ex castris eduxit aciemque idoneo loco constituit. Cum Vercingetorix nihil magis in aequum locum descenderet, levi facto equestri proelio atque secundo in castra exercitum reduxit. Cum hoc idem postero die fecisset, satis ad Gallicam ostentationem minuendam militumque animos confirmandos factum existimans in Aeduos movit castra. Ne tum quidem insecutis hostibus tertio die ad flumen Elaver venit; pontem refecit exercitumque traduxit.
7:54Having then held an interview with Viridomarus and Eporedirix the Aeduans, he learns that Litavicus had set out with all the cavalry to raise the Aedui; that it was necessary that they too should go before him to confirm the state in their allegiance. Although he now saw distinctly the treachery of the Aedui in many things, and was of opinion that the revolt of the entire state would be hastened by their departure; yet he thought that they should not be detained, lest he should appear either to offer an insult, or betray some suspicion of fear. He briefly states to them when departing his services toward the Aedui: in what a state and how humbled he had found them, driven into their towns, deprived of their lands, stripped of all their forces, a tribute imposed on them, and hostages wrested from them with the utmost insult; and to what condition and to what greatness he had raised them, [so much so] that they had not only recovered their former position, but seemed to surpass the dignity and influence of all the previous eras of their history. After giving these admonitions he dismissed them. Ibi a Viridomaro atque Eporedorige Aeduis appellatus discit cum omni equitatu Litaviccum ad sollicitandos Aeduos profectum: opus esse ipsos antecedere ad confirmandam civitatem. Etsi multis iam rebus perfidiam Aeduorum perspectam habebat atque horum discessu admaturari defectionem civitatis existimabat, tamen eos retinendos non constituit, ne aut inferre iniuriam videretur aut dare timoris aliquam suspicionem. Discedentibus his breviter sua in Aeduos merita euit, quos et quam humiles accepisset, compulsos in oppida, multatos agris omnibus ereptis copiis, imposito stipendio, obsidibus summa cum contumelia extortis, et quam in fortunam quamque in amplitudinem deduxisset, ut non solum in pristinum statum redissent, sed omnium temporum dignitatem et gratiam antecessisse viderentur. His datis mandatis eos ab se dimisit.
7:55Noviodunum was a town of the Aedui, advantageously situated on the banks of the Loire. Caesar had conveyed hither all the hostages of Gaul, the corn, public money, a great part of his own baggage and that of his army; he had sent hither a great number of horses, which he had purchased in Italy and Spain on account of this war. When Eporedirix and Viridomarus came to this place, and received information of the disposition of the state, that Litavicus had been admitted by the Aedui into Bibracte, which is a town of the greatest importance among them, that Convictolitanis the chief magistrate and a great part of the senate had gone to meet him, that embassadors had been publicly sent to Vercingetorix to negotiate a peace and alliance; they thought that so great an opportunity ought not to be neglected. Therefore, having put to the sword the garrison of Noviodunum, and those who had assembled there for the purpose of trading or were on their march, they divided the money and horses among themselves; they took care that the hostages of the [different] states should be brought to Bibracte, to the chief magistrate; they burned the town to prevent its being of any service to the Romans, as they were of opinion that they could not hold it; they carried away in their vessels whatever corn they could in the hurry, they destroyed the remainder, by [throwing it] into the river or setting it on fire, they themselves began to collect forces from the neighboring country, to place guards and garrisons in different positions along the banks of the Loire, and to display the cavalry on all sides to strike terror into the Romans, [to try] if they could cut them off from a supply of provisions. In which expectation they were much aided, from the circumstance that the Loire had swollen to such a degree from the melting of the snows, that it did not seem capable of being forded at all. Noviodunum erat oppidum Aeduorum ad ripas Ligeris opportuno loco positum. Huc Caesar omnes obsides Galliae, frumentum, pecuniam publicam, suorum atque exercitus impedimentorum magnam partem contulerat; huc magnum numerum equorum huius belli causa in Italia atque Hispania coemptum miserat. Eo cum Eporedorix Viridomarusque venissent et de statu civitatis cognovissent, Litaviccum Bibracti ab Aeduis receptum, quod est oppidum apud eos maximae auctoritatis, Convictolitavim magistratum magnamque partem senatus ad eum convenisse, legatos ad Vercingetorigem de pace et amicitia concilianda publice missos, non praetermittendum tantum commodum existimaverunt. Itaque interfectis Novioduni custodibus quique eo negotiandi causa convenerant pecuniam atque equos inter se partiti sunt; obsides civitatum Bibracte ad magistratum deducendos curaverunt; oppidum, quod a se teneri non posse iudicabant, ne cui esset usui Romanis, incenderunt; frumenti quod subito potuerunt navibus avexerunt, reliquum flumine atque incendio corruperunt. Ipsi ex finitimis regionibus copias cogere, praesidia custodiasque ad ripas Ligeris disponere equitatumque omnibus locis iniciendi timoris causa ostentare coeperunt, si ab re frumentaria Romanos excludere aut adductos inopia in provinciam expellere possent. Quam ad spem multum eos adiuvabat, quod Liger ex nivibus creverat, ut omnino vado non posse transiri videretur.
7:56Caesar on being informed of these movements was of opinion that he ought to make haste, even if he should run some risk in completing the bridges, in order that he might engage before greater forces of the enemy should be collected in that place. For no one even then considered it an absolutely necessary act, that changing his design he should direct his march into the Province, both because the infamy and disgrace of the thing, and the intervening mount Cevennes, and the difficulty of the roads prevented him; and especially because he had serious apprehensions for the safety of Labienus whom he had detached, and those legions whom he had sent with him. Therefore, having made very long marches by day and night, he came to the river Loire, contrary to the expectation of all; and having by means of the cavalry, found out a ford, suitable enough considering the emergency, of such depth that their arms and shoulders could be above water for supporting their accoutrements, he dispersed his cavalry in such a manner as to break the force of the current, and having confounded the enemy at the first sight, led his army across the river in safety; and finding corn and cattle in the fields, after refreshing his army with them, he determined to march into the country of the Senones. Quibus rebus cognitis Caesar maturandum sibi censuit, si esset in perficiendis pontibus periclitandum, ut prius quam essent maiores eo coactae copiae dimicaret. Nam ut commutato consilio iter in provinciam converteret, id ne metu quidem necessario faciendum existimabat; cum infamia atque indignitas rei et oppositus mons Cevenna viarumque difficultas impediebat, tum maxime quod abiuncto Labieno atque eis legionibus quas una miserat vehementer timebat. Itaque admodum magnis diurnis nocturnisque itineribus confectis contra omnium opinionem ad Ligerem venit vadoque per equites invento pro rei necessitate opportuno, ut brachia modo atque humeri ad sustinenda arma liberi ab aqua esse possent, disposito equitatu qui vim fluminis refringeret, atque hostibus primo aspectu perturbatis, incolumem exercitum traduxit frumentumque in agris et pecoris copiam nactus repleto his rebus exercitu iter in Senones facere instituit.
7:57While these things are being done by Caesar, Labienus, leaving at Agendicum the recruits who had lately arrived from Italy, to guard the baggage, marches with four legions to Lutetia (which is a town of the Parisii, situated on an island on the river Seine), whose arrival being discovered by the enemy, numerous forces arrived from the neighboring states. The supreme command is intrusted to Camalugenus one of the Aulerci, who, although almost worn out with age, was called to that honor on account of his extraordinary knowledge of military tactics. He, when he observed that there was a large marsh which communicated with the Seine, and rendered all that country impassable, encamped there, and determined to prevent our troops from passing it. Dum haec apud Caesarem geruntur, Labienus eo supplemento, quod nuper ex Italia venerat, relicto Agedinci, ut esset impedimentis praesidio, cum quattuor legionibus Lutetiam proficiscitur. Id est oppidum Parisiorum, quod positum est in insula fluminis Sequanae. Cuius adventu ab hostibus cognito magnae ex finitimis civitatibus copiae convenerunt. Summa imperi traditur Camulogeno Aulerco, qui prope confectus aetate tamen propter singularem scientiam rei militaris ad eum est honorem evocatus. Is cum animadvertisset perpetuam esse paludem, quae influeret in Sequanam atque illum omnem locum magnopere impediret, hic consedit nostrosque transitu prohibere instituit.
7:58Labienus at first attempted to raise Vineae, fill up the marsh with hurdles and clay, and secure a road. After he perceived that this was too difficult to accomplish, he issued in silence from his camp at the third watch, and reached Melodunum by the same route by which he came. This is a town of the Senones, situated on an island in the Seine, as we have just before observed of Lutetia. Having seized upon about fifty ships and quickly joined them together, and having placed soldiers in them, he intimidated by his unexpected arrival the inhabitants, of whom a great number had been called out to the war, and obtains possession of the town without a contest. Having repaired the bridge, which the enemy had broken down during the preceding days, he led over his army, and began to march along the banks of the river to Lutetia. The enemy, on learning the circumstance from those who had escaped from Melodunum, set fire to Lutetia, and order the bridges of that town to be broken down: they themselves set out from the marsh, and take their position on the banks of the Seine, over against Lutetia and opposite the camp of Labienus. Labienus primo vineas agere, cratibus atque aggere paludem explere atque iter munire conabatur. Postquam id difficilius confieri animadvertit, silentio e castris tertia vigilia egressus eodem quo venerat itinere Metiosedum pervenit. Id est oppidum Senonum in insula Sequanae positum, ut paulo ante de Lutetia diximus. Deprensis navibus circiter quinquaginta celeriterque coniunctis atque eo militibus iniectis et rei novitate perterritis oppidanis, quorum magna pars erat ad bellum evocata, sine contentione oppido potitur. Refecto ponte, quem superioribus diebus hostes resciderant, exercitum traducit et secundo flumine ad Lutetiam iter facere coepit. Hostes re cognita ab eis, qui Metiosedo fugerant, Lutetiam incendi pontesque eius oppidi rescindi iubent; ipsi profecti a palude ad ripas Sequanae e regione Lutetiae contra Labieni castra considunt.
7:59Caesar was now reported to have departed from Gergovia; intelligence was likewise brought to them concerning the revolt of the Aedui, and a successful rising in Gaul; and that Caesar, having been prevented from prosecuting his journey and crossing the Loire, and having been compelled by the want of corn, had marched hastily to the province. But the Bellovaci, who had been previously disaffected of themselves, on learning the revolt of the Aedui, began to assemble forces and openly to prepare for war. Then Labienus, as the change in affairs was so great, thought that he must adopt a very different system from what he had previously intended, and he did not now think of making any new acquisitions, or of provoking the enemy to an action; but that he might bring back his army safe to Agendicum. For, on one side, the Bellovaci, a state which held the highest reputation for prowess in Gaul, were pressing on him; and Camulogenus, with a disciplined and well-equipped army, held the other side; moreover, a very great river separated and cut off the legions from the garrison and baggage. He saw that, in consequence of such great difficulties being thrown in his way, he must seek aid from his own energy of disposition. Iam Caesar a Gergovia discessisse audiebatur, iam de Aeduorum defectione et secundo Galliae motu rumores adferebantur, Gallique in colloquiis interclusum itinere et Ligeri Caesarem inopia frumenti coactum in provinciam contendisse confirmabant. Bellovaci autem defectione Aeduorum cognita, qui ante erant per se infideles, manus cogere atque aperte bellum parare coeperunt. Tum Labienus tanta rerum commutatione longe aliud sibi capiendum consilium atque antea senserat intellegebat, neque iam, ut aliquid adquireret proelioque hostes lacesseret, sed ut incolumem exercitum Agedincum reduceret, cogitabat. Namque altera ex parte Bellovaci, quae civitas in Gallia maximam habet opinionem virtutis, instabant, alteram Camulogenus parato atque instructo exercitu tenebat; tum legiones a praesidio atque impedimentis interclusas maximum flumen distinebat. Tantis subito difficultatibus obiectis ab animi virtute auxilium petendum videbat.
7:60Having, therefore, called a council of war a little before evening, he exhorted his soldiers to execute with diligence and energy such commands as he should give; he assigns the ships which he had brought from Melodunum to Roman knights, one to each, and orders them to fall down the river silently for four miles, at the end of the fourth watch, and there wait for him. He leaves the five cohorts, which he considered to be the most steady in action, to guard the camp; he orders the five remaining cohorts of the same legion to proceed a little after midnight up the river with all their baggage, in a great tumult. He collects also some small boats; and sends them in the same direction, with orders to make a loud noise in rowing. He himself, a little after, marched out in silence, and, at the head of three legions, seeks that place to which he had ordered the ships to be brought. Sub vesperum consilio convocato cohortatus ut ea quae imperasset diligenter industrieque administrarent, naves, quas Metiosedo deduxerat, singulas equitibus Romanis attribuit, et prima confecta vigilia quattuor milia passuum secundo flumine silentio progredi ibique se exspectari iubet. Quinque cohortes, quas minime firmas ad dimicandum esse existimabat, castris praesidio relinquit; quinque eiusdem legionis reliquas de media nocte cum omnibus impedimentis adverso flumine magno tumultu proficisci imperat. Conquirit etiam lintres: has magno sonitu remorum incitatus in eandem partem mittit. Ipse post paulo silentio egressus cum tribus legionibus eum locum petit quo naves appelli iusserat.
7:61When he had arrived there, the enemy's scouts, as they were stationed along every part of the river, not expecting an attack, because a great storm had suddenly arisen, were surprised by our soldiers: the infantry and cavalry are quickly transported, under the superintendence of the Roman knights, whom he had appointed to that office. Almost at the same time, a little before daylight, intelligence was given to the enemy that there was an unusual tumult in the camp of the Romans, and that a strong force was marching up the river, and that the sound of oars was distinctly heard in the same quarter, and that soldiers were being conveyed across in ships a little below. On hearing these things, because they were of opinion that the legions were passing in three different places, and that the entire army, being terrified by the revolt of the Aedui, were preparing for flight, they divided their forces also into three divisions. For leaving a guard opposite to the camp and sending a small body in the direction of Metiosedum, with orders to advance as far as the ships would proceed, they led the rest of their troops against Labienus. Eo cum esset ventum, exploratores hostium, ut omni fluminis parte erant dispositi, inopinantes, quod magna subito erat coorta tempestas, ab nostris opprimumtur; exercitus equitatusque equitibus Romanis administrantibus, quos ei negotio praefecerat, celeriter transmittitur. Vno fere tempore sub lucem hostibus nuntiatur in castris Romanorum praeter consuetudinem tumultuari et magnum ire agmen adverso flumine sonitumque remorum in eadem parte exaudiri et paulo infra milites navibus transportari. Quibus rebus auditis, quod existimabant tribus locis transire legiones atque omnes perturbatos defectione Aeduorum fugam parare, suas quoque copias in tres partes distribuerunt. Nam praesidio e regione castrorum relicto et parva manu Metiosedum versus missa, quae tantum progrediatur, quantum naves processissent, reliquas copias contra Labienum duxerunt.
7:62By day-break all our soldiers were brought across, and the army of the enemy was in sight. Labienus, having encouraged his soldiers "to retain the memory of their ancient valor, and so many most successful actions, and imagine Caesar himself, under whose command they had so often routed the enemy, to be present," gives the signal for action. At the first onset the enemy are beaten and put to flight in the right wing, where the seventh legion stood: on the left wing, which position the twelfth legion held, although the first ranks fell transfixed by the javelins of the Romans, yet the rest resisted most bravely; nor did any one of them show the slightest intention of flying. Camulogenus, the general of the enemy, was present and encouraged his troops. But when the issue of the victory was still uncertain, and the circumstances which were taking place on the left wing were announced to the tribunes of the seventh legion, they faced about their legion to the enemy's rear and attacked it: not even then did any one retreat, but all were surrounded and slain. Camulogenus met the same fate. But those who were left as a guard opposite the camp of Labienus, when they heard that the battle was commenced, marched to aid their countrymen and take possession of a hill, but were unable to withstand the attack of the victorious soldiers. In this manner, mixed with their own fugitives, such as the woods and mountains did not shelter were cut to pieces by our cavalry. When this battle was finished, Labienus returns to Agendicum, where the baggage of the whole army had been left: from it he marched with all his forces to Caesar. Prima luce et nostri omnes erant transportati, et hostium acies cernebatur. Labienus milites cohortatus ut suae pristinae virtutis et secundissimorum proeliorum retinerent memoriam atque ipsum Caesarem, cuius ductu saepe numero hostes superassent, praesentem adesse existimarent, dat signum proeli. Primo concursu ab dextro cornu, ubi septima legio constiterat, hostes pelluntur atque in fugam coniciuntur; ab sinistro, quem locum duodecima legio tenebat, cum primi ordines hostium transfixi telis concidissent, tamen acerrime reliqui resistebant, nec dabat suspicionem fugae quisquam. Ipse dux hostium Camulogenus suis aderat atque eos cohortabatur. Incerto nunc etiam exitu victoriae, cum septimae legionis tribunis esset nuntiatum quae in sinistro cornu gererentur, post tergum hostium legionem ostenderunt signaque intulerunt. Ne eo quidem tempore quisquam loco cessit, sed circumventi omnes interfectique sunt. Eandem fortunam tulit Camulogenus. At ei qui praesidio contra castra Labieni erant relicti, cum proelium commissum audissent, subsidio suis ierunt collemque ceperunt, neque nostrorum militum victorum impetum sustinere potuerunt. Sic cum suis fugientibus permixti, quos non silvae montesque texerunt, ab equitatu sunt interfecti. Hoc negotio confecto Labienus revertitur Agedincum, ubi impedimenta totius exercitus relicta erant: inde cum omnibus copiis ad Caesarem pervenit.
7:63The revolt of the Aedui being known, the war grows more dangerous. Embassies are sent by them in all directions: as far as they can prevail by influence, authority, or money, they strive to excite the state [to revolt]. Having got possession of the hostages whom Caesar had deposited with them, they terrify the hesitating by putting them to death. The Aedui request Vercingetorix to come to them and communicate his plans of conducting the war. On obtaining this request they insist that the chief command should be assigned to them; and when the affair became a disputed question, a council of all Gaul is summoned to Bibracte. They came together in great numbers and from every quarter to the same place. The decision is left to the votes of the mass; all to a man approve of Vercingetorix as their general. The Remi, Lingones, and Treviri were absent from this meeting; the two former because they attached themselves to the alliance of Rome; the Treviri because they were very remote and were hard pressed by the Germans; which was also the reason of their being absent during the whole war, and their sending auxiliaries to neither party. The Aedui are highly indignant at being deprived of the chief command; they lament the change of fortune, and miss Caesar's indulgence toward them; however, after engaging in the war, they do not dare to pursue their own measures apart from the rest. Eporedirix and Viridomarus, youths of the greatest promise, submit reluctantly to Vercingetorix. Defectione Aeduorum cognita bellum augetur. Legationes in omnes partes circummittuntur: quantum gratia, auctoritate, pecunia valent, ad sollicitandas civitates nituntur; nacti obsides, quos Caesar apud eos deposuerat, horum supplicio dubitantes territant. Petunt a Vercingetorige Aedui ut ad se veniat rationesque belli gerendi communicet. Re impetrata contendunt ut ipsis summa imperi tradatur, et re in controversiam deducta totius Galliae concilium Bibracte indicitur. Eodem conveniunt undique frequentes. Multitudinis suffragiis res permittitur: ad unum omnes Vercingetorigem probant imperatorem. Ab hoc concilio Remi, Lingones, Treveri afuerunt: illi, quod amicitiam Romanorum sequebantur; Treveri, quod aberant longius et ab Germanis premebantur, quae fuit causa quare toto abessent bello et neutris auxilia mitterent. Magno dolore Aedui ferunt se deiectos principatu, queruntur fortunae commutationem et Caesaris indulgentiam in se requirunt, neque tamen suscepto bello suum consilium ab reliquis separare audent. Inviti summae spei adulescentes Eporedorix et Viridomarus Vercingetorigi parent.
7:64The latter demands hostages from the remaining states; nay, more, appointed a day for this proceeding; he orders all the cavalry, fifteen thousand in number, to quickly assemble here; he says that he will be content with the infantry which he had before, and would not tempt fortune nor come to a regular engagement; but since he had abundance of cavalry, it would be very easy for him to prevent the Romans from obtaining forage or corn, provided that they themselves should resolutely destroy their corn and set fire to their houses; by which sacrifice of private property they would evidently obtain perpetual dominion and freedom. After arranging these matters, he levies ten thousand infantry on the Aedui and Segusiani, who border on our province: to these he adds eight hundred horse. He sets over them the brother of Eporedirix, and orders him to wage war against the Allobroges. On the other side he sends the Gabali and the nearest cantons of the Arverni against the Helvii; he likewise sends the Ruteni and Cadurci to lay waste the territories of the Volcae Arecomici. Besides, by secret messages and embassies, he tampers with the Allobroges, whose minds, he hopes, had not yet settled down after the excitement of the late war. To their nobles he promises money, and to their state the dominion of the whole province. Ipse imperat reliquis civitatibus obsides diemque ei rei constituit. Omnes equites, quindecim milia numero, celeriter convenire iubet; peditatu quem antea habuerit se fore contentum dicit, neque fortunam temptaturum aut in acie dimicaturum, sed, quoniam abundet equitatu, perfacile esse factu frumentationibus pabulationibusque Romanos prohibere, aequo modo animo sua ipsi frumenta corrumpant aedificiaque incendant, qua rei familiaris iactura perpetuum imperium libertatemque se consequi videant. His constitutis rebus Aeduis Segusiavisque, qui sunt finitimi provinciae, decem milia peditum imperat; huc addit equites octingentos. His praeficit fratrem Eporedorigis bellumque inferri Allobrogibus iubet. Altera ex parte Gabalos proximosque pagos Arvernorum in Helvios, item Rutenos Cadurcosque ad fines Volcarum Arecomicorum depopulandos mittit. Nihilo minus clandestinis nuntiis legationibusque Allobrogas sollicitat, quorum mentes nondum ab superiore bello resedisse sperabat. Horum principibus pecunias, civitati autem imperium totius provinciae pollicetur.
7:65The only guards provided against all these contingencies were twenty-two cohorts, which were collected from the entire province by Lucius Caesar, the lieutenant, and opposed to the enemy in every quarter. The Helvii, voluntarily engaging in battle with their neighbors, are defeated, and Caius Valerius Donotaurus, the son of Caburus, the principal man of the state, and several others, being slain, they are forced to retire within their towns and fortifications. The Allobroges, placing guards along the course of the Rhine, defend their frontiers with great vigilance and energy. Caesar, as he perceived that the enemy were superior in cavalry, and he himself could receive no aid from the Province or Italy, while all communication was cut off, sends across the Rhine into Germany to those states which he had subdued in the preceding campaigns, and summons from them cavalry and the light-armed infantry, who were accustomed to engage among them. On their arrival, as they were mounted on unserviceable horses, he takes horses from the military tribunes and the rest, nay, even from the Roman knights and veterans, and distributes them among the Germans. Ad hos omnes casus provisa erant praesidia cohortium duarum et viginti, quae ex ipsa provincia ab Lucio Caesare legato ad omnes partes opponebantur. Helvii sua sponte cum finitimis proelio congressi pelluntur et Gaio Valerio Donnotauro, Caburi filio, principe civitatis, compluribusque aliis interfectis intra oppida ac muros compelluntur. Allobroges crebris ad Rhodanum dispositis praesidiis magna cum cura et diligentia suos fines tuentur. Caesar, quod hostes equitatu superiores esse intellegebat et interclusis omnibus itineribus nulla re ex provincia atque Italia sublevari poterat, trans Rhenum in Germaniam mittit ad eas civitates quas superioribus annis pacaverat, equitesque ab his arcessit et levis armaturae pedites, qui inter eos proeliari consuerant. Eorum adventu, quod minus idoneis equis utebantur, a tribunis militum reliquisque equitibus Romanis atque evocatis equos sumit Germanisque distribuit.
7:66In the mean time, whilst these things are going on, the forces of the enemy from the Arverni, and the cavalry which had been demanded from all Gaul, meet together. A great number of these having been collected, when Caesar was marching into the country of the Sequani, through the confines of the Lingones, in order that he might the more easily render aid to the province, Vercingetorix encamped in three camps, about ten miles from the Romans: and having summoned the commanders of the cavalry to a council, he shows that the time of victory was come; that the Romans were fleeing into the Province and leaving Gaul; that this was sufficient for obtaining immediate freedom; but was of little moment in acquiring peace and tranquillity for the future; for the Romans would return after assembling greater forces and would not put an end to the war. Therefore they should attack them on their march, when encumbered. If the infantry should [be obliged to] relieve their cavalry, and be retarded by doing so, the march could not be accomplished: if, abandoning their baggage they should provide for their safety (a result which, he trusted, was more like to ensue), they would lose both property and character. For as to the enemy's horse, they ought not to entertain a doubt that none of them would dare to advance beyond the main body. In order that they [the Gauls] may do so with greater spirit, he would marshal all their forces before the camp, and intimidate the enemy. The cavalry unanimously shout out, "That they ought to bind themselves by a most sacred oath, that he should not be received under a roof, nor have access to his children, parents, or wife, who shall not twice have ridden through the enemy's army." Interea, dum haec geruntur, hostium copiae ex Arvernis equitesque qui toti Galliae erant imperati conveniunt. Magno horum coacto numero, cum Caesar in Sequanos per extremos Lingonum fines iter faceret, quo facilius subsidium provinciae ferri posset, circiter milia passuum decem ab Romanis trinis castris Vercingetorix consedit convocatisque ad concilium praefectis equitum venisse tempus victoriae demonstrat. Fugere in provinciam Romanos Galliaque excedere. Id sibi ad praesentem obtinendam libertatem satis esse; ad reliqui temporis pacem atque otium parum profici: maioribus enim coactis copiis reversuros neque finem bellandi facturos. Proinde agmine impeditos adorirantur. Si pedites suis auxilium ferant atque in eo morentur, iter facere non posse; si, id quod magis futurum confidat, relictis impedimentis suae saluti consulant, et usu rerum necessariarum et dignitate spoliatum iri. Nam de equitibus hostium, quin nemo eorum progredi modo extra agmen audeat, et ipsos quidem non debere dubitare, et quo maiore faciant animo, copias se omnes pro castris habiturum et terrori hostibus futurum. Conclamant equites sanctissimo iureiurando confirmari oportere, ne tecto recipiatur, ne ad liberos, ne ad parentes, ad uxorem aditum habeat, qui non bis per agmen hostium perequitasset.
7:67This proposal receiving general approbation, and all being forced to take the oath, on the next day the cavalry were divided into three parts, and two of these divisions made a demonstration on our two flanks; while one in front began to obstruct our march. On this circumstance being announced, Caesar orders his cavalry also to form three divisions and charge the enemy. Then the action commences simultaneously in every part: the main body halts; the baggage is received within the ranks of the legions. If our men seemed to be distressed, or hard pressed in any quarter, Caesar usually ordered the troops to advance, and the army to wheel round in that quarter; which conduct retarded the enemy in the pursuit, and encouraged our men by the hope of support. At length the Germans, on the right wing, having gained the top of the hill, dislodge the enemy from their position and pursue them even as far as the river at which Vercingetorix with the infantry was stationed, and slay several of them. The rest, on observing this action, fearing lest they should be surrounded, betake themselves to flight. A slaughter ensues in every direction, and three of the noblest of the Aedui are taken and brought to Caesar: Cotus, the commander of the cavalry, who had been engaged in the contest with Convictolitanis the last election, Cavarillus, who had held the command of the infantry after the revolt of Litavicus, and Eporedirix, under whose command the Aedui had engaged in war against the Sequani, before the arrival of Caesar. Probata re atque omnibus iureiurando adactis postero die in tres partes distributo equitatu duae se acies ab duobus lateribus ostendunt, una primo agmine iter impedire coepit. Qua re nuntiata Caesar suum quoque equitatum tripertito divisum contra hostem ire iubet. Pugnatur una omnibus in partibus. Consistit agmen; impedimenta intra legiones recipiuntur. Si qua in parte nostri laborare aut gravius premi videbantur, eo signa inferri Caesar aciemque constitui iubebat; quae res et hostes ad insequendum tardabat et nostros spe auxili confirmabat. Tandem Germani ab dextro latere summum iugum nacti hostes loco depellunt; fugientes usque ad flumen, ubi Vercingetorix cum pedestribus copiis consederat, persequuntur compluresque interficiunt. Qua re animadversa reliqui ne circumirentur veriti se fugae mandant. Omnibus locis fit caedes. Tres nobilissimi Aedui capti ad Caesarem perducuntur: Cotus, praefectus equitum, qui controversiam cum Convictolitavi proximis comitiis habuerat, et Cavarillus, qui post defectionem Litavicci pedestribus copiis praefuerat, et Eporedorix, quo duce ante adventum Caesaris Aedui cum Sequanis bello contenderant.
7:68All his cavalry being routed, Vercingetorix led back his troops in the same order as he had arranged them before the camp, and immediately began to march to Alesia, which is a town of the Mandubii, and ordered the baggage to be speedily brought forth from the camp, and follow him closely. Caesar, having conveyed his baggage to the nearest hill, and having left two legions to guard it, pursued as far as the time of day would permit, and after slaying about three thousand of the rear of the enemy, encamped at Alesia on the next day. On reconnoitering the situation of the city, finding that the enemy were panic-stricken, because the cavalry in which they placed their chief reliance, were beaten, he encouraged his men to endure the toil, and began to draw a line of circumvallation round Alesia. Fugato omni equitatu Vercingetorix copias, ut pro castris collocaverat, reduxit protinusque Alesiam, quod est oppidum Mandubiorum, iter facere coepit celeriterque impedimenta ex castris educi et se subsequi iussit. Caesar impedimentis in proximum collem deductis, duabus legionibus praesidio relictis, secutus quantum diei tempus est passum, circiter tribus milibus hostium ex novissimo agmine interfectis altero die ad Alesiam castra fecit. Perspecto urbis situ perterritisque hostibus, quod equitatu, qua maxime parte exercitus confidebant, erant pulsi, adhortatus ad laborem milites circumvallare instituit.
7:69The town itself was situated on the top of a hill, in a very lofty position, so that it did not appear likely to be taken, except by a regular siege. Two rivers, on two different sides, washed the foot of the hill. Before the town lay a plain of about three miles in length; on every other side hills at a moderate distance, and of an equal degree of height, surrounded the town. The army of the Gauls had filled all the space under the wall, comprising a part of the hill which looked to the rising sun, and had drawn in front a trench and a stone wall six feet high. The circuit of that fortification, which was commenced by the Romans, comprised eleven miles. The camp was pitched in a strong position, and twenty-three redoubts were raised in it, in which sentinels were placed by day, lest any sally should be made suddenly; and by night the same were occupied by watches and strong guards. Ipsum erat oppidum Alesia in colle summo admodum edito loco, ut nisi obsidione expugnari non posse videretur; cuius collis radices duo duabus ex partibus flumina subluebant. Ante id oppidum planities circiter milia passuum tria in longitudinem patebat: reliquis ex omnibus partibus colles mediocri interiecto spatio pari altitudinis fastigio oppidum cingebant. Sub muro, quae pars collis ad orientem solem spectabat, hunc omnem locum copiae Gallorum compleverant fossamque et maceriam sex in altitudinem pedum praeduxerant. Eius munitionis quae ab Romanis instituebatur circuitus XI milia passuum tenebat. Castra opportunis locis erant posita ibique castella viginti tria facta, quibus in castellis interdiu stationes ponebantur, ne qua subito eruptio fieret: haec eadem noctu excubitoribus ac firmis praesidiis tenebantur.
7:70The work having been begun, a cavalry action ensues in that plain, which we have already described as broken by hills, and extending three miles in length. The contest is maintained on both sides with the utmost vigor; Caesar sends the Germans to aid our troops when distressed, and draws up the legions in front of the camp, lest any sally should be suddenly made by the enemy's infantry. The courage of our men is increased by the additional support of the legions; the enemy being put to flight, hinder one another by their numbers, and as only the narrower gates were left open, are crowded together in them; then the Germans pursue them with vigor even to the fortifications. A great slaughter ensues; some leave their horses, and endeavor to cross the ditch and climb the wall. Caesar orders the legions which he had drawn up in front of the rampart to advance a little. The Gauls, who were within the fortifications, were no less panic-stricken, thinking that the enemy were coming that moment against them, and unanimously shout "to arms;" some in their alarm rush into the town; Vercingetorix orders the gates to be shut, lest the camp should be left undefended. The Germans retreat, after slaying many and taking several horses. Opere instituto fit equestre proelium in ea planitie, quam intermissam collibus tria milia passuum in longitudinem patere supra demonstravimus. Summa vi ab utrisque contenditur. Laborantibus nostris Caesar Germanos summittit legionesque pro castris constituit, ne qua subito irruptio ab hostium peditatu fiat. Praesidio legionum addito nostris animus augetur: hostes in fugam coniecti se ipsi multitudine impediunt atque angustioribus portis relictis coacervantur. Germani acrius usque ad munitiones sequuntur. Fit magna caedes: nonnulli relictis equis fossam transire et maceriam transcendere conantur. Paulum legiones Caesar quas pro vallo constituerat promoveri iubet. Non minus qui intra munitiones erant perturbantur Galli: veniri ad se confestim existimantes ad arma conclamant; nonnulli perterriti in oppidum irrumpunt. Vercingetorix iubet portas claudi, ne castra nudentur. Multis interfectis, compluribus equis captis Germani sese recipiunt.
7:71Vercingetorix adopts the design of sending away all his cavalry by night, before the fortifications should be completed by the Romans. He charges them when departing "that each of them should go to his respective state, and press for the war all who were old enough to bear arms; he states his own merits, and conjures them to consider his safety, and not surrender him who had deserved so well of the general freedom, to the enemy for torture; he points out to them that, if they should be remiss, eighty thousand chosen men would perish with him; that upon making a calculation, he had barely corn for thirty days, but could hold out a little longer by economy." After giving these instructions he silently dismisses the cavalry in the second watch, [on that side] where our works were not completed; he orders all the corn to be brought to himself; he ordains capital punishment to such as should not obey; he distributes among them, man by man, the cattle, great quantities of which had been driven there by the Mandubii; he began to measure out the corn sparingly, and by little and little; he receives into the town all the forces which he had posted in front of it. In this manner he prepares to await the succors from Gaul, and carry on the war. Vercingetorix, priusquam munitiones ab Romanis perficiantur, consilium capit omnem ab se equitatum noctu dimittere. Discedentibus mandat ut suam quisque eorum civitatem adeat omnesque qui per aetatem arma ferre possint ad bellum cogant. Sua in illos merita proponit obtestaturque ut suae salutis rationem habeant neu se optime de communi libertate meritum in cruciatum hostibus dedant. Quod si indiligentiores fuerint, milia hominum delecta octoginta una secum interitura demonstrat. Ratione inita se exigue dierum triginta habere frumentum, sed paulo etiam longius tolerari posse parcendo. His datis mandatis, qua opus erat intermissum, secunda vigilia silentio equitatum mittit. Frumentum omne ad se referri iubet; capitis poenam eis qui non paruerint constituit: pecus, cuius magna erat copia ab Mandubiis compulsa, viritim distribuit; frumentum parce et paulatim metiri instituit; copias omnes quas pro oppido collocaverat in oppidum recepit. His rationibus auxilia Galliae exspectare et bellum parat administrare.
7:72Caesar, on learning these proceedings from the deserters and captives, adopted the following system of fortification; he dug a trench twenty feet deep, with perpendicular sides, in such a manner that the base of this trench should extend so far as the edges were apart at the top. He raised all his other works at a distance of four hundred feet from that ditch; [he did] that with this intention, lest (since he necessarily embraced so extensive an area, and the whole works could not be easily surrounded by a line of soldiers) a large number of the enemy should suddenly, or by night, sally against the fortifications; or lest they should by day cast weapons against our men while occupied with the works. Having left this interval, he drew two trenches fifteen feet broad, and of the same depth; the innermost of them, being in low and level ground, he filled with water conveyed from the river. Behind these he raised a rampart and wall twelve feet high; to this he added a parapet and battlements, with large stakes cut like stags' horns, projecting from the junction of the parapet and battlements, to prevent the enemy from scaling it, and surrounded the entire work with turrets, which were eighty feet distant from one another. Quibus rebus cognitis ex perfugis et captivis, Caesar haec genera munitionis instituit. Fossam pedum viginti directis lateribus duxit, ut eius fossae solum tantundem pateret quantum summae fossae labra distarent. Reliquas omnes munitiones ab ea fossa pedes quadringentos reduxit, [id] hoc consilio, quoniam tantum esset necessario spatium complexus, nec facile totum corpus corona militum cingeretur, ne de improviso aut noctu ad munitiones hostium multitudo advolaret aut interdiu tela in nostros operi destinatos conicere possent. Hoc intermisso spatio duas fossas quindecim pedes latas, eadem altitudine perduxit, quarum interiorem campestribus ac demissis locis aqua ex flumine derivata complevit. Post eas aggerem ac vallum duodecim pedum exstruxit. Huic loricam pinnasque adiecit grandibus cervis eminentibus ad commissuras pluteorum atque aggeris, qui ascensum hostium tardarent, et turres toto opere circumdedit, quae pedes LXXX inter se distarent.
7:73It was necessary, at one and the same time, to procure timber [for the rampart], lay in supplies of corn, and raise also extensive fortifications, and the available troops were in consequence of this reduced in number, since they used to advance to some distance from the camp, and sometimes the Gauls endeavored to attack our works, and to make a sally from the town by several gates and in great force. Caesar thought that further additions should be made to these works, in order that the fortifications might be defensible by a small number of soldiers. Having, therefore, cut down the trunks of trees or very thick branches, and having stripped their tops of the bark, and sharpened them into a point, he drew a continued trench every where five feet deep. These stakes being sunk into this trench, and fastened firmly at the bottom, to prevent the possibility of their being torn up, had their branches only projecting from the ground. There were five rows in connection with, and intersecting each other; and whoever entered within them were likely to impale themselves on very sharp stakes. The soldiers called these "cippi." Before these, which were arranged in oblique rows in the form of a quincunx, pits three feet deep were dug, which gradually diminished in depth to the bottom. In these pits tapering stakes, of the thickness of a man's thigh; sharpened at the top and hardened in the fire, were sunk in such a manner as to project from the ground not more than four inches; at the same time for the purpose of giving them strength and stability, they were each filled with trampled clay to the height of one foot from the bottom: the rest of the pit was covered over with osiers and twigs, to conceal the deceit. Eight rows of this kind were dug, and were three feet distant from each other. They called this a lily from its resemblance to that flower. Stakes a foot long, with iron hooks attached to them, were entirely sunk in the ground before these, and were planted in every place at small intervals; these they called spurs. Erat eodem tempore et materiari et frumentari et tantas munitiones fieri necesse deminutis nostris copiis quae longius ab castris progrediebantur: ac non numquam opera nostra Galli temptare atque eruptionem ex oppido pluribus portis summa vi facere conabantur. Quare ad haec rursus opera addendum Caesar putavit, quo minore numero militum munitiones defendi possent. Itaque truncis arborum aut admodum firmis ramis abscisis atque horum delibratis ac praeacutis cacuminibus perpetuae fossae quinos pedes altae ducebantur. Huc illi stipites demissi et ab infimo revincti, ne revelli possent, ab ramis eminebant. Quini erant ordines coniuncti inter se atque implicati; quo qui intraverant, se ipsi acutissimis vallis induebant. Hos cippos appellabant. Ante quos obliquis ordinibus in quincuncem dispositis scrobes tres in altitudinem pedes fodiebantur paulatim angustiore ad infimum fastigio. Huc teretes stipites feminis crassitudine ab summo praeacuti et praeusti demittebantur, ita ut non amplius digitis quattuor ex terra eminerent; simul confirmandi et stabiliendi causa singuli ab infimo solo pedes terra exculcabantur, reliqua pars scrobis ad occultandas insidias viminibus ac virgultis integebatur. Huius generis octoni ordines ducti ternos inter se pedes distabant. Id ex similitudine floris lilium appellabant. Ante haec taleae pedem longae ferreis hamis infixis totae in terram infodiebantur mediocribusque intermissis spatiis omnibus locis disserebantur; quos stimulos nominabant.
7:74After completing these works, saving selected as level ground as he could, considering the nature of the country, and having inclosed an area of fourteen miles, he constructed, against an external enemy, fortifications of the same kind in every respect, and separate from these, so that the guards of the fortifications could not be surrounded even by immense numbers, if such a circumstance should take place owing to the departure of the enemy's cavalry; and in order that the Roman soldiers might not be compelled to go out of the camp with great risk, ho orders all to provide forage and corn for thirty days. His rebus perfectis regiones secutus quam potuit aequissimas pro loci natura quattuordecim milia passuum complexus pares eiusdem generis munitiones, diversas ab his, contra exteriorem hostem perfecit, ut ne magna quidem multitudine, si ita accidat, munitionum praesidia circumfundi possent; ac ne cum periculo ex castris egredi cogatur, dierum triginta pabulum frumentumque habere omnes convectum iubet.
7:75While those things are carried on at Alesia, the Gauls, having convened a council of their chief nobility, determine that all who could bear arms should not be called out, which was the opinion of Vercingetorix, but that a fixed number should be levied from each state; lest, when so great a multitude assembled together, they could neither govern nor distinguish their men, nor have the means of supplying them with corn. They demand thirty-five thousand men from the Aedui and their dependents, the Segusiani, Ambivareti, and Aulerci Brannovices; an equal number from the Arverni in conjunction with the Eleuteti Cadurci, Gabali, and Velauni, who were accustomed to be under the command of the Arverni; twelve thousand each from the Senones, Sequani, Bituriges, Sentones, Ruteni, and Carnutes; ten thousand from the Bellovaci; the same number from the Lemovici; eight thousand each from the Pictones, and Turoni, and Parisii, and Helvii; five thousand each from the Suessiones, Ambiani, Mediomatrici, Petrocorii, Nervii, Morini, and Nitiobriges; the same number from the Aulerci Cenomani; four thousand from the Atrebates; three thousand each from the Bellocassi, Lexovii, and Aulerci Eburovices; thirty thousand from the Rauraci, and Boii; six thousand from all the states together, which border on the Atlantic, and which in their dialect are called Armoricae (in which number are comprehended the Curisolites, Rhedones, Ambibari, Caltes, Osismii, Lemovices, Veneti, and Unelli). Of these the Bellovaci did not contribute their number, as they said that they would wage war against the Romans on their own account, and at their own discretion, and would not obey the order of any one: however, at the request of Commius, they sent two thousand, in consideration of a tie of hospitality which subsisted between him and them. Dum haec apud Alesiam geruntur, Galli concilio principum indicto non omnes eos qui arma ferre possent, ut censuit Vercingetorix, convocandos statuunt, sed certum numerum cuique ex civitate imperandum, ne tanta multitudine confusa nec moderari nec discernere suos nec frumentandi rationem habere possent. Imperant Aeduis atque eorum clientibus, Segusiavis, Ambivaretis, Aulercis Brannovicibus, Blannoviis, milia XXXV; parem numerum Arvernis adiunctis Eleutetis, Cadurcis, Gabalis, Vellaviis, qui sub imperio Arvernorum esse consuerunt; Sequanis, Senonibus, Biturigibus, Santonis, Rutenis, Carnutibus duodena milia; Bellovacis X; totidem Lemovicibus; octona Pictonibus et Turonis et Parisiis et Helvetiis; [Suessionibus,] Ambianis, Mediomatricis, Petrocoriis, Nerviis, Morinis, Nitiobrigibus quina milia; Aulercis Cenomanis totidem; Atrebatibus [IIII milibus]; Veliocassis, Lexoviis et Aulercis Eburovicibus terna; Rauracis et Boiis bina; [XXX milia] universis civitatibus, quae Oceanum attingunt quaeque eorum consuetudine Armoricae appellantur, quo sunt in numero Curiosolites, Redones, Ambibarii, Caletes, Osismi, Veneti, Lemovices, Venelli. Ex his Bellovaci suum numerum non compleverunt, quod se suo nomine atque arbitrio cum Romanis bellum gesturos dicebant neque cuiusquam imperio obtemperaturos; rogati tamen ab Commio pro eius hospitio duo milia una miserunt.
7:76Caesar had, as we have previously narrated, availed himself of the faithful and valuable services of this Commius, in Britain, in former years: in consideration of which merits he had exempted from taxes his [Commius's] state, and had conferred on Commius himself the country of the Morini. Yet such was the unanimity of the Gauls in asserting their freedom, and recovering their ancient renown in war, that they were influenced neither by favors, nor by the recollection of private friendship; and all earnestly directed their energies and resources to that war, and collected eight thousand cavalry, and about two hundred and forty thousand infantry. These were reviewed in the country of the Aedui, and a calculation was made of their numbers: commanders were appointed: the supreme command is intrusted to Commius the Atrebatian, Viridomarus and Eporedirix the Aeduans, and Vergasillaunus the Arvernan, the cousin-german of Vercingetorix. To them are assigned men selected from each state, by whose advice the war should be conducted. All march to Alesia, sanguine and full of confidence: nor was there a single individual who imagined that the Romans could withstand the sight of such an immense host: especially in an action carried on both in front and rear, when [on the inside] the besieged would sally from the town and attack the enemy, and on the outside so great forces of cavalry and infantry would be seen. Huius opera Commi, ut antea demonstravimus, fideli atque utili superioribus annis erat usus in Britannia Caesar; quibus ille pro meritis civitatem eius immunem esse iusserat, iura legesque reddiderat atque ipsi Morinos attribuerat. Tamen tanta universae Galliae consensio fuit libertatis vindicandae et pristinae belli laudis recuperandae, ut neque beneficiis neque amicitiae memoria moverentur, omnesque et animo et opibus in id bellum incumberent. Coactis equitum VIII milibus et peditum circiter CCL haec in Aeduorum finibus recensebantur, numerusque inibatur, praefecti constituebantur. Commio Atrebati, Viridomaro et Eporedorigi Aeduis, Vercassivellauno Arverno, consobrino Vercingetorigis, summa imperi traditur. His delecti ex civitatibus attribuuntur, quorum consilio bellum administraretur. Omnes alacres et fiduciae pleni ad Alesiam proficiscuntur, neque erat omnium quisquam qui aspectum modo tantae multitudinis sustineri posse arbitraretur, praesertim ancipiti proelio, cum ex oppido eruptione pugnaretur, foris tantae copiae equitatus peditatusque cernerentur.
7:77But those who were blockaded at Alesia, the day being past, on which they had expected auxiliaries from their countrymen, and all their corn being consumed ignorant of what was going on among the Aedui, convened an assembly and deliberated on the exigency of their situation. After various opinions had been expressed among them, some of which proposed a surrender, others a sally, while their strength would support it, the speech of Critognatus ought not to be omitted for its singular and detestable cruelty. He sprung from the noblest family among the Arverni, and possessing great influence, says, "I shall pay no attention to the opinion of those who call a most disgraceful surrender by the name of a capitulation; nor do I think that they ought to be considered as citizens, or summoned to the council. My business is with those who approve of a sally: in whose advice the memory of our ancient prowess seems to dwell in the opinion of you all. To be unable to bear privation for a short time is disgraceful cowardice, not true valor. Those who voluntarily offer themselves to death are more easily found than those who would calmly endure distress. And I would approve of this opinion (for honor is a powerful motive with me), could I foresee no other loss, save that of life; but let us, in adopting our design, look back on all Gaul, which we have stirred up to our aid. What courage do you think would our relatives and friends have, if eighty thousand men were butchered in one spot, supposing that they should be forced to come to an action almost over our corpses? Do not utterly deprive them of your aid, for they have spurned all thoughts of personal danger on account of your safety; nor by your folly, rashness, and cowardice, crush all Gaul and doom it to an eternal slavery. Do you doubt their fidelity and firmness because they have not come at the appointed day? What then? Do you suppose that the Romans are employed every day in the outer fortifications for mere amusement? If you can not be assured by their dispatches, since every avenue is blocked up, take the Romans as evidence that there approach is drawing near; since they, intimidated by alarm at this, labor night and day at their works. What, therefore, is my design? To do as our ancestors did in the war against the Cimbri and Teutones, which was by no means equally momentous who, when driven into their towns, and oppressed by similar privations, supported life by the corpses of those who appeared useless for war on account of their age, and did not surrender to the enemy: and even if we had not a precedent for such cruel conduct, still I should consider it most glorious that one should be established, and delivered to posterity. For in what was that war like this? The Cimbri, after laying Gaul waste, and inflicting great calamities, at length departed from our country, and sought other lands; they left us our rights, laws, lands, and liberty. But what other motive or wish have the Romans, than, induced by envy, to settle in the lands and states of those whom they have learned by fame to be noble and powerful in war, and impose on them perpetual slavery? For they never have carried on wars on any other terms. But if you know not these things which are going on in distant countries, look to the neighboring Gaul, which being reduced to the form of a province, stripped of its rights and laws, and subjected to Roman despotism, is oppressed by perpetual slavery." At ei, qui Alesiae obsidebantur praeterita die, qua auxilia suorum exspectaverant, consumpto omni frumento, inscii quid in Aeduis gereretur, concilio coacto de exitu suarum fortunarum consultabant. Ac variis dictis sententiis, quarum pars deditionem, pars, dum vires suppeterent, eruptionem censebat, non praetereunda oratio Critognati videtur propter eius singularem et nefariam crudelitatem. Hic summo in Arvernis ortus loco et magnae habitus auctoritatis, "Nihil," inquit, "de eorum sententia dicturus sum, qui turpissimam servitutem deditionis nomine appellant, neque hos habendos civium loco neque ad concilium adhibendos censeo. Cum his mihi res sit, qui eruptionem probant; quorum in consilio omnium vestrum consensu pristinae residere virtutis memoria videtur. Animi est ista mollitia, non virtus, paulisper inopiam ferre non posse. Qui se ultro morti offerant facilius reperiuntur quam qui dolorem patienter ferant. Atque ego hanc sententiam probarem (tantum apud me dignitas potest), si nullam praeterquam vitae nostrae iacturam fieri viderem: sed in consilio capiendo omnem Galliam respiciamus, quam ad nostrum auxilium concitavimus. Quid hominum milibus LXXX uno loco interfectis propinquis consanguineisque nostris animi fore existimatis, si paene in ipsis cadaveribus proelio decertare cogentur? Nolite hos vestro auxilio exspoliare, qui vestrae salutis causa suum periculum neglexerunt, nec stultitia ac temeritate vestra aut animi imbecillitate omnem Galliam prosternere et perpetuae servituti subicere. An, quod ad diem non venerunt, de eorum fide constantiaque dubitatis? Quid ergo? Romanos in illis ulterioribus munitionibus animine causa cotidie exerceri putatis? Si illorum nuntiis confirmari non potestis omni aditu praesaepto, his utimini testibus appropinquare eorum adventum; cuius rei timore exterriti diem noctemque in opere versantur. Quid ergo mei consili est? Facere, quod nostri maiores nequaquam pari bello Cimbrorum Teutonumque fecerunt; qui in oppida compulsi ac simili inopia subacti eorum corporibus qui aetate ad bellum inutiles videbantur vitam toleraverunt neque se hostibus tradiderunt. Cuius rei si exemplum non haberemus, tamen libertatis causa institui et posteris prodi pulcherrimum iudicarem. Nam quid illi simile bello fuit? Depopulata Gallia Cimbri magnaque illata calamitate finibus quidem nostris aliquando excesserunt atque alias terras petierunt; iura, leges, agros, libertatem nobis reliquerunt. Romani vero quid petunt aliud aut quid volunt, nisi invidia adducti, quos fama nobiles potentesque bello cognoverunt, horum in agris civitatibusque considere atque his aeternam iniungere servitutem? Neque enim ulla alia condicione bella gesserunt. Quod si ea quae in longinquis nationibus geruntur ignoratis, respicite finitimam Galliam, quae in provinciam redacta iure et legibus commutatis securibus subiecta perpetua premitur servitute."
7:78When different opinions were expressed, they determined that those who, owing to age or ill health, were unserviceable for war, should depart from the town, and that themselves should try every expedient before they had recourse to the advice of Critognatus: however, that they would rather adopt that design, if circumstances should compel them and their allies should delay, than accept any terms of a surrender or peace. The Mandubii, who had admitted them into the town, are compelled to go forth with their wives and children. When these came to the Roman fortifications, weeping, they begged of the soldiers by every entreaty to receive them as slaves and relieve them with food. But Caesar, placing guards on the rampart, forbade them to be admitted. Sententiis dictis constituunt ut ei qui valetudine aut aetate inutiles sunt bello oppido excedant, atque omnia prius experiantur, quam ad Critognati sententiam descendant: illo tamen potius utendum consilio, si res cogat atque auxilia morentur, quam aut deditionis aut pacis subeundam condicionem. Mandubii, qui eos oppido receperant, cum liberis atque uxoribus exire coguntur. Hi, cum ad munitiones Romanorum accessissent, flentes omnibus precibus orabant, ut se in servitutem receptos cibo iuvarent. At Caesar dispositis in vallo custodibus recipi prohibebat.
7:79In the mean time, Commius and the rest of the leaders, to whom the supreme command had been intrusted, came with all their forces to Alesia, and having occupied the entire hill, encamped not more than a mile from our fortifications. The following day, having led forth their cavalry from the camp, they fill all that plain, which, we have related, extended three miles in length, and drew out their infantry a little from that place, and post them on the higher ground. The town Alesia commanded a view of the whole plain. The besieged run together when these auxiliaries were seen; mutual congratulations ensue, and the minds of all are elated with joy. Accordingly, drawing out their troops, they encamp before the town, and cover the nearest trench with hurdles and fill it up with earth, and make ready for a sally and every casualty. Interea Commius reliquique duces quibus summa imperi permissa erat cum omnibus copiis ad Alesiam perveniunt et colle exteriore occupato non longius mille passibus ab nostris munitionibus considunt. Postero die equitatu ex castris educto omnem eam planitiem, quam in longitudinem tria milia passuum patere demonstravimus, complent pedestresque copias paulum ab eo loco abditas in locis superioribus constituunt. Erat ex oppido Alesia despectus in campum. Concurrunt his auxiliis visis; fit gratulatio inter eos, atque omnium animi ad laetitiam excitantur. Itaque productis copiis ante oppidum considunt et proximam fossam cratibus integunt atque aggere explent seque ad eruptionem atque omnes casus comparant.
7:80Caesar, having stationed his army on both sides of the fortifications, in order that, if occasion should arise, each should hold and know his own post, orders the cavalry to issue forth from the camp and commence action. There was a commanding view from the entire camp, which occupied a ridge of hills; and the minds of all the soldiers anxiously awaited the issue of the battle. The Gauls had scattered archers and light-armed infantry here and there, among their cavalry, to give relief to their retreating troops, and sustain the impetuosity of our cavalry. Several of our soldiers were unexpectedly wounded by these, and left the battle. When the Gauls were confident that their countrymen were the conquerors in the action, and beheld our men hard pressed by numbers, both those who were hemmed in by the line of circumvallation and those who had come to aid them, supported the spirits of their men by shouts and yells from every quarter. As the action was carried on in sight of all, neither a brave nor cowardly act could be concealed; both the desire of praise and the fear of ignominy, urged on each party to valor. After fighting from noon almost to sunset, without victory inclining in favor of either, the Germans, on one side, made a charge against the enemy in a compact body, and drove them back; and, when they were put to flight, the archers were surrounded and cut to pieces. In other parts, likewise, our men pursued to the camp the retreating enemy, and did not give them an opportunity of rallying. But those who had come forth from Alesia returned into the town dejected and almost despairing of success. Caesar omni exercitu ad utramque partem munitionum disposito, ut, si usus veniat, suum quisque locum teneat et noverit, equitatum ex castris educi et proelium committi iubet. Erat ex omnibus castris, quae summum undique iugum tenebant, despectus, atque omnes milites intenti pugnae proventum exspectabant. Galli inter equites raros sagittarios expeditosque levis armaturae interiecerant, qui suis cedentibus auxilio succurrerent et nostrorum equitum impetus sustinerent. Ab his complures de improviso vulnerati proelio excedebant. Cum suos pugna superiores esse Galli confiderent et nostros multitudine premi viderent, ex omnibus partibus et ei qui munitionibus continebantur et hi qui ad auxilium convenerant clamore et ululatu suorum animos confirmabant. Quod in conspectu omnium res gerebatur neque recte ac turpiter factum celari poterat, utrosque et laudis cupiditas et timor ignominiae ad virtutem excitabant. Cum a meridie prope ad solis occasum dubia victoria pugnaretur, Germani una in parte confertis turmis in hostes impetum fecerunt eosque propulerunt; quibus in fugam coniectis sagittarii circumventi interfectique sunt. Item ex reliquis partibus nostri cedentes usque ad castra insecuti sui colligendi facultatem non dederunt. At ei qui ab Alesia processerant maesti prope victoria desperata se in oppidum receperunt.
7:81The Gauls, after the interval of a day and after making, during that time, an immense number of hurdles, scaling-ladders, and iron hooks, silently went forth from the camp at midnight and approached the fortifications in the plain. Raising a shout suddenly, that by this intimation those who were beseiged in the town might learn their arrival, they began to cast down hurdles and dislodge our men from the rampart by slings, arrows, and stones, and executed the other movements which are requisite in storming. At the same time, Vercingetorix, having heard the shout, gives the signal to his troops by a trumpet, and leads them forth from the town. Our troops, as each man's post had been assigned him some days before, man the fortifications; they intimidate the Gauls by slings, large stones, stakes which they had placed along the works, and bullets. All view being prevented by the darkness, many wounds are received on both sides; several missiles, are thrown from the engines. But Marcus Antonius, and Caius Trebonius, the lieutenants, to whom the defense of these parts had been allotted, draughted troops from the redoubts which were more remote, and sent them to aid our troops, in whatever direction they understood that they were hard pressed. Vno die intermisso Galli atque hoc spatio magno cratium, scalarum, harpagonum numero effecto media nocte silentio ex castris egressi ad campestres munitiones accedunt. Subito clamore sublato, qua significatione qui in oppido obsidebantur de suo adventu cognoscere possent, crates proicere, fundis, sagittis, lapidibus nostros de vallo proturbare reliquaque quae ad oppugnationem pertinent parant administrare. Eodem tempore clamore exaudito dat tuba signum suis Vercingetorix atque ex oppido educit. Nostri, ut superioribus diebus, ut cuique erat locus attributus, ad munitiones accedunt; fundis librilibus sudibusque quas in opere disposuerant ac glandibus Gallos proterrent. Prospectu tenebris adempto multa utrimque vulnera accipiuntur. Complura tormentis tela coniciuntur. At Marcus Antonius et Gaius Trebonius legati, quibus hae partes ad defendendum obvenerant, qua ex parte nostros premi intellexerant, his auxilio ex ulterioribus castellis deductos summittebant.
7:82While the Gauls were at a distance from the fortification, they did more execution, owing to the immense number of their weapons: after they came nearer, they either unawares empaled themselves on the spurs, or were pierced by the mural darts from the ramparts and towers, and thus perished. After receiving many wounds on all sides, and having forced no part of the works, when day drew nigh, fearing lest they should be surrounded by a sally made from the higher camp on the exposed flank, they retreated to their countrymen. But those within, while they bring forward those things which had been prepared by Vercingetorix for a sally, fill up the nearest trenches; having delayed a long time in executing these movements, they learned the retreat of their countrymen before they drew nigh to the fortifications. Thus they returned to the town without accomplishing their object. Dum longius ab munitione aberant Galli, plus multitudine telorum proficiebant; posteaquam propius successerunt, aut se stimulis inopinantes induebant aut in scrobes delati transfodiebantur aut ex vallo ac turribus traiecti pilis muralibus interibant. Multis undique vulneribus acceptis nulla munitione perrupta, cum lux appeteret, veriti ne ab latere aperto ex superioribus castris eruptione circumvenirentur, se ad suos receperunt. At interiores, dum ea quae a Vercingetorige ad eruptionem praeparata erant proferunt, priores fossas explent, diutius in his rebus administrandis morati prius suos discessisse cognoverunt, quam munitionibus appropinquarent. Ita re infecta in oppidum reverterunt.
7:83The Gauls, having been twice repulsed with great loss, consult what they should do; they avail themselves of the information of those who were well acquainted with the country; from them they ascertain the position and fortification of the upper camp. There was, on the north side, a hill, which our men could not include in their works, on account of the extent of the circuit, and had necessarily made their camp in ground almost disadvantageous, and pretty steep. Caius Antistius Reginus, and Caius Caninius Rebilus, two of the lieutenants, with two legions, were in possession of this camp. The leaders of the enemy, having reconnoitered the country by their scouts, select from the entire army sixty thousand men, belonging to those states, which bear the highest character for courage; they privately arrange among themselves what they wished to be done, and in what manner; they decide that the attack should take place when it should seem to be noon. They appoint over their forces Vergasillaunus, the Arvernian, one of the four generals, and a near relative of Vercingetorix. He, having issued from the camp at the first watch, and having almost completed his march a little before the dawn, hid himself behind the mountain, and ordered his soldiers to refresh themselves after their labor during the night. When noon now seemed to draw nigh, he marched hastily against that camp which we have mentioned before; and, at the same time, the cavalry began to approach the fortifications in the plain, and the rest of the forces to make a demonstration in front of the camp. Bis magno cum detrimento repulsi Galli quid agant consulunt; locorum peritos adhibent: ex his superiorum castrorum situs munitionesque cognoscunt. Erat a septentrionibus collis, quem propter magnitudinem circuitus opere circumplecti non potuerant nostri: necessario paene iniquo loco et leniter declivi castra fecerunt. Haec Gaius Antistius Reginus et Gaius Caninius Rebilus legati cum duabus legionibus obtinebant. Cognitis per exploratores regionibus duces hostium LX milia ex omni numero deligunt earum civitatum quae maximam virtutis opinionem habebant; quid quoque pacto agi placeat occulte inter se constituunt; adeundi tempus definiunt, cum meridies esse videatur. His copiis Vercassivellaunum Arvernum, unum ex quattuor ducibus, propinquum Vercingetorigis, praeficiunt. Ille ex castris prima vigilia egressus prope confecto sub lucem itinere post montem se occultavit militesque ex nocturno labore sese reficere iussit. Cum iam meridies appropinquare videretur, ad ea castra quae supra demonstravimus contendit; eodemque tempore equitatus ad campestres munitiones accedere et reliquae copiae pro castris sese ostendere coeperunt.
7:84Vercingetorix, having beheld his countrymen from the citadel of Alesia, issues forth from the town; he brings forth from the camp long hooks, movable pent-houses, mural hooks, and other things, which he had prepared for the purpose of making a sally. They engage on all sides at once and every expedient is adopted. They flocked to whatever part of the works seemed weakest. The army of the Romans is distributed along their extensive lines, and with difficulty meets the enemy in every quarter. The shouts which were raised by the combatants in their rear, had a great tendency to intimidate our men, because they perceived that their danger rested on the valor of others: for generally all evils which are distant most powerfully alarm men's minds. Vercingetorix ex arce Alesiae suos conspicatus ex oppido egreditur; crates, longurios, musculos, falces reliquaque quae eruptionis causa paraverat profert. Pugnatur uno tempore omnibus locis, atque omnia temptantur: quae minime visa pars firma est, huc concurritur. Romanorum manus tantis munitionibus distinetur nec facile pluribus locis occurrit. Multum ad terrendos nostros valet clamor, qui post tergum pugnantibus exstitit, quod suum periculum in aliena vident salute constare: omnia enim plerumque quae absunt vehementius hominum mentes perturbant.
7:85Caesar, having selected a commanding situation, sees distinctly whatever is going on in every quarter, and sends assistance to his troops when hard pressed. The idea uppermost in the minds of both parties is, that the present is the time in which they would have the fairest opportunity of making a struggle; the Gauls despairing of all safety, unless they should succeed in forcing the lines: the Romans expecting an end to all their labors if they should gain the day. The principal struggle is at the upper lines, to which as we have said Vergasillaunus was sent. The least elevation of ground, added to a declivity, exercises a momentous influence. Some are casting missiles, others, forming a testudo, advance to the attack; fresh men by turns relieve the wearied. The earth, heaped up by all against the fortifications, gives the means of ascent to the Gauls, and covers those works which the Romans had concealed in the ground. Our men have no longer arms or strength. Caesar idoneum locum nactus quid quaque ex parte geratur cognoscit; laborantibus summittit. Vtrisque ad animum occurrit unum esse illud tempus, quo maxime contendi conveniat: Galli, nisi perfregerint munitiones, de omni salute desperant; Romani, si rem obtinuerint, finem laborum omnium exspectant. Maxime ad superiores munitiones laboratur, quo Vercassivellaunum missum demonstravimus. Iniquum loci ad declivitatem fastigium magnum habet momentum. Alii tela coniciunt, alii testudine facta subeunt; defatigatis in vicem integri succedunt. Agger ab universis in munitionem coniectus et ascensum dat Gallis et ea quae in terra occultaverant Romani contegit; nec iam arma nostris nec vires suppetunt.
7:86Caesar, on observing these movements, sends Labienus with six cohorts to relieve his distressed soldiers: he orders him, if he should be unable to withstand them, to draw off the cohorts and make a sally; but not to do this except through necessity. He himself goes to the rest, and exhorts them not to succumb to the toil; he shows them that the fruits of all former engagements depend on that day and hour. The Gauls within, despairing of forcing the fortifications in the plains on account of the greatness of the works, attempt the places precipitous in ascent: hither they bring the engines which they had prepared; by the immense number of their missiles they dislodge the defenders from the turrets: they fill the ditches with clay and hurdles, then clear the way; they tear down the rampart and breast-work with hooks. His rebus cognitis Caesar Labienum cum cohortibus sex subsidio laborantibus mittit: imperat, si sustinere non posset, deductis cohortibus eruptione pugnaret; id nisi necessario ne faciat. Ipse adit reliquos, cohortatur ne labori succumbant; omnium superiorum dimicationum fructum in eo die atque hora docet consistere. Interiores desperatis campestribus locis propter magnitudinem munitionum loca praerupta ex ascensu temptant: huc ea quae paraverant conferunt. Multitudine telorum ex turribus propugnantes deturbant, aggere et cratibus fossas explent, falcibus vallum ac loricam rescindunt.
7:87Caesar sends at first young Brutus, with six cohorts, and afterward Caius Fabius, his lieutenant, with seven others: finally, as they fought more obstinately, he leads up fresh men to the assistance of his soldiers. After renewing the action, and repulsing the enemy, he marches in the direction in which he had sent Labienus, drafts four cohorts from the nearest redoubt, and orders part of the cavalry to follow him, and part to make the circuit of the external fortifications and attack the enemy in the rear. Labienus, when neither the ramparts or ditches could check the onset of the enemy, informs Caesar by messengers of what he intended to do. Caesar hastens to share in the action. Mittit primo Brutum adulescentem cum cohortibus Caesar, post cum aliis Gaium Fabium legatum; postremo ipse, cum vehementius pugnaretur, integros subsidio adducit. Restituto proelio ac repulsis hostibus eo quo Labienum miserat contendit; cohortes quattuor ex proximo castello deducit, equitum partem sequi, partem circumire exteriores munitiones et ab tergo hostes adoriri iubet. Labienus, postquam neque aggeres neque fossae vim hostium sustinere poterant, coactis una XL cohortibus, quas ex proximis praesidus deductas fors obtulit, Caesarem per nuntios facit certiorem quid faciendum existimet. Accelerat Caesar, ut proelio intersit.
7:88His arrival being known from the color of his robe, and the troops of cavalry, and the cohorts which he had ordered to follow him being seen, as these low and sloping grounds were plainly visible from the eminences, the enemy join battle. A shout being raised by both sides, it was succeeded by a general shout along the ramparts and whole line of fortifications. Our troops, laying aside their javelins, carry on the engagement with their swords. The cavalry is suddenly seen in the rear of the Gauls; the other cohorts advance rapidly; the enemy turn their backs; the cavalry intercept them in their flight, and a great slaughter ensues. Sedulius the general and chief of the Lemovices is slain; Vergasillaunus the Arvernian, is taken alive in the flight, seventy-four military standards are brought to Caesar, and few out of so great a number return safe to their camp. The besieged, beholding from the town the slaughter and flight of their countrymen, despairing of safety, lead back their troops from the fortifications. A flight of the Gauls from their camp immediately ensues on hearing of this disaster, and had not the soldiers been wearied by sending frequent reinforcements, and the labor of the entire day, all the enemy's forces could have been destroyed. Immediately after midnight, the cavalry are sent out and overtake the rear, a great number are taken or cut to pieces, the rest by flight escape in different directions to their respective states. Eius adventu ex colore vestitus cognito, quo insigni in proeliis uti consuerat, turmisque equitum et cohortibus visis quas se sequi iusserat, ut de locis superioribus haec declivia et devexa cernebantur, hostes proelium committunt. Vtrimque clamore sublato excipit rursus ex vallo atque omnibus munitionibus clamor. Nostri omissis pilis gladiis rem gerunt. Repente post tergum equitatus cernitur; cohortes aliae appropinquant. Hostes terga vertunt; fugientibus equites occurrunt. Fit magna caedes. Sedulius, dux et princeps Lemovicum, occiditur; Vercassivellaunus Arvernus vivus in fuga comprehenditur; signa militaria septuaginta quattuor ad Caesarem referuntur: pauci ex tanto numero se incolumes in castra recipiunt. Conspicati ex oppido caedem et fugam suorum desperata salute copias a munitionibus reducunt. Fit protinus hac re audita ex castris Gallorum fuga. Quod nisi crebris subsidiis ac totius diei labore milites essent defessi, omnes hostium copiae deleri potuissent. De media nocte missus equitatus novissimum agmen consequitur: magnus numerus capitur atque interficitur; reliqui ex fuga in civitates discedunt.
7:89Vercingetorix, having convened a council the following day, declares, "That he had undertaken that war, not on account of his own exigences, but on account of the general freedom; and since he must yield to fortune, he offered himself to them for either purpose, whether they should wish to atone to the Romans by his death, or surrender him alive. Embassadors are sent to Caesar on this subject. He orders their arms to be surrendered, and their chieftains delivered up. He seated himself at the head of the lines in front of the camp, the Gallic chieftains are brought before him. They surrender Vercingetorix, and lay down their arms. Reserving the Aedui and Arverni, [to try] if he could gain over, through their influence, their respective states, he distributes one of the remaining captives to each soldier, throughout the entire army, as plunder. Postero die Vercingetorix concilio convocato id bellum se suscepisse non suarum necessitatium, sed communis libertatis causa demonstrat, et quoniam sit fortunae cedendum, ad utramque rem se illis offerre, seu morte sua Romanis satisfacere seu vivum tradere velint. Mittuntur de his rebus ad Caesarem legati. Iubet arma tradi, principes produci. Ipse in munitione pro castris consedit: eo duces producuntur; Vercingetorix deditur, arma proiciuntur. Reservatis Aeduis atque Arvernis, si per eos civitates reciperare posset, ex reliquis captivis toto exercitui capita singula praedae nomine distribuit.
7:90After making these arrangements, he marches into the [country of the] Aedui, and recovers that state. To this place embassadors are sent by the Arveni, who promise that they will execute his commands. He demands a great number of hostages. He sends the legions to winter-quarters; he restores about twenty thousand captives to the Aedui and Arverni; he orders Titus Labienus to march into the [country of the] Sequani with two legions and the cavalry, and to him he attaches Marcus Sempronius Rutilus; he places Caius Fabius, and Lucius Minucius Basilus, with two legions in the country of the Remi, lest they should sustain any loss from the Bellovaci in their neighborhood. He sends Caius Antistius Reginus into the [country of the] Ambivareti, Titus Sextius into the territories of the Bituriges, and Caius Caninius Rebilus into those of the Ruteni, with one legion each. He stations Quintus Tullius Cicero, and Publius Sulpicius among the Aedui at Cabillo and Matisco on the Saone, to procure supplies of corn. He himself determines to winter at Bibracte. A supplication of twenty-days is decreed by the senate at Rome, on learning these successes from Caesar's dispatches. His rebus confectis in Aeduos proficiscitur; civitatem recipit. Eo legati ab Arvernis missi quae imperaret se facturos pollicentur. Imperat magnum numerum obsidum. Legiones in hiberna mittit. Captivorum circiter viginti milia Aeduis Arvernisque reddit. Titum Labienum duabus cum legionibus et equitatu in Sequanos proficisci iubet: huic Marcum Sempronium Rutilum attribuit. Gaium Fabium legatum et Lucium Minucium Basilum cum legionibus duabus in Remis collocat, ne quam ab finitimis Bellovacis calamitatem accipiant. Gaium Antistium Reginum in Ambivaretos, Titum Sextium in Bituriges, Gaium Caninium Rebilum in Rutenos cum singulis legionibus mittit. Quintum Tullium Ciceronem et Publium Sulpicium Cabilloni et Matiscone in Aeduis ad Ararim rei frumentariae causa collocat. Ipse Bibracte hiemare constituit. His litteris cognitis Romae dierum viginti supplicatio redditur.

Next: Gallic Wars Book 8 (51-50 B.C.E.)