De Bello Gallico Passages for the AP Latin Caesar Liber V

Book 5: Chapters 24-37 (Next V:38-48)

Roman Soldiers
Roman Soldiers; Standard-bearer; Horn-blower; Chieftain; Slinger; Lictor; General; Triumpher; Magistrate; Officer. (1882). NYPL Digital Library
AP Latin Prose - Caesar >

Here you will find chapters 24-38 from the required chapters 24-48 of Book IV of Caesar's Gallic Wars [see The Gallic Revolt] that are required reading in Latin for the AP Latin exam in 2012. You are not required to read the rest of the fifth book in English. There is an accompanying, public domain, early 20th century translation from Thomas De Quincey. For the whole book in translation, see:

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AP Latin Passages

De Bello Gallico Chapters 24-38 Book V

EnglishLatin
XXIV.--The ships having been drawn up and a general assembly of the Gauls held at Samarobriva, because the corn that year had not prospered in Gaul by reason of the droughts, he was compelled to station his army in its winter-quarters, differently from the former years, and to distribute the legions among several states: one of them he gave to C. Fabius, his lieutenant, to be marched into the territories of the Morini; a second to Q. Cicero, into those of the Nervii; a third to L. Roscius, into those of the Essui; a fourth he ordered to winter with T. Labienus among the Remi in the confines of the Treviri; he stationed three in Belgium; over these he appointed M. Crassus, his questor, and L. Munatius Plancus and C. Trebonius, his lieutenants. One legion which he had raised last on the other side of the Po, and five cohorts, he sent amongst the Eburones, the greatest portion of whom lie between the Meuse and the Rhine, [and] who were under the government of Ambiorix and Cativolcus. He ordered Q. Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta, his lieutenants, to take the command of these soldiers. The legions being distributed in this manner, he thought he could most easily remedy the scarcity of corn; and yet the winter-quarters of all these legions (except that which he had given to L. Roscius to be led into the most peaceful and tranquil neighbourhood) were comprehended within [about] 100 miles. He himself in the meanwhile, until he had stationed the legions and knew that the several winter-quarters were fortified, determined to stay in Gaul.[24] Subductis navibus concilioque Gallorum Samarobrivae peracto, quod eo anno frumentum in Gallia propter siccitates angustius provenerat, coactus est aliter ac superioribus annis exercitum in hibernis collocare legionesque in plures civitates distribuere. Ex quibus unam in Morinos ducendam Gaio Fabio legato dedit, alteram in Nervios Quinto Ciceroni, tertiam in Esubios Lucio Roscio; quartam in Remis cum Tito Labieno in confinio Treverorum hiemare iussit. Tres in Belgis collocavit: eis Marcum Crassum quaestorem et Lucium Munatium Plancum et Gaium Trebonium legatos praefecit. Unam legionem, quam proxime trans Padum conscripserat, et cohortes V in Eburones, quorum pars maxima est inter Mosam ac Rhenum, qui sub imperio Ambiorigis et Catuvolci erant, misit. Eis militibus Quintum Titurium Sabinum et Lucium Aurunculeium Cottam legatos praeesse iussit. Ad hunc modum distributis legionibus facillime inopiae frumentariae sese mederi posse existimavit. Atque harum tamen omnium legionum hiberna praeter eam, quam Lucio Roscio in pacatissimam et quietissimam partem ducendam dederat, milibus passuum centum continebantur. Ipse interea, quoad legiones collocatas munitaque hiberna cognovisset, in Gallia morari constituit.
XXV.--There was among the Carnutes a man named Tasgetius, born of very high rank, whose ancestors had held the sovereignty in his state. To him Caesar had restored the position of his ancestors, in consideration of his prowess and attachment towards him, because in all his wars he had availed himself of his valuable services. His personal enemies had killed him when in the third year of his reign, many even of his own state being openly promoters [of that act]. This event is related to Caesar. He fearing, because several were involved in the act, that the state might revolt at their instigation, orders Lucius Plancus, with a legion, to proceed quickly from Belgium to the Carnutes, and winter there, and arrest and send to him the persons by whose instrumentality he should discover that Tasgetius was slain. In the meantime, he was apprised by all the lieutenants and questors to whom he had assigned the legions, that they had arrived in winter-quarters, and that the place for the quarters was fortified.[25] Erat in Carnutibus summo loco natus Tasgetius, cuius maiores in sua civitate regnum obtinuerant. Huic Caesar pro eius virtute atque in se benevolentia, quod in omnibus bellis singulari eius opera fuerat usus, maiorum locum restituerat. Tertium iam hunc annum regnantem inimici, multis palam ex civitate eius auctoribus, eum interfecerunt. Defertur ea res ad Caesarem. Ille veritus, quod ad plures pertinebat, ne civitas eorum impulsu deficeret, Lucium Plancum cum legione ex Belgio celeriter in Carnutes proficisci iubet ibique hiemare quorumque opera cognoverat Tasgetium interfectum, hos comprehensos ad se mittere. Interim ab omnibus legatis quaestoreque, quibus legiones tradiderat, certior factus est in hiberna perventum locumque hibernis esse munitum.
XXVI.--About fifteen days after they had come into winter-quarters, the beginning of a sudden insurrection and revolt arose from Ambiorix and Cativolcus, who, though they had met with Sabinus and Cotta at the borders of their kingdom, and had conveyed corn into our winter-quarters, induced by the messages of Indutiomarus, one of the Treviri, excited their people, and after having suddenly assailed the soldiers, engaged in procuring wood, came with a large body to attack the camp. When our men had speedily taken up arms and had ascended the rampart, and sending out some Spanish horse on one side, had proved conquerors in a cavalry action, the enemy, despairing of success, drew off their troops from the assault. Then they shouted, according to their custom, that some of our men should go forward to a conference, [alleging] that they had some things which they desired to say respecting the common interest, by which they trusted their disputes could be removed.[26] Diebus circiter XV, quibus in hiberna ventum est, initium repentini tumultus ac defectionis ortum est ab Ambiorige et Catuvolco; qui, cum ad fines regni sui Sabino Cottaeque praesto fuissent frumentumque in hiberna comportavissent, Indutiomari Treveri nuntiis impulsi suos concitaverunt subitoque oppressis lignatoribus magna manu ad castra oppugnatum venerunt. Cum celeriter nostri arma cepissent vallumque adscendissent atque una ex parte Hispanis equitibus emissis equestri proelio superiores fuissent, desperata re hostes suos ab oppugnatione reduxerunt. Tum suo more conclamaverunt, uti aliqui ex nostris ad colloquium prodiret: habere sese, quae de re communi dicere vellent, quibus rebus controversias minui posse sperarent.
XXVII.--C. Arpineius, a Roman knight, the intimate friend of Q. Titurius, and with him Q. Junius, a certain person from Spain, who already on previous occasions had been accustomed to go to Ambiorix, at Caesar's mission, is sent to them for the purpose of a conference: before them Ambiorix spoke to this effect: "That he confessed that for Caesar's kindness towards him he was very much indebted to him, inasmuch as by his aid he had been freed from a tribute which he had been accustomed to pay to the Aduatuci, his neighbours; and because his own son and the son of his brother had been sent back to him, whom, when sent in the number of hostages, the Aduatuci had detained among them in slavery and in chains; and that he had not done that which he had done in regard to the attacking of the camp, either by his own judgment or desire, but by the compulsion of his state; and that his government was of that nature, that the people had as much of authority over him as he over the people. To the state moreover the occasion of the war was this --that it could not withstand the sudden combination of the Gauls; that he could easily prove this from his own weakness, since he was not so little versed in affairs as to presume that with his forces he could conquer the Roman people; but that it was the common resolution of Gaul; that that day was appointed for the storming of all Caesar's winter-quarters, in order that no legion should be able to come to the relief of another legion, that Gauls could not easily deny Gauls, especially when a measure seemed entered into for recovering their common freedom. Since he had performed his duty to them on the score of patriotism [he said], he has now regard to gratitude for the kindness of Caesar; that he warned, that he prayed Titurius by the claims of hospitality, to consult for his and his soldiers' safety; that a large force of the Germans had been hired and had passed the Rhine; that it would arrive in two days; that it was for them to consider whether they thought fit, before the nearest people perceived it, to lead off their soldiers when drawn out of winter-quarters, either to Cicero or to Labienus; one of whom was about fifty miles distant from them, the other rather more; that this he promised and confirmed by oath, that he would give them a safe passage through his territories; and when he did that, he was both consulting for his own state, because it would be relieved from the winter-quarters, and also making a requital to Caesar for his obligations."[27] Mittitur ad eos colloquendi causa Gaius Arpineius, eques Romanus, familiaris Quinti Tituri, et Quintus Iunius ex Hispania quidam, qui iam ante missu Caesaris ad Ambiorigem ventitare consuerat; apud quos Ambiorix ad hunc modum locutus est: Sese pro Caesaris in se beneficiis plurimum ei confiteri debere, quod eius opera stipendio liberatus esset, quod Aduatucis, finitimis suis, pendere consuesset, quodque ei et filius et fratris filius ab Caesare remissi essent, quos Aduatuci obsidum numero missos apud in servitute et catenis tenuissent; neque id, quod fecerit de oppugnatione castrorum, aut iudicio aut voluntate sua fecisse, sed coactu civitatis, suaque esse eiusmodi imperia, ut non minus haberet iuris in se multitudo quam ipse in multitudinem. Civitati porro hanc fuisse belli causam, quod repentinae Gallorum coniurationi resistere non potuerit. Id se facile ex humilitate sua probare posse, quod non adeo sit imperitus rerum ut suis copiis populum Romanum superari posse confidat. Sed esse Galliae commune consilium: omnibus hibernis Caesaris oppugnandis hunc esse dictum diem, ne qua legio alterae legioni subsidio venire posset. Non facile Gallos Gallis negare potuisse, praesertim cum de recuperanda communi libertate consilium initum videretur. Quibus quoniam pro pietate satisfecerit, habere nunc se rationem offici pro beneficiis Caesaris: monere, orare Titurium pro hospitio, ut suae ac militum saluti consulat. Magnam manum Germanorum conductam Rhenum transisse; hanc adfore biduo. Ipsorum esse consilium, velintne priusquam finitimi sentiant eductos ex hibernis milites aut ad Ciceronem aut ad Labienum deducere, quorum alter milia passuum circiter quinquaginta, alter paulo amplius ab eis absit. Illud se polliceri et iureiurando confirmare tutum iter per fines daturum. Quod cum faciat, et civitati sese consulere, quod hibernis levetur, et Caesari pro eius meritis gratiam referre. Hac oratione habita discedit Ambiorix.
XXVIII.--Arpineius and Junius relate to the lieutenants what they had heard. They, greatly alarmed by the unexpected affair, though those things were spoken by an enemy, still thought they were not to be disregarded; and they were especially influenced by this consideration, that it was scarcely credible that the obscure and humble state of the Eburones had dared to make war upon the Roman people of their own accord. Accordingly, they refer the matter to a council, and a, great controversy arises among them. L. Aurunculeius, and several tribunes of the soldiers and the centurions of the first rank, were of opinion "that nothing should be done hastily, and that they should not depart from the camp without Caesar's orders"; they declared, "that any forces of the Germans, however great, might be encountered by fortified winter-quarters; that this fact was a proof [of it]; that they had sustained the first assault of the Germans most valiantly, inflicting many wounds upon them; that they were not distressed for corn; that in the meantime relief would come both from the nearest winter-quarters and from Caesar"; lastly, they put the query, "what could be more undetermined, more undignified, than to adopt measures respecting the most important affairs on the authority of an enemy?"[28] Arpineius et Iunius, quae audierunt, ad legatos deferunt. Illi repentina re perturbati, etsi ab hoste ea dicebantur, tamen non neglegenda existimabant maximeque hac re permovebantur, quod civitatem ignobilem atque humilem Eburonum sua sponte populo Romano bellum facere ausam vix erat credendum. Itaque ad consilium rem deferunt magnaque inter eos exsistit controversia. Lucius Aurunculeius compluresque tribuni militum et primorum ordinum centuriones nihil temere agendum neque ex hibernis iniussu Caesaris discedendum existimabant: quantasvis [magnas] copias etiam Germanorum sustineri posse munitis hibernis docebant: rem esse testimonio, quod primum hostium impetum multis ultro vulneribus illatis fortissime sustinuerint: re frumentaria non premi; interea et ex proximis hibernis et a Caesare conventura subsidia: postremo quid esse levius aut turpius, quam auctore hoste de summis rebus capere consilium?
XXIX.--In opposition to those things Titurius exclaimed, "That they would do this too late, when greater forces of the enemy, after a junction with the Germans, should have assembled; or when some disaster had been received in the neighbouring winter-quarters; that the opportunity for deliberating was short; that he believed that Caesar had set forth into Italy, as the Carnutes would not otherwise have taken the measure of slaying Tasgetius, nor would the Eburones, if he had been present, have come to the camp with so great defiance of us; that he did not regard the enemy, but the fact, as the authority; that the Rhine was near; that the death of Ariovistus and our previous victories were subjects of great indignation to the Germans; that Gaul was inflamed, that after having received so many defeats she was reduced under the sway of the Roman people, her pristine glory in military matters being extinguished." Lastly, "who would persuade himself of this, that Ambiorix had resorted to a design of that nature without sure grounds? That his own opinion was safe on either side; if there be nothing very formidable, they would go without danger to the nearest legion; if all Gaul conspired with the Germans, their only safety lay in despatch. What issue would the advice of Cotta and of those who differed from him, have? from which, if immediate danger was not to be dreaded, yet certainly famine, by a protracted siege, was."[29] Contra ea Titurius sero facturos clamitabat, cum maiores manus hostium adiunctis Germanis convenissent aut cum aliquid calamitatis in proximis hibernis esset acceptum. Brevem consulendi esse occasionem. Caesarem arbitrari profectum in Italiam; neque aliter Carnutes interficiendi Tasgeti consilium fuisse capturos, neque Eburones, si ille adesset, tanta contemptione nostri ad castra venturos esse. Non hostem auctorem, sed rem spectare: subesse Rhenum; magno esse Germanis dolori Ariovisti mortem et superiores nostras victorias; ardere Galliam tot contumeliis acceptis sub populi Romani imperium redactam superiore gloria rei militaris exstincta. Postremo quis hoc sibi persuaderet, sine certa re Ambiorigem ad eiusmodi consilium descendisse? Suam sententiam in utramque partem esse tutam: si nihil esset durius, nullo cum periculo ad proximam legionem perventuros; si Gallia omnis cum Germanis consentiret, unam esse in celeritate positam salutem. Cottae quidem atque eorum, qui dissentirent, consilium quem habere exitum? In quo si non praesens periculum, at certe longinqua obsidione fames esset timenda.
XXX.--This discussion having been held on the two sides, when opposition was offered strenuously by Cotta and the principal officers, "Prevail," said Sabinus, "if so you wish it"; and he said it with a louder voice, that a great portion of the soldiers might hear him; "nor am I the person among you," he said, "who is most powerfully alarmed by the danger of death; these will be aware of it, and then, if any thing disastrous shall have occurred, they will demand a reckoning at your hands; these, who, if it were permitted by you, united three days hence with the nearest winter-quarters, may encounter the common condition of war with the rest, and not, as if forced away and separated far from the rest, perish either by the sword or by famine."[30] Hac in utramque partem disputatione habita, cum a Cotta primisque ordinibus acriter resisteretur, "Vincite," inquit, "si ita vultis," Sabinus, et id clariore voce, ut magna pars militum exaudiret; "neque is sum," inquit, "qui gravissime ex vobis mortis periculo terrear: hi sapient; si gravius quid acciderit, abs te rationem reposcent, qui, si per te liceat, perendino die cum proximis hibernis coniuncti communem cum reliquis belli casum sustineant, non reiecti et relegati longe ab ceteris aut ferro aut fame intereant."
XXXI.--They rise from the council, detain both, and entreat, that "they do not bring the matter into the greatest jeopardy by their dissension and obstinacy; the affair was an easy one, if only they all thought and approved of the same thing, whether they remain or depart; on the other hand, they saw no security in dissension." The matter is prolonged by debate till midnight. At last Cotta, being overruled, yields his assent; the opinion of Sabinus prevails. It is proclaimed that they will march at day-break; the remainder of the night is spent without sleep, since every soldier was inspecting his property, [to see] what he could carry with him, and what, out of the appurtenances of the winter-quarters, he would be compelled to leave; every reason is suggested to show why they could not stay without danger, and how that danger would be increased by the fatigue of the soldiers and their want of sleep. At break of day they quit the camp, in a very extended line and with a very large amount of baggage, in such a manner as men who were convinced that the advice was given by Ambiorix, not as an enemy, but as most friendly [towards them].[31] Consurgitur ex consilio; comprehendunt utrumque et orant, ne sua dissensione et pertinacia rem in summum periculum deducat: facilem esse rem, seu maneant, seu proficiscantur, si modo unum omnes sentiant ac probent; contra in dissensione nullam se salutem perspicere. Res disputatione ad mediam noctem perducitur. Tandem dat Cotta permotus manus: superat sententia Sabini. Pronuntiatur prima luce ituros. Consumitur vigiliis reliqua pars noctis, cum sua quisque miles circumspiceret, quid secum portare posset, quid ex instrumento hibernorum relinquere cogeretur. Omnia excogitantur, quare nec sine periculo maneatur, et languore militum et vigiliis periculum augeatur. Prima luce sic ex castris proficiscuntur, ut quibus esset persuasum non ab hoste, sed ab homine amicissimo Ambiorige consilium datum, longissimo agmine maximisque impedimentis.
XXXII.--But the enemy, after they had made the discovery of their intended departure by the noise during the night and their not retiring to rest, having placed an ambuscade in two divisions in the woods, in a suitable and concealed place, two miles from the camp, waited for the arrival of the Romans; and when the greater part of the line of march had descended into a considerable valley, they suddenly presented themselves on either side of that valley, and began both to harass the rear and hinder the van from ascending, and to give battle in a place exceedingly disadvantageous to our men.[32] At hostes, posteaquam ex nocturno fremitu vigiliisque de profectione eorum senserunt, collocatis insidiis bipertito in silvis opportuno atque occulto loco a milibus passuum circiter duobus Romanorum adventum exspectabant, et cum se maior pars agminis in magnam convallem demisisset, ex utraque parte eius vallis subito se ostenderunt novissimosque premere et primos prohibere ascensu atque iniquissimo nostris loco proelium committere coeperunt.
XXXIII.--Then at length Titurius, as one who had provided nothing beforehand, was confused, ran to and fro, and set about arranging his troops; these very things, however, he did timidly and in such a manner that all resources seemed to fail him: which generally happens to those who are compelled to take council in the action itself. But Cotta, who had reflected that these things might occur on the march, and on that account had not been an adviser of the departure, was wanting to the common safety in no respect; both in addressing and encouraging the soldiers, he performed the duties of a general, and in the battle those of a soldier. And since they [Titurius and Cotta] could less easily perform everything by themselves, and provide what was to be done in each place, by reason of the length of the line of march, they ordered [the officers] to give the command that they should leave the baggage and form themselves into an orb, which measure, though in a contingency of that nature it was not to be condemned, still turned out unfortunately; for it both diminished the hope of our soldiers and rendered the enemy more eager for the fight, because it appeared that this was not done without the greatest fear and despair. Besides that happened, which would necessarily be the case, that the soldiers for the most part quitted their ensigns and hurried to seek and carry off from the baggage whatever each thought valuable, and all parts were filled with uproar and lamentation.[33] Tum demum Titurius, qui nihil ante providisset, trepidare et concursare cohortesque disponere, haec tamen ipsa timide atque ut eum omnia deficere viderentur; quod plerumque eis accidere consuevit, qui in ipso negotio consilium capere coguntur. At Cotta, qui cogitasset haec posse in itinere accidere atque ob eam causam profectionis auctor non fuisset, nulla in re communi saluti deerat et in appellandis cohortandisque militibus imperatoris et in pugna militis officia praestabat. Cum propter longitudinem agminis minus facile omnia per se obire et, quid quoque loco faciendum esset, providere possent, iusserunt pronuntiare, ut impedimenta relinquerent atque in orbem consisterent. Quod consilium etsi in eiusmodi casu reprehendendum non est, tamen incommode accidit: nam et nostris militibus spem minuit et hostes ad pugnam alacriores effecit, quod non sine summo timore et desperatione id factum videbatur. Praeterea accidit, quod fieri necesse erat, ut vulgo milites ab signis discederent, quae quisque eorum carissima haberet, ab impedimentis petere atque arripere properaret, clamore et fletu omnia complerentur.
XXXIV.--But judgment was not wanting to the barbarians; for their leaders ordered [the officers] to proclaim through the ranks "that no man should quit his place; that the booty was theirs, and for them was reserved whatever the Romans should leave; therefore let them consider that all things depended on their victory." Our men were equal to them in fighting, both in courage and in number, and though they were deserted by their leader and by fortune, yet they still placed all hope of safety in their valour, and as often as any cohort sallied forth on that side, a great number of the enemy usually fell. Ambiorix, when he observed this, orders the command to be issued that they throw their weapons from a distance and do not approach too near, and in whatever direction the Romans should make an attack, there give way (from the lightness of their appointments and from their daily practice no damage could be done them); [but] pursue them when betaking themselves to their standards again.[34] At barbaris consilium non defuit. Nam duces eorum tota acie pronuntiare iusserunt, ne quis ab loco discederet: illorum esse praedam atque illis reservari quaecumque Romani reliquissent: proinde omnia in victoria posita existimarent. Erant et virtute et studio pugnandi pares; nostri, tametsi ab duce et a fortuna deserebantur, tamen omnem spem salutis in virtute ponebant, et quotiens quaeque cohors procurrerat, ab ea parte magnus numerus hostium cadebat. Qua re animadversa Ambiorix pronuntiari iubet, ut procul tela coniciant neu propius accedant et, quam in partem Romani impetum fecerint, cedant (levitate armorum et cotidiana exercitatione nihil eis noceri posse), rursus se ad signa recipientes insequantur.
XXXV.--Which command having been most carefully obeyed, when any cohort had quitted the circle and made a charge, the enemy fled very precipitately. In the meantime, that part of the Roman army, of necessity, was left unprotected, and the weapons received on their open flank. Again, when they had begun to return to that place from which they had advanced, they were surrounded both by those who had retreated and by those who stood next them; but if, on the other hand, they wished to keep their place, neither was an opportunity left for valour, nor could they, being crowded together, escape the weapons cast by so large a body of men. Yet, though assailed by so many disadvantages, [and] having received many wounds, they withstood the enemy, and, a great portion of the day being spent, though they fought from day-break till the eighth hour, they did nothing which was unworthy of them. At length, each thigh of T. Balventius, who the year before had been chief centurion, a brave man and one of great authority, is pierced with a javelin; Q. Lucanius, of the same rank, fighting most valiantly, is slain while he assists his son when surrounded by the enemy; L. Cotta, the lieutenant, when encouraging all the cohorts and companies, is wounded full in the mouth by a sling.[35] Quo praecepto ab eis diligentissime observato, cum quaepiam cohors ex orbe excesserat atque impetum fecerat, hostes velocissime refugiebant. Interim eam partem nudari necesse erat et ab latere aperto tela recipi. Rursus cum in eum locum unde erant egressi reverti coeperant, et ab eis qui cesserant et ab eis qui proximi steterant circumveniebantur; sin autem locum tenere vellent, nec virtuti locus relinquebatur, neque ab tanta multitudine coniecta tela conferti vitare poterant. Tamen tot incommodis conflictati, multis vulneribus acceptis resistebant et magna parte diei consumpta, cum a prima luce ad horam octavam pugnaretur, nihil quod ipsis esset indignum committebant. Tum Tito Balventio, qui superiore anno primum pilum duxerat, viro forti et magnae auctoritatis, utrumque femur tragula traicitur; Quintus Lucanius, eiusdem ordinis, fortissime pugnans, dum circumvento filio subvenit, interficitur; Lucius Cotta legatus omnes cohortes ordinesque adhortans in adversum os funda vulneratur.
XXXVI.--Much troubled by these events, Q. Titurius, when he had perceived Ambiorix in the distance encouraging his men, sends to him his interpreter, Cn. Pompey, to beg that he would spare him and his soldiers. He, when addressed, replied, "If he wished to confer with him, it was permitted; that he hoped what pertained to the safety of the soldiers could be obtained from the people; that to him however certainly no injury would be done, and that he pledged his faith to that effect." He consults with Cotta, who had been wounded, whether it would appear right to retire from battle, and confer with Ambiorix; [saying] that he hoped to be able to succeed respecting his own and the soldiers' safety. Cotta says he will not go to an armed enemy, and in that perseveres.[36] His rebus permotus Quintus Titurius, cum procul Ambiorigem suos cohortantem conspexisset, interpretem suum Gnaeum Pompeium ad eum mittit rogatum ut sibi militibusque parcat. Ille appellatus respondit: si velit secum colloqui, licere; sperare a multitudine impetrari posse, quod ad militum salutem pertineat; ipsi vero nihil nocitum iri, inque eam rem se suam fidem interponere. Ille cum Cotta saucio communicat, si videatur, pugna ut excedant et cum Ambiorige una colloquantur: sperare ab eo de sua ac militum salute impetrari posse. Cotta se ad armatum hostem iturum negat atque in eo perseverat.
XXXVII.--Sabinus orders those tribunes of the soldiers whom he had at the time around him, and the centurions of the first ranks, to follow him, and when he had approached near to Ambiorix, being ordered to throw down his arms, he obeys the order and commands his men to do the same. In the meantime, while they treat upon the terms, and a longer debate than necessary is designedly entered into by Ambiorix, being surrounded by degrees, he is slain. Then they according to their custom shout out "Victory," and raise their war-cry, and, making an attack on our men, break their ranks. There L. Cotta, while fighting, is slain, together with the greater part of the soldiers; the rest betake themselves to the camp from which they had marched forth, and one of them, L. Petrosidius, the standard bearer, when he was overpowered by the great number of the enemy, threw the eagle within the entrenchments and is himself slain while fighting with the greatest courage before the camp. They with difficulty sustain the attack till night; despairing of safety, they all to a man destroy themselves in the night. A few escaping from the battle, make their way to Labienus at winter-quarters, after wandering at random through the woods, and inform him of these events.[37] Sabinus quos in praesentia tribunos militum circum se habebat et primorum ordinum centuriones se sequi iubet et, cum propius Ambiorigem accessisset, iussus arma abicere imperatum facit suisque ut idem faciant imperat. Interim, dum de condicionibus inter se agunt longiorque consulto ab Ambiorige instituitur sermo, paulatim circumventus interficitur. Tum vero suo more victoriam conclamant atque ululatum tollunt impetuque in nostros facto ordines perturbant. Ibi Lucius Cotta pugnans interficitur cum maxima parte militum. Reliqui se in castra recipiunt unde erant egressi. Ex quibus Lucius Petrosidius aquilifer, cum magna multitudine hostium premeretur, aquilam intra vallum proiecit; ipse pro castris fortissime pugnans occiditur. Illi aegre ad noctem oppugnationem sustinent; noctu ad unum omnes desperata salute se ipsi interficiunt. Pauci ex proelio lapsi incertis itineribus per silvas ad Titum Labienum legatum in hiberna perveniunt atque eum de rebus gestis certiorem faciunt.
XXXVIII.--Elated by this victory, Ambiorix marches immediately with his cavalry to the Aduatuci, who bordered on his kingdom; he halts neither day nor night, and orders the infantry to follow him closely. Having related the exploit and roused the Aduatuci, the next day he arrived among the Nervii, and entreats "that they should not throw away the opportunity of liberating themselves for ever and of punishing the Romans for those wrongs which they had received from them"; [he tells them] "that two lieutenants have been slain, and that a large portion of the army has perished; that it was not a matter of difficulty for the legion which was wintering with Cicero to be cut off, when suddenly assaulted; he declares himself ready to co-operate in that design." He easily gains over the Nervii by this speech.[38] Hac victoria sublatus Ambiorix statim cum equitatu in Aduatucos, qui erant eius regno finitimi, proficiscitur; neque noctem neque diem intermittit peditatumque subsequi iubet. Re demonstrata Aduatucisque concitatis postero die in Nervios pervenit hortaturque, ne sui in perpetuum liberandi atque ulciscendi Romanos pro eis quas acceperint iniuriis occasionem dimittant: interfectos esse legatos duos magnamque partem exercitus interisse demonstrat; nihil esse negoti subito oppressam legionem quae cum Cicerone hiemet interfici; se ad eam rem profitetur adiutorem. Facile hac oratione Nerviis persuadet.
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