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Tacitus: History Book 4 [70]

70. Accordingly neither the Treveri, the Lingones, nor the other revolted States, took measures at all proportioned to the magnitude of the peril they had incurred. Even their generals did not act in concert. Civilis was traversing the pathless wilds of the Belgae in attempting to capture Claudius Labeo, or to drive him out of the country. Classicus for the most part wasted his time in indolent repose, as if he had only to enjoy an empire already won. Even Tutor made no haste to occupy with troops the upper bank of the Rhine and the passes of the Alps. Meanwhile the 21st legion, by way of Vindonissa, and Sextilius Felix with the auxiliary infantry, by way of Rhaetia, penetrated into the province. They were joined by the Singularian Horse, which had been raised some time before by Vitellius, and had afterwards gone over to the side of Vespasian. Their commanding officer was Julius Briganticus. He was sister's son to Civilis, and he was hated by his uncle and hated him in return with all the extreme bitterness of a family feud. Tutor, having augmented the army of the Treveri with fresh levies from the Vangiones, the Caeracates, and the Triboci, strengthened it with a force of veteran infantry and cavalry, men from the legions whom he had either corrupted by promises or overborne by intimidation. Their first act was to cut to pieces a cohort, which had been sent on in advance by Sextilius Felix; soon afterwards, however, on the approach of the Roman generals at the head of their army, they returned to their duty by an act of honourable desertion, and the Triboci, Vangiones, and Caeracates, followed their example. Avoiding Mogontiacum, Tutor retired with the Treveri to Bingium, trusting to the strength of the position, as he had broken down the bridge over the river Nava. A sudden attack, however, was made by the infantry under the command of Sextilius; a ford was discovered, and he found himself betrayed and routed. The Treveri were panicstricken by this disaster, and the common people threw down their arms, and dispersed themselves through the country. Some of the chiefs, anxious to seem the first to cease from hostilities, fled to those States which had not renounced the Roman alliance. The legions, which had been removed, as I have before related, from Novesium and Bonna to the territory of the Treveri, voluntarily swore allegiance to Vespasian. These proceedings took place in the absence of Valentinus. When he returned, full of fury and bent on again throwing everything into confusion and ruin, the legions withdrew to the Mediomatrici, a people in alliance with Rome. Valentinus and Tutor again involved the Treveri in war, and murdered the two legates, Herennius and Numisius, that by diminishing the hope of pardon they might strengthen the bond of crime.

70. Igitur non Treviri neque Lingones ceteraeve rebellium civitates pro magnitudine suscepti discriminis agere; ne duces quidem in unum consulere, sed Civilis avia Belgarum circumibat, dum Claudium Labeonem capere aut exturbare nititur; Classicus segne plerumque otium trahens velut parto imperio fruebatur; ne Tutor quidem maturavit superiorem Germaniae ripam et ardua Alpium praesidiis claudere. atque interim unaetvicensima legio Vindonissa, Sextilius Felix cum auxiliariis cohortibus per Raetiam inrupere; accessit ala Singularium excita olim a Vitellio, deinde in partis Vespasiani transgressa. praeerat Iulius Briganticus sorore Civilis genitus, ut ferme acerrima proximorum odia sunt, invisus avunculo infensusque. Tutor Trevirorum copias, recenti Vangionum, Caeracatium, Tribocorum dilectu auctas, veterano pedite atque equite firmavit, corruptis spe aut metu subactis legionariis; qui primo cohortem praemissam a Sextilio Felice interficiunt, mox ubi duces exercitusque Romanus propinquabant, honesto transfugio rediere, secutis Tribocis Vangionibusque et Caeracatibus. Tutor Treviris comitantibus, vitato Mogontiaco, Bingium concessit, fidens loco, quia pontem Navae fluminis abruperat, sed incursu cohortium, quas Sextilius ducebat, et reperto vado proditus fususque. ea clade perculsi Treviri, et plebes omissis armis per agros palatur: quidam principum, ut primi posuisse bellum viderentur, in civitates quae societatem Romanam non exuerant, perfugere. legiones a Novaesio Bonnaque in Treviros, ut supra memoravimus, traductae se ipsae in verba Vespasiani adigunt. haec Valentino absente gesta; qui ubi adventabat furens cunctaque rursus in turbas et exitium conversurus, legiones in Mediomatricos, sociam civitatem, abscessere: Valentinus ac Tutor in arma Treviros retrahunt, occisis Herennio ac Numisio legatis quo minore spe veniae cresceret vinculum sceleris.

71. Such was the state of the war, when Petilius Cerialis reached Mogontiacum. Great expectations were raised by his arrival. Eager for battle, and more ready to despise than to be on his guard against the enemy, he fired the spirit of the troops by his bold language; for he would, he said, fight without a moment's delay, as soon as it was possible to meet the foe. The levies which had been raised in Gaul he ordered back to their respective States, with instructions to proclaim that the legions sufficed to defend the Empire, and that the allies might return to the duties of peace, secure in the thought that a war which Roman arms had undertaken was finished. This proceeding strengthened the loyalty of the Gauls. Now that their youth were restored to them they could more easily bear the burden of the tribute; and, finding themselves despised, they were more ready to obey. Civilis and Classicus, having heard of the defeat of Tutor and of the rout of the Treveri, and indeed of the complete success of the enemy, hastened in their alarm to concentrate their own scattered forces, and meanwhile sent repeated messages to Valentinus, warning him not to risk a decisive battle. This made Cerialis move with more rapidity. He sent to the Mediomatrici persons commissioned to conduct the legions which were there by the shortest route against the enemy; and, collecting such troops as there were at Mogontiacum and such as he had brought with himself, he arrived in three days' march at Rigodulum. Valentinus, at the head of a large body of Treveri, had occupied this position, which was protected by hills, and by the river Mosella. He had also strengthened it with ditches and breastworks of stones. These defences, however, did not deter the Roman general from ordering his infantry to the assault, and making his cavalry advance up the hill; he scorned the enemy, whose forces, hastily levied, could not, he knew, derive any advantage from their position, but what would be more than counterbalanced by the courage of his own men. There was some little delay in the ascent, while the troops were passing through the range of the enemy's missiles. As soon as they came to close fighting, the barbarians were dislodged and hurled like a falling house from their position. A detachment of the cavalry rode round where the hills were less steep, and captured the principal Belgic chiefs, and among them Valentinus, their general.

71. Hic belli status erat cum Petilius Cerialis Mogontiacum venit. eius adventu erectae spes; ipse pugnae avidus et contemnendis quam cavendis hostibus melior, ferocia verborum militem incendebat, ubi primum congredi licuisset, nullam proelio moram facturus. dilectus per Galliam habitos in civitates remittit ac nuntiare iubet sufficere imperio legiones: socii ad munia pacis redirent securi velut confecto bello quod Romanae manus excepissent. auxit ea res Gallorum obsequium: nam recepta iuventute facilius tributa toleravere, proniores ad officia quod spernebantur. at Civilis et Classicus ubi pulsum Tutorem, caesos Treviros, cuncta hostibus prospera accepere, trepidi ac properantes, dum dispersas suorum copias conducunt, crebris interim nuntiis Valentinum monuere ne summae rei periculum faceret. eo rapidius Cerialis, missis in Mediomatricos qui breviore itinere legiones in hostem verterent, contracto quod erat militum Mogontiaci quantumque secum transvexerat, tertiis castris Rigodulum venit, quem locum magna Trevirorum manu Valentinus insederat, montibus aut Mosella amne saeptum; et addiderat fossas obicesque saxorum. nec deterruere ea munimenta Romanum ducem quo minus peditem perrumpere iuberet, equitum aciem in collem erigeret, spreto hoste, quem temere collectum haud ita loco iuvari ut non plus suis in virtute foret. paulum morae in adscensu, dum missilia hostium praevehuntur: ut ventum in manus, deturbati ruinae modo praecipitantur. et pars equitum aequioribus iugis circumvecta nobilissimos Belgarum, in quis ducem Valentinum, cepit.

72. On the following day Cerialis entered the Colony of the Treveri. The soldiers were eager to destroy the city. "This," they said, "is the birthplace of Classicus and Tutor; it was by the treason of these men that our legions were besieged and massacred. What had Cremona done like this, Cremona which was torn from the very bosom of Italy, because it had occasioned to the conquerors the delay of a single night? Here on the borders of Germany stands unharmed a city which exults in the spoils of our armies and the blood of our generals. Let the plunder be brought into the Imperial treasury; we shall be satisfied with the fire that will destroy a rebellious colony and compensate for the overthrow of so many camps." Cerialis, fearing the disgrace of being thought to have imbued his soldiers with a spirit of licence and cruelty, checked their fury. They submitted, for, now that civil war was at an end, they were tractable enough in dealing with an enemy. Their thoughts were then diverted by the pitiable aspect of the legions which had been summoned from the Mediomatrici. They stood oppressed by the consciousness of guilt, their eyes fixed on the earth. No friendly salutations passed between the armies as they met, they made no answer to those who would console or encourage them, but hid themselves in their tents, and shrank from the very light of day. Nor was it so much their peril or their alarm that confounded them, as their shame and humiliation. Even the conquerors were struck dumb, and dared not utter a word of entreaty, but pleaded for pardon by their silent tears, till Cerialis at last soothed their minds by declaring that destiny had brought about all that had happened through the discords of soldiers and generals or through the treachery of the foe. They must consider that day as the first of their military service and of their allegiance. Their past crimes would be remembered neither by the Emperor nor by himself. They were thus admitted into the same camp with the rest, and an order was read in every company, that no soldier was in any contention or altercation to reproach a comrade with mutiny or defeat.

72. Cerialis postero die coloniam Trevirorum ingressus est, avido milite eruendae civitatis. hanc esse Classici, hanc Tutoris patriam; horum scelere clausas caesasque legiones. quid tantum Cremonam meruisse? quam e gremio Italiae raptam quia unius noctis moram victoribus attulerit. stare in confinio Germaniae integram sedem spoliis exercituum et ducum caedibus ovantem. redigeretur praeda in fiscum: ipsis sufficere ignis et rebellis coloniae ruinas, quibus tot castrorum excidia pensarentur. Cerialis metu infamiae, si licentia saevitiaque imbuere militem crederetur, pressit iras: et paruere, posito civium bello ad externa modestiores. convertit inde animos accitarum e Mediomatricis legionum miserabilis aspectus. stabant conscientia flagitii maestae, fixis in terram oculis: nulla inter coeuntis exercitus consalutatio; neque solantibus hortantibusve responsa dabant, abditi per tentoria et lucem ipsam vitantes. nec proinde periculum aut metus quam pudor ac dedecus obstupefecerat, attonitis etiam victoribus, qui vocem precesque adhibere non ausi lacrimis ac silentio veniam poscebant, donec Cerialis mulceret animos, fato acta dictitans quae militum ducumque discordia vel fraude hostium evenissent. primum illum stipendiorum et sacramenti diem haberent: priorum facinorum neque imperatorem neque se meminisse. tunc recepti in eadem castra, et edictum per manipulos ne quis in certamine iurgiove seditionem aut cladem commilitoni obiectaret.

73. Cerialis then convoked an assembly of the Treveri and Lingones, and thus addressed them: "I have never cultivated eloquence; it is by my sword that I have asserted the excellence of the Roman people. Since, however, words have very great weight with you, since you estimate good and evil, not according to their real value, but according to the representations of seditious men, I have resolved to say a few words, which, as the war is at an end, it may be useful for you to have heard rather than for me to have spoken. Roman generals and Emperors entered your territory, as they did the rest of Gaul, with no ambitious purposes, but at the solicitation of your ancestors, who were wearied to the last extremity by intestine strife, while the Germans, whom they had summoned to their help, had imposed their yoke alike on friend and foe. How many battles we have fought against the Cimbri and Teutones, at the cost of what hardships to our armies, and with what result we have waged our German wars, is perfectly well known. It was not to defend Italy that we occupied the borders of the Rhine, but to insure that no second Ariovistus should seize the empire of Gaul. Do you fancy yourselves to be dearer in the eyes of Civilis and the Batavi and the Transrhenane tribes, than your fathers and grandfathers were to their ancestors? There have ever been the same causes at work to make the Germans cross over into Gaul, lust, avarice, and the longing for a new home, prompting them to leave their own marshes and deserts, and to possess themselves of this most fertile soil and of you its inhabitants. Liberty, indeed, and the like specious names are their pretexts; but never did any man seek to enslave his fellows and secure dominion for himself, without using the very same words.

73. Mox Treviros ac Lingonas ad contionem vocatos ita adloquitur: 'neque ego umquam facundiam exercui, et populi Romani virtutem armis adfirmavi: sed quoniam apud vos verba plurimum valent bonaque ac mala non sua natura, sed vocibus seditiosorum aestimantur, statui pauca disserere quae profligato bello utilius sit vobis audisse quam nobis dixisse. terram vestram ceterorumque Gallorum ingressi sunt duces imperatoresque Romani nulla cupidine, sed maioribus vestris invocantibus, quos discordiae usque ad exitium fatigabant, et acciti auxilio Germani sociis pariter atque hostibus servitutem imposuerant. quot proeliis adversus Cimbros Teutonosque, quantis exercituum nostrorum laboribus quove eventu Germanica bella tractaverimus, satis clarum. nec ideo Rhenum insedimus ut Italiam tueremur, sed ne quis alius Ariovistus regno Galliarum potiretur. an vos cariores Civili Batavisque et transrhenanis gentibus creditis quam maioribus eorum patres avique vestri fuerunt? eadem semper causa Germanis transcendendi in Gallias, libido atque avaritia et mutandae sedis amor, ut relictis paludibus et solitudinibus suis fecundissimum hoc solum vosque ipsos possiderent: ceterum libertas et speciosa nomina praetexuntur; nec quisquam alienum servitium et dominationem sibi concupivit ut non eadem ista vocabula usurparet.'

74. "Gaul always had its petty kingdoms and intestine wars, till you submitted to our authority. We, though so often provoked, have used the right of conquest to burden you only with the cost of maintaining peace. For the tranquillity of nations cannot be preserved without armies; armies cannot exist without pay; pay cannot be furnished without tribute; all else is common between us. You often command our legions. You rule these and other provinces. There is no privilege, no exclusion. From worthy Emperors you derive equal advantage, though you dwell so far away, while cruel rulers are most formidable to their neighbours. Endure the passions and rapacity of your masters, just as you bear barren seasons and excessive rains and other natural evils. There will be vices as long as there are men. But they are not perpetual, and they are compensated by the occurrence of better things. Perhaps, however, you expect a milder rule under Tutor and Classicus, and fancy that armies to repel the Germans and the Britons will be furnished by less tribute than you now pay. Should the Romans be driven out (which God forbid) what can result but wars between all these nations? By the prosperity and order of eight hundred years has this fabric of empire been consolidated, nor can it be overthrown without destroying those who overthrow it. Yours will be the worst peril, for you have gold and wealth, and these are the chief incentives to war. Give therefore your love and respect to the cause of peace, and to that capital in which we, conquerors and conquered, claim an equal right. Let the lessons of fortune in both its forms teach you not to prefer rebellion and ruin to submission and safety." With words to this effect he quieted and encouraged his audience, who feared harsher treatment.

74. 'Regna bellaque per Gallias semper fuere donec in nostrum ius concederetis. nos, quamquam totiens lacessiti, iure victoriae id solum vobis addidimus, quo pacem tueremur; nam neque quies gentium sine armis neque arma sine stipendiis neque stipendia sine tributis haberi queunt: cetera in communi sita sunt. ipsi plerumque legionibus nostris praesidetis, ipsi has aliasque provincias regitis; nihil separatum clausumve. et laudatorum principum usus ex aequo quamvis procul agentibus: saevi proximis ingruunt. quo modo sterilitatem aut nimios imbris et cetera naturae mala, ita luxum vel avaritiam dominantium tolerate. vitia erunt, donec homines, sed neque haec continua et meliorum interventu pensantur: nisi forte Tutore et Classico regnantibus moderatius imperium speratis, aut minoribus quam nunc tributis parabuntur exercitus quibus Germani Britannique arceantur. nam pulsis, quod di prohibeant, Romanis quid aliud quam bella omnium inter se gentium existent? octingentorum annorum fortuna disciplinaque compages haec coaluit, quae convelli sine exitio convellentium non potest: sed vobis maximum discrimen, penes quos aurum et opes, praecipuae bellorum causae. proinde pacem et urbem, quam victi victoresque eodem iure obtinemus, amate colite: moneant vos utriusque fortunae documenta ne contumaciam cum pernicie quam obsequium cum securitate malitis.' tali oratione graviora metuentis composuit erexitque.

75. The territory of the Treveri was occupied by the victorious army, when Civilis and Classicus sent letters to Cerialis, the purport of which was as follows: "Vespasian, though the news is suppressed, is dead. Rome and Italy are thoroughly wasted by intestine war. Mucianus and Domitian are mere empty and powerless names. If Cerialis wishes for the empire of Gaul, we can be content with the boundaries of our own States. If he prefers to fight, we do not refuse that alternative." Cerialis sent no answer to Civilis and Classicus, but despatched the bearer and the letter itself to Domitian. The enemy advanced from every quarter in several bodies. Cerialis was generally censured for allowing them to unite, when he might have destroyed them in detail. The Roman army surrounded their camp with a fosse and rampart, for up to that time they had been rash enough to occupy it without any defence. Among the Germans there was a conflict of opinions.

75. Tenebantur victore exercitu Treviri, cum Civilis et Classicus misere ad Cerialem epistulas, quarum haec sententia fuit: Vespasianum, quamquam nuntios occultarent, excessisse vita, urbem atque Italiam interno bello consumptam, Muciani ac Domitiani vana et sine viribus nomina: si Cerialis imperium Galliarum velit, ipsos finibus civitatium suarum contentos; si proelium mallet, ne id quidem abnuere. ad ea Cerialis Civili et Classico nihil: eum qui attulerat <et> ipsas epistulas ad Domitianum misit. Hostes divisis copiis advenere undique. plerique culpabant Cerialem passum iungi quos discretos intercipere licuisset. Romanus exercitus castra fossa valloque circumdedit, quis temere antea intutis consederat.

76. Civilis said: "We must await the arrival of the Transrhenane tribes, the terror of whose name will break down the shattered strength of Rome. As for the Gauls, what are they but the prey of the conqueror? And yet the chief strength of the nation, the Belgae, are with us, either openly, or in heart." Tutor maintained that the power of Rome would only increase with delay, as her armies were assembling from all quarters. "One legion," he said, "has already been brought over from Britain; others have been summoned from Spain, or are advancing from Italy. Nor are these troops newly raised levies, but they are veteran soldiers, experienced in war. But the Germans, whom we are expecting, do not obey orders, and cannot be controlled, but always act according to their own caprice. The money too and other presents by which alone they can be bribed are more plentiful among the Romans, and no one can be so bent on fighting as not to prefer repose to peril, when the profit is the same. But if we at once meet the foe, Cerialis has no legions but those that survive from the wreck of the German army, and these are bound by treaties to the States of Gaul. And the very fact of their having, contrary to their expectations, lately routed the undisciplined force of Valentinus will confirm in their rashness both them and their general. They will venture again, and will find themselves in the hands, not of an ignorant stripling, whose thoughts were of speeches and harangues rather than of battle and the sword, but in those of Civilis and Classicus, whom when they once behold they will be reminded of panic, of flight, of famine, and of the many times when as captives they had to beg for life. Nor are the Treveri and Lingones bound by any ties of affection; once let their fear cease, and they will resume their arms." Classicus put an end to these differences of opinion by giving his approval to the suggestions of Tutor, which were at once acted on.

76. Apud Germanos diversis sententiis certabatur. Civilis opperiendas Transrhenanorum gentis, quarum terrore fractae populi Romani vires obtererentur: Gallos quid aliud quam praedam victoribus? et tamen, quod roboris sit, Belgas secum palam aut voto stare. Tutor cunctatione crescere rem Romanam adfirmabat, coeuntibus undique exercitibus: transvectam e Britannia legionem, accitas ex Hispania, adventare ex Italia; nec subitum militem, sed veterem expertumque belli. nam Germanos, qui ab ipsis sperentur, non iuberi, non regi, sed cuncta ex libidine agere; pecuniamque ac dona, quis solis corrumpantur, maiora apud Romanos, et neminem adeo in arma pronum ut non idem pretium quietis quam periculi malit. quod si statim congrediantur, nullas esse Ceriali nisi e reliquiis Germanici exercitus legiones, foederibus Galliarum obstrictas. idque ipsum quod inconditam nuper Valentini manum contra spem suam fuderint, alimentum illis ducique temeritatis: ausuros rursus venturosque in manus non imperiti adulescentuli, verba et contiones quam ferrum et arma meditantis, sed Civilis et Classici; quos ubi aspexerint, redituram in animos formidinem, fugam famemque ac totiens captis precariam vitam. neque Treviros aut Lingonas benevolentia contineri: resumpturos arma, ubi metus abscesserit. diremit consiliorum diversitatem adprobata Tutoris sententia Classicus, statimque exequuntur.

77. The centre was the post assigned to the Ubii and Lingones. On the right were the Batavian cohorts; on the left the Bructeri and the Tencteri. One division marching over the hills, another passing between the highroad and the river Mosella, made the attack with such suddenness, that Cerialis, who had not slept in the camp, was in his chamber and even in his bed, when he heard at the same moment that the battle had begun, and that his men were being worsted. He rebuked the alarm of the messengers, till the whole extent of the disaster became visible, and he saw that the camp of the legions had been forced, that the cavalry were routed, that the bridge over the Mosella, which connected the farther bank of the river with the Colony, was held by the Germans. Undismayed by the confusion, Cerialis held back the fugitives with his own hand, and readily exposing himself, with his person entirely unprotected, to the missiles of the enemy, he succeeded by a daring and successful effort, with the prompt aid of his bravest soldiers, in recovering the bridge and holding it with a picked force. Then returning to the camp, he saw the broken companies of the legions, which had been captured at Bonna and Novesium, with but few soldiers round the standards, and the eagles all but surrounded by the foe. Fired with indignation, he exclaimed, "It is not Flaccus or Vocula, whom you are thus abandoning. There is no treachery here; I have nothing to excuse but that I rashly believed that you, forgetting your alliance with Gaul, had again recollected your allegiance to Rome. I shall be added to the number of the Numisii and Herennii, so that all your commanders will have fallen by the hands of their soldiers or of the enemy. Go, tell Vespasian, or, since they are nearer, Civilis and Classicus, that you have deserted your general on the battlefield. Legions will come who will not leave me unavenged or you unpunished."

77. Media acies Vbiis Lingonibusque data; dextro cornu cohortes Batavorum, sinistro Bructeri Tencterique. pars montibus, alii viam inter Mosellamque flumen tam improvisi adsiluere ut in cubiculo ac lectulo Cerialis (neque enim noctem in castris egerat) pugnari simul vincique suos audierit, increpans pavorem nuntiantium, donec universa clades in oculis fuit: perrupta legionum castra, fusi equites, medius Mosellae pons, qui ulteriora coloniae adnectit, ab hostibus insessus. Cerialis turbidis rebus intrepidus et fugientis manu retrahens, intecto corpore promptus inter tela, felici temeritate et fortissimi cuiusque adcursu reciperatum pontem electa manu firmavit. mox in castra reversus palantis captarum apud Novaesium Bonnamque legionum manipulos et rarum apud signa militem ac prope circumventas aquilas videt. incensus ira 'non Flaccum' inquit, 'non Voculam deseritis: nulla hic proditio; neque aliud excusandum habeo quam quod vos Gallici foederis oblitos redisse in memoriam Romani sacramenti temere credidi. adnumerabor Numisiis et Herenniis, ut omnes legati vestri aut militum manibus aut hostium ceciderint. ite, nuntiate Vespasiano vel, quod propius est, Civili et Classico, relictum a vobis in acie ducem: venient legiones quae neque me inultum neque vos impunitos patiantur.'

78. All this was true, and the tribunes and prefects heaped on their men the same reproaches. The troops formed themselves in cohorts and companies, for they could not deploy into line; as the enemy were scattered everywhere, while from the fact that the battle was raging within the entrenchments, they were themselves hampered with their tents and baggage. Tutor, Classicus, and Civilis, each at his post, animated the combatants; the Gauls they urged to fight for freedom, the Batavi for glory, the Germans for plunder. Everything seemed in favour of the enemy, till the 21st legion, having more room than the others, formed itself into a compact body, withstood, and soon drove back the assailants. Nor was it without an interposition of heaven, that by a sudden change of temper the conquerors turned their backs and fled. Their own account was, that they were alarmed by the sight of the cohorts, which, after being broken at the first onset, rallied on the top of the hills, and presented the appearance of reinforcements. What checked them in their course of victory was a mischievous struggle among themselves to secure plunder while they forgot the enemy. Cerialis, having thus all but ruined everything by his carelessness, restored the day by his resolution; following up his success, he took and destroyed the enemy's camp on the same day.

78. Vera erant, et a tribunis praefectisque eadem ingerebantur. consistunt per cohortis et manipulos; neque enim poterat patescere acies effuso hoste et impedientibus tentoriis sarcinisque, cum intra vallum pugnaretur. Tutor et Classicus et Civilis suis quisque locis pugnam ciebant, Gallos pro libertate, Batavos pro gloria, Germanos ad praedam instigantes. et cuncta pro hostibus erant, donec legio unaetvicensima patentiore quam ceterae spatio conglobata sustinuit ruentis, mox impulit. nec sine ope divina mutatis repente animis terga victores vertere. ipsi territos se cohortium aspectu ferebant, quae primo impetu disiectae summis rursus iugis congregabantur ac speciem novi auxilii fecerant. sed obstitit vincentibus pravum inter ipsos certamen omisso hoste spolia consectandi. Cerialis ut incuria prope rem adflixit, ita constantia restituit; secutusque fortunam castra hostium eodem die capit excinditque.

79. No long time was allowed to the soldiers for repose. The Agrippinenses were begging for help, and were offering to give up the wife and sister of Civilis and the daughter of Classicus, who had been left with them as pledges for the maintenance of the alliance. In the meanwhile they had massacred all the Germans who were scattered throughout their dwellings. Hence their alarm and reasonable importunity in begging for help, before the enemy, recovering their strength, could raise their spirits for a new effort or for thoughts of revenge. And indeed Civilis had marched in their direction, nor was he by any means weak, as he had still, in unbroken force, the most warlike of his cohorts, which consisted of Chauci and Frisii, and which was posted at Tolbiacum, on the frontiers of the Agrippinenses. He was, however, diverted from his purpose by the deplorable news that this cohort had been entirely destroyed by a stratagem of the Agrippinenses, who, having stupefied the Germans by a profuse entertainment and abundance of wine, fastened the doors, set fire to the houses, and burned them. At the same time Cerialis advanced by forced marches, and relieved the city. Civilis too was beset by other fears. He was afraid that the 14th legion, supported by the fleet from Britain, might do mischief to the Batavi along their line of coast. The legion was, however, marched overland under the command of Fabius Priscus into the territory of the Nervii and Tungri, and these two states were allowed to capitulate. The Canninefates, taking the offensive, attacked our fleet, and the larger part of the ships was either sunk or captured. The same tribe also routed a crowd of Nervii, who by a spontaneous movement had taken up arms on the Roman side. Classicus also gained a victory over some cavalry, who had been sent on to Novesium by Cerialis. These reverses, which, though trifling, came in rapid succession, destroyed by degrees the prestige of the recent victory.

79. Nec in longum quies militi data. orabant auxilium Agrippinenses offerebantque uxorem ac sororem Civilis et filiam Classici, relicta sibi pignora societatis. atque interim dispersos in domibus Germanos trucidaverant; unde metus et iustae preces invocantium, antequam hostes reparatis viribus ad spem vel ad ultionem accingerentur. namque et Civilis illuc intenderat, non invalidus, flagrantissima cohortium suarum integra, quae e Chaucis Frisiisque composita Tolbiaci in finibus Agrippinensium agebat: sed tristis nuntius avertit, deletam cohortem dolo Agrippinensium, qui largis epulis vinoque sopitos Germanos, clausis foribus, igne iniecto cremavere; simul Cerialis propero agmine subvenit. circumsteterat Civilem et alius metus, ne quarta decima legio adiuncta Britannica classe adflictaret Batavos, qua Oceano ambiuntur. sed legionem terrestri itinere Fabius Priscus legatus in Nervios Tungrosque duxit, eaeque civitates in deditionem acceptae: classem ultro Canninefates adgressi sunt maiorque pars navium depressa aut capta. et Nerviorum multitudinem, sponte commotam ut pro Romanis bellum capesseret, idem Canninefates fudere. Classicus quoque adversus equites Novaesium a Ceriale praemissos secundum proelium fecit: quae modica sed crebra damna famam victoriae nuper partae lacerabant.

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