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2 results for "civil"
1. Tacitus, Histories, 2.2-2.3, 4.12-4.37, 4.54-4.79, 5.14-5.26 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •vespasian, and civil war of ad Found in books: Rutledge (2012) 281
2.2.  These considerations and others like them made him waver between hope and fear; but hope finally won. Some believed that he turned back because of his passionate longing to see again Queen Berenice; and the young man's heart was not insensible to Berenice, but his feelings towards her proved no obstacle to action. He spent his youth in the delights of self-indulgence, but he showed more restraint in his own reign than in that of his father. So at this time he coasted along the shores of Achaia and Asia, leaving the land on the left, and made for the islands of Rhodes and Cyprus; from Cyprus he struck out boldly for Syria. While he was in Cyprus, he was overtaken by a desire to visit and examine the temple of Paphian Venus, which was famous both among natives and strangers. It may not prove a wearisome digression to discuss briefly the origin of this cult, the temple ritual, and the form under which the goddess is worshipped, for she is not so represented elsewhere. 2.3.  The founder of the temple, according to ancient tradition, was King Aerias. Some, however, say that this was the name of the goddess herself. A more recent tradition reports that the temple was consecrated by Cinyras, and that the goddess herself after she sprang from the sea, was wafted hither; but that the science and method of divination were imported from abroad by the Cilician Tamiras, and so it was agreed that the descendants of both Tamiras and Cinyras should preside over the sacred rites. It is also said that in a later time the foreigners gave up the craft that they had introduced, that the royal family might have some prerogative over foreign stock. Only a descendant of Cinyras is now consulted as priest. Such victims are accepted as the individual vows, but male ones are preferred. The greatest confidence is put in the entrails of kids. Blood may not be shed upon the altar, but offering is made only with prayers and pure fire. The altar is never wet by any rain, although it is in the open air. The representation of the goddess is not in human form, but it is a circular mass that is broader at the base and rises like a turning-post to a small circumference at the top. The reason for this is obscure. 4.12.  During these same days the citizens received increasing rumours of disasters in Germany with no sign of sorrow: slaughtered armies, the capture of the legions' winter quarters, a revolt of the Gallic provinces men spoke of as though they were not misfortunes. As to that war, I propose to explain its causes somewhat deeply and the extent to which foreign and allied tribes were involved in this conflagration. The Batavians formed part of the Chatti so long as they lived across the Rhine; then, being expelled by a civil war, they occupied the edge of the Gallic bank which was uninhabited, and likewise an island close by, which is washed by the ocean in front but by the Rhine on its rear and sides. Without having their wealth exhausted — a thing which is rare in alliance with a stronger people — they furnished our empire only men and arms. They had long training in our wars with the Germans; then later they increased their renown by service in Britain, whither some cohorts were sent, led according to their ancient custom by the noblest among them. They had also at home a select body of cavalry which excelled in swimming; keeping their arms and horses they crossed the Rhine without breaking their formation. . . . 4.13.  Julius Paulus and Julius Civilis were by far the most distinguished among the Batavians, being both of royal stock. On a false charge of revolt, Paulus was executed by Fonteius Capito; Civilis was put in chains and sent to Nero, and although acquitted by Galba, he was again exposed to danger under Vitellius owing to the clamour of the army for his punishment: these were the causes of his anger, his hopes sprang from our misfortunes. Civilis, however, who was cunning beyond the average barbarian, bore himself also like a Sertorius or a Hannibal, since his face was disfigured like theirs; in order to avoid being attacked as an enemy, as he would have been if he had openly revolted from the Romans, he pretended to be a friend of Vespasian and enthusiastic for his party; indeed Primus Antonius had actually written to him directing him to divert the auxiliary troops called up by Vitellius and to hold back the legions on the pretext of a German revolt. Hordeonius Flaccus, who was on the ground, had given him the same suggestion, moved by his own partiality toward Vespasian and by his anxiety for the state, whose ruin was sure if war were renewed and all those thousands of armed men burst into Italy. 4.14.  So then Civilis, having determined to revolt, concealed for the time his deeper purpose, and being ready to determine his other plans by the event, began to make trouble in the following way. At the orders of Vitellius a levy of the young Batavians was now being made. This burden, which is naturally grievous, was made the heavier by the greed and licence of those in charge of the levy: they hunted out the old and the weak that they might get a price for letting them off; again they dragged away the children to satisfy their lust, choosing the handsomest — and the Batavian children are generally tall beyond their years. These acts aroused resentment, and the leaders in the conspiracy, on which they were now determined, persuaded the people to refuse the levy. Civilis called the leaders of his tribe and the boldest of the common people into a sacred grove under the pretext of giving a banquet, and when he saw that the night and revelry had fired their spirits, he began to speak of the honour and glory of their tribe, then passed on to count over their wrongs, the extortion practised on them, and all the rest of the misfortunes of slavery. "For," he declared, "we are no longer regarded as allies, as once we were, but as slaves. When does a governor come to us with full commission, even though his suite would be burdensome and insolent if he came? We are handed over to prefects and centurions: after one band is satisfied with murder and spoils, the troops are shifted, and new purses are looked for to be filled and varied pretexts for plundering are sought. We are threatened with a levy which separates children from parents and brothers from brothers, as if in death. Never has the Roman state been in direr straits than now, and there is nothing in their winter camps but booty and old men. Simply lift your eyes and do not fear the empty name of legions. But on our side are our strong infantry and cavalry, our kinsmen the Germans, the Gallic provinces that cherish the same desires as ourselves. Not even the Romans will regard this war with disfavour; if its outcome is uncertain we shall say that it was undertaken for Vespasian; for victory no account is ever rendered." 4.15.  His words won great applause, and he bound them all by their national oaths and barbarous rites. Men were despatched to the Canninefates to join them to their plan. The Canninefates live in part of the island; in origin, speech, and courage they are equal to the Batavians, but inferior to them in number. Presently by secret messages they won over to their cause auxiliary troops from Britain and the Batavian cohorts that had been sent into Germany, as I have stated above, and which were at that time stationed at Mogontiacum. There was among the Canninefates a man of brute courage named Brinno, who was of illustrious descent; his father had dared to commit many hostile acts and had shown his scorn for Gaius' absurd expeditions without suffering for it. The very name of his rebellious family therefore made Brinno a favorite; and in accordance with their tribal custom the Batavians set him on a shield and, lifting him on their shoulders, chose him as their leader. He at once called in the Frisians, a tribe living across the Rhine, and assailed by sea the winter camp of two cohorts which were nearest to attack. The Roman troops had not foreseen the assault, and even if they had, they did not have enough strength to keep off the enemy: so the camp was captured and plundered. Then the enemy attacked the Roman foragers and traders who were scattered about the country as if it were a time of peace. At the same time they threatened to destroy the Roman forts, which the prefects of the cohorts burned, for they could not defend them. The Roman ensigns and standards with all the soldiers were concentrated in the upper part of the island under the leadership of Aquilius, a centurion of the first rank; but they had rather the name than the strength of an army: for when Vitellius had withdrawn the effective cohorts, he had gathered a useless crowd from the nearest cantons of the Nervii and Germans and burdened them with arms. 4.16.  Thinking it best to proceed by craft, Civilis promptly rebuked the prefects for abandoning their forts, and declared that he would crush the revolt of the Canninefates with the cohort under his command; they were to return each to his winter quarters. It was clear that treachery lay behind his advice and that the cohorts when scattered could be more easily crushed; likewise it was plain that the real leader in this war was not Brinno but Civilis; the proofs of this gradually appeared, for the Germans, who delight in war, did not long conceal the facts. When treachery did not succeed, Civilis turned to force and organized the Canninefates, the Frisians, and the Batavians, each tribe in a troop by itself: the Roman line was drawn up to oppose them not far from the Rhine, and the vessels which had been brought here after the burning of the forts were turned to front the foe. The battle had not lasted long when a cohort of the Tungri transferred its standards to Civilis, and the Roman soldiers, demoralized by this sudden betrayal, were cut down by allies and foes alike. There was the same treachery also on the part of the fleet: some of the rowers, being Batavians, by pretending a lack of skill interfered with the sailors and combatants; presently they began to row in the opposite direction and bring the sterns to the bank on which the enemy stood; finally, they killed such of the helmsmen and centurions as did not take their view, until the entire fleet of twenty-four vessels either went over to the enemy or was captured. 4.17.  This victory was glorious for the enemy at the moment and useful for the future. They gained arms and boats which they needed, and were greatly extolled as liberators throughout the German and Gallic provinces. The Germans at once sent delegations offering assistance; the Gallic provinces Civilis tried to win to an alliance by craft and gifts, sending back the captured prefects to their own states and giving the soldiers of the cohorts permission to go or stay as they pleased. Those who stayed were given honourable service in the army, those who left were offered spoils taken from the Romans. At the same time in private conversation he reminded them of the miseries that they had endured so many years while they falsely called their wretched servitude a peace. "The Batavians," he said, "although free from tribute, have taken up arms against our common masters. In the very first engagement the Romans have been routed and defeated. What if the Gallic provinces should throw off the yoke? What forces are there left in Italy? It is by the blood of the provinces that provinces are won. Do not think of Vindex's battle. It was the Batavian cavalry that crushed the Aedui and Averni; among the auxiliary forces of Verginius were Belgians, and if you consider the matter aright you will see that Gaul owed its fall to its own forces. Now all belong to the same party, and we have gained besides all the strength that military training in Roman camps can give; I have with me veteran cohorts before which Otho's legions lately succumbed. Let Syria, Asia, and the East, which is accustomed to kings, play the slave; there are many still alive in Gaul who were born before tribute was known. Surely it was not long ago that slavery was driven from Germany by the killing of Quintilius Varus, and the emperor whom the Germans then challenged was not a Vitellius but a Caesar Augustus. Liberty is a gift which nature has granted even to dumb animals, but courage is the peculiar blessing of man. The gods favour the braver: on, therefore, carefree against the distressed, fresh against the weary. While some favour Vespasian and others Vitellius, the field is open against both."  In this way Civilis, turning his attention eagerly toward the Germanies and the Gauls, was preparing, should his plans prove successful, to gain the kingship over the strongest and richest nations. But Hordeonius Flaccus furthered his enterprises at first by affecting to be unaware of them; when, however, terrified messengers brought word of the capture of camps, the destruction of cohorts, and the expulsion of the Roman name from the island of the Batavians, he ordered Munius Lupercus, who commanded the two legions in winter quarters, to take the field against the foe. Lupercus quickly transported to the island all the legionaries that he had, as well as the Ubii from the auxiliaries quartered close by and a body of Treviran cavalry which was not far away. He joined to these forces a squadron of Batavian cavalry, which, although already won over to the other side, still pretended to be faithful, that by betraying the Romans on the very field itself it might win a greater reward for its desertion. Civilis had the standards of the captured cohorts ranged about him that his own troops might have the evidence of their newly-won glory before their eyes and that the enemy might be terrified by the memory of their defeat; he ordered his own mother and his sisters, likewise the wives and little children of all his men, to take their stand behind his troops to encourage them to victory or to shame them if defeated. When the enemy's line re-echoed with the men's singing and the women's cries, the shout with which the legions and cohorts answered was far from equal. Our left had already been exposed by the desertion of the Batavian horse, which at once turned against us. Yet the legionary troops kept their arms and maintained their ranks in spite of the alarming situation. The auxiliary forces made up of the Ubii and Treveri fled disgracefully and wandered in disorder over the country. The Germans made them the object of their attack, and so the legions meanwhile were able to escape to the camp called Vetera. Claudius Labeo, who was in command of the Batavian horse, had been a rival of Civilis in some local matter, and was consequently now removed to the Frisii, that he might not, if killed, excite his fellow-tribesmen to anger, or, if kept with the forces, sow seeds of discord. 4.19.  At this time a messenger dispatched by Civilis overtook the cohorts of Batavi and Canninefates which were on their way to Rome in accordance with the orders of Vitellius. They were at once puffed up with pride and insolence: they demanded a gift as a reward for their journey; they insisted on double pay and an increase in the number of cavalry; these things, it is true, had been promised by Vitellius, but the cohorts' real purpose was not to obtain their demands, but to find an excuse for revolt. In fact by granting many of their demands Flaccus accomplished nothing except to make them insist all the more on things which they knew he would refuse. They treated him with scorn and started for Lower Germany to join Civilis. Hordeonius summoned the tribunes and centurions and consulted them as to whether he should check the disobedient troops by force; then, moved by his natural timidity and the terrors of his subordinates, who were distressed by the uncertain temper of the auxiliaries and by the fact that the legions had been filled up from a hasty levy, he decided to keep his soldiers in camp. Next, repenting of his decision and influenced by the very men who had advised it, he wrote, as though purposing to follow himself, to the commander of the First legion, Herennius Gallus, stationed at Bonn, to keep the Batavi from passing; and added that he would press hard on their rear with his troops. Indeed the Batavi might have been crushed if Hordeonius on one side and Gallus on the other had moved their troops from both directions and caught the foe between them. Flaccus abandoned the undertaking and in a second letter warned Gallus not to alarm the Batavians as they withdrew: this gave rise to the suspicion that war was being begun with the approval of the Roman commanders, and that everything that had happened or that men feared would come to pass was due not to the inactivity of the soldiers of the power of the enemy, but to treachery on the part of the generals. 4.20.  When the Batavi were approaching the camp at Bonn, they sent a messenger ahead to set forth to Herennius Gallus the demands of the cohorts. This messenger said that they were not making war on the Romans on whose behalf they had often fought, but that they were weary of their long and profitless service and longed for their home and a life of peace. If no one opposed them they would pass without doing any harm; but if armed resistance were offered, they would find a path with the sword. When Gallus hesitated, the soldiers urged him to try the issue of battle. Three thousand legionaries and some cohorts of Belgians, which had been hastily raised, as well as a band of peasants and foragers, unwarlike but bold before they met actual danger, burst out of all the gates at once to surround the Batavi, who were inferior in numbers. But they, being veterans in service, gathered in solid columns, with their ranks closed on every side, secure on front and flanks and rear; so they broke through our thin line. When the Belgians gave way, the legion was driven back and in terror rushed for the rampart and gates of the camp. At these points there were the greatest losses: the ditches were heaped high with bodies and our men died not only by the sword and from wounds, but also from the crush and very many by their own weapons. The victors avoided Cologne and made no other hostile attempt during the rest of their march; they excused the battle at Bonn on the ground that they had asked for peace, and when this was refused, had consulted their own interests. 4.21.  The arrival of these veteran cohorts put Civilis in command of a real army, but being still uncertain what course to adopt and reflecting on the power of the Romans, he had all his forces swear allegiance to Vespasian, and sent a delegation to the two legions which after their recent defeat had retired to the camp called Vetera, bidding them take the same oath. They replied: "We do not follow the advice of a traitor or of enemies. Our emperor is Vitellius, for whom we will keep faith and fight to our last breath: no Batavian deserter therefore shall play the arbiter of Rome's destiny, but rather let him expect the punishment his crime deserves." On receiving this reply Civilis, hot with rage, swept the whole Batavian people into arms; the Bructeri and Tencteri joined, and the Germans, summoned by messengers, hurried to share in booty and glory. 4.22.  To meet this threatening war that was rising from many quarters the commanders of the legions, Munius Lupercus and Numisius Rufus, began to strengthen the palisade and rampart of their camp. They tore down the buildings that had been erected during the long peace, and which in fact had grown into a town not far from the camp, for they did not wish them to be of service to the foe. But they did not take sufficient care to have supplies collected; they allowed the troops to pillage: so that in a few days the soldiers' recklessness exhausted what would have met their needs for a long time. Civilis took his post in the centre of his army along with the pick of the Batavi, and to make a more frightful appearance, he filled both banks of the Rhine with bands of Germans, while his cavalry ranged the open plains; and at the same time the ships moved up stream. On one side were the standards of the veteran cohorts, on the other the images of wild beasts taken from the woods and groves, which each tribe carries into battle: these emblems, suggesting at once civil and foreign wars, terrified the besieged troops. In addition the besiegers were encouraged by the extent of the Roman ramparts, which had been built for two legions, but which now had barely five thousand armed Romans to defend them; there was, however, also a crowd of sutlers who had gathered there at the first trouble and who assisted in the struggle. 4.23.  Part of the camp lay on a gentle slope; part could be approached on level ground. Augustus had believed that these winter quarters could keep the Germanies in hand and indeed in subjection, and had never thought of such a disaster as to have the Germans actually assail our legions; therefore nothing had been done to add to the strength of the position or of the fortifications: the armed force seemed sufficient. The Batavi and the peoples from across the Rhine, to exhibit their individual prowess more clearly, formed each tribe by itself and opened fire first from some distance; but when most of their weapons stuck uselessly in the towers and battlements and they were suffering from the stones shot down on them, with a shout they assailed the ramparts, many raising scaling-ladders, others climbing on a "tortoise" formed by their comrades. Some were already in the act of mounting the walls, when the legionaries threw them down with their swords and shields and buried them under a shower of stakes and javelins. These peoples are always at first too impetuous and easily emboldened by success; but now in their greed for booty they were ready to brave reverses as well, venturing even to use siege machines also, which they are not accustomed to employ. They had no skill in these themselves: deserters and captives taught them how to build of timber a kind of bridge, to put wheels under the structure, and then to push it forward, so that some standing on the top might fight as from a mound and others concealed within might undermine the walls; but stones shot from ballistae broke up the rude structure, and when they began to prepare screens and sheds, the Romans shot blazing darts at these with cross-bows, and threatened the assailants also with fire, until the barbarians, despairing of success by force, changed to a policy of delay, being well aware that the camp had provisions for only a few days and that it contained a great crowd of non-combatants; at the same time they counted on treachery as a result of want, and on the uncertain faith of the slaves and the chances of war. 4.24.  Flaccus meanwhile, on hearing that the camp was besieged, sent emissaries through the Gallic provinces to call out auxiliary forces, and entrusted troops picked from his two legions to Dillius Vocula, commander of the Twenty-second legion, with orders to hurry as rapidly as possible along the bank of the Rhine; Flaccus himself went by boat, being in poor health and unpopular with the soldiers; for indeed they murmured against him in no uncertain tone, saying that he had let the Batavian cohorts go from Mogontiacum, had concealed his knowledge of the undertakings of Civilis, and was making allies of the Germans. "Neither Primus Antonius nor Mucianus," they declared, "has contributed more to the strength of Vespasian than Flaccus. Frank hatred and armed action are openly repelled: treachery and deceit are hidden and so cannot be guarded against. Civilis stands before us and forms his battle line; Hordeonius from his chamber and his bed issues orders that are to the enemy's advantage. All these armed companies of the bravest men are dependent on the whim of one sick old man! Rather let us kill the traitor and free our fortune and bravery from this evil omen!" When they had already roused one another by such exhortations, they were further inflamed by a letter from Vespasian, which Flaccus, being unable to conceal it, read aloud before a general assembly, and then sent the men who had brought it in chains to Vitellius. 4.25.  In this way the soldiers' anger was appeased and they came to Bonn, the winter quarters of the First legion. There the soldiers were still more threatening and placed the blame for their disaster on Hordeonius: for they declared that it was by his orders that they had given battle to the Batavi, under assurance that the legions were following from Mogontiacum; that by his treachery their comrades had been killed, since no help came to them: that these facts were unknown to the rest of the armies and were not reported to their emperor, although this fresh treachery might have been blocked by a prompt effort on the part of all the provinces. Hordeonius read to the army copies of all the letters that he had dispatched throughout the Gauls, Britain, and the Spains asking for aid. Moreover, he established the worst kind of precedent by turning over all letters to the eagle-bearers of the legions, who read them to the common soldiers before they were disclosed to the commanders. Then he ordered a single one of the mutineers to be arrested, rather to vindicate his authority than because the fault was that of an individual. The army next advanced from Bonn to Cologne, while Gallic auxiliary troops poured in, for the Gauls at first gave vigorous assistance to the Roman cause: later, as the German strength increased, many states took up arms against us, inspired by hope of freedom and by a desire to have an empire of their own, if they once were rid of servitude. The angry temper of the legions increased and the arrest of a single soldier had brought them no fear: indeed this same soldier actually charged the general with being privy to the revolt, claiming that, having been an agent between Civilis and Flaccus, he was now being crushed on a false charge because he could bear witness to the truth. Vocula with admirable courage mounted the tribunal and ordered the soldier to be seized, and, in spite of his cries, directed that he be led away to punishment. While the disloyal were cowed, the best obeyed the order. Then, since the troops uimously demanded Vocula as their general, Flaccus turned over to him the chief command. 4.26.  But there were many things that exasperated their rebellious temper: there was a lack of pay and grain, and at the same time the Gallic provinces scornfully refused a levy and tribute; the Rhine hardly floated boats, owing to a drought unprecedented in that climate; reprovisionment was hampered; detachments were posted all along the bank of the Rhine to keep the Germans from fording it, and for the same reason there was less grain while there were more to eat it. The ignorant regarded even the low water as a prodigy, as if the very rivers, the ancient defences of our empire, were failing us: what they would have called in time of peace an act of chance or nature, they then called fate and the wrath of the gods. When our troops entered Novaesium the Sixteenth legion joined them. Vocula now had Herennius Gallus associated with him to share his responsibilities; and not daring to move against the enemy, they pitched camp at a place called Gelduba. There they improved the morale of their soldiers by drilling them in battle formation, by having them erect fortifications and a palisade, and by all other forms of military training; and to fire their bravery by giving them a chance to pillage, Vocula led a force into the nearest cantons of the Cugerni, who had allied themselves with Civilis; part of the troops remained with Herennius Gallus. 4.27.  Now it happened that not far from camp the Germans started to drag to their bank a ship loaded with grain which had grounded on a bar. Gallus did not wish to allow this and sent a cohort to rescue the ship: the Germans also were reinforced, and as assistance gradually gathered, the two sides engaged in a pitched battle. The Germans inflicted heavy losses on our men and got the ship away. The defeated Roman troops, as had then become their fashion, did not blame their own lack of energy, but charged their commander with treachery. They dragged him from his tent, tore his clothing and beat him, bidding him tell what bribe he had received and who his accomplices were in betraying his troops. Their anger toward Hordeonius returned: they called him the author and Gallus the tool, until, frightened by their threats to kill him, he himself actually charged Hordeonius with treachery; and then Hordeonius was put in chains and only released on Vocula's arrival. The following day Vocula had the ringleaders in the mutiny put to death, so great was the contrast in this army between unbridled licence and obedient submission. Undoubtedly the common soldiers were faithful to Vitellius, but all the officers inclined to favour Vespasian: hence that alternation of crimes and punishment and that combination of rage with obedience, so that although the troops could be punished they could not be controlled. 4.28.  But meanwhile the power of Civilis was being increased by huge reinforcements from all Germany, the alliances being secured by hostages of the highest rank. He ordered the peoples who were nearest to harry the Ubii and Treviri, and directed another force to cross the Meuse to threaten the Menapii and Morini and the borders of the Gallic provinces. Booty was secured from both districts, but they proceeded with greater severity in the case of the Ubii, because, though a tribe of Germanic origin, they had forsworn their native land and taken the Roman name of Agrippinenses. Some of their cohorts had been cut to pieces in the district of Marcodurum, where they were operating carelessly, being far from the bank of the Rhine. Yet the Ubii did not quietly refrain from making plundering raids on Germany, at first with impunity; but later they were cut off, and in fact throughout this entire war their good faith proved superior to their good fortune. After crushing the Ubii, Civilis became more threatening, and, being emboldened by his success, pressed on the siege of the legions, keeping strict guard to see that no secret messenger should get through to report the approach of assistance. He charged the Batavi with the duty of building machines and siege works: the forces from across the Rhine who demanded battle, he told to go and tear down the Romans' rampart, and when they were repulsed, he made them renew the conflict, for the number was more than enough and the loss easy to bear. 4.29.  Not even night ended the struggle. The assailants lighted piles of wood about the town, and while they feasted, as man after man became inflamed with wine, they rushed to battle with unavailing recklessness, for their weapons, thrown into the darkness, were of no effect: but the Romans aimed at the barbarians' line, which they could clearly see, and especially at anyone who was marked by his courage or decorations. Civilis, grasping the situation, ordered his men to put out their fires and to add the confusion of darkness to the combat. Then in truth it was all discordant cries, uncertain chances, no one could see to strike or parry: wherever a shout was raised, there they turned and lunged; courage was of no avail, chance made utter confusion, and often the bravest fell under the weapons of cowards. The Germans obeyed only blind fury; the Roman soldiers, being experienced in danger, did not shoot their iron-tipped pikes and heavy stones at random. When the sound showed them that men were climbing up the walls, or the raising of ladders delivered their foes into their hands, they beat them down with the bosses of their shields and followed this action with their javelins; many who scaled the walls they stabbed with daggers. When the night had been thus spent, the day disclosed a new struggle. 4.30.  The Batavi had built a tower with two stories. This they pushed toward the praetorian gate, as the ground was most level there, but the Romans thrust out against it strong poles, and with repeated blows of beams broke it down, inflicting heavy loss on those who were on it. Then, while their foes were in disorder, they made a sudden and successful sally upon them; and at the same time the legionaries, who were superior in skill and artifices, devised further means against them. The barbarians were most terrified by a well-balanced machine poised above them, which being suddenly dropped caught up one or more of the enemy before the eyes of their comrades and with a shift of the counterweight threw them into camp. Civilis now gave up hope of capturing the camp by storm and again began an inactive siege, trying meanwhile to shake the confidence of the legions by messages and promises. 4.31.  These things took place in Germany before the battle of Cremona, the result of which was learned through a letter from Primus Antonius, to which was added a proclamation issued by Caecina; and a prefect of a cohort from the defeated side, one Alpinius Montanus, acknowledged in person the misfortune of his party. This news aroused different emotions: the Gallic auxiliaries, who felt no party attachment or hatred and who served without enthusiasm, at the instigation of their officers immediately abandoned Vitellius; the veteran soldiers hesitated. But at the command of Hordeonius Flaccus and moved by the appeals of their tribunes, they took an oath which neither their looks nor their wills quite confirmed: and while they repeated the greater part of the usual formula, they hesitated at Vespasian's name, some murmuring it faintly, most passing it over in silence. 4.32.  Then some letters of Antonius to Civilis, being read before the assembled troops, roused their suspicions, for they seemed to be addressed to an ally and spoke in hostile fashion of the German army. Presently, when the news reached the Roman camp at Gelduba, it caused the same discussions and the same acts; and Montanus was sent to Civilis with orders bidding him give up the war and cease cloaking hostile acts with a false pretext: he was to say that if Civilis had moved to help Vespasian, his efforts had already been sufficient. To this Civilis at first made a crafty answer: afterwards, when he saw that Montanus was of an impetuous nature and inclined to revolt, he began to complain of the dangers which he had passed through for twenty-five years in the camps of the Romans. "A glorious reward indeed," said he, "have I gained for my labours — my brother's murder, my own chains, and the savage cries of this army here, demanding my punishment; the right of nations warrants me in demanding vengeance for these things. You Treviri likewise and all the rest of you who have the spirits of slaves, what return do you expect for the blood you have so often shed save an ungrateful service in arms, endless tribute, floggings, the axes of the executioner, and all that your masters' wits can devise? See how I, prefect of a single cohort, with the Canninefates and Batavi, a trifling part of all the Gauls, have shown their vast camps to be in vain and have destroyed them or am besetting them and pressing them hard with sword and famine. In short, be bold! Either liberty will follow your daring or we shall all be defeated together." With such words Civilis inflamed Montanus, but he sent him away with orders to make a mild report. So Montanus returned, bearing himself as though he had failed in his embassy, but concealing all that later came to light. 4.33.  Civilis retained part of his troops with him, but dispatched the veteran cohorts and the best of the Germans under the leadership of Julius Maximus and Claudius Victor, his own nephew, to attack Vocula and his army. On their march they plundered the winter quarters of a squadron of cavalry at Asciburgium; and they assailed Vocula's camp so unexpectedly that he could not address his soldiers or form his men in line; the only advice that he could give in the confusion was to strengthen the centre with the legionaries: the auxiliary troops were scattered about everywhere. The cavalry charged, but, being received by the enemy in good order, fled back to their own lines. What followed was a massacre, not a battle. The Nervian cohorts also, prompted by fear or treachery, left our flanks unprotected: thus the burden now fell upon the legionaries, and they, having lost their standards, were already being cut down inside the palisade, when suddenly unexpected aid changed the fortune of the battle. Some cohorts of the Vascones which Galba had levied earlier and which had now been sent for, approaching camp and hearing the sound of the struggle, assailed the enemy in the rear while they were absorbed in the contest, and caused a more widespread panic than their numbers warranted, some imagining that all the troops from Novaesium, others that those from Mogontiacum, had arrived. The enemy's mistake inspired the Romans with courage, and while trusting in the strength of others, they recovered their own. All the best of the Batavian infantry were cut down; their horse escaped with the standards and captives that they had seized at the first onset. The number of the killed on our side that day was larger, but was not made up of the bravest; the Germans lost their very best troops. 4.34.  The generals on both sides by equal faults deserved their reverses and failed to use their success: had Civilis put more troops in line, he could not have been surrounded by so few cohorts, and after breaking into the Roman camp, he would have destroyed it: Vocula failed to discover the enemy's approach, and therefore the moment that he sallied forth he was beaten; then, lacking confidence in his victory, he wasted some days before advancing against the foe, whereas if he had been prompt to press him hard and to follow up events, he might have raised the siege of the legions at one blow. Meanwhile Civilis had tested the temper of the besieged by pretending that the Roman cause was lost and that his side was victorious: he paraded the Roman ensigns and standards; he even exhibited captives. One of these had the courage to do an heroic deed, shouting out the truth, for which he was at once run through by the Germans: their act inspired the greater confidence in his statement; and at the same time the harried fields and the fires of the burning farm-houses announced the approach of a victorious army. When in sight of camp Vocula ordered the standards to be set up and a ditch and a palisade to be constructed about them, bidding his troops leave their baggage and kits there that they might fight unencumbered. This caused the troops to cry out against their commander and to demand instant battle; and in fact they had grown accustomed to threaten. Without taking time even to form a line, disordered and weary as they were, they engaged the enemy; for Civilis was ready for them, trusting in his opponents' mistakes no less than in the bravery of his own troops. Fortune varied on the Roman side, and the most mutinous proved cowards: some there were who, remembering their recent victory, kept their places, struck at the enemy, exhorted one another and their neighbours as well; reforming the line they held out hands to the besieged, begging them not to lose their opportunity. The latter, who saw everything from the walls, sallied forth from all the gates of their camp. Now at this moment Civilis's horse happened to slip and throw him; whereupon both sides accepted the report that he had been wounded or killed. It was marvellous how this belief terrified his men and inspired their foes with enthusiasm: yet Vocula, neglecting to pursue his flying foes, proceeded to strengthen the palisade and towers of his camp as if he were again threatened with siege, thus by his repeated failure to take advantage of victory giving good ground for the suspicion that he preferred war to peace. 4.35.  Nothing distressed our troops so much as the lack of provisions. The legions' baggage train was sent on to Novaesium with the men who were unfit for service to bring provisions from there overland; for the enemy controlled the river. The first convoy went without trouble, since Civilis was not yet strong enough to attack. But when he heard that the sutlers, who had been despatched again to Novaesium, and the cohorts escorting them were proceeding as if in time of peace, that there were few soldiers with the standards, that their arms were being carried in the carts while they all strolled along at will, he drew up his forces and attacked them, sending first some troops to occupy the bridges and narrow parts of the roads. They fought in a long line and indecisively until at last night put an end to the conflict. The cohorts reached Gelduba, where the camp remained in its old condition, being held by a force which had been left there. They had no doubt of the great danger that they would run if they returned with the sutlers heavily loaded and in a state of terror. Vocula reinforced his army with a thousand men picked from the Fifth and Fifteenth legions that had been besieged at Vetera, troops untamed and hostile toward their commanders. More men started than had been ordered to do so, and on the march they began to murmur openly that they would no longer endure hunger or the plots of their commanders; but those who were being left behind complained that they were being abandoned by the withdrawal of part of the legions. So a double mutiny began, some urging Vocula to return, others refusing to go back to camp. 4.36.  Meanwhile Civilis besieged Vetera: Vocula withdrew to Gelduba and then to Novaesium. Later he was successful in an engagement with the cavalry not far from Novaesium. But success and failure alike fired the soldiers with a wish to murder their leaders; and when the legionaries had been reinforced by the arrival of the men from the Fifth and Fifteenth, they began to demand the donative, for they had learned that Vitellius had sent the money. Hordeonius did not long delay, but gave them the gift in Vespasian's name, and this act more than anything else fostered the mutiny. The soldiers, abandoning themselves to debauchery, feasts, and meetings by night, revived their old hatred for Hordeonius, and without a legate or tribune daring to oppose them, they actually dragged him from his bed and killed him. They were preparing to treat Vocula in the same way, but he disguised himself in a slave's clothes and escaped in the darkness. 4.37.  When this outburst died down, their fears returned; and the troops sent centurions with letters to the Gallic communities to ask for auxiliary troops and contributions: they themselves, for a mob without a leader is always hasty, timid, and without energy, at the approach of Civilis quickly caught up their arms, then immediately dropped them and fled. Adversity bred discord among them, and men from the army of Upper Germany dissociated their cause from that of the rest; still the images of Vitellius were replaced in camp and in the nearest Belgian communities, although he was already dead. Then, repenting their action, the men of the First, Fourth, and Twenty-second legions followed Vocula, who made them take again the oath of allegiance to Vespasian and led them to break the siege of Mogontiacum. But the besiegers, a motley army made up of Chatti, Usipi, and Mattiaci, had already withdrawn, satisfied with their booty; however, they suffered some loss, for our soldiers had fallen on them while they were scattered and unsuspecting. Moreover, the Treviri built a breastwork and palisade along their borders and fought the Germans with great losses on both sides, until presently by their rebellion they sullied the record of their conspicuous services to the Roman people. 4.54.  In the meantime the news of the death of Vitellius, spreading through the Gallic and German provinces, had started a second war; for Civilis, now dropping all pretence, openly attacked the Roman people, and the legions of Vitellius preferred to be subject even to foreign domination rather than to obey Vespasian as emperor. The Gauls had plucked up fresh courage, believing that all our armies were everywhere in the same case, for the rumour had spread that our winter quarters in Moesia and Pannonia were being besieged by the Sarmatae and Dacians; similar stories were invented about Britain. But nothing had encouraged them to believe that the end of our rule was at hand so much as the burning of the Capitol. "Once long ago Rome was captured by the Gauls, but since Jove's home was unharmed, the Roman power stood firm: now this fatal conflagration has given a proof from heaven of the divine wrath and presages the passage of the sovereignty of the world to the peoples beyond the Alps." Such were the vain and superstitious prophecies of the Druids. Moreover, the report had gone abroad that the Gallic chiefs, when sent by Otho to oppose Vitellius, had pledged themselves before their departure not to fail the cause of freedom in case an unbroken series of civil wars and internal troubles destroyed the power of the Roman people. 4.55.  Before the murder of Hordeonius Flaccus nothing came to the surface to make the conspiracy known: but after Hordeonius had been killed, messengers passed between Civilis and Classicus, prefect of the Treviran cavalry. Classicus was superior to the others in birth and wealth; he was of royal family and his line had been famous in both peace and war, and he himself boasted that more of his ancestors had been enemies than allies of the Romans. Julius Tutor and Julius Sabinus joined the conspirators: Tutor was of the tribe of the Treviri, Sabinus one of the Lingones. Tutor had been made prefect of the bank of the Rhine by Vitellius; Sabinus was fired by his native vanity, and especially by his pride in his imaginary descent, for it was said that his great-grandmother by her charms and complaisance had found favour in the eyes of the deified Julius when he was carrying on his campaigns in Gaul. These chiefs by private interviews first tested the sentiments of all their associates; then, when they had secured the participation of those whom they thought suitable, they met at Cologne in a private house, for the state in its public capacity shrank from such an undertaking; and yet some of the Ubii and Tungri were present. But the Treviri and the Lingones, who had the domit power in the matter, permitted no delay in deliberation. They rivalled one another in declaring that the Roman people were wild with discord, that the legions were cut to pieces, Italy laid waste, Rome at that moment was being captured, and that all the Roman armies were occupied each with its own wars: if they but held the Alps with armed forces, the Gallic lands, once sure of their freedom, would have only to decide what limits they wished to set to their power. 4.56.  These statements were approved as soon as made: with regard to the survivors of the army of Vitellius they were in doubt. The majority were for putting them to death on the ground that they were mutinous, untrustworthy, and defiled with the blood of their commanders: the proposal to spare them, however, prevailed since the conspirators feared to provoke an obstinate resistance if they deprived the troops of all hope of mercy: it was argued that these soldiers should rather be won over to alliance. "If we execute only the commanders of the legions," they said, "the general mass of the soldiers will be easily led to join us by their consciousness of guilt and by their hope of escaping punishment." This was in brief the result of their first deliberation; and they sent emissaries through the Gallic provinces to stir up war; the ringleaders feigned submission in order to take Vocula the more off his guard. Yet there was no lack of people to carry the story to Vocula; he, however, did not have force enough to check the conspiracy, for the legions were incomplete and not to be trusted. Between his soldiers whom he suspected and his secret foes, he thought it best for the time to dissemble in his turn and to employ the same methods of attack that were being used against him, and accordingly went down to Cologne. There Claudius Labeo, of whose capture and banishment among the Frisians I have spoken above, fled for refuge, having bribed his guards to let him escape; and now he promised, if he were given a force of men, that he would go among the Batavians and bring the majority of that people back to alliance with Rome. He got a small force of foot and horse, but he did not dare to undertake anything among the Batavians; however, he did induce some of the Nervii and Baetasii to take up arms, and he continuously harried the Canninefates and Marsaci rather by stealth than in open war. 4.57.  Vocula, lured on by the artifices of the Gauls, hurried against the enemy; and he was not far from Vetera when Classicus and Tutor, advancing from the main force under the pretext of reconnoitring, concluded their agreement with the German chiefs, and it was then that they first withdrew apart from the legions and fortified their own camp with a separate rampart, although Vocula protested that the Roman state had not yet been so broken by civil war as to be an object of contempt in the eyes of even the Treviri and Lingones. "There are still left faithful provinces," he said; "there still remain victorious armies, the fortune of the empire, and the avenging gods. Thus in former times Sacrovir and the Aeduans, more recently Vindex and all the Gallic provinces, have been crushed in a single battle. Those who break treaties must still face the same divinities, the same fates as before. The deified Julius and the deified Augustus better understood the spirit of the Gauls: Galba's acts and the reduction of the tribute have inspired them with a hostile spirit. Now they are enemies because the burden of their servitude is light; when we have despoiled and stripped them they will be friends." After speaking thus in anger, seeing that Classicus and Tutor persisted in their treachery, Vocula turned and withdrew to Novaesium: the Gauls occupied a position two miles away. There the centurions and soldiers frequently visited them, and attempts were made so to tamper with their loyalty, that, by an unheard-of crime, a Roman army should swear allegiance to foreigners and pledge themselves to this awful sin by killing or arresting their chief officers. Although many advised Vocula to escape, he thought it wise to act boldly, called an assembly, and spoke to this effect. 4.58.  "Never have I spoken to you with greater anxiety on your account or with less on my own. For I am glad to hear that my death is determined on, and in the midst of my present misfortunes I await my fate as the end of my sufferings. It is for you that I feel shame and pity, — for you against whom no battle is arrayed, no lines are marshalled. That will be only the law of arms and the just right of enemies. No! It is with your hands that Classicus hopes to fight against the Roman people: it is a Gallic empire and an allegiance to the Gauls that he holds out to you. Even if fortune and courage fail us at the moment, have we completely lost the memories of the past, forgotten how many times Roman legions have preferred to die rather than be driven from their positions? How often have our allies endured the destruction of their cities and allowed themselves to be burned with their wives and children, when the only reward that they could gain in their death was the glory of having kept their faith? At this very moment the legions at Vetera are bearing the hardships of famine and siege unmoved by threats or promises: we have not only our arms, our men, and the splendid fortifications of our camp, but we have grain and supplies sufficient for a war regardless of its length. We had money enough lately even for a donative; and whether you prefer to regard this as given by Vespasian or Vitellius, it was certainly a Roman emperor from whom you received it. If you, the victors in so many wars, if you who have so often put the enemy to flight at Gelduba and Vetera, fear an open battle, that is indeed a disgrace; but still you have fortifications, ramparts, and ways of delaying the crisis until troops hurry to your aid from the neighbouring provinces. What if I do not please you! There are other commanders, tribunes, or even some centurion or common soldier on whom you can fall back, that the monstrous news may not spread over the whole world that you are to follow in the train of Civilis and Classicus and support them in their invasion of Italy. When the Germans and Gauls have led you to the walls of Rome, will you then raise your arms against your native land? My soul revolts at the thought of such a crime. Will you mount guard for Tutor, a Treviran? Shall a Batavian give the signal for battle? Will you recruit the ranks of the Germans? What will be the result of your crime when the Roman legions have ranged themselves against you? Will you become deserters for a second time, a second time traitors, and waver back and forth between your new and old allegiance, hated by the gods? I pray and beseech thee, Jupiter, most good and great, to whom we have rendered the honour of so many triumphs during eight hundred and twenty years, and thee, Quirinus, father of Rome, that, if it has not been your pleasure that this camp be kept pure and inviolate under my leadership, at least you will not allow it to be defiled and polluted by a Tutor and a Classicus; give to Roman soldiers either innocence or repentance, prompt and without disaster." 4.59.  The troops received this speech with varied feelings of hope, fear, and shame. Vocula had withdrawn and was preparing to end his life, but his freedmen and slaves prevented him from voluntarily anticipating the most hideous of deaths. Classicus sent Aemilius Longinus, a deserter from the First legion, and so had Vocula quickly despatched; as for the legates, Herennius and Numisius, he was satisfied with putting them into chains. Then he assumed the insignia of a Roman general and entered the camp. Hardened as he was to every crime, he found not a word to utter beyond stating the oath: those who were present swore allegiance to the "Empire of the Gauls." Vocula's assassin he honoured with promotion to a high rank; on the others he bestowed rewards proportionate to their crimes. Then Tutor and Classicus divided the conduct of the war between them. Tutor besieged Cologne with a strong force and compelled its inhabitants and all the soldiers on the upper Rhine to take the same oath of allegiance; at Mainz he killed the tribunes and expelled the prefect of the camp when they refused to swear: Classicus ordered the worst of the men who had surrendered to go to the besieged, and offer them pardon if they would accept the actual situation: otherwise there was no hope; they would suffer famine, sword, and the worst extremities. His messengers emphasized their words by citing their own example. 4.60.  Loyalty on the one hand, famine on the other, kept the besieged hesitating between honour and disgrace. As they thus wavered, their sources of food, both usual and even unusual, failed them, for they had consumed their beasts of burden, their horses, and all other animals, which, even though unclean and disgusting, necessity forced them to use. Finally, they tore up even shrubs and roots and grasses growing in the crevices of the rocks, giving thereby a proof at once of their miseries and of their endurance, until at last they shamefully stained what might have been a splendid reputation by sending a delegation to Civilis and begging for their lives. He refused to hear their appeals until they swore allegiance to the empire of Gaul: then he stipulated for the booty of their camp and sent guards to secure the treasure, the camp followers, and the baggage, and to escort the soldiers as they left their camp empty-handed. When they had proceeded about five miles the German troops suddenly attacked and beset them as they advanced unsuspicious of any danger. The bravest were cut down where they stood, many were slain as they scattered; the rest escaped back to camp. Civilis, it is true, complained of the Germans' action and reproached them for breaking faith shamefully. But whom this was mere pretence on his part or whether he was unable to hold their fury in check is not certainly proved. His troops plundered the camp and set it on fire; the flames consumed all who had survived the battle. 4.61.  Civilis, in accordance with a vow such as these barbarians frequently make, had dyed his hair red and let it grow long from the time he first took up arms against the Romans, but now that the massacre of the legions was finally accomplished, he cut it short; it was also said that he presented his little son with some captives to be targets for the child's arrows and darts. However, he did not bind himself or any Batavian by an oath of allegiance to Gaul, for he relied on the resources of the Germans, and he felt that, if it became necessary to dispute the empire with the Gauls, he would have the advantage of his reputation and his superior power. Munius Lupercus, commander of a legion, was sent, among other gifts, to Veleda. This maiden of the tribe of the Bructeri enjoyed extensive authority, according to the ancient German custom, which regards many women as endowed with prophetic powers and, as the superstition grows, attributes divinity to them. At this time Veleda's influence was at its height, since she had foretold the German success and the destruction of the legions. But Lupercus was killed on the road. A few of the centurions and tribunes of Gallic birth were reserved as hostages to assure the alliance. The winter quarters of the auxiliary infantry and cavalry and of the legions were pulled down and burned, with the sole exception of those at Mainz and Vindonissa. 4.62.  The Sixteenth legion, with the auxiliary troops that had submitted to Civilis at the same time, was ordered to move from Novaesium to the colony of the Treviri, and the day was fixed before which it was to leave camp. All the intervening time the soldiers spent amid many anxieties: the cowards were terrified by the fate of those who had been massacred at Vetera, the better troops were distressed by a sense of shame and disgrace. They asked themselves: "What kind of a march will this be? Who will lead us? Everything will be at the mercy of those whom we have made masters of life and death." Others had no sense of disgrace and stowed about their persons their money and dearest possessions; some made ready their arms and girded on their weapons as if for battle. While they were thus occupied, the hour for departure arrived; but this proved sadder than their period of anticipation; for within the walls their humiliating condition had not been so noticeable; the open ground and the light of day disclosed their shame. The portraits of the emperors had been torn down; their standards were unadorned, while the Gauls' ensigns glittered on every side; their line moved in silence, like a long funeral train, led by Claudius Sanctus, who was repulsive in appearance, having had one eye gouged out, and was even weaker in intellect. Their shame was doubled when another legion deserting the camp at Bonn joined their line. Moreover, now that the report that the legions had been captured was spread abroad, all who but yesterday were shuddering at the name of Rome, running from their fields and houses and pouring in from every side, displayed extravagant delight in this unusual spectacle. The squadron of Picentine horse could not endure the joy exhibited by the insulting mob, but, scorning the promises and threats of Sanctus, rode away to Mainz; on the way they happened to meet Longinus, the assassin of Vocula, whom they buried under a shower of weapons and so began the future expiation of their guilt: the legions, without changing their course, pitched camp before the walls of the Treviri. 4.63.  Civilis and Classicus, elated by their success, debated whether they should not turn Cologne over to their armies to plunder. Their natural cruelty and their greed for booty inclined them to favour the destruction of the city: in opposition were the interests of the war and the advantage of a reputation for clemency at this time when they were establishing a new empire; Civilis, moreover, was influenced also by the memory of the service done him, when at the beginning of the revolt his son had been arrested in Cologne, but had been treated with honour while in custody. Yet the tribes across the Rhine hated the city for its wealth and rapid growth; and they believed that there could be no end to the war unless this place should be a common home for all the Germans without distinction, or else the city destroyed and the Ubii scattered like the other peoples. 4.64.  So the Tencteri, a tribe separated from the colony by the Rhine, sent an embassy with orders to present their demands in an assembly of the people of Cologne. These demands the most violent of the delegates set forth thus: "We give thanks to our common gods and to Mars before all others that you have returned to the body of the German peoples and to the German name, and we congratulate you that at last you are going to be free men among free men; for until to‑day the Romans have closed rivers and lands, and in a fashion heaven itself, to keep us from meeting and conferring together, or else — and this is a severer insult to men born to arms — to make us meet unarmed and almost naked, under guard and paying a price for the privilege. But to secure for ever our friendship and alliance, we demand that you take down the walls of your colony, the bulwarks of your slavery, for even wild animals forget their courage if you keep them shut up; we demand that you kill all the Romans in your territories. Liberty and masters are not easily combined together. The property of those killed is to be put into the common stock that no one may be able to hide anything or separate his own interest. Both we and you are to have the right to live on both banks, as our fathers once did. Even as Nature has always made the light of day free to all mankind, so she has made all lands open to the brave. Resume the manners and customs of your fathers, cutting off those pleasures which give the Romans more power over their subjects than their arms bestow. A people pure, untainted, forgetting your servitude, you will live the equals of any or will rule others." 4.65.  The people of Cologne first took some time to consider the matter, and then, since fear for the future did not allow them to submit to the terms proposed and present circumstances made it impossible to reject them openly, they made the following reply: "The first opportunity of freedom we seized with more eagerness than caution that we might join ourselves with you and the other Germans who are of our own blood. But it is safer to build the walls of the town higher rather than to pull them down at the moment when the Roman armies are concentrating. All the foreigners of Italian or provincial origin within our lands have been destroyed by war or have fled each to his own home. The first settlers, established here long ago, have become allied with us by marriage, and to them as well as to their children this is their native city; nor can we think that you are so unjust as to wish us to kill our own parents, brothers, and children. We now suppress the duties and all charges that are burdens on trade: let there be free intercourse between us, but by day and without arms until by lapse of time we shall become accustomed to our new and unfamiliar rights. We will have as arbiters Civilis and Veleda, before whom all our agreements shall be ratified." With these proposals they first calmed the Tencteri and then sent a delegation to Civilis and Veleda with gifts which obtained from them everything that the people of Cologne desired; yet the embassy was not allowed to approach Veleda herself and address her directly: they were kept from seeing her to inspire them with more respect. She herself lived in a high tower; one of her relatives, chosen for the purpose, carried to her the questions and brought back her answers, as if he were the messenger of a god. 4.66.  Now that the power of Civilis was increased by alliance with the people of Cologne, he decided to try to win over the neighbouring peoples, or, if they refused, to attack them. He had already gained the Sunuci and had organized their young men into companies of infantry, when Claudius Labeo offered resistance with a force of the Baetasii, Tungri, and Nervii that he had hastily assembled, but he had confidence in his position because he had seized the bridge over the Meuse. The forces engaged in this narrow space without a decisive issue until the Germans swam across the river and attacked Labeo's rear; at the same time Civilis, acting under a bold impulse or in accord with a previous arrangement, rushed to the line of the Tungri and cried in a loud voice: "We did not begin the war with the purpose of making the Batavians and the Treviri lords over the other peoples: such arrogance is far from our minds. Accept alliance with us: I am joining you, whether you wish me to be your leader or prefer me to be a common soldier." The mass of the Tungri were moved by this appeal and were in the act of sheathing their swords when Companus and Juvenalis, two of their chief men, surrendered the whole people to him; Labeo escaped before he could be surrounded. Civilis received the submission of the Baetasii and the Nervii as well, and added them to his forces: his power was now great, for the peoples were either terrified or inclined voluntarily to his cause. 4.67.  In the meantime Julius Sabinus had destroyed all memorials of the alliance with Rome and directed that he should be saluted as Caesar; then he hurried a great and unorganized mob of his countrymen against the Sequani, a people that touched the boundaries of the Lingones and were faithful to us. The Sequani did not refuse battle; fortune favoured the better cause: the Lingones were routed. Sabinus was as prompt to flee in terror from the battle as he had been over-ready to begin it; and to spread a report of his own death he burned the country house to which he had fled for refuge, and it was generally believed that he had perished there by suicide. But I shall later tell in the proper place by what means and in what hiding-places he prolonged his life for nine years, and I shall also describe the fidelity of his friends and the noble example set by his wife Epponina. The success of the Sequani brought the impulse for war to a halt. Gradually the communities came to their senses and began to regard their duty under their treaties; in this movement the Remi took the lead by sending word through the Gallic provinces that envoys should be despatched to debate in their common interest whether the Gallic peoples preferred liberty or peace. 4.68.  But at Rome all the news from Gaul was exaggerated for the worse and caused Mucianus anxiety lest even distinguished generals — for he had already selected Gallus Annius and Petilius Cerialis — should not be able to support the whole burden of this great war. He could not leave the city without a head; and he looked with anxiety on the unbridled passions of Domitian, while he suspected, as I have said, Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius. Varus, at the head of the praetorian guard, still had control of an armed force: Mucianus removed him, but, to avoid leaving him with no solace, placed him in charge of the supply of grain. And to pacify Domitian's feelings, which were not unfavourable to Varus, he put in command of the praetorians Arrecinus Clemens, who was connected with Vespasian's house by marriage and beloved by Domitian, dwelling on the fact that Clemens's father had held the same office with distinction under Gaius Caesar, that his name was popular with the soldiers, and that Clemens himself, although of senatorial rank, was equal to the duties of prefect as well as to those of his own class. All the most eminent citizens were enrolled for the expedition, others at their own solicitation. So Domitian and Mucianus were making ready to set out, but with different feelings; Domitian being eager with youthful hope, Mucianus contriving delays to check the other's ardour for fear that, if he once got control of the army, his youthful impetuosity and his evil counsellors would make him a peril to peace and war alike. The victorious legions, the Eighth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, and the Twenty-first, which had been of the Vitellian party, as well as the Second, lately enlisted, were led into Gaul, part over the Pennine and Cottian Alps, part over the Graian; the Fourteenth legion was called from Britain, the Sixth and First were summoned from Spain. So when the news of the approaching army got abroad, the Gallic states that naturally inclined to milder courses assembled among the Remi. A delegation of the Treviri was waiting for them there, led by Julius Valentinus, the most fiery advocate of war. In a studied speech he poured forth all the common charges against great empires, and heaped insults and invectives on the Roman people, being a speaker well fitted to stir up trouble and revolt, and popular with the mass of his hearers for his mad eloquence. 4.69.  But Julius Auspex, a noble of the Remi, dwelt on the power of Rome and the blessings of peace; he pointed out that even cowards can begin war, but that it can be prosecuted only at the risk of the bravest, and, moreover, the legions were already upon them; thus he restrained the most prudent of the people by considerations of reverence and loyalty, the younger men by pointing out the danger and arousing their fears: the people praised the spirit of Valentinus, but they followed the advice of Auspex. It is beyond question that the fact that the Treviri and Lingones had stood with Verginius at the time of the revolt of Vindex injured them in the eyes of the Gauls. Many were deterred by the rivalry between the Gallic provinces. "Where," they asked, "are we to find a leader for the war? Where look for orders and the auspices? What shall we choose for our capital if all goes well?" They had not gained the victory, but discord already prevailed; some boasted in insulting fashion of their treaties, some of their wealth and strength or of their ancient origin: in disgust at the prospects of the future, they finally chose the present state. Letters were sent to the Treviri in the name of the Gallic provinces, bidding them to refrain from armed action, and saying pardon could be obtained and that men were ready to intercede for them, if they repented: Valentinus opposed again and succeeded in closing the ears of his fellow tribesmen to these proposals; he was not, however, so active in making actual provision for war as he was assiduous in haranguing the people. 4.70.  The result was that neither the Treviri nor the Lingones nor the other rebellious people made efforts at all proportionate to the gravity of the crisis; not even the leaders consulted together, but Civilis ranged the pathless wilds of Belgium in his efforts to capture Claudius Labeo or to drive him out of the country, while Classicus spent most of his time in indolent ease, enjoying his supreme power as if it were already secured; even Tutor made no haste to occupy with troops the Upper Rhine and the passes of the Alps. In the meantime the Twenty-first legion penetrated by way of Vindonissa and Sextilius Felix entered through Raetia with some auxiliary infantry; these troops were joined by the squadron of picked horse that had originally been formed by Vitellius but which had later gone over to Vespasian's side. These were commanded by Julius Briganticus, the son of a sister of Civilis, who was hated by his uncle and who hated his uncle in turn with all the bitter hatred that frequently exists between the closest relatives. Tutor first added to the Treviran troops a fresh levy of Vangiones, Caeracates, and Triboci, and then reinforced these with veteran foot and horse, drawn from the legionaries whom he had either corrupted by hope or overcome with fear; these forces first massacred a cohort despatched in advance by Sextilius Felix; then, when the Roman generals and armies began to draw near, they returned to their allegiance by an honourable desertion, followed by the Triboci, Vangiones, and Caeracates. Tutor, accompanied by the Treviri, avoided Mainz and withdrew to Bingium. He had confidence in this position, for he had destroyed the bridge across the Nava, but he was assailed by some cohorts under Sextilius, whose discovery of a ford exposed him and forced him to flee. This defeat terrified the Treviri, and the common people abandoned their arms and dispersed among the fields: some of the chiefs, in their desire to seem the first to give up war, took refuge in those states that had not abandoned their alliance with Rome. The legions that had been moved from Novaesium and Bonn to the Treviri, as I have stated above, now voluntarily took the oath of allegiance to Vespasian. All this happened during the absence of Valentinus; when he returned, however, he was beside himself and wished to throw everything again into confusion and ruin; whereupon the legions withdrew among the Mediomatrici, an allied people: Valentinus and Tutor swept the Treviri again into arms, and murdered the two commanders Herennius and Numisius to strengthen the bond of their common crime by diminishing their hope of pardon. 4.71.  This was the state of war when Petilius Cerialis reached Mainz. His arrival aroused great hopes; Cerialis was himself eager for battle and better fitted by nature to despise a foe than to guard against him; he fired his soldiers by his fierce words, declaring that he would not delay a moment when he had a chance to engage the enemy. The troops that had been levied throughout Gaul he sent back to their several states, and told them to report that the legions were sufficient to sustain the empire: the allies were to return to their peaceful duties without any anxiety, since, when the Roman arms once undertook a war, that war was virtually ended. This act increased the ready submission of the Gauls; for now that they had recovered their young men they bore the burdens of the tribute more easily, and they were more ready to be obedient when they saw that they were despised. But when Civilis and Classicus heard that Tutor had been defeated, the Treviri cut to pieces, and that their foes were everywhere successful, they became alarmed and hastened to collect their scattered forces; in the meantime they sent many messages to warn Valentinus not to risk a decisive engagement. These circumstances moved Cerialis to prompter action: he despatched some officers to the Mediomatrici to direct the legions against the enemy by a more direct route, while he united the troops at Mainz with all the forces that he had brought with him; after a three days' march he came to Rigodulum, which Valentinus had occupied with a large force of Treviri. The town was naturally protected by hills or by the Moselle; in addition Valentinus had constructed ditches and stone ramparts. But these fortifications did not deter the Roman general from ordering his infantry to assault or from sending his cavalry up the hill, since he despised his foe, believing that his own men would have more advantage from their courage than the enemy's hastily collected forces could gain from their position. The Roman troops were delayed a little in their ascent while they were exposed to the enemy's missiles: when they came to close quarters, the Treviri were hurled down headlong like a falling building. Moreover, some of the cavalry rode round along the lower hills and captured the noblest of the Belgians, among them their leader Valentinus. 4.72.  On the next day Cerialis entered the colony of the Treviri. His soldiers were eager to plunder the town and said "This is Classicus's native city, and Tutor's as well; they are the men whose treason has caused our legions to be besieged and massacred. What monstrous crime had Cremona committed? Yet Cremona was torn from the very bosom of Italy because she delayed the victors one single night. This colony stands on the boundaries of Germany, unharmed, and rejoices in the spoils taken from our armies and in the murder of our commanders. The booty may go to the imperial treasury: it is enough for us to set fire to this rebellious colony and to destroy it, for in that way we can compensate for the destruction of so many of our camps." Cerialis feared the disgrace that he would suffer if men were to believe that he imbued his troops with a spirit of licence and cruelty, and he therefore checked their passionate anger: and they obeyed him, for now that they had given up civil war, they were more moderate with reference to foreign foes. Their attention was then attracted by the sad aspect which the legions summoned from among the Mediomatrici presented. These troops stood there, downcast by the consciousness of their own guilt, their eyes fixed on the ground: when the armies met, there was no exchange of greetings; the soldiers made no answer to those who tried to console or to encourage them; they remained hidden in their tents and avoided the very light of day. It was not so much danger and fear as a sense of their shame and disgrace that paralyzed them, while even the victors were struck dumb. The latter did not dare to speak or make entreaty, but by their tears and silence they continued to ask forgiveness for their fellows, until Cerialis at last quieted them by saying that fate was responsible for all that had resulted from the differences between the soldiers and their commanders or from the treachery of their enemies. He urged them to consider this as the first day of their service and of their allegiance, and he declared that neither the emperor nor he remembered their former misdeeds. Then they were taken into the same camp with the rest, and a proclamation was read in each company forbidding any soldier in quarrel or dispute to taunt a comrade with treason or murder. 4.73.  Presently Cerialis called an assembly of the Treviri and Lingones and addressed them thus: "I have never practised oratory and the Roman people has ever asserted its merits by arms: but since words have the greatest weight with you and you do not reckon good and evil according to their own nature, but estimate them by the talk of seditious men, I have decided to say a few things which now that the war is over are more useful for you to hear than for me to say. Roman commanders and generals entered your land and the lands of the other Gauls from no desire for gain but because they were invited by your forefathers, who were wearied to death by internal quarrels, while the Germans whom they had invited to help them had enslaved them all, allies and enemies alike. How many battles we have fought against the Cimbri and Teutoni, with what hardships on the part of our armies and with what result we have conducted our wars against the Germans, is perfectly well known. We have occupied the banks of the Rhine not to protect Italy but to prevent a second Ariovistus from gaining the throne of Gaul. Do you believe that you are dearer to Civilis and his Batavians or to the peoples across the Rhine than your grandfathers and fathers were to their ancestors? The Germans always have the same reasons for crossing into the Gallic provinces — lust, avarice, and their longing to change their homes, that they may leave behind their swamps and deserts, and become masters of this most fertile soil and of you yourselves: freedom, however, and specious names are their pretexts; but no man has ever been ambitious to enslave another or to win dominion for himself without using those very same words. 4.74.  "There were always kings and wars throughout Gaul until you submitted to our laws. Although often provoked by you, the only use we have made of our rights as victors has been to impose on you the necessary costs of maintaining peace; for you cannot secure tranquillity among nations without armies, nor maintain armies without pay, nor provide pay without taxes: everything else we have in common. You often command our legions; you rule these and other provinces; we claim no privileges, you suffer no exclusion. You enjoy the advantage of the good emperors equally with us, although you dwell far from the capital: the cruel emperors assail those nearest them. You endure barren years, excessive rains, and all other natural evils; in like manner endure the extravagance or greed of your rulers. There will be vices so long as there are men, but these vices are not perpetual and they are compensated for by the coming of better times: unless perchance you hope that you will enjoy a milder rule if Tutor and Classicus reign over you, or that the taxes required to provide armies to keep out the Germans and Britons will be less than now. For, if the Romans are driven out — which Heaven forbid — what will follow except universal war among all peoples? The good fortune and order of eight hundred years have built up this mighty fabric which cannot be destroyed without overwhelming its destroyers: moreover, you are in the greatest danger, for you possess gold and wealth, which are the chief causes of war. Therefore love and cherish peace and the city wherein we, conquerors and conquered alike, enjoy an equal right: be warned by the lessons of fortune both good and bad not to prefer defiance and ruin to obedience and security." With such words Cerialis quieted and encouraged his hearers, who feared severer measures. 4.75.  The Treviri were now being held in submission by the victorious army when Civilis and Classicus wrote to Cerialis to this effect: "Vespasian is dead, although the news of his death is held back; Rome and Italy have been exhausted by internal wars; the names of Mucianus and Domitian are empty and carry no weight: if you wish the empire of the Gauls, we are satisfied with the boundaries of our own states; if you prefer to fight, we do not refuse you that alternative either." Cerialis made no reply to Civilis and Classicus; but he sent the messenger who brought the letter and the letter itself to Domitian. The enemy, whose forces were divided, now approached from every quarter. Many blamed Cerialis for having allowed this concentration of troops when he might have cut them off in detail. The Roman army constructed a ditch and palisade around their camp, which they had rashly occupied up to this time in spite of its unprotected condition. 4.76.  Among the Germans there was a clash of diverse opinions. Civilis urged that they should wait for the peoples from beyond the Rhine, who would so terrify the Romans that their strength would break and collapse. "As for the Gauls," said he, "what are they but booty for the victors? And yet the Belgians, their only real strength, are openly on our side or wish our success." Tutor maintained that delay improved the condition of the Romans, for their armies were coming from every quarter. "One legion," he said, "has been brought from Britain; others have been summoned from Spain, or are coming from Italy; these are no hastily levied troops, but a veteran and seasoned army. The Germans, on whom we place our hopes, are never obedient to orders and directions, but always act according to their own caprice; as for money and gifts, the only things by which they can be won, the Romans have more than we, and no man is so bent on war as not to prefer quiet to danger, if he get the same reward. Whereas if we engage at once, Cerialis has no legions except those made up of the remts of the army in Germany, and these have been bound by treaties to the Gallic states. As for the mere fact that, contrary their own expectations, they lately routed the undisciplined force of Valentinus, that only feeds the rash spirit of troops and general alike: they will dare a second time and will fall into the hands not of an inexperienced youth, more concerned with words and speeches than with steel and arms, but into the power of a Civilis and a Classicus. When our enemies see these leaders, their souls will be once more possessed with terror and with the memories of their flight, hunger, and the many times that they have been captured when their lives were at our mercy. Nor are the Treviri or Lingones restrained by any affection: they will resume their arms as soon as their fright has left them." Classicus ended these differences of opinion by approving Tutor's views, on which they at once acted. 4.77.  The centre of their line was assigned to the Ubii and Lingones; on the right wing were the Batavian cohorts, on the left the Bructeri and the Tencteri. These rushed forward, some by the hills, others between the road and the Moselle, so rapidly that Cerialis was in his chamber and bed — for he had not passed the night in camp — when at the same moment he received the report that his troops were engaged and were being beaten. He kept on abusing the messengers for their alarm until the whole disaster was before his eyes: the enemy had broken into the legions' camp, had routed the cavalry, and had occupied the middle of the bridge over the Moselle, which connects the remoter quarters with the colony. Undismayed in this crisis, Cerialis stopped the fugitives with his own hand, and, although quite unprotected, exposed himself to the enemy's fire; then by his good fortune and rash courage, aided by the bravest of his troops who rushed to his assistance, he recovered the bridge and held it with a picked force. Afterwards he returned to the camp, where he saw the companies of those legions that had been captured at Novaesium and Bonn wandering aimlessly about, with few soldiers supporting the standards, and the eagles almost surrounded by the enemy. Flaming with indignation he cried: "It is not Flaccus or Vocula that you are now deserting: there is no treachery here; nor have I need for excuse save that I rashly believed that, forgetting your pledge to the Gauls, you had remembered your oath of allegiance to Rome. I shall be numbered with the Numisii and Herennii, so that all your commanders may have perished by the hands of their soldiers or of the enemy. Go, report to Vespasian or, since they are nearer, to Civilis and Classicus that you have abandoned your general on the field of battle: yet there will come legions that will not suffer me to be unavenged or you unpunished." 4.78.  All this was true, and the same reproofs were heaped on them by the tribunes and the prefects. The troops drew up in cohorts and maniples, for indeed they could not form an extended line since their foes were everywhere, and as the battle was being fought within their ramparts they were also hindered by their tents and baggage. Tutor and Classicus and Civilis, each at his post, spurred on their followers to battle, urging the Gauls to fight for liberty, the Batavians for glory, and the Germans for booty. Everything favoured the enemy until the Twenty-first legion, having more room than the rest, concentrated its entire strength and so resisted the enemy's attack and presently drove him back. Yet it was not without divine aid that with a sudden change of spirit the victorious enemy took to flight. They said themselves that they were smitten with terror by the sight of those cohorts which, though dislodged by their first assault, formed again on the ridges and seemed to them to be fresh reinforcements. But the fact is that the victorious barbarians were checked by a disgraceful struggle to secure booty which began among them so that they forgot their foes. Thus Cerialis, having almost ruined the situation by his carelessness, restored it by his resolution; and, following up his success, he captured and destroyed the enemy's camp on that same day. 4.79.  The troops, however, were not allowed long repose. The people of Cologne begged for aid and offered to give up the wife and sister of Civilis and the daughter of Classicus, who had been left as pledges of fidelity to the alliance. In the meantime they had killed the Germans who were scattered among their homes. This gave them cause to fear and made reasonable their appeals for help before the enemy recovered his strength and armed for some new venture or for revenge. For in fact Civilis had marched in the direction of Cologne; he was yet formidable since the most warlike of his cohorts was still unharmed, which, made up of Chauci and Frisii, was stationed at Tolbiacum on the borders of the territory of the people of Cologne: he was, however, turned aside by the depressing news that this cohort had been destroyed by a stratagem of the inhabitants of Cologne, who, after stupefying the Germans with an elaborate dinner and abundant wine, had closed the doors, set fire to the building, and burned them all; at the same moment Cerialis hurried up by forced marches. Civilis had been beset also by another fear: he was anxious lest the Fourteenth legion, supported by the fleet from Britain, might injure the Batavians along their coast. But Fabius Priscus, leading his legion inland, directed it against the Nervii and Tungri, and accepted the surrender of these two states: as for the fleet, it was actually attacked by the Canninefates and most of the ships were sunk or captured. The same Canninefates routed a great force of the Nervii who had voluntarily risen to fight for the Romans. Classicus also engaged successfully with some cavalry which Cerialis had despatched to Novaesium: and these reverses, though small, were frequent enough to injure the prestige of the Romans' recent victory. 5.14.  But meantime Civilis, after his reverse among the Treviri, recruited his army in Germany and encamped at Vetera, where he was protected by his position, and he also wished to inspire his barbarian troops with new courage from the memory of their former success there. Cerialis followed after him, having had his forces doubled by the arrival of the Second, Sixth, and Fourteenth legions; moreover, the auxiliary foot and horse that he had ordered up long before had hurried to join him after his victory. Neither general was given to delay, but they were separated by a wide plain that was naturally marshy; moreover, Civilis had built a dam obliquely into the Rhine, so that the river, thrown from its course by this obstacle, flooded the adjacent fields. Such was the nature of the ground, which was treacherous for our men because the shallows were uncertain and therefore dangerous: for the Roman soldier is heavily weighted with arms and afraid of swimming, but the Germans are accustomed to streams, are lightly armed, and their great stature keeps their heads above water. 5.15.  Therefore when the Batavians attacked our men, the bravest of our troops engaged; but a panic soon followed as arms and horses were swallowed up in the deep marshes. The Germans, knowing the shallows, leaped through the waters, and frequently, leaving our front, surrounded our men on the flanks and rear; there was no fighting at close quarters, as is usual in an engagement between infantry, but the struggle was rather like a naval fight, for the men floundered about in the water, or, if they found firm ground, they exerted all their strength to secure it; so the wounded and the uninjured, those who could swim and those who could not, struggled together to their common destruction. Yet our loss was not in proportion to the confusion, because the Germans, not daring to come out of the marshes on to firm ground, returned to their camp. The outcome of this engagement encouraged both leaders from different motives to hasten the final struggle. Civilis wished to follow up his good fortune; Cerialis to wipe out his disgrace: the Germans were emboldened by their success; the Romans were stirred by shame. The barbarians spent the night in singing or shouting; our men in rage and threats of vengeance. 5.16.  The next day Cerialis stationed his cavalry and auxiliary infantry in his front line and placed his legions in the second, while he reserved some picked troops under his own leadership to meet emergencies. Civilis did not oppose him with an extended front, but ranged his troops in columns: the Batavi and Cugerni were on his right; the left wing, nearer the river, was held by tribes from across the Rhine. The generals did not encourage their troops in formal appeals to the whole body, but they addressed each division as they rode along the line. Cerialis recalled the ancient glories of the Roman name, their victories old and new; he urged them to destroy for ever these treacherous and cowardly foes whom they had already beaten; it was vengeance rather than battle that was needed. "You have recently fought against superior numbers, and yet you routed the Germans, and their picked troops at that: those who survive carry terror in their hearts and wounds on their backs." He applied the proper spur to each of the legions, calling the Fourteenth the "Conquerors of Britain," reminding the Sixth that it was by their influence that Galba had been made emperor, and telling the Second that in the battle that day they would dedicate their new standards, and their new eagle. Then he rode toward the German army, and stretching out his hands begged these troops to recover their own river-bank and their camp at the expense of the enemy's blood. An enthusiastic shout arose from all, for some after their long peace were eager for battle, others weary of war desired peace; and they all hoped for rewards and rest thereafter. 5.17.  Nor did Civilis form his lines in silence, but called on the place of battle to bear witness to his soldiers' bravery: he reminded the Germans and Batavians that they were standing on the field of glory, that they were trampling underfoot the bones and ashes of Roman legions. "Wherever the Roman turns his eyes," he cried, "captivity, disaster, and dire omens confront him. You must not be alarmed by the adverse result of your battle with the Treviri: there their very victory hampered the Germans, for they dropped their arms and filled their hands with booty: but everything since has gone favourably for us and against the Romans. Every provision has been made that a wise general should make: the fields are flooded, but we know them well; the marshes are fatal to our foes. Before you are the Rhine and the gods of Germany: engage under their divine favour, remembering your wives, parents, and fatherland: this day shall crown the glories of our sires or be counted the deepest disgrace by our descendants!" When the Germans had applauded these words with clashing arms and wild dancing according to their custom, they opened battle with a volley of stones, leaden balls, and other missiles, and since our soldiers did not enter the marsh, the foe tried to provoke them and so lure them on. 5.18.  When they had spent their missiles, as the battle grew hotter, the enemy charged fiercely: their huge stature and their extremely long spears allowed them to wound our men from a distance as they slipped and floundered in the water; at the same time a column of the Bructeri swam across from the dam that, as I have said, had been built out into the Rhine. This caused some confusion and the line of allied infantry was being driven back, when the legions took up the fight, checked the enemy's savage advance, and so equalised the contest. Meantime a Batavian deserter approached Cerialis, promising him a chance to attack the enemy's rear if he would send some cavalry along the edge of the marsh; for there, he said, was solid ground and the Cugerni, who guarded at that spot, were careless. Two troops of horse were despatched with the deserter and succeeded in outflanking the unsuspecting enemy. When this was made evident by a shout, the legions charged in front, and the Germans were routed and fled towards the Rhine. The war would have been ended on that day if the Roman fleet had hurried to follow after them: as it was, not even the cavalry pressed forward, for rain suddenly began to fall and night was close at hand. 5.19.  The next day the Fourteenth legion was sent to Gallus Annius in the upper province: the Tenth, coming from Spain, took its place in the army of Cerialis: Civilis was reinforced by some auxiliaries from the Chauci. Yet he did not dare to defend the capital of the Batavians, but seizing everything that was portable, he burned the rest and retired into the island, for he knew that Cerialis did not have the boats to build a bridge, and that the Roman army could not be got across the river in any other way; moreover, he destroyed the dike that Drusus Germanicus had built, and so by demolishing the barriers that checked it, he let the Rhine pour in full flow into Gaul along an unencumbered channel. Thus the Rhine was virtually drawn off, and the shallow channel that was left between the island and Germany made the lands seem uninterrupted. Tutor also and Classicus crossed the Rhine, with one hundred and thirteen Treviran senators, among whom was Alpinius Montanus, who had been sent into Gaul by Primus Antonius, as we stated above. He was accompanied by his brother, Decimus Alpinius; at the same time the others also were trying to raise reinforcements among these bold and adventurous tribes by appeals to their pity and by gifts. 5.20.  In fact the war was so far from being over that in a single day Civilis attacked the standing camps of the auxiliary foot and horse and of the regular legions as well, at four several points, assailing the Tenth legion at Arenacum, the Second at Batavodurum, and the camp of the auxiliary foot and horse at Grinnes and Vada; he so divided his troops that he and Verax, his nephew, Classicus and Tutor, each led his own force; they did not expect to be successful everywhere, but they trusted that by making many ventures they would be successful in some one point; besides, they thought that Cerialis was not very cautious and that, as he hurried from place to place on receiving various reports, he might be cut off. The force that was to assail the camp of the Tenth legion, thinking that it was a difficult task to storm a legion, cut off some troops that had left their fortifications and were busy felling timber, and succeeded in killing the prefect of the camp, five centurions of the first rank, and a few common soldiers; the rest defended themselves in the fortifications. Meanwhile a force of Germans at Batavodurum tried to destroy a bridge that had been begun there; the indecisive struggle was ended by the coming of night. 5.21.  There was greater danger at Grinnes and Vada. Civilis tried to capture Vada by assault, Classicus, Grinnes; and they could not be checked, for the bravest of our men had fallen, among them Briganticus, captain of a squadron of cavalry, who, as we have said, was loyal to the Romans and hostile to his uncle Civilis. But the arrival of Cerialis with a picked body of horse changed the fortunes of the day and the Germans were driven headlong into the river. As Civilis was trying to rally the fugitives he was recognized and made a target for our weapons, but he abandoned his horse and swam across the river; Verax escaped in the same way; Tutor and Classicus were carried over by some boats that were brought up for the purpose. Not even on this occasion was the Roman fleet at hand; the order had indeed been given, but fear and also the dispersal of the rowers among other military duties prevented its execution. Indeed, Cerialis commonly gave insufficient time for the execution of his orders, being hasty in planning, but brilliant in his successes: good fortune attended him even when he had lacked skill; and the result was that both he and his troops paid too little regard to discipline. A few days later he narrowly avoided being taken prisoner, but he did not escape the attendant disgrace. 5.22.  He had gone to Novaesium and Bonn to inspect the camps that were being built for the legions' winter quarters, and was now returning with the fleet, while his escort straggled and his sentries were careless. The Germans noticed this and planned an ambuscade; they selected a night black with clouds, and slipping down-stream got within the camp without opposition. Their onslaught was helped at first by cunning, for they cut the tent ropes and massacred the soldiers as they lay buried beneath their own shelters. Another force put the fleet into confusion, throwing grappling-irons on board and dragging the boats away; while they acted in silence at first to avoid attracting attention, after the slaughter had begun they endeavoured to increase the panic by their shouts. Roused by their wounds the Romans looked for their arms and ran up and down the streets of the camp; few were properly equipped, most with their garments wrapped around their arms and their swords drawn. Their general, half-asleep and almost naked, was saved only by the enemy's mistake; for the Germans dragged away his flagship, which was distinguished by a standard, thinking that he was there. But Cerialis had spent the night elsewhere, as many believe, on account of an intrigue with Claudia Sacrata, a Ubian woman. The sentries tried to use the scandalous behaviour of their general to shield their own fault, claiming that they had been ordered to keep quiet that his rest might not be disturbed; that was the reason that trumpet-call and the challenges had been omitted, and so they had dropped to sleep themselves. The enemy sailed off in broad daylight on the ships that they had captured; the flagship they took up the Lippe as a gift to Veleda. 5.23.  Civilis was now seized with a desire to make a naval demonstration; he therefore manned all the biremes and all the ships that had but a single bank of oars; to this fleet he added a vast number of boats, [putting in each] thirty or forty men, the ordinary complement of a Liburnian cruiser; and at the same time the boats that he had captured were fitted with particoloured plaids for sails, which made a fine show and helped their movement. The place chosen for the display was a small sea, so to speak, formed at the point where the mouth of the Maas discharges the water of the Rhine into the ocean. Now his purpose in marshalling this fleet, apart from the native vanity of a Batavian, was to frighten away the convoys of supplies that were coming from Gaul. Cerialis, more surprised than frightened by this action of Civilis, drew up his fleet, which, although inferior in numbers, was superior in having more experienced rowers, more skilful pilots, and larger ships. His vessels were helped by the current, his opponents enjoyed a favourable wind; so they sailed past each other and separated, after trying some shots with light missiles. Civilis dared attempt nothing further, but withdrew across the Rhine; Cerialis devastated the island of the Batavians in relentless fashion, but, adopting a familiar device of generals, he left untouched the farms and buildings of Civilis. In the meantime the turn of autumn and the frequent equinoctial rains that followed caused the river to overflow and made the low marshy island look like a swamp. Neither fleet nor supplies were on hand, and the Roman camp, being situated on flat ground, began to be washed away by the current. 5.24.  That the legions could then have been crushed, and that the Germans wished to do so but were craftily dissuaded by him, were claims afterwards made by Civilis; and in fact his claim seems not far from the truth, since his surrender followed a few days later. For while Cerialis by secret messengers was holding out to the Batavians the prospect of peace and to Civilis of pardon, he was also advising Veleda and her relatives to change the fortunes of a war, which repeated disasters had shown to be adverse to them, by rendering a timely service to the Roman people: he reminded them that the Treviri had been cut to pieces, the Ubii had returned to their allegiance, and the Batavians had lost their native land; they had gained nothing from their friendship with Civilis but wounds, banishment, and grief. An exile and homeless he would be only a burden to any who harboured him, and they had already done wrong enough in crossing the Rhine so many times. If they transgressed further, the wrong and guilt would be theirs, but vengeance and the favour of heaven would belong to the Romans. 5.25.  These promises were mingled with threats; and when the fidelity of the tribes across the Rhine had been shaken, debates began among the Batavians as well: "We must not extend our ruin further; no single nation can avert the enslavement of the whole world. What have we accomplished by destroying legions with fire and sword except to cause more legions and stronger forces to be brought up? If we have fought for Vespasian, Vespasian is now master of the world; if we are challenging the whole Roman people in arms, we must recognize what a trifling part of mankind we Batavians are. Look at the Raetians, the Noricans, and consider the burdens Rome's other allies bear: we are not required to pay tribute, but only to furnish valour and men. This is a condition next to freedom; and if we are to choose our masters, we can more honourably bear the rule of Roman emperors than of German women." So the common people; the chiefs spoke more violently: "We have been drawn into arms by the madness of Civilis; he wished to avert his own misfortunes by the ruin of his country. The gods were hostile to the Batavians on the day when we besieged the legions, murdered their commanders, and began this war that was a necessity only to Civilis, but to us fatal. There is nothing left us, unless we begin to come to our senses and show our repentance by punishing the guilty individual." 5.26.  Civilis was not unaware of this change of feeling and he decided to anticipate it, not only because he was weary of suffering, but also for the hope of life, which often breaks down high courage. When he asked for a conference, the bridge over the Nabalia was cut in two and the leaders advanced to the broken ends; then Civilis began thus: "If I were defending myself before a legate of Vitellius, my acts would deserve no pardon nor my words any credence; there was nothing but hatred between him and me — he began the quarrel, I increased it; toward Vespasian my respect is of long standing, and when he was still a private citizen we were called friends. Primus Antonius knew this when he sent me a letter calling me to arms to keep the legions of Germany and the young men of Gaul from crossing the Alps. What Antonius advised by letter, Hordeonius urged in person; I have begun the same war in Germany that Mucianus began in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in Pannonia." . . .
2. Josephus Flavius, Life, 342 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •vespasian, and civil war of ad Found in books: Rutledge (2012) 281