Chapter 1.2

Apud Helvētiōs longē nōbilissimus fuit et dītissimus Orgetorīx. Is, M. Messālā et M. Pupio Pīsōne cōnsulibus, rēgnī cupiditāte inductus coniūrātiōnem nōbilitātis fēcit, et cīvitātī persuāsit ut dē fīnibus suīs cum omnibus cōpiīs exīrent: perfacile esse, cum virtūte omnibus praestārent, tōtīus Galliae imperiō potīrī. Id hōc facilius iīs persuāsit, quod undique locī nātūrā Helvētiī continentur: ūnā ex parte flūmine Rhēnō lātissimō atque altissimō, quī agrum Helvētium ā Germānīs dīvidit; alterā ex parte mōnte Iūrā altissimō, quī est inter Sēquanōs et Helvētiōs; tertiā lacū Lemannō et flūmine Rhodanō, quī prōvinciam nostram ab Helvētiīs dīvidit. Hīs rēbus fīēbat ut et minus lātē vagārentur et minus facile fīnitimīs bellum īnferre possent: quā ex parte hominēs bellandī cupidī māgnō dolōre adficiēbantur. Prō multitūdine autem hominum et prō glōriā bellī atque fortitūdinis angustōs sē fīnēs habēre arbitrābantur, quī in longitūdinem mīlia passuum CCXL, in lātitūdinem CLXXX patēbant.

Orgetorix persuades the Helvetii to invade Gaul.

Orgetorix: the termination -rix, which occurs in so many Gallic names (cp. Ambiorix, Cingetorix, Dumnorix, Eporedorix, Lugotorix, Vergingetorix) means 'king'. (Stock)

M. Messala et M. Pupio Pisone consulibus…: ‘61 B.C.’ (Kelsey); M. Messala, M. Piso: consuls, A. U. 693, B. C. 61, i. e. when Caesar was quaestor in Spain. (Walpole); Messala, &c.: this was B. C. 61, three years before Caesar’s first campaign in Gaul. The construction of consulibus is abl. absolute: not so formal as ‘while Messala and Piso were consuls,’ but merely ‘in their consulship.’ This was the usual way of denoting the year. (Allen & Judson, 9) (AG 424.g)

suis cum omnibus copiis: men, women, and children. (Harper & Tolman)

praestarent: ‘they excelled’ (Kelsey)

hōc facilius: hōc: ‘so much,’ abl. of measure with comparatives (Walpole); ‘all the easier’ (Allen & Judson) (AG 414a)

una ex parte: ‘on one side, &c’ The effect on the senses is supposed to come from the direction referred to. (Allen & Judson)(AG 429.b)

His rebus...bellum inferre possent: lit. ‘from these things it was coming about that they roamed about less widely and could less easily make war,’ etc.

fiebat: the imperfect expresses that the action extended for a period of time in the past. (Allen & Greenough) (AG 470)

qua ex parte: ‘and on that account’ (Kelsey); ‘In which respect;’ lit. ‘from which side’ (Merryweather & Tancock); ‘for this reason’ (Towle & Jenks) (AG 404)

pro multitudine…pro gloria belli: Pro: ‘Considering’ (Kelsey); Pro: ‘In proportion to.’ This meaning of pro comes from its other sense of ‘in the place of;’ so, ‘in return or requital for.’ (Merryweather & Tancock); Pro: ‘in proportion to’ (Allen & Judson) (AG 221.16)

angustos…fines: ‘too small’ (Kelsey); ‘too narrow’ (Walpole); ‘too narrow limits’ (Allen & Judson)

qui in longitudinem…patebant: Qui: i.e. fines (Kelsey); Milia passuum: ‘miles’; Patebant: ‘extended.’

Helvētius, -a, -um: Helvetian; as subst., m., a Helvetian; pl., the Helvetii, a rich and powerful tribe, whose country was nearly the same as modern Switzerland.

dīves dĭtis: rich, wealthy; (superl.) dītissimus –a -um, richest

cupiditas cupiditātis f.: desire 

indūco -ere -xi -ctum: lead into; excite, persuade, seduce, mislead

coniūrātiō -ōnis f.: swearing together; union confirmed by an oath; conspiracy

nōbĭlĭtas -ātis f.: the nobility, the nobles, the aristocracy

per-suādĕo -suādēre -suāsi, -suāsum: persuade, prevail upon (+ dat.)

per-făcĭlis -e: very easy

pŏtĭor -īrī -ītus sum: to become master of, to take possession of, to get, obtain, acquire (+ abl.)

Iura -ae f.: the Jura mountains, a small mountain range north of the Alps.

lacus -ūs m.: lake, body of water

Lemannus -i m.: Lake Lemannus, better Lake Leman or the Lake of Geneva. satellite image

văgor -āri -ātus sum: wander, roam, range

fīnitimī –ōrum: neighboring tribes or people, neighbors

bello -āre -āvi -ātum: wage war

cŭpĭdus, -a, -um: desirous, eager, keen; ambitious, eager for

adficiō -ere -fēcī -fectus: influence, work upon; affect by, treat with

fortĭtūdo -ĭnis f.: strength, bravery, courage

angustus -a -um: narrow

longintūdo -inis f.: length 

passus -ūs m.: step, pace

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Christopher Francese, Caesar: Selections from the Gallic War. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2011, revised and enlarged 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-02-3. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/caesar/book-1/chapter-1-2