Chapter 1.28

Quod ubi Caesar resciit, quōrum per fīnēs ierant hīs utī conquīrerent et redūcerent, sī sibi pūrgātī esse vellent, imperāvit: reductōs in hostium numerō habuit; reliquōs omnēs obsidibus, armīs, perfugīs trāditīs in dēditiōnem accēpit. Helvētiōs, Tulingōs, Latovīcōs in fīnēs suōs, unde erant profectī, revertī iussit, et, quod omnibus frūgibus āmissīs domī nihil erat quō famem tolerārent, Allobrogibus imperāvit ut hīs frūmentī cōpiam facerent; ipsōs oppida vīcōsque, quōs incenderant, restituere iussit. Id eā maximē ratiōne fēcit, quod nōluit eum locum unde Helvētiī discesserant vacāre, nē propter bonitātem agrōrum Germānī, quī trāns Rhēnum incolunt, e suīs fīnibus in Helvētiōrum fīnēs trānsīrent et fīnitimī Galliae prōvinciae Allobrogibusque essent. Boiōs petentibus Aeduīs, quod ēgregiā virtūte erant cognitī, ut in fīnibus suīs collocārent, concessit, quibus illī agrōs dedērunt quōsque posteā in parem iūris lībertātisque condiciōnem atque ipsī erant recēpērunt.

The six thousand fugitives are recaptured and put to death. The others are sent back to their homes.

quod: accustom yourself to the common use of the relative pronoun or adjective at the beginning of a sentence, where our idiom expects a demonstrative or personal pronoun (A-G): “now when Caesar found this out,” referring to the flight of the Verbigens (Kelsey).

resciit: the verb resciscō means to ascertain something which has been concealed or is unexpected (Harkness).

quōrum: precedes its antecedent hīs (Kelsey), which is dative with imperāvit (AG 367). The order for translation is: imperāvit hīs, per fīnēs quōrum ierant, utī [eōs] conquīrerent et redūcerent (Anthon).

ierant: i.e., īre coeperant; otherwise conquīrerent and redūcerent are wanting in meaning (Spencer).

utī conquīrerent et redūcerent: sc. illōs fugitīvōs (M-T): “to search them out and bring them back” (L-E); substantive purpose clause governed by imperāvit (AG 563) (A-G). 

sī sibi pūrgātī esse vellent: “if they wished to clear themselves in his eyes” (M-T); “if they wished to be blameless in his sight”; sibi = literally “to him [Caesar],” the subject of the main verb (M-T); dative of reference (AG 376, 377) (Harkness), or ethical dative (AG 380) (Walpole). Pūrgātī is a perfect participle used as an adjective (A-G): “acquitted,” “free from guilt” (Kelsey), “excused of sharing in their guilt” (Spencer), literally, “cleansed.” In the direct discourse the indicative would be used in this condition (Harkness), but here, as part of Caesar’s order, the subjunctive vellent is used (M-T).

reductōs in hostium numerō habuit: sc. eōs: “he counted them, when brought back, as enemies” (M-T), i.e., he either caused them to be put to death, or sold them as slaves, most probably the latter (Anthon), for they had broken a military capitulation (Moberly). In hostium numerō habēre is a characterictically Roman expression which means to slaughter indiscriminately (Walpole). “Overtaking the Helvetii in their flight to the Rhine, Caesar forced them to surrender their arms, and to pledge themselves to return to their own country. Six thousand of them who had fled in the night, in order to escape this disgrace, were brought back by the Roman cavalry, and, to use Caesar’s own language, ‘treated as enemies’” (Michelet, History of France, vol. i. pg. 46).

obsidibus, armīs, perfugīs trāditīs: “once they had handed over hostages, weapons, and deserters”; circumstantial ablative absolute (AG 419).

in dēditiōnem accēpit: by this act they became formally the subjects of the Republic, and were entitled to its protection, as well as required to obey its requisitions and pay tribute (A-G).

in fīnēs suōs: suōs refes to the subject of revertī (M-T).

unde erant profectī: unde= ē quibus (Kelsey). The use of the indicative shows that this is not part of Caesar’s order (iussit), but an explanatory comment added by the historian (M-T).

revertī: “to turn back” (from a march or journey; redīre, “to go back” from a place of rest) (A-G).

omnibus frūgibus āmissīs: “since all the produce of the fields was gone”; no crops had been planted this season (Kelsey). They had destroyed all the provision, their towns and homes, etc. before they set out on their migration (Spencer).

domī: i.e., in their own country (Kelsey); locative case (AG 427.3).

nihil erat: sc. eīs: “they had nothing,” literally, “there was nothing [left] for them.”

quō famem tolerārent: “whereby they might relieve their starvation” (Hodges); relative clause of characteristic with subjunctive (AG 535) (A-G).

Allobrogibus imperāvit ut … facerent: verbs of commanding (e.g., imperāvit) govern the dative (e.g., Allobrogibus), and are followed by ut or with the subjunctive (e.g., facerent) (AG 563); to both of these rules iubeō is an exception (e.g., Helvētiōs iussit revertī) (M-T).

ut iīs frūmentī cōpiam facerent: “to furnish them a supply of grain,” literally, “that they should make an abundance of grain to them” (Harkness). The expression cōpiam facere means “to have plenty, and make others partake of it” (Spencer).

ipsōs: the Helvetians and their allies (the Tulingi and Latobrigi (Anthon)) as opposed to the others (Allobrogibus) who were to provide food (A-G).

quōs incenderant: i.e., the particular towns mentioned in Chapter 5; hence the indicative, expressing a fact stated by the historian Caesar (H-T). The subjunctive would make the expression more general–any towns which they had burned (Harkness).

restituere: “to rebuild” (see Chapter 5) (Anthon).

eā maximē ratiōne: “with this view” (A-G); “principally for this reason,” explain by quod nōluit …  (Harkness).

unde: = ē quō (Kelsey).

vacāre: “to be empty” (H-T); “to remain uninhabited”; “to be unoccupied” (M-T). Plutarch (Vīta Caesaris, 18) makes mention of, and bestows just praise on, the policy of Caesar, in compelling the Helvetii to reoccupy their country (Anthon). Caesar wanted to keep the warlike Helvetii as a bulwark for the Province against the Germans (M-T).

nē …  Germānī …  trānsīrent … essent: substantive clause with an implied verb of fearing (AG 564): “he didn’t want those lands to remain uninhabited [for fear] that the Germans would cross over … and would be … ” As the Helvetians were now reduced to about one third of their former number, much of their land must have been left unoccupied, and was probably soon seized upon by German immigrants (Kelsey).

Galliae prōvinciae Allobrogibusque: dative with fīnitimī (AG 384): “very close to the province and (especially) the Allobroges”; for the Allobroges were a part of the province (Walker). The Helvetii were thus in the Roman manner stationed as a kind of colony on the frontier towards Germany. The wisdom of the Romans in the defence of their Empire is not less remarkable than their prowess in war (A-G).

bonitātem agrōrum: “the good quality (“fertility” (M-T)) of the land” (Kelsey). In western Switzerland, east of the Jura, the cultivation there now is like that of a garden (Moberly).

Boiōs … concessit: Boiōs is put first in the sentence for the sake of the emphatic contrast with Helvētiōs, Tulingōs, Latrobigōs (Walker). The order for translation is: concessit Aeduīs, petentibus ut collocārent Boiōs in suīs fīnibus, quod illī [Boiī] cognitī erant ēgregiā virtūte” (Anthon). Some of the Boii had in A.U.C. 364 crossed the Great St. Bernard Pass in company with the Lingones, and occupied part of the Etruscan territory. We thus trace their connection with the Aeduan part of Gaul, and we understand the motive of kindred which induced the Aeduans to retain them. Besides this, they would be useful to them as a rampart against the Arverni and Sequani, their ancient rivals (Moberly) and to guard her frontier against the Germans (Walker). It will be remembered that the Boii were emigrating when they joined the Helvetians and had no proper home to return to. The Aeduans gave them land between the Elaver and the Liger rivers, and they appear later in several parts of Gaul. Their prowess in war made them valuable allies (A-G).

petentibus Aeduīs: “he granted the request of the Aeduans” (M-T); “to the Aeduans, at their request, he granted”; dative with the intransitive compound verb concessit (AG 370) (A-G).

quod ēgregiā virtūte erant cognitī: sc. Boiī esse (M-T): “because they [the Boii] were known [to be men] of remarkable valor.” This is the reason for the request of the Aedui (Harkness). Ēgregiā virtūte is ablative of quality (AG 415).

ut in fīnibus suīs conlocārent: this clause is the object both of concessit and of petentibus (Harkness). Before the migration of the Helvetii the Boii were not settled in a definite home (Hodges).

quibus: = et illīs: “to them therefore” (Walpole), i.e., to the Boii (Harkness).

illī: refers to the Aedui (Harkness).

quōsque: = et eōs, i.e., the Boii (Kelsey).

posteā: perhaps after the great uprising in Gaul led by Vercingetorix, narrated in Book VII (Kelsey).                  

parem iūris lībertātisque condiciōnem atque ipsī erant: “a share of civil rights and freedom equal with their own” (M-T); “equal condition of rights and freedom as they themselves enjoyed” (Harkness); “the same terms of freedom as they themselves had” (H-T). Atque (āc) generally means “as” or “than” after words of likeness and comparison (L-E).

rescīscō, -scīscere, -scīvī, -scītus: find out, learn.

conquīrō, -quīrere, -quīsīvī, -quīsītus: seek for, hunt up; bring together, procure.

redūcō, -dūcere, -dūxī, -ductus: lead back, bring back; draw off, withdraw; draw back, extend back.

pūrgō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus: cleanse; excuse, justify.

redūcō, -dūcere, -dūxī, -ductus: lead back, bring back; draw off, withdraw; draw back, extend back.

obses, -sidis m. and f.: hostage.

perfuga, -ae m.: deserter, fugitive.

dēditiō, -ōnis f.: surrender, capitulation; in dēditiōnem accipere, accept the surrender of, receive in surrender; in dēditiōnem venīre, surrender.

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.

Tulingī, -ōrum, m.: pl., the Tulingi, a small tribe, living perhaps across the Rhine from the Helvetii.

Latobrigī, -ōrum, m.: pl., the Lato-brigi, a Gallic tribe dwelling not far from the Helvetii, perhaps east of the Rhine, near the source of the Danube.

revertor, -vertī, -versus, perf. usually act. in form, reverti: turn back, come back, go back, return.

quod: conj., that, in that, because, since; as to the fact that: the fact that.

frūx, frūgis f.: fruit, produce; usually pl., crops.

tolerō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus: endure, support; hold out.

Allobrogēs, -um, m.: pl., the Allobroges, a Gallic tribe in the northeastern part of the Roman province.

vīcus, -ī, m.: village.

incendō, -cendere, -cendī, -cēnsus: set fire to, burn; arouse.

restituō, -stituere, -stituī, -stitūtus: restore, renew, reinstate; begin again; give back, deliver up, return; rebuild.

bonitās, -ātis f.: goodness, richness, fertility.

Germānus, -ī, m.: a German; pl., the Germans; as adj., Germānus, -a, -um, German

trans: prep. with acc., across, over, to the further side of; beyond, on the other side of; through. In comp., across, over, through.

Rhēnus, -ī, m.: the Rhine, a large river forming the boundary between Gaul and Germany.

incolō, -colere, -coluī: inhabit; dwell, live.

fīnitimus, -a, -um: bordering, adjacent, neighboring; as subst., m. pl., neighbors, adjoining peoples.

Gallia, -ae f.: Gaul

Bōiī, Bōiōrum, m.: pl., the Boii, a Gallic tribe, which was finally settled in the territory of the Aedui, perhaps in the angle between the Elaver (Allier) and the Liger (Loire).

conlocō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus: place, station, establish, put; place permanently, settle; give in marriage.

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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.