Chapter 1.41

Hāc ōrātiōne habitā, mīrum in modum conversae sunt omnium mentēs, summaque alacritās et cupiditās bellī gerendī innāta est; prīncepsque decima legiō per tribūnōs mīlitum eī grātiās ēgit quod dē sē optimum iūdicium fēcisset, sēque esse ad bellum gerendum parātissimam cōnfirmāvit. Deinde reliquae legiōnēs cum tribūnīs mīlitum et prīmōrum ōrdinum centuriōnibus ēgērunt utī Caesarī satisfacerent: sē nec umquam dubitāsse neque timuisse neque dē summā bellī suum iūdicium sed imperātōris esse exīstimāvisse. Eōrum satisfactiōne acceptā et itinere exquīsītō per Dīviciācum, quod ex aliīs eī maximam fidem habēbat, ut mīlium amplius quīnquāgintā circuitū locīs apertīs exercitum dūceret, dē quārtā vigiliā, ut dīxerat, profectus est. Septimō diē, cum iter nōn intermitteret, ab explōrātōribus certior factus est Ariovistī cōpiās ā nostrīs mīlibus passuum quattor et XX abesse.

Fear and mutiny give place to enthusiasm. Caesar advances.

hāc ōrātiōne habitā: “after this address” (Kelsey).

mīrum in modum: “in a wonderful way” (Kelsey).

conversae sunt: “were transformed” (Hodges). The tenth legion gave the impulse, and the others were ashamed to remain behind (Moberly).

omnium: including not only the officers but also the soldiers, to whom the speech was promptly reported by the centurions (Kelsey).

mentēs: rather than animī, to show that their judgments were convinced (Harkness).

summaque alacritās: “the utmost enthusiasm” (Kelsey).

innāta est: sc. omnium mentibus: “arose” (Kelsey); “sprang up in them” (M-T), agreeing with the last noun, cupiditās (A-G).

prīnceps: = prīma (Anthon), which would be somewhat objectionable before the ordinal decima (Harkness): “foremost” (Hodges); “taking the lead” (Kelsey); “was the first to … ” (Walpole).

eī grātiās ēgit: “conveyed / expressed their thanks to him” (Kelsey).

quod dē sē optimum iūdicium fēcisset: “for the very high opinion he had formed of them” (a technical phrase) (A-G); “[gave thanks] for his having expressed the most favorable opinion of them” (H-T). Subjunctive in indirect discourse as being part of what they said (M-T).

sēque esse … parātissimam: “and that it (decimam legiōnem) was entirely ready” (L-E).

cōnfirmāvit: “affirmed” (M-T).

cum tribūnīs … ēgērunt: “urged upon the tribunes … to apologize” (A-G); “conferred with the tribunes … in order to make apology” (L-E); “arranged with the tribunes to … ” (Harkness); “begged the tribunes to … ” (Hodges). They had a meeting with their tribunes and centurions (Spencer), in which they urged those officers to be spokesmen for them with Caesar (M-T).                                                                      

prīmōrum ōrdinum centuriōnibus: “with the centurions of the first rank.” The six centurions of the first cohort in each legion are probably meant (Harkness). The centurions of the first maniple of the Triarii, the centurions of the first maniple of the Principes, and the centurions of the first maniple of Hastati (Anthon).

utī Caesarī satisfacerent: “to excuse themselves to Caesar [saying … ]” (Anthon); “to apologize to Caesar” (Kelsey). Utī … satisfacerent is a substantive result clause (AG 568), the object of ēgērunt (Hodges).

sē nec umquam dubitāsse neque timuisse: “[declaring] that they had never doubted and had not feared” (Kelsey). Indirect discourse dependent on an implied verb of saying. Dubitāsse = dubitāvisse (H-T).

neque … suum iūdicium sed imperātōris esse exīstimāvisse: “and had not thought that any decision … pertained to them but to their commander” (Anthon). Indirect discourse after the idea of saying implied in satisfacerent (H-T).

summā bellī: “the policy of the campaign” (A-G); “the management of the war” (Anthon); “the conduct of the war” (H-T); “the general plan of campaign” (Kelsey). Summa is a favorite word with Caesar (Stock).

suum iūdicium sed imperātōris: predicates after esse (A-G): “was not their determination / business, but the commander’s” (Kelsey).                                                                                                      

satisfactiōne: “apology,” cf. satisfacerent above (A-G); “excuse” (Anthon); “apology” (Kelsey).

itinere exquīsītō per Diviciācum: “the route having been sought out / reconnoitered with the help of Diviciacus” (Hodges), i.e., the route by which to reach Ariovistus (L-E).

ex aliīs: sc. Gallīs: “of [all] the Gauls” (Walker). Here aliīs = cēterīs, i.e., of the other Gauls, whom he could turn to account (Walpole). Notice the idiom: “in which he placed the most trust of the rest” (M-T); “beyond all others” (H-T). Some MSS. show ex Gallīs (Moberly).

eī maximam fidem habēbat: “he had the fullest confidence in him” (Kelsey); is dative on the analogy of dative with a verb of trusting (fidem habēbat = confidēbat) (Walpole).

ut … exercitum dūceret: a result clause (AG 537.1), explaining itinere exquisītō; dūceret refers to itinere. The sense is, “found to be such [a route] that would lead his army” (Anthon); “found to be a road which led … ” Caesar might have said quod dūceret but for the quod in the previous line (A-G). By taking a circuit of somewhat more than fifty miles, he might lead his army along it through an open country (Anthon). The valley of the Doubs above Besançon is very narrow and the mountains precipitous; but, turning first to the north by the railroad coming from Vesoul and then up the valley of the Ognon River, the country becomes tolerably open to Villersexel and to Belfort, which lies in the gap between the Vosges and the Jura mountains. This pass is interesting as having been for ages one of the great avenues from Germany into Gaul (A-G). The change of route was a wise concession to the fears of his men (see Chapter 39, angustiās … silvārum) (L-E).

mīlium amplius quīnquāgintā circuitū: sc. passuum to mīlium, genitive of quality / description (AG 345 b) after amplius, with quam being omitted (M-T): “by [taking] a circuit of more than fifty miles” (A-G); “although with a detour of more than fifty miles,” in order to avoid the dangerous defiles of the Doubs valley (Kelsey). He did this in order to guard against all risk of a recurrence of the panic, not trusting too completely in his troops’ new-found valor (Moberly). Ariovistus, whom Caesar wished to meet, was in the valley of the Rhine. The direct route would lead over the northern part of the Jura chain, but Caesar preferred a circuitous route through the open country (Harkness).

locīs apertīs: “through an open country” (H-T); ablative of route / way by which (AG 429 a).

septimō diē cum iter nōn intermitteret: “on the seventh day of unbroken marching”; i.e., he did not allow the day of rest which was usually given about every fifth day (Walker). Caesar had probably covered about 120 miles since leaving Vesontio. He was now in the valley of the Rhine, never previously entered by a Roman general with an army (Kelsey). Ariovistus was then some twenty-four miles farther on (A-G). The army in a seven days march at the usual rate would cover about one hundred miles, and reach a position near Cernay, not far from the Rhine (L-E). Cum with the subjunctive brings out the causality more strongly than an ablative absolute would have done: owing to the hard marching, he came up. Caesar well knew how much depended upon the coming upon Ariovistus as soon as possible (Walpole).

ā nostrīs: sc. cōpiīs: “from our forces” (A-G); ablative of separation (AG 402).

mīlia: accusative of extent of space (AG 425). Probably Caesar had reached the Fecht, between Ostheim and Gemar (Hodges). Napoleon III places Caesar’s camp at Cernay, a town of Upper Alsace, at the foot of the Vosges; and that of Ariovistus near Colmar, lying northeast of Cernay. Between them is the plain of Cernay, watered by the Ill, a tributary of the Rhine, and its own tributary the Thur (M-T).

mīrus, -a, -um: wonderful, strange.

alacritās, -ātis f.: eagerness, spirit, energy.

cupiditās, -ātis f.: eagerness, readiness; longing, greed, desire.

iniciō, -icere, -iēcī, -iectus : throw in, throw on; put on; inspire, cause.

prīnceps, -cipis : adj., foremost, first; chief, most eminent, most noble; as subst., m., leader, originator; noble, chieftain.

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

parātus, -a, -um : prepared, ready; fitted, equipped.

cōnfīrmō, -āre, -āvī -ātus, : strengthen, make firm; encourage, embolden; assert, state, give assurance; confirm, establish, make certain; appoint, set; exhort.

centuriō, -ōnis m.: commander of a century, captain, centurion. See Introd., p. 33.

satisfaciō, -facere, -fēcī, -factus : do enough for, satisfy; give satisfaction, make reparation; make amends; make excuse, apologize; conciliate, placate.

summa, -ae f.: chief place; leadership, general management, control; decision; whole, amount, sum.

satisfactiō, -ōnis f.: apology, explanation.

exquīrō, -quīrere, -quīsīvī, -quīsītus : search out, explore; inquire into, ask.

Dīviciācus, -ī, m. : Diviciacus: (1) a druid, one of the Haedui. He was brother of Dumnorix, but, unlike the latter, was friendly to the Romans; (2) a king of the Suessiones.

quīnquāgintā (l) : indecl. adj., fifty.

circuitus, -ūs m.: going around, way around, circuit, roundabout way; distance around.

apertus, -a, -um : open, uncovered, unprotected, exposed, bare; unimpeded; apertum latus, exposed flank, usually the right, which was unprotected by the shields.

vigilia, -ae f.: wake-fulness, watching, keeping guard; guard: watch as a measure of time, the time from sunset to sunrise being divided into four equal watches.

septem (vii); septimus, -a, -um : indecl. adj., seven.

intermittō, -mittere, -mīsī, -missus : let go between, leave between; omit, stop, leave, leave off; leave vacant; allow to intervene; neglect; interrupt, separate; intermissō spatiō, at a distance, after an interval.

explōrātor, -ōris m.: explorer; scout.

Ariovistus, -ī, m.: Ariovistus, a German chief, or king.

nostri -orum m. pl.: our men

passus, -ūs m.: step, pace; double step (five Roman feet); mīlle passūs, mile; duo mīlia passuum, two miles. See mīlle.

vīgintī (xx); vīcēsimus, -a, -um : indecl. adj., twenty; twentieth

Article Nav
Chinese version
Christopher Francese, Caesar: Selections from the Gallic War. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2011, revised and enlarged 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-02-3.