Chapter 5.43

Septimō oppūgnātiōnis diē māximō coortō ventō ferventēs fūsilī ex argillā glandēs fundīs et fervefacta iacula in casās, quae mōre Gallicō strāmentīs erant tectae, iacere coepērunt. Hae celeriter īgnem comprehendērunt et ventī māgnitūdine in omnem locum castrōrum distulērunt. Hostēs māximō clāmōre, sīcutī partā iam atque explōrātā vīctōriā, turrēs testūdinēsque agere et scālīs vāllum ascendere coepērunt. At tanta mīlitum virtūs atque ea praesentia animī fuit ut, cum undique flammā torrērentur māximāque tēlōrum multitūdine premerentur suaque omnia impedīmenta atque omnēs fōrtūnās cōnflagrāre intellegerent, nōn modō dēmigrandī causā dē vāllō dēcēderet nēmō sed paene nē respiceret quidem quisquam, āc tum omnēs ācerrimē fortissimēque pūgnārent. Hic diēs nostrīs longē gravissimus fuit, sed tamen hunc habuit ēventum ut eō diē māximus numerus hostium vulnerārētur atque interficerētur, ut sē sub ipsō vāllō cōnstīpāverant recessumque prīmīs ūltimī nōn dabant. Paulum quidem intermīssā flammā et quōdam locō turrī adāctā et contingente vāllum, tertiae cohortis centuriōnēs ex eō quō stābant locō recessērunt suōsque omnēs remōvērunt; nūtū vōcibusque hostēs, sī introīre vellent, vocāre coepērunt: quōrum prōgredī ausus est nēmō. Tum ex omnī parte lapidibus coniectīs dēturbātī, turrisque succēnsa est.

A desperate assault resolutely repelled.

ferventes...glandes: 'red-hot balls of clay' (Allen & Greenough). The ordinary meaning of fusilis is 'molten'; but clay cannot be melted. Fusili ex argilla must therefore mean 'of softened (or plastic) clay'. (Rice Holmes)

fervefacta iacula: 'heated javelins' (Gaisser).

casas: the huts of the encampment, thatched with straw (Allen & Greenough).

more Gallico: in the Gaulish fashion (Gaisser) (A&G 418.a).

stramentis: The huts had thatched roofs (Gaisser).

distulerunt: sc. ignem (Allen & Greenough)

parta atque explorata: 'gained and decided' (Hodges); ablative absolute (A&G 419). parta < pario, here 'win' (Gaisser).

ne...quidem: 'not even' (Gaisser).

ut se...constipaverant: 'in as much as they had concentrated themselves'; here, ut means 'since' with the indicative (Gaisser) (A&G 543).

intermissa flamma…contingente vallum: a long ablative absolute (Gaisser) (A&G 419).

turri: this advance of a tower was quite in the manner of Roman attack. (Allen & Greenough)

vellent: implied indirect discourse; in their words, si...vultis (A&G 592).

septǐmus, -a, -um: the seventh

oppugnātǐo, -ōnis f.: attack, assault, storming

cŏŏrĭor, -īri, -ortus: to rise, start up, break forth

fervĕo, -ēre, -bŭi: be glowing, red hot

fūsĭlis, -e: baked

argilla, -ae f.: clay

glans, -ndis f.: acorn, leaden bullet

funda, ae f.: a sling

fervĕfăcĭo, -ĕre, fēci, factum: heat, melt; make red hot, glowing

iaculum, -ī n.: javelin

cǎsa, -ae f.: a cottage, hut, shed

strāmentum, -i n.: straw; pack saddle

comprěhendo, -dere, -di, -sum: to take a hold of, grasp, apprehend

diffěro, differre, distǔli, dīlātum: to spread out, scatter

sīcǔti: = sicut, "just as"

turris, -is: a tower; siege tower

testūdo, -dǐnis f.: a tortoise; tortoise shell; sapper's hut

explōrātus, -a, -um: assured

scālae, -ārum f.: ladder

vallum, -i n.: earthworks, ramparts; palisade 

praesentǐa, ae f.: a being before, at hand; resolution; presence (of mind)

torreo, -ēre, -ui, tostum: roast, parch, singe

impědīmentum, -i n.: a hinderance, impediment

conflāgro, -āre: be in flames

dēmīgro, -āre: move away; abandon a position

dēcēdo, -ěre, -cessi, -cessum: to go away, depart, withdraw

vulněro, -āre: to wound, injure, hurt

constīpo, -āre: crowd together

rĕcessus, -ūs m.: retreat, opportunity of falling back

intermitto, mittěre, -mīsi, missum: to leave off, intermit, omit, neglect

ǎdǐgo, -ěre, -ēgi, -actum: to bring, drive, or compel

rěmǒvěo, -ere, -mōvi, -mōtum: to take away, set aside, withdraw

nutus, -us m.: nod, beck; gestures, gesticulations

introěo, -ire, -īvi, -ītum: to go into; enter

prōgrědǐor, -i, -gessus: to come or go forth;advance, proceed

cōnǐcǐo, -ere, -iēci, -iectum: to throw or bring together; to hurl; to unite

dēturbo, -āre: drive off

succendo, -ěre, -di, -sum: to kindle, set on fire from below

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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-5/chapter-5-43