Chapter 5.45

Quantō erat in diēs gravior atque asperior oppūgnātiō, et māximē quod māgnā parte mīlitum cōnfectā vulneribus rēs ad paucitātem dēfēnsōrum pervēnerat, tantō crēbriōrēs litterae nūntiīque ad Caesarem mittēbantur; quōrum pars dēprehēnsa in cōnspectū nostrōrum mīlitum cum cruciātū necābātur. Erat ūnus intus Nervius, nōmine Verticō, locō nātus honestō, quī ā prīmā obsidiōne ad Cicerōnem perfūgerat, suamque eī fidem praestiterat. Hic servō spē lībertātis māgnīsque persuādet praemiīs ut litterās ad Caesarem dēferat. Hās ille in iaculō illigātās effert, et Gallus inter Gallōs sine ūllā suspiciōne versātus ad Caesarem pervenit. Ab eō dē perīculīs Cicerōnis legiōnisque cōgnōscitur.

A Gallic slave carries a dispatch to Caesar.

Quanto...gravior...tanto crebriores: 'the more severe...the more frequent' (Harkness); quanto and tanto are ablative of degree of difference (Gaisser). (A&G 414.a)

in dies: 'day by day,' 'each day' (Gaisser).

magna parte…confecta: ablative absolute (Gaisser) (A&G 419).

Res…pervenerat: the garrison had been reduced (lit., the thing had come) to a small number of defenders. (Harkness)

pars: 'a part,' 'some.' Caesar does not say what happened to the messengers not caught by the enemy. Evidently they did not get through (Gaisser).

loco: 'place or position' in society. Cf. 'know your place' in English (Gaisser).

a prima obsidione: 'immediately after the beginning of the blockade' (Rice Holmes); 'from the beginning of the siege' (Gaisser) (A&G 221.1.b).

fidem praestiterat: 'had showed his loyalty' (Gaisser).

servo: dative with persuadet (A&G 367). The well-born Nervius persuaded his slave to go with a message to Caesar (Gaisser).

magnis praemiis: 'by the promise of large rewards' (Rice Holmes)

ille: i.e., the slave (Gaisser).

in iaculo: i.e. the shaft of the spear was probably hollow and the letter was inserted in it (Allen & Greenough). In must mean 'on': for if the letter was inserted in the hollowed shaft of a javelin, lashing (illigatas) was obviously both superfluous and impossible. The letter could easily have been concealed by lashing twine over it, as if the javelin had been spliced. (Rice Holmes)

versatus: 'going about' (Allen & Greenough); 'moving about' (Gaisser).

asper, -ĕra, -ĕrum: desperate, critical

oppugnātǐo, -ōnis f.: an attack, assault, siege

paucǐtas, -ātis f.: small number, few

crēber, -bra, -brum: frequently recurring, numerous

dēprěhendo, -ěre, -di, -sum: to take or snatch away

conspectus, -ūs m.: a seeing, looking at, sight, view

crŭcĭātus, -ūs m.: torture

něcō, -āre: to kill, slay, put to death

intus adv.: within, inside

obsǐdǐo, -ōnis f.: a siege, investment, blockade 

perfǔgǐo, -fǔgěre, -fūgi, -fǔgǐtum: to flee away, to take refuge

persuāděo, ere, si, sum: to convince, persuade

iǎcǔlum, i n.: a dart, javelin

illĭgo, -āre: bind on, tie on, fasten, attach

effěro, -ferre, extǔli, ēlātum: to bring or carry out

suspīcǐo, -ōnis: mistrust, distrust, suspicion 

versō, -āre: to turn, wind, twist, whirl; (passive) to move about 

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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-5-45