Chapter 5.24

Subductīs nāvibus, conciliōque Gallōrum Samarobrīvae perāctō, quod eō annō frūmentum in Galliā propter siccitātēs angustius prōvēnerat, coāctus est aliter āc superiōribus annīs exercitum in hībernīs collocāre, legiōnēsque in plūrēs cīvitātēs distribuere. Ex quibus ūnam in Morinōs dūcendam C. Fabiō lēgātō dedit, alteram in Nerviōs Q. Cicerōnī, tertiam in Esubiōs L. Rōsciō; quārtam in Rēmīs cum T. Labiēnō in cōnfīniō Trēverōrum hiemāre iussit. Trēs in Belgīs collocāvit: eīs M. Crassum quaestōrem et L. Munātium Plancum et C. Trebōnium lēgātōs praefēcit. Ūnam legiōnem, quam proximē trāns Padum cōnscrīpserat, et cohortēs V in Ebūrōnēs, quōrum pars māxima est inter Mosam āc Rhēnum, quī sub imperiō Ambiorīgis et Catuvolcī erant, mīsit. Eīs mīlitibus Q. Titūrium Sabīnum et L. Aurunculēium Cottam lēgātōs praeesse iussit. Ad hunc modum distribūtīs legiōnibus facillimē inopiae frūmentāriae sēsē medērī posse exīstimāvit. Atque hārum tamen omnium legiōnum hīberna, praeter eam quam L. Rōsciō in pācātissimam et quiētissimam partem dūcendam dederat, mīlibus passuum centum continēbantur. Ipse intereā, quoad legiōnēs collocātās mūnītaque hīberna cōgnōvisset, in Galliā morārī cōnstituit.

Distribution of the legions in winter quarters over a wide area.

subductis navibus: ‘The ships being drawn on shore.’ (Anthon)

Samarobrivae: locative ( A&G 43.c), the chief town of the Ambiani, whose name is found in the modern Amiens. (Allen & Greenough) satellite image

frumentum angustius provenerat: 'grain had been produced in less quantities than usual' i.e. the crop had partially failed, or there was a scarcity of grain. (Anthon)

aliter ac: i.e. not where supplies were most abundant, but where there was chief danger of disturbance. (Allen & Judson)

legiones distribuere: yet not in the west of France the loca maxime frumentaria of 1.10, but evidently in the parts where he expected a rebellion to arise. (Moberly)

in plures civites: 'among a greater number of states', i.e. than had before been customary. (Anthon)

ducendam: gerundive expressing purpose ( A&G 500)

Q. Ciceroni: the younger brother of the orator, and a man of tougher fibre and of great military and executive ability. He had joined Caesar's army that very year and had taken part in the expedition to Britain. Quintus, like his brother Marcus, sided with Pompey in the Civil War, and met a similar fate in the same year (B.C. 43) at the command of the triumvirs (Allen & Greenough). Brother of the orator. He was Caesar's legatus several years. Some of his letters written from Gaul and Britain are mentioned in the extant collection of Cicero's correspondence. (Hodges)

Belgis: By Belgium is here meant a part of Gallia Belgica, not the whole. It comprehended the territory of the Bellovaci, Atrebates, and Ambiani (Anthon).

M. Crassum: son of the celebrated Roman millionaire (Rice Holmes). An older brother of the P. Crassus mentioned in Bk. I, Chap. LII (Hodges)

Unam legionem: object of misit. This is a new legion, recently levied north of the Po (trans Padum) (Harkness). This legion was perhaps enrolled in the spring of this year, and was probably numbered XV. Caesar therefore should have had nine legions. Only eight and one half are here accounted for. One explanation is that the five cohorts mentioned belonged to XIV, and that the other five cohorts of XIV were used to fill gaps in other legions (Hodges).

Padus, -i m.: the Po river. Mosa, -ae f.: the Meuse river. (Sihler) Rhenum, -i m.: the Rhine. (Sihler)

Eburones, -um m. pl.: the Eburones, a Belgic people of Celtic or German descent.

inopiae: dat. with mederi ( A&G 367.b)).

centum: If the reader will ponder these words, he will see that they can only mean that none of the camps was more than 100 miles from any other. If Caesar really wrote C, he made a mistake, for it is certain that Atuatuca, the camp of Sabinus and Cotta, was much more than 100 miles from Samarobriva (Amiens), where one of the legions encamped. (Rice Holmes)

munitaque hiberna: Permanent camps, intended to be occupied throughout the winter, were of course fortified more elaborately than the temporary camps which were constructed at the end of each day's march (Rice Holmes).

subdūco, -ĕre, -xi, -ctum: lead, lead away; draw up, beach

pĕrăgo, -ĕre, -ēgi, -actum: to finish, adjourn, wind up

siccĭtas, -ātis f.: dryness, drying up; drought

angustus -a -um: narrow, straight

prōvĕnĭo, -īre, -vēni, -ventum: grow up, result

hībernus –a –um:  referring to winter; hīberna –ōrum n. pl.: winter quarters

collŏco, -āre: place; place onboard; settle; arrange

quartus –a –um: the fourth

confīnĭum, -i n.: neighborhood, contiguous territory

hĭĕmō –āre: pass the winter, winter

quaestor –ōris: quaestor

praefĭcĭō –ficere –fēcī –fectum: set over, place in authority

trans: (+acc.) across, over, beyond

conscrībo, -ĕre, -psi, -ptum: enlist, enroll; write, compose

praesum, -esse, -fūi: be at the head of; be in charge of

distrĭbŭo, -ĕre, -ŭi, -ūtum: allot to, distribute amongst; assign

ĭnŏpĭa, -ae f.: lack, want

mĕdĕor, -ēri: remedy

pācātus, -a, -um: settled; peaceful, tranquil; calm; disposed to peace, peaceable

passus –ūs m.: a step, pace

quŏad adv.: as far as; until

mūnĭo, -īre: fortify; + castra: construct a camp; + iter: construct or protect a highway

Text Read Aloud
Maps and Images - OLD
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.