Chapter 6.13

In omnī Galliā eōrum hominum quī aliquō sunt numerō atque honōre genera sunt duo. Nam plēbēs paene servōrum habētur locō, quae nihil audet per sē, nūllō adhibētur cōnsiliō. Plērīque, cum aut aere aliēnō aut māgnitūdine tribūtōrum aut iniūriā potentiōrum premuntur, sēsē in servitūtem dicant nōbilibus, quibus in hōs eadem omnia sunt iūra quae dominīs in servōs. Sed dē hīs duōbus generibus alterum est druidum, alterum equitum. Illī rēbus dīvīnīs intersunt, sacrificia pūblica ac prīvāta prōcūrant, religiōnēs interpretantur: ad hōs māgnus adulēscentium numerus disciplīnae causā concurrit, māgnōque hī sunt apud eōs honōre. Nam ferē dē omnibus contrōversiīs pūblicīs prīvātīsque cōnstituunt et, sī quod est admīssum facinus, sī caedēs facta, sī dē hērēditāte, dē fīnibus contrōversia est, īdem dēcernunt, praemia poenāsque cōnstituunt; sī quī aut prīvātus aut populus eōrum dēcrētō nōn stetit, sacrificiīs interdīcunt. Haec poena apud eōs est gravissima. Quibus ita est interdictum, hī numerō impiōrum ac scelerātōrum habentur, hīs omnēs dēcēdunt, aditum sermōnemque dēfugiunt, nē quid ex contāgiōne incommodī accipiant, neque hīs petentibus iūs redditur, neque hōnōs ūllus commūnicātur. Hīs autem omnibus druidibus praeest ūnus, quī summam inter eōs habet auctōritātem. Hōc mortuō, aut sī quī ex reliquīs excellit dīgnitāte succēdit, aut, sī sunt plūrēs parēs, suffrāgiō druidum, nōn numquam etiam armīs dē prīncipātū contendunt. Hī certō annī tempore in fīnibus Carnūtum, quae regiō tōtīus Galliae media habētur, cōnsīdunt in locō cōnsecrātō. Hūc omnēs undique quī contrōversiās habent conveniunt eōrumque dēcrētīs iūdiciīsque pārent. Disciplīna in Britanniā reperta atque inde in Galliam trānslāta esse exīstimātur, et nunc quī dīligentius eam rem cōgnōscere volunt plērumque illō discendī causā profīcīscuntur.

Druids and knights alone possess political power. Degradation of the masses. Religious and civil power of the Druids. Their doctrine imported from Britain.

Qui aliquo sunt in numero atque honore: 'who are of any note and are held in any estimation' (Anthon).

aliquo numero: ‘of any account’ (Walker); ‘in any consideration’ (Moberly).

genera: 'classes'. Literally, 'kinds', or 'orders'. (Anthon)

plebes: here a noun of the fifth declension, cf. plebs. (Allen & Greenough). Compare the Roman plebs

cum…premuntur: a general condition expressing repeated action, cum meaning 'whenever' or 'as often as'. (A&G 542)

aere alieno: 'by debt'. Aes alienum means literally, 'the money of another', i. e., due or owing to another. The first money coined by the Romans was of brass, and hence the use of aes in this sense (Anthon)

nobilibus: Compare Roman nobles

magnitudine tributorum: 'the weight of taxes' (Anthon).

iniuria: 'the oppression'. More literally, 'the injurious', or 'insolent treatment' (Anthon).

Sese dicant: 'give themselves up'. (Anthon)

quae dominis: (dat. of poss.) 'as masters have' (Allen & Judson)(A&G 373)

Druides: Compare Roman Priests

equitum: here means 'knights', not 'cavalry'. The 'knights' mentioned in this passage were the Gallic aristocracy, and the 'men of rank' (nobilibus) mentioned in § 2 were the most distinguished of the knights (Rice Holmes). Compare Roman equites

religiones: 'questions of religion' (Rice Holmes).

si qui. . . populus: 'if any one, whether private individual or tribe' (Rice Holmes)

decreto non stetit: ‘does not abide by the decision’ (Walker).

his...decedunt: his is dative, de via being understood with decedunt, just as in English one might say 'Get out ', meaning 'Get out of the way' (Rice Holmes); 'make way for them in the street' (Allen & Greenough).

incommodi: partitive genitive following quid (Allen & Greenough).

Huc omnes...parent: In § 5 Caesar has said that the Druids 'are judges in nearly all disputes' (fere de omnibus controversiis . . . constituunt). Probably the suitors who appealed to them were equites (§ 3), who alone could afford the expense of the journey, and who, having, as Caesar says (§ 3), unlimited rights over their dependants, may have settled their petty disputes without having recourse to Druids. The Druids had not a monopoly of jurisdiction. The Aeduan Vergobret (i.16, § 5 and p. liv) had 'the power of life and death over his countrymen', just as fathers had over their wives and children (vi.19, § 3); and the chief magistrate of every tribe adjudicated on offences against the state (i.4; v.56, § 3; vii.4, § 1), though the punishment which he inflicted may have been sanctioned and superintended by Druids (Rice Holmes).

ădhĭbĕo, -ēre: have present; consult; summon, invite

trĭbūtum, -ī n.:  payment, tribute

servĭtūs, -ūtis, f.:  slavery, servitude

Drŭĭdes, -um m.: Gallic priests

dīvīnus, -a, -um:  divine

săcrĭfĭcĭum, -iī, n.:  sacrifice

prōcūro, -āre: attend to

rĕlĭgĭo, -ōnis, f.:  religious obligation, worship

interpretor, -ārī:  explain, interpret

ădŭlescens, -entis:  young; (subst.) young man

concurrō, -currere, -currī, -cursum:  run together, assemble

admittō, -mittere, -mīsī, -missum:  let go, admit, commit

hērēdĭtas, -ātis f.: inheritance

dēcrētum, -i n.: decree, decision

interdīco, -ĕre, -xi, -ctum: forbid, warn

impĭus, -a, -um: wicked

scelerō, -āre:  pollute, desecrate

dēcēdō, -ere, -cessī, -cessum:  depart, go away, withdraw

ădĭtus, -ūs n.: approach, advance; approach; admittance; privilege claim

dēfugiō, -ere, -fūgī:   run off, flee

contāgĭo, -ōnis f.: contact, association

incommŏdum, -ī, n.:  trouble, detriment, misfortune 

hŏnos, -ōris m.: honor, distinction

commūnicō, -āre:  share, communicate, divide with

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

excello, -ĕre, -cellŭi, -celsum: be eminent

succēdō, -ere, -cessī, -cessum:  follow after, succeed, take the place of

suffrāgĭum, -i n.: vote, suffrage

prīncipātus, -ūs, m.:  first place, leadership, supremacy

contendō, -ere, -dī, -tus:  strain, strive for

consīdo, -ĕre, -sēdi, -sessum: settle, take position; hold a session

cōnsecrō, -āre:  dedicate, consecrate

rĕpĕrĭo, -īre, repperi, rĕpertum: find; originate

trānsferō, -ferre, -tulī, -lātum:  bring through, carry over

dīligēns, -entis:  diligent, scrupulous, attentive

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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-6/chapter-6-13