Chapter 1.4

Ea rēs est Helvētiīs per indicium ēnūntiāta. Mōribus suīs Orgetorīgem ex vinculīs causam dīcere coēgērunt. Damnātum poenam sequī oportēbat ut īgnī cremārētur. Diē cōnstitūtā causae dictiōnis Orgetorīx ad iūdicium omnem suam familiam ad hominum mīlia decem undique coēgit, et omnēs clientēs obaerātōsque suōs, quōrum māgnum numerum habēbat, eōdem condūxit: per eōs nē causam dīceret sē ēripuit. Cum cīvitās ob eam rem incitāta armīs iūs suum exsequī cōnārētur, multitūdinemque hominum ex agrīs magistrātūs cōgerent, Orgetorīx mortuus est; neque abest suspīciō, ut Helvētiī arbitrantur, quīn ipse sibi mortem cōnscīverit.

Orgetorix is tried for conspiracy, but escapes. His sudden death.

ea res: ‘this conspiracy.’ The generic word res is constantly used in Caesar, where in English we should use the specific words, ‘occurrence,’ ‘movement,’ ‘exploit,’ ‘misfortune,’ ‘undertaking,’ ‘intelligence,’ ‘fact,’ ‘heads of a summary,’ ‘mode of life,’ ‘supplies,’ &c., according to the context. (Moberly); ea res…enuntiata: ‘when this design was disclosed.’ No word in Latin admits of such a variety of meanings as res. The student must always determine by the context the most suitable word to employ in translating, (Harper & Tolman)

ex vinculis: ‘in chains’ (Kelsey)

causam dicere: ‘to plead his case’ (Kelsey)

moribus suis: ‘according to their custom’ (Moberly) May be taken as an ablative of cause ( AG 404) or an ablative of specification ( AG 418) (Finch).

damnatum poenam sequi oportebat: damnatum agrees with eum understood as object of sequi; ‘if condemned’ (Kelsey); poenam: subject of sequi; ‘the penalty,’ defined by the following ut-clause (Kelsey); poenam sequi oportebat: ‘the penalty would inevitably follow,’ lit. ‘it was necessary that the penalty follow.’ (Kelsey); In this sentence the subject of oportebat is the clause damnatum…sequi; the subject of sequi is poenam; and ut…cremaretur is in apposition with poenam, defining the puishment. Translate, ‘he was doomed, if condemned, to be burned by fire’; lit. ‘it must needs be that the penalty should overtake him condemned of being burned with fire.’ 

familiam: ‘slaves’ (Merryweather & Tancock); ‘clansmen’: by Roman use this would mean slaves; but it is more probable that it here means all who bore his name or regarded him as their chief (Allen & Greenough); ‘all his dependants:’ the word, as being connected with famulus, properly means ‘a body of slaves;’ and is opposed to the liberi, who constitute the family, as now understood. (Moberly)

ad…decem: ad with numerals denotes an approach to the number, ‘to the number of;’ hence ‘about.’ It is sometimes used as a preposition in this way, and sometimes as an adverb. (Harper & Tolman) ( AG 221.2)

ne...diceret: 'to avoid pleading his case' (Walker) ( AG 531)

cum…conaretur: Note the tense; it was while these measures were being carried out that Orgetorix committed suicide. (Walpole); ‘while the state was trying’ (Towle & Jenks) ( AG 546)

neque abest suspicio: ‘and there is ground for suspecting,’ lit. ‘not is there lacking (ground for) suspecting.’ (Kelsey)

Helvetii, -orum m.: the Helvetii or Helvetians. historical map

indĭcĭum, -ĭi n.: information, disclosure, evidence

ēnuntĭo, -āre: tell, disclose; declare, announce

crĕmo, -āre: burn, consume by fire

constĭtūtus, -a, -um: arranged, set

dictĭo, -ōnis f.: a saying, speaking, uttering

clĭens, -entis m.: client, retainer, follower

ŏbaerā-tus, -i, m.: a person involved in debt, a debtor

condūco, -ere, -xi, ctum: lead, draw together, assemble

incĭto, -āre: rouse, excite

exsĕquor, -sequi, -secūtus sum: pursue, follow to the end, prosecute, carry out

măgistrātus, -ūs m.: magistrate, state official

suspīcĭo, -ōnis, f.: suspicion

conscisco, -ĕre, -scīvi or -scĭi, -scītum: bring on oneself, inflict on oneself

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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-1/chapter-1-4