Chapter 1.36

Ad haec Ariovistus respondit: iūs esse bellī ut quī vīcissent eīs quōs vīcissent quem ad modum vellent imperārent. Item populum Rōmānum victīs nōn ad alterīus praescrīptum, sed ad suum arbitrium imperāre cōnsuēsse. Sī ipse populō Rōmānō nōn praescrīberet quem ad modum suō iūre ūterētur, nōn oportēre sēse ā populō Rōmānō in suō iūre impedīrī. Aeduōs sibi, quoniam bellī fortūnam temptāssent et armīs congressī ac superātī essent, stīpendiāriōs esse factōs. Magnam Caesarem iniūriam facere, quī suō adventū vectīgālia sibi dēteriōra faceret. Aeduīs sē obsidēs redditūrum nōn esse, neque hīs neque eōrum sociīs iniūriā bellum inlātūrum, sī in eō manērent quod convēnisset stīpendiumque quotannīs penderent; sī id nōn fēcissent, longē hīs frāternum nōmen populī Rōmānī āfutūrum. Quod sibi Caesar dēnūntiāret sē Aeduōrum iniūriās nōn neglēctūrum, nēminem sēcum sine suā perniciē contendisse. Cum vellet, congrederētur: intellēctūrum quid invictī Germānī, exercitātissimī in armīs, quī inter annōs XIIIĪ tēctum nōn subīssent, virtūte possent.

    Ariovistus responds defiantly to Caesar’s ultimatum.                               

    iūs esse … impedīrī: the response of Ariovistus is reported in indirect discourse dependent on respondit. Converted to direct discourse the Latin is as follows, with changes underlined: iūs est bellī, ut, quī vīcerint, eīs, quōs vīcerint, quem ad modum velint, imperent; item populus Rōmānus victīs nōn ad alterīus praescrīptum, sed ad suum arbitrium, imperāre cōnsuēvit. Sī ego populō Rōmānō nōn praescrībō, quem ad modum suō iūre ūtātur, nōn oportet ā populō Rōmānō in meō iūre impedīrī (Kelsey).

    ut quī vīcissent iīs quōs vīcissent … imperārent: a substantive clause in apposition with iūs (Walker). The antecedent of quī is the implied subject of imperārent: “it was the right of war (iūs bellī) that those who had conquered should rule over those whom they had conquered in whatever way they should choose” (H-T). Vīcissent, vīcissent, vellent might all have been indicative in the original direct discourse, but would probably be attracted into the subjunctive by the influence of the substantive clause (AG 593) (Walker); the perfect respondit depresses the perfect vīcerint into a pluperfect (Spencer). Iīs is the dative indirect object of imperārent (AG 367).

    item populum Rōmānum … consuēsse: consuēsse = consuēvisse; “(and) in like manner (Anthon), that the Roman people, [in particular], had been accustomed.” The et is omitted before item (Spencer).

    victīs: “their vanquished” (Harkness); masculine plural substantive of the participle (Hodges), dative with imperāre (AG 367).

    ad alterīus praescrīptum: “in accordance with the dictates of anyone else” (Walker); “ … of a second person” (M-T).

    ad suum arbitrium: “according to their own discretion / judgment”; suum refers to the subject of the infinitive consuēsse (M-T).

    ipse: ego in the original direct discourse. The reflexive (AG 299) cannot be used to replace a pronoun of the first person when a nominative is required, because it has no nominative. Usually no pronoun is used; but if there is emphasis, as here, ipse is used (Walker).

    nōn praescrīberet: “should not dictate” (Kelsey).

    quem ad modum suō iūre ūterētur: “how / in what way they (i.e., the Roman people) should exercise their own rights” (Walker). Suō iūre refers to the subject of ūterētur (i.e., the Roman people) (Walpole); in the next line, however, in suō iūre refers to the subject of the main verb respondit (i.e., Ariovistus) (M-T). The clause is an indirect question (AG 574).

    nōn oportēre sē … impedīrī: “he [Ariovistus] ought not to be hampered / obstructed in his right” (H-T). Sē impedīrī is the subject of oportēre (Hodges).

    Aeduōs … āfutūrum: Ariovistus’s response continues in indirect discourse; converted to direct discourse the Latin is as follows, with changes underlined: Aeduī mihi, quoniam bellī fortūnam temptāvērunt et armīs congressī ac superātī sunt, stīpendiāriī factī sunt. Magnam Caesar iniūriam facit, quī suō adventū vectīgālia mihi dēteriōra faciat. Aeduīs obsidēs nōn reddam; neque hīs neque eōrum sociīs iniūriā bellum īnferam, sī in eō manēbunt, quod convēnit, stīpendiumque quotannīs pendent; sī id nōn fēcerint (future perfect), longē eīs frāternum nōmen populī Rōmānī aberit (Kelsey).

    Aeduōs: the subject of esse factōs (Hodges).

    armīs congressī: “had fought,” literally, “had contended in arms” (Kelsey). Armīs is ablative of specification (AG 418).

    sibi …  stīpendiāriōs esse factōs: “had become tributary to him” (L-E); sibi is dative with the adjective stīpendiāriōs (AG 383) (Walker), “subject to the payment of tribute” (Kelsey), indicating that they paid him tribute in money, not in produce (L-E).

    magnam Caesarem iniūriam facere: note the emphatic initial position of magnam (Kelsey): “it was a great injustice that Caesar was committing” (Hodges).

    temptāssent: = temptāvissent; subjunctive in a subordinate clause that is included in indirect discourse (AG 583) (Hodges). Quoniam normally takes indicative in direct discourse.

    quī … vectīgālia sibi dēteriōra faceret: with causal force, “since he was making his revenues fall off” (Spencer); “seeing that he made his revenues less valuable / profitable (L-E). Sibi = Ariovistō (Walpole), dative of reference (AG 376, 377). Subjunctive in a relative clause of characteristic (AG 535). Ariovistus had imposed a certain tribute on the Aedui, the payment of which was secured by hostages; Caesar required these hostages to be given back, an act which, according to Ariovistus, would weaken his chance of a faithful payment of the tribute, and would render it less valuable (dēteriōra), because less certain than before (Anthon). Caesar may have instructed the Aedui and Sequani not to pay tribute any longer. In any case his mere presence gave the Aedui hope and made them less careful to fulfill their obligations as to tribute (L-E).

    suō adventū: i.e., Caesar’s arrival (M-T).

    nōn … neque … neque: “on the one hand he would not restore hostages … , [but] on the other hand he would not wrongfully … nor … ” (Stock); neque … neque are correlated, and the clause is there-fore not coordinated to the previous one. Asyndeton (AG 323 b) is one of the most noticeable characteristics of Caesar’s style (Walpole).

    hīs, sociīs: dative indirect objects of the compound verb illāturum [esse] (AG 370): “nor would he make war upon them or their allies” (Harkness).

    iniūriā: “wrongfully” (Walpole); “without just cause” (L-E); ablative of manner (AG 412) (Walpole).

    inlātūrum … manērent: in the original direct discourse, this was a future more vivid condition (AG 516, 589.3) (Walker).

    sī in eō manērent quod convēnisset: “if they adhered to / abided by the terms which had been agreed upon,” literally, “should remain [steadfast] in that which had been agreed upon” (Walker). For quod convēnisset, sc. inter eōs (Walpole). Convenīre means “to come together,” “to fit”; hence “to be arranged,” or “agreed upon” (M-T).

    stipendium: among the Gauls a “tribute” or “war-tax” imposed upon the conquered (L-E).

    sī id nōn fēcissent: fēcissent stands for a future perfect indicative in the direct discourse (Walker), in a future more vivid condition.

    longē iīs … āfutūrum: “would be too far off from aiding them” (Harkness); “the name / title of brothers of the Roman people would be of little value to them” (Walker); “ … would not help them (H-T), i.e., would not save them from punishment. The language is a metaphor borrowed from things that are far off, and consequently unable to lend any effectual aid (Harkness). Dēesse is more common than abesse in this sense (M-T). Iīs (= eīs) is ablative of separation (AG 400) with āfutūrum (esse).

    frāternum nōmen: = frātrum nōmen (Harkness); a gibe at the pleasant relations between the Aedui and the Romans (L-E).

    quod … contendisse: “whereas Caesar was threatening him [Ariovistus] … ” (Walpole) / “as to Caesar’s threat that he [Caesar] would not overlook the wrongs of the Aedui, no one had ever fought with him [Ariovistus] without coming to his utter destruction” (Walpole). The subjunctive dēnūntiāret is due to indirect discourse (Hodges). Construe the whole quod-clause as an adverbial accusative (AG 390 c) (A-G).

    sēcum, suā: sēcum is the indirect reflexive referring to Ariovistus; suā is the direct reflexive referring to his antagonist nēminem (A-G).

    cum vellet, congrederētur: “let him encounter him when he would” (in direct form, cum volet, congrediātur: “when he’s ready, let him bring it on!”) (H-T). As congrediātur is the direct imperative, it follows that congrederētur is the depressed imperative in the indirect discourse (Spencer).

    intellēctūrum: sc. esse eum, i.e., Caesarem (Harkness).

    invictī Germānī: “invincible Germans,” literally, “unconquered,” hence not liable to be (H-T); see Chapter 39 (Walpole).

    exercitātissimī in armīs: “well-trained [as they were] beyond all others in arms.”

    inter annōs xiv: “during fourteen years” (Walker), i.e., ever since they crossed the Rhine in 72 B.C. Inter refers to something coming between two extremes. Hence, when applied to time, it means the entire interval between the beginning and the end of a given period (A-G). This expression, as well as per annōs for the simple accusative of duration of time (AG 423.2), anticipates the future influence of the preposition (H-T).

    tēctum nōn subīssent: = subiissent; “had not been in a settled home” (Walpole); “they had no fixed abiding-place,” literally, “had not stepped under a roof” (Hodges). This is perhaps an exaggeration, but a very natural one (L-E).

    quid virtūte possent: “what they could accomplish by their valor” (Harkness); “what the Germans were worth in the way of valor” (Spencer); virtūte is ablative of respect (AG).

    The two messages of Ariovistus, though they doubtless owe very much to the literary skill of his rival, breathe a bold and frank spirit of defiance which is all his own. The candor of Caesar is evident in his presenting with so much point the other side of the case (L-E).

    Ariovistus, -ī, m.: Ariovistus, a German chief, or king.

    Rōmānus, -a, -um: Roman; as subst., m., a Roman; pl., Romans, the Romans.

    praescrīptum, -ī n.: previous direction, dictation.

    arbitrium, -ī n.: decision, judgment; free will, pleasure.

    cōnsuēscō, -suēscere, -suēvī, -suētus: become accustomed, form a habit; in perf. system, be accustomed, have the habit, be wont.

    praescrībō, -scrībere, -scrīpsī, -scrīptus: write beforehand, direct, dictate.

    quemadmodumin: what manner, how

    impediō, -īre, -īvī, -ītus: fetter; entangle, obstruct, hinder.

    temptō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus: try, attempt; make trial of, attack; incite, tempt, tamper with.

    congredior, -gredī, -gressus: meet; meet in arms, join battle; meet in friendship, make an alliance.

    stīpendiārius, -a, -um: paying tribute, tributary; as subst., m., payer of tribute, tributary.

    adventus, -ūs m.: arrival, coming, approach.

    vectīgal, -ālis n.: payment to the state, tax, tribute; income, revenue.

    dēterior, -ius: poorer, less.

    obses, -sidis m. and f.: hostage.

    socius, -ī m.: comrade; confederate, ally.

    stīpendium, -ī n.: tax, tribute.

    quotannīs: adv., year by year, every year, annually.

    frāternus, -a, -um: of a brother, brotherly, fraternal.

    dēnūntiō, -āre, -āvī, -ātus: announce, declare; direct, order; threaten.

    neglegō, -legere, -lēxī, -lēctus: disregard, neglect, overlook, be indifferent to.

    perniciēs, -ēī f.: destruction, overthrow, ruin.

    contendō, -tendere, -tendī, -tentus: strain, exert oneself; strive for, attempt, try; hasten, press forward; contend, vie; join battle, fight, quarrel; insist; demand.

    congredior, -gredī, -gressus: meet; meet in arms, join battle; meet in friendship, make an alliance.

    invictus, -a, -um: unconquered, invincible.

    exercitātus, -a, -um: trained, experienced, practised.

    quattuordecim (xiiii): indecl. adj., fourteen.

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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.