This site contains Latin text, notes, vocabulary, and media for selections from The Gallic War by Julius Caesar, intended for readers of Latin. Portrait of Julius Caesar from the Pentelleria acropolis in Sicily. Photo: Robert B. Ulrich

A note on the text

The Latin text given here generally conforms with the Oxford Classical Text of 1900 by Renatus DuPontet, except for the following:

1.25 circumvenere: we follow Seel and others in reading circumvenire 

4.25 ex †proximis primis† navibus: should read ex proximis navibus. DuPontet himself mentions the obvious deletion of primis in the apparatus, and it is odd that he did not print it in his text. It is the reading adopted by the authoritative edition of O. Seel (1961).

5.25 †inimicis iam multis palam ex civitate et eis auctoribus eum†: should read inimici palam multis ex civitate auctoribus. The text DuPontet prints makes no sense. The solution accepts the readings of the manuscript family β, which again are given in DuPontet’s own apparatus. This is the choice of Seel and most school editions. See the discussion of Rice Holmes.

5.33.6 quae quisque: quaeque quisque, the reading of most of the manuscripts, is accepted by Seel and most commentators (thanks to Blake Lopez for pointing this out)

5.42 milium [ṗ. xv] in circuitu III:  should read milium in ciruitu III. DuPontet’s brackets are correct. The  [ṗ. xv], a manuscript abbreviation for pedum  xv, "of fifteen feet," should be ignored.

5.42 ab nobis: should be a nobis.        

5.42 quos clam: should read quosdam. quos clam is a needless emendation for the manuscripts’ quosdam, which is accepted by Seel, among others.

5.42: videbantur: cogebantur, an emendation accepted by Seel, yields the required sense.

5.47 legionemque attribuit: should be legionemque ei attribuit, as in Seel’s edition.

In addition, macrons have been added, and the accusative plural of i-stem third declension nouns and adjectives has been changed to -ēs, whereas DuPontet printed -īs.

The -īs form occurs on many early inscriptions. We have it on the authority of Varro that both -ēs and -īs forms were in current (and in his view correct) use in Caesar’s day (De Lingua Latina 8.66). The Monumentum Ancyranum has both endings (finēs, but also omnīs). By the imperial period -ēs is regular in prose. Some poets, including Vergil, preserve -īs in some circumstances, perhaps as an archaistic coloring. The choice is a stylistic matter more than anything else, and -ēs has been chosen here since it is the standard form in Latin textbooks. On all this, see M. Leumann, Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre, 5th ed. (Munich: Beck, 1977), sections 356 and 357 C.3; and Andrew R. Anderson, “EIS in the Accusative Plural of the Latin Third Declension,” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 45 (1914), pp. 129-139.

Photo:  A fine portrait of Julius Caesar (died 44 BCE) in Greek marble, recently found in a cistern (#861) from the Pantelleria acropolis in Sicily. The head shows little damage (note the chipped lobe of the figure's right ear). It is similar to posthumous images of Caesar and has been dated to the middle of the first century CE. On loan to the British Museum in 2010 from the Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dell'identita' siciliana, inv. IG 7509. Photo by Roger B. Ulrich.