Outline Study of Caesar's Gallic War


(Continued from November Education.)


The Conquest of Northwestern Gaul. B. C. 57.
I. The subjugation of the Belgae. (1-11.)
Cause of the war.

1. The Belgae (Cf. Bk. I, Ch. I), instigated by sev-

eral Gauls and fearing that the Roman army would move against them, when all (Celtic) Gaul should be subdued, and perhaps influenced through their close relations with the Germans) are entering into a confederacy against the Roman people (and collecting a force of 300,000 men on

their southern frontier). (1)
b. Progress of the war against the united tribes of the

Belgae. (2-11)
1. Caesar levies two new legions (the Thirteenth and

Fourteenth) in Hither Gaul, and in about fifteen
days (going northwest, from Vesontio) arrives
at the territories of the Belgae (in May or June.)

(2) 2. The Remi (Belgae) (who did not join the Bel

gian coalition) surrender themselves to the protection and disposal of the Roman people, aid Caesar with supplies, and inform him among other things that their own kinsmen, the Sues

siones, have joined the other Belgae. (3) 3. Upon Caesar's inquiry the Remi inform him that

most of the Belgae (especially the Nervii and Treveri) have sprung from the Germans, that they settled in Gaul at an early date, that they are the only ones whom the Cimbri and Teutones did not overrun (a half century ago), that among them the Bellovaci are the most powerful, that .

the direction of the whole war is conferred upon Galba (King of the Suessiones), that the Nervii are the most warlike among them, that the Atrebates, Ambiani, Morini, Menapii, Caleti, Velocasses, Veromandui, Aduatuci, Condrusi, Eburones, Caeraesi, and Paemani (the last four called by the common name of Germans) promised

troops. 4. Caesar receives hostages from the Remi. In order

to divide the great army of the Belgae, Caesar gives instructions that the Aeduans are to proceed (under Divitiacus the Aeduan) to devastate the country of the Bellovaci; he himself leads his army across the Aisne river and pitches his camp.

(5) 5. The Belgae storm Bibrax, a town of the Remi

(not Bibracte, the Aeduan town) eight miles (north) from Caesar's camp, and the inhabitants

send to Caesar for help. (6) 6. Shortly after midnight that night Caesar sends

Numidian (allies of Rome since the Punic wars) and Cretan archers and Balerian slingers as a relief, (who likely entered the town from the south side). Then the enemy encamp (across the Miette, facing the southeast) within less than two miles of Caesar; their camp appears to be more

than eight miles in breadth. (7) 7. Caesar (who has eight legions), (the VIIth,

VIIIth, IXth, Xth, XIth, XIIth, XIIIth, XIVth) tests the mettle of the enemy (who are about two hundred and ninety-six thousand strong) (Cf. Ch. 4) in several daily cavalry skirmishes. His camp (facing the northwest) is on a hill (fully two miles long, extending northeast and southwest), rising gradually from the plain in front and has steep declines of its sides in either direction. Caesar fortifies this position and the enemy, (outnumbering his men three to one) also draw up their forces. (8)

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8. After a cavalry skirmish the enemy decide to

cross the river (behind the Roman camp) by a ford, hoping that if they can not overcome the Romans there, they can at least lay waste the lands of the Remi and hinder the Romans from

foraging. (9) 9. Being defeated (in a bloody battle) at the river,

seeing their hopes impossible of realization, and learning that Divitiacủs the Aeduan is approaching the territories of the Bellovaci, they dissolve the coalition (and Caesar is left free to deal with

the tribes separately). (10) 10. As they disperse early next morning to return,

each to their own territories, Caesar's forces pur

sue them and slay many. (11) C. Progress of the war against various tribes of the Bel

gae separately (after Caesar had succeeded in separat-
ing them). (12-33)
1. Expedition against the Suessiones. (12)

1. Hastening the next day (along the south

bank of the Aisne) to Noviodunum (there are two other towns by this name) Caesar accepts the surrender of

of the Suessiones. (12)
2. Expedition against the Bellovaci (clients of the
Aeduans). (13-14)
I. They all betake themselves into Bratus-

pantium, and when Caesar is about five

the old men come out and plead with him; when the town is reached the women and boys plead from the wall for peace with the Romans.

(13) II. Divitiacus pleads for the Bellovaci, say

ing that they have been urged by their nobles to revolt, and that the leaders of

the plot have fled to Britain. (14) III. For the sake of Divitiacus and the

Aeduans (whose power he wishes to strengthen) Caesar receives their host

ages and spares them. (15) 3. Caesar goes into the territories of the Ambiani

(north of the Bellovaci) who surrender immedi

ately. (15) 4. The encounter of the Nervii. (15-28)

I. Caesar discovers that the Nervii (who

occupy the basin of the Sambre) are re-
moved from the access of the merchants,
that they suffer nothing tending to lux-
ury to be imported, (Cf. Bk. I, Ch. 1),
and that they declared that they would
accept no conditions of peace with the

Roman people. (15)
II. Caesar learns that the Nervii, Atre-

bates, and Veromandui (the Aduatuci
too are coming) are on the other side
(i. e. south side) of the river Sambre

awaiting the Roman army. (16) III. The Nervii decide to surprise the Ro

man army when they come to camp.

(17) IV. A description is given of the place (on

the northeast bank) where Caesar is to

take his camp. (18) V. The Nervii vigorously (and unexpect

edly) attack Caesar's army when the

place is reached. (19) VI. The skill and experience of the Roman

soldiers (though Caesar's own imprudence is to blame for the surprise here)

serve them well. (20) VII. Caesar hurries to and fro with only a

few words of encouragement. (21) VIII. Various events of fortune follow. (22) IX. The ninth and tenth legions (of which

Labienus is in command) drive the Atrebates into the river; the XIth and VIIIth rout the Veromandui, but the Nervii begin to surround part of the

Roman camp. (23)
X. The Treveri (auxiliaries to Caesar)

hasten home and report that the Ro

mans are routed and conquered. (24) XI. When the battle is at a crisis and hope

begins to desert the Romans, Caesar takes a shield and rushing to the front, prevails upon his men to check the onset

of the enemy somewhat. (25) XII. Caesar directs the tribunes to restore or

der. Meantime Titus Labienus sends

the tenth legion as a relief. (26) XIII. Upon the arrival of the tenth legion the

tide of battle turns in favor of the Romans. The enemy fight standing upon the bodies of their slain, and hurl their weapons down upon the Romans as from a mound. The victory belongs to the Romans (and the name and nation of the Nervii is almost annihilated.) (Cf.

next chapter). (27) XIV. The Nervii surrender completely and

Caesar sends them back to their own territories and towns and orders that their neighbors shall not injure them.

(28) 5. Caesar's engagement with the Aduatuci. (29-33) I. The Aduatuci (descended from the Cimbri

and Teutones) when they hear of this battle (for they had started on a march to assist the Nervii) (Cf. Ch. 16), return home and gather into one town greatly fortified by nature (about 35 miles northeast of the scene of battle between the Romans and the Nervii, in the space between the junction of the Sambre and the Meuse). (29)

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