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desperate resistance from the conquered and from many of their countrymen who previously had sided with Cæsar. Such is the course of all conquests. The conquered, crushed by military disasters, submit for the moment; then, recovering from panic and realising what the loss of independence really means, they attempt, under some Vercingetorix, a new, a more desperate, and perhaps a more general resistance. In Gaul the two scenes of the war were enacted in different districts, the first in the north and west, the second in the centre. This apparent reversal of the natural order of conquest seems to be due partly to geography, partly to the attitude of the various Gaulish tribes to Rome. The most prominent feature in Gaulish geography is the great mountain complex of the Auvergne and the Cevennes, a large elevated area, inhabited by a brave and warlike people, and most difficult for military operations. South of that mass lies the open valley of the Rhone, the Provincia Narbonensis which Cæsar found when he came to Gaul, a southern land whose sun and air and scents and flowers distinguish it wholly from northern France. North and west of the mass stretch the great spreading plains watered by the Loire and the Seine, devoid of physical features and in all ages easily traversed by armies. The inhabitants of the central hills, the Arverni, like their northern neighbours the Ædui, were at first friendly to Cæsar. Naturally enough, he left them alone in their hills and set out to conquer the plains. Five campaigns were occupied in that object and it had been approximately attained ; then the war shifted to the central hills. The Arverni repented them of their friendliness to Rome, and headed a desperate movement of nearly all Gaul to destroy the Roman power. The leader was the Arvernian Vercingetorix ; the decisive battles were fought in the Arvernian territory, round the gloomy and precipitous fortresses of that difficult land. We do not propose to enter into the details of this great
We have sketched in their most important outlines the course and character of the fighting and the causes which gave Cæsar the victory. What remains is largely topographical technicalities. It is useless in a brief sketch to try to follow in the footsteps of Cæsar. His marches from month to month were dictated by the needs of the occasion, and the maps of his journeys which schoolmasters sometimes draw for us are much more irritating than even their maps of St. Paul's journeys and considerably less profitable. It is still more useless to embark on questions of detailed sites. Mr. Holmes has dealt with most of these questions elaborately, and in this respect, as in many others, his book will be indispensable to the serious student of Cæsar. But the problems cannot be understood without large-scale maps and local knowledge; most of them can only be settled by excavation, and many are altogether insoluble. We propose, however, to pause over the subject so far as to notice two of these topographical questions which are of special interest: the question whence Cæsar started for Britain, and the question where he bridged the Rhine. The first question has an absorbing interest for many Englishmen and Frenchmen; the second has been illustrated by a recent discovery. Both questions are, of course, wholly unimportant. It really does not matter one whit whether Cæsar sailed from the east or west side of Cape Grisnez; the one important thing is that he sailed and that momentous consequences ensued for Britain. But the minor circumstances of great events, like the dressing-gowns and slippers of great men, excite an interest which is not necessarily so foolish as it sounds.
The harbour from which Cæsar crossed to Britain, the Portus Itius, is considered by Mr. Holmes in a long note of ten closely printed pages, which is not, perhaps, quite so good as most of his topographical work. He concludes that it is Wissant, the bay of white sand' between Boulogne and Calais, or, more precisely, between the two headlands of Grisnez and Blancnez, which he believes to have extended further out in Cæsar's time than they do now. His reasons for this view are summed up by himself as follows :I believe that Wissant is the Portus Itius because there
appears to be direct evidence (the evidence of Strabo) that it was called by that name; because, alone among all the harbours of the Morini, it was called by that name in the Middle Ages; because in the Middle Ages it was a frequented port; because, assuming that Cæsar's ships could have assembled and remained there for a few weeks in safety, it was the most convenient port from which he could have started; because this assumption is justified by his narrative, as well as by the strong probability that in his time, the port of Wissant was a spacious harbour in the true sense of the word, and by the certainty that it was sheltered by two great flanking promontories, that the beach was convenient, and that there was abundant fresh water near; because Wissant was the nearest port to Britain, and because the promontory under the shelter of which it lay was called Cape Itius.' We must confess that all of these reasons seem to us more or less unsound. The evidence of Strabo proves nothing that we can see. The fact that Wissant was called Portus
Itius by two mediæval chronicles equally proves nothing ; such identifications are common enough in many mediæval writers and are merely antiquarian guesses. The fact that it was in mediæval times a “frequented port' is, strictly speaking, not a fact at all. The place was unquestionably used during a certain part of the Middle Ages, but the contemporary references to it which have been collected by French scholars show that it was neither a town nor a harbour, but an open beach which travellers in a hurry could use with a favourable wind. So far as we can judge, it was never in mediæval times a spacious harbour in the
true sense of the word ' or a place where a really large fleet could assemble and conveniently remain in safety for a few weeks, and we see no reason whatsoever for the assumption that it was anything of the sort in Cæsar's time. How much of the Grey and White Noses may have been swept away in the last nineteen centuries we cannot profess to judge, but it is to be observed that a topographical argument is usually in a parlous case when it is forced to appeal to the
And even if these two promontories did extend really far beyond their present positions, they would not have rendered Wissant a safe and commodious harbour. We believe the place to have been in Cæsar's time what it was when it gained its mediæval name of White Sand and what it visibly is to-day, an open_sandy beach with an expanse of sand dunes behind it. That is no suitable character for Cæsar's Portus Itius.
There is, we are convinced, only one place on the whole coastline from which Cæsar can really have started, and that is Boulogne. The aspect of Boulogne harbour has of course altered immensely since Roman days, but its earlier condition is not altogether beyond recovery. It was the estuary of a little river running out on to a coast which the west wind and the tide heaped unceasingly with sand, and the picture of it is preserved by one or two estuaries (for instance, Étaples) on the same coast. Mr. Holmes objects to Boulogne because it agrees far less well than Wissant with the sea-mileage given by Cæsar and is further from the Kentish coast; because, secondly, its ancient name was Gessoriacum; and because, thirdly, Cæsar did not need the convenience of a harbour. We do not attach much importance to these objections. Cæsar may easily have miscalculated the length of his voyages, and the geographer Strabo, writing shortly after Cæsar, actually mentions a distance which suits Boulogne, and does not suit Wissant. The question of the name is a greater puzzle, but it is after all a puzzle rather than an objection. If the place was a very small one in Cæsar's time, he might reasonably have preferred to call it by a descriptive term like Portus Itius, the harbour near Grisnez, rather than employ an obscure name of which none of his readers would ever have heard. The third point we are not sure that we quite understand. It should be remembered that ancient writers habitually omitted unfamiliar place-names from literary narratives, and Cæsar is no exception. Mr. Holmes appears to argue that Cæsar did not need a harbour because he usually beached his ships, and he appeals to a phrase in Cæsar's text to show that Cæsar did beach his ships at the Portus Itius. Of course he did. It was not the practice of any ancient seaman to leave his ships swinging at anchor while in harbour. If Cæsar used (as we think) the estuary which is now Boulogne harbour, we may be sure that he beached his ships there. And we may add that, if the estuary in his time was anything like what we have suggested, he could have done nothing else.
Let us now pass across Gaul from west to east, from the port on the English Channel to the bridge across the Rhine. The matter perhaps interests ourselves less than that which we have just considered : to the historian it is a good deal more important, and to the local antiquary it is all-absorbing. The dwellers by the Rhine have disputed the place of Cæsar's bridge nearly as fiercely as those famous townships in the Italian Romagna who went to law to settle where Cæsar forded the Rubicon. Mr. Holmes treats the matter briefly. He decides that Cæsar's bridge, or rather bridges—for there were two near together-were somewhere between Coblenz and Andernach. We are glad to agree with him that this is the most probable district, and we have some hope that recent finds, not yet complete, may point us out the exact spot. The discoveries to which we refer have been made by skilful excavation on the west bank of the Rhine close to Neuwied. Here spade and dredge have combined to reveal an ancient camp of stately proportions, situate on the very edge of the Rhine and surrounded on the land side by a semicircular line of defences, a palisade or wooden wall and double ditch more than a mile in length. Remains found in this camp show that the site was occupied in Cæsar's time and long before and after: in particular a small square fort, unquestionably later than the larger camp, can be referred to the reign of Augustus. The inference lies near that the larger camp is actually Cæsar's work, a part of the magnæ munitiones which he mentions as protecting each end of his bridge. In the river itself the piles of a bridge have actually been found, and there are said to be traces of another bridge at no great distance which there seems reason to consider Roman. The proof of the whole is not yet perfect. Provoking pieces of prehistoric pottery have been found lying in the soil where they ought not to lie, and tempt one to date the camp long ages before Cæsar. But its general character is certainly not that of a prehistoric work. Here our sympathies at least must be on the side of Cæsar. It would be too cruel if the glory of first bridging the Rhine were transferred from him
to some unknown builder of the Stone or Copper Age. There are sadly few remains in Gaul which can be traced to Cæsar's rule. He did his work : he conquered the land. But the Civil War broke out at once, and he never again had a chance of attempting that reconstruction which must follow every conquest. His death, indeed, cut short many plans which extended far beyond the organisation of Gaul.
Abundant guesses have been hazarded respecting those plans. It is always pleasant to set the fancy roaming among the unexpressed and unfulfilled intentions of great men. But it is not profitable. Those unuttered thoughts are amongst the most precious treasures in the abyss of lost things, but they are gone irretrievably and no ingenuity will ever recover them for us. Perhaps, after all, the attractiveness of the search for them is not much affected thereby, for the searcher after these lost schemes does not really search: he tells us, modestly and indirectly, what Cæsar would have done, had he been Cæsar. We shall not try, therefore, to guess what plans Cæsar might have formed for the future of Gaul. We know this much, that he left the country divided into two provincial administrations. One was the old Provincia Narbonensis, to which he annexed Massilia and its territory. The other was coextensive with his conquests and included all the rest of Gaul-a huge area which he can hardly have meant to leave permanently as one single province. We know further that he planted at least two colonies of time-expired soldiers in Narbonensis, and thus, and perhaps in other less important ways, increased the element of Roman burgesses in its population. Similarly in the northern province he conferred the Roman franchise on loyal chieftains and tied them thus closer to Rome : he is said even to have admitted a few Romanised Gauls into