THE BEGINNING OF THE JUDAEAN WAR UNDER TITUS.
|5:1. EARLY in this year Titus Caesar, who had been selected by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea, and who had gained distinction as a soldier while both were still subjects, began to rise in power and reputation, as armies and provinces emulated each other in their attachment to him. The young man himself, anxious to be thought superior to his station, was ever displaying his gracefulness and his energy in war. By his courtesy and affability he called forth a willing obedience, and he often mixed with the common soldiers, while working or marching, without impairing his dignity as general. He found in Judaea three legions, the 5th, the 10th, and the 15th, all old troops of Vespasian's. To these he added the 12th from Syria, and some men belonging to the 18th and 3rd, whom he had withdrawn from Alexandria. This force was accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied troops and eight squadrons of cavalry, by the two kings Agrippa and Sohemus, by the auxiliary forces of king Antiochus, by a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbours, and, lastly, by many persons brought from the capital and from Italy by private hopes of securing the yet unengaged affections of the Prince. With this force Titus entered the enemy's territory, preserving strict order on his march, reconnoitring every spot, and always ready to give battle. At last he encamped near Jerusalem.||5:1. Eiusdem anni principio Caesar Titus, perdomandae Iudaeae delectus a patre et privatis utriusque rebus militia clarus, maiore tum vi famaque agebat, certantibus provinciarum et exercituum studiis. Atque ipse, ut super fortunam crederetur, decorum se promptumque in armis ostendebat, comitate et adloquiis officia provocans ac plerumque in opere, in agmine gregario militi mixtus, incorrupto ducis honore. Tres eum in Iudaea legiones, quinta et decima et quinta decima, vetus Vespasiani miles, excepere. Addidit e Syria duodecimam et adductos Alexandria duoetvicensimanos tertianosque; comitabantur viginti sociae cohortes, octo equitum alae, simul Agrippa Sohaemusque reges et auxilia regis Antiochi validaque et solito inter accolas odio infensa Iudaeis Arabum manus, multi quos urbe atque Italia sua quemque spes acciverat occupandi principem adhuc vacuum. His cum copiis finis hostium ingressus composito agmine, cuncta explorans paratusque decernere, haud procul Hierosolymis castra facit.|
|5:2. As I am about to relate the last days of a famous city, it seems appropriate to throw some light on its origin. Some say that the Jews were fugitives from the island of Crete, who settled on the nearest coast of Africa about the time when Saturn was driven from his throne by the power of Jupiter. Evidence of this is sought in the name. There is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida; the neighbouring tribe, the Idaei, came to be called Judaei by a barbarous lengthening of the national name. Others assert that in the reign of Isis the overflowing population of Egypt, led by Hierosolymus and Judas, discharged itself into the neighbouring countries. Many, again, say that they were a race of Ethiopian origin, who in the time of king Cepheus were driven by fear and hatred of their neighbours to seek a new dwelling-place. Others describe them as an Assyrian horde who, not having sufficient territory, took possession of part of Egypt, and founded cities of their own in what is called the Hebrew country, lying on the borders of Syria. Others, again, assign a very distinguished origin to the Jews, alleging that they were the Solymi, a nation celebrated in the poems of Homer, who called the city which they founded Hierosolyma after their own name.||5:2. Sed quoniam famosae urbis supremum diem tradituri sumus, congruens videtur primordia eius aperire. Iudaeos Creta insula profugos novissima Libyae insedisse memorant, qua tempestate Saturnus vi Iovis pulsus cesserit regnis. Argumentum e nomine petitur: inclutum in Creta Idam montem, accolas Idaeos aucto in barbarum cognomento Iudaeos vocitari. Quidam regnante Iside exundantem per Aegyptum multitudinem ducibus Hierosolymo ac Iuda proximas in terras exoneratam; plerique Aethiopum prolem, quos rege Cepheo metus atque odium mutare sedis perpulerit. Sunt qui tradant Assyrios convenas, indigum agrorum populum, parte Aegypti potitos, mox proprias urbis Hebraeas- que terras et propiora Syriae coluisse. Clara alii Iudaeorum initia, Solymos, carminibus Homeri celebratam gentem, conditae urbi Hierosolyma nomen e suo fecisse.|
|5:3. Most writers, however, agree in stating that once a disease, which horribly disfigured the body, broke out over Egypt; that king Bocchoris, seeking a remedy, consulted the oracle of Hammon, and was bidden to cleanse his realm, and to convey into some foreign land this race detested by the gods. The people, who had been collected after diligent search, finding themselves left in a desert, sat for the most part in a stupor of grief, till one of the exiles, Moyses by name, warned them not to look for any relief from God or man, forsaken as they were of both, but to trust to themselves, taking for their heaven-sent leader that man who should first help them to be quit of their present misery. They agreed, and in utter ignorance began to advance at random. Nothing, however, distressed them so much as the scarcity of water, and they had sunk ready to perish in all directions over the plain, when a herd of wild asses was seen to retire from their pasture to a rock shaded by trees. Moyses followed them, and, guided by the appearance of a grassy spot, discovered an abundant spring of water. This furnished relief. After a continuous journey for six days, on the seventh they possessed themselves of a country, from which they expelled the inhabitants, and in which they founded a city and a temple.||5:3. Plurimi auctores consentiunt orta per Aegyptum tabe quae corpora foedaret, regem Bocchorim adito Hammonis oraculo remedium petentem purgare regnum et id genus hominum ut invisum deis alias in terras avehere iussum. Sic conquisitum collectumque vulgus, postquam vastis locis relictum sit, ceteris per lacrimas torpentibus, Moysen unum exulum monuisse ne quam deorum hominumve opem expectarent utrisque deserti, sed sibimet duce caelesti crederent, primo cuius auxilio praesentis miserias pepulissent. Adsensere atque omnium ignari fortuitum iter incipiunt. Sed nihil aeque quam inopia aquae fatigabat, iamque haud procul exitio totis campis procubuerant, cum grex asinorum agrestium e pastu in rupem nemore opacam concessit. Secutus Moyses coniectura herbidi soli largas aquarum venas aperit. Id levamen; et continuum sex dierum iter emensi septimo pulsis cultoribus obtinuere terras, in quis urbs et templum dicata.|
|5:4. Moyses, wishing to secure for the future his authority over the nation, gave them a novel form of worship, opposed to all that is practised by other men. Things sacred with us, with them have no sanctity, while they allow what with us is forbidden. In their holy place they have consecrated an image of the animal by whose guidance they found deliverance from their long and thirsty wanderings. They slay the ram, seemingly in derision of Hammon, and they sacrifice the ox, because the Egyptians worship it as Apis. They abstain from swine's flesh, in consideration of what they suffered when they were infected by the leprosy to which this animal is liable. By their frequent fasts they still bear witness to the long hunger of former days, and the Jewish bread, made without leaven, is retained as a memorial of their hurried seizure of corn. We are told that the rest of the seventh day was adopted, because this day brought with it a termination of their toils; after a while the charm of indolence beguilded them into giving up the seventh year also to inaction. But others say that it is an observance in honour of Saturn, either from the primitive elements of their faith having been transmitted from the Idaei, who are said to have shared the flight of that God, and to have founded the race, or from the circumstance that of the seven stars which rule the destinies of men Saturn moves in the highest orbit and with the mightiest power, and that many of the heavenly bodies complete their revolutions and courses in multiples of seven.||5:4. Moyses quo sibi in posterum gentem firmaret, novos ritus contrariosque ceteris mortalibus indidit. Profana illic omnia quae apud nos sacra, rursum concessa apud illos quae nobis incesta. Effigiem animalis, quo monstrante errorem sitimque depulerant, penetrali sacravere, caeso ariete velut in contumeliam Hammonis; bos quoque immolatur, quoniam Aegyptii Apin colunt. Sue abstinent memoria cladis, quod ipsos scabies quondam turpaverat, cui id animal obnoxium. Longam olim famem crebris adhuc ieiuniis fatentur, et raptarum frugum argumentum panis Iudaicus nullo fermento detinetur. Septimo die otium placuisse ferunt, quia is finem laborum tulerit; dein blandiente inertia septimum quoque annum ignaviae datum. Alii honorem eum Saturno haberi, seu principia religionis tradentibus Idaeis, quos cum Saturno pulsos et conditores gentis accepimus, seu quod de septem sideribus, quis mortales reguntur, altissimo orbe et praecipua potentia stella Saturni feratur, ac pleraque caelestium viam suam et cursus septenos per numeros commeare.|
|5:5. This worship, however introduced, is upheld by its antiquity; all their other customs, which are at once perverse and disgusting, owe their strength to their very badness. The most degraded out of other races, scorning their national beliefs, brought to them their contributions and presents. This augmented the wealth of the Jews, as also did the fact, that among themselves they are inflexibly honest and ever ready to shew compassion, though they regard the rest of mankind with all the hatred of enemies. They sit apart at meals, they sleep apart, and though, as a nation, they are singularly prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; among themselves nothing is unlawful. Circumcision was adopted by them as a mark of difference from other men. Those who come over to their religion adopt the practice, and have this lesson first instilled into them, to despise all gods, to disown their country, and set at nought parents, children, and brethren. Still they provide for the increase of their numbers. It is a crime among them to kill any newly-born infant. They hold that the souls of all who perish in battle or by the hands of the executioner are immortal. Hence a passion for propagating their race and a contempt for death. They are wont to bury rather than to burn their dead, following in this the Egyptian custom; they bestow the same care on the dead, and they hold the same belief about the lower world. Quite different is their faith about things divine. The Egyptians worship many animals and images of monstrous form; the Jews have purely mental conceptions of Deity, as one in essence. They call those profane who make representations of God in human shape out of perishable materials. They believe that Being to be supreme and eternal, neither capable of representation, nor of decay. They therefore do not allow any images to stand in their cities, much less in their temples. This flattery is not paid to their kings, nor this honour to our Emperors. From the fact, however, that their priests used to chant to the music of flutes and cymbals, and to wear garlands of ivy, and that a golden vine was found in the temple, some have thought that they worshipped father Liber, the conqueror of the East, though their institutions do not by any means harmonize with the theory; for Liber established a festive and cheerful worship, while the Jewish religion is tasteless and mean.||5:5. Hi ritus quoquo modo inducti antiquitate defenduntur: cetera instituta, sinistra foeda, pravitate valuere. Nam pessimus quisque spretis religionibus patriis tributa et stipes illuc congerebant, unde auctae Iudaeorum res, et quia apud ipsos fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, sed adversus omnis alios hostile odium. Separati epulis, discreti cubilibus, proiectissima ad libidinem gens, alienarum concubitu abstinent; inter se nihil inlicitum. Circumcidere genitalia instituerunt ut diversitate noscantur. Transgressi in morem eorum idem usurpant, nec quicquam prius imbuuntur quam contemnere deos, exuere patriam, parentes liberos fratres vilia habere. Augendae tamen multitudini consulitur; nam et necare quemquam ex agnatis nefas, animosque proelio aut suppliciis peremptorum aeternos putant: hinc generandi amor et moriendi contemptus. Corpora condere quam cremare e more Aegyptio, eademque cura et de infernis persuasio, caelestium contra. Aegyptii pleraque animalia effigiesque compositas venerantur, Iudaei mente sola unumque numen intellegunt: profanos qui deum imagines mortalibus materiis in species hominum effingant; summum illud et aeternum neque imitabile neque interiturum. Igitur nulla simulacra urbibus suis, nedum templis sistunt; non regibus haec adulatio, non Caesaribus honor. Sed quia sacerdotes eorum tibia tympanisque concinebant, hedera vinciebantur vitisque aurea templo reperta, Liberum patrem coli, domitorem Orientis, quidam arbitrati sunt, nequaquam congruentibus institutis. Quippe Liber festos laetosque ritus posuit, Iudaeorum mos absurdus sordidusque.|
|5:6. Eastward the country is bounded by Arabia; to the south lies Egypt; on the west are Phoenicia and the Mediterranean. Northward it commands an extensive prospect over Syria. The inhabitants are healthy and able to bear fatigue. Rain is uncommon, but the soil is fertile. Its products resemble our own. They have, besides, the balsam-tree and the palm. The palm-groves are tall and graceful. The balsam is a shrub; each branch, as it fills with sap, may be pierced with a fragment of stone or pottery. If steel is employed, the veins shrink up. The sap is used by physicians. Libanus is the principal mountain, and has, strange to say, amidst these burning heats, a summit shaded with trees and never deserted by its snows. The same range supplies and sends forth the stream of the Jordan. This river does not discharge itself into the sea, but flows entire through two lakes, and is lost in the third. This is a lake of vast circumference; it resembles the sea, but is more nauseous in taste; it breeds pestilence among those who live near by its noisome odour; it cannot be moved by the wind, and it affords no home either to fish or water-birds. These strange waters support what is thrown upon them, as on a solid surface, and all persons, whether they can swim or no, are equally buoyed up by the waves. At a certain season of the year the lake throws up bitumen, and the method of collecting it has been taught by that experience which teaches all other arts. It is naturally a fluid of dark colour; when vinegar is sprinkled upon it, it coagulates and floats upon the surface. Those whose business it is take it with the hand, and draw it on to the deck of the boat; it then continues of itself to flow in and lade the vessel till the stream is cut off. Nor can this be done by any instrument of brass or iron. It shrinks from blood or any cloth stained by the menstrua of women. Such is the account of old authors; but those who know the country say that the bitumen moves in heaving masses on the water, that it is drawn by hand to the shore, and that there, when dried by the evaporation of the earth and the power of the sun, it is cut into pieces with axes and wedges just as timber or stone would be.||5:6. Terra finesque qua ad Orientem vergunt Arabia terminantur, a meridie Aegyptus obiacet, ab occasu Phoenices et mare, septentrionem e latere Syriae longe prospectant. Corpora hominum salubria et ferentia laborum. Rari imbres, uber solum: [exuberant] fruges nostrum ad morem praeterque eas balsamum et palmae. Palmetis proceritas et decor, balsamum modica arbor: ut quisque ramus intumuit, si Vim ferri adhibeas, pavent venae; fragmine lapidis aut testa aperiuntur; umor in usu medentium est. Praecipuum montium Libanum erigit, mirum dictu, tantos inter ardores opacum fidumque nivibus; idem amnem Iordanen alit funditque. Nec Iordanes pelago accipitur, sed unum atque alterum lacum integer perfluit, tertio retinetur. Lacus immenso ambitu, specie maris, sapore corruptior, gravitate odoris accolis pestifer, neque vento impellitur neque piscis aut suetas aquis volucris patitur. Inertes undae superiacta ut solido ferunt; periti imperitique nandi perinde attolluntur. Certo anni bitumen egerit, cuius legendi usum, ut ceteras artis, experientia docuit. Ater suapte natura liquor et sparso aceto concretus innatat; hunc manu captum, quibus ea cura, in summa navis trahunt: inde nullo iuvante influit oneratque, donec abscindas. Nec abscindere aere ferrove possis: fugit cruorem vestemque infectam sanguine, quo feminae per mensis exolvuntur. Sic veteres auctores, sed gnari locorum tradunt undantis bitumine moles pelli manuque trahi ad litus, mox, ubi vapore terrae, vi solis inaruerint, securibus cuneisque ut trabes aut saxa discindi.|
|5:7. Not far from this lake lies a plain, once fertile, they say, and the site of great cities, but afterwards struck by lightning and consumed. Of this event, they declare, traces still remain, for the soil, which is scorched in appearance, has lost its productive power. Everything that grows spontaneously, as well as what is planted by hand, either when the leaf or flower have been developed, or after maturing in the usual form, becomes black and rotten, and crumbles into a kind of dust. I am ready to allow, on the one hand, that cities, once famous, may have been consumed by fire from heaven, while, on the other, I imagine that the earth is infected by the exhalations of the lake, that the surrounding air is tainted, and that thus the growth of harvest and the fruits of autumn decay under the equally noxious influences of soil and climate. The river Belus also flows into the Jewish sea. About its mouth is a kind of sand which is collected, mixed with nitre, and fused into glass. This shore is of limited extent, but furnishes an inexhaustible supply to the exporter.||5:7. Haud procul inde campi quos ferunt olim uberes magnisque urbibus habitatos fulminum iactu arsisse; et manere vestigia, terramque ipsam, specie torridam, vim frugiferam perdidisse. Nam cuncta sponte edita aut manu sata, sive herba tenus aut flore seu solitam in speciem adolevere, atra et inania velut in cinerem vanescunt. Ego sicut inclitas quondam urbis igne caelesti flagrasse concesserim, ita halitu lacus infici terram, corrumpi superfusum spiritum, eoque fetus segetum et autumni putrescere reor, solo caeloque iuxta gravi. Et Belius amnis Iudaico mari inlabitur, circa cuius os lectae harenae admixto nitro in vitrum excoquuntur. Modicum id litus et egerentibus inexhaustum.|
|5:8. A great part of Judaea consists of scattered villages. They have also towns. Jersualem is the capital. There stood a temple of immense wealth. First came the city with its fortifications, then the royal palace, then, within the innermost defences, the temple itself. Only the Jew might approach the gates; all but priests were forbidden to pass the threshold. While the East was under the sway of the Assyrians, the Medes, and the Persians, Jews were the most contemptible of the subject tribes. When the Macedonians became supreme, King Antiochus strove to destroy the national superstition, and to introduce Greek civilization, but was prevented by his war with the Parthians from at all improving this vilest of nations; for at this time the revolt of Arsaces had taken place. The Macedonian power was now weak, while the Parthian had not yet reached its full strength, and, as the Romans were still far off, the Jews chose kings for themselves. Expelled by the fickle populace, and regaining their throne by force of arms, these princes, while they ventured on the wholesale banishment of their subjects, on the destruction of cities, on the murder of brothers, wives, and parents, and the other usual atrocities of despots, fostered the national superstition by appropriating the dignity of the priesthood as the support of their political power.||5:8. Magna pars Iudaeae vicis dispergitur, habent et oppida; Hierosolyma genti caput. Illic immensae opulentiae templum, et primis munimentis urbs, dein regia, templum intimis clausum. Ad fores tantum Iudaeo aditus, limine praeter sacerdotes arcebantur. Dum Assyrios penes Medosque et Persas Oriens fuit, despectissima pars servientium: postquam Macedones praepolluere, rex Antiochus demere superstitionem et mores Graecorum dare adnisus, quo minus taeterrimam gentem in melius mutaret, Parthorum bello prohibitus est; nam ea tempestate Arsaces desciverat. Tum Iudaei Macedonibus invalidis, Parthis nondum adultis-- et Romani procul erant--, sibi ipsi reges imposuere; qui mobilitate vulgi expulsi, resumpta per arma dominatione fugas civium, urbium eversiones, fratrum coniugum parentum neces aliaque solita regibus ausi superstitionem fovebant, quia honor sacerdotii firmamentum potentiae adsumebatur.|
|5:9. Cneius Pompeius was the first of our countrymen to subdue the Jews. Availing himself of the right of conquest, he entered the temple. Thus it became commonly known that the place stood empty with no similitude of gods within, and that the shrine had nothing to reveal. The walls of Jerusalem were destroyed, the temple was left standing. After these provinces had fallen, in the course of our civil wars, into the hands of Marcus Antonius, Pacorus, king of the Parthians, seized Judaea. He was slain by Publius Ventidius, and the Parthians were driven back over the Euphrates. Caius Sosius reduced the Jews to subjection. The royal power, which had been bestowed by Antony on Herod, was augmented by the victorious Augustus. On Herod's death, one Simon, without waiting for the approbation of the Emperor, usurped the title of king. He was punished by Quintilius Varus then governor of Syria, and the nation, with its liberties curtailed, was divided into three provinces under the sons of Herod. Under Tiberius all was quiet. But when the Jews were ordered by Caligula to set up his statue in the temple, they preferred the alternative of war. The death of the Emperor put an end to the disturbance. The kings were either dead, or reduced to insignificance, when Claudius entrusted the province of Judaea to the Roman Knights or to his own freedmen, one of whom, Antonius Felix, indulging in every kind of barbarity and lust, exercised the power of a king in the spirit of a slave. He had married Drusilla, the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra, and so was the grandson-in-law, as Claudius was the grandson, of Antony.||5:9. Romanorum primus Cn. Pompeius Iudaeos domuit templumque iure victoriae ingressus est: inde vulgatum nulla intus deum effigie vacuam sedem et inania arcana. Muri Hierosolymorum diruti, delubrum mansit. Mox civili inter nos bello, postquam in dicionem M. Antonii provinciae cesserant, rex Parthorum Pacorus Iudaea potitus interfectusque a P. Ventidio, et Parthi trans Euphraten redacti: Iudaeos C. Sosius subegit. Regnum ab Antonio Herodi datum victor Augustus auxit. Post mortem Herodis, nihil expectato Caesare, Simo quidam regium nomen invaserat. Is a Quintilio Varo obtinente Syriam punitus, et gentem coercitam liberi Herodis tripertito rexere. Sub Tiberio quies. Dein iussi a C. Caesare effigiem eius in templo locare arma potius sumpsere, quem motum Caesaris mors diremit. Claudius, defunctis regibus aut ad modicum redactis, Iudaeam provinciam equitibus Romanis aut libertis permisit, e quibus Antonius Felix per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem ius regium servili ingenio exercuit, Drusilla Cleopatrae et Antonii nepte in matrimonium accepta, ut eiusdem Antonii Felix progener, Claudius nepos esset.|
|5:10. Yet the endurance of the Jews lasted till Gessius Florus was procurator. In his time the war broke out. Cestius Gallus, legate of Syria, who attempted to crush it, had to fight several battles, generally with ill-success. Cestius dying, either in the course of nature, or from vexation, Vespasian was sent by Nero, and by help of his good fortune, his high reputation, and his excellent subordinates, succeeded within the space of two summers in occupying with his victorious army the whole of the level country and all the cities, except Jerusalem. The following year had been wholly taken up with civil strife, and had passed, as far as the Jews were concerned, in inaction. Peace having been established in Italy, foreign affairs were once more remembered. Our indignation was heightened by the circumstance that the Jews alone had not submitted. At the same time it was held to be more expedient, in reference to the possible results and contingencies of the new reign, that Titus should remain with the army.||5:10. Duravit tamen patientia Iudaeis usque ad Gessium Florum procuratorem: sub eo bellum ortum. Et comprimere coeptantem Cestium Gallum Syriae legatum varia proelia ac saepius adversa excepere. Qui ubi fato aut taedio occidit, missu Neronis Vespasianus fortuna famaque et egregiis ministris intra duas aestates cuncta camporum omnisque praeter Hierosolyma urbis victore exercitu tenebat. Proximus annus civili bello intentus quantum ad Iudaeos per otium transiit. Pace per Italiam parta et externae curae rediere: augebat iras quod soli Iudaei non cessissent; simul manere apud exercitus Titum ad omnis principatus novi eventus casusve utile videbatur.|
|5:11. The Jews formed their line close under their walls, whence, if successful, they might venture to advance, and where, if repulsed, they had a refuge at hand. The cavalry with some light infantry was sent to attack them, and fought without any decisive result. Shortly afterwards the enemy retreated. During the following days they fought a series of engagements in front of the gates, till they were driven within the walls by continual defeats. The Romans then began to prepare for an assault. It seemed beneath them to await the result of famine. The army demanded the more perilous alternative, some prompted by courage, many by sheer ferocity and greed of gain. Titus himself had Rome with all its wealth and pleasures before his eyes. Jerusalem must fall at once, or it would delay his enjoyment of them. But the commanding situation of the city had been strengthened by enormous works which would have been a thorough defence even for level ground. Two hills of great height were fenced in by walls which had been skilfully obliqued or bent inwards, in such a manner that the flank of an assailant was exposed to missiles. The rock terminated in a precipice; the towers were raised to a height of sixty feet, where the hill lent its aid to the fortifications, where the ground fell, to a height of one hundred and twenty. They had a marvellous appearance, and to a distant spectator seemed to be of uniform elevation. Within were other walls surrounding the palace, and, rising to a conspicuous height, the tower Antonia, so called by Herod, in honour of Marcus Antonius.||5:11. Igitur castris, uti diximus, ante moenia Hierosolymorum positis instructas legiones ostentavit: Iudaei sub ipsos muros struxere aciem, rebus secundis longius ausuri et, si pellerentur, parato perfugio. Missus in eos eques cum expeditis cohortibus ambigue certavit; mox cessere hostes et sequentibus diebus crebra pro portis proelia serebant, donec adsiduis damnis intra moenia pellerentur. Romani ad obpugnandum versi; neque enim dignum videbatur famem hostium opperiri, poscebantque pericula, pars virtute, multi ferocia et cupidine praemiorum. Ipsi Tito Roma et opes voluptatesque ante oculos; ac ni statim Hierosolyma conciderent, morari videbantur. Sed urbem arduam situ opera molesque firmaverant, quis vel plana satis munirentur. Nam duos collis in immensum editos claudebant muri per artem obliqui aut introrsus sinuati, ut latera obpugnantium ad ictus patescerent. Extrema rupis abrupta, et turres, ubi mons iuvisset, in sexagenos pedes, inter devexa in centenos vicenosque attollebantur, mira specie ac procul intuentibus pares. Alia intus moenia regiae circumiecta, conspicuoque fastigio turris Antonia, in honorem M. Antonii ab Herode appellata.|
|5:12. The temple resembled a citadel, and had its own walls, which were more laboriously constructed than the others. Even the colonnades with which it was surrounded formed an admirable outwork. It contained an inexhaustible spring; there were subterranean excavations in the hill, and tanks and cisterns for holding rain water. The founders of the state had foreseen that frequent wars would result from the singularity of its customs, and so had made every provision against the most protracted siege. After the capture of their city by Pompey, experience and apprehension taught them much. Availing themselves of the sordid policy of the Claudian era to purchase the right of fortification, they raised in time of peace such walls as were suited for war. Their numbers were increased by a vast rabble collected from the overthrow of the other cities. All the most obstinate rebels had escaped into the place, and perpetual seditions were the consequence. There were three generals, and as many armies. Simon held the outer and larger circuit of walls. John, also called Bargioras, occupied the middle city. Eleazar had fortified the temple. John and Simon were strong in numbers and equipment, Eleazar in position. There were continual skirmishes, surprises, and incendiary fires, and a vast quantity of corn was burnt. Before long John sent some emissaries, who, under pretence of sacrificing, slaughtered Eleazar and his partisans, and gained possession of the temple. The city was thus divided between two factions, till, as the Romans approached, war with the foreigner brought about a reconciliation.||5:12. Templum in modum arcis propriique muri, labore et opere ante alios; ipsae porticus, quis templum ambibatur, egregium propugnaculum. Fons perennis aquae, cavati sub terra montes et piscinae cisternaeque servandis imbribus. Providerant conditores ex diversitate morum crebra bella: inde cuncta quamvis adversus longum obsidium; et a Pompeio expugnatis metus atque usus pleraque monstravere. Atque per avaritiam Claudianorum temporum empto iure muniendi struxere muros in pace tamquam ad bellum, magna conluvie et ceterarum urbium clade aucti; nam pervicacissimus quisque illuc perfugerat eoque seditiosius agebant. Tres duces, totidem exercitus: extrema et latissima moenium Simo, mediam urbem Ioannes [quem et Bargioram vocabant], templum Eleazarus firmaverat. Multitudine et armis Ioannes ac Simo, Eleazarus loco pollebat: sed proelia dolus incendia inter ipsos, et magna vis frumenti ambusta. Mox Ioannes, missis per speciem sacrificandi qui Eleazarum manumque eius obtruncarent, templo potitur. Ita in duas factiones civitas discessit, donec propinquantibus Romanis bellum externum concordiam pareret.|
|5:13. Prodigies had occurred, which this nation, prone to superstition, but hating all religious rites, did not deem it lawful to expiate by offering and sacrifice. There had been seen hosts joining battle in the skies, the fiery gleam of arms, the temple illuminated by a sudden radiance from the clouds. The doors of the inner shrine were suddenly thrown open, and a voice of more than mortal tone was heard to cry that the Gods were departing. At the same instant there was a mighty stir as of departure. Some few put a fearful meaning on these events, but in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire. These mysterious prophecies had pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, with the usual blindness of ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies of themselves, and could not be brought even by disasters to believe the truth. I have heard that the total number of the besieged, of every age and both sexes, amounted to six hundred thousand. All who were able bore arms, and a number, more than proportionate to the population, had the courage to do so. Men and women showed equal resolution, and life seemed more terrible than death, if they were to be forced to leave their country. Such was this city and nation; and Titus Caesar, seeing that the position forbad an assault or any of the more rapid operations of war, determined to proceed by earthworks and covered approaches. The legions had their respective duties assigned to them, and there was a cessation from fighting, till all the inventions, used in ancient warfare, or devised by modern ingenuity for the reduction of cities, were constructed.||5:13. Evenerant prodigia, quae neque hostiis neque votis piare fas habet gens superstitioni obnoxia, religionibus adversa. Visae per caelum concurrere acies, rutilantia arma et subito nubium igne conlucere templum. Apertae repente delubri fores et audita maior humana vox excedere deos; simul ingens motus excedentium. Quae pauci in metum trahebant: pluribus persuasio inerat antiquis sacerdotum litteris contineri eo ipso tempore fore ut valesceret Oriens profectique Iudaea rerum potirentur. Quae ambages Vespasianum ac Titum praedixerat, sed vulgus more humanae cupidinis sibi tantam fatorum magnitudinem interpretati ne adversis quidem ad vera mutabantur. Multitudinem obsessorum omnis aetatis, virile ac muliebre secus, sexcenta milia fuisse accepimus: arma cunctis, qui ferre possent, et plures quam pro numero audebant. Obstinatio viris feminisque par; ac si transferre sedis cogerentur, maior vitae metus quam mortis. Hanc adversus urbem gentemque Caesar Titus, quando impetus et subita belli locus abnueret, aggeribus vineisque certare statuit: dividuntur legionibus munia et quies proeliorum fuit, donec cuncta expugnandis urbibus reperta apud veteres aut novis ingeniis struerentur.|
THE FINAL PHASE OF THE BATAVIAN WAR.
|5:14. Meanwhile Civilis, having recruited his army from Germany after his defeat among the Treveri, took up his position at the Old Camp, where his situation would protect him, and where the courage of his barbarian troops would be raised by the recollection of successes gained on the spot. He was followed to this place by Cerialis, whose forces had now been doubled by the arrival of the 2nd, 6th, and 14th legions. The auxiliary infantry and cavalry, summoned long before, had hastened to join him after his victory. Neither of the generals loved delay. But a wide extent of plain naturally saturated with water kept them apart. Civilis had also thrown a dam obliquely across the Rhine, so that the stream, diverted by the obstacle, might overflow the adjacent country. Such was the character of the district, full of hidden perils from the varying depth of the fords, and unfavourable to our troops. The Roman soldier is heavily armed and afraid to swim, while the German, who is accustomed to rivers, is favoured by the lightness of his equipment and the height of his stature.||5:14. At Civilis post malam in Treviris pugnam reparato per Germaniam exercitu apud Vetera castra consedit, tutus loco, et ut memoria prosperarum illic rerum augescerent barbarorum animi. Secutus est eodem Cerialis, duplicatis copiis adventu secundae et tertiae decimae et quartae decimae legionum; cohortesque et alae iam pridem accitae post victoriam properaverant. Neuter ducum cunctator, sed arcebat latitudo camporum suopte ingenio umentium; addiderat Civilis obliquam in Rhenum molem, cuius obiectu revolutus amnis adiacentibus superfunderetur. Ea loci forma, incertis vadis subdola et nobis adversa: quippe miles Romanus armis gravis et nandi pavidus, Germanos fluminibus suetos levitas armorum et proceritas corporum attollit.|
|5:15. The Batavi provoking a conflict, the struggle was at once begun by all the boldest spirits among our troops, but a panic arose, when they saw arms and horses swallowed up in the vast depths of the marshes. The Germans leapt lightly through the well-known shallows, and frequently, quitting the front, hung on the rear and flanks of our army. It was neither the close nor the distant fighting of a land-battle; it was more like a naval contest. Struggling among the waters, or exerting every limb where they found any firm footing, the wounded and the unhurt, those who could swim and those who could not, were involved in one common destruction. The loss however was less than might have been expected from the confusion, for the Germans, not venturing to leave the morass, returned to their camp. The result of this battle roused both generals, though from different motives, to hasten on the final struggle. Civilis was anxious to follow up his success; Cerialis to wipe out his disgrace. The Germans were flushed with success; the Romans were thoroughly roused by shame. The barbarians spent the night in singing and shouting; our men in rage and threats of vengeance.||5:15. Igitur lacessentibus Batavis ferocissimo cuique nostrorum coeptum certamen, deinde orta trepidatio, cum praealtis paludibus arma equi haurirentur. Germani notis vadis persultabant, omissa plerumque fronte latera ac terga circumvenientes. Neque ut in pedestri acie comminus certabatur, sed tamquam navali pugna vagi inter undas aut, si quid stabile occurrebat, totis illic corporibus nitentes, vulnerati cum integris, periti nandi cum ignaris in mutuam perniciem implicabantur. Minor tamen quam pro tumultu caedes, quia non ausi egredi paludem Germani in castra rediere. Eius proelii eventus utrumque ducem diversis animi motibus ad maturandum summae rei discrimen erexit. Civilis instare fortunae, Cerialis abolere ignominiam: Germani prosperis feroces, Romanos pudor excitaverat. Nox apud barbaros cantu aut clamore, nostris per iram et minas acta.|
|5:16. Next morning Cerialis formed his front with the cavalry and auxiliary infantry; in the second line were posted the legions, the general reserving a picked force for unforeseen contingencies. Civilis confronted him with his troops ranged, not in line, but in columns. On the right were the Batavi and the Gugerni; the left, which was nearer the river, was occupied by the Transrhenane tribes. The exhortations of the generals were not addressed as formal harangues to the assembled armies, but to the divisions separately, as they rode along the line. Cerialis spoke of the old glory of the Roman name, of former and of recent victories; he told them that in destroying for ever their treacherous, cowardly, and beaten foe, they had to execute a punishment, rather than to fight a battle. They had lately contended with a superior force, and yet the Germans, the strength of the hostile army, had been routed; a few were left, who carried terror in their hearts and scars upon their backs. He addressed to the several legions appropriate appeals. The 14th were styled the "Conquerors of Britain"; the powerful influence of the 6th had made Galba Emperor; the men of the 2nd were in that battle first to consecrate their new standards and new eagle. Then riding up to the army of Germany, he stretched forth his hand, and implored them to recover their river bank and their camp by the slaughter of the foe. A joyful shout arose from the whole army, some of whom after long peace lusted for battle, while others, weary of war, desired peace; all were looking for rewards and for future repose.||5:16. Postera luce Cerialis equite et auxiliariis cohortibus frontem explet, in secunda acie legiones locatae, dux sibi delectos retinuerat ad improvisa. Civilis haud porrecto agmine, sed cuneis adstitit: Batavi Cugernique in dextro, laeva ac propiora flumini Transrhenani tenuere. Exhortatio ducum non more contionis apud universos, sed ut quosque suorum advehebantur. Cerialis veterem Romani nominis gloriam, antiquas recentisque victorias; ut perfidum ignavum victum hostem in aeternum exciderent, ultione magis quam proelio opus esse. Pauciores nuper cum pluribus certasse, ac tamen fusos Germanos, quod roboris fuerit: superesse qui fugam animis, qui vulnera tergo ferant. Proprios inde stimulos legionibus admovebat, domitores Britanniae quartadecimanos appellans; principem Galbam sextae legionis auctoritate factum; illa primum acie secundanos nova signa novamque aquilam dicaturos. Hinc praevectus ad Germanicum exercitum manus tendebat, ut suam ripam, sua castra sanguine hostium reciperarent. Alacrior omnium clamor, quis vel ex longa pace proelii cupido vel fessis bello pacis amor, praemiaque et quies in posterum sperabatur.|
|5:17. Nor did Civilis marshal his army in silence. He called the field of battle to bear witness to their valour. He told the Germans and Batavians that they were standing on the monuments of their glory, that they were treading under foot the ashes and bones of legions. "Wherever," he said, "the Roman turns his eyes, captivity, disaster, and everything that is terrible, confront him. Do not be alarmed by the adverse result of the battle among the Treveri. There, their own success proved hurtful to the Germans, for, throwing away their arms, they hampered their hands with plunder. Since then everything has been favourable to us, and against the foe. All precautions, which the skill of a general should take, have been taken. Here are these flooded plains which we know so well, here the marshes so fatal to the enemy. The Rhine and the Gods of Germany are in your sight. Under their auspices give battle, remembering your wives, your parents, and your father-land. This day will either be the most glorious among the deeds of the past, or will be infamous in the eyes of posterity." These words were hailed, according to their custom, with the clash of arms and with wild antics, and then the battle was commenced by a discharge of stones, leaden balls, and other missiles, our soldiers not entering the morass, while the Germans sought to provoke, and so draw them on.||5:17. Nec Civilis silentem struxit aciem, locum pugnae testem virtutis ciens: stare Germanos Batavosque super vestigia gloriae, cineres ossaque legionum calcantis. Quocumque oculos Romanus intenderet, captivitatem clademque et dira omnia obversari. Ne terrerentur vario Trevirici proelii eventu: suam illic victoriam Germanis obstitisse, dum omissis telis praeda manus impediunt: sed cuncta mox prospera et hosti contraria evenisse. Quae provideri astu ducis oportuerit, providisse, campos madentis et ipsis gnaros, paludes hostibus noxias. Rhenum et Germaniae deos in aspectu: quorum numine capesserent pugnam, coniugum parentum patriae memores: illum diem aut gloriosissimum inter maiores aut ignominiosum apud posteros fore. Ubi sono armorum tripudiisque--ita illis mos--adprobata sunt dicta, saxis glandibusque et ceteris missilibus proelium incipitur, neque nostro milite paludem ingrediente et Germanis, ut elicerent, lacessentibus.|
|5:18. When their store of missiles was spent, and the battle grew hotter, a fiercer onslaught was made by the enemy. Their tall stature and very long spears enabled them, without closing, to wound our men, who were wavering and unsteady. At the same time a column of the Bructeri swam across from the dam, which I have described as carried out into the river. Here there was some confusion. The line of the allied infantry was being driven back, when the legions took up the contest. The fury of the enemy was checked, and the battle again became equal. At the same time a Batavian deserter came up to Cerialis, offering an opportunity of attacking the enemy's rear, if some cavalry were sent along the edge of the morass. The ground there was firm, and the Gugerni, to whom the post had been allotted, were careless. Two squadrons were sent with the deserter, and outflanked the unsuspecting enemy. At the shout that announced this success, the legions charged in front. The Germans were routed, and fled towards the Rhine. The war would have been finished that day, if the fleet had hastened to come up. As it was, the cavalry did not pursue, for a storm of rain suddenly fell, and night was at hand.||5:18. Absumptis quae iaciuntur et ardescente pugna procursum ab hoste infestius: immensis corporibus et praelongis hastis fluitantem labantemque militem eminus fodiebant; simul e mole, quam eductam in Rhenum rettulimus, Bructerorum cuneus transnatavit. Turbata ibi res et pellebatur sociarum cohortium acies, cum legiones pugnam excipiunt suppressaque hostium ferocia proelium aequatur. Inter quae perfuga Batavus adiit Cerialem, terga hostium promittens, si extremo paludis eques mitteretur: solidum illa et Cugernos, quibus custodia obvenisset, parum intentos. Duae alae cum perfuga missae incauto hosti circumfunduntur. Quod ubi clamore cognitum, legiones a fronte incubuere, pulsique Germani Rhenum fuga petebant. Debellatum eo die foret, si Romana classis sequi maturasset: ne eques quidem institit, repente fusis imbribus et propinqua nocte.|
|5:19. The next day the 14th legion was sent into the Upper Province to join Gallus Annius. The 10th, which had arrived from Spain, supplied its place in the army of Cerialis. Civilis was joined by some auxiliaries from the Chauci. Nevertheless he did not venture to fight for the defence of the Batavian capital, but carrying off property that could be removed, and setting fire to the remainder, he retreated into the island, aware that there were not vessels enough for constructing a bridge, and that the Roman army could not cross the river in any other way. He also demolished the dyke, constructed by Drusus Germanicus, and, by destroying this barrier, sent the river flowing down a steep channel on the side of Gaul. The river having been thus, so to speak, diverted, the narrowness of the channel between the island and Germany created an appearance of an uninterrupted surface of dry ground. Tutor, Classicus, and one hundred and thirteen senators of the Treveri, also crossed the Rhine. Among them was Alpinius Montanus, of whose mission into Gaul by Antonius I have already spoken. He was accompanied by his brother Decimus Alpinius. His other adherents were now endeavouring to collect auxiliaries among these danger- loving tribes by appeals to their pity and their greed.||5:19. Postera die quartadecima legio in superiorem pro vinciam Gallo Annio missa: Cerialis exercitum decima ex Hispania legio supplevit: Civili Chaucorum auxilia venere. Non tamen ausus oppidum Batavorum armis tueri, raptis quae ferri poterant, ceteris iniecto igni, in insulam concessit, gnarus deesse navis efficiendo ponti, neque exercitum Romanum aliter transmissurum: quin et diruit molem a Druso Germanico factam Rhenumque prono alveo in Galliam ruentem, disiectis quae morabantur, effudit. Sic velut abacto amne tenuis alveus insulam inter Germanosque continentium terrarum speciem fecerat. Transiere Rhenum Tutor quoque et Classicus et centum tredecim Trevirorum senatores, in quis fuit Alpinius Montanus, quem a Primo Antonio missum in Gallias superius memoravimus. Comitabatur eum frater D. Alpinius; simul ceteri miseratione ac donis auxilia concibant inter gentis periculorum avidas.|
|5:20. The war was so far from being at an end, that Civilis in one day attacked on four points the positions of the auxiliary infantry and cavalry and of the legions, assailing the tenth legion at Arenacum, the second at Batavodurum, and the camp of the auxiliary infantry and cavalry at Grinnes and Vada, and so dividing his forces, that he himself, his sister's son Verax, Classicus, and Tutor, led each his own division. They were not confident of accomplishing all these objects, but they hoped that, if they made many ventures, fortune would favour them on some one point. Besides, Cerialis was not cautious, and might easily be intercepted, as the multiplicity of tidings hurried him from place to place. The force, which had to attack the tenth legion, thinking it a hard matter to storm a legionary encampment, surprised some troops, who had gone out, and were busy felling timber, killed the prefect of the camp, five centurions of the first rank, and a few soldiers; the rest found shelter behind the fortifications. At Batavodurum the German troops tried to break down the bridge partly built. Night terminated an indecisive conflict.||5:20. Tantumque belli superfuit ut praesidia cohortium alarum legionum uno die Civilis quadripertito invaserit, decimam legionem Arenaci, secundam Batavoduri et Grinnes Vadamque, cohortium alarumque castra, ita divisis copiis ut ipse et Verax, sorore eius genitus, Classicusque ac Tutor suam quisque manum traherent, nec omnia patrandi fiducia, sed multa ausis aliqua in parte fortunam adfore: simul Cerialem neque satis cautum et pluribus nuntiis huc illuc cursantem posse medio intercipi. Quibus obvenerant castra decimanorum, obpugnationem legionis arduam rati egressum militem et caedendis materiis operatum turbavere, occiso praefecto castrorum et quinque primoribus centurionum paucisque militibus: ceteri se munimentis defendere. Interim Germanorum manus Batavoduri interrumpere inchoatum pontem nitebantur: ambiguum proelium nox diremit.|
|5:21. There was greater danger at Grinnes and Vada. Civilis attacked Vada, Classicus Grinnes, and they could not be checked, for our bravest men had fallen, among them Briganticus, who commanded a squadron of cavalry, and of whose loyalty to the Roman cause and enmity to his uncle Civilis I have already spoken. But when Cerialis came up with a picked body of cavalry, the fortune of the day changed, and the Germans were driven headlong into the river. Civilis, who was recognised while seeking to stop his flying troops, became the mark of many missiles, left his horse, and swam across the river. Verax escaped in the same way. Some light vessels were brought up, and carried off Tutor and Classicus. Even on this occasion the Roman fleet was not present at the engagement, though orders had been given to that effect. Fear kept them away, and their crews were dispersed about other military duties. Cerialis in fact allowed too little time for executing his commands; he was hasty in his plans, though eminently successful in their results. Fortune helped him even where skill had failed, and so both the general and his army became less careful about discipline. A few days after this he escaped the peril of actual capture, but not without great disgrace.||5:21. Plus discriminis apud Grinnes Vadamque. Vadam Civilis, Grinnes Classicus obpugnabant: nec sisti poterant interfecto fortissimo quoque, in quis Briganticus praefectus alae ceciderat, quem fidum Romanis et Civili avunculo infensum diximus. Sed ubi Cerialis cum delecta equitum manu subvenit, versa fortuna; praecipites Germani in amnem aguntur. Civilis dum fugientis retentat, agnitus petitusque telis relicto equo transnatavit; idem Veraci effugium: Tutorem Classicumque adpulsae luntres vexere. Ne tum quidem Romana classis pugnae adfuit, et iussum erat, sed obstitit formido et remiges per alia militiae munia dispersi. Sane Cerialis parum temporis ad exequenda imperia dabat, subitus consiliis set eventu clarus: aderat fortuna, etiam ubi artes defuissent; hinc ipsi exercituique minor cura disciplinae. Et paucos post dies, quamquam periculum captivitatis evasisset, infamiam non vitavit.|
|5:22. He had gone to Novesium and Bonna, to inspect the camps which were then in course of erection for the winter abode of the legions, and was making his way back with the fleet, his escort being in disorder, and his sentries negligent. This was observed by the Germans, and they planned a surprise. They chose a dark and cloudy night, and moving rapidly down the stream, entered the entrenchments without opposition. The carnage was at first helped on by a cunning device. They cut the ropes of the tents, and slaughtered the soldiers as they lay buried beneath their own dwellings. Another force put the fleet into confusion, threw their grapling irons on the vessels, and dragged them away by the sterns. They sought at first to elude notice by silence, but when the slaughter was begun, by way of increasing the panic they raised on all sides a deafening shout. The Romans, awakened by sounds, looked for their arms and rushed through the passages of the camp, some few with their proper accoutrements, but most with their garments wrapped round their shoulders, and with drawn swords in their hands. The general, who was half asleep, and all but naked, was saved by the enemy's mistake. They carried off the praetorian vessel, which was distinguished by a flag, believing that the general was on board. Cerialis indeed had passed the night elsewhere, in the company, as many believed, of an Ubian woman, Claudia Sacrata. The sentinels sought to excuse their own scandalous neglect by the disgraceful conduct of the general, alleging that they had been ordered to be silent, that they might not disturb his rest, and that, from omitting the watchwords and the usual challenges, they had themselves fallen asleep. The enemy rowed back in broad daylight with the captured vessels. The praetorian trireme they towed up the river Lupia as a present to Veleda.||5:22. Profectus Novaesium Bonnamque ad visenda castra, quae hiematuris legionibus erigebantur, navibus remeabat disiecto agmine, incuriosis vigiliis. Animadversum id Germanis et insidias composuere: electa nox atra nubibus, et prono amne rapti nullo prohibente vallum ineunt. Prima caedes astu adiuta: incisis tabernaculorum funibus suismet tentoriis coopertos trucidabant. Aliud agmen turbare classem, inicere vincla, trahere puppis; utque ad fallendum silentio, ita coepta caede, quo plus terroris adderent, cuncta clamoribus miscebant. Romani vulneribus exciti quaerunt arma, ruunt per vias, pauci ornatu militari, plerique circum brachia torta veste et strictis mucronibus. Dux semisomnus ac prope intectus errore hostium servatur: namque praetoriam navem vexillo insignem, illic ducem rati, abripiunt. Cerialis alibi noctem egerat, ut plerique credidere, ob stuprum Claudiae Sacratae mulieris Vbiae. Vigiles flagitium suum ducis dedecore excusabant, tamquam iussi silere ne quietem eius turbarent; ita intermisso signo et vocibus se quoque in somnum lapsos. Multa luce revecti hostes captivis navibus, praetoriam triremem flumine Lupia donum Veledae traxere.|
|5:23. Civilis was seized by a desire to make a naval demonstration. He manned all the triremes that he had, and such vessels as were propelled by a single bank of oars. To these he added a vast number of boats. He put in each three or four hundred men, the usual complement of a Liburnian galley. With these were the captured vessels, in which, picturesquely enough, plaids of various colours were used for sails. The place selected was an expanse of water, not unlike the sea, where the mouth of the Mosa serves to discharge the Rhine into the ocean. The motive for equipping this fleet was, to say nothing of the natural vanity of this people, a desire to intercept, by this alarming demonstration, the supplies that were approaching from Gaul. Cerialis, more in astonishment than alarm, drew up his fleet in line, and, though inferior in numbers, it had the advantage in the experience of the crews, the skill of the pilots, and the size of the vessels. The Romans had the stream with them, the enemy's vessels were propelled by the wind. Thus passing each other, they separated after a brief discharge of light missiles. Civilis attempted nothing more, and retired to the other side of the Rhine. Cerialis mercilessly ravaged the Island of the Batavi, but, with a policy familiar to commanders, left untouched the estates and houses of Civilis. Meanwhile, however, the autumn was far advanced, and the river, swollen by the continual rains of the season, overflowed the island, marshy and low-lying as it is, till it resembled a lake. There were no ships, no provisions at hand, and the camp, which was situated on low ground, was in process of being carried away by the force of the stream.||5:23. Civilem cupido incessit navalem aciem ostentandi: complet quod biremium quaeque simplici ordine agebantur; adiecta ingens luntrium vis, tricenos quadragenosque ferunt, armamenta Liburnicis solita; et simul captae luntres sagulis versicoloribus haud indecore pro velis iuvabantur. Spatium velut aequoris electum quo Mosae fluminis os amnem Rhenum Oceano adfundit. Causa instruendae classis super insitam genti vanitatem ut eo terrore commeatus Gallia adventantes interciperentur. Cerialis miraculo magis quam metu derexit classem, numero imparem, usu remigum, gubernatorum arte, navium magnitudine potiorem. His flumen secundum, illi vento agebantur: sic praevecti temptato levium telorum iactu dirimuntur. Civilis nihil ultra ausus trans Rhenum concessit: Cerialis insulam Batavorum hostiliter populatus agros villasque Civilis intactas nota arte ducum sinebat, cum interim flexu autumni et crebris per aequinoctium imbribus superfusus amnis palustrem humilemque insulam in faciem stagni opplevit. Nec classis aut commeatus aderant, castraque in plano sita vi fluminis differebantur.|
|5:24. That the legions might then have been crushed, and that the Germans wished to crush them, but were turned from their purpose by his own craft, was claimed as a merit by Civilis; nor is it unlike the truth, since a capitulation followed in a few days. Cerialis, sending secret emissaries, had held out the prospect of peace to the Batavi, and of pardon to Civilis, while he advised Veleda and her relatives to change by a well-timed service to the Roman people the fortune of war, which so many disasters had shewn to be adverse. He reminded them that the Treveri had been beaten, that the Ubii had submitted, that the Batavi had had their country taken from them, and that from the friendship of Civilis nothing else had been gained but wounds, defeat, and mourning; an exile and a fugitive he could only be a burden to those who entertained him, and they had already trespassed enough in crossing the Rhine so often. If they attempted anything more, on their side would be the wrong and the guilt, with the Romans the vengeance of heaven.||5:24. Potuisse tunc opprimi legiones et voluisse Germanos, sed dolo a se flexos imputavit Civilis; neque abhorret vero, quando paucis post diebus deditio insecuta est. Nam Cerialis per occultos nuntios Batavis pacem, Civili veniam ostentans, Veledam propinquosque monebat fortunam belli, tot cladibus adversam, opportuno erga populum Romanum merito mutare: caesos Treviros, receptos Vbios, ereptam Batavis patriam; neque aliud Civilis amicitia partum quam vulnera fugas luctus. Exulem eum et extorrem recipientibus oneri, et satis peccavisse quod totiens Rhenum transcenderint. Si quid ultra moliantur, inde iniuriam et culpam, hinc ultionem et deos fore.|
|5:25. Thus promises were mingled with threats. When the fidelity of the Transrhenane tribes had been thus shaken, among the Batavi also there arose debates. "We can no longer," they said, "postpone our ruin. The servitude of the whole world cannot be averted by a single nation. What has been accomplished by destroying legions with fire and sword, but that more legions and stronger have been brought up? If it was for Vespasian that we fought this war, then Vespasian rules the world; if we meant to challenge to battle the Roman people, then what a mere fraction of the human race are the Batavi! Look at the Rhaetians and Noricans, at the burdens borne by the other allies. No tribute, but valour and manhood are demanded of us. This is the next thing to liberty, and if we must choose between masters, then we may more honourably bear with the Emperors of Rome, than with the women of the Germans." Such were the murmurs of the lower class; the nobles spoke in fiercer language. "We have been driven into war," they said, "by the fury of Civilis. He sought to counterbalance his private wrongs by the destruction of his nation. Then were the Gods angry with the Batavi when the legions were besieged, when the legates were slain, when the war, so necessary to that one man, so fatal to us, was begun. We are at the last extremity, unless we think of repenting, and avow our repentance by punishing the guilty."||5:25. Miscebantur minis promissa; et concussa Transrhenanorum fide inter Batavos quoque sermones orti: non prorogandam ultra ruinam, nec posse ab una natione totius orbis servitium depelli. Quid profectum caede et incendiis legionum nisi ut plures validioresque accirentur? Si Vespasiano bellum navaverint, Vespasianum rerum potiri: sin populum Romanum armis vocent, quotam partem generis humani Batavos esse? Respicerent Raetos Noricosque et ceterorum onera sociorum: sibi non tributa, sed virtutem et viros indici. Proximum id libertati; et si dominorum electio sit, honestius principes Romanorum quam Germanorum feminas tolerari. Haec vulgus, proceres atrociora: Civilis rabie semet in arma trusos; illum domesticis malis excidium gentis opposuisse. Tunc infensos Batavis deos, cum obsiderentur legiones, interficerentur legati, bellum uni necessarium, ferale ipsis sumeretur. Ventum ad extrema, ni resipiscere incipiant et noxii capitis poena paenitentiam fateantur.|
|5:26. These dispositions did not escape the notice of Civilis. He determined to anticipate them, moved not only by weariness of his sufferings, but also by that clinging to life which often breaks the noblest spirits. He asked for a conference. The bridge over the river Nabalia was cut down, and the two generals advanced to the broken extremities. Civilis thus opened the conference:- "If it were before a legate of Vitellius that I were defending myself, my acts would deserve no pardon, my words no credit. All the relations between us were those of hatred and hostility, first made so by him, and afterwards embittered by me. My respect for Vespasian is of long standing. While he was still a subject, we were called friends. This was known to Primus Antonius, whose letters urged me to take up arms, for he feared lest the legions of Germany and the youth of Gaul should cross the Alps. What Antonius advised by his letters, Hordeonius suggested by word of mouth. I fought the same battle in Germany, as did Mucianus in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in Pannonia...."||5:26. Non fefellit Civilem ea inclinatio et praevenire statuit, super taedium malorum etiam spe vitae, quae plerumque magnos animos infringit. Petito conloquio scinditur Nabaliae fluminis pons, in cuius abrupta progressi duces, et Civilis ita coepit: 'si apud Vitellii legatum defenderer, neque facto meo venia neque dictis fides debebatur; cuncta inter nos inimica: hostilia ab illo coepta, a me aucta erant: erga Vespasianum vetus mihi observantia, et cum privatus esset, amici vocabamur. Hoc Primo Antonio notum, cuius epistulis ad bellum actus sum, ne Germanicae legiones et Gallica iuventus Alpis transcenderent. Quae Antonius epistulis, Hordeonius Flaccus praesens monebat: arma in Germania movi, quae Mucianus in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in Pannonia....'|
|At this point the Histories break off.
We do not know what happened to Civilis.
The Batavians seem to have received favorable treatment.