This selection from Caesar's Gallic War, intended for use in schools, includes the following passages in Latin: Book IV, chapters 20-36, and Book V, chapters 8-23. He then went to Rhodes to study oratory under a famous professor Molon. On the clifftops stood rank upon rank of Celts, waiting, Caesar had no doubt, to pay homage to himself and his legions. Some of the Germans tried to make a desperate stand amid the baggage carts, but tens of thousands were cut down as they fled, including many women and children. Read more: Everything you need to know about Eleanor of Aquitaine. There was no time either for proper reconnaissance of the island, for gathering information about the nature and size of the country, its harbours and the methods of fighting used by its inhabitants. Read more: 3 of the best British mysteries. Tom Holland 2003. The envoys of the Usipetes and Tencteri were understandably cool to this proposal. His father had been murdered by Cassivellaunus and the son had fled into exile to save his own life. A gentle southwest breeze blew Caesar’s fleet steadily across the Channel that evening until the wind suddenly died around midnight. A third civil war broke out between Octavian on one hand and Antony and Cleopatra on the other. With this inauspicious start to Caesar’s British adventure, things soon began to get still worse. Finally, Caesar claims that on their native farms, up to a dozen related men could live in a communal lifestyle freely sharing wives. Some 30 miles across the water lay an island, which, according to travellers' tales was rich in pearls, lead, gold, and tin. Gaius Julius Caesar: Writings. Julius Caesar opens with the tribunes (the elected representatives of the people) reproaching the commoners for celebrating Caesar’s victory over Pompey the Great in the recent civil war. They were perfectly aware that their only link to the civilized world was gone. The obstacle was overcome when the Romans clothed their elephant in armor of iron scales and placed on its back a tower full of archers and slingers. We later learn the tribunes are condemned to death for their actions. They were even able to forge the nails that held the timbers together. These cover Caesar's expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC. The Romans had been building substantial bridges for many centuries, but what Caesar was proposing was unprecedented. Gaius Julius Caesar was born 12 July 100 BCE (though some cite 102 as his birth year). When Caesar promised to restore this young man to his stolen kingdom, some of the smaller tribes deserted their leader. Despite major military commitments in Gaul and across the Rhine in Germania, Julius Caesarmade his first British expedition in 55 BC. The current of the Rhine was so strong that Caesar drove the first piles into the riverbed at an angle facing the flow of the stream and further secured them on the downriver side with bracing supports. This impressive sight must have awed the general and his troops, until they drew closer to shore and noticed the thousands of British warriors gathered along the top of the cliffs for miles in each direction. Some distance away in the Roman camp, sentries saw a huge rising cloud of dust. This time he took with him five legions (25,000 men) and 2,000 cavalry. From every part of Gaul, men streamed to Caesar’s camp to join the grand adventure in hope of plunder—gold, pearls, slaves. Everything you need to know about Eleanor of Aquitaine, Everything you need to know about Winston Churchill. Unfortunately, the ships assigned to transport his horsemen across the channel were prevented from reaching the Gaulish port by a contrary wind. was a personal matter he omitted from his official reports to the Senate. He begins his description with the different types of people found on the island: The parts of Britain far from the sea are inhabited by tribes who claim to be indigenous, but those along the coast are recent migrants from Belgic Gaul who came for profit and war. During those years the Celts of Britain had aided their Gallic kinsmen against Caesar and he judged that until Britain was his, the north coast of France would always be vulnerable to a surprise attack. Caesar’s fate – and that of the Roman Republic – hung in the balance as the Battle of Pharsalus began in earnest. But the Veneti had refused to talk. As they said, his unmatched reputation in war had spread even to the most distant corners of Germany since his defeat of Ariovistus three years earlier. There was no greater disgrace than for a legion’s eagle to be captured by an enemy, so the Romans reluctantly jumped off their ships and began fighting their way to the beach. In a period of just a few days, he proposed to span a swift-moving river at least eight hundred feet wide and up to twenty-five feet deep. The third motive Caesar gives for crossing into Germany was that the beleaguered Ubii had formally requested his presence there to show the bellicose Suebi that Rome stood behind them. The Roman fleet of 800 ships arrived off the Kent coast in the summer of 54 BC to find the landing beach deserted. But no one—until Caesar—had ever considered the possibility of actually taking the fight to the Germans. After only ten days, Caesar’s bridge across the Rhine was complete. The drivers did not charge into the Roman ranks, but instead created an unnerving noise and confusion rushing past the troops while the warriors they carried cast spears into their lines. The force was so imposing that the Britons did not dare contest Caesar's landing in Kent, waiting instead until he began to move inland. Caesar's Gallic War consists of seven parts ("books"), each devoted to one year of campaigning.The first book covers the year 58 BCE: it opens with the war against the Helvetians, continues with a victorious battle against a Germanic army, and culminates in the modest remark that Caesar had concluded two very important wars in a single campaign. It was only a matter of time, Caesar feared, until the whole country would explode. Crassus had made his immense fortune in Rome and had led troops in combat with Spartacus, but he craved a glorious military campaign on a par with Pompey’s eastern war and Caesar’s conquests in the north. Read more: The effect of the Battle of Hastings. When the day of departure finally came, however, the Roman troops and all the Gaulish auxiliary boarded the ships—except for Dumnorix and a contingent of the Aedui. Caesar negotiated a treaty imperiously, almost as if he had won a great victory. Home. to supervise affairs in Cisalpine Gaul, but more importantly, to keep a close eye on events in Rome. This is the life of the American general Douglas MacArthur, who was the ruler of occupied Japan after the Second World War.Why have you chosen this book? Their orders were to bring him back alive, if possible, but to stop him at all costs. Roman legionaries were not only superb fighters, but they were also skillful engineers as well, and this would not be the first time they had repaired ships by using the wreckage of those more badly damaged. His relations with the poet’s family in Verona continued for many years as warmly as ever. by a group of senators. Senators and commoners alike lived in fear of the day the next wave of German hordes would cross the Rhine and sweep south to pillage and burn their land. S. Weinstock 1971. Now the unmistakable smell of autumn was in the air and Caesar, aware that time was running out, resorted to subversive tactics. As a result, the Senate voted a 20-day period of thanksgiving for Caesar's 'exploit.' No one was able to get under Caesar’s skin like Cato—a fact that Cato knew well and used to his own advantage on a number of occasions. They continued to visit the Roman camp over the next few days and spoke of their unwavering loyalty. The further the Romans advanced, the further the Britons retreated, drawing the invaders deeper and deeper into the forest. In this goal, he succeeded admirably. As Caesar approached the White Cliffs of Dover, he found an impressive sight awaiting him. The Celts returned to Britain accompanied by Caesar's ambassador, Commius, King of the Atrebates, one of the Gallic tribes. It kept the Britons away long enough for them to finish repairing some of their ships and send them to Boulogne to fetch more materials. The Celts knew that Caesar would not doubt the sincerity of this; arrogant and accustomed to success as he was, he took this submission as his natural right. Caesar, however, was not interested in a compromise. Marcellinus, one of the two consuls for the current year, declared that Pompey and Crassus had violated the law by canvassing for the magistracy outside of the strict campaign season and were therefore ineligible for election. At the top of the list of potential troublemakers was Dumnorix of the Aedui, a man who had troubled Caesar since the beginning of the Gallic War. He returned with the army to his bridge on the Rhine and crossed back into Gaul. It was nearly midnight, but Caesar set off immediately and marched through the moonlit forests and marshes of Kent towards Canterbury. The Writings of Julius Africanus ... How Caius Julius Caesar was the First Roman that came into Britain ..... BOOK I CHAP. They didn’t realize that the British had deliberately left this field untouched as bait to lure the Romans into a trap. The men were still wading towards the shore, weighed down by their arms and the heavy mailed leather jerkins they wore when the British horsemen came riding out into the surf, swinging their swords and shouting battle cries. Immediately Caesar himself and a handful of troops stormed out of the camp and ran towards the fields. Julius Caesar. He had learned from his pointed failures during the first expedition and was now determined to launch a successful campaign to avenge his embarrassment at the hands of the British. Caesar learned from these defectors that the headquarters of Cassivellaunus was nearby, though well-protected by swamps, thickets, and trenches. 4. He could see the warriors of Cassivellaunus waiting on the far side of the river eager for the Romans to press across so they could strike them down in the water. It was fortunate for them that Caesar, lacking his cavalry, could order no pursuit. Childhood Julius Caesar was born in Rome in 100 BC to a respectable family and had a typical childhood, taught by a tutor from the age of 6 and learning useful leadership skills such as Roman law and public speaking. This was little more than an annoyance at present, but he could not afford to allow the situation to worsen and distract him from more pressing ventures in Britain and Gaul. This was a far more difficult task than building a bridge across the much smaller Saône in the early days of the war to pursue the Helvetii. The frustration soon broke into open revolt among the Carnutes tribes around modern Chartes when they murdered their king, Tasgetius, a solid ally of Caesar. Unlike Veneti ships, they would be fitted with both sails and oars to allow for rapid movement with or without wind. Having subdued Gaul, or so it seemed at the time, Julius Caesar launched an expedition to Britain. The Romans arrived at the only crossing place to find that the Britons had barricaded it by driving stakes into the riverbed. The next few days brought more heavy rain, but on this occasion, the weather worked to the Romans' advantage. Caesar had conveniently granted leave to young Publius Crassus to lead a force of loyal soldiers back to Rome for his father’s election. With tremendous effort by all, the fleet finally arrived in Kent by midday. Gaius Julius Caesar (13 July 100 - 15 March 44 BCE), Roman statesman, general, author, famous for the conquest of Gaul (modern France and Belgium) and his subsequent coup d'état. Our best picture of the warlike side of the Britons comes from the account written by Julius Caesar about his two expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC. For so many years the man who had risen to the consulship from obscurity had been held in bemused contempt by the Roman nobility. Caesar had a few pieces of information about Britain brought back over the previous five hundred years by those few voyagers who had managed to travel there and return. Caesar believed in keeping his friends close and his enemies even closer. However, Caesar's interest in Britain was dictated not so much by a desire to exploit her mineral wealth as by the strategic position of the island. The Ubii had offered to ferry the Romans across the Rhine, but to Caesar this simply wouldn’t do. Caesar quickly reached Pirustae territory, then called their leaders to a conference, warning them that unless they wanted him to wage a crushing war on them as he had done against troublesome tribes in Gaul, they would immediately cease their raids and make reparations. However, with the Thames breached, the authority of Cassivellaunus was considerably weakened. So great was his concern that he immediately abandoned his usual plans to return to northern Italy that winter and chose instead to remain in Gaul with his troops. Juli 100 v. Chr. Cato objected, of course, but the optimates were bested once again by bribery, intimidation, and outright violence. They came across one large field that was still uncut, so the soldiers set to work harvesting grain. Caesar not only needed their contribution to his invasion force as they had the best cavalry in Gaul, but he could not afford to leave a rebellious tribe in his rear to stir up trouble. In January of 55 B.C., as the special elections drew near, Cato fought tooth and nail to promote his own brother-in-law, Lucius Domitius—a fierce optimate with the family cognomen Ahenobarbus (“Bronze Beard”)—as an alternative candidate for consul. Did Mary Queen of Scots kill her husband. In spite of the renewed spirit the standard-bearer had given the troops, their fight to gain the shore was a chaotic struggle hampered by the more maneuverable British warriors. The envoys then promised not to attack his men—but when Caesar’s cavalry moved out ahead of his main force, the Germans struck. Caesar invaded Britain in 55 BCE 'Before common era', the non-religious way of saying 'BC' (which means 'before Christ'). Happy Birthday Tower Bridge! [54 AD]. Caesar immediately knew he had been betrayed by his newfound British allies and ordered his troops to follow him to the dust cloud. They brought forward their prisoner Commius and returned him unharmed with their apologies. He was particularly worried by the German incursion into Gaul since it threatened to destabilize the whole country. More immediately, it would keep his name on Roman tongues at a time when his triumvirate partners Pompey and Crassus were much in the public eye as consuls. 3:01. Unlucky in love, Catullus had also failed to reap any expected profit from recent service on the staff of the Roman governor of Bithynia. The Romans had heard about war chariots from the ancient tales of Homer, but they were terrified to see such a weapon actually being used against them. If they could keep Caesar away until their cavalry rejoined the army, the Germans would be a potent force. They now faced a long, cold winter in Britain with few supplies and little food, surrounded by hostile tribes who could pick them off at their leisure. Much of what he says has been verified by modern scholarship and archaeological excavations, but regardless of his accuracy his readers in Rome would have been fascinated by the strange and wonderful world he describes across the sea. He then personally led his eager men against the enemy camp. The legions were trained to fight in set battles or protracted sieges, not dozens of simultaneous skirmishes. Julius Caesar. Cato, as usual, was not impressed by Caesar’s achievements. As soon as he arrived from Italy, Caesar summoned leaders from all the Gaulish tribes to a conference reportedly to “soothe their spirits and encourage them,” but he undoubtedly issued some stern warnings as well against any treachery. Gaius Julius Caesar (13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC), known as Julius Caesar, was a Roman politician, general, and notable author of Latin prose. The Romans then returned to camp while the native chiefs sent messengers far and wide collecting even more troops to push Caesar and his men into the sea. Britain could easily become a major inspiration and source of support for Gaulish rebels. Caesar held him to be a trustworthy man of great courage and discretion who was known and respected among the Britons. The bleak dawn that followed revealed a beach littered with the wreckage of Caesar's transports. But at sunrise, word arrived from Caesar’s fort on the beach that nearly all the ships had been damaged yet again by a sudden squall during the night. The plans he presented to his lieutenants in Gaul called for ships that were an ingenious combination of Roman and Veneti craft, along with some innovative touches of his own. The Germans rushed forward, leaped off their mounts, and quickly stabbed the Roman horses, forcing the ill-prepared cavalrymen to fight on foot. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images Quick Facts Name Julius Caesar Birth Date c. July 12, 0100 BCE Death Date March 15, 0044 BCE Did You Know? The soldiers then rowed out into the river to drive in the next piles and linked them to the previous pair with sturdy timbers. The fact that Britain was so exotic to the classical world also made any military campaign there risky. There was a brief skirmish near the banks of the River Stour, but as soon as the Romans began to attack in earnest, the Britons disappeared into the trees. He prepared his seven books on the Gallic War for publication in 51 bce when he still had serious revolts in Gaul on his hands, and he wrote his books on the civil war and his Anticato in the hectic years between 49 and 44 bce. As a political idea, Caesar exhibits from the very beginning a tension between his role as dictator and destroyer of the Republic and his standing as the political and military genius who founded the Empire. At this dramatic point in his yearly report to the Senate, later published in his Gallic War, Caesar interrupts his own description of battles and naval disasters to highlight his talents as an ethnographer and scientist. The claim that the southern Britons had close cultural ties to Gaul is undeniable. Any doubters in the Roman camp, however, did not reckon on Caesar’s own engineering skills and his talent for accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks. When he stepped off the ship in Gaul, a messenger handed him a sealed letter from his friends in Rome. Fortunately for his troops, Caesar arrived just in time to drive the British into the forest and prevent a crushing defeat. The plan failed, but Caesar eagerly seized his chance when Cassivellaunus asked for a truce. If they could defeat Caesar and his two legions, they were confident that Rome would not trouble their island again. Julius Caesar (100—44 BCE) changed Rome forever. But the most crushing blow to Caesar that autumn of 54 B.C. Caesar returned to northern Italy in the autumn of 56 B.C. His full name was Gaius Julius Caesar. The Senate announced twenty days of public thanksgiving when they heard the news of Caesar’s safe return, graciously overlooking the fact that he had almost lost a quarter of his army on an ill-conceived and poorly planned venture at the end of the world. When he next left camp with his army, he was confident that his means of transport back to Gaul was finally safe. During this tour he learned that an Alpine tribe called the Pirustae were raiding his nearby province of Illyricum. Caesar, however, was aware that there was little time left before winter brought campaigning to a halt to complete a British invasion, not time enough, in fact, to mount the usual Roman form of attack that called for long-term tactics, infiltrating enemy territory and sapping morale through propaganda and subversion. In 60 BC, Caesar, Crassus and Pompey … <. Why? This brought some relief to the troops, but they were still reluctant to throw themselves into the deep, pounding surf. He had spent less than three weeks in Britain. But Caesar’s supporters—and especially his enemies—realized that it had been Julia who held together the alliance of Caesar and Pompey. Dumnorix refused and shouted as they cut him down: His words would soon become a rallying cry for all of Gaul. The scone undoubtedly, the perfect British treat. The triumvirate responded by twisting Cicero’s arm until he agreed to defend Balbus in court, which he did successfully. Adrian Goldsworthy 2006. Caesar was so anxious to set sail during a break in the stormy weather that he weighed anchor with only his infantry, giving orders for the cavalry to follow immediately. Especially important was a prince named Mandubracius of the Trinovantes of Essex, northeast of London. Excavations also provide abundant evidence of trade between Gaul and southern Britain, including wine. They would also be broader to handle more cargo, especially cavalry horses, and have less draft so that they could be beached in shallow water. He writes that his primary reason for the campaign was to punish those Britons who had aided the Gaulish tribes in their previous rebellions, but he also notes that a brief reconnaissance of the island would be most helpful in any future operations there. Caesar soon returned to northern Italy, where he faced a more delicate problem. The optimates, however, were once again ready to demonstrate that they could cause considerable trouble for Caesar and his colleagues even if they could not block them outright. Als Grund für seine Landung in Britannien gibt Caesar an, dass die Britonen die gallischen Stämme gegen ihn unterstützt hätten. Startled by the speed of the German charge, the Roman cavalry was caught completely off guard. He was then assassinated and said: ‘ Et tu, Brute ?’ Bombarded from above and slipping on the shingle, some of the Romans fell into the water. All the while warriors were pouring into the area from all the neighboring tribes. that Julius Caesar became the first Roman to see the white cliffs of Dover. That done, Caesar ordered his men to dig themselves in behind earthen ramparts and wait for the Britons to attack in force. Peasants were rounded up, war chariots made ready, arms burnished and sharpened. He notes that all British warriors, north and south, dye their skin with a bluish coloring derived from the leaves of a plant called vitrum (woad) that gives them a terrifying appearance in battle. But after almost three weeks of marching unopposed through the German countryside, Caesar felt he had made his point. The Britons in turn exported grain, cattle, precious metals, hunting dogs, and slaves to Gaul and beyond. He then destroyed the bridge to prevent any enemy from using it and left the dark forests of Germany behind him. In 69 or 68 Caesar began his … No comments. Arriving with just two legions, he established a beach head, but was forced to withdraw his army before the arrival of winter. With these affairs settled, the remainder of the triumvirate consulship was fairly quiet, though the year ended with an optimate victory when Domitius Ahenobarbus was at last chosen as consul along with Cato as praetor. He must have wondered then if he was ever going to enjoy a peaceful year in Gaul. Caesar spared his life—a kindness he would later regret—and appointed Cingetorix as ruler in his place. When the messenger bearing news from the north arrived at Caesar’s headquarters in Italy, he broke the seal and quickly read the dispatch. As Domitius and Cato worked to secure last-minute votes the night before the election, Pompey ordered his well-paid thugs to attack the optimate leaders in the dark streets, wounding Cato and killing his torchbearer, while Domitius fled to the safety of his own home. From before sunrise to after sunset each day thousands of Roman soldiers labored to construct the bridge section by section across the Rhine. I was terrified for your sake concerning the sea and coast of that island…You write about such amazing things you saw there—the countryside, wonders of nature, interesting places, customs, tribes, battles—and of course your commander himself.