Flumen est Arar, quod per fines Aeduorum et Sequanorum in Rhodanum influit, incredibili lenitate, ita ut oculis, in utram partem fluat, iudicari non possit.  Id Helvetii ratibus ac lintribus iunctis transibant.  Ubi per exporatores Caesar certior factus est tres iam partes copiarum Helvetios id flumen traduxisse, quartam fere partem citra flumen Ararim reliquam esse, de tertia vigilia cum legionibus tribus e castris profectus ad eam partem pervenit, quae nondum flumen transierat.  Eos impeditos et inopinantes adgressus magnam partem eorum concidit:  reliqui sese fugae mandarunt atque in proximas silvas abdiderunt.  Is pagus appellabatur Tigurinus:  nam omnis civitas Helvetia in quattuor pagos divisa est.  Hic pagus unus, cum domo exisset, patrum nostrorum memoria, L. Cassium consulem interfecerat et eius exercitum sub iugum miserat.  Ita sive casu sive consilio deorum immortalium, quae pars civitatis Helvetiae insignem calamitatem populo Romano intulerat, ea princeps poenas persolvit.  Qua in re Caesar non solum publicas sed etiam privatas iniurias ultus est, quod eius soceri L. Pisonis avum, L. Pisonem legatum, Tigurini eodem proelio quo Cassium interfecerant.


There is a river Arar (Saône), which flows through the borders of the Aedui and the Sequani into the Rhone:  its sluggishness is beyond belief, for the eye cannot determine in which direction the stream flows.  This river the Helvetii proceeded to cross by rafts and boats fastened together.  When Caesar's scouts informed him that three-quarters of the Helvetian forces had actually crossed, and that about a quarter remained on the near side of the river Saône, he left camp in the third watch with three legions and came up to the division of the enemy which had not yet crossed.  He attacked them unawares when they were heavily loaded, and put a great number of them to the sword; the remainder betook themselves to flight and hid in the nearest woods.  The name of the canton was the Tigurine; for the whole state of Helvetia is divided into four cantons.  In the recollection of the last generation this canton had marched out alone from its homeland, and had slain the consul Lucius Cassius and sent his army under the yoke.  And so, whether by accident or by the purpose of the immortal gods, the section of the Helvetian state which had brought so signal a calamity upon the Roman people was the first to pay the penalty in full.  Therein Caesar avenged private as well as national outrages; for in the same battle with Cassius the Tigurini had slain Lucius Piso the general, grandfather of Lucius Piso, Caesar's father-in-law.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards


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