Hoc proelio facto reliquas copias Helvetiorum ut consequi posset, pontem in Arare faciendum curat atque ita exercitum traducit.  Helvetii repentino eius adventu commoti, cum id, quod ipsi diebus XX aegerrime confecerant, ut flumen transirent, illum uno die fecisse intellegerent, legatos ad eum mittunt; cuius legationis Divico princeps fuit, qui bello Cassiano dux Helvetiorum fuerat.  Is ita cum Caesare egit:  Si pacem populus Romanus cum Helvetiis faceret, in eam partem ituros atque ibi futuros Helvetios, ubi eos Caesar constituisset atque esse voluisset; sin bello persequi perseveraret, reminisceretur et veteris incommodi populi Romani et pristinae virtutis Helvetiorum.  Quod improviso unum pagum adortus esset, cum ei, qui flumen transissent, suis auxilium ferre non possent, ne ob eam rem aut suae magnopere virtuti tribueret aut ipsos despiceret.  Se ita a patribus maioribusque suis didicisse, ut magis virtute quam dolo contenderent aut insidiis niterentur.  Quare ne committeret ut is locus, ubi constitissent, ex calamitate populi Romani et internicione exercitus nomen caperet aut memoriam proderet.

This action over, he caused a bridge to be made over the Saône and sent his army across thereby, in order to pursue the remainder of the Helvetian forces.  Alarmed at his sudden approach--for they perceived that the business of crossing the river,which they themselves had accomplished with the greatest difficulty in twenty days, and been despatched by Caesar in a single one--the Helvetii sent deputies to him.  The leader of the deputation was Divico, who had been commander of the Helvetii in the campaign against Cassius.  He treated with Caesar as follows:  If the Roman people would make peace with the Helvetii, they would go whither and abide where Caesar should determine and desire; if on the other hand he should continue to visit them with war, he was advised to remember the earlier disasters of the Roman people and the ancient valour of the Helvetii.  He had attacked one canton unawares, when those who had crossed the river could not bear assistance to their fellows; but that event must not induce him to rate his own valour highly or to despise them.  The Helvetii had learnt from their parents and ancestors to fight their battles with courage, not with cunning or reliance upon stratagem.  Caesar therefore must not allow the place of their conference to derive renown or perpetuate remembrance by a disaster to the Roman people and the destruction of an army.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards

<< Previous | De Bello Gallico | Next >>

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.