Interim cotidie Caesar Aeduos frumentum, quod essent publice polliciti, flagitare. Nam propter frigora, quod Gallia sub septentrionibus, ut ante dictum est, posita est, non modo frumenta in agris matura non erant, sed ne pabuli quidem satis magna copia suppetebat: eo autem frumento, quod flumine Arare navibus subvexerat, propterea uti minus poterat quod iter ab Arare Helvetii averterant, a quibus discedere nolebat. Diem ex die ducere Aedui: conferri, comportari, adesse dicere. Ubi se diutius duci intellexit et diem instare, quo die frumentum militibus metiri oporteret, convocatis eorum principibus, quorum magnam copiam in castis habebat, in his Diviciaco et Lisco, qui summo magistratui praeerat, quem Vergobretum appelant Aedui, qui creatur annuus et vitae necisque in suos habet potestatem, graviter eos accusat, quod, cum neque emi neque ex agris sumi posset, tam necessario tempore, tam propinquis hostibus ab eis non sublevetur; praesertim cum magna ex parte eorum precibus adductus bellum susceperit, multo etiam gravius quod sit destitutus queritur.
Meanwhile Caesar was daily pressing the Aedui for the corn that they had promised as a state. For by reason of cold weather (since Gaul, as has been said above, lies under the northern heaven) not only were the corn-crops in the fields unripe, but there was not even a sufficient supply of forage to be had. At the same time he was less able to use the corn-supply that he had brought up the river Saône in boats, because the Helvetii had diverted their march from the Saône, and he did not wish to lose touch with them. The Aedui put him off day after day, declaring that the corn was being collected, was being brought in, was at hand. He perceived that he was being put off too long, and that the day was close upon him whereupon it was proper to issue the corn-ration to the troops: accordingly he summoned together the Aeduan chiefs, of whom he had a great number in his camp, among them Diviciacus and Liscus, who had the highest magistracy, called Vergobret1 by the Aedui: the magistrate is elected annually, and holds the power of life and death over his fellow-countrymen. Caesar called them severely to account because they offered no relief in a time of stress, with the enemy close at hand, when corn could neither be purchased nor taken from the fields. And just because he had undertaken the war largely in response to their entreaties, he complained the more severely of their desertion.
1i.e. dispenser of judgment
Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards
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