Prima luce, cum summus mons a Labieno teneretur, ipse ab hostium castris non longius mille et quingentis passibus abesset, neque, ut postea ex captivis comperit, aut ipsius adventus aut Labieni cognitus esset, Considius equo admisso ad eum accurrit, dicit montem quem a Labieno occupari voluerit ab hostibus teneri: id se a Gallicis armis atque insignibus cognovisse. Caesar suas copias in proximum collem subducit, aciem instruit. Labienus, ut erat ei praeceptum a Caesare, ne proelium committeret, nisi ipsius copiae prope hostium castra visae essent, ut undique uno tempore in hostes impetus fieret, monte occupato nostros exspectabat proelioque abstinebat. Multo denique die per exporatores Caesar cognovit et montem a suis teneri et Helvetios castra movisse et Considium timore perterritum quod non vidisset pro viso sibi renuntiasse. Eo die quo consuerat intervallo hostes sequitur et milia passuum tria ab eorum castris castra ponit.
At dawn Labienus was in possession of the summit of the height, and Caesar was no more than a mile and a half from the enemy's camp; and, as he learnt afterwars from prisoners, neither his own approach nor that of Labienus was discovered. At this moment Considius galloped back to him, saying that the mountain he had wished Labienus to seize was in possession of the enemy: he knew it by the Gallic arms and badges. Caesar withdrew his own troops to the nearest hill and formed line of battle. Labienus had instructions from Caesar not to join battle unless his own troops appeared near the enemy's camp, so that a simultaneous assault might be made upon the enemy from all sides; accordingly, having seized the height, he awaited the main body and refrained from engaging. At length, when the day was far spent, Caesar learnt from his scouts that the height was in possession of his own troops, and that the Helvetii had shifted their camp, and therefore that Considius in sheer panic had reported to him as seen that which he had not seen. On that day he followed the enemy at the customary interval, and pitched his camp three miles from theirs.
Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards
<< Previous | De Bello Gallico | Next >>