Postridie eius diei, quod omnino biduum supererat, cum exercitui frumentum metiri oporteret, et quod a Bibracte, oppido Aeduorum longe maximo et copiosissimo, non amplius milibus passuum XVIII aberat, rei frumentariae prospiciendum existimavit:  iter ab Helvetiis avertit ac Bibracte ire contendit.  Ea res per fugitivos L. Aemili, decurionis equitum Gallorum, hostibus nuntiatur. Helvetii, seu quod timore, perterritos Romanos discedere a se existimarent, eo mangis, quod pridie superioribus locis occupatis proelium non commisissent, sive eo, quod re frumentaria intercludi posse confiderent, commutato consilio atque itinere converso nostros a novissimo agmine insequi ac lacessere coeperunt.


On the morrow, as no more than two days remained before it was proper to issue the corn-ration to the troops, and as he was no more than eighteen miles from Bibracte, by fat the largest and the best-provided of the Aeduan towns, he considered that he must attend to the corn-supply. He therefore turned his line of march away from the Helvetii, and made with all speed for Bibracte. The change was reported to the enemy by some deserters from Lucius Aemilius, a troop-leader of the Gallic horse. Now the Helvetii may have supposed that the Romans were moving away from them because of sheer panic, the more so because on the day before they had not joined battle after seizing the higher ground; or they may have believed that the Romans could be cut off from their corn-supply. Whichever the reason, they changed their plan, altered their route, and began to pursue and annoy the Roman rearguard.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards


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