Ea re constituta, secunda vigilia magno cum strepitu ac tumultu castris egressi nullo certo ordine neque imperio, cum sibi quisque primum itineris locum peteret et domum pervenire properaret, fecerunt ut consimilis fugae profectio videretur. Hac re statim Caesar per speculatores cognita insidias veritus, quod qua de causa discederent nondum perspexerat, exercitum equitatumque castris continuit. Prima luce confirmata re ab exploratoribus omnem equitatum, qui novissimum agmen moraretur, praemisit. His Quintum Pedium et Lucium Aurunculeium Cottam legatos praefecit; Titum Labienum legatum cum legionibus tribus subsequi iussit. Hi novissimos adorti et multa milia passuum prosecuti magnam multitudinem eorum fugientium conciderunt, cum ab extremo agmine, ad quos ventum erat, consisterent fortiterque impetum nostrorum militum sustinerent, priores, quod abesse a periculo viderentur neque ulla necessitate neque impero continerentur, sibi praesidium ponerent. Ita sine ullo periculo tantam eorum multitudinem nostri interfecerunt quantum fuit diei spatium, sub occasumque solis destiterunt seque in castra, ut erat imperatum, receperunt.
This, then, being determined, the decamped in the second watch with great uproar and commotion, in no definite order, under no command, each seeking for himself the first place on the road, and hurrying to reach home, so that they made their departure seem like to a flight. Caesar learnt this at once through his scouts; and fearing an ambush, because he had not yet perceived the cause of their departure, he kept the army and the cavalry in camp. At break of day, when the information had been confirmed by reconnaissance, he sent forward all the cavalry to delay the rearguard. He appointed the lieutenant-generals Quintus Pedius and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta to command the cavalry; and ordered the lieutenant-general Titus Labienus to follow in support with three legions. The cavalry attacked the rearguard, and, pursuing for many miles, they struck down a great host of them as the fled; for while the men at the end of the main column, which had been overtaken, stood at bay, bravely sustaining the attack of our troops, the men in front, thinking themselves clear of danger and restrained by no compulsion or command, broke ranks as soon as they heard the shouting, and all sought safety in flight. Thus without any danger our men slew as great a host of them as daytime allowed, and, ceasing at sunset, retired according to orders into camp.
Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards
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