Horum adventu tanta rerum commutatio est facta, ut nostri etiam qui vulneribus confecti procubuissent, scutis innixi proelium redintegrarent; tum calones perterritos hostes conspicati etiam inermes armatis occurrerunt; equites vero, ut turpitudinem fugae virtute delerent, omnibus in locis pugnant quo se legionariis militibus praeferrent. At hostes etiam in extrema spe salutis tantam virtutem praestiterunt, ut, cum primi eorum cecidissent, proximi iacentibus insisterent atque ex eorum corporibus pugnarent; his deiectis et coacervatis cadaveribus, qui superessent, ut ex tumulo, tela in nostros conicerent et pila intercepta remitterent: ut non nequiquam tantae virtutis homines iudicari deberet ausos esse transire latissimum flumen, ascendere altissimas ripas, subire iniquissimum locum; quae facilia ex difficilimis animi magnitudo redegerat.


Their arrival wrought a great change in the situation. Even such of our troops as had fallen under stress of wounds propped themselves against their shields and renewed the fight; then the sutlers, seeing the panic of the enemy, met their armed assault even without arms; finally, the cavalry, to obliterate by valour the disgrace of their flight, fought at every point in the effort to surpass the legionaries. The enemy, however, even when their hope of safety was at an end, displayed a prodigious courage. When their front ranks had fallen, the next stood on the prostrate forms and fought from them; when these were cast down, and the corpses were piled up in heaps, the survivors, standing as it were upon a mound, hurled darts on our troops, or caught and returned our pikes. Not without reason, therefore, was it to be concluded that these were men of a great courage, who had dared to cross a very broad river, to climb very high banks, and to press up over most unfavourable ground. These were tasks of the utmost difficulty, but greatness of courage had made them easy.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards


<< Previous | De Bello Gallico | Next >>

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