Interea ea legione quam secum habebat, militibusque qui ex provincia convenerant, a lacu Lemanno, qui in flumen Rhodanum influit, ad montem Iuram, qui fines Sequanorum ab Helvetiis dividit, milia passuum decem novem murum in altitudinem pedum sedecim fossamque perducit.  Eo opere perfecto praesidia disponit, castella communit, quo facilius, si se invito transire conarentur, prohibere possit.  Ubi ea dies quam constituerat cum legatis venit, et legati ad eum reverterunt, negat se more et exemplo populi Romani posse iter ulli per provinciam dare et, si vim facere conentur, prohibiturum ostendit.  Helvetii ea spe deiecti, navibus iunctis ratibusque compluribus factis, alii vadis Rhodani, qua minima altitudo fluminis erat, nonnumquam interdiu, saepius noctu, si perrumpere possent conati, operis munitione et militum concursu et telis repulsi hoc conatu destiterunt.

In the meanwhile he used the legion which he had with him, and the troops which had concentrated from the Province, to construct a continuous wall, sixteen feet high, and a trench, from the Lake of Geneva, which flows into the river Rhone, to the Jura range, which seperates the territory of the Sequani from the Helvetii, a distance of nineteen miles.  This work completed, he posted seperate garrisons, in entrenched forts, in order that he might more easily be able to stop any attempt of the enemy to cross against his wish.  When the day which he had appointed with the deputies arrived, and the deputies returned to him, he said that, following the customs and precedent of the Roman people, he could not grant anyone a passage through the Province; and he made it plain that he would stop any attempt to force the same.  Disappointed of this hope, the Helvetii attempted, sometimes by day, more often by night, to break through, either by joining boats together and making a number of rafts, or by fording the Rhone where the depth of the stream was least.  But they were checked by the line of entrenchment and, as the troops concentrated rapidly, by missiles, and so abandoned the attempt.

Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards

<< Previous | De Bello Gallico | Next >>

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