Cum ab his quaereret, quae civitates quantaeque in armis essent et quid in bello possent, sic reperiebat: plerosque Belgos esse ortos ab Germanis Rhenumque antiquitus traductos propter loci fertilitatem ibi consedisse Gallosque qui ea loca incolerent expulisse, solosque esse, qui patrum nostrorum memoria omni Gallia vexata Teutones Cimbrosque intra fines suos ingredi prohibuerint; qua ex re fieri, uti earum rerum memoria magnam sibi auctoritatem magnosque spiritus in re militari sumerent. De numero eorum omnia se haber explorata Remi dicebant, propterea quod propinquitatibus adfinitatibusque coniuncti, quantam quisque multitudinem in communi Belgarum concilio ad id bellum pollicitus sit cognoverint. Plurimum inter eos Bellovacos et virtute et auctoritate et hominum numero valere; hos posse conficere armata milia centum, pollicitos ex eo numero electa sexaginta totiusque belli imperium sibi postulare. Suessiones suos esse finitimos; latissimos feracissimosque agros possidere. Apud eos fuisse regem nostra etiam memoria Diviciacum, totius Galliae potentissimum, qui cum magnae partis harum regionum, tum etiam Britanniae imperium obtinuerit: nunc esse regem Galbam: ad hunc propter iustitiam prudentiamque suam totius belli summam omnium voluntate deferri; oppida habere numero XII, policeri milia armata quinquaginta; totidem Nervios, qui maxime feri inter ipsos habeantur longissimeque absint; quindecim milia Atrebates, Ambianos decem milia, Morinos XXV milia, Menapios VII milia, Caletos X milia, Veliocasses et Viromanduos totidem, Aduatucos decem et novem milia; Condrusos, Eburones, Caeroesos, Paemones, qui uno nomine Germani appelantur, arbitrai ad XL milia.
Caesar asked them what states where under arms, what was their size and their war-strength. He discovered that most of the Belgae were of German origin, and had been brought over the Rhine a long while ago, and had settled in their present abode by reason of the fruitfulness of the soil, having driven out the Gauls who inhabited the district. The Belgae, they said, were the only nation who, when all Gaul was harassed in the last generation, had prevented the Teutoni and Cimbri from entering within their borders; and for this cause they relied on the remembrance of these events to assume great authority and great airs in military matters. As concerning their numbers, the Remi affirmed that they had exact information in all particulars, because, as they were closely connected by relationship and intermarriage, they had learnt how large a contingent each chief had promised for the present campaign in the general council of the Belgae. Among these the Bellovaci had a predominant influence by courage, by authority, by numbers; they could furnish a hundred thousand men-at-arms, and of that number had promised sixty thousand picked men, demanding for themselves the command of the whole campaign. The Suessiones, the Remi said, were their own immediate neighbours; they occupied lands as extensive as they were productive. Among them, even within living memory, Diviciacus had been king, the most powerful man in the whole of Gaul, who had exercised sovereignity alike over a great part of these districts, and even over Britain. Galba was now king; to him, by reason of his justice and sagacity, the supreme charge of the campaign was delivered by general consent; he had twelve towns, and promised fifty thousand men-at-arms. An equal number were promised by the Nervii, accounted the fiercest among the Belgae, and dwelling farthest away; fifteen thousand by the Atrebates, ten by the Ambiani, five-and-twenty by the Morini, seven by the Menapii, ten by the Caleti, as many by the Veliocasses and the Viromandui, nineteen by the Aduatuci. The Condrusi, Eburones, Caeroesi, and Paemani (who are indiscriminately called Germans), had promised, it was thought, some forty thousand men.
Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards
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