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In the same condition were the Usipetes and the Tenchtheri (whom we have mentioned above), who, for many years, resisted the power of the Suevi, but being at last driven from their possessions, and having wandered through many parts of Germany , came to the Rhine , to districts which the Menapii inhabited, and where they had lands, houses, and villages on either side of the river. The latter people, alarmed by the arrival of so great a multitude, removed from those houses which they had on the other side of the river, and having placed guards on this side the Rhine , proceeded to hinder the Germans from crossing. They, finding themselves, after they had tried all means, unable either to force a passage on account of their deficiency in shipping,
Since we have come to the place, it does not appear to be foreign to our subject to lay before the reader an account of the manners of Gaul and Germany , and wherein these nations differ from each other. In Gaul there are factions not only in all the states, and in all the cantons and their divisions, but almost in each family, and of these factions those are the leaders who are considered according to their judgment to possess the greatest influence, upon whose will and determination the management of all affairs and measures depends. And that seems to have been instituted in ancient times with this view, that no one of the common people should be in want of support against one more powerful; for, none [of those leaders] suffers his party to be oppressed and defrauded, and if
And there was formerly a time when the Gauls excelled the Germans in prowess, and waged war on them offensively, and, on account of the great number of their people and the insufficiency of their land, sent colonies over the Rhine . Accordingly, the Volcae Tectosages, seized on those parts of Germany which are the most fruitful [and lie] around the Hercynian forest, (which, I perceive, was known by report to Eratosthenes and some other Greeks, and which they call Orcynia), and settled there. Which nation to this time retains its position in those settlements, and has a very high character for justice and military merit; now also they continue in the same scarcity, indigence, hardihood, as the Germans, and use the same food and dress; but their proximity to the
After he had sent either his legions or auxiliaries through every part of Ambiorix's dominions, and wasted the whole country by sword, fire, and rapine, and had killed or taken prodigious numbers, he sent Labienus with two legions against the Treviri , whose state, from its vicinity to Germany , being engaged in constant war, differed but little from the Germans, in civilization and savage barbarity; and never continued in its allegiance, except when awed by the presence of his army.