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23. He now threw his forces across the river. No one ventured to oppose him, but even the Suevi, who were the foremost nation of the Germans, bestowed themselves and their belongings in deep and woody defiles. Caesar ravaged the country of the enemy with fire, gave encouragement to the constant friends of Rome, and then retired again into Gaul, having spent eighteen days in Germany.

[2] His expedition against the Britanni was celebrated for its daring. For he was the first to launch a fleet upon the western ocean and to sail through the Atlantic sea carrying an army to wage war. The island was of incredible magnitude, and furnished much matter of dispute to multitudes of writers, some of whom averred that its name and story had been fabricated, since it never had existed and did not then exist; and in his attempt to occupy it he carried the Roman supremacy beyond the confines of the inhabited world. [3] After twice1 crossing to the island from the opposite coast of Gaul and in many battles damaging the enemy rather than enriching his own men—for there was nothing worth taking from men who lived in poverty and wretchedness— he brought the war to an end which was not to his liking, it is true; still, he took hostages from the king, imposed tributes, and then sailed away from the island.

[4] In Gaul he found letters which were about to be sent across to him. They were from his friends in Rome, and advised him of his daughter's death; she died in child-birth at Pompey's house. Great was the grief of Pompey, and great the grief of Caesar, and their friends were greatly troubled too; they felt that the relationship which alone kept the distempered state in harmony and concord was now dissolved. For the babe also died presently, after surviving its mother a few days. Now Julia, in spite of the tribunes, was carried by the people to the Campus Martius, where her funeral rites were held, and where she lies buried.2

1 Once in 55 B.C. ( B. G. iv. 20-36); again in 54 B.C. ( B. G. v. 1-22).

2 Cf. the Pompey, chapter liii.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 4.20
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 5.1
    • Plutarch, Pompey, 53.1
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