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34.

There was, as we have above observed, no regular army, nor a town, nor a garrison which could defend itself by arms; but the people were scattered in all directions. Where either a hidden valley, or a woody spot, or a difficult morass furnished any hope of protection or of security to any one, there he had fixed himself. These places were known to those who dwelt in the neighborhood, and the matter demanded great attention, not so much in protecting the main body of the army (for no peril could occur to them altogether from those alarmed and scattered troops), as in preserving individual soldiers; which in some measure tended to the safety of the army. For both the desire of booty was leading many too far, and the woods with their unknown and hidden routes would not allow them to go in large bodies. If he desired the business to be completed and the race of those infamous people to be cut off, more bodies of men must be sent in several directions and the soldiers must be detached on all sides; if he were disposed to keep the companies at their standards, as the established discipline and practice of the Roman army required, the situation itself was a safeguard to the barbarians, nor was there wanting to individuals the daring to lay secret ambuscades and beset scattered soldiers. But amid difficulties of this nature as far as precautions could be taken by vigilance, such precautions were taken; so that some opportunities of injuring the enemy were neglected, though the minds of all were burning to take revenge, rather than that injury should be effected with any loss to our soldiers. Caesar dispatches messengers to the neighboring states; by the hope of booty he invites all to him, for the purpose of plundering the Eburones, in order that the life of the Gauls might be hazarded in the woods rather than the legionary soldiers; at the same time, in order that a large force being drawn around them, the race and name of that state may be annihilated for such a crime. A large number from all quarters speedily assembles.

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load focus Notes (J. B. Greenough, Benjamin L. D'Ooge, M. Grant Daniell, 1898)
load focus Latin (T. Rice Holmes, 1914)
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