Caesar pitching his camp at that side of the town which
was not defended by the river and marsh, and had a very narrow approach, as we
have mentioned, began to raise the vineae and erect two towers: for the nature
of the place prevented him from drawing a line of circumvallation. He never
ceased to importune the Boii and Aedui for supplies of
corn; of whom the one [the Aedui], because they were acting with no
zeal, did not aid him much; the others [the Boii], as their
resources were not great, quickly consumed what they had. Although the army was
distressed by the greatest want of corn, through the poverty of the
Boii, the apathy of the Aedui, and the burning of
the houses, to such a degree, that for several days the soldiers were without
corn, and satisfied their extreme hunger with cattle driven from the remote
villages; yet no language was heard from them unworthy of the majesty of the
Roman people and their former victories.
Moreover, when Caesar addressed the legions, one by
one, when at work, and said that he would raise the siege, if they felt the
scarcity too severely, they unanimously begged him "not to do so; that they had
served for several years under his command in such a manner that they never
submitted to insult, and never abandoned an enterprise without accomplishing it;
that they should consider it a disgrace if they abandoned the siege after
commencing it; that it was better to endure every hardship than to not avenge
the names of the Roman citizens who perished at Genabum by the perfidy of the Gauls."
They intrusted the same declarations to the centurions and military tribunes,
that through them they might be communicated to Caesar.