The Romans heauie armor their great hinderance, the maner of the Britains fighting in warre, their incounter with their enimies, their discomfiture, the worthie stratagems or martiall exploits of Cassibellane, the Troinouants submission to Cœsar, and their sute touching Mandubratius, manie of the Britains are taken and slaine of the Romans.
The Xv. Chapter.
IN all this maner of skirmishing and fight which chanced before the campe, euen in the sight and view of all men, it was perceiued that the Romans, by reason of their heauie
The Romans heauie armour.
armour (being not able either to follow the Britains as they retired, or so bold as to depart from their ensignes, except they would runne into danger of casting themselues awaie) were nothing méete to match with such kind of enimies: and as for their horssemen, they fought likewise in great hazard, bicause the Britains would oftentimes of purpose retire, and when they had trained the Romane horssemen a litle from their legions of footmen, they would leape out of their charrets and incounter with them on foot. And so the battell of horssemen was dangerous, and like in all points whether they pursued or retired.
This also was the maner of the Britains: they fought not close togither, but in sunder,
The manner of the Britains in the warres.
and diuided into companies one separated from another by a good distance, and had their troopes standing in places conuenient, to the which they might retire, and so reléeue one another with sending new fresh men to supplie the roomes of them that were hurt or wearie. The next day after they had thus fought before the campe of the Romans, they shewed themselues aloft on the hills, and began to skirmish with the Romane horssemen, but not so hotlie as they had doone the day before. But about noone, when Caesar had sent foorth thrée legions of footemen and all his horssemen vnder the leading of his lieutenant Caius Trebonius to fetch in forrage, they suddenlie brake out on euerie side, and
set vpon the forragers. The Romans so far foorth as they might, not breaking their arraie, nor going from their ensignes or guidons, gaue the charge on them, and fiercelie repelled
Diou Cassius saith, that the Britains vanquished the Roman footmen at this time, but were put to the worst by the horssemen.
them, so that the horssemen hauing the legions of footemen at their backs, followed the Britains so long as they might haue the said legions in sight readie to succour them if need were: by reason whereof, they slue a great number of the Britains, not giuing them leasure to recouer themselues, nor to staie that they might haue time to get out of their charrets. After this chase and discomfiture, all such as were come from other parties to the aid of their fellowes departed home, & after that day the Britains aduentured to fight against Caesar with their maine power; and withdrawing beyond the riuer of
(which is to be supposed was at Kingston) or not far from thence.
Thames, determined to stop the enimies from passing the same, if by anie meanes they might: and whereas there was but one foord by the which they might come ouer, Cassibellane caused the same to be set full of sharpe stakes, not onlie in the middest of the water, but also at the comming foorth on that side where he was lodged with his armie in good order, readie to defend the passage. Caesar learning by relation of prisoners which he tooke, what the Britains intended to doo, marched foorth to the riuer side, where the foord was, by the which his armie might passe the same on foot though verie hardlie. At his comming thither, he might perceiue how the Britains were readie on the further side to impeach his passage, and how that the banke at the comming foorth of the water was pight full of sharpe stakes, and so likewise was the chanell of the riuer set with piles which were couered with the water.
These things yet staied not Caesar, who appointing his horssemen to passe on before, commanded the footemen to follow. The souldiers entring the water, waded through with such spéed and violence (nothing appéering of them aboue water but their heads) that the Britains were constreined to giue place, being not able to susteine the brunt of the Romane horssemen, and the legions of their footemen, and so abandoning the place betooke them to flight. Cassibellane not minding to trie the matter anie more by battell, sent awaie the most part of his people, but yet kept with him about a foure thousand charretmen or wagoners, and still watched what waie the Romans tooke, coasting them euer as they marched, and kept somewhat aside within the couert of woods, and other combersome places. And out of those quarters through which he vnderstood the Romans wold passe, he gathered both men and cattell into the woods & thicke forrests, leauing nothing of value abroad in the champion countrie. And when the Roman horssemen did come abroad into the countrie to séeke booties, he sent out his charrets vnto the knowne waies and passages to skirmish with the same horssemen, so much to the disaduantage of the Romans, that they durst not straie farre from their maine armie. Neither would Caesar permit them (least they might haue béene vtterlie distressed by the Britains) to depart further than the maine battels of the footemen kept pace with them, by reason whereof the countrie was not indamaged by fire and spoile but onlie where the armie marched.
Troinouants where they inhabited.
In the meane time, the Troinouants which some take to be Middlesex & Essex men, whose citie was the best fensed of all those parties, and thought to be the same that now is called London, sent ambassadours vnto Cesar, offering to submit themselues vnto him, and to obeie his ordinances, and further besought him to defend Mandubratius from the iniuries of K. Cassibellane, which Mandubratius had fled vnto Caesar into France, after
that Cassibellane had slaine his father named Imanuentius, that was chiefe lord and king of the Troinouants, and so now by their ambassadors the same Troinouants requested Caesar, not onelie to receiue Mandubratius into his protection, but also to send him vnto them, that he might take the gouernment and rule of their citie into his hands. Cesar commanded them to deliuer vnto him 40 hostages, and graine for his armie, and therewith
Some take the to or Londoner
sent Mandubratius vnto them. The Troinouants accomplished his commandements with all spéed, sending both the appointed number of hostages, and also graine for the armie. And being thus defended and preserued from iniurie of the souldiers, the people called Cenimagni, Segontiaci, Ancalites, Bibroci, and Cassi, submitted themselues vnto Cesar, by whom he vnderstood that the towne of Cassibellane was not far from the place where he was then incamped fensed with wooddes and marishes, into the which a great number of people with their cattell and other substance was withdrawne. The Britains in those daies (as Cesar writeth) called that a towne or hold, which they had fortified with anie thicke combersome wood, with trench and rampire, into the which they vsed to get themselues for the auoiding of inuasion.
Cesar with his legions of souldiers therfore marched thither, and finding the place verie strong both by nature and helpe of hand, assaulted it on two partes. The Britains defending their strength a while, at length not able longer to endure the impression of the Romans, fled out on the contrarie side of the towne where the enimies were not. Within this place a great number of cattell was found, and manie of the Romans taken by the Britains that followed them in chase, and manie also slaine.