Immagini della pagina


75 27. Cur.... postularet? "why should he claim any right of commanding, or any authority beyond the Rhine?" Sui is the personal pronoun governed by esse.

32. Reipublicae, the objective genitive; by the occupations in which he was engaged for the republic.


35. Ad, in the sense of apud, but ad at the same time contains the idea that Caesar's fame had penetrated to the most distant tribes. (Schmitz.)

76 4. Proponebatur, "was placed before his eyes," i. e. was manifest, according to the representations of those whom he consulted, and knew the real state of things.

6. Rationem.... instituit, "he determined, therefore, upon this plan of a bridge." The place where this bridge was made across the Rhine has been the subject of much discussion; the most probable opinion is, that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of Coblentz or Andernach. (Schmitz.) Professor Long agrees entirely with this statement. See Classical Museum, vol. IV. p. 279.

[merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

7. Tigna bina sesquipedalia, "two posts or piles (each) a foot and a half thick." There were, of course, a number of pairs of posts; hence bina is used. These posts or piles were in length proportioned to the depth of the river, and placed at a distance of two feet from each other.

10. Fistucisque adegerat, "and had driven them home with rammers." The fistucae were machines for driving large stakes or piles into the ground.-Non.... ad perpendiculum, "not quite perpendicularly, after the fashion of a stake."

11. Ut.... procumberent, scil. tigna. The idea was, to have the piles slope or incline according to the force of the current of the river. The student must remember to look well at the plan of the bridge, in connection with the description here given.

13. Bina. This is the reading of Clarke. The common text has duo, which seems certainly incorrect.

14. Ab inferiore parte, scil. fluminis.

So Davies and others.

Lipsius thought that Caesar meant to state that the double posts were forty feet distant at their lower end, or the bottom of the river.

15. Haec utraque, referring to those in the upper and lower part of the river.

16. Immissis, "let in between."-Quantum . . . . distabat, i. e. the space between the two posts or piles of each pair was two feet. The braces (trabes) were fitted into these spaces.

17. Fibulis, "clamps or braces." These being framed into the posts, one on each side, enclosed and supported the trabes bipedales in this position.-Distinebantur, "were kept apart."-Quibus disclusis, "these two pairs of posts being thus separated." The quibus refers to haec utraque, above. The beams let in of course kept the posts apart, and the braces above and below served to keep them together.

18. Revinctis, "fastened or made firm."



21. Directa materie, “by planks or rafters placed according to the length of the bridge ;" from one cross-beam to another.

22. Nihilo secius, i. e. besides all these means just mentioned, of strengthening the bridge.-Sublicae. Caesar placed the sublicae at the lower part of the river, and against the impulse of the waters, lest the bridge should be driven to the other side, which might have happened from the violence of the current. The defensores were merely stakes fixed above the bridge, to prevent the trees thrown into the river from reaching the bridge. (Dionys. Voss.)

26. Dejiciendi operis. Supply causa or gratia, which is sometimes, as here, omitted.

28. Materia, i. e. the timber for building the bridge.

35. Comparata, i. e. parata, as in Bk. VII. 61.-Hortantibus iis, "by the advice of those," &c.

77 8. Hunc.... obtinerent. They selected a position in about the centre of the country which they inhabited.

10. Expectare. ... constituisse, scil. Suevos.

11. Comperit, &c. It seems quite probable that Caesar did not care to push matters to the same extent with the Germans as he had done in similar cases with the Gauls. The former were much more skilled in warfare, and would have proved no mean adversaries.

12. Ut Germanis, &c. The three following clauses beginning with ut, contain merely an explanation of the preceding words, omnibus rebus his confectis.

13. Obsidione. This word ("a siege") when used, as here, of a country or nation, is to be rendered by "pressure" or "oppression." Cf. Bk. VII. 32.

15. Profectum. The verb proficere signifies "to gain an advantage," ,” “to make progress," or "to succeed." 18. Maturae sunt, 66

are early," set in early.

20. Subministrata auxilia. This was the ostensible reason. According to Suetonius, (Vit. Jul. 47,) Britanniam petisse spe margaritarum, &c.

21. Intelligebat. See Bk. II. 4, 14; III. 8, 9.

22. Usui, "utility." Usus is elsewhere employed in the same sense. 23. Insulam. He calls Britain an island from common rumor; for that such was the case was not discovered till long after the time of Caesar. (Davies.)

25. Temere = facile, commonly, or upon any slight occasion.Illo, i. e. in Britanniam, or ad illos.

26. Ipsis, scil. mercatoribus.

30. Usum belli, "practice in war"

II. 4.

quid in bello possent, Bk.

34. Arbitratus, C. Volusenum. Some editors place the comma after Volusenum, thus connecting it with what precedes. See Bk. III. 5. -Navi longa. See note, p. 59, line 34.

4. Dare, i. e. se daturos.-Obtemperare, i. e. se obtemperaturos. 7. Atrebatibus superatis. See Bk. II. 23.

9. Regionibus, viz. of Gaul.

11. Ut.... sequantur, "to embrace the alliance of the Roman people."

13. Qui. Schmitz notes that qui here contains the idea of quum, whence it is followed by the subjunctive.


Consilio = "conduct.".

20. Fecissent. This seems to allude to what is stated, Bk. III. 28, &c.

21. Pollicerentur. Connect by que with excusarent.

24. Tantularum rerum occupationes," engagements in such trifling matters."-Britanniae, i. e. to his design of invading Britain. 26. Navibus onerariis. See note, p. 59, line 34.


Praefectis. The prefects commanded the auxiliaries. 39. Solvit, i. e. solvit naves, "he set sail." Cf. Bk. V. 23. According to Dr. Halley, the celebrated astronomer, as quoted by Prof. Long, (Classical Museum, vol. IV. p. 276,) Caesar landed in Britain on the 26th of August, B. C. 55, in the afternoon, about a month before the autumnal equinox. According to the same authority, the place of his landing was between the chalk rocks of Dover and the South Foreland. 3. Hora diei circiter quarta, i. e. about ten o'clock in the fore-'


6. Angustis, "steep." Andrews says, the words following seem to imply that the mountains are called angusti because the space between them and the sea was narrow.

7. Egrediendum, scil. navibus, " for disembarking."

9. Horam nonam, i. e. three o'clock in the afternoon

10. Et quae, i. e. et ea quae.

11. Monuit


administrarentur. Construe, monuitque (ut) omnes res administrarentur ab iis ad nutum et ad tempus (at a beck and in a moment) ut ratio militaris rei, (et) ut maxime maritimae res postularent, ut quae haberent, &c., "as being things that had," &c. Schneider and Schmitz enclose quae in brackets.

16. Sublatis anchoris, "having weighed anchor."

17. Litore, i. e. on a part of the coast which was flat and not protected by hills.




19. Essedariis. The esseda or esse dum (from the Celtic ess, a carriage) was the name of a chariot used especially in war by the Britons, Gauls, and Belgae, and also by the Germans. They seem to have had only two wheels. The essedarii were the warriors, who drove these chariots with extraordinary swiftness and skill. See Anthon's Smith's Dicty. of Greek and Rom. Antiq. p. 420. Dionysius Vossius, in a note on this passage, (quoted by Barker,) says: "I have often wondered that Caesar, throughout these Commentaries, has made no mention of the Gallic or British falcati currus. Hence I fully believe in the propriety of


79 the remark formerly made by Asinius Pollio, that Caesar would have most probably altered many passages, if he had lived longer; more particularly as Frontinus, Strategem. 2, 3, expressly says: C. Caesar Gallorum falcatas quadrigas eadem ratione palis defixis excepit, inhibuitque. We can scarcely doubt that these words were taken from the Ephemerides of Caesar."


22. In alto, viz. mari, "in the open sea."

24. Armorum onere. Cf. note, p. 48, line 17.

27. Omnibus membris expediti, “having the free use of all their limbs."

28. Insuefactos, i. e. accustomed to go into the water, and used to this species of warfare.

31. Nitebantur. Oudendorp reads utebantur.

33. Inusitatior. The Britons it seems were accustomed only to the vessels of burden, and not to the galleys of war.

35. Latus apertum, i. e. the unprotected side or wing of the enemy. 36. Tormentis. The tormenta were engines used in discharging darts and stones.

39. Paulum modo, "only a little.”

2. Aquilam. This was the common standard of the legion. It was made of silver or bronze, and with expanded wings. The pole on which it was fixed had at its lower extremity an iron point (cuspis) so that it could be thrust into the ground, and the aquilifer could, if need be, repel an attack. See Anthon's Smith's Dicty. of Greek and Rom, Antiq. p. 896. It was considered the height of disgrace to lose the eagle.-Contestatus = comprecatus or precatus.

5. Praestitero. The future to which this future perfect relates is not expressed, "I shall have performed my duty when you have done this." (Andrews.) See Z. § 511.

12. Ordines, i. e. the lines formed by the soldiers when drawn up in battle array.

13. Alius, &c., "one from one ship and another from another joined whatever standard he had happened to meet with," &c.

18. In universos, i. e. when they saw the whole body of a ship's crew come out, they threw their darts among them.

19. Speculatoria navigia

[blocks in formation]

and reconnoitring the coasts. 21. Simul, i. e. simul 66 a.c, as soon as." 24. Equites, scil. Romani. These had embarked on board the eighteen transports, but had not been able to keep their course and reach the island.-Capere attingere. See cap. 36; Book V. 8.


25. Pristinam fortunam, i, e. the good luck or success which he had hitherto enjoyed.

31. Supra demonstraveram. See cap. 21.

32. Oratoris modo, "in the character of an ambassador." Orator is often used in this sense.

« IndietroContinua »