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The Gallic War (De Bello Gallico) by Julius Caesar
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 8: War with the Belgae. Battle of the Aisne.[57 BC]
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Caesar at first determined to decline a battle, as well on account of the great number of the enemy as their distinguished reputation for valor: daily, however, in cavalry actions, he strove to ascertain by frequent trials, what the enemy could effect by their prowess and what our men would dare. When he perceived that our men were not inferior, as the place before the camp was naturally convenient and suitable for marshaling an army (since the hill where the camp was pitched, rising gradually from the plain, extended forward in breadth as far as the space which the marshaled army could occupy, and had steep declines of its side in either direction, and gently sloping in front gradually sank to the plain); on either side of that hill he drew a cross trench of about four hundred paces, and at the extremities of that trench built forts, and placed there his military engines lest, after he had marshaled his army, the enemy, since they were so powerful in point of number, should be able to surround his men in the flank, while fighting. After doing this, and leaving in the camp the two legions which he had last raised, that, if there should be any occasion, they might be brought as a reserve, he formed the other six legions in order of battle before the camp. The enemy, likewise, had drawn up their forces which they had brought out of the camp.

Event: War with the Belgae

[8] Caesar primo et propter multitudinem hostium et propter eximiam opinionem virtutis proelio supersedere statuit; cotidie tamen equestribus proeliis quid hostis virtute posset et quid nostri auderent periclitabatur. Ubi nostros non esse inferiores intellexit, loco pro castris ad aciem instruendam natura oportuno atque idoneo, quod is collis ubi castra posita erant paululum ex planitie editus tantum adversus in latitudinem patebat quantum loci acies instructa occupare poterat, atque ex utraque parte lateris deiectus habebat et in fronte leniter fastigatus paulatim ad planitiem redibat, ab utroque latere eius collis transversam fossam obduxit circiter passuum CCCC et ad extremas fossas castella constituit ibique tormenta conlocavit, ne, cum aciem instruxisset, hostes, quod tantum multitudine poterant, ab lateribus pugnantes suos circumvenire possent. Hoc facto, duabus legionibus quas proxime conscripserat in castris relictis ut, si quo opus esset, subsidio duci possent, reliquas VI legiones pro castris in acie constituit. Hostes item suas copias ex castris eductas instruxerunt.