Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: He was looked up to with reverence for h
Do not display Latin text
The Gallic War (De Bello Gallico) by Julius Caesar
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book VII Chapter 73: Caesar and Vercingetorix. The fortifications strengthened.[52 BC]
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
It was necessary, at one and the same time, to procure timber [for the rampart], lay in supplies of corn, and raise also extensive fortifications, and the available troops were in consequence of this reduced in number, since they used to advance to some distance from the camp, and sometimes the Gauls endeavored to attack our works, and to make a sally from the town by several gates and in great force. Caesar thought that further additions should be made to these works, in order that the fortifications might be defensible by a small number of soldiers. Having, therefore, cut down the trunks of trees or very thick branches, and having stripped their tops of the bark, and sharpened them into a point, he drew a continued trench every where five feet deep. These stakes being sunk into this trench, and fastened firmly at the bottom, to prevent the possibility of their being torn up, had their branches only projecting from the ground. There were five rows in connection with, and intersecting each other; and whoever entered within them were likely to impale themselves on very sharp stakes. The soldiers called these cippi." Before these, which were arranged in oblique rows in the form of a quincunx, pits three feet deep were dug, which gradually diminished in depth to the bottom. In these pits tapering stakes, of the thickness of a man's thigh; sharpened at the top and hardened in the fire, were sunk in such a manner as to project from the ground not more than four inches; at the same time for the purpose of giving them strength and stability, they were each filled with trampled clay to the height of one foot from the bottom: the rest of the pit was covered over with osiers and twigs, to conceal the deceit. Eight rows of this kind were dug, and were three feet distant from each other. They called this a lily from its resemblance to that flower. Stakes a foot long, with iron hooks attached to them, were entirely sunk in the ground before these, and were planted in every place at small intervals; these they called spurs.

Event: Caesar and Vercingetorix

[73] Erat eodem tempore et materiari et frumentari et tantas munitiones fieri necesse deminutis nostris copiis quae longius ab castris progrediebantur: ac non numquam opera nostra Galli temptare atque eruptionem ex oppido pluribus portis summa vi facere conabantur. Quare ad haec rursus opera addendum Caesar putavit, quo minore numero militum munitiones defendi possent. Itaque truncis arborum aut admodum firmis ramis abscisis atque horum delibratis ac praeacutis cacuminibus perpetuae fossae quinos pedes altae ducebantur. Huc illi stipites demissi et ab infimo revincti, ne revelli possent, ab ramis eminebant. Quini erant ordines coniuncti inter se atque implicati; quo qui intraverant, se ipsi acutissimis vallis induebant. Hos cippos appellabant. Ante quos obliquis ordinibus in quincuncem dispositis scrobes tres in altitudinem pedes fodiebantur paulatim angustiore ad infimum fastigio. Huc teretes stipites feminis crassitudine ab summo praeacuti et praeusti demittebantur, ita ut non amplius digitis quattuor ex terra eminerent; simul confirmandi et stabiliendi causa singuli ab infimo solo pedes terra exculcabantur, reliqua pars scrobis ad occultandas insidias viminibus ac virgultis integebatur. Huius generis octoni ordines ducti ternos inter se pedes distabant. Id ex similitudine floris lilium appellabant. Ante haec taleae pedem longae ferreis hamis infixis totae in terram infodiebantur mediocribusque intermissis spatiis omnibus locis disserebantur; quos stimulos nominabant.