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Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 20: The Batavian Uprise. A fight near Bonna[AD 69]
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When the Batavians were near the camp at Bonna, they sent on before them delegates, commissioned to deliver to Herennius Gallus a message from the cohorts. It was to this effect: "We have no quarrel with the Romans, for whom we have so often fought. Wearied with a protracted and fruitless service, we long for our native land and for rest. If no one oppose us, our march will be harmless, but if an armed force encounter us, we will make a way with the sword." The soldiers prevailed upon the hesitating legate to risk the chances of a battle. Three thousand legionaries, some raw Belgian cohorts, and with them a mob of rustics and camp-followers, cowardly, but bold of speech before the moment of danger, rushed out of all the gates, thinking to surround the Batavians, who were inferior in number. But the enemy, being veteran troops, formed in columns, presenting on every side a dense array, with front, flanks, and rear secure. Thus they were able to break the thin line of our soldiers. The Belgians giving way, the legion was driven back, retreating in confusion on the entrenchments and the gates. It was there that the greatest slaughter took place. The trenches were heaped up with corpses. Nor was it only from the deadly blows of the enemy that they suffered; many perished in the crush and by their own weapons. The victorious army, who avoided the Colonia Agrippinensis, did not venture on any other hostile act during the remainder of their march, and excused the conflict at Bonna, alleging that they had asked for peace, and that when it was refused they had but looked to their own safety.

Event: The Batavian Uprise


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The Batavian Uprise