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The Gallic War (De Bello Gallico) by Julius Caesar
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book III Chapter 9: War with the Veneti. Preparations for war.[56 BC]
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Caesar, being informed of these things by Crassus, since he was so far distant himself, orders ships of war to be built in the mean time on the river Loire, which flows into the ocean; rowers to be raised from the province; sailors and pilots to be provided. These matters being quickly executed, he himself, as soon as the season of the year permits, hastens to the army. The Veneti, and the other states also, being informed of Caesar's arrival, when they reflected how great a crime they had committed, in that, the embassadors (a character which had among all nations ever been sacred and inviolable) had by them been detained and thrown into prison, resolve to prepare for a war in proportion to the greatness of their danger, and especially to provide those things which appertain to the service of a navy, with the greater confidence, inasmuch as they greatly relied on the nature of their situation. They knew that the passes by land were cut off by estuaries, that the approach by sea was most difficult, by reason of our ignorance of the localities, [and] the small number of the harbors, and they trusted that our army would not be able to stay very long among them, on account of the insufficiency of corn; and again, even if all these things should turn out contrary to their expectation, yet they were very powerful in their navy. They well understood that the Romans neither had any number of ships, nor were acquainted with the shallows, the harbors, or the islands of those parts where they would have to carry on the war; and the navigation was very different in a narrow sea from what it was in the vast and open ocean. Having come to this resolution, they fortify their towns, convey corn into them from the country parts, bring together as many ships as possible to Venetia, where it appeared Caesar would at first carry on the war. They unite to themselves as allies for that war, the Osismii, the Lexovii, the Namnetes, the Ambiliati, the Morini, the Diablintes, and the Menapii; and send for auxiliaries from Britain, which is situated over against those regions.

Event: War with the Veneti

[9] Quibus de rebus Caesar a Crasso certior factus, quod ipse aberat longius, naves interim longas aedificari in flumine Ligeri, quod influit in Oceanum, remiges ex provincia institui, nautas gubernatoresque comparari iubet. His rebus celeriter administratis ipse, cum primum per anni tempus potuit, ad exercitum contendit. Veneti reliquaeque item civitates cognito Caesaris adventu [certiores facti], simul quod quantum in se facinus admisissent intellegebant, [legatos, quod nomen ad omnes nationes sanctum inviolatumque semper fuisset, retentos ab se et in vincula coniectos,] pro magnitudine periculi bellum parare et maxime ea quae ad usum navium pertinent providere instituunt, hoc maiore spe quod multum natura loci confidebant. Pedestria esse itinera concisa aestuariis, navigationem impeditam propter inscientiam locorum paucitatemque portuum sciebant, neque nostros exercitus propter inopiam frumenti diutius apud se morari posse confidebant; ac iam ut omnia contra opinionem acciderent, tamen se plurimum navibus posse, [quam] Romanos neque ullam facultatem habere navium, neque eorum locorum ubi bellum gesturi essent vada, portus, insulas novisse; ac longe aliam esse navigationem in concluso mari atque in vastissimo atque apertissimo Oceano perspiciebant. His initis consiliis oppida muniunt, frumenta ex agris in oppida comportant, naves in Venetiam, ubi Caesarem primum bellum gesturum constabat, quam plurimas possunt cogunt. Socios sibi ad id bellum Osismos, Lexovios, Namnetes, Ambiliatos, Morinos, Diablintes, Menapios adsciscunt; auxilia ex Britannia, quae contra eas regiones posita est, arcessunt.