|Do not fly Iberia
Display Latin text
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 71: The Batavian Uprise. Cerialis beats Valentinus[AD 70]
Return to index
Such was the state of the war, when Petilius Cerialis reached Mogontiacum. Great expectations were raised by his arrival. Eager for battle, and more ready to despise than to be on his guard against the enemy, he fired the spirit of the troops by his bold language; for he would, he said, fight without a moment's delay, as soon as it was possible to meet the foe. The levies which had been raised in Gaul he ordered back to their respective States, with instructions to proclaim that the legions sufficed to defend the empire, and that the allies might return to the duties of peace, secure in the thought that a war which Roman arms had undertaken was finished. This proceeding strengthened the loyalty of the Gauls. Now that their youth were restored to them they could more easily bear the burden of the tribute; and, finding themselves despised, they were more ready to obey. Civilis and Classicus, having heard of the defeat of Tutor and of the rout of the Treveri, and indeed of the complete success of the enemy, hastened in their alarm to concentrate their own scattered forces, and meanwhile sent repeated messages to Valentinus, warning him not to risk a decisive battle. This made Cerialis move with more rapidity. He sent to the Mediomatrici persons commissioned to conduct the legions which were there by the shortest route against the enemy; and, collecting such troops as there were at Mogontiacum and such as he had brought with himself, he arrived in three days' march at Rigodulum. Valentinus, at the head of a large body of Treveri, had occupied this position, which was protected by hills, and by the river Mosella. He had also strengthened it with ditches and breastworks of stones. These defences, however, did not deter the Roman general from ordering his infantry to the assault, and making his cavalry advance up the hill; he scorned the enemy, whose forces, hastily levied, could not, he knew, derive any advantage from their position, but what would be more than counterbalanced by the courage of his own men. There was some little delay in the ascent, while the troops were passing through the range of the enemy's missiles. As soon as they came to close fighting, the barbarians were dislodged and hurled like a falling house from their position. A detachment of the cavalry rode round where the hills were less steep, and captured the principal Belgic chiefs, and among them Valentinus, their general.
Event: The Batavian Uprise