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Quote of the day: The infirmities of Augustus increased, a
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Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book II Chapter 12: War with the Germans. Considerations of Germanicus.[AD 16]
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Caesar [Note 1] on crossing the Visurgis learnt by the information of a deserter that Arminius had chosen a battle-field, that other tribes too had assembled in a forest sacred to Hercules, and would venture on a night attack on his camp. He put faith in this intelligence, and, besides, several watch-fires were seen. Scouts also, who had crept close up to the enemy, reported that they had heard the neighing of horses and the hum of a huge and tumultuous host. And so as the decisive crisis drew near, that he ought thoroughly to sound the temper of his soldiers, he considered with himself how this was to be accomplished with a genuine result. Tribunes and centurions he knew, oftener reported what was welcome than what was true; freedmen had slavish spirits, friends a love of flattery. If an assembly were called, there too the lead of a few was followed by the shout of the many. He must probe their inmost thoughts, when they were uttering their hopes and fears at the military mess, among themselves, and unwatched.

Note 1: Caesar = Germanicus

Event: War with the Germans

Caesar transgressus Visurgim indicio perfugae cognoscit delectum ab Arminio locum pugnae; convenisse et alias nationes in silvam Herculi sacram ausurosque nocturnam castrorum oppugnationem. habita indici fides et cernebantur ignes, suggressique propius speculatores audiri fremitum equorum inmensique et inconditi agminis murmur attulere. igitur propinquo summae rei discrimine explorandos militum animos ratus, quonam id modo incorruptum foret secum agitabat. tribunos et centuriones laeta saepius quam comperta nuntiare, libertorum servilia ingenia, amicis inesse adulationem; si contio vocetur, illic quoque quae pauci incipiant reliquos adstrepere. penitus noscendas mentes, cum secreti et incustoditi inter militaris cibos spem aut metum