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Quote of the day: That officer's wife, urged by a perverse
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The Gallic War (De Bello Gallico) by Julius Caesar
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book V Chapter 49: Revolt of the Gauls. The Gauls prepare for battle.[54 BC]
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The Gauls, having discovered the matter through their scouts, abandon the blockade, and march toward Caesar with all their forces; these were about 60,000 armed men. Cicero, an opportunity being now afforded, again begs of that Vertico, the Gaul, whom we mentioned above, to convey back a letter to Caesar; he advises him to perform his journey warily; he writes in the letter that the enemy had departed and had turned their entire force against him. When this letter was brought to him about the middle of the night, Caesar apprises his soldiers of its contents, and inspires them with courage for fighting: the following day, at the dawn, he moves his camp, and, having proceeded four miles, he espies the forces of the enemy on the other side of a considerable valley and rivulet. It was an affair of great danger to fight with such large forces in a disadvantageous situation. For the present, therefore, inasmuch as he knew that Cicero was released from the blockade, and thought that he might, on that account, relax his speed, he halted there and fortifies a camp in the most favorable position he can. And this, though it was small in itself, [there being] scarcely 7,000 men, and these too without baggage, still by the narrowness of the passages, he contracts as much as he can, with this object, that he may come into the greatest contempt with the enemy. In the mean while scouts having been sent in all directions, he examines by what most convenient path he might cross the valley.

Event: Revolt of the Gauls

[49] Galli re cognita per exploratores obsidionem relinquunt, ad Caesarem omnibus copiis contendunt. Hae erant armata circiter milia LX. Cicero data facultate Gallum ab eodem Verticone, quem supra demonstravimus, repetit, qui litteras ad Caesarem deferat; hunc admonet, iter caute diligenterque faciat: perscribit in litteris hostes ab se discessisse omnemque ad eum multitudinem convertisse. Quibus litteris circiter media nocte Caesar adlatis suos facit certiores eosque ad dimicandum animo confirmat. Postero die luce prima movet castra et circiter milia passuum quattuor progressus trans vallem et rivum multitudinem hostium conspicatur. Erat magni periculi res tantulis copiis iniquo loco dimicare; tum, quoniam obsidione liberatum Ciceronem sciebat, aequo animo remittendum de celeritate existimabat: consedit et quam aequissimo loco potest castra communit atque haec, etsi erant exigua per se vix hominum milium septem praesertim nullis cum impedimentis, tamen angustiis viarum quam maxime potest contrahit, eo consilio, ut in summam contemptionem hostibus veniat. Interim speculatoribus in omnes partes dimissis explorat quo commodissime itinere vallem transire possit.