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and stalls for their cattle; not for any length of time. The weather there is showery rather than snowy, and even on fine days a sort of vapour lasts a long while, so that the sun can only be seen for three or four hours about noon ; which same thing happens also to the Morini, the Menapii, and their neighbours. Divus Julius passed over twice into that island, and soon returned, having accomplished nothing of importance, and not advancing far into the interior ; and that both because of the disturbances that broke out in Gaul between the natives and his own soldiers ; and also because, being full moon, he had lost most of his ships by the sudden rise of the
Still he conquered the Britons in two or three encounters, although he had brought over only two legions ; he also brought away hostages, slaves, and much booty besides. But in our own time, indeed, certain of the petty kings there, by embassies and presents seeking to gain the favour of Cæsar Augustus, have offered gifts in the Capitol, and have made the whole island better known to the Romans. They easily pay the duties on the articles which are carried to and fro between Gaul and Britain. These are horseornaments of ivory, and torques, vessels of amber and glass, and other small wares of that kind. There would, therefore, be no need of a large garrison there, for if tribute was desired thence, only one legion at the most, and a small force of cavalry would be required. Round about Britain there are several small islands, as well as that large one, Hibernia, which extends along the northern side of Britain, broader than it is long. Of this island I have nothing definite to write, but that its inhabitants are more rustic than the natives of Britain ; that they eat even human flesh, devouring much food, and thinking it an honour to consume even the bodies of their deceased friends, και φανερώς μισγεσθαι ταις τε άλλαις γυναιξι, και μητράσι και αδελφαίς ; though we relate these things without having trustworthy evidence. We know that it is the custom of the Scythians to eat human flesh, and that the Gauls, Spaniards, and many besides are reported to have done the same when closely besieged in their cities. More obscure still is the account of Thule, by reason of its remote situation, for, of all the isles we speak of, this is the farthest north. That what Pytheas has asserted about this and other localities thereabouts is completely false, I feel sure ; from his having told so many lies about other places that I am acquainted with ; so that it is not doubtful but that he has told more falsehoods still about the distant places. Nevertheless, as far as the climate and mathematical considerations are concerned, he appears not to have described badly those parts which are near to the Arctic circle ; to wit, that no genial fruits and no tame animals are produced there; that the men live on millet, and vegetables, and roots; but that in those parts of the world where corn and honey are found, there also some intoxicating drink is made ; and that as for their corn, because they have not bright suns, they thrash the ears which they have gathered into vast houses, for otherwise the ears would be rendered useless through want of sunshine and through showers.
From DIO CASSIUS. (Flourished A.D. 200.) Caligula advancing towards the ocean as if he designed to carry the war into Britain, put his army in order of battle upon the shore; embarked on board a galley, and after he had gone a little way out to sea, returned on a sudden ; and being mounted on a throne gave the word of command to his soldiers, as if he had been ready to give battle ; made the trumpets sound to the charge, and then commanded them to gather shells. When he was possessed of these spoils, with which he wanted to adorn his triumph, he vaunted as if he had gained a conquest ; and having liberally rewarded his soldiers, he carried the shells to Rome, that he might show his booty to the citizens.
DIO CASSIUS. Aulus Plautius, an eminent senator, carried an army into Britain, one Bericus, who had been driven out of the island for sedition, having persuaded Claudius to send forces thither. Plautius, who was then prætor, had some difficulty to get his army out of Gaul; the men, being unwilling to engage in a war as it were out of the world, refused to go, till Narcissus, being sent by Claudius, ascended the tribunal of Plautius and began to harangue them; at which the soldiers were more enraged and would not hear him, but chanting the usual ditty “Io Saturnalia” (for slaves celebrate the feast of Saturn in the guise of masters), readily followed Plautius. And being divided into three parts, lest, attempting to land at one place, they should be prevented ; though they met with some difficulty in their passage by contrary winds, yet being encouraged by a light that ran cross from east to west the way they were sailing, they landed in the island without opposition. For the Britons, from the accounts they had received, not expecting their arrival, had not got together, Therefore they did not engage them, but fled into the marshes and woods, in hopes that, being tired with waiting to no purpose, they, like Julius Cæsar, would retire without effecting anything; whereupon Plautius had no small difficulty to find them out; but afterwards he came up with them (now they were not a free state, but subject to several kings). He first defeated Caractacus, and after him Togodumnus, the sons of Cunobellin, whose father was then dead. After they were fled, part of the Bodunni, who were subject to the Catuellani, surrendered to him. Leaving a garrison here, he advanced forward, and when he came to a river, which the barbarians thought unpassable by the Romans for want of a bridge, and therefore lay careless and secure in their camp on the other side, he sent over the Germans, who were accustomed to swim through the most rapid streams in their arms. These surprising the enemy, contrary to their expectation, attacked none of the men, but only wounded their chariot horses, which being thus disordered, endangered the riders. Then he dispatched Flavius Vespasianus, who was afterwards emperor, and his brother Sabinus, a legate, who likewise having passed the river, surprised and slew many of the barbarians. However, the rest did not flee upon this, but engaged afresh the day following, when the battle continued doubtful, till C. Sidius Geta, who narrowly escaped being taken, gave them such a defeat that triumphal honours were conferred upon him, though he had not been a consul. After this the Britons retreated to the river Thames, where it empties itself into the sea, and that overflowing stagnates, which having safely passed, as being acquainted with those places which were firm at bottom and fordable, the Romans ran a great hazard in following them. But the Germans having again swum over and some others passing at a bridge a little above, they fell upon them and made a great slaughter; but rashly pursuing the rest they fell among unpassable bogs, and lost many of their men. For this reason, and because the Britons were so far from being disheartened at the loss of Togodumnus that they prepared for war with more vigour to avenge his death, Plautius, fearing the consequence, advanced no further, but securing what he had gained by a garrison, sent for Claudius over, which he had ordered him to do, in case of any violent opposition. Claudius upon this message committed the affairs both of the city and army to his colleague Vitellius, who was joined with him in the consulate for five months, and went by water from Rome to Ostia, and then to Marseilles, and being carried from thence partly by land and partly by rivers, he arrived at the ocean, where passing over into Britain he marched to his army, who were waiting for him at the Thames. Then taking upon him the command, he passed the river, engaged with the barbarians who were assembled at his coming, and having defeated them took Camulodunum, the capital of Cunobellin; and after this he brought many under subjection by force and others by surrender. For these exploits he was several times complimented with the title of Imperator, contrary to the custom of the Romans, who allowed it but once for the same war. Claudius likewise deprived the Britons of their arms, and leaving Plautius to govern them, with orders to subdue the rest of the country, returned himself to Rome. After this Plautius carried on the British war very prosperously, and was succeeded in his command by P. Ostorius Scapula.