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CHAP. 1.




p. 1. I Gallia omnis] ‘Gaul as a whole', that is, the country from the

Rhine to the Pyrenees, more extensive than the modern France: the provincia is of course excluded.

Belgae] the word is said to mean “plunderers'. We learn from

that most of the Belgae were of Germanic origin. They must be regarded as at basis a Gallic people, but with much admixture of foreign elements: the Belgian, says M. Desjardins, is the German grafted on the Gaul: 'Belgium has always been nothing more than a thoroughfare ('un pays de passage') and always will be so’.

Aquitani] the Aquitani belonged to the Iberian race; they are said by Strabo to have differed in language from the Kelts and Belgae, and to have resembled the Iberi in appearance and in language. The political division of Aquitania organised by Augustus, comprising the whole of Gaul south of the Loire and west of the Province, must be distinguished from the ethnographic Aquitania of which Caesar is here speaking; the boundaries of the latter are the Ocean, the Garonne in its upper course, M. Corbières and the Pyrenees: the Bituriges Vibisci situated in the angle between the Garonne and the Ocean, having Burdigala (Bourdeaux) for their chief town, were not Aquitani. It has been supposed that the prae-Keltic inhabitants of Britain were of Iberian origin, and so akin to the Aquitani and to the modern Basques. Cf.

Rhys, Lectures on Welsh Philology, Lect. IV. 3 Celtae] the terms Galli, Galatae, Celtae are used indifferently by

the ancient writers. In ordinary usage the Gauls are treated as a subdivision of the great Keltic family. The Gauls differed from the Belgae in their physical characteristics, the latter being tall, with light hair and eyes and elongated skull, while the Galli were shorter, with

hair and eyes of a deeper hue and brachycephalous skull. 7 provinciae] the exact date of the constitution of the province of

Gallia Braccata afterwards called Narbonensis from the town of Narbo Martius (founded by L. Licinius Crassus, B.C. 118) is uncertain. Zumpt


attributes its organisation to the year 100, Mommsen to 120 or 121. The Roman conquests on this side of the Alps were begun by the Consul Q. Opimius, who was summoned to aid the Massilians against the Ligurians in 154. The boundaries of the province when fully constituted were the Alps on the east, the Cévennes and the upper course of the Garonne on the west, the Rhone from Geneva to Vienne on the

north, and the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees on the south. 8 ad eff. an. pertinent] 'tend to enervate the mind'.

Helvetii] a Keltic people whose limits corresponded nearly to those of modern Switzerland: cf. note on 2. 13 cum...gerunt] cum is strictly temporal: when they are either

keeping them out of their own territory or themselves waging war in

theirs'. If cum were causal prohibeant and gerant would be used. 14 eorum] of the Gauls generally. 17 ab Sequanis] 'on the side of the Sequani'. For this use of ab, cf. Roby, $ 1813.

Sequanis] the domain occupied by the Sequani extended from the Saône and the Rhone as far as Strasbourg.

vergit ad septentriones] Caesar describes its position in reference to the Roman province of Narbonne. “It lies in a northerly direction'. Either the singular septentrio or the plural septentriones may be used : for the meaning of the word see note on iv. 20.


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CHAP. 2. Orgetorix] the name occurs on coins in the forms Orgetirix; compare however the names Dumnorix, Ambiorix, etc.

M. Messala et M. Pisone coss.] B.C. 61. Kraner remarks that et is usually omitted between the names of the two consuls as in 6 and else

where. 6 nobilitatis] 'the nobles': abstract for concrete. 7 exirent] civitas though singular is really a noun of multitude and

therefore equivalent to a plural; hence the plural exirent. 8 praestarent] the verb conditioning the oratio obliqua is dixit inn

plied in persuasit, hence the imperfect praestarent, though praestent inight have been used, the clause cum...praestent being made contem

poraneous with esse. 9 hoc] • for this reason, quod 'that'.

una ex parte] on the north and east, the Rhine flowing northward till it reaches the lake of Constance. It will be seen that Helvetia corresponds approximately to Switzerland, leaving out all or most of

the cantons of Valois, Ticino and Grisons. 16 qua ex parte] 'in which respect'.


19 qui...patebant] ‘now they extended'. The clause contains an ex

planatory statement of the writer and forms no part of the thought of the Helvetii. We do not know in what direction Caesar intends his measurements to be taken: from Fort de l'Écluse on the Rhone to the junction of the Aar and the Rhine is just 180 Roman miles, and from Fort de l'Écluse to Bregenz on the lake of Constance is 230 miles. (Walckenaer ap. Long.)

The reasons assigned by Caesar for this migration of the Helvetii seem inadequate. Cuno (Vorgeschichte Roms; Theil 1., die Kelten) pertinently asks how it is that the Helvetii do not appear to have come to any understanding with the Romans, their southern neighbours, before starting, whereas they did enter into negotiations with other neighbouring peoples. He suggests that there may have been some diplomacy on Caesar's part which he thought it desirable to conceal. Certain it is that their evacuation of their home and subsequent destruction left their country an easy and a valuable acquisition to the Romans.

CHAP. 3.


23 carrorum] carrus is a latinised form of a Keltic word; it is the

English_'car', which in Mandeville's Travels is spelt 'carre'. (Prof. Skeat, Etym. Dict. s. v.)

sementes facere] sementem facere is quoted from Cato de re rustica: compare the proverbial expression: ut sementem feceris ita metes ó as you

sow, so shall you reap'. Cic. de Or. II. 261. 28 sibi suscepit] 'took upon himself'. Cf. Cic. p. Cael. 37; Verr. v.

152; Fam. v. 8. 30 regnum] by regnum must not be understood an absolute or heredi

tary monarchy. Caesar applies the term loosely sometimes to the usurped authority of some powerful chieftain who was wealthy enough to maintain a large armed retinue, sometimes to a recognised and in a certain sense legitimate headship. Cuno thinks that there may have been a Keltic word ‘rex' or “rix' denoting some kind of authority. The word principatus is equally vague; in vii. 4, as Kraner points out, it is distinctly opposed to regnum as a lower to a higher grade of power. For more information on the subject the student should consult Desjardins, Géo

graphie, II. 544 sqq., and Cuno, Vorgeschichte Roms, 1. 37 sqq. 33 Dumnorigi] his name is spelt Dubnorix or Dubnoreix on several

coins and medals.

p. 3. I Aeduo] the Aedui were a powerful Keltic tribe dwelling between

the Loire and the Saône. They were on terms of friendship and alliance with the Romans.

ut conaretur persuadet] persuadet being an historical present may have an imperfect in the subordinate final clause ; contrast this with 5 persuadent Rauricis ut proficiscantur.




perfacile factu] the supine in u is properly the ablative of a noun of the fourth declension, so perfacile factu='very easy in the doing'.

Galliae potiri] the only passage in Caesar where potiri takes a genitive (Kraner). Possibly imperio should be inserted; see appendix.

CHAP. 4 13 poenam] poenam is the subject, damnatum the object, of sequi ; ut

igni cremaretur is explanatory of poenam : ‘it was proper that the

punishment of being burnt should befall him if condemned'. 15 familiam] 'household', 'establishment'. 16 clientes obaeratosque] the clientes were originally freemen who from

the pressure of debt or from other circumstances had surrendered themselves into slavery to the chieftains or nobles (principes). 'The words

client and debtor are almost synonymous'. Ihne, Hist. I. 110. 17 ne causam diceret] 'to avoid standing his trial'.

sibi mortem consciverit] this is the usual term for suicide.


CHAP. 5. 24 ut exeant] this clause is explanatory of facere, and the ut may be

translated 'namely to': 'they attempt to do that which they had determined on, namely to quit their territory'. The idiom is of frequent occurrence. Cf. Cic. de lege agr. I. 9 quod homines sancti non facient, ut

pecuniam accipiant. 25 oppida] 'strongholds': vicos 'villages'. 28 domum reditionis]=domum redeundi : domum 'homewards’ is used

after the noun reditio as it would be after a verb of motion such as redire. This must be distinguished from such instances as quid me tactiost in Plautus where me is the direct object of the verbal notion implied in the noun tactio. Kraner qu. Cic. div. 1 68 reditum ac domum

itionem. 29 essent] for ut essent after comburunt cf. n. on 3 ut conaretur per

suadet. 30 mensum] the form mensium is also used.

domo efferre] domo 'from home' is almost adverbial, hence the preposition is not required; cf. domo exire 6 and 12, and contrast above e

finibus exire. Cf. my n. on IV. 14. 31 Rauricis] the colonia Rauricorum subsequently founded by Munatius

Plancus was at or near Augst on the left bank of the Rhine, east of Basle. The Raurici extended into Alsace. Desjardins shows from the funeral inscription of Munatius Plancus at Gaeta that the spelling Raurici is to be preferred to Rauraci.

Tulingis] the exact position of this tribe has not yet been satisfactorily determined.

Latobrigis] Desjardins places this tribe on the north bank of the Rhine, between Basle and Schaffhausen.

33 eis] for this use of the demonstrative in place of the reflexive pronoun cf. n. on 6 suos fines.

Boiosque] the Boii occupied no very definite limits at this time; they seem to have been feeling the force of the various influences, so difficult now to determine, which were stirring the vast savage hordes of Europe and impelling them to their incessant and restless wander

ings. p. 4. I Norciam] Noreia, now Neumarkt in Carinthia, a little above lat.

47o. It was here that the Cimbri won a victory over Cn. Papirius Carbo, B.C. 113. Mommsen III. 181 (Engl. Trans.).


CHAP. 6. 3 itinera duo, quibus itineribus] this redundancy of expression is quite in Caesar's manner and will often be met with again.

Sequanos] the Sequani were situated between the Rhine where it turns eastward at Basle, the Saône, the Rhone and M. Jura. One of the possible routes into Gaul, Caesar says, lay through their territory, and to enter this the Helvetii would have to pass between the Jura and the Rhone along a defile which reaches its narrowest point at the Fort de l'Écluse, about 13 miles from Geneva, built in the xivth century to command this entrance into France. No route from Helvetia into Gaul across the Jura seems to have been known, to the Romans at any rate, at this time; at present the Jura may be crossed at several points. It is not quite clear why the Helvetii could not have gone by the Trouée

de Belfort. 5 vix qua singuli] for the position of vix cf. 11. 28 vix ad quingentos. 9 Allobrogum] the Allobroges, or Allobriges as Strabo calls them,

occupied a district corresponding roughly to the modern Dauphiné and Savoie. They had been, as Caesar says, 'pacified in the year 61 B.C. by the praetor C. Pomptinus; cf. Liv. Epit. cii. C. Pomptinus praetor Allobrogas qui rebellaverant ad Solonem domuit: the position of Solon or Solonium is uncertain.

vado transitur] at present the Rhone is said to be fordable only near the villages of Russin and Cartigny, about 9 miles from Geneva. 13 bono animo viderentur] the omission of esse is noticeable: because

they did not seem as yet to be friendly disposed to the Roman people'. The clause is a subordinate one in oratio obliqua, hence the subjunctive

viderentur. 15 suos fines] observe that the reflexive suos is used here not of the sub

jects of the principal verb existimabant but of the Allobroges, while cos denotes the Helvetii : cf. eorum in VII. I priusquam eorum clandestina consilia efferantur used in reference to the main subject of the sentence. Dräger Hist. Synt. § 29 b quotes a number of similar passages

from Caesar. 16 qua die... is dies] dies is frequently feminine when used in the

sense of 'date' or appointed time'. Cf. 8; VII. 3; B. C. III.

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33, etc.

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