Appian, Roman History 4. The Celtic Book

LCL 2: 102-103

Go To Section
Go To Section


μείζους τῶν μεγίστων ὑπῆρχον καὶ τὸ ἦθος ἄγριοι καὶ τὴν τόλμαν θρασύτατοι καὶ θανάτου καταφρονηταὶ δι’ ἐλπίδα ἀναβιώσεως, καὶ κρύος ὁμοίως ἔφερον θάλπει καὶ πόᾳ ἐχρῶντο παρὰ τὰς ἀπορίας τροφῇ, καὶ ὁ ἵππος ξύλοις. ἦσαν δέ, ὡς ἔοικεν, οὐ φερέπονοι ἐν ταῖς μάχαις οὐδὲ λογισμῷ ἢ καὶ ἐπιστήμῃ τινί, ἀλλὰ θυμῷ χρώμενοι καθάπερ θηρία· διὸ καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς Ῥωμαίων ἐπιστήμης καὶ φερεπονίας ἡσσῶντο. οἳ μὲν γὰρ μετὰ ὁρμῆς βαρυτάτης ἐπεπήδων αὐτοῖς καὶ ὅλην ὁμοῦ τὴν φάλαγγα ἀνεώθουν, Ῥωμαῖοι δ’ ὑπέμενον ἐν τάξει καὶ κατεστρατήγουν αὐτοὺς καὶ ὀκτακισμυρίους αὐτῶν τελευτῶντες ἀπέκτειναν.

10Μετὰ τούτους ὁ Καῖσαρ τοῖς καλουμένοις Βέλγαις ἐπιπεσών, ποταμόν τινα περῶσι, τοσούτους ἀπέκτεινεν ὡς τὸν ποταμὸν γεφυρωθέντα τοῖς σώμασι περᾶσαι. 11Νέρβιοι δὲ αὐτὸν ἐτρέψαντο, ἄρτι στρατόπεδον ἐξ ὁδοιπορίας κατασκευάζοντι αἰφνιδίως ἐπιπεσόντες, καὶ παμπόλλους ἐφόνευσαν, τοὺς δὲ ταξιάρχους καὶ λοχαγοὺς ἅπαντας· καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνον εἰς λόφον τινὰ μετὰ τῶν ὑπασπιστῶν πεφευγότα περιέσχον κύκλῳ, ὑπὸ δὲ τοῦ δεκάτου τάγματος αὐτοῖς ἐξόπισθεν ἐπιπεσόντος ἐφθάρησαν, ἑξακισμύριοι ὄντες. ἦσαν δὲ τῶν Κίμβρων καὶ Τευτόνων ἀπόγονοι. ἐκράτησε καὶ Ἀλλοβρίγων ὁ Καῖσαρ. 12Οὐσιπετῶν δὲ καὶ Ταγχαρέων τεσσαράκοντα μυριάδες, στρατεύσιμοί τε καὶ ἀστράτευτοι, συνεκόπησαν. Σούκαμβροι δὲ πεντακοσίοις ἱππεῦσι τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους ἱππεῖς τοῦ Καίσαρος



the Germans were huge, larger than the largest of men, and in character fierce and exceptionally brave and audacious. They disdained death, as they believed in an afterlife, they were equally tolerant of heat and cold, and when food was short they ate grass, while their horses ate trees. It appears, however, that they lacked endurance in battle and fought with fury, like wild animals, but without calculation or any technical skill. This is why they were overwhelmed by Roman skill and endurance. For although the Germans launched a violent charge against them and pushed back the whole line together, the Romans held their ranks, counterattacked and ended up killing eighty thousand of them.

10After them, Caesar attacked the so-called Belgae as they were in the process of crossing a river, and killed so many of them that he crossed the river on a bridge of their bodies. 11The Nervii, however, routed him by attacking unexpectedly as he was making camp just after a march. They killed a large number, including all the tribunes and centurions, and surrounded Caesar himself on a hill where he had taken refuge with his bodyguard. But they were attacked in the rear by the tenth legion and destroyed, although they numbered sixty thousand men. The Nervii were descendants of the Cimbri and Teutones. Caesar also conquered the Allobroges, 12and cut to pieces four hundred thousand of the Usipites and Tencteri, both soldiers and civilians. The Sigambri, however, with their five hundred cavalry, unexpectedly attacked Caesar’s five thousand cavalry

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.appian-roman_history_book_iv_gallic_history_fragments.2019