De Bello Africo
1Caesar itineribus iustis confectis nullo die intermisso a. d. XIIII Kal. Ian. Lilybaeum pervenit statimque ostendit sese navis velle conscendere, cum non amplius legionem tironum haberet unam, equites vix DC. Tabernaculum secundum litus ipsum constituit, ut prope fluctus verberaret. Hoc eo consilio fecit ne quis sibi morae quicquam fore speraret et ut omnes in dies horasque parati essent. Incidit per id tempus ut tempestates ad navigandum idoneas non haberet; nihilo tamen minus in navibus remiges militesque continere et nullam praetermittere occasionem profectionis, cum praesertim ab incolis eius provinciae nuntiarentur adversariorum copiae equitatus infinitus, legiones regiae IIII, levis armaturae magna vis, Scipionis legiones X, elephanti CXX classesque esse complures; tamen non deterrebatur animoque et spe confidebat. Interim in dies et naves longae adaugeri et onerariae complures eodem
The African War
1After completing a series of full day’s marches1 without pausing for a single day, Caesar arrived at Lilybaeum on December 17,2 and shewed himself desirous of embarking forthwith, although he had no more than a single legion of recruits and barely six hundred cavalry. He had his tent pitched alongside the actual beach so that the waves all but beat upon it: his purpose in so doing was to prevent anyone from hoping he would enjoy any respite, and to ensure that everyone was in a state of daily and hourly readiness. During this time he was unlucky with the weather, which was unsuitable for sailing; but for all that he still kept his rowers and troops aboard the ships and let slip no opportunity for setting forth, despite, above all, the reports which were coming in from the local provincials about the forces of the enemy—innumerable cavalry, four royal legions, a great quantity of light-armed troops, ten legions under command of Scipio, a hundred-and-twenty elephants and several fleets: yet even so he was not deterred, but remained resolute and optimistic. Meanwhile every day saw an increase in the number of his warships, and numerous transports also
- 1It is not quite clear whether this means the complete journey from Rome (over 600 miles, via Rhegium and Messana), or merely the last stage from Messana (some 200 miles). But as it seems likely that he was not accompanied by any large number of troops—the legion of recruits may have been one already stationed at Lilybaeum—most commentators appear to assume that the reference is to the whole journey.
- 2= October 23rd, 47, if Le Verrier’s rectified system be followed: October 1, according to Groebe’s system. All the dates given in the text are according to the unreformed calendar, which was now some two months ahead owing to the failure of the pontifices to insert the necessary intercalary months.