De Bello Alexandrino

1Bello Alexandrino conflato Caesar Rhodo atque ex Syria Ciliciaque omnem classem arcessit; Creta sagittarios, equites ab rege Nabataeorum Malcho evocat; tormenta undique conquiri et frumentum mitti, auxilia adduci iubet. Interim munitiones cotidie operibus augentur atque omnes oppidi partes, quae minus esse firmae videntur, testudinibus ac musculis aptantur;1 ex aedificiis autem per foramina in proxima aedificia arietes immittuntur, quantumque aut ruinis deicitur aut per vim recipitur loci, in tantum munitiones proferuntur. Nam incendio fere tuta est Alexandrea, quod sine contignatione ac materia sunt aedificia et structuris ac fornicibus continentur tectaque sunt rudere aut pavimentis. Caesar maxime studebat ut, quam angustissimam partem oppidi palus a meridie interiecta efficiebat, hanc operibus vineisque agendis ab reliqua parte urbis excluderet, illud spectans primum ut, cum in duas partis esset urbis divisa acies, uno consilio atque imperio administraretur, deinde ut laborantibus succurri atque ex altera oppidi parte


The Alexandrian War

The Alexandrian War

1When the Alexandrian war flared up, Caesar summoned every fleet from Rhodes and Syria and Cilicia; from Crete he raised archers, and cavalry from Malchus, king of the Nabataeans,1 and ordered artillery to be procured, corn despatched, and auxiliary troops mustered from every quarter. Meanwhile the entrenchments were daily extended by additional works, and all those sectors of the town which appeared to be not strong enough were provided with shelters and mantlets; battering-rams, moreover, were introduced from one building into the next through holes, and the entrenchments were extended to cover all the ground laid bare by demolitions or gained by force of arms. For Alexandria is well-nigh fire-proof, because its buildings contain no wooden joinery and are held together by an arched construction and are roofed with rough-cast or tiling.2 Caesar was particularly anxious that, by bringing to bear his siege-works and pent-houses, he should isolate from the rest of the city that narrowest part of the town which was most constricted by the barrier of marshland lying to the south; his object being first that, since his army was divided between two sectors of the city, it should be controlled by a single strategy and command; secondly, that if they got into difficulties in one sector of the town, assistance

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.caesar-alexandrian_war.1955