Caesar, The Gallic War

LCL 72: 10-11

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6Erant omnino itinera duo, quibus itineribus domo exire possent: unum per Sequanos, angustum et difficile, inter montem Iuram et flumen Rhodanum, vix qua singuli carri ducerentur; mons autem altissimus impendebat, ut facile perpauci prohibere possent: alterum per provinciam nostram, multo facilius atque expeditius, propterea quod inter fines Helvetiorum et Allobrogum, qui nuper pacati erant, Rhodanus fluit isque nonnullis locis vado transitur. Extremum oppidum Allobrogum est proximumque Helvetiorum finibus Genava. Ex eo oppido pons ad Helvetios pertinet. Allobrogibus sese vel persuasuros, quod nondum bono animo in populum Romanum viderentur, existimabant vel vi coacturos, ut per suos fines eos ire paterentur. Omnibus rebus ad profectionem comparatis diem dicunt, qua die ad ripam Rhodani omnes conveniant. Is dies erat a. d. v. Kal. Apr. L. Pisone A. Gabinio consulibus.

7Caesari cum id nuntiatum esset, eos per provinciam nostram iter facere conari, maturat ab urbe proficisci, et quam maximis potest itineribus in Galliam ulteriorem contendit et ad Genavam pervenit. Provinciae toti quam maximum potest militum numerum imperat (erat omnino in Gallia ulteriore legio una), pontem qui erat ad Genavam iubet rescindi. Vbi de eius adventu Helvetii certiores facti sunt, legatos ad eum mittunt nobilissimos civitatis, cuius legationis


Gallic War, Book I

There were two routes, and no more, by which they could leave their homeland. One lay through the territory of the Sequani, betwixt the Jura range and the river Rhone, a narrow route and a difficult, where carts could scarce be drawn in single file; with an exceeding high mountain overhanging it, so that a very few men might easily check them. The other route, through the Roman Province, was far more easy and convenient, forasmuch as the Rhone flows between the borders of the Helvetii and the Allobroges (who had lately been brought to peace1), and is in some places fordable. The last town of the Allobroges, the nearest to the borders of the Helvetii, is Geneva, from which a bridge stretches across to the Helvetii. These supposed that either they would persuade the Allobroges (deeming them not yet well disposed towards the Roman people), or would compel them perforce to suffer a passage through their borders. Having therefore provided all things for their departure, they named a day by which all should assemble upon the bank of the Rhone. The day was the 28th of March, in the consulship2 of Lucius Piso and Aulus Gabinius.

When Caesar was informed that they were endeavouring to march through the Roman Province, he made speed to leave Rome, and hastening to Further Gaul by as rapid stages as possible, arrived near Geneva. From the whole Province he requisitioned the largest possible number of troops (there was in Further Gaul no more than a single legion), and ordered the bridge at Geneva to be broken down. When the Helvetii learned of his coming, they sent as deputies to him the noblest men of the

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.caesar-gallic_wars.1917