Caesar, The Gallic War

LCL 72: 42-43

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traditis supplicio adficerentur, sive spe salutis inducti, quod in tanta multitudine dediticiorum suam fugam aut occultari aut omnino ignorari posse existimarent, prima nocte e castris Helvetiorum egressi ad Rhenum finesque Germanorum contenderunt.

28Quod ubi Caesar resciit, quorum per fines ierant, his uti conquirerent et reducerent, si sibi purgati esse vellent, imperavit: reductos in hostium numero habuit; reliquos omnes obsidibus, armis, perfugis traditis in deditionem accepit. Helvetios, Tulingos, Latobrigos in fines suos, unde erant profecti, reverti iussit, et quod omnibus fructibus amissis domi nihil erat, quo famem tolerarent, Allobrogibus imperavit ut his frumenti copiam facerent: ipsos oppida vicosque, quos incenderant, restituere iussit. Id ea maxime ratione fecit, quod noluit eum locum, unde Helvetii discesserant, vacare, ne propter bonitatem agrorum Germani, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, e suis finibus in Helvetiorum fines transirent et finitimi Galliae provinciae Allobrogibusque essent. Boios petentibus Aeduis, quod egregia virtute erant cogniti, ut in finibus suis collocarent, concessit; quibus illi agros dederunt quosque postea in parem iuris libertatisque condicionem atque ipsi erant receperunt.

29In castris Helvetiorum tabulae repertae sunt litteris Graecis confectae et ad Caesarem relatae, quibus


Gallic War, Book I

to the sword; or else they were tempted by the hope of escape, and the thought that in so vast a multitude of prisoners their own flight could be concealed or even unnoticed—left the Helvetian camp at nightfall and hastened to the Rhine and the borders of the Germans.

So soon as Caesar came to know of this he commanded the inhabitants through whose borders they had marched to seek them out and bring them back, if they wished to clear themselves from complicity in his sight. When the runaways were brought back he treated them as enemies; all the remainder, upon delivery of hostages, arms, and deserters, he admitted to surrender. He commanded the Helvetii, Tulingi, and Latobrigi to return to their own borders, whence they had started; and as they had lost all their produce, and had no means at home of sustaining hunger, he required the Allobroges to give them a supply of corn. He also ordered them to restore with their own hands the towns and villages which they had burnt. His chief reason for so doing was that he did not wish the district which the Helvetii had left to be unoccupied, lest the excellence of the farmlands might tempt the Germans who dwell across the Rhine to cross from their own into the Helvetian borders, and so to become neighbours to the Province of Gaul and to the Allobroges. He granted the petition of the Aedui that they might establish the Boii, known to be of remarkable courage, in their own borders. The Aedui gave them farmlands, and afterwards admitted them to like measure of privilege and liberty with themselves.

In the camp of the Helvetii were found, and brought to Caesar, records written out in Greek

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.caesar-gallic_wars.1917