Friday, March 22, 2013

Caesar: The Helvetian War - from Per Saecula Part One, Prose (modified Latin)

1.  Among the Helvetians by far the noblest and richest man was Orgetorix.  During the consulship of Marcus Messala and Marcus Pisone, led on by desire for the kingship, he made a conspiracy of the nobles and persuaded the city that hey should depart from their own territory with all their supplies and that it was an easy thing to obtain command over all of Gaul.  He persuaded them of this the more easily because from all sides the Helvetians were restrained by the nature of the place:  from one side by the Rhine, very deep and very wide, which separates Helvetia from the Germans; from another by the very high Jura Mountains which are between the Sequani and the Helvetians; and from the third by Lake Lemanno and the Rhone River, which divides our province from the Helvetians. Led on by these circumstances and stirred up by the authority of Orgetorix, they determined to gather all those things which pertained to setting out, to buy (coemere) the greatest possible number of baggage animals and wagons and to produce the greatest amount of seed  so that the would have a supply of grain on the journey, and to establish peace and friendship with the nearest cities. 

Adduco (3): lead on, bring on
Contineo (3):  keep together, restrain, contain
Pertineo (2):  stretch, extend to
Coemo (3): buy
Iumentum: baggage animals
Carrus, carri: wagon

2.    Orgetorix undertook an envoy to the nearest city.  In this journey he convinced Casticus the Sequani that he should seize the kingship in his own city and likewise he convinced Dumnorix the Aeduan that he should attempt the same and he gave his daughter to him in marriage.  He confirmed for these men that the attempts were easy to accomplish, because (propterea quod) he himself was about to acquire power in his own city.  Led on by this speech, they gave an oath between themselves and expected, with the kingship seized, to be able to obtain all of Gaul through the three most powerful and strongest (firmus) people.     

Legatus: envoy
Suscipio (3): undertake
Item: likewise
Occupo (1): seize, occupy
Propterea: therefore, on that account
Obtineo (3):  hold, occupy, acquire
Confirmo (3): establish, strengthen, confirm, assert
Perficio (3): finish, complete
Spero (3): hope, expect

3.  With these affairs reported by means of evidence (per indicium) as is their custom, the Helvetians compelled Orgetorix to plead his case in chains.  The day of the case having been established, Orgetorix gathered his entire family from all sides to the court, up to ten thousand, and all his clients of which he had a great number, and led them to that place.  By means of them he escaped so that he would not have to plead his case.  When the state was aroused on account of this and they attempted to pursue their rights by means of arms and the magistrates gathered a large number of men from the fields, Orgetorix died.  Nor was the suspicion lacking, as the Helvetians judge, that he brought death onto himself (mortem sibi consciscere).  

Indicium: evidence, information, proof
Exsequor: pursue, accomplish
Conscisco (3): bring on oneself (w/sibi)

4.  After Oregetorix's death the Helvetians nevertheless attempted that which they had decided to do, namely, to head out from their territory.  Now, when they judged themselves to be prepared for this business, they burned all of their towns.  They also burned all of their grain, except that which they were going to carry with them, so that with hope of return removed (sublatus) they would be more prepared to endure all things.  They ordered each one to carry from their home three month's provisions for themselves.  And they persuaded their neighbors to follow the same plan so that, with their own towns burned, they might set out together with them. 

Nihilominus: nonetheless
Praeterquam:  beyond, besides, except
Reditio: return
Cibarium: food, provisions
Tollo, ere, sustuli, sublatum: remove, lift, raise, weigh
Subeo (3): go under, suffer, occur to
Utor, i, usus sum, + abl: use, employ, treat, experience
Exuro (3): burn out

5.  There were in all two roads by which they could leave their home; one through Sequania, narrow and difficult, between the Jura range and the Rhone, through which their wagons could scarcely be led one at a time; moreover, an exceedingly high mountain hung over head, so that a very few could easily prevent their passage.  The other was through our province, much easier and convenient, because the Rhone flows between the territory of the Helvetians and the Allobroges who were recently pacified, and can be crossed in some places by ford.  The Helvetians reckoned that they would either persuade the Allobroges, who were once seen to be well disposed (bono animo) to the Roman people, or compell them by force to be allowed to go through their territory.  With everything gathered for setting out, they set they day on which all should come together on the shore of the Rhone.    

Omnino: completely, altogether, in all
Singuli, ae, a: each one, one at a time
Impendeo (2): hang over, be imminent, threaten
Expeditior, ius: more convenient
Existimo (1): think, consider, reckon
Patior, i, passus sum:  suffer, endure, allow

6.  When it was reported to Caesar that they were going to attempt a march through our province, he hurried to set out from the city and with greatest possible marches rushed to the further part of Gaul and reached Geneva.  He ordered from the entire province the greatest number of soldiers (there was in all only one legion in outer Gaul) and he ordered the bridge stretching to Geneva to be torn down.  When the Helvetians were informed of his arrival they sent to him the noblest emissaries of the state to say that they had no evil dealings in mind (sibi in animo) in making a march through the province, and because they had no other route they asked that it  be permitted to do so.  Caesar considered (puto) that it could not be allowed, and yet allowed some space to invervene while the soldiers which he ordered came together, and he replied to the emissaries that he would set a day to deliberate (delibero) the matter.    

Dispono (3): place seperately, arrange
Communio (4):  fortify, strengthen
Deicio (3): throw down
Ulterior, ior, ius: further
Rescindo (3): break down
Maleficium: wicked deed, evildoing
Propterea: therefore, on that account
Concedo (3): submit, allow/grant/permit/condone
Tamen: yet, nevertheless, still
Sumo (3): take, take up, exact, select

7.  Meanwhile, with the legion that he had with him and with the soldiers he had brought together from the province, he carried a wall and a dike through to the Jura range.  With this work completed, he arranged garrisons and fortified fortresses (castellum), by which it was easier to prevent them from attempting to cross (transio) through if he did not wish it.  When the day came which he had established with the envoys they returned to him and he denied that he was able to allow a journey through the province to anyone and, if they attempted to do so by force, he made it clear (ostendo) that he would prevent them.  Cast down from this hope, the Helvetians, with ships and rafts joined together, sometimes during the day (interdiu), but more often at night, attempted to break through.  But driven back by the foritifications and the assembly of soldiers and their spears, they left off this effort.    

Perduco (3):  lead through, take through
Interdiu: during the day
Concursus, us: running together, assembly, meeting
Desisto ere destiti, itum: stand down, stop, desist

8.  One path did remain, through the territory of the Sequani, through which they were not able to go on account of the narrow passes and the unwillingness of Sequani.  And so the Helvetians sent an embassy to Dumnorix the Aeuduan to seek his help, since he was powerfully influential (plurimum posset) among the Sequani and also a friend to the Helvetians.  He undertook the business and obtained a request (impetro) from the Sequani that they should allow the Helvetians to go through their territory.  He also brought it about (perficio) that they should exchange hostages lest the Sequani should prevent the Helvetians from the journey and to ensure that the Helvetians passed through without evil doings or injuries. 

Impetro (1): obtain a request, accomplish

9.  It was reported to Caesar that the Helvetians were of a mind (in animo) to make a journey through the territory of the Sequani and Aeduans and into that of the Santoni.  He understood that if this happened it would be a great danger to the entire province.  For this reason he put Titus Labienus in charge as legate of the fortifications he had made; he himself rushed to Italy in long marches, conscripted two legions there, and three more, which were wintering around Aquilea, he led out from winter quarters.  And he hastened to move out with these five legions by way of the nearest road through the Alps to further Gaul. 

Conscribo (3):  write, enroll soldiers

10.  The Helvetians crossed through the narrow passages and territories of the Sequani, arrived in the territory of thr Aeduans, and were laying waste to their fields.  The Aeduans, when they were unable to defend themselves or their things, sent embassies to Caesar to ask for help.  At the same time the Ambarri, the relatives and blood kin of the Aeduans, informed (certiorem faciunt) Caesar that they, with their fields devastated, could not easily hinder the power of the enemy from their towns; likewise, the Allobroges, who live across the Rhone, withdrew themselves in flight to Caesar and showed him that there was nothing left for themselves but the soil of the fields. Led on by this state of affairs, Caesar determined to himself not wait (exspecto) while, with all the fortunes of the allies consumed, the Helvetians arrived in the territory of the Santoni. 

Populor (1): lay waste, devastate   
Necessarii masc. plural: relatives
Recipio (3): take back, withdraw, recover
Adduco (3): lead on, bring up

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