had disguised their wretched slavery under the name
of peace. ‘The Batavi,’ he would say,
’were excused from taxation, and yet they have
taken arms against the common tyrant. In the
first engagement the Romans were routed and beaten.
What if Gaul throws off the yoke? What forces
are there left in Italy? It is with the blood
of provincials that their provinces are won.
Don’t think of the defeat of Vindex. Why,
it was the Batavian cavalry which trampled on the
Aedui and Arverni, and there were Belgic auxiliaries
in Verginius’ force. The truth is that Gaul
succumbed to her own armies. But now we are all
united in one party, fortified, moreover, by the military
discipline which prevails in Roman camps: and
we have on our side the veterans before whom Otho’s
legions lately bit the dust. Let Syria and Asia
play the slave: the East is used to tyrants:
but there are many still living in Gaul who were born
before the days of tribute. Indeed, it is only
the other day that Quintilius Varus was killed,
when slavery was driven out of Germany, and they brought
into the field not the Emperor Vitellius but Caesar
Augustus himself. Why, liberty is the natural
prerogative even of dumb animals: courage is
the peculiar attribute of man. Heaven helps the
brave. Come, then, fall upon them while your hands
are free and theirs are tied, while you are fresh
and they are weary. Some of them are for Vespasian,
others for Vitellius; now is your chance to crush both
parties at once.’
Civilis thus had his eye on Gaul and Germany and aspired,
had his 18 project prospered, to become king
of two countries, one pre-eminent in wealth and the
other in military strength.
 Cp. iii. 46.
 One of the greatest
and most warlike of the German
living in the modern Hessen-Nassau and Waldeck.
them at length in his Germania.
 i.e. a stretch
of land about sixty miles in length, from
to the Hook of Holland, enclosed by the diverging
of the Rhine, the northern of which is now called the
the southern the Waal (in Tacitus’ time Vahalis).
Betuwe is still applied to the eastern part of this
 In the Germania
Tacitus says that, like weapons, they
kept exclusively for use in war, and are spared the
 Some such word as peritus
or exercitus must be
at the end of this chapter.
 Probably during the
revolt of Vindex. Capito governed
 Cp. i. 59.
 The loss of an eye.
 Governor of Upper Germany.
 As a subordinate division
of Lower Germany the Batavian
would be administered by ‘prefects’ subordinate