Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 447 pages of information about Tacitus.

    [274] Vitellius had reduced the strength of the legions (cp. ii. 94).

    [275] Because it would weaken the position of Vitellius.

    [276] They lived north of the Batavi, between the Zuider Zee
          and the North Sea.

    [277] ii. 29.

    [278] Mogontiacum.

    [279] Caligula’s only trophy had been helmetfuls of stones and
          shells from the sea-shore of Germany.

    [280] Living in Friesland, north-east of the Zuider Zee.

    [281] Reading applicata (Andresen) instead of occupata,
          which gives no sense.  The camp was probably somewhere near

    [282] The Nervii were a Gallic tribe living on the Sambre,
          with settlements at Cambray, Tournay, Bavay.  Ritter’s
          alteration of Germanorum to Cugernorum is very probably
          right.  They lived about a dozen miles west of Vetera, and are
          thus a likely recruiting-ground.  They were of German origin,
          so if Germanorum is right, the reference will still be to
          them and the Tungri and other German Settlements on the east
          of the Rhine.

    [283] See ii. 42, note 301.  Here, however, it is not
          improbable that the word cuneus means a V-shaped formation. 
          Tacitus’ phrase in Germ. 6 is generally taken to mean that
          the Germans fought in wedge-formation.  The separation of the
          three tribes in three columns was also typical of German
          tactics.  The presence of kinsmen stimulated courage.

    [284] Presumably at the eastern end of the island, near either
          Nymwegen or Arnheim.

    [285] The Aedui lived in Bourgogne and Nivernois, between the
          Loire and the Saone; the Arverni in Auvergne, north-west of
          the Cevennes.  Both had joined Vindex.

    [286] ‘Many’ must be an exaggeration, since Augustus’ census
          of Gaul took place 27 B.C., ninety-five years ago.

    [287] Sixty years ago, to be exact.


Hordeonius Flaccus at first furthered Civilis’ schemes by shutting his eyes to them.  But when messengers kept arriving in panic with news that a camp had been stormed, cohorts wiped out, and not a Roman left in the Batavian Island, he instructed Munius Lupercus, who commanded the two legions[288] in winter-quarters,[289] to march against the enemy.  Lupercus lost no time in crossing the river,[290] taking the legions whom he had with him, some Ubii[291] who were close at hand, and the Treviran cavalry who were stationed not far away.  To this force he added a regiment of Batavian cavalry, who, though their loyalty had long ago succumbed, still concealed the fact, because they hoped their desertion would fetch a higher price,

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