Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II eBook

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

Cerialis’ troops were allowed short respite.  Cologne was 79 clamouring for help and offering to surrender Civilis’ wife and sister and Classicus’ daughter, who had been left behind there as pledges of the alliance.  In the meantime the inhabitants had massacred all the stray Germans to be found in the town.  They were now alarmed at this, and had good reason to implore aid before the enemy should recover their strength and bethink themselves of victory, or at any rate of revenge.  Indeed, Civilis already had designs on Cologne, and he was still formidable, for the most warlike of his cohorts, composed of Chauci and Frisii,[443] was still in full force at Tolbiacum,[444] within the territory of Cologne.  However, he changed his plans on receiving the bitter news that this force had been entrapped and destroyed by the inhabitants of Cologne.  They had entertained them at a lavish banquet, drugged them with wine, shut the doors upon them and burned the place to the ground.  At the same moment Cerialis came by forced marches to the relief of Cologne.  A further anxiety haunted Civilis.  He was afraid that the Fourteenth legion, in conjunction with the fleet from Britain,[445] might harry the Batavian coast.  However, Fabius Priscus, who was in command, led his troops inland into the country of the Nervii and Tungri, who surrendered to him.  The Canninefates[446] made an unprovoked attack upon the fleet and sank or captured the greater number of the ships.  They also defeated a band of Nervian volunteers who had been recruited in the Roman interest.  Classicus secured a further success against an advance-guard of cavalry which Cerialis had sent forward to Novaesium.  These repeated checks, though unimportant in themselves, served to dim the lustre of the recent Roman victory.[447]


    [416] Round Reims.

    [417] Chap. 39.

    [418] His sister was Titus’s first wife.

    [419] Augustus had made it a rule that the praefectus
should come from the equestrian order.

    [420] The text is here uncertain, and some historians maintain
          that the third of these legions was not XIII Gemina but VII
          Claudia (v.  Henderson, Civil War, &c., p. 291).

    [421] Great St. Bernard and Mt.  Genevre.

    [422] Little St. Bernard.

    [423] See iii. 5.

    [424] i.e. not raised in any one locality.

    [425] Cp. ii. 22.

    [426] The Triboci were in Lower Alsace; the Vangiones north of
          them in the district of Worms; the Caeracates probably to the
          north again, in the district between Mainz and the Nahe

    [427] Bingen.

    [428] Chap. 62.

    [429] Round Metz.

    [430] See chap. 59.

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