Ubi vero moveri et appropinquare moenibus viderunt, nova atque inusitata specie commoti legatos ad Caesarem de pace miserunt, qui ad hunc modum locuti: Non existimare Romanos sine ope divina bellum gerere, qui tantae altitudinis machinationes tanta celeritate promovere possent; se suaque omnia eorum potestati permittere dixerunt. Unum petere ac deprecari: si forte pro sua clementia ac mansuetudine, quam ipsi ab aliis audirent, statuisset Aduatucos esse conservandos, ne se armis despoliaret. Sibi omnes fere finitimos esse inimicos ac suae virtuti invidere; a quibus se defendere traditis armis non possent. Sibi praestare, si in eum casum deducerentur, quamvis fortunam a populo Romano pati, quam ab his per cruciatum interfici, inter quos dominari consuessent.
But when they saw that it was moving and approaching the walls, they were alarmed at the novel and extraordinary sight, and sent deputies to Caesar to treat of peace, who spake after this fashion: They supposed that the Romans did not wage war without divine aid, inasmuch as they could move forward at so great a speed engines of so great a height; they therefore submitted themselves and all they had to the power of Rome. In one matter only did they seek indulgence: that if haply of his mercy and kindness, whereof they heard from others, Caesar decided to save the Aduatuci alive, he would not despoil them of their arms. Almost all their neighbours were at enmity with them and envied their courage; and from such, if they delivered up their arms, they could not defend themselves. If they were to be brought into such case, it were btter for them to suffer any fortune at the hand of Rome than to be tortured and slain by men among whom they were accustomed to hold mastery.
Translation and notes by H.J. Edwards
<< Previous | De Bello Gallico | Next >>