Caesar’s de Bello Gallico Book 2: Chapter 1-15 The Belgae
The Problem • While Caesar was in winter quarters in Gaul, he was informed by Labienus that all the Belgae were entering into a confederacy against the Roman people • They feared that Gaul was subdued and the Roman army would lead against them • They were instigated by several of the Gauls • The government in Gaul was generally seized upon by very powerful people
Caesar’s Response to the Problem • Caesar levied two new legions and conducted them into the territory of the Gauls, neighbors of the Belgae, to learn what was going on among the Belgae • It was reported back to Caesar that the Belgae were raising an army and that he should not hesitate to proceed towards them • Caesar moves his camp and arrives at the territories of the Belgae
The Remi, closest to the Belgae, sent two principals to Caesar to tell him that they would • Surrender themselves to the protection of the Roman people • Not enter a confederacy against the Roman people • Would both obey Caesar’s commands and aid him with supplies
Information Gained from the Remi • The Bellovaci: the most powerful among the Belgae in valor, influence, and number of men • The Suessiones: their nearest neighbors and possessed a very extensive/fertile country • The Nervii: the most warlike and furthest away in distance
After thanking the Remi, Caesar ordered the whole senate to assemble before him and leads him army to Bibrax, a town of the Remi.
The Battle • There was a marsh between Caesar’s army and the enemy • The enemy: was waiting to see if Caesar’s army would surpass the size of their army • Caesar’s army: were ready in arms to attack them while disordered • Caesar leads his cavalry over the bridge and hurries towards the enemy, killing a great number of them • The enemy resolved to assemble from all quarters to defend those into whose territories the Romans should first march an army; they agree to enjoy the stores of their own province and led to a resolution
Since Caesar was unaware of the enemy’s reason for departing, he sent his cavalry to harass their rear, killing a great number of them as they were fleeing
On the next day, Caesar then led his army into the territory of the Suessiones and hurried to their town of Noviodunum. The Suessiones then sent ambassadors to Caesar respecting a surrender that the Suessiones be spared.
Then Caesar led his army against the Bellovaci. The Bellovacian citizens extended their hands to Caesar and promised to throw themselves under his power, never contend in arms against the Roman people, and begged for peace from the Romans. Caesar listened to their pleas, however demanded 600 hostages.
Lastly, Caesar moved from the Bellovaci to the territory of the Ambiani, who immediately surrendered all their possessions.
Unfortunately on the other hand, the Nervii condemned the rest of the Belgae who had surrendered themselves to the Roman people. The Nervii refused to accept any condition of peace with Rome.