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Quote of the day: Lucius Icilius, who had been tribune, an
Notes
Display Latin text
Historiae by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 16: The Batavian Uprise. The start[AD 69]
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Civilis, thinking that he must proceed by craft, actually blamed the prefects for having deserted the forts, saying that he would himself, with the cohort under his command, quell the disturbance among the Canninefates, and that they had better return to their respective winter-quarters. It was evident, however, that there was some treacherous design beneath this advice, that the cohorts would be dispersed only to be more easily crushed, and that the guiding hand in the war was not Brinno but Civilis; for indications of the truth, which the Germans, a people who delight in war, could not long conceal, were gradually coming to light. When stratagem proved ineffectual, he resorted to force, arranging in distinct columns the Canninefates, the Batavians, and the Frisii. The Roman army was drawn up to meet them not far from the river Rhine, and the ships, which, after burning the forts, they had stranded at that point, were arranged so as to front the enemy. Before the struggle had lasted long, a cohort of Tungrians carried over their standards to Civilis. The other troops, paralysed by the unexpected desertion, were cut down alike by friends and foes. In the fleet there was the same treachery. Some of the rowers were Batavians, and they hindered the operations of the sailors and combatants by an apparent want of skill; then they began to back water, and to run the sterns on to the hostile shore. At last they killed the pilots and centurions, unless these were willing to join them. The end was that the whole fleet of four and twenty vessels either deserted or was taken.

Event: The Batavian Uprise