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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 18: The Batavian Uprise. Lupercus[AD 69]
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Civilis, bent on winning Gaul and Germany if his purposes should prosper, was on the point of securing supremacy over the most powerful and most wealthy of the states. His first attempts Hordeonius Flaccus had encouraged by affecting ignorance. But when messengers came hurrying in with intelligence that a camp had been stormed, that cohorts had been cut to pieces, and that the Roman power had been expelled from the island of the Batavians, the general ordered the legate, Munius Lupercus, who was in command of the winter-quarters of two legions, to advance against the enemy. Lupercus in great haste threw across the Rhine such legionaries as were on the spot, some Ubian troops who were close at hand, and some cavalry of the Treveri, who were stationed at no great distance; these were accompanied by some Batavian horse, who, though they had been long disaffected, yet still simulated loyalty in order that by betraying the Romans in the moment of actual conflict they might receive a higher price for their desertion. Civilis, surrounding himself with the standards of the captured cohorts, to keep their recent honours before the eyes of his own men, and to terrify the enemy by the remembrance of defeat, now directed his own mother and sisters, and the wives and children of all his men, to stand in the rear, where they might encourage to victory, or shame defeat. The war-song of the men, and the shrill cries of the women, rose from the whole line, and an answering but far less vigorous cheer, came from the legions and auxiliaries. The Batavians had exposed the left wing by their desertion, and they immediately turned against our men. Still the legionaries, though their position was alarming, kept their arms and their ranks. The auxiliaries of the Ubii and the Treveri broke at once in shameful flight, and dispersed over the whole country. On that side the Germans threw the weight of their attack. Meanwhile the legions had an opportunity of retreating into what was called the Castra Vetera. Claudius Labeo, prefect of the Batavian horse, who had been the rival of Civilis in some local contest, was sent away into the country of the Frisii; to kill him might be to give offence to his countrymen, while to keep him with the army might be to sow the seeds of discord. |
Event: The Batavian Uprise
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The Batavian Uprise
Horse:a. the animal. b. cavalry.
Standard:When an army was in camp, they were fixed in the ground, each marking the station of the cohort to which it belonged; when they were taken up it was the signal for breaking up the camp and commencing the march.