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Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book IV Chapter 62: The Batavian Uprise. The prisoners march[AD 70]
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The 16th legion, with the auxiliary troops that capitulated at the same time, received orders to march from Novesium to the Colony of the Treveri, a day having been fixed by which they were to quit the camp. The whole of this interval they spent in many anxious thoughts. The cowards trembled to think of those who had been massacred at the Castra Vetera; the better men blushed with shame at the infamy of their position. "What a march is this before us!" they cried, "Who will lead us on our way? Our all is at the disposal of those whom we have made our masters for life or death." Others, without the least sense of their disgrace, stowed away about their persons their money and what else they prized most highly, while some got their arms in readiness, and girded on their weapons as if for battle. While they were thus occupied, the time for their departure arrived, and proved even more dismal than their anticipation. For in their intrenchments their woeful appearance had not been so noticeable; the open plain and the light of day revealed their disgrace. The images of the Emperors were torn down; the standards were borne along without their usual honours, while the banners of the Gauls glittered on every side. The train moved on in silence like a long funeral procession. Their leader was Claudius Sanctus; one of his eyes had been destroyed; he was repulsive in countenance and even more feeble in intellect. The guilt of the troops seemed to be doubled, when the other legion, deserting the camp at Bonna, joined their ranks. When the report of the capture of the legions became generally known, all who but a short time before trembled at the name of Rome rushed forth from the fields and houses, and spread themselves everywhere to enjoy with extravagant delight the strange spectacle. The Picentine Horse could not endure the triumph of the insulting rabble, and, disregarding the promises and threats of Sanctus, rode off to Mogontiacum. Chancing to fall in with Longinus, the murderer of Vocula, they overwhelmed him with a shower of darts, and thus made a beginning towards a future expiation of their guilt. The legions did not change the direction of their march, and encamped under the walls of the colony of the Treveri. |
Event: The Batavian Uprise
Events with images:
The Batavian Uprise
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.
Triumph:The highest honour to a general: clad like Jupiter he drove in a chariot drawn by four white horses. Before him walked the prisoners taken in the war, and the spoils of the captured cities, and in later times pictures of the conquered territories were carried before the general's chariot. He was followed by his troops, who sung songs, often extempore effusions, in honour of their commander.