The Ancient Library

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tonnivance at the progress of the insurrection on the Rhine. (See especially Tacit. Hist. iv. 27.) Thus Civilis was urged by a letter from Antonius Primus, and by a personal request from Hordeonius Flaccus, to prevent the German legions from marching into Italy to the support of Vitellius, by the appearance of a Germanic insurrection; an appearance which Civilis himself resolved to convert into a reality. His designs were aided by an edict of Vitellius, calling for a levy of the Batavians, and still more by the harshness with which the command was executed; for feeble old men were compelled to pay for exemption from service, and beautiful boys were seized for the vilest purposes. Irritated by these cruelties, and urged by Civilis and his confederates, the Batavians refused the levy ; and Civilis having, according to the ancient German custom, called a solemn meeting at night in a sacred grove, easily bound the chiefs of the Batavians by an oath to re­volt. Messengers were sent to secure the assistance of the Canninefates, another Germanic tribe, living on the same island, and others to try the fidelity of the Batavian cohorts, which had formerly served in Britain, and were now stationed at Magontiacum, as a part of the Roman army on the Rhine. The first of these missions was completely successful. The Canninefates chose Brinno for their chief ; and he, having joined to himself the Frisii, a nation be­yond the Rhine, attacked the furthest winter quarters of the Romans, and compelled them to re­tire from their forts. Upon this, Civilis, still dis­sembling, accused the prefects, because they had deserted the camp, and declared that with his single cohort he would repress the revolt of the Cannine­fates, while the rest of the army might betake themselves quietly to their winter quarters. His treachery was, however, seen through, and he found himself compelled openly to join the insurgents. At the head of the Canninefates, Frisii, and Batavi, he engaged the Romans on the bank of the Rhine. In the midst of the battle, a cohort of the Tungri de­serted to Civilis, and decided the battle on the land; while the Roman fleet, which had been collected on the river to co-operate with the legions, was carried over to the German bank by the rowers, many of whom were Batavians, who overpowered the pilots and centurions. Civilis followed up his vic­tory by sending messengers through the two Ger-manies and the provinces of Gaul, urging the peo­ple to rebellion ; and aimed at the kingdom of the Germanics and Gauls. Hordeonius Flaccus, the governor of the Germanics, who had secretly en­couraged the first efforts of Civilis, now ordered his legate, Mummius Lupercus, to march against the enemy. Civilis gave him battle; and Lupercus was immediately deserted by an ala of Batavians ; the rest of the auxiliaries fled; and the legionary soldiers were obliged to retreat into Vetera Castra, the great station which Augustus had formed on the left bank of the Rhine, as the head quarters for operations against Germany. About the same time some veteran, cohorts of Batavians and Cannine­fates, who were on their march, into Italy by the order of Vitellius, were induced by the emissaries of Civilis to mutiny and to march back into lower Germany, in order to join Civilis, which they were .enabled to effect by the indecision of Hordeonius Flaccus ; defeating, 'on their way, the forces of Herennius Gallus, who was stationed at Bonn, and who was forced by his soldiers to resist their march. Civilis was now at the head of a complete


army ; but, being still unwilling to commit himself to an open contest with the Roman power, he caused his followers to take the oath to Vespasian, and sent envoys to the two legions which, as above related, had taken refuge in Vetera Castra, to in­duce .them to take the same oath. Enraged at their refusal, he called to arms the whole nation of the Batavi, who were joined by the Bructeri and Teucteri, while emissaries were sent into Germany to rouse the people. The Roman legates, Mummius Lupercus and Numisius Rufus, strengthened the fortifications of Vetera Castra. Civilis marched down both banks of the Rhine, having ships also on the river, and blockaded the camp, after a fruit­less attempt to storm it. The operations of Hor­deonius Flaccus were retarded by his weakness, his anxiety to serve Vespasian, and the mistrust of his soldiers, to whom this inclination was no secret; and he was at last compelled to give up the com­mand to Dillius Vocula. The dissensions at this period in the Roman camp are described elsewhere. [hordeonius flaccus ; herennius gallus ; dillius vocula.] Civilis, in the meantime, having been joined by large forces from all Germany, proceeded to harass the tribes of Gaul west of the Mosa, even as far as the Menapii and Morini, on the sea shore, in order to shake their fidelity to the Romans. His efforts were more especially directed against the Treviri and the Ubii. The Ubii were firm in their faith, and suffered severely in conse­quence. He then pressed on the siege of Vetera Castra, and, yielding to the ardour of his new allies beyond the Rhine, tried again to storm it. The effort failed, and he had recourse to attempts to tamper with the besieged soldiery.

These events occurred towards the end of A. d. 69, before the battle of Cremona, which decided the victory of Vespasian over Vitellius. [vespasianus.] When the news of that battle reached the Roman army on the Rhine, alpinus montanus was sent to Civilis to summon him to lay down his arms, since his professed object was now accomplished. The only result of this mission was, that Civilis sowed the seeds of disaffection in the envoy's mind. Civilis now sent against Vocula his veteran cohorts and the bravest of the Germans, under the com­mand of Julius Maximus, and Claudius Victor, his sister's son, who, having taken on their march the winter quarters of an auxiliary cifo, at Asciburgium, fell suddenly upon the camp of Vocula, which was only saved by the arrival of unexpected aid. Civi­lis and Vocula are both blamed by Tacitus, the former for not sending a sufficient force, the latter for neglecting to follow up his victory. Civilis now attempted to gain over the legions who were be­sieged in Vetera Castra, by pretending that he had conquered Vocula, but one of the captives whom he paraded before the walls for this purpose, shouted out and revealed the truth, his credit, as Tacitus observes, being the more established by the fact, that he was stabbed to death by the Germans on the spot. Shortly afterwards, Vocula marched up to the relief of Vetera Castra, and defeated Civilis, but again neglected to follow up his victory, most probably from design. [vocula.] Civilis soon again reduced the Romans to great want of provi­sions, and forced them to retire to Gelduba, and thence to Novesium, while he again invested Ve­tera Castra, and took Gelduba. The Romans, pa­ralyzed by new dissensions [hordeonius flac­cus; vocula], suffered another defeat from Civi-*

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