Gaius Julius Caesar (13 July 100 - 15 March 44 BCE), Roman statesman, general, author, famous for the conquest of Gaul (modern France and Belgium) and his subsequent coup d'état. He changed the Roman republic into a monarchy and laid the foundations of a truly Mediterranean empire.
The siege of Alesia (52 BCE), discussed on this page, was one of the most important battles during Caesar's conquest of Gaul. After he had captured this Gallic town, only mopping-up operations remained. Caesar described the siege in his Commentaries on the war in Gaul, book 7, chapters 63-90. The translation is by Anne and Peter Wiseman.
[7.63.1-3] When the revolt of the Aedui became known, the war was stepped up. Deputations were sent into every part of the country; they did all they could, using their influence, prestige and money, to win the other tribes over to their cause. They got hold of the hostages I had left in their keeping, and by threatening their lives they intimidated any who were hesitating to join them.
[7.63.4-5] The Aedui asked Vercingetorix to come and arrange with them a joint plan of campaign. He agreed, and they then went on to demand that they should be given the supreme command. This led to an argument, and a general council of the whole, of Gaul was summoned at Bibracte.
[7.63.6-7] Gains gathered there in great numbers from all over the country, and when the matter was put to a general vote, Vercingetorix was confirmed as commander-in-chief by their unanimous decision. Absent from this council were the Remi and the Lingones, who retained their alliance with us. The Treverians did not attend either, because they were too far away and were being harassed by the Germans - which, incidentally, was the reason for their taking no part at all throughout the entire war and sending no help to either side.
[7.63.8-9] The Aedui bitterly resented being denied the leadership. They lamented the change in their situation and regretted having sacrificed my generous friendship. However, they had undertaken to fight and did not now dare to break with the other tribes. Eporedorix and Viridomarus, the two young men who had entertained such high hopes, took orders from Vercingetorix, much against their will.
[7.64.1] Vercingetorix himself ordered the other tribes to provide hostages, and decided on the day by which this should be done. He ordered the whole force of cavalry, numbering 15,000 men, to assemble quickly at Bibracte.
[7.64.2-3] He said that he would be satisfied with the infantry he had before, because he was not going to tempt fortune by fighting a pitched battle. Since he was strong in cavalry, it would be very easy, he said, to stop the Romans getting supplies of grain and forage, always provided the Gauls themselves would not object to destroying their own grain crops and burning their buildings, they must see that by sacrificing their private property in that way they would be gaining power and freedom for ever.
[7.64.4] After making these arrangements he ordered the Aedui and Segusiavi, who live on the frontiers of the Province, to provide 10,000 infantry. [...]
[7.65.4-5] I was aware that the Gauls were superior in cavalry, and that if they blocked all the roads I had no chance of getting reinforcements from the Province or from Italy. I therefore sent across the Rhine to the German tribes I had subdued in previous years, asking them to send cavalry and the light armed infantry who regularly went into battle with them.note[They were probably Chatti from modern Hessen. This tribe, which belonged to the Celtic La Tène-culture and was only Germanic in Caesar's definition (everybody east of the Rhine), became Rome's most loyal ally. Many of them were later resettled in the Netherlands, where they became known as the Batavians.] When these arrived, their own horses were not really suitable, and so I took the horses from my military tribunes, the other Romans of equestrian rank, the re-enlisted veterans, and gave them those to ride.
[7.66.1-2] While this was happening, the enemy assembled their forces, both the troops that had been in the territory of the Arvernians, and the cavalry that had been levied from all over Gaul. Large numbers of their cavalry had already gathered, and I was marching along the edge of the territory of the Lingones to get to that of the Sequani so that I could send help for the Province more easily.
[7.66.3a] Vercingetorix established his forces in three camps about ten miles away from us. He summoned his cavalry officers to a council of war and told them that their hour of victory had arrived.
[7.66.3b-6] "The Romans are leaving Gaul," he said, "and fleeing to the Province. That is enough to win our freedom for the moment, but certainly not enough to ensure our peace and security for the future. The Romans will raise a greater army and return to continue the war against us. So we must attack them now, while they are on the march and encumbered by their baggage. The infantry may come to their rescue, but if they are held up doing that, the Romans cannot continue their march. If, as I think is more likely, they abandon the baggage and concentrate on saving themselves, they will be stripped of their necessary supplies and their reputation will have gone as well. You certainly must not feel any uneasiness about the possible reaction of the Roman cavalry. You can be quite sure that not one of them will dare so much as to step outside the column. To give you even more confidence, I shall have all our troops drawn up in front of the camps to strike terror into the enemy."
[7.66.7] The cavalry officers shouted out that they should swear a most solemn oath that anyone who did not ride twice through the Roman marching column should not be allowed to enter his home again, or to see his children, his parents, or his wife.
[7.67.1-2] This proposal was approved, and they all took the oath.
Next day they divided their cavalry into three sections; two of these appeared in battle order on our two flanks, while the third began to block the way of our vanguard. When this was reported to me, I divided my cavalry into three sections as well, and ordered them to advance against the enemy.
[7.67.3-4] Fighting broke out simultaneously at every point. Our column halted and the legions formed a hollow square with the baggage inside it. Wherever I saw our men in difficulties or being particularly hard pressed, I ordered infantry detachments to move up and form lines of battle. This was effective in two ways; it slowed down the enemy's pursuit and made our cavalry more confident by assuring them of support.
[7.67.5-6] Eventually the German cavalry gained the top of a ridge on the right, dislodging the enemy, who fled as far as the river where Vercingetorix had taken up position with his infantry. The Germans pursued the fugitives and killed many of them, and the rest, seeing what had happened and afraid that they would be surrounded, turned and fled. They were slaughtered all over the field.
[7.67.7] Three Aeduans of the highest rank were taken prisoner and brought to me. They were the cavalry commander Cotus, who had had the dispute with Convictolitavis at the recent election; Cavarillus, who had been put in command of the Aeduan infantry after Litaviccus deserted us; and Eporedorix, who had led the Aeduans in their war with the Sequani, before I arrived in Gaul.
[7.68.1] Now that all his cavalry had been routed, Vercingetorix withdrew the forces he had positioned in front of the camps, and began at once to march to Alesia, an oppidumnote[The Roman name for Gallic towns on hill tops.] of the Mandubii. He ordered that the baggage should be assembled from the camps at once and brought on after him.
[7.68.2] I had our baggage moved to a nearby hill, left two legions to guard it, and then followed the enemy for what was left of that day. We killed about 3,000 of their rearguard. The next day we encamped near Alesia.
[6.68.3] The Gauls were terrified by the defeat of their cavalry, on which they particularly relied. After making a thorough examination of the position of the town, I encouraged my soldiers to set about the strenuous task of constructing siege works round the place.
[7.69.1-5] The actual oppidum of Alesia was on a hill top, its position being so high that it was clearly impregnable except by blockade. At the bottom, the hill was washed by rivers on two sides. In front of the oppidum was a plain about 4½ kilometers long; on all other sides it was closely surrounded by hills about as high as that on which it stood. The Gallic troops had occupied the whole of the eastern slope of the hill below the wall of the oppidum, fortifying their position with a ditch and a two meter wall.
[7.69.6-7] The siege works that we were beginning to build formed a circuit of 18 kilometers. Camps were constructed at strategic points along it, and we built 23 redoubts there as well. Pickets were stationed in these during the daytime to guard against any sudden breakout from the oppidum; at night they were occupied by strong garrisons with sentries on watch.
[7.70.1] We had started constructing our siege works, when a cavalry engagement took place on that 4½ kilometer stretch of plain that lay between the hills, as I have described above. There was hard fighting on both sides,
[7.70.2] and seeing our men in difficulties I sent up the Germans to support them, and drew up the legions in front of their camps to prevent the enemy infantry making any sudden attack.
[7.70.3] The confidence of our men increased when they knew they had the legions behind them. The enemy were put to flight, and because there were so many of them they made things difficult for themselves, getting jammed in the narrow gateways.
[7.70.4] The Germans pursued them fiercely right up to their fortifications, and there was great slaughter.
[7.70.5] Some of them abandoned their horses and tried to get across the ditch and climb the wall. I ordered the legions I had drawn up in front of the rampart to move forward a little way.
[7.70.6-7] The Gauls inside the fortifications became just as alarmed as the rest. They thought there was going to be an immediate attack on them, and so they shouted out a call to arms. Some, in terror, rushed into the oppidum, and to prevent the camp being left unguarded, Vercingetorix ordered the gates of the oppidum to be closed, After killing many of the fugitives and capturing large numbers of horses, the Germans withdrew.
[7.71.1] Vercingetorix decided to send out all his cavalry by night before we could complete our fortifications.
[7.71.2] As they were leaving he told them that each man should go to his own tribe and summon to the war all fellow tribesmen of military age.
[7.71.3] He pointed out how much they owed to him, and called on them to have a thought for his safety; he had done so much for the freedom of Gaul, and they should not now hand him over to the enemy to be tortured. He explained that unless they did their utmost, 80,000 picked men would perish with him.
[7.71.4] He had worked it out that he had barely 30 days' supply of grain, though by rationing it strictly he could hold out a little longer.
[7.71.5] After giving them these instructions, he sent the cavalry out quietly just before midnight, through a gap in our fortifications.
[7.71.6] Then he ordered all the grain to be brought in to him; death would be the punishment for any who disobeyed this order.
[7.71.7-9] A large quantity of cattle had been brought in by the Mandubii, and this he distributed individually to his men. Grain was to be doled out in small quantities at a time. All the troops who had been posted outside the oppidum were taken inside. By these means he prepared to wait for reinforcements from Gaul while still carrying on the war.
[7.72.1] When I was informed of this by fugitives and prisoners, I began building siege works of the following kind. I had a trench dug 20 feet wide, with perpendicular sides so that it was as broad at the bottom as it was at the top.
[7.72.2] Then I moved all the other siege works back 600 meters from this trench. I did this to counter certain difficulties: the area to be enclosed was very wide and it would not be easy to man the whole circuit; the enemy might suddenly swoop down en masse on our fortifications at night, or they could possibly, during the daytime, hurl their weapons at our men while they were busy and occupied with the work.
[7.72.3] So, at this distance of 600 meters, I had two trenches dug, of equal depth and each 5 meters wide. The inner one ran across the plain and the low ground, so I filled it with water diverted from the river.
[7.72.4] Behind these trenches, I erected a rampart and palisade 4 meters high. To this I added a breastwork with battlements, with large forked branches projecting at the point where the breastwork joined the rampart, to stop the enemy if they tried to climb up. Finally, I had turrets erected at intervals of about 27 meters along the entire circuit of our fortifications.
[7.73.1] While these great siege works were being constructed, it was necessary to send out parties of men in search of timber and grain, and since this took them quite a distance from the camp, it meant that our forces available there were under strength. Sometimes the Gauls tried to attack our works by making violent sorties from several of the gates of the oppidum.
[7.73.2] I therefore decided that I must make further additions to our fortifications, so that they could be defended by a smaller number of men.
And so tree trunks or very strong branches were cut down, and the ends of these were stripped of bark and sharpened.
[7.73.3] Long trenches were dug, two meters deep, and the stakes were sunk into them with just the top parts projecting; they were fastened at the bottom so that they could not be pulled out.
[7.73.4] There were five rows in each trench, fastened together and interlaced, and anyone who got in among them impaled himself on the sharp points. The soldiers called them "grave-stones".
[7.73.5] In front of these, pits were dug, arranged in diagonal rows to form quincunxes. They were one meter deep and tapered gradually towards the bottom.
[7.73.6] Smooth stakes as thick as a man's thigh, with sharpened ends and hardened in the fire, were set into these pits in such a way that they projected no more than four inches above the ground.
[7.73.7] To keep them firmly in position, earth was thrown into the bottom of the pits and trodden down to a depth of one foot, the rest of the space being covered with twigs and brush wood to conceal the trap.
[7.73.8] The pits were constructed in groups; each group had eight rows, three feet apart. The soldiers called them "lilies" because of their resemblance to that flower.
[7.73.9] In front of these we had another device. Wood blocks a foot long were sunk completely into the ground, with iron hooks fixed in them, and scattered thickly all over the area. These the soldiers called "goads".
[7.74.1] When these defense works were finished, I constructed another line of fortifications of the same kind, but different from the first in being directed against the enemy on the outside. This second line formed a circuit of 21 kilometers and followed the most level ground we could find. It was intended to prevent the garrisons in our siege works being surrounded, however large a force came against us.
[7.74.2] I ordered each man to provide himself with grain and fodder to last 30 days, to avoid the danger of having to leave their camps.
[7.75.1] While this was happening at Alesia, the Gauls summoned a council of their chiefs. They decided against calling up every man capable of bearing arms, as Vercingetorix had proposed. They were afraid that with such a vast number massed together, they would be unable to control their own contingents or keep them separate, or maintain grain supplies for them. Instead they decided to order each tribe to provide a fixed number of men.
[Caesar describes the units; all in all, they number 240,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry.]
[7.76.3b] The supreme command of this force was entrusted to Commius the Atrebatian, the two Aeduans Viridomarus and Eporedorix, and the Arvernian Vercassivellaunus, who was a cousin of Vercingetorix.
[7.76.4] Representatives chosen from the various tribes were attached to these supreme commanders to act as advisers on the conduct of the campaign.
[7.76.5] They all set off for Alesia, eager and full of confidence.
[7.76.6] Every single one of them believed that the mere sight of such an enormous force would be too much for us, especially as we should be under attack from two directions at once; the besieged Gauls would make a sortie from the oppidum as soon as that vast relieving force of cavalry and infantry came into view outside it.
[7.77.1] However, the Gauls besieged in Alesia did not know what was going on in the country of the Aedui. The day on which they had expected relief had gone by; their grain was all used up. So they summoned a council and discussed what was to happen to them.
[7.77.2] Various opinions were expressed: some advocated surrender, others that they should break out of the oppidum while they still had the strength.
[One Critognatus proposes cannibalism.]
[7.78.1] When the various views had been put forward, it was decided that those who were too old or too young to fight, or too weak, must leave the oppidum.
[7.78.2] Critognatus' proposal must not be adopted until everything else had been tried. But when the time came, if there were no other way and reinforcements failed to arrive, they should put it into effect rather than surrender or submit to terms for peace.
[7.78.3] The Mandubii, who had taken the others into their oppidum, were forced to leave it with their wives and children.
[7.78.4] When they came up to our fortifications, they wept and begged the soldiers to take them as slaves and give them something to eat.
[7.78.5] But I had guards posted all along the rampart with orders not to allow any of them inside our lines.
[7.79.1] Meanwhile Commius and the other chief commanders arrived before Alesia with the entire relief force. They occupied a hill outside our fortifications and encamped, not more than a 1½ kilometer from us.
[7.79.2] Next day they led all their cavalry out of their camp and filled the whole of that plain, which was, as I have described, 4½ kilometers long. Their infantry they positioned a short distance away, concealed on higher ground.
[7.79.3] From Alesia there was a view down over the plain, and when the Gauls inside saw the relief forces, they ran about congratulating each other; their spirits rose and they were overjoyed.
[7.79.4] They led out their forces and positioned them in front of the oppidum. Then they covered the nearest ditch with wattles and filled it with earth, getting themselves ready to break out and face all the dangers that would involve.
[7.80.1] I posted all my infantry along both lines of our fortifications, so that if it should prove necessary, each man would know his post and hold it. I ordered the cavalry to be brought out of camp and to join battle.
[7.80.2] From all the camps on the surrounding hilltops there was a good view down, and all the soldiers were watching intently to see which way the battle would go.
[7.80.3] The Gauls had put archers and light-armed infantry here and there among their cavalry to help any of them who had to give ground, and to hold out against the attacks of our cavalry. Many of our men were taken by surprise and wounded by these, and had to withdraw from the fighting.
[7.80.4] The Gauls were confident that their forces were getting the better of the fight, for they could see that our men were being overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
From all sides, both those who were besieged and those who had come to relieve them shouted and yelled to encourage their men.
[7.80.5] The battle was being fought in full view of everyone, and it was impossible for any brave deed or act of cowardice to escape notice. Men on both sides were spurred on to acts of valor by their desire for glory and their fear of disgrace.
[7.80.6] From midday almost to sunset the fighting continued, with neither side yet sure of victory. Then the Germans massed their squadrons together on one side, charged the enemy, and drove them off.
[7.80.7] When these Gallic cavalry broke and fled, the archers among them were surrounded and killed.
[7.80.8] he same thing happened at other points; our men pursued the fleeing Gauls right up to their camp, giving them no chance of rallying.
[7.80.9] Whereupon those Gauls who had come out in front of Alesia went back inside the oppidum, disappointed and having practically given up hope of success.
[7.81.1] A day went by, during which the Gauls prepared large numbers of wattles, ladders, and grappling hooks. Then at midnight they quietly set out from their camp and moved towards our fortifications in the plain.
[7.81.2] They suddenly raised a shout to inform those besieged in the oppidum of their approach, and then set about throwing wattles on to the trenches, driving our men off the rampart with slings and arrows and stones, and doing everything necessary to take our position by storm.
[7.81.3] At the same time Vercingetorix, hearing the noise of the shouting, sounded the trumpet and led his forces out of the oppidum.
[7.81.4] Our men moved up to the fortifications, each one taking up his allotted position, as on previous days. They kept the Gauls off with slings, large stones, bullets, and stakes, which they had put ready at intervals along the rampart.
[7.81.5] It was impossible to see far because of the darkness, and there were heavy casualties on both sides. Many missiles were discharged by our artillery. The legates Marc Antony and Gaius Trebonius, who had been assigned to the defense of this sector, brought up men from the more distant redoubts and sent them in to reinforce any point where they had seen our men were under pressure.
[7.82.1] As long as the Gauls were at a distance from our fortification, they derived more advantage from the great number of missiles they were hurling. But when they came closer, the extra devices we had planted there took them by surprise. They got themselves caught up on the "goads", or they fell into the pits and impaled themselves, or else they were pierced and killed by the siege-spears that we hurled at them from the rampart and the towers.
[7.82.2] They suffered many casualties at every point, but did not succeed anywhere in penetrating our lines of defense.
[7.82.3] When it was almost dawn they withdrew to their original position, afraid that we would break out of our camps on the higher ground and surround them on their right flank. As for the Gauls besieged inside the oppidum, they lost a considerable amount of time bringing out the equipment prepared by Vercingetorix for the sortie, and filling up the ditches farthest from them. Consequently they had not got close to our main fortifications before they heard that their fellow Gauls had retreated. So they went back into the oppidum without having achieved anything.
[7.83.1] Having now suffered two costly defeats, the Gauls deliberated about what they should do. They called in men who knew the terrain and ascertained from them the positions of our higher camps and the state of their defenses.
[7.83.2] On the north side of Alesia there was a hill that our men had not been able to include in the circle of our siege works because its circumference was too great. They had had to build the camp there on a gentle slope, and this was slightly to our disadvantage.
[7.83.3] The legates Gaius Antistius Reginus and Gaius Caninius Rebilus held this camp with two legions.
[7.83.4] The enemy commanders had scouts reconnoiter the position. They then chose from their entire force 60,000 men from the tribes that had the greatest reputation for valor,
[7.83.5] secretly decided what ought to be done and how it should be carried out, and fixed noon as the time for starting their attack.
[7.83.6] The Arvernian Vercassivellaunus, one of their four chief commanders and a relative of Vercingetorix, was put in command of this force.
[7.83.7] He left camp soon after sunset and had almost completed his march before dawn. He concealed his men behind the hill, telling them to rest after that night's hard work.
[7.83.8] When he could see that it was almost midday, he marched towards that camp of ours described above. At the same time, the Gallic cavalry began to advance towards our fortifications in the plain and the rest of their forces appeared in front of their camp.
[7.84.1] From the citadel of Alesia Vercingetorix could see these fellow Gauls. He therefore came out of the oppidum, bringing with him the wattles, poles, protective sheds, hooks, and other equipment he had prepared for the sortie.
[7.84.2] There was simultaneous fighting all along our lines and every sort of method was tried by the Gauls; they concentrated at any point where the defenses seemed most vulnerable.
[7.84.3] The extent of our fortifications meant that the troops had to be thinly spread along them, and this made it difficult for them to meet the attacks that were being made at many different points.
[7.84.4] They were greatly unsettled by the noise of shouting they could hear behind them as they fought; it made them aware that their own safety depended on what happened to others.
[7.84.5] And, of course, people are almost always more unnerved by dangers they cannot see.
[7.85.1] I found a good place from which I could see what was happening at any point; where our men were in difficulties I sent up reinforcements.
[7.85.2] Both sides knew only too well that this was the moment when a supreme effort was called for.
[7.85.3] The Gauls realized they had no hope of surviving unless they broke through our lines of defense; we knew all our hardships would be over if only we could hold out.
[7.85.4] The difficulties were greatest at the fortifications on the hill, where, as already mentioned, Vercassivellaunus had been sent. The unfavorable downward slope of the ground was a factor seriously to our disadvantage.
[7.85.5] Some of the enemy hurled spears, others advanced on us with their shields held up to form a protective shell, and as their men became exhausted, fresh troops came up to relieve them.
[7.85.6] Their entire force threw earth against our fortifications, which allowed them to climb on to the rampart and also covered up the devices we had hidden in the ground. Our men were beginning to run out of weapons, and their stamina was failing too.
[7.86.1] I saw what was happening and the difficulties they were experiencing, so I sent Labienusnote[Titus Labienus was Caesar's most trusted colonel.] and six cohorts to their relief.
[7.86.2] I told him that if it proved impossible for him to hold the position, he was to withdraw his cohorts and fight his way out. But I made it clear to him he was not to do that unless absolutely necessary.
[7.86.3] I went to other parts of the line in person, and urged the men there not to give in under the pressure. I told them that the fruits of all their previous battles depended on that day, and on that very hour.
[7.86.4] The Gauls inside the oppidum now gave up hope of getting through our fortifications on the plain because of their scale. Instead, they climbed up and attempted to attack the steep slopes, bringing up the equipment they had prepared.
[7.86.5] With a hail of missiles they dislodged the defenders from the towers. They then filled the ditches with earth and wattles, and tore down he rampart and breastwork with hooks.
[7.87.1] First I sent some cohorts with young [Decimus Junius] Brutus, then others with the legate Gaius Fabius.
[7.87.2] Finally, when the fighting was getting fiercer, I went in person, taking fresh troops to relieve them.
[7.87.3] Battle was renewed, and the Gauls were driven back.
I then hurried to the point where I had sent Labienus, taking four cohorts from the nearest redoubt;
[7.87.4] I ordered some of the cavalry to follow me, and told others to ride round the outer fortifications and attack the enemy from the rear.
[7.87.5] Labienus realized that neither ramparts nor trenches were proving capable of checking the Gauls' violent attacks. Fortunately, he had been able to collect together 11 cohorts, drawn from the nearest redoubts, and he now sent messengers to tell me what he thought must be done. I hurried on so as to arrive in time to take part in the action.
[7.88.1] The enemy knew who was approaching by the color of the cloak I always wore in action to mark me out; and from the higher ground where they stood, they had a view of the lower slopes and so could see the squadrons of cavalry and the cohorts I had ordered to follow me. They therefore joined battle.
[7.88.2] A shout went up on both sides, answered by the men on the rampart and along the whole line of the fortifications. Our men dispensed with their javelins and used their swords.
[7.88.3] Suddenly our cavalry could be seen to the rear, and fresh cohorts were moving up closer.
[7.88.4] The Gauls turned tail, but our cavalry cut off their flight. There was great slaughter. Sedulius, the military commander and chief of the Lemovices, was killed; the Arvernian Vercassivellaunus was captured alive in the rout; 74 of their war standards were brought in to me; out of all that great army only a few got safely back to camp.
[7.88.5] The Gauls in the oppidum could see the slaughter and the rout of their countrymen; they gave up all hope of being saved and took their men back inside from the fortifications.
[7.88.6] When news of our victory reached them, the Gallic relief force immediately fled from their camp. But for the fact that our men were exhausted by their exertions throughout the entire day and their constant efforts to relieve the threatened points, the Gauls' entire army could have been wiped out.
[7.88.7] Cavalry, which I sent out, caught up with the enemy rearguard about midnight and killed or captured great numbers of them. The survivors fled, making off to their various tribes.
[7.89.1] Next day Vercingetorix called a council. He pointed out that he had undertaken the war not for any personal reasons but for the freedom of Gaul. Since he must now yield to fortune, he was putting his fate in their hands.
[7.89.2] They must decide whether they wanted to kill him, and so make amends to the Romans, or hand him over to them alive. Envoys were sent to me to discuss this.
[7.89.3] I ordered that their weapons should be surrendered and their tribal chiefs brought before me.
[7.89.4] I took my place on the fortifications in front of the camp and the chiefs were brought to me there. Vercingetorix was surrendered, and the weapons were laid down before me.
[7.89.5] I kept the Aeduan and Arvernian prisoners back, hoping to use them to regain the loyalty of their tribes. The rest I distributed as booty among the entire army, giving one prisoner to each of my men.
[7.90.1] When this business had been settled, I set off for the territory of the Aedui, and received the submission of that tribe.
[7.90.2] While I was there, the Arverni sent envoys to me, promising to obey any orders I gave them. I told them to provide a large number of hostages. I then sent the legions into winter quarters.
[7.90.3] I restored to the Aedui and the Arverni about 20,000 prisoners.
[7.90.4-7] I told Titus Labienus to take two legions and some cavalry and set out for the country of the Sequani; I sent Marcus Sempronius Rutilus to serve under him. I stationed the legate Gaius Fabius and Lucius Minucius Basilus with two legions in the territory of the Remi, to prevent them suffering harm at the hands of their neighbors the Bellovaci. I sent Gaius Antistius Reginus into the country of the Ambivareti, Titus Sextius to the Bituriges, and Gaius Caninius Rebilus to the Ruteni, each with one legion. I stationed Quintus Tullius Cicero and Publius Sulpicius in Aeduan territory near the river Saône, at Cabillonum and Matisco, to organize the grain supply. I myself decided to winter at Bibracte.
[7.90.8] When dispatches made these successes known at Rome a public thanksgiving of 20 days was decreed.