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|20. Agricola, by the repression of these abuses in his very first year of office, restored to peace its good name, when, from either the indifference or the harshness of his predecessors, it had come to be as much dreaded as war. When, however, summer came, assembling his forces, he continually showed himself in the ranks, praised good discipline, and kept the stragglers in order. He would himself choose the position of the camp, himself explore the estuaries and forests. Meanwhile he would allow the enemy no rest, laying waste his territory with sudden incursions, and, having sufficiently alarmed him, would then by forbearance display the allurements of peace. In consequence, many states, which up to that time had been independent, gave hostages, and laid aside their animosities; garrisons and forts were established among them with a skill and diligence with which no newly-acquired part of Britain had before been treated.||20. Haec primo statim anno comprimendo egregiam famam paci circumdedit, quae vel incuria vel intolerantia priorum haud minus quam bellum timebatur. Sed ubi aestas advenit, contracto exercitu multus in agmine, laudare modestiam, disiectos coercere; loca castris ipse capere, aestuaria ac silvas ipse praetemptare; et nihil interim apud hostis quietum pati, quo minus subitis excursibus popularetur; atque ubi satis terruerat, parcendo rursus invitamenta pacis ostentare. Quibus rebus multae civitates, quae in illum diem ex aequo egerant, datis obsidibus iram posuere et praesidiis castellisque circumdatae, et tanta ratione curaque, ut nulla ante Britanniae nova pars [pariter] inlacessita transierit.|
|21. The following winter passed without disturbance, and was employed in salutary measures. For, to accustom to rest and repose through the charms of luxury a population scattered and barbarous and therefore inclined to war, Agricola gave private encouragement and public aid to the building of temples, courts of justice and dwelling-houses, praising the energetic, and reproving the indolent. Thus an honourable rivalry took the place of compulsion. He likewise provided a liberal education for the sons of the chiefs, and showed such a preference for the natural powers of the Britons over the industry of the Gauls that they who lately disdained the tongue of Rome now coveted its eloquence. Hence, too, a liking sprang up for our style of dress, and the "toga" became fashionable. Step by step they were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance, they called civilization, when it was but a part of their servitude.||21. Sequens hiems saluberrimis consiliis absumpta. Namque ut homines dispersi ac rudes eoque in bella faciles quieti et otio per voluptates adsuescerent, hortari privatim, adiuvare publice, ut templa fora domos extruerent, laudando promptos, castigando segnis: ita honoris aemulatio pro necessitate erat. Iam vero principum filios liberalibus artibus erudire, et ingenia Britannorum studiis Gallorum anteferre, ut qui modo linguam Romanam abnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent. Inde etiam habitus nostri honor et frequens toga; paulatimque discessum ad delenimenta vitiorum, porticus et balinea et conviviorum elegantiam. Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.|
22. The third year of his campaigns opened up new tribes, our ravages on the native population being carried as far as the Taus, an estuary so called. This struck such terror into the enemy that he did not dare to attack our army, harassed though it was by violent storms; and there was even time for the erection of forts. It was noted by experienced officers that no general had ever shown more judgment in choosing suitable positions, and that not a single fort established by Agricola was either stormed by the enemy or abandoned by capitulation or flight. Sorties were continually made; for these positions were secured from protracted siege by a year's supply. So winter brought with it no alarms, and each garrison could hold its own, as the baffled and despairing enemy, who had been accustomed often to repair his summer losses by winter successes, found himself repelled alike both in summer and winter.
Never did Agricola in a greedy spirit appropriate the achievements of others; the centurion and the prefect both found in him an impartial witness of their every action. Some persons used to say that he was too harsh in his reproofs, and that he was as severe to the bad as he was gentle to the good. But his displeasure left nothing behind it; reserve and silence in him were not to be dreaded. He thought it better to show anger than to cherish hatred.
|22. Tertius expeditionum annus novas gentis aperuit, vastatis usque ad Tanaum (aestuario nomen est) nationibus. Qua formdine territi hostes quamquam conflictatum saevis tempestatibus exercitum lacessere non ausi; ponendisque insuper castellis spatium fuit. Adnotabant periti non alium ducem opportunitates locorum sapientius legisse. Nullum ab Agricola positum castellum aut vi hostium expugnatum aut pactione ac fuga desertum; nam adversus moras obsidionis annuis copiis firmabantur. Ita intrepida ibi hiems, crebrae eruptiones et sibi quisque praesidio, inritis hostibus eoque desperantibus, quia soliti plerumque damna aestatis hibernis eventibus pensare tum aestate atque hieme iuxta pellebantur. Nec Agricola umquam per alios gesta avidus intercepit: seu centurio seu praefectus incorruptum facti testem habebat. Apud quosdam acerbior in conviciis narrabatur; [et] ut erat comis bonis, ita adversus malos iniucundus. Ceterum ex iracundia nihil supererat secretum, ut silentium eius non timeres: honestius putabat offendere quam odisse.|
|23. The fourth summer he employed in securing what he had overrun. Had the valour of our armies and the renown of the Roman name permitted it, a limit to our conquests might have been found in Britain itself. Clota and Bodotria, estuaries which the tides of two opposite seas carry far back into the country, are separated by but a narrow strip of land. This Agricola then began to defend with a line of forts, and, as all the country to the south was now occupied, the enemy were pushed into what might be called another island.||23. Quarta aestas obtinendis quae percucurrerat insumpta; ac si virtus exercituum et Romani nominis gloria pateretur, inventus in ipsa Britannia terminus. Namque Clota et Bodotria diversi maris aestibus per inmensum revectae, angusto terrarum spatio dirimuntur: quod tum praesidiis firmabatur atque omnis propior sinus tenebatur, summotis velut in aliam insulam hostibus.|
|24. In the fifth year of the war Agricola, himself in the leading ship, crossed the Clota, and subdued in a series of victories tribes hitherto unknown. In that part of Britain which looks towards Ireland, he posted some troops, hoping for fresh conquests rather than fearing attack, inasmuch as Ireland, being between Britain and Spain and conveniently situated for the seas round Gaul, might have been the means of connecting with great mutual benefit the most powerful parts of the empire. Its extent is small when compared with Britain, but exceeds the islands of our seas. In soil and climate, in the disposition, temper, and habits of its population, it differs but little from Britain. We know most of its harbours and approaches, and that through the intercourse of commerce. One of the petty kings of the nation, driven out by internal faction, had been received by Agricola, who detained him under the semblance of friendship till he could make use of him. I have often heard him say that a single legion with a few auxiliaries could conquer and occupy Ireland, and that it would have a salutary effect on Britain for the Roman arms to be seen everywhere, and for freedom, so to speak, to be banished from its sight.||24. Quinto expeditionum anno nave prima transgressus ignotas ad id tempus gentis crebris simul ac prosperis proeliis domuit; eamque partem Britanniae quae Hiberniam aspicit copiis instruxit, in spem magis quam ob formidinem, si quidem Hibernia medio inter Britanniam atque Hispaniam sita et Gallico quoque mari opportuna valentissimam imperii partem magnis in vicem usibus miscuerit. Spatium eius, si Britanniae comparetur, angustius nostri maris insulas superat. Solum caelumque et ingenia cultusque hominum haud multum a Britannia differunt; [in] melius aditus portusque per commercia et negotiatores cogniti. Agricola expulsum seditione domestica unum ex regulis gentis exceperat ac specie amicitiae in occasionem retinebat. Saepe ex eo audivi legione una et modicis auxiliis debellari obtinerique Hiberniam posse; idque etiam adversus Britanniam profuturum, si Romana ubique arma et velut e conspectu libertas tolleretur.|
|25. In the summer in which he entered on the sixth year of his office, his operations embraced the states beyond Bodotria, and, as he dreaded a general movement among the remoter tribes, as well as the perils which would beset an invading army, he explored the harbours with a fleet, which, at first employed by him as an integral part of his force, continued to accompany him. The spectacle of war thus pushed on at once by sea and land was imposing; while often infantry, cavalry, and marines, mingled in the same encampment and joyously sharing the same meals, would dwell on their own achievements and adventures, comparing, with a soldier's boastfulness, at one time the deep recesses of the forest and the mountain with the dangers of waves and storms, or, at another, battles by land with victories over the ocean. The Britons too, as we learnt from the prisoners, were confounded by the sight of a fleet, as if, now that their inmost seas were penetrated, the conquered had their last refuge closed against them. The tribes inhabiting Caledonia flew to arms, and with great preparations, made greater by the rumours which always exaggerate the unknown, themselves advanced to attack our fortresses, and thus, challenging a conflict, inspired us with alarm. To retreat south of the Bodotria, and to retire rather than to be driven out, was the advice of timid pretenders to prudence, when Agricola learnt that the enemy's attack would be made with more than one army. Fearing that their superior numbers and their knowledge of the country might enable them to hem him in, he too distributed his forces into three divisions, and so advanced.||25. Ceterum aestate, qua sextum officii annum incohabat, amplexus civitates trans Bodotriam sitas, quia motus universarum ultra gentium et infesta hostilis exercitus itinera timebantur, portus classe exploravit; quae ab Agricola primum adsumpta in partem virium sequebatur egregia specie, cum simul terra, simul mari bellum impelleretur, ac saepe isdem castris pedes equesque et nauticus miles mixti copiis et laetitia sua quisque facta, suos casus attollerent, ac modo silvarum ac montium profunda, modo tempestatum ac fluctuum adversa, hinc terra et hostis, hinc victus Oceanus militari iactantia compararentur. Britannos quoque, ut ex captivis audiebatur, visa classis obstupefaciebat, tamquam aperto maris sui secreto ultimum victis perfugium clauderetur. Ad manus et arma conversi Caledoniam incolentes populi magno paratu, maiore fama, uti mos est de ignotis, oppugnare ultro castellum adorti, metum ut provocantes addiderant; regrediendumque citra Bodotriam et cedendum potius quam pellerentur ignavi specie prudentium admonebant, cum interim cognoscit hostis pluribus agminibus inrupturos. Ac ne superante numero et peritia locorum circumiretur, diviso et ipso in tris partes exercitu incessit.|
|26. This becoming known to the enemy, they suddenly changed their plan, and with their whole force attacked by night the ninth Legion, as being the weakest, and cutting down the sentries, who were asleep or panic-stricken, they broke into the camp. And now the battle was raging within the camp itself, when Agricola, who had learnt from his scouts the enemy's line of march and had kept close on his track, ordered the most active soldiers of his cavalry and infantry to attack the rear of the assailants, while the entire army were shortly to raise a shout. Soon his standards glittered in the light of daybreak. A double peril thus alarmed the Britons, while the courage of the Romans revived; and feeling sure of safety, they now fought for glory. In their turn they rushed to the attack, and there was a furious conflict within the narrow passages of the gates till the enemy were routed. Both armies did their utmost, the one for the honour of having given aid, the other for that of not having needed support. Had not the flying enemy been sheltered by morasses and forests, this victory would have ended the war.||26. Quod ubi cognitum hosti, mutato repente consilio universi nonam legionem ut maxime invalidam nocte adgressi, inter somnum ac trepidationem caesis vigilibus inrupere. Iamque in ipsis castris pugnabatur, cum Agricola iter hostium ab exploratoribus edoctus et vestigiis insecutus, velocissimos equitum peditumque adsultare tergis pugnantium iubet, mox ab universis adici clamorem; et propinqua luce fulsere signa. Ita ancipiti malo territi Britanni; et nonanis rediit animus, ac securi pro salute de gloria certabant. Ultro quin etiam erupere, et fuit atrox in ipsis portarum angustiis proelium, donec pulsi hostes, utroque exercitu certante, his, ut tulisse opem, illis, ne eguisse auxilio viderentur. Quod nisi paludes et silvae fugientis texissent, debellatum illa victoria foret.|
|27. Knowing this, and elated by their glory, our army exclaimed that nothing could resist their valour--that they must penetrate the recesses of Caledonia, and at length after an unbroken succession of battles, discover the furthest limits of Britain. Those who but now were cautious and prudent, became after the event eager and boastful. It is the singularly unfair peculiarity of war that the credit of success is claimed by all, while a disaster is attributed to one alone. But the Britons thinking themselves baffled, not so much by our valour as by our general's skilful use of an opportunity, abated nothing of their arrogant demeanour, arming their youth, removing their wives and children to a place of safety, and assembling together to ratify, with sacred rites, a confederacy of all their states. Thus, with angry feelings on both sides, the combatants parted.||27. Cuius conscientia ac fama ferox exercitus nihil virtuti suae invium et penetrandam Caledoniam inveniendumque tandem Britanniae terminum continuo proeliorum cursu fremebant. Atque illi modo cauti ac sapientes prompti post eventum ac magniloqui erant. Iniquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi vindicant, adversa uni imputantur. At Britanni non virtute se victos, sed occasione et arte ducis rati, nihil ex adrogantia remittere, quo minus iuventutem armarent, coniuges ac liberos in loca tuta transferrent, coetibus et sacrificiis conspirationem civitatum sancirent. Atque ita inritatis utrimque animis discessum.|
|28. The same summer a Usipian cohort, which had been levied in Germany and transported into Britain, ventured on a great and memorable exploit. Having killed a centurion and some soldiers, who, to impart military discipline, had been incorporated with their ranks and were employed at once to instruct and command them, they embarked on board three swift galleys with pilots pressed into their service. Under the direction of one of them--for two of the three they suspected and consequently put to death--they sailed past the coast in the strangest way before any rumour about them was in circulation. After a while, dispersing in search of water and provisions, they encountered many of the Britons, who sought to defend their property. Often victorious, though now and then beaten, they were at last reduced to such an extremity of want as to be compelled to eat, at first, the feeblest of their number, and then victims selected by lot. Having sailed round Britain and lost their vessels from not knowing how to manage them, they were looked upon as pirates and were intercepted, first by the Suevi and then by the Frisii. Some who were sold as slaves in the way of trade, and were brought through the process of barter as far as our side of the Rhine, gained notoriety by the disclosure of this extraordinary adventure.||28. Eadem aestate cohors Usiporum per Germanias conscripta et in Britanniam transmissa magnum ac memorabile facinus ausa est. Occiso centurione ac militibus, qui ad tradendam disciplinam inmixti manipulis exemplum et rectores habebantur, tris liburnicas adactis per vim gubernatoribus ascendere; et uno remigante, suspectis duobus eoque interfectis, nondum vulgato rumore ut miraculum praevehebantur. Mox ad aquam atque utilia raptum [ubi adpul]issent, cum plerisque Britannorum sua defensantium proelio congressi ac saepe victores, aliquando pulsi, eo ad extremum inopiae venere, ut infirmissimos suorum, mox sorte ductos vescerentur. Atque ita circumvecti Britanniam, amissis per inscitiam regendi navibus, pro praedonibus habiti, primum a Suebis, mox a Frisiis intercepti sunt. Ac fuere quos per commercia venumdatos et in nostram usque ripam mutatione ementium adductos indicium tanti casus inlustravit.|
|29. Early in the summer Agricola sustained a domestic affliction in the loss of a son born a year before, a calamity which he endured, neither with the ostentatious fortitude displayed by many brave men, nor, on the other hand, with womanish tears and grief. In his sorrow he found one source of relief in war. Having sent on a fleet, which by its ravages at various points might cause a vague and wide-spread alarm, he advanced with a lightly equipped force, including in its ranks some Britons of remarkable bravery, whose fidelity had been tried through years of peace, as far as the Grampian mountains, which the enemy had already occupied. For the Britons, indeed, in no way cowed by the result of the late engagement, had made up their minds to be either avenged or enslaved, and convinced at length that a common danger must be averted by union, had, by embassies and treaties, summoned forth the whole strength of all their states. More than 30,000 armed men were now to be seen, and still there were pressing in all the youth of the country, with all whose old age was yet hale and vigorous, men renowned in war and bearing each decorations of his own. Meanwhile, among the many leaders, one superior to the rest in valour and in birth, Galgacus by name, is said to have thus harangued the multitude gathered around him and clamouring for battle:--||29. Initio aestatis Agricola domestico vulnere ictus, anno ante natum filium amisit. Quem casum neque ut plerique fortium virorum ambitiose, neque per lamenta rursus ac maerorem muliebriter tulit, et in luctu bellum inter remedia erat. Igitur praemissa classe, quae pluribus locis praedata magnum et incertum terrorem faceret, expedito exercitu, cui ex Britannis fortissimos et longa pace exploratos addiderat, ad montem Graupium pervenit, quem iam hostis insederat. Nam Britanni nihil fracti pugnae prioris eventu et ultionem aut servitium expectantes, tandemque docti commune periculum concordia propulsandum, legationibus et foederibus omnium civitatium vires exciverant. Iamque super triginta milia armatorum aspiciebantur, et adhuc adfluebat omnis iuventus et quibus cruda ac viridis senectus, clari bello et sua quisque decora gestantes, cum inter pluris duces virtute et genere praestans nomine Calgacus apud contractam multitudinem proelium poscentem in hunc modum locutus fertur:|