The Gauls were from the first disposed to settle in groups;
there were open villages everywhere, and the Helvetic canton
alone numbered in 696 four hundred of these, besides a multitude
of single homesteads. But there were not wanting also walled towns,
whose walls of alternate layers surprised the Romans both by their
suitableness and by the elegant interweaving of timber and stones
in their construction; while, it is true, even in the towns
of the Allobroges the buildings were erected solely of wood.
Of such towns the Helvetii had twelve and the Suessiones an equal number;
whereas at all events in the more northern districts, such as among
the Nervii, while there were doubtless also towns, the population
during war sought protection in the morasses and forests rather
than behind their walls, and beyond the Thames the primitive
defence of the wooden barricade altogether took the place
of towns and was in war the only place of refuge for men and herds.