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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


V. The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter VII - The Subjugation of the West


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Page 93

He found the coast covered with masses of the enemy's troops and sailed onward with his vessels; but the British war- chariots moved on quite as fast by land as the Roman galleys by sea, and it was only with the utmost difficulty that the Roman soldiers succeeded in gaining the shore in the face of the enemy, partly by wading, partly in boats, under the protection of the ships of war, which swept the beach with missiles thrown from machines and by the hand. In the first alarm the nearest villages submitted; but the islanders soon perceived how weak the enemy was, and how he did not venture to move far from the shore.

The natives disappeared into the interior and returned only to threaten the camp; and the fleet, which had been left in the open roads, suffered very considerable damage from the first tempest that burst upon it. The Romans had to reckon themselves fortunate in repelling the attacks of the barbarians till they had bestowed the necessary repairs on the ships, and in regaining with these the Gallic coast before the bad season of the year came on.

Caesar himself was so dissatisfied with the results of this expedition undertaken inconsiderately and with inadequate means, that he immediately (in the winter of 699-700) ordered a transport fleet of 800 sail to be fitted out, and in the spring of 700 sailed a second time for the Kentish coast, on this occasion with five legions and 2000 cavalry. The forces of the Britons, assembled this time also on the shore, retired before the mighty armada without risking a battle; Caesar immediately set out on his march into the interior, and after some successful conflicts crossed the river Stour; but he was obliged to halt very much against his will, because the fleet in the open roads had been again half destroyed by the storms of the Channel. Before they got the ships drawn up upon the beach and the extensive arrangements made for their repair, precious time was lost, which the Celts wisely turned to account.

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