Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson
Military Revolt in Campania
Still more critical were the occurrences among the troops whom Caesar had caused to be collected in southern Italy, in order to his embarkation with them for Africa. They were for the most part the old legions, which had founded Caesar's throne in Gaul, Spain, and Thessaly. The spirit of these troops had not been improved by victories, and had been utterly disorganized by long repose in Lower Italy. The almost superhuman demands which the general made on them, and the effects of which were only too clearly apparent in their fearfully thinned ranks, left behind even in these men of iron a leaven of secret rancour which required only time and quiet to set their minds in a ferment.
The only man who had influence over them, had been absent and almost unheard-of for a year; while the officers placed over them were far more afraid of the soldiers than the soldiers of them, and overlooked in the conquerors of the world every outrage against those that gave them quarters, and every breach of discipline. When the orders to embark for Sicily arrived, and the soldier was to exchange the luxurious ease of Campania for a third campaign certainly not inferior to those of Spain and Thessaly in point of hardship, the reins, which had been too long relaxed and were too suddenly tightened, snapt asunder.
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