De Bello Gallico I by Gaius Julius CaesarReprint of the 1957 edition.
Book I of Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic War starts with an account of Gaul and goes on to cover Caesars defeat of first the Helvetians and then the Germans under Ariovistus. The Introduction to this edition of the Latin text, first published in 1957, gives background information on the Rome of Caesars time, on Caesar himself and on the composition and reliability of his commentaries, on Gaul, and on the Roman Army. Useful maps are provided, along with Notes on the text, Index of names, and a Vocabulary.
Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. Messala, [et P. Pisone consulibus regni cupiditate inductus coniurationem nobilitatis fecit et civitati persuasit ut de finibus suis cum omnibus copiis exirent: 2 perfacile esse, cum virtute omnibus praestarent, totius Galliae imperio potiri. Is sibi legationem ad civitates suscipit. In eo itinere persuadet Castico, Catamantaloedis filio, Sequano, cuius pater regnum in Sequanis multos annos obtinuerat et a senatu populi Romani amicus appellatus erat, ut regnum in civitate sua occuparet, quod pater ante habuerit; 4 itemque Dumnorigi Haeduo, fratri Diviciaci, qui eo tempore principatum in civitate obtinebat ac maxime plebi acceptus erat, ut idem conaretur persuadet eique filiam suam in matrimonium dat. Moribus suis Orgetoricem ex vinculis causam dicere coegerunt; damnatum poenam sequi oportebat, ut igni cremaretur. Persuadent Rauracis et Tulingis et Latobrigis finitimis, uti eodem usi consilio oppidis suis vicisque exustis una cum iis proficiscantur, Boiosque, qui trans Rhenum incoluerant et in agrum Noricum transierant Noreiamque oppugnabant, receptos ad se socios sibi adsciscunt.
In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Germanic peoples and Celtic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest. The "Gaul" that Caesar refers to is ambiguous, as the term had various connotations in Roman writing and discourse during Caesar's time. Generally, Gaul included all of the regions that Romans had not conquered or administered or which were primarily inhabited by Celts ; except for the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis modern-day Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon , which had already been conquered in Caesar's time, therefore encompassing the rest of modern France , Belgium , Western Germany , and parts of Switzerland. As the Roman Republic made inroads deeper into Celtic territory and conquered more land, the definition of "Gaul" shifted. Concurrently, "Gaul" was also used in common parlance as a synonym for "uncouth" or "unsophisticated" as Romans saw Celtic peoples as uncivilized compared with themselves. The work has been a mainstay in Latin instruction because of its simple, direct prose.