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to complete and secure the communication by land between Italy and the Roman dominions in Spain. But the main motive was undoubtedly commercial. Gaul in prehistoric days must have been rich in gold and silver, and though the mines were more or less exhausted, there was still booty enough in precious metal to tempt a Pizarro. Moreover, an excellent trade- route opened out from Narbonne. Most travellers in the south of France know the ‘Pass of • Carcassonne,' the valley which divides Cevennes and Pyrenees and gives easy access from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It is used to-day by railroad and canal; it was used then to bring the products of the Atlantic lands, and not least, the tin from Britain, to the Roman world.
The character of the occupation corresponded to the motives for its conquest. Throughout the sixty years which elapsed between the annexation and the arrival of Cæsar, the province was, like other provinces, a happy huntingground for money-making Romans. Its boundaries were extended up the Rhone valley and across it, north of the Massiliot possessions. Rome came to rule, directly or indirectly, all the country between the Cevennes, the Alps, and the sea. It is a pleasant land, as we see it to-day, with its brilliant sunshine and crisp air and cloudless skies; on the far horizons, the mountain-summits beyond which lie Italy and central France; near at hand the rich crops, the vines and olives of Provence, and the dark rows of stately cypresses which break the blast of the northern mistral; and here and there the little crowded towns with tortuous ancient streets, hiding so many memories of two thousand years. The Roman conquerors did not trouble about such things; they came to exploit the land as a commercial prize. They bought confiscated estates at a cheap rate from their government, and resold them or worked them at a noble profit. They drew the whole trade of the province into their hands, and so thoroughly controlled all monetary dealings that not a pennyworth (it was said) was bought or sold without their intervention. They built with forced labour a 'Route Nationale,' as the French would now style it, from northern Italy to the Pyrenees-Mr. Bullock Hall has a good chapter on its course. They requisitioned tribute in corn and tribute in money to supply the Roman armies fighting in Spain, and provoked thereby a serious insurrection. But they did nothing for the advancement or the civilisation of the province. They established, indeed, a colonia of Roman citizens at Narbo, but the citizens were not enfranchised Gauls; they came from Rome, and the whole measure, so far as it was not sop to a particular political element at home, was intended to provide a permanent fortress to hold the province down. Individual provincials, more particularly native nobles, acquired the Roman franchise sporadically; one or two of them, or their descendants, are mentioned by Cæsar as aiding him as interpreters or otherwise. But the Roman of the Republic was incapable of conceiving a broad scheme for the advancement of his subjects. The provinces, as he put it, were his
. prædia, his estates acquired for his commercial advantage, and, as such, commercially administered. And the provincials, unless they were educated Greeks, counted for little better in his eyes than the negro or the Kanaka counts to-day in the eyes of a brutal trader.
Only one striking incident marks the history of these sixty years. Not long after the establishment of the province, two great hordes of migrating peoples, the Cimbri and the Teutoni, attempted to force their way through Gaul into Italy. Who they were and whence they came is neither certain, nor, indeed, very important; enough that they form one item in the series of northern barbarians who have, throughout all history, sought the sunnier south. Their advance sounded formidable enough. Five Roman armies, one after the other, were defeated and fled before them, and Marius, then Rome's only general,' went to meet them himself. The topography of his campaign has been investigated with a generous enthusiasm by Mr. Bullock Hall, in a volume named at the head of this article, but we are not sure that he has solved its problems, or that means exist for solving them. Our information is, indeed, too scanty in respect to many of the topographical problems of antiquity, and we must often in patience wait for more light. For the rest, Marius won by the cominon trick of sending a division round to attack the barbarians flank and rear, and his victory was decisive. Several Roman edifices in Provence have been thought to commemorate this victory, notably the triumphal arch which fronts the traveller as he enters Orange from the north, and the smaller arch and graceful two-storied monument which stand, set in circle of ancient trees, on the grassy hillside above St. Remy, looking out over the wide plain of Avignon. But the arch of Orange is, in all probability, more than a century later than Marius, and the arch and monument of St. Remy are little, if at all, earlier in date; the monument, indeed, bears
VOL. CXCII. NO. CCCXCIV.
a sepulchral inscription which should have saved it from being ever considered a memorial of military success. It is more credible that the canal or channel of the Rbone from Arles to Foz on the Mediterranean coast may have been first constructed by Marius, but, with this exception, no remains of his work survive in Gaul. It is likely enough that the invasion of the Cimbri made little permanent difference to the land. The hurricane came, passed by, and was not. Only the Roman victory exalted the Roman prestige and helped to assure their dominion. At last, in 58 B.C., Cæsar came to Gaul, and in eight
was changed. The Roman frontiers were advanced from the Cevennes to the Atlantic, and from the Rhone to the Rhine; the Massiliot territory was incorporated; the whole of Gaul was made Roman. How it was done Cæsar has told us himself, and practically all our knowledge rests upon his narrative. It is a wonderful book, the Commentaries on the Gallic War,' of all military histories the most famous and at the same time the most cold and passionless. There was no scarcity of stirring scenes in those eight campaigns. Then was
Then was seen the extreme of desperate bravery; individual beroism found and accepted numerous chances; victories were won from the threshold of defeat; stratagem and surprise and ambush abounded. Cæsar knew this well enough. In his book he has described the dramatic incidents; he has given full mention to the devotion and courage of the lower officer or common soldier, and he writes generously of enemies. But there is no passion nor even rhetoric in his story; his feelings, whatever they were, do not influence his diction. It is not merely that he was no composer of impassioned rhetorical prose, like Sir William Napier. Nor is it merely that he was a classical writer, exhibiting the severity and self-restraint and terseness which mark those ancients whom in a double sense we call the classics. Cæsar is cold beyond the classical model. We see in him a general who knew that conquests are not made by mere feats of arms; a statesman who had no interest in romance ; perhaps also an Italian who shared the persistent Italian indifference to useless personal gallantry. Therefore he set the sensational eleinents of his long and varied struggle into their strict proportions, neither omitting brave acts nor adorning them with a rhetorical halo; he essayed to write a severe, lucid, direct account of his wars, and he was sober, lucid, and direct, as orly a great writer can be. Why he wished to
write has been much disputed. The ulterior objects of great writers are, of course, always disputed ; that is one of the unfortunate results of being great and arousing popular interest. Everyone wants to have his own explanation of why the book was written. But it is easiest to believe that Caesar wrote because he desired to do so. The conquest of Gaul was a great work: he wished to leave a record of it, as he himself conceived it. Modern critics have accused him of bad faith and carelessness and Mr. Holmes actually fills seventy pages of close print with the recital and refutation of such accusations—a waste of time, we fear, for they are, in general, quite unworthy of serious notice. Probably Cæsar sometimes gave himself the benefit of the doubt; we can imagine his opponents differing from him about one or two negotiations, though that does not prove him in the wrong. Probably, too, he made trifling mistakes in describing the minuter details of battles; this certainly was alleged by that master of literary depreciations, Asinius Pollio, and if it is not true in some small degree, Cæsar stands unique among military historians. But the general accuracy and good faith of his work are visibly stamped upon it; his contemporaries, Pollio excepted, entertained no doubts on the matter, and with these two evidences we may rest content.
Before we pass from the Commentaries to the war which they describe we should like to pause and express a regret. It is this—that we possess no standard edition of the great work. Schoolbooks abound by the thousand: extracts and adaptations and selections, fitted with appropriate vocabularies and exercises and maps and illustrations, crowd the shelves of the happy third form master. But a real edition, a correct text, with full and scholarly notes on all points of interest or difficulty, does not exist, at least in English. Mr. Holmes has written an excellent book : occasionally, indeed, as we have noted in the last paragraph, it is almost too excellent. But some points, such as the two raids into Britain, do not come within his scope; some points have been crowded out, and his book does not profess to be an edition of Cæsar, but a history of the Gallic War. The Oxford University Press has recently published what seems meant to be an elaborate edition such as we desire. But that book is totally unworthy either of Oxford or of Cæsar, and the less said about it the better. The moment is auspicious. The recent researches of foreign scholars into the text of Cæsar have reached their conclusion; the topographical material is as complete as it is likely to be, and our knowledge of the Roman army has been recently much widened by German inquirers, one or two of whom have escaped even the vigilant eye of Mr. Holmes. All this material ought to be summed up, sifted, and condensed into one great edition of the Commentaries. Such an edition is demanded alike by the literary excellence of the work and the interest of the war and the significance of the results to the whole of Western Europe.
Like most great wars, the Gallic War probably came somewhat as a surprise to the man who carried it through. When Cæsar took over the governorship of Gaul he certainly intended it to be something more than an ordinary provincial appointment. He secured a much larger area of government than was usual--not Narbonensis only, but Northern Italy as well, that is, all the land from the Pyrenees to the Adriatic. He secured it for five years-an unusually long period—and his staff and army were larger than usual, and supplied in part, as it seems, by depleting the garrison of the adjacent Spanish administrations. He knew also, when he claimed the post, that the western part of his province, Narbonensis, was disturbed by the fear of a German invasion. Possibly he thought that as his predecessor and kinsman Marius had defeated the Teutoni in Southern Gaul and the Cimbri in Northern Italy, so he might defeat the German invaders opposed to him, and win no less glory. If, however he went out with the hope of routing the Germans, he stayed with the determination to conquer the Gauls. Probably he acquired the technical authorisation of the home government to the new project our records are a little obscure on the point. Certainly he
. decided on it before the German campaign was ended. He selected winter quarters suitable for an attack on the most dangerous Gaulish tribes, and he spent the months of winter inactivity in levying new troops in Northern Italy.
The war which thus commenced has sometimes been described as if it was merely an exciting series of desperate combats with brave but uncivilised enemies. It was far more than that. It had its full share of stirring scenes, as we have already observed, but they were not the whole, nor even the larger portion, of the matter. In it tactical science counted above courage, and strategy above tactics, and in both its strategy and its tactics the spade counted above the sword : it was the war of an engineer, not of a cavalry leader. Nor was it only a war. The labours of Cæsar the