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===[TASK]=== Current issues with Celtic units and guideline for the next


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Hi guys,

I should write my thesis and prepare my upcoming courses in GIS, but I realize that the important points were drowned in the discussion and debates in the "celtic reference" thread. 

For the moment, the Celtic roster of units is the same for both factions and there is a mixing of elements from both continental and insular cultures.

Click on the spoiler to see the issues:


Here are some highlights of the current issues with the common roster:




With the Gallic roster and its special units:


Finally the British roster:



Future problem to distinguish Britons and Gauls:

As you have seen, there are a lot of various shields shapes and shield bosses found in the British islands. There is a very nice looking insular art as well to decorate everything. I can easily found insular swords and spearhead as well. BUT for the helmets there are almost nothing in the British islands. The only pieces are three bronze helmets and two of them could be related to the Roman auxiliaries but we will assume it is not. Therefore no iron helmet is known for the British Islands during the iron age. Another decorative helmet is on the Aylesford bucket but it seems impractical and still a bronze model with this shape. Same thing for the armor, excepted chain mail, there is no proof of cuirass in leather or in linen. It is something the Gauls have learned from the Greeks and the Etruscans but probably it is not something culturally interesting for the Britons who weren't in contact with these cultures. Thus I suggest the following guideline to distinguish the Britons from the Gauls:

- Native shield shapes

- Native british art

- Woad tattoos

- Reserving the cap-jockey helmets (like the Meyrick helmet) and the round coolus helmet (Cantebury) for the Britons. There is plenty of others types for the Gauls.

See this thread:


Edit: Ideas for Celtic rosters


Finally, about the roster I am thinking about the early phase and how to not break the balance by adding swordsmen too early.

For the moment the Romans have the particularity of having early swordsmen. Maybe we could give to the Gauls an early sword cavalry to make the faction more unique to play and without early slinger or early light cavalry :

Village phase:

  • Gallic Woman
  • Gallic Fishing Boat
  • Gallic Spearman
  • Gallic Javelinist
  • Gallic Cavalry Swordsman

While the Britons could have a more classical roster with more diversity and even the war dog early:

Village phase:

  • Britonnic Woman
  • Britonnic Fishing Boat
  • Britonnic Spearman
  • Britonnic Slinger
  • Britonnic Cavalry Javelinist
  • Britonnic War Dog

I think the early game is where the things can be messed up by making a faction too strong but it is as well an important feature of the Gauls to be strong in the early game (probably a reference to their historical spread early). In the town phase, the roster for the Gauls could be more diverse without overpowered units:

Town phase:

  • Gallic Healer
  • Gallic Merchant Ship
  • Gallic Trader
  • Gallic Slinger
  • Gallic Naked Spearman
  • Gallic Cavalry Javelinist
  • Gallic War Barge

The naked spearman fanatic is not really that strong I think and at this point the Gallic roster is more stable, the naked spearman is there instead of a spear cavalry. While in the Britons, the town phase could include a cavalry spearman. Although, I am really in favor of adding a naked swordsman to Britons (a reference to the Caledonians and the Picts), I don't want to break the balance because a swordsman moving that fast could be quite strong. Maybe it should be kept for the city phase and instead the Celtic Chariot should be include more early. The role of the chariot could be more suited to the second phase and I really hope it could be used as battle-taxi for another unit. Thus something like this:

Town phase:

  • Britonnic Healer
  • Britonnic Merchant Ship
  • Britonnic Trader
  • Britonnic Cavalry Spearman
  • Britonnic Chariot
  • Britonnic War Barge

Then in the third phase, it should be more acceptable to give better units since both factions are lacking siege engines (excepted the ram). Unlocking archer and infantry swordsman for the Gauls could make them more resilient to the late phase. Their champion unit should be a cavalryman for the late phase. While the Britons could have their Caledonian/Pictish naked swordsman for the late game and even a swordsman champion in addition of a javelinist champion.

City phase:

  • Gallic Swordsman
  • Gallic Archer
  • Gallic Cavalry Spearman Champion
  • Gallic Battering Ram
  • (maybe a regional champion unit? like an Alpine Axeman)

City phase:

  • Britonnic/Ivernic Javelinist Champion
  • Britonnic/Caledonian Naked Swordsman
  • Britonnic Swordsman Champion
  • Britonnic Battering Ram

Edit: Outdated suggestions for Gauls and Britons, see there for complementary information:


Gauls roster:

  • Village
    • Swordsman - Cingetos (Warrior). 
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest or tunic / Cape or no cape / Long shield (Oval1, 2, 3) without shield protection
      • Advanced => Berru or Montefortino / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest or tunic / Long shield (Oval1, 2, 3) with shield boss (group1)
      • Elite => Ciumesti or Montefortino / Trousers / Cape or no cape / Leather cuirass / Long shield (Oval1, 2, 3) with shield boss (group2) and orle protection 
    • Javelin skirmisher - Bagauda (bellicose/fighter)
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest or tunic / No cape / Medium shield (Oval8, Square2) wicker or wooden without shield protection
      • Advanced => No helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest or tunic / Medium shield (Oval4, Oval8, Square2) with shield boss (group1)
      • Elite => Berru or Montefortino helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest or tunic / Medium shield (Oval4, Oval8, Square2) with shield boss (group1)
    • Sword cavalry - Eporedos (cavalryman).
      • Basic => No helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest or tunic / Long shield (Oval1, 2) with shield boss (group1)
      • Advanced =>Ciumesti or montefortino helmet / Trousers / Cape or no cape / Leather cuirass / Long shield (Oval1, 2) with shield boss (group2) and orle protection
      • Elite => Port, Alésia or Boé helmet / Trousers / Cape or no cape / Chain mail / Long shield (Oval1, 2, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3) and orle protection
  • Town
    • Champion naked warrior (spearman) - Bariogaisatos (furious spearman). Fast and scary for fresh recruit (bonus against basic version of units ?)  
      • General => No helmet / Naked / Cape or no cape / Medium shield (Oval4, Oval8) with shield boss (group1)
      • Advanced => Berru and Montefortino / Naked with Golden torcs and armlets / Cape or no cape / Long shield (Oval1, 2) with shield boss (group1)
      • Elite => Port, Mihovo or Forêt helmets / Naked with Golden torcs and armlets / Cape or no cape / Long shield (Oval2, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3)
    • Spearman - Ambactos (who-is-around, attested word from Caesar for Gallic retinue and clients). 
      • Basic => No helmet but leather or textile cap  / Trousers / Tunic / No cape / Long shield (Oval2, 3, Hexagonal1) without shield protection
      • Advanced => No helmet but leather or textile cap / Trousers / Tunic (thick) / No cape / Long shield (Oval2, 3, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3)
      • Elite => Alesia or Coolus helmet / Trousers / No cape / Chain mail / Long shield (Oval2, 3, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3) and orle protection
    • Slinger - Selgos (hunter).
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest / No cape / No shield
      • Advanced => No helmet / Trousers / Naked chest / No cape / Small shield (Square1)
      • Elite => No helmet but leather or textile cap / Trousers / Tunic / No cape / Small shield (Square1)
  • City
    • Champion sword horseman - Comaterecos (patrician)
      • General => Alesia, Agen, Port, Boé or Forêt helmet / Trousers / Cape / Chain mail / Long shield (Oval1, 2, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3) and orle protection
    • Archer - Selgos (hunter) - Archers. Upgrade for the slinger!
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest / No cape / No shield
      • Advanced => No helmet but leather or textile cap / Trousers / Tunic / No cape / No shield
      • Elite => Port or Coolus helmet  / Trousers / Tunic / Cape / No shield
    • One champion chosen by the player from this list during the third phase:
      • Champion Lance cavalry - Epouanos (horse-killer). Anti-cavalry special unit. Regional Belgian, Eastern Celts and Rhine-Germans
        • General => Mihovo, Kessel Port or Horned helmet / Trousers / Tunic (thick) / Celtic cape or Bear fur cape / Shield (Hexagonal1, Oval8) with shield boss (group3)
      • Champion Swordsman - Soliduros (Bodyguard). Regional Aquitanian.
        • General => Alesia, Agen or Mihovo helmet / Trousers / Cape / Chain mail with or without phalera / Long shield (Oval1, 2, Hexagonal1) with shield boss (group3) and orle protection
      • Champion Axeman - Namantobogios (smasher of enemies). Regional Lepontian/Rhaetian (South-eastern Alps).
        • General => Alesia, Port or Negau helmet / Trousers / Cape / Chain mail or Leather cuirass / Shield (Oval1, Oval4) with shield boss (group3) and orle protection

Britons roster:

  • Village
    • Spearman  - Catucos (combatant)
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest and body paint / No cape / Medium shield (Oval 5,6,7,8) without shield protection
      • Advanced => No helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint/ Long shield (Oval1,3 Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 4)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Tunic (thick?)/ Long shield (Oval1,3 Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
    • Javelin skirmisher - Adretos (who runs fast, attacker).
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest and body paint / No cape / Shield (Square1, 2) without shield protection
      • Advanced => No helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint/ Shield (Square2, Oval8) with shield boss (group 3)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Tunic / Shield (Square2, Oval8) with shield boss (group 4)
    • Light cavalry with javelins - Marcacos (cavalryman).
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest and body paint / No cape / Shield (Square2, Oval5,6,7,8) with shield boss (group 3)
      • Advanced => Ashmolean or Berru helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint/ Shield (Square2, Oval5,6,7,8) with shield boss (group 4)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Tunic (thick?) / Long shield (Oval1, Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
  • Town
    • Slinger - Telmiuicos (slinger)
      • Basic => No helmet  / Trousers / Naked chest and body paint / No cape / Shield (Square1) without shield protection
      • Advanced => No helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint/ Shield (Square1) with shield boss (group 3)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Tunic / Shield (Square1) with shield boss (group 3)
    • Lance cavalry - Epossos (horseman, raider or "knight").
      • Basic => Mill Hill Headband / Trousers / Naked chest and body paint / No cape / Long shield (Oval1, Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 4)
      • Advanced => Ashmolean or Berru helmet / Trousers / Cape / Tunic (thick?)/ Long shield (Oval1, Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Chain Mail / Long shield (Oval1, Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
    • Swordsman - Batoros (who-hit-hard, fighter). The Caledonians are described as using longswords and small shield and the Picts are described fighting naked.
      • Basic => No helmet / Trousers or naked / Naked chest and body paint / Back scabbard / No cape / Shield (Square1, Oval5,6) without shield protection
      • Advanced => Mill Hill Headband / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint / Back scabbard / Shield (Square1, Oval5,6) with shield boss (group 4)
      • Elite => Coolus or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint / Back scabbard / Shield (Square2, Oval5,6,7,8) with shield boss (group 4)
    • War-Dogs - Agrocuna (battle/bloody/killer dog)
      • Irish Wolfhound, Scottish Deerhound, English Mastiff, Irish mastiff (breed)
  • City
    • Champion chariot warrior - Esseda (war chariot). The Britons use war chariots with a driver and an elite warrior, they throw javelins from it and continue the fight on foot (possibility for the unit to transport one infantryman ?)
      • General => Berru, Meyrick or Bronze Mihovo helmet / Trousers / Cape / Naked chest and body paint or Tunic (thick?)/ Long shield (Oval1, Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
    • Champion swordsman - Argos (battle champion, noble)
      • General => Bronze Mihovo or Meyrick helmet / Trousers / Cape / Chain Mail/ Long shield Long shield (Oval1,3 Hexagonal2, Square3, 4) with shield boss (group 5)
    • Champion skirmisher infantryman - Caur (old-Irish for champion).  I propose an Irish elite javelinist, with a historical irish shortsword. If the double weapons switch is implanted, it could be an interesting unit. Polyvalent. 
      • General => No helmet / Long gaelic dress / Cape / Shield (Square2) with shield boss (group 4)



Edited by Genava55
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45 minutes ago, stanislas69 said:

What should we replace the Briton two handed infantry champion unit with ?

I think it will be the most problematic issue since a lot of player are attached to that unit. I don't see a similar possible unit, even among the Picts. A possible solution is to make a "battle champion" with splendid look and splendid weapons (bronze shield bosses, Kirkburn sword, tattoos). Or a noble swordsman like the Gauls.

There is another possible problem, is it good to have exactly the same roster for both Gauls and Britons with only cosmetical change? Because the Gauls are very famous for their cavalry, not the Britons. The Britons seem to be very good at throwing projectiles according to Caesar and Tacitus, maybe better than the Gauls. Maybe a complete change of the Britons roster could be a solution. 

38 minutes ago, wackyserious said:

What if we shift the Gallic champion to spear_infantry and the Briton champion to sword_infantry

Will the players using the Gauls agree with this?

Edited by Genava55
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When I did my first draft with some proposals, I had in my mind to make two different rosters. It is a draft, nothing complete, nothing discussed, nothing agreed by the community. It is only proposals for the moment. Nobody gives me an opinion about it.



My basic idea was to propose a British roster with earlier access to a lance cavalry and a sword infantry. With elite skirmishers in the late stage from Irish and Pictish inspiration.

Edit: Caesar sources about the Britons


Book IV

20 Only a small part of the summer was left, and in these regions, as all Gaul has a northerly aspect, the winters are early; but for all this Caesar was intent upon starting for Britain. He understood that in almost all the Gallic campaigns succours had been furnished for our enemy from that quarter; and he supposed that, if the season left no time for actual campaigning, it would still be of great advantage to him merely to have entered the island, observed the character of the natives, and obtained some knowledge of the localities, the harbours, and the landing-places; for almost all these matters were unknown to the Gauls. In fact, nobody except traders journeys thither without good guard; and even traders know nothing except the sea‑coast and  the districts opposite Gaul. Therefore, although he summoned to his quarters traders from all parts, he could discover neither the size of the island, nor the number or the strength of the tribes inhabiting it, nor their manner of warfare, nor the ordinances they observed, nor the harbours suitable for a number of large ships.

21 To gain such knowledge before he made the venture, Caesar thought Gaius Volusenus a proper person to send on in advance with a ship of war. His orders were to spy out everything and to return to him at once. He himself with all his forces started for the territory of the Morini, from which was the shortest passage across to Britain. He commanded the general concentration here of ships from the neighbouring districts, and of the fleet which he had built in the previous summer for the Venetian campaign. Meanwhile his purpose had become known and had been reported through traders to the Britons, and deputies came to him from several states in the island with promises to give hostages and to accept the empire of Rome. He heard them, and made them a generous promise, encouraging them to keep their word; then he sent them back home, and along with them he sent Commius, whom he himself, after subduing the Atrebates, had made king over them. Caesar approved his courage and discretion, and believed him loyal to himself; and his influence was reckoned to be of great account in those parts. Him he commanded to visit what states he could, to exhort them to seek the protection of Rome, and to announce his own speedy advent thither. Volusenus observed all the country so far as was possible for an officer who did not dare to disembark and entrust himself to the rough natives, and on the fifth day returned to Caesar, and reported his observations in Britain.

22 While Caesar tarried where he was to fit out his ships, deputies came to him from a great part of the Morini to make excuse for their policy of the previous season, when in their barbarism and ignorance of our usage they had made war against Rome, and to promise that they would carry out his commands. Caesar thought this overture exceedingly opportune. He did not wish to leave an enemy in his rear, nor had he a chance of carrying out a campaign because of the lateness of the season; nor did he think the settlement of such trivialities should take precedence of Britain. He therefore ordered them to furnish a large number of hostages; and when they brought these he received them under his protection. When about eighty transports — enough, in his opinion, to carry two legions across — had been collected and concentrated, he distributed all the ships of war he had over between his quartermaster-general, lieutenant-generals, and commandants. To the total stated eighteen transports should be added, which were detained •eight miles off by the wind, and prevented from entering the port of concentration; these he allotted to the cavalry. The rest of the army he handed over to Quintus Titurius Sabinus and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta, lieutenant-generals, to be led against the Menapii and against those cantons of the Morini from which no deputies had come to him. He commanded Publius Sulpicius Rufus, lieutenant-general, with a garrison he considered sufficient, to hold the port.

23 These arrangements made, he caught a spell of fair weather for sailing, and weighed anchor about the third watch; he ordered the cavalry to proceed to the further harbour, embark, and follow him. They took somewhat too long to despatch the business; he himself reached Britain about the fourth hour of the day, and there beheld the armed forces of the enemy displayed on all the cliffs. Such was the nature of the ground, so steep the heights which banked the sea, that a missile could be hurled from the higher levels on to the shore. Thinking this place to be by no means suitable for disembarkation, he waited at anchor till the ninth hour for the rest of the flotilla to assemble there. Meanwhile he summoned together the lieutenant-generals and tribunes, to inform them what he had learnt from Volusenus, and what he wished to be done; and he warned them that, to meet the requirements of tactics and particularly of navigation — with its liability to movements as rapid as they were irregular — they must do everything in the nick of time at a hint from him. He then dismissed them; and catching at one and the same moment a favourable wind and tide, he gave the signal, and weighed anchor, and, moving on •about seven miles from that spot, he grounded his ships where the shore was even and open.

24 The natives, however, perceived the design of the Romans. So they sent forward their cavalry and charioteers — an arm which it is their regular custom to employ in fights — and, following up with the rest of their forces, they sought to prevent our troops from disembarking. Disembarkation was a matter of extreme difficulty, for the following reasons. The ships, on account of their size, could not be run ashore, except in deep water; the troops — though they did not know the ground, had not their hands free, and were loaded with the great and grievous weight of their arms — had nevertheless at one and the same time to leap down from the vessels, to stand firm in the waves, and to fight the enemy. The enemy, on the other hand, had all their limbs free, and knew the ground exceeding well; and either standing on dry land or advancing a little way into the water, they boldly hurled their missiles, or spurred on their horses, which were trained to it. Frightened by all this, and wholly inexperienced in this sort of fighting, our troops did not press on with the same fire and force as they were accustomed to show in land engagements.

25 When Caesar remarked this, he commanded the ships of war (which were less familiar in appearance to the natives, and could move more freely at need) to remove a little from the transports, to row at speed, and to bring up on the exposed flank of the enemy; and thence to drive and clear them off with slings, arrows, and artillery. This movement proved of great service to our troops; for the natives, frightened by the shape of the ships, the motion of the oars, and the unfamiliar type of the artillery, came to a halt, and retired, but only for a little space. And then, while our troops still hung back, chiefly on account of the depth of the sea, the eagle-bearer of the Tenth Legion, after a prayer to heaven to bless the legion by his act, cried: "Leap down, soldiers, unless you wish to betray your eagle to the enemy; it shall be told that I at any rate did my duty to my country and my general." When he had said this with a loud voice, he cast himself forth from the ship, and began to bear the eagle against the enemy. Then our troops exhorted one another not to allow so dire a disgrace, and leapt down from the ship with one accord. And when the troops on the nearest ships saw them, they likewise followed on, and drew near to the enemy.

26 The fighting was fierce on both sides. Our troops, however, because they could not keep rank, nor stand firm, nor follow their proper standards — for any man from any ship attached himself to whatever standard he chanced upon — were in considerable disorder. But the enemy knew all the shallows, and as soon as they had observed from the shore a party of soldiers disembarking one by one from a ship, they spurred on their horses and attacked them while they were in difficulties, many surrounding few, while others hurled missiles into a whole party from the exposed flank. Caesar noticed this; and causing the boats of the warships, and likewise the scout-vessels, to be manned with soldiers, he sent them to support any parties whom he had observed to be in distress. The moment our men stood firm on dry land, they charged with all their comrades close behind, and put the enemy to rout; but they could not pursue very far, because the cavalry had not been able to hold on their course and make the island. This one thing was lacking to complete the wonted success of Caesar.

27 So the enemy were overcome in the fight; and as soon as they had recovered from the rout they at once sent deputies to Caesar to treat for peace, promising that they would give hostages and do what he commanded. Together with these deputies came Commius the Atrebatian, who, as shown above, had been sent forward by Caesar into Britain. When Commius disembarked and delivered Caesar's messages to the Britons, they had seized him and thrown him into chains; but now, after the fight, they sent him back. In their entreaty for peace they cast the blame of the misdeed upon the multitude, and sought pardon in consideration of their ignorance. Caesar complained that, though of their own motion they had sent deputies on to the Continent to seek peace from him, they had now begun war on him without cause; but he agreed to pardon their ignorance, and required hostages. Part of these they gave at once, part they said they would summon from the more distant parts and give in a few days. Meanwhile they ordered their own folk to get back to their fields; and the chiefs began to assemble from every quarter, and to deliver themselves and their states to Caesar.

28 Peace was thus established. Four days after the arrival in Britain the eighteen ships above mentioned, which had embarked the cavalry, weighed anchor, in a gentle breeze, from the upper port. When they were nearing Britain, and in view of the camp, so fierce a storm suddenly arose that none of them could hold on its course; some were carried back to the selfsame port whence they had started, others were driven away, with great peril to themselves, to the lower, that is, to the more westerly, part of the island. None the less, they cast anchor; but when they began to fill with the waves they were obliged to stand out to sea in a night of foul weather, and made for the Continent.

29 That same night, as it chanced, the moon was full, the day of the month which usually makes the highest tides in the Ocean, a fact unknown to our men. Therefore the tide was found to have filled the warships, in which Caesar had caused his army to be conveyed across, and which he had drawn up on dry land; and at the same time the storm was buffeting the transports, which were made fast to anchors. Nor had our troops any chance of handling them or helping. Several ships went to pieces; and the others, by loss of cordage, anchors, and the rest of their tackle, were rendered useless for sailing. This, as was inevitable, caused great dismay throughout the army. For there were no other ships to carry them back; everything needful for the repair of ships was lacking; and, as it was generally understood that the army was to winter in Gaul, no corn had been provided in these parts against the winter.

30 When they became aware of this, the British chiefs who had assembled at Caesar's headquarters after the fight took counsel together. As they knew that the Romans lacked cavalry, ships, and corn, and perceived the scantiness of the army from the smallness of the camp (it was straitened even more by the fact that Caesar had brought the legions over without baggage), they thought that the best thing to do was to renew the war, cut off our corn and other supplies, and prolong the business into the winter; for they were confident that when the present force was overcome or cut off from return no one thereafter would cross over into Britain to make war upon them. Therefore they conspired together anew, and, departing a few at a time from the camp, they began secretly to draw in their followers from the fields.

31 Although Caesar had not yet learnt their designs, yet the misfortune of his ships and the fact that the chiefs had broken off the surrender of hostages led him to suspect that events would turn out as they did; and therefore he prepared means to meet any emergency. He collected corn daily from the fields into the camp, and he utilised the timber and bronze of the ships which had been most severely damaged to repair the rest, and ordered the necessary gear for that purpose to be brought from the Continent. The work was most zealously carried out by the troops; and thus, though twelve ships had been lost, he was able to render the rest tolerably seaworthy.

32 Meanwhile one legion, called the Seventh, had been sent as usual to collect corn; nor as yet had any suspicion of hostilities intervened, since part of the people remained in the fields, and part were actually frequent visitors to the camp. Then the outposts on duty before the gates of the camp reported to Caesar that a greater dust than usual was to be seen in that quarter to which the legion had marched. Caesar suspected the truth — that some fresh design had been started by the natives — and ordered the cohorts which were on outpost to proceed with him to the quarter in question, two of the others to relieve them on outpost, and the rest to arm and follow him immediately. When he had advanced some little way from the camp, he found that his troops were being hard pressed by the enemy and were holding their ground with difficulty: the legion was crowded together, while missiles were being hurled from all sides. The fact was that when the corn had been cut from the rest of the neighbourhood one part remained, and the enemy, supposing that our troops would come hither, had hidden by night in the woods; then, when the men were scattered and, having grounded arms, were engaged in cutting corn, they had suddenly attacked them. They had killed a few, throwing the rest into confusion before they could form up, and at the same time surrounding them with horsemen and chariots.

33 Their manner of fighting from chariots is as follows. First of all they drive in all directions and hurl missiles, and so by the mere terror that the teams inspire and by the noise of the wheels they generally throw ranks into confusion. When they have worked their way in between the troops of cavalry, they leap down from the chariots and fight on foot. Meanwhile the charioteers retire gradually from the combat, and dispose the chariots in such fashion that, if the warriors are hard pressed by the host of the enemy, they may have a ready means of retirement to their own side. Thus they show in action the mobile of cavalry and the stability of infantry; and by daily use and practice they become so accomplished that they are ready to gallop their teams down the steepest of slopes without loss of control, to check and turn them in a moment, to run along the pole, stand on the yoke, and then, quick as lightning, to dart back into the chariot.

34 When our troops were thrown into confusion in this fashion by the novel character of the fighting, Caesar brought assistance in the very nick of time; for his arrival caused the enemy to halt, and enabled our men to recover from their fear. This done, he deemed the moment unsuitable for provoking and engaging in a combat; he therefore stood to his own ground and, after a brief interval, led the legions back to camp. In the course of these events all our troops were busily occupied, and the natives who remained in the fields withdrew. Then for several days on end storms ensued, severe enough to keep our men in camp and to prevent the enemy from fighting. Meanwhile the natives despatched messengers in every direction, to tell of the scanty numbers of our troops and to show how great a chance was given of getting booty and of liberating themselves for ever by driving the Romans out of their camp. By this means they speedily collected a great host of footmen and horsemen, and came on towards the camp.

35 Caesar saw that the result would be the same as on the previous days — that the enemy, if repulsed, would use their speed to escape from danger; nevertheless, as he had got about thirty horsemen, whom Commius, the Atrebatian before mentioned, had brought over with him, he formed the legions in line before the camp. When battle was joined the enemy, unable to endure for long the attack of our troops, turned and fled. The Romans followed after, as far as their speed and strength enabled, and slew not a few of them; then, after setting on fire all buildings far and wide, they retired to camp.

36 On the same day deputies sent by the enemy came to Caesar to treat of peace. For them Caesar doubled the number of hostages previously commanded, and ordered them to be brought to the Continent, because the equinox was close at hand, and with a damaged flotilla he did not think it right to subject his crossing to the hazard of winter storms. He himself, taking advantage of a spell of fair weather, weighed anchor a little after midnight, and all the ships came safe to the Continent; but two of the transports were unable to make the same port as the rest, and were carried a little lower down the coast.

37 When about three hundred men had been landed from these vessels and were marching rapidly to camp, the Morini, who had been left by Caesar in a state of peace when he set out for Britain, were fired by the hope of booty, and surrounded the troops, at first with no very large number of their own folk, bidding them lay down their arms if they did not wish to be killed. The Romans formed square and defended themselves, and at the noise of shouting some six thousand men speedily came about them. Upon report of this Caesar sent the whole of the cavalry from the camp to assist his men. Meanwhile our troops withstood the enemy's assault, and fought with the greatest gallantry for more than four hours: they received but a few wounds, and slew a good many of the enemy. Howbeit, as soon as our cavalry came in sight, the enemy threw down their arms and fled, and a great number of them were slain.


 Book V

1 Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius were still consuls when Caesar, on the eve of his departure from winter quarters to go to Italy, as it was his practice every year to do, ordered the lieutenant-generals in charge of the legions to have as many ships as possible built during the winter, and the old fleet repaired. He set forth the plan and pattern of the new ships. For speed of loading and for purposes of beaching he would build them somewhat lower than those which we are accustomed to use on our own sea — and the more so because he had learnt that by reason of the frequent turns of the tides the waves off Gaul were generally smaller. For the transport of cargo, and of the numerous draught-animals, he would have the ships somewhere broader than those we use on the other seas. All of them he ordered to be fitted for oars as well as sails, to which end their lowness of build helped much. The necessary tackle for the equipment of the ships he commanded to be brought out of Spain. When he had concluded the assizes of Hither Gaul he himself set out for Illyricum, for he learnt that the Pirustae were devastating by raids the portion of the Province nearest them. When he was come thither he made a levy of troops upon the states, and commanded them to assemble at a certain point. Upon report of this the Pirustae sent deputies to him to declare that none of these raids had been the result of any public decision, and they affirmed that they were ready by every means to give satisfaction for the outrages. Accepting their statement, Caesar made requisition of hostages and commanded them to be brought in by a certain day; failing this, he affirmed that he would visit the state with war. The hostages were brought in by the day, as ordered; and Caesar appointed arbitrators as between state and state to assess the damages and determine the penalty.

2 When these matters were settled and the assizes concluded he returned to Hither Gaul, and thence set out for the army. When he was come thither he went round all the winter quarters, and learnt that by the exemplary energy of the soldiers, and in spite of the utmost lack of all necessaries, about six hundred ships of the type set forth above and twenty-eight men-of‑war had been built, and lacked but little to make them ready for launching in a few days. Caesar warmly commended the troops and the officers who had been in charge of the work; he gave his instructions, and commanded all the ships to assemble at the Itian port, from which, as he was informed, was the most convenient passage to Britain, a transit of •about thirty miles from the Continent. He left such troops as he thought sufficient for the business; and himself, with four legions marching light and eight hundred horse, set out for the borders of the Treveri, because this tribe came not to the councils nor obeyed his command, and, according to report, was stirring up the Germans beyond the Rhine.

3 Their state is by far the most powerful in cavalry of all the Gauls, and possesses great forces of infantry; and, as above set forth, it touches the Rhine. Two men in the state were striving together for the chieftaincy, Indutiomarus and Cingetorix. The latter of these, directly he was informed of the coming of Caesar and his legions, came to him, affirming that he and all his followers would abide in loyalty and not forsake their friendship with Rome; moreover, he showed what was afoot among the Treveri. Indutiomarus, on the other hand, began to raise horse and foot, and to prepare for war, as soon as he had hidden away those whose age made them unfit for service, in the Forest of Ardennes, which is of great size, stretching right through the territory of the Treveri, from the river Rhine to the border of the Remi. But some of the chiefs of the Treveri, actuated by their friendship for Cingetorix, and at the same time alarmed at the coming of our army, came to Caesar and began to make requests of him as touching their own private interests, since it was not in their power, they said, to take measures in the interests of the state. Then Indutiomarus feared that he might be deserted by one and all, and sent deputies to Caesar. He urged that in his reluctance to leave his own folk and to come to Caesar his object was to keep the state the more easily to its allegiance, lest, if the whole of the nobility left them, the common people might go astray through ignorance. As a result, he said, the state was in his power, and, if Caesar allowed, he would come to his headquarters and commit the fortunes of himself and of the state to his protection.

 4 Caesar knew very well the purpose of these remarks, and the circumstance which was discouraging Indutiomarus from his deliberate design; nevertheless, that he might not be obliged to waste the summer among the Treveri, when everything was prepared for the campaign in Britain, he commanded Indutiomarus to come to him with two hundred hostages. When these were brought in, among them his son and all his relatives, whom Caesar had summoned by name, he comforted Indutiomarus and exhorted him to abide in loyalty. Nevertheless he assembled at his headquarters the chiefs of the Treveri, and won them over severally for Cingetorix. He was aware that Cingetorix deserved this of him, but he deemed it also of great importance that the authority of one whose signal goodwill towards himself he had fully proved should be as strong as possible among his own folk. This action Indutiomarus took grievously to heart, for he saw that his own influence among his people was being diminished; and though he had previously felt hostility towards us, his indignation now burst far more vehemently into flame.

5 When these matters had been settled Caesar proceeded with the legions to the Itian port. There he was informed that sixty ships, which had been built in the country of the Meldi, had been driven back by the weather so that they could not hold on their course, and had therefore returned to their starting-point. The rest he found ready for sailing and equipped in all respects. A body of cavalry from all Gaul, four thousand strong, assembled at the same spot, together with chiefs from every state. A very few of the latter, whose loyalty towards himself he had proved, he had decided to leave in Gaul, taking the rest with him by way of hostages, because he feared a rising in Gaul during his own absence.

6 Among the others there was Dumnorix of the Aedui, of whom we have spoken before. Caesar had determined to keep Dumnorix in particular with him, because he knew him to be bent on revolution, bent on sovereignty, a man of great courage and of great weight among the Gauls. Moreover, in the council of the Aedui Dumnorix had said that Caesar meant to offer him the kingship of the state; and while the Aedui took the saying grievously to heart, they did not dare to send envoys to Caesar either to repudiate or deprecate his purpose. Caesar had learnt this fact from his own partisans. Dumnorix at first by every kind of entreaty pressed his petition to be left in Gaul, affirming now that he was unused to a voyage and feared the sea, now that he was hindered on religious grounds. Then, when he saw that leave was inexorably refused, and all hope of it taken away, he began to stir up the Gallic chieftains, drawing them aside severally and exhorting them to stay on the Continent. And he sought to frighten them by expressing apprehension that there was some reason for stripping Gaul of all her nobility: that it was Caesar's design to transport to Britain and there slaughter all whom he feared to put to death in the sight of Gaul. To the rest he pledged his word, and demanded of them an oath that they would execute by common consent whatever they judged to be for the advantage of Gaul. These plots were reported to Caesar by several persons.

7 Upon this information Caesar was disposed to think, in view of the great importance he attached to the Aedui, that Dumnorix should be repressed and discouraged by all possible means, and at the same time, as his infatuation was obviously going too far, that precaution should be taken against his being able to do any damage to himself and the Roman state. And therefore, as he was delayed at that spot for some five-and‑twenty days, because a north-west wind (prevalent for a great part of every season in these localities) prevented his sailing, he endeavoured to keep Dumnorix to his allegiance, but none the less to learn all his designs. At length fair weather came, and he ordered foot and horse to embark. But when all were thus preoccupied, Dumnorix, along with certain troopers of the Aedui, was minded to leave camp and depart for home. Caesar knew not of this; but upon report thereof he countermanded the sailing and put off everything, and then despatched a large detachment of cavalry to follow him up, with orders to hale him back, and, if he offered force or refused to obey, to put him to death; for he supposed that a man who had disregarded the command before his face would do nothing right-minded behind his back. And indeed when Dumnorix was summoned to return he sought to resist and to defend himself by force, entreating the help of his followers and crying repeatedly that he was a free man and of a free state. The pursuers, as they were ordered, surrounded the man and despatched him; but the troopers of the Aedui all returned to Caesar.

8 When this was done Labienus was left on the Continent with three legions and two thousand horse, and with instructions to guard the ports, to ensure the corn supply, to keep himself informed of events in Gaul, and to make plans as occasion and circumstance should require. The commander-in‑chief, with five legions and a contingent of horse equal to that left on the Continent, weighed anchor about sunset, and proceeded under a gentle south-west wind. But about midnight the wind failed, and he did not make the course: he was carried on too far by the tide, and at sunrise he sighted Britain left afar on the port side. Then once more he followed the turn of the tide, and strove by rowing to make that part of the island where (as he had learnt in the previous summer) was the best place of disembarkation. And herein was the spirit of the troops much to be commended, who, in the heavily built transports, by uninterrupted effort of rowing kept level with the men-of‑war. The whole fleet reached the shore of Britain about midday, but no enemy was to be seen there. They had, indeed, as Caesar learnt afterward from prisoners, assembled there in large companies; but, alarmed at the host of ships, of which, counting those of the previous year and the private vessels which individuals had built for their own convenience, over eight hundred had been seen at once, they had withdrawn from the shore and concealed themselves on the high ground.

9 The army was landed and a place suitable for the camp was chosen. When Caesar had learnt from prisoners where the enemy's forces had taken post, he left ten cohorts and three hundred horse by the seashore to guard the fleet; then, starting in the third watch, he pressed on to meet the enemy, having the less fear for the fleet because he was leaving it at anchor on a sandy, open shore; and he appointed Quintus Atrius to command the troops guarding the ships. He himself, advancing about twelve miles in the night, came in sight of the enemy's forces. They advanced their cavalry and chariots from the higher ground to a river, and sought to check our troops and to engage. Driven back by our horse, they concealed themselves in the woods: there they had got a position excellently fortified by nature as well as by handiwork, which, as it would seem, had been prepared before for a war among themselves; for all the entries had been barred by a great number of felled trees. The enemy came out of the woods to fight in small groups, and sought to prevent our troops from entering the fortifications. But the men of the Seventh Legion formed a "tortoise," and threw up a ramp against the fortifications, and so took the position, driving the enemy out of the woods at the cost of a few men wounded. Caesar forbade them to pursue the fugitives very far, because he did not know the character of the country, and also because a great part of the day was spent, and he wished to leave time for the entrenchment of the camp.

10 In the morning of the next day he divided the foot and the horse in three detachments, and sent them as flying columns to pursue the fugitives. When these had advanced a good long march and the rearguards were just in sight, troopers came from Quintus Atrius to Caesar to report that a violent storm had arisen in the previous night, and that nearly all the ships had been damaged and cast up on shore, as the anchors and cables would not hold, and the seamen and steersmen could not face the force of the storm: and so the collision of ships had caused serious damage.

11 Upon receipt of this intelligence Caesar commanded the legions and the cavalry to be recalled, and to keep off attacks on the line of march, while he himself returned to the fleet. With his own eyes he saw almost exactly what he had learnt from the messengers and despatches: some forty vessels indeed were lost, but it appeared that the rest could be repaired with great trouble. He therefore picked out artificers from the legions, and ordered others to be fetched from the Continent; and wrote to Labienus to construct as many ships as possible by the help of the legions he had with him. For himself he determined that, although the task involved much labour and effort, it was still the best plan to have all the ships beached and connected with the camp by a single entrenchment. Upon this business he spent about ten days, allowing no interruption even at night-time in the work of the troops. When the ships had been beached and the camp thoroughly well entrenched, he left the same forces as before to guard the ships: he himself then set out for the point whence he had returned. When he was come thither he found that still greater forces of the Britons had assembled there from every direction, and that by common consent they had entrusted the supreme command and conduct of the campaign to Cassivellaunus, whose territories are divided from the maritime states by the river called Thames, •about eighty miles from the sea. Hitherto there had been continuous wars between this chief and the other states; but our arrival had moved the Britons to appoint him commander-in‑chief for the conduct of the whole campaign.

12 The inland part of Britain is inhabited by tribes declared in their own tradition to be indigenous to the island, the maritime part by tribes that migrated at an earlier time from Belgium to seek booty by invasion. Nearly all of these latter are called after the names of the states from which they sprang when they went to Britain; and after the invasion they abode there and began to till the fields. The population is innumerable; the farm-buildings are found very close together, being very like those of the Gauls; and there is great store of cattle. They use either bronze, or gold coins, or instead of coined money tallies of iron, of a certain standard of weight. In the midland districts of Britain tin is produced, in the maritime iron, but of that there is only a small supply; the bronze they use is imported. There is timber of every kind, as in Gaul, save beech and pine. They account it wrong to eat of hare, fowl, and goose; but these they keep for pastime or pleasure. The climate is more temperate than in Gaul, the cold seasons more moderate.

13 The natural shape of the island is triangular, and one side lies opposite to Gaul. Of this side one angle, which is in Kent (where almost all the ships from Gaul come in to land), faces the east, the lower angle faces south. This side stretches •about five hundred miles. The second side bears towards Spain and the west, in which direction lies Ireland, smaller by one half, as it is thought, than Britain; the sea‑passage is of equal length to that from Gaul to Britain. Here in mid‑channel is an island called Man; in addition, several smaller islands are supposed to lie close to land, as touching which some have written that in midwinter night there lasts for thirty whole days. We could discover nothing about this by inquiries; but, by exact water measurements, we observed that the nights were shorter than on the Continent. The length of this side, according to the belief of the natives, is •seven hundred miles. The third side bears northwards, and has no land confronting it; the angle, however, of that side faces on the way towards Germany. The side is supposed to be •eight hundred miles long. Thus the whole island is •two thousand miles in circumference.

14 Of all the Britons the inhabitants of Kent, an entirely maritime district, are by far the most civilised, differing but little from the Gallic manner of life. Of the inlanders most do not sow corn, but live on milk and flesh and clothe themselves in skins. All the Britons, indeed, dye themselves with woad, which produces a blue colour, and makes their appearance in battle more terrible. They wear long hair, and shave every part of the body save the head and the upper lip. Groups of ten or twelve men have wives together in common, and particularly brothers along with brothers, and fathers with sons; but the children born of the unions are reckoned to belong to the particular house to which the maiden was first conducted.

15 The horsemen and charioteers of the enemy engaged in fierce conflict with our cavalry on the march, with the result, however, that our troops proved their superiority in all respects, and drove them into the woods and highlands; but, pursuing too eagerly after slaying several of the enemy, they lost some of their own number. After an interval, however, when our troops were off their guard and engaged in entrenching the camp, the enemy suddenly dashed out from the woods, and charging the detachments on outpost duty in advance of the camp, they fought fiercely. And though Caesar sent up two cohorts in support — and those the first cohorts of two legions — and two detachments had taken post with a very slight interval between them, the enemy most gallantly broke through in the middle (as our troops were disconcerted by the novel kind of fighting), and retired safely from the field. On that day a tribune, Quintus Laberius Durus, was killed. The enemy were driven back when more cohorts had been sent up.

16 The action took place in front of the camp and under the eyes of all; and it was clear that in all such fighting our infantry, by reason of their heavy armament, since they could neither pursue a retiring enemy nor venture far from the standards, were but poorly fitted for an enemy of this kind. It was clear, again, that our cavalry fought with great risk, because the enemy often retired of deliberate purpose, and, when they had separated our horse a little from the legions, leapt down from their chariots and fought on foot to our disadvantage. Their cavalry tactics, however, threatened us with exactly the same danger in retirement or pursuit. Add to this that the enemy never fought in close array, but in small parties with wide intervals; and had detachments posted at regular stations, so that one party covered another in turn, and fresh, unspent warriors took the place of the battle-weary.

17 Next day the enemy took post on the hills, at a distance from the camp, and began to show themselves in small parties and to assail our horsemen, though more feebly than on the day before. But at noon, when Caesar had sent three legions and all the cavalry with Gaius Trebonius, the lieutenant-general, to get forage, the enemy swooped suddenly from all directions upon the foraging parties, with such vigour that they did not stop short of the legions drawn up for battle. Our troops charged them fiercely and drove them back, and did not bring the pursuit to an end until the cavalry, relying on the support of the legions they saw behind them, drove the enemy headlong and slew a great number of them, giving them no chance to rally or stand fast, nor to leap down from their chariots. After this rout the succours which had assembled from all quarters took their departure; and never afterwards did the enemy engage us at their full strength.

18 Having obtained knowledge of their plans, Caesar led his army into the borders of Cassivellaunus as far as the river Thames, which can be crossed at one place only on foot, and that with difficulty. When he was come thither he remarked that on the other bank of the river a great force of the enemy was drawn up. The bank was fortified with a fringe of sharp projecting stakes, and stakes of the same kind fixed under water were concealed by the stream. When he had learnt these details from prisoners and deserters, Caesar sent the cavalry in advance and ordered the legions to follow up instantly. But the troops moved with such speed and such spirit, although they had only their heads above water, that the enemy could not withstand the assault of legions and cavalry, but abandoned the banks and betook themselves to flight.

19 When Cassivellaunus, as above set forth, had relinquished all hope of a struggle, and disbanded the greater part of his force, with the remainder — about four thousand charioteers — he kept our marches under observation, and, withdrawing a little from the route, concealed himself in entangled positions among the woods. In whatever districts he had learnt that we intended to march he drove all cattle and human beings from the fields into the woods; then, whenever our cavalry dashed out over the fields to plunder and devastate more freely, he sent out charioteers from the woods by every road and path, engaging our cavalry to their great danger, and preventing them by the fear thus caused from ranging farther afield. The only course left to Caesar was to allow no party to remove very far from the main column of the legions, and to do as much harm to the enemy in laying waste the fields and in conflagrations as the marching powers of the legionaries could accomplish.

20 In the meantime the Trinobantes, the strongest state, perhaps, in those parts — the state from which young Mandubracius, in quest of the protection of Caesar, had come to him on the mainland of Gaul: his own father had held the kingship in the state, but had been slain by Cassivellaunus, when he himself had escaped death by flight — sent deputies to Caesar, promising to surrender to him and to do his commands, and beseeching him to protect Mandubracius from outrage at the hands of Cassivellaunus, and to send him to their state as ruler and sovereign lord. Caesar required of them forty hostages, and corn for the army, and sent Mandubracius to them. They speedily did his commands, and sent hostages to the number required, and corn.

 21 When the Trinobantes had been placed under protection and secured from all outrage at the hands of the troops, the Cenimagni, the Segontiaci, the Ancalites, the Bibroci, and the Cassi sent deputations and surrendered to Caesar. From them he learnt that the stronghold of Cassivellaunus was not far from thence, fenced by woods and marshes; and that he had assembled there a considerable quantity of men and cattle. Now the Britons call it a stronghold when they have fortified a thick-set woodland with rampart and trench, and thither it is their custom to collect, to avoid a hostile inroad. For this spot Caesar now started with the legions: he found it thoroughly fortified by nature and by handiwork, but none the less he made a vigorous assault from two sides. The enemy tarried for a space, but did not stand the assault of our troops, and broke away from another side of the stronghold. A great quantity of cattle was found there; and many of the enemy were caught in the act of fleeing and put to death.

22 While these events were proceeding thereabout, Cassivellaunus sent messages to Kent, a country by the sea, as above set forth, over whose four districts Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus, and Segovax ruled as kings, and commanded them to collect all their forces for a sudden attempt and assault upon the naval camp. But when they were come to the camp the Romans made a sortie and slew many of them, capturing also Lugotorix, a commander of noble station; and then withdrew the detachment without loss. Upon report of this engagement Cassivellaunus was constrained, by the numerous defeats he had suffered, by the devastation of his borders, and chiefly by his alarm at the revolt of the states, to send deputies to Caesar and treat for peace, by the help of Commius the Atrebatian. Caesar had determined to winter on the Continent, in view of sudden commotions in Gaul; and as he had little of the summer left, and was aware that it might easily be spun out to no purpose, he made requisition of hostages, and determined what tribute Britain should pay yearly to Rome. He straitly charged Cassivellaunus to do no hurt to Mandubracius or the Trinobantes.

23 As soon as the hostages were received he led the army back to the sea, and found the ships repaired. When they had been launched he decided, as he had a great number of prisoners, and some ships had perished in the storm, to convey the army back by two journeys. And eventually, of all that number of ships and in all those voyages, not a single ship carrying troops in this or the previous year was missing. But of the ships sent back empty to him from the Continent — both those which had disembarked troops on the first journey, and the second fleet which Labienus had caused to be built, to the number of sixty — very few made the rendezvous; almost all the rest were driven back. Caesar waited some time for these in vain; then, fearing he might be precluded from sailing by the season, as the equinox was nigh at hand, he packed the troops of necessity more closely together; a complete calm ensued, and he weighed anchor at the beginning of the second watch, and at dawn touched land and brought all the ships safely to port.

24 The ships were beached, and a council of the Gauls was held at Samarobriva (Amiens). Then, as the corn-crop had been scantier that year in Gaul on account of droughts, Caesar was forced to dispose the army in winter quarters in a different fashion from that of previous years, distributing the legions over a larger number of states. One of the legions he gave to Gaius Fabius, the lieutenant-general, to be led into the country of the Morini, a second to Quintus Cicero for the Nervii, a third to Lucius Roscius for the Esubii; a fourth, with Titus Labienus in command, he ordered to winter among the Remi on the border of the Treveri. There he stationed among the Belgae: in command of them he set Marcus Crassus, the quartermaster-general, and Lucius Munatius Plancus and Gaius Trebonius, lieutenant-generals. One legion, the most recently enrolled north of the Po, with five cohorts, he sent into the country of the Eburones, of which the chief part lies between the Meuse and the Rhine; the tribe was under the rule of Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. He ordered Quintus Titurius Sabinus and Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta, lieutenant-generals, to command those detachments. With the legions distributed after this fashion, he supposed that he could easiest remedy any shortage of corn-supply. And yet the winter quarters of all the legions, save that which he had assigned to Lucius Roscius to be led into the most quiet and peaceful district, were within a range of •one hundred miles. He himself meanwhile determined to wait in Gaul until he should have information that the legions were at their stations and the cantonments entrenched.

25 There was among the Carnutes one Tasgetius, a man of the highest lineage, whose ancestors had held the kingship in their state. To him, in consideration for his character and his goodwill towards himself — for in all the campaigns he had profited by his remarkable energy — Caesar had restored the position of his ancestors. He had now reigned for two years and more, when his enemies, with the open approval of many persons in the state, put him to death. The matter was reported to Caesar, who, apprehending — as a considerable number of persons were concerned — that the state might revolt at the prompting of the regicides, ordered Lucius Plancus to move speedily with his legion from Belgium far into the country of the Carnutes and there to winter, and to seize and send to him the person by whose instrumentality he knew that Tasgetius had been put to death. Meanwhile he received information from all the lieutenant-generals and the quartermaster-general, to whom he had assigned the legions, that winter quarters had been reached and each station duly entrenched for the same.


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About the rosters I'd like to have the opinions of @Nescio @wowgetoffyourcellphone @temple @Prodigal Son  and also @fatherbushido (who most of the time gives an interesting input) Maybe @Sundiata and @DarcReaver as well.

Balancing is one thing, deciding the rosters is another.

As long as we stay as historical as possible I'm fine.

To keep this discussion constructive I'd like everyone to stay civil and use quotes of @Genava55's documents to voice their opinions.

Thanks for any constructive feedback.

The main topic being : What could the innacurate two handed swordsmen of the britons be replaced with, and what impact will it have on the gaul roster to make them still different.



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2 minutes ago, stanislas69 said:

As long as we stay as historical as possible I'm fine. 

To keep this discussion constructive I'd like everyone to stay civil and use quote of @Genava55's documents to voice their opinions.

To help everybody, I put the Caesar accounts of his battles in my previous messages and I highlighted in blue some useful parts. Thank you in advance to help me.

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I would personally beg to differ on the lack of presence of two-handed swords.  Hallstatt and La Tène sword blades were unusually long, and although what is left of the hilts seems generally too short to accommodate two hands, this could be the result of them using degradable materials for the rest.  Hallstatt swords are even identified as longswords, which is usually an identifier for swords meant to be used with two hands.  Granted, I will admit that I was not able to access sources that could provide decisive evidence for either side and I am by no means an expert on Celtic weaponry.  Furthermore, the reason that these swords are called longswords may be simply to contrast with much of the shorter blades, making the issue no easier to exactly resolve.  

That all said, I can't really say that you're wrong, Geneva.  The subject just seems slightly more complex than you depict it.  Would you mind clarifying your objections?

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I'd just like to say that I'm excited about all this. @Genava55 is basically doing what I was planning to do (eventually), only better... I haven't nitpicked every single one of his references, but those that I have all check out. In addition, almost everything he is bringing up seems to be in line with my own understanding of Celtic culture (not based on Asterix and Obelix, TW, or crappy Hollywood). I'm rather impressed (by his ability to convince me that La Tene period Gauls didn't, use round shields :P), and I believe that, of all the active community members, Genava is the most "qualified" to lead the push for historically accurately updating the Celtic civs. I don't know anything about Celtic languages so I have no opinions on the naming used for units etc. I don't see any glaring issues with his proposals. 

Some of my personal issues with the Celtic civs, which I have brought up multiple times before, in order of offensiveness, are: Stonehenge, haphazard mixing of iconic Gallic and British equipment, those temples and lack of authentic special buildings etc. Most of it has been addressed in genava's suggestions as well. 

Of course, healthy debate is always good, so nit pick away :)  

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30 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

although what is left of the hilts seems generally too short to accommodate two hands, this could be the result of them using degradable materials for the rest.

But there are quite a number of Celtic swords with surviving hilts (or intact enough to discern their length), including La Tene period swords. None of the ones I've seen so far seem to be long enough to accommodate 2 hands. 

If the degradable materials that made up the hilts were much longer than the tang, I suspect it would break off in your hands when applying a lot of blunt force, which is kind of the whole point of two handers. 

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1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

That all said, I can't really say that you're wrong, Geneva.  The subject just seems slightly more complex than you depict it.  Would you mind clarifying your objections?

Of course I can and I understand your position. Especially because we discuss this in another thread, drawn with different debates. To start I will say that this unit is clearly coming from the first Europa Barbarorum mod. This mod had a huge impact at this time and sadly there was an issue with the guy doing the design of the celtic factions. When the second mod was started,  Europa Barbarorum 2, the guy already left the team. But its successor,  using the pseudonym Commios on the forum twcenter, has started to check the design of these factions. I talked with him, he is a very nice guy and he is a British archeologist specializing in the iron age. He realized that the previous supervisor relied mostly on Gaelic mythology and medieval folklore to build the celtic factions. Added with over-interpretation to put the maximum of diversity in the game, for example giant hammer bearer because there are Gallo-Roman statues of Sucellus with giant hammers... As you can see now, there is no two-handed swordsman and no giant hammer bearer in the new version of the mod. Some peoples complaint about this, asking why and the team always answered that they were fantasy units removed for good reasons. Recently we talked about this:


But I am not only relying on the words of Commios from EB2. This issue with the two-handed swordsman is old and I already debunked the problem in the past on french forum. I read two academic books on the subject, "Guerre et armement chez les Gaulois"  by Brunaux and "The Celtic sword" by Pleiner, there is no mention of any two-handed swords in these books. Moreover, Tacitus talk two times of the swords of the Britons and of the Caledonians, saying they are very long. But he never says that they use them with two-hands, in the contrary he says that they are impractical for close-combat and thinks very badly about them (it is a common opinion among the Romans about the Celtic sword, a cliché). Nothing unusual then. I will find it incredible surprising that Tacitus would not precise it if they were used with two-hands. Especially from him, a person that described the uncommon weapons of the Germanic tribes like the round shields being a characteristic of the Rugians and of the Lemovians. If you think about the Thraco-Dacian rhomphaia, the Romans were surprised by this weapon and they described its shape, its use and they even represented it in their Tropaeum Traiani. Therefore I find very unlikely that no classical author never described a two-handed swords if they were in use. There is a relief about the Picts on the Antonine wall and nothing could represents a two-handed sword on it. There are plenty reliefs about the Gauls like the Arc of Orange and there is as well nothing that could suggest this weapon.

The difficulty with this debate about the two-handed sword is the same I had with Sundiata in the beginning about the round shields: it is incredible hard to disprove something that doesn't exist. It is well-known ontological problem. Everything about the two-handed sword in the iron age is a matter of deductive logic with common sense premises. We argue about the length of the blade, about the hilt, about the weight and finally about why it is so obviously a good idea that they should have done it. And this kind of reasoning is exactly what differentiates amateurs from experts. Experts built their premises with historical evidences first, to build limits at their reasoning. The explanation is simple: this way to think has no end. You can easily apply this logic to throwing axes, long battle-axe, scale armor, bronze cuirasses, crossbows etc. It works very well with any culture but it is easier to use it on cultures with little information. You only fill the void of evidences with everything you can. In history, this is a common problem, especially for argument "a silentio". Even experts can fell to this.


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2 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I'd just like to say that I'm excited about all this. @Genava55 is basically doing what I was planning to do (eventually), only better... I haven't nitpicked every single one of his references, but those that I have all check out. In addition, almost everything he is bringing up seems to be in line with my own understanding of Celtic culture (not based on Asterix and Obelix, TW, or crappy Hollywood). I'm rather impressed (by his ability to convince me that La Tene period Gauls didn't, use round shields :P), and I believe that, of all the active community members, Genava is the most "qualified" to lead the push for historically accurately updating the Celtic civs. I don't know anything about Celtic languages so I have no opinions on the naming used for units etc. I don't see any glaring issues with his proposals. 

Some of my personal issues with the Celtic civs, which I have brought up multiple times before, in order of offensiveness, are: Stonehenge, haphazard mixing of iconic Gallic and British equipment, those temples and lack of authentic special buildings etc. Most of it has been addressed in genava's suggestions as well. 

Of course, healthy debate is always good, so nit pick away :)  

Thank you buddy! I appreciate your support :victory: I wish you a happy new year.

And I wish a happy new year to everybody, to this marvelous game, to the volunteers of this great adventure and especially to the artists and programmers.


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2 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

So round shields are more Germanic(?)

Probably, but now the word "German" is another problem. There is no single germanic cultures at this time but several with quite a lot of difference. The Rugians and the Lemovians are suspected to be from the Oksywie/Oxhöft culture or related to the Przeworsk culture. The creation of the Germanic identity is something very debated and it seems that the old view that everything comes from the Jastorf culture is getting less and less popular. Probably that the Przeworsk and the Oksywie cultures, with very warlike traditions, filled the void caused by the Gallic Wars and the creation of the Principate. Celtic warfare was very popular until another successor comes out.

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1 hour ago, wackyserious said:

I was thinking of depicting most of their units with less clothing, more tattoos and animal skin for cloaks. Would that be acceptable culture-wise? 

Good question. Caesar describe them clearly as tattooed warriors. Probably more naked. However the Britons are far from savage, they are even very careful with their body, they have a lot jewelry as well. A lot of mirrors also. Moreover, during the Roman period the region is reputed for its textile. But it is true that Caesar describes some of them as more pastoral cultures. If you want to go to this direction, there are the "Huldremose Woman", "Tollund Man" and "Borum Eshøj" bog bodies to gives you an idea. But I won't discard the Celtic textile and outfit neither.

If you are looking for some inspiration, EBII is not perfected but they have often interesting idea:


Edited by Genava55
added tollund man illustrations
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To return to the topic, I think the proper thing to do is to replace the Celtic art with two separate sets, one for the Britons and one for the Gauls; this is already partially done for the structures but is also necessary to properly differentiate their units.

My knowledge of the Celts is limited to what some Greeks and Romans have written about them; I'm not an archaeologist.

As for the proposed unit roster, don't add too many champions. Three or four is enough for a civ. Also, the Gauls certainly should have an infantry archer (Caesar repeatedly mentions that Gaulish cavalry is accompanied by archers on foot, who run along with the horses) and the Britons probably not (Caesar never mentioned the use of bows-and-arrows in combat by them, therefore I assume they didn't).

The first time I encountered the longswordsman in 0 A.D. I was surprised, but I simply assumed someone had thoroughly researched it and found proper evidence. If not, then I wholeheartedly agree that fantasy unit ought  to be replaced. There is a difference between a "long sword" (a blade longer than c. 60 cm or 2 feet) and a "longsword" (a blade that requires two hands to handle). The former certainly existed in Antiquity, the latter was used in Western Europe in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period (the same timeframe in which the pike was used, which I believe is no coincidence; but that's a different story).

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Thank you Nescio for your reply,

23 minutes ago, Nescio said:

To return to the topic, I think the proper thing to do is to replace the Celtic art with two separate sets, one for the Britons and one for the Gauls; this is already partially done for the structures but is also necessary to properly differentiate their units. 

I can provide different artistic patterns and symbols for the Gauls, not a problem for me. There is a tremendous literature on the subject and a huge evolution in the art of the continental Celts from the 5th to the 1st century BC. I already done this for the Britons in their shield thread and if it is needed I can add more things for them as well. I agree with your statement that the units should be differentiated.

30 minutes ago, Nescio said:

My knowledge of the Celts is limited to what some Greeks and Romans have written about them; I'm not an archaeologist. 

As for the proposed unit roster, don't add too many champions. Three or four is enough for a civ. Also, the Gauls certainly should have an infantry archer (Caesar repeatedly mentions that Gaulish cavalry is accompanied by archers on foot, who run along with the horses) and the Britons probably not (Caesar never mentioned the use of bows-and-arrows in combat by them, therefore I assume they didn't). 

The classical accounts are already good to distinguish different trends and different fighting styles among the Celts. The archaeology and the etymology give only more depth to these accounts and more nuance. For my proposed unit roster, it was only a draft to discuss and I can suggest other things or adapt my previous ideas. There is a lot of room for modification and improvement. If I am very motivated to give a proper and accurate representation of iron age Celtic cultures, I don't want to ruin the gameplay so far. 0 A.D. is a game and it is mandatory to twist a tiny bit the reality when you portray a culture in a game. The only rule is to make a historical framework to limit the imagination and to avoid the fantasy, but inside this framework it is a sand-box.

For the historical accounts about the Britons. Caesar emphasize often their mobility and their ability to drawn the enemy under tons of missiles (probably javelins and slingstones). He says the Britons often tricked the enemy to pursuit them and suddenly engage them in loose formation, to disorganize their battle formation. The chariots are particularly good for this, they threw javelins from it and soon engage the battle on foot by getting off the chariot and if the enemy regroups and resists, they go back to their chariots and flew. They have also a good ability to hide in the woods and to use the woods to their advantage. Their cavalry is not necessarily only light cavalry since they use it to engage the enemy in close-combat but they clearly not stand a chance against the Gallic cavalry from the allies of Caesar. Tacitus is less talkative on their warfare techniques. He emphasizes the importance of their infantry, he notes their ability to fight in the hills to avoid direct engagement and their ability to attack at night in small groups. About the Caledonians, he says they fought with long swords and small shields, they wear their decoration as warrior symbols and that they were able to dodge the Roman javelins with their loose formation, their sword's and their shield's skill. They sent a lot of missiles as well.

For the archaeological accounts there are plenty of iron javelins remains founds. Notably there are as well javelinheads made out of bones in Ireland and in Britain, exactly like the population of the Jutland. The shields bosses from the British isles are clearly more decorated than the Gallic counterparts. They look like the early shield bosses of the La Tène culture found in France and Germany (mostly 5th and 4th century BC) but with more development and a longer tradition. It could suggest a more Homeric way to fight in agreement with the Roman accounts. Chariots, long swords and small shields are also confirmed by archeological remains. But short swords seem to have existed as well. There are interesting shields with important fork-crescent like end-parts, I wonder if it is more useful for close-combat and dueling, to trap the spears or the blade of the opponent. Helmets are rare and only bronze version were found in the isles.

In the contrary, the Gauls are renown for their cavalry. Their infantry were described as using the phalanx and the tortoise formations during the Cisalpine wars, which means at this time various shield walls (the imperial square tortoise didn't existed during these wars). There are more helmets found, an incredible quantity of swords and scabbards remains, same thing for the spearheads. If the Gauls seem to rely on mobility as well, it is more to charge and overthrown the enemy. But they have the same tendency to panic when everything goes wrong as the Britons (a common particularity of tribal societies).

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34 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:
  Reveal hidden contents

comitatussoldier25.jpgResultado de imagen para celtic cavalry round shield

the first is similar to germanic shield and in game models. the other look parma

Yes it is a common problem with Osprey illustration. They mix everything. Everything that is labeled Celtic goes in, no regards for the period or for the region. They have seen the Bormio stele and they have think "oh yes Celtic round shield", no regards for a very specific and very regional culture disconnected from the succeeding La Tène culture. They did the bad reasoning from common sense premises by extrapolating the round shield for a cavalry shield since the Romans and the Greeks did the same. Without consideration from the HUNDREDS of representation of the Celtic cavalry with oval shields. Osprey has a long history of @#$% reasoning like this, the first illustrations showing Celtic warrior with bronze age equipment. It is a shame than the incredible talent of Angus McBride got wasted by poor research and poor advice from Osprey writers.

Edited by Genava55
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