Bellum Gallicum I.II

Apud Helvetios longe nobilissimus fuit et ditissimus Orgetorix. Is M. Messala, [et P.] M. Pisone consulibus regni cupiditate inductus coniurationem nobilitatis fecit et civitati persuasit ut de finibus suis cum omnibus copiis exirent: [2] perfacile esse, cum virtute omnibus praestarent, totius Galliae imperio potiri. [3] Id hoc facilius iis persuasit, quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur: una ex parte flumine Rheno latissimo atque altissimo, qui agrum Helvetium a Germanis dividit; altera ex parte monte Iura altissimo, qui est inter Sequanos et Helvetios; tertia lacu Lemanno et flumine Rhodano, qui provinciam nostram ab Helvetiis dividit. [4] His rebus fiebat ut et minus late vagarentur et minus facile finitimis bellum inferre possent; [5] qua ex parte homines bellandi cupidi magno dolore adficiebantur. [6] Pro multitudine autem hominum et pro gloria belli atque fortitudinis angustos se fines habere arbitrabantur, qui in longitudinem milia passuum CCXL, in latitudinem CLXXX patebant.

Among the Helvetians, Orgetorix was for a long time the noblest and the wealthiest. When M. Messala and M. Pisone were consuls, led by desire for the kingdom, he created a conspiracy of the nobility and persuaded the citizens that they should depart their land with all their troops, saying that it would be very easy, since they surpassed all in courage, to acquire the supremacy of the whole of Gaul. He persuaded them of it more easily on account of this, because on all sides the Helvetians are bounded by the nature of the country: on one side by the very wide and deep Rhine river river, which divides the Helvetian land from the Germans; on the other side by the very tall Iura mountain, which is between the Sequanis and the Helvetians; on the third side by Lake Geneva and the Rhode river, which divides our province from the Helvetians. From these things it was coming about that they roamed about less widely and could less easily wage war with their neighbors; in which respect, men desirous of war were afflicted with great sorrow. They thought that, considering their multitude of men and their renown for war and bravery, they had but narrow limits, which they increased in length by CCXL miles, and in breadth by CLXXX miles.

Notes

(1.2.1) Not only does persuasit introduce a subjunctive ut clause, but it also creates an indirect discourse (oratio obliqua) which begins with the phrase perfacile esse.

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