Book 1, Chapter 3, 55 BC to 78 AD – Julius Caesar – Continued
Immediately on the conclusion of this treaty, which also stipulated that yearly tribute should be paid, Caesar conducted his troops back to the ships, in which they instantly embarked and sailed for Gaul in the month of September. He did not leave a single cohort, nor had he erected one permanent fort. At Rome, the senate and the citizens were loud and enthusiastic in praise of their favourite general, yet he had not really become master of the smallest part of British soil. His friend Cicero merely speaks of the campaign as “favourable and satisfactory enough ” a measure of faint praise which would have yielded to an enthusiastic eulogy, if the expedition had proved eminently successful.
Other ancient writers speak doubtfully of its results. Tacitus alleges that Caesar did not subdue the island, but only showed it to the Romans. Horace applies the epithet intactus to Britain, and Propertius that of invictus. Without detracting from his merits as a brave, skilful, and successful commander, it must be concluded that the invasion of Julius Caesar was nothing more than a landing in force, followed by a number of skirmishes, and that his hasty observations of the people, and his brief communications with them, were not of a character to add anything to the Roman power and name, or to leave any abiding influence on the country which he visited.
Chapter 3, Julius Caesar
The Romans Withdraw
Chapter 3, Caractacus
Chapter 3, The Romans Revenge
Categories: Book 1