14.5 Caesar, Gallic War, Book 5, Part I, Chapters 36-37

4 min readjanuary 25, 2023



AP Latin 🏛

24 resources
See Units

How to use this Study Guide:

Use this study guide as a refresher after instruction from your professional Latin instructor/teacher. As it is AP Latin, you will be expected to learn the grammar in class except for questions which we will go over again. The main purpose of this study guide is to provide 80% literal, 20% interpretative translations and to break down the text, context, and grammar. What interpretative means is that it is not the literal Latin translation but that it has been restructured in some way to better fit the modern English vernacular.

Comentarii de Bello Gallico, Book 5, Chapters 36-37

Original Passage

] 1 His rebus permotus Quintus Titurius, cum procul Ambiorigem suos cohortantem conspexisset, interpretem suum Gnaeum Pompeium ad eum mittit rogatum ut sibi militibusque parcat. 2 Ille appellatus respondit: si velit secum colloqui, licere; sperare a multitudine impetrari posse, quod ad militum salutem pertineat; ipsi vero nihil nocitum iri, inque eam rem se suam fidem interponere. Ille cum Cotta saucio communicat, 3 si videatur, pugna ut excedant et cum Ambiorige una colloquantur: sperare ab eo de sua ac militum salute impetrari posse. Cotta se ad armatum hostem iturum negat atque in eo perseverat.
] 1 Sabinus quos in praesentia tribunos militum circum se habebat et primorum ordinum centuriones se sequi iubet et, cum propius Ambiorigem accessisset, iussus arma abicere imperatum facit suisque ut idem faciant imperat. 2 Interim, dum de condicionibus inter se agunt longiorque consulto ab Ambiorige instituitur sermo, paulatim circumventus interficitur. 3 Tum vero suo more victoriam conclamant atque ululatum tollunt impetuque in nostros facto ordines perturbant. 4 Ibi Lucius Cotta pugnans interficitur cum maxima parte militum. Reliqui se in castra recipiunt unde erant egressi. 5 Ex quibus Lucius Petrosidius aquilifer, cum magna multitudine hostium premeretur, aquilam intra vallum proiecit; ipse pro castris fortissime pugnans occiditur. Illi aegre ad noctem oppugnationem sustinent; 6 noctu ad unum omnes desperata salute se ipsi interficiunt. 7 Pauci ex proelio lapsi incertis itineribus per silvas ad Titum Labienum legatum in hiberna perveniunt atque eum de rebus gestis certiorem faciunt.

Questions about the Latin

1. What is the subject of the sentence in Chapter 36, "Cognito Caesaris adventu, hostes ab oppugnatione castrorum discedunt"?
2. What is the verb of the sentence in Chapter 37, "Namque eo die pugna facta est, uti Caesar ex captivis quaerere solebat"?
3. What is the object of the sentence in Chapter 36, "Hoc idem Labieno imperat, ut eam partem pontis, quam paucis ante diebus reliquerat, quam primum reficiat"?
4. What is the adverb modifying in the sentence in Chapter 37, "Cognito Caesaris adventu, hostes ab oppugnatione castrorum discedunt"?
5. What is the adjective modifying in the sentence in Chapter 36, "Ipsi se inter se magnis praemiis pollicebantur, qui primus in hostium castra pervenisset"?

Answers about the Latin

1. hostes
2. facta est
3. pontis
4. Cognito
5. magnis


Chapter 36
Much troubled by these events, Q. Titurius, when he had perceived 
Ambiorix in the distance encouraging his men, sends to him his interpreter, 
Cn. Pompey, to beg that he would spare him and his soldiers. He, when addressed, 
replied, "If he wishes to confer with him, it was permitted; that he hoped 
what pertained to the safety of the soldiers could be obtained from the 
people; that to him however certainly no injury would be done, and that 
he pledged his faith to that effect." He consults with Cotta, who had been 
wounded, whether it would appear right to retire from battle, and confer 
with Ambiorix; [saying] that he hoped to be able to succeed respecting 
his own and the soldiers' safety. Cotta says he will not go to an armed 
enemy, and in that perseveres.
Chapter 37
Sabinus orders those tribunes of the soldiers whom he had at the 
time around him, and the centurions of the first ranks, to follow him, 
and when he had approached near to Ambiorix, being ordered to throw down 
his arms, he obeys the order and commands his men to do the same. In the 
mean time, while they treat upon the terms, and a longer debate than necessary 
is designedly entered into by Ambiorix, being surrounded by degrees, he 
is slain. Then they, according to their custom, shout out "Victory," and 
raise their war-cry, and, making an attack on our men, break their ranks. 
There L. Cotta, while fighting, is slain, together with the greater part 
of the soldiers; the rest betake themselves to the camp, from which they 
had marched forth, and one of them, L. Petrosidius, the standard bearer, 
when he was overpowered by the great number of the enemy, threw the eagle 
within the intrenchments and is himself slain while fighting with the greatest 
courage before the camp. They with difficulty sustain the attack till night; 
despairing of safety, they all to a man destroy themselves in the night. 
A few escaping from the battle, made their way to Labienus at winter-quarters, 
after wandering at random through the woods, and inform him of these 

Translation sourced from http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.5.5.html

Wrapping these lines up:

Remember that despite these lines being a dry read, they describe the thought processes' of one of the greatest men in terms of power and influence in Roman history. Keep that in mind as you are moving forward. Congratulations on finishing unit 6!

Browse Study Guides By Unit
🔥Unit 3 – Vergil, Aeneid, Book 2
🏇Unit 4 – Caesar, Gallic War, Book 4
👑Unit 5 – Vergil, Aeneid, Book 4
☠️Unit 8 – Vergil, Aeneid, Books 6, 8, & 12
✍️Exam Skills - FRQ/MCQ
⚔️Unit 1 – Vergil, Aeneid, Book 1
🥗Unit 2 – Caesar, Gallic War, Books 1 & 6
🥊Unit 6 – Caesar, Gallic War, Book 5, Part I
🧄Unit 7 – Caesar, Gallic War, Book 5, Part II, Book 6, & Book 7

Stay Connected

© 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.