Igitur cupīdō Caesarem invādit solvendī suprēma mīlitibus ducīque, permōtō ad miserātiōnem omnī quī aderat exercitū ob propinquōs, amīcōs, dēnique ob cāsūs bellōrum et sortem hominum. praemissō Caecinā ut occulta saltuum scrūtārētur pontēsque et aggerēs ūmidō palūdum et fallācibus campīs impōneret, incēdunt maestōs locōs vīsūque ac memoriā dēformēs. prīma Vārī castra lātō ambitū et dīmensīs principiīs trium legiōnum manūs ostentābant; dein sēmirutō vallō, humilī fossā accīsae iam reliquiae consēdisse intellegēbantur: mediō campī albentia ossa, ut fūgerant, ut restiterant, disiecta vel aggerāta. adiacēbant fragmina tēlōrum equōrumque artūs, simul truncīs arborum antefixa ōra. lūcīs propinquīs barbarae ārae, apud quās tribūnōs ac prīmōrum ordinum centuriōnēs mactāverant. et clādis eius superstitēs, pugnam aut vincula ēlapsī, referēbant hīc cecidisse legātōs, illīc raptās aquilās; prīmum ubi vulnus Vārō adactum, ubi infēlīcī dexterā et suō ictū mortem invēnerit; quō tribūnālī contiōnātus Arminius, quot patibula captīvīs, quae scrobēs, utque signīs et aquilīs per superbiam inlūserit.
So Germanicus was taken by a desire to pay his last respects to the soldiers and their general, and all the army that was present was moved to pity, as they reflected on the dead, who were their relatives and friends, and on the fortunes of war and the common lot of humanity. Caecina was sent ahead to reconnoitre the hidden parts of the passes, and to build bridges and ramparts in the wet bogs and the treacherous flat land. Then they entered the gloomy places, awful to look at and remember. Varus’ expansive first camp with its headquarters marked out testified to the labors of the three legions. Then a partly collapsed rampart and a shallow ditch indicated where the shattered remnants of the army had made a stand. Out on the open ground were bleached bones, scattered or heaped up according as the soldiers had fled or stood firm. Broken weapons and horses’ limbs were lying around, and there were also skulls pinned to tree-trunks. In nearby groves, there were outlandish altars, at which the Germans had butchered the tribunes and front-rank centurions. Those who had survived the disaster, escaping from the battle or from captivity, related that the officers had fallen here, the standards had been snatched there. They showed where the first wound had been inflicted on Varus, where he found death with a self-inflicted stroke from his wretched right hand. They showed the platform from which Arminius spoke, all the gibbets and pits for prisoners, and they pointed out how he arrogantly mocked the standards and the eagles.
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