“The immortal gods usually allow those men they wish to punish for their crimes a time of success and a period of impunity, so that when a change of fortune comes they are all the more grieved by it.”Gaius Julius Caesar, The First Book: 58 BC, The Gallic War
Recalling his response when German King Ariovistus boasted of the 107 BC victory over the Romans, Caesar informs his readers that he retorted something to the effect of the above. In light of the fact that the battle Ariovistus flaunts was one in which Caesar’s relative Lucius Piso and the Roman consul Lucius Cassius Longinus perished, this response reveals Caesar’s calm and collected wit. As Caesar then went on to rout the Germans back across the Rhine in a humiliating defeat, this quote reads almost like a prophecy. But one should read Caesar’s histories skeptically as he no doubt wrote them looking to heighten his own status and popularity. Indeed, the Gallic War was published on the eve of the civil war and retrospectively rendering himself as a prophet might assure submission.
I want to offer a thanks to the YouTube channel linked below where I was pointed to Caesar’s histories: