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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 1  1858  page 98

On Caesar's Landing-Place in Britain.
By R. C. Hussey, Esq., F.S.A,

highly useful. From the Gauls nothing was to be learnt of the country or people of Britain, for even the traders, to whom he made especial application, could tell neither the size of the island, nor by what tribes it was occupied, nor the customs of the inhabitants, or their usages in warfare, nor what ports were fit to receive a fleet.1 In this state of ignorance, Caesar thought it prudent, before embarking on his enterprise, to send an officer, C. Volusenus, in a galley to collect what information he could, with directions to return quickly, which he did, after an absence of five days, without having ventured to land on the British coast.2 Hereupon Caesar completed his preparations, and sailing from Gaul with a favourable wind, about midnight, he reached the coast of Britain with the first of his ships at ten o'clock the following morning; here he saw the hills on all sides covered with enemies, and finding the place he had approached to be altogether unsuited for a hostile landing, he remained at anchor until the rest of his fleet were assembled, and then, having in the meanwhile called his officers together and given his orders, at three in the afternoon, with wind and tide in his favour, sailed a distance of eight (or seven) miles to a flat open part of the shore, where, after a fierce contest, he succeeded in effecting a landing.3 This is a general outline of Caesar's narrative, but
   1 " Si tempua anni ad bellum gerendum deficeret, tamen magno sibi usui fore arbitrabatur, si modo insulam adisset, genus hominum perspexiaset, loca, portcus, aditus cognovisset; quae omnia fere Gallis erant incognita. . . . Evocatis ad se undique mercatoribus, neque quanta esset insulae magnitude, neque quae ant quantse nationes incolerent, neque quern usum belli haberent, aut quibus institutis uterentur, neque qui essent ad majorum navium multitudinem idonei portus, reperire poterat."De Bell. Gall,, lib. iv. c. 18.
   2 " Volusenus, perspectis regionibus, quantum ei facultatis dari potuit, qui navi egredi ae se barbaris committere non auderet, quinto die ad Caesarem revertitur; quaeque ibi perspexisset renuntiat."Ibid., lib. iv. e. 19.
   3 "Nactus idoneam ad navigandum tempestatem, tertia fere vigilia solvit. . . . Ipse hora diei cireiter quarta cum primis navibus Britanniam adtigit, atque ibi in omnibus collibus expositas hostium copias armatas conspexit. Cujus loci haec erat natura: adeo montibus angustis mare continebatur (continued on page 99)

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