His eyes held the look of fascination, as Ariovistus saw the Roman legions turn around and start building defensive fortifications behind their own lines. Had Caesar lost his mind?

Though surrounded and besieged, the higher terrain gave the German army a position of advantage. Ariovistus had sent word for reinforcements; when they arrived, his army would far outnumber the Romans. Caesar heard the thundering herd of the reinforcements arrive before the Germans did, and in the night the Roman army — half solider, half construction worker — set out to close themselves in. Ariovistus and his army, surrounded by the Romans, surrounded by the rapidly approaching German reinforcements.

The morning of the battle, Ariovistus looked across the field to see a lone figure wearing a deep red robe that fluttered in the breeze. As he was watching, Caesar turned, and the two Kings met their gaze. And when he saw those piercing brown eyes, Ariovistus knew that he was looking at perhaps the greatest military commander the world had produced. A superior general, a superior man, perhaps even a superior civilisation. The battle was yet to begin, yet on that breezy gallic morning, Ariovistus knew. This is how the end began.

Written on November 15, 2017