Striking Back
batavian index

The Rhine

The Betuwe
The Betuwe
The Betuwe in present day

Tacitus' account breaks off abruptly when he describes the negotiations, which took place on a half-destroyed bridge somewhere in the Betuwe. It is not known what Cerialis and Civilis discussed, but it is certain that the old alliance between Rome and the Batavians was restored: the latter were not compelled to pay taxes, but had to man eight auxiliary units.

This does not mean that the Batavians were not heavily beaten. They suffered tremendously for their support of Julius Civilis. Every Batavian family mourned because of the death of at least one son. The Frisians and Cananefates had to pay the same, immense human toll. The Batavian capital Nijmegen had been destroyed, and the inhabitants were ordered to rebuild it two kilometers downstream on a place where it could not be defended. The Tenth legion Gemina was stationed close by, as a permanent guard.

What became of Julius Civilis is not known, but it is hard to believe that he enjoyed a quiet old age. It is probable that one of the members of his tribe killed him - the same happened to Arminius and Gannascus, to German leaders who once revolted against Rome and had been defeated. Or perhaps the Romans arrested Civilis. It is true, Tacitus writes that he was granted immunity, but Cerialis would not have been the first or last Roman commander who felt free to break his promise to a man who had broken several oaths. In that case, Civilis will have received the 'punishment of a felon' that Munius Lupercus had promised him when the Batavians laid siege to Vetera: the cross.