imploring instant death as a relief; others, half dead, with failing breath turned their dying eyes to the last enjoyment of the light. Of some the heads were almost cut off by the huge weapons, and merely hung by small strips to their necks; others, again, who had fallen because the ground had been rendered slippery by the blood of their comrades, without themselves receiving any wound, were killed by being smothered in the mass of those who fell over them.
54. While these events were proceeding thus prosperously for us, the conquerors pressed on vigorously, though the edges of their weapons were blunted by frequent use, and shining helmets and shields were trampled under foot. At last, in the extremity of their distress, the barbarians, finding the heaps of corpses block up all the paths, sought the aid of the river, which was the only hope left to them, and which they had now reached.
55. And because our soldiers unweariedly and with great speed pressed, with arms in their hands, upon the fleeing bands, many, hoping to be able to deliver themselves from danger by their skill in swimming, trusted their lives to the waves. And Julian, with prompt apprehension, seeing what would be the result, strictly forbade the tribunes and captains to allow any of our men to pursue them so eagerly as to trust themselves to the dangerous currents of the river.
56. In consequence of which order they halted on the brink, and from it wounded the Germans with every kind of missile; while, if any of them escaped from death of that kind by the celerity of their movements, they still sunk to the bottom from the weight of their own arms.
57. And as sometimes in a theatrical spectacle the curtain exhibits marvellous figures, so here- one could see many strange things in that danger; some unconsciously clinging to others who were good swimmers, others who were floating were pushed off by those less encumbered as so many logs, others again, as if the violence of the stream itself fought against them, were swallowed up in the eddies. Some supported themselves on their shields, avoiding the heaviest attacks of the opposing waves by crossing them in an oblique direction, and so, after many dangers, reached the opposite brink, till at last the foaming river,