Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 201.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 09:29:40 +0100
From: Spencer Tasker <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 17.192 Correus, wherefore art thou Correus?
The answer to your question can be found in Caesar's "De bello
gallico" (Gallic Wars): Book 8
Correus was a chieftain of the Bellovaci (c.51/50 BC)("who exceed all the
Gauls and Belgae in military prowess") who co-led a force against the
Suessiones, which were supporters of Rome. Caesar lent his aid to his
allies, to cut a long story short Correus' attempt to ambush Roman
foragers landed him in a well-laid trap. Needless to say his forces
were worsted and "put to the rout, and having lost the greater part of
their men, they fled in consternation whithersoever chance carried them;
some sought the woods, others the river, but were vigorously pursued by
our men and put to the sword. Yet, in the mean time, Correus,
unconquered by calamity, could not be prevailed on to quit the field
and take refuge in the woods, or accept our offers of quarter, but,
fighting courageously and wounding several, provoked our men, elated
with victory, to discharge their weapons against him."(8:19)
( http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.8.8.html )
I can only surmise that a combination of the use of the Gallic Wars in
Grammar Schools around this time must have played no small part in
prompting depiction of the scene - overcoming the "who, what, where"
that the name of Correus provoked today. Additionally, I am tempted to
speculate on the nationalistic subtext which the depiction of this
Gallic hero may have carried at the Paris Exposition of 1889.
FYI, Google turned up the following magic lantern slide depicting the same
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