When he was set before the emperor’s tribunal, he spoke as follows:
“Had my moderation in prosperity been equal to my noble birth and
fortune, I should have entered this city as your friend rather than
as your captive; and you would not have disdained to receive, under
a treaty of peace, a king descended from illustrious ancestors and
ruling many nations. My present lot is as glorious to you as it is
degrading to myself. I had men and horses, arms and wealth. What wonder
if I parted with them reluctantly? If you Romans choose to lord it
over the world, does it follow that the world is to accept slavery?
Were I to have been at once delivered up as a prisoner, neither my
fall nor your triumph would have become famous. My punishment would
be followed by oblivion, whereas, if you save my life, I shall be
an everlasting memorial of your clemency.”

Upon this the emperor granted pardon to Caractacus, to his wife, and
to his brothers. Released from their bonds, they did homage also to
Agrippina who sat near, conspicuous on another throne, in the same
language of praise and gratitude. It was indeed a novelty, quite alien
to ancient manners, for a woman to sit in front of Roman standards.
In fact, Agrippina boasted that she was herself a partner in the empire
which her ancestors had won.

The Senate was then assembled, and speeches were delivered full of
pompous eulogy on the capture of Caractacus. It was as glorious, they
said, as the display of Syphax by Scipio, or of Perses by Lucius Paulus,
or indeed of any captive prince by any of our generals to the people
of Rome. Triumphal distinctions were voted to Ostorius, who thus far
had been successful, but soon afterwards met with reverses; either
because, when Caractacus was out of the way, our discipline was relaxed
under an impression that the war was ended, or because the enemy,
out of compassion for so great a king, was more ardent in his thirst
for vengeance. Instantly they rushed from all parts on the camp-prefect,
and legionary cohorts left to establish fortified positions among
the Silures, and had not speedy succour arrived from towns and fortresses
in the neighbourhood, our forces would then have been totally destroyed.
Even as it was, the camp-prefect, with eight centurions, and the bravest
of the soldiers, were slain; and shortly afterwards, a foraging party
of our men, with some cavalry squadrons sent to their support, was
utterly routed.

Ostorius then deployed his light cohorts, but even thus he did not
stop the flight, till our legions sustained the brunt of the battle.
Their strength equalized the conflict, which after a while was in
our favour. The enemy fled with trifling loss, as the day was on the
decline. Now began a series of skirmishes, for the most part like
raids, in woods and morasses, with encounters due to chance or to
courage, to mere heedlessness or to calculation, to fury or to lust
of plunder, under directions from the officers, or sometimes even
without their knowledge. Conspicuous above all in stubborn resistance
were the Silures, whose rage was fired by words rumoured to have been
spoken by the Roman general, to the effect, that as the Sugambri had
been formerly destroyed or transplanted into Gaul, so the name of
the Silures ought to be blotted out. Accordingly they cut off two
of our auxiliary cohorts, the rapacity of whose officers let them
make incautious forays; and by liberal gifts of spoil and prisoners
to the other tribes, they were luring them too into revolt, when Ostorius,
worn out by the burden of his anxieties, died, to the joy of the enemy,
who thought that a campaign at least, though not a single battle,
had proved fatal to general whom none could despise.

The emperor on hearing of the death of his representative appointed
Aulus Didius in his place, that the province might not be left without
a governor. Didius, though he quickly arrived, found matters far from
prosperous, for the legion under the command of Manlius Valens had
meanwhile been defeated, and the disaster had been exaggerated by
the enemy to alarm the new general, while he again magnified it, that
he might win the more glory by quelling the movement or have a fairer
excuse if it lasted. This loss too had been inflicted on us by the
Silures, and they were scouring the country far and wide, till Didius
hurried up and dispersed them. After the capture of Caractacus, Venutius
of the Brigantes, as I have already mentioned, was pre-eminent in
military skill; he had long been loyal to Rome and had been defended
by our arms while he was united in marriage to the queen Cartismandua.
Subsequently a quarrel broke out between them, followed instantly
by war, and he then assumed a hostile attitude also towards us. At
first, however, they simply fought against each other, and Cartismandua
by cunning stratagems captured the brothers and kinsfolk of Venutius.
This enraged the enemy, who were stung with shame at the prospect
of falling under the dominion of a woman. The flower of their youth,
picked out for war, invaded her kingdom. This we had foreseen; some
cohorts were sent to her aid and a sharp contest followed, which was
at first doubtful but had a satisfactory termination.

The legion under the command of Caesius Nasica fought with a similar
result. For Didius, burdened with years and covered with honours,
was content with acting through his officers and merely holding back
the enemy. These transactions, though occurring under two propraetors,
and occupying several years, I have closely connected, lest, if related
separately, they might be less easily remembered. I now return to
the chronological order.
The Annals by Tacitus