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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a Book of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1914

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Book XLI

Cassius Dio
Roman History

Thayer's Note: Before e-mailing me with questions, comments, or corrections involving the numbering of Books, chapters, and sections in this text, please read the orientation page.

Book XL

 p407  The following is contained in the Fortieth of Dio's Rome:—
1. How Caesar for the second time sailed across to Britain (chaps. 1‑3).
2. How Caesar, returning from Britain, again engaged in war with the Gauls (chaps. 4‑11).
3. How Crassus began to carry on war with the Parthians (chaps. 12, 13).
4. About the Parthians (chaps. 14, 15).
5. How Crassus was defeated by them and perished (chaps. 16‑30).
6. How Caesar subjugated the whole of Transalpine Gaul (chaps. 31‑44).
7. How Milo killed Clodius and was condemned (chaps. 48 f., 54).
8. Caesar and Pompey began to be at variance (chaps. 59‑66).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consul­ship of Domitius and Appius Claudius, together with four additional years, in which there were the magistrates (consuls) here enumerated:—

Cn. Domitius M. F. Calvinus, M. Valerius . . . Messalla.
Cn. Pompeius Cn. F. Magnus (III), C. Caecilius Metellus Scipio Nasicae F.
Servius Sulpicius Q. F. Rufus, M. Claudius M. F. Marcellus.
L. Aemilius M. F. Paulus, C. Claudius C. F. Marcellus.

1 1 These were the occurrences in Rome while the city was passing through its seven-hundredth year. In Gaul during the year of these same consuls, Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius, Caesar among other  p409 undertakings constructed ships of a style half-way between his own swift vessels and the native ships of burden, endeavouring to make them at once as light and as seaworthy as possible and capable of being left high and dry without injury. 2 When the weather became fit for sailing, he crossed over again to Britain, giving as his excuse that the people of that country, thinking that he would never make trial of them again because he had once retired empty-handed, had not sent all the hostages they had promised; but the truth of the matter was that he mightily coveted the island, so that he would certainly have found some other pretext, if this had not offered itself. 3 He came to land at the same place as before, no one daring to oppose him because of the number of his ships and the fact that they approached many points on the shore at the same time; and he straightway got possession of the harbour. 2 1 The barbarians, then, for the reason stated were unable to hinder his approach, and being more afraid than before, because he had come with a larger army, they carried away all their most valuable things into the most wooded and overgrown portions of the neighbouring country. 2 After they had put them in safety by cutting down the surrounding wood and piling more upon it row after row until their goods were in a sort of stockade, they proceeded to annoy the Romans' foraging parties. Indeed, after being defeated in a certain battle on open ground they drew the invaders in pursuit to their retreat, and killed many in their turn. 3 Soon after, when a storm had once more damaged the Romans' ships, the natives sent for allies and set out against their naval  p411 arsenal itself, with Cassivellaunus, regarded as the foremost of the chiefs in the island, at their head. 4 The Romans upon meeting them were at first thrown into confusion by the attack of their chariots, but later opened ranks, and by letting them pass through and then from the side hurling their weapons at the men as they rushed past, made the battle equal. 3 1 For the time being both parties remained where they were. Later, however, the barbarians, after proving victorious over the infantry but being defeated by the cavalry, withdrew to the Thames, where they encamped after cutting off the ford by means of stakes, some visible and some under water. 2 But Caesar by a power­ful assault forced them to leave the stockade and later on by siege drove them from their fortress, while others repulsed a party of theirs that attacked the ships in the harbour. They then became terrified and made terms, giving hostages and agreeing to pay a yearly tribute.

4 1 Thus Caesar departed entirely from the island and left no body of troops behind in it; for he believed that such a force would be in danger while passing the winter in a foreign land and that it might be inadvisable for him to remain away from Gaul for any considerable period; hence he was satisfied with his present achievements, in the fear that if he reached out for more, he might be deprived even of these. 2 It seemed that here again he had done right, as was, indeed, proved by the event. For when he had gone to Italy, intending to winter there, the Gauls, though each nation contained many garrisons, nevertheless became restless and some of them  p413 openly revolted. Now if this had happened while he was staying in Britain through the winter season, all Gaul would have been in a turmoil.

5 1 This war was begun by the Eburones, under Ambiorix as chief. They claimed they had been roused to action because they were annoyed at the presence of the Romans, who were commanded by Sabinus and Lucius Cotta, lieutenants. The truth was, however, that they scorned those officers, thinking that they would not prove competent to defend their men and not expecting that Caesar would quickly make an expedition against their tribe. 2 They accordingly came upon the soldiers unawares, expecting to take the camp without striking a blow, and, when they failed of this, had recourse to deceit. For Ambiorix, after planting ambuscades in the most suitable spots, came to the Romans after sending a herald to arrange for a parley, and represented that he had taken part in the war against his will and was himself sorry; 3 but against the others he advised them to be on their guard, for his countrymen would not obey him and were intending to attack the garrison at night. Consequently he made the suggestion to them that they should abandon Eburonia, since they would be in danger if they remained, and should move on as quickly as possible to some of their comrades who were wintering near by. 6 1 Upon hearing this the Romans believed him, especially as Ambiorix had received many favours from Caesar and seemed to be repaying his kindness in this way. They  p415 hastily packed up their belongings, and setting out just after nightfall, fell into the ambush, where they suffered a terrible reverse. 2 Cotta with many others perished immediately. Sabinus was sent for by Ambiorix under the pretext of saving him, for the Gallic leader was not present at the ambush and at that time was still thought to be trustworthy; on his arrival, however, Ambiorix seized him, stripped him of his arms and clothing, and then struck him down with his javelin, uttering boastful words over him, such as these: "How can such creatures as you wish to rule us who are so great?" 3 This was the fate that these men suffered. The rest managed to break through to the camp from which they had set out, but when the barbarians assailed that, too, and they could neither repel them nor escape, they killed one another.

7 1 After this event some others of the neighbouring tribes revolted, among them the Nervii, though Quintus Cicero, a brother of Marcus Cicero and lieutenant of Caesar, was wintering in their territory. Ambiorix added them to his force and engaged in battle with Cicero. 2 The contest was close, and after capturing some prisoners alive the chieftain tried to deceive him also in some manner, but being unable to do so, besieged him. Thanks to his large force and the experience which he had gained from his service with the Romans, together with information that he obtained from the individual captives, he quickly managed to enclose him with a palisade and ditch. 3 There were numerous battles, as was natural in such a situation, and far larger numbers of the barbarians perished, because there were more of  p417 them. They, however, by reason of the multitude of their army did not feel their loss at all, whereas the Romans, who were not numerous in the first place, kept continually growing fewer and were hemmed in without difficulty. 8 1 They were unable to care for their wounds through lack of the necessary appliances, and did not have a large supply of food, because they had been besieged unexpectedly. No one came to their aid, though many were wintering at no great distance; for the barbarians guarded the roads with care and caught all who were sent out and slaughtered them before the eyes of their friends. 2 Now when they were in danger of being captured, a Nervian who was friendly to them as the result of kindness shown him and was at this time besieged with Cicero, furnished a slave of his to send as a messenger through the lines. Because of his dress and his speech, which was that of the natives, he was able to mingle with the enemy as one of their number without attracting notice, and afterwards went his way.

9 1  In this way Caesar, who had not yet returned to Italy but was still on the way, learned of what was taking place, and turning back, he took with him the soldiers in the winter establishments through which he passed, and pressed rapidly on. Meanwhile, being afraid that Cicero, in despair of assistance, might suffer disaster or even capitulate, he sent a horseman on ahead. 2 For he did not trust the servant of the Nervian, in spite of having received an actual proof of his actual good will, fearing that he might pity his countrymen and work the Romans some great evil; so he sent a horseman of the allies who knew the  p419 dialect of Eburones and was dressed in their garb. 3 And in order that even he might not reveal anything, voluntarily or involuntarily, he gave him no verbal message and wrote to Cicero in Greek all that he wished to say, in order that even if the letter were captured, it should even so be meaningless to the barbarians and afford them no information. In fact, it was his usual practice, whenever he was sending a secret message to any one, to substitute in every case for the proper letter of the alphabet the fourth letter beyond, so that the writing might be unintelligible to most persons. 4 Now the horseman reached the camp of the Romans, but not being able to come close up to it, he fastened the letter to a javelin, and acting as if he were hurling it against the enemy, fixed it purposely in a tower. Thus Cicero learned of the approach of Caesar, and so took courage and held out more zealously. 10 1 But the barbarians for a long time knew nothing of the assistance Caesar was bringing; for he journeyed by night, bivouacking by day in very obscure places, in order that he might fall upon them as unexpectedly as possible. But they finally grew suspicious because of the excessive cheerfulness of the besieged and sent out scouts; and learning from them that Caesar was already drawing near, they set out against him, thinking to attack him while off his guard. 2 He learned of it in time and remained where he was that night, for the purpose of appearing to have only a few followers, to have suffered from the journey, and to fear an attack from them, and so in this manner to draw them to the higher ground.  p421 3 And thus it turned out; for in their contempt of him because of this move they charged up the hill, and met with so severe a defeat that they carried on the war against him no longer.

11 1 In this way both they and all the rest were at that time subdued; but they did not feel kindly toward the Romans. At any rate, the Treveri, when Caesar was sending for the principal men of each tribe and punishing them, became afraid that they, too, might have to pay the penalty; 2 and upon the advice of Indutiomarus, they began war against the Romans once more; and they led some others who feared the same treatment to revolt and made an expedition against Titus Labienus, who was among the Remi, but they were destroyed when the Romans made an unexpected sally.

These were the events that took place in Gaul, and Caesar wintered there, thinking that he would be able to bring the Gauls under strict control. 12 1 But Crassus, desiring for his part to accomplish something that involved glory and at the same time profit, and seeing that no such thing was possible in Syria, where the people themselves were quiet, and those who had formerly warred against the Romans were by reason of their powerlessness causing no disturbance, made a campaign against the Parthians. He had no complaint to bring against them nor had the war been assigned to him; but he heard that they were exceedingly wealthy and expected that Orodes would be easy to capture, because he was but newly established. 2 Therefore he crossed the Euphrates and advanced far into Mesopotamia, devastating and ravaging the country. For since his  p423 crossing was unexpected by the barbarians no careful guard of the ford had been kept. Consequently Silaces, then satrap of that region, was quickly defeated near Ichnae, a fortress so named, after contending with a few horsemen; and being wounded, he retired to report personally to the king the Romans' invasion. 13 1 Crassus, on his side, quietly won over the garrisons and especially the Greek cities, among them one named Nicephorium. For colonists in great numbers, descendants of the Macedonians and of the other Greeks who had campaigned in Asia with them, readily transferred their allegiance to the Romans, since they were oppressed by the violence of the barbarians (?), and placed strong hopes in the invaders, whom they regarded as friends of the Greeks. 2 The inhabitants of Zenodotium, however, on the pretence that they also were going to revolt, sent for some of the invaders, and then, when they were within the town, arrested and killed them, for which act they were driven from their homes. Apart from this Crassus neither inflicted nor received any serious harm at that time. 3 He certainly would have subdued also the other regions this side of the Tigris, if he had followed up the advantage of his own quiet attack and the barbarians' panic consistently in all respects, and also if he had wintered where he was, keeping strict watch of affairs. 4 As it was, he captured only such places as he could seize by sudden assault and paid no heed to the rest nor even to the places conquered, but vexed by the delay in Mesopotamia, and longing for the indolence  p425 of Syria, he afforded the Parthians time to prepare themselves and to harass the soldiers left behind in their country.

14 1 This was the beginning of the war of the Romans against the Parthians. These people dwell beyond the Tigris, for the most part in forts and garrisons, but also in a few cities, among them Ctesiphon, in which they have a royal residence. Their race was in existence among the ancient barbarians 2 and they had this same name even under the Persian kingdom; but at that time they inhabited only a small portion of the country and had acquired no dominion beyond their own borders. But when the Persian rule had been overthrown and that of the Macedonians was at its height, and when the successors of Alexander had quarrelled with one another, cutting off separate portions for themselves and setting up individual monarchies, 3 the Parthians then first attained prominence under a certain Arsaces, from whom their succeeding rulers received the title of Arsacidae. By good fortune they acquired all the neighbouring territory, occupied Mesopotamia by means of satrapies, and finally advanced to so great glory and power as to wage war even against the Romans at that time, and ever afterward down to the present day to be considered a match for them. 4 They are really formidable in warfare, but nevertheless they have a reputation greater than their achievements, because, in spite of their not having gained anything from the Romans, and having, besides, given up certain portions of their own domain, they have not yet been enslaved, but even to this day hold their own in the wars they wage  p427 against us, whenever they become involved in them. 15 1 Now about their race and their country and their peculiar customs many have written, and I have no intention of describing them. But I will describe their equipment of arms and their method of warfare; for the examination of these details properly concerns the present narrative, since it has come to a point where this knowledge is needed. 2 The Parthians make no use of a shield, but their forces consist of mounted archers and pikesmen, mostly in full armour. Their infantry is small, made up of the weaker men; but even these are all archers. They practise from boyhood, and the climate and the land combine to aid both horseman­ship and archery. 3 The land, being for the most part level, is excellent for raising horses and very suitable for riding about on horse-back; at any rate, even in war they lead about whole droves of horses, so that they can use different ones at different times, can ride up suddenly from a distance and also retire to a distance speedily; 4 and the atmosphere there, which is very dry and does not contain the least moisture, keeps their bowstrings tense, except in the dead of winter. For that reason they make no campaigns anywhere during that season but the rest of the year they are almost invincible in their own country and in any that has similar characteristics. 5 For by long experience they can endure the sun's heat, which is very scorching, and they have discovered many remedies for the dearth of drinking-water and the difficulty of securing it, so that for this reason also they can  p429 easily repel the invaders of their land. Outside of this district beyond the Euphrates they have once or twice gained some success in pitched battles and in sudden incursions, 6 but they cannot wage an offensive war with any nation continuously and without pause, both because they encounter an entirely different condition of land and sky and because they do not lay in supplies of food or pay. Such is the Parthian state.

16 1 When Crassus had invaded Mesopotamia, as has been stated, Orodes sent envoys to him in Syria to censure him for the invasion and to ask the causes of the war; at the same time he sent Surenas with an army to the captured and revolted districts. 2 For he had it in mind to lead an expedition in person against that part of Armenia which had once belonged to Tigranes, in order that Artabazes, the son of Tigranes, the king of the land at that time, should send no assistance to the Romans through fear for his own land. 3 Now Crassus said that he would tell him in Seleucia the causes of the war; this is a city in Mesopotamia which even at the present day has a very large Greek population. And one of the Parthians, striking the palm of his left hand with the fingers of the other, exclaimed: "Sooner will hair grow here than you shall reach Seleucia."

17 1 And when the winter set in, in which Gnaeus  p431 Calvinus and Valerius Messalla became consuls, many portents occurred even in Rome itself. Owls and wolves were seen, the dogs prowled about and whined, some sacred statues exuded sweat and others were struck by lightning. 2 The offices, partly through rivalry but chiefly by reason of the omens and portents, were with difficulty filled at last in the seventh month. Those signs, however, gave no clear indication as to what the event would be; for affairs in the city were in a turmoil, the Gauls had risen again, and, though the Romans knew not how as yet, they had become involved in war with the Parthians. 3 But to Crassus signs that were both evident and easy to interpret appeared as he was crossing the Euphrates at Zeugma, a place so called from the campaign of Alexander, because he crossed at this point. 18 1 One portent had to do with the so‑called "eagle" of the army. It is a small shrine and in it perches a golden eagle. It is found in all the enrolled legions, and it is never moved from the winter-quarters unless the whole army takes the field; 2 one man carries it on a long shaft, which ends in a sharp spike so that it can be set firmly in the ground. Now one of these eagles was unwilling to join him in his passage of the Euphrates at that time, but stuck fast in the earth as if rooted there, until many took their places around it and pulled it out by force, so that it accompanied them quite reluctantly. 3 But one of the large flags, that resemble sails, with purple letters upon them to  p433 distinguish the army and its commander-in‑chief, was overturned and fell from the bridge into the river. This happened in the midst of a violent wind. 4 Then Crassus had the others of equal length cut down, so they might be shorter and hence steadier to carry; but he only increased the prodigies. For at the very time of crossing the river so great a fog enveloped the soldiers that they fell over one another and could see nothing of the enemy's country until they set foot upon it; 5 and the sacrifices both for crossing and for landing proved most unfavourable. Meanwhile a great wind burst upon them, bolts of lightning fell, and the bridge collapsed before they had all passed over. The occurrences were such that any one, even the most indifferent and uninstructed, would interpret them to mean that they would fare badly and not return; hence there was great fear and dejection in the army. 19 1 Now Crassus, trying to encourage them, said: "Be not alarmed, soldiers, because the bridge has been destroyed nor think because of this that any disaster is portended. 2 For I declare to you upon oath that I have decided to make my return march through Armenia." By this he would have emboldened them, had he not added in a loud voice the words: "Be of good cheer; for none of us shall come back this way." 3 When they heard this, the soldiers deemed that it had been an omen for them as great as the others, and they fell into greater discouragement; and so it was that they paid no heed to the remainder of his exhortation, in which he belittled  p435 the barbarian and glorified the Roman state, offered them money and announced prizes for valour. 4 Still, even as it was, they followed and no one said a word or did anything to oppose him, partly, perhaps, out of regard for the law, but also because by this time they were terrified and could neither plan nor carry out any measures of safety. At any rate, in all else that they did also, as if predestined to ruin by some divinity, they were helpless in both mind and body.

20 1 Nevertheless, the greatest injury was done them by Abgarus of Osroëne. For he had pledged himself to peace with the Romans in the time of Pompey, but now chose the side of the barbarians. The same was done by Alchaudonius, the Arabian, who always attached himself to the stronger party. 2 The latter, however, revolted openly, and hence was not hard to guard against; but Abgarus, while favouring the Parthian cause, pretended to be well disposed toward Crassus. He spent money for him unsparingly, learned all his plans and reported them to the foe, and further, if any of them was advantageous for the Romans, he tried to divert him from it, but if disadvantageous, urged him forward. 3 At last he was responsible for the following occurrence. Crassus was intending to advance to Seleucia so as to reach there safely with his army and provisions by proceeding along the banks of the Euphrates and on its stream; accompanied then by the people of that city, whom he hoped to win over easily, because they were Greeks, he would cross without difficulty to Ctesiphon. 4 Abgarus caused him to give up this course, on the ground that it would take a long time, and persuaded him to assail Surenas, because the latter was near by and had only a few men. 21 1 Then,  p437 when he had arranged matters so that the invader should perish and the other should conquer (for he was continually in the company of Surenas, on the pretext of spying), he led out the Romans in their heedlessness to what he represented as a victory in their very hands, and in the midst of the action joined in the attack against them.

2 It came about in this way. The Parthians confronted the Romans with most of their army hidden; for the ground was uneven in spots and wooded. Upon seeing them Crassus — not the commander, but the younger Crassus, who had come to his father from Gaul — 3 felt scornful of them, since he supposed them to be alone, and so led out his cavalry against them, and when they turned purposely to flight, pursued them, thinking the victory was his; thus he was drawn far away from the main army, and was then surrounded and cut down. 22 1 When this had taken place, the Roman infantry did not turn back, but valiantly joined battle with the Parthians to avenge his death. Yet they accomplished nothing worthy of themselves because of the enemy's numbers and tactics, and particularly because Abgarus was plotting against them. 2 For if they decided to lock shields for the purpose of avoiding the arrows by the closeness of their array, the pikemen were upon them with a rush, striking down some, and at least scattering the others; and if they extended their ranks to avoid this, they would be struck with the arrows. 3 Hereupon many died from fright at the very charge of the pikemen, and many perished hemmed in by  p439 the horsemen. Others were knocked over by the pikes or were carried off transfixed. 4 The missiles falling thick upon them from all sides at once struck down many by a mortal blow, rendered many useless for battle, and caused distress to all. They flew into their eyes and pierced their hands and all the other parts of their body and, penetrating their armour, deprived them of their protection and compelled them to expose themselves to each new missile. 5 Thus, while a man was guarding against arrows or pulling out one that had stuck fast he received more wounds, one after another. Consequently it was impracticable for them to move, and impracticable to remain at rest. Neither course afforded them safety but each was fraught with destruction, the one because it was out of their power, and the other because they were then more easily wounded.

23 1 This was what they suffered while they were fighting only against the enemies in sight; for Abgarus did not immediately make his attempt upon them. But when he, too, attacked, thereupon the Osroëni themselves assailed the Romans on their exposed rear, since they were facing the other way, and also rendered them easier for the others to slaughter. For the Romans, in altering their formation, so as to be facing them, put the Parthians behind them. 2 Again they wheeled round to face the Parthians,  p441 then back again to face the Osroëni, then to face the Parthians once more. Thrown into still greater confusion by this course, because they were continually turning this way and that and were forced to face the enemy that was wounding them at the time, they fell upon their own swords and many were even killed by their comrades. 3 Finally, as the enemy continually assaulted them from all sides at once, and they were compelled to protect their exposed parts by the shields of those who stood beside them, they were shut up in so narrow a place that they could no longer move. Indeed, they could not even get a sure footing by reason of the number of corpses, but kept falling over them. 4 The heat and thirst (it was midsummer and this action took place at noon) and the dust, of which the barbarians raised as much as possible by all riding around them, told fearfully upon the survivors, and many succumbed from these causes, even though unwounded. 24 1 And the Romans would have perished utterly, but for the fact that some of the pikes of the barbarians were bent and others were broken, while the bowstrings snapped under the constant shooting, the missiles were exhausted, the swords all blunted, and, most of all, that the men themselves grew weary of the slaughter. 2 Under these conditions, then, the assailants retired, for night was coming and they were obliged to ride off to a distance. For they never encamp near even the weakest forces, because they use no intrenchments, and because, if any one attacks them in the darkness, they are unable to employ their cavalry or their archery to advantage. 3 However, they captured no Roman alive at that time; for seeing them standing  p443 upright in their armour and perceiving that no one either threw away his weapons or fled, they supposed they still had some strength, and feared to lay hold of them.

25 1 So Crassus and all the rest who could set out for Carrhae, which had been kept loyal to them by the Romans who remained behind within the walls. But many of the wounded remained on the field, being unable to walk and lacking vehicles or even guides, since the others had been glad enough merely to drag themselves away. 2 Some of them died of their wounds or by making away with themselves, and others were captured the next day. And of those who had escaped many perished on the road, as their strength gave out, and many later because they were unable to obtain proper care immediately. 3 For Crassus, in his discouragement, believed he could not hold out safely even in the city any longer, but planned flight at once. And since it was impossible for him to go out by day without being detected, he undertook to escape by night, but failed to secure secrecy, being betrayed by the moon, which was at its full. 4 The Romans accordingly waited for moonless nights, and setting out thus, in darkness and in a land at once strange and hostile, and in over­powering fear, they became scattered. And some were caught when it became day and lost their lives, others got  p445 safely away to Syria in the company of Cassius Longinus, the quaestor, 5 and still others, with Crassus himself, gained the mountains and prepared to escape through them into Armenia.

26 1 Surenas, learning this, was afraid that if they should escape anywhere they might make war on them again, but still he was unwilling to assail them on the higher ground, which was inaccessible to horses; for as they were heavy-armed men, fighting from higher ground, and felt also a touch of frenzy because of despair, contending with them was not easy. So he sent to them, inviting them to agree to a truce on condition of their abandoning all territory east of the Euphrates; 2 and Crassus, without hesitation, trusted him. For he was in the very extremity of fear, and was distraught by the terror of the calamity that had befallen both himself and the state; and seeing, moreover, that the soldiers shrank from the journey, which they thought long and arduous, and that they feared Orodes, he was unable to foresee anything that he ought. 3 Now when he declared himself ready for the truce, Surenas refused to negotiate it through others, but in order to get him off with only a few followers and seize him, he said that he wished to hold a conference with the commander personally. 4 Thereupon they decided to meet each other in the space between the two armies with an equal number of men from each side. So Crassus descended to the level ground and Surenas sent him a present of a horse, to make sure of his coming to him more quietly; 27 1 and while Crassus even then delayed and considered what he should  p447 do, the barbarians took him forcibly and threw him on the horse. Meanwhile the Romans also laid hold of him, came to blows with the others, and for a time held their own; then aid came to the barbarians, and they prevailed; 2 for their forces, which were in the plain and had been made ready beforehand brought help to their men before the Romans on the high ground could to theirs. And not only the others fell, but Crassus also was slain, either by one of his own men to prevent his capture alive, or by the enemy because he was badly wounded. This was his end. 3 And the Parthians, as some say, poured molten gold into his mouth in mockery; for though a man of vast wealth, he had set so great store by money as to pity those who could not support an enrolled legion from their own means, regarding them as poor men. 4 Of the soldiers the majority escaped through the mountains to friendly territory, but a part fell into the hands of the enemy.

28 1 The Parthians at this time did not advance behind the Euphrates, but won back the whole country east of it. Later they also invaded Syria, though not in great numbers, because the province had neither general nor soldiers; and for this reason Cassius easily thrust them out, since they were not many in number. 2 For when at Carrhae the soldiers through hatred of Crassus had offered him the supreme command over themselves, and Crassus himself on  p449 account of the greatness of the disaster had voluntarily allowed it, he had not accepted the command; now, however, he took charge of Syria perforce, both for the time being and subsequently. 3 For the barbarians would not keep away from it, but made another campaign with a larger band, nominally under the leader­ship of Pacorus, the son of Orodes, though actually under that of Osaces, since the other was just a child. They came as far as Antioch, subduing the whole country before them. 4 And they had hopes also of subjugating what remained, since the Romans were not at hand with a force fit to cope with them, and the districts were fretting under Roman rule and were ready to turn to the invaders, as to neighbours and people of kindred ways. 29 1 But when they failed to take Antioch, since Cassius effectively repulsed them and they were unable to carry on a siege, they turned to Antigonea. And since the neighbourhood of this city was overgrown with timber, and they did not dare, nay were not even able to penetrate this with cavalry, 2 they formed a plan to cut down the trees and lay bare the whole place, so that they might approach the town with confidence and safety. But finding themselves unable to do this, because the task was a great one and their time was spent in vain, while Cassius harassed those of them who scattered abroad, they retired with the intention of proceeding against some other place. 3 Meanwhile Cassius set an ambush on the road along which they were to depart, and confronting them there with a few men, he induced them to pursue, and then surrounding them, killed a number, including  p451 Osaces. Upon the latter's death Pacorus abandoned all Syria and never invaded it again.

30 1 He had scarcely retired when Bibulus arrived to govern Syria. His coming, to be sure, was in violation of a decree, intended to prevent rivalry for office with its consequent strife, that no praetor or consul should either immediately or at any time within five years go abroad to govern a province. 2 He administered the subject territory in peace, and turned the Parthians against one another. For after winning the friendship of Ornodapates, a satrap, who had a grudge against Orodes, he persuaded him through messengers to set up Pacorus as king, and with him to conduct a campaign against the other.

So this war between the Romans and Parthians came to an end in the fourth year after it had begun, and while Marcus Marcellus and Sulpicius Rufus were consuls. 31 1 In that same period Caesar by battle again gained control of Gallic affairs, which had become disturbed. Of the numerous exploits performed either by himself alone or through his lieutenants I will relate only the most important. 2 Ambiorix, after joining to himself the Treveri, who at this time were still angry over Indutiomarus' death, had formed a greater conspiracy in that quarter and sent for a mercenary force from the Germans. 3 Now Labienus, wishing to join battle with them before these recruits should arrive, promptly invaded the country of the Treveri. And when the latter did not defend themselves, as they  p453 were awaiting the reinforcements, but put a river between the two armies and remained quiet, Labienus assembled his soldiers and addressed them in such words as were likely to alarm his own men and encourage the foe, 4 declaring that they must withdraw to Caesar and safety before the Germans should come to the aid of the enemy; and he immediately gave the signal to pack up the baggage. Not much later he actually set out on the march, expecting the very result that occurred. 5 For the barbarians heard of his speech, for they were very diligent in such matters and it was for just that reason, indeed, that it had been delivered publicly, and they thought he was really afraid and truly taking to flight. Hence they hastily crossed the river and eagerly advanced against the Romans, as fast as each one could. 6 Thus Labienus met their attack while they were scattered, and after terrifying the foremost easily routed the rest by means of these first fugitives. Then, as they were fleeing in disorder, falling over one another and crowding toward the river, he killed many of them.

32 1 Many escaped even as it was, but Caesar took no account of these, except in the case of Ambiorix. This man, by escaping now to one place and now to another and doing much injury, caused Caesar trouble in seeking and pursuing him. When he was unable to catch him in any way, he made an expedition against the Germans, alleging that they had wished to help the Treveri. 2 On this occasion likewise he accomplished nothing, but retired rapidly through fear of the Suebi; yet he gained the reputation of having crossed the Rhine  p455 again, and of the bridge he destroyed only the portions near the barbarians, constructing upon it a guard-house, as if he might at any time have a desire to cross. 3 Then, in anger at the success­ful flight of Ambiorix, he permitted that chieftain's country, although it had been guilty of no rebellion, to be plundered by any who wished. He gave public notice of this in advance, so that as many as possible might assemble hence many Gauls and many Sugambri came for the plunder. 4 Now it did not suffice the Sugambri to make spoil of Gallic territory, but they even attacked the Romans themselves. They watched until the Romans were absent securing provisions and then made an attempt upon their camp; and when the soldiers, perceiving it, came to the rescue, they killed a good many of these. 5 Then, becoming afraid of Caesar as a result of this affair, they hurriedly withdrew homeward; but he inflicted no punishment upon any of them because of the winter and the turmoil in Rome, but after dismissing the soldiers to their winter-quarters, went himself to Italy on the plea of looking after Cisalpine Gaul, but really in order that he might watch from close at hand the events that were taking place in the city.

33 1 Meantime the Gauls rebelled again. The Arverni under the leader­ship of Vercingetorix revolted, killed all the Romans they found in their cities and their country, and proceeding against the tribes in alliance with the foreigner, bestowed favours upon such as  p457 had been willing to join their revolt, and injured the rest. 2 Caesar on learning this returned and found that they had invaded the territory of the Bituriges. He made no attempt to help the latter, since not all his soldiers were at hand as yet, but by invading the Arvernian country in his turn drew the enemy home again, whereupon he retired in good season, not deeming himself yet a match for them. 34 1 They accordingly went back to the Bituriges, captured Avaricum, a city of theirs, and held out in it for a long time; for the wall was hard to approach, being bordered on one side by almost trackless swamps and on the other by a river with a swift current. When, therefore, they were later besieged by the Romans, their great numbers made it easy for them to repel the assaults, and they also made sallies, inflicting many injuries. 2 Finally they burned up everything in the vicinity, not only fields and villages, but also cities from which they thought assistance could come to their enemies, and if anything was being brought to these from allies at a distance, they seized it for booty. Therefore the Romans, while appearing to besiege the city, were really suffering the fate of the besieged; 3 this continued until a furious rain and great wind sprang up (the winter having now set in) during their attack on a point in the wall, which first drove the assailants back, making them seek shelter in their tents, and then shut up the barbarians also in their houses. When they had retired from the battlements, the Romans suddenly attacked again, while there were  p459 no men there; 4 and capturing a tower forthwith, before ever the enemy became aware of their presence, they then without difficulty got possession of the remaining works, plundered the whole city, and in anger at the siege and their hardships slew all the people.

35 1 After accomplishing this Caesar made an expedition into their territory. Now the rest of the Arverni, in view of the war being made upon them, had already secured possession of the bridges which he must cross; and he, being in doubt how he should get across, proceeded a considerable distance along the bank to see if he could find any place suitable for crossing on foot through the stream itself. 2 At length he reached a wooded and shady place, from which he sent ahead the baggage and most of his army, bidding them go forward with their line extended over a great distance, so that all his troops might appear to be in that one division. 3 He himself with the best troops remained behind, and cutting down timber and constructing rafts, he crossed the stream by means of these while the barbarians still had their attention fixed on those marching on ahead, supposing that Caesar was among them. 4 The people fled in a body to Gergovia, carrying thither all their most valued possessions, and Caesar had a great deal of toil to no purpose in besieging them. 36 1 For their fort was on a strong hill and was protected by mighty walls;  p461 and the barbarians were keeping guard over it, after seizing all the high ground around, so that they could both safely remain in position, and, if they charged down, would usually have the advantage. 2 For Caesar, in default of a strong position, was encamped in the plain, and never knew beforehand . . . ; but the barbarians, in possession of the heights, could look down upon his camp and kept making opportune charges. 3 And if they ever advanced farther than was fitting and were beaten back, they quietly got within their own lines again; for the Romans could not in any way come near enough to the places for their stones and javelins to reach their mark. 4 So Caesar's time was being spent to no purpose; to be sure, after frequent assaults against the very height upon which the fortress was located, he did capture a certain portion of it, so that he could wall it in and advance more easily from there against the rest of it, yet on the whole he was being repulsed. 5 He lost a number of his soldiers and saw that the enemy could not be captured; moreover, there was at this time an uprising among the Aedui, and while he was absent attending to them, the men left behind fared badly. All these considerations led Caesar to raise the siege.

37 1 The Aedui at first lived up to their agreement and sent him assistance, but later they went to war, although reluctantly, being deceived by Litaviccus and others. This man, being unable in any other way to persuade them to adopt this course,  p463 managed to get himself appointed to convey some men to Caesar ostensibly to serve as the latter's allies. 2 He did, indeed, set out as if to fulfill this mission, but sent ahead some horsemen bidding some of them return and say that their companions and the rest of their men in the camp of the Romans had been arrested by the latter and put to death. He then further excited the wrath of the soldiers by delivering a speech in keeping with the messengers' report. 3 In this way the Aedui themselves rose and induced the others to revolt with them. As soon as Caesar became aware of this, he sent to them the Aedui whom he had and was thought to have slain, so that they might be seen by all to be alive, and followed on with his cavalry. On this occasion, then, they repented and became reconciled; 38 1 but when later the Romans, by reason of Caesar's absence, were defeated at Gergovia and entirely withdrew from that place, those who had caused the uprising and were ever eager for revolution feared that the Romans might take vengeance upon them, now that they were free to do so, and consequently they rebelled. 2 And members of their tribe who were campaigning with Caesar, when they learned of this, asked him to allow them to return home, promising that they would put everything in order. Released on these conditions, they came to Noviodunum, where the Romans had deposited their money and grain and many hostages, and with the  p465 aid of the natives destroyed the garrisons, which were looking for no hostile act, and gained possession of everything there. 3 And they burned down the city, because of its advantageous situation, to prevent the Romans from making it a base for war, and next they caused the remainder of the Aedui to revolt. Caesar, therefore, attempted to march against them at once, but being unable to do so, on account of the river Liger, he turned his attention to the Lingones; 4 and he did not meet with success there either. Labienus, however, occupied the island in the river Sequana after conquering its defenders on the nearer bank and sending his troops across at many points at once, both down and up stream, in order that he might not be hindered if he attempted the crossing at one spot.

39 1 But before this happened, Vercingetorix, filled with contempt for Caesar because of the latter's reverses, had marched against the Allobroges. And intercepting the Roman general, who had thereupon set out to aid them, when he was among the Sequani, he surrounded him, 2 but did him no harm; on the contrary, he compelled the Romans to be brave through despair of safety, whereas he himself failed by reason of his numbers and audacity. His defeat was due in part to the Germans who were acting as allies of the Romans; 3 for with their unquenchable enthusiasm and their mighty bodies which added strength to their daring they succeeded in breaking through the enclosing ranks. Having met with this good fortune, Caesar did not give ground, but  p467 shut up and besieged in Alesia such of the foe as escaped.

40 1 Now Vercingetorix had at first, before he had been entirely cut off by the wall, sent out the cavalry to get fodder for the horses, as there was none on hand, and in order to let them disperse, each to his native land, and bring thence provisions and assistance. 2 But as these delayed and food supplies began to fail the besieged, he thrust out the children and the women and the most useless among the rest, hoping either that the outcasts would be saved as booty by the Romans or else that those left in the town might survive by enjoying for a longer time the supplies that would have belonged to their companions. 3 But he hoped in vain, for Caesar did not have sufficient food himself to feed others; and believing, moreover, that by returning the expelled he could make the enemy's lack of food more severely felt (for he expected that they would of course be received again), he forced them all back. 4 Now these perished most miserably between the city and the camp, because neither party would receive them. As for the relief looked for, the horsemen and the others they were bringing reached the barbarians before long, but these were then defeated (?) in a cavalry battle, as the Romans with the aid of the Germans (?) . . . 5 Thereupon they tried to enter the city by night through the wall of circumvallation, but met with dire disaster; for the Romans had dug secret pits in the places which were passable for horses and had fixed stakes in them, afterward making the whole  p469 resemble on the surface the surrounding ground; 6 thus horse and man, falling into them absolutely without warning, came to grief. The men did not give up, however, until they had arrayed themselves once more beside the very walls and had been defeated along with the people from the city who came out to fight.

41 1 Now Vercingetorix might have escaped, for he had not been captured and was unwounded; but he hoped, since he had once been on friendly terms with Caesar, that he might obtain pardon from him. So he came to him without any announcement by herald, but appeared before him suddenly, as Caesar was seated on the tribunal, and threw some who were present into alarm; for he was very tall to begin with, and in his armour he made an extremely imposing figure. 2 When quiet had been restored, he uttered not a word, but fell upon his knees, with hands clasped in an attitude of supplication. This inspired many with pity at remembrance of his former fortune and at the distressing state in which he now appeared. But Caesar reproached him in this very matter on which he most relied for his safety, 3 and by setting over against his claim of former friendship his recent opposition, showed his offence to have been the more grievous. Therefore he did not pity him even at the time, but immediately confined him in bonds, and later, after sending him to his triumph, put him to death.

42 1 This, however, was a later occurrence. At the time mentioned he gained some of the remaining foes by capitulation and enslaved others after conquering them in battle. The Belgae who lived near by had  p471 put at their head Commius, an Atrebatian, and resisted for a long time. They fought two indecisive cavalry battles and the third time in an infantry battle, although at first they held their own, they were later turned to flight when attacked unexpectedly in the rear by the cavalry. 2 After this the remainder abandoned the camp by night, and as they were passing through a wood set fire to it, leaving behind only their waggons, in order that the enemy might be delayed by these and by their fire, and they themselves might thus reach safety. 3 Their hope, however, was not realized. For the Romans, as soon as they were aware of their flight, pursued them and on encountering the fire they extinguished it in places or hewed their way through the trees, and some even ran through the midst of the flames; thus they came upon the fugitives without warning and slaughtered great numbers. 43 1 Thereupon some of the others came to terms, but the Atrebatian, who escaped, would not remain quiet even then. He undertook at one time to ambush Labienus, but after being defeated in battle was persuaded to hold a conference with him. 2 Before any terms were made, however, he was wounded by one of the Romans, who surmised that it was not his real intention to make peace; but he escaped and again proved troublesome to them. At last, despairing of his project, he secured for his associates unconditional amnesty for all their acts, and pardon for himself, as some say, on the condition of his never appearing again  p473 within sight of any Roman. 3 So these foes became reconciled on these terms, and later the rest were subdued, some voluntarily and some when conquered in war; and Caesar by means of garrisons and punts and levies of money and assessments of tribute humbled some of them and tamed others.

44 1 Thus these wars came to an end in the consul­ship of Lucius Paulus and Gaius Marcellus. It was now time for Caesar, in view of the subjugation of the Gauls and the period for which his command had been assigned him, to leave Gaul and return to Rome. For his term was about to expire, the war had ceased, and he had no longer any plausible excuse for not disbanding his troops and returning to private life. 2 But affairs in the city at this time were in a state of turmoil, Crassus was dead, and Pompey had again come to power, since he had been consul for the third time and had managed to have the government of Spain granted to him for five years longer; moreover, he no longer was on intimate terms with Caesar, 3 especially now that the child, who alone had kept them on friendly terms, had died.​1 Caesar was therefore afraid that if he were deprived of his soldiers he might fall into the power of Pompey of his other enemies, and so did not dismiss them.

45 1 During these same years many tumults had occurred in the city, especially in conjunction with the elections, so that it was not until the seventh month that Calvinus and Messalla were appointed consuls. 2 And not even then would they have been chosen, had not  p475 Quintus Pompeius Rufus, though he was the grandson of Sulla and was serving as tribune, been cast into prison by the senate; and the same penalty was voted in the case of the others who had desired to commit some outrage, while the task of proceeding against them was entrusted to Pompey. 3 Sometimes the omens had checked the elections by refusing to favour the interreges; above all else the tribunes, by managing affairs in the city so that they instead of the praetors should conduct the games, prevented the remaining magistrates from being chosen. This also was the reason why Rufus was put in jail. 4 He later brought Favonius, the aedile, to the same fate on some trifling charge, in order that he might have a companion in his disgrace. All the tribunes offered various objections, and proposed, among other things, that consular tribunes should replace the consuls, so that more magistrates might be elected, as formerly. 5 And when no one would heed them, they declared that in any case Pompey must be chosen dictator. By this pretext they secured a very long delay; for he was out of town, and of those on the spot there was no one who would venture to vote for the demand, since in remembrance of Sulla's cruelty they all hated that institution, nor yet would venture to refuse to choose Pompey, on account of their fear for him. 46 1 At last, very late, he came himself, refused the dictator­ship offered to him, and took measures to have the consuls named. These, likewise, on account of the turmoil arising from murders, did not appoint any successors, though they  p477 laid aside their senatorial garb and in the dress of knights, as on the occasion of some great calamity, convened the senate. 2 They also passed a decree that no one, either an ex-praetor or an ex-consul, should assume a command abroad until five years had elapsed; they hoped that such men, by not being in a position of power immediately after holding office, would cease their craze for office. For there was no moderation and no decency at all being observed, 3 but they vied with one another in expending great sums and, going still further, in fighting, so that once even the consul Calvinus was wounded. Hence no consul or prefect of the city had any successor, but at the beginning of the year the Romans were absolutely without a government in these branches.

47 1 No good came of all this, and among other things the market that was held every ninth day, came on the first day of January. 2 This seemed to the Romans to be no mere coincidence but rather in the nature of a portent, and it accordingly caused them trepidation. The same feeling was increased when an owl was both seen and caught in the city, a statue exuded perspiration for three days, a meteor darted from the south to the east, and many thunderbolts, many clods, stones, shards and blood went flying through the air. 3 But it seems to me that that decree passed the previous year, near its close, with regard to Serapis and Isis, was a portent equal to any; for the senate had decided to tear down their temples, which some individuals had  p479 built on their own account. Indeed, for a long time they did not believe in these gods, and even when the rendering of public worship to them gained the day, they settled them outside the pomerium.

48 1 Such being the state of things in the city at that time, with no one in charge of affairs, murders occurred practically every day, and they could not hold the elections, although men were eager to win the offices and employed bribery and assassination to secure them. 2 Milo, for instance, who was seeking the consul­ship, met Clodius on the Appian Way and at first simply wounded him; then, fearing he would avenge the deed, he slew him, hoping that after he had immediately freed all the servants concerned in the affair, he would be more easily acquitted of the murder, once the man was dead, than he would be of assault, in case he should survive. 3 The people in the city heard of this toward evening and were thrown into a terrible uproar; to the factions it served as an incentive to war and misdeeds, while those who were neutrals, even though they hated Clodius, yet on account of humanity and because on this excuse they hoped to get rid of Milo also, showed indignation. 49 1 While they were in this frame of mind Rufus and Titus Munatius Plancus took them in hand and excited them to greater wrath. As tribunes they conveyed the body into the Forum just before dawn, placed it on the rostra, exhibited it to all, and spoke appropriate words over it with lamentations. 2 So the populace, as a result of what it both saw and heard, was deeply stirred  p481 and no longer showed any regard for things sacred or profane, but overthrew all the customs of burial and burned down nearly the whole city. They took up the body of Clodius and carried it into the senate-house, laid it out properly, and then after heaping up a pyre out of the benches burned both the corpse and the building. 3 They did not do this under the stress of such an impulse as often takes sudden hold of crowds, but with such deliberate purpose that at the ninth hour they held the funeral feast in the Forum itself, with the senate-house still smouldering; and they furthermore undertook to apply the torch to Milo's house. 4 It was not burned, however, because many defended it. But Milo, in great terror because of the murder, was meanwhile in hiding, being guarded not only by ordinary citizens but also by knights and some senators; and when this other deed occurred, he hoped that the wrath of the senate would shift to the outrage of the opposing faction. 5 The senators, indeed, did at once assemble on the Palatine for this very purpose, and they voted that an interrex should be chosen, and that he and the tribunes and Pompey should look after the guarding of the city, so that it should suffer no harm. Milo, accordingly, made his appearance in public, and pressed his claims to the office as strongly as before, if not more strongly.

50 1 Thereupon conflicts and much bloodshed occurred once more, so that the senate adopted the aforementioned measures, summoned Pompey, allowed him to make fresh levies, and changed their  p483 garments. 2 Upon his arrival not long afterward they assembled under guard near his theatre outside the pomerium, and resolved to take up the bones of Clodius, and also assigned the rebuilding of the senate-house to Faustus, the son of Sulla. 3 It was the Curia Hostilia, which had been remodelled by Sulla; hence they came to this decision about it and ordered that when restored it should receive again the name of the same man. The city was in a fever of excitement about the magistrates who should rule it, some talking to the effect that Pompey should be chosen dictator and others that Caesar should be made consul. 4 They were so determined to honour the latter for his achievements that they voted a thanksgiving of sixty​2 days because of them. Fearing both of the men, the rest of the senate and Bibulus, who was first to be asked and to declare his opinion, forestalled the enthusiasm of the populace by giving the consul­ship to Pompey, so as to prevent his being named dictator, and to him alone, in order that he might not have Caesar as his colleague. 5 This action of theirs was novel, having been taken in no other case; and yet they seemed to have acted with good judgment. For since Pompey favoured the populace less than Caesar, they hoped to detach him from them altogether and to make him their own. And this expectation was fulfilled. Elated by the novelty and unexpectedness of the honour, he no longer formed any plan to gratify the populace, but was careful to do everything that pleased the senate.

 p485  51 1 He did not, however, wish to hold office alone. For now that he had the glory that lay in the passing of such a vote, he wished to avoid the envy attaching to it. He also feared that, if the place were vacant, Caesar might be given him as colleague through the enthusiasm of his troops and the populace alike. 2 First of all, therefore, in order that his rival might not think he had been entirely neglected and therefore show some just displeasure, he arranged through the tribunes that Caesar should be permitted even in his absence to be a candidate for the office, when the proper time came according to law; he then chose as his colleague Quintus Scipio, who was his father-in‑law and was under a charge of bribery. 3 This man, by birth the son of Nasica, had been adopted into the family of Metellus Pius as the latter's heir, and for that reason also bore his name. He had given his daughter in marriage to Pompey, and now received in turn from him the consul­ship and immunity from accusation. 52 1 Very many had been called to account on the charge mentioned, especially because the trials, by Pompey's laws, were more carefully conducted. He himself selected the entire list of names from which drawings for jurors must be made, and he limited the number of advocates on each side, in order that the jurymen might not be confused and embarrassed by their number. 2 And he ordered that the time allotted to the plaintiff should be only two hours, and to the defendant three. But what grieved a great many most was his reform of the custom whereby character-witnesses were brought forward by those on trial, with the result that great  p487 numbers were snatched from justice because they were commended by credible witnesses; he had a measure passed that no character-witnesses at all should henceforth be allowed to such persons. 3 These and other reforms he applied to all the courts alike; and against those who practised bribery for office he raised up as accusers those who had formerly been convicted of some such offence, setting before the latter no small prize. For if any one secured the conviction of two men on charges similar to the one against himself, or even on slighter charges, or of one man on a greater charge, he gained pardon himself.

53 1 Among many others who were thus convicted was Plautius Hypsaeus, who had been a rival of Milo and of Scipio for the consul­ship. Though all three had been guilty of bribery, he alone was convicted. 2 Scipio was indicted, and by two persons at that, but had not been tried, thanks to Pompey's influence; and Milo was not charged with this crime, since he had the more serious charge of murder against him, but when he was brought to trial on this latter charge, he was convicted, as he was unable to use any violence. 3 For Pompey kept the rest of the city well under guard and entered the court himself with armed soldiers. When some raised an outcry at this, he ordered the soldiers to drive them out of the Forum by striking them with the side or the flat of their swords; and when they still would not yield, but jeered as if they were being struck in sport, some of them were wounded and killed.

54 1 The courts convened in quiet in consequence of  p489 these reforms, and many were convicted on various charges, among others, Milo for the murder of Clodius, though he had Cicero to defend him. 2 That orator, seeing Pompey and the soldiers in the court, contrary to custom, was alarmed and overwhelmed with dread, so that he did not deliver the speech he had prepared at all, but after uttering with difficulty a few words that all but died on his lips, was glad to retire. The speech which is now extant, purporting to have been delivered at that time in behalf of Milo, he wrote some time later and at leisure, when he had recovered his courage. Indeed, the following story has come down about it. 3 When Milo, in banishment, had read the speech sent to him by Cicero, he wrote back that it was lucky for him those words had not been spoken in that form in the court; for he should not be eating such mullets in Massilia (where he was passing his exile), if any such defence had been made. 4 This he wrote, not because he was pleased with his condition, — indeed, he made many efforts to secure his return, — but as a joke on Cicero, because the orator, after saying nothing useful at the time of the defence, had later composed and sent to him these fruitless words, as if they could then be of any service to him.

55 1 In this way Milo was convicted; and so were Rufus and Plancus, as soon as they had finished their terms of office, together with numerous others, on account of the burning of the senate-house. Plancus  p491 was not saved even by the efforts of Pompey, who was so zealous in his behalf that he sent to the court a pamphlet containing both a eulogy of Milo and an entreaty in his behalf. 2 But Marcus Cato, who was to be a juryman, said he would not allow the character-witness to appear to the destruction of his own laws;​3 however, he got no opportunity to cast his vote, since he was rejected by Plancus, who felt sure he would vote for his condemnation. By the laws of Pompey, it should be explained, each of the parties to a suit was allowed to set aside five of the men who were to be on the jury. 3 The other jurors, however, voted against Milo, since it did not seem right to them after they had condemned Rufus to acquit Plancus, who was on trial on the same charge; and particularly when they saw Pompey coöperating with him, they became zealous in opposing him, for fear they might be thought to be absolute slaves of his rather than jurymen. 4 It should be said that on this occasion, too, Cicero accused Plancus no more success­fully than he had defended Milo; for the appearance of the courtroom was the same, and Pompey in each case was advising and acting against him — a circumstance that was important in bringing about another collision between them.

56 1 Besides attending to these matters Pompey revived the law about elections that commanded those who seek an office to present themselves without fail before the assembly, so that no one who was absent might be chosen; this law had somehow fallen into disuse. He also confirmed the decree, passed a short time previously, that those who had held office in the city should not be assigned to command abroad until  p493 five years had passed. 2 And yet, after proposing these measures at this time, he was not ashamed a little later to take Spain himself for five years more and to grant to Caesar, whose friends were in a terrible state of indignation, the right to canvass for the consul­ship even in his absence, as had been decreed. 3 For he had amended the law to read that only those should be permitted to do it who were granted the privilege by name and without disguise; but this was no different from its not having been prohibited at all, for men who had any influence were certainly going to manage to get the right voted to them. Such were the political acts of Pompey.

57 1 Scipio, without enacting any new laws, abolished the laws emanating from Clodius with regard to the censors. It looked as though he had done this out of favour to them, since he had restored to them the authority which they formerly had; but it turned out to be the opposite. 2 For in view of the fact that there were many unworthy men both in the equestrian and in the senatorial orders, so long as it had not been permitted them to expel any one who had been either accused or convicted, no fault was found with them on account of those whose names were not expunged. 3 But when they got back their old power and were allowed to do this on their own authority after examining into the life of each man, they had not the hardihood to come to an open break with many, nor had they, on the other hand, any desire to incur censure for failing to expel men who were unfit to retain their rank, and for this reason no sensible person had any desire for the office any longer.

 p495  58 1 This was the vote passed with regard to the censors. Cato did not really want the office, but seeing Caesar and Pompey outgrowing the constitution, and surmising that they would either get control of affairs together or would quarrel with each other and cause a great civil war, the victor in which would be sole ruler, he wished to overthrow them before they became antagonists, and sought the consul­ship to use it against them, because as a private citizen he would have no influence. 2 His designs were guessed, however, by the adherent of the two men and he was not appointed, but instead Marcus Marcellus and Sulpicius Rufus were chosen, 3 the one on account of his acquaintance with the law and the other for his ability as an orator. One special reason was that they, even if they did not employ money or violence, yet showed great deference to all and were wont to appeal frequently to the people, whereas Cato was deferential to none of them. 4 He never again became a candidate for the office, saying that it was the duty of an upright man not to shirk the leader­ship of the state if any wished to use his services in that way, nor yet to pursue it beyond the limits of propriety. 59 1 Marcellus at once directed all his efforts towards compassing the downfall of Caesar, inasmuch as he was of Pompey's party; among the many measures against him that he proposed was one to the effect that a successor to him should be sent out even before the appointed time. He was resisted by Sulpicius and some of the tribunes; the latter acted out of good-will toward Caesar, and Sulpicius made common cause with them and with the multitude, because he  p497 did not like the idea of a magistrate who had done no wrong being removed in the middle of his term. 2 Pompey had set out from the city as if he were going to make an expedition into Spain, but he did not even at this time leave the bounds of Italy; instead, he assigned the entire business in Spain to his lieutenants and himself kept close watch on the city. Now when he heard how things were going, he pretended that the plan of having Caesar relieved of his command did not please him, either, 3 but he arranged matters so that when Caesar should have served out the time allowed him, — an event not of the distant future, but due to occur the very next year, — he should lay down his arms and return home to private life. 4 It was in pursuance of this object that he caused Gaius Marcellus, a cousin of Marcus, or a brother (both traditions are current), to obtain the consul­ship, because, although allied to Caesar by marriage, he was hostile to him; and he caused Gaius Curio, who was also an old-time foe of his rival, to become tribune.

60 1 Caesar was on no account inclined to become a private citizen after holding so important a command and for such a long time, and in particular he was afraid of falling into the power of his enemies. Therefore he made preparations to stay in office in spite of them, collected additional soldiers, gathered money, provided arms, and administered affairs in such a manner as to please all. 2 Meanwhile, desiring to arrange matters at home beforehand in some fashion, so as not to seem to be using violence in all things, but also persuasion to gain his ends, he decided to effect a reconciliation with  p499 Curio. For the latter belonged to the family of the Curiones, had a keen intellect, was eloquent, was greatly trusted by the populace, and most lavish of money for all objects by which he hoped either to gain advantage for himself or benefit others. 3 So, by buoying him up with many hopes and relieving him of all his debts, which on account of his extravagance were numerous, Caesar attached him to himself. In view of the present importance of the objects for which he was working Caesar did not spare money, since the attainment of these ends would afford him an abundance, and he also promised various persons large sums, of which he had no intention of giving them even the smallest fraction. 4 He courted not only the free but the slaves who had any influence whatever with their masters, and as a result a number of the knights and of the senators joined his side.

61 1 Thus Curio espoused Caesar's cause; but he did not immediately begin to serve him openly, since he was seeking a plausible excuse, so as to appear not to have transferred his allegiance willingly, but under compulsion. He also took into consideration that the more he should associate with Caesar's enemies in the guise of their friend, the more and the greater would be the secrets of theirs he should learn. 2 For these reasons he dissembled for a long time, and to prevent any suspicion of the fact that he had changed sides and was not still at this time among the foremost in feeling and expressing unqualified opposition to Caesar, he even delivered public speeches against him, as soon as he had entered upon the tribune­ship, and introduced many strange  p501 measures. 3 Some bills he offered against the senate and its most power­ful members, men who were especially active in Pompey's behalf, not because he either wished or expected that any one of them would be passed, but in order that, if they did not accept them, no measure might be passed against Caesar (for many motions directed against him were being offered by various persons), and that he might himself use this as an excuse for changing sides. 62 1 Thus, after having used up considerable time on different occasions on various pretexts, so that not a single one of his measures was adopted, he pretended to be vexed and asked that an extra month be intercalated for the enactment of the senate's measures. This practice used to be followed as often as occasion demanded, but not for any such reason as his, and he himself, being pontifex, understood that fact. 2 Nevertheless he declared that it ought to be done and made a fine show of using compulsion on his fellow-priests. At last, not being able to persuade them by assent to his proposal, he would not permit any other matter to be voted upon on this account. On the contrary, he already began openly to justify Caesar's actions, 3 since, as he claimed, he was unable to accomplish anything against him, and he brought forward every possible proposition which was sure of not being accepted. The chief of these was that all persons in arms must lay down and disband their legions, or else they should not strip Caesar of his weapons and expose him to the force of his rivals. 4 This he said, not because he wished Caesar to do it, but because he well understood that Pompey  p503 would not yield obedience to it, and thus a plausible excuse was offered the other also for not dismissing his soldiers.

63 1 Pompey, accordingly, as he could effect nothing in any other way, proceeded without any further disguise to harsh measures and openly said and did everything against Caesar; yet he failed to accomplish anything. 2 Caesar had many supporters, among them Lucius Paulus, the colleague of Marcellus, and Lucius Piso, his father-in‑law, who was censor; for at this time Appius Claudius and Piso were made censors, the latter against his will. 3 So Piso on account of his relation­ship belonged to Caesar, while Claudius, though opposing him, since he favoured Pompey's cause, yet quite involuntarily rendered Caesar very efficient aid. For he expelled a great many both of the knights and senators, overruling his colleague, and in this way made them all favour Caesar's cause. 4 Piso, who was in any case disposed to avoid trouble, and for the sake of maintaining friendship with his son-in‑law paid court to many people, was himself responsible for none of the above acts, but he did not resist Claudius when he drove from the senate all the freedmen and numbers even of the exclusive nobility, among them Sallustius Crispus, who wrote the history. 5 When, however, Curio's name also was about to be expunged, Piso, with the help of Paulus, whose kinsman he was, did beg him  p505 off. 64 1 Consequently Claudius did not expel him, but made public in the senate the opinion that he had of him, so that the other, indignant, tore Claudius' clothes. So Marcellus seized him, and thinking that the senate would pass some severe vote against Curio and, because of him, against Caesar, brought forward motions about him. 2 Curio at first opposed the rendering of any decision regarding himself; but on coming to realize that the majority of the senators then present were either actually attached to Caesar's cause or else thoroughly feared him, he allowed them to decide, merely remarking: 3 "I am conscious of doing what is best and most advantageous for my country; to you, however, I surrender both my body and life to do with as you please." Marcellus accordingly accused him, thinking that he would certainly be convicted; but when he was acquitted by the majority, 4 the accuser took it greatly to heart, and rushing out of the senate, he came to Pompey, who was in the suburbs, and on his own responsibility, without the formality of a vote, entrusted him with the protection of the city and likewise with two legions of citizens.

65 1 These soldiers were then present, having been collected in the following way and for the following purpose. Pompey had previously, while still on friendly terms with Caesar, given him one of the enrolled legions for use in his campaign, inasmuch as he was not conducting any war himself and  p507 Caesar had need of soldiers. 2 But when they fell out with each other, in his desire to get this one back from him and to deprive him of yet another he represented that Bibulus required soldiers against the Parthians; 3 and in order that no new levies should be made, since the matter was urgent, as he claimed, and they had an abundance of legions, he got it voted that each of them, himself and Caesar, must send one to him. Thereupon he failed to send any of his own soldiers, but ordered those whose business it was to demand that legion which he had given to Caesar. So nominally both of them contributed, but in reality Caesar alone sent the two. 4 For though he knew what was being done, he complied with the demand, not wishing to incur the charge of disobedience, particularly because on this excuse he intended to collect many more troops in place of these.

66 1 These legions, therefore, were apparently made ready to be sent against the Parthians, but when there proved to be no need of them, there being really no use to which they could be put, Marcellus, fearing that they might be restored to Caesar, at first declared that they must remain in Italy, and then, as I have said, gave them into Pompey's charge. 2 These proceedings took place near the close of the year and were destined not to remain long in force, since they had been approved neither by the senate nor by the people. Accordingly he won over to Pompey's side Cornelius Lentulus and Gaius Claudius, who were to hold the consul­ship the next  p509 year, and caused them to issue the same commands. 3 For since magistrates-elect were still allowed to issue proclamations and to perform some other functions pertaining to their office even before they entered upon it, they believed that they had authority also in this matter. And Pompey, although he was very scrupulous in all other matters, nevertheless on account of his need of soldiers did not either enquire at all from what sources he was getting them, or in what way, but accepted them very gratefully. 4 Yet no such result was accomplished as one would have expected to come from such a bold move; they merely displayed their enmity toward Caesar, and then made no further preparations themselves to strengthen their position, while they had furnished to him a plausible excuse for retaining the legions that were with him. 5 For Curio, taking these acts as his text, delivered before the populace a violent arraignment both of the consuls and of Pompey, and when he had finished his term of office, he at once set out to join Caesar.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Cf. XXXIX.64.

2 Twenty days according to Caesar (B. G. VII.90). Reimar thought "sixty" an error of the copyists.

3 See chap. 52.

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