Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Click here for the text in ancient Greek.]

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces one of
The Parallel Lives


published in Vol. VII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

[image ALT: a blank space]

(Vol. VII) Plutarch, The Parallel Lives

 p443  The Life of Julius Caesar

1 1 The wife of Caesar​1 was Cornelia, the daughter of the Cinna who had once held the sole power at Rome,​2 and when Sulla became master of affairs,​3 he could not, either by promises or threats, induce Caesar to put her away, and therefore confiscated her dowry. 2 Now, the reason for Caesar's hatred of Sulla was Caesar's relation­ship to Marius. For Julia, a sister of Caesar's father, was the wife of Marius the Elder, and the mother of Marius the Younger, who was therefore Caesar's cousin. 3 Moreover, Caesar was not satisfied to be over­looked at first by Sulla, who was busy with a multitude of proscriptions, but he came before the people as candidate for the priesthood, although he was not yet much more than a stripling. 4 To this candidacy Sulla secretly opposed himself, and took measures to make Caesar fail in it, and when he was deliberating about putting him to death and some said there was no reason for killing a mere boy like him, he declared that they had no sense if they did not see in this boy many Mariuses.​4 5 When this speech was reported to Caesar, he hid himself for some time, wandering about in the country of the Sabines. 6 Then, as he was changing his abode by night on account of sickness, he fell in with soldiers of Sulla who  p445 were searching those regions and arresting the men in hiding there. 7 Caesar gave their leader, Cornelius, two talents to set him free, and at once went down to the sea and sailed to King Nicomedes in Bithynia.​5 8 With him he tarried a short time, and then, on his voyage back,​6 was captured, near the island Pharmacusa, by pirates, who already at that time controlled the sea with large armaments and countless small vessels.

2 1 To begin with, then, when the pirates demanded twenty talents for his ransom, he laughed at them for not knowing who their captive was, and of his own accord agreed to give them fifty. 2 In the next place, after he had sent various followers to various cities to procure the money and was left with one friend and two attendants among Cilicians, most murderous of men, he held them in such disdain that whenever he lay down to sleep he would send and order them to stop talking. 3 For eight and thirty days, as if the men were not his watchers, but his royal body-guard, he shared in their sports and exercises with great unconcern. 4 He also wrote poems and sundry speeches which he read aloud to them, and those who did not admire these he would call to their faces illiterate Barbarians, and often laughingly threatened to hang them all. The pirates were delighted at this, and attributed his boldness of speech to a certain simplicity and boyish mirth. 5 But after his ransom had come from Miletus and he had paid it and was set free, he immediately manned vessels and put to sea from the harbour  p447 of Miletus against the robbers. He caught them, too, still lying at anchor off the island, and got most of them into his power. 6 Their money he made his booty, but the men themselves he lodged in the prison at Pergamum, and then went in person to Junius, the governor of Asia, on the ground that it belonged to him, as praetor of the province, to punish the captives. 7 But since the praetor cast longing eyes on their money, which was no small sum, and kept saying that he would consider the case of the captives at his leisure, Caesar left him to his own devices, went to Pergamum, took the robbers out of prison, and crucified them all, just as he had often warned them on the island that he would do, when they thought he was joking.

3 1 After this, Sulla's power being now on the wane, and Caesar's friends at home inviting him to return, Caesar sailed to Rhodes​7 to study under Apollonius the son of Molon, an illustrious rhetorician with the reputation of a worthy character, of whom Cicero also was a pupil. 2 It is said, too, that Caesar had the greatest natural talent for political oratory, and cultivated his talent most ambitiously, so that he had an undisputed second rank; 3 the first rank, however, he renounced, because he devoted his efforts to being first as a statesman and commander rather, and did not achieve that effectiveness in oratory to which his natural talent directed him, in consequence of his campaigns and of his political activities, by means of which he acquired the supremacy. 4 And so it was that, at a later time, in his reply to Cicero's "Cato," he himself deprecated comparison between the diction of a soldier and the eloquence of an  p449 orator who was gifted by nature and had plenty of leisure to pursue his studies.

4 1 After his return to Rome he impeached Dolabella​8 for maladministration of his province, and many of the cities of Greece supplied him with testimony. 2 Dolabella, it is true, was acquitted, but Caesar, in return for the zealous efforts of the Greeks in his behalf, served as their advocate when they prosecuted Publius Antonius for corruption before Marcus Lucullus, the praetor of Macedonia. 3 And he was so effective that Antonius appealed to the tribunes at Rome, alleging that he could not have a fair trial in Greece against Greeks. 4 At Rome, moreover, Caesar won a great and brilliant popularity by his eloquence as an advocate, and much good will from the common people for the friendliness of his manners in intercourse with them, since he was ingratiating beyond his years. 5 He had also a large and gradually increasing political influence in consequence of his lavish hospitality and the general splendour of his mode of life. 6 At first his enemies thought this influence would quickly vanish when his expenditures ceased, and therefore suffered it to thrive among the common people; 7 but later on when it had become great and hard to subvert, and aimed directly at a complete revolution in the state, they perceived that no beginnings should be considered too small to be quickly made great by continuance, after contempt of them has left them unobstructed. 8 At all events, the man who is thought to have been the first to see beneath the surface of Caesar's public policy and to fear it, as one might fear the smiling surface of the sea, and who comprehended  p451 the power­ful character hidden beneath his kindly and cheerful exterior, namely Cicero, said that in most of Caesar's political plans and projects he saw a tyrannical purpose; 9 "On the other hand," said he, "when I look at his hair, which is arranged with so much nicety, and see him scratching his head with one finger, I cannot think that this man would ever conceive of so great a crime as the overthrow of the Roman constitution." This, it is true, belongs to a later period.

5 1 The first proof of the people's good will towards him he received when he competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribune­ship and was elected over him; 2 a second and more conspicuous proof he received when, as nephew of Julia the deceased wife of Marius, he pronounced a splendid encomium upon her in the forum,​9 and in her funeral procession ventured to display images of Marius, which were then seen for the first time since the administration of Sulla, because Marius and his friends had been pronounced public enemies. 3 When, namely, some cried out against Caesar for this procedure, the people answered them with loud shouts, received Caesar with applause, and admired him for bringing back after so long a time, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius into the city. 4 Now, in the case of elderly women, it was ancient Roman usage to pronounce funeral orations over them; but it was not customary in the case of young women, and Caesar was the first to do so when his own wife died.​10 5 This also brought him much favour, and worked upon the sympathies of the multitude, so that they were fond of him, as a man who was gentle and full of feeling.

 p453  6 After the funeral of his wife, he went out to Spain​11 as quaestor under Vetus, one of the praetors, whom he never ceased to hold in high esteem, and whose son, in turn, when he himself was praetor, he made his quaestor. 7 After he had served in this office, he married for his third wife​12 Pompeia, having already by Cornelia a daughter who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. 8 He was unsparing in his outlays of money, and was thought to be purchasing a transient and short-lived fame at a great price, though in reality he was buying things of the highest value at a small price. We are told, accordingly, that before he entered upon any public office he was thirteen hundred talents in debt. 9 Again, being appointed curator of the Appian Way, he expended upon it vast sums of his own money; and again, during his aedile­ship,​13 he furnished three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, and by lavish provision besides for theatrical performances, processions, and public banquets, he washed away all memory of the ambitious efforts of his predecessors in the office. By these means he put the people in such a humour that every man of them was seeking out new offices and new honours with which to requite him.

6 1 There were two parties in the city, that of Sulla, which had been all power­ful since his day, and that of Marius, which at that time was in an altogether lowly state, being cowed and scattered. This party Caesar wished to revive and attach to himself, and therefore, when the ambitious efforts of his aedile­ship were at their height, he had images  p455 of Marius secretly made, together with trophy-bearing Victories, and these he ordered to be carried by night and set up on the Capitol. 2 At day-break those who beheld all these objects glittering with gold and fashioned with the most exquisite art (and they bore inscriptions setting forth the Cimbrian successes of Marius)​14 were amazed at the daring of the man who had set them up (for it was evident who had done it), and the report of it quickly spreading brought everybody together for the sight. 3 But some cried out that Caesar was scheming to usurp sole power in the state when he thus revived honours which had been buried by laws and decrees, and that this proceeding was a test of the people, whose feelings towards him he had previously softened, to see whether they had been made docile by his ambitious displays and would permit him to amuse himself with such innovations. 4 The partisans of Marius, however, encouraged one another and showed themselves on a sudden in amazing numbers, and filled the Capitol with their applause. 5 Many, too, were moved to tears of joy when they beheld the features of Marius, and Caesar was highly extolled by them, and regarded as above all others worthy of his kinship with Marius. 6 But when the senate met to discuss these matters, Catulus Lutatius, a man of the highest repute at that time in Rome, rose up and denounced Caesar, uttering the memorable words: "No longer, indeed, by sapping and mining, Caesar, but with engines of war art thou capturing the government." 7 Caesar, however, defended himself against this charge and convinced the senate, whereupon his admirers were still more  p457 elated and exhorted him not to lower his pretensions for any man, since the people would be glad to have him triumph over all opposition and be the first man in the state.

7 1 At this time, too, Metellus, the pontifex maximus, or high priest, died,​15 and though Isauricus and Catulus were candidates for the priesthood, which was an object of great ambition, and though they were most illustrious men and of the greatest influence in the senate Caesar would not give way to them, but presented himself to the people as a rival candidate. 2 The favour of the electors appeared to be about equally divided, and therefore Catulus, who, as the worthier of Caesar's competitors, dreaded more the uncertainty of the issue, sent and tried to induce Caesar to desist from his ambitious project, offering him large sums of money. But Caesar declared that he would carry the contest through even though he had to borrow still larger sums.

3 The day for the election came, and as Caesar's mother accompanied him to the door in tears, he kissed her and said: "Mother, to‑day thou shalt see thy son either pontifex maximus or an exile." 4 The contest was sharp, but when the vote was taken Caesar prevailed, and thereby made the senate and nobles afraid that he would lead the people on to every extreme of recklessness. 5 Therefore Piso and Catulus blamed Cicero for having spared Caesar when, in the affair of Catiline, he gave his enemies a hold upon him. 6 Catiline, namely, had purposed not only to subvert the constitution, but to destroy the whole government and throw everything into confusion. He himself, however, was expelled from the city,16  p459 having been overwhelmed by proofs of lesser iniquities before his most far reaching plans were discovered; but he left Lentulus and Cethegus behind him in the city to promote the conspiracy in his place. 7 Now, whether or not Caesar secretly gave these men any countenance and help, is uncertain; but after they had been overwhelmingly convicted in the senate, and Cicero the consul asked each senator to give his opinion on the manner of their punishment, the rest, down to Caesar, urged that they be put to death, 8 but Caesar rose in his place and delivered a long and studied speech against this. He pleaded that to put to death without legal trial men of high rank and brilliant lineage was not, in his opinion, traditional or just, except under extremest necessity; 9 but that if they should be bound and kept in custody, in such cities of Italy as Cicero himself might elect, until the war against Catiline had been brought to a success­ful end, the senate could afterwards, in a time of peace and at their leisure, vote upon the case of each one of them.

8 1 This opinion seemed so humane, and the speech in support of it was made with such power,​17 that not only those who rose to speak after Caesar sided with him, but many also of those who had preceded him took back the opinions which they had expressed and went over to his, until the question came round to Cato and Catulus. 2 These warmly opposed Caesar's proposal, and Cato even helped to raise suspicion against Caesar by what he said.​18 As a result, the men were handed over to the executioner, and many of the young men who at that time formed a body-guard for Cicero ran together  p461 with drawn swords and threatened Caesar as he was leaving the senate. 3 But Curio, as we are told, threw his toga round Caesar and got him away, while Cicero himself, when the young men looked to him for a sign, shook his head, either through fear of the people, or because he thought the murder would be wholly contrary to law and justice.

4 Now, if this is true, I do not see why Cicero did not mention it in the treatise on his consul­ship;​19 however, he was afterwards blamed for not having improved that best of all opportunities for removing Caesar. Instead, he showed a cowardly fear of the people, who were extravagantly attached to Caesar; 5 in fact, a few days afterward, when Caesar came into the senate and tried to defend himself in the matters wherein suspicion had been fixed upon him, and met with a tumult of disapproval, the people, seeing that the session of the senate was lasting a longer time than usual, came up with loud cries and surrounded the senate-house, demanding Caesar, and ordering the senate to let him go. 6 It was for this reason, too, that Cato, fearing above all things a revolutionary movement set on foot by the poorer classes, who were setting the whole multitude on fire with the hopes which they fixed upon Caesar, persuaded the senate to assign them a monthly allowance of grain, 7 in consequence of which an annual outlay of seven million five hundred thousand drachmas was added to the other expenditures of the state.​20 However, the great fear which prevailed at the time was manifestly quenched by this measure, and the greatest part of Caesar's power was broken down and dissipated  p463 in the nick of time, since he was praetor elect,​21 and would be more formidable on account of his office.

9 1 However, there were no disturbances in consequence of Caesar's praetor­ship, but an unpleasant incident happened in his family. 2 Publius Clodius was a man of patrician birth, and conspicuous for wealth and eloquence, but in insolence and effrontery he surpassed all the notorious scoundrels of his time. 3 This man was in love with Pompeia the wife of Caesar, and she was not unwilling. But close watch was kept upon the women's apartments, and Aurelia, Caesar's mother, a woman of discretion, would never let the young wife out of her sight, and made it difficult and dangerous for the lovers to have an interview.

4 Now, the Romans have a goddess whom they call Bona, corresponding to the Greek Gynaeceia. The Phrygians claim this goddess as their own, and say that she was the mother of King Midas; the Romans say she was a Dryad nymph and the wife of Faunus; the Greeks that she was the unnameable one among the mothers of Dionysus. 5 And this is the reason why the women cover their booths with vine-branches when they celebrate her festival, and why a sacred serpent is enthroned beside the goddess in conformity with the myth. 6 It is not lawful for a man to attend the sacred ceremonies, nor even to be in the house when they are celebrated; but the women, apart by themselves, are said to perform many rites during their sacred service which are Orphic in their character. 7 Accordingly, when the time for the festival is at hand, the consul or praetor at whose house it is to be held goes away, and every male with him,  p465 while his wife takes possession of the premises and puts them in due array. 8 The most important rites are celebrated by night, when mirth attends the revels, and much music, too, is heard.

10 1 At the time of which I speak, Pompeia was celebrating this festival, and Clodius, who was still beardless and on this account thought to pass unnoticed, assumed the dress and implements of a lute-girl and went to the house, looking like a young woman. 2 He found the door open, and was brought in safely by the maid-servant there, who was in the secret; but after she had run on ahead to tell Pompeia and some time had elapsed, Clodius had not the patience to wait where he had been left, and so, as he was wandering about in the house (a large one) and trying to avoid the lights, an attendant of Aurelia came upon him and asked him to play with her, as one woman would another, and when he refused, she dragged him forward and asked who he was and whence he came. 3 Clodius answered that he was waiting for Pompeia's Abra (this was the very name by which the maid was called), and his voice betrayed him. The attendant of Aurelia at once sprang away with a scream to the lights and the throng, crying out that she had caught a man. The women were panic-stricken, and Aurelia put a stop to the mystic rites of the goddess and covered up the emblems. Then she ordered the doors to be closed and went about the house with torches, searching for Clodius. 4 He was found where he had taken refuge, in the chamber of the girl who had let him into the house; and when they saw who he was, the women drove him out of doors. 5 Then at once, and in the night, they went off and  p467 told the matter to their husbands, and when day came a report spread through the city that Clodius had committed sacrilege and owed satisfaction, not only to those whom he had insulted, but also to the city and to the gods. 6 Accordingly, one of the tribunes of the people indicted Clodius for sacrilege, and the most influential senators leagued themselves together and bore witness against him that, among other shocking abominations, he had committed adultery with his sister, who was the wife of Lucullus. 7 But against the eager efforts of these men the people arrayed themselves in defence of Clodius, and were of great assistance to him with the jurors in the case, who were terror-stricken and afraid of the multitude. 8 Caesar divorced Pompeia at once, but when he was summoned to testify at the trial, he said he knew nothing about the matters with which Clodius was charged. 9 His statement appeared strange, and the prosecutor therefore asked, "Why, then, didst thou divorce thy wife?" "Because," said Caesar, "I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion."

10 Some say that Caesar made this deposition honestly; but according to others it was made to gratify the people, who were determined to rescue Clodius. 11 At any rate, Clodius was acquitted of the charge, the majority of the jurors giving their verdicts in illegible writing, in order that they might neither risk their lives with the populace by condemning him, nor get a bad name among the nobility by acquitting him.22

11 1 Immediately after his praetor­ship Caesar received Spain as his province, and since he found it  p469 hard to arrange matters with his creditors, who obstructed his departure and were clamorous, he had recourse to Crassus, the richest of the Romans, who had need of Caesar's vigour and fire for his political campaign against Pompey. 2 And it was only after Crassus had met the demands of the most importunate and inexorable of these creditors and given surety for eight hundred and thirty talents, that Caesar could go out to his province.23

3 We are told that, as he was crossing the Alps and passing by a barbarian village which had very few inhabitants and was a sorry sight, his companions asked with mirth and laughter, "Can it be that here too there are ambitious strifes for office, struggles for primacy, and mutual jealousies of power­ful men?" 4 Whereupon Caesar said to them in all seriousness, "I would rather be first here than second at Rome." 5 In like manner we are told again that, in Spain, when he was at leisure and was reading from the history of Alexander, he was lost in thought for a long time, and then burst into tears. 6 His friends were astonished, and asked the reason for his tears. "Do you not think," said he, "it is matter for sorrow that while Alexander, at my age, was already king of so many peoples, I have as yet achieved no brilliant success?"24

12 1 At any rate, as soon as he reached Spain he set himself to work, and in a few days raised ten cohorts in addition to the twenty which were there before. Then he led his army against the Callaici  p471 and Lusitani, over­powered them, and marched on as far as the outer sea, subduing their tribes which before were not obedient to Rome. 2 After bringing the war to a success­ful close, he was equally happy in adjusting the problems of peace, by establishing concord between the cities, and particularly by healing the dissensions between debtors and creditors. 3 For he ordained that the creditor should annually take two thirds of his debtor's income, and that the owner of the property should use the rest, and so on until the debt was cancelled. 4 In high repute for this administration he retired from the province; he had become wealthy himself, had enriched his soldiers from their campaigns, and had been saluted by them as Imperator.

13 1 Now, since those who sued for the privilege of a triumph must remain outside the city, while those who were candidates for the consul­ship must be present in the city, Caesar was in a great dilemma, and because he had reached home at the very time for the consular elections, he sent a request to the senate that he might be permitted to offer himself for the consul­ship in absentiâ, through the agency of his friends. 2 But since Cato began by insisting upon the law in opposition to Caesar's request, and then, when he saw that many senators had been won over by Caesar's attentions, staved the matter off by consuming the day in speaking, Caesar decided to give up the triumph and try for the consul­ship. 3 So as soon as he entered the city he assumed a policy which deceived everyone except Cato. This policy was to reconcile Pompey and Crassus, the most influential men in the city. 4 These men Caesar brought together in friendship after their quarrel, and by  p473 concentrating their united strength upon himself, succeeded, before men were aware of it, and by an act which could be called one of kindness, in changing the form of government. 5 For it was not, as most men supposed, the quarrel between Caesar and Pompey that brought on the civil wars, but rather their friendship, since they worked together for the overthrow of the aristocracy in the first place, and then, when this had been accomplished, they quarrelled with one another. 6 And Cato, who often foretold what was to come of their alliance, got the reputation of a morose and troublesome fellow at the time, but afterwards that of a wise, though unfortunate, counsellor.25

14 1 Caesar, however, encompassed and protected by the friendship of Crassus and Pompey, entered the canvass for the consul­ship; 2 and as soon as he had been triumphantly elected, along with Calpurnius Bibulus, and had entered upon his office,​26 he proposed laws which were becoming, not for a consul, but for a most radical tribune of the people; for to gratify the multitude he introduced sundry allotments and distributions of land. 3 In the senate the opposition of men of the better sort gave him the pretext which he had long desired, and crying with loud adjurations that he was driven forth into the popular assembly against his wishes, and was compelled to court its favour by the insolence and obstinacy of the senate, he hastened before it, 4 and stationing Crassus on one side of him and Pompey on the other, he asked them if they approved his laws. They declared that they did approve them, whereupon he urged them to give him their aid against those who threatened to oppose  p475 him with swords. 5 They promised him such aid, and Pompey actually added that he would come up against swords with sword and buckler too. 6 At this impulsive and mad speech, unworthy of the high esteem in which Pompey stood and unbecoming to the respect which was due to the senate, the nobility were distressed but the populace were delighted.

7 Moreover, Caesar tried to avail himself still more of the influence of Pompey. He had a daughter, Julia, who was betrothed to Servilius Caepio. This daughter he betrothed to Pompey, and said he would give Pompey's daughter in marriage to Servilius, although she too was not unbetrothed, but had been promised to Faustus, the son of Sulla. 8 And a little while afterwards Caesar took Calpurnia to wife, a daughter of Piso, and got Piso made consul for the coming year, although here too Cato vehemently protested, and cried out that it was intolerable to have the supreme power prostituted by marriage alliances and to see men helping one another to powers and armies and provinces by means of women.

9 As for Caesar's colleague, Bibulus, since he availed nothing by obstructing Caesar's laws, but often ran the risk with Cato of being killed in the forum, he shut himself up at home for the remainder of his term of office. 10 Pompey, however, immediately after his marriage, filled the forum with armed men and helped the people to enact Caesar's laws and give him as his consular province Gaul on both sides of the Alps for five years, together with Illyricum and four legions. 11 Cato, of course, tried to speak against these measures, but Caesar had him led off to prison, supposing that he would appeal to the popular tribunes; 12 but when Cato walked off without a word and Caesar  p477 saw not only that the most influential men were displeased, but also that the populace, out of respect for Cato's virtue, were following him in silence and with downcast looks, he himself secretly asked one of the tribunes to take Cato out of arrest.

13 Of the other senators, only a very few used to go with Caesar to the senate; the rest, in displeasure, stayed away. 14 Considius, a very aged senator, once told Caesar that his colleagues did not come together because they were afraid of the armed soldiers. "Why, then," said Caesar, "dost thou too not stay at home out of the same fear?" 15 To this Considius replied: "Because my old age makes me fearless; for the short span of life that is still left me does not require much anxious thought." 16 But the most disgraceful public measure of the time was thought to be the election to the tribune­ship, during Caesar's consulate, of the notorious Clodius, who had trespassed upon his rights as a husband, and upon the secret nocturnal vigils. 17 He was elected, however, for the overthrow of Cicero; and Caesar did not go forth upon his campaign until, with the help of Clodius, he had raised a success­ful faction against Cicero and driven him out of Italy.27

15 1 Such, then, is said to have been the course of Caesar's life before his Gallic campaigns. 2 But the period of the wars which he afterwards fought, and of the campaigns by which he subjugated Gaul, as if he had made another beginning and entered upon a different path of life and one of new achievements, proved him to be inferior as soldier and commander to no one soever of those who have won most admiration for leader­ship and shown themselves  p479 greatest therein. 3 Nay, if one compare him with such men as Fabius and Scipio and Metellus, and with the men of his own time or a little before him, like Sulla, Marius, the two Luculli, or even Pompey himself, whose fame for every sort of military excellence was at this time flowering out and reaching to the skies, 4 Caesar will be found to surpass them all in his achievements. One he surpassed in the difficulty of the regions where he waged his wars; another in the great extent of country which he acquired; 5 another in the multitude and might of the enemies over whom he was victorious; another in the savage manners and perfidious dispositions of the people whom he conciliated; another in his reasonableness and mildness towards his captives; another still in the gifts and favours which he bestowed upon his soldiers; and all in the fact that he fought the most battles and killed the most enemies. For although it was not full ten years that he waged war in Gaul, he took by storm more than eight hundred cities, subdued three hundred nations, and fought pitched battles at different times with three million men, of whom he slew one million in hand to hand fighting and took as many more prisoners.

16 1 His soldiers showed such good will and zeal in his service that those who in their previous campaigns had been in no way superior to others were invincible and irresistible in confronting every danger to enhance Caesar's fame. 2 Such a man, for instance, was Acilius, who, in the sea-fight at Massalia,​28 boarded a hostile ship and had his right hand cut off with a sword, but clung with the other hand to his shield, and dashing it into the faces of  p481 his foes, routed them all and got possession of the vessel. 3 Such a man, again, was Cassius Scaeva, who, in the battle at Dyrrhachium, had his eye struck out with an arrow, his shoulder transfixed with one javelin and his thigh with another, and received on his shield the blows of one hundred and thirty missiles. 4 In this plight, he called the enemy to him as though he would surrender. Two of them, accordingly, coming up, he lopped off the shoulder of one with his sword, smote the other in the face and put him to flight, and came off safely himself with the aid of his comrades.​29 5 Again, in Britain, when the enemy had fallen upon the foremost centurions, who had plunged into a watery marsh, a soldier, while Caesar in person was watching the battle, dashed into the midst of the fight, displayed many conspicuous deeds of daring, and rescued the centurions, after the Barbarians had been routed. 6 Then he himself, making his way with difficulty after all the rest, plunged into the muddy current, and at last, without his shield, partly swimming and partly wading, got across. 7 Caesar and his company were amazed and came to meet the soldier with cries of joy; but he, in great dejection, and with a burst of tears, cast himself at Caesar's feet, begging pardon for the loss of his shield. 8 Again, in Africa, Scipio captured a ship of Caesar's in which Granius Petro, who had been appointed quaestor, was sailing. Of the rest of the passengers Scipio made booty, but told the quaestor that he offered him his life. 9 Granius, however, remarking that it was the custom with Caesar's soldiers not to receive but to offer mercy, killed himself with a blow of his sword.

 p483  17 1 Such spirit and ambition Caesar himself created and cultivated in his men, in the first place, because he showed, by his unsparing bestowal of rewards and honours, that he was not amassing wealth from his wars for his own luxury or for any life of ease, but that he treasured it up carefully as a common prize for deeds of valour, and had no greater share in the wealth than he offered to the deserving among his soldiers; and in the second place, by willingly undergoing every danger and refusing no toil. 2 Now, at his love of danger his men were not astonished, knowing his ambition; but that he should undergo toils beyond his body's apparent powers of endurance amazed them, because he was of a spare habit, had a soft and white skin, suffered from distemper in the head, and was subject to epileptic fits, a trouble which first attacked him, we are told, in Corduba. 3 Nevertheless, he did not make his feeble health an excuse for soft living, but rather his military service a cure for his feeble health, since by wearisome journeys, simple diet, continuously sleeping in the open air, and enduring hardships, he fought off his trouble and kept his body strong against its attacks. 4 Most of his sleep, at least, he got in cars or litters, making his rest conduce to action, and in the day-time he would have himself conveyed to garrisons, cities, or camps, one slave who was accustomed to write from dictation as he travelled sitting by his side, and one soldier standing behind him with a sword. 5 And he drove so rapidly that, on his first journey from Rome to Gaul, he reached the Rhone in seven days.

 p485  6 Horsemanship, moreover, had been easy for him from boyhood; for he was wont to put his hands behind his back and, holding them closely there, to ride his horse at full speed. 7 And in the Gallic campaigns he practised dictating letters on horseback and keeping two scribes at once busy, or, as Oppius says, even more. 8 We are told, moreover, that Caesar was the first to devise intercourse with his friends by letter, since he could not wait for personal interviews on urgent matters owing to the multitude of his occupations and the great size of the city. 9 Of his indifference in regard to his diet the following circumstance also is brought in proof. When the host who was entertaining him in Mediolanum, Valerius Leo, served up asparagus dressed with myrrh instead of olive oil, Caesar ate of it without ado, and rebuked his friends when they showed displeasure. 10 "Surely," said he, "it were enough not to eat what you don't like; but he who finds fault with ill-breeding like this is ill-bred himself." 11 Once, too, upon a journey, he and his followers were driven by a storm into a poor man's hut, and when he found that it consisted of one room only, and that one barely able to accommodate a single person, he said to his friends that honours must be yielded to the strongest, but necessities to the weakest, and bade Oppius lie down there, while he himself with the rest of his company slept in the porch.

18 1 But to resume, the first of his Gallic wars was against the Helvetii and Tigurini,​30 who had set fire to their twelve cities and four hundred villages and were advancing through that part of Gaul which  p487 was subject to the Romans, as once the Cimbri and Teutones had done. To these they were thought to be not inferior in courage and of equal numbers, being three hundred thousand in all, of whom one hundred and ninety thousand were fighting men. 2 The Tigurini were crushed at the river Arar, not by Caesar himself, but by Labienus, his deputy; the Helvetii, however, unexpectedly attacked Caesar himself on the march, as he was leading his forces towards a friendly city, but he succeeded in reaching a strong place of refuge. 3 Here, after he had collected and arrayed his forces, a horse was brought to him. "This horse," said he, "I will use for the pursuit after my victory; but now let us go against the enemy," and accordingly led the charge on foot. 4 After a long and hard struggle he routed the enemy's fighting men, but had the most trouble at their rampart of waggons, where not only did the men themselves make a stand and fight, but also their wives and children defended themselves to the death and were cut to pieces with the men. The battle was hardly over by midnight. 5 To the noble work of victory Caesar added a nobler still, that of settling those of the Barbarians who had escaped alive from the battle (there were more than one hundred thousand of them), and compelling them to resume the territory which they had abandoned and the cities which they had destroyed. 6 He did this because he feared that if the territory became vacant the Germans would cross the Rhine and occupy it.

19 1 His second war, directly in defence of the Gauls, was against the Germans,​31 although previously, in Rome, he had made their king Ariovistus  p489 an ally.​32 2 But they were intolerable neighbours of Caesar's subjects, and if an opportunity presented itself it was thought that they would not remain quietly in their present homes, but would encroach upon and occupy Gaul. 3 Seeing that his officers were inclined to be afraid, and particularly all the young men of high rank who had come out intending to make the campaign with Caesar an opportunity for high living and money-making, he called them together​33 and bade them be off, since they were so unmanly and effeminate, and not force themselves to face danger; 4 as for himself, he said he would take the tenth legion alone and march against the Barbarians; the enemy would be no better fighters than the Cimbri, and he himself was no worse a general than Marius. 5 Upon this the tenth legion sent a deputation to him, expressing their gratitude, while the other legions reviled their own commanders, and all the army, now full of impetuous eagerness, followed Caesar on a march of many days, and at last encamped within two hundred furlongs of the enemy.

6 Now, the very approach of Caesar somewhat shattered the purpose of Ariovistus. 7 For he did not expect that the Romans would attack the Germans, whose onset he thought they could not withstand, and he was amazed at the boldness of Caesar; besides, he saw that his own army was disturbed. 8 Still more, too, was the spirit of the Germans blunted by the prophecies of their holy women, who used to foretell the future by observing the eddies in the rivers and by finding signs in the whirlings and  p491 splashings of the waters, and now forbade joining battle before a new moon gave its light. 9 When Caesar learned this, and saw that the Germans kept quiet, he decided that it was a good plan to engage them while they were out of heart, rather than to sit still and wait for their time. 10 So, by attacking their entrenchments and the hills on which they were encamped, he irritated them and incited them to come down in anger and fight the issue out. 11 They were signally routed, and Caesar pursued them a distance of four hundred furlongs, as far as the Rhine, and filled all the intervening plain with dead bodies and spoils. 12 Ariovistus, with a few followers, succeeded in crossing the Rhine; his dead are said to have been eighty thousand in number.

20 1 After this achievement, Caesar left his forces among the Sequani to spend the winter,​34 while he himself, desirous of giving attention to matters at Rome, came down to Gaul along the Po,​35 which was a part of the province assigned to him; for the river called Rubicon separates the rest of Italy from Cisalpine Gaul. 2 Here he fixed his quarters and carried on his political schemes. Many came to see him, and he gave each one what he wanted, and sent all away in actual possession of some of his favours and hoping for more. 3 And during all the rest of the time of his campaigns in Gaul, unnoticed by Pompey, he was alternately subduing the enemy with the arms of the citizens, or capturing and subduing the citizens with the money which he got from the enemy.

4 But when he heard that the Belgae, who were the most power­ful of the Gauls and occupied the third  p493 part of all their country, had revolted, and had assembled unknown myriads of armed men, he turned back at once and marched thither with great speed.​36 5 He fell upon the enemy as they were plundering the Gauls that were in alliance with Rome, and so routed and destroyed the least scattered and most numerous of them, after a disgraceful struggle on their part, that the Romans could cross lakes and deep rivers for the multitude of dead bodies in them. 6 All the rebels who dwelt along the ocean submitted without a battle; against the Nervii, however, the most savage and warlike of the people in these parts, Caesar led his forces. 7 The Nervii, who dwelt in dense woods, and had placed their families and possessions in a recess of the forest at farthest remove from the enemy, at a time when Caesar was fortifying a camp and did not expect the battle, fell upon him suddenly, sixty thousand strong. They routed his cavalry, and surrounded the seventh and twelfth legions and slew all their centurions, 8 and had not Caesar snatched a shield,​37 made his way through the combatants in front of him, and hurled himself upon the Barbarians; and had not the tenth legion, at sight of his peril, run down from the heights and cut the ranks of the enemy to pieces, not a Roman, it is thought, would have survived. 9 As it was, however, owing to Caesar's daring, they fought beyond their powers, as the saying is, and even then did not rout the Nervii, but cut them down as they defended themselves; 10 for out of sixty thousand only five hundred are said to have come off alive, and only three of their senators out of four hundred.

 p495  21 1 The Roman senate, on learning of these successes, decreed sacrifices to the gods and cessation from business, with festival, for fifteen days, a greater number than for any victory before.​38 2 For the danger was seen to have been great when so many nations at once had broken out in revolt, and because Caesar was the victor, the good will of the multitude towards him made his victory more splendid. 3 Caesar himself, after settling matters in Gaul, again spent the winter​39 in the regions along the Po, carrying out his plans at Rome. 4 For not only did the candidates for office there enjoy his assistance, and win their elections by corrupting the people with money from him, and do everything which was likely to enhance his power, 5 but also most of the men of highest rank and greatest influence came to see him at Luca,​40 including Pompey, Crassus, Appius the governor of Sardinia, and Nepos the proconsul of Spain, so that there were a hundred and twenty lictors in the place and more than two hundred senators.

6 They held a council and settled matters on the following basis. Pompey and Crassus were to be elected consuls for the ensuing year, and Caesar was to have money voted him, besides another five years in his provincial command. 7 This seemed very strange to men of understanding. For those who were getting so much money from Caesar urged the senate to give him money as if he had none, nay rather, they forced it to do so, though it groaned over its own decrees. 8 Cato, indeed, was not there, for he had purposely been sent out of the way on a  p497 mission to Cyprus,​41 and Favonius, who was an ardent follower of Cato, finding himself unable to accomplish anything by his opposition, bounded out of doors and clamoured to the populace. 9 But no one gave heed to him, for some were in awe of Pompey and Crassus, and most wanted to please Caesar, lived in hopes of his favours, and so kept quiet.

22 1 On returning to his forces in Gaul,​42 Caesar found a considerable war in the country, since two great German nations had just crossed the Rhine to possess the land, one called the Usipes, the other the Tenteritae.​43 2 Concerning the battle which was fought with them Caesar says in his "Commentaries"​44 that the Barbarians, while treating with him under a truce, attacked on their march and there routed his five thousand cavalry with their eight hundred, since his men were taken off their guard; 3 that they then sent other envoys to him who tried to deceive him again, but he held them fast and led his army against the Barbarians, considering that good faith towards such faithless breakers of truces was folly. 4 But Tanusius says that when the senate voted sacrifices of rejoicing over the victory, Cato pronounced the opinion that they ought to deliver up Caesar to the Barbarians, thus purging away the violation of the truce in behalf of the city, and turning the curse therefor on the guilty man.

5 Of those who had crossed the Rhine into Gaul four hundred thousand were cut to pieces, and the  p499 few who succeeded in making their way back were received by the Sugambri, a German nation. 6 This action Caesar made a ground of complaint against the Sugambri, and besides, he coveted the fame of being the first man to cross the Rhine with an army. He therefore began to bridge the river,​45 although it was very broad, and at this point in its course especially swollen, rough, and impetuous, and with the trunks and branches of trees which it bore down stream kept smiting and tearing away the supports of his bridge. 7 But Caesar caught up these trunks and branches with bulwarks of great timbers planted across the stream, and having thus bridled and yoked the dashing current, he brought his bridge — sight beyond all credence — to completion in ten days.

23 1 He now threw his forces across the river. No one ventured to oppose him, but even the Suevi, who were the foremost nation of the Germans, bestowed themselves and their belongings in deep and woody defiles. Caesar ravaged the country of the enemy with fire, gave encouragement to the constant friends of Rome, and then retired again into Gaul, having spent eighteen days in Germany.

2 His expedition against the Britanni was celebrated for its daring. For he was the first to launch a fleet upon the western ocean and to sail through the Atlantic sea carrying an army to wage war. 3 The island was of incredible magnitude, and furnished much matter of dispute to multitudes of writers, some of whom averred that its name and story had been fabricated, since it never had existed and did not then exist;​a and in his attempt to occupy it he carried the Roman supremacy beyond the confines of  p501 the inhabited world. 4 After twice​46 crossing to the island from the opposite coast of Gaul and in many battles damaging the enemy rather than enriching his own men — for there was nothing worth taking from men who lived in poverty and wretchedness — he brought the war to an end which was not to his liking, it is true; still, he took hostages from the king, imposed tributes, and then sailed away from the island.

5 In Gaul he found letters which were about to be sent across to him. They were from his friends in Rome, and advised him of his daughter's death; she died in child-birth at Pompey's house. 6 Great was the grief of Pompey, and great the grief of Caesar, and their friends were greatly troubled too; they felt that the relation­ship which alone kept the distempered state in harmony and concord was now dissolved. For the babe also died presently, after surviving its mother a few days. 7 Now Julia, in spite of the tribunes, was carried by the people to the Campus Martius, where her funeral rites were held, and where she lies buried.47

24 1 Caesar's forces were now so large that he was forced to distribute them in many winter-quarters, while he himself, as his custom was, turned his steps towards Italy. Then all Gaul once more broke out in revolt,​48 and great armies went about attacking the entrenchments and trying to destroy the winter-quarters of the Romans. 2 The most numerous and power­ful of the rebels, under Abriorix,​49 utterly destroyed Titurius and Cotta, together with  p503 their army, 3 while the legion under Cicero was surrounded and besieged by sixty thousand of them, and narrowly escaped having its camp taken by storm, although all were wounded and went beyond their powers in the ardour of their defence.

4 When tidings of these things reached Caesar, who was far on his journey, he turned back quickly, got seven thousand men in all, and hurried on to extricate Cicero from the siege. 5 But the besiegers became aware of his approach, and went to meet him with the purpose of cutting his forces off at once, despising their small numbers. 6 Caesar deceived them by avoiding battle continually, and when he had found a place suitable for one who was fighting against many with few, fortified a camp, where he kept his men altogether from fighting and forced them to increase the height of their ramparts and the defences of their gates as though they were afraid. 7 His strategy thus led the enemy to despise him, until at last, when their boldness led them to attack in scattered bands, he sallied out, routed them, and destroyed many of them.

25 1 The numerous revolts of the Gauls in those parts were quieted by this success, as well as by the fact that Caesar himself, during the winter, went about in all directions and kept close watch on the disturbers of the peace. For there had come from Italy three legions to replace the men that he had lost, 2 Pompey having lent two of those under his command, and one having been newly levied in Gaul about the Po. 3 But in remoter regions​50 the germs of the greatest and most dangerous of the wars waged in  p505 those parts began to show themselves. They had for a long time been secretly sown and cultivated by the most influential men among the most warlike tribes, and derived strength from large bodies of young men assembled from all sides in arms, from great riches brought together, from strong cities, and from countries which were hard to invade. 4 At that season of winter, too, frozen rivers, forests buried in snow, plains converted into lakes by winter torrents, in some parts paths obliterated by deep snow, and in others the great uncertainty of a march through swamps and streams diverted from their courses, all seemed to make it wholly impossible for Caesar to oppose the plans of the rebels. 5 Accordingly, many tribes had revolted, but the head and front of the revolt were the Arverni and Carnuntini, and Vergentorix​51 was chosen to have the entire authority in the war. His father the Gauls had put to death because they thought he was aiming at a tyranny.

26 1 This leader, then, after dividing his forces into many parts and putting many officers in command of them, was winning over all the country round about as far as the water-shed of the Arar. He purposed, now that there was a coalition at Rome against Caesar, at once to rouse all Gaul to war. 2 If he had done this a little later, when Caesar was involved in the civil war, Italy would have been a prey to terrors no less acute than those aroused by the Cimbri of old. 3 But as it was, the man endowed by nature to make the best use of all the arts of war, and particularly of its crucial moments, namely Caesar, as soon as he learned of the revolt, set out and marched by the same roads over which  p507 he had previously come, and by the vigour and speed of his passage in so severe a winter showed the Barbarians that an unconquered and invincible army was coming against them. 4 For where it was incredible that one of his messengers or letter-carriers could make his way in a long time, there he was seen with his whole army, at once ravaging their lands and destroying their strongholds, subduing cities, 5 and receiving those who came over to his side, until the nation of the Aedui also entered the war against him. These up to this time had called themselves brethren of the Romans and had been conspicuously honoured, but now, by joining the rebels, they caused great dejection in Caesar's army. 6 In consequence of this Caesar removed from these parts and passed across the territory of the Lingones, wishing to reach the country of the Sequani, who were friends, and stood as a bulwark between Italy and the rest of Gaul. 7 There the enemy fell upon him and surrounded him with many tens of thousands, so that he essayed to fight a decisive battle. In the main he got the best of the struggle, and after a long time and much slaughter over­powered the Barbarians; but it appears that at first he met with some reverse, and the Arverni show a short-sword hanging in a temple, which they say was captured from Caesar. 8 When Caesar himself saw it, at a later time, he smiled, and though his friends urged him to have it taken down, he would not permit it, considering it sacred.

27 1 However, the most of the Barbarians who escaped at that time took refuge with their king in the city of Alesia. 2 And while Caesar was besieging  p509 this city, which was thought to be impregnable by reason of the great size of its walls and the number of their defenders, there fell upon him from outside the city a peril too great for words to depict. 3 For all that was mightiest among the nations of Gaul assembled and came in arms to Alesia, three hundred thousand strong; 4 and the number of fighting men inside the city was not less than a hundred and seventy thousand. Thus Caesar, caught between so large hostile forces and besieged there, was compelled to build two walls for his protection, one looking towards the city, and the other towards those who had come up to relieve it; he felt that if the two forces should unite his cause was wholly lost.

5 For many reasons, then, and naturally, Caesar's peril at Alesia was famous, since it produced more deeds of skill and daring than any of his other struggles; but one must be amazed above all that he engaged and conquered so many tens of thousands outside the city without the knowledge of those inside, nay more, without the knowledge even of the Romans who were guarding the wall that faced the city. 6 For these did not learn of the victory until the wailing of the men in Alesia and the lamentations of the women were heard, as they beheld in the quarters of the enemy many shields adorned with gold and silver, many corselets smeared with blood, and also drinking cups and tents of Gallic fashion carried by the Romans into their camp. 7 So quickly did so great a force, like a phantom or a dream, disperse and vanish out of sight, the greater part of them having fallen in the battle. 8 Those who held Alesia, too, after giving themselves and Caesar no small trouble, finally surrendered.  p511 9 And the leader of the whole war, Vergentorix, after putting on his most beauti­ful armour and decorating his horse, rode out through the gate. 10 He made a circuit around Caesar, who remained seated, and then leaped down from his horse, stripped off his suit of armour, and seating himself at Caesar's feet remained motionless, until he was delivered up to be kept in custody for the triumph.

28 1 Now, Caesar had long ago decided to put down Pompey, just as, of course, Pompey also had decided to put Caesar down. For now that Crassus, who was only waiting for the issue of their struggle to engage the victor,​52 had perished among the Parthians, it remained for him who would be greatest to put down him who was, and for him who was greatest, if he would not be put down, to take off in time the man he feared. 2 This fear had only recently come upon Pompey, who till then despised Caesar, feeling that it was no hard task to put down again the man whom he himself had raised on high. 3 But Caesar had from the outset formed this design, and like an athlete had removed himself to a great distance from his antagonists, and by exercising himself in the Gallic wars had practised his troops and increased his fame, lifting himself by his achievements to a height where he could vie with the successes of Pompey. 4 He laid hold of pretexts which were furnished partly by Pompey himself, and partly by the times and the evil state of government at Rome,​53 by reason of which candidates for office set up counting-tables in public and shamelessly bribed the multitudes, while the people went down into the forum under pay, contending in behalf of their  p513 paymaster, not with votes, but with bows and arrows, swords, and slings. 5 Often, too, they would defile the rostra with blood and corpses before they separated, leaving the city to anarchy like a ship drifting about without a steersman, so that men of understanding were content if matters issued in nothing worse for them than monarchy, after such madness and so great a tempest. 6 And there were many who actually dared to say in public that nothing but monarchy could now cure the diseases of the state, and that this remedy ought to be adopted when offered by the gentlest of physicians, hinting at Pompey. 7 And when even Pompey, although in words he affected to decline the honour, in fact did more than any one else to effect his appointment as dictator, Cato saw through his design and persuaded the senate to appoint him sole consul, solacing him with a more legal monarchy that he might not force his way to the dictator­ship. 8 They also voted him additional time in which to hold his provinces; and he had two, Spain, and all Africa, which he managed by sending legates thither and maintaining armies there, for which he received from the public treasury a thousand talents annually.54

29 1 Consequently, Caesar canvassed by proxy for a consul­ship, and likewise for an extension of time in which to hold his own provinces. At first, then, Pompey held his peace, while Marcellus and Lentulus opposed these plans; they hated Caesar on other grounds, and went beyond all bounds in their efforts to bring dishonour and abuse upon him. 2 For instance, the inhabitants of Novum Comum, a  p515 colony recently established by Caesar in Gaul, were deprived of citizen­ship by them; and Marcellus, while he was consul, beat with rods a senator of Novum Comum who had come to Rome, telling him besides that he put these marks upon him to prove that he was not a Roman, and bade him go back and show them to Caesar. 3 But after the consul­ship of Marcellus, Caesar having now sent his Gallic wealth for all those in public life to draw from in copious streams, and having freed Curio the tribune from many debts, and having given Paulus the consul fifteen hundred talents, out of which he adorned the forum with the Basilica,​55 a famous monument, erected in place of the Fulvia, — 4 under these circumstances Pompey took fright at the coalition, and openly now, by his own efforts and those of his friends, tried to have a successor appointed to Caesar in his government, and sent a demand to him for the return of the soldiers whom he had lent him for his Gallic contests.​56 Caesar sent the soldiers back, after making a present to each man of two hundred and fifty drachmas. 5 But the officers who brought these men to Pompey spread abroad among the multitude stories regarding Caesar which were neither reasonable nor true, and ruined Pompey himself with vain hopes. They told him that Caesar's army yearned for him, and that while he was with difficulty controlling affairs in the city owing to the disease of envy which festered in the body politic, the forces in Gaul were ready to serve him, and had but to cross into Italy when they would at once be on his side; so obnoxious to  p517 them had Caesar become by reason of the multitude of his campaigns, and so suspicious of him were they made by their fear of a monarchy. 6 All this fed Pompey's vanity, and he neglected to provide himself with soldiers, as though he had no fears; while with speeches and resolutions of the senate he was carrying the day against Caesar, as he supposed, although he was merely getting measures rejected about which Caesar cared naught. Nay, we are told that one of the centurions sent to Rome by Caesar, as he stood in front of the senate house and learned that the senate would not give Caesar an extension of his term of command, slapped the handle of his sword and said: "But this will give it."57

30 1 However, the demands which came from Caesar certainly had a striking resemblance of fairness. He demanded, namely, that if he himself laid down his arms, Pompey should do the same, and that both, thus become private men, should find what favour they could with their fellow citizens; arguing that if they took away his forces from him, but confirmed Pompey in the possession of his, they would be accusing one of seeking a tyranny and making the other a tyrant. 2 When Curio laid these proposals before the people in behalf of Caesar, he was loudly applauded, and some actually cast garlands of flowers upon him as if he were a victorious athlete. 3 Antony, too, who was a tribune, brought before the people a letter of Caesar's on these matters which he had received, and read it aloud, in defiance of the consuls. 4 But in the senate, Scipio, the father-in‑law of Pompey,​58 introduced a motion  p519 that if by a fixed day Caesar did not lay down his arms he should be declared a public enemy. 5 And when the consuls put the question whether Pompey should dismiss his soldiers, and again whether Caesar should, very few senators voted for the first, and all but a few for the second; but when Antony again demanded that both should give up their commands, all with one accord assented. 6 Scipio, however, made violent opposition, and Lentulus the consul cried out that against a robber there was need of arms, not votes; whereupon the senate broke up, and the senators put on the garb of mourning in view of the dissension.

31 1 But presently letters came from Caesar in which he appeared to take a more moderate position, for he agreed to surrender everything else, but demanded that Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum together with two legions should be given him until he stood for his second consul­ship. Cicero the orator, too, who had just returned from Cilicia and was busy with a reconciliation, tried to mollify Pompey, who yielded everything else, but insisted on taking away Caesar's soldiers. 2 Cicero also tried to persuade the friends of Caesar to compromise and come to a settlement on the basis of the provinces mentioned and only six thousand soldiers, and Pompey was ready to yield and grant so many. Lentulus the consul, however, would not let him, but actually heaped insults upon Antony and Curio and drove them disgracefully from the senate,​59 3 thus himself contriving for Caesar the most specious of his pretexts, and the one by means of which he most of all incited his soldiers, showing them men of repute  p521 and high office who had fled the city on hired carts and in the garb of slaves. For thus they had arrayed themselves in their fear and stolen out of Rome.

32 1 Now, Caesar had with him not more than three hundred horsemen and five thousand legionaries; for the rest of his army had been left beyond the Alps, and was to be brought up by those whom he had sent for the purpose. 2 He saw, however, that the beginning of his enterprise and its initial step did not require a large force at present, but must take advantage of the golden moment by showing amazing boldness and speed, since he could strike terror into his enemies by an unexpected blow more easily than he could overwhelm them by an attack in full force. 3 He therefore ordered his centurions and other officers, taking their swords only, and without the rest of their arms, to occupy Ariminum, a large city of Gaul, avoiding commotion and bloodshed as far as possible; and he entrusted this force to Hortensius.

4 He himself spent the day in public, attending and watching the exercises of gladiators; but a little before evening he bathed and dressed and went into the banqueting hall. Here he held brief converse with those who had been invited to supper, and just as it was getting dark and went away, after addressing courteously most of his guests and bidding them await his return. To a few of his friends, however, he had previously given directions to follow him, not all by the same route, but some by one way and some by another. 5 He himself mounted one of his hired carts and drove at first along another road, then turned towards Ariminum. When he came to the river which separates Cisalpine Gaul from the  p523 rest of Italy (it is called the Rubicon), and began to reflect, now that he drew nearer to the fearful step and was agitated by the magnitude of his ventures, he checked his speed. 6 Then, halting in his course, he communed with himself a long time in silence as his resolution wavered back and forth, and his purpose then suffered change after change. 7 For a long time, too, he discussed his perplexities with his friends who were present, among whom was Asinius Pollio, estimating the great evils for all mankind which would follow their passage of the river, and the wide fame of it which they would leave to posterity. 8 But finally, with a sort of passion, as if abandoning calculation and casting himself upon the future, and uttering the phrase with which men usually prelude their plunge into desperate and daring fortunes, "Let the die be cast," he hastened to cross the river; and going at full speed now for the rest of the time, before daybreak he dashed into Ariminum and took possession of it.​60 9 It is said, moreover, that on the night before he crossed the river he had an unnatural dream; he thought, namely, that he was having incestuous intercourse with his own mother.61

33 1 After the seizure of Ariminum, as if the war had opened with broad gates to cover the whole earth and sea alike, and the laws of the state were confounded along with the boundaries of the province, one would not have thought that men and women, as at other times, were hurrying through Italy in consternation, but that the very cities had  p525 risen up in flight and were rushing one through another; 2 while Rome herself, deluged as it were by the inhabitants of the surrounding towns who were fleeing from their homes, neither readily obeying a magistrate nor listening to the voice of reason, in the surges of a mighty sea narrowly escaped being overturned by her own internal agitations. 3 For conflicting emotions and violent disturbances prevailed everywhere. Those who rejoiced did not keep quiet, but in many places, as was natural in a great city, encountered those who were in fear and distress, and being filled with confidence as to the future came into strife with them; 4 while Pompey himself, who was terror-stricken, was assailed on every side, being taken to task by some for having strengthened Caesar against himself and the supreme power of the state, and denounced by others for having permitted Lentulus to insult Caesar when he was ready to yield and was offering reasonable terms of settlement. 5 Favonius bade him stamp on the ground; for once, in a boastful speech to the senate, he told them to take no trouble or anxious thought about preparations for the war, since when it came he had but to stamp upon the earth to fill Italy with armies.62

6 However, even then Pompey's forces were more numerous than Caesar's; but no one would suffer him to exercise his own judgment; and so, under the influence of many false and terrifying reports, believing that the war was already close at hand and prevailed everywhere, he gave way, was swept along with the universal tide, issued an edict declaring a state of anarchy, and forsook the city, commanding the senate to follow, and forbidding any one to remain who preferred country and freedom to tyranny.

 p527  34 1 Accordingly, the consuls fled, without even making the sacrifices usual before departure; most of the senators also fled, after seizing, in a sort of robbery, whatever came to hand of their own possessions, as though it were the property of others. 2 Some, too, who before this had vehemently espoused the cause of Caesar, were now frightened out of their wits, and were carried along, when there was no need of it, by the sweep of the great tide. 3 But most piti­ful was the sight of the city, now that so great a tempest was bearing down upon her, carried along like a ship abandoned of her helmsmen to dash against whatever lay in her path. 4 Still, although their removal was so piti­ful a thing, for the sake of Pompey men considered exile to be their country, and abandoned Rome with the feeling that it was Caesar's camp.​63 5 For even Labienus, one of Caesar's greatest friends, who had been his legate and had fought most zealously with him in all his Gallic wars, now ran away from him and came to Pompey.

But Caesar sent to Labienus his money and his baggage; 6 against Domitius, however, who was holding Corfinium with thirty cohorts under his command, he marched, and pitched his camp near by. Domitius, despairing of his enterprise, asked his physician, who was a slave, for a poison; and taking what was given him, drank it, intending to die. 7 But after a little, hearing that Caesar showed most wonder­ful clemency towards his prisoners, he bewailed his fate, and blamed the rashness of his purpose. 8 Then his physician bade him be of good cheer, since what he had drunk was a sleeping-potion and not deadly; whereupon Domitius rose up overjoyed and went to Caesar,  p529 the pledge of whose right hand he received, only to desert him and go back to Pompey. 9 When tidings of these things came to Rome, men were made more cheerful, and some of the fugitives turned back.

35 1 Caesar took over the troops of Domitius, as well as all the other levies of Pompey which he surprised in the various cities. Then, since his forces were already numerous and formidable, he marched against Pompey himself. 2 Pompey, however, did not await his approach, but fled to Brundisium, sent the consuls before him with an army to Dyrrhachium, and shortly afterwards, as Caesar drew near, sailed off himself, as shall be set forth circumstantially in his Life.​64 3 Caesar wished to pursue him at once, but was destitute of ships; so he turned back to Rome, having in sixty days and without bloodshed become master of all Italy.

4 He found the city more tranquil than he was expecting, and many senators in it. With these, therefore, he conferred in a gentle and affable manner,​65 inviting them even to send a deputation to Pompey proposing suitable terms of agreement. 5 But no one would listen to him, either because they feared Pompey, whom they had abandoned, or because they thought that Caesar did not mean what he said, but was indulging in specious talk. 6 When the tribune Metellus tried to prevent Caesar's taking money from the reserve funds of the state, and cited certain laws, Caesar said that arms and laws had not the same season. 7 "But if thou art displeased at what is going on, for the present get out  p531 of the way, since war has no use for free speech; when, however, I have come to terms and laid down my arms, then thou shalt come before the people with thy harangues. 8 And in saying this I waive my own just rights; for thou art mine, thou and all of the faction hostile to me whom I have caught." 9 After this speech to Metellus, Caesar walked towards the door of the treasury, and when the keys were not to be found, he sent for smiths and ordered them to break in the door. 10 Metellus once more opposed him, and was commended by some for so doing; but Caesar, raising his voice, threatened to kill him if he did not cease his troublesome interference. "And thou surely knowest, young man," said he, "that it is more unpleasant for me to say this than to do it." 11 Then Metellus, in consequence of this speech, went off in a fright, and henceforth everything was speedily and easily furnished to Caesar for the war.66

36 1 So he made an expedition into Spain,​67 having resolved first to drive out from there Afranius and Varro, Pompey's legates, and bring their forces there and the provinces into his power, and then to march against Pompey, leaving not an enemy in his rear. 2 And though his life was often in peril from ambuscades, and his army most of all from hunger, he did not cease from pursuing, challenging, and besieging the men until he had made himself by main force master of their camps and their forces. The leaders, however, made their escape to Pompey.

37 1 When Caesar came back to Rome, Piso, his father-in‑law, urged him to send a deputation to Pompey with proposals for a settlement; but  p533 Isauricus, to please Caesar, opposed the project. 2 So, having been made dictator by the senate, he brought home exiles, restored to civic rights the children of those who had suffered in the time of Sulla, relieved the burdens of the debtor-class by a certain adjustment of interest, took in hand a few other public measures of like character, and within eleven days abdicated the sole power, had himself declared consul with Servilius Isauricus, and entered upon his campaign.

3 The rest of his forces he passed by in a forced march, and with six hundred picked horsemen and five legions, at the time of the winter solstice, in the early part of January​68 (this month answers nearly to the Athenian Poseideon), put to sea, 4 and after crossing the Ionian gulf took Oricum and Apollonia, and sent his transports back again to Brundisium for the soldiers who had been belated on their march. 5 These, as long as they were on the road, since they were now past their physical prime and worn out with their multitudinous wars, murmured against Caesar. 6 "Whither, pray, and to what end will this man bring us, hurrying us about and treating us like tireless and lifeless things? Even a sword gets tired out with smiting, and shield and breastplate are spared a little after so long a time of service. 7 Will not even our wounds, then, convince Caesar that he commands mortal men, and that we are mortal in the endurance of pain and suffering? Surely the wintry season and the occasion of a storm at sea not even a god can constrain; yet this man takes risks as though he were not pursuing, but flying from, enemies." 8 With such words as these they  p535 marched in a leisurely way to Brundisium. But when they got there and found that Caesar had put to sea, they quickly changed their tone and reviled themselves as traitors to the Imperator; they reviled their officers, too, for not having quickened their march. 3 Then, sitting on the cliffs, they looked off towards the open sea and Epirus, watching for the ships which were to carry them across to their commander.

38 1 At Apollonia, since the force which he had with him was not a match for the enemy and the delay of his troops on the other side caused him perplexity and distress, Caesar conceived the dangerous plan of embarking in a twelve-oared boat, without any one's knowledge, and going over to Brundisium, though the sea was encompassed by such large armaments of the enemy. 2 At night, accordingly, after disguising himself in the dress of a slave, he went on board, threw himself down as one of no account, and kept quiet. 3 While the river Aoüs was carrying the boat down towards the sea, the early morning breeze, which at that time usually made the mouth of the river calm by driving back the waves, was quelled by a strong wind which blew from the sea during the night; 4 the river therefore chafed against the inflow of the sea and the opposition of its billows, and was rough, being beaten back with a great din and violent eddies, so that it was impossible for the master of the boat to force his way along. He therefore ordered the sailors to come about in order to retrace his course. 5 But Caesar, perceiving this, disclosed himself, took the master of the boat by the hand, who was terrified at sight of him, and said: "Come, good man, be bold  p537 and fear naught; thou carryest Caesar and Caesar's fortune in thy boat."​69 6 The sailors forgot the storm, and laying to their oars, tried with all alacrity to force their way down the river. But since it was impossible, after taking much water and running great hazard at the mouth of the river, Caesar very reluctantly suffered the captain to put about. 7 When he came back, his soldiers met him in throngs, finding much fault and sore displeased with him because he did not believe that even with them alone he was able to conquer, but was troubled, and risked his life for the sake of the absent as though distrusting those who were present.

39 1 After this, Antony put in from Brundisium with his forces, and Caesar was emboldened to challenge Pompey to battle. Pompey was well posted and drew ample supplies both from land and sea; while Caesar had no great abundance at first, and afterwards was actually hard pressed for want of provisions. 2 But his soldiers dug up a certain root, mixed it with milk, and ate it.​70 Once, too, they made loaves of it, and running up to the enemy's outposts, threw the loaves inside or tossed them to one another, adding by way of comment that as long as the earth produced such roots, they would not stop besieging Pompey. 3 Pompey, however, would not allow either the loaves or these words to reach the main body of his army. For his soldiers were dejected, fearing the ferocity and hardiness of their enemies, who were like wild beasts in their eyes.

4 There were constant skirmishings about the fortifications of Pompey, and in all of them Caesar got  p539 the better except one, where there was a great rout of his men and he was in danger of losing his camp. 5 For when Pompey attacked not one of Caesar's men stood his ground, but the moats were filled with the slain, and others were falling at their own ramparts and walls, whither they had been driven in headlong flight. 6 And though Caesar met the fugitives and tried to turn them back, he availed nothing, nay, when he tried to lay hold of the standards the bearers threw them away, so that the enemy captured thirty-two of them. Caesar himself, too, narrowly escaped being killed. 7 For as a tall and sturdy man was running away past him, he laid his hand upon him and bade him stay and face about upon the enemy; and the fellow, full of panic at the threatening danger, raised his sword to smite Caesar, but before he could do so Caesar's shield-bearer lopped off his arm at the shoulder. 8 So completely had Caesar given up his cause for lost that, when Pompey, either from excessive caution or by some chance, did not follow up his great success, but withdrew after he had shut up the fugitives within their entrenchments, Caesar said to his friends as he left them: "To‑day victory had been with the enemy, if they had had a victor in command."​71 9 Then going by himself to his tent and lying down, he spent that most distressful of all nights in vain reflections, convinced that he had shown bad general­ship. For while a fertile country lay waiting for him, and the prosperous cities of Macedonia and Thessaly, he had neglected to carry the war thither, and had posted himself here by the sea, which his enemies controlled with their fleets, being thus held in siege by lack of  p541 provisions rather than besieging with his arms. 10 Thus his despondent thoughts of the difficulty and perplexity of his situation kept him tossing upon his couch, and in the morning he broke camp, resolved to lead his army into Macedonia against Scipio; 11 for he would either draw Pompey after him to a place where he would give battle without drawing his supplies as he now did from the sea, or Scipio would be left alone and he would overwhelm him.

40 1 This emboldened the soldiers of Pompey and the leaders by whom he was surrounded to keep close to Caesar, whom they thought defeated and in flight. 2 For Pompey himself was cautious about hazarding a battle for so great a stake, and since he was most excellently provided with everything necessary for a long war, he thought it best to wear out and quench the vigour of the enemy, which must be short-lived. 3 For the best fighting men in Caesar's army had experience, it is true, and a daring which was irresistible in combat; but what with their long marches and frequent encampments and siege-warfare and night-watches, they were beginning to give out by reason of age, and were too unwieldy for labour, having lost their ardour from weakness. 4 At that time, too, a kind of pestilential disease, occasioned by the strangeness of their diet, was said to be prevalent in Caesar's army. And what was most important of all, since Caesar was neither strong in funds or well supplied with provisions, it was thought that within a short time his army would break up of itself.

41 1 For these reasons Pompey did not wish to fight, but Cato was the only one to commend his course, and this from a desire to spare the lives  p543 of his fellow citizens; for when he saw even those of the enemy who had fallen in battle, to the number of a thousand, he burst into tears, muffled up his head, and went away. 2 All the rest, however, reviled Pompey for trying to avoid a battle, and sought to goad him on by calling him Agamemnon and King of Kings, implying that he did not wish to lay aside his sole authority, but plumed himself on having so many commanders dependent on him and coming constantly to his tent. 3 And Favonius, affecting Cato's boldness of speech, complained like a mad man because that year also they would be unable to enjoy the figs of Tusculum because of Pompey's love of command.​72 4 Afranius, too, who had lately come from Spain, where he had shown bad general­ship, when accused of betraying his army for a bribe, asked why they did not fight with the merchant who had bought the provinces for him.​72 5 Driven on by all these importunities, Pompey reluctantly sought a battle and pursued Caesar.

6 Caesar accomplished most of his march with difficulty, since no one would sell him provisions, and everybody despised him on account of his recent defeat; 7 but after he had taken Gomphi, a city of Thessaly, he not only provided food for his soldiers, but also relieved them of their disease unexpectedly. 8 For they fell in with plenty of wine, and after drinking freely of it, and then revelling and rioting on their march, by means of their drunkenness they drove away and got rid of their trouble, since they brought their bodies into a different habit.

42 1 But when both armies entered the plain of Pharsalus and encamped there, Pompey's mind  p545 reverted again to its former reasoning, and besides, there befell him unlucky appearances and a vision in his sleep. He dreamed, namely, that he saw himself in his theatre applauded by the Romans, . . . 2 Those about him, however, were so confident, and so hopefully anticipated the victory, that Domitius and Spinther and Scipio disputed earnestly with one another over Caesar's office of Pontifex Maximus, and many sent agents to Rome to hire and take possession of houses suitable for praetors and consuls, assuming that they would immediately hold these offices after the war.​73 3 And most of all were his cavalry impatient for the battle, since they had a splendid array of shining armour, well-fed horses, and handsome persons, and were in high spirits too on account of their numbers, which were seven thousand to Caesar's one thousand. 4 The numbers of the infantry also were unequal, since forty-five thousand were arrayed against twenty-two thousand.

43 1 Caesar called his soldiers together, and after telling them that Corfinius​74 was near with two legions for him, and that fifteen cohorts besides under Calenus were stationed at Athens and Megara, asked them whether they wished to wait for these troops, or to hazard the issue by themselves. 2 Then the soldiers besought him with loud cries not to wait for the troops, but rather to contrive and manoeuvre to come to close quarters with the enemy as soon as possible. 3 As he was holding a lustration  p547 and review of his forces and had sacrificed the first victim, the seer at once told him that within three days there would be a decisive battle with the enemy. 4 And when Caesar asked him whether he also saw in the victims any favourable signs of the issue, "Thou thyself," said the seer, "canst better answer this question for thyself. For the gods indicate a great change and revolution of the present status to the opposite. Therefore, if thou thinkest thyself well off as matters stand, expect the worse fortune; if badly off, the better." 5 Moreover, one night before the battle, as Caesar was making the round of his sentries about midnight, a fiery torch was seen in the heavens, which seemed to be carried over his camp, blazing out brightly, and then to fall into Pompey's. 6 And during the morning watch it was noticed that there was actually a panic confusion among the enemy.​75 7 However, Caesar did not expect to fight on that day,​76 but began to break camp for a march to Scotussa.

44 1 But just as the tents had been struck, his scouts rode up to him with tidings that the enemy were coming down into the plain for battle. At this he was overjoyed, and after prayers and vows to the gods, drew up his legionaries in three divisions. 2 Over the centre he put Domitius Calvinus, while of the wings Antony had one and he himself the right, where he intended to fight with the tenth legion. 3 But seeing that the enemy's cavalry were arraying themselves over against this point, and fearing their brilliant appearance and their numbers, he ordered six cohorts from the furthermost lines to come round to him unobserved, and stationed them behind his right  p549 wing, teaching them what they were to do when the enemy's horsemen attacked. 4 Pompey had one of his wings himself, and Domitius the left, while Scipio, Pompey's father-in‑law, commanded the centre. 5 But his horsemen all crowded to the left wing, intending to encircle the enemy's right and make a complete rout about the commander himself; 6 for they thought that no legionary array, however deep, could resist them, but that when so many horsemen made an onset together the enemy would be utterly broken and crushed.77

7 When both sides were about to sound the charge, Pompey ordered his legionaries to stand with arms at the ready and await in close array the onset of the enemy until they were within javelin cast. 8 But Caesar says​78 that here too Pompey made a mistake, not knowing that the initial clash with all the impetus of running adds force to the bows and fires the courage, which everything then conspires to fan. 9 As Caesar himself was about to move his lines of legionaries, and was already going forward into action, he saw first one of his centurions, a man experienced in war and faithful to him, encouraging his men and challenging them to vie with him in prowess. 10 Him Caesar addressed by name and said: "Caius Crassinius,​79 what are our hopes, and how does our confidence stand?" Then Crassinius, stretching forth his right hand, said with a loud voice: "We shall win a glorious victory, O Caesar, and thou shalt praise me to‑day, whether I am alive or dead." 11 So saying, he plunged foremost into the enemy at full  p551 speed, carrying along with him the one hundred and twenty soldiers under his command. 12 But after cutting his way through the first rank, and while he was forging onwards with great slaughter, he was beaten back by the thrust of a sword through his mouth, and the point of the sword actually came out at the back of his neck.80

45 1 When the infantry had thus clashed together in the centre and were fighting, Pompey's cavalry rode proudly up from the wing and deployed their squadrons to envelope the enemy's right; 2 and before they could attack, the cohorts ran out from where Caesar was posted, not hurling their javelins, as usual, nor yet stabbing the thighs and legs of their enemies with them, but aiming them at their eyes and wounding their faces. 3 They had been instructed to do this by Caesar, who expected that men little conversant with wars or wounds, but young, and pluming themselves on their youthful beauty, would dread such wounds especially, and would not stand their ground, fearing not only their present danger, but also their future disfigurement. 4 And this was what actually came to pass; for they could not endure the upward thrust of the javelins, nor did they even venture to look the weapon in the face, but turned their heads away and covered them up to spare their faces. 5 And finally, having thus thrown themselves into confusion, they turned and fled most shamefully, thereby ruining everything. 6 For the conquerors of the horsemen at once encircled the infantry, fell upon their rear, and began to cut them to pieces.

7 When Pompey, on the other wing, saw his horsemen  p553 scattered in flight, he was no longer the same man, nor remembered that he was Pompey the Great, but more like one whom Heaven has robbed of his wits than anything else, he went off without a word to his tent, sat down there, and awaited what was to come, until his forces were all routed and the enemy were assailing his ramparts and fighting with their defenders. 8 Then he came to his senses, as it were, and with this one ejaculation, as they say, "What, even to my quarters?" took off his fighting and general's dress, put on one suitable for a fugitive, and stole away. 9 What his subsequent fortunes were, and how he delivered himself into the hands of the Egyptians and was murdered, I shall tell in his Life.81

46 1 But Caesar, when he reached Pompey's ramparts and saw those of the enemy who were already lying dead there and those who were still falling, said with a groan: "They would have it so; they brought me to such a pass that if I, Caius Caesar, after waging success­fully the greatest wars, had dismissed my forces, I should have been condemned in their courts."​82 2 Asinius Pollio says that these words, which Caesar afterwards wrote down in Greek, were uttered by him in Latin at the time; 3 he also says that most of the slain were servants who were killed at the taking of the camp, and that not more than six thousand soldiers fell. 4 Most of those who were taken alive Caesar incorporated in his legions, and to many men of prominence he granted immunity. One of these was Brutus, who afterwards slew him. Caesar was distressed, we are told, when  p555 Brutus was not to be found, but when he was brought into his presence safe and sound, was pleased beyond measure.

47 1 There were many portents of the victory, but the most remarkable one on record is that which was seen at Tralles. 2 In that city's temple of Victory there stood a statue of Caesar, and the ground around it was naturally firm, and was paved with hard stone; yet from this it is said that a palm-tree shot up at the base of the statue.​83 3 Moreover, at Patavium, Caius Cornelius, a man in repute as a seer, a fellow citizen and acquaintance of Livy the historian, chanced that day to be sitting in the place of augury. 4 And to begin with, according to Livy, he discerned the time of the battle, and said to those present that even then the event was in progress and the men were going into action. 5 And when he looked again and observed the signs, he sprang up in a rapture crying: "Thou art victorious, O Caesar!" 6 The bystanders being amazed, he took the chaplet from his head and declared with an oath that he would not put it on again until the event had borne witness to his art. At any rate, Livy insists that this was so.84

48 1 Caesar gave the Thessalians their freedom, to commemorate his victory, and then pursued Pompey; when he reached Asia he made the Cnidians also free, to please Theopompus the collector of fables, and for all the inhabitants of Asia remitted a third of their taxes. 2 Arriving at Alexandria just after Pompey's death, he turned away in horror from Theodotus as he presented the head of Pompey, but he accepted Pompey's seal-ring, and shed tears over  p557 it.​85 3 Moreover, all the companions and intimates of Pompey who had been captured by the king as they wandered over the country, he treated with kindness and attached them to himself. 4 And to his friends in Rome he wrote that this was the greatest and sweetest pleasure that he derived from his victory, namely, from time to time to save the lives of fellow citizens who had fought against him.

5 As for the war in Egypt, some say that it was not necessary, but due to Caesar's passion for Cleopatra, and that it was inglorious and full of peril for him. But others blame the king's party for it, and especially the eunuch Potheinus, who had most influence at court,​86 and had recently killed Pompey; he had also driven Cleopatra from the country, and was now secretly plotting against Caesar. 6 On this account they say that from this time on Caesar passed whole nights at drinking parties in order to protect himself. But in his open acts also Potheinus was unbearable, since he said and did many things that were invidious and insulting to Caesar. 7 For instance, when the soldiers had the oldest and worst grain measured out to them, he bade them put up with it and be content, since they were eating what belonged to others; and at the state suppers he used wooden and earthen dishes, on the ground that Caesar had taken all the gold and silver ware in payment of a debt. 8 For the father of the present king owed Caesar seventeen million five hundred thousand drachmas,​87 of which Caesar had formerly remitted a part to his children, but now demanded payment of ten millions for the  p559 support of his army. 9 When, however, Potheinus bade him go away now and attend to his great affairs, assuring him that later he would get his money with thanks, Caesar replied that he had no need whatever of Egyptians as advisers, and secretly sent for Cleopatra from the country.

49 1 So Cleopatra, taking only Apollodorus the Sicilian from among her friends, embarked in a little skiff and landed at the palace when it was already getting dark; 2 and as it was impossible to escape notice otherwise, she stretched herself at full length inside a bed-sack, while Apollodorus tied the bed-sack up with a cord and carried it indoors to Caesar. 3 It was by this device of Cleopatra's, it is said, that Caesar was first captivated, for she showed herself to be a bold coquette, and succumbing to the charm of further intercourse with her, he reconciled her to her brother on the basis of a joint share with him in the royal power. 4 Then, as everybody was feasting to celebrate the reconciliation, a slave of Caesar's, his barber, who left nothing unscrutinized, owing to a timidity in which he had no equal, but kept his ears open and was here, there, and everywhere, perceived that Achillas the general and Potheinus the eunuch were hatching a plot against Caesar. 5 After Caesar had found them out, he set a guard about the banqueting-hall, and put Potheinus to death; Achillas, however, escaped to his camp, and raised about Caesar a war grievous and difficult for one who was defending himself with so few followers against so large a city and army. 6 In this war, to begin with, Caesar encountered the peril of being shut off from water, since the canals were dammed up by the enemy; in the second place, when the enemy tried to cut off his fleet, he  p561 was forced to repel the danger by using fire, and this spread from the dockyards and destroyed the great library;​88 7 and thirdly, when a battle arose at Pharos,​89 he sprang from the mole into a small boat and tried to go to the aid of his men in their struggle, but the Egyptians sailed up against him from every side, so that he threw himself into the sea and with great difficulty escaped by swimming. 8 At this time, too, it is said that he was holding many papers in his hand and would not let them go, though missiles were flying at him and he was immersed in the sea, but held them above water with one hand and swam with the other; his little boat had been sunk at the outset.​90 9 But finally, after the king had gone away to the enemy, he marched against him and conquered him in a battle where many fell and the king himself disappeared. 10 Then, leaving Cleopatra on the throne of Egypt (a little later she had a son by him whom the Alexandrians called Caesarion), he set out for Syria.

50 1 On leaving that country and traversing Asia,​91 he learned that Domitius had been defeated by Pharnaces the son of Mithridates and had fled from Pontus with a few followers; also that Pharnaces, using his victory without stint, and occupying Bithynia and Cappadocia, was aiming to secure the country called Lesser Armenia, and was rousing to revolt all the princes and tetrarchs there. 2 At once, therefore, Caesar marched against him with three legions, fought a great battle with him near the city of Zela, drove him in flight out of Pontus, and  p563 annihilated his army. 3 In announcing the swiftness and fierceness of this battle to one of his friends at Rome, Amantius, Caesar wrote three words: "Came, saw, conquered."​92 4 In Latin, however, the words have the same inflectional ending, and so a brevity which is most impressive.

51 1 After this, he crossed to Italy and went up to Rome, at the close of the year for which he had a second time been chosen dictator,​93 though that office had never before been for a whole year; then for the following year he was proclaimed consul. 2 Men spoke of him because, after his soldiers had mutinied and killed two men of praetorian rank, Galba and Cosconius, he censured them only so far as to call them "citizens" when he addressed them, instead of "soldiers,"​94 and then gave each man a thousand drachmas and much allotted land in Italy. 3 He was also calumniated for the madness of Dolabella, the greed of Amantius, the drunkenness of Antony, and for the fact that Corfinius built over and refurnished the house of Pompey on the ground that it was not good enough for him. 4 For at all these things the Romans were displeased. But owing to the political situation, though Caesar was not ignorant of these things and did not like them, he was compelled to make use of such assistants.

52 1 After the battle at Pharsalus, Cato and Scipio made their escape to Africa, and there, with the aid of King Juba, collected considerable forces. Caesar therefore resolved to make an expedition against them. 2 So, about the time of the winter solstice, he  p565 crossed into Sicily, and wishing to cut off at once in the minds of his officers all hope of delaying there and wasting time, he pitched his own tent on the sea-beach. When a favouring wind arose, he embarked and put to sea with three thousand infantry and a few horsemen. 3 Then, after landing these unobserved, he put to sea again, being full of fears for the larger part of his force, and meeting them after they were already at sea, he conducted all into camp.

4 On learning that the enemy were emboldened by an ancient oracle to the effect that it was always the prerogative of the family of the Scipios to conquer in Africa, he either flouted in pleasantry the Scipio who commanded the enemy, 5 or else tried in good earnest to appropriate to himself the omen, it is hard to say which. He had under him, namely, a man who otherwise was a contemptible nobody, but belonged to the family of the Africani, and was called Scipio Sallustio.​b This man Caesar put in the forefront of his battles as if commander of the army, being compelled to attack the enemy frequently and to force the fighting. 6 For there was neither sufficient food for his men nor fodder for his beasts of burden, nay, they were forced to feed their horses on sea-weed, which they washed free of its salt and mixed with a little grass to sweeten it. 7 For the Numidians showed themselves everywhere in great numbers and speedy, and controlled the country. Indeed, while Caesar's horsemen were once off duty (a Libyan was showing them how he could dance and play the flute at the same time in an astonishing manner, and they had committed their horses to the slaves and were sitting delighted on the ground), the enemy suddenly surrounded and attacked them, killed some of them,  p567 and followed hard upon the heels of the rest as they were driven headlong into camp. 8 And if Caesar himself, and with him Asinius Pollio, had not come from the ramparts to their aid and checked their flight, the war would have been at an end. 9 On one occasion, too, in another battle, the enemy got the advantage in the encounter, and here it is said that Caesar seized by the neck the fugitive standard-bearer, faced him about, and said: "Yonder is the enemy."

53 1 However, Scipio was encouraged by these advantages to hazard a decisive battle: so, leaving Afranius and Juba encamped separately at a short distance apart, he himself began fortifying a camp beyond a lake near the city of Thapsus, that it might serve the whole army as a place from which to sally out to the battle, and as a place of refuge. 2 But while he was busy with the project, Caesar made his way with inconceivable speed through woody regions which afforded unknown access to the spot, outflanked some of the enemy, and attacked others in front. 3 Then, after routing these, he took advantage of the favourable instant and of the impetus of fortune, and thereby captured the camp of Afranius at the first onset, and at the first onset sacked the camp of the Numidians, from which Juba fled. 4 Thus in a brief portion of one day he made himself master of three camps and slew fifty thousand of the enemy, without losing as many as fifty of his own men.95

5 This is the account which some give of the battle; others, however, say that Caesar himself was not in the action, but that, as he was marshalling and arraying his army, his usual sickness laid hold of him, and he, 6 at once aware that it was beginning, before his  p569 already wavering senses were altogether confounded and over­powered by the malady, was carried to a neighbouring tower, where he stayed quietly during the battle. 7 Of the men of consular and praetorial rank who escaped from the battle, some slew themselves at the moment of their capture, and others were put to death by Caesar after capture.

54 1 Being eager to take Cato alive, Caesar hastened towards Utica, for Cato was guarding that city, and took no part in the battle. 2 But he learned that Cato had made away with himself,​96 and he was clearly annoyed, though for what reason is uncertain. At any rate, he said: "Cato, I begrudge thee thy death; for thou didst begrudge me the preservation of thy life." 3 Now, the treatise which Caesar afterwards wrote against Cato when he was dead, does not seem to prove that he was in a gentle or reconcilable mood. For how could he have spared Cato alive, when he poured out against him after death so great a cup of wrath? 4 And yet from his considerate treatment of Cicero and Brutus and thousands more who had fought against him, it is inferred that even this treatise was not composed out of hatred, but from political ambition, for reasons which follow. 5 Cicero had written an encomium on Cato which he entitled "Cato"; and the discourse was eagerly read by many, as was natural, since it was composed by the ablest of orators on the noblest of themes. 6 This annoyed Caesar, who thought that Cicero's praise of the dead Cato was a denunciation of Caesar himself. Accordingly, he wrote a treatise in which he got together countless charges against Cato; and the work is entitled "Anti-Cato." Both treatises have many eager readers, as well on account of Caesar as of Cato.

 p571  55 1 But to resume, when Caesar came back to Rome from Africa, to begin with, he made a boastful speech to the people concerning his victory, asserting that he had subdued a country large enough to furnish annually for the public treasury two hundred thousand Attic bushels of grain, and three million pounds of olive oil. 2 Next, he celebrated triumphs, an Egyptian, a Pontic, and an African, the last not for his victory over Scipio, but ostensibly over Juba the king. 3 On this occasion, too, Juba, a son of the king, a mere infant, was carried along in the triumphal procession, the most fortunate captive ever taken, since from being a Barbarian and a Numidian, he came to be enrolled among the most learned historians of Hellas. 4 After the triumphs, Caesar gave his soldiers large gifts and entertained the people with banquets and spectacles, feasting them all at one time on twenty thousand dining-couches, and furnishing spectacles of gladiatorial and naval combats in honour of his daughter Julia, long since dead.

5 After the spectacles, a census of the people was taken,​97 and instead of the three hundred and twenty thousand of the preceding lists there were enrolled only one hundred and fifty thousand. 6 So great was the calamity which the civil wars had wrought, and so large a portion of the people of Rome had they consumed away, to say nothing of the misfortunes that possessed the rest of Italy and the provinces.

56 1 After these matters had been finished and he had been declared consul for the fourth time, Caesar made an expedition into Spain against the  p573 sons of Pompey. These were still young, but had collected an army of amazing numbers and displayed a boldness which justified their claims to leader­ship, so that they beset Caesar with the greatest peril. 2 The great battle was joined near the city of Munda, and here Caesar, seeing his own men hard pressed and making a feeble resistance, asked in a loud voice as he ran through the armed ranks whether they felt no shame to take him and put him in the hands of boys. 3 With difficulty and after much strenuous effort he repulsed the enemy and slew over thirty thousand of them, but he lost one thousand of his own men, and those the very best. 4 As he was going away after the battle he said to his friends that he had often striven for victory, but now first for his life. 5 He fought this victorious battle on the day of the festival of Bacchus,​98 on which day also it is said that Pompey the Great had gone forth to the war; a period of four years intervened. 6 As for Pompey's sons, the younger made his escape, but after a few days the head of the elder was brought in by Deidius.

7 This was the last war that Caesar waged; and the triumph that was celebrated for it vexed the Romans as nothing else had done. 8 For it commemorated no victory over foreign commanders or barbarian kings, but the utter annihilation of the sons and the family of the mightiest of the Romans, who had fallen upon misfortune; 9 and it was not meet for Caesar to celebrate a triumph for the calamities of his country, priding himself upon actions which had no defence before gods or men except that they had been done under necessity, and that too although previously he had sent neither messenger nor letters to announce  p575 to the people a victory in the civil wars, but had scrupulously put from him the fame arising therefrom.

57 1 However, the Romans gave way before the good fortune of the man and accepted the bit, and regarding the monarchy as a respite from the evils of the civil wars, they appointed him dictator for life. This was confessedly a tyranny, since the monarchy, besides the element of irresponsibility, now took on that of permanence. 2 It was Cicero who proposed the first honours for him in the senate, and their magnitude was, after all, not too great for a man; but others added excessive honours and vied with one another in proposing them, thus rendering Caesar odious and obnoxious even to the mildest citizens because of the pretension and extravagance of what was decreed for him. 3 It is thought, too, that the enemies of Caesar no less than his flatterers helped to force these measures through, in order that they might have as many pretexts as possible against him and might be thought to have the best reasons for attempting his life. 4 For in all other ways, at least, after the civil wars were over, he showed himself blameless; and certainly it is thought not inappropriate that the temple of Clemency was decreed as a thank-offering in view of his mildness. 5 For he pardoned many of those who had fought against him, and to some he even gave honours and offices besides, as to Brutus and Cassius, both of whom were now praetors. 6 The statues of Pompey, which had been thrown down, he would not suffer to remain so, but set them up again, at which Cicero said that in setting up Pompey's statues Caesar firmly fixed his own.​99 7 When his friends thought it  p577 best that he should have a body-guard, and many of them volunteered for this service, he would not consent, saying that it was better to die once for all than to be always expecting death. 8 And in the effort to surround himself with men's good will as the fairest and at the same time the securest protection, he again courted the people with banquets and distributions of grain, and his soldiers with newly planted colonies, the most conspicuous of which were Carthage and Corinth. The earlier capture of both these cities, as well as their present restoration, chanced to fall at one and the same time.100

58 1 As for the nobles, to some of them he promised consul­ships and praetor­ships in the future, others he appeased with sundry other powers and honours, and in all he implanted hopes, since he ardently desired to rule over willing subjects. 2 Therefore, when Maximus the consul died, he appointed Caninius Reviliusº consul for the one day still remaining of the term of office. 3 To him, as we are told, many were going with congratulations and offers of escort, whereupon Cicero said: "Let us make haste, or else the man's consul­ship will have expired."

4 Caesar's many successes, however, did not divert his natural spirit of enterprise and ambition to the enjoyment of what he had laboriously achieved, but served as fuel and incentive for future achievements, and begat in him plans for greater deeds and a passion for fresh glory, as though he had used up what he already had. 5 What he felt was therefore nothing else than emulation of himself, as if he had been another man, and a sort of rivalry between what he had done and what he purposed to do. 6 For he  p579 planned and prepared to make an expedition against the Parthians; and after subduing these and marching around the Euxine by way of Hyrcania, the Caspian sea, and the Caucasus, to invade Scythia; 7 and after overrunning the countries bordering on Germany and Germany itself, to come back by way of Gaul to Italy, and so to complete this circuit of his empire, which would then be bounded on all sides by the ocean. 8 During this expedition, moreover, he intended to dig through the isthmus of Corinth, and had already put Anienus in charge of this work; he intended also to divert the Tiber just below the city into a deep channel, give it a bend towards Circeium, and make it empty into the sea at Terracina, thus contriving for merchantmen a safe as well as an easy passage to Rome; 9 and besides this, to convert marshes about Pomentinum and Setia into a plain which many thousands of men could cultivate; and further, 10 to build moles which should barricade the sea where it was nearest to Rome, to clear away the hidden dangers on the shore of Ostia, and then construct harbours and roadsteads sufficient for the great fleets that would visit them. And all these things were in preparation.

59 1 The adjustment of the calendar, however, and the correction of the irregularity in the computation of time, were not only studied scientifically by him, but also brought to completion, and proved to be of the highest utility. 2 For not only in very ancient times was the relation of the lunar to the solar year in great confusion among the Romans, so that the sacrificial feasts and festivals, diverging gradually, at last fell in opposite seasons of the year,  p581 3 but also at this time people generally had no way of computing the actual solar year;​101 the priests alone knew the proper time, and would suddenly and to everybody's surprise insert the intercalary month called Mercedonius. 4 Numa the king is said to have been the first to intercalate this month, thus devising a slight and short-lived remedy for the error in regard to the sidereal and solar cycles, as I have told in his Life.​102 5 But Caesar laid the problem before the best philosophers and mathematicians, and out of the methods of correction which were already at hand compounded one of his own which was more accurate than any. This the Romans use down to the present time, and are thought to be less in error than other peoples as regards the inequality between the lunar and solar years. 6 However, even this furnished occasion for blame to those who envied Caesar and disliked his power. At any rate, Cicero the orator, we are told, when some one remarked that Lyra would rise on the morrow, said: "Yes, by decree," implying that men were compelled to accept even this dispensation.

60 1 But the most open and deadly hatred towards him was produced by his passion for the royal power. For the multitude this was a first cause of hatred, and for those who had long smothered their hate, a most specious pretext for it. 2 And yet those who were advocating this honour for Caesar actually spread abroad among the people a report that from the Sibylline books it appeared that Parthia could be taken if the Romans went up against it with a king,  p583 but otherwise could not be assailed; 3 and as Caesar was coming down from Alba into the city they ventured to hail him as king. But at this the people were confounded, and Caesar, disturbed in mind, said that his name was not King, but Caesar, and seeing that his words produced an universal silence, he passed on with no very cheerful or contented looks. 4 Moreover, after sundry extravagant honours had been voted him in the senate, it chanced that he was sitting above the rostra, and as the praetors and consuls drew near, with the whole senate following them, he did not rise to receive them, but as if he were dealing with mere private persons, replied that his honours needed curtailment rather than enlargement. 5 This vexed not only the senate, but also the people, who felt that in the persons of the senators the state was insulted, and in a terrible dejection they went away at once, all who were not obliged to remain, 6 so that Caesar too, when he was aware of his mistake, immediately turned to go home, and drawing back his toga from his neck, cried in loud tones to his friends that he was ready to offer his throat to any one who wished to kill him. But afterwards he made his disease an excuse for his behaviour, 7 saying that the senses of those who are thus afflicted do not usually remain steady when they address a multitude standing, but are speedily shaken and whirled about, bringing on giddiness and insensibility. 8 However, what he said was not true; on the contrary, he was very desirous of rising to receive the senate; but one of his friends, as they say, or rather one of his flatterers, Cornelius Balbus, restrained him, saying: "Remember that thou art Caesar, and permit thyself to be courted as a superior."

 p585  61 1 There was added to these causes of offence his insult to the tribunes. It was, namely, the festival of the Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. 2 At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. 3 And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped to an easy delivery, and the barren to pregnancy. 4 These ceremonies Caesar was witnessing, seated upon the rostra on a golden throne, arrayed in triumphal attire. 5 And Antony was one of the runners in the sacred race; for he was consul. Accordingly, after he had dashed into the forum and the crowd had made way for him, he carried a diadem, round which a wreath of laurel was tied, and held it out to Caesar. Then there was applause, not loud, but slight and preconcerted. 6 But when Caesar pushed away the diadem, all the people applauded; and when Antony offered it again, few, and when Caesar declined it again, all, applauded. 7 The experiment having thus failed, Caesar rose from his seat, after ordering the wreath to be carried up to the Capitol; 8 but then his statues were seen to have been decked with royal diadems. So two of the tribunes, Flavius and Maryllus, went up to them and pulled off the diadems, and after discovering those who had first hailed Caesar as king, led them off to prison. 9 Moreover, the people followed the tribunes with applause and called them Brutuses, because Brutus was the man who put  p587 an end to the royal succession and brought the power into the hands of the senate and people instead of a sole ruler.​103 10 At this, Caesar was greatly vexed, and deprived Maryllus and Flavius of their office, while in his denunciation of them, although he at the same time insulted the people, he called them repeatedly Brutes and Cymaeans.104

62 1 Under these circumstances the multitude turned their thoughts towards Marcus Brutus, who was thought to be a descendant of the elder Brutus on his father's side, on his mother's side belonged to the Servilii, another illustrious house, and was a son-in‑law and nephew of Cato. 2 The desires which Brutus felt to attempt of his own accord the abolition of the monarchy were blunted by the favours and honours that he had received from Caesar. 3 For not only had his life been spared at Pharsalus after Pompey's flight, and the lives of many of his friends at his entreaty, but also he had great credit with Caesar. 4 He had received the most honourable of the praetor­ships for the current year, and was to be consul three years later, having been preferred to Cassius, who was a rival candidate. 5 For Caesar, as we are told, said that Cassius urged the juster claims to the office, but that for his own part he could not pass Brutus by.​105 6 Once, too, when certain persons were actually accusing Brutus to him, the conspiracy being already on foot, Caesar would not heed them, but laying his hand upon his body said to the accusers: "Brutus will wait for this shrivelled skin,"​106 implying that Brutus was worthy to rule because of his virtue, but that for the sake of ruling he would not become a thankless villain. 7 Those, however, who  p589 were eager for the change, and fixed their eyes on Brutus alone, or on him first, did not venture to talk with him directly, but by night they covered his praetorial tribune and chair with writings, most of which were of this sort: "Thou art asleep, Brutus," or, "Thou art not Brutus."​107 8 When Cassius perceived that the ambition of Brutus was somewhat stirred by these things, he was more urgent with him than before, and pricked him on, having himself also some private grounds for hating Caesar; these I have mentioned in the Life of Brutus.​107 9 Moreover, Caesar actually suspected him, so that he once said to his friends: "What, think ye, doth Cassius want? I like him not over much, for he is much too pale." 10 And again, we are told that when Antony and Dolabella were accused to him of plotting revolution, Caesar said: "I am not much in fear of these fat, long-haired fellows, but rather of those pale, thin ones," meaning Brutus and Cassius.​107

63 1 But destiny, it would seem, is not so much unexpected as it is unavoidable, since they say that amazing signs and apparitions were seen. 2 Now, as for lights in the heavens, crashing sounds borne all about by night, and birds of omen coming down into the forum, it is perhaps not worth while to mention these precursors of so great an event; 3 but Strabo the philosopher says​108 that multitudes of men all on fire were seen rushing up, and a soldier's slave threw from his hand a copious flame and seemed to the spectators to be burning, but when the flame ceased the man was uninjured; 4 he says, moreover,  p591 that when Caesar himself was sacrificing, the heart of the victim was not to be found, and the prodigy caused fear, since in the course of nature, certainly, an animal without a heart could not exist. 5 The following story, too, is told by many. A certain seer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; 6 and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "Well, the Ides of March are come," and the seer said to him softly: "Ay, they are come, but they are not gone." 7 Moreover, on the day before, when Marcus Lepidus was entertaining him at supper, Caesar chanced to be signing letters, as his custom was, while reclining at table, and the discourse turned suddenly upon the question what sort of death was the best; before any one could answer Caesar cried out: "That which is unexpected." 8 After this, while he was sleeping as usual by the side of his wife, all the windows and doors of the chamber flew open at once, and Caesar, confounded by the noise and the light of the moon shining down upon him, noticed that Calpurnia was in a deep slumber, but was uttering indistinct words and inarticulate groans in her sleep; 9 for she dreamed, as it proved, that she was holding her murdered husband in her arms and bewailing him.

Some, however, say that this was not the vision which the woman had; but that there was attached to Caesar's house to give it adornment and distinction, by vote of the senate, a gable-ornament, as Livy says, and it was this which Calpurnia in her dreams saw torn down, and therefore, as she thought, wailed and wept. 10 At all events, when day came, she begged Caesar,  p593 if it was possible, not to go out, but to postpone the meeting of the senate; if, however, he had no concern at all for her dreams, she besought him to inquire by other modes of divination and by sacrifices concerning the future. 11 And Caesar also, as it would appear, was in some suspicion and fear. For never before had he perceived in Calpurnia any womanish superstition, but now he saw that she was in great distress. 12 And when the seers also, after many sacrifices, told him that the omens were unfavourable, he resolved to send Antony and dismiss the senate.

64 1 But at this juncture Decimus Brutus, surnamed Albinus, who was so trusted by Caesar that he was entered in his will as his second heir, but was partner in the conspiracy of the other Brutus and Cassius, 2 fearing that if Caesar should elude that day, their undertaking would become known, ridiculed the seers and chided Caesar for laying himself open to malicious charges on the part of the senators, who would think themselves mocked at; 3 for they had met at his bidding, and were ready and willing to vote as one man that he should be declared king of the provinces outside of Italy, and might wear a diadem when he went anywhere else by land or sea; 4 but if some one should tell them at their session to be gone now, but to come back again when Calpurnia should have better dreams, what speeches would be made by his enemies, or who would listen to his friends when they tried to show that this was not slavery and tyranny? 5 But if he was fully resolved (Albinus said) to regard the day as inauspicious, it was better that he should go in person and address the senate, and then postpone its business. 6 While  p595 saying these things Brutus took Caesar by the hand and began to lead him along. And he had gone but a little way from his door when a slave belonging to some one else, eager to get at Caesar, but unable to do so for the press of numbers about him, forced his way into the house, gave himself into the hands of Calpurnia, and bade her keep him secure until Caesar came back, since he had important matters to report to him.

65 1 Furthermore, Artemidorus, a Cnidian by birth, a teacher of Greek philosophy, and on this account brought into intimacy with some of the followers of Brutus, so that he also knew most of what they were doing, came bringing to Caesar in a small roll the disclosures which he was going to make; 2 but seeing that Caesar took all such rolls and handed them to his attendants, he came quite near, and said: "Read this, Caesar, by thyself, and speedily; for it contains matters of importance and of concern to thee." 3 Accordingly, Caesar took the roll and would have read it, but was prevented by the multitude of people who engaged his attention, although he set out to do so many times, and holding in his hand and retaining that roll alone, he passed on into the senate. 4 Some, however, say that another person gave him this roll, and that Artemidorus did not get to him at all, but was crowded away all along the route.

66 1 So far, perhaps, these things may have happened of their own accord; the place, however, which was the scene of that struggle and murder, and in which the senate was then assembled, since it contained a statue of Pompey and had been dedicated by Pompey as an additional ornament to his  p597 theatre, made it wholly clear that it was the work of some heavenly power which was calling and guiding the action thither. 2 Indeed, it is also said that Cassius, turning his eyes toward the statue of Pompey before the attack began, invoked it silently, although he was much addicted to the doctrines of Epicurus;​109 3 but the crisis, as it would seem, when the dreadful attempt was now close at hand, replaced his former cool calculations with divinely inspired emotion.

4 Well, then, Antony, who was a friend of Caesar's and a robust man, was detained outside by Brutus Albinus,​110 who purposely engaged him in a lengthy conversation; 5 but Caesar went in, and the senate rose in his honour. Some of the partisans of Brutus took their places round the back of Caesar's chair, while others went to meet him, as though they would support the petition which Tulliusº Cimber presented to Caesar in behalf of his exiled brother, and they joined their entreaties to his and accompanied Caesar up to his chair. 6 But when, after taking his seat, Caesar continued to repulse their petitions, and, as they pressed upon him with greater importunity, began to show anger towards one and another of them, Tullius seized his toga with both hands and pulled it down from his neck. This was the signal for the assault. 7 It was Casca who gave him the first blow with his dagger, in the neck, not a mortal wound, nor even a deep one, for which he was too much confused, as was natural at the beginning of a deed of great daring; so that Caesar turned about, grasped the knife, and held it fast.  p599 8 At almost the same instant both cried out, the smitten man in Latin: "Accursed Casca, what does thou?" and the smiter, in Greek, to his brother: "Brother, help!"

9 So the affair began, and those who were not privy to the plot were filled with consternation and horror at what was going on; they dared not fly, nor go to Caesar's help, nay, nor even utter a word. 10 But those who had prepared themselves for the murder bared each of them his dagger, and Caesar, hemmed in on all sides, whichever way he turned confronting blows of weapons aimed at his face and eyes, driven hither and thither like a wild beast, was entangled in the hands of all; 11 for all had to take part in the sacrifice and taste of the slaughter. Therefore Brutus also gave him one blow in the groin. 12 And it is said by some writers that although Caesar defended himself against the rest and darted this way and that and cried aloud, when he saw that Brutus had drawn his dagger, he pulled his toga down over his head and sank, either by chance or because pushed there by his murderers, against the pedestal on which the statue of Pompey stood. 13 And the pedestal was drenched with his blood, so that one might have thought that Pompey himself was presiding over this vengeance upon his enemy, who now lay prostrate at his feet, quivering from a multitude of wounds. 14 For it is said that he received twenty-three; and many of the conspirators were wounded by one another, as they struggled to plant all those blows in one body.

67 1 Caesar thus done to death, the senators, although Brutus came forward as if to say something  p601 about what had been done, would not wait to hear him, but burst out of doors and fled, thus filling the people with confusion and helpless fear, so that some of them closed their houses, while others left their counters and places of business and ran, first to the place to see what had happened, then away from the place when they had seen. 2 Antony and Lepidus, the chief friends of Caesar, stole away and took refuge in the houses of others. 3 But Brutus and his partisans, just as they were, still warm from the slaughter, displaying their daggers bare, went all in a body out of the senate-house and marched to the Capitol, not like fugitives, but with glad faces and full of confidence, summoning the multitude to freedom, and welcoming into their ranks the most distinguished of those who met them. 4 Some also joined their number and went up with them as though they had shared in the deed, and laid claim to the glory of it, of whom were Caius Octavius and Lentulus Spinther. 5 These men, then, paid the penalty for their imposture later, when they were put to death by Antony and the young Caesar, without even enjoying the fame for the sake of which they died, owing to the disbelief of their fellow men. 6 For even those who punished them did not exact a penalty for what they did, but for what they wished they had done.

7 On the next day Brutus came down and held a discourse, and the people listened to what was said without either expressing resentment at what had been done or appearing to approve of it; they showed, however, by their deep silence, that while they pitied Caesar, they respected Brutus. 8 The senate, too, trying to make a general amnesty and  p603 reconciliation, voted to give Caesar divine honours and not to disturb even the most insignificant measure which he had adopted when in power; 9 while to Brutus and his partisans it distributed provinces and gave suitable honours, so that everybody thought that matters were decided and settled in the best possible manner.

68 1 But when the will of Caesar was opened and it was found that he had given every Roman citizen a considerable gift, and when the multitude saw his body carried through the forum all disfigured with its wounds, they no longer kept themselves within the restraints of order and discipline, but after heaping round the body benches, railings, and tables from the forum they set fire to them and burned it there; 2 then, lifting blazing brands on high, they ran to the houses of the murderers with intent to burn them down, while others went every whither through the city seeking to seize the men themselves and tear them to pieces. Not one of these came in their way, but all were well barricaded. 3 There was a certain Cinna, however, one of the friends of Caesar, who chanced, as they say, to have seen during the previous night a strange vision. He dreamed, that is, that he was invited to supper by Caesar, and that when he excused himself, Caesar led him along by the hand, although he did not wish to go, but resisted. 4 Now, when he heard that they were burning the body of Caesar in the forum, he rose up and went thither out of respect, although he had misgivings arising from his vision, and was at the same time in a fever. 5 At sight of him, one of the multitude told his name to another who asked him  p605 what it was, and he to another, and at once word ran through the whole throng that this man was one of the murderers of Caesar. 6 For there was among the conspirators a man who bore this same name of Cinna, and assuming this man was he, the crowd rushed upon him and tore him in pieces among them.​111 7 This more than anything else made Brutus and Cassius afraid, and not many days afterwards they withdrew from the city. What they did and suffered before they died, has been told in the Life of Brutus.

69 1 At the time of his death Caesar was fully fifty-six years old, but he had survived Pompey not much more than four years, while of the power and dominion which he had sought all his life at so great risks, and barely achieved at last, of this he had reaped no fruit but the name of it only, and a glory which had awakened envy on the part of his fellow citizens. 2 However, the great guardian-genius of the man, whose help he had enjoyed through life, followed upon him even after death as an avenger of his murder, driving and tracking down his slayers over every land and sea until not one of them was left, but even those who in any way soever either put hand to the deed or took part in the plot were punished.

3 Among events of man's ordering, the most amazing was that which befell Cassius; for after his defeat at Philippi he slew himself with that very dagger which he had used against Caesar; 4 and among events of divine ordering, there was the great comet, which showed itself in great splendour for seven nights  p607 after Caesar's murder, and then disappeared; also, the obscuration of the sun's rays. 5 For during all that year its orb rose pale and without radiance, while the heat that came down from it was slight and ineffectual, so that the air in its circulation was dark and heavy owing to the feebleness of the warmth that penetrated it, and the fruits, imperfect and half ripe, withered away and shrivelled up on account of the coldness of the atmosphere. 6 But more than anything else the phantom that appeared to Brutus showed that the murder of Caesar was not pleasing to the gods; and it was on this wise. 7 As he was about to take his army across from Abydos to the other continent, he was lying down at night, as his custom was, in his tent, not sleeping, but thinking of the future; 8 for it is said that of all generals Brutus was least given to sleep, and that he naturally remained awake a longer time than anybody else. 9 And now he thought he heard a noise at the door, and looking towards the light of the lamp, which was slowly going out, he saw a fearful vision of a man of unnatural size and harsh aspect. 10 At first he was terrified, but when he saw that the visitor neither did nor said anything, but stood in silence by his couch, he asked him who he was. 11 Then the phantom answered him: "I am thy evil genius, Brutus, and thou shalt see me at Philippi." At the time, then, Brutus said courageously: "I shall see thee;" and the heavenly visitor at once went away. 12 Subsequently, however, when arrayed against Antony and Caesar at Philippi, in the first battle he conquered the enemy in his front, routed and scattered them, and sacked the camp of Caesar; 13 but as he was about to fight the second  p609 battle, the same phantom visited him again at night, and though it said nothing to him, Brutus understood his fate, and plunged headlong into danger. 14 He did not fall in battle, however, but after the rout retired to a crest of ground, put his naked sword to his breast (while a certain friend, as they say, helped to drive the blow home), and so died.112

The Editor's Notes:

1 Many think that opening paragraphs of this Life, describing the birth and boyhood of Caesar, have been lost.

2 In 86 B.C., after the death of his colleague, Valerius Flaccus.

3 In 82 B.C. Cf. the Pompey, ix.1 f.

4 Nam Caesari multos Marios inesse (Suetonius, Divus Julius, i).

5 Caesar served under Marcus Thermus, praetor of Asia, in 81‑80 B.C., being then nineteen years of age, and by him was sent to Bithynia in order to raise a fleet to assist in the siege of Mitylene.

6 According to Suetonius (Div. Jul. 4), it was on a voyage from Rome to Rhodes (after 77 B.C.) that Caesar was captured by pirates.

7 According to Suetonius (Div. Jul. 4), this voyage, on which he was captured by pirates, was undertaken after his unsuccess­ful prosecution of Dolabella, mentioned in the next chapter. See the note on i.4.

8 In 77 B.C.

9 In 68 B.C.

10 In 68 B.C.

11 In 67 B.C.

12 Caesar was first married to Cossutia, the daughter of a rich Roman knight.

13 In 66 B.C.

14 See the Marius, chapters xi‑xxii.

15 In 63 B.C.

16 In 63 B.C. Cf. the Cicero, chapters x‑xxii.

17 Cf. the Cato Minor, xxii.4 f.

18 Cf. the Cato Minor, chapter xxiii.

19 No longer extant.

20 Cf. the Cato Minor, xxvi.1.

21 For the year 62 B.C.

22 The sacrilege and trial of Clodius are described at length also in the Cicero, chapters xxviii and xxix.

23 Early in 61 B.C.

24 Suetonius (Div. Jul. 7) and Dio Cassius (XXXVII.52, 2) connect this anecdote more properly with Caesar's quaestor­ship in Spain (67 B.C.), when he was thirty-three years of age, the age at which Alexander died.

25 Cf. the Pompey, xlvii.1‑5.

26 In 59 B.C.

27 Cf. the Cicero, chapters xxx and xxxi.

28 Described by Caesar in Bell. Civ. II.4‑7.

29 Cf. Caesar, Bell. Civ. III.53.

30 Cf. Caesar, Bell. Gall. I.2‑29.

31 Cf. Caesar, B. G. I.30‑53.

32 Acting as consul, in 59 B.C.

33 Cf. Caesar, B. G. I.40.

34 The winter of 58‑57 B.C.

35 Cf. Caesar, B. G. I.54: ipse in citeriorem Galliam ad conventus agendos profectus est.

36 Caesar's campaign against the Belgae, in 57 B.C., is described by himself in B. G. II.1‑33.

37 Scuto ab novissimis uni militi detracto (B. G. II.25, 2).

38 Quod ante id tempus accidit nulli (Caesar, B. G. II.35, 4).

39 57‑56 B.C. Cf. the Pompey, li.3 f.

40 In April of 56 B.C.

41 Cf. the Cato Minor, xxxiv.

42 In 55 B.C. Plutarch passes over Caesar's campaign of 56 B.C. in Gaul, following the conference at Luca. Caesar describes it in B. G. III.

43 Caesar calls them Usipetes and Tencteri (B. G. IV.I).

44 B. G. IV.13.

45 B. G. IV.16‑19.

46 Once in 55 B.C. (B. G. IV.20‑36); again in 54 B.C. (B. G. V.1‑22).

47 Cf. the Pompey, chapter liii.

48 Cf. Caesar, B. G. V.24‑51.

49 Caesar calls him Ambiorix.

50 Plutarch here passes over the events of the year 53 B.C., described by Caesar in B. G. VI. The seventh book is wholly taken up with the war now to be described (52 B.C.).

51 In Caesar's B. G. the names are Carnutes and Vercingetorix.

52 Cf. the Pompey, liii.6.

53 Cf. the Pompey, chapter liv.

54 Cf. the Pompey, lv.7.

55 The Basilica Pauli Aemilii, called also Regia Pauli. It took the place of the Basilica Aemilia et Fulvia, erected in 179 B.C.

Thayer's Note: For full details, see the article Basilica Aemilia in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

56 See chapter xxv.1.

57 Cf. the Pompey, lviii.2.

58 Pompey had married Cornelia, the young widow of Publius Crassus (Pompey, lv.1).

59 January 7, 49 B.C.

60 Cf. the Pompey, lx.1‑2.

61 According to Suetonius (Div. Jul. 7), Caesar had this dream while he was quaestor in Spain (67 B.C.). The interpreters of dreams told him that his mother meant the Earth, the universal parent, which was to become subject to him.

62 Cf. the Pompey, lvii.5.

63 Cf. the Pompey, lxi.4.

64 Chapter lxii.

65 Caesar gives a summary of his speech to the senators in B. C. I.32.

66 Cf. the Pompey, lxii.1.

67 Cf. Caesar, B. C. I.34‑86.

68 48 B.C. The Roman calendar, at this time, was much in advance of the solar seasons.

Thayer's Note: For full details, see the article Calendarium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

69 Cf. Dion Cassius, XLI.46.3.

70 Cf. Caesar, B. C. III.48.

71 Cf. the Pompey, lxv.5.

72 Cf. the Pompey, lxvii.3.

73 Cf. Caesar, B. C. III.82 f.; Plutarch, Pompey, lxvii.5.

74 An error for Cornificius.

75 Cf. the Pompey, lxviii.3.

76 August 9, 48 B.C.

77 Cf. the Pompey, lxix.1‑3.

78 B. C. III.92.

79 In Caesar's version of this episode (B. C. III.91 and 99), the name is Crastinus.

80 Cf. the Pompey, lxxi.1‑3.

81 Chapters lxxvii‑lxxx.

82 Hoc voluerunt; tantis rebus gestis Gaius Caesar condemnatus essem, nisi ab exercitu auxilium petissem (Suetonius, Div. Jul. 30).

83 Cf. Caesar B. C. III.105 ad fin.

84 In Book CXI, which is lost.

85 Cf. the Pompey, lxxx.5.

86 See the Pompey, lxxvii.2.

87 During Caesar's consul­ship (59 B.C.) Ptolemy Auletes was declared a friend and ally of the Romans. To secure this honour he both gave and promised money to the state.

88 In the Museum, founded by the first Ptolemy (ob. 283 B.C.). The destruction of the Library can have been only partial.

89 An island off Alexandria, connected with the mainland by a mole, or causeway, which divided the harbour into two parts.

90 Cf. Dio Cassius, XLII.40.

91 In July of 47 B.C.

92 Veni, vidi, vici. According to Suetonius (Div. Jul. 37), the words were displayed in Caesar's Pontic triumph.

93 The senate named Caesar Dictator for the year 47 immediately after the battle at Pharsalus.

94 Cf. Appian, B. C. II.93.

95 In April of 46 B.C.

96 See the Cato Minor, lxv.

97 According to Suetonius (Div. Jul. 41), this was not a census of all the people, but a revision of the number of poorer citizens entitled to receive allowances of grain from the state.

98 March 17, 45 B.C.

99 Cf. Cicero, xl.4, p186.

100 Both cities were captured in 146 B.C., and both were restored in 44 B.C.

101 At this time the Roman calendar was more than two months ahead of the solar year. Caesar's reform went into effect in 46 B.C.

102 Chapter xviii.

103 See the Publicola, i‑ix.

104 The word "brutus" in Latin signified stupid (cf. the Publicola, iii.4); and the people of Cymé, in Asia Minor, were celebrated for stupidity (Strabo, p622).

105 Cf. the Brutus, vii.1‑3.

106 Cf. the Brutus, chapters viii, ix.

107 Cf. the Brutus, chapters viii, ix.

108 Probably in the "Historical Commentaries" cited in the Lucullus, xxviii.7.

109 These discouraged belief in superhuman powers.

110 By Caius Trebonius, rather, as Plutarch says in the Brutus, xvii.1. Cf. Appian, B.C. II.117; Cicero, ad fam. X.28.

111 Cf. the Brutus, xx. 5 f.

112 Cf. the Brutus, xxxvi; xlviii; lii.

Thayer's Notes:

a Human nature has not changed in two thousand years! — in our own time, we have a fringe who insist that the moon landings did not occur, although at least they don't say the Moon doesn't exist.

A moment's thought will bring out many similarities between the two incredible pioneering expeditions; not the least of which is that Caesar's bore no direct fruit: only a century later was Britain colonized and developed by Rome.

b Or Salvito; Dio XLII.58 has Salutio (Σαλουτίων).

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 5 Apr 19