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Book XLI

This webpage reproduces a Book of
Roman History

Cassius Dio

published in Vol. IV
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1916

The text is in the public domain.

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Cassius Dio
Roman History

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


 p113  The following is contained in the Forty-second of Dio's Rome:—
1. How Pompey, defeated in Thessaly, fled to Egypt and perished (chaps. 1‑5).
2. How Caesar, pursuing Pompey, came into Egypt (chaps. 6‑9).
3. How the news about Caesar and Pompey was announced at Rome, and what decrees were passed in honour of Caesar (chaps. 17‑20).
4. How the people in Rome fell into strife during Caesar's absence (chaps. 21‑33).
5. How Caesar fought and subdued the Egyptians and made a present of them to Cleopatra (chaps. 34‑44).
6. How Caesar conquered Pharnaces (chaps. 45‑48).
7. How Caesar returned to Rome and settled matters there (chaps. 49‑55).
8. How Caesar led an expedition into Africa (chaps. 56‑58).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consul­ship of C. Julius Caesar (II) and Publius Servilius Isauricus, together with one additional year, in which there were the magistrates (consuls) here enumerated:—

C. Iulius C. F. Caesar, dictator (II), M. Antonius M. F., master of horse, and the two consuls Q. Fufius Q. F. Calenus and P. Vatinius P. F.

1 1 Such was the general character of the battle. As a result of it Pompey straightway despaired of all his projects and no longer took any account of his own valour or of the multitude of troops remaining  p115 to him or of the fact that Fortune often restores the fallen in a moment of time; yet previously he had always possessed the greatest cheerfulness and the greatest hopefulness on all occasions of failure. 2 The reason for this was that on those occasions he had usually been evenly matched with his foe and hence had not taken his victory for granted; but by reflecting beforehand on the two possible issues of events while he was still cool-headed and was not yet involved in any alarm he had not neglected to prepare for the worst. In this way he had not been compelled to yield to disasters and had always been able easily to renew the conflict; but this time, as he had expected to prove greatly superior to Caesar, he had taken no precautions. 3 For instance, he had not placed his camp in a suitable position, nor had he provided a refuge for himself in case of defeat. And whereas he might have delayed action and so have prevailed without a battle, — since his army kept increasing every day and he had abundant provisions, being in a country for the most part friendly and being also master of the sea, — nevertheless, whether of his own accord, because he expected to conquer in any event, or because his hand was forced by associates, he joined issue. Consequently, as soon as he was defeated, he became greatly terrified and had no opportune plan or sure hope to enable him to face the danger anew. Thus it is that whenever an event befalls a man unexpectedly and contrary to all calculation, it humbles his spirit and strikes his reason with panic, so that he becomes the poorest and weakest judge of what must be done. 5 For reason cannot dwell  p117 with fear; if it occupies the ground first, it boldly thrusts the other out, but if it be last on the field, it gets the worst of the encounter.

2 1 Hence Pompey, also, having considered none of the chances beforehand, was found naked and defenceless, whereas, if he had taken any precautions, he might, perhaps, without trouble have quietly recovered everything. For large numbers of the combatants on his side had survived and he had other forces of no small importance. Above all, he possessed large sums of money and was master of the whole sea, and the cities both there and in Asia were devoted to him even in his misfortune. 2 But, as it was, since he had fared ill where he felt most confident, through the fear that seized him at the moment he made no use of any one of these resources, but left the camp at once and fled with a few companions toward Larissa. He did not enter the city, because he feared that they might incur some blame in consequence; but bidding them go over to the victor, he himself took provisions, went down to the sea, and sailed away on a merchantman to Lesbos, to his wife Cornelia and his son Sextus. 4 After taking them on board, he did not enter Mitylene either, but departed for Egypt, hoping to secure an auxiliary force from Ptolemy, the king of that country. This was the son of that Ptolemy who had received back the kingdom at his hands,  p119 through the agency of Gabinius, and in return for that service he had sent a fleet to Pompey's assistance. 5 I have heard, indeed, that Pompey even thought of fleeing to the Parthians, but I cannot credit the report. For that race so hated the Romans as a people ever since Crassus had made his expedition against them, and Pompey especially, because he was related to Crassus, that they had even imprisoned his envoy who came with a request for aid, though he was a senator. 6 And Pompey would never have endured in his misfortune to become a suppliant of his bitterest foe for what he had failed to obtain while enjoying success.

3 1 He set out, then, for Egypt, for the reasons mentioned, and after coasting along the shore as far as Cilicia crossed from there to Pelusium, where Ptolemy was encamped while making war upon his sister Cleopatra. 2 Bringing the ships to anchor, he sent some men to remind the prince of the favour shown his father and to ask that he be permitted to land under certain definite guarantees; for he did not venture to disembark before obtaining some guarantee of safety. 3 Ptolemy gave him no answer, for he was still a mere boy, but some of the Egyptians and Lucius Septimius, a Roman who had once served with Pompey and after becoming associated with Gabinius had been left behind by him with some troops to guard Ptolemy, 4 came in the guise of friends; but they impiously plotted against him and by their act brought a curse upon themselves and all Egypt. For not only did they themselves  p121 perish not long afterward, but the Egyptians for their part were first delivered to be slaves of Cleopatra, which they particularly disliked, and later were enrolled among the subjects of Rome. 4 1 At this time, then, Septimius and Achillas, the commander-in‑chief, and others who were with them declared they would readily receive Pompey, their purpose being that he might be the more easily deceived and ensnared. So they sent his messengers on ahead, after some had bidden them be of good cheer, and afterwards the conspirators themselves embarked on some small boats and sailed out to him. 2 After many friendly greetings they begged him to come over to their boats, declaring that by reason of its size and the shallow water a ship could not come close to land and that Ptolemy was very eager to see him promptly. Accordingly, though all his fellow-voyagers urged him not to do so, he changed boats, trusting in his hosts and saying merely:

"Whoever to a tyrant wends his way,
His slave is he, e'en though his steps be free."​a

4 Now when they drew near the land, fearing that if he met Ptolemy he might be saved, either by the king himself or by the Romans who were with him or by the Egyptians, who regarded him with very kindly feelings, they killed him before sailing into the harbour. He uttered not a word and made  p123 no complaint, but as soon as he perceived their plot and recognized that he would not be able to ward them off or escape, he veiled his face.

5 1 Such was the end of Pompey the Great, whereby was proved once more the weakness and the strange fortune of the human race. 2 For, although he was not at all deficient in foresight, but had always been absolutely secure against any force able to do him harm, yet he was deceived; and although he had won many unexpected victories in Africa, and many, too, in Asia and Europe, both by land and sea, ever since boyhood, yet now in his fifty-eighth year he was defeated without apparent reason. 3 Although he had subdued the entire Roman sea, he perished on it; and although he had once been, as the saying is, "master of a thousand ships,"​1 he was destroyed in a tiny boat near Egypt and in a sense by Ptolemy, whose father he had once restored from exile to that land and to his kingdom. The man whom Roman soldiers were then still guarding, — soldiers left behind by Gabinius as a favour from Pompey and on account of the hatred felt by the Egyptians for the young prince's father, — this very man seemed to have put him to death by the hands of both Egyptians and Romans. 5 Thus Pompey, who previously had been considered the most power­ful of the Romans, so that he even received the nickname of Agamemnon,​2 was now butchered like one of the lowest of  p125 the Egyptians themselves, not only near Mount Casius but on the anniversary of the day on which he had once celebrated a triumph over Mithridates and the pirates. 6 So even in this respect the two parts of his career were utterly contradictory: on that day of yore he had gained the most brilliant success, whereas he now suffered the most grievous fate; again, following a certain oracle, he had been suspicious of all the citizens named Cassius, but instead of being the object of a plot by any man called Cassius he died and was buried beside the mountain that had this name. 7 Of his fellow-voyagers some were captured at once, while others escaped, among them his wife and son. His wife later obtained pardon and came back safely to Rome, while Sextus proceeded to Africa to his brother Gnaeus; these are the names by which they were distinguished, since they both bore the name of Pompey.

6 1 Caesar, when he had attended to pressing demands after the battle and had assigned Greece and the rest of that region to certain others to win over and reduce, set out himself in pursuit of Pompey. He hurried forward as far as Asia following information received about him, and there waited for a time, since no one knew which way he had sailed. Everything turned out favourably for him; for instance, while crossing the Hellespont in a kind of ferry-boat, he met Pompey's fleet sailing with Lucius Cassius in command, but so far from suffering any harm at their hands, he terrified them and won them over to his  p127 side. Thereupon, meeting with no further resistance, he proceeded to take possession of the rest of that region and to regulate its affairs, levying a money contribution, as I have said, but otherwise doing no one any harm and even conferring benefits on all, so far as was possible. In any case he did away with the tax-gatherers, who had been abusing the people most cruelly, and he converted the amount accruing from the taxes into a joint payment of tribute.

7 1 Meanwhile he learned that Pompey was sailing to Egypt, and fearing that the other by occupying that country first might again become strong, he set out with all speed. 2 And finding him no longer alive, with a few followers he sailed far in advance of the others to Alexandria itself before Ptolemy came from Pelusium. On discovering that the people of the city were in a tumult over Pompey's death he did not at once venture to go ashore, but put out to sea and waited till he saw the head and finger-ring of the murdered man, sent him by Ptolemy. 3 Thereupon he confidently put in to land; the multitude, however, showed irritation at the sight of his lictors and he was glad to make his escape into the palace. Some of his soldiers had their weapons taken from them, and the rest accordingly put to sea again until all the ships had reached port. 8 1 Now Caesar at the sight of Pompey's head wept and lamented bitterly, calling him countryman and son-in‑law, and enumerating all the kindnesses they had shown each other. As for the murderers, far from admitting that he owed  p129 them any reward, he actually heaped reproaches upon them; and he commanded that the head should be adorned, properly prepared, and buried. 2 For this he received praise, but for his hypocrisy he incurred ridicule. He had, of course, from the outset been very eager for dominion; he had always hated Pompey as his antagonist and rival, and besides all his other measures against him 3 he had brought on this war with no other purpose than to secure this rival's ruin and his own supremacy; he had but now been hurrying to Egypt with no other end in view than to overthrow him completely if he should still be alive; yet he feigned to mourn his loss and made a show of vexation over his murder.

9 1 In the belief that now that Pompey was out of his way there was no longer any hostility left against him, he spent some time in Egypt levying money and deciding the differences between Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Meanwhile other wars were being prepared against him. 2 Egypt revolted, and Pharnaces, just as soon as he had learned that Pompey and Caesar were at variance, had began to lay claim to his ancestral domain, since he hoped that they would waste a lot of time in their quarrel and use up the Roman forces upon each other; 3 and he now still went ahead with his plans, partly because he had once made a beginning and partly because he learned that Caesar was far away, and he actually seized many points before the other's arrival. Meanwhile Cato and Scipio and the others who were of the same  p131 mind with them set foot in Africa a struggle that was at once a civil and a foreign war.

10 1 It came about in this way. Cato had been left behind at Dyrrachium by Pompey to keep an eye out for any forces from Italy which might try to cross over, and to repress the Parthini, in case they should begin any disturbance. 2 At first he carried on war with the latter, but after Pompey's defeat he abandoned Epirus, and proceeding to Corcyra with those of the same mind as himself, he there received the men who had escaped from the battle and the rest who had the same sympathies. Cicero and a few other senators had set out for Rome at once, 3 but the majority, including Labienus and Afranius, who had no hope in Caesar, — the one because he had deserted him, and the other because after having been pardoned by him he had again made war on him, — went to Cato, put him at their head, and continued the war. 11 1 Later Octavius also joined them. After sailing into the Ionian Sea and arresting Gaius Antonius, he had conquered several places, but could not take Salonae, though he besieged it a very long time. 2 For the inhabitants, having Gabinius to assist them, vigorously repulsed him and finally along with the women made a sortie and performed a remarkable deed. The women let down their hair and robed themselves in black garments, then taking torches and otherwise making their appearance as terrifying as possible, 3 they assaulted the camp of the besiegers at midnight. They threw the outposts, who thought they were  p133 spirits, into a panic, and then from all sides at once hurled the fire within the palisade, and the men, following them, slew many while they were in confusion and many who were still asleep, promptly gained possession of the camp, and captured without a blow the harbour in which Octavius was lying. 4 They were not, however, left in peace. For he escaped them somehow, gathered a force again, and after defeating them in battle besieged them. Meanwhile, as Gabinius had died of some disease, he gained control of the whole sea in that vicinity, and by making descents upon the land ravaged many districts. This lasted until the battle at Pharsalus, after which his soldiers, as soon as a force sailed against them from Brundisium, changed sides without even coming to blows with them. Then, destitute of allies, Octavius retired to Corcyra.

12 1 Gnaeus Pompey first sailed about with the Egyptian fleet and overran the district called Epirus, almost capturing Oricum. The commander of the place, Marcus Acilius,​3 had blocked up the entrance to the harbour by means of boats loaded with stones and about the mouth of it had raised towers on either side, both on the land and on freight-ships. Pompey, however, had divers scatter the stones that were in the vessels, and when the latter had been lightened, he dragged them out of the way, freed the passage, and then, after putting heavy-armed troops ashore  p135 on each half of the breakwater, he sailed in. He burned all the boats and most of the city, 3 and would have captured the rest of it, had he not been wounded and caused the Egyptians to fear that he might die. When, now, his wound had been cured, he did not continue to assail Oricum, but journeyed about pillaging various places and once vainly made an attempt upon Brundisium itself, as did some others. He was thus occupied for a time; but when his father had been defeated and the Egyptians on receipt of the news sailed home, he betook himself to Cato. 13 1 And his example was followed by Gaius Cassius, who had done very great mischief both in Italy and in Sicily and had overcome a number of opponents in many battles both on sea and on land.

2 Many, indeed, fled to Cato for refuge, since they saw that he excelled them in uprightness; and he, using them as helpers and counsellors in all matters, sailed to the Peloponnesus with the intention of occupying it, for he had not yet heard that Pompey was dead. 3 They seized Patrae and there received among other accessions Petreius and Pompey's son-in‑law, Faustus. Subsequently Quintus Fufius Calenus marched against them, whereupon they set sail, and coming to Cyrene, learned there of the death of Pompey. Their views were now no longer harmonious: 4 Cato, through hatred of Caesar's  p137 domination, and some others in despair of receiving pardon from him, sailed to Africa with the army, added Scipio to their number, and were as active as possible against Caesar; but the majority scattered, some of them retiring and escaping wherever they could, while the rest, among them Gaius Cassius, went to Caesar at once and received pardon.

14 1 Calenus had been sent by Caesar into Greece before the battle, and he captured among other places the Piraeus, owing to its being unwalled. Athens he had been unable to take, in spite of a great deal of damage he did to its territory, until the defeat of Pompey. 2 The inhabitants then came over to him voluntarily, and Caesar, cherishing no resentment, let them go unharmed, merely remarking that in spite of their many offences they were saved by the dead. This remark signified that it was on account of their ancestor and on account of their glory and excellence that he spared them. 3 Accordingly Athens and most of the rest of Greece then at once made terms with him; but the Megarians in spite of this resisted and were captured only at a considerably later date, partly by force and partly by treachery. Therefore many of the inhabitants were slain and the survivors sold. 4 Calenus took this course so that men might think that he had punished them according to their deserts; but since he feared that the city might perish utterly, he sold the captives in the first place to their relatives, and in the second place for a very small sum, so that they might regain their freedom.

 p139  5 After these achievements he marched upon Patrae and occupied it easily, as he had already frightened Cato and his followers away. 15 1 Now while these various operations were being carried on, there was an uprising in Spain, although the country had been at peace. For the Spaniards were at the time being subjected to many abuses by Quintus Longinus, and at first some few banded together to kill him; he was wounded but escaped, and after that proceeded to injure them a great deal more. 2 Then a number of Cordubans and a number of soldiers who had formerly belonged to the Pompeian party rose against him, putting at their head Marcus Marcellus Aeserninus, the quaestor. The latter, however, did not accept their appointment with his whole heart, but seeing the uncertainty of events and looking for them to turn out either way, he played a double game, taking a neutral attitude in all that he said and did, so that whether Caesar or Pompey should prevail he might seem to have fought for the victor in either case. 4 He favoured Pompey, on the one hand, but receiving those who had transferred their allegiance to him and by fighting against Longinus, who declared he was on Caesar's side; on the other hand, he did a kindness to Caesar in taking charge of the soldiers when, as he would say, Longinus was beginning a rebellion, and in keeping these men for him and not allowing their commander to become hostile. 5 And when the soldiers inscribed the name of Pompey on their shields, he erased it, so that he might thereby plead with the one man the deeds done by the arms and with the other their apparent owner­ship, and by laying claim to the deeds  p141 that turned out to be in behalf of the victor and by laying upon necessity or upon other persons the blame for the contrary events he might be on the safe side. 16 1 Consequently, although he had the opportunity of utterly defeating Longinus by his superior numbers, he refused, but by managing his affairs so as to create appearances and to carry out his designs, he put the responsibility for his questionable acts upon others. Thus both in his reverses and in his successes he could make the plea that he was acting equally in behalf of the same person: in the one case he would urge that he had, or had not, done the thing himself, and in the other case that others had or had not been responsible. 2 He went on in this way until Caesar actually conquered, and though at the moment he incurred his anger and was banished, yet later he was restored and honoured. Longinus, however, being denounced by the Spaniards through an embassy, was deprived of his office, and while on his way home perished near the mouths of the Iberus.

17 1 These events were occurring abroad. In Rome, as long as the issue between Caesar and Pompey was doubtful and unsettled, the people all ostensibly favoured Caesar, because of his troops that were in their midst and because of his colleague Servilius. 2 Whenever a victory of his was reported, they rejoiced, and whenever a reverse, they grieved, some sincerely and some feignedly in each case; for there were many spies and eavesdroppers prowling about, observing all that was said and done on such occasions. 3 But privately the talk and actions of those who detested Caesar and preferred Pompey's  p143 side were the very opposite of their public expressions. Hence, as both sides received the various reports in the light of their own advantage, they were inspired sometimes with fear and sometimes with boldness, and inasmuch as many diverse rumours would often be going about on the same day and at the same hour, their position was a most trying one; for they were pleased and distressed, bold and fearful, all within the briefest space of time. 18 1 When the battle of Pharsalus was announced, they were long incredulous. For Caesar sent no despatch to the government, hesitating to appear to rejoice publicly over such a victory, for which reason also he celebrated no triumph; and furthermore the event was clearly very improbable in view of the relative equipment of the two forces and the hopes entertained. 2 But when at last they gave the story credence, they removed the images of Pompey and of Sulla that stood upon the rostra, but did nothing further at the time. Many, indeed, did not wish to do even this, 3 and many also, fearing that Pompey might renew the strife, regarded this as quite enough for Caesar and expected that it would be a fairly simple matter to placate Pompey on account of it. Even when he had died, they did not believe it for a long time, not, in fact, until they saw his seal-ring that had been sent; it had three trophies carved on it, as had that of Sulla. 19 1 So when he was really dead, at last they openly praised the victor and abused the vanquished, and proposed that everything in the world which they could devise should be given to Caesar. And not only in this  p145 respect was there great rivalry among practically all the foremost men, who were eager to outdo one another in fawning upon him, but also in voting such measures. 2 By their shouts and by their gestures they all, as if Caesar were present and looking on, showed the very greatest zeal and thought that in return for it they would get immediately — as if they were doing it to please him at all and not from necessity — one an office, another a priesthood, and a third some pecuniary reward. 3 I shall omit those honours which had either been voted to some others previously — images, crowns, front seats, and things of that kind — or which, while novel and proposed now for the first time, were not confirmed by Caesar, for fear that I might become wearisome, were I to enumerate them all. 4 This same plan I shall follow in my subsequent account, adhering the more strictly to it, as the honours proposed continually grew more numerous and more absurd. Only such as had some special and extraordinary importance and were confirmed will be related.

20 1 They granted him, then, permission to do whatever he wished to those who had favoured Pompey's cause, not that he had not already received this right from himself, but in order that he might seem to be acting with some show of legal authority. They appointed him arbiter of war and peace with all mankind — using the conspirators in Africa as a pretext — without the obligation even of making any communication on the subject to the people or the senate. 2 This,  p147 of course, also lay in his power before, inasmuch as he had so large an armed force; at any rate the wars he had fought he had undertaken on his own authority in nearly every case. Nevertheless, because they wished still to appear to be free and independent citizens, they voted him these rights and everything else which it was in his power to have even against their will. 3 Thus he received the privilege of being consul for five consecutive years and of being chosen dictator, not for six months, but for an entire year, and he assumed the tribunician authority practically for life; for he secured the right of sitting with the tribunes upon the same benches and of being reckoned with them for other purposes — a privilege which was permitted to no one. 4 All the elections except those of the plebs now passed into his hands, and for this reason they were delayed till after his arrival and were held toward the close of the year.​4 In the case of the governor­ships in subject territory the citizens pretended to allot themselves those which fell to the consuls, but voted that Caesar should give the others to the praetors without the casting of lots; for they had gone back to consuls and praetors again contrary to their decree. 5 And they also granted another privilege, which was customary, to be sure, but in the corruption of the times might cause hatred and resentment: they decreed that Caesar should hold a triumph for the war against Juba and the Romans who fought with him, just as if had been the victor, although, as a matter of fact, he had not then so much as heard that there was to be such a war.

 p149  21 1 In this way these measures were voted and ratified. Caesar entered upon the dictator­ship at once, although he was outside of Italy, and chose Antony, although he had not yet been praetor, as his master of horse; and the consuls proposed the latter's name also, although the augurs very strongly opposed him, declaring that no one might be master of the horses for more than six months. 2 But for this course they brought upon themselves a great deal of ridicule, because, after having decided that the dictator himself should be chosen for a year, contrary to all precedent, they were now splitting hairs about the master of the horse. 22 1 Marcus Caelius​5 actually lost his life because he dared to set aside the laws established by Caesar regarding loans, assuming that their author had been defeated and had perished, and because as a result he stirred up Rome and Campania. 2 He had been among the foremost in carrying out Caesar's wishes, for which reason he had been appointed praetor; but he became angry because he had not been made praetor urbanus, and because his colleague Trebonius had been preferred before him for this office, not by lot, as had been the custom, but by Caesar's choice. 3 Hence he opposed his colleague in everything and would not let him perform any of the duties devolving upon him. He not only would not consent to his pronouncing judgments according to Caesar's laws, but he also gave notice to such as owed anything that he would assist them against their creditors, and to all who dwelt in other people's houses that he would release them from payment of the rent. 4 Having by this course gained a considerable following, he set  p151 upon Trebonius with their aid and would have slain him, had the other not managed to change his dress and escape in the crowd. After this failure Caelius privately issued a law in which he granted everybody the use of houses free of rent and annulled all debts.

23 1 Servilius consequently sent for some soldiers who chanced to be going by on the way to Gaul, and after convening the senate under their protection he proposed a measure in regard to the situation. No action was taken, since the tribunes prevented it, but the sense of the meeting was recorded and Servilius then ordered the court officers to take down the offending tablets. 2 When Caelius drove these men away and even involved the consul himself in a tumult, they convened again, still protected by the soldiers, and entrusted to Servilius the guarding of the city, a procedure concerning which I have often spoken before. 3 After this he would not permit Caelius to do anything in his capacity as praetor, but assigned the duties pertaining to his office to another praetor, debarred him from the senate, dragged him from the rostra while he was delivering some tirade or other, and broke his chair in pieces. 24 1 Caelius was very angry with him for each of these acts, but since Servilius had a body of troops in town that matched his own, he was afraid that he might be punished, and so decided to set out for Campania to join Milo, who was beginning a rebellion. 2 For Milo, when he alone of the exiles was not restored by Caesar, had come to Italy, where he gathered a large crowd of men, some in want of a livelihood and others who feared  p153 some punishment, and proceeded to ravage the country, assailing Capua and other cities. 3 To him, then, Caelius wished to betake himself, in order that with his aid he might do Caesar all possible harm. He was watched, however, and could not leave the city openly; and he did not venture to escape secretly because, among other reasons, he expected to accomplish a great deal more by using the dress and the title of his praetor­ship. At last, therefore, he approached the consul and asked him for leave of absence, even saying that he wished to proceed to Caesar. 4 The other, though he suspected his intention, still allowed him to do this, particularly because he was very insistent, invoking Caesar's name and pretending that he was eager to submit his defence; but he sent a tribune with him, so that if he should attempt any rebellious act he might be held in check. 25 1 When they reached Campania, and found that Milo, after a defeat near Capua, had taken refuge on Mount Tifata, and Caelius gave up his plan of going farther, the tribune was alarmed and wished to bring him back home. 2 Servilius, learning of this in time, declared war upon Milo in the senate and gave orders that Caelius should remain in the suburbs, so that he might not stir up any trouble; nevertheless, he did not keep him under strict surveillance, because the man was a praetor. Thus Caelius made his escape and hastened to Milo, 3 and he would certainly have created some disturbance had he found him alive; but as it was, Milo had been driven from Campania and had perished in Apulia. Caelius, therefore, went to Bruttium, hoping to form some league in  p155 that district at any rate, and there he perished before accomplishing anything of importance; for those who favoured Caesar banded together and killed him.

26 1 So these men died, but that did not bring quiet to Rome. On the contrary, many dreadful events took place, as, indeed, omens had indicated beforehand. Among other things that happened toward the end of that year bees settled on the Capitol beside the statue of Hercules. 2 Sacrifices to Isis chanced to be going on there at the time, and the soothsayers gave their opinion to the effect that all precincts of that goddess and of Serapis should be razed to the ground once more. In the course of their demolition a shrine of Bellona was unwittingly destroyed and in it were found jars full of human flesh. 3 The following year a violent earthquake occurred, an owl was seen, thunderbolts descended upon the Capitol and upon the temple of the Public Fortune, as it was called, and into the gardens of Caesar, where a horse of no small value was destroyed by them, 4 and the temple of Fortune opened of its own accord. In addition to this, blood issued from a bake-shop and flowed to another temple of Fortune — that Fortune whose statue, on account of the fact that a man must needs observe and consider everything that lies before his eyes as well as behind him and must not forget from what beginnings he has become what he is, they had set up and named in a way not easy to describe to Greeks.​6 5 Also some infants were born holding their left hands to their heads, so that while  p157 no good was looked for from the other signs, from this especially an uprising of inferiors against superiors was both foretold by the soothsayers and expected by the people.

27 1 These portents, thus revealed by Heaven, disturbed them; and their fear was augmented by the very appearance of the city, which had become strange and unfamiliar at the beginning of the year and continued so for a long time. 2 For there was as yet no consul or praetor, and while Antony, in so far as his costume went, which was the purple-bordered toga, and his lictors, of whom he had only the usual six, and his convening of the senate, furnished some semblance of the republic, yet the sword with which he was girded, and the throng of soldiers that accompanied him, and his very actions in particular indicated the existence of a monarchy. 3 In fact many robberies, outrages, and murders took place. And not only was the existing situation most distressing to the Romans, but they suspected Caesar of intending far more and greater deeds of violence. For when the master of the horse never laid aside his sword even at the festivals, who would not have been suspicious of the dictator himself? Most of these festivals, by the way, Antony gave at Caesar's expense, 4 although the tribunes also gave a few. Even if any one stopped to think of Caesar's goodness, which had led him to spare many enemies, even such as had opposed him in battle, nevertheless, seeing that men who have gained an office do not stick to the principles that guided them when striving for it, they expected that he, too, would change his course. 28 1 They were distressed, therefore, and discussed the  p159 matter with one another at length, at least those who were safe in so doing, for they could not be intimate with any and every one with impunity. For those who seemed to be one's very good friends and others who were relatives would slander one, perverting some statements and telling downright lies on other points. 2 And so it was that the rest found herein the chief cause of their distress, that, since they were unable either to lament or to share their views with others, they could not so much as give their feelings vent. For, while it is true that intercourse with those similarly afflicted lightened their burden somewhat, and the man who could safely utter and hear in return something of what the citizens were undergoing felt easier, yet their distrust of such as were not of like habits with themselves confined their vexation within their own hearts and inflamed them the more, as they could obtain neither escape nor relief. 4 Indeed, in addition to having to keep their sufferings shut up within their own breasts, they were compelled to praise and admire their treatment, as also to celebrate festivals, perform sacrifices, and appear happy over it all.

29 1 This was the condition of the Romans in the city at that time. And, as if it were not sufficient for them to be abused by Antony, one Lucius Trebellius and Publius Cornelius Dolabella, tribunes, fell to quarrelling. The latter championed the cause of the debtors, to which class he belonged, and had therefore changed from the ranks of the patricians to the plebs, in order to secure the tribune­ship. 2 The former claimed to represent the nobles, but issued  p161 edicts and had recourse to murders no less than the other. This, too, naturally resulted in great turmoil and many weapons were everywhere to be seen, although the senators had commanded that no changes should be made before Caesar's arrival, and Antony that no private individual in the city should carry arms. As the tribunes, however, paid no attention to these orders, but resorted to absolutely every sort of measure against each other and against the men just mentioned, a third party arose, consisting of Antony and the senate. For in order to let it be thought that his weapons and the authority that resulted from their possession, an authority which he had already usurped, had been granted by that body, he got the privilege of keeping soldiers within the walls and of helping the other tribunes to guard the city. After this Antony did whatever he desired with a kind of legal right, while Dolabella and Trebellius were nominally guilty of violence; but their effrontery and resources led them to resist both each other and him, as if they too had received some position of command from the senate.

30 1 Meanwhile Antony learned that the legions which Caesar after the battle had sent ahead into Italy, with the intention of following them later, were engaged in questionable proceedings; and fearing that they might begin some rebellion, he turned over the charge of the city to Lucius Caesar, appointing him city prefect, an office never before conferred by a master of the horse, and then set out himself to join the soldiers. The tribunes who were at variance with each other despised Lucius because of his advanced age and inflicted many outrages upon one another  p163 and upon the rest, until they learned that Caesar having settled affairs in Egypt, had set out for Rome. 3 For they were carrying on their quarrel upon the assumption that he would never return again but would of course perish there at the hands of the Egyptians, as, indeed, they kept hearing was the case. When, however, his coming was reported, they moderated their conduct for a time; but as soon as he set out against Pharnaces first, they fell to quarrelling once more. 31 1 Accordingly Antony, seeing that he was unable to restrain them and that his opposition to Dolabella was obnoxious to the populace, at first joined himself to that tribune and brought various charges against Trebellius, among them one to the effect that he was appropriating the soldiers to his own use. 2 Later, when he perceived that he himself was not held in any esteem by the multitude, which was attached only to Dolabella, he became vexed and changed sides, the more so because, while not sharing with the plebeian leader the favour of the people, he nevertheless received the greatest share of blame from the senators. 3 So nominally he adopted a neutral attitude toward the two, but in fact secretly preferred the cause of Trebellius, and coöperated with him in various ways, particularly by allowing him to obtain soldiers. Thenceforward he became merely a spectator and director of their contest, while they fought, seized in turn the most advantageous points in the city, and entered upon a career of murder and arson, to such an extent that on one occasion the holy vessels were carried by the virgins out of the temple of Vesta. 32 1 So the senators once more voted that the master of the horses should keep the  p165 city under stricter guard, and practically the whole city was filled with soldiers. 2 Yet there was no respite. For Dolabella, in despair of obtaining any pardon from Caesar, desired to accomplish some terrible deed before perishing, hoping thus to gain lasting renown; thus there are actually some men who become infatuated with the basest deeds for the sake of fame! From this motive he, too, caused confusion generally, even promising that on a certain specified day he would enact his laws in regard to debts and house-rents. 3 On receipt of these announcements the crowd erected barricades around the Forum, setting up wooden towers at some points, and put itself in readiness to cope with any force that might oppose it. At that, Antony led down from the Capitol at dawn a large body of soldiers, cut down the tablets containing Dolabella's laws and afterwards hurled some of the disturbers from the very cliffs of the Capitoline.

33 1 However, even this did not stop their quarrelling. Instead, the greater the number of those who perished, the greater disturbance did the survivors make, thinking that Caesar had become involved in a very great and difficult war. 2 And they did not cease until he himself suddenly appeared before them; then they reluctantly quieted down. They were expecting to suffer every conceivable ill fate, and there was talk about them all through the city, some judging one way and others another; but  p167 Caesar even at this juncture followed his usual practice. Accepting their attitude of the moment as satisfactory and not concerning himself with their past conduct, he spared them all, and even honoured some of them, including Dolabella. 3 For he owed the latter some kindness, which he did not see fit to forget; in other words, in place of over­looking that favour because he had been wronged, he pardoned him in consideration of the benefit he had received, and besides honouring him in other ways he not long afterward appointed him consul, though he had not even served as praetor.

34 1 These were the events which occurred in Rome during Caesar's absence. Now the reasons why he was so long in coming there and did not arrive immediately after Pompey's death were as follows. The Egyptians were discontented at the levies of money and indignant because not even their temples were left untouched. 2 For they are the most religious people on earth in many respects and wage wars even against one another on account of their beliefs, since they are not all agreed in their worship, but are diametrically opposed to each other in some matters. As a result, then, of their vexation at this and, further, of their fear that they might be surrendered to Cleopatra, who had great influence with Caesar, they began a disturbance. 3 Cleopatra, it seems, had at first urged with Caesar her claim against her brother by means of agents, but as soon as she discovered his disposition (which was very susceptible, to such an extent that he had his intrigues with ever so many other women — with all, doubtless, who chanced to come in his way) she sent  p169 word to him that she was being betrayed by her friends and asked that she be allowed to plead her case in person. 4 For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and a knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to every one. 5 Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate every one, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her rôle to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne. 6 She asked therefore for admission to his presence, and on obtaining permission adorned and beautified herself so as to appear before him in the most majestic and at the same time pity-inspiring guise. When she had perfected her schemes she entered the city (for she had been living outside of it), and by night without Ptolemy's knowledge went into the palace. 35 1 Caesar, upon seeing her and hearing her speak a few words was forthwith so completely captivated that he at once, before dawn, sent for Ptolemy and tried to reconcile them, thus acting as advocate for the very woman whose judge he had previously assumed to be. 2 For this reason, and because the sight of his sister within the palace was so unexpected, the boy was filled with wrath and rushed out among the people crying out that he was being betrayed, and at last he tore the diadem from his head and cast it away. In the great tumult which thereupon arose Caesar's troops seized the person of the prince and the Egyptian populace continued to be in an uproar. 3 They assaulted  p171 the palace by land and sea at the same time and might have taken it without a blow, since the Romans had no adequate force present, owing to the apparent friendship of the natives; but Caesar in alarm came out before them, and standing in a safe place, promised to do for them whatever they wished. 4 Afterward he entered an assembly of theirs, and producing Ptolemy and Cleopatra, read their father's will, in which it was directed that they should live together according to the custom of the Egyptians and rule in common, and that the Roman people should exercise a guardian­ship over them. 5 When he had done this and had added that it belonged to him as dictator, holding all the power of the people, to have an oversight of the children and to fulfill their father's wishes, he bestowed the kingdom upon them both and granted Cyprus to Arsinoë and Ptolemy the Younger, a sister and a brother of theirs. 6 For so great fear possessed him, it would seem, that he not only laid hold on none of the Egyptian domain, but actually gave them some of his own besides.

36 1 By this action they were temporarily calmed, but not long afterward were roused even to the point of making war. For Pothinus, a eunuch who was charged with the management of Ptolemy's funds and who had taken a leading part in stirring up the Egyptians, 2 became afraid that he might some time have to pay the penalty for his conduct, and he accordingly sent secretly to Achillas, who was still at this time near Pelusium, and by frightening him and  p173 at the same time inspiring him with hopes he made him his associate, and next won over also all the rest who bore arms. 3 To all of them alike it seemed a shame to be ruled by a woman — for they suspected that Caesar on the occasion mentioned had given the kingdom ostensibly to both the children merely to quiet the people, and that in the course of time he would offer it to Cleopatra alone — 4 and they thought themselves a match for the army he then had present. So they set out at once and proceeded toward Alexandria. 37 1 Caesar, learning of this and feeling afraid of their numbers and daring, sent some men to Achillas, not his own, but in Ptolemy's name, bidding him keep the peace. Achillas, however, realizing that this was not the boy's command, but Caesar's, so far from giving it any attention, 2 was filled with contempt for the sender, believing him afraid. So he called his soldiers together and by haranguing them at length in favour of Ptolemy and against Caesar and Cleopatra he finally roused their anger against the messengers, though these were Egyptians, so that they should defile themselves with their murder and thus be forced into a relentless war. 3 Caesar, apprised of this, summoned his soldiers from Syria and fortified the palace and the other buildings near it by a moat and wall reaching to the sea. 38 1 Meanwhile Achillas arrived with the Romans and the others who had been left behind with Septimius  p175 by Gabinius to keep guard over Ptolemy; for these troops as a result of their stay there had changed their habits and had adopted those of the natives. And he immediately won over the larger part of the Alexandrines and made himself master of the most advantageous positions. 2 After this many battles occurred between the two forces both by day and by night, and many places were set on fire, with the result that the docks and the storehouses of grain among other buildings were burned, and also the library, whose volumes, it is said, were of the greatest number and excellence. Achillas was in possession of the mainland, with the exception of what Caesar had walled off, and the latter of the sea except the harbour. 3 Caesar, indeed, was victorious in a sea-fight, and when the Egyptians, consequently, fearing that he would sail into their harbour, had blocked up the entrance with the exception of a narrow passage, he cut off that outlet also by sinking freight ships loaded with stones; so they were unable to stir, no matter how much they might desire to sail out. 4 After this achievement provisions, and water in particular, were brought in more easily; for Achillas had deprived them of the local water-supply by cutting the pipes.

39 1 While these events were taking place, one Ganymedes, a eunuch, secretly brought Arsinoë to the Egyptians, as she was not very well guarded. They declared her queen and proceeded to prosecute the war more vigorously, inasmuch as they now had as leader a representative of the family of the  p177 Ptolemies. 2 Caesar, therefore, in fear that Pothinus might kidnap Ptolemy, put the former to death and guarded the latter strictly without any further dissimulation. This served still more to incense the Egyptians, to whose party numbers were being added continually, whereas the Roman soldiers from Syria were not yet present. Caesar was therefore anxious to win the people's friendship, 3 and so he led Ptolemy up to a place from which they could hear his voice, and then bade him say to them that he was unharmed and did not desire war; and he urged them toward peace, and moreover promised to arrange it for them. 4 Now if he had talked to them thus of his own accord, he might have persuaded them to become reconciled; but as it was, they suspected that it was all prearranged by Caesar, and so did not yield.

40 1 As time went on a dispute arose among the followers of Arsinoë, and Ganymedes prevailed upon her to put Achillas to death, on the ground that he was going to betray the fleet. When this had been done, he assumed command of the soldiers and gathered all the boats that were in the river and lake, besides constructing others; 2 and he conveyed them all through the canals to the sea, where he attacked the Romans while off their guard, burned some of their freight ships to the water's edge and towed others away. Then he cleared out the entrance to the harbour and by lying in wait for vessels there he caused the Romans great annoyance. 3 So Caesar, having waited for a time when they were acting carelessly by reason of their success, suddenly  p179 sailed into the harbour, burned a large number of vessels, and disembarking on Pharos, slew the inhabitants of the island. When the Egyptians on the mainland saw this, they rushed over the bridges to the aid of their friends, and after killing many of the Romans in turn drove the remainder back to the ships. 4 While the fugitives were forcing their way into these in crowds anywhere they could, Caesar and many others fell into the sea. He would have perished miserably, being weighted down by his robes and pelted by the Egyptians (for his garments, being of purple, offered a good mark), had he not thrown off his clothing and then succeeded in swimming out to where a skiff lay, which he boarded. 5 In this way he was saved, and that, too, without wetting one of the documents of which he held up a large number in his left hand as he swam. The Egyptians took his clothing and hung it upon the trophy which they set up to commemorate this rout, just as if they had captured him himself. They also kept a close watch upon the landings, since the legions which had been sent for from Syria were already drawing near, and were doing the Romans much injury. 6 For while Caesar could defend in a fashion those of them who came ashore on the Libyan side, yet near the mouth of the Nile the Egyptians deceived many of his men by means of signal fires, as if they too were Romans, and thus captured them, so that the rest no longer ventured to come to land, until Tiberius Claudius Nero at this time sailed up the river itself, conquered the foe in battle, and made it safer for his followers to come to land.

 p181  41 1 Thereupon Mithridates, called the Pergamenian, undertook to go up with his ships into the mouth of the Nile opposite Pelusium; but when the Egyptians barred his entrance with their vessels, he betook himself by night to the canal, 2 hauled the ships over into it, since it does not empty into the sea, and through it sailed up into the Nile. After that he suddenly attacked, from both sea and river at once, those who were guarding the mouth of the river, and thus breaking up their blockade, 3 he assaulted Pelusium with his infantry and his fleet simultaneously and captured it. Advancing then toward Alexandria, and learning that a certain Dioscorides was coming to confront him, he ambushed and destroyed him.

42 1 But the Egyptians on receiving the news would not end the war even then; yet they were irritated at the rule of the eunuch and of the woman and thought that if they could put Ptolemy at their head they would be superior to the Romans. 2 So then, finding themselves unable to seize him in any way, inasmuch as he was skilfully guarded, they pretended that they were worn out by their disasters and desired peace; and they sent to Caesar, making overtures and asking for Ptolemy, in order, as they claimed, that they might consult with him about the terms on which a truce could be effected. 3 Now Caesar believed that they had in very truth changed their mind, since he heard that they were cowardly and fickle in general and perceived that at this  p183 time they were terrified in the face of their defeats; but even in case they should be planning some trick, in order that he might not be regarded as hindering peace, he said that he approved their request, and sent them Ptolemy. 4 For he saw no source of strength in the lad, in view of his youth and lack of education, and hoped that the Egyptians would either become reconciled with him on the terms he wished or else would more justly deserve to be warred upon and subjugated, so that there might be some reasonable excuse for delivering them over to Cleopatra; 5 for of course he had no idea that he would be defeated by them, particularly now that his troops had joined him. 43 1 But the Egyptians, when they secured the lad, took not a thought for peace, but straightway set out against Mithridates, as if they were sure to accomplish some great achievement by the name and by the family of Ptolemy; and they surrounded Mithridates near the lake, between the river and the marshes, and routed his forces. 2 Now Caesar did not pursue them, through fear of being ambushed, but at night he set sail as if he were hurrying to some outlet of the Nile, and kindled an enormous fire on each vessel, so that it might be widely believed that he was going thither. 3 He started at first, then, to sail away, but afterwards extinguished the fires, returned, passed alongside the city to the peninsula on the Libyan side, where he came to land; and there he disembarked the soldiers, went around the lake, and fell upon the Egyptians unexpectedly about dawn. They were immediately so dismayed that they made overtures for peace, but since he would not listen to  p185 their entreaty, a fierce battle later took place in which he was victorious and slew great numbers of the enemy. Ptolemy and some others tried in their haste to escape across the river, and perished in it.

44 1 In this way Caesar overcame Egypt. He did not, however, make it subject to the Romans, but bestowed it upon Cleopatra, for whose sake he had waged the conflict. 2 Yet, being afraid that the Egyptians might rebel again, because they were delivered over to a woman to rule, and that the Romans might be angry, both on this account and because he was living with the woman, he commanded her to "marry" her other brother, and gave the kingdom to both of them, at least nominally. 3 For in reality Cleopatra was to hold all the power alone, since her husband was still a boy, and in view of Caesar's favour there was nothing that she could not do. 4 Hence her living with her brother and sharing the rule with him was a mere pretence which she accepted, whereas in truth she ruled alone and spent her time in Caesar's company.

45 1 She would have detained him even longer in Egypt or else would have set out with him at once for Rome, had not Pharnaces not only drawn Caesar away from Egypt, very much against his will, but also hindered him from hurrying to Italy. 2 This king was a son of Mithridates and ruled the Cimmerian Bosporus, as has been stated;​7 he conceived the desire to win back again the entire kingdom of his ancestors, and so he revolted just at the time of the quarrel between Caesar and  p187 Pompey, and, as the Romans were at that time occupied with one another and after were detained in Egypt, 3 he got possession of Colchis without any difficulty, and in the absence of Deiotarus subjugated all Armenia, and part? of Cappadocia, and some cities of Pontus that had been assigned to the district of Bithynia. 46 1 While he was thus engaged, Caesar himself did not stir, inasmuch as Egypt was not yet in a settled state and he had some hope of overcoming Pharnaces through others; but he sent Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, assigning him charge of Asia and of . . legions. 2 This officer added to his forces Deiotarus and Ariobarzanes and marched straight against Pharnaces, who was at Nicopolis, which he had already seized; and feeling contempt for his enemy, because the latter in dread of his arrival was ready through an embassy to agree to an armistice, he did not conclude a truce with him, but attacked him and was defeated. 3 After that he retired to Asia, since he was no match for his conqueror and winter was approaching. Pharnaces was greatly elated, and after acquiring all the rest of Pontus, captured Amisus also, though it long held out against him; and he plundered the city and put to the sword all the men of military age there. He then hastened into Bithynia and Asia with the same hopes as his father had cherished. 4 Meanwhile, learning that Asander, whom he had left as governor of Bosporus, had  p189 revolted, he gave up advancing any farther. For Asander, as soon as word was brought that Pharnaces was moving far away from him, and it seemed likely that however prosperous he might be temporarily, he would not fare well later on, rose against him, thinking thus to do a favour to the Romans and to receive the sovereignty of Bosporus from them.

47 1 It was at the news of this that Pharnaces set out against him, but all in vain; for on ascertaining that Caesar was on the way and was hurrying into Armenia, he turned back and met him there near Zela. For now that Ptolemy was dead and Domitius vanquished, Caesar had decided that his delay in Egypt was neither creditable nor profitable to him, and had set out from there and had come with great speed into Armenia. 2 And so the barbarian, alarmed and fearing Caesar's rapidity much more than his army, sent messengers to him before he drew near, making frequent proposals to see if he might on some terms or other escape the present danger. 3 One of the principal pleas that he presented was that he had not coöperated with Pompey, and he hoped to induce Caesar to grant a truce, particularly since the latter was anxious to hasten to Italy and Africa; and once Caesar was gone, he hoped to wage war again at his ease. 4 Caesar suspected this, and so treated the first and second embassies with great kindness, in order that he might fall upon his foes as unexpectedly as possible because of his hopes of peace; but when the third deputation came, he uttered various reproaches  p191 against him one being that he had deserted Pompey, his benefactor. 5 Then he no longer delayed, but immediately, that very day and just as he came from the march, joined battle. For a little while some confusion was caused him by the enemy's cavalry and scythe-bearing chariots, but after that he conquered with his heavy-armed troops. Pharnaces escaped into the sea and later tried to force his way into Bosporus, but Asander repulsed and killed him. 48 1 Caesar took great pride in this victory, — more in fact, than in any other, even though it had not been very brilliant, — because on the same day and in the same hour, he had come to the enemy, had seen him, and had conquered him.​8 2 All the spoils, though of great magnitude, he bestowed upon the soldiers, and he set up a trophy to offset one which Mithridates had raised somewhat in that region to commemorate the defeat of Triarius.​9 He did not dare to take down that of the barbarians, because it had been dedicated to the gods of war, but by the erection of his own near it he overshadowed and in a sense overthrew the other. 3 Next he recovered all the territory belonging to the Romans and those under treaty with them which Pharnaces had taken, and restored it all to the persons who had been dispossessed, except a portion of Armenia, which he granted to Ariobarzanes. 4 The people of Amisus he rewarded with freedom, and to Mithridates the Pergamenian he gave a tetrarchy in Galatia and the title of king and allowed him to wage war against Asander, so that by conquering him, he might get Bosporus  p193 also, since Asander had proved base toward his friend.

49 1 After accomplishing this and ordering Domitius to arrange other matters he came to Bithynia and from there to Greece, whence he sailed for Italy, collecting along the way great sums of money from everybody, and upon every pretext, just as before. 2 In the first place, he exacted all that any had previously promised to Pompey, and again, he asked for still more from other sources, bringing various accusations to justify his action. He removed all the votive offerings of Heracles at Tyre, because the inhabitants had received the wife and son of Pompey when they fled. He also got many golden crowns for potentates and kings in honour of his victories. All this he did, not out of malice, but because his expenditures were on a vast scale and because he was intending to lay out still more upon his legions, his triumph, and everything else that gratified his pride. 4 In short, he showed himself a money-getter, declaring that there were two things which created, protected, and increased sovereignties, — soldiers and money, — and that these two were dependent of each other. For it was by proper maintenance, he said, that armies were kept together, and this maintenance was secured by arms; and in case either one of them were lacking, the other also would be overthrown at the same time.

50 1 About these matters he ever thought and spoke thus. Now it was to Italy that he hurried and not to Africa, although the latter region had become hostile to him, because he learned of the disturbances in the capital and feared that they might be carried  p195 to dangerous heights. 2 Nevertheless, as I have said,​10 he did no harm to any one, except that there, too, he collected large amounts, partly in the shape of crowns and statues and the like which he received as gifts, and partly by "borrowing," as he styled it, not only from individual citizens but also from cities. 3 This term "borrowing" he applied to those levies of money for which there was no other reasonable excuse; for he exacted these sums also in a high-handed way and no less by force than he collected money actually due him, and it was his intention never to repay them. He claimed, indeed, that he had spent his private possessions for the public good and that indeed it was for that reason he was borrowing. 4 Accordingly, when the multitude demanded an annulment of debts, he would not grant this, saying: "I, too, owe large amounts." It was easy to see that he was wresting away others' property also by his position of supremacy, and for this his associates as well as others disliked him. For these men, who had bought a great deal of the confiscated property, in some cases for more than its real value, in the hope of retaining it without paying for it, now found themselves compelled to pay the full price.

51 1 But to such persons he paid no attention. Nevertheless, to a certain extent he did court them, too, as individuals. For he made a present to the multitude of all the interest they were owing from the time he had gone to war with Pompey, and he released them from all rent for one year, up to the sum of two thousand sesterces; 2 furthermore he raised the valuation on the goods, in terms of which it was required by law for loans to be paid to their  p197 worth at the time the loan had been made, in view of the fact that everything had become much cheaper as a result of the great amount of confiscated property. 3 By these acts he attached the people to himself; and he attached the members of his party and those who had fought for him in the following manner. Upon the senators he bestowed priesthoods and offices, some of them for the rest of that year and some for the next. 4 Indeed, in order to reward a larger number, he appointed ten praetors for the next year and more than the customary number of priests; for he added one member each to the pontifices and to the augurs, of whom he was one, and also to the Quindecemviri,​11 as they were called, although he had desired to take all the priesthoods himself, as had been decreed. 5 The knights in the army and the centurions and subordinate officers he conciliated in various ways, especially by appointing some of them to the senate to fill the places of those who had perished.

52 1 The legions, however, caused him no slight trouble; for they had expected to receive a great deal, and when they found their rewards inferior to their expectation, though not less, to be sure, than their deserts, they made a disturbance. The most of them were in Campania, being destined to sail on ahead to Africa. 2 These nearly killed Sallust, who had been appointed praetor in order to recover his senatorial rank; and when, after escaping them, he set out for Rome to inform Caesar of what was going on, many followed  p199 him, sparing no one on their way, but killing, among others whom they met, two senators. 3 Caesar, as soon as he heard of their approach, wished to send his body-guard against them, but fearing that it, too, might join in the mutiny, he remained quiet until they reached the suburbs. While they waited there he sent to them and inquired what wish or what need had brought them. 4 Upon their replying that they would tell him personally he allowed them to enter the city unarmed, except for their swords; for they were regularly accustomed to wear these in the city, and they would not have submitted to laying them aside at that time. 53 1 They had much to say about the toils and dangers they had undergone and much about what they had hoped for and what they declared they deserved to obtain. Next they asked to be released from service and were very insistent with him upon this point, 2 not that they wished to return to private life, — indeed they were far from anxious for this, since they had long been accustomed to the gains of war, — but because they thought they would scare Caesar in this way and accomplish anything they pleased, since his projected invasion of Africa was close at hand. 3 He, however, made no reply to their first statements, but said merely: "Why, of course, Quirites,​12 what you say is right; you are naturally weary and worn out with wounds," and then at once disbanded them all as if he had no further need of them, promising that he would give the rewards in  p201 full to such as had served the appointed time. 4 At these words they were struck with alarm both at his intention in general and particularly because he had called them Quirites instead of soldiers; and so, humiliated and fearing they should meet with some severe penalty, they changed front and addressed him with many entreaties and offers, promising that they would join his expedition as volunteers and would carry the war through for him by themselves. When they had reached this stage and one of their leaders also, either on his own impulse or as a favour to Caesar, had said a few words and presented a few petitions in their behalf, he replied: "I discharge both you who are present here and all the rest whose years of service have expired; for I really have no further need of you. Yet even so I will pay you the rewards, that no one may say that after using you in dangers I later showed myself ungrateful, even though you were unwilling to join my campaign while perfectly strong in body and able to carry through all the wars that remain." 54 1 This he said for effect, for they were quite indispensable to him. He then assigned them all land from the public holdings and from his own, settling them in different places, and separating them far from one another, so that they should not, by living somewhere together, either be a source of terror to their neighbours or, again, be ready for rebellion. 2 As to the money that he owed them, — and on the eve of practically every action he had promised to give them large amounts, — he offered to pay part immediately and to settle  p203 for the remainder with interest in the near future. When he had said this and had so enthralled them that they showed no sign of boldness but even went so far as to express their gratitude, he added: 3 "You have all that is due to you from me, and I will compel no one of you to make campaigns any longer. If, however, any one wishes of his own accord to help me accomplish what remains, I will gladly receive him." Hearing this, they were overjoyed, and all alike volunteered to serve again. 55 1 Caesar put aside the turbulent spirits among them, — not all to be sure, but as many as were moderately well acquainted with farming and so could make a living, — and the others he used. He did the same also in the case of the rest of his soldiers: 2 those who were overbold and able to cause serious trouble he took away from Italy, in order that they might not be left behind there and begin an insurrection; and he took great satisfaction in using them up in Africa on various pretexts, since at the same time he was destroying his foes through their efforts he was also ridding himself of them. 3 For although he was the kindliest of men and showed many favours not only to the citizens in general but particularly to his soldiers, he bitterly hated those of them who were mutinous and punished them with extreme severity.

4 These were the things he did in that year in which he really ruled alone as dictator for the second time, though Calenus and Vatinius, appointed near the close of the year, were said to be the consuls. 56 1 He also crossed over to Africa, although winter had set  p205 in. And he met with no little success from this very circumstance, by attacking his opponents unexpectedly. On all occasions, indeed, he accomplished a great deal by his rapidity and by the unexpectedness of his movements, so that if any one should try to find out what it was that made him so superior in the art of war to his contemporaries, he would find by careful comparison that there was nothing more striking than this very characteristic. 2 Now Africa had not been friendly to Caesar in the first place, and after Curio's death it became thoroughly hostile. For Varus and Juba were in charge of affairs, and furthermore Cato, Scipio and their followers had all taken refuge there, as I have stated.​13 3 After this they made common cause in the war, carried on their preparations by land, and also made descents by sea upon Sicily and Sardinia, harrying their cities and taking back their ships, from which they obtained a plenti­ful supply of arms and of iron in other forms, which alone they lacked. 4 Finally they reached a state of preparedness and courage that, when no army opposed them and Caesar delayed in Egypt and the capital, they sent Pompey to Spain. For on learning that the country was in revolt they thought that the people would readily receive him as the son  p207 of Pompey the Great; and while he was making preparations to occupy Spain in a short time and to set out from there to the capital, the others were getting ready to make the voyage to Italy. 57 1 At first they experienced a slight delay, due to a dispute between Varus and Scipio about the leader­ship, inasmuch as the former had held sway for a longer time in these regions, and Juba also, elated by his victory, demanded that he should have first place because of it. 2 But Scipio and Cato, who far excelled them all in rank and in shrewdness respectively, reached an agreement and won the rest over to it, persuading them to entrust everything to Scipio. For Cato, who might have commanded on equal terms with him, or even alone, refused, 3 first, because he thought it a most injurious course in such circumstances, and second, because he was inferior to the other in official rank. He saw that in military matters even more than elsewhere it was very important that the commander should have some legal precedence over the others, and therefore he willingly yielded him the command and furthermore delivered to him the armies that he had brought there. 4 After this Cato interceded on behalf of Utica, which was suspected of favouring Caesar's cause and had come near being destroyed by the others on this account, and thus he received it to guard, and the whole country and sea in that vicinity were entrusted to his protection. The other districts were governed by Scipio as commander-in‑chief. 5 His very name was a source  p209 of strength to all those who sided with him, since by some strange, unreasonable hope they believed that no Scipio could meet with misfortune in Africa.

58 1 When Caesar learned of this and saw that his own soldiers also were persuaded that it was so and were consequently afraid, he added to his retinue a man of the family of the Scipios who bore that name (he was otherwise known as Salutio),​14 2 and then made the voyage to Hadrumetum, since the neighbourhood of Utica was strictly guarded; and since his crossing in the winter was unexpected, he escaped the enemy's notice. When he had left his ship, an accident happened to him which, even if some disaster was portended to his expedition by Heaven, he nevertheless turned to a good omen. 3 Just as he was setting foot on land he slipped, and the soldiers, seeing him fall on his face, were disheartened and in their chagrin raised an outcry; Caesar, however, did not lose his presence of mind, but stretching out his hands as if he had fallen on purpose, he embraced and kissed the ground, crying out: "I have thee, Africa!" 4 Thereupon he made an assault of Hadrumetum, but was repulsed and actually driven out of his camp by main force. Then he transferred his position to another city called Ruspina, and being received by the inhabitants, established his winter quarters there and proceeded to carry on the war from that base.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 A reference to the Trojan expedition. The actual number of ships under Pompey's command was 270 at the outset of the war with the pirates.

2 Plutarch (Pomp. 67.3; Caes. 41.1) says that Domitius Ahenobarbus styled him Agamemnon and King of Kings in order to bring him into disfavour.

3 M. Acilius Caninus.

4 The year 47, in which Caesar came to Rome, is here meant, or else Dio has made an error.

5 M. Caelius Rufus.

6 The reference is to Fortuna Respiciens. For her many different attributes see Roscher, Lex. der griech. und röm. Mythologie, I p1513. Plutarch called her τύχη ἐπιστρεφομένη, a name apparently unknown to Dio.

7 XXXVII.12‑14, XLII.9.

8 A translation of the words Veni vidi vici, crd in the triumphal procession.

9 Compare XXXVI.12‑13.

10 Ch. 33.

11 Quindecimviri sacris faciundis.

12 I.e., Citizens.

13 Ch. 13.4.

14 Or Salvito; cf. Plutarch, Caes. 52, and Suetonius, Iul. 59.

Thayer's Note:

a See the editor's note to Plutarch, Pompey 78.4, where the same verses are quoted.

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