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Book II
Chs. 1‑28

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Roman History

C. Velleius Paterculus

published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

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Book II
Chs. 59‑93

Velleius Paterculus, Roman History

 p111  Book II: Chapters 29‑58

29 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Just before the arrival of Lucius Sulla in Italy, Gnaeus Pompeius, the son of the Gnaeus Pompeius who, as has already been mentioned, won such brilliant successes in the Marsian war during his consul­ship, though but twenty-three years of age — it was one hundred and thirteen years ago​69 — on his own initiative and with his own private funds conceived and brilliantly executed a daring plan. To avenge his country and restore her dignity he raised a strong army from the district of Picenum​a which was filled with the retainers of his father. 2 To do justice to the greatness of this man would require many volumes, but the brief compass of my work compels me to limit my description to a few words.

On the side of his mother Lucilia he was of senatorial stock. He was distinguished by a personal beauty, not of the sort which gives the bloom of youth its charm, but stately and unchanging, as  p113 befitted the distinction and good fortune of his career, and this beauty attended him to the last day of his life. He was a man of exceptional purity of life, of great uprightness of character, 3 of but moderate oratorical talent, ambitious of such power as might be conferred upon him as a mark of honour, but not that which had to be forcibly usurped. In war a resourceful general, in peace a citizen of temperate conduct except when he feared a rival, constant in his friendships, easily placated when offended, loyal in re-establishing terms of amity, very ready to accept satisfaction, never or at least rarely abusing his power, 4 Pompey was free from almost every fault, unless it be considered one of the greatest of faults for a man to chafe at seeing anyone his equal in dignity in a free state, the mistress of the world, where he should justly regard all citizens as his equals. 5 From the day on which he had assumed the toga he had been trained to military service on the staff of that sagacious general, his father, and by a singular insight into military tactics had so developed his excellent native talent, which showed great capacity to learn what was best, that, while Sertorius bestowed the greater praise upon Metellus, it was Pompey he feared the more strongly.

30 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Shortly afterwards Marcus Perpenna, an ex-praetor, one of those who had been proscribed, a man more distinguished for his birth than for his character, assassinated Sertorius at Osca at a banquet.​70 By this wicked deed he ensured success to the Romans, and destruction to his own faction, and for himself a death of extreme dishonour.​71 Metellus and Pompey won triumphs for their victories in  p115 Spain. 2 Pompey, who even at the time of his triumph was still a Roman knight, entered the city in his triumphal car on the day before his entrance upon his consulate. 3 Who is there who does not feel surprise that this man, who owed his elevation to the highest position in the state to so many extraordinary commands,​72 should have taken it ill that the senate and the Roman people were willing to consider Gaius Caesar as a candidate for the consul­ship a second time, though suing for it in absentia? So common a failing is it for mankind to overlook every irregularity in their own case, but to make no concessions to others, and to let their discontent with conditions be vented upon suspected motives and upon persons instead of the real cause. 4 In this consul­ship​73 Pompey restored the power of the tribunes, of which Sulla had left the shadow without the substance.74

5 While war was being waged against Sertorius in Spain sixty-four runaway slaves, escaping from a gladiatorial school in Capua, seized swords in that city, and at first took refuge on Mount Vesuvius;​75 then, as their number increased daily, they afflicted Italy with many serious disasters. 6 Their number grew to such an extent that in the last battle which they fought they confronted the Roman army with ninety thousand men. The glory of ending this war belongs to Marcus Crassus, who was soon by unanimous consent to be regarded as the first citizen in the state.

 p117  31 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The personality of Pompey had now turned the eyes of the world upon itself, and in all things he was now regarded as more than a mere citizen. As consul he made the laudable promise, which he also kept, that he would not go from that office to any province. 2 But, two years afterwards, when the pirates were terrifying the world, not as heretofore by furtive marauding expeditions but with fleets of ships in the manner of regular warfare, and had already plundered several cities of Italy, Aulus Gabinius, a tribune, proposed an enactment​76 to the effect that Gnaeus Pompeius should be sent to crush them, and that in all the provinces he should have a power equal to that of the proconsular governors to a distance of fifty miles from the sea. By this decree the command of almost the entire world was being entrusted to one man. 3 Seven years before, it is true, like power had been decreed to Marcus Antonius as praetor.​77 4 But sometimes the personality of the recipient of such power, just as it renders the precedent more or less dangerous, increases or diminishes its invidiousness. In the case of Antonius people had looked upon his position with no concern. For it is not often that we begrudge honours to those whose power we do not fear. On the other hand men shrink from conferring extraordinary powers upon those who seem likely to retain them or lay them aside only as they themselves choose, and whose inclinations are their only check. The optimates advised against the grant to Pompey, but sane advice succumbed to impulse.

32 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The sterling character of Quintus Catulus and his modesty on this occasion are worthy of record. Opposing the law before the assembled  p119 people he had said that Pompey was without question a great man, but that he was now becoming too great for a free republic, and that all powers ought not to be reposed in one man. "If anything happens to Pompey," he added, "whom will you put in his place?" The people shouted with one accord, "You, Catulus." Then, yielding to the unanimous desire of the people for the proposed law and to this honourable tribute of his fellow-citizens, he left the assembly. 2 At this point one would fain express admiration for the modesty of the man and the fairness of the people; in the case of Catulus, because he ceased his opposition, and, in the case of the people, because it was unwilling to withhold from one who was speaking against the measure in opposition to them this real evidence of their esteem.

3 About the same time Cotta divided service upon the juries equally between the senatorial and equestrian orders. Gaius Gracchus had taken this privilege from the senate and given it to the knights, while Sulla had again transferred it from the knights to the senate. Otho Roscius by his law restored to the knights their places in the theatre.78

4 Meanwhile Gnaeus Pompey enlisted the services of many illustrious men, distributed detachments of the fleet to all the recesses of the sea, and in a short time with an invincible force he freed the world from the menace of piracy. Near the Cilician coast he delivered his final attack upon the pirates, who had already met with frequent defeats in many other places, and completely routed them. Then, in order that he might the more quickly put an end to a war that spread over so wide  p121 an area, 5 he collected the remnants of the pirates and established them in fixed abodes in cities far from the sea. 6 Some criticize him for this; but although the plan is sufficiently recommended by its author, it would have made its author great​79 whoever he might have been; for, by giving the pirates the opportunity to live without brigandage, he restrained them from brigandage.

33 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When the war with the pirates was drawing to a close, Pompey was assigned to the command against Mithridates in place of Lucius Lucullus. Seven years before this, Lucullus, at the conclusion of his consul­ship, had obtained the proconsul­ship of Asia, and had been placed in command against Mithridates.​80 In this post he had performed some great and notable exploits, having defeated Mithridates several times in different regions, freed Cyzicus by a brilliant victory, and conquered Tigranes, the greatest of kings, in Armenia. That he had not put an end to the war was due, one might say, to lack of inclination rather than of ability; for although in all other respects he was a man of laudable character and in war had scarcely ever been defeated, he was a victim to the love of money. He was still engaged in carrying on the same struggle when Manilius, tribune of the people, a man of venal character always, and ready to abet the ambitions of others, proposed a law that Pompey should be given the chief command in the Mithridatic war. 2 The law was passed, and the two commanders began to vie with each other in recriminations, Pompey charging Lucullus with his unsavoury greed for money, and Lucullus taunting Pompey with his unbounded ambition for military power. Neither  p123 could be convicted of falsehood in his charge against the other. 3 In fact Pompey, from the time when he first took part in public life, could not brook an equal at all. In undertakings in which he should have been merely the first he wished to be the only one. No one was ever more indifferent to other things or possessed a greater craving for glory; he knew no restraint in his quest for office, though he was moderate to a degree in the exercise of his powers. Entering upon each new office with the utmost eagerness, he would lay them aside with unconcern, and, although he consulted his own wishes in attaining what he desired, he yielded to the wishes of others in resigning it. 4 As for Lucullus, who was otherwise a great man, he was the first to set the example for our present lavish extravagance in building, in banquets, and in furnishings. Because of the massive piles which he built in the sea, and of his letting the sea in upon the land by digging through mountains, Pompey used to call him, and not without point, the Roman Xerxes.81

34 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] During the same period the island of Crete was brought under the sovereignty of the Roman people by Quintus Metellus. For three years this island, under the leader­ship of Panares and Lasthenes who had collected a force of twenty-four thousand men, swift in their movements, hardened to the toils of war, and famous in their use of the bow, had worn out the Roman armies. 2 Gnaeus Pompeius could not refrain from coveting some of this glory also,​82 and sought to claim a share in his victory. But the triumphs, both of Lucullus and of Metellus, were rendered popular in the eyes of all good citizens not only by the distinguished merits  p125 of the two generals themselves but also by the general unpopularity of Pompey.

3 At this time the conspiracy of Sergius Catiline,​83 Lentulus, Cethegus, and other men of both the equestrian and senatorial orders was detected by the extraordinary courage, firmness, and careful vigilance of the consul Marcus Cicero, a man who owed his elevation wholly to himself, who had ennobled his lowly birth, who was as distinguished in his life as he was great in genius, and who saved us from being vanquished in intellectual accomplishments by those whom we had vanquished in arms.​84 4 Catiline was driven from the city by fear of the authority of the consul; Lentulus, a man of consular rank and twice a praetor, Cethegus, and other men of illustrious family were put to death in prison on the order of the consul, supported by the authority of the senate.

35 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The meeting of the senate at which this action had been taken raised the character of Marcus Cato, 2 which had already shone forth conspicuously in other matters, to a lofty pinnacle. Descended from Marcus Cato, the first of the Porcian house, who was his great-grandfather, he resembled Virtue herself, and in all his acts he revealed a character nearer to that of gods than of men. He never did a right action solely for the sake of seeming to do the right, but because he could not do otherwise. To him that alone seemed reasonable which was likewise just. Free from all the failings of mankind he always kept fortune subject to his control. 3 At this time, though he was only tribune elect and still quite a young man, while others were urging that Lentulus and the other  p127 conspirators should be placed in custody in the Italian towns, Cato,​85 though among the very last to be asked for his opinion, inveighed against the conspiracy with such vigour of spirit and intellect and such earnestness of expression that he caused those who in their speeches had urged leniency to be suspected of complicity in the plot. 4 Such a picture did he present of the dangers which threatened Rome, by the burning and destruction of the city and the subversion of the constitution, and such a eulogy did he give of the consul's firm stand, that the senate as a body changed to the support of his motion and voted the imposition of the death penalty upon the conspirators, and a large number of the senators escorted Cicero to his home.

5 As for Catiline, he proceeded to carry out his criminal undertaking with as much energy as he had shown in planning it. Fighting with desperate courage, he gave up in battle the life which he had forfeited to the executioner.

36 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] No slight prestige is added to the consul­ship of Cicero by the birth in that year​86ninety-two years ago — of the emperor Augustus, who was destined by his greatness to overshadow all men of all races.

2 It may now​87 seem an almost superfluous task to indicate the period at which men of eminent talent flourished. For who does not know that at this epoch, separated only by differences in their ages, there flourished Cicero and Hortensius; a little earlier Crassus, Cotta, and Sulpicius; a little later Brutus, Calidius, Caelius, Calvus, and Caesar, who ranks next to Cicero; next to them, and, as it were, their pupils, come Corvinus and Pollio Asinius,  p129 Sallust, the rival of Thucydides, the poets Varro and Lucretius, and Catullus, who ranks second to none in the branch of literature which he undertook. 3 It is almost folly to proceed to enumerate men of talent who are almost beneath our eyes, among whom the most important in our age are Virgil, the prince of poets, Rabirius, Livy, who follows close upon Sallust, Tibullus, and Naso, each of whom achieved perfection in his own branch of literature.​88 As for living writers, while we admire them greatly, a critical list is difficult to make.

37 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] While these occurrences were taking place in the city and in Italy, Gnaeus Pompeius carried on a notable campaign against Mithridates, who after the departure of Lucullus had again prepared a new army of great strength. 2 The king was defeated and routed, and after losing all his forces sought refuge in Armenia with his son-in‑law Tigranes, the most powerful king of his day, though his power had been somewhat broken by Lucullus. 3 Pompey accordingly entered Armenia in pursuit of both kings at once. First a son of Tigranes, who was at variance with his father, came to Pompey. 4 Then the king in person, and, in the guise of a suppliant, placed himself and his kingdom under the jurisdiction of Pompey, prefacing this act with the statement that he would not have submitted himself to the alliance of any man but Gnaeus Pompeius, whether Roman or of any other nationality; that he would be ready to bear any condition, favourable or otherwise, upon which Pompey might decide; that there was no disgrace in being beaten by one whom it would be a sin against the gods to defeat, and that there was no dishonour in submitting  p131 to one whom fortune had elevated above all others. 5 The king was permitted to retain the honours of royalty, be was compelled to pay a large sum of money, all of which, as was Pompey's practice, was remitted to the quaestor and listed in the public accounts. Syria and the other provinces which Mithridates had seized were wrested from him. Some were restored to the Roman people, and others were then for the first time brought under its sway — Syria, for instance — which first became a tributary province at this time. The sovereignty of the king was now limited to Armenia.

38 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] It does not seem out of keeping with the plan which I have set before me in my work to give a brief synopsis of the races and nations which were reduced to provinces and made tributary to Rome, and by what generals. Thus it will be easier to see at a glance when grouped together, the facts already given in detail.

2 Claudius the consul was the first to cross into Sicily with an army,​89 but it was only after the capture of Syracuse, fifty years later,​90 that it was converted into a province by Marcellus Claudius. Regulus was the first to invade Africa, in the ninth year of the First Punic war.​91 It was one hundred and nine years later, one hundred and seventy-three years ago, that Publius Scipio Aemilianus destroyed Carthage and reduced Africa to the form of a province.​92 Sardinia finally became subject to the yoke in the interval between the First and Second Punic War,​93 through the agency of Titus Manlius the consul. 3 It is a strong proof of the warlike character of our state that only three times did the  p133 closing of the temple of the double-faced Janus give proof of unbroken peace: once under the kings, a second time in the consul­ship of the Titus Manlius just mentioned, and a third time in the reign of Augustus. 4 The two Scipios, Gnaeus and Publius, were the first to lead armies into Spain,​94 at the beginning of the Second Punic War, two hundred and fifty years ago; from that time on we alternately acquired and lost portions of it until under Augustus the whole of it became tributary. 5 Paulus conquered Macedonia,​95 Mummius Achaea,​96 Fulvius Nobilior Aetolia,​97 Lucius Scipio, the brother of Africanus, wrested Asia from Antiochus,​98 but, by the gift of the senate and the Roman people, it soon afterwards passed to the owner­ship of the Attalids. It was made a tributary province by Marcus Perpenna after the capture of Aristonicus.​99 6 No credit for the conquest of Cyprus can be assigned to any general, since it was by a decree of the Senate, carried out by Cato, that it became a province​100 on the death of its king, self-inflicted in consciousness of guilt. Crete was punished by Metellus by the termination​101 of the liberty which she had long enjoyed. Syria and Pontus are monuments to the valour of Gnaeus Pompeius.102

39 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Domitius and Fabius, son of Paulus, who was surnamed Allobrogicus, first entered the Gauls with an army; later these provinces cost us much blood in our attempts at conquest alternating with our loss of them. In all these operations the work of Caesar is the most brilliant and most conspicuous. Reduced under his auspices and general­ship,103  p135 they pay almost as much tribute into the treasury as the rest of the world. 2 Caesar also made Numidia a province,​104 from which Metellus had long before won by his valour the cognomen of105 Numidicus.

Isauricus conquered Cilicia,​106 and Vulso Manlius Gallograecia​107 after the war with Antiochus. Bithynia, as has been already said, was bequeathed to the Romans by the will of Nicomedes.​108 Besides Spain and other countries whose names adorn his Forum, Augustus made Egypt tributary,​109 thereby contributing nearly as much revenue to the treasury as his father had brought to it from the Gauls. 3 Tiberius Caesar extorted from the Illyrians and Dalmatians a definite confession of submission​110 such as that which Augustus had wrested from Spain. He also added to our empire as new provinces Raetia, Vindelicia, Noricum, Pannonia, and the Scordisci. These he conquered by arms.​111 Cappadocia he made tributary to the Roman people through the mere prestige of his name.​112 But let us now return to the order of events.

40 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then followed the military exploits of Gnaeus Pompeius,​113 in regard to which it would be difficult to say whether the glory they earned or labour they cost was the greater. Media, Albania, and Iberia were invaded with victorious arms. Then he changed the direction of his month to the regions of the interior, to the right of the Black Sea — the Colchians, the Heniochi, and the Achaei. Mithridates was crushed, the last of the independent kings except the rulers of the Parthians, through the treachery of his son Pharnaces, it is true, but during the period of Pompey's command. 2 Then,  p137 after conquering all the races in his path, Pompey returned to Italy, having achieved a greatness which exceeded both his own hopes and those of his fellow-citizens, and having, in all his campaigns, surpassed the fortune of a mere mortal. It was owing to this impression that his return created such favourable comment; for the majority of his countrymen had insisted that he would not enter the city without his army, and that he would set a limit upon public liberty according to his own caprice. 3 The return of so great a general as an ordinary citizen was all the more welcome because of the apprehensions which had been entertained. For, dismissing his whole army at Brundisium, and retaining none of his former power except the title of imperator,​114 he returned to the city with only the retinue which regularly attended him. There he celebrated, for a period of two days, a most magnificent triumph over the many kings whom he had conquered, and from the spoils he contributed to the treasury a far larger sum of money than any other general had ever done except Paulus.

4 In Pompey's absence the tribunes of the people, Titus Ampius and Titus Labienus, proposed a law that at the games of the circus Pompey should be permitted to wear a golden crown and the full dress of the triumphator, and at the theatre the purple-bordered toga and the golden crown. But he forbore to use this honour more than once, and indeed that was itself too often. This man was raised by fortune to the pinnacle of his career by great leaps, first triumphing over Africa, then over Europe, then over Asia, and the three divisions of the world thus became so many monuments of  p139 his victory. Greatness is never without envy. 5 Pompey met with opposition from Lucullus and from Metellus Creticus, who did not forget the slight he had received (indeed he had just cause for complaint in that Pompey had robbed him of the captive generals who were to have adorned his triumph), and from a section of the optimates who sought to prevent the fulfilment of Pompey's promises to the various cities and the payment of rewards in accordance with his wishes to those who had been of service to him.

41 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then followed the consul­ship​115 of Gaius Caesar, who now lays hold upon my pen and compels, whatever my haste, to linger a while upon him. Sprung from the noble family of the Julii, and tracing his descent from Venus and Anchises, a claim conceded by all investigators of antiquity, he surpassed all his fellow-citizens in beauty of person. He was exceedingly keen and vigorous of mind, lavish in his generosity, and possessed a courage exceeding the nature, and even the credence, of man. In the magnitude of his ambitions, in the rapidity of his military operations, and in his endurance of danger, he closely resembled Alexander the Great, but only when Alexander was free from the influence of wine and master of his passions 2 for Caesar, in a word, never indulged in food or in sleep except as they ministered, not to pleasure, but to life. To Gaius Marius he was closely related by blood; he was also the son-in‑law of Cinna, whose daughter no consideration of fear would induce him to divorce, whereas Marcus Piso, a man of consular rank, had divorced Annia, who had been the wife of Cinna, in order to win Sulla's favour. Caesar was only about  p141 eighteen years of age at the time of Sulla's dictator­ship; and when a search was made for him with a view to putting him to death, not, it is true, by Sulla himself, but by his minions and partisans, he escaped from the city at night by assuming a disguise which effectually concealed his rank. 3 Later,​116 but when still quite a young man, he was captured by pirates and so conducted himself during the entire period of his detention as to inspire in them to an equal degree both fear and respect. Neither by day nor by night did he remove his shoes or loosen his girdle — for why should a detail of the greatest significance be omitted merely because it cannot be adorned in imposing language? — lest the slightest change in his usual garb might cause him to be suspected by his captors, who guarded him only with their eyes.

42 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] It would take too long to tell of his many bold plans for the punishment of the pirates, or how obstinately the timid governor of Asia refused to second them. The following story, however, may be told as a presage of his future greatness. 2 On the night following the day on which his ransom was paid by the cities of Asia — he had, however, compelled the pirates before payment to give hostages to these cities — although he was but a private citizen without authority, and his fleet had been collected on the spur of the moment, he directed his course to the rendezvous of the pirates, put to flight part of their fleet, sank part, and captured several ships and many men. 3 Well satisfied with the success of his night expedition he returned  p143 to his friends and, after handing his prisoners into custody, went straight to Bithynia to Juncus, the proconsul — for the same man was governor of Bithynia as well as of Asia — and demanded his sanction for the execution of his captives. When Juncus, whose former inactivity had now given way to jealousy, refused, and said that he would sell the captives as slaves, Caesar returned to the coast with incredible speed and crucified all his prisoners before anyone had had time to receive a dispatch from the consul in regard to the matter.

43 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Not long afterwards he was hastening to Italy to enter upon the priestly office of pontifexb to which he had been elected​117 in his absence in place of the ex-consul Cotta. Indeed, while still little more than a boy he had already been made priest of Jupiter by Marius and Cinna, but all their acts had been annulled in consequence of Sulla's victory, and Caesar had thus lost this priesthood. On the journey just mentioned, wishing to escape the notice of the pirates who then infested all the seas and by this time had good reasons for being hostile to him, he took two friends and ten slaves and embarked in a four-oared boat, and in this way crossed the broad expanse of the Adriatic Sea. 2 During the voyage, sighting, as he thought, some pirate vessels, he removed his outer garments, bound a dagger to his thigh, and prepared himself for any event; but soon he saw that his eyes had deceived him and that the illusion had been caused by a row of trees in the distance 3 which looked like masts and yards.

As for the rest of his acts after his return to the city, they stand in less need of description, since  p145 they are better known. I refer to his famous prosecution​118 of Gnaeus Dolabella, to whom the people showed more favour than is usually exhibited to men under impeachment; to the well-known political contests​119 with Quintus Catulus and other eminent men; to his defeat​120 of Quintus Catulus, the acknowledged leader of the Senate, for the office of pontifex maximus, before he himself had even been praetor; 4 to the restoration in his aedile­ship​121 of the monuments of Gaius Marius in the teeth of the opposition of the nobles; to the reinstatement of the children of proscribed persons in the rights pertaining to their rank; and to his praetor­ship​122 and quaestor­ship passed in Spain, in which he showed wonderful energy and valour. He was quaestor under Vetus Antistius, the grandfather of our own Vetus, the consular and pontiff, himself the father of two sons who have held the consul­ship and the priesthood and a man whose excellence reaches our highest conception of human integrity.

44 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But to resume. It was in Caesar's consul­ship​123 that there was formed between himself, Gnaeus Pompeius and Marcus Crassus the partner­ship in political power which proved so baleful to the city, to the world, and, subsequently at different periods to each of the triumvirs themselves. 2 Pompey's motive in the adoption of this policy had been to secure through Caesar as consul the long delayed ratification of his acts in the provinces across the seas, to which, as I have already said, many still raised objections; Caesar agreed to it because he realized that in making this concession to the prestige of Pompey he would increase his own, and that by throwing on Pompey the odium  p147 for their joint control he would add to his own power; while Crassus hoped by the influence of Pompey and the power of Caesar he might achieve a place of pre-eminence in the state which he had not been able to reach single-handed. 3 Furthermore, a tie of marriage was cemented between Caesar and Pompey, in that Pompey now wedded Julia, Caesar's daughter.

4 In this consul­ship, Caesar, with Pompey's backing, passed a law authorizing a distribution to the plebs of the public domain in Campania. And so about twenty thousand citizens were established there, and its rights as a city were restored to Capua one hundred and fifty-two years after she had been reduced to a prefecture in the Second Punic War. Bibulus, Caesar's colleague, with the intent rather than the power of hindering Caesar's acts, confined himself to his house for the greater part of the year. By this conduct, whereby he hoped to increase his colleague's unpopularity, he only increased his power. At this time the Gallic provinces were assigned to Caesar for a period of five years.

45 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] About the same time Publius Clodius, a man of noble birth, eloquent and reckless, who recognized no limits either in speech or in act except his own caprice, of ill-repute as the debaucher of his own sister, and accused of adulterous profanation of the most sacred rites of the Roman people,​124 having conceived a violent hatred against Marcus Cicero — for what friendship could there be between men so unlike? — caused himself to be transferred from a patrician into a plebeian family and, as tribune,​125 proposed a law that whoever put to death  p149 a Roman citizen without trial should be condemned to exile.​126 Although Cicero was not expressly named in the wording of the bill, it was aimed at him alone. 2 And so this man, who had earned by his great services the gratitude of his country,​127 gained exile as his reward for saving the state. Caesar and Pompey were not free from the suspicion of having had a share in the fall of Cicero. Cicero seemed to have brought upon himself their resentment by refusing to be a member of the commission of twenty charged with the distribution of lands in Campania. 3 Within two years Cicero was restored​128 to his country and to his former status, thanks to the interest of Gnaeus Pompeius — somewhat belated, it is true, but effective when once exerted — and thanks to the prayers of Italy, the decrees of the senate, and the zealous activity of Annius Milo, tribune of the people. Since the exile and return of Numidicus no one had been banished amid greater popular disapproval or welcomed back with greater enthusiasm. As for Cicero's house, the maliciousness of its destruction by Clodius was now compensated for by the magnificence of its restoration by the senate.

4 Publius Clodius in his tribunate also removed Marcus Cato from the state,​129 under the pretence of an honourable mission. For he proposed a law that Cato should be sent to the island of Cyprus in the capacity of quaestor, but with the authority of a praetor and with a quaestor as his subordinate, with instructions to dethrone Ptolemaeus, who by reason of his unmitigated viciousness of character well deserved this humiliation. 5 However, just before the arrival of Cato, Ptolemy took his own  p151 life. Cato brought home from Cyprus a sum of money which greatly exceeded all expectations. To praise Cato's integrity would be sacrilege, but he can almost be charged with eccentricity in the display of it; for, in spite of the fact that all the citizens, headed by the consuls and the senate, poured out of the city to meet him as he ascended the Tiber, he did not disembark and greet them until he arrived at the place where the money was to be put ashore.

46 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile, in Gaul, Gaius Caesar was carrying on his gigantic task,​130 which could scarcely be covered in many volumes. Not content with his many fortunate victories, and with slaying or taking as prisoners countless thousands of the enemy, he even crossed into Britain, as though seeking to add another world to our empire and to that which he had himself won. Gnaeus Pompeius and Marcus Crassus, who had once been consuls together, now entered upon their second consul­ship,​131 which office they not only won by unfair means, but also administered without popular approval. 2 In a law which Pompey proposed in the assembly of the people, Caesar's tenure of office in his provinces was continued for another five years, and Syria was decreed to Crassus, who was now planning to make war upon Parthia. Although Crassus was, in his general character, entirely upright and free from base desires, in his lust for money and his ambition for glory he knew no limits, and accepted no bounds. On his departure for Asia the tribunes of the people made ineffectual efforts to detain him by the announcement of baleful omens. 3 If the curses which they called down upon him had  p153 affected Crassus alone, the loss of the commander would not have been without advantage to the state, had but the army been saved. 4 He had crossed the Euphrates and was now marching toward Seleucia when he was surrounded by King Orodes with his innumerable bands of cavalry and perished together with the greater part of his army.​132 Remnants of the legions were saved by Gaius Cassius — (he was later the perpetrator of a most atrocious crime,​133 but was at that time quaestor) — who not only retained Syria in its allegiance to the Roman people, but succeeded, by a fortunate issue of events, in defeating and putting to rout the Parthians when they crossed its borders.

47 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] During this period, including the years which immediately followed and those of which mention has already been made, more than four hundred thousand of the enemy were slain by Gaius Caesar and a greater number were taken prisoners. Many times had he fought in pitched battles, many times on the march, many times as besieger or besieged. Twice he penetrated into Britain, and in all his nine campaigns there was scarcely one which was not fully deserving of a triumph. His feats about Alesia​134 were of a kind that a mere man would scarcely venture to undertake, and scarcely anyone but a god could carry through.

2 About the fourth year of Caesar's stay in Gaul occurred the death of Julia,​135 the wife of Pompey, the one tie which bound together Pompey and Caesar in a coalition which, because of each one's jealousy of the other's power, held together with difficulty even during her lifetime; and, as though fortune were bent upon breaking all the bonds between the two  p155 men destined for so great a conflict, Pompey's little son​136 by Julia also died a short time afterwards. Then, inasmuch as agitation over the elections found vent in armed conflicts and civil bloodshed, 3 which continued indefinitely and without check, Pompey was made consul for the third time,​137 now without a colleague, with the assent even of those who up to that time had opposed him for that office. The tribute paid him by this honour, which seemed to indicate his reconciliation with the optimates, served more than anything else to alienate him from Caesar. Pompey, however, employed his whole power during this consul­ship in curbing election abuses.

4 It was at this time that Publius Clodius was slain​138 by Milo, who was a candidate for the consul­ship, in a quarrel which arose in a chance meeting at Bovillae; a bad precedent, but in itself a service to the state. Milo was brought to trial and convicted quite as much through the influence of Pompey as on account of the odium aroused by the deed. 5 Cato, it is true, declared for his acquittal in an opinion openly expressed. Had his vote been cast earlier, men would not have been lacking to follow his example and approve the slaying of a citizen as pernicious to the republic and as hostile to all good citizens as any man who had ever lived.

48 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] It was not long after this that the first sparks of civil war were kindled. All fair-minded men desired that both Caesar and Pompey should disband their armies. Now Pompey in his second consul­ship​139 had caused the provinces of Spain to be assigned to him, and though he was actually absent from them, administering the affairs of the city, he continued to  p157 govern them for three years through his lieutenants, Afranius and Petreius, the former of consular and the latter of praetorian rank; and while he agreed with those who insisted that Caesar should dismiss his army, he was opposed to those who urged that he should also dismiss his own. 2 Had Pompey only died two years before the outbreak of hostilities, after the completion of his theatre and the other public buildings with which he had surrounded it, at the time when he was attacked by a serious illness in Campania and all Italy prayed for his safety as her foremost citizen, fortune would have lost the opportunity of overthrowing him and he would have borne to the grave unimpaired all the qualities of greatness that had been his in life. 3 It was Gaius Curio, however, a tribune of the people, who, more than anyone else, applied the flaming torch which kindled the civil war and all the evils which followed for twenty consecutive years. Curio was a man of noble birth, eloquent, reckless, prodigal alike of his own fortune and chastity and of those of other people, a man of the utmost cleverness in perversity, who used his gifted tongue for the subversion of the state. 4 No wealth and no pleasures sufficed to satiate his appetites. He was at first on the side of Pompey, that is to say, as it was then regarded, on the side of the republic. Then he pretended to be opposed both to Pompey and Caesar, but in his heart he was for Caesar. Whether his conversion was spontaneous or due to a bribe of ten million sesterces,​140 as is reported, we shall leave undetermined. 5 Finally, when a truce was on the point of being concluded on terms of the most salutary character, terms which were demanded in a spirit of  p159 the utmost fair-mindedness by Caesar and accepted by Pompey without protest, it was in the end broken and shattered by Curio in spite of Cicero's extraordinary efforts to preserve harmony in the state.

As to the order of these events, and of those which have been mentioned before, the reader is referred to the special works of other historians, and I myself hope some day to give them in full. 6 But at the present time it will be consistent with the general plan of this briefer narrative if I merely stop to congratulate Quintus Catulus, the two Luculli, Metellus, and Hortensius, who, after flourishing in public life without envy and rising to pre-eminence without danger to themselves, in the course of nature died a peaceful or at least a not untimely death before the outbreak of the civil wars.

49 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the consul­ship Lentulus and Marcellus,​141 seven hundred and three years after the founding of the city and seventy-eight before your consul­ship, Marcus Vinicius, the civil war burst into flame. The one leader seemed to have the better cause, the other the stronger; 2 on the one was the appearance, on the other the reality of power; Pompey was armed with the authority of the senate, Caesar with the devotion of the soldiers. The consuls and the senate conferred the supreme authority not on Pompey but on his cause. 3 No effort was omitted by Caesar that could be tried in the interest of peace, but no offer of his was accepted by the Pompeians. Of the two consuls, one showed more bitterness than was fair, the other, Lentulus, could not save himself from ruin without bringing ruin upon the state, while Marcus Cato insisted that they should fight to the death rather  p161 than allow the republic to accept a single dictate from a mere citizen. The stern Roman of the old-fashioned type would praise the cause of Pompey, the politic would follow the lead of Caesar, recognizing that while there was on the one side greater prestige, the other was the more formidable.

4 When at last, rejecting all the demands of Caesar, who was content to retain the title to the province,​142 with but a single legion, the senate decreed that he should enter the city as a private citizen and should as such, submit himself to the votes of the Roman people in his candidacy for the consul­ship, Caesar concluded that war was inevitable and crossed the Rubicon​143 with his army. Gnaeus Pompeius, the consuls, and the majority of the senate abandoned first the city, then Italy, and crossed the sea to Dyrrachium.

50 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Caesar, on his side, having got into his power Domitius and the legions that were with him at Corfinium, immediately released this commander and all others who so wished, and allowed them to join Pompey, whom he now followed to Brundisium, making it clear that he preferred to put an end to the war while the state was uninjured and negotiation still possible, rather than to crush his fleeing enemy. 2 Finding that the consuls had crossed the sea he returned to the city, and after rendering to the senate and also to the assembly of the people an account of his motives and of the deplorable necessity of his position, in that he had been driven to arms by others who had themselves resorted to arms, he resolved to march on Spain.

3 The rapidity of his march was delayed for some time by the city of Massilia, which with more  p163 honesty of intention than with wise discretion assumed the unseasonable rôle of arbiter between the two armed leaders, an intervention suited only to those who are in a position to coerce the combatant refusing obedience. 4 Next, the army, commanded by Afranius, an ex-consul, and Petreius, an ex-praetor, taken off its guard by Caesar's energy and the lightning speed of his arrival, surrendered​144 to him. Both the commanders and all others, of whatever rank, who wished to follow them were allowed to return to Pompey.

51 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The next year​145 found Dyrrachium and its vicinity occupied by the camp of Pompey, who by summoning legions from all the provinces beyond the sea, together with auxiliary troops of foot and horse, and the forces of kings, tetrarchs, and other subject rulers, had in this way collected a formidable army, and had with his fleets established, as he thought, a successful blockade upon the sea to prevent Caesar from transporting his legions across the Adriatic. 2 But Caesar, relying upon his usual rapidity of action and his famous luck, allowed nothing to prevent him or his army from crossing and landing at any port he pleased, and at first pitched his camp almost touching that of Pompey, and then proceeded to surround the latter by entrenchments and siege works. But lack of provisions was a more serious matter to the besiegers than to the besieged. 3 It was at this time that Balbus Cornelius, at incredible risk, entered the camp of the enemy and held several conferences with the consul Lentulus, whose only doubt was what price to put upon himself. It was by stages such as this that Balbus, who was not even the son of a Roman  p165 citizen born in Spain but actually a Spaniard, paved the way for his later rise to the pontificate and to a triumph, and from the rank of private citizen to that of a consul. Conflicts followed, with shifting fortunes. One​146 of these battles was much more favourable to the Pompeians, and Caesar's troops were severely repulsed.

52 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then Caesar marched with his army into Thessaly, destined to be the scene of his victory. Pompey, in spite of the contrary advice of others, followed his own impulse and set out after the enemy. 2 Most of his advisers urged him to cross into Italy — nor indeed was there any course more expedient for his party — others advised him to prolong the war, which, by reason of the esteem in which the party was held, was daily becoming more favourable to them.

3 The limits set to a work of this kind will not permit me to describe in detail the battle of Pharsalia,​147 that day of carnage so fatal to the Roman name, when so much blood was shed on either side, the clash of arms between the two heads of the state, the extinction of one of the two luminaries of the Roman world, and the slaughter of so many noble men on Pompey's side. 4 One detail, however, I cannot refrain from noting. When Gaius Caesar saw that Pompey's army was defeated he made it his first and foremost concern to send out orders to grant quarter​148 — if I may use the habitual military expression. 5 Ye immortal gods! What a reward did this merciful man afterwards receive for his kindness to Brutus! 6 There is nothing more marvellous  p167 about that victory, nothing more magnificent, nothing more glorious, than that our country did not mourn the loss of any citizen save those who had fallen in battle. But his offer of clemency was set at nought by the stubbornness of his opponents, since the victor was more ready to grant life than the vanquished to accept it.

53 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Pompey fled with the two Lentuli, both ex-consuls, his own son Sextus, and Favonius, a former praetor, friends whom chance had gathered about him as his companions. Some advised him to take refuge with the Parthians, others in Africa, where he had in King Juba a most loyal partisan; but, remembering the favours which he had conferred upon the father of Ptolemy, who, though still between boyhood and manhood, was now reigning at Alexandria, he decided to repair to Egypt. 2 But, in adversity who remembers past services? Who considers that any gratitude is due to those who have met disaster? When does change of fortune fail to shift allegiance? Envoys were sent by the king at the instance of Theodotus and Achillas to receive Pompey at his arrival — he was now accompanied in his flight by his wife Cornelia, who had been taken on board at Mytilene — and to urge him to change from the merchant ship to the vessel​149 which had come out to meet him. Having accepted the invitation, the first of the citizens of Rome was stabbed to death by the order and dictation of an Egyptian vassal, the year of his death being the consul­ship of Gaius Caesar and Publius Servilius.​150 3 So died in his fifty-eighth year, on the very eve of his birthday, that upright and illustrious man, after holding three consul­ships,  p169 celebrating three triumphs, conquering the whole world, and attaining to a pinnacle of fame beyond which it is impossible to rise. Such was the inconsistency of fortune in his case, that he who but a short time before had found no more lands to conquer now found none for his burial.

4 As regards Pompey's age, what excuse, other than that of excessive preoccupation, shall I make for those who have made an error of five years in the age of one who was not only a great man but who almost belongs to our century, especially as it is so easy to reckon from the consul­ship of Caius Atilius and Quintus Servilius?​151 I have added this remark not for the sake of criticizing others, but to avoid criticism of myself.

54 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The loyalty of the king, and of those by whose influence he was controlled, was no greater towards Caesar than it had been toward Pompey. For, upon Caesar's arrival in Egypt, they assailed him with plots and subsequently dared to challenge him in open warfare. By suffering death they paid to both of these great commanders, the living and the dead, a well-deserved atonement.

2 Pompey the man was no more, but his name still lived everywhere. For the strong support his party had in Africa had stirred up in that country a war in which the moving spirits were King Juba and Scipio, a man of consular rank, 3 whom Pompey had chosen for his father-in‑law two years before his death. Their forces were augmented by Marcus Cato, who, in spite of the great difficulty of the march, and the lack of supplies in the regions traversed, succeeded in conducting his legions to  p171 them. Cato, although offered the supreme command by the soldiers, preferred to take orders from Scipio, his superior in rank.152

55 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Fidelity to my promise of brevity reminds me how rapidly I must pass over the details of my narrative. Caesar, following up his success, passed over to Africa, of which the Pompeian armies now held possession since the death of Gaius Curio, the leader there of the Caesarian party. At first his armies were attended by a varying fortune, but later by his usual luck the forces of the enemy were routed.​153 2 Here again he showed no less clemency toward the vanquished than to those whom he had defeated in the previous war.

Caesar, victorious in Africa, was now confronted by a more serious war in Spain (for the defeat of Pharnaces​154 may be passed over, since it added but little to his renown). This great and formidable war had been stirred up by Gnaeus Pompeius, the son of Pompeius Magnus, a young man of great energy in war, and reinforcements flowed in from all parts of the world from among those who still followed his father's great name. 3 Caesar's usual fortune followed him to Spain; but no battle in which he ever engaged was more bitterly fought or more dangerous to his cause.​155 Once, indeed, when the fight was now more than doubtful, he leapt from his horse, placed himself before his lines, now beginning to give way, and, after upbraiding fortune for saving him for such an end, announced to his soldiers that he would not retreat a step. He asked them to consider who their commander was and in what a pass they were about to desert him. 4 It was  p173 shame rather than valour that restored their wavering line, and the commander showed more courage than his men. Gnaeus Pompeius, badly wounded, was discovered on a pathless waste and put to death. Labienus and Varus met their death in battle.

56 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Caesar, victorious over all his enemies, returned to the city, and pardoned all who had borne arms against him, an act of generosity almost passing belief. He entertained the city to repletion with the magnificent spectacle of a gladiatorial show, a sham battle of ships, mock battles of cavalry, infantry, and even mounted elephants, and the celebration of a public banquet which was continued through several days. 2 He celebrated five triumphs.​156 The emblems in his Gallic triumph were of citrus wood; in his Pontic of acanthus; in his Alexandrian triumph of tortoise-shell, in his African of ivory, and in his Spanish of polished silver. The money borne in his triumphs, realized from the sale of spoils, amounted to a little more than six hundred million sesterces.157

3 But it was the lot of this great man, who behaved with such clemency in all his victories, that his peaceful enjoyment of supreme power should last but five months. For, returning to the city in October, he was slain on the ides of March.​158 Brutus and Cassius were the leaders of the conspiracy. He had failed to win the former by the promise of the consul­ship, and had offended the latter by the postponement of his candidacy. There were also in the plot to compass his death some of the most intimate of all his friends, who owed their elevation to the success of his party, namely Decimus Brutus, Gaius Trebonius, and others of illustrious name. 4 Marcus Antonius, his colleague in the consul­ship,  p175 ever ready for acts of daring, had brought great odium upon Caesar by placing a royal crown upon his head as he sat on the rostra at the Lupercalia. Caesar put the crown from him, but in such a way that he did not seem to be displeased.

57 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] In the light of experience due credit should be given to the counsel of Pansa and Hirtius, who had always warned Caesar that he must hold by arms the position which he had won by arms. But Caesar kept reiterating that he would rather die than live in fear, and while he looked for a return for the clemency he had shown, he was taken off his guard by men devoid of gratitude, 2 although the gods gave many signs and presages of the threatened danger. For the soothsayers​159 had warned him beforehand carefully to beware the Ides of March; his wife Calpurnia, terrified by a dream, kept begging him to remain at home on that day; and notes warning him of the conspiracy were handed him, but he neglected to read them at the time. But verily the power of destiny is inevitable; 3 it confounds the judgement of him whose fortune it has determined to reverse.

58 1   [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Brutus and Cassius were praetors, and Decimus Brutus was consul designate in the year in which they perpetrated this deed. 2 These three, with the remainder of the group of conspirators, escorted by a band of gladiators belonging to Decimus Brutus, seized the capitol. Thereupon Antonius, as consul, summoned the senate. Cassius had been in favour of slaying Antony as well as Caesar, and of destroying Caesar's will, but Brutus had opposed him, insisting that citizens ought not to seek the blood of any but the "tyrant" — for to  p177 call Caesar "tyrant" placed his deed in a better light. 3 Dolabella, whom Caesar had named for the consul­ship, with the intention of putting him in his own place,​160 had already seized the fasces and the insignia of that office. Having summoned the senate, Antonius, acting as the guarantor of peace, sent his own sons​161 to the capitol as hostages and thus gave his assurance to the slayers of Caesar that they might come down in safety. 4 On the motion of Cicero the famous precedent of the Athenians​162 granting amnesty for past acts was approved by decree of the senate.

The Editor's Notes:

69 83 B.C.

70 72 B.C.

71 After the assassination Perpenna took charge of the army of Sertorius, was defeated by Pompey, and taken prisoner. He sought to save his life by delivering up to Pompey the papers of Sertorius implicating many of the leading men of Rome in a conspiracy to change the constitution of Sulla. Pompey commanded that the papers be burnt, and that Perpenna be put to death.

72 Extraordinary commands: here may be included the extraordinary title of proconsul conferred upon him though but a private citizen in the war against Sertorius; his extraordinary election to the consul­ship in which the senate waived legal age and absence from Rome; the power of his imperium maius over the whole Mediterranean to fifty miles inland from its coasts, conferred in 67 B.C. by the Gabinian law; and the extension of this power by the Manilian law to cover all the fleets and armies in the east and the whole of Asia as far as Armenia.

73 70 B.C.

74 i.e. by depriving the tribunes of the right of initiating legislation, by reducing the right of intercessio to a simple ius auxilii ferendi (Cic. De legg. iii.9), and by disqualifying tribunes from holding curule offices.

75 73‑71 B.C.

76 67 B.C.

77 In 74 B.C. Marcus Antonius, the father of the triumvir, who had held the praetor­ship the previous year, obtained through the influence of Cethegus and the consul Cotta the command of the fleet and the coasts of the Mediterranean in order to clear the sea of pirates.

78 Otho Roscius, tribune in 67 B.C. The law set apart the first fourteen rows, next to the Senators, who sat in the orchestra, for those of equestrian rating. Cicero also speaks of it as a restoration, but we have no information as to when the distinction was first made.

79 An allusion to Pompey's cognomen "The Great."

80 66 B.C.

81 Literally, Xerxes in the toga. The reference is to Xerxes' bridge across the Hellespont and his canal through the Isthmus at Mount Athos.

82 As in the case of Lucullus.

83 63 B.C.

84 He is referring to the sentiment expressed in the famous lines of Horace, Ep. II.1.156, "Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes Intulit agresti Latio."

85 His famous speech is reported in Sallust, Catiline, chap. lii.

86 63 B.C.

87 He has now come to Rome's greatest epoch, the Ciceronian and the Augustan ages, sufficiently indicated by the mention of Cicero and Augustus. Hence the emphasis upon iam.

88 The omission of Horace from this list is as noteworthy as the omission of Plautus from the writers of comedy in Chap. xvii of Bk. I.

89 261 B.C.

90 212 B.C.

91 256 B.C.

92 146 B.C.

93 235 B.C.

94 218 B.C.

95 167 B.C.

96 146 B.C.

97 189 B.C.

98 190 B.C.

99 130 B.C.

100 57 B.C.

101 67 B.C.

102 62 B.C.

103 58‑50 B.C.

104 46 B.C.

105 The words in brackets are a translation of Haase's conjecture. See footnote to text.

106 78 B.C.

107 i.e. Galatia, 188 B.C.

108 74 B.C.

109 30 B.C.

110 10 B.C.

111 16‑12 B.C.

112 A.D. 17.

113 66‑63 B.C.

114 A general holding the imperium had the title imperator. He is here referring to the use of the title in the acclamations of the soldiers after a victory. In this sense it was considered as the preliminary to a triumph.

115 59 B.C.

116 Suetonius, Div. Julius 4, associates the adventure with the pirates with his visit to Rhodes in 76 B.C., whither he went to study oratory under Molo. Plutarch, Caes., places (p141)it earlier, in connexion with his visit to Bithynia in 81‑80 B.C.

117 74 B.C.

118 77 B.C.

119 62 B.C.

120 63 B.C.

121 65 B.C.

122 It was not as praetor and quaestor, but as propraetor and quaestorius that he served in Spain in 61 B.C. and 67 B.C.

123 More probably while Consul elect.

124 Dressed as a woman he had appeared at the sacred rites of the Bona Dea, at which only women were allowed to be present. They were presided over by Caesar's wife, Pompeia, with whom Clodius was suspected of having an amour.

125 58 B.C.

126 Literally "Should be forbidden fire and water."

127 By his suppression, in his consul­ship, of the conspiracy of Catiline.

128 57 B.C.

129 58 B.C.

130 58‑50 B.C.

131 55 B.C. They had been consuls together in 70 B.C. The unfairness consisted in making use of the tribunician veto to prevent the holding of the elections until the term of Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Marcius Philippus, who were unfavourable to their candidacy, had expired.

132 Battle of Carrhae, 53 B.C.

133 The assassination of Julius Caesar.

134 52 B.C. Related in Bk. VII of the Gallic War.

135 54 B.C.

136 "Son" is supported by Livy, Epit. 106 and Suet. Caes. 26. Dio XXXIX.64 says "daughter."

Thayer's Note: Both Livy and Suetonius, as given online, have "daughter" as well. The online text of the Epitome of Livy is from an unspecified edition; both online texts of Suetonius are that of Ihm's edition of 1907, picked up by the Loeb edition with no critical note ad loc., which, published in 1913, predates the Loeb edition of Velleius on this page by 11 years.

137 52 B.C.

138 52 B.C.

139 55 B.C.

140 About £100,000 or $500,000.

Thayer's Note: A reminder that this equivalent dates to 1924 (notice the pound at $5); in 2003, the figure would be about $5,000,000 or £3,200,000.

141 49 B.C.

142 Probably refers to Caesar's offer (App. B. C. II.32) to be satisfied with Cisalpine Gaul and Illyria, with two legions.

143 Jan. 12 or 13, 49 B.C.

144 At Ilerda, August, 49 B.C.

145 48 B.C.

146 Described in Caes. Bell. Civ. III.62‑70.

147 August 9, 48 B.C.

148 See note on text. The general sense is supplied from (p165)the account in Suet. Caes. 75 and Appian, Bellum Civile ii.80.

149 Caesar, Bell. Civ. III.104,º says it was a "navicula parvula."

150 48 B.C.

151 Consuls 106 B.C.

152 Cato had held the praetor­ship only.

153 At Thapsus, April 6, 46.

154 At Zela, in 47 B.C. It is here mentioned out of its proper order.

155 Battle of Munda, March 17, 45 B.C.

156 The first four in 46 B.C., the Spanish triumph in 45 B.C.

157 About £5,500,000 or $27,000,000.

Thayer's Note: in 2003, about $270,000,000 or £170,000,000.

158 March 15, 44 B.C.

159 Usually of Etruscan origin, who professed ability to foretell the future from the examination of the entrails of sacrificial animals.

160 i.e. on his contemplated departure for the Parthian expedition.

161 It may be that Velleius means simply "son" as was indeed the fact, and that liberos is a rhetorical plural like that in Cic. Phil. I.1.1. It is clear from Phil. I.13.31 that Cicero is referring to but one.

162 When the Thirty Tyrants were overthrown and democracy was restored under Thrasybulus.

Thayer's Notes:

a Or possibly, "an army from the area of Firmum, in the district of Picenum" (see my critical note).

b Here the Loeb translator has pontifex maximus — a slip, since Caesar's early attainment of that dignity, remarkable enough as it was, was more than ten years in the future. Kudos for the good catch to Birte Bronger.

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