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-UISALBRARES 


Sam eee ee ae 


THE GREATNESS AND 
DECLINE OF ROME 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2022 with funding from 
Kahle/Austin Foundation 


https://archive.org/details/greatnessdeclineOO00Ogug| 


THE GREATNESS AND 
DECLINE OF ROME 


VOL. II. 


PUL U SeGen Ss AIR 


BY 


GUGLIELMO FERRERO 


TRANSLATED BY 


ALFRED E. ZIMMERN, M.A. 


FELLOW AND TUTOR OF NEW COLLEGE, OXFORD 


NEW YORK: G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS 
LONDON: WILLIAM HEINEMANN 


1907 


Printed in England 


~ 


CONTENTS 


CHAP. 
I. Ca#sar’s First YEAR IN GAUL 


Il. THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL . 
III, DEMocratTic IMPERIALISM 
IV. THE SECOND CoNSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 
V. THE “ ConguEst” oF BRITAIN 
VI. THE INVASION OF PARTHIA . 


VII. THE Great Crisis oF DEMmMocrRATIC IMPERIALISM— 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL. 
VIII. Tue DisorDERS AND THE ProGREss OF ITALY. 
IX. Tue “ DE BELLO GALLICO”’ AND THE “‘DE REPUBLICA ” 


X. THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO, AND THE TROUBLES OF A 


ROMAN GOVERNOR . 

XI. Init1um TumMuLtus 

XII. BeELLtum CiviLEe 

XIII. THE War In SPAIN 

XIV. PHARSALIA 

XV. CLEOPATRA 

XVI. Czsar’s TRIUMPHS 
XVII. Casar’s Last AMBITION—THE CONQUEST OF PARTHIA 


XVIII, Tue IpEs or Marcu 


vi CONTENTS 


APPENDICES 


PAGE 
A. ON THE Corn TRADE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD ; ~~ 32k 


B. ON THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF LUCULLUS 326 


C. THE RELATIONS BETWEEN CrAssus, PoMPEY AND CZSAR 


BETWEEN 70 AND 60 B.C.  . 3 : ; ; - 391 
D. THE WAR BETWEEN THE HELVETII AND THE SUEVI - 9336 
List oF Books REFERRED TO IN THE TEXT . : x 2353 


INDEX : A A ; F : - : ‘ 350 


fe We 4 ne da 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 


Cesar’s first blunder and first success in Gaul—The negotia- 
tions with the Helvetii—the Helvetian trek—Cesar’s first 
operations—The battle on the banks of the Sa6ne—Dumanorix 
—The battle of Ivry—The result of the battle—The peace 
with the Helvetii—Cicero in exile—The tyranny of Clodius— 
The war against Ariovistus—The panic at Besangcon—Cesar’s 
first victory—The anti-capitalist law of Gabinius. 


THE news that the Helvetian emigration was about to 
take place hastened Czsar’s departure from Rome. In the 
February of the preceding year the government of the two 
Gauls had fallen quite unexpectedly to his share. Since 
then he had had little chance of preparing for his new duties. 
During his consulship he was so taken up with the struggles 
and intrigues of home politics that he had no time to in- 
form himself about Gaul. He had neither read books of 
travel nor consulted the merchants and politicians who were in 
relations with the /Ainterland through the Narbonese province. 
Thus he went out to his duties without any definite ideas 
of policy and with the meagrest knowledge of the country 
and its inhabitants.* No doubt he had a clear notion of 
his general line of conduct. He intended, so far as possible, 
to apply to Gaul the methods of Lucullus and Pompey in 
Asia, to let slip no real or imaginary pretext for military 
operations, to acquire the riches and reputation so easil 

picked up in the provinces, to demonstrate to his fellow- 
citizens that he was a skilful diplomatist and a brilliant 
general. But he had as yet no particular ideas as to the 
possibility of such a policy, nor of the risks and vicissitudes 


* This is shown by the whole development of the war as well as 
by Czsar’s own confessions. He several times informs us that he 
only learnt the essential features of the situation on his arrival on 
the spot, when action was imminent. See B. G., ii. 4, 1; ii. 15, 3; 
G7 onli 20) A 


II A 


58 B.c. 


Cesar’s 
original Gallic 
policy. 


58 B.c. 


The Swiss 
peril. 


Surprise of 
Cesar. 


[Genava.] 


2 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


it might be likely to involve. He would make up his mind 
on the spot, when he was face to face with the situation. 
His attitude was characteristic of the debasement of Roman 
statesmanship both at home and abroad. Politics had now 
become little more than the art of framing happy improvisa- 
tions. Czsar in Gaul was but following the common law. 
He went out at his own risk; and he worked for his own 
ends. Lucullus had succeeded; Pompey had succeeded ; 
why should not Czsar succeed also? 

The first of these improvisations was the war against the 
Helvetii. There is no doubt that, when he left Rome, 
Cesar’s views about the emigration of the Helvetii were 
those which had been circulated through the political world 
at Rome from 62 onwards by the A%duan emissary, Divi- 
tiacus. Divitiacus was the spokesman of a political party in 
Gaul which had its own reasons for opposing the Helvetian 
movement. Rome had been taught by him to believe that 
the Helvetii had designs of invading the country and placing 
themselves at the head of a great coalition of the Gallic 
peoples. If they were prepared to be satisfied for the moment 
with the invasion of the province, in order to enter the 
country by the shortest route, they intended some day to 
be the nucleus of a great Celtic Empire which would 
dominate Gaul and menace the independence of Italy.* 
With his views on the Helvetian movement inspired by 
Divitiacus, Cesar naturally left Rome in excitement the 
moment he heard that the Helvetii were actually on the 
march. ‘The danger to Roman interests seemed very real: 
and there was clearly not a moment to be lost. 

The invasion of the Helvetii had been for some time on 
the horizon. Yet Cesar, in his inexperience, had allowed 
himself to be surprised with one legion in Narbonese Gaul 
and the three others at Aquileia, at the farther end of the 
Cisalpine province. Sending hasty orders to the legions at 
Aquileia to rejoin him, and travelling day and night, he 
hurried out to Geneva where he probably expected to find 
hostilities already begun. 

It was between the 5th and 8th of April when he reached 


* Cic., A., 1. 19,2. ‘“‘ Senatus decrevit . . . legati cum auctoritate 
mitterentur, qui adirent Gallia civitates darentque operam, ne ex se 
cum Helvetiis jungerent.” This fragment of a letter is of capital 
importance for the history of the conquest of Gaul; it shows us the 
point of departure of Ceesar’s Gallic policy. See Appendix D. 


par 


C/ESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 3 


Geneva.* Here, to his great surprise, he found, not war 58 B.c. 
but an embassy from the Helvetii. ‘They explained that a 
part of their nation desired to trek into Gault with their Cesar's 
women and children, and asked his permission to pass through Begogations 
the Roman province. It was a reasonable request, neither Helvetii 
provocative nor menacing. But Cesar had been taught by 
his Avduan advisers to regard the Helvetii as a horde of 
savages impatient to swoop down on the fertile lands of Gaul. 
Not unnaturally he suspected treachery. He asked for a few 
days’ consideration, giving the deputation to understand that 
he would eventually consent.{ No sooner had they departed 
than he began, with the legion he had brought with him and 
some recruits enlisted on the spot, to fortify all the fordable 
points on the Rhone between the Lake of Geneva and the 
Jura§$ The object of these precautions is clear enough. 
They show that Czsar expected serious hostilities to ensue 
after the refusal he had decided to give to the Helvetian 
demands. But once more he had miscalculated. A negative 
answer was returned to the Helvetii on the 13th, and the 
apprehended attack did not take place. “The Helvetii made 
no attempt to invade the province,|| but sent instead to the 
Sequani to ask permission to cross the mountains at the Pass 
of the Ecluse, which was readily granted them. ‘Then they 
set out in their full numbers, with men, women, and children, 
some 150,900 persons in all,{] with three months’ supplies and 

* Rauchenstein, F. C., 50. 

¢ I think Rauchenstein (F. C., 43) has shown the probability that 
Cesar is mistaken in saying that the whole nation joined in the trek. 

t I follow the version of Dion, xxxvili. 31-2, which differs from Ces., 
is) Gy i. 7, for the reasons given by Rauchenstem, FP. C., 51. As 
regards Dion’s sources, I think Micalella, in his interesting work on 
the subject (Lecce, 1896) has definitely proved, against Heller and 
Rauchenstein, that Dion has not followed Czesar’s Commentaries, 
but another writer whose account differed from Czsar’s on essential 
points and was often more probable. 

§ Napoleon, J. C., ii. 48, judiciously corrects Cesar’s account of 
this operation in B. ee 1.8. See Dion, xxxvill. 31. 

|| Cesar, B. G., i. 8, speaks of the attempt made by the Helvetii to 
force a passage. He is evidently dealing with special incidents of no 
particular importance and is telling them with the object of showing 
the Helvetii in the light of aggressors. If the Helvetii had ,wished 
to invade the province, which was at that time garrisoned by but a 
single legion, they could easily have done so, in view of their immense 
numerical superiority. 

{| Cesar endeavours to create the impression, though he never 
expressly says so (B. G., i. 29), that the emigrants numbered 360,000. 
Plutarch, Ces., 18, and Strabo, iv. 3 (193), give almost the same figures. 
Orosius, vi. 7, 5, says they were 157,000. This figure is by far the 
most likely. Rauchenstein, F. C., 44, has shown that 360,000 men 


58 B.C. 


Cesar 
ursues the 
elvetii. 


{Cularo.] 


(Arar. ] 


4 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the few valuables they possessed stored in their waggons, under 
the conduct of an old chief called Divico, taking the Jura route. 

The scare about the invasion of the Province had passed 
away as suddenly as it came, and Cesar had lost his first 
opportunity for a campaign. But a second scare still re- 
mained. ‘There was still the danger that, as the AXdui had 
so constantly preached, the Helvetii contemplated the founda- 
tion of a great Gallic Empire. 

Here was Cesar’s chance. It was urgently necessary that 
he should have some feat to his credit as soon as was con- 
veniently possible. He decided therefore to declare war 
upon the future Gallic Empire by pursuing the fancied 
Empire-builders into the heart of the country. A pretext 
was easily found. He was already in relations with the 
fEduan government, which thought itself threatened by the 
Helvetian trek ; and the Governor of the Narbonese province 
had the Senate’s instructions to defend the Afdui. First of 
all, however, it was necessary to have sufficient forces for a 
campaign. Four legions by themselves were hardly enough. 
Leaving Labienus to defend the Rhone, Czsar hastily returned 
into Cisalpine Gaul, and, while awaiting the three legions he 
had already recalled from winter quarters at Aquileia, recruited 
two more. When these five legions were ready, he crossed 
the Col de Genévre, descended on Grenoble, and marched 
rapidly northward along the borders of the province. Some- 
where in the neighbourhood of the modern Lyons he was joined 
by Labienus with the legion he had left at Geneva ; and it was 
probably about the beginning of June when, with six legions 
and their auxiliaries, some 25,000 men in all,* he crossed the 
frontier of the Roman province and moved into Gallic territory 
along the left bank of the Sadne.t 


with provisions for three months would have made a convoy of 
more than 60 miles, which Cesar could have attacked at his 
leisure where and when he desired. Moreover Caesar himself 
(B. G., i. 20) says that 110,000 persons returned to Switzerland. Now 
we shall see that the losses sustained by the Helvetii during the war 
were very slight, and as only a small number emigrated northwards 
and another small group remained in the territory of the AZdui, we 
may suppose them about 150,000 at the moment of departure. 

* uKstow, H. K. C., 3, reckons 3000 men to one of Cesar’s legions, 
but his evidence is taken from the last years of the war. At the 
beginning of the war a legion must have contained more than this. 
If we take it at 4000, six legions would give 24,000 legionaries, to which 
we may add about 1000 auxiliaries, and some 4000 ASduan cavalry, 
who joined him later. 

t This is the view of Von Géler, to which Rauchenstein, F. C., 


C/ESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 5 


His arrival was well timed. During the last two months 
the Helvetii had slowly traversed the country of the Sequani 
and had then entered A®duan territory ; they had proceeded 
as far as the Sadne with the intention of crossing it, probably 
at Macon. But whether they had really been pillaging the 
country or whether the party hostile to the trekkers, inspired 
by Cesar, had concocted an agitation throughout the country, 
no sooner had the Proconsul crossed the Roman frontier than 
numerous Gallic peoples began to send him deputations beg- 
ging for help. Petitions came from the Allobroges, who lived 
on the farther side of the Rhone, the Ambarri, the A‘dui, 
and even from the Sequani, who had actually given the Hel- 
vetii permission to pass through their territory.* With a 
legitimate pretext thus ready to his hand, Czsar used his 
senatorial decree in favour of the A‘%dui to demand 4000 
horse and the necessary supplies from that nation, and threw 
himself headlong into the war. His plan was to surprise the 
Helvetii, who were beginning to cross the Sadne, while they 
were still engaged in that slow and difficult operation. In a 


67 ff., makes strategic objections, which are overwhelming on the 
assumption that the Helvetii were anxious to move southwards into 
Saintonge. In that case it would be impossible to understand how 
Czsar, who was in the south and wished to cut off their route, should 
move as far north as Macon instead of marching north-west. But 
is this assumption at all certain? Must we not rather admit that 
the Helvetii were marching northwards ? See Appendix D. On this 
supposition the operations become completely intelligible. Cesar 
intended to surprise them at the passage of the Sadne. This explains 
the mystery why the battle against the Tigurini took place on the 
left bank of the Saéne. It seems to me impossible to assign the 
merit of this victory to Labienus, as is done by Appian, Gall., 30, and 
Plut., Czs., 18. Labienus is very kindly treated in Czsar’s Com- 
mentaries, which were written just before the outbreak of the civil 
war when Ceasar was anxious to flatter his generals. Why should 
he have risked offending Labienus by depriving him of the merit of 


- a comparatively unimportant engagement? It is true that the text 


of the Commentaries does not tell us that Cesar crossed the Rhone 
at Lyons (B. G., i. 10. In Segusiavos exercitum ducit). The Segusiavi 
apparently occupied the right bank of the Rhone. Napoleon III. 
has also placed them on the left bank, simply in order to reconcile 
this passage of the Commentaries with the necessity of making Cesar 
cross the Rhone at Lyons. Is it not simpler to suppose that Cesar, 
who was writing hastily and seven years after the events described, 
made a mistake as to the name of this people? In this way it will 


.not be necessary to assume with Saulcy, Guerre des Helvétes, in the 


Revue Archeologique for 1861, that Cesar crossed the Rhone at Vienne 
and then crossed the Saéne in the opposite direction, which is surely 
absurd. 

* That is, if Dion, xxxviii. 32, is to be trusted. Ces., B. G., 1. 11 
does not mention the Sequani. 


i} OaBsC> 


The Helvetii 
elude him, 


58 B.c. 


Ariovistus and 
the Helvetii. 


Ariovistus in- 
vited into Gaul. 


6 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


series of forced marches he moved upon Macon. When he 
arrived in the neighbourhood he made a last effort, sending 
three legions in advance at full marching speed. But he 
had overestimated the delays of the passage. When his three 
legions arrived, only a small rearguard still remained on the 
left bank. To cut this to pieces was simple enough ; but the 
success was but of trifling importance for his object.* Czesar 
took one day to throw his whole army on to the opposite 
bank, and started in pursuit of the Helvetii, who had moved 
off to the north-west across the undulating country of the 
Charolais.t 

Cesar imagined that he was marching northwards to sup- 
press a widespread and dangerous movement, perhaps the 
beginnings of a new Cimbric invasion among the Celtic 
populations. In reality he was merely blundering into a trap 
which had been skilfully laid him by Ariovistus. The Hel- 
vetii had not the least intention of founding a great Gallic 
Empire. ‘This was a ridiculous popular fairy-tale to which 
the Romans and Cesar, in their ignorance of Gallic affairs, 
had innocently lent credence, and which Ariovistus had done 
his best to circulate. “There were no political designs in their 
trek at all. The real centre of political interest lay in quite 
a different direction. At the moment of Czsar’s arrival what 
really endangered Gaul was not the Swiss peril, personified in 
the Helvetian trekkers, but the German peril, personified in 
Ariovistus. 

Divided for centuries past into a large number of unequal 
and independent republics which were continually fighting one 
another for supremacy, and distracted too by desperate party 
conflicts which often led to warfare through outside inter- 
vention, { Gaul had been going through a period of particularly 
acute disturbance during the two decades preceding Cesar’s 
arrival, owing to a struggle for supremacy between the AXdui 
and the Sequani. The contest centred round the possession 
of the valuable toll-rights over the Sadne ;§ but it involved 
interests that affected, not the two nations only, but the whole 
of the country. Some years before, in the course of the 
struggle, the Arverni and the Sequani, having been defeated 


* Rauchenstein, F. C., 61, has shown that Ces., B. G., i. 12, rather 
exaggerates this engagement. It did not greatly discourage the 
Helvetii. 

t+ Heller in Phil., xix. 559. 

We RGea es Ish (Ory, Waly Sie 

§ Strabo, iv. 3, 2 (192). 


CAKES AR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 7 
by the A‘dui, had appealed for aid to Ariovistus, King of the 


Suevi, bribing him with the promise of territory in Gaul. 
Ariovistus had crossed the Rhone at the head of his Germans, 
and had duly helped the Sequani and the Arverni to defeat the 
fe dui. 

The consequences of inviting the Germans west of the 
Rhine had been far more serious than the two Gallic dis- 
putants had foreseen. Once settled in Gaul, Ariovistus had 
no intention of remaining satisfied with the territory assigned 
him. He summoned numbers of his fellow-countrymen from 
Germany and, with a victorious army at his back, profited by 
the divisions which paralysed the Gallic states, to establish, 
within a few years, a German supremacy over the whole of 
Gaul. The native population chafed bitterly at the invader,* 
and a coalition of the states had attempted to liberate the 
country. But Ariovistus had defeated it, and had gone on, 
in the flush of his success, to extract tribute from the Adui,§ 
and even to oppress his old allies the Sequani, who were 
responsible for his original intrusion into Gaul. || 

Thus for the last fourteen years there had been growing 
danger of a German supremacy over Gaul with its centre 
on the Rhine. Nor was this the most alarming feature in 
the situation. What was more ominous still was that the 
imminence of this national peril had intensified rather than 
allayed the struggle between the two dominant Gallic parties, 
the conservative or aristocratic, and the popular or rather the 
plutocratic interest. For some generations past the old Gallic 
nobility, like their Roman compeers at the time of the Gracchi, 
had been sinking steadily into the slough of debt, while a 
small knot of aristocrats, more skilful and venturesome than 
their fellows, had made use of the pecuniary difficulties of the 
upper classes to gather a great part of the wealth and authority 
of the country into their own hands. Some accumulated their 
riches in lands and capital, others monopolised the tolls and 
taxes and were the creditors of half the community. Between 
them they had an innumerable train of debtors, dependants, 
and servants; they controlled the proletariat by the wholesale 


mares. 3.) Gagelsr3 hs 

+ Id. Omnes Galliz civitates ad se (7.e. Ariovistum) oppugnandum 
venisse . . . eaS omnes copias uno prelio . . . superatas esse. 

t The prelium ad Magetobrigam of which Divitiacus speaks 
(B. G., i. 31) is probably that alluded to by Ariovistus above. 

§ Ces., B. G., 1. 36. 

lide a 32. 


58 B.C. 


The German 
supremacy. 


Parties in 
Gaul. 


8 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


58 z.c. distribution of largesse, and were trying to turn the old aristo- 
cratic republics of Gaul into something very like an ordinary 
monarchy.* All over Gaul in almost every state there were 
millionaire demagogues, the Gallic analogues of Pompey, 
Crassus, and Czsar, who were bidding for the support of the 
proletariat to strengthen their personal influence, and fighting 
a winning battle against the conservative nobility, which stood 
for the old institutions and their old prestige. So fierce was the 
struggle and so absorbed the combatants that, when the German 
invader suddenly appeared on the field, both sides thought only 
of how they might use him for their own petty purposes. 

ee Both parties had been quick to realise that the glory of 
Helveti, having driven back Ariovistus across the Rhine would be 
sufficient to ensure them a long spell of power. But aseach side 
desired to win this prestige as a weapon against the other, they 
were necessarily debarred from pursuing any common policy 
against the common enemy. ‘They were thus each thrown 
back upon allies from outside. The conservative nobility, 
which was most strongly represented among the AXdui, turned 
naturally to the Romans, and it was with the object of 
securing Roman help against Ariovistus that the A%duan 
Conservatives had been intriguing for some time past, through 
Divitiacus and others, to force the Senate to intervene in the 
affairs of Gaul. t ‘The popular or plutocratic party, on the 
other hand, drew its strength from the masses, and the masses 
would not tolerate foreign intervention against the foreigner. 
To call in the Romans against Ariovistus would be to exchange 
one master for another. Its rallying cry therefore was the 
liberation of Gaul by the united effort of the Gallic peoples. 
But since the most civilised and influential states in Gaul were 
not in a position to head the national cause, they looked for 
allies of a more martial and primitive strain. { It was natural 
that at this juncture their eyes should turn eastwards, to 
Switzerland. The Helvetii were just the instrument they 
needed. It was the chiefs of the popular party then who 
were responsible for the Helvetian trek. ‘The Helvetii, who 
were finding their own territory too small for them, were 
promised new lands, we do not know in what part of Gaul, 


Broce Cas. Bs Gio. 4 pal Lbs Vie bb Vile S200 OLA DOW VarCnGLOR)y 
tells us that the PaRnoriey of the Gauls lived under aristocratic 
republics. 


Weecelesn. Cas, Be Giiis 
t For all this see Appendix D. 


C/ESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL — 9 


and were to be used as allies in the national uprising against 58 B.c. 
the Suevi, whom they had met and conquered of old in their 
mountain home. 

This then was the situation at the moment of Czsar’s Disorder in 

arrival. Both parties preferred a prolongation of the existing ©" 
anarchy and suspense to the possibility of a victory for their 
opponents; and the power of Ariovistus was being slowly 
consolidated, while the two factions were disputing as to the 
best means of overthrowing him. ‘The Roman party had 
made a great coup by securing the senatorial decree in favour 
‘of the A‘dui; yet, though two years had elapsed, the decree 
had not yet been put into force. The National party had 
succeeded in its turn in inducing the Helvetii to take up 
arms against Ariovistus; but for three years past one difficulty 
after another, to which the Conservatives, no doubt, contri- 
buted their share, had prevented the trek from taking place. 
In short, neither party was strong enough to secure a dominant 
position and lead the patriots of Gaul against the national 
enemy. Deplorable disorder reigned in every part of the 
country, and the intensity of the conflict, dividing not only 
nation against nation, and class against class, but even family 
against family, is well illustrated by the fact that the head of 
the National party, the A’duan Dumnorix, was the brother 
of Divitiacus, the chief of the Roman party. 

The simplest way of stifling this insensate party struggle Rome and the 
for supremacy would have been the conclusion of an alliance ie 
between Rome and the Helvetii against Ariovistus. But the 
foolish panic which had broken out in Rome, the obstinacy 
of the Italians in regarding the Helvetii as a horde of new 
Cimbri and Teutones, the ignorance of even well-informed 
Romans regarding Gallic affairs, the intrigues of Ariovistus, 
and the foolhardy mood in which Cesar entered on his duties, 
all combined to make any such understanding out of the 
question. Italian public opinion favoured an alliance with 
Ariovistus ; and Czsar had gone out to Gaul determined to 
play the part of a second Marius by crushing the Helvetii. 

This led to an exceedingly complicated situation in Gaul. Rest ot 
The party which had demanded Roman intervention could intervention, 
not venture to oppose the Proconsul’s projects ; yet Ceesar’s 
war against the Helvetii was exceedingly unpopular i in Gaul ; 
and to support the ally of Ariovistus looked like treachery to 
the national cause. Still more painful was the dilemma of the 
Nationalists. They did-not dare openly to resist Rome, yet 


58 B.c. 


Cesar’s 
blunder. 


Further 
negotiations 
with the 
Helvetii. 


10 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


neither could they abandon the Helvetii to their fate. The 
Nationalist leaders were of course furious with Czsar, but 
they soon realised that the only policy was to conceal their 
embarrassment. ‘They must lie low, employ every artifice 
to gain time, work upon the ignorance of the Proconsul and 
the power that their popularity placed in their hands in order 
to slip in between Czsar and their opponents and find some 
indirect means of relieving the Helvetii. The result was 
that both parties protested their friendship to Rome. Dum- 
norix came in person to the Roman camp and offered to 
pay the expenses of the A‘duan cavalry on condition that 
he himself should be placed in command, intending of course 
to use his position to help his friends on the other side. 
Czesar’s campaign against the Helvetii was so unpopular in 
Gaul that the Roman party did not dare to inform him who 
his strange cavalry commander really was. 

Thus Czsar had succeeded in entangling himself in a whole 
network of difficulties of whose existence he was blissfully 
unaware. He went off in pursuit of the Helveti, plunging 
into the depths of a vast and unknown country, without 
the faintest suspicion that his first campaign would stultify 
his position in Gaul from the very start by wounding the 
hopes and susceptibilities of the great mass of the Gallic 
people, or that a part of his escort, with their A%duan 
commander, set out on the expedition with the deliberate 
intention of betraying him. 

The campaign so rashly undertaken was as rashly and 
strangely pursued. The Helvetii were anxious to carry 
through their trek as speedily as possible and had no desire 
to provoke the hostility of Rome. As soon as they learnt 
that the Roman general had crossed the Sadne they sent an 
embassy, with Divico in person at its head, to give a re- 
assuring statement and make a reasonable offer. Divico 
declared that, despite the unwarranted attack that had been 
made upon them on the banks of the Sadne, the Helvetii 
did not desire war and were prepared to trek to any 
territory which Cesar might suggest. To Cesar, still 
under the influence of the A%duan intriguers, these declara- 
tions sounded too favourable to be sincere. So far from 
appeasing him, they only increased his apprehensions. Such 
proposals from the would-be rulers of Gaul could only be 
intended to hoodwink a foreigner. In his reply to the 
embassy Cesar reproached them with their previous wars 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL II 


against Rome, declared that he refused to trust their word, and 
demanded hostages as the price of his abstention from attack. 
Divico replied that the Helvetii were more accustomed to 
receive than to give hostages, and broke off the negotiations.* 


58 B.C. 


‘This was an official BeCicitibs of war ebetw een: Rome and Cesar 


the Helvetii. Yet once more there was a lull before hostilities 
commenced. ‘The Helvetii, still anxious to avoid fighting, 
continued their march, prepared to defend themselves but 
resolved not to attack. Cesar, fully conscious of the danger 
involved in a defeat, set himself to follow the Helvetii at five 
or six miles’ distance, waiting for a good opportunity for attack, 
which the Helvetii abstained from giving him.f For fifteen 
days the two armies followed one another in this manner, with 
only a few light cavalry skirmishes in which the horsemen of 
Dumnorix allowed themselves to be easily beaten.f The 
Helvetii were marching northward towards the Céte d’Or, and 
Czesar in his pursuit had been forced to move away from the 
Sadne, which had been his line of communications hitherto. 
Before long the provisions which had been brought up from 
Macon on beasts of burden began to run low, the supplies 
promised him by the Atdui failed to arrive, and the Avduan 
nobles found all their volubility required to explain its non- 
appearance. 

At last suspicion began to dawn on Cesar’s mind. He grew 
impatient, and at last ordered an inquiry. Then, from a hint 
here and a confession there, his eyes began to be opened to the 
trap into which he had been inveigled. Slowly the whole 
complicated political situation of Gaul began to take shape in 
his mind. He discovered that, if the A‘duan aristocrats with 
Divitiacus at their head were friendly to the Romans, a large 
part of the AXduan nation was bitterly opposed to them, and 
that the leader of this section, Dumnorix, had only consented 
to equip and command the A‘duan cavalry i in order to assist 
his real allies the Helvetii. Moreover it was Dumnorix who, 
through his wealth and popularity, controlled the policy of the 
7Eéduan Senate and was endangering the success of the cam- 
paign by cutting off the supplies. 

Viewed in this light the situation was exceedingly alarming. 
Czsar dared not take steps against Dumnorix for fear of 


ee eSe els. Gael. LA. 

Tbe eens ite 

t See the judicious criticisms of Rauchenstein (F.C., 73) in Czsar’s 
account of this march in B. G., i. 15. 


follows the 
trekkers. 


He discovers 
his blunder. 


58 B.C. 


Attempted 
surprise of the 
Helvetii. 


12 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


exasperating the A¥dui, but he saw that to go on pursuing 
the Helvetii without bringing them to an engagement was 
to discourage his own troops and to play into the hands of 
the traitors. Nothing but a speedy and decisive victory could 
turn the scales in his favour. His luck did not desert him. 
On the very day on which he discovered the danger of his 
position the scouts came in with the news that the Helvetii 
were encamped about seven miles off, at the foot of a mountain 
which they had as yet failed to occupy and which could be 
ascended by a different road from that which they had taken. 
Here was the long-expected .opportunity. Czsar’s scheme 
was to send Labienus in advance with two legions to occupy 
the mountain at night; he himself would set out a little later 
with the rest of the army on the same route as the A‘dui, 
arriving about dawn at their encampment to attack them in 
their sleep, while Labienus plunged down upon them from 
above. The plan was ingenious, and it was executed with 
care. Labienus left in good time ; Cesar first sent a detach- 
ment of scouts commanded by Publius Considius, one of his 
most trusted veterans; then at the hour fixed, in the dead of 
night, he started in person with the legions. It was an anxious 
and agitating moment for a general who was making his 
first essay in strategy, with his supplies almost exhausted, 
with a host of traitors in his camp, and with legions whose 
courage was none too sure. And indeed, as it turned out, 
one moment of hesitation was enough to spoil the whole 
elaborate scheme of attack. At dawn, after a difficult night 
march, Czsar had just come within sight of the Helvetian 
camp when Considius arrived at a gallop to say that the 
mountain was occupied, not by Labienus, but by the Helvetii. 
What then had taken place during the night? It looked as 
if Labienus had been overwhelmed and cut to pieces. In his 
dismay at the news Cesar hastily withdrew, and, finding a 
hill in a favourable position, set out his legions in order of 
battle expecting an attack. It was not till some hours 
afterwards, when the sun was already high in the heavens 
and all remained quiet around him, that he sent out scouts to 
reconnoitre. Soon he heard that Considius’ information had 
been mistaken. Labienus had successfully occupied the 
mountain and in vain awaited Czsar’s attack. Meanwhile 
the Helvetii had quietly broken up camp and moved on.* 


* B. G., i. 21, 22. This account has given rise to many criticisms 
and conjectures ; see Lossau, I. K., i. 304; Rauchenstein, F. C., 76; 


CZESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 13 


The situation was becoming critical. The troops had by 


this time only supplies for two days. The two armies had 
now arrived near Bibracte, the wealthy capital of the A‘dui 
which lay nearly 20 miles to the west of the line of 
march. Cesar had no alternative but to fall back upon 
Bibracte for supplies. He was just about to make the 
necessary arrangements when suddenly, on the site of the 
modern village of Ivry,* the Helvetii threw themselves 
upon his legions and offered battle. When he learnt that 
only accident had saved his followers from a disastrous sur- 
prise, Divico probably felt unwilling to have the Romans any 
longer at his heels, and decided to give battle as the lesser 
evil.f It may be that he was also unable to control the spirit 
of his men. However this may be, Czsar had only just time, 
by dint of using his cavalry against the advancing enemy, to 
form up his army in order of battle. He arranged his four 
legions of veterans in three lines half-way up a hill on the 
right of the road, with the two new legions and auxiliaries 
above them, with orders to guard the baggage and prepare an 
encampment. Before long the Helvetii were upon them in 
full force, assailing the legions front to front with the head- 


Sumpf., B. O., p. 14. All these critics, particularly R., seem to me 
oversubtle. Why should it be impossible that the Helvetii had 
that evening forgotten to occupy the mountain? Such blunders 
occur in every war. If the surprise had failed because the mountain 
was guarded, it would have been in no way Cesar’s fault, and it is 
not probable that he would have altered the whole of the account 
and risked doing himself an injustice simply, as R. supposes, to 
discredit Considius. It seems to me more likely that Considius was 
really mistaken and that the whole incident happened as Cesar re- 
counts it. Cesar is careful to insist on the blunder of Considius in 
order to explain his own mistake in believing the report and losing 
his presence of mind. This interpretation has the further advantage 
of confirming a fact of which we have numerous proofs, namely, 
that during this first campaign Ceasar was not yet master of his 
nerves. 

* According to de Saulcy, Phil., xix. 559. 

{ It seems unlikely that the Helvetii should have attacked Czsar 
as is stated in B. G., i. 23, because they heard he wished to fall back 
upon Bibracte and concluded that the Roman army had lost courage, 
or because they wished to cut off his retreat. Everything goes to 
show that the Helvetii were anxious to reach their journey’s end 
with all their forces, without fighting a battle. It is therefore probable 
that if they had known that the Romans were about to abandon the 
pursuit they would have let them go in peace. Moreover, if they had 
intended to cut the Roman army to pieces they would not have con- 
tinued their route after the battle. As we shall see, they could have 
renewed the attack on the following day, under conditions exceedingly 
unfavourable to Cesar. It is simpler to find the motive for their 
action in the surprise attempted by Cesar on the preceding day. 


58 B.c. 


{Mont Beau- 
vray near 
Autun.] 


OMB. Cs 


The Battle 
of Ivry. 


14 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


strong bravery of mountaineers. Divico seems to have been 
one of those skilful and astute tacticians who, growing up 
among a primitive people exposed to constant guerilla warfare, 
like the Boers, learn their art by the continual exercise of a 
natural gift rather than by theoretical study. He was more 
than a match (and he knew it) for his ingenious but inexpe- 
rienced Roman opponent, with his academic ideas of tactics 
picked up in the Greek manuals he had studied as a young 
man, Cesar, who was probably much excited about his first 
big battle, took the frontal attack for the serious part of the 
engagement ; when the ranks of the Helvetii began slowly to 
give way, he ordered his men to advance down the hill and 
attack the enemy, who were retiring to an opposite height. 
But the frontal attack and the retreat were only a feint to 
draw the Romans down the hill.* Scarcely were they well 
on the level, than Divico drove in an ambush of 15,000 
Boii and Tulingii on their right flank, while the retiring 
columns wheeled round and returned to the attack. The 
Romans were attacked simultaneously in front and on the 
flank, and also threatened in the rear; and the change had 
taken place so rapidly that Caesar was unable to send to 
the troops on the top of the hill for help. A desperate 
hand-to-hand conflict ensued. What exactly took place we 
do not know. It is impossible to make sense out of the 
confused and contradictory account left us by Cesar. 

* Rauchenstein, F. C., 83. 

+ B. G., i. 25, 26. Czesar describes the first part of the battle with 
perfect lucidity and in considerable detail. He relates the frontal 
attack made by the Helvetii, their retreat, the rash pursuit of the 
Romans, followed by the flank attack of the Boii and Tulingii. But 
this was only the beginning of the battle. To explain its development 
and conclusion Cesar contents himself with five words: Diu atque 
acriter pugnatum est. ‘It was a long and hard-contested battle.” 
What really happened we do not know. Cesar does not again 
mention the two legions placed in reserve at the top of the hill, and 
he asks us to believe that in the evening, while a part of the enemy 
were retiring in perfect order on to a hill, the Romans seized their 
camp, against the desperate resistance by the other part of the army. 
He does not tell us what happened to the Helvetii who were retiring 
to the hill, while the Romans were seizing the camp of their com- 
rades. Is it likely that they stayed there without sending help ? 
Cesar himself gives us to understand that he made no prisoners; he 
confesses that the enemy were able to continue their journey the 
same night, while he was forced to remain three days on the field of 
battle. So there was no pursuit of the enemy. What then becomes 
of the victory ? All this seems to show that Cesar’s pretended success 
was, if not a real defeat, at least a regrettable incident which he has 
carefully hushed up. If Divico had left memoirs as well as Cxsar 
the affair would probably assume a very different complexion, 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 15 


What is clear is that he has something to conceal; for it 
will hardly be admitted that a writer so clear and definite 
in his descriptions as Czsar can have left usa confused account 
of his first great battle out of pure negligence. 

It is probable that the two new legions were panic-stricken, 
and, having received no orders, watched the conflict from above 
without daring to come to Czsar’s help: that Caesar succeeded 
after considerable losses in extricating his men from the defile 
and gaining some strong position where they were able to 
resist the attack, and that satisfied with this success the Helvetii 
eventually retired. If so, the confused account in the Commen- 
taries is merely a device to mask what was really a defeat. In 
any case, Czsar was obliged to allow the enemy to break up 
their camp during the night and slowly continue their march 
towards Langres, leaving not a single prisoner in his hands, 
while he himself, owing to the large number of dead and 
wounded, and the fatigue and probably also the discourage- 
ment of his soldiers, was forced to remain three days on the 
field of battle.* 

Thus the Helvetii had fully attained their object. But after 
this initial failure Cesar could not let matters remain as they 
were. He was just preparing to pursue the enemy afresh and 
to avenge his rebuff, cost what it might, when, to his great 
good-fortune, the Helvetii asked for peace. Tired out by their 
long march, and perhaps somewhat bewildered by what had 
taken place, they had suddenly conceived a fear lest Rome 
might make them pay dear for their victory. “They determined 
to make peace with the Proconsul, and declared that they were 
ready to return to their old country. Delighted at a proposal 
which rescued him without risk or dishonour from a dangerous 
war, Cesar was prepared to be as magnanimous as circum- 
stances required. Not only did he force the Allobroges to 
make the Helvetii large grants of grain to tide them over the 
time till their first harvest, but when the Boii flatly refused 
to return to their homes he made the A¢dui grant them land 
in their own territory. It was Roman magnanimity at the 
expense of the Gauls.+ In his report to the Senate the result 


taCces. i. G., 11 20- 

+ The conditions of peace which Cesar (B. G., i. 27) says that he 
imposed upon the Helvetii are such as to belie his whole account 
of the war. It is altogether unlikely that the Helvetii surrendered 
because the Lingones, on Czsar’s orders, refused to grant them 
supplies. They were clearly in a position to take what was not given 
them. Moreover, if Caesar promised them corn from the Allobroges 


58 B.C. 


Result of 
the battle. 


(The Lin- 
gones. ] 


Conclusion 
of peace. 


58 B.c. 


Cesar’s 
escape. 


The agitation 
for Cicero’s 
recall. 


16 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of the campaign was of course set down asa victory.* The 
Helvetii returned home, with the exception of a small band of 
hotheads who insisted on continuing the trek towards the Rhine, 
and were easily cut off by the natives before they reached their 
destination. 

If the Helvetii had been less frightened, not of Cesar but of 
Rome, if they had attacked the tired and dispirited Roman 
army on the morrow of the battle, they might have saved Gaul 
from the Roman supremacy for ever. For twenty-four hours 
Divico had the destinies of Europe in his hands; but satisfied 
with having checked Cesar for a moment, the ignorant tribes- 
man continued on his way. Cesar had therefore emerged not 
discreditably from the difficulties into which he had been 
rash enough to plunge. Unfortunately a negative success of 
this kind was not sufficient for his purpose. He needed some 
striking victory to revive his prestige in Italy, where his 
partisans were finding it increasingly difficult to hold their 
own. 

It was while Caesar was campaigning against the Helvetii 
that the first-fruits of the Democratic revolution began to show 
above the surface. They were as different from the rosy pro- 
phecies of Czesar as from the jeremiads of his opponents. Caesar 
had been mistaken in thinking that during his absence from 
Rome Crassus and Pompey would be able to control the 
Republic: that they could impose an unquestioned supre- 
macy, amid a submissive and lethargic public, over a leaderless 
Opposition, a paralysed Senate and a dragooned and disciplined 
electorate. “The habitual indifference of the upper classes, 
which neither a great internal crisis, nor war, nor the stress 
of unsolved problems had shaken into action, had been rudely 
broken at last, soon after his departure, by an injustice done to 
a single Roman citizen, by the exile of Cicero. It is a curious 
and significant fact. In that troubled epoch iniquities just as 
crying were committed daily, and excited neither commisera- 
tion nor even comment ; indeed Clodius had relied upon the 


and even land from the A®dui, it is evident that the Helvetii 
negotiated before concluding peace and obtained favourable con- 
ditions. If we add to this the fact that, as Rauchenstein (F. C., 97) 
has observed, we do not hear in the sequel of Cesar imposing military 
contingents on the Helvetii, it can be concluded with practical cer- 
tainty that the Helvetii did not surrender unconditionally, and did 
not give up their arms. Perhaps they did not even acknowledge the 
Roman supremacy. 

* The account in the Commentaries is probably based on this report. 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 17 


moral apathy of the public for the success of his campaign 58 3.c. 
against the popular writer. But for once the old Roman 
conscience asserted its claims. The first shock of stupefac- 

tion gradually passed away; and the public broke out into 

open discontent, when they saw their favourite driven out of 

Italy, his house on the Palatine solemnly burnt, his villas 
pillaged, and his exile decreed without a trial in a privilegium 

by an electoral majority, which assumed the function of a 

judicial tribunal to persecute one of the greatest of their 
fellow-citizens, contrary to every principle of law, for a crime 

which he had never committed. It was more than even the 

Roman public was prepared to tolerate. Rome would be for 

ever dishonoured if she made no amends. A violent agitation 

broke out for Cicero’s recall, especially among his admirers in 

the upper classes. 

_ It would be interesting to know why amid a corrupt and Psychology of 
tyrannical régime, endured with a cold and cynical indifference, *® #840" 
this particular action excited such universal indignation. Was 

it because the public felt special admiration or even affection 

for the victim? Or because his enemy was a man detested by 

every respectable man in Rome? Or because, by a sort of 

blind instinct, the public seized upon this opportunity to dis- 

charge a whole flood of indignation which had been slowly 
accumulating for months at other acts of injustice, but which 

it had neither found the courage nor the occasion to reveal ? 

These great phenomena of collective psychology are still dark 

and mysterious to the historian. 

This much only is certain: that while Cicero was mourn- Demonstration 
fully sailing into exile his name began to be held in ever- He a 
increasing veneration in his own country among the public of 
knights and senators. The first manifestation of sympathy in 
his favour was all the more impressive because it took place in 
silence. When Clodius held an auction for his possessions not 
a soul appeared to bid for them.* But this was only a begin- 
ning. It was followed by demonstrations of all sorts, during 
which every opportunity was taken to testify to the exile’s 
popularity. Many of the rich citizens placed their fortunes 
at his disposal ; for Cicero was now practically a ruined man 
and had been reduced to living on the dowry of Terentia.+ 

Unfortunately while the star of Cicero was thus in the 
ascendant among the wealthy classes, the light of his persecutor 

* Cic., Pro Domo, xli. 107-108. Plut., Cic., 33. 
+ Cic., Post reditum in senatu, ix. 22. 
II B 


FD OmBiCs 


Influence and 
activity of 
Clodius. 


Cicero's de- 
fenders and 
Clodius. 


rs GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Clodius still monopolised his quarter of the heavens. ‘The 
youngest recruit in the ranks of the proletariat, who knew 
neither fear nor scruples, and combined the violence of the 
demagogue with the self-assurance of the aristocrat, was pre- 
pared to assert his claim to dominate the community not so 
much by his intellect, which was indeed in no way remarkable, 
but by the one quality in which he outshone all his rivals—his 
uncontrollable audacity. Against the leaderless Conservatives 
and the dispirited Senate the Tribune was in his element. 
Inviolable by the nature of his office, unassailably popular 
through his recent corn-law, director through his creature 
Sextus of the free distributions of food, chief of the voters’ 
associations which controlled every election, closely allied to 
the two consuls, for whom he had secured a five years’ governor- 
ship, Clodius began systematically to imitate and even to exag- 
gerate the methods of his master. His particular predilection 
was to exploit the field of foreign policy for pecuniary purposes. 
He commenced by a stroke of characteristic daring in con- 
niving at the escape of the son of Tigranes whom Pompey 
had condemned to a sort of honorary imprisonment in the 
house of a Senator. The Armenian had paid him well for 
his assistance ; but it was a grave insult to Pompey, and every 
one was wondering what action he would take. Men were 
already beginning to hope for an open rupture between the 
Democratic leaders.* But Pompey was in no mood for a fight, 
and decided to overlook the matter altogether. So the irre- 
pressible Tribune continued uninterrupted on his way, selling 
kingdoms, privileges, and priesthoods in all parts of the Empire,+ 
and rapidly rising to be the real master of the capital. 

The demonstrations of Cicero’s admirers, with no practical 
leverage behind them, were not likely to impress a man cast 
in this mould. Clodius was not the kind of politician to be 
intimidated by an agitation concerted between the wealthy 
and middle classes and the more respectable section of the 
proletariat, nor by decrees (or rather, in the modern phrase- 
ology, resolutions) passed by the big syndicates of tax-farmers, 
or the college of scribes and free officials of the Republic, or 
the numerous colonies and municipalities all over Italy which 
were enthusiastic for Cicero’s recall.t He would fight long 
and fiercely before he released his prey. The friends of 

*Cicy, Pro Domo, xxv. 66, An, 1. 8) 3. 
t Id., Pro Sest., xxvi. 56; xxx. 65 (much exaggerated), 
PeCic,, eros omoysacviuer 746 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 19 


Cicero had no illusions about their antagonist, and they set 58 s.c. 
themselves patiently to the task of exerting pressure upon the 

Senate, and upon Pompey, the most naturally Conservative 

and the most impressionable of the three Democratic chiefs. 

It was useless to count upon Crassus, who had been stubbornly 

hostile to Cicero ever since the Catilinarian revelations. 

Thus it was that an act of injustice to a single individual The return 

had gradually stirred up a serious political crisis which was ™ eg | 
now convulsing the entire community. As no one ventured 
to buy the site of Cicero’s house, Clodius had it purchased by a 
man of straw, and to make its future restitution more difficult 
was contemplating the erection of a loggia and a little Temple 
of Liberty.* The friends of Cicero, on their side, had on the 
Ist of June brought forward a proposal for his recall in the 
Senate; when Clodius had induced a Tribune to veto it,f 
they had their revenge by organising a huge popular demon- 
stration to his brother Quintus, on his return from Asia. 
They had further compelled the Senate to declare that no 
other public matter should take precedence over the question 
of Cicero;t and they were making arrangements to use all 
their influence at the elections for the success of his partisans. 

Meanwhile the unhappy object of all this excitement and Cicero in exile. 
enthusiasm in Italy was pining away his soul at ‘Thessalonica.§ [Satoniki.) 
Cicero was thoroughly miserable in exile. All his ordinary 
tastes seemed for the time to have deserted him. He could 
neither write nor read (at other times his unfailing resource), 
nor enjoy the relaxations of travel. He refused to receive the 
visit either of friends or relations, and spent all his time devising 
and picking to pieces endless projects for his return, over- 
whelming his friends with letters sometimes plaintive and 
reproachful, sometimes buoyant and hopeful, in a continual 
alternation of confidence and despair.|| The times were 
changed and the part of Rutilius Rufus ill suited his tempera- 
ment. Meanwhile the Conservatives did their best to keep 
open the question of his recall, speaking of him as though he 
were indeed a second Rufus and the victim, not of a personal 
animosity in a flimsy political disguise, but of the violence and 
rancour of the entire popular party. If the elections could 
Cic., Pro Domo, xxxviii. 102; xliii. 111. 

Tid. ETO SES. Xxx. 68) 
Mh boy LOLSY 
Ciel AY idle 155 1 

NESCe ClOnexl yn ty eXLV nee IVa ANGLO). Tons aed, 1A eA Ul 7 ee AT 

SP ePOMel MOM eli T ip dei ra i DSee 111. Oita 20. 


M++-—h 


58 B.c. 


Meeting of the 
General 
Assembly of 
Gaul. 


The Gallic 
situation 
unveiled. 


20 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


only be fought upon Cicero, there was some chance of 
avenging the defeats of the preceding year. The most 
tempting prospects were thus opened up. Varro and other 
friends of Cicero, not content with urging Pompey to secure 
his recall, used the widespread agitation as an argument for 
the divorce of Julia and Pompey’s eventual return to the 
Conservative side.* In short, the political situation in Italy 
towards the middle of 58 was such as to cause serious anxiety 
to the absent triumvir. Unfortunately, soon after the close 
of the Helvetian campaign he found himself confronted with 
new troubles even closer at hand. 

After the conclusion of peace Cesar had believed for a 
moment that his brief campaign against the Helvetii would 
have far-reaching and favourable results. He had seen as- 
sembled around him under his presidency, yet without his 
own initiative, the Concilium totius Galle or general assembly 
of Gaul, almost all the states having spontaneously sent him 
deputations. Nor had they come merely to offer empty con- 
gratulations, but to beg for Roman help against the national 
enemy, Ariovistus. “This was in itself significant. It was no 
longer, as in the war against the Helvetii, one political party 
from among a single nation, the AXdui, but the whole of 
Gaul, without distinction of parties and states, which now 
declared its willingness to accept the suzerainty of Rome by 
appealing for her aid in the most important of national ques- 
tions. It was hardly possible to doubt what this general 
assembly seemed in itself to prove, that the Helvetian war 
had done more to increase Roman prestige in Gaul than a 
generation of negotiations and senatorial debates. 

Yet Czsar was not slow to perceive that the situation was 
not altogether so favourable as it seemed. It was a solemn 
and decisive moment in the history of Gaul and of the world 
when the great Gallic assembly met for the first time under 
the presidency of the representative of Rome. It was then, 
very probably, for the first time, that Cesar had a clear view 
of the whole political situation of Gaul in its proper perspec- 
tive, that he was able to see both the real object pursued by 
the Helvetii in their trek and the essential fact, whose im- 
portance had hitherto escaped him, that the true enemy of 
Roman influence in Gaul was not the old tribesman Divico, 
but Ariovistus. It was evident that the Roman Proconsul 
could not obtain the supremacy he desired in Gaul, could not 

* Phit., Pomp:, 40. 


C/ESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 21 


win a position which would enable him on one pretext or 
another to extract large sums of money from the free Celtic 
Republics, unless he first disembarrassed the country of his 
German competitor, who had stepped prematurely into his 
own coveted place. But as he gradually grew better to 
understand the political situation of the country he realised 
the full extent of his blunder in attacking the Helvetii, the 
brave little nation which had itself been prepared to play its 
part against the German. ‘This campaign had indeed been 
trebly unfortunate. It had robbed him of an ally who might 
have been very useful in the coming struggle and thus con- 
siderably strengthened his real rivals, the Germans; it had 
alienated the powerful Nationalist party and the patriotic senti- 
ment of Gaul, which could not forgive either the Roman Pro- 
consul or his Gallic allies ; and it had compromised the prestige 
of Rome in Gaul and lessened his chances in the war against 
Ariovistus—a war which must inevitably be fought out, if the 
Celtic Republics were ever to be brought within the circle of 
Roman influence. 


58 B.c. 


It was not out of admiration for Rome that the whole of The call to 


Gaul sent ambassadors to Cesar to ask his help against thet 
German intruder, That imposing demonstration of Gallic 
unity was merely the last despairing effort of the Roman and 
Conservative party to draw what profit it could out of the 
situation created by Cesar’s first campaign. The failure of 
the Helvetian trek, which was the direct result of A¢duan 
intrigue, had excited so much indignation in Gaul that the 
Conservatives now recognised that their one and only chance 
was to induce Cesar to turn his arms without delay against 
Ariovistus. If Casar remained quiet after the conclusion of 
peace the people would perforce have believed the popular 
Nationalist agitators, who accused the A%dui and the whole 
aristocratic party of having. betrayed .the national cause by 
calling in the Romans against the Helvetii and thus leaving 
Gaul in the hands of the Germans. On the other hand, if 
Cesar drove the Sueviacross the Rhine, the Conservatives would 
be able to declare that they had done far better service than the 
so-called Nationaliststo the national cause, while at thesame time 
in the victorious Proconsul they would secure a solid support 
for their future power. The one thing necessary, therefore, 
was to force Cesar into the war with all possible speed. 

Czsar was not slow to perceive that the pressing and 
respectful solicitations of the Gallic representatives were 


arms against 


he Germans. 


58 B.c. 


Prospects of 
the campaign. 


Cesar’s 
dilemma. 


Czesar occupies 
Besancon, 


22 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


practically a summons to arms. Already by the Helvetian 
war he had alienated the powerful National party and the 
mass of the people, and now, unless he crushed Ariovistus, 
the Roman party too would turn against him and he and his 
small army would be isolated in the midst of a vast and hostile 
country, with no chance of support from either side. He 
would have no alternative but an inglorious evacuation. A 
campaign against Ariovistus was the only means of winning 
the prestige he had hoped to find in his Helvetian campaign. 
Unfortunately this indispensable enterprise was not one of 
those adventures which can be improvised within a few weeks 
without serious danger. It involved marching into a strange 
country with a small army of six legions, with no good base of 
operations, against an enemy elated by a succession of victories, 
whose forces were believed to be indefinitely numerous. Czesar 
could not depend upon the loyalty of the Gauls, upon whom 
he relied entirely for supplies ; and he would leave behind him 
a powerful party which was longing for his overthrow. His 
experience in the Helvetian campaign enlightened him as to 
the full nature of his difficulties. Finally, and this might be 
most serious of all, in the case of a reverse, there were technical 
reasons against the course he was taking. Only a year ago, 
Ariovistus had been declared friend and ally of the Roman 
people, and no reasonable pretext of war could be alleged 
against him. 

Cesar had perhaps never yet been in so awkward a dilemma. 
He had to stake all that he had gained by a long and painful 
conflict, and all that he hoped to gain in the future, upon the 
doubtful result of a very hazardous campaign. A single defeat 
would mean the end of his whole Gallic adventure, and his 
fate in Italy was bound up with his fate in Gaul. But, with 
the lucidity of judgment and quickness of decision that never 
failed him in an emergency, Czsar made up his mind that the 
ordeal must be faced; and he resolved to meet it at once by 
improvising a campaign to the best of his ability. 

The first business was to find a pretext. He began by 
inviting Ariovistus to meet him because he had certain 
matters to discuss.* It was insolently phrased, and the 
chieftain naturally replied that, if Cassar needed him, he had 
only to visit him himself to tell him what he wished. Czsar 


* Dion, Xxxviii. 34. For the chief differences between Dion’s account 


and Cesar’s, and the reasons for following Dion, see Micalella, 
BoD, 38.4: 


C/ESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 23 


refused the suggestion, and asked him to make various con- 
cessions in favour of the Avdui and Sequani.  Ariovistus, 
now thoroughly out of temper, not unnaturally refused. 
Cesar then declared that he had been authorised to make 
war on him by the well-known decree in favour of the A‘dui. 
Warned, however, by his previous experience, Czsar was 
determined to run no risks of starvation or treachery in the 


58 B.C. 


course of his march. He occupied Besancon, the largest [Vesontio.] 


and richest town of the Sequani, organised a commissariat to 
be supplied by the Avdui and Sequani, and replaced Dumnorix 
as cavalry commander by Publius Crassus, son of Marcus. 

But once on the road a new difficulty confronted him. 
The courage of his soldiers, already sorely tried by the perils 
and carnage of the Helvetian campaign, had been broken 
down by accounts given them about Germany and _ the 
Germans through the inhabitants and merchants of Besancon ; 
and at the last moment they refused to march. They were far 
too few, they declared, to attack so formidable a foe, and would 
assuredly go astray and starve in the huge forests and deserts 
of a trackless country. Fear had reminded them too of the 
obligations of conscience. A war against a king whom the 
Senate had declared a friend and ally was hardly justifiable, 
and the gods would surely deny it a favourable issue.* “This 
was just the sort of difficulty Casar knew how to face. He 
called a meeting of officers and men, met their undeniable 
arguments with appeals to their self-respect, and stirred all 
their pride as Roman soldiers by dramatically declaring that 
if all the others refused he would set out alone with his roth 
legion, which he knew would not fail him at need. 

On the following day the army set out for the valley of the 
Rhine. After a march of seven days it arrived in the valley of 
the Thur, and soon afterwards came in sight of the army of 
Ariovistus. Czsar, who’knew that Ariovistus was expecting 

* Dion (xxxviii. 35) says that the panic broke out among the soldiers. 
Cesar, on the other hand (B. G., i. 39), pretends that it first showed 
itself among the higher officers. Dion’s account is the more likely. 
It is impossible that the officers should have been so lacking in dignity 
or courage as to allow the soldiers to witness their nervousness. On 
the other hand, if we admit that the war against the Helvetii was not 
altogether favourable to the Romans, a panic among the soldiers 
is very natural. Dion’s version is so much more likely than Czsar’s 
that even Petsch, though generally inclined to accept Cesar, admits 
that he has here tampered with the truth. This story illustrates 
how Cesar is inclined to exalt the valour of his soldiers and make 


light of the merit of his higher officers, almost all of whom belonged 
to the aristocracy. 


Panic and 
mutiny at 
Besancon. 


58 B.c. 


Defeat of 
Ariovistus. 


24 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


reinforcements, at once offered battle ; but Ariovistus declined 
it for several days, telling his men when they grew impatient 
that the prophetesses would not let him fight before the new 
moon.* Meanwhile he contented himself with threatening 
Czsar’s communications with the Afdui and Sequani and 
occupying his soldiers in cavalry skirmishes and surprise 
attacks, without ever venturing upon a general engagement. 
One day, however, it seems that one of these raids was carried 
farther than usual, no doubt owing to a mistake on Cesar’s 
part, and very nearly resulted in the capture of one of the two 
camps between which, for greater convenience in provision- 
ing, Czesar had divided his army.t What then ensued is left 
obscure in our accounts. Perhaps Ariovistus placed too much 
confidence in his troops, or he may have been unable any longer 
to restrain their impatience. What is certain is that next 
morning, when Cesar brought his troops out of camp, Ario- 
vistus accepted battle. The right wing of the Roman army 
broke through the enemy’s front, but the left wing could not 
resist the onset, and was already beginning to give way before 
Cesar, who was on the right, became aware of what was 


* Cesar (B. G., i. 54) says incidentally that Ariovistus was expecting 
reinforcements. This is undoubtedly the true reason why he delayed 
giving battle. The predictions of the women spoken of by Cesar in 
ch. 50 were merely the explanation given to the soldiers. 

{ This mishap to Cesar is recounted by Dion (xxxviii. 48). I believe 
it to be correct although, as Petsch observes, Dion’s account of this 
war is very confused. If no event of the sort be admitted it is 
difficult to explain why Ariovistus changed his tactics. Czsar’s 
account is itself not free from obscurity. For instance, in ch. 50 he 
says that one day after keeping his army in the field in the morning, 
drawn up ready for battle, he led it back into its entrenchments. 
“Then at last,” he adds, ‘“ Ariovistus led out a part of his army to 
attack the small camp and a violent struggle took place till evening. 
Finally Ariovistus withdrew his troops after great losses on both 
sides.’’ Clearly what is being here described is a serious engagement ; 
but it is told in a vague and “confused manner. How did the soldiers 
in the small camp behave, and what became of their comrades in the 
large camp? Did the latter make a sortie to attack the assailants, 
and did they succeed in drawing out the other troops of Ariovistus ? 
We do not know what sort of a fight it was, nor what troops took part 
init. In the next chapter Cesar tells us that on the following day he 
led his legions up to the enemy’s camp, and that the Gauls were 
compelled to accept battle. What is meant by this? Why should 
the Germans have been unable to remain behind their entrenchments, 
as on every other day? Moreover, if Cesar was so near their camp, 
how were the Germans able to bring their troops into line? The 
obscurity here must also conceal something of importance, which is 
probably connected with the fight on the previous day. Very likely 
it was more serious than Czsar wishes us to know, and was indeed 
what decided Ariovistus to give battle. 


CZESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 25 


going on. Fortunately Publius Crassus, who was in reserve 58 B.c. 
with his cavalry, realised the peril and ordered the third line 

of reserves to move up in support. The experience of the 
Helvetian campaign had proved useful and the Romans 
emerged victorious. Ariovistus retreated precipitately across 

the Rhine, renouncing his Gallic ambitions for good. The 
German rule over Gaul was a thing of the past. 

It is this victory over Ariovistus, and not his campaign The Protector- 
against the Helvetii, which must be counted as Czesar’s first **¢ of Gat" 
great political and military success. It was an important 
success because it transferred to Rome, at least for a time, 
the Protectorate which Ariovistus had hitherto been exer- 
cising over the divided republics of Gaul. So far this Pro- 
tectorate was in no way comparable to the great Asiatic 
conquests of Lucullus and Pompey; yet in Ceesar’s hands 
it might become a very useful instrument both for filling his 
own coffers and for bringing pressure to bear upon Italian 
politics. But for the moment Cesar had no time to attend 
to his new conquests:or to drive home his victory. All he 
could do was to send his legions into winter quarters under 
Labienus in the territory of the Sequani and immediately 
return into Cisalpine Gaul. Bad news had come up from 
Rome. 

No one in Italy suspected the importance of what was Clodius and 
taking place in Gaul, and no one therefore displayed the least mgs 
interest in its details. Attention was exclusively directed 
upon Cicero, whose cause excited ever-growing enthusiasm 
as the struggle between his friends and Clodius became in- 
creasingly violent. At the elections Cicero’s party had won 
a striking success. “The two new Consuls, Publius Cornelius 
Lentulus and Quintus Cezcilius Metellus, were both favour- 
able to Cicero, besides seven out of the eight Prztors, and 
eight out of the ten Tribunes.* The public was delighted, 
and hoped that this result would hasten the exile’s recall, par- 
ticularly as Pompey had promised to bring the question before 
the Senate after the elections.t But Clodius was not easily 
discouraged. Knowing how easy it was to intimidate Pompey 
and his Senatorial flatterers, he had begun by attacking him 
in a series of violent speeches; he had then appeared at the 
head of his supporters to break up the public meetings of 
Cicero’s partisans ; and had ended by posting up on the door 


PaCicyu POstred. di SeNyaik.122)2 30 NC. OUI, post red., Vi. Lh. 
i 2h Pow in WS Bee Wo bbls Seite a 


58 B.c. 


Pompey 
asserts 
himself. 


26 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of the Senate House the preamble of his law against Cicero, 
forbidding the Senate hereafter to discuss the question.* 
Pompey was seriously alarmed. Finding no help from Crassus 
he had thoughts of appealing to Cesar. But Clodius, growing 
daily more violent, actually threatened to burn his house and 
put him to death,+ while, encouraged by the apathy of the 
Consuls, he terrorised the whole city at the head of his bands. 
The public could protest as much as it liked against the exile 
of Cicero: the politicians were at the mercy of the irrepres- 
sible Tribune. For the time at least all further advance was 
barred. Pompey retired to his house and refused to show 
himself in public.{ No one in the Senate dared whisper a 
proposal. At last a personal friend of Cicero’s ventured 
timidly to raise his voice. ‘To evade the difficulty resulting 
from the veto posted up by Clodius on the doors of the 
Senate House, Sestius endeavoured to include Cicero’s cause 
in a general formula which did not mention him by name ;§ 
but nothing came of the suggestion. Clodius made use of the 
temporary paralysis of his adversaries to inaugurate the little 
Temple of Liberty on the site of Cicero’s house, putting up 
as an image of the goddess, at least so Cicero tells us, a statue 
of a courtesan from Tanagra.|| To increase the popularity 
of his cause he then began to bribe the public with wholesale 
donations of corn bought up in all parts of Italy, wasting on 
this purpose the money brought home by Pompey, which 
was to have served for the administration of Czsar’s Land 
Law.4 
~ But this was at last too much for Pompey. He decided to 
put down his foot, and show Rome who was the master of 
the Republic. With this object he resolved to send Sestius 
to Cesar to ask his consent to the recall of Cicero.** He 
detached the Consul Gabinius from Clodius’s side and _per- 
suaded him to form a band of supporters to resist the hired 
rufhans of Clodius.tf He also. induced eight Tribunes of 
the people to propose, on the 29th of October, a law of recall 
in favour of Cicero.[{ In order not to offend Pompey, the 

FA CICH EA Wm SOs 

t+ Id., De arusp. resp., xxiii. 49; Pro Domo, xxv. 67. 

1 Plut., Pomp:,.49.5 Drimann, GR ik, 272. 

S Gigs Avy its 20,88. 

|| Jd., Pro Domo, xhii. 111. 

EG pels 2 Oi OS eh 

TG eELO SOS ts, ROCKIN. 7 Ls 

tt Id., Pro Domo, xxv. 66, 67. 

Sia, Aehe, oaNg a shtle, ek ace 


CAESAR’S FIRST YEAR IN GAUL 27 


Tribunes consented ; but at the same time, to avoid quarrel- 58 B.c. 
ling with their formidable colleague, they inserted into the 

law a clause which practically stultified the whole, to the 

effect that no part of their proposals should repeal or decide 

any matter with which it had previously been declared illegal 

to deal.* So another of these strange legal expedients ended 

in failure. 

Amidst all these disorders, no one at Rome found time to Clodius ap- 
pay attention to Cesar, and the end of the German protec- eens eo 
torate fell absolutely flat. Cesar realised that just at present 
the Italian public had no ear for victories, and that the recall 
of Cicero might be far more useful to his cause. He there- 
fore assented to Pompey’s request.f But a complicated ques- 
tion was not so quickly settled. Determined to use extreme 
measures to avert what was now seen to be inevitable, Clodius 
adopted the most unexpected of all his many devices. He 
turned against his old master, and made advances to the 
Conservatives, promising to declare Czsar’s laws null and 
void on the frivolous pretexts already brought forward by 
Bibulus.f 

Clodius’ tribunate ran out at last on the gth of December ; Results of 

5 : a Clodius 

but it had been long enough to send Rome into a condition tribunate. 
bordering on frenzy. It left the Democratic party hopelessly 
divided. Pompey had lost all confidence in Crassus ; Crassus 
detested ‘Pompey ; Clodius and Pompey were at open war ; 
there was dissension between the Consuls, Piso remaining 
friendly to Clodius, while Gabinius had taken sides with 
Pompey. Public affairs were in a state of absolute chaos. 
The Senate had ceased to transact business; Crassus held 
his peace and did nothing; Pompey displayed a feeble and 
spasmodic activity ; Czsar’s Land Law, for which so many 
battles had been fought a year ago, had not begun to be 
administered. Gabinius alone showed signs of energy; he 
had passed an anti-plutocratic measure forbidding Italians to 
invest money outside Italy, in the hope of forcing capital to 
remain in the country and of diminishing the rate of interest 
to the advantage of debtors.§ 

Meanwhile Cicero was still in exile. At the sitting of the 

Ist of January 57 his recall was at last discussed.|| Some of 
PF IGICQeA Al. Ao 
‘7 IDOI, Fe-o-ab-<, Ifo) 
+ Cic., Pro Domo, xv. 40. Driimann, G. R., ii. 281. 


§ Mommsen in Hermes, 1899, p. 145 f. 
INCicnmPTO Ses, ucx x11 72, IM Iss xvid. 


Yee Ron 


Attempted 
legislation for 
Cicero’s recall. 


28 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the Senators were bold enough to declare that Clodius’ law 
was illegal, and that it was, consequently, unnecessary to make 
a new law to annul it. The law being void in itself, it was 
sufficient to invite Cicero to return. But Pompey, who was 
more cautious, suggested that it would be better not to enter 
into a conflict with the electors on a technical point, but to 
have a new law passed.* Since the whole matter was merely 
a formality, the new law would be approved without dif_- 
culty. But he had left Clodius out of his reckoning. When 
on the 25th of January 57 the law for Cicero’s recall was 
brought before the electors to be discussed, Clodius, though 
now but an ordinary citizen, appeared at the head of his bands 
to prevent its approval, and in the riots that took place the 
Forum was bathed with blood, which it took sponges to wash 
off again next morning.+ 


* Cic., Pro Domo, xxvi. 68 ; Pro Sest., xxxiv. 73. 
Tila PLOWeStarkxVal 77 eMail aan 


CHAPTER II 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL * 


The expedition against the Belge—Their retreat and sub- 
mission — Disorganisation of the Democratic party — The 
annexation of Gaul—Cesar as the instrument of destiny— 
Ptolemy and the Roman bankers—The Egyptian question— 
The meeting at Lucca. 


THE situation at Rome was indeed becoming critical; for 57 B.c. 
during the winter of 58-57 famine supervened to intensify the 
prevalent disorders. Its cause is probably to be found in the Famine at 
enormous purchases made by Clodius in the preceding year ®°™® 
and his reckless profusion in their distribution, perhaps also in 

the general anarchy and uncertainty, which frightened the 
merchants and paralysed the magistrates. The first explana- 

tion was at any rate that which commended itself to the 
enemies of the ex-tribune, who were anxious to deprive him 

of his post under the corn-law, and held him personally re- 
sponsible for the distress. 

But in spite of this accumulation of difficulties Casar was The National- 
unable this year to keep in touch with Italian affairs as he pee ee 
would have liked. Disquieting news from Labienus forced 
him to cross the Alps again almost immediately. The victory 
over Ariovistus had not been sufficient to wipe out the Hel- 
vetian campaign; the consequences of this fatal blunder 
dogged him at every step. “The Nationalists, who detested 
the Roman intruder, distrusted the assurances he had so readily 
given that he would respect the liberties of Gaul, and were 
preparing for a new war. ‘Their plan was the same as that 
which they had adopted against Ariovistus: to secure the 
alliance of some primitive and warlike people against the 
national enemy. This time it was to be the Belge, a name 
which includes all the mixed populations of Celts and Germans 

* The incidents in the Gallic War which are told without references 
are drawn from Caesar's Commentaries, where the reader will have no 
difficulty in finding them. 


t Cic., Pro Domo, x. 25. 
29 


57 B.C, 


Cesar decides 
to attack the 
Belge. 


Czesar moves 
against the 
Belge. 


30 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


living between the Rhine, the Scheldt, the Seine, and the 
Atlantic. 

When Cesar received the early information of the coming 
trouble from Labienus, the full scheme of the war had not yet 
been sketched out. Yet its imminence in the near future was 
bound to cause him anxiety. It showed him that, unless he 
consented to withdraw his legions into the Narbonese Pro- 
vince and abandon all thoughts of intervention in Gaul proper, 
he must make ready for some hard fighting. On the other 
hand, the poor impression he had made at Rome by his victory 
over Ariovistus forced him to move on to some more important 
and sensational enterprise. He had the winter in which to 
make up his mind. He decided to let Crassus, Pompey, 
Clodius and Cicero fight it out between them in Italy, while 
he went back to Gaul to prepare a thrilling adventure recalling 
the exploits of Lucullus in the East. He proposed to antici- 
pate the attack of the Belge by bearding them in their own 
native strongholds before their arrangements were complete. 
Their country was a long way off and utterly unknown to the 
Romans ;* and the Belge were regarded as an exceedingly 
formidable enemy, not only because of their valour, which 
was well known in Southern Gaul, but because of their num- 
bers, upon which information was scanty, but quite sufficiently 
alarming. In all probability, therefore, it was a question of a 
long and difficult campaign ; but Cesar was not to be deterred. 
He was far too eager for some success that would consolidate 
his influence in Italy to make nice calculations about the risks 
he was taking. 

But once clear as to his policy he did not rush blindly at his 
goal. ‘The campaign against Ariovistus had warned him of 
the necessity of cautious and well-considered preparation. 
Since he could not calculate the enemy’s forces with any 
exactitude he began by increasing his own. He sent agents 
to Africa, Crete, and the Balearic Islands for archers and 
slingers, and raised two new legions in the Cisalpine pro- 
vince, sending them into Gaul cedar the command of Quintus 
Pedius. Shortly afterwards he crossed the Alps in person, 
and rejoined his army in the Franche Comté. ‘Thence, after 
making careful arrangements for supplies, he moved rapidly, in 
a fortnight, into the enemy’s territory, and surprised the first 
nation he invaded, the Remi, into submission. ‘This initial 


* Caesar says so himself. B. G., ii. 4 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 31 


success might be of considerable importance ; for the Remi 
were in a position to give him more exact information as to 
the enemy’s forces. ‘The answer to his inquiries was not re- 
assuring; the Belgz, it appeared, could put some 350,000 
men into the field. Czesar had no means of testing the truth 
of this statement, or of judging whether the Remi were sincere 
in their professions of friendship. In any case, whether the 
information was correct or not, it was a call for caution. He 
therefore extracted hostages from the Remi, and persuaded the 
fEdui to invade the country of the Bellovaci, the most power- 
ful of the Belgian. peoples, to detach them from the general 
coalition, while he himself made a strong bridge-head on the 
Aisne, where he placed six cohorts under Quintus Titurius 
Sabinus and established his camp on the right bank with its 
flank on the river. Here, behind strong entrenchments, he 
waited with his eight legions for the approach of the Belge. 
When at last they came up, he refused to give battle. He 
was anxious first to study his new enemy and their method of 
fighting, and to prepare an elaborate battlefield by digging and 
fortifying two huge trenches 400 feet long, between which 
his army could fight sheltered from flank attacks. “This was a 
precaution he had learned from Divico; but on this occasion it 
proved singularly useless. “The enemy were not so naive as to 
choose the ground he had prepared for their frontal attack ; 
and though day after day they marched out in battle forma- 
tion, and ranged up on the farther side of a small marsh, they 
too, like the Romans, kept stubbornly on the defensive. 

In this way some time passed without any decisive action. 
Suddenly one day Cesar was informed by iturius that the 
Belge were attempting to turn his position by fording the 
river a little below the camp, to cut Czsar’s communications 
with the south. Cesar hastily moved out across the bridge 
with the cavalry, archers, and slingers, and, arriving at the 
moment when the enemy were just entering the ford, charged 
them headlong into the bed of the stream. ‘The engagement 
was short and sharp, and, after a feeble resistance, the Belge 
retired. "Taken aback by this precipitate retreat, which did 
* not seem justified by the losses they had suffered, Ceasar 
suspected stratagem and had the banks of the river watched 
all day. But at evening, when all remained quiet and he 
was just beginning to feel reassured, still more surprising 
intelligence was brought in. ‘The whole Belgian army was 
in retreat. It seemed hardly credible after one slight skirmish ; 


57 B.C. 


{Axona.] 


Break-up of 
the Belgian 
coalition. 


B7.B.e. 


The battle 
against the 
Nervii. 


: GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and Czsar dared not move his troops out of camp during the 
night. It was only next morning, when the news was con- 
firmed, that he threw three legions under Labienus on the heels 
of the enemy, together with a force of cavalry under Quintus 
Pedius and Lucius Arunculeius Cotta. Before long he dis- 
covered the explanation of a retreat which put a sudden end, 
after a short advance-guard skirmish, to what had seemed likely 
to develop into a formidable war. Only a few days before, the 
Bellovaci had heard of the AZduan invasion into their territory ; 
they were clamouring to return to the defence of their country, 
but had been induced to stop for the attack on the day before 
their departure. When this had failed and supplies threatened 
to run short, they had broken up camp, and the rest of the 
army had followed them. ‘Thus, after a brief and unsatis- 
factory campaign, the great Belgian coalition dispersed to the 
four winds. 

Cesar at once realised that if he acted quickly he could 
now take each state singly and subdue one after another. 
He was not the man to miss his chance. Without a day’s 
delay he marched into the country of the Suessiones, surprised 
their force as they were just disbanding, and quickly per- 
suaded them to submit. He was equally successful with the 
Ambianes. Then he moved on, with the same promptitude 
but still greater daring, to deal with the Nervii. The Nervii 
were the most warlike and barbarous people among the Belgz. 
They were still so primitive as to grant no admittance into 
their cheerless and sparsely populated country to the insidious 
merchants from Greece and Italy who tried to tempt them 
with the cajolements of imported wine. And they were 
crafty as well as brave, as the invading army found out to its 
cost. Joining hands with their neighbours, the Atrebates 
and Viromandi, they succeeded in surprising the Roman 
troops in their forests at twilight, just while they were con- 
structing their camp for the night. A terrible hand-to-hand 
conflict ensued, in which the general himself had to fight like 
a common soldier, If the Roman troops had not learnt by 
the experience of the last two years to fight on their own 
initiative without awaiting orders from their officers; they 
would very probably have been annihilated. As it was, a 
hard-won fight ended in the submission of the Nervii. The 
only people now still remaining in arms was the Aduatuci, 
who on the news of the defeat of the Nervii burned their 
villages and took refuge in a fortress on the site of the modern 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 33 


Namur. Czsar marched up and besieged it, and when, after 57 B.c. 
a few days, proposals for capitulation were offered him he 
accepted on the usual condition that all arms should be given 

up. All day long the besieged busily carried out their arms 

from the fortress or hid them in the trenches; but at nightfall 

they took them from their concealment and burst out upon 

the Romans. The attack was repulsed, the town recaptured, 

and all the besieged, according to Cesar no less than 53,000 

in number, were sold as slaves to the merchants who accom- 

panied the army.* 

By this series of victories over such a number of semi- Effect of these 
civilised and warlike peoples Cesar caused a great sensation pane 
in the whole of Gaul and forced even doubters who had 
jeered at his exploits against the Helvetii to recognise the 
reality of the Roman supremacy. Most important of all, he 
had made large captures of prisoners, whom he generally 
sold on the spot, and of booty. There can be no doubt that 
in the course of his devastations he must have unearthed great 
quantities of precious metals, which the Belge, like all primi- 
tive peoples, were in the habit of hoarding. But the essential 
question still remained to be answered. Would his victories 
produce as great an impression in Italy as they had produced 
in Gaul? 

The news from Rome was indeed far from reassuring, and led Milo and 

Cesar to anticipate the break-down of the Democratic régime. 
Cicero had at length returned from exile, welcomed through- 
out Italy by enthusiastic demonstrations. Yet Clodius’ law 
of banishment had only been repealed by Pompey’s discovery, 
among the Tribunes for 57, of a man capable of standing up 
against the uncontrollable demagogue. “The new Conservative 
hero was a certain Titus Annius Milo,f a penurious aristocrat 
who shared the foolhardy ambitions and the unscrupulous 
methods of his Democratic rival. Sheltered, like Clodius, by 
the inviolability of his office, and excited by the promise of 
the consulship for his exertions, Milo had recruited a private 
band of gladiators and cut-throats.{ By this means Pompey 
had at last been able on the 4th of August, amid scenes of riot 
and bloodshed, § to vote the law recalling Cicero and ordering 
full reparation to be made for his sufferings. 

But peace had not yet returned to the Republic. The 


Peso Gal 
t Cf. Drimann, i.?, 31 f. 
PE DlOn  SextreO OAp Ds) onlin LOs 
SiC@icneAL iV.01,. 4) 
II Cc 


57 B.C. 


Pompey’s new 
appointment. 


Pompey and 
Ptolemy. 


34 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Conservatives and Pompey had joined hands to make the 
famine an excuse for depriving Clodius of his superintend- 
ence of the corn-supply. Cicero, now once more among 
his peers, had gone further still. He had persuaded the 
Senate to approve a law giving Pompey for five years supreme 
control and inspection of all ports and markets in the Empire 
and the power of nominating not more than fifteen sub- 
ordinates to keep Rome supplied with corn.* ‘This measure 
once more provoked the tempest which had been lulled for 
a moment on Cicero’s return. Clodius attempted a revenge 
by raising the people against Pompey, declaring that it was 
he who had made food dear in order to make himself king 
of Rome. He had announced his candidature for the zdile- 
ship in the following year; he had attempted through his 
friends among the Tribunes to prevent Cicero from being 
indemnified for the demolition of his house;t and finally, 
at the elections for 56, he had placed his bands at the dis- 
posal of the Conservatives and had succeeded in carrying 
into power all their candidates for the consulship and the 
pretorship. f 

Thus the alliance between the demagogue and the Con- 
servatives was now formally recognised; and it proved so 
alarming to Pompey that he arranged with Milo to postpone 
the election of the ediles§ for fear of a fresh success for 
the new coalition, But now a new cause of difficulty 
appeared on the scene, as if to add to the confusion. 
Ptolemy Auletes, who had been driven out of Egypt by 
a revolution among his subjects, came to Rome to tell his 
creditors that if they ever desired payment they must help 
him to recover his kingdom. Pompey, who was anxious to 
make a success of his new duties, had been relying on the 
friendship of Ptolemy to secure the granary of the Medi- 
terranean. He received him in his palace and did his best 
for his cause; but neither the Senate nor the public took 
much interest in the poor king’s fate. || 

In short, despite the weakness and incoherence of the 
Conservatives, the popular party, for all its spasmodic dis- 
plays of energy, seemed likely before long to have exhausted 


FUCICN AG vn Ly Oly) ELMb ODN.) AO UDLON,: Soc: 

t+ Lange, R. A., iii. 309-10. 

Te Ld. 308. 

§ 1d,, 300. 

{) Dion; xxix. ta; Plur., Cat. Us 38s Cic Proukab. Posuymimees 
angen Ry AG; ile s bis 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 35 


its strength. With the exception of a few men of note, its 
ranks were filled with hotheaded and brainless adventurers, 
Sooner or later the Conservative party, which was not only 
wealthier but counted far more men of distinction among 
its supporters, would regain its old power, repeal the Julian 
laws and pay off its long score of grudges against their 
author. 

Cesar saw all this clearly enough from his distant vantage 
post in Gaul. He realised that he must somehow avert the 
impending disaster. The situation was critical, for the col- 
lapse of his party might occur at any moment. Amidst the 
labyrinth of difficulties which hedged him round on every 
side, Czesar’s far-seeing genius hit on one clear line of escape. 
It was a way of which no one else but he would have 
thought, for to traditional Roman ideas it involved what 
was little short of madness. But, when the danger demanded 
it, Cesar had the daring to execute what others in his position 
would hardly have dared to conceive. What he proposed to 
do was simple enough on paper—to annex the whole of Gaul 
as far as the Rhine to the Roman Empire, as Lucullus had 
annexed Pontus, and Pompey Syria; but it was a far more 
audacious scheme than either of these, or indeed than anything 
of the kind that had as yet been done in Roman history. Gaul 
was a country twice the size of Italy. It contained a number 
of independent states, with powerful aristocracies, influential 
priesthoods, and a long and tenacious tradition of national 
life. It had a population amounting most probably to some 
four or five million inhabitants,* not debased and vitiated 
like so many of the peoples of the East, but inured to the 
experience of organised warfare. 

To bring a whole medley of nations, from one day to the 
next, under the authority of Rome, and to remodel the whole 
structure of their life and government, was a stupendous 
undertaking. Without sinking to the level of the nervous 
diplomats who had refused to be embarrassed with the re- 
sponsibilities of Egypt, serious observers were justified in 
asking if Rome was not undertaking more than she could 
possibly perform. But Czsar could not now draw back. 
The temptations to attach himself to the new Imperialist 
school of policy were too great to be resisted. He saw how 
through the Helvetian war he had so thoroughly earned 


* Beloch, die Bevilkerung Galliens zur Zeit Cdsav’s, in Rheinisches 
Museum, LIV., pp. 414 f. 


SoBe. 


Demoralisation 
of the Demo- 
crats. 


The idea of 
annexation. 


The dilemma 
of the Pro- 
tectorate. 


57 B.C. 


The actual 
situation in 
Gaul. 


36 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the hatred of the Nationalists that so long as he remained 
in Gaul they would never willingly accept the Roman pro- 
tectorate. Yet, after his recent victories, even the more 
moderate party in Rome regarded that protectorate as just and 
necessary ; and in any case he himself could not now possibly 
renounce it. Under these circumstances the Nationalists 
would be certain to use the semi-independent status under 
which the Gallic nations were now living to stir up constant 
difficulties for the Roman overlord. ‘The only methods by 
which Rome could be rid of the whole trouble were by 
evacuation or annexation. This after all is a crisis in the 
history of every protectorate, and sooner or later it had 
been bound to occur in Gaul, where national feeling was 
exceptionally strong. ‘This being so, it was surely not un- 
wise to precipitate an inevitable ‘development by making use 
of the impression produced by his victory over Belge. 

From the point of view of Italian politics his motives were 
still more pressing. Czesar knew that he could never dominate 
the Italian public or rescue the failing fortunes of his party 
unless he achieved some amazing and sensational success. 
The Belge had served him just as little as Ariovistus. He 
needed to make some far more stirring announcement : to pro- 
claim that the age-long and ever-formidable enemies of Rome 
were now, after two years’ hard fighting, at last effectually 
subdued ; that the conquest of the Celtic lands, the great work 
undertaken by the first great representative of the Roman 
Democracy, Caius Flaminius, had been finished a century and 
a half later by Caius Julius Ceasar; that the Roman Empire 
had been enriched by a fertile and populous territory, as vast 
as the provinces won by Lucullus and Pompey in the East. 
It is true that this conquest was still in great part imaginary. 
Aquitania and the other independent districts of Southern 
Gaul had not as yet seen a single Roman soldier or official ; 
many of the peoples of Central and Western Gaul had not 
made their submission, and others had only done so formally ; 
several, including some of the richest and most powerful, the 
Sequani, the A‘dui and the Lingones, had given the Roman 
general a friendly reception, but merely in the character of 
a powerful ally and without displaying the least inclination 
to accept the Roman overlordship. But at Rome immediate 
success, whatever the risk of distant danger, was the supreme 
law of political life. Once involved in a struggle where con- 
tending parties played upon the public by alternate violence 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 37 


and bluff, Cesar, perhaps the cleverest party leader the world 57 B.c. 
has ever seen, devised what is probably the most skilful re- 
corded exhibition of political charlatanism. 

To give a little colour to his announcement, he sent Publius The annexa- 
Crassus with one legion into Western Gaul hastily to receive timed, 
the formal submission of the small nations between the Seine 
and the Loire. He despatched Servius Sulpicius Galba with 
another legion into Valais in the direction of the Great St. 
Bernard Pass to subdue the mountain tribes, whose toll-dues 
he regarded as excessive, and thus throw open to Italian 
merchants the new market that he had won them. He left 
the other legions in winter quarters among the Carnutes, the 
Andes and the Turones, and returned into Cisalpine Gaul, 
bearing the great news with him. Italy learnt that the Pro- 
consul had finished his part of the work ; it remained for the 
Senate to nominate the ten commissioners required to organise 
the new conquest into a Roman province. His calculation 
was that, taken thus by surprise, Gaul would remain quiet at 
least till the spring, and that during the winter, while the 
whole of Italy was still ringing with the news of his amazing 
achievement, he would have time to re-shape the fortunes of 
his party. 

Thus it was that the Roman conquest of Gaul was, in the Cesar as the 
first intention of its author, simply an electioneering manceuvre erro 
to impress the Senate and politicians, the electors and the Europe. 
general public of Italy, in the midst of a confused struggle of 
cliques and parties, the inevitable, if unpremeditated, outcome 
of the revolutionary policy which Cesar had been forced to 
carry through in his consulship. Yet in those critical days, 
while he was bent solely on checkmating his Conservative 
opponents at Rome, Czsar was in truth the blind instrument 
of destiny, moulding the whole future course of European 
history. Little though he guessed it at the time, that fateful 
proclamation was to be the prelude to a long and sanguinary 
struggle which would end in the decline or extinction of the 
old Gallic aristocracy. On the disappearance of their native 
rulers, who still preserved the old Celtic traditions, the people 
would easily adopt the Greco-Latin civilisation of their con- 
querors, which thus found its way, unsuspected and unsupported 
by Gaul’s first Proconsul, into the heart of the European con- 
tinent, to form the basis of our modern society. 

But Cesar’s only idea at the moment was to regain the 
ground lost at Rome by the blunders of his supporters. In 


38 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


57-56 B.c. this he was entirely successful.* Exactly as he had calculated, 


Enthusiasm 
in Italy. 


the conquest of Gaul caused an immense sensation all over 
Italy. ‘The proletariat, the middle classes, the financiers, the 
men of letters, the whole of the bourgeoisie which ordinarily 
stood aloof from political conflicts, in short, the entire nation, 
felt a glow of patriotic pride at his achievement, and, believing 
that somehow it would bring forth fruits as abundant as the 
Eastern wars of the last decade, indulged in one of those short 
but violent epidemics of enthusiasm which from time to time 
stir the depths of a civilised community.f A deputation of 
Senators was sent by the people of Rome to Cesar in Cis- 
alpine Gaul to bear him congratulations.{ Many politicians 
who a year ago had passed severe strictures on his policy now 
returned to his support and hastened to meet him in the Pro- 
vince. § The Senate bowed before a unanimous public and 
decreed a supplication of fifteen days, the longest that had 
ever been known.|| The unregulated excitement which was 


* The end of the year 57 is a very important moment in the Gallic 
War, though its significance has escaped all the historians (including 
Jullian, Verc., 77); it marks the moment when, after the conclusion 
of his campaign against the Belge, Cesar announced to Rome the 
pacification of the whole of Gaul, and then abandoned the hesitating 
policy he had hitherto pursued and proclaimed its annexation. In 
_other words, at the close of 57 Gaul became a Roman province. This 
is proved by the great festivals which were given at that time, as 
contrasted with the indifference displayed by the populace and all 
public bodies up to the close of 58, as well as by the statements in 
Dion, xxxix. 5 and 25, Orosius, vi. 8, 6, Cesar, B. G., ii. 35, and above 
all, in Cicero’s speech, De Provinciits Consularibus, a contemporary 
document of the highest importance, which has been too much 
neglected by historians. See particularly chapters viil., xiii., xiv.: ‘‘ Una 
atque altera estas’’ (1.e., 58 and 57, for the speech was made in the 
spring of 56) ‘‘vel metu vel spe, vel pena vel premiis, vel armis, vel 
legibus, potest totam Galliam sempiternis vinculis adstringere”’ (xiv. 34). 

That Casar was compelled to proclaim the annexation because of 
the condition of his party at Rome is a conjecture rendered probable 
by many analogous cases in history and confirmed by the conference 
at Lucca and its results. The fact that Cesar (B.G., ii. 35) disguises 
in one brief phrase what was the most important moment of his life, 
so far from refuting this conjecture, only makes it more probable. 
We shall see that Caesar wrote his Commentaries to clear himself of 
the accusations of the Conservatives with regard to his administra- 
tion, and as the annexation was made prematurely, before the land 
was properly conquered, and provoked a national war lasting several 
years, for which they held him responsible, it was his object to con- 
ceal, so far as possible, the premature annexation which, adopted for 
temporary political purposes, was the cause of all the subsequent trouble. 

TnDLON,, SKI 25 

HIGH 

SeAP Py ow Gaul Lee 

le Cees} BANG air. gs Plt Crs.y ar, 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 39 


at that time regarded as an adequate substitute for common 57-56 B.c. 
sense and judgment in large matters of policy threw the 
credulous people of Italy completely off their balance during 
the whole winter of 57-56. There were very few who sus- 
pected that Gaul was not really conquered. ; 

Czesar was quick to apply the short-lived enthusiasm to the Cezsar’s life 
ends for which he had evoked it. During his last two years i Oauk: aaa 
in Gaul Czsar had benefited greatly by being continually in 
the open air, by the constant exercise and the enforced con- 
tinence of an active military life. He had discovered that his 
delicate constitution had a far greater reserve of strength than 
he had ever imagined and that the hardships of campaigning 
agreed with him far better than the luxury and relaxation of 
civilian life at Rome.* It seems that his epilepsy, which. had 
grown worse during his stay in Spain, troubled him a good 
deal less during these years.t At the same time Gaul had 
revealed to him the possession of another quality which is given 
to very few, even among superior spirits—that intense and 
unflagging delight of the mind in the work upon which it is 
engaged which seems to make the powers of soul and body, 
of intellect and imagination, ever brighter and more vigorous 
as fresh prospects of activity are opened out to their labours, 
Thus it was that after his hard campaign among the Belge 
he crossed over into Cisalpine Gaul, not for repose but to 
undertake newer and more burdensome responsibilities. He 
traversed the province, administering justice and presiding 
over meetings of notables, travelling night and day to do more 
in the time ; he received deputations, inquired into grievances, 
determined appeals, accepted invitations to meet the nobility, 
received the reports of his generals in Gaul, gave orders to 
Italian merchants for arms, horses and equipment, found re- 
cruits for the gaps in his ranks, attended daily to a huge 
correspondence from the capital, read all the latest books and 
the accounts of public and private doings at Rome, and enter- 
tained the many friends and friends of friends who came to 
visit him from Rome.{f The exaltation that is natural to 
every man who is conscious of his own greatness, the glory he 
had won by his striking victory over the Belge, the success of 
his pretended annexation of Gaul, combined with the mere 


emilite cosa 7 ee OUet. neces. 157. 

+ So at least Plutarch appears to say in a laconic chapter of the 
life (chap. xvii.). 

POP Mit., Cees., 17. 


57-56 B.c. 


The Egyptian 
Embassy 
scandal. 


40 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


physical pleasure of being restored to good health, spurred him 
on to the exercise of all his powers. 

In the midst of all these distractions Czsar found time to 
attend to the main object of his journey—the reconstruction of 
the Triumvirate, which during the latter months of 57 and the 
early months of 56 seemed to be slowly crumbling to pieces. 
Perhaps the Egyptian scandal contributed more than anything 
else to its discredit. Ptolemy’s old creditors, in particular the 
rich banker Caius Rabirius Postumus, had again supplied him 
with money,* and had managed to arrange, by dint of much 
intriguing, that the Consul Lentulus should be charged with 
restoring him to his ungrateful subjects at the head of the 
army of Cilicia.t But the Conservative party, which had 
always been opposed to Egyptian entanglements, now claimed 
to have found it laid down in the Sibylline books, no doubt 
after a considerable search, that if a king of Egypt asked for 
help, he must indeed be helped, but not with an army. As 
the majority of Senators did not dare openly to offend against 
the popular superstition about Sibylline Oracles, the decree 
charging Lentulus to restore Ptolemy had to be discussed over 
again. he constant alternations of this everlasting affair were 
fast degenerating into farce, when it was rudely lifted back 
again to the region of high tragedy. For some time past 
it had been understood that an embassy of 100 Alexandrian 
notables was on its way to Rome to impeach their renegade 
monarch and to enlighten the Senate as to the real facts of the 
Egyptian situation; but the weeks passed and no deputation 
arrived. Various reasons had at first been given to explain the 
delay ; but before long an unpleasant story began to go the 
round of Rome. Men whispered that Ptolemy had had his 
troublesome subjects put to death one after the other on the 
highroads of Italy and that the assassins were receiving their 
pay in the house of Pompey. ‘The Conservative party was up 
in arms immediately. Favonius demanded an inquiry and 
promised to bring up the chief of the embassy, a certain 
Dio, who had escaped the assassins and was staying in Rome 
in the house of Lucceius. But before he could do so Dio 
disappeared in his turn and people did not hesitate to say that 
he had shared the fate of his fellows. 

Meanwhile other troubles were besetting the popular party. 


FA CIC ID LAD ue OStay LO hmGlOne Ean 1, ea pedis 
Td. ners), xls SO In nab. Ost. lu, Ox mDlOn cmon toe 
t Dion, xxxix. 13-14. 


THE ANNEXATION OF GAUL 41 


The Treasury was empty ; * Cato was shortly expected home 56 B.c. 
with the gold and the slaves of the King of Cyprus; and the 

old quarrel between Crassus and Pompey was breaking out Fresh quarrels 
afresh. Crassus, who was still anxious to be sent to Egypt, Cranue ate 
was working in secret against Pompey, while Pompey, utterly P°™P°” 
tired and disgusted with politics, no longer appeared in the 

Senate and accused Crassus of paying Clodius to procure his 
assassination.t At length after long discussion the Senate 

decided, early in January 56, that Ptolemy should be restored 

by a Roman magistrate without an army. But this only 
provoked new jealousies. Crassus and Lentulus were both 

eager for the mission, while Pompey, though he said and did 

nothing openly, had all his friends working to secure it for 

himself. 

So the struggle recommenced with unabated violence. By The trial of 
the 15th of January no conclusion had yet been reached and the os 
sittings of the Senate were suspended for the election of the 
fEdiles, which had been postponed to this date. Clodius was 
one of the candidates, and with the support of the Conserva- 
tives he defeated Vatinius, his most serious competitor. He 
was scarcely installed in office before he boldly prosecuted 
Pompey’s henchman Milo for assault. The lawsuit that 
ensued surpassed everything of the sort that had ever been 
seen even at Rome. Pompey had agreed to defend Milo, 
but when he rose to speak Clodius’ supporters began hissing 
and shouting, and the whole of his speech was drowned in a 
flood of irrepressible vituperation. When Pompey at length 
sat down Clodius rose, but Pompey’s supporters played him the 
same trick; for two hours they deluged him with a shower of 
elegant invective in verse and prose. The whole scene was 
one of indescribable disorder. Suddenly, during a lull in the 
tumult, Clodius stood up and began to cry out with his 
supporters, “Who is it that is starving you?” to which 
his band replied in chorus, “ Pompey, Pompey.” Clodius 
went on, “ Whom would like to go to Egypt?” Again they 
replied, “Pompey, Pompey.” “And whom are we going 
to send?” ‘Crassus, Crassus,” { Finally the suit was 
suspended and Pompey returned home in a fury. Milo 
was ultimately acquitted, but Sextus Clodius, the creature 
of Clodius,; whom Milo had accused of assault, was also 


EBCicadiOy, lieth, ae 
+ Id., iii. 3-4. 
Cicer adsO yatta a2. 


42 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


56 8.c. acquitted in his turn a short time afterwards, because all the 
Senators in the jury voted in his favour.* 
¢esarsLand By this time the Conservatives all openly favoured Clodius 
Senate. against the Triumvirate. So bold had they become that 
when, a short time afterwards, there was a discussion in 
the Senate on the forty million sesterces to be voted to 
Pompey for the purchase of corn several Senators complained 
in violent terms (“ You would have thought,” wrote Cicero, 
“that you were in a public meeting”) that Czsar’s Land 
Law threatened to deprive the State of the revenue of the 
Campanian land. Fortunately the law had not yet been 
put into execution, and they asked if it could not be an- 
nulled.f Cicero in fact had actually proposed that the 
question should be discussed on the 15th of May.t From 
Cesar’s point of view then there was no time to be lost. 
Crassus had gone up to meet Cesar at Ravenna, while 
Pompey had gone to Sardinia and Africa on his new com- 
mission, Czsar arranged to meet them both at Lucca. 
He had already thought out a new and daring policy to 
save the Democrats and the Triumvirate from imminent 
dissolution, and was anxious to submit it to the judgment 
of his colleagues. 


PIC Adh@ mavidenos 

TeGie: rad Or ies, le 

+ Id., F., i. 9, 8. This is another proof that the law was not being 
administered. If the Campanian lands had already been divided 
the discussion would have been meaningless. 


CHAPTER Ii] 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 


The Neo-Pythagoreans—Pompey’s theatre—Luxury at Rome 
—Catullus and his yacht—Debtors and creditors in Italy— 
Cesar the great corrupter—The imperialist democracy. 


THE annexation of Gaul produced so powerful an impression 56 B.c. 
in Italy because it was proclaimed at a crucial moment of her 

history. Czsar had indeed been fortunate in his opportunity. The transition 
We have seen how in the development of ancient Italy es 
Imperialism plays the part of the industrial movement in the 

modern world ; and it was inevitable that the attitude adopted 

by the public towards the policy of expansion should vary 

with every vicissitude in the conflict between the old social 

order and the new. ‘The annexation of Gaul happened to 
synchronise with the renewal of the great struggle between the 

old and honourable traditions of Italy and the esthetic and in- 

tellectual but corrupt and pleasure-loving civilisation of the East. 

For the ancient Latin spirit was still by no meansextinct. It Pid-fashioned 
was yet to be found in those numerous families of the wealthy 5 
and well-to-do classes who remained faithful to whatever was 
best and most healthy in the old simple order, and it con- 
tinued to fight manfully against the encroaching tendencies 
of the new era.* It found support not only in the sacred 
memories of older times but also in some of the philosophies 
of the East itself. There were many Italian students of Varro’s 


‘‘ Antiquitates 


Aristotle who were ready to follow their master in_ his rerum 
peepee . : *y: divinarum 
denunciations of excessive luxury and mercantile cupidity as humanar- 


the evils most fatal to republican states.f Varro wrote his ¥™due-” 
learned treatise on civil and religious antiquities in order to 


* See in Cornelius Nepos, Att., 14, the description of the life of 
Atticus, and in the eulogy of Turia, C. I. L., vi. 1527, the description of 
a noble family which, without affecting an archaic roughness, preserved 
the antique gravity and modesty. See also the acute observations of 
Vaglieri, Notizie deglt scavi, Oct. 1898, p. 412 f., and also Cic., Pro 
Cel., 1v. 9, M. Crassi castissima domus. 

SCO AL, (Oli... 57,011 0,00) su tV.0S obs 

43 


GOEBIC. 


Neo-Pytha- 
goreans. 


Demoralisation 
of the capital. 


44 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


reconstruct for his contemporaries all that was most venerable 
in the life of the past. It was during this generation too 
that a mystical sect of moralists, founded at the beginning 
of the century at Alexandria under the name of Neo- 
Pythagoreans, endeavoured to circulate amongst Italian society 
certain ethical treatises attributed to the original Pythagoras, 
preaching all the virtues which were just now disappearing 
from the life of the upper classes: piety towards the gods, 
respect for ancestors, gentleness, temperance, justice, and the 
scrupulous examination every evening of actions accomplished 
during the day.* 

But these isolated efforts were powerless against the ten- 
dencies of the age. The influence of the East, in all its 
corruption and all its splendour, came flooding through Italy 
like a spring torrent swollen by the melting of the snows. 
The conquests of Pompey, the increase of the State revenues, 
the abundance of capital, and the prosperity which, after the 
depressions of the years 66-63, had been the natural result 
of these conquests, had once more intoxicated the imperial 
democracy. Italy was no longer the Amazon or the Minerva 
of the world; she had. become a Bacchante. Aphrodite 
and Dionysus with their train of Mznads had flocked into 
Rome, leading their wild and stirring processions through 
the streets day and night, and inviting men and women, 
patricians and freedmen, slaves and citizens, rich and 
poor, to join in their festive revels. The banquets of the 
Workmen’s Associations and Electoral Societies were so 
numerous and magnificent as to be continually raising the 
price of food stuffs in the metropolis; + although the State 
bought up grain in all parts of the world, there was yet 
a continual scarcity. “The market gardeners in the suburbs, 
the breeders of animals, the innumerable publicans and wine 
merchants in the city, began to amass incredible wealth. 
Eurysaces, the biggest baker in Rome, an obscure freedman 
who had an enormous bakehouse and a great number of slaves, 
was one of the most successful of these purveyors to the 
Government and to the great political and popular banquets ; 
he ended by piling up so huge a fortune that he was enabled 
to leave behind him, as a lasting record of his wealth, that 
strange tomb in the shape of a baker’s oven which is still to 

eae Histoire de la Littévature grecque (Paris, 1899), vol. v. p. 
08 f. 

: TeV aGCOy ean dlt 2) aon elLipisgus 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 45 


be seen, almost in its original form, in the neighbourhood of 56 B.c. 
the Porta Maggiore. All over Italy there was a rage to build 

palaces, country houses, and farms, to buy slaves, and to ied 9 © 
increase the expenses of public and private life. Second only mee 
to Gaul and the business profits and festivals which its annexa- 
tion would provide, what the inquisitive public cared most 
about was the theatre of Pompey, the first great stone theatre 
Rome had ever seen, which was being constructed by Greek 
architects on the spot now occupied by the Campo dei Fiori 
and the adjacent streets. At length there had arisen a man 
bold enough to revolt against the ridiculous law, imposed 
centuries ago by the narrow puritanism of the old era, which 
made the construction of stone theatres at Rome illegal. The 
building of this theatre was thus in itself symptomatic of the 
new order. It is true that Pompey had tried to spare the 
feelings of the old-fashioned party, and to keep himself within 

the four corners of the law, by constructing a small temple 

of Venus on the top of the tiers of seats, which could thus 

be looked upon as a sort of huge staircase leading up to the 
temple. But Pompey was a man who was always afraid of 
his own successes, and he had no suspicion that for the great 
majority of Romans the construction of this theatre meant 

far more than the conquest of Syria. 

In the meantime, while the big stone theatre was being The eee of 
completed, ambitious politicians spent fabulous sums upon °° eer 
giving the populace shows, which sometimes went on for 
several weeks, in provisional wooden playhouses: in engaging 
gladiators, musicians, dancers, and actors, and sending to the 
ends of the earth for lions, panthers, tigers, elephants, monkeys, 
crocodiles, and rhinoceroses to be exhibited in public and to 
fight in the arena.* Every Asiatic and African governor 
was obliged to become a dealer in wild animals f on behalf 
of his friends at Rome. In the year 58, in a festival for his 
edileship, Scaurus spent almost the whole of the proceeds of 
his Eastern campaigns in purchasing some 3000 statues, some 
wonderful pictures from Sicyon, and about 300 columns of 
beautiful marbles, to decorate a wooden theatre which was 
to hold 80,000 spectators and was only to remain in use for 
a month. 

The largest section of the upper classes, both in the aris- 

Fe briediander, 9) 0, Gaan,, Ui 302. 


+ See the curious correspondence between Cicero and Celius : Cic., 
F., viii. 6, 5; viii. 9, 3; see also Cic., A., vi. I, 21. 


46 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


56 B.c. tocracy and the plutocracy, had entered upon a mad career of 
debauchery and self-indulgence, whether in the fashionable 
The fashion. publicity of the metropolis, or in the discreet seclusion of 
eee ct country and seaside resorts.* The old aristocracy and the 
rich bourgeoisie of the equestrian order had at length joined 
forces, but merely in the pursuit of common sources of enjoy- 
ment. The empire was no longer administered by a martial 
aristocracy and a powerful class of financial magnates; at its 
head there was now a small clique of depraved and cynical 
materialists who were prepared to enjoy all the pleasures of 
the senses, and many of the intellect, provided only that high 
thinking did not seriously interfere with the paramount busi- 
ness of high living. 
The Roman It was the same with their wives. In this shallow and 
great ladies. dissipated society a woman who was not armed with the 
strongest and most refined of moral instincts soon lost all 
sense of shame and serious feeling, and became frivolous, 
fickle and corrupt. Roman ladies ruined their husbands or 
sold themselves to their lovers to satisfy, not lust but a passion 
for precious stuffs and dresses, for sumptuous litters or costly 
furniture, for a well-groomed retinue of foreign slaves, above 
all for pearls and precious stones, such as they had seen in 
the treasure of Mithridates, when it was carried in Pompey’s 
triumph, and were still able to stare at it any day when 
Pompey had exhibited it,f in the temple of Jupiter on the 
Capitol. Their husbands squabbled between them as to 
whose cellar was best furnished with the most exquisite and 
expensive Greek wines, whose larder best stocked with costly 
victuals, whose country house best decorated, whose library 
best provided with books, whose gallantries and adventures 
were most to be envied. 
The younger The younger generation was worst of all; it was wild, 
generation. scatterbrained and sceptical, emancipated from all family 
authority, and impatient for the enjoyment of quick and 
easy profits.[ We may typify it as a whole by taking five 
examples from among the best-known of the promising young 
men of the time. ‘These five are Marcus Antonius, son of 
the praetor who had fought so unsuccessfully in 74 against 
the pirates; Caius Scribonius Curio, son of the well-known 
Conservative who had been consul in 76 and afterwards 


*-Sée Cic,, ProiCal, sev 38s 
Pobliow GN. iy ex Rsv cy tke Ges 
t See.Cic,, Pro Cal ix. 2hs) sil 2oy etd: 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 47 


commander in Thrace ; Caius Sallustius Crispus, son of a rich 56 B.c. 
landowner from Amiternum; Marcus Czlius, son of a well- 
known banker from Pozzuoli, and lastly Catullus. Antony and Catullus and 
Curio were so constantly together that slander called them DS ¥#ch+ 
husband and wife; between them they had run up so many 
debts and become entangled in so many adventures that 
Curio’s father had forced him to leave Antony, and Antony, 
pursued by his creditors, had taken refuge in Greece; there 
he made pretence of leading a sober and studious existence, 
but when he found this too dull (as he very soon did) he went 
on to Gabinius in Syria, who made him a cavalry officer.* 
Sallust, who had ability and a real taste for letters, wasted the 
whole of a considerable fortune upon women, and was con- 
siderately given the name of “Fortunate” by his friends 
because of the great number of his gallantries. Czelius had 
been an ardent follower of Catiline, chiefly owing to the 
debts he had already contracted. When he escaped the fate 
of his accomplices he continued his dissipations; he had 
become the lover of Clodia, had then broken with her, and 
been accused by her of having taken part in the assassination 
of the ambassadors sent from Alexandria to indict Ptolemy 
Auletes before the Senate.f Catullus, now out of favour 
with his family, who were sick of his extravagance, burdened 
with debt, and heart-broken at the betrayal of Clodia and the 
death of a brother, who had died somewhere in Asia, had 
gone in the suite of the praetor Caius Memmius to Bithynia 
to forget his sorrows and to fill his purse. Hardly had he 
reached Asia than he felt home-sick for Italy,[ and he 
soon began to make congenial preparations for his return 
and to satisfy a fantastic and prodigal caprice. In one of 
the sea-coast cities of the Black Sea, perhaps at Amastris, 
he had bought a dainty little yacht § in which he proposed 
to sail home across the Mediterranean.]| He set sail in his 
boat with its crew of purchased sailors and took it to a 
port in the Sea of Marmora, joined it again at Nicza,{ 
after an excursion to Troy to visit the deserted tomb of 
his brother,** and then, like a king in his own ship of state, 

= Driumann, G, K., 1.2, 47. 

{ See the whole speech of Cicero, Pro Celic. 

t Cat., 46. 

§ Id., 4. 

|| Id., 46, 1-3. 


§] Id., 46, 5. 
FEA. LOL « 


56 B.c. 


Exhaustion of 
the Eastern 
Provinces. 


Disappearance 
of the financial 
magnates, 


48 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


he coasted slowly along the seaboard of Asia Minor, threaded 
his way through the islands of the A%gean, and along the 
coast of Greece, and so up the Adriatic to the mouth of the 
Po, thus eventually, after a strip of land journey, reaching 
his native lake of Garda.* 

Catullus and his companions are only typical members of 
the thoughtless and thriftless society in which they lived. 
Elated by a prosperity which every one regarded as per- 
manent, Italy was losing all sense of the distinction between 
justice and injustice, truth and falsehood, wisdom and folly. 
She was dashing, blind and undirected, into a dark and stormy 
future ; yet her only object seemed to be to go steadily forward 
at increasing speed, utterly regardless of the cost entailed. 
Yet in sober fact her prosperity was more apparent than real. 
If expenses were increasing on every side, incomes were by 
no means increasing in proportion. One of the sources of 
revenue which had been most lucrative ever since the time 
of the Gracchi, the financial exploitation of the provinces, 
was almost exhausted, and Italy was forced back, for her 
provincial profits, upon the more barbaric methods of political 
and military bleeding. ‘This is one of the essential factors in 
the ten years which follow upon Czsar’s consulship; it 
supplies the key, not only to the popularity which Czsar’s 
Democratic Imperialism enjoyed at this moment, but also to 
the terrible crisis which it was one day to bring forth. During 
the last quarter of a century Asia and Greece, which had 
already after Sulla’s conquests shown symptoms of becoming 
a less lucrative field for Italian financiers, had been almost 
worked out. It was now impossible to make a large 
fortune out of the East by a year or two in business. All 
the wealth which could be most profitably transported to 
Italy or exploited on the spot had already fallen into the 
hands of Italian capitalists, and the new conquests, such as 
Pontus and Syria, having already been exhausted by long 
years of war, were not a profitable sphere for western enter- 
prise. 

All this did not pass unnoticed by the money-lending classes 
in Italy, and capital was gradually withdrawn from all these 
departments of speculation. ‘The sons, nephews, and grand- 
sons of the knights who had made their millions in the half- 
century posterior to the death of Caius Gracchus were now 


Me Cate an 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 49 


comfortably settled at home, like Atticus, enjoying the fortunes 56 Bc. 
they had inherited, and devoting themselves to politics or 
business, study or pleasure. The last remains of the old 
wealth of Asia were being scrambled for by a crowd of small 
money-lenders working with very little capital ; and the class 
of wealthy, educated and influential financiers, who had been 
the greatest political power in Roman government from the 
time of the Gracchi to the time of Sulla, had almost entirely 
disappeared. It had been weakened first of all by the massacres 
and confiscations of Marius and Sulla; it had become enervated 
in the succeeding quarter of a century by the lack of oppor- 
tunity for great enterprises and by the desire, to which a 
second business generation is always prone, to enjoy its 
inherited money; and it had now finally become merged 
with the old political aristocracy, surrendering its own peculiar 
advantages to a herd of obscure and ignorant capitalists who 
were unable to exercise any authority in the State. 

Thus the political influence of the capitalists) which had Anti-capitalist 
been a source of so much danger to the Republic in the time Bossche 4 
of Marius and Sulla, was now scarcely more than a historic 
memory. The repression of the conspiracy of Catiline had 
been a desperate and expiring effort. The Catilinarian spirit 
was by now entirely triumphant; and the victorious democrats 
were busily infecting Roman society and government with the 
bitter anti-capitalist prejudices and animosities of the masses, 
not without certain assistance from the aristocracy which, then 
as always, had a lurking hatred for usurers. Although the three 
chiefs of the popular party were not themselves hostile to the 
capitalists, the executive showed itself more and more opposed 
to their interests. In Macedonia, for instance, Piso was easily 
induced for a consideration to lower the interest owed by 
many of the towns.* In Syria Gabinius always put Italian 
capitalists in the wrong, interfering with their enterprises in 
every possible way to persuade them that their capital would 
be much better invested in Italy than in Syria.t At Rome, 
after a long period of neglect, the old laws forbidding senators 
to engage in business began once more to be put into force. 
Numbers of the upper classes, and politicians in particular, were 
very chary of investing their capital in enterprises where the 
risks and difficulties were likely to increase; if any of them 
did so, he acted shamefacedly and in secret. For instance, 

tar Cic elieris. 353 
t Cic., de Prov, Cons., 5. 
II D 


56 B.c. 


Warasa 
productive 
enterprise. 


‘ 


Civilian 


Imperialism. 


50 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Marcus Brutus, son of Servilia, when he went to Cyprus in 
the suite of Cato, had made the acquaintance of two of those 
obscure Italian capitalists who infested the East at that time, 
and had been induced by their mediation to lend money to 
King Ariobarzianes and to the town of Salamis in Cyprus, at 
the rate of 48 per cent.; but since business of this sort was 
directly contrary to the law of Gabinius he was secretly in- 
triguing to have his investment authorised by a special vote of 
the Senate.* 

But if the field of speculation and great financial enterprises 
was becoming exhausted, what other pecuniary resources re- 
mained open to the upper classes, and, above all, to the small 
ruling oligarchy at Rome? ‘There was only one form of pro- 
vincial enterprise which was still as lucrative as ever. Italy 
was driven back inevitably upon war—with its manifold profits 
in booty and tribute, gifts and ransom. After the huge 
fortunes amassed by Lucullus and Pompey, and the millions 
made by their generals, and even by persons in lower positions 
who had followed their standards, every politician in Rome, 
and all his friends and relations, looked forward to securing a 
similar windfall in some part of the world to which the Roman 
arms had not yet penetrated. 

It is easy to imagine how these demands and expectations 
diffused the passion of Imperialism throughout Roman society. 
Military plundering had now become the most lucrative in- 
dustry in Italy. When an army amassed a store of loot there 
was hardly any one in Italy who did not benefit by it, and it 
was the peaceable class, the people who risked nothing at all, 
who benefited the most. It was the merchants, the con- 
tractors and the workmen to whom the State, with its treasury 
heaped with spoils, and the generals, officers and soldiers, with 
their pockets full of money, provided employment and remune- 
ration, ‘This civil population, devoted though it was to com- 
merce and agriculture, was just as enthusiastic for Imperialism 
as the world of politics. Perhaps its ardour for the aggrandise- 
ment of the empire was all the greater, because, like all stay- 
at-home classes of society, it was easily ‘moved by the glamour 
and excitement of military life. “The curious platonic affection 
among civilians for war, a phenomenon common in every 
advanced society and literature, had by this time become very 
widespread in Italy, and was a force which partisan interests 
well knew how to employ in the propagation of their policy 


™GClep Aun Vie pd tars Vane, te 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 51 


of Imperialist adventure. If our modern Imperialists look to 
the great Roman Empire-builders for a model, their heroes 
went back boldly to the archetype in Alexander. No per- 
sonage in history was more popular at this time than the 
mighty Macedonian, and most men seem to have imagined 
that Rome was about to accomplish very similar exploits. 

But meanwhile, before the empire of Rome became co- 
extensive with Alexander’s, the most immediate and decisive 
effect of the universal enthusiasm was to impel men to incur 
the most impossible obligations. Nearly every one was at once 
both creditor and debtor; men lent one another any little 
money they possessed, and borrowed again whenever they 
were in difficulties. Italian society had become an inextricable 
labyrinth of debit and credit, through the system of Syngraphe 
or Letters of Credit, which were renewed as soon as they fell 
due; they were negotiated in the same way as securities and 
bills of exchange to-day, because the scarcity of capital and 
the frequent oscillations in prices would have made it ruinous 
for them to be redeemed too frequently. ‘Those who were in 
need of money attempted to sell to some financier the claims 
they had on other persons, and the financier would give cash 
payment, of course with a proportionate discount according to 
the prospects of the debt, the needs of the creditor and the 
condition of the money market.* 

The new policy which Czsar proposed to his friends } 
harmonised admirably with the condition of opinion in Italy, 
and tended at once to stimulate and to satisfy the ruling passions 
of a commercial and democratic age—its imperial and military 
pride, its eagerness for quick profits, its infectious mania for 
luxury, self-indulgence, and ostentation, both in public and 
private life. Expansion on the frontiers, prodigality at home, 
gold and the sword : these were the two main points in Czsar’s 
programme, and the two were inextricably associated. Ex- 
pansion would furnish the money necessary for prodigality ; 
the prosperity created by home expenses would generate new 
energy for expansion, 


* The attempts of Cicero to sell his credit-interest in Faberius throw 
a suggestive light upon these operations. Cicero frequently mentions 
the subject, in A., xii. 5, 40, 47, xiii. 27-33. For the chronology 
and interpretation of these letters see Schmidt, B. W. C., 
201 f. 

+ Suet. (Ces., 24) says that the proposals at Lucca were thought 
out and drawn up by Cesar and accepted by his colleagues. The 
statement is almost certainly correct. Cesar was the most active, 
and the most endangered, of the three. 


56 B.c. 


The labyrinth 
of debt. 


Paper money. 


Gold and the 
sword, 


56 B.c. 


The Parthian 
project. 


52 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Already in this very winter Czsar had spent all the money 
he had made in his Belgian campaign by lending or giving 
enormous sums to politicians who had come from Rome to 
pay him court.* But he entertained still vaster designs for 
the succeeding years. Crassus was to make Pompey’s peace 
with Clodius; and Crassus and Pompey were to be can- 
didates for the consulship of 55. Once elected they were 
to induce the people to give them a proconsulship for five 
years: they were to prolong Cezsar’s Gallic command, also 
for five years, and to vote the sums necessary to pay all the 
legions which he had recruited since the beginning of the 
war. Having thus become masters of the Republic for 
an indefinite time, they were to follow out on a more 
extended scale the aggressive Imperialism which Lucullus 
had originated, and to achieve new and romantic feats 
of conquest, With the money these conquests brought in 
they were to execute huge public works in Rome and Italy, 
make profits for contractors and merchants, workmen and 
soldiers, buy up the Senate and the politicians, and provide 
the people with amusements on a scale of unparalleled splen- 
dour. Among other projects, a big gladiatorial school was to 
be established at Capua.t As regards the conquests to be 
made, they had decided upon an enterprise which must appeal 
to every admirer of Alexander—a scheme too upon which 
Cesar had long been bent, the conquest of Parthia. The 
man and the party who annexed to the Roman East this huge, 
mysterious and fabulously wealthy empire would win un- 
rivalled glory in the world of his contemporaries and of 
posterity. Cesar had indeed to resign himself to the abandon- 
ment of this adventure to one of his friends; for he was himself 
too much occupied by affairs in Gaul, where his recent con- 
quests still required his presence. As for Egypt, Crassus and 
Pompey must give up their designs and dissensions, but were 
to charge Gabinius to restore Ptolemy to his country, without 
authorisation from the Senate, on condition that he paid each 
of them a large sum of money. It seems that the amount 
demanded by Czsar was about seventeen and a half million 
sesterces, or more than {£160,000.[ The man who had 

WEA D Pep os Grp dls 

t It is clear from Ces., B. G., i. 14, that Caesar had a gladiatorial 
school at Capua. Most likely it was founded when his Gallic cam- 
paigns were beginning to prove lucrative. 


t+ It is nowhere stated that Egypt entered into the deliberations of 
the Lucca conference, but it is more than probable that it did. Crassus, 


DEMOCRATIC IMPERIALISM 53 


attempted as Consul to find a legislative nostrum for the 56 B.c. 
chronic corruption of all civil societies was now himself pre- 
paring to corrupt the entire electorate of Italy. 

We do not know what took place in the discussions at Crassus at 
Lucca between Czxsar, Pompey and Crassus ;, but it is probable '"°?: 
that Crassus’ assent was more easily given than Pompey’s. It 
not uncommonly happens to successful egoists that, wearied 
by all the abundance of easy satisfactions and greedy for wholly 
new sources of gratification, they conceive a jealous and obsti- 
nate passion for some entirely unattainable object. Crassus 
had enjoyed both wealth and power, but the popularity of 
Lucullus, or Pompey, or Cesar had been denied him, and 
he had spent a long public life in different efforts to acquire 
it. He remained quiet for some time after each successive 
failure, but only to seize the first occasion for repeating the 
attempt. At this moment of universal elation his old passion 
flamed up once more. The Imperialist policy of Lucullus was 
too tempting to be passed by; it had brought glory to its 
author and to Pompey, and it was already bringing glory to 
Czsar. Why should Crassus remain content with being the 
victor of Spartacus, when it was open to a Roman general to 
match the exploits of Alexander? His ambition to be the 
conqueror of Parthia was alone sufficient to win his approval 
of Czsar’s designs. 

Pompey, on the other hand, who was the only one of the Pompey at 
three with the least knowledge of Parthia, and had refused '¥°** 
the chance of attacking it in 63, was not reluctant to resign 
it to his colleague. Perhaps he may even have felt inclined 
to oppose this whole policy of expansion and corruption. It 
cannot indeed have been at all palatable to his nature; for 
he was already beginning to be disgusted, and also a little 
frightened, by the shape which the policy of his party was 
assuming. Like many wealthy men who have everything 
that they need, he was strongly in favour of a simple life and 
an austere and unassuming morality—for other people. But 
it was impossible for him to break away from Cesar and 
Crassus ; he was fond of his wife; he felt that his reputation 
was endangered ; and he had numerous enemies in the Senate. 


Cesar and Pompey were not likely to give up an enterprise which 
involved so little danger and such chances of profit. Plutarch (Ces., 
48) speaks of Ptolemy’s enforced promises to Cesar. The money 
owing to him in 48 from Ptolemy’s heirs can only be what had been 
guaranteed him for his share in the Restoration, 


ROREIC: 


Cesar and 
Caius 
Gracchus. 


54 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Clodius, already quite sufficiently impertinent, would shrink 
from no violence or stratagem against him when he ceased 
to be shielded by Caesar and Crassus. “The only way to con- 
solidate his tottering influence was to become consul, and 
then, after successfully accomplishing his new special mission, 
to secure some novel and extraordinary command. But for 
all this he needed allies. So he could not refuse assent to his 
colleague’s proposals. 

Thus it was that, on the ominous precedent of Caius 
Gracchus seventy-five years before, Casar attempted to infuse 
fresh life into the Democratic party by becoming in his own 
single person the nucleus of a huge and powerful coalition of 
financial interests. 


CHAPTER IV 


THE SECOND CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS 
AND POMPEY 


The first risings in Gaul—Cicero and Cesar—Cicero and 
Varro—Gaul declared a Roman province—The war against 
the Veneti—The condition of Gaul—Cesar’s policy in Gaul 
—Crassus and Pompey consuls for the second time—Gabinius 
in Egypt—The Usipetes and Tencteres— The theatre of 
Pompey—The Conservative agitation against the Parthian 
campaign. 


A sHoRT time after the Conference at Lucca Cesar was 56 B.c. 
obliged to give up his intention of making a long stay in 

Cisalpine Gaul and to hasten back across the Alps. Revolts Risings in the 
were already breaking out in the province which he claimed *°¥ PrOVinc® 
to have “ pacified.” Galba had been attacked by mountain 

tribes and his army almost cut to pieces; several of the 

peoples in Armorica who had made their submission in the [Brittany.] 
previous autumn were again in arms; the Veneti, who were 

heading the movement, had put in chains the Roman officers 

sent to requisition supplies. Moreover, the announcement of 
annexation had caused universal discontent among the Gallic 

people, particularly among the Belge and Trreveri; and the 

tribes of Aquitania, who had not yet submitted, fearing that 

Cesar intended to include them in the comprehensive terms 

of his proclamation, prepared to assist the Veneti.* 

At a moment when his friends at Rome were so loudly The pacifica- 
proclaiming the conquest of Gaul Czsar could not afford to °° si 
create the impression that he dared not treat the country like 
asubject province. He therefore imposed upon Gaul an annual 
contribution of forty million sesterces,t prepared ruthlessly to 
suppress the revolt of the Veneti, and decided to proceed without 
delay against the peoples which still remained independent. He 

* Cas, B. G., il. 7 and 10, 

t+ This seems clear from Suet. (Ces., 25), who gives the successive 
incidents of the conquest in chronological order, except that, at the 


end, he puts the defeat at Gergovia before the massacre of Titurius 
and Arunculeius. 


55 


56 B.c. 


The siege of 
the Veneti. 


Demoralisation 
of the Con- 
servatives. 


56 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


sent Labienus into the country of the Treveri to impress them 
and their neighbours, the Remi and the Belge, with the 
Roman power; he sent Quintus Titurius Sabinus with about 
10,000 men to ravage the territory of the Vinelli, the Curio- 
soliti and the Lessobii, who were allies of the Veneti; he 
ordered Publius Czsar to march into Aquitania with a small 
force of cavalry, and about 4000 infantry; and reserved 
for himself the task of reducing the Veneti.* As the 
Veneti were provided with a numerous fleet he had ships 
constructed on the Loire and enrolled all the pilots and 
rowers he could find. He ordered the Pictones and Santones, 
who were holding aloof from the revolt but had not yet made 
their submission, to provide him with ships, thus declaring them 
tributaries of Rome.t For the command of the fleet he selected 
the young Decimus Brutus, son of the consul of 77 and the 
well-known Sempronia; and even before the ships were 
ready he led his land forces into the territory of the Veneti. 

Titurius and Publius Crassus were soon successful in their 
respective operations. Casar, however, was not equally 
fortunate. The Veneti had taken refuge within forts con- 
structed on tongues of land jutting out into the sea, in positions 
where the great ocean tides defended them far better than any 
devices of human ingenuity ; ebbing and flowing twice daily 
with a rhythmic force strange to dwellers by the Medi- 
terranean, the high tide repulsed the army which was attempting 
the siege by land, and the low tide stranded the fleet which 
was moving to the attack by sea. Czsar thus spent a large 
part of the summer in assailing a line of impregnable fortresses 
which were secured against capture either by land or by sea. 

Meanwhile Pompey, after duly making his peace with 
Clodius, had again become reconciled with Crassus, and to- 
gether the two chiefs exercised an undisputed lordship over 
Rome, Italy and the Empire. The reconstruction of the 
Triumvirate had reduced ‘the Conservative opposition to a 
small knot of vain and violent senators, headed by Cato, 
Favonius and Domitius Ahenobarbus, who had no influence 
over the majority of their colleagues. Even Cicero had re- 

“Ceres. By G., til. 12> Dion) xexis, 40. 

Tt Ces. (B. G., iii. 11) says: ‘‘ Ex Pictonibus et Santonis reliquisque 
pacatis regionibus.”’ He has not yet spoken of their submission, and 
has not even previously mentioned the Pictones. It is probable 
therefore that this demand for reinforcements was one of the numerous 


rapid devices employed by Cesar to be able to proceed against the 
peoples which still remained independent. 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 57 


luctantly submitted. Czesar had promised his brother Quintus 56 8.c. 
a command in Gaul, and Pompey who had gone straight from 

Lucca to Sardinia to requisition corn, had asked Quintus to 

tell him that his speech in the Senate on Czsar’s Land Law, 

had given him much displeasure.* Cicero, had consented to 

go into the country on the 15th of May when he should have 

been present in the Senate to speak on a motion of his own 

about this very subject. 

He soon yielded still further, and promised actually to speak Cicero returns 
in Czsar’s favour, when at the beginning of June{ a debate” ~ : 
took place on the proposed despatch of ten commissioners 
to organise the administration of Gaul and to vote the funds 
necessary for the four legions recruited by Ceasar in 58 and 
57. In spite of his triumphal return to Italy, the wound 
inflicted on him by Clodius had left a lasting mark upon his 
nervous and impressionable temperament. ‘The vague dreams 
of glory which had turned his brain after the conspiracy of 
Catiline had by now passed away ; his ambition was no longer 
to be a great statesman. Content with having escaped from 
the arena with his life, he intended before all things to avoid 
facing it again ; he wished to remain outside as an intelligent 
onlooker, ready at all times, if necessary, to play a secondary 
part, provided only that this part involved taking no risks. 

He was returning to his early passion for literature, to which 
he had been unfaithful since he laid it by years ago to become 
one of the leading lawyers in Rome. He was now engaged 
upon an ambitious work, the dialogue called De Oratore, a book The «De 
written in his very best narrative and philosophical style, full O7*"* 
of vivid personal touches and delightful pieces of charac- 
terisation. “The quiet pleasure which he derived from the 
composition of his book seemed for the moment far more 
enviable than the delirious excitements of ambition and the 
mad intoxication of power. ‘There were private preoccupa- 
tions too, such as the unsatisfactory state of his finances, which 
distracted him from devoting too much attention to politics. 
He had already been in some embarrassment before his exile, 
through the debts incurred to pay for his new house. Despite 
the indemnity voted him by the Senate, which, as a matter of 
fact, was wholly insufficient, and the advances of his friend 
Atticus, he had serious difficulty in satisfying his creditors and 


ao [Oikor, aislel sien ie heyy key, 
{, Cic., ad.O.,1. 8. 
1 lange, R.A." 323° 


56 B.c. 


Cicero’s 
gratitude to 
Pompey. 


Varro asa 
country 
gentleman. 


His 
“ Discipline.” 


58 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


rebuilding his house and country villas.* This was all the 
more troublesome, because he had allowed himself to be caught 
in the fashionable whirlpool and was being more and more 
tempted into a lavish and luxurious style of living.+ 

There was yet another reason which deterred him from 
opposing the Triumvirate. Asa man of right feeling he felt 
that he owed a debt of gratitude towards Pompey for his recall 
from exile—a debt which was something of the nature of a 
political obligation. Why, he asked himself, should he offend 
Pompey to please a small clique of obstinate aristocrats who 
had abandoned him in his hour of danger and were really not 
a whit better than their opponents? As for Cesar, there 
might be much to be said against him, yet had he not also a 
good deal to his credit? What was the use of making life a 
burden by running full tilt against every difficulty that arose? 
Would it not be wiser to follow the example set by a man 
like Varro, who, though an aristocrat of wealth and culture, 
had filled numerous offices, been legate in the war against the 
pirates and at the end brought home a good million of money 
for his pains? 

Varro had indeed understood how to preserve entire liberty 
of action in the midst of all the party struggles and intrigues 
of his day. Quite recently, after passing some trenchant 
criticisms upon the policy of his friend Pompey, he had retired 
from politics to his villa in the country where he occupied 
himself with improving the cultivation of his estates and help- 
ing by his studies and writings to keep alive all that was best 
in the old Roman traditions, reshaped and revivified by the 
influence of Greece. He did so in the form most popular with 
a dilettante and bustling age, which made action a fetish and 
thought a pastime, by writing handbooks, compilations and 
manuals ; his great work in nine books, entitled, Discipline, 
is in fact a sort of encyclopedia. He was also a patron 
of art, and Archelaus, one of the first sculptors in Rome, § 
was employed in his service. Cicero was quite ready to 
follow in the footsteps of his friend Varro. ‘There were 
now but two objects which he had at heart: to show 
his gratitude to Pompey, and to take vengeance upon 
Clodius. 

PACIC: AN MV nmly 3% “LV ce ei ed vse tO 

ClO ad Oy dt Ownas 

t For the motives of this interesting conversion see Cic., F., i. 9. 


§ Overbeck, G. G. P., li. 482 i 
| Lange, R. A., iii. 309 ff. 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 59 


The public soon learnt of his change of attitude. In spite 56 B.c. 
of his disapproval of the conference of Lucca, he shortly after- 
wards delivered a striking speech in the Senate, introducing a The “De 
panegyric, in the fashion of the day, on the conquest and pacifica- Exovincus. 
tion of Gaul, and telling the arm-chair critics, who inquired 
why funds and reinforcements were still needed for a conquest 
which was already completed, that, although the larger opera- 
tions had been triumphantly concluded there was still a sort 
of war to be carried on against guerillas.* [he Conservative 
opposition was easily outvoted. It was decided to send ten 
commissioners to organise the new territory, and in the spring 
of 56 Gaul was officially proclaimed a Roman province by the Gaul declared 
Senate. It was also resolved that Piso should be recalled at oe 
the close of the same year, and that Gabinius should leave 
Syria at the end of 55, to be replaced by one of the newly 
elected consuls. 

For July with the elections was now at hand. Lucius Postponement 
Domitius Ahenobarbus had already announced his candidature %*elecHons: 
for the consulship, and it was generally expected that Pompey 
and Crassus would follow his example. ‘The days passed: but 
Pompey and Crassus gave no sign. Either the report which 
had been circulated about their candidature was erroneous, or 
they had changed their minds. Soon it was observed that 
every time it was proposed to fix the day of the election 
two Tribunes systematically made use of their veto.f The 
electors soon awoke to the meaning of this manceuvre. 

As public opinion was not generally favourable to their candi- 
dature { Crassus and Pompey were unwilling that the election 
should take place under the presidency of the consuls Cneius 
Cornelius Lentulus and Lucius Marcius Philippus, both of 
whom were Conservatives. One of the two would have to 
preside at the electoral assembly, which meant that it would 
be his duty to present the list of candidates to the people, and 
that he would have the right of refusing to inscribe any name 
of which he did not approve. “There was some chance that 
he might be led on by public opinion to erase the names of 
Crassus and Pompey. § Fearing a rebuff of this sort from the 
Conservatives Crassus and Pompey had decided to have the 
elections postponed by the Tribunes until the following year. 


* See Cic., de Prov. Cons., xiii. and xv. 32-36. 
pelute, Crass-15\ a 2Omip., hi. DION, ~xxxtx. 27. 
7 Plut., Crass, 05); Cat.eU). 41. 

§ Dion, xxxix. 27. 


56 B.c. 


Indifference of 
the public. 


The “Pro 
Balbo.” 


Submission of 
the Veneti. 


60 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


From the first of January onwards it would be necessary for 
the Senate to elect an interrex for five days at a time and this 
interrex would preside over the elections in place of the consul. 
Their plan was thus simply to wait until chance gave them a 
senator devoted to their own cause. 

The Conservative clique urged the public, who had no 
taste for these intrigues, to compel Pompey and Crassus 
to abandon their obstruction, or at least to acknowledge their 
responsibility for its continuance. Lentulus made several 
attempts to force a declaration from them in the Senate as 
to whether they intended to come forward as candidates ; 
he even summoned a large popular meeting at which, in 
the presence of all the Conservative senators in mourning 
costume, he accused Pompey of tyranny.* But it was all 
in vain. The public grumbled at Crassus and Pompey, but 
remained on the whole completely indifferent, caring only 
for amusements and money-making. Among politicians, on 
the other hand, there was so widespread a fear of the Trium- 
virate that many were afraid even to enter the Senate House. f 
The months passed. The elections were still being postponed, 
and Pompey and Crassus still pretended to be innocent of 
the obstruction. The Conservatives attempted to retaliate 
by bringing an action against Lucius Cornelius Balbus, the 
skilful agent of Caesar and Pompey, for the wrongful use 
of the title of citizen ; but Pompey begged Cicero to defend 
him. Cicero made a speech which is still extant and success- 
fully secured his acquittal. 

Meanwhile the revolt of the Veneti had at last been quelled 
by the tardy appearance of Decimus Brutus with his fleet. 
Whether the tribesmen made light of a navy indiscriminately 
collected from all parts of the coast, or whether, weary of the 
long siege, they hoped to finish the war at one blow, they 
had at once taken to their ships and given battle; and 
Decimus Brutus had achieved so signal a victory that they 
had immediately sent in their submission. Czesar, anxious 
to give a fresh demonstration that Gaul was now a Roman 
province, condemned all their chief men to death. 

Then he moved on farther afield. At the end of the 
summer he undertook an expedition against the Morini and 
the Menapii who had not yet submitted; but the campaign 
was unsuccessful, These warlike tribes did not offer a col- 


* Plut., Pomp., 50> Crass, 053 Wion, «xxix. 28); Vals Max, ville: 
t Dion, xxxix, 30, 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 61 


lected resistance against the march of the legions, but dispersed 56 B.<. 
in small bands through the forests and marshes, taking their 

treasure with them, and carried on an _ obstinate guerilla Campaign 
warfare by surprising and cutting off small detachments of es 
Romans, Winter was now approaching, and Czsar saw Menapii. 
that it would be foolish to advance farther into a wild 

and totally unknown country. He therefore made good his 

retreat after inflicting some damage on the country, and sent 

his army into winter quarters in the territory which had 
revolted in the course of the year. 

Thus a third year of the war had ended, leaving the The third year 
Romans with some striking successes and a considerable ™°*"" 
supply of loot. The suppression of the various risings had 
given Czsar abundant pretexts for devastation and pillage, 
and had enabled him and his officers, notably Memmius 
and Labienus, and indeed the whole army, to reap a hand- 
some compensation for the hardships they had endured. * 

But Cesar had now to meet a far more serious difficulty The problem 
than the stubborn resistance of a few angry tribes. He had tn GUM 
to organise a constitution for the conquered province. It 
was, of course, entirely beyond his power to destroy at one 
blow the whole existing framework of Celtic society and 
to replace it by a brand new form of government. On 
the other hand it was not at all easy to adapt the old 
working institutions to the changed situation: to mould 
to his own extraneous purposes a complicated system of 
forces and attachments and interests, which still retained 
much of its vitality under the Roman régime. He was 
particularly embarrassed by the condition of the two pre- 
vailing political parties, the one Nationalist and popular, the 
other Conservative and aristocratic. “Though their activity 
had been considerably curtailed since the annexation, neither 
of these parties had been wholly broken up; each still con- 
tinued to maintain its old position and nurse its old griev- 
ances, endeavouring to apply the new conditions to the 
furtherance of its own particular interests. As Caesar grew 
to have a better acquaintance with Gaul he realised that 
the Nationalists, relying as they did on the support of the 
masses, were far more powerful than the Conservatives and 
aristocrats who had invited him into Gaul. He learnt that 
all through the country the Diets or Assemblies of Notables 


* Suet. (Ces. 24) says that the systematic pillage of Gaul began 
after the Lucca conference. 


56 B.c. 


{Rex.] 


Cesar sides 
with the 


Nationalists, 


62 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


were feeble and decadent bodies which enjoyed only a nominal 
authority in face of the growing power of the personage 
always known in Cesar’s writings as the king. ‘The king 
was the chief executive officer of the government, generally 
nominated for a fixed period by the Diet, and not infrequently 
selected from among the demagogues at the head of the 
Nationalist party. Now this party, though it had bowed 
for the moment beneath the yoke, continued to distrust Czsar’s 
intentions and to detest the foreigner. ‘This meant, of course, 
that a large part of the nation refused to accept the new 
régime with sincerity and loyalty, and would do nothing 
to bring the old institutions of the country into harmony 
with Roman demands. 

The difficulty was undoubtedly very serious. But Cesar, 
with his fine diplomatic ability and unequalled presence 
of mind, was not easily daunted. He came to the con- 
clusion that he must alter the whole direction of his 
Gallic policy by transferring the weight of his influence 
from the one party to the other: in other words, he 
made up his mind to abandon the Conservatives upon 
whose help he had so far relied and to depend upon the 
popular party, which had been hitherto steadily opposed 
to him. He began by making advances of all sorts to the 
powerful capitalists who were engaged in winning a mon- 
archical position in the old Gallic republics. By the exertion 
of his own personal influence or by usurping the powers 
of the Diets, he arranged that some of them should be 
appointed kings in their own country, hoping thus to have 
the policy of several of the people directed by chiefs devoted 
to the Roman interest and prepared to bring the masses 
over to his side. Remorselessly sacrificing the friends who 
had hitherto stood by him, he summoned the Diets and 
used all his power to precipitate the revolution which the 
oligarchy of plutocrats had long been maturing. Amongst 
the new friends whom he made in this manner were 
Vercingetorix, the young and powerful chief of the Arverni ; * 
Tasgetus, King of the Carnutes;f Cavarinus, King of the 
Senones, | and Commius, King of the Atrebates.§ It 
appears that he even intended to make Dumnorix King of 


* Jullian, Verc., 81. Vercingetorix is certainly a name, not a title. 
See 7d., 87. 

ip lop NG Mas Asp 

TRG avieade Sid. ise 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 63 


the Avdui.* He was also thinking of applying the principle 
of divide et impera to help the A®dui and Remi to the 
supremacy which had been forfeited by their rivals the 
Senones, the Sequani and the Arverni.f This was the policy 
he had devised to consolidate the Roman power in Gaul. f 


56-55 B.C. 


But whatever the troubles still in store for him, all went The candi- 


well for the moment both in Gaul and in the metropolis. 
Crassus and Pompey had succeeded in postponing the elections 
to the year 55, and in securing the nomination of an interrex 
favourable to their cause. The obstinate Domitius had been 
induced by his leader Cato to persist in his candidature ; and on 
the morning of the election he left his house at dawn, with an 
escort of slaves and clients, to make a round of the city 
soliciting for votes, At the corner of one of the roads he was 
suddenly assailed by an armed band ; the slave who preceded 
him with a torch was killed, many of the escort wounded, and 
Domitius himseif frightened into an undignified retreat.§ 
Cesar had given furlough to many of his soldiers to go up to 
vote, under the escort of Publius Crassus, and Crassus and 
Pompey were thus eventually elected without difficulty. 

They set to work without delay. Their first and most 
pressing care was to put into execution the scheme agreed 
upon at Lucca. One of the tribunes of the people, Caius 
Trebonius, son of a rich business man|| and a recent convert 
to the party of Czsar, succeeded, despite the violent opposition 
of the Conservatives, in passing a law which made Syria and 
the two Spains the provinces to be assigned to the consuls of 
the year, each to be held for five years with powers of peace 
and war. When this was off their hands, the consuls pro- 
ceeded to renew the government of the three Gauls to Cesar 
for another five years. This proposal too was passed without 
serious disorder, although Cicero, in several friendly inter- 
views, endeavoured to dissuade Pompey from its adoption.‘l 
After a short holiday in the country Pompey and Crassus, who 
returned to Rome in April,** brought forward various measures 

=? Be (Copter 

Polite Vin 12. 

+ To Jullian (Verc., 80 f.) is due the credit of being the first to discover 
this change of policy on Cesar’s part, which Fustel de Coulanges, 
for instance, overlooked. See G. R., 52-55. 

§ App., B. G., ii. 17; Plut., Pomp., 52; Crass.,15; Cat. U. 41-42 ; 
DION SEKI. 31, 

{Cic; Phil, xi. 10, 23; 

YL Tes, ky key, Ae 

** Drumann, G. R., iv. 93. 


dature of 
Domitius. 


Crassus and 
Pompey in 
office. 


55 B.C. 


Gabinius and 
Antony in 
Egypt. 


The Parthian 
project and 
Conservative 
criticism. 


64 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


to put a check to the social disorders of the time. Crassus pro- 
posed a bill against corruption and Pompey a bill containing 
rigorous provisions against parricide and a measure to amend 
the method of selecting juries for the courts. Pompey was 
also anxious to pass a law against luxury, which suggests that 
he was already inclining towards ideas which were utterly 
opposed to the flaunting Imperialism of Czsar; Hortensius 
however persuaded him to withdraw it by an eloquent 
panegyric in which he described luxury as the natural and 
fitting ornament of power.* 

But no small reform of this nature could have availed in a 
society where anarchy and corruption were encroaching day 
by day. About the beginning of spring a singular rumour 
began to circulate at Pozzuoli, amongst the numerous Egyptian 
merchants who used that port in the direct trade between 
Egypt and Italy. It was whispered that Ptolemy had been 
brought back to Alexandria by the help of a Roman army.Tf 
Considering that the Senate had as yet come to no decision 
upon the matter, the news seemed hardly credible. But for 
all that it was true. Ptolemy, tired of sending money to 
Rome and receiving nothing in return,{ had at length appealed 
to Ephesus where, shortly after the conference at Lucca, he 
had been met by Rabirius ; they had then gone on together 
with Pompey’s despatches to interview Gabinius in ‘Syria. 
Gabinius, in obedience to Pompey’s orders, at last consented 
to restore Ptolemy to his kingdom without waiting for the 
authorisation of the Senate. He was to receive a handsome 
compensation from Ptolemy, and Rabirius was to become 
Minister of Finance in the Egyptian kingdom, to watch over 
the interests of the Italian creditors in that country. Thus, 
towards the end of the year 56, Gabinius had invaded Egypt 
and re-established Ptolemy on his throne, with an army in 
which Antony was an officer.§ The howl of indignation 
from the Conservatives can be imagined. 

The impression of this scandal had not yet died away when 
the public awoke to a still more startling piece of news. It 
suddenly became manifest that Crassus intended to attempt 
the conquest of Parthia. The evidence was indeed too plain 
to be gainsaid. He was now openly making preparations for 


*DiOn) eI. os 

Clon RAG AV LO} Te 

elites Carty Ua hs 

§ Dion, xxxix. 55-58; App., Syr., 51; Josephus, A. J., xiv. 6, 2; 
els tec eyar eo ClC ue rOMNa ne Osts. Villa ee 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY _ 65 


the campaign, recruiting soldiers, selecting officers, putting 
his affairs in order and making a detailed inventory of his 
fortune. He was able to set down in his book, that having 
been left 300 talents by his father he was now in possession 


55 B.C. 


of some 7000.* Yet he was still dissatisfied. “The megalo- £1240,000, 


mania which was so widespread an ailment at the time, 
coupled with the vanity of a headstrong and grasping nature, 
had turned the veteran politician, hitherto, despite all his 
defects, a serious and sagacious man of business, into a light- 
hearted swaggerer who was a prey to the strangest and most 
impossible delusions. He intended to beat the record of 
Lucullus, who had passed away in the previous year in a state 
of childish senility, to follow on the track of Alexander into 
India, and go down as the greatest of all great conquerors. 
The excitement caused by this news and by the preparations 
with which it was accompanied proved infectious, and it was 
not long before enthusiasm was enlisted far and wide for the 
idea. Many of the younger men attempted to secure positions 
as officers, amongst them Caius Cassius Longinus, who had 
married a daughter of Servilia and thus become the brother- 
in-law of Brutus. But the small Conservative clique per- 
sisted in predicting disaster; the country, they declared, 
was distant and unknown and the Parthians redoubtable 
assailants in the field. They even ventured upon the paradox 
that the war must be unjust because the enemy had supplied 
no excuse for its declaration.{ It was long since any one at 
Rome had paid serious heed to arguments of this description ; 
and indeed neither party seems to have had any real conception 
of the difficulties of the enterprise. 

Cesar allowed himself even less breathing space than Crassus 
and Pompey. In the spring of 55 he had crossed the Alps 
into Gaul with the intention of spending the summer on a 
small expedition into Britain, to see if the island offered 
facilities for the winning of fresh laurels. But his attention 
had been distracted by an invasion of two German tribes, 
the Usipetes and the Tencteri, who had perhaps been 
secretly induced by the Nationalist leaders to cross the Rhine 
against the Romans. Alarmed at the number of their forces, 

* Plut., Crass., 2 

tj Sieh 18E 

+ App., B. C., ii. 18. For evidence of the hostility of the Con- 
servatives to the expedition, compare the unfavourable opinion of 


Florus, iii. 11, which is certainly derived from Livy, the Conservative 
historian. 


II E 


Czesar and 
the Germans. 


55 B.c. 


The theatre 
of Pompey. 


66 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Czsar had employed the dishonest stratagem of keeping them 
busy with negotiations and then attacking them by surprise.* 
He decided to follow up this success by an expedition across 
the Rhine, to intimidate the Germans against future interfer- 
ence. He ascended the valley of the Rhine as far as Bonn, 
threw a bridge over the river within ten days and made a 
hasty raid into the territory of the Suevi and the Sugcambri. 
It was only after the conclusion of these operations that his 
hands were free for the British enterprise. He had only time 
to make a hasty disembarkation with two legions, reserving a 
larger expedition till the following year. 

In spite of their comparative insignificance the news of these 
exploits caused great enthusiasm at “Rome. Rumour said that 
Czsar had conquered 300,000 Germans, and his descent upon 
Britain seemed little short of miraculous. If Czsar’s informa- 
tion about Britain was meagre, people at Rome were utterly 
in the dark as to conditions of the country, and could there- 
fore say for certain that the wealth concealed in the recesses of 
that fabulous island would provide an unparalleled opening for 
profitable enterprise.t But the Roman public had long ceased 
to employ its reason, and in its appetite for amusements, sensa- 
tions and holidays it swallowed anything that was offered it 
with indiscriminate credulity. At the end of the summer the 
palings round the theatre of Pompey had at last been re- 
moved and Rome had been dazzled by its huge masses of 
glittering marble { and by the superb square colonnade for 
shelter in rainy weather, which was built behind the stage 
and decorated with paintings by Polygnotos and _ statues 
representing the nations conquered by Pompey. According 
to one tradition place was found there for the magnificent 
statue by Apollonius, son of Nestor, part of which has come 
down to us under the name of the Belvedere Torso.§ One 
part of the colonnade was walled off to form a magnificent 
room called the Curia of Pompey, which was large enough to 


* Plutarch (Czs., 22) describes Casar’s conduct on this occasion as 
treacherous, and this is confirmed by Cato’s motion, which would 
never have been made if Caesar had not really broken the law of nations. 
It is clear from B. G., iv. 12, that Caesar attempts to clear himself by 
putting the blame on his enemies. 

TON KRIS 5.35 

i Pliny, N. H., vill. 7, 20, The text of Aul., Gell. x. 1, 6;seeme 
to indicate that the temple attached to the theatre was consecrated 
during Pompey’s third consulship. See Asconius, im Pis., p. I. 

§ Loewy (Zett. friy Bildende Kunst, xxiii. (1888), p. 74 f.) has shown 
the tradition to be false. 


CONSULSHIP OF CRASSUS AND POMPEY 67 


hold the entire Senate.* A magnificent festival was held to 
inaugurate the first building truly worthy of the metropolis 
of Empire. Amongst other marvels there was a wild-beast 
hunt in the course of which the wounded elephants began to 
trumpet, emitting cries so distressing, we are told, as to move 
the hearts of the public—that same public which used the 
dagger so freely in its Forum scuffles, and drew an exquisite 
pleasure from the death-struggle of a gladiator.f Such are 
the strange caprices of a high-strung and nervous society. 

These reports of uninterrupted military success, together 
with such displays of almost regal munificence and delirious 
popular enthusiasm, must have been profoundly discouraging 
to the Conservative party. Its ranks grew scantier daily, till 
they were gradually thinned down to a mere handful of 
politicians. But these at least made up for lack of numbers 
by violence; as they saw their forces diminishing they 
joined more persistently in the combat. They had secured 
the election of Domitius Ahenobarbus to the Consulship for 
the year 54 in company with Appius Claudius, the elder brother 
of Clodius and a friend of Pompey, and had also been success- 
ful in winning the prztorship for Cato and Publius Servilius, 
son of the conqueror of the Isaurians, as the colleagues of 
Caius Alfius Flavius and Servius Sulpicius Galba, the one a 
friend and the other an officer of Czsar’s. ‘They now prepared 
a counterblast to the popular demonstrations in Cesar’s 
honour. Cato proposed that, in accordance with ancient 
Roman custom, he should be delivered up to the Usipetes 
and Tencteri for having violated the law of nations. 

Nor did this satisfy their meddlesome weakness. Before 
long they resorted to a still more daring manceuvre. Crassus 
had been enrolling soldiers in Italy to make up, together with 
the legions of Gabinius, the army which he thought necessary 
for his Parthian expedition. Unable to raise a sufficient 
number of volunteers, he had fallen back at last on com- 
pulsory enlistment. This hurried resort to the press-gang 
wounded the susceptibilities of a public which had long lost 
all taste for military service. Profiting by the agitation thus 
provoked, the Conservative party attempted to veto the levy of 
Crassus by means of two Tribunes, Caius Ateius Capito and 
Publius Aquilius Gallus.{ But the stratagem only intensified 

* Gilbert, T. R., iii. 323. 


if Oilely, Lire Natl s eh 
{t Dion, xxxix. 39. 


55 B.C. 


Cato and the 
law of nations. 


Crassus uses 
the press-gang. 


Se BC: 


68 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the impatience of Crassus, who now arranged to leave Italy 
already in November. The Tribunes were thus robbed of 
their victim. But at least they could offer a dignified protest. 
When Crassus left Rome with his suite and his son Publius, 
whom Czsar had sent to accompany him with a troop of 
Gallic horse, Ateius escorted him to the City boundary, 
assailing him as he went with evil prophecies and maledictions. 
Crassus listened without blenching, but it is likely enough 
that the young soldiers whom he was carrying off against 
their will to meet distant and unknown dangers were duly 
impressed by the incident. The subsequent history of the 
campaign and the general military decadence of the stay-at- 
home Italians give us good ground for thinking so. 


CHA PIGR. V. 


THE “ CONQUEST ” OF BRITAIN 


Cesar’s expenses—His slaves—Cicero and the De Republica— 
The last years of Catullus—The elections for 53—Cesar’s 
expedition to Britain—Death of Julia—War against Cassivel- 
launus—Gabinius and Rabirius in Italy—The first great Gallic 
revolt. 


Tue elderly banker who was thus buckling on sword and 55 B.c. 
armour to slake an old thirst for popularity was at least 
expeditious in his methods. He set off on the conquest of The march 
Parthia in the most relentless and peremptory haste, taking ° CT@ss"* 
the straightest possible line towards his objective, regardless of 
the impediments in his path. On his arrival at Brindisi he (Brundisium.1 
insisted on immediately putting out to sea in the stormy 
season, and thus lost a number of ships and men in the 
crossing.* Disembarking at Durazzo, he set out without (Dyrrhachium.] 
delay in the depth of winter, taking the Egnatian Road across 
Albania, Macedonia and Thrace towards the Bosphorus, and 
ignoring the effect that this disastrous and hurried advance 
produced upon the spirits of his already dissatisfied recruits. 

Meanwhile Czsar had decided to spend the following year The 
in an attempt on Britain. We have no information as to his soldines (aot 
object, but it is hardly likely that he expected to effect the ©" 
conquest of the whole island. Perhaps he intended nothing 
more than a filibustering expedition on an unusually large 
scale, to bring home fresh stores of booty, and to give the 
Romans new material for celebrations and vainglory. He may 
also have wished to diminish the unrest prevalent through- 
out Gaul since the peace he had so unexpectedly imposed 
upon a country where war had for centuries been the normal 
condition of life. Sudden social changes of this kind never 
fail to produce a crop of unexpected disturbances; and no 
difficulty perhaps caused Cesar more trouble in his settlement 
of Gaul than the unemployed soldiers. “here were hundreds 


lity emerasseme 7 
69 


55 B.C. 


{Alauda.] 


Cesar’s 
buildings at 
Rome. 


70 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of men in the country who were solely dependent upon war- 
fare for power and position. Suddenly cut off by the peace 
from what had been the whole source of their social import- 
ance, and indeed their livelihood, such adventurers inevitably 
drifted into discontent and sedition. Casar was so well 
aware of this that he attempted to occupy the soldier class 
by recruiting amongst them a large number of volunteers 
and to flatter the military vanity of the Gauls by form- 
ing a legion, the famous Lark,* composed almost entirely 
of natives, thus placing the new subjects of Rome on the 
same footing in the army as the conquerors of the world. 
It is therefore possible that he thought of Britain as a new 
field of action to be thrown open under Roman control to the 
military aspirations of the great Gallic clans, whose chiefs he 
intended to lead to Britain in the following year. 

For the moment however, towards the end of the year 55, 
after having invented a new type of ship and given orders for 
the construction of a certain number of vessels during the 
winter,t he crossed the Alps to Italy and thence to Illyria, 
returning again to Cisalpine Gaul to summon the local 
assemblies, receive the innumerable petitioners who awaited 
him from Rome, and practise once more on a grander scale 
his familiar policy of corruption. Being now in possession 
of enormous resources, he was able to hand over large sums 
to Balbus and Oppius, his two agents at Rome, to make ad- 
vances to needy senators, to build costly villas and to buy up 
estates, antiques, and works of art of every kind all over 
Italy, { and finally to imitate Pompey in undertaking huge 
public works at Rome, thus putting money into the pockets 
of contractors and workmen and satisfying the now almost 
universal taste for magnificence. His designs were indeed 
grandiose. He had given orders to Oppius and Cicero to 
enlarge the narrow confines of the Forum and he spent the 
enormous sum of 60 million sesterces to buy up the blocks 
of old houses which filled a corner of the Comitium at the 
foot of the Capitol.§ As the people still assembled in the 
Campus Martius for the Assembly of the tribes, where they 
were packed into provisional enclosures, surrounded by pali- 
sades and divided by ropes into as many sections as there were 


* Suet., Cas., 24. 
T Cas, BGs Wee 
Teouet., Casiiia7. 
§ .Cic.,) AG, 1Vv, TO para. 


THE “CONQUEST” OF BRITAIN 71 


tribes, Caesar was anxious to present the electors with a huge 55 B.c. 
marble palace worthy of the sovereign people, to be called the 
Septa Julia. The building was to be in the form of a huge 
rectangle, with a front corresponding to the present line of 
palaces on the right-hand side of the Corso, looking from the 
Piazza del Popolo and the Palazzo Sciarra to the Piazza 
Venezia.* It was to be surrounded by a magnificent colonnade 
over 300 yards long to which a large public garden was to be 
attached. “This work also was to be superintended by Balbus 
and Oppius, who were to choose the architects, and contract 
for and supervise the construction. 
Cesar had now also begun to devote special care to the C#sar's slave 
EB = 3 ; ureaucracy. 
collection of able and serviceable slaves, whom he either 
purchased in the open market or chose from among the 
prisoners of his campaigns.{ He needed an enormous follow- 
ing of accountants, secretaries, couriers, agents, archivists, and 
ordinary servants, to administer the huge finances of the State 
and of his private patrimony, to superintend the government 
of his province, to provide for the armies and public works, 
and to assist him in the direction of political intrigues. ‘This 
huge crowd of personal dependants he distributed through- 
out Rome, Italy, and Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul, in 
the cities, amongst the legions, and along the great roads, 
wherever, in fact, he thought their presence might be useful 
to his interests. He had trained it to an unrivalled pitch 
of efficiency, superintending the whole body down to the 
humblest slaves and the smallest detail, maintaining the strictest 
discipline by cruel corporal punishments,§ and arranging a 
regular hierarchy of promotion by varying his payments from 
mere food and clothing up to a salary in money, or liberty, or 
a gift of land, houses and capital. One of the dependants 
placed in this way amongst the lowest of his household-servants 
was a youth captured in a raid across the German frontier ; 
hearing one day by chance that the boy lent out the leavings 
of his food to his companions at interest and kept a rough 
account of his debtors, he instantly promoted him to be an 
official in the financial administration,|| thinking no doubt 
that so decided a gift for figures, if it did not bring him to the 
cross, would certainly carry him far ; and he was not mistaken. 
* See Lanciani, F. U., tables 15 and 21. 
a Cice Al, Iv 10; 14. 
Suet., Czs., 47. 


+ 

+ 

§ Id., 48. 

|| Schol., in Juven., i. 109. 


72 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


54 B.c. In the spring of 54 Cesar returned to Gaul taking with 
him a number of new officers, amongst them Quintus, brother 
io aeaee outers of Cicero, who joined him in the hope of making his fortune 
’ in Britain. Just about the same time Crassus, after passing 
the Bosphorus, entered Syria from the north, relieving Gabinius 
of his command and making every preparation to invade 
Mesopotamia early in the year, without a formal declaration 
of war. 

The Conserva- Pompey, on the other hand, had sent his subordinates to 
ena Spain, but himself remained in the neighbourhood of Rome. 
His pretext for doing so was the necessity of providing for the 
food-supply of the capital ; but his real reason for staying was 
that the Triumvirs did not think it safe for all three at once to 
be at a distance from Rome. ‘The depleted Opposition was 
now trying to show its hostility to the military policy of the 
Democrats by posing as the defender of oppressed nationalities. 
In Conservative drawing-rooms at Rome laments were heard 
about the unscrupulous rapacity of Cesar, and the sudden 
and suspiciously rapid enrichment of his officers, more par- 
ticularly Mamurra and Labienus.* Men asked if the heroes 
of popular Imperialism had no greater ambition than rapine 
and robbery, and made stirring appeals to the slumbering 
moral conscience of the nation, But the nation was not dis- 
posed to give ear to them; the enthusiasm of conquest was 
far too contagious. Most people regarded Britain and Parthia 
as already subdued and made haste to borrow money on the 
treasures they concealed. Czsar, Crassus and Pompey were 
still the heroes of the hour among a people that had no thought 
except for riches, victories and festivals. Czsar, indeed, for 
the moment, was the most popular of the three: “our only 
general,” f as his admirers called him, was the man on whom 
all eyes were directed, about whom all had an opinion, whether 
good or ill. It seems to be true of all societies, that where 
pleasure and money are the gods of the multitude, there is a 
slow but steady weakening in the fibre of character. Men 
feel unable to remain long in a minority ; they have a nervous 
anxiety to justify their position, and are quick to alter their 
opinions and likings. Very few at Rome were strong enough 
not to be carried away by the enthusiasm for the Triumvirs, 

whose career of success seemed only just to be beginning. 


* See Cicy sAG, vile 7 Oy Cavull,, 20. 
t See the “‘imperator unice’’ of Catullus, 29, 11; 54 B., 2, an ironical 
allusion to the extravagant laudation of Casar’s admirers. 


eee 


THE “CONQUEST ” OF BRITAIN 73 


They had a striking and influential example in Cicero. He 54 B.c. 
had at last become reconciled with Crassus, just before his 
departure for the East.* Pompey too was taking every Cicero and his 
occasion to testify to his esteem f and Cesar, always anxious rae ae 
to win over the greatest orator and writer of the Italian 
democracy, treated his brother Quintus with special considera- 
tion, adroitly flattered his literary vanity by praising the 
writings he sent him, and took pains to be polite to all the 
persons whom Cicero recommended to his notice.{ Cicero, 
who had never quite lost his fear of being looked down on 
by the nobility, or a certain warmth and sincerity in his pro- 
fessions of friendship, was genuinely touched by these exhibi- 
tions of flattery. He felt a lively gratitude and devotion 
towards his three great statesmen friends, and an honest 
desire to show them his appreciation of their behaviour by 
acting in their support. Every now and then, it is true, 
his feelings were still stirred by some particularly scandalous 
incident. He had thoughts, for instance, of accusing Gabinius 
in the Senate for his conduct in Egypt.§ But his longing for 
quiet, the indifference of his colleagues, and a feeling of the 
futility of anything that he might attempt induced him to 
abandon the idea and reserve his energies for his work in the 
courts or in the field of literature.|| A distressing personal 
duty had lately fallen to his share. He had to set into order 
the great unfinished poem of Lucretius, who had put an end 
to his life in the previous year in a fit of melancholia, brought 
on, it seems, by the excessive use of a love potion.7 

Moreover he had schemes of his own on hand. He The‘De 

j 5 A 6 - Republica.” 
meditated composing a poem on Cesar’s achievements in 
Britain, and was thinking, like many a retired statesman since, 
of writing a great political treatise,** to expound the ideas 
which the study of the Greek philosophers, the experience of 
his career, and discussions with his contemporaries had suggested 
to his mind. Pure democracy had ended, it seemed, in bringing 
Rome to a state of irremediable chaos ; aristocracy no longer 
existed, and the idea of monarchy was so generally detested 


MECC) LE), 09. Q, 20s 

eld AGO, A. dikais., 02. 

Pele hie ts Orel 2—T O28 Bk VAN obs. ViltO,. 0, 

Slade age) 1i..3, 2, 

anger IR. Aly di. 93305" Cichad O%, 1. 10,,1% AL, Ivo 16; 1 

{| See Giussani, L. R., 147; Stampini, R. S. A., i. part 4; Cic., 
ACs ite Ll, a 

wo Cic., ad @.,41, 1A, 1 


54 B.C. 


Cicero becomes 
Czsar’s debtor. 


Political lyrics 
of Catullus. 


74 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


that no one could seriously put it forward as a remedy for 
present evils. There remained nothing but the Aristotelian 
harmony of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy—the crea- 
tion of a supreme office to be given for limited periods, and by 
election, to some eminent citizen of the Republic who would 
be entrusted with large powers, and enabled to exact a respect 
for the laws from both the people and the Senate. 

Unfortunately, during the course of these profound political 
meditations, Cicero was weakly yielding to the fashion of the 
day, and continuing to swell the large volume of his debts. 
Although he had not yet finished his payments for the 
house which had been demolished by Clodius, and although 
the indemnity granted him by the Senate was insufficient to 
rebuild his town residence and his villas, he continued to 
spend money on his country house at Pompeii, to buy a second 
at Pozzuoli, to provide additional accommodation at Rome, and 
to increase the number of his servants.* Cesar skilfully took 
advantage of a moment of difficulty and induced him to accept 
a considerable loan.f 

Catullus, on the other hand, was fast becoming the most 
violent of aristocrats, hurling his fierce and biting lampoons 
against the favourites of the popular party. On his return to 
Rome from the East he had definitely broken with Clodia, 
and after one last bitter and sorrowful poem of farewell { had 
changed the subjects, metre and style of his verse. He was 
now a thorough Conservative in politics and a devotee of the 
erudite and artificial poetry of the Alexandrian school. It 
was at this time that he composed his famous Epithalamium 
on Peleus and Thetis § and his strange sixty-third song, a de- 
scription, in the barbaric galliambic metre, of the orgiastic 
worship of Cybele. He was also writing a series of short and 
violent political lyrics in which he attacked Cesar, Pompey 
and their principal partisans, || affecting, young provincial 
though he was, sentiments of the most ultra-aristocratic 
character and a pious horror for the vulgar democracy which 
was levelling all the old distinctions between class and class, 


* Lichtenberger, de Ciceronts ve privata (Paris, 1895), PP. 9, 14. 

+ itis clear from ‘Cicero himself (A., v. 4) 33 v.15; 2 3) Vv. G, 2) that 
he was Cesar’s debtor. As these letters, which date from 51, deal 
with the repayment, it is probable that the debt was contracted at 
this time, when the two men were most befriended and Cxsar most 
flush with money. 

BOL BUN 

§ Guissani, L. R., 167. | (Cat... 20-— Ba Seve Oe. 


THE “CONQUEST” OF BRITAIN 75 


even in the highest offices of the State, “down to Vatinius 
who swears he is sure of the consulship. What remains for 
you, Catullus, except to die?””* And indeed his days were 
running out. Conscious of the near approach of death, he 
hastily collected the best of his poems into’a small volume 
and gave expression in a few beautiful verses to the profound 
sadness of his spirit. 


* Malest, Cornifici, tuo Catullo 
Malest me hercule ei et laboriose.” t 


54 B.C. 


Summer was now fast approaching. Crassus had invaded The elections 


Mesopotamia without formally declaring war and occupied 
several of the cities. Czasar was still delaying his invasion 
of Britain. At Rome the electoral struggle was just com- 
mencing ; there was a large selection of candidates for all the 
offices and not less than five for the Consulship. ‘These five 
were Caius Memmius Gemellus, once an enemy and now the 
official candidate of Czesar ; Marcus Valerius Messala, a noble 
of ancient lineage who had the support of the Conservatives ; 
Marcus A’ milius Scaurus ; Caius Claudius, another brother of 
Clodius ; and finally Cneius Domitius Calvinus.t But what 
gave rise to particular scandal was the wild medley of am- 
bitions which now came to light. Rome had never witnessed 
anything quite like it. All the magistrates in office demanded 
money from the candidates as the price of their assistance.§ 
The two Consuls concluded a regular treaty with Memmius 
and Calvinus, promising their support on condition that after 
their election they should, by an ingenious system of falsifica- 
tion, secure them the provinces they desired, or in case of 
failure pay them 400,000 sesterces. || The corruption’exceeded 
anything that had ever been known. One candidate having 
accused one of his rivals of bribery, all the others followed his 
example, and soon every one of them was at once accuser and 
accused.{] An astonished public asked what would happen on 
the day of the elections. As the voting drew nearer accusa- 
tions, invectives and threats redoubled in violence, and the 
bribery became more and more outspoken ; on the day itself 
there would inevitably be bloodshed in the Campus, and many 


ExCat..52. 

+ ‘‘Your friend Catullus fares ill, oh Cornificius, he fares ill and is 
full of suffering.’’—Cat., 38. 

tulcvanse, RAL, 110.337. SpeeopO hy, Heh Gay why Gee 

leDrumann, GR. ul pi4.,Cic., Alive 0s, 797 tv. 18: 

“kCicy, Aviv. 10) S. 


or 53. 


54 B.C. 


Cicero and 
the British 
expedition. 


76 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


looked forward, as a last deliverance, to the nomination of a 
dictator. But no one thought it his duty to do more than 
wring his hands. ‘The intrepid Cato, who happened to be 
Preetor, finally had a million sesterces deposited in his custody 
by all the candidates for the Tribuneship and threatened to 
confiscate them if the electors were corrupted.* But Pompey 
was too irritated and disgusted to interfere. ‘The Senators 
refused to take any dangerous initiative, and though long and 
laborious sittings were held no agreement was arrived at.f 
Soon the summer heats supervened ; every one declared “it had 
never been so hot,” { and that they could not put off going 
into the country. The Senate deferred the consular elections 
until September, hoping that the electoral fever would calm 
down while the various prosecutions were being discussed.§ 
Cicero too left Rome to enjoy the fresh air of Arpino, and 
to supervise the construction of a fine villaand other important 
works ordered by his brother Quintus as a way of spending his 
Gallic treasure. || For Cicero, who was much attached to his 
brother, the expedition to Britain was the cause of far more 
lively anxiety than the situation at Rome.{’ But would the 
expedition really take place? At the beginning of July 
Quintus had written to him that Cesar was on the point of 
giving up the idea. Information had been received, so he 
wrote, that the Britons were preparing a vigorous defence 
and that the conquest would bring in neither precious metals 
nor slaves of any value.** Perhaps another risk with which 
Quintus was not acquainted, or which he did not venture 
to confide to his brother, caused Cesar to hesitate. It con- 
cerned the internal situation in Gaul,t} where his attempts 
at conciliation with the Nationalists were by no means 
succeeding. The old institutions were working very badly 
under Roman control; instead of assuring peace and order 


* Plut. (Cat. U. 44 f.) tells this story with some mistakes, as is clear 
from Gre: pawn LVanlG 7 ; 

jf ACH MOF tte 3oy, 2 

Biju a rca EW os ty 0 as Se 

Spl. ll lon 3 

ll de, i. 1, 12. 

et eto Geer 

=* See Cic., A.,1Ve 16,13, andsby vi. 7. Vogel Poe. ths; ips ey ous 
seems to me to have shown that “ Britannici belli exitus expectatur”’ 
in Cic., A., iv. 16, 13, and “‘sine Britannia ’”’ in F., vii. 7, 2, allude to 
the idea of abandoning the expedition, and that chaps. 1-7 of B. G., 
v. confirm this interpretation. 

Tt See Strabo, iv. 5, 3 (200). 


THE “CONQUEST” OF BRITAIN 77 


they were giving rise to all sorts of unexpected difficulties; 54 B.c. 
and measures inspired by the best intentions were leading to 
results entirely contrary to what had been awaited. 

Thus, shortly after his return to Gaul, Cesar had had to cesar 
make a short expedition into the country of the Treveri, where, pominates a 
as often under the old régime, a civil war was imminent over Treveri. 
the election of the first magistrate. Czsar had checked its 
outbreak by the nomination of Cingetorix, one of the com- 
petitors; but his intervention had not been received with 
gratitude by the people. He had alienated the whole party 
of the other competitor Indutiomarus, who could not resign 
himself to giving up the struggle without a contest. Nor was 
the idea of the British campaign as a bait to the Gallic nobility 
producing the desired effect. Many of the Gallic nobles were 
inclined to oppose it, and Dumnorix was persuading them not 
to set out on the ground that Cesar was anxious to put an end 
to their lives during the voyage.* 

Disquieted by these general manifestations of discontent Ceasar lands 
Ceasar had asked himself for a moment if it would not be >" 
more prudent to renounce the whole enterprise. Perhaps 
he would have made up his mind to do so if the expedition 
were not being so eagerly awaited in Italy, and if his prepara- 
tions had not already been too far advanced.- He reduced the 
enterprise however to the most modest proportions, selecting 
only five legions and 2000 horse, and taking with him for 
his personal attendance not more than three slaves; t he left 
the three remaining legions in Gaul under the command of 
Labienus, and in short made every disposition for a speedy 
return and for the protection of Gaul during his absence. 
After all these precautions, Czsar led his legions and the 
Gallic chiefs who were with him to a port which it is difficult 
to identify on modern maps, and at the first favourable wind 
began the embarkation. But now a serious incident occurred. 
Dumnorix disappeared with all the Aéduan cavalry. Fearing 
a general mutiny, Cesar sent all his cavalry in pursuit of the 
fugitive, who, on being overtaken, killed himself to avoid 
surrender. The other Gallic chiefs were thus frightened 
into following Cesar; and in the last days of August § 

panes ye bs. Gr Vsn0;, 

BAC gos. 4. 

t Athenzus, vi. 105 (273). 

§ See Cic., Q., ii. 16, 4. The letter was written about the end of 


August, as is clear from the passage: ‘‘ Scauri judicium statim exerce- 
bitur.’’ Asconius tells us that Scaurus’ trial was on September 2. 


54 B.c. 


Death of Julia 
and of Catullus, 


Street fighting 
at Rome. 


Cesar in 
Britain. 


78 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Cicero heard in a letter from his brother that the army had 
reached the British coast without further mishaps: probably 
about the end of July,* for letters at that time took about 
twenty-eight days to reach Rome from Britain. Cicero was 
reassured. If Casar had been able to disembark, his victory 
seemed inevitable.t 

Just at this time, towards the end of August or the begin- 
ning of September, occurred the death of Julia, the wife of 
Pompey, shortly after the death of her grandmother, the 
venerable mother of Czsar.t ‘The young generation was 
so weakly that premature deaths no longer even excited 
surprise; in this very same year Catullus too passed away 
at the age of thirty-three. But the death of Julia produced 
a very lively impression in Rome because the young wife had, 
for the last four years, been a bond of union between the two 
most celebrated men of the day. Every one asked whether 
her death would not modify the political situation. 

But there were soon new scandals to occupy the public 
mind. ‘The hope that the postponement of the elections 
would calm the bitterness of parties proved illusory, and all 
the old intrigues broke out once more, accompanied this time 
by violence. Memmius, who had broken with Calvinus, one 
day publicly read out in the Senate the agreement that had 
been made with the two consuls in office.g The armed bands 
of the various candidates engaged in regular street battles, and 
day after day there were several deaths. The public, dis- 
gusted and alarmed, was only too anxious that the struggle 
should be closed by the holding of the elections without 
further delay. But when the fixed date arrived, the Tribunes 
postponed them once more. Memmius, fearing that the 
scandal would result in his defeat, was anxious to wait until 
Cesar returned from Gaul in order to secure his support. He 
therefore followed the precedent set by Pompey and Crassus in 
the preceding year. 

Unfortunately Czsar had other anxieties to deal with at the 
moment. Cicero had received letters from his brother and 
from Casar up to the end of September (the last letter from 
Czesar was dated September 1) which gave no special cause for 

* Vogel (I. P. P., cliii., 275) fixes this date ; there are good arguments 
against the earlier date given by Napoleon III. 

1p ACHR IROM bly ake 

f Td i. ty, 5) 075 Ul 1) 7; 2507) Ws 8, 3.0 WI0h, xxmIX, SAyeouek, 
Cexs., 26. 

§ Cic.,Q., m1. 1,5, 104) Ay iv, 18, 25 


‘ 


THE “CONQUEST” OF BRITAIN 79 


anxiety.* After constructing a camp on the sea-coast Cesar 
had advanced into the interior, but within a few days he 
had left Quintus and the main body of the expedition and 
returned to the coast to look after his fleet, which had suffered 
severe injury in a gale.f From that time onwards Cicero had 
received no further letters either from his brother or from 
Cesar: nor was any one else in Rome better informed. 
Having been without news for at least fifty days, Cicero was 
beginning to grow anxious { and to ask himself what might be 
going on in that fabulous island of Britain. Letters eventually 
arrived to reassure him, and his reply to them is dated the 
24th of October.§ Cesat had again gone into the interior, 
where King Cassivellaunus, making a feint of retreating, had 
enticed him. far from the sea into the forests and marshes. He 
had then sent orders to the kings of the territory through which 
Cesar had passed to attack him in the rear. His communi- 
cations with the sea being thus broken, the legions had been 
forced to spend their energies in fighting the small and agile 
bands of British cavalry set on them like wasps by Cassivel- 
launus, without ever achieving a decisive victory. “Io destroy 
these flying columns a strong force of cavalry would be needed, 
and Czsar had only with him a very weak contingent com- 
posed entirely of Gauls. He was soon obliged to recognise 
the dangers of a further advance and the risk of being cut off 
from his base of supplies. Commius the Atrebatian, who was 
a friend of Cassivellaunus, acted as mediator, and peace was 
finally concluded.|| Czsar declares that he imposed a tribute 
upon Britain; {f but it is quite certain that, if Cassivellaunus 
made promises, he made no payments when the Roman army 

BeOIGr Oe L. 2725 

+ Id. This passage is in entire agreement with Ces., B. G., v. 10-11. 
Cum ad mare accesserit in the letter no doubt alludes to the journey 
mentioned by Cesar, which took place at the end of August. 
The letter was written towards the end of September. See Vogel, 
iP .P., clit; p. 281. 

PECICAEO. 3.13, 1) (wiitten, about: October’ Zo. Vogel, Iain. 
Cli., p. 281). 

§ Cic., Q., iii. 4. Note, however, that, as Vogel cleverly conjectures 
(I. P. P., clii., p. 281), the opening of the letter is lost. 

|| According to Vogel, /.c., the long silence of which Cicero complains 
shows that the guerilla operations against Cesar’s communications, 
spoken of in B. G., v. 22, were more serious than he gives us to under- 
stand and were one of the reasons for the rapid conclusion of peace. 
Everything goes to show that Cesar, who only set out very reluctantly 
on the expedition, retired as soon as he could make Rome believe that 
he had scored a success. 

Git (Case Nay Mea, Ni ee 


54 B.c. 


54 B.C. 


Cesar hears of 
Julia’s death. 


Anarchy at 
Rome. 


The idea of 
Pompey’s 


dictatorship. 


80 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


had once re-crossed the sea. Cesar returned to Gaul in the 
first fortnight of October,* bringing back no booty beyond a 
number of slaves. The Conquest of Britain had been a com- 
plete fiasco. 

On his disembarkation in Gaul Cesar heard of the death 
of Julia.t It was a great blow to him as a father, for he was 
much attached to his gracious daughter. She had been a link 
to bind him to one of the tenderest memories, perhaps the 
tenderest of his life—his romance with Cornelia, daughter 
of Cinna, whom also death had untimely torn away. It was 
also a blow to the leader of the Democratic party, for whom 
Julia had been a guarantee of the friendship of Pompey. But 
he had no time to give way to grief; there was too much 
grave business on hand. 

At Rome the situation was becoming dangerously com- 
plicated. Memmius continued his obstruction, the electors 
had not yet been convened; there were constant acts of 
violence; and a frightened public was calling for energetic 
measures, it cared not what, provided only that order was 
re-established and the elections took place without a return to 
the services of an interrex. 

Encouraged by these symptoms of nervousness, the friends 
and flatterers of Pompey conceived the idea of making him 
Dictator.§ But this only provoked a new struggle. The 
Conservatives offered the project a desperate opposition, pre- 
ferring anything toa dictatorship exercised by Pompey. They 
attempted to make skilful use of the odium which had been 
attached to that office since the time of Sulla by protesting 
that it was not Pompey’s Dictatorship which they opposed but 
the Dictatorship in itself.|| Pompey, who was anxious to re- 
establish order at Rome, and was conscious of the need, now 
that Caesar and Crassus were on all men’s lips, of doing some- 
thing to enhance his own prestige, had a secret desire to be 
made Dictator ; but he maintained a vacillating attitude, afraid 
both of the unpopularity of the office and of a possible failure 
in holding it. So he pursued his usual plan of allowing his 
friends to work for him without ever revealing his intentions 


TeVogel Ll. , Pa clit pa2sa4s 

Tt See Strabo, iv. 5, 3 (200). 

{ According to Plut., Czes., 23. Seneca (ad Marc., 14) says that he 
heard of it in Britain. 

STA PP ns. Gy, 1. 20; 

|| Cic., Q., ii. 8, 4. Rumor dictatoris injucundus bonis ; iii. 9, 3. 
Principes nolunt. 


THE “CONQUEST” OF BRITAIN 81 


or compromising himself in one direction or the other. ‘ Does 
he wish it, does he object to it? Who knows,” wrote Cicero 
to his brother.* Thus the shadow of Pompey the Dictator 
began to loom over Rome, sometimes advancing, sometimes 
receding and almost vanishing, but always to return once 
more. 

During the course of this struggle, in September,} Gabinius 
had quietly returned to Rome, closely followed by Rabirius, 
the Egyptian Minister of Finance, who had been compelled 
by a popular rising to fly from the country soon after the 
departure of Gabinius. ‘The whole story had been an out- 
rageous scandal, and the small clique of Conservatives attempted 
to make use of it to attack the unscrupulous and bellicose de- 
mocracy in the persons of Gabinius and Rabirius, since it was 
powerless and tongue-tied against Czsar, Crassus and Pompey. 
Gabinius was accused of high-treason and extortion, Rabirius 
simply of extortion. But these prosecutions only gave rise to 
new intrigues.t Pompey in vain attempted to induce Cicero 
to defend Gabinius.§ Gabinius was, however, acquitted on 
the first charge by a small majority,|| and now prepared to 
meet the second. Pompey made new efforts to win Cicero’s 
support and succeeded this time in persuading him. He 
finally made a speech himself before the people in defence 
of Gabinius, reading letters from Cesar in his favour. Never- 
theless Gabinius was condemned.{f It seems, however, that 
Cicero some time afterwards succeeded in securing the acquittal 
of Rabirius by means of the speech which is still extant. 

But it was in vain that Memmius awaited Czsar’s return. 
Czsar had scarcely landed from Britain when serious trouble 
broke out in Gaul. Tasgetus, whom Czsar had made King 
of the Carnutes, was suddenly assassinated. It looked as if 
the Nationalists intended to make his assassination the be- 
ginning of a movement of reprisals against all the Gallic 
leaders who had consented to recognise the Roman dominion. 
Cesar at any rate was so disquieted by an incident which was 
rather symptomatic than serious in itself, that he sent a legion 
into the territory of the Carnutes, as an open menace to the 
whole of Gaul. He then prepared to return to Italy; but 


* Cic., Q., iii. 8, 4: Vekt nolit, scive difficile est. 
CAC yy © atid alpen Ar, 
TeDion, sexx 5/5: 
Srey Oe Maly, SE, FA 
eldest AU Ive tO, Om WION, cxxIxX, 02. 
{| Dion, xxxix. 63. 
II F 


54 B.C. 


Trials of 3 
Gabinius and 
Rabirius. 


The “ Pro 
Gabinio.” 


The ‘‘ Pro 
Rabirio.” 


Revolt of the 
Eburones. 


54 B.C. 


{Samarobriva. ] 


82 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


just as he was setting out and had gone as far as Amiens 
he was met by still more serious news. On his return from 
Britain, fear of a possible famine had induced him to split 
up his forces and send them into winter quarters in different 
parts of the country. Profiting by their dispersion, a small 
Belgian tribe, the Eburones, had risen in revolt under the 
leadership of two nobles, Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. They 

had cleverly enticed from their camp and overwhelmed a 
legion and five cohorts recently recruited in Cispadane Gaul 
(probably to make up the numbers of a second legion),* who 
were wintering in their country under the orders of ‘Titurius 
and Arunculeius; and the entire force had been massacred. 
Then, calling the other tribes to their standard, they had 
marched against Quintus Cicero, who was wintering in the 
country of the Nervii, and had besieged him in his camp. 
This then was Gaul’s reply to the murder of Dumnorix, the 
chief of the Nationalist party. Caesar was forced to interrupt 
his voyage and to hasten at once to the help of Quintus. 
Thus it happened that Czsar preoccupied by his campaigns, 
and Pompey by the intrigues necessary to save his friends, the 
Consuls powerless since the revelations of Memmius, and the 
Senate in its usual impotence, between them allowed public 
affairs to drift on as they pleased. The end of the year was 
reached without a single election having been made. At the 
beginning of 53 every one of the offices was empty and anarchy 
reigned supreme. 

* Ces., B. G., v. 24. Unam legionem, quam proxime trans Padum 
conscripsevat, et cohortes V., in Eburones . . . misit. This is the ordi- 
nary text; but no doubt we should correct into: Unam legionem et 
cohortes V. quas proxime trans Padum conscripserat. Since Cesar 
enumerates his eight legions this wnam legionem, which is the last to 
be named, could not have been recruited proxime, but at the earliest 
in 58, when he recruited two ew legions against the Belge. On the 
other hand, the five cohorts, as apart from the eight legions, appear 


here for the first time, and it is natural that Cesar should explain 
where and when he recruited them. 


CHAPTER VI 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 


Social conditions in Gaul—The military decadence of Gaul— 
Gaul discontented with the Roman power—The first risings 
in 53—Crassus’ plan of campaign—The Parthians march upon 
Syria—Crassus enters Mesopotamia—The Parthians turn back 
to meet him—Battle of Carrhe—The retreat to Carrhe— 
Carrhe evacuated—Death of Crassus—The consuls for 53— 
Massacre of the Eburones—Anarchy at Rome Death and 
funeral of Clodius. 


Tue disorder at Rome was soon matched by dangers in the 
provinces. In Gaul, the assassination of Tasgetus had been 
followed by a revolt against Caverinus, the king whom Cesar 
had imposed upon the Senones. When a party of his country- 
men, headed by Accon, threatened to put him on his trial, the 
nominee of the Romans found safety in flight. The revolt 
of the Eburones also had given rise to other small movements 
in different parts of the country. After these warnings, Cesar 
gave up his intention of spending the winter in Cisalpine 
Gaul and further increased his army, replacing the fifteen 
cohorts annihilated by Ambiorix with thirty new cohorts, 
partly recruited by himself in Cisalpine Gaul, partly supplied 
him by pomp who had himself raised them in the same 
country.* He was soon to learn that these were no heedless 
precautions. 

Cesar was now in the full vigour of his powers. ‘The 
healthy outdoor life of the province and the stimulus of 
success and popularity had hardened a naturally delicate con- 
stitution and restored the elastic energy of his mind. He could 
take up every morning without effort the urgent and onerous 
tale of work required for the superintendence of Italy, Gaul 
and the whole of the Empire. Yet the ceaseless anxieties 
of the Gallic situation were slowly telling upon his strength 
and temper. He had not neglected, amid the labours of these 


*'Cas., Bi Gs, wie t 
83 


53 B.c. 


Cezsar’s 
precautions, 


Czsar’s 
activity in 
Gaul. 


53 B.C. 


Gaul at the 
time of 
Cesar. 


84 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


years, to devote close and searching study to the social condi- 
tions of that country; and his lucid and penetrating intelligence, 
his unequalled faculty for weaving comprehensive and consistent 
theories out of a multitude of scattered observations, seemed to 
grow in quickness and concentration as the area of his experi- 
ence enlarged. He had now succeeded in forming a mental 
picture, complete in all the essential details, of the great country 
whose destinies he controlled—a country still largely covered 
with forest and marsh-land, but teeming with natural wealth, 
which already possessed a population roughly equal to that of 
Australia at the present day. 

Gaul was no longer the same as when she had filled Rome 
with panic in distant centuries or even half a century ago in 
the time of Marius. Some relics of those days Caesar may 
still have seen among the Belge and Helvetii; but over the 
rest of the country he could watch the old agricultural, aristo- 
cratic and military traditions making way, as they had made 
way in Italy a century before, for a civilisation based on com- 
merce and industry ; he could watch the slow and insidious 
influence of the foreign trader as he initiated the Gauls into 
the mysteries of Greco-Latin life, from the alphabet and the 
minting of artistic coins to the temptations of the hot and 
fiery wines of the south.* Czsar had indeed been set over 
the country at a decisive moment in her history. The in- 
crease in the cost of living and the individual effort necessary 
to keep pace with it were slowly gathering to a crisis similar 
to that which Italy had lived through in the half century fol- 
lowing the Gracchi. ‘The old land-holding aristocracy, which 
had formed the political and military backbone of the country, 
was gradually succumbing beneath the burden of debt; aan 
the small proprietors were disappearing with them. ‘The 
whole power and wealth of the country was being concen- 
trated into the hands of a small plutocracy that had grown rich 
on war, usury, and the farming of the public taxes; and it 
was this plutocracy that Cesar now resolved to use as the 
mainstay of his Roman organisation. The national religion, 
Druidism, was utterly decadent and had lost all hold over the 
masses. Of the countless multitude whom debt and war and 
the concentration of land ina few large estates had ruined and 


* On the influence of the foreign traders on the ancient Celtic and 
German life see Ces., B.G., ii. 15 ; iv. 2; vi. 24. On the wine-trade 
between Gaul and Italy see Diod., v. 26 : Athen., iv. 36 (152); also 
Jullian, Verc., 51. 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 85 


cast adrift on the world, many had formed themselves into those 
bands of brigands—perditi homines et latrones—whom Cesar 
mentions so frequently, while others were engaged in trade 
with the different nations of Gaul or with Germans, Britons 
and Romans,* and others again came to settle in the towns 
and formed the nucleus of an artisan class. Scattered about 
among the rude villages which covered the whole of the 


53, Bice 


country were a certain number of large towns, such as Avari- (Bourges.1 


cum, Gergovia and Bibracte, which were beginning to attract 


(Clermont- 
Ferrand. ] 


population and wealth. A flourishing slave-trade was carried [Autun.] 


on with Italy, and several industries, such as pottery, metal- 
work, goldsmith’s work, weaving and the preparation of ham 
were making some progress.— As the workers became more 
numerous in the towns and in the villages, amid a disturbed 
and still semi-barbarous country, they felt the need both of 
security and of capital; { they thus fell naturally into the 
clutches of the powerful plutocrats, and gladly accepted their 
political protection. Gaul was in fact rapidly falling a 
prey to the disorder and discontent produced in every society 
by sudden changes in the nature and distribution of wealth 
and in the timeworn fabric of ideas and customs. Every 
class in the community was divided and unsettled; and 
public opinion, capricious and excitable, obeyed neither 
guide nor rule. If the old governing class of the nobility 
was in decadence, the new and active plutocracy, despite 
its money and ambitions, was equally unable either to ad- 
minister the old political institutions or to establish new 
ones in their place. 

Thus the military and political disorder of Gaul was daily 
becoming more pronounced. In almost every part of the 
country the Government had consisted of an assembly of 
nobles—that is, of rich land-holders—generally distinguished 
in war, who had also controlled the armies, each of them 
commanding a small troop formed out of his fellow-citizens 
and clients. But in proportion as the nobility disappeared 


* Fustel de Coulanges, G. R., 33. 

fastiabo) iva 2,0 (1O0)7 v0 2,-2, (1O8)s Vv. 3,2 (192) 3 1v. 4, 3 (196); 
iv. 4, 3 (197). This information refers to a slightly later “period, 
but it is probable that the industrial progress which they record 
dates to Cesar’s time. Jullian, who goes further than Fustel de 
Coulanges (G. R., 32), remarks that Cesar’s Commentaries and the 
excavations at Mont Beauvray (Bibracte) show that Gaul had both 
arts and craftsmen at this time. 

t Fustel de Coulanges, G. R., 35. 


The Gallic 
capitalists. 


53 B.C, 


The Gallic 
armies. 


Cesar and the 
two parties. 


86 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and estates fell more and more into the hands of a small 
plutocracy, the new-comers with their clients forced their 
way into the army and, by their preponderating influence, 
disturbed the old equilibrium of Republican liberty. By 
this time the armies were composed mainly either of the 
dependants of these plutocrats, men who in return for 
food and some small remuneration cultivated their lands 
or acted as their servants in their great riverside mansions 
in the forests, or of troops of cavalry which they maintained 
at their own cost to increase their power both in peace 
and war. 

Cesar had long been aware that the Gallic army was no 
longer what it had been.* An army cannot avoid passing 
through the same crises as the society out of which it is 
formed ; and a force composed partly of a town-bred popula- 
tion, almost like that of Italy, partly of the dependants of a 
few ambitious plutocrats, each of whom was jealous of the 
others, could scarcely be expected to be efficient. Yet the 
Romans were hardly justified in regarding their military 
superiority as a serious guarantee of peace. In spite of con- 
tinual internecine wars the peoples of Gaul were united by 
community of language, traditions and religion, and cherished 
a national sentiment which was far deeper than it seemed, 
and which had been considerably strengthened by the foreign 
invasion. 

This danger in itself was sufficiently serious, but it was 
still further accentuated by the necessity, in which Cesar had 
found himself on several occasions, of offending the interests 
of different parties or classes. Ruined as it was by continual 
warfare and threatened by the competition of the classes below 
it, the aristocracy would perhaps have been ready to accept 
a Roman protectorate in the hope of re-establishing order and 
putting an end to a period of distress and agitation. But such 
a protectorate would never have been accepted with loyalty 
by the small oligarchy of proprietors and capitalists, whom 
the possession of riches, the large number of their de- 
pendants and the general support which they secured from 
the people combined to make arrogant in their pretensions 
and hostile to any settled order. Thus by a policy favour- 
able to the ambitions of the capitalists Cesar had alienated 
the sympathies of the republican aristocracy, without securing 
the loyal attachment of the plutocratic oligarchy. 


* Ces., B.'G,, ‘vi. 24. 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 87 


The discontent was still further increased by the consider- 53 B.c. 
able losses which the foreign dominion entailed. Gaul was 
compelled to pay a contribution in money, to furnish a large The drain on 
part of the supplies necessary to the Roman army, to provide "®°™""¥: 
military contingents for the wars undertaken by Cesar, which 
were often unpopular: and she had often to submit to the 
looting of the soldiery and the expenses necessary to give 
hospitality to the officers on tours of inspection. In many 
of the Gallic towns a large number of Italian traders had 
settled in the wake of the army and these, as may be imagined, 
were not satisfied with buying up loot, but fell upon the 
country like birds of prey, to compete with the few large native 
capitalists. 

At the beginning of spring disquieting news arrived from The diet at 
all parts. The Nervii, the Aduatuci and the Menapii were 
taking up arms. ‘The Senones refused to furnish their con- 
tingents and were making an understanding with the Carnutes. 
Ambiorix were endeavouring to stir up a fresh outbreak ; and 
it appears also that advances had been made to Ariovistus to 
secure his help against the common enemy. Disquieted at 
this widespread disaffection, Casar had not the patience to 
wait till spring. With the object of striking terror into all 
the rebels at once he made a sudden foray with four legions 
into the land of the Nervii and took a huge quantity of cattle 
and many prisoners, distributing them freely amongst his 
soldiers.* Then, in March, he convened an assembly of all 
the Gallic peoples at Amiens; but he found there representa- 
tives neither of the Treveri nor of the Senones nor of the 
Carnutes. In a fit of anger, and in the hope of terrorising 
the country, he adjourned the assembly forthwith, ordering 
it to meet at a later date at Lutetia amongst the Parisii, which (Paris.] 
was on the borders of the country of the Senones ; and on the 
very same day he set out on a series of forced marches into 
the rebel country. Dismayed at the suddenness of the attack, 
the Senones promptly sued for peace, which was granted on 
condition that they gave hostages; and the Carnutes at once 
followed their example. 

Intending at last to make an end of Ambiorix, Cesar then The pursuit 

° . 5 : of Ambiorix. 
sent on to Labienus, who was in winter quarters in the 
territory of the Treveri, the whole of his baggage and two 
legions ; he then advanced with five legions into the territory 
of the Menapii, where he suspected the rebel leader to be in 


F Cass baGa vies: 


53 B.c. 


Continuance 
of anarchy 
at Rome, 


Crassus 
invades 
Mesopotamia. 
[54 B.C.] 


88 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME - 


hiding; but the Menapii abandoned their villages on his 
approach and dispersed in small bands through the marshes 
and forests. Czsar divided his army into three columns, 
entrusting one to Caius Fabius, another to Marcus Crassus, 
son of the millionaire ; while at the head of the third he him- 
self began an organised hunt after men and cattle, destroying 
the villages as he went. The Menapii were soon frightened 
into suing for peace; but Ambiorix escaped once more. 

During all this time the disorders in the capital had 
continued and even increased. Month succeeded month 
and still no elections took place. Pompey was still hoping 
that the situation would ultimately make his Dictatorship 
inevitable, but did not venture to make an open profession 
of his ambition. ‘Thus the situation remained obscure, and 
the exasperated Conservatives went so far as to accuse Pompey 
of giving secret encouragement to the rioters in order to 
force the hands of the Senate. But all these bickerings 
and uncertainties were soon to be overshadowed by news 
from the East. 

In the spring of 53 Crassus at length took the field for 
the conquest of Parthia. Destiny had chosen him to be the 
first victim of the megalomania of his countrymen. When 
he joined the forces that he had brought from Italy with 
those which he found in Syria he had an army of 5000 
horse, 4000 auxiliaries, and nine legions of about 3500 men 
each, making about 40,000 in all.* He had no sooner reached 
Syria, at the beginning of 54, than he put into execution 
what can only be regarded as an excellent plan of campaign. 
He fortified the bridge over the Euphrates at Zeugma, crossed 
the river, occupied the Greek cities of Mesopotamia, Apamea, 
Carrhe, Icne and Nicephorium, inflicted an easy defeat on 
a Parthian general who had a small force in that district, 
and then, leaving 7000 men (probably two legions) and 1000 

* Florus (iii. 11) attributes eleven legions to Crassus, but it appears 
from Plutarch that he had only nine. Plutarch says (Crassus, 20) 
that Crassus had seven legions with him when he crossed the Euphrates 
for the second time; to these seven legions must be added (Plut., 
Crassus, 17) the 7000 men whom he left behind in Mesopotamia, 
who must have made up two legions of 3500 men, for the Romans 
avoided as far as possible any division of their legions. We shall 
thus have a total of nine legions ; and the number of soldiers in each 
of them can be determined by the numbers of the two legions left 
behind in Mesopotamia. It is possible that there may be a copyist’s 
error in the text and that Florus wrote LX. instead of XI. We need 


not take into account the exaggeration of Appian (ii. 18), who declares 
that Crassus’ army was 100,000 strong. 


ee Se ee eee ae ce 


oo 


—— 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 89 


cavalry behind in the cities, he returned into winter quarters 
in S$yria.* The ancients have severely criticised this retreat, 
regarding it as a serious mistake, because the Parthians were 
thus given time to make preparations ; but it is probable that 
Crassus’ aim in taking the Greek cities of Mesopotamia was 
to draw the enemy out from the interior of Parthia towards 
the Euphrates and make him give battle at the least possible 
distance from the Roman province. If he had penetrated 
deeper into Parthia he would have been committing the same 
blunder as Napoleon in his advance on Moscow. Crassus 
was, therefore, well advised in retiring upon Syria in the 
autumn of 54 to await the spring and the effect of his 
challenge. He spent the winter in collecting money, laying 
hands, in the process, on the Treasure of the Temple at 
Jerusalem. He also made attempts towards an understanding 
with the King of Armenia and the other independent or 
semi-independent princes of Mesopotamia, amongst them the 
Abgar of Edessa, who had been a close friend of Pompey. 

His plan at first seemed to promise success. In the spring 
of 53 the garrisons that he had left behind in Mesopotamia 
were attacked by the Parthians. The Parthian king had 
in fact decided to divide his forces: to invade Armenia with 
the best of his infantry, while he sent almost the whole of 
his cavalry into Mesopotamia under the command of the 
Surena, or commander-in-chief,[ with the object of enticing 
the Romans as far as possible from their base of operations. 
The two adversaries had thus proposed to themselves identically 
the same object and were employing identically the same 
stratagem to effect it. Unfortunately Crassus was too easily 
deluded into the belief that he had deluded the other side. 
As soon as he heard that the Parthians were approaching, 
his only idea was to throw himself impetuously upon them, 
and his only fear that he might not come up to them in 
time. Fugitives who had escaped from the towns besieged 
by the Parthians brought strange news into camp; the 
enemy had huge numbers of horsemen, all armed in mail, 
who were amazingly bold and quick, and amazingly strong 


=o Dion, xl. 12-13. Plut:, Crass.,.17. f 

+ Dion, xl. 13; Plut., Crass., 17. Manfrin, who in his book, La 
Cavalleria dei Parti (Rome, 1893), has made many subtle and judicious 
observations about this war, was the first to point out that the final 
failure of the expedition has led to many unjust and foolish criticisms 
on the part of the historians. 

t Rawlinson, S. G. O. M., 159 ff. 


53 B.C. 


Crassus 
crosses the 
Euphrates. 


53 1B:.C. 


The Parthians 
evacuate 
Mesopotamia. 


go GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and skilful in shooting from their enormous bows. Some 
of the generals were so impressed by this information that 
they proposed to revise the whole plan of campaign.* 
Artabaces, the King of Armenia, had just arrived with 
6000 cavalry, and declared himself ready to supply 10,000 
more cavalry and 30,000 infantry, if Crassus would only 
invade the enemy’s country through Armenia, where the 
mountains would prevent the Parthians from making use 
of their cavalry.f But the obstinate old banker, who was 
growing more impatient daily, refused to abandon the be- 
sieged Romans to their fate. He crossed the Euphrates at 
Zeugma with seven legions, 4000 cavalry and the auxiliaries, 
and directed his course across Mesopotamia in the direction 
of Carrhe to meet the Parthians.[ The seven legions, the 
cavalry, the auxiliaries, and the 500 beasts of burden carrying 
the supplies and the tents by which each legion was followed 
must have formed a procession more than twelve miles long.§ 
Scarcely had they set out before scouts began to bring 
in still more mysterious information. The Parthians had 
universally abandoned the sieges and retired. The country 
was clear of them; but everywhere there were traces of 
numerous horse-hoofs which seemed to indicate a retreating 
army. ‘This news caused a certain agitation amongst the 
general staff. What could be the enemy’s object? Cassius, 
the son-in-law of Servilia, who was with Crassus in the 
capacity of Questor and was a young man of ability, 
advised his general to halt in one of the cities already 
occupied, and gather more precise information about the 
enemy’s movements, or else, since the towns were no longer 
threatened, to march upon Seleucia, following the course of 
the Euphrates along the road of Xenophon’s 10,000. This 
would have the advantage of covering the right "flank of the 
army and would also have simplified the provision of supplies. 


© Plut, wOrassyele ; Wien, ol. eo: 

1 Plut:, (Crass.,. to. 

t Plutarch (Crass., 20) says that Crassus went along’the Euphrates. 
But in the same chapter he tells us that soon afterwards Cassius tried 
to persuade Crassus to march to Seleucia along the river and that a 
council of war was held on the subject. Dion (xl. 20) also mentions 
this.#,The army cannot therefore have been by the river. It is 
evident that Crassus took the inland route towards Mesopotamia, on 
which the besieged cities were situated, to liberate them and win 
an immediate victory. 

§ See the calculations of Riistow (H. K. C., 63 f.) on the space 
occupied by a legion marching on a high road. 


+ Ss 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA gi 


Crassus seemed impressed, and summoned a council of 53 B.c. 
war.* 

Once more the doubters were in the right. The Surena Crassus 

was trying to draw the Roman army away from its base, and Asia 2 
to entice it across the Cabur, a stream which forms the boundary 
of the desert.f Unfortunately, Pompey’s friend, the Abgar of 
Edessa, in whom Crassus had complete confidence, was secretly 
in agreement with the Parthians, and knew how to play upon 
the impatience and avarice of the Roman general. He insisted 
that the Parthians were taking steps to transport their treasures 
into the mountains, and that the right policy was to pursue 
the Surena without further delay, and overtake and defeat him 
before he could join forces with his royal master.t In this 
way he finally persuaded Crassus to commit the mistake which 
historians reproach him for not having committed in the 
previous year. His impatience and cupidity, his confidence in 
his own star, and his repugnance against changing his mind, 
overwhelmed all the counsels of prudence ; and Crassus threw 
his army upon the track of the Parthians, compelling his soldiers 
to undertake forced marches during the torrid heats of a Syrian 
May. But the days passed, the march was continued with 
increasing hardship, and the enemy was still out of sight. 
The troops grew weary of pursuing an invisible enemy. 
Crassus began to grow impatient. He was unwilling to 
retrace his steps, yet he was also afraid of advancing too far. 
Rumours of foul play began to circulate. One day ambas- 
sadors arrived from the King of Armenia to inform Crassus 
that no reinforcements could be sent him because the King of 
Parthia had invaded his kingdom. Crassus was again advised 
to make Armenia his base of operations. If he rejected that 
plan it was suggested that he should avoid the desert and the 
plain, where the cavalry of the Parthians would have easy 
play. 

Cassius at once perceived the wisdom of this counsel ; but The Parthians 
an elderly general with his nerves unstrung by fatigue and pete ee 
anxiety lost his temper at the suggestion that he was in need 


* Plut., Crass., 20. 

+ Rawlinson (S. G. O. M., 157 f., 162 f.) and Manfrin (C. P., 73 f.) 
observe that Crassus has been foolishly criticised for leading his army 
through a desert. The desert only begins beyond the battle-field. 
This district of Mesopotamia had towns, streams and a rich vegeta- 
tion ; it was prosperous and populous, as is proved by a variety of 
passages in ancient literature. Dion’s account speaks of trees (xl. 21). 

ft Dion, xl. 20.;- Plut., Crass.,21. 


53°3.C. 


Tactics of 
Crassus, 


92 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of advice. He discourteously dismissed the ambassadors, telling 
them that when the war was over he would punish the King 
of Armenia as he deserved.* He then continued his march, 
moving forward without setting eyes on the enemy or hearing 
news of his whereabouts. At length after long days of weary 
marching,f about the end of May or the beginning of June, just 
as they had passed the town of Carrhe and were approaching 
the banks of the river Belik, scouts came in breathless with the 
news that they had met a huge Parthian army a few miles off, 
advancing rapidly on a surprise attack and that most of the 
scouts had already been cut off. What induced the Parthians 
to turn back to attack in this way? Perhaps they had received 
secret information from the Abgar of Edessa that the Roman 
army was discouraged and perplexed. It is certain, at any 
rate, that the tired legions were somewhat troubled by the 
news, and that many of the officers were in favour of en- 
camping on the bank of the river, there to await the enemy 
and study his method of fighting before giving battle. But 
after a moment’s hesitation Crassus decided at once to try 
the fortune of battle, lest the enemy should escape him once 
more. 

He began by giving orders that the seventy cohorts should 
be disposed in a single line ten files deep. This was what 
the Roman tacticians advised should be done when an army 
was attacked by great masses of cavalry. But to draw up on 
a front nearly eight miles long (for this is the space that seventy 
cohorts would occupy when placed alongside one another) ft 
an army which in column of march took up some twelve miles 
is not a manoeuvre which can be executed in a few moments. 
Crassus lost patience in the middle of the operation and decided 
to arrange the four first legions in a square, with twelve 
cohorts, each strengthened by cavalry, on each front, eight 
cohorts on each flank,§ and the beasts and the baggage in the 

‘So Plite (rasss 22: 

+ Rawlinson, S. G. O. M., 163. 

+ On the length of a legion drawn up in single line without 
intervals see Riistow, H. K. C., 55. 

§ Plut., Crass., 23. That the seventy cohorts were not all included 
in the square appears from Plutarch, who says that the sides consisted 
of twelve cohorts; this would make them forty-eight. But if we 
consider that the Agmen quadratum was ordinarily a rectangle with 
the flanks in a proportion of two to three to the front (Riistow, 
H. K. C., 56), and take for our base a front of twelve cohorts, we reach 
a total of forty; that is to say, exactly four legions. We may there- 


fore suppose that four legions only were arranged in a square; and 
the fact that the Parthians attempted a turning movement which 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 93 


centre. He gave the command of one wing to his son and of 53 B.c. 
the other to Cassius, placed himself in the centre, gave his 

soldiers time to take a rapid meal in their lines, and then 

ordered the square, followed by the three legions, to cross the 

river and throw itself on the enemy.* 

It was not long before dark group; of horsemen appeared on The Parthian 
the horizon, advancing slowly and with caution, little like the mie? 
wild hordes that had been awaited. But gradually their 
numbers increased; the plain began to be filled with noise, 
the air to be dazzled with the glitter of armour; and finall 
the heavy cavalry forming the head of the army, which the 
Surena had concealed behind a hill, darted from its ambush 
and hurled a heavy mass of armoured horsemen against the 
Roman square. ‘The cohorts stood firm against the shock, 
meeting charge after charge with the Roman spear. Gradually 
the assaults grew less frequent, and at last the cavalry slowly 
withdrew, as though weary of the fight. Fearing that the 
battle would be over too soon Crassus sent his archers, 
slingers and light infantry in pursuit of the fugitives; but 
they were soon overwhelmed by an irresistible hail of arrows 
from the light cavalry of the Parthians, which was entirely 
composed of archers, and appears to have advanced and 
deployed from the two sides of the heavy horsemen, in the 
form of a huge semicircle. The troops sent forward by 
Crassus were soon forced to retreat in disorder towards the 
legions. Meanwhile the light cavalry of the Parthians were 
moving up, and their arrows, passing in a huge parabola Tt 
right over their own lines, fell, hissing and whistling, piercing 
shields and armour, first among the front ranks and then in 
the centre of the Roman square. Crassus and the officers 
tried to rally their men; let them only have patience and 
the arrows must be exhausted ; let them show their mettle in 
a counter-attack. But as soon as the Romans advanced the 
Parthians retreated, shooting as they went, facing backwards 
on their horses; and the cohorts were obliged to take refuge 
once more in the square, upon which the relentless rain of 


was repulsed by Crassus gives us ground for supposing that the other 
legions remained in the rear. It was these that the Parthians must 
have threatened behind the square. It would be a good thing if a 
tactician were to make a careful study of this interesting battle be- : 
tween infantry and cavalry. Manfrin has cleared up several obscure 
points, but a good many others still remain. 

SO Plutn Crass,, 23; 

+ Id. ; Dion, xli. 22; Manfrin, C. P., 78. 


53 B.C. 


Death of 
Publius 
Crassus. 


94 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


arrows soon descended anew. The Parthian supply of arrows 
seemed mysteriously inexhaustible, till at length the officers 
descried a long troop of camels on the horizon towards 
which a group of horsemen dashed up from time to time—a 
moving storehouse from which the Parthian quivers were 
replenished.* 

The legions were now fast becoming demoralised under the 
Parthian archery. Crassus decided to make a supreme effort 
to break through the moving circle of horsemen which en- 
veloped his army, and ordered his son Publius with 1300 
horse, including his 1000 Gauls, 500 archers, and eight cohorts 
to charge the enemy. ‘The Parthians made show of yielding 
and disappeared beyond the horizon in clouds of dust. The 
stinging hail of arrows ceased at last. Crassus used the 
respite to march his army to a hill and, thinking the battle 
ended, quietly awaited the return of Publius. But before 
long the scouts were galloping up to the lines. Publius was 
begging for reinforcements. The flying Parthians had 
enticed his small force too far from the main body, and 
then suddenly turned back and surrounded it. A _ wild 
hand-to-hand struggle was in progress and the whole 
detachment would be cut to pieces unless reinforcements 
were promptly sent. Crassus hurriedly took the march 
with his whole army; but no sooner had he set out than 
the familiar dust-clouds beat up once more from the horizon, 
with a glitter of armour in their midst, heralded by a chorus of 
barbaric cries. The Parthians were returning at full gallop, 
and a horseman at their head was carrying a black object on 
his lance. The Romans stopped and waited. When the 
Parthians came a little nearer keen eyes detected that the 
black object on the spear point was the head of Publius 
Crassus. His force had been annihilated. The troops were 
almost paralysed with horror; but Crassus, who had kept his 
nerve so far against the whole violence of the onset, did not 
break down now ; he went through the ranks telling his men 
that it was their general alone that suffered through the death 
of Publius; that Roman soldiers must do their duty and stand 
firm against the fresh assault. For by now the enemy had 
drawn a huge semicircle of archers all round the army while 
heavy masses of cavalry charged up ceaselessly from its centre 
against the opposing square. But once more the Roman infantry 
held their ground ; and at length the Parthians, wearied by a 


* Phuty, Crass. 24) 25. 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 95 


succession of furious charges, retired with empty quivers and 
blunted sabres as the sun sank below the horizon.* 

It is probable that by this time the Parthians thought victory 
beyond their grasp. T hey had hoped to take the Roman army 
by surprise and cut it in pieces; yet despite the heavy losses 
they had inflicted, the battle had ended in’ no definite result. 
The check would ‘have had no influence upon the issue of the 
campaign if the army of Crassus had been one of those old and 
experienced forces which Rome used in old days to send into 
battle.t| But at this moment there was only one trained army 
in the Empire, and that was in Gaul. In the ranks of Crassus 
young recruits far outnumbered older soldiers, the officers were 
almost all drawn from the frivolous gilded youth of Rome and 
had no real knowledge of the military art, while their chief, 
although a man of ability, was too old to be a good general 
and had been deceived by his successes in the war against 
Spartacus. None of them had been inured to the hardships 
of campaigning. They were so demoralised that evening by 
the heavy -losses, the unaccustomed tactics of the enemy, 
their distance from their base in Syria, and the loss of the 
detachment of cavalry, that both soldiers and officers took the 
day’s fighting for a defeat. Crassus himself, after commanding 
during the whole day with remarkable energy, now lost heart. 
He felt sure that the Parthians would be encouraged by their 
victory to renew the attack next day on his exhausted forces ; ; 
and that very night, acting, as it seems, upon the advice of 
Cassius, he gave orders for a hasty retreat upon Carrhe.t He 
was obliged to leave behind him on the field of battle some 4000 
wounded, who were killed by the Parthians next morning ; and 
during the night, in the darkness and disorder, four cohorts 
went astray and suffered a similar fate.§ 

Nevertheless, once at Carrhe, the Romans were in a 
position to rest, reorganise their forces and retire without 
further danger along the track of their outward march, 


* Plut., Crass., 25-26; Dion, xl. 24. 

{+ Manfrin (C. P., 88) speaks justly of the legions but too severely, 
I think, of Crassus. 

t This is the most probable explanation of what passed in the 
night. It is not probable that (as Plut., Crass., 27, declares) Crassus 
entirely lost his head that night and left Cassius to give orders for 
retreat. Crassus’ energy before and after the battle shows that, though 
he may have been temporarily overcome by grief, he soon recovered 
his presence of mind. Moreover, Cassius could not easily have usurped 
the powers of a general so strict and so much respected as Crassus. 

S$) Plut., Crass., 28 > Dion, xl. 25. 


53 B.0. 


Demoralisation 
of the Romans. 


They decide 
to wait at 
Carrhe. 


OR BeCe 


They decide 
to abandon 
Carrhe. 


Cassius 
breaks off 


from Crassus. 


96 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


where the Parthians, through lack of water and forage, 
would have been unable to keep up the pursuit. This was 
indeed what the Parthian commander-in-chief anticipated 
that they would do.* Unfortunately they were so completely 
demoralised by the hurried retreat, with its abandonment of 
the wounded, and the massacre of the stragglers, that both 
soldiers and officers refused to recognise that the crisis was 
past. ‘Chey were in such dismay of the Parthians that they 
dared not move out of the town into the plain. Ata council 
of war it was decided to ask help from the King of Armenia, 
to wait at Carrhe until these reinforcements arrived, and 
only then to retreat, probably through Armenia.f 

When the Parthian commander-in-chief, who had advanced 
up to the walls of Carrhz, ascertained the condition of the 
army, he attempted to win by craft what he had failed to 
achieve in open battle. He let the Roman soldiers know that 
he would permit them to return in liberty, if they consented to 
deliver up Crassus and Cassius. The plot was skilfully devised. 
If the soldiers mutinied and put their two most capable leaders 
into his hands, it would be easy to cut the whole army to 
pieces. But the discipline in the Roman ranks was too strong ; 
the attempts of the Surena would have failed outright, if the 
Roman officers had kept confidence in their men. But this 
was just what they were not in the mood todo. As soon as 
they learnt that the loyalty of their troops was being secretly 
undermined by emissaries from the Surena, they refused to 
remain a moment longer at Carrhz for fear the legions should 
yield to their tempters. Overcome by the urgent demands 
of his officers, Crassus changed his mind and gave orders 
for immediate evacuation without the reinforcements from 
Armenia, which he was, moreover, by no means sure of 
receiving. 

But what road was he to take? Cassius suggested the 
route by which they had come, but Crassus, perhaps deceived 
by Andromachus, a noble of Carrhe, perhaps still afraid to 
venture with his soldiers into the plain, decided for the 
mountainous road through Armenia. The Romans set out 
over the mountains, marching almost always at night and 
choosing the most difficult paths, very often through marshes, 
where the Parthian cavalry would be unable to follow them. 


* Rit.) Crasse26- 
} The remark of Plutarch (Crass., 29) on ‘“‘the vain hopes of Armenia” 
is an indirect light upon Crassus’ plan. 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 97 
One last effort and they would be safe. But the hardships of 


the retreat increased the nervousness of the soldiers and the 
irritability of the officers. Open dissensions broke out between 
the chiefs. Crassus lost his temper during the deliberations 
and sacrificed all his authority over his subordinates. One 
day he had a violent altercation with Cassius, who criticised all 
his plans, and ended by telling him, in a fit of spleen, that if 
he was unwilling to follow him he had only to take an escort 
and retire by whatever road he thought good. Cassius at 
once accepted the suggestion, and turned back with 500 
horsemen to Carrhe, where he resumed, in the direction of 
the Euphrates, the road that the army had taken on its pre- 
vious march.* 


CouBice 


‘Thus the force gradually broke up. Yet in spite of all Death of 


Crassus continued his retreat. As they drew daily nearer tot 
the mountains, the Parthian commander saw his prey on the 
point of escaping him. At this crisis, unwilling to return to 
court without a decisive success,t he devised a masterpiece of 
perfidy. One morning he sent an ambassador into the Roman 
camp to say that he desired to enter into negotiations with 
Crassus for the conclusion of peace. Crassus, who suspected 
treachery and saw the success of his retreat assured, would not 
listen to the offer. But when the tired soldiers heard that 
they might hope to retire unmolested, they would listen to no 
arguments, and threatened to mutiny if Crassus refused to 
negotiate. Fate had gripped him at last. Neither his years, 
nor his renown, nor his almost sacred authority as Imperator, 
nor the immense treasures he had left behind him in Italy, 
could avail to save him. For all his faults, Crassus was every 
inch a man, and when death suddenly stared him in the face 
amid the mountains of Armenia, far from his family and his 
home, like a criminal given but a few minutes to prepare 
for his fate, he revealed no sign of weakness. He summoned 
the officers and told them that he was going out to the 
Parthians; he knew that there was treachery, but preferred 
to die by the Parthians rather than by his own soldiers. He 


* This is the most probable explanation of the mysterious retreat 
of Cassius. Dion (xl. 25) and Plut. (Crass., 29) only give confused and 
incomplete accounts of this singular episode. Cassius could only 
have separated from the army with the general’s consent ; but why 
this was given remains one of the dark passages in this strange 
campaign. See the vague allusions of Dion, xl. 28. 

t Plut., Crass., 30; Dion, xl. 26. 


il G 


Crassus by 
reachery. 


i ae8 .C. 


Break-up of 
the army. 


Reception of 
the news at 
Rome. 


Methods of 
barbarism 
in Gaul. 


98 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


set out with an escort and was killed* on the oth of 
June.t 

Crassus was a man of great gifts—able and active, though 
self-centred and lacking in generosity. He had conducted 
this campaign with considerable skill; but his haste, his excess 
of self-confidence, the carelessness of his preparations, the 
military slackness of the age, and finally a succession of un- 
fortunate accidents caused him to suffer the fate which Cesar 
had only escaped by miracle in his war against the Helvetii. 
His death was in some sort an expiation for his blunders and the 
vainglory of his countrymen. His head was cut off and sent 
to the Parthian court ; his body was left unburied. Deprived 
of its leaders, the army broke up in confusion, many of the 
soldiers being killed and many others, the small remnant of 
the great army which had crossed the Euphrates, finally 
straggling into Syria.t 

The news of this disaster reached Rome in July 53§ just 
as the elections for the offices of that year were about to 
take place after seven months of anarchy. The disorder had 
been still further increased by disputes as to how best to put 
an end to it. Some wished to re-establish the Tribuni militum 
consular potestate of the old days; others proposed to nominate 
Pompey Dictator. ‘This latter proposal finally appeared the 
more advisable. But at the last moment Pompey had shrank 
before the detested memories of Sulla and merely consented 
to allow his troops to enter the city. “This had been sufficient 
to enable the elections to take place, and Marcus Valerius 
Messala and Cneius Domitius Calvinus had been thus eventually 
elected Consuls.|| It is easy to imagine the sensation pro- 
duced in Italy by the news of Crassus’ death, coming just at 
a moment when confidence was reviving after the interminable 
scandal of the elections. ‘The Conservatives, who had always 
mistrusted the mad enthusiasm for the expedition, had thus 
been justified after all. 

Meanwhile in Gaul the war was being continued with more 
favourable results, but with methods of increasing barbarism. 
Labienus had reduced the Treveri; and Cesar had crossed 
the Rhine a second time and made a raid into the country 

* Plut., Crass,, 30-31; Dion, xl. 27> Polyeen!, Strat., vil. 41. 

t Ovid., Fast., vi. 465, who however puts the battle of Carrhe and 
the death of Crassus on the same day. 

t Drimann, G. R., iv. 109. 

§ Lange, R. A., iii. 359. 

Wh eth Gis Gag 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 99 


of the Suevi, where he successfully deterred Ariovistus from 53 3.c. 
interference with his neighbours. He had then returned to 
Gaul, where he was again confronted with the Eburones, who 
were adopting guerilla methods, surprising and massacring 
small and _ isolated detachments of Romans. Anxious 
for once to make an example Czsar published an edict 
in all the towns of Gaul, giving free permission for robbery 
and massacre in the territory of the Eburones, and brought 
together troops of brigands and adventurers from all 
parts of the country. But he did not mean to leave the 
whole of the pillaging to others. Leaving behind him at 
Aduatuca, under the protection of one legion, the baggage of [Tongres, 
his whole army, he threw nine legions into the country of }fiaee) 
the Eburones, divided into three columns, one of which was 
commanded by himself, the second by Trebonius, and the 
third by Labienus; for several months they burned the 
villages, robbed the cattle, and hunted the natives. But 
violence, called in as a servant, often exceeds its instructions. 
A band of Sugcambrian plunderers, who had come to join in 
the looting at Czsar’s invitation, ascertaining that there was 
a Roman camp at Aduatuca with all the spoils and baggage 
of ten legions and the depédts of the merchants who followed 
the army, attempted to take it and very nearly succeeded. 
Meanwhile Ambiorix, tracked like a wild beast from lair to 
lair, still eluded the efforts of his pursuers. At the approach 
of winter Cesar once more retired. He convoked the 
assembly of the Gauls, solemnly tried the Senones and 
Carnutes for rebellion, condemned Acco to death, and many 
of the nobles compromised in the revolt, who had fled across 
the Rhine, to exile and confiscation of their goods, ‘Their 
property was divided among the nobles who had remained 
faithful and the higher ranks of the soldiers.* Cesar then 
made preparations to return to Italy. 

Thus the pacification of Gaul was rapidly degenerating into Czsar's credit 
a war of extermination; the conciliatory diplomacy of the Oe 
opening period had been replaced by a régime of bloodshed and 
violence. ‘This is no doubt the history of most conquests; but 
in this case the temptations to brutality were particularly strong, 
because these continual revolts unsettled all the labours of 
the last six years and were gravely affecting Cesar’s credit 
at Rome. Posterity thinks of the conquest of Gaul as the 

* With regard to the goods confiscated by Cesar from Gauls and 
given to other Gauls see Ces., B. G., iii. 69. 


53 °B.C. 


Gallic riches 
in Italy. 


(Formiz. } 


(Cingualum. ] 


The elections 
for 52. 


too GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


greatest of Czsar’s achievements; but contemporaries, towards 
the end of the year 53, looked at the situation in a very 
different light. The annihilation of the army of Crassus 
had damped the enthusiasm of the masses for the policy of 
expansion, and weakened their confidence in its foremost repre- 
sentative. Crassus being safely dead, men could say what they 
liked about him, and he therefore naturally came off far worse 
than Czsar, who was still alive and powerful. He was 
accused of having directed his campaigns like an amateur, of 
having committed the most ridiculous mistakes, and of having 
brought the Roman name into discredit by his miserly per- 
sistence. But even against Czsar disagreeable comparisons 
were beginning to be made. When Lucullus and Pompey 
had annexed Pontus and Syria all had been over in quite a 
short time; in Gaul, on the other hand, he seemed every 
year to be beginning his work all over again. Surely this 
must be due, at least in part, to Czsar’s own blunders. 

Moreover the public had another cause for irritation. “The 
display which certain generals were making of their Gallic 
plunder was becoming a public scandal. Cicero was con- 
stantly superintending buildings ordered by his brother ; 
Mamurra, who was only an obscure knight from Formia, 
was building a magnificent palace on the Czlian, with all 
its walls covered with plaques of marble in the Alexan- 
drine fashion, in a style hitherto unknown in Rome; * 
Labienus, who had bought huge estates in the Marches, was 
engaged in building a castle at Cingoli which was almost 
a small fortified town in itself.f A wave of sentimentalism, 
inevitable in a civilised society and strengthened by the 
influence of Greek philosophy, was slowly rousing the nation 
from the narcotics of corruption and-vainglory ; and it acted 
with added force when, after a short truce, the elections for 
the year 52 provoked a renewed outbreak of anarchy. ‘The 
candidates for the Consulship were Milo, Publius Plautius 
Hypszus, and Quintus Cecilius Metellus Scipio, the adopted 
son of Metellus Pius. Clodius was a candidate for the 
Pretorship and Antony, who, after Gabinius’ return to Italy, 
had joined Cesar in Gaul, for the Questorship. Ceasar, who 
had speedily appreciated his military talents, had allowed him 
to come home on furlough to stand for this office.t 


Pliny Ne hoacexvi. 0, 46° Gourbaud) adits) Deets ae 
peCeoe, Eo ncryela 
i Lange, RR. A., iii, 352. 


THE INVASION OF PARTHIA 101 


The electoral contest soon became so heated that all the 
candidates took up arms in the conduct of their campaign. 
Day after day there was bloodshed between the different 
bands. Once Cicero was nearly killed on the Sacred Way ; * 
another time Antony only just missed putting an end to 
Clodius.f The public anxiously asked what madness was 
coming over men’s minds, and what massacres it would cost 
to restore the state to order. In vain all eyes were turned 
upon Pompey. Whether through indecision and weakness, 
or through the desire of making his dictatorship necessary 
through the very excess of the disorders, Pompey refused to 
stir. “The Consuls made several ineffectual attempts to hold 
the elections; and the Senate, too weak to do anything more 
drastic, passed a law against the Egyptian worships of Serapis 
and Isis, which were adding their share to the moral difficulties 
of the day ;{ it also decided to put before the people a pro- 
posal that a magistrate should only receive a province five 
years after the expiration of his office,§ which was expected 
somewhat to appease the competition for all the offices. For 
the third time in four years the end of this year was reached 
without a consular election ; but this time the Senate was not 
even able to nominate an interrex, since one of the Tribunes, 
Titus Munatius Plancus, opposed his veto. Some recognised 
the hand of Pompey in this stratagem and suspected him of 
wishing to hurry on events and so force the Senate to appoint 
him Dictator.|| 

In the midst of all these disorders a feat of assassination 
brought matters suddenly toa climax. On the 18th of January 
52 Milo, going out with an armed escort to Lanuvium, 
happened to fall in on the Appian Way, in the neighbourhood 
of Bovillz, with Clodius who, accompanied by a small suite, 
was returning from his country house to Rome. The two 
bands came to blows and Clodius was killed.{f ‘At last,” 
said the Conservatives, heaving a sigh of relief. But even 
after death the mob leader kept his power of setting Rome 
in a ferment. The people were stirred to excitement by his 
clients and cut-throats, by the tribunes of the popular party, 


Sy Cicero. iil, X1Ven 37s 

t Id., xv. 40; Dion, xlv. 40. 

ft Dion, xl. 47. 

Si d., xis 46. 

|| Asconius, p. 32. 

App; 6: C., 11.121); Dion, xi, 48; Vell, i. 47; Livy, p. 107 ; 
Gre sro. Mil), x, 231. 


53-52 B.C. 


The elections 
postponed. 


Death and 
funeral of 
Clodius. 


52 3.C. 


102 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and by his wife Fulvia; and they flocked in crowds to see his 
body when it was laid out for the public view in his house. 
On all sides there were cries for vengeance, and his funeral 
was celebrated with a display of almost barbaric pomp. The 
people accompanied his body to the Curia Hostilia and made 
display of their hatred of nobles and millionaires by a bonfire 
of the Senatorial seats, tables and desks. ‘The fire spread to 
the Curia and the Basilica Portia; and the body of the dema- 
gogue was dispersed among the ashes of the two oldest and 
most venerable public buildings in Rome, while the people 
shouted for Pompey and Cesar as Dictators. Plancus was 
frightened into giving up his opposition to the nomination 
of an interrex and the Senate selected Marcus A‘ milius 
Lepidus, son of the Consul who had died during the revolution 
of 78. Lepidus was a young man of great wealth who had 
married a daughter of Servilia, and was a friend of both Cesar 
and Pompey ; but as he had very little influence, his nomina- 
tion only increased the prevailing agitation. At the grand 
funeral banquet in honour of Clodius wild scenes took place. 
The crowd attempted to set fire to the house of Milo, and 
also threatened that of Lepidus, who was suspected of being 
his friend. A popular demonstration went to offer the 
Consular Insignia to Hypseeus and Scipio ; another proclaimed 
Pompey both Consul and Dictator. In every quarter of Rome 
there were processions and street fighting, while bandits and 
burglars seized their opportunity and on the pretext of search- 
ing for the accomplices of Milo made their way into many of 
the private houses.* 


* App., B. C., ii. 21-22 ; Dion, xl. 49 ; Ascon., p. 34. 


Choe na. VAL 


THE GREAT CRISIS OF DEMOCRATIC 
IMPERIALISM—THE REVOLT OF GAUL 


Commius and Labienus—Decadence of the Democratic party— 
Discord between Pompey and Czsar—New rising in Gaul— 
Cesar again contemplating the consulship—The passage of 
the Cevennes—Cesar rejoins his legions—His strategy— 
Vercingetorix—The siege of Bourges—The capture of Bourges 
and its results—Cesar’s blunder—Gergovia—The insurrection 
spreads through the whole of Gaul—Critical position of Cesar— 
Organised guerilla warfare—Cesar’s retreat—The first pitched 
battle—Vercingetorix retires to Alesia—The siege of Alesia— 
Starvation—The attempted relief—Vercingetorix capitulates 
—The causes of Cesar’s success. 


Wuust this turmoil was raging in the streets of Rome, Cesar 53-52 B.c. 
was crossing the Alps on his way back to Cisalpine Gaul. 
His natural impetuosity, the serious condition of his party, and Czsar’s 
the sheer impossibility of the task which he had set himself #eachery 
were driving him on to blunder after blunder. Thus, to gain 
a short respite for interference in Italy he had ventured upon 
measures of repression in Gaul which had only consolidated 
and intensified the hatred of the natives;* and he had then left 
the country without awaiting their effects. Shortly after he 
had set out, probably while he was still on the road, he heard 
from Labienus that his old friend and supporter Commius 
was himself conspiring against him. For once he lost all 
patience. He gave instructions to Labienus to inveigle the 
Atrebatian chieftain to his camp and put him to death.f 

* Jullian, Verc., 114. ‘‘ His (Cesar’s) attitude during the winter” 
(53-52) ‘‘shows an unusual want of discretion.” 

¢ Cesar says nothing of this barbarous incident; but Hirtius 
(B. G., viii. 23) is naive enough to recount it. If the Gauls had left us 
a history of the Roman conquest we should no doubt hear of many 
similar incidents which would help us to understand the hatred felt 
by the Gallic nobility for the invaders. According to Hirtius, Labienus 
attempted the assassination on his own initiative ; but this is impos- 
sible. Commius and Cesar were too closely befriended; Labienus 


cannot have acted without Czsar’s authorisation. 
103 


528.0. 


Cesar asa 
scapegoat 


at 


ome, 


tog GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Labienus obeyed, but Commius, though wounded, succeeded 
in making his escape ; and the only result of the perfidy was 
to turn Commius into an implacable enemy of Czsar and of 
Rome. Czsar seemed to be involved in a very labour of 
Sisyphus; no sooner had he finished in one direction than 
fresh efforts were required in another, where he had thought 
that all was secure. ‘These brutal and treacherous expedients 
bear witness to the strain at which he lived. For the moment, 
however, Commius, who escaped into the forests of Northern 
Gaul, caused him less anxiety than Italy, where serious events 
were once more in progress. 

The Democratic party was again, as in 57, losing all credit 
with the public, through its failure to redeem the extravagant 
promises that it had proclaimed. The Land Law of 59, like 
so many of its predecessors, had never been put into execution. 
The hopes which had so confidently been built upon the ex- 
pedition into Britain had been completely falsified. In Parthia 
the Roman army had suffered a shameful defeat, while Gaul, 
though every one had regarded it as subdued in two years by 
“ Rome’s only general,” now appeared to be still in open 
revolt. Moreover Crassus was dead, and the once powerful 
‘Triumvirate was reduced to a discredited government of two, 
which was not even strong enough to repress the rioting of 
the metropolitan crowd. Men had for some time since been 
chafing at a régime of violence and corruption, which threat- 
ened to obliterate all the old landmarks of the State ; but since 
the death of Clodius the situation had become truly intolerable. 
At first, quite as much out of fear as out of justice, the public 
had been inclined to pass severe judgment upon Milo, who 
had had the wounded Clodius put to death by his slaves.* But 
when the mob began to take to rioting, there was a change in 
the general feeling. Even in the Conservative camp the party 
of repression by violence, the party, that is, which approved 
of the murder of Clodius, gained the upper hand. On the 
evening of the funeral the Senate decreed a state of siege, and 
entrusted Pompey and the Tribunes of the people, together 
with Milo himself, with the execution of the decree.t Em- 
boldened by this sudden change in his favour, Milo at once 
returned to Rome, and, hoping at one blow to take a pusil- 
lanimous public by storm, he had the almost incredible insolence 
to renew his candidature for the Consulship.f But this was 


* Dion, xl. 48. qldchy idl e.foy 
iH IDM opaly Beda loy rajoyey a Lei O ab bgt. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 105 


too much for the proletariat, which threatened to break out in §2 B.c. 
open revolt. This then was the situation. “The confusion 
was at its height; the public was beginning to take alarm ; 
and the enemies of Czsar were plucking up courage. Since 
Cesar was the creator of the whole party he was considered 
responsible for all the troubles that had ensued—for the ruin of 
Crassus, who had set out for Parthia on his persuasion ; for the 
universal corruption, which he had nursed by his largesse ; for 
the disorders at Rome, which he had openly encouraged ; and 
for the endless war in Gaul, which his repeated blunders had 
provoked.* 

Cesar was thus faced with the necessity of once more, for The rivalry 
the third time, reconstituting the Democratic party. But this Pomsey and 
was no easy matter now that not only Crassus and Clodius C#s#- 
but also Julia had disappeared. The removal of Clodius, the 
incomparable agitator, meant the gradual break-up of the 
electoral colleges, on which Cesar’s party so largely relied ; 
while the death of Crassus, following upon that of Julia, made 
the relations with Pompey, already strained by the events of 
the last few years, more and more difficult to maintain. His- 
torians are wrong in attributing the discords which from this 
moment began to break out between Cesar and Pompey to 
the effect of rival ambitions latent for many years and now 
brought to the surface by the disappearance of Crassus. It 
was not in the ambitions but in the temperaments of the two 
men that the discord lay; and it was the force of events 


* To understand the way in which public opinion veered round 
as regards Cesar in 53 and 52 it is Stenger to compare what Cicero 
writes of Cesar in 56, 55, and 54 (Cic., F., i. 9; Valls 7/79 Nigbl, 53 eK 
OPieets Oe it LOeiiat adit 57) 1. ol. (OA av. 16s 1v018), and 
the whole of the " speech de Provinciis Consularibus, with what he 
Writes in 51 and 50 (A! vi. 1, 25 ; vil..13 vil. 7, 5): ‘See also Cicero, 
F., ii. 8, 2. This change is not explained by personal reasons, for 
Cesar re cae what he could to keep in the good graces of 
Cicero (cf. A. vii. 1, 3), but by a change in the opinion of the upper 
classes caused by the ruin of Crassus, the disorders at Rome, and 
the rebellion in Gaul. Moreover, it is noteworthy that in Cicero’s 
correspondence we have scarcely any letters of the year 52 and that 
those which remain to us are notes of no importance. As it is prob- 
able that the correspondence was published under Augustus and 
certain that it was subjected to some sort of censorship, I am inclined 
to believe that the letters of 52 were almost all suppressed because 
they revealed too clearly the dismay produced by the revolt of Gaul, 
and contained severe strictures upon Cesar’s conduct. The moment 
at which the impartial public, which had been favourable to Casar 
and to the conquest of Gaul, veered round is therefore the year 52. 
This was the year in which it was first realised that the annexation 
of 57 had been a mere political trick. 


52 B.c. 


The ideas of 
the educated 
classes. 


Cesar’s 
overtures to 
Pompey. 


106 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


rather than the reasoned choice of either of their victims that 
forced it to break out. The struggle which now begins is 
not a struggle between two ambitious statesmen; it is the 
supreme issue between Conservatism and Democracy. After 
years of desultory conflict the two policies were at last per- 
sonified in the characters of these two old friends. After 
all, at the bottom of his nature, Pompey was a Conservative. 
It was only the bitterness and intrigues of the Conservatives 
and the difficulty which he had felt in fighting at once against 
them and against Czsar, Crassus and Clodius, that had forced 
him into his strange alliance with Caesar. A few sharp lessons 
might be expected to frighten him back into the fold. The 
defeat of Crassus, the perilous instability of the Republic, and 
the rioting at Rome supplied the necessary stimulus; they 
awoke all his instinctive reverence for authority and drove 
him inevitably towards the ideas of the upper classes. 

For earnest and educated opinion had now gradually crys- 
tallised round a policy of its own ; its programme, so plausible 
that men forgot how chimerical it still was, proclaimed a 
harmony between aristocracy and democracy, the repression 
of public and private corruption, and a return to simpler and 
purer habits of life. As so often happens to the very rich in 
times when the whole of society has gone mad over money, 
Pompey was deeply conscious of the vanity of riches and 
luxury for other people, and was surprised that the com- 
petition to secure them should kindle such disorders in the 
State. It was impossible that things should remain as they 
were. The Republic had urgent need of peace, order and 
justice ; and if the ordinary magistracies were not sufficient, 
a new office must be created with paramount and incontest- 
able powers. All these were ideas widely held in the upper 
classes ; Cicero was giving expression to them, perhaps almost 
unconsciously, in his treatise De Republica ; while Pompey, 
whom fortune had deluded into the belief that no difficulty 
was beyond his powers, was slowly being stirred from the 
depths of his Conservative temperament to a new ambition 
—to become the appointed reorganiser and peacemaker in the 
unhappy divisions of his country. 

Cesar was alive to the danger and wished before all to 
have Pompey on his side. From Ravenna, where he had 
gone to pass the winter,* he helped his son-in-law to make 
a levy with which the Senate had entrusted him in Cisalpine 

* Florus, iii. 10, 22. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 107 


Gaul * and made him a new and double proposal of marriage. 52 B.c. 
Czsar was to marry the daughter of Pompey, who was at 
' that time pledged to the son “of Sulla, while Pompey was to 
marry the second daughter of one of Czsar’s nieces, Atia, 
the widow of Caius Octavius, who had died on the eve of his 
Consulship, and who, besides a son Caius, born in 63 and now 
eleven years old, had two older daughters.— But Pompey, 
who was already beginning to feel embarrassed at his alliance 
with Cesar, refused the offers, to Czsar’s profound mortifica- 
tion. 

It now became increasingly necessary for him to take steps The question 

of Czesar’s 

beforehand to avert a serious danger with which he was second Consul- 
threatened in the future. His proconsular powers would Sh? 
expire on the 1st of March 49, and according to the law of 
Sulla, which only allowed a re-election after a lapse of ten 
years, he could not again become Consul until the year 48. 
There would thus be an interval of ten months during which 
he would no longer be shielded by the immunity enjoyed by 
a magistrate, but would be exposed, like any other citizen, 
to the attacks and prosecutions which formed the ordinary 
weapons of party warfare at Rome. He knew that he had 
hosts of private enemies and that, if his party lost influence 
and he were abandoned by Pompey, there was serious danger 
of a prosecution ; in which case it was as likely as not that 
the judges might be induced to pronounce a sentence of exile 
which would abruptly terminate his political career. It was 
imperative, therefore, that he should keep the government of 
his province during these ten months. How was this con- 
cession to be obtained? Of course it might easily have been 
managed by securing the postponement of the nomination of 
his successor until the 1st of January 48 and by remaining 
in his province as provisional governor until his successor 
came out. But this would only involve him in a still more 
serious difficulty, by making it impossible for him to stand as 
a candidate for the Consulship in 48. ‘Thus if he returned 
to Rome, he would lose his imperium and become a simple 
citizen, exposed to the attacks of his enemies; if he remained 
in his province he could not by law pursue his candidature 
for the Consulship. It was not easy to find a way out of this 
network of legal and constitutional difficulties; but Cesar, 


* Cic., Pro Mil., xxiii. 62; xxvi. 70; Asconius, p. 35, 51; Dion, xl, 
49-50; Ces., B. G., vii. 1. 
Hauel,, Cas... 27. 


52 0B.C 


New and 
unanimous 
rising in Gaul. 


{Genabum. ] 


108 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


never at a loss for expedients, soon hit upon a device. Many 
of his supporters were making the quite unconstitutional 
demand that he and Pompey should together be elected 
to the Consulship for that year. Czesar refused to entertain 
the suggestion, but asked in return that the ten Tribunes 
should bring in a law authorising him to stand for the Con- 
sulship while absent from Rome.* He could thus at once 
secure his election as Consul and at the same time, by pre- 
venting the nomination of his successor, remain in Gaul till 
the 1st of January 48. He at once began to make the 
necessary arrangements at Rome to secure the proposal of 
this law. 

But bad news from Gaul broke in upon these nice calcula- 
tions. Once more Cesar had been mistaken in thinking 
that strong measures would give him the respite he needed. 
Scarcely had he left Gaul than the leading men of several of 
the nations, provoked by the pillaging and executions of the 
preceding year, held a conclave in the forests to discuss the 
situation of the country, and formed an agreement to rouse 
to action, not only their own personal following, but the 
poorer classes throughout the country. The Carnutes had 
already risen afresh under Gutuatrus and Conconetodumnus 
and had made a massacre of all the Italian merchants at 
Orleans, amongst them the knight Caius Fufius Cita, who 
was acting as a supply officer to the Roman army. Mean- 
while in Auvergne his young friend Vercingetorix had kindled 
a revolution of his own, securing the supreme power for him- 
self in order to raise the standard of revolt. His movement 
had already been joined by the Senones, the Parisii, the 
Pictones, the Cadurci, the Turones, the Aulerci, the Lemo- 
vices, the Andes and all the tribes living on the Atlantic 
coast; and Vercingetorix had despatched one force under 
the Cadurcan Lucterius towards the frontier of the Province, 
while he himself was invading the territory of the Bituriges, 
who were tributaries of the AXdui.f The surviving forces 
of both aristocracy and plutocracy were united against 
the national enemy; Czsar’s opportunist policy of sowing 
enmity between the rival interests had ended by setting 
all parties against him; and the revolt had broken out 
afresh, in a more serious form than ever, unknown and un- 
suspected by himself or his generals. ‘The Roman army of 

SAD ps bs; Oslo s en DLOD es alee ate 
{ Ces., B. G., vii. 1-5. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 109 


occupation was dispersed throughout the country in winter 52 B.c. 
quarters, utterly unprepared for rapid action, whilst their 

general was surprised hundreds of miles away from the scene 

of action, before he had even set hands to the work of political 
restoration for which he had so hastily left the country. 

Cesar was indeed in a terrible dilemma. | The'whole of his The strategic 
work both in Italy and Gaul, the skilful and laborious con- ba 
struction of years, seemed to be crumbling to ruin, threatening 
to bury him in its fall. But the greatness of the danger 
found response in the energy and buoyancy of his spirit. 
Unable simultaneously to face the danger in Gaul and Italy, 
and obliged to make an instant choice between the two, he 
unhesitatingly left Italy to its destiny, as he had done in 57, 
and at once set out, probably about the middle of February, 
for Narbonese Gaul.* As he drew nearer, the news became 
more and more disquieting. The A‘dui, Remi and Lingones, 
who alone remained faithful in the centre of the country, 
were surrounded by an immense circle of revolting peoples, 
broken only in the East, where the Sequani still maintained 
a wavering allegiance. The strategic problem with which 
Czsar had thus to contend seemed almost insoluble. ‘The 
entire Roman army was stationed on the most northerly 
point of the circle of revolt. “The whole of the rebel country 
—almost the whole length of Gaul—lay between Cesar and 
his legions; he could not take his small force to join them, 
nor they march South to meet him, without passing straight 
through the centre of revolt. 

In this cruel dilemma, with that rapidity which, as an Cesar’s dash 
ancient writer says, was like a lambent flame, Casar devised 05°C" 
and executed a plan of extraordinary boldness. Within a 
few days he had arranged for the defence of the Province 
with part of its garrison, together with the soldiers he had 
just recruited in Italy. ‘Then, sending a small force of 
cavalry to Vienne, he set out with what remained of the 
garrison, forcing a path in mid-winter through the snow-clad 
Cevennes, and threw his men suddenly upon Auvergne. 

The Arverni had expected no attack while the snow was still 
on their mountains; at the appearance of the invader they 
hastily recalled Vercingetorix to defend his country, which 

* As the death of Clodius took place on the 18th of January, I think 
this date can be approximately fixed by the passages in Cesar, vii. I. 

I note in passing that in his narrative of this campaign Caesar has 


almost entirely neglected all chronological indications, thus greatly 
increasing the difficulty of giving a connected account of it. 


52 8.C, 


[Agedincum. } 


Vercingetorix 
besieges 
Gorgobina. 


110 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


was being overrun, they reported, by a countless army. 
Vercingetorix, none too secure in his new position, had per- 
force to comply. This was exactly what Cesar desired. He 
abandoned the command to Decimus Brutus with orders to 
ravage the country. Then, re-crossing the Cevennes with 
a small escort, he covered the 100 miles which separated him 
from Vienne in a few days. ‘There he picked up the small 
troop of cavalry which had been sent on ahead and, riding 
day and night, crossed Gaul at a gallop unrecognised and 
unmolested. Before any one had discovered that he was no 
longer in Auvergne, he had rejoined the two legions who 
were wintering in the country of the Lingones, and sent 
orders to the remainder to concentrate in the neighbourhood 
of Sens. ‘Towards the middle of March * he proceeded there 
in person with his two legions and found himself at the head 
of his whole army, eleven legions in all, including the Lark. 
This gave him about 35,000 men, in addition to the Gallic 
auxiliaries, whose number is difficult to calculate, and the 
cavalry, which was very much reduced.f' From Vienne to 
Sens partly on horseback and partly at the head of two 
legions, Czsar had covered some 300 miles. 

Meanwhile, Vercingetorix, discovering that he had been 
misled, had returned into the territory of the Bituriges and 
laid siege to Gorgobina; his small army, composed partly of 
Arverni and partly of contingents contributed by other tribes, 
amounted probably to some 7000 or 8000 horse, and an equal, 


* According to Jullian (Verc., 155) Cesar rejoined his legions in 
the middle of February. This seems to me difficult. The journey 
from Ravenna to Narbonne, the measures which he adopted for the 
defence of the Province, and the passage of the Cevennes must 
have taken him at least fifteen days. From Auvergne to Sens by 
Vienne is at least 400 miles, and though part of the journey was 
made on horseback, we cannot calculate less than another fifteen 
days. Thus, if Cesar rejoined his legions towards the end of 
February, he must have left Ravenna at the end of January, which 
is scarcely possible when it is remembered that Clodius was killed 
on the 18th of January, that Czsar reached Ravenna after the murder, 
remained there some time, and made arrangements for standing for 
the Consulship in his absence; all this could not have been cone 
within a few days. As for the meeting of the legions at Sens, it 
seems to me to result from what Cesar says in B. G., vil. 9: legiones 

. unum in locum cogit, and vii. 10, ducibus Agedinci legionibus ... 
relictis. 

{ The Duke of Aumale (Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1858, p. 75) 
has remarked that Czsar’s legions cannot have numbered 5000 men, 
but were most probably nearer 3500 or 4000. Considering that we 
are approaching the end of the war, this figure should probably be still 
further reduced, to about 3000. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL be 


or perhaps lesser number of infantry,* the greater part of whom 52 B.c. 
must have consisted either of his personal retainers or those of 
other nobles. 


W hat course was Cesar now to adopt? From the political The bettie 
. . . . . outside 
point of view his best policy was to throw himself at once Soissons. 


against Vercingetorix, to rescue the A‘dui and assure himself 
of their fidelity, and thus dismay the rebels, finish off the war 
as quickly as possible and return without further delay to Italy. 
From the purely military point of view, on the other hand, 
it would be far wiser to await the good season t when the 
army would find abundant supplies on its route, But once 
more military considerations had to be subordinated to politics. 
Cesar was more afraid of an Afduan revolt than of any winter 
campaign, and he desired to revive the reputation of his army 
by the brilliance and rapidity of his operations. He therefore 
requested the Avdui to do their utmost to supply him with 
corn, left two legions and all his baggage at Sens, and within 
a few days attacked and took Vellaunodunum, burnt Orleans, Wel 

* Jullian (Verc., 159) allows Vercingetorix 6000 or 7000 horse and 
100,000 foot, and most historians agree in regarding Vercingetorix’ 
army as very considerable. This seems to me impossible. In the 
first place where would all his soldiers have come from? There is no 
doubt that the insurgent peoples sent him contingents; but it must 
not be forgotten that several among them, and the most important, 
such as the Senones and Parisii, reserved all their military efforts 
for their own country, with the result that Cesar soon afterwards 
had to send four legions against them. Moreover, if it was difficult 
under the conditions of ancient warfare to provision an army of 
100,000 men (Mithridates, for instance, had several times to accumu- 
late corn for years and years to maintain armies which were not 
more numerous), it was impossible for an army of such size to conduct 
a campaign of devastation, such as was conducted by the army of 
Vercingetorix. A war of this nature can only be successful when the 
devastating army is either less numerous than its enemy, or has con- 
siderably better means of supply; in any other case it would be in 
far greater danger than its enemy. There is nothing to show that this 
was the case with Vercingetorix. Moreover, it was the cavalry which 
performed nearly all the exploits of the war (B. G., vii. 14), the infantry 
only played a secondary part; and when Cesar attempted to surprise 
the camp (vii. 17) it could conceal itself with the baggage in the 
marshes, and that at very short notice, which would not have been 
possible if it had been very numerous. Moreover, it is inconceivable 
that Cesar would have dared to divide his army and come to Gergovia 
with only six legions—that is to say, with 20,000 men—if he had had 
against him an army of 100,000 men, outnumbering him, too, in 
cavalry. The cavalry can be estimated at 8000, since Vercinge- 
torix had 15,000 at the end of the war (B. G., vii. 64) after receiving 
the reinforcements from Aquitainia and those which he secured after 
the Conference of Bibracte. 

¢ It must be remembered that the calendar was more than a 
month ahead of the real time of year. 


112 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


528.c. crossed the Loire, penetrated into the territory of the Bituriges 
(Noviodunum.] and laid siege to Soissons. “The town was about to sur- 
render when Vercingetorix marched up from Gorgobina. 
It is hardly likely that he wished to engage his small force 
in open battle with the Roman army, or to make a serious 
attempt to deliver the town; more probably he was only 
attempting a feint to give some relief to the besieged and 
to revive the courage of the Gauls, who were dismayed by 
Czsar’s quickness, and had already decided upon guerilla 
warfare as the best method of fighting the national enemy. 
However this may be, under the walls of Soissons a battle 
took place, of which Caesar gives an exaggerated account, 
resulting in the retirement of Vercingetorix and the surrender 
[Avaricum.] of the town. Cesar then marched upon Bourges, the capital 
of the Bituriges, one of the richest of the growing and semi- 

civilised centres in the country. 
eee OF Vercingetorix now began methodically to put into execution 

ercingetorix, 6 A ° ° 
the design which he must long have had in mind, although 
Cesar pretends that it was suggested to him by his recent 
defeat. His plan was to isolate the invader as he gradually 
advanced into the country, by making a wilderness all round 
him—burning the villages and towns, not excepting Bourges, 
cutting his communications, capturing his convoys, breaking 
up his foraging parties and allowing him no respite day and 
night, while drawing his own supplies from a secure base at 
a distance. ‘These tactics were excellent, particularly as he 
so outnumbered the Romans in cavalry; but they required 
one condition for their fulfilment—a nation of iron resolution. 
At first the Bituriges proved equal to the demand. Cesar 
pursued his advance through a deserted and devastated country, 
daily seeing the smoke going up from burning villages on the 
horizon, and relentlessly harassed by Vercingetorix who 
followed close on his heels refusing all open engagements, 
camping his small army in the safe shelter of the woods 
and the marshes, and attempting the capture of Cesar’s 
convoys. 

aes of If only Bourges itself had been destroyed the Roman army 
: would have gone astray in an aimless and impossible enterprise. 
But the Bituriges were proud of their prosperous capital, and 
had not the heart to sacrifice it for the cause; and Vercingetorix 
had at length yielded to their demands and agreed to spare it. 
Cesar was thus able to attack the city, which was stoutly 
defended by the Bituriges. No sooner had he reached it than, 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 113 


with his habitual activity he set vigorously to work upon the 52 B.c. 
siege, undertaking works of investment on a gigantic scale 
and keeping his soldiers busy with the spade through the cold 
and rainy days of early spring, though the attacks of Ver- 
cingetorix, which he consistently ignored, sometimes left them 
without bread for days together. Since the, days of Lucullus 
no Roman army had been in such straits; but Casar knew 
his men far better than Lucullus. In the crisis of the siege, 
when everything turned upon their labours, he relied rather 
on comradeship than on discipline to keep them at work, and 
heaped them with attentions which contrast strangely with 
the blood-stained records of the campaign. On one occasion 
he even proposed, if they thought the task above their strength, 
to withdraw from the siege altogether. He was met, of course, 
with a unanimous refusal and his men returned to their work 
in better spirits than ever.* Thus despite cold, hunger and 
the sallies of the enemy, the siege works were at length com- 
pleted, and the assaulting towers prepared ; towards the end of 
Aprilf the attack was made and the city taken. Cesar 
decided to make a terrible example, and the town was given 
over to the soldiers; the entire population was massacred, 
without Vercingetorix daring to move to the rescue. 

In a little more than a month Cesar had stamped out four Czsar rests 
separate flames of revolt, strewn his path with ghastly trophies b's °°Ps 
like the burning of Orleans and the sack of Bourges, re- 
plenished his coffers with the treasure of towns, temples and 
natives, and, above all, revived in his troops the confidence so 
indispensable to a small army fighting in a huge and un- 
friendly country. His magnificent vigour and impetuosity 
had triumphed over every obstacle, over distance and climate 
and hunger, over numbers and fortifications. He now made 
a small pause at Bourges, as though to take breath. Ima- 
gining that the most difficult part of his work was completed, 


* It must be remarked that Cesar (B. G., vii. 18), having at this 
point to describe an attempt to surprise the infantry of Vercingetorix 
while the cavalry was absent, does not tell us with what forces he 
marched against the Gallic camp, which would have been an im- 
portant detail in his account. This cannot be an accidental omission. 
It is probable that he marched out with a small number of men, because 
the Gallic infantry itself was not numerous. He has neglected to tell 
us how many soldiers he took with him, to prevent us from con- 
jecturing the forces of the enemy. ‘ 

+ Jullian (Verc., 183) appears to me to be right in reckoning five 
weeks from the departure from Sens to the capture of Bourges. This 
would take us from the middle of March to the second half of April. 


II H 


52 Bic. 


The A.duan 
election. 


Cesar divides 
his forces. 


(Elaver.] 


114 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and that the revolt, if not completely suppressed, was at least well 
under control, Czsar proposed to rest his army at Bourges, 
where he had captured large stores, until the approaching 
spring. With the arrival of better weather he intended to 
invade the territory of the Arverni and bring the war to a 
conclusion by the capture of their capital Gergovia. But now 
occurred one of those dangerous incidents in Gallic policy 
which had during the last five years caused so much anxiety 
to Cesar. The trouble arose out of the election to the chief 
magistracy of the A‘dui, which had fallen vacant just before. 
Two parties were in competition for the post, one having 
nominated Cotys and the other Convictolitavus, and the con- 
flict had very nearly provoked a civil war. One side was now 
claiming that the election of Cotys was illegal. Czasar was 
obliged to suspend military operations, to repair with his army 
to Decetia, and to solve the difficulty by recognising the 
validity of the election of Convictolitavus, who was in fact 
the rightful candidate. ‘This occupied his attention for several 
weeks, during which the rebel forces might have been expected 
to be slowly breaking up in the prospect of Czsar’s final 
campaign against Gergovia. 

Once more Czsar’s expectations were falsified. “The news 
which reached him clearly indicated that the insurgents were 
not nearly so much discouraged by his victories as he had 
allowed himself to hope. In the North the Senones and Parisii 
were still in arms and confident of victory; Commius was 
recruiting an army of his own, while Vercingetorix had re- 
ceived help from Aquitainia and was collecting archers, training 
his men in the Roman methods of encampment, and bringing 
pressure to bear upon the nations that remained faithful to 
Rome, such as the dui and Sequani, by sending their chiefs 
huge quantities of gold from the mines in his own territory. 
Cesar, however, was still so certain that the war was almost 
at an end that he felt strong enough to divide his forces.¥ We 
have no further mention of the native legion, the Lark, and 
Cesar always speaks of a total of ten legions; of these he 
tells us that he gave four to Labienus, sending him northwards 
towards the middle of May against the Parisii and Sequani, 
while he himself marched southwards with six legions to 
invade Auvergne by the valley of the Allier, thus forcing 
Vercingetorix to accept battle and put an end to the war. 


* On this mistake of Cesar’s see the interesting observations of Barone 
(I. G. C., p. 64). 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 115 


Meanwhile Vercingetorix had reached the banks of the 52 #.c. 

Allier and broken down all the bridges; he now proceeded 
to march along the left bank of the river following Czsar’s The siege of 
movements on the opposite bank, to prevent him from crossing S°"8°%* 
over into Auvergne. Cesar was forced to employ a stratagem. 
He succeeded one morning in concealing twenty cohorts, two 
from each legion, in a wood near a broken-down bridge; when 
the rest of the army had disappeared along the river, the co- 
horts emerged from their hiding-place and rebuilt and occupied 
the bridge. ‘The legions returned and crossed the Allier ; 
Vercingetorix, unwilling to give battle, allowed them to pass 
and, adhering to his previous tactics, began once more to re- 
treat before them. Five days later Cesar arrived in view of 
Gergovia, which is situated on the top of a steep bluff; and 
began at once to enter upon the labours of the siege. But six 
legions were not sufficient to take a city with such strong 
natural and artificial defences, and the situation of the Roman 
army soon became critical. Vercingetorix was always en- 
camped a short distance away, keeping himself in the shelter 
of the forests and the marshes, always in evidence and always 
unassailable. The A*duan nobles, who resented the recent 
interference of Cesar in their State, were beginning to yield 
to the substantial persuasions of Vercingetorix. Cesar grew 
anxious, redoubled his energy, and tried every device to shorten 
the siege with the insufficient forces at his disposal. But still 
Gergovia held out. One day Cesar with difficulty prevented 
a troop of AXduan auxiliaries from deserting to the enemy. 
Then he saw that he must make a supreme effort to capture 
the city and strike terror into the Gauls by a direct attack, 
and sent six legions to a general assault. But it was a forlorn 
hope ; the Romans were repulsed with heavy losses.* Recog- 
nising his mistake and fully conscious of the danger of 
obstinately continuing the siege, Czsar decided to withdraw 
and to march off, probably in the second half of June, to join 
Labienus in the North. 

The decision was no doubt wise ; none the less so because, Vercingetorix 
in the general ferment of national feeling throughout the phe nations: 
country, it was one that brought with it undeniable risks. 

To many this first open confession of failure on Cesar’s part 
seemed the beginning of the end. Vercingetorix now became 
the hero of a real national uprising, winning supporters to his 

* See, in Napoleon III., J. C., 281, the remarks on Cesar’s account 
of this assault in B. G., vii. 45-51. 


52 B.c. 


Cesar unites 
his force. 


116 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


cause from the most unexpected quarters. Already on his way 
north Cesar received news of the revolt of this faithful A‘dui, 
who had captured Soissons, with all his treasure and his 
hostages, his baggage and his horses, massacred the Roman 
merchants, cut the bridge over the Loire, burning or throwing 
into the river all the stores they could not carry off, and were 
now preparing to bar his passage and drive him back, through 
sheer starvation, into the Roman Province. ‘This was really 
the most critical moment in the campaign.* The defection 
of the A‘dui, the richest and most powerful nation in Gaul, not 
only cut him off from Labienus, but deprived him of his best 
base of supplies, destroyed the entire effect of his preceding 
victories and lit the flame of rebellion among neutrals and 
waverers in every corner of Gaul. His attempted organisation 
had definitely broken down ; the old Gallic institutions which 
he had tried to use for his own purposes were being used 
to weld together the whole country against him. - Already 
from one end of Gaul to the other arrangements were 
being made for the convocation of a great national Diet at 
Bibracte. 

Once more Cesar saw himself on the brink of the abyss ; 
but again he displayed neither hesitation nor dismay. He saw 
that, if he retired alone into the Province, leaving Labienus in 
the North, the Gauls would make short work of both forces in 
detail. He therefore decided to rejoin Labienus at all costs at 
the earliest possible moment. Not wishing to lose time in 
making a bridge over the Loire, swollen though it was by the 
melting of the snows, he found a ford by which his soldiers 
could cross with the water over their armpits, carrying arms 
and firewood on their heads, He put the cavalry in the van 
to form a moving dyke against the current and took all his 
army with him into the river, ‘Then seizing all the corn and 
cattle he could find, and loading up slaves and mules and the 
already overburdened legionaries, he advanced northwards by 
forced marches and finally rejoined Labienus in the territory 
of the Senones, probably in the neighbourhood of Sens, From 
Gergovia to Sens Cesar had covered another 200 miles; if we 
suppose that this took him some fifteen days, it must have been 
the beginning of July when once more he found himself with 
his whole army at his back. Fortunately while he had been 
unsuccessful at Gergovia, Labienus had won considerable 
victories over the Senones and Parisii. 


* See Cas., B. G., vii. 56. 


if 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 117 


Then supervened a slight lull in the operations. The 52 .c. 
Commentaries do not tell us how long it lasted, but it cannot 
have been less than a month—a time filled with anxious The Diet of 
and feverish preparation on both sides. The defeat at Bibracte 
Gergovia seemed to have changed all the probabilities of 
the war. The example of the A%dui had induced almost 
all the Gallic nations to join the movement; the only ex- 
ceptions were the Remi, the Lingones, the Treveri, and a 
few tribes among the Belge. Vercingetorix was at Bibracte, 
the centre of the insurrection, where representatives from 
all the states of Gaul were coming together in an impro- 
vised Diet to discuss the formation of a national army. 

Gaul was awake and stirring with enthusiasm from one 
end to the other; the most sceptical and indifferent were 
drawn into the national cause. 

Very different was the outlook and temper of Cesar. The Parthian 
The sudden change in his fortunes, coming as a reaction ae 
from the bold self-confidence of a few months before, tended 
to render him even unduly pessimistic. Isolated with his 
small army in the depths of a vast and hostile country, 
with the constant feeling that a new rising might spring 
up against him from any quarter of the land, he once more 
restrained his natural tendencies as a strategist and reverted to 
an almost excessive measure of care and caution. The country 
itself he gave up for lost; his one thought now was to extri- 
cate his army. But this was by no means so easy. New 
difficulties appeared at every turn to baffle the general who two 
months before had thought the country reconquered for good. 

The soldiers were surprised and disheartened by the revolt of the 
fEdui ; * supplies, always scanty, were scarcer than ever since 
the country-people had turned against them; while the ex- 
perience of Britain and the disaster of Carrhz brought home 
to the army a text on which all Italy was preaching—that 
in every contest between Roman and barbarian the lack 
of cavalry was a fatal element of weakness. All through 
this time Casar must have been haunted with the memory 
of Crassus. If he had hitherto ventured to set his legions 
boldly on the track of the cavalry of Vercingetorix, he was 
now far too cautious to march his dispirited infantry with 
their scanty cavalry supports across the country, exposed, 
like Crassus, to the constant onslaughts of the enemy’s 
horse. 

=) Plut.,-Cexes., 20. 


52 B.C. 


Cesar recruits 
German 
cavalry. 


Change in the 
Gallic tactics. 


Vercingetorix 
occupies 
Alesia. 


118 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


It was doubtless these considerations which caused him 
to lead his army in the direction of Germany to a spot 
which some identify with Vitry-sur-Marne,* and others 
with Bar-sur-Aube,} where he recruited a considerable force 
of German cavalry. The general who had entered Gaul 
seven years before as the destroyer of the German power 
was now enrolling Germans against Gauls and paying them 
with the profits of the pillage of Gaul. He spent the 
whole of July and perhaps part of August in enrolling a 
large body of German cavalry and making preparations for 
his retreat. But his soldiers were still very much discouraged 
by the reports of the enemy and their own position, while 
confidence and enthusiasm reigned in the councils of the 
Gauls, 

Both sides had strangely miscalculated the situation. 
Czsar was mistaken in exaggerating the danger, as he had 
been mistaken before in thinking that the war was over. 
Vercingetorix owed all his success to his guerilla methods 
of warfare; and no doubt had it been possible to organise 
a war throughout Gaul under party chieftains like himself, 
Czsar would ultimately have been forced, through lack of 
supplies, to evacuate the country. But Czsar’s defeat under 
the walls of Gergovia was in reality the salvation of the 
Roman power. Emboldened by their success, a party among 
the Gauls desired to transform the guerilla tactics into a 
regular war—a war in which Gaul, disunited as it was, and 
in the throes of a dangerous social crisis, could not hope 
to triumph over the armies of so old and tried a military 
and political system as that of Rome. 

The first symptoms of the change were felt at Bibracte, 
when the question arose of choosing a commander-in-chief 
and forming a plan of campaign. ‘The A‘dui were anxious 
to elect one of their own countrymen, while another party 
proposed to confirm Vercingetorix in his command ; one party 
was anxious for war on a large scale, the other voted for 
the continuance of the present operations. Vercingetorix 
and his partisans secured the upper hand; but in order 
that the /Edui might not unduly resent his authority, 
and in the hope of harmonising two opposing notions of 

* The Duke of Aumale was the first to remark that we must con- 
jecture this movement on Cesar’s part, of which the Commentaries 
tell us nothing. According to him Czsar moved to Vitry-sur-Marne. 


(Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1858, pp. 76-77.) 
t Spectateuy Militaire, April 1863. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 11g 


strategy, Vercingetorix, who was certainly a man of real 52 B.c. 
ability, proposed the adoption of both tactics simultaneously 
—one of those unfortunate compromises so frequent in 
history, because they are fatally imposed even upon the 
most resolute and intelligent of men by the weakness and 

folly of their colleagues. The A®dui and Segusiavi were 

to send 10,000 infantry and 800 cavalry under the com- 
mand of a noble to invade the territory of the Allobroges 

in the Roman Province; the Gabali and Arverni were to 
pillage the territory of the Helvii; the Rutheni and the 
Cadurci that of the Volcz Arrecomici, thus breaking into 

the Province at several points and drawing Cesar down 
from the North to its defence. | Vercingetorix was to 
transfer his headquarters to Alesia, a small fortified town [Alise-Sainte 
of the Mandubii,* where all the roads which Cesar might ae 
take in his southward march happened to cross, and which 

was an excellent post for watching the movements of the 
enemy. After strengthening the fortifications of Alesia and 
supplying it abundantly with provisions, Vercingetorix, with 

a body of 15,000 cavalry and the infantry under his command, 

was to hamper the march of the enemy, to cut off his supplies 

and harass him as he passed by on his way to the defence 

of the Province. 

It was probably in the first half of August that Cesar, after Cesar's re: 
organising a large body of German cavalry, put himself at the Province. 
head of his eleven tired legions to set out on his retreat to the 
Province,f a disastrous finale to the enterprise he had so brilli- 
antly inaugurated. The country on which he had staked the 
whole of his political fortune had played him false after all ; 
the work on which he had laboured for seven years and which 
was to make him the equal of Lucullus and Pompey had been 
shattered at one blow. These 30,000 men, who set out, 
weary and dispirited, dragging behind them on mules in a long 
procession the siege-engines, the baggage, the slaves of officers 
and legionaries, the remains of the booty, the few Italian 
merchants who had escaped massacre—in short, all that still 
remained Italian in men or goods in the country which he 


* The Duke of Aumale (Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1858, p. 94) 
has called attention to the strategic advantages of this spot, and has 
shown that it must have been Vercingetorix’ headquarters. I do 
not stop to discuss whether Alise-Saint Reine is really the ancient 
Alesia, for I regard the question as settled. 

+ Dion (xl. 30) tells us that Caesar was anxious to protect the 
Province. 


§2 B.C. 


Vercingetorix 
intercepts his 
retreat. 


The army or 
Vercingetorix. 


120 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


had for a moment regarded as conquered—seemed to mark the 
end of the Roman dominion beyond the Alps, and the final 
ruin of that conquering policy in which Cesar had thought to 
imitate, and even excel, his great predecessor Lucullus. 

It is difficult to ascertain exactly by what road he travelled. 
Some authorities trace his route from the neighbourhood of the 
modern Troyes by Gray and Dijon to Besangon.* Others 
make him set out from Vitry-sur-Marne to ascend the valley 
of the Tille, pass aside to Dijon, cross the Sadne near St. Jean 
de Losne and thus make for the Province along the right bank 
of the Sadne.f Others again make him start from Bar-sur- 
Aube in the direction of Pontaillier-sur-Saéne.{ All that is 
certain is that on about the fourth day of his march,§ at 
morning, when he had arrived, according to Von Géler, at 
Beneuve, between Brevon and the Ource, according to 
Napoleon III. upon the banks of the Vingeanne, according 
to the Duke of Aumale in the neighbourhood of Montigny, 
or according to the anonymous writer of the French A/@:litary 
Spectator in the neighbourhood of Allofroy, Caesar was sud- 
denly attacked by Vercingetorix and forced to engage in a 
pitched battle. || 

What was the reason for this sudden change of tactics? 
Why had Vercingetorix abandoned his guerilla system to 
attempt war on a grand scale? As the Gallic general comes 
down to us, even in Czsar’s account, as a man of intelligence 
and energy, we must suppose, in the absence of definite evi- 
dence, that it must have been the condition of his army which 
obliged him to seek an encounter which exactly fell in with 
Cesar’s desires. It is possible to conduct guerilla operations 
with a small army, with few resources, and without great 
generals; but it is impossible to conduct them without brave, 
resolute and patient soldiers. While Vercingetorix had been 
at the head of small bodies of cavalry and infantry composed 
almost entirely of Arverni who were his clients, his servants, 
or his friends, he had had sufficient authority to submit them 
to the fatigues and hardships of guerilla warfare ; but now that 

* Von Géler, Casars gallischer Krieg im Jahre 52 (Karlsruhe, 1859). 

ft Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1858, p. 87. 

t Spectateur Militaire, April 1863. 

§ Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1858, p. 95. 

|| I must make a frank confession. I have studied the maps of 
France, measured the distances and calculated the marching pace ; 
yet I have not succeeded in satisfying myself as to any of these 


hypotheses. The problem is perhaps insoluble, in any case it requires 
greater strategic and topographical knowledge than I myself possess. 


ee —~s 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 121 


he was at the head of a heterogeneous army he found that he 52 B.c. 
had at once more soldiers and less authority. It is probable 
that discord arose between the numerous chiefs of the separate 
detachments and that national rivalries were spreading through 
the ranks. In an army which had been formed within a few 
months at a moment of exaltation and which had never been 
submitted to any regular discipline, in which the soldiers were, 
for the most part, dependants of great barons accustomed to 
small inter-tribal wars of short duration, or young men hastily 
recruited from all classes of society and devoid of the necessary 
military training, Vercingetorix may perhaps have feared that 
patriotic enthusiasm would die out altogether unless it were 
rekindled and intensified by some signal success. He probably 
reckoned on the demoralisation of the Romans and hoped 
to imitate the tactics by which, only a year before, the Par- 
thians had annihilated the legions of Crassus. He therefore 
threw his cavalry suddenly upon Cezsar’s army as it was on the 
march, keeping his infantry, divided into three corps, out of 
action in the rear. 

Vercingetorix was perhaps unaware that Czesar had recruited Yictory of 
a new cavalry from the other side of the Rhine, and that, 
instead of the scanty and ineffective Roman squadrons, he 
was face to face with the vigorous horsemen of Germany. 
The engagement between the two bodies of horse was 
violent but short; for Casar’s Germans, with the help of 
the legions, soon succeeded in routing the Gauls with con- 
siderable loss. 

This ended the operations of the actual battle ; but its con- ee besieges 
sequences were so momentous that they can only be explained ne 
by supposing that the Gallic army was totally lacking in 
organisation and endurance, and that Cesar had believed it 
to be far more dangerous than it really was. Immediately 
after the battle Vercingetorix withdrew his troops to Alesia, 
and Cesar, realising at once that retreat into a fortified town 
implied the demoralisation of the Gallic army, changed his 
plans once more on the very evening of the battle and, instead 
of continuing his march towards the Province, resolved to 
take the offensive, and to strike a final blow. If he succeeded, 
it would be the end of the war, and the means of recovering 
his prestige at Rome; if he failed he would perish with his 
men and meet, in the heart of Gaul itself, the destiny which 
would certainly await him in the Province if he returned there 
with a beaten army. On the very next day he set out in 


52 B.C. 


The Gallic call 
to arms. 


122 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


pursuit of the Gallic army, arrived in front of Alesia, saw the 
rock upon which the citadel was perched, and did not hesitate, 
although in a hostile country and without assured means of 
supply, to set his 30,000 men to besiege an enemy whose force 
was greater or at least equal to his own,* to await the attacks 
of the Gallic armies which were now making for the Province, 
so soon as they returned to the help of the besieged, indeed 
to give battle under the walls of Alesia, if need be, to the 
entire forces of insurgent Gaul. ‘The plan was one of almost 
desperate rashness. But the man who carried within him the 
destinies of Europe, the great artist in strategy, over-prudent 
and foolhardy by turns, was resolved for once to stake all upon 
his luck. ‘The legionaries took shovel and pickaxe from the 
backs of their beasts, and once more engaged upon the familiar 
task of digging trenches and raising terraces round a be- 
leaguered city. 

Vercingetorix at once attempted to hamper the siege-works 
of the Romans by constant cavalry skirmishes; but he soon 
perceived that though he might retard them he could not 
actually prevent their completion. What then was he to do? 
To attempt a sally and stake all upon a pitched battle was too 
dangerous an alternative; yet to allow himself to be shut up 
was suicidal. At a council of war, after lively discussion, it 
was decided to send away the cavalry before the investing 
lines were completed, that they might ask help from the 
different Celtic peoples and rouse Gaul to make a general 
levy ; the time, place, and numbers of the detachments were 
settled, and an army of a quarter of a million men was to be 
collected to be hurled at the Roman trenches. So one evening 
almost the whole of the Gallic cavalry noiselessly passed the 
gates, eluded the vigilance of the Roman sentries, crossed the 
still incomplete siege-works and disappeared in numerous 
squadrons to the four quarters of the horizon. The first part 
of the plan had been successful, and great was Czsar’s con- 
sternation when he learnt the news. His fate now rested 

* It is ordinarily stated in reliance upon Cesar (B. G., vii. 77) that, 
besides the cavalry, 80,000 soldiers took refuge in Alesia ; but it must 
be observed, firstly, that this figure is put in the mouth of Critognatus 
in the course of a speech, and secondly, that it is difficult to admit 
that 80,000 men, in addition to the normal population, could have 
found room in a small Gallic town and have lived there almost two 
months; finally, that it is impossible to explain the inactivity of 
Vercingetorix if he had so many soldiers at his disposal. See further 


the considerations adduced by the Duke of Aumale in the Revue des 
Deux Mondes for May 1, 1858, p. III. 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 123 


entirely on the reception Gaul gave to the mission. Would 
the whole country respond to the appeal of the besieged of 
Alesia, the last surviving defenders of its liberty? Would 
beacon-fires be lighted on all the roads, to flame across forest 
and marshland, from village to village, to announce the danger 
and implore for help? Would the messengers of rebellion 
penetrate into the most secluded mountain-hamlets to bear 
news that a common country demanded a supreme and costly 
sacrifice, and to roll back a great wave of patriots upon the 
crags of Alesia? 

Vain questions, to which Czsar had no reply! His lot was 
already cast; retreat was impossible; nor could he, like 
Lucullus outside Tigranocerta, leave a part of his 30,000 
soldiers to continue the siege and march with the rest against 
the reinforcing army; for his forces were too scanty and a 
division might entail the annihilation of both parts. He could 
do nothing but wait, pressing on the siege with all his might 
till the enemy’s reinforcements came up and caught him where 
he was. Once more his position seemed well-nigh hopeless. 
It was this harassing suspense that drove the mind which 
had for the last seven months been like an impetuous spring, 
seething and boiling as it bursts its way through too narrow 
an orifice, to conceive and execute with unheard-of and 
breathless rapidity one of the most amazing and grandiose 
ideas in all the record of ancient warfare—the enclosure of 
his own besieging forces in a huge artificial fortification im- 
provised for the occasion. On the side of the plain he con- 
structed a second circumvallation with bastions and towers, 
leaving a large space between this circle and that which he 
had already made on the side of the town ; between these two 
circles his army was to remain in a sort of elongated fortress, 
moving from one line to the other in the narrow space which 
remained between, to resist the double assault to be de- 
livered by the besieged of Alesia and the quarter of a million 
recruits who were expected from Gaul. But would his 
men have the time to finish the enormous works required— 
works for which it has been calculated that two million cubic 
metres of earth needed to be displaced? * Ceasar ran a grave 
risk of being besieged in his turn by the reinforcing army, 
like Mithridates under the walls of Cyzicus, and thus being 
reduced to death by starvation. It is difficult to exaggerate 
the horror of the situation. Although the enemy was still at 

* Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1858, p. 113. 


2aBeCe 


The double 
siege of Alesia. 


pan el 


Starvation' 
of the non- 


combatants. 


124 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


a distance and the Remi and Lingones * remained friendly, 
the provisioning of the troops was already difficult ; it would 
become altogether impossible when a huge horde of armed 
men occupied the whole country and closed all the roads. 
Meanwhile from morning to night Cesar, with the help of 
Mamurra, Antony, Labienus, Decimus Brutus, Caius Tre- 
bonius, Caius Caninius Rebilus, and Caius Antistius Reginus 
directed the gigantic work and communicated his own en- 
thusiasm to his soldiers. He studied the texts of the manuals 
of Siege-work ; he consulted Mamurra and the eastern slaves 
most skilled in scientific strategy, and made them sketch him 
plans which he distributed to the centurions who had become 
overseers ; he sent out on all sides to fetch in fuel and iron: 
while his 9000 soldiers remained ceaselessly at work, breaking 
up the ground, making trenches far out in the plain, putting 
in hooks of steel and pointed stone which they covered with 
faggots and grass, to sow the ground with snares and pitfalls. 
Thus the weeks went slowly by. Meanwhile in all the 
villages throughout Gaul young men were being enrolled for 
the war, contingents were being fitted, arms furbished, beasts 
of burden taken out of the étable and loaded with grain. At 
every cross-road young soldiers and convoys met as they moved 
towards the spots chosen for the concentration, whence all 
were to proceed to Bibracte, where the nobles of the chief 
Gallic states had already come together to deliberate upon 
the command of the army and the plan of campaign. But 
round the rock of Alesia brooded a lonely and ill-omened 
silence. Cesar received but meagre and uncertain news of 
the reinforcing army; and from the topmost towers of Alesia 
the watchmen of Vercingetorix swept their eyes in vain over 
the distant horizon, Famine soon crept into the beleaguered 
city ; and the day arrived when Vercingetorix, after putting 
the town upon rations, found it necessary to get rid of the 
useless mouths, and to send the whole non-combatant popula- 
tion outside the walls into the space between them and the 
inner line of the Romans. He hoped that Czsar would take 
them in for sale, and that they would thus at least escape 
with their lives. But Caesar had not bread enough for his 
own soldiers. It was in vain that the doomed company of 
old men, women and children, exposed to all the assaults of 


* This is a good conjecture by the Duke of Aumale. Revue des Deux 
Mondes, May 1, 1858, p. 112. 
WeDion ad AO Cost, bi. Gyy thd 7 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 125 


the climate and of hunger, huddled round the Roman lines 52 3.c. 
begging for bread. Every day the besieged in Alesia and 
their Roman besiegers could see the crowd of non-combatants 
chewing the grass outside their lines, could hear their cries 
and watch their exhaustion. The space between the trench 
and the hill was transformed into a field of agony, a ghastly 
cemetery where the suffering were already skeletons before 
death released them. Yet their cries fell unmoved upon both 
Gaul and Roman, who had neither the mood nor the means 
for mercy. The defenders of Alesia were themselves half- 
starved, while in the Roman trenches the men worked away 
on empty stomachs. If, instead of recruiting an enormous 
army all through the land, the Gallic leaders had sent countless 
guerillas to devastate the surrounding country and capture 
the convoys of the Lingones and Remi, the army of Ver- 
cingetorix and the whole people of the Mandubii might 
perhaps have succumbed, but they would certainly have 
involved their Roman besiegers in their fall. 

But this was not to be. Once more regular warfare was Attempted 
to come to Czsar’s rescue. A large Gallic army, even if less eerie 
than the expected quarter of a million, eventually arrived of “Jesi@ 
outside Alesia.* It was a rabble of untrained soldiers, hastily 
recruited from amongst all classes of Gallic society and was 
commanded by four generals, Commius, Vercassivelaunus, 
Eporidorix, and Veridomar, who do not seem to have been 
in agreement. It has been remarked that two of these 
generals were Aiduans, and that the A’dui, who had only at the 
last moment entered into the revolutionary movement, seem 
to have behaved in this final campaign with a slackness which 
soon enabled them to make terms with the victors. However 
this may be, there can be no doubt that, if this army had been 
a regular force under capable commanders, it should have 
succeeded in annihilating Cesar, even at the cost of sacrific- 
ing Vercingetorix. It should have besieged Czesar, as Lucullus 
had besieged Mithridates beneath the walls of Cyzicus, by 
compelling him either to break out by force, or to die of 
hunger. Instead of this, the lack of agreement between the 
leaders and of cohesion in the army, together with the general 


* Cees. (B. G., vii. 76) puts the total at 250,000 men and 8000 horse. 
The speed with which the levy was made, and the difficulty of feeding 
250,000 men, even for a short time, are sufficient to show that these 
figures are exaggerated. Nevertheless it must have been a con- 
siderable force. 


52 B.C. 


Gaul and 
Cesar’s 
campaigns, 


126 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


impatience to rescue Vercingetorix, induced the commanders 
to make repeated assaults against the Roman trenches, while 
Vercingetorix attacked them from the opposite side. “These 
assaults lasted seven days;* but the Gauls did not succeed 
in breaking through the great rampart of earth and men 
which the genius of Caesar had spent but a month in raising. 
Under the direction of Cesar, Antony, Labienus, Trebonius, 
Antistius, and Caninius vigorously repelled the assaults on all 
the positions attacked. [hese useless and costly attempts 
were wearisome and discouraging to the relieving army, 
which had reckoned securely on victory and was little used 
to discipline; and it finally disbanded, leaving numerous 
prisoners with the Romans, without having succeeded in 
breaking through the circle of forts which enclosed Alesia. 
In their discouragement the Gallic chieftains in Alesia turned 
against Vercingetorix. “They seized him, sent him out to 
Cesar as a prisoner, and then capitulated. ‘The entire army, 
all that survived of the Mandubii, and a large number of 
prisoners, were distributed among the soldiers. In this singular 
fashion, and to the general amazement, the war was suddenly 
concluded towards the end of September. 

A barbarous country just lightly touched by the transform- 
ing hand of civilisation, Gaul was equally unfitted either for 
the obstinate and unsystematic fighting of savage tribes, or 
the skilful and methodical warfare of civilised nations. She 
attempted to do both by turns. Czsar’s campaigns reveal 
all the social and moral incoherence which was at that time 
prevalent in Gallic society, and which alone is adequate to 
explain how so vast a country could be effectually subdued 
by a small army of 30,000 men. Vercingetorix was at once 
the hero and the victim of this transformation in the character 
and institutions of his countrymen, which could only be com- 
pleted after immense sacrifice and suffering. Yet the scales, 
after all, were very evenly balanced. ‘The awful tension of 
the crisis from which Cesar and his legions so triumphantly 
emerged by the capture of Alesia, might easily have been 
relieved in very different fashion. If the general had been 
cast in a softer mould, or had displayed less signal qualities of 
daring and resource, if the soldiers had failed either in training 
or in toughness, or in loyalty to their incomparable leader, 
they could never have achieved what they did. Certainly, 
had they been of the quality of the troops of Crassus, they 


* Jullian, Verc., 286, 


THE REVOLT OF GAUL 127 


could never have endured the stress of the campaign—alone in 52 B.c. 
the heart of a huge and hostile territory, constantly exposed 
to attack on all sides, with no base of operations in the 
country, with their communications with Italy irretrievably 
cut off. In sucha situation as this, even the most inconse- 
quent and unscientific methods of warfare should have brought 
victory to the native. Cesar might have fallen on the road 
to the Province as Crassus fell on the road to Armenia, and 
the whole history of Europe would have taken another course. 

What would have happened had Carrhe been repeated, Czsar’s work 
within a year, against a western enemy? The speculation is" °*"” 
interesting. It was a critical moment in the development of 
Italy ; and the shock of a second catastrophe, removing Czsar 
so soon after his less gifted colleague, would have made a 
deep, perhaps an indelible, impression. It is tempting to 
ask whether it would not have converted Italy for good from 
the gospel of adventure, and prevented her from pressing 
further into the interior of the continent. The siege of 
Alesia reads like a hideous nightmare; but it decided the 
character of the civilisation of Europe. Czsar’s enemies 
were fond of reproaching him with the slowness of his con- 
quests and the smallness of his achievements. But his work 
was greater than it seemed. In his seven years of campaign- 
ing he had created an army, small in numbers, but finer in 
quality than any force Rome had had at her command for 
generations; and, at the decisive moment in the history of 
Europe, he and his men had drawn events into a course which 
their successors would for centuries be unable to deflect. 


52 B.C, 


Pompey 
becomes 
Dictator. 


Pompey’s laws. 


CHAPTER Vill 


THE DISORDERS AND THE PROGRESS 
OF ITALY 


The laws of Pompey—tThe terror during his Dictatorship— 
The progress of vine and olive cultivation—Great and mode- 
rate landlords—Industrial advance of the Italian country 
towns—The new influences in Literature—The young men 
—The Conservatives and the revolutionary intellectuals— 
The problem of debt. 


Wuitst Democratic Imperialism was passing through this 
supreme ordeal in Gaul, an important change had taken place 
in the metropolis. Pompey at last made his peace with the 
Conservatives, Soon after the departure of Cesar the rioting 
had become so serious and energetic measures of repression so 
urgently necessary that the whole of Rome, even his most 
violent opponents, had been driven in dismay to acquiesce in 
the Dictatorship of Pompey. Cato had indeed insisted that 
Pompey’s official title should be not Dictator but sole Consul, 
in order that he might still be held responsible at the expira- 
tion of his term.* But this was a mere constitutional subtlety. 
The fact remained. Pompey had been raised alone to a 
supreme position in the State, with the duty of re-establishing 
order at all costs, thereby adding to his long list of extra- 
ordinary honours the altogether unprecedented privilege of 
being at once consul and proconsul. 

He had bent himself to his task with an energy which 
Rome had ceased to expect from one who generally exercised 
authority with such an air of detachment. He had, it is true, 
made one last concession to the Democrats by securing the 
approval of the bill which allowed Cesar to stand for the 
Consulship without returning to Rome.f But all the rest of 
his measures were unaffectedly Conservative.{ He carefully 


* App:, B. C., ii. 23; Dion, xl. so; Plut., B@inp., 54; Cat. Ulan 
fesuet. Gees, 26:6 Dion), sles ti Cicy mAvevide ml sans en Nay gyitien ear 
t Cit Avr vilte 20; 2s Vell iter. 

128 


WY 


a 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY © 129 


revised the list of citizens from whom the 100 judges of political 52 B.c. 
cases were chosen by lot, reducing them to 950, Senators, 
knights and plebeians, and admitting only men whom he was 
in a position to influence.* He proposed a /ex Pompeia de 
ambitu and a lex Pompeia de vi which simplified lawsuits, in- 
creased the penalties for all acts of political corruption com- 
mitted since 70 (that is, during the years when Cesar’s gold 
had been most lavishly scattered throughout Italy) and intro- 
duced a new and more vigorous procedure against crimes of 
violence.t He also brought forward a lex Pompeta de Pro- 
vincits to legalise a Senatorial decree of the previous year, 
according to ‘which no one could be a Governor of a province 
less than five years after ceasing to be Pretor or Consul ; ¢ 
and finally a lex Pompeia de jure magistratuum which contained, 
amongst other provisions which have not come down to us, a 
simple and straightforward confirmation of the old rule against 
standing for the Consulship without coming to Rome. 

‘These were all measures for which Conservatives had been Attitude of the 
clamouring for years. Their exultation may therefore easily fMoPacrs 
be imagined. Even the most inveterate of Pompey’s critics Pompey. 
began to take a more lenient view of his character. Czesar’s 
supporters, of course, were by no means so delighted ; but as 
Pompey was still regarded as being on friendly terms with Cesar 
they did not attempt to oppose any of his measures, confining 
themselves to the criticism that the lex de jure magistratuum 
seemed on the face of it to annul the very privilege expressly 
granted so recently to the proconsul of Gaul. Thus, thanks 
to his own personal authority and to the support of the 
Conservatives, the upper classes, and an alarmed and disgusted 
public, Pompey succeeded in passing all his bills without a 
struggle and with a minimum of delay. One small concession 
he made to the friends of Cesar, by inserting in the /ex de 
jure magistratuum a clause the exact terms of which we do not 
know but which was so drawn up that Czsar’s enemies were 
able later on to dispute its legality. 

These laws were excellent. But Cesar’s laws had been Pompey 
equally excellent and they had been in force now for several “***° Pet 
years, Yet they were entirely useless, simply because, in the 
excitement and intrigues of the party struggle and the universal 
debasement of Roman public life, no magistrate was able to 

* 
FA CiCeeAVavill, VO 2) Velly, di. 76, 
{t Lange, R. A., iii. 361-362. 
~ Dion, xl. 56. 
sat I 


52 B.C. 


The vagaries 
of influence. 


Cicero’s 
admiration 
for Pompey. 


130 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


put them into execution. What was there to prevent the 
same from taking place now? All depended upon the action 
of the Dictator. ‘To the astonishment of Rome, Pompey 
rose to the occasion. From the moment of his election he 
seemed to become a changed man. ‘The vacillating, indolent 
and sceptical aristocrat suddenly displayed an almost brutal 
energy in the administration of his own laws. For a time it 
was almost as if Sulla had come to life again. Something like 
a reign of terror prevailed in the law courts. Cases were 
hurried forward with peremptory haste ; the most garrulous of 
advocates were sternly silenced ; and all the authority of the 
Dictator was used to secure a condemnation. Within a few 
weeks a large number of the friends of Clodius and Cesar 
who had been compromised in the scandals of the preceding 
years had been summarily tried and sent into exile. Some of 
the less respectable of the Conservatives, amongst others Milo, 
went to share their fate. 

All this tended to enhance Pompey’s popularity and in- 
tensify the feeling against the recent disorders. It put all who 
were desirous of seeing order re-established in the mood to 
approve severe measures, without inquiring too closely into 
their literal legality. It was no time for lawyers’ scruples. 
Rome needed something more thorough than _rose-water 
surgery. Such was the talk of the day. Yet, as always will 
happen when society has grown rich and self-indulgent and is 
split up into hostile and self-satisfied cliques, these copy-book 
maxims were somewhat restricted in their application. When 
it came to a question of his own friends or relations the most 
relentless of censors showed an unexpected tenderness, 
Pompey might harden his heart against the low rioters of 
the streets; he might display something like ferocity against 
individuals out of the upper classes, as when he told Memmius, 
who came to ask his help in a lawsuit and found him going 
from his bath to his dinner, “If you detain me, you will give 
me a cold dinner: that is all”; yet even he would intervene 
to save his own friends. He had lately found a new wife in 
the young and charming Cornelia, a daughter of Scipio and 
widow of the ill-fated young Publius Crassus. When Scipio 
was on his trial Pompey not only secured his acquittal but 
had even made him his colleague in the Consulship. 

Pompey’s justice was thus not exactly even-handed. But 
it was effective; and the elections had passed off without 
disorder, ‘The results were highly satisfactory to the Con- 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY © 131 


servatives. It is true that Cato, who had refused to spend a _ §2 B.c. 
sesterce upon his candidature, was unsuccessful for the Con- 
sulship. But both the elected consuls were members of his 
party. One was Marcus Claudius Marcellus, member of an 
ancient Roman family and an outspoken enemy of Cesar: 
the other, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, the lawyer who had stood 
against Catiline twelve years before, but whom age and experi- 
ence had taught the wisdom of opportunism. Clearly the tide 
of feeling against the extravagance and corruption of Czsar’s 
régime was still steadily rising. Cicero, of course, had not 
escaped its contact. As he neared the end of his great treatise 
on the Republic, summoning all the eloquence of his pen to 
expound in sonorous Latin the high wisdom of the political 
thinkers of Greece, he shook off the palsy of scepticism which 
had weighed down his spirit during the last ten years. His 
old enthusiasm for Pompey was reawakened; he began to 
hope once more ; and, with a scrupulousness which is very 
characteristic of the man, he prepared to repay the debt he 
had contracted with Cesar, whose conduct he now judged 
with increasing severity. 

Amidst the suspense and excitements of this anxious year The export 
there was one small change which almost escaped the notice 
of contemporary observers. It was the first year in which oil 
prepared in Italy was exported for sale in the provinces.* 
Hitherto Greece and Asia had supplied the markets of the 
Mediterranean, and even of Italy. But the field of cultivation 
in Italy had been slowly extended and improved ; the increase 
in the supply had steadily diminished the cost of production ; 
and Italy was now at last prepared, not only to satisfy her own 
increasing demands but to compete with success in oversea 
markets. “This small item of information, accidentally preserved 
for us by one of the most careful students of ancient times, 
reminds us how, amidst wars and the rumours of wars, the 
despised slave immigrants from the East, under the guidance 
of their Italian masters, persevered in their appointed task. 
Behind the small knot of warriors and statesmen who crowd 
with such self-importance before the footlights of history 
we catch this one fleeting glimpse of the great multitude of 
workers who, unknown and unregarded, were spending their 
powers, each in his own way, to transform Italy into an in- 
dustrial and capitalist nation. In every country town in Italy 
there were freedmen and sons of freedmen and immigrants 

S) PlinyjN: Elaxviets 3. 


52°B.c. 


The new 
land-owning 
middle class. 


132 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


from the East, small peasant proprietors and well-to-do land- 
lords, retired legionaries and centurions come home from 
distant parts, or settled with some comrade in a piece of 
country they had learnt to know during their service, all 
busily increasing their resources, laying by savings, buying 
land sold off by noble families in difficulties, buying slaves, 
improving methods of cultivation, setting up in business, in- 
troducing new arts and processes or opening workshops for 
manufactures. 

The progress in the cultivation of the olive which is re- 
vealed to us by this little notice of Pliny, and the progress 
which was being made simultaneously in the cultivation of 
the vine, would not have been possible but for one all-important 
change in the whole structure of society. This was the 
emergence, between the great landlords and the few surviving 
members of the old peasant proprietor population, of a new 
middle class of landowners who were prepared, with the small 
capital and few skilled slaves at their command, to attempt 
the scientific and intensive cultivation of the East. The old 
peasant proprietors would never have acquired the knowledge 
to do this for themselves; while the large absentee landlords 
had not at their disposal, or were not inclined to stake, the 
vast capital required to stock huge tracks of land with olives, 
vines, fruit-trees and the necessary buildings. Moreover, they 
could hardly ever devote to their estates the personal attention 
so indispensable to agricultural success. Occasionally some 
unusually well informed man of business, some wealthy finan- 
cier on the look-out for new opportunities of investment, some 
large landowner who lived upon his property, some man of 
letters or retired politician or general might be tempted, 
perhaps only as an amusing distraction, to turn his hand to 
the new-fangled processes of cultivation.* But ordinarily, 
unless their estates happened to be in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of a town or of the capital, they found it more 
convenient to rely upon pasturage, conducted however with 
greater care and knowledge than in the old primitive days. 
In the great forests and prairies of the Po valley, and in South 
Italy, where the devastations of Hannibal had never been 
effaced, there were huge herds out at pasture under the slaves 


* For instance: C. Fundanius, P. Agrasius, a tax-farmer; C. Agrius, 
a knight (Varro, R. R., i. 2, 1); Libo Martius, a chief of engineers 
(Varro, R. R., i. 2, 7); M. Seius (Varro, R. R., iii. 2, 7); Gaberius, 
a knight who laid out his money in goats (Varro, R. R., tii. 3, 10). 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY 133 


of Roman nobles.* Most of the strength that still resided in 52 n.c. 
the extreme Conservative party came from a small knot of 
old aristocrats like Domitius Ahenobarbus, who were cattle- 
breeders on an immense scale. But such cases were gradually 
growing to be altogether exceptional. The steady progress 
which was being made, more especially in'North and Central 
Italy, by the introduction of intensive cultivation and the 
growing of vine and olive, was due almost entirely to middle- 
class proprietors who no ‘longer lived, like the old-fashioned 
middle class, in the open country and made a precarious living 
by setting their whole family to work on the soil. The new 
landed middle class spent a good part of each year in the 
neighbouring town, leaving the whole of the manual work to 
their slaves and labourers, over whom they maintained the 
strictest control, often remained bachelors or had very small 
families, and devoted a large part of their attention to increasing 
to a maximum the profit drawn from their estates. 

These large changes in the whole economy of agriculture The develop- 
could not help causing a corresponding development in the pene. 
sphere of industry. It is to these days that we are surely 
justified in assigning the first impetus of that great advance 
in arts and manufactures which was in the next half century 
to penetrate from one end of the peninsula to the other. 
The agricultural improvements recorded by Pliny were indeed 
only the natural effects of a general progress in material 
civilisation which necessarily entailed a greater division of 
labour in every department of society, and not least, there- 
fore, in industry. In primitive Italy the landowner had made 
everything for himself: his clothes, his furniture, his imple- 
ments of toil; he was his own workman, and was at pains 
that his family should wholly satisfy its own needs. But the 
modern landlord was more intelligent and cultivated, more 
refined in his taste than his humbler predecessor. He de- 
manded finer clothes, more perfect implements, less precarious 
profits ; and he realised that he could not ask his slaves to be 
equally accomplished in every department. He saw that it 
would pay him to reach perfection in one branch, and apply 
in the open market for many articles which had previously 
been manufactured at home. In this way commerce and in- 
dustry advanced hand in hand with agriculture, and Oriental 
slaves could be bought or hired for industrial uses not only at 


* Bliimner, G. T. A., p. 98. See the whole second book of Varro, 
se xs 


ELEC. 


New Italian 
industries. 


[Vercelle.]} 
{(Mediolanum. ] 
(Mutina. ] 
{Ariminum.] 


(Faventia,] 
[Genua.] 


{Arretium. ] 


{Ilva.] 
[Puteoli.] 


{Neapolis. ] 


134. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Rome but in all the smaller towns of Italy. The freedmen, 
immigrants, and vagabonds who were tramping up and down 
the country for a livelihood, often found employment in a 
Latin colony or a munticipium, or in one of these federated 
towns which from the height of their Cyclopean walls still 
seemed to threaten death to the stranger who ventured to 
draw near without first making sure of a kindly welcome. 

We may therefore confidently fix this period as marking 
the first appearance of the class of prosperous merchants and 
artisans which we shall find flourishing fifty years later in all 
the smaller cities of Italy. It was this generation that, all 
over North Italy, from Vercelli in the North down to Milan, 
Modena and Rimini, first began manufacturing the lamps 
and bowls and pottery that were afterwards so famous ; * 
that saw the skilled workmen and merchants of Padua and 
Verona produce and export the carpets and coverlets which 
were soon to be known and appreciated in all parts of Italy ; f 
that tempted the poor workers of Parma and Modena to make 
a living by home labour out of the wool of the great flocks at 
pasture on the big absentee estates outside the town, thus 
inaugurating the Italian woollen trade ;{ that planted flax in 
the low land round Faenza and encouraged the city to spin 
and to weave it;§ that made Genoa, at the foot of her savage 
mountains, a great centre for the timber and hides, the cattle 
and the honey, brought down by the Ligurian natives from 
the lonely valleys to which they had slowly been driven 
back ; || that revived the old Etruscan pottery works at 
Arezzo, through the cheapness of skilled slave labour, en- 
couraging the proprietors to buy workers who were clever at 
designing, and would help to make the red ware which after- 
ward became so familiar under the Empire ; {1 that worked 
the iron mines of Elba and developed the resources of Pozzuoli 
as a great centre for the iron trade, where rich merchants 
imported the raw material from Elba and turned it into 
swords and helmets, nails and screws, to find a market in all 
parts of Italy ;** that made Naples the city of perfumes 
and perfumers, and Ancona the seat of a great purple dye 


* Forcellacl CaM, ps 12 ty peeks 

{+ Blimner, G. T. A., 102. 

Told, TOO; 

Se ihiyy Nig deep oc yn Oy 

|| Strabo, iv. 6, 2 (202). 

4, Fabroni, Storia degli antichi vast fittili avetini, 1841, p. 55. 
**DiOd ave 8s 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY © 135 


industry.* All over Italy too there was an increase in the 52 B.c. 
labouring population employed in satisfying local needs : 

dyers, fullers, cobblers, tailors, military outfitters, porters 

and waggoners. 

The cities of Italy, which had declined so sadly in the last The new local 
fifty years of social unrest, during the gradual break-up of the ***°"#°% 
territorial aristocracy and the old peasant class, once more 
recovered their prosperity, widening their borders to welcome 
the new bourgeoisie of proprietors and merchants, who had 
no taste for country life and desired to spend on town pleasures 
the money they had made by wise ventures in business or agri- 
culture, through the labours of well-trained and well-selected 
slaves. This new bourgeoisie was the heir of the ancient 
local institutions of Italy ; in the colonies and municipia it took 
over the old arrangements made by Rome in her aristocratic 
period; in the allied cities it had to administer venerable 
survivals which had served to govern the cities in their days 
of sovereign independence and had now, after the con- 
cession of Roman citizenship and all the transformation and 
reconstruction of the last fifty years, to sink to a position of 
purely municipal usefulness. This rising class, or its wealthier 
and more eligible members, formed a new upper caste in the 
towns, called the order of decuriones, and it was from amongst 
its ranks, with varying procedure, that the small governing 
Senate and the magistrates were chosen. 

On the whole this new class kept strictly aloof from Its exclages 
politics. This was not merely because most of its members PO 
lived at a distance from Rome, only going up on chance 
occasions for an election, and making practically no use of 
their political rights. It was due principally to the fact that, 
in the democracy that had been provisionally erected on the 
ruins of the illustrious aristocracy of ancient Rome, it was not 
possible to obtain power or office or to take an active part in 
public life without possessing either a great name or immense 
wealth or supreme ability. Not unnaturally men turned their 
energies into other channels ; they made money, and, if fami- 
lies were small, took all the more pains over the education of 
their sons, regarding riches and culture as a fair substitute for 
personal advancement and political influence. 

Thus from end to end Italy was conscious of a process of 


* Blumner, G, IT. A., 117-119. 
* Forcella, I. C. M., 45 f. 
{ This is the class alluded to by Cesar in B. G., i. 13 and i. 23. 


SK ZERO: 


The career 


open to talent. 


[Placentia.] 


The young 
literary 
aspirants at 
Rome. 


136 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


social and intellectual rebirth, which was at once the cause and 
effect of the policy of imperialism ; it was felt in the rising 
standard of luxury and consumption, in the effort of all classes 
towards increased riches and influence and improved culture 
and education. ‘The tide of emigration from Italy into the 
provinces, wherever profits were easy and abundant, showed 
no sign of slackening. Czsar welcomed to his legions young 
recruits from all parts of Italy who desired to earn wealth or 
distinction in business or warfare. Strange indeed were some 
of the contrasts to be observed in his camp. Here were 
descendants of the oldest house of Rome jostling the sons 
of well-to-do middle class families from Piacenza or Pozzuoli 
or Capua,* or ex-dealers in mules like Ventidius Bassus. 
Ventidius’ career may be taken as typical of the vicissitudes of 
that adventurous time. A native of the Marches, he had been 
taken prisoner, while still a boy, in the Social War ; after his 
release he had entered business as a contractor for military 
transport, but, growing tired of hiring out slaves and mules, 
he had gone “off to join Cesar in Gaul.t The position of 
Prafectus Fabrum, or chief engineer officer, in an army provided 
contractors who had experience of building with an easy 
stepping-stone from business to politics. 

Next to war and politics, education was the most powerful 
factor in this wholesale process of democratic levelling. 
Schools were now almost universal, even in the small 
country towns. ‘They were maintained by private enterprise, 
principally by freedmen, to whom the pupils made a fixed 
payment. And all schools were common schools. eae 
tions of rank were entirely ignored. The son of a poor 
freedman sat on the bench next the son of a bene or a 
free peasant ora knight. Rome was becoming the meeting- 
place of a company of young men from all parts of Italy, of 
the most varied rank and breeding, all ambitious to win fame 
and fortune. From Etruria there had probably already arrived 
in the capital a certain Caius Cilnius Mzcenas, a young man 
then perhaps twenty years of age, descended from one of the 
old royal families of Etruria, which had lately descended to 
commerce and contracting; from Cisalpine Gaul came 
Cornelius Gallus, a youth of eighteen, born of humble 

+ Cresieba Gr lis 1 

+ (Gell, NV. Ae 

t See, besides the case of Mamurra, that of the grandfather of 


Velleius Paterculus, Vell., ii. 76. 
S EOn wats) Vile madiy 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY — 137 


parentage ; the Abruzzi contributed Asinius Pollio, now aged 52 n.c. 
twenty-three, sprung from a noble house which is believed 
to have supplied the insurgents with a general during 
the civil war. Then there was Quintilius Varus from 
Cremona, Emilius Macer from Verona, and a certain Publius 
Vergilius Maro from Mantua. Virgil was at this time 
eighteen years old. He was the son—at least so it appears— 
of a potter in a small village near Mantua, who had taken up 
bee-keeping and a timber business and made sufficient money 
to send his son to study, first at Cremona, then at Milan, and 
finally, in 53, at Rome.* 

Amongst this group of young Italians, who had been brought The new school 

° : : of literature. 

together in the schools of rhetoric and philosophy and were 
already united by the deep and lasting friendship which has 
lent an added lustre to all their names, the new spirit in 
literature, which had found a bold but solitary champion in 
Catullus a few years earlier, was preached as the great 
revolutionary movement of the coming generation, which 
was to bear down, like a resistless torrent, upon all the old 
monuments of Latin thought—the old-fashioned statuesque 
epics of Ennius and Pacuvius, the wearisome dramas of the 
classical period, the clumsy horseplay of Plautine humour, 
the uncouth sallies of Lucilian wit, the ponderous didactic 
compositions in the slow-footed monotonous old hexameter 
verse. Valerius Cato, the literary model of all the cultured 
youth of Italy,t and a few Greeks, amongst others Parthe- 
nius—an Oriental captured by Lucullus at Nicza, sold into 
Italy and then set free, who settled at Naples to write poetry, 
teach Greek literature and make friends with the young 
literary aspirants of the day—had been the first to diffuse the 
taste for a livelier and more delicate style ; Catullus, with the 
wild burst of his passion, had brought it suddenly and un- 
expectedly to the surface ; and on his death his spirit survived 
among his own friends and the small band of enthusiasts for 
the new poetry. Caius Helvius Cinna, probably from Cis- 
alpine Gaul, and Caius Licinius Calvus, Caius Memmius, and 
Quintus Cornificius, all members of noble Roman families, were 
its most prominent representatives. They were all of them 
Young Italans, as Cicero, who did not like them, somewhere vesrepor. 
calls them, revolutionaries dissatisfied with the present con- 
dition of literature—they all desired to have done with the 
old national fustian: to fill Italy with a new poetry, written 


* Donatus, p. 54, 10. jmochanz, Gi Rist. 143. 


52 B.C. 


Virgil reads 
philosophy. 


Old-fashioned 
regrets. 


138 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


in new metres, bursts of heartfelt lyric or moving elegy, 
delicate studies in all the moods and experiences of passion, 
adventures in the strange and elusive bypaths of pay cavlaey 
or in the bewildering labyrinth of Alexandrian mythology.* 
Rare exceptions, like ” Asinius Pollio, remained faithful, or at 
least respectful, to the old classical writers; but the majority 
were carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment and 
reserved all their admiration for the models of the new 
literature. 

Virgil succumbed like the rest. He had come up from his 
school at Milan full of old-fashioned ideas, with the naive 
intention of composing a great national poem, on the model 
of Ennius, upon the Kings of Alba,f and had begun to study 
eloquence with the celebrated Elphidius, the favourite master 
of the young aristocrats of the day. But he soon grew ashamed 
of his crude ambitions, and gave up the idea. Disheartened 
at his excessive nervousness and at the difficulty of self-expres- 
sion, he had abandoned rhetoric for philosophy and passed on 
to the school of Siro, an Epicurean and a friend of Cicero, 
to devote himself with enthusiasm to the investigation of the 
great Mystery of the Universe. The passion to read deep 
and widely, to fill the mind with great generalisations and all- 
embracing theories, to fathom the very depths of Being, was 
becoming an enthusiasm common among the younger genera- 
tion ; but they combined it with an “impatient delicht in 
novelty for its own sake, and an insistent craving for fineness 
of execution and perfection of detail which had been entirely 
foreign to their elders, 

Men of riper years and Conservative inclinations like Cicero 
were fond of passing strictures on this contempt of the rising 
generation for the whole venerable past of Rome.[ They 
saw in it simply one more manifestation of the revolutionary 
spirit which was tossing Italy to and fro and allowing her 
no peace. This clique of young firebrands who professed 
to think Ennius and Plautus mere vulgar scribblers, were they 
not animated by just that same spirit of consuming restlessness 
which drove Cesar and his party to trample the old constitu- 
tion under foot? If their example proved infectious, what 
would remain of the Rome of older days? While the old 
Republican constitution had been transformed into a giddy 


PP SChanzaG atte day Weta. 
t Donatus, p. 58, 21; Serv., ad Ecl., vi. 3. 
T See Cie. A., Vil. 2 * LUscy, in, SixedA De Onraty oclviiie robe 


DISORDERS AND PROGRESS OF ITALY _ 139 


alternation of revolutionary Dictatorships, the old manners, 52 B.c. 
if they still survived in many departments of life, were con- 
temptuously dismissed by the younger generation. ‘There 
was many a town whose citizens felt less cramped within 
the towering walls which remained to remind them of the 
old era of warfare than by the obdurate rigidity of their 
ancient local institutions. To imitate the Greeks became 
the all-absorbing fashion of the day, and the spread of revolu- 
tionary ideas threatened to overwhelm Italy and the Empire 
as the flame of the pyre of Clodius had seized and destroyed 
the Curia. 

It is not surprising that even the more enlightened among The burden 
the Conservatives, always a sickly and pessimist tribe, began ar 
to join the reactionaries in asking if the era of expiation 
had not already begun. What had Rome to show for the 
bellicose democratic demonstrations of the last few years? 

A serious war in the East, a serious war in Gaul, and the 
irksome burden of debts so confidently assumed during the 
years when a gullible public had been induced to stake money 
with both hands on the fancied security of the treasures of 
Persia and Britain. The great imperial nation that held the 
world beneath its sway seemed unable to shake itself free 
from the load of its obligations; the slight relief brought 
by the influx of capital through Pompey’s army was soon 
exhausted, and Czsar’s assiduous contributions from the spoils 
of Gaul were not enough to meet new needs. Many of the 
improvements in agriculture and industry had been brought 
about by money lent out at high rates of interest; to the 
mass of old debts still unpaid new and greater obligations 
were being steadily added; and the whole structure of the 
new society seemed to rest on the flimsy foundations of credit. 

Even the upper classes, outside a small group of prominent The pecuniar 
capitalists, were in similar difficulties—not least the noble fpeSener®° 
families, many of them conspicuous in the arena of politics, ‘!#ss¢s- 
which had inherited huge estates in the country and house 
property in Rome, with but little capital to keep them up. 
Their land-agents robbed them without mercy so soon as 
their masters were safely plunged into politics; their tenants 
constantly delayed payment; the slaves whom they found it 
necessary to keep at Rome, for household duties, or to help 
at elections, or for mere idle ostentation, were a heavy expense, 
especially in a city like Rome, where living was dear.* The 

TCiC ati, KV, an. 


52 B.C. 


140 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


enterprises they embarked on for relief, without the time or 
the desire to supervise the slaves who were to carry them 
through, often ended in added disaster. It was not every one 
who could manage his dependants like Cesar. Not infrequently 
senators who had inherited large fortunes and won personal 
distinction could not raise the small sum required for a daughter’s 
dowry without borrowing at ruinous rates of interest ; or an 
illustrious statesman like Cicero rose to speak in the sovereign 
assembly of the empire with the paralysing sense of his immense 
liabilities, and of the constant and importunate demands for 
the largesse which was expected from those who had provinces 
at their disposal. Friendly loans to influential politicians and 
a cheerful readiness to make allowances for temporary diff- 
culties were obligatory upon rich financiers who desired to 
have friends at court; and the politicians, of course, were 
delighted to accept them. Both parties seemed thus enabled 
to assist one another with impartial generosity ; but in reality 
it was the needy politicians who succumbed to the influence 
of their wealthier allies. One of the most powerful members 
of this class was Atticus, to whom many Roman politicians— 
for instance, Cato, Cicero and his brother Quintus, Hortensius 
and Aulus Torquatus—had entrusted the administration of 
their complicated affairs, using him not only as a banker and 
paymaster in times of embarrassment, but as an intimate 
adviser in all matters of public or private interest.* Yet these 
widespread difficulties themselves tended to arouse an increasing 
aversion for money-lenders and capitalists. Even among the 
upper classes Catiline was making converts, and it was by 
no means unusual to hear great nobles like Domitius Aheno- 
barbus raising their voices in the Senate even louder than the 
men of the popular party against the exactions of tax-farmers 
and financiers. 

* Corn, Nep., Att, t5. 

ft Cic., ad Q., i. 13, 2. On the question of J/atifundia under the 
Empire, which will be dealt with in detail in a later volume, see the 
excellent study by Salvioli: Ox the Distribution of Landed Property in 
Italy at the Time of the Roman Empire (Modena, 1899), esp. p- 33 f. See 


also le capitalisme dans le monde antigue (Paris, 1906), by the same 
writer. 


————— 


CHAPTER. 1X 


THE “DE BELLO GALLICO” AND THE 
“DE REPUBLICA,” 51 B.C, 


Reaction against Cesar in Italy—The Commentaries—The 
Gallic revolt of 51—Cicero’s Proconsulship in Cilicia—Cesar’s 
cruelty in Gaul—M. Claudius Marcellus—The question of the 
Comacines—Cicero’s outward voyage—The first political 
skirmishes against Czsar—The publication of the De Re- 
publica—The sitting of Sept. 30, 51—Cicero in Cilicia and 
the Parthians—-Cicero as Imperator. 


Casar had emerged from the war against Vercingetorix 52 B.c. 
victorious but discredited. His reputation as the conqueror 

of Gaul and Rome’s one and only general had been seriously Czsar and the 
imperilled. During the seven long and eventful months of "™°P*?H* 
the war against Vercingetorix, in the vicissitudes and ex- 
citements of the first revolt and its extinction, of the failure 

before Gergovia and the last desperate struggle at Alesia, 

Italy had at length realised that the conquest of Gaul, which 

Czsar had so boldly proclaimed in 57 and the Senate ratified 

in 56, was still far from accomplished ; relapsing from a mood 

of blind confidence to a still blinder pessimism, the public 

began to think that Casar would now take years to carry 

through the enterprise he had so rashly undertaken.* In 

a capitalist democracy where the general public is composed 

of nobles and landed proprietors, merchants and professional 

men, all supremely ignorant of military affairs, success is 

the sole standard by which a war can be judged. A vic- 

torious general is a hero and a genius, while failure becomes 

the stamp of weakness and incapacity. This is the ex- 
planation why armies operating in distant countries are so 


* The damage done.to Cesar’s military reputation by the events 
of 53-52 is not merely a conjecture from the many parallel cases in 
history ; it is proved by the easy credence given at Rome to rumours 
of defeats sustained by Cesar (see Cic., F., viii. 1, 4) and by the wide- 
spread belief that discontent was prevalent in his army (see Plut., 
Pomp., 57; Ces., 29). 


141 


52 B.c. 


Pompey 
Piola ie the 
Conservatives. 


142, GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


often distracted by the excited prognostications of the home 
public. The present juncture was a case in point. Italians 
had seen Syria and Pontus securely annexed to the Roman 
dominion after the campaigns of Lucullus and Pompey ; they 
now saw Gaul invaded and annexed, yet still stirring and 
simmering with constant rebellions. ‘They concluded that 
the Gallic war was being so indefinitely prolonged because 
Czsar had not the skill to bring it to a conclusion. ‘They 
did not stop to reflect that, unlike Pompey and Lucullus, 
Cesar was engaged in combating, not settled kingdoms with 
regular armies, but the entire strength of a people in whom 
the sentiment of nationality and the love of independence 
were still ruling passions. ‘They did not know that ordinary 
warfare against great armies is mere child’s play compared 
with a struggle against a nation, however insignificant in 
numbers, which has made up its mind, in whole or in 
part, to give no quarter to the invader. “The conquest of 
Gaul, which posterity was to reckon as Cesar’s greatest 
achievement, seemed to observers at the time little better 
than an inglorious failure, discreditable to its author and 
proportionately encouraging to his enemies. So the public 
willingly lent ear to the familiar Conservative commina~ 
tions. Fiascos such as they had seen in Parthia and Gaul 
were the inevitable consequence of the corruption and 
injustice, the aggression and illegality, of the Democratic 
leaders. 

There was another change in the situation at Rome still 
more menacing to Cesar. It was becoming obvious that 
Pompey had now no further need of his services. While 
the credit of Czsar was being steadily lowered owing to 
the difficulties of his campaigns, Pompey, thanks to the 
success of his drastic measures of repression, had become 
the dominant figure in Roman politics. He had now all 
parties on his side. The Democrats still continued to re- 
gard him as one of their leaders, while the Conservatives, 
who flattered him to the top of his bent, only asked him 
to continue unflinchingly in the new path which he had 
marked out. He had thus succeeded in obtaining, from the 
people, without a contest, as the proconsular command 
attached to his new Consulship, the Governorship of Spain 
for five additional years, with two extra legions; while the 
Senate had granted him without discussion the sum of 1000 
talents for the maintenance of his troops during the following 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 143 


year.* In short, Pompey’s independent position was now 52 B.c. 
so powerful that Casar could no longer reckon upon exer- 

cising any considerable influence on his policy. Moreover, 

the Conservatives were already looking forward to the prospect 

of an open rupture between the two allies, and a complete 

change of policy on the part of Pompey. 

All this must have caused Czsar much anxious reflection. The “De Bello 
It was imperative to find means to refute the insinuations of So" 
the Conservatives, to repair his reputation and fortify his position 
as Proconsul, What else indeed had he to set against Pompey ? 
It was with this object that he set hands to what is, second 
only to money, the greatest instrument of power in a 
democracy—the pen. In the last months of 52,7 in 
spite of innumerable distractions and anxieties, he found 
time to write his De Bello Gallico, a popular work written 
with consummate art, and intended to demonstrate to the 
general public of Italy that Casar was a capable and cour- 
ageous general, and his Gallic policy neither so violent nor 
so rapacious as his opponents pretended. With a studied 
modesty he drew a veil over his own personality and 
achievements, as a reply to those Conservatives who de- 
scribed him as a charlatan, and posed as an emissary of 
civilisation, who had come into Gaul with four legions full 
of good intentions towards the natives, but was driven by 
their base ingratitude and provocation, contrary to his own 
real wishes, to conduct war against them. He concealed 
his losses and exaggerated his successes, but so skilfully, with 
such trifling alterations of significant detail, as to avoid in- 
curring any charge of deliberate falsehood, whilst easily mis- 
leading the careless reader. ‘Thus he desired to create the 
impression that he had exterminated in battle huge mul- 
titudes of the enemy, yet was careful to disclaim any 
responsibility for improbable figures. When figures are 
introduced they are never his own; they come from lists 
found in the camp of the enemy,{ or they had been given 

SeDiOn ext AA i SO ADD: sO. il 240) Plut) Pomp: Soi 
Ces., 28. 

t Scholars are now agreed in recognising that the Commentarii de 
Bello Gallico were published in 51. I think, with Nipperdey and 
Schneider, that the book was already finished at the beginning of 51 
and was therefore written in the last months of 52, after the war 
against Vercingetorix and before the beginning of the fresh campaign. 
Indeed if it had been written in 51 and after the war of that year 


it could not have avoided giving an account of it. 
iio, 1B, G., 4.°20; 


52 B.C5 


The revolt 
of 51. 


144 GREATNESS AND -DECLINE OF ROME 


him by informers,* or they are put into the mouth of one 
of the enemy in a speech.t He appears to be impartially 
recording the exaggerations of others, without letting us see 
who it is that is imposing them upon the reader. He makes 
no mention of plunder, except as regards the sale of slaves, 
which he knew would never be brought up against him. 
Nor does he waste time over detailed descriptions of strategic 
movements which the reader, ignorant of the geography of 
the country, would have been unable to follow. On the 
other hand he gives minute and coloured descriptions of 
battles and sieges, to please the peaceful burgher in Italy, 
who enjoyed, as men in a settled and peaceful society 
always will enjoy, letting his imagination roam at leisure 
over scenes of fighting and adventure, as he turned the 
pages lazily over in the comfortable seclusion of his frescoed 
veranda. In short, the book was intended to be a military 
and political essay for the benefit of outsiders, and all the 
seductions of its style, the lucidity and quickness of the 
narrative, the simplicity of the diction, were only devised to 
delude a credulous public. 

The book was written with a rapidity which struck 
Cesar’s friends with amazement,{ probably in less than 
two months. It was perhaps intended to prepare the ground 
for a letter which he meant to address to the Senate at 
the beginning of the next year to demand the prolongation 
of his Governorship into 48, at least in the Transalpine 
portion of his province. But the narrative, which is quiet 
enough in the earlier books, becomes hurried and excited 
as it approaches the close. The writer had to finish his 
story of the war against Vercingetorix in time to be ready 
for a new campaign. ‘The Gallic nobles who had escaped 
in the preceding year were once more fanning the flame 
of revolt, and an outbreak was imminent in the North 
and West. The war seemed likely to go on indefinitely. 
Once more Cesar angrily refused to await the coming of 
spring, and in full winter despatched his troops into the 
country of the Bituriges not to fight, but to burn and to 
pillage and to massacre. From the Bituriges he turned to the 
Carnutes, who had also arisen again under the command of 
Gutuatrus, where he repeated the same barbarous operations. 


BEE Or, nds Gr lieth 
Tide) Valen 778 
{ Hirt., B. G., viii. pref. 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 145 


At Rome on the other hand the year had begun under _ 51 auc. 
quite unusually peaceable conditions. Pompey’s measures 
had successfully exorcised the violence with which Rome Cassius and 
had been so troubled during the preceding year. The re 
partisans of Clodius kept well in the background: party 
factions and agitators were forgotten for the moment, and 
the public settled down, after its momentary access of 
severity, into the habitual mood of complacent indifference. 
Appeals began to be made for the recall of the exiles, and 
Cicero made arrangements with the friends of Milo to 
attempt at least the rescue of his fortune which had been 
put up to auction. It was agreed that his property should 
be bought for a nominal sum by Philotimus, a freedman of 
Cicero’s wife, who was to take it over on Milo’s behalf.* 
Altogether the times were becoming abnormally quiet. In 
March the Senate met to arrange about the provinces. 
Cilicia and Syria called for particular attention, owing 
to a Parthian incursion into Syria in 52 to avenge the 
invasion of Crassus. They had easily been repulsed by 
Cassius, who was only a Questor in temporary command 
as Proconsul; but a new invasion was expected in 51, and 
it was necessary to send out officers with higher powers. 
Now according to the law passed in the preceding year 
only Senators who had been Consuls and Pretors at least 
five years before were eligible for a proconsulship or pro- 
pretorship ; and it therefore became necessary to collect the 
names of all ex-magistrates who had not held a province 
at the expiration of their Consulship or Pretorship and 
draw lots between them for commands. By a caprice of 
fortune Syria fell to Bibulus, Czsar’s old colleague in the 
Consulship, and Cilicia to Cicero. 

Cicero was exceedingly vexed.{ He had just finished his 

* The detractors of Cicero have endeavoured to find in this business 
an intrigue for which there are no grounds. The passages in Cicero 
(A., v. 8, 2; F., vili. 3, 2) seem to be quite clear. They are concerned 
with a fictitious purchase of the goods of Milo made by Philotimus, 
in agreement with Milo and his friends, in order to save them from 
dispersion. Milo in consequence bought his property back for an 
insignificant sum, thanks to the disinterested aid of Cicero. The real 
intrigue began later, when, during Cicero’s absence in Cilicia, Philo- 
timus attempted to pass as the real owner of a part of the goods at 
the expense of Milo. Hence Cicero’s anxiety, since he feared the 
suspicion of having been lacking in bond fides through being an accom- 
plice of his freedman. 

+ Plut., Cic., 36. 

POAC. A Piet I1l2 oT Sa A Veet 

I K 


SHiske 


Cicero accepts 
his Proconsul- 
ship. 


He sets out 
for Cilicia. 


146 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


De Republica, he had other literary projects on foot, and he 
had almost entirely given up politics to devote himself to letters. 
His ambitions were now centred solely upon writing; and 
now suddenly, by the merest and blindest accident, he who 
was so obviously a man of the pen rather than of the sword, 
born rather for the library than for the battlefield, was to be 
turned out of his beloved Rome and his comfortable villas in 
the hills and by the seaside, and sent to the other end of the 
Empire to meet the enemy who had destroyed one of Rome’s 
greatest armies. But after his fierce denunciations in the De 
Republica of the decay of patriotism and the increasing reluct- 
ance to undertake civic responsibilities, he could hardly venture 
in his own person to provide a striking example of the very 
qualities he condemned, by refusing the first charge that was 
laid upon him, particularly under circumstances that involved 
a certain risk. He dared not face the incongruity. There 
were other less ideal motives to facilitate his acceptance. In 
spite of bequests which had come to him in this and the pre- 
ceding year from two friends who had remembered him in their 
wills,* his pecuniary outlook was far from satisfactory. He 
had been unable to shake himself free from debt. If an 
unscrupulous man could come home from his province a 
millionaire, an honest man might perhaps make a modest 
fortune. Cicero decided to go. 

He asked his brother Quintus, who had come home from 
Gaul, and his friend Caius Promptinus, both of whom knew 
more about military matters than himself, to keep him com- 
pany. He then selected out of his slaves and freedmen those 
whom he thought would be most useful in the government of 
the province : secretaries, amongst them a freedman who bore 
his own name, Marcus Tullius + and a young slave, Tiro; 
couriers, who were to convey his letters to Rome and bring 
back answers ; litter-carriers for the journey ; servants for his 
own attendance and to precede him by stages on the road to 
prepare lodgings for himself and his suite in the towns where 
he stopped. He then made arrangements with one of the 
regular contractors who hired out the animals necessary for 
the transport of a governor’s baggage: { loaded up his be- 
longings and those of his suite, including the jars full of gold 
pieces, containing the sum which the Treasury allowed him 


* Lichtenberger, p. 48. 
TGC Bay Oats 
¢ Aul. Gell., xv. 4. 


ns ees aes 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 147 


for the administration of his province: * engaged the slaves 
required to guard his treasures on the journey, made Cezelius 
promise to send him detailed information of all that went on 
at home during his absence, and finally set out on the road 
taking with him Quintus and his young son,},and leaving his 
wife in Italy. Quintus felt no wrench at parting from his 
wife Pomponia, sister of Atticus, a hysterical and cantankerous 
woman who was continually making scenes.{ In Roman high 
society fashionable ladies were quite used to being left tempo- 
rarily widowed when their husbands went off on distant 
governorships or campaigns, and it is probable that they gene- 
rally suffered their loss with resignation, The Roman family 
had now become rather a conventional tie than a connection 
based either on sentiment or duty. 


SI B.C. 


Just before his departure, in April, Cicero witnessed the Czsar’s 


first skirmishes in the new contest between Czsar and the 
Conservatives. Pompey cannot be held responsible for their 
outbreak. Although his relations with the Conservatives be- 
came daily more cordial, he had retired into the background 
after his Consulship, and was at present in South Italy. No 
one knew what he thought of the political situation, and Cicero, 
who was certain to see him on his way out, had actually been 
requested to sound his views.§ But the enemies of Czsar did 
not now even require Pompey’s support. ‘The war in Gaul, 
which still dragged on, in spite of pillage and devastation, 
was sufficient to encourage them. Ambiorix, Commius, and 
Lucterius had again taken up arms; the Bellovaci, the Atre- 
bates, the Cadurci, the Veliocasses, the Aulerci and the Senones 
were all in open revolt; and Czsar, compelled to dash in 
desperation from one end of Gaul to the other, tired of the 
endless fighting, uneasy as to the panic which these new risings, 
coming so soon after Vercingetorix, might arouse in Italy, lost 
the little serenity that he still retained and broke out into un- 
worthy and barbarous reprisals. Having secured Gutuatrus, 
the chief of the Carnutes in his grasp, he had him flogged to 
death in the presence of the legions. When he had captured 
the city of Uxellodunum, where the surviving rebels of the 
Cadurci had taken refuge, he cut off the hands of all the 
prisoners. 


* Aul. Gell., xv. 12, tells us that money was often conveyed in this 
way. 

faCic.wA., Vv. D,3),,ochmidt, BAW. C..73. 

t There is a capital account of one of these scenes in Cic., A., v. I. 
SeGicwela. Villar l suse 


brutality 


in Gaul. 


51 B.C. 


Cesar’s 
largesse 
in Italy. 


Marcellus 
and the 
Comacines. 


f bene se 


148 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


These final struggles must have been cruelly exhausting to 
Gaul; but they were not reassuring to the public at home, 
and the old confidence in Caesar was badly shaken. Alarm- 
ing rumours were continually reaching Rome from the seat 
of war : and Cezsar’s enemies, of course, knew how to make 
the most of them. On one occasion, for instance, it was 
reported that Cesar had lost a legion and all his cavalry ; on 
another, that he was surrounded by the Bellovaci and in a 
critical situation.* Moreover, Czsar was just now making 
a serious mistake in lavishly showering upon Italy and the 
Empire the plunder which he had collected in Gaul that year 
and during the revolt of Vercingetorix.f As he felt himself 
falling in popular esteem he tried to consolidate his influence 
by unheard-of prodigality ; he lent largely to young Society 
spendthrifts and to hosts of Senators who were in debt; he 
doubled the pay of his soldiers, and even went so far as to 
make presents to the slaves and freedmen of important per- 
sonages at Rome in order to have friends or spies in their 
households. He gave an enormous banquet to the people in 
memory of his daughter Julia, thus putting large sums into 
the pockets of the butchers and caterers; he made presents 
to the towns of Greece, sent thousands of Gallic prisoners as 
gifts to Oriental sovereigns ; used and abused the prerogatives 
of the 4x Vatinia to make citizens of freedmen from every 
country and to increase the number of electors who would be 
favourable to his cause.f 

Cesar thoroughly realised that his prestige was on the 
wane. But the daring with which he applied himself to his 
policy of corruption only served to increase the discontent 
against him.§ Above all, men were indignant at his whole- 
sale conferment of the title of Roman citizen. Thus, when 
in April there was a discussion in the Senate on his demand 
to be maintained in the Governorship of Transalpine Gaul till 
the rst of January 48, one of the Consuls, Marcus Claudius 
Marcellus, did not shrink from meeting it with open opposition, 
though his colleague, Servius, a politician of more cautious 
temper, did his best to restrain him. Marcellus was a noble 
of ancient lineage endowed with all the qualities and all the 

CeCe wks Vadliwty, As 

t See Dion, xl. 43. He is not alluding to the regular tribute im- 
posed by Cesar on Gaul (which is mentioned in Suet., Cws., 25), but 
to extraordinary contributions exacted after the war. 

t Suet,, Caxs., 26, 28. 

Seda ee ok 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA”? 149 


defects characteristic of an aristocrat who has lived to witness 
the rising tide of democracy and has the desire, but not the 
capacity, to control its advance. Carefully educated and 
very fairly intelligent, he displayed that curious mixture of 
arrogant self-assertion with weakness of character which takes 
on different forms by contrast with the encroachments of 
democracy in politics, manners and ideas. Such a man will 
at one moment display a lordly and contemptuous indifference 
to any object too burdensome to attain, any obstacle too 
dificult to encounter; at another, when his pride happens 
to be touched to the quick, he will respond with admirable 
courage and an unexpected tenacity, or sometimes with a 
sullen and invincible anger. Hitherto Marcellus, though 
like all the reactionaries he had for some time past railed at 
the popularity of Caesar, had not joined vigorously in the 
struggle against him, nor indeed played any very prominent 
part in politics, rising by the ordinary stages, slowly and 
inconspicuously, by the influence of his name, his friends 
and his connections rather than by any ambitious efforts of 
his own. But on this particular occasion, being Consul ina 
year when the fighting spirit of his party had once more been 
awakened, free from the vulgar ambitions which imposed 
prudence upon so many of his senatorial colleagues, and feeling 
the joy of a true aristocrat in stirring the fury of the democrats 
and the mob, he could not refrain from making a public 
display of his hostility to Caesar when his proposals came to 
be discussed before the Senate. He therefore proposed, not 
only to reject Czsar’s request for Transalpine Gaul, but also 
to annul the privilege of Roman citizenship bestowed by him 
on the people of Como.* 


* The order of the discussions which lead up to the great conflict 
cannot be established from the confused accounts of Appian (B. C., ii 
25, 26) and Suetonius (Czs., 28); but fortunately we have also Cicero’s 
correspondence. In a letter to Atticus (A., v. 2, 3) he says that on 
the 8th of May he did not know what Cesar had said to an auctoritas 
prescripta from the Senate on the subject of the Transpadanes. It 
is probable that Cicero is here alluding to the proposal that Sue- 
tonius tells us was made{byMarcellus (Ces., 28: ‘ut colonis, quos 
rogatione Vatinia Novum comum deduxisset, civitas adimeretur’’). 
Appian, on the other hand, says nothing ofthis’ proposal and confines 
himself to describing the violence with which Marcellus opposed the 
Comacines. His violence must clearly have been a consequence of 
the struggle provoked by this proposal. The sitting must therefore 
have taken place in April, and it seems to me probable that it was 
that at which Cicero (F., iv. 3, 1) says he was present and at which 
he heard Servius counsel moderation. Appian, on the other hand 


SI-B.G, 


Kile iCe 


Marcellus 
flogs one of 
Czsar’s 
citizens, 


Pompey dis- 
appoints the 
Conservatives. 


150 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


The Tribunes interposed ; and the proposal was not approved, 
but simply registered in the records of the Senate.* But the 
enemies of Czsar had no reason to be displeased. “They had 
succeeded, without causing a disturbance, in making proposals 
against Casar which a few years before would almost have 
provoked a revolution. ‘The Conservatives lauded Marcellus 
up to the skies. Buta serious report began to circulate shortly 
afterwards. It was said that Cesar intended to take his 
revenge by granting citizen rights to all the Gauls in the 
Cisalpine province. But the rumour was not confirmed,f and 
Marcellus was so carried away by his success that he prepared 
a decisive answer to the tribunician veto. ‘Towards the end 
of May he had one of the Comacines whom Cesar had 
enfranchised flogged with rods, a punishment which it was 
illegal to inflict upon a Roman citizen. If he could not annul 
the honour Cesar had conferred, he could at least show how 
little he esteemed it. Reasonable men thought the act un- 
called for ;{ but reasonable opinion counts for little in times 
of crisis; and the boldness of one party increased as that of 
its opponents declined. After the Comacine incident Marcellus 
was so intoxicated by his achievements that he intended, with 
the encouragement of his friends, to go further still and at 
the sitting of the 1st of June to make the startling proposal 
that Czsar should at once be recalled, and his successor 
nominated. “The moment was opportune; the public had 
been thoroughly frightened by Pompey and refused to stir ; the 
Democratic party was discredited and disorganised. Pompey, 
if not exactly favourable, proved at any rate by his absence 
that he had no strong feelings against it. 

But at this moment the fair prospect became suddenly over- 
clouded. ‘The Conservatives were not mistaken in supposing 
that Pompey’s behaviour in the preceding year indicated a 
reaction in their favour, and that Sulla’s old lieutenant was 


(ch. 25), precedes the Comacine incident with a sitting of the Senate 
in which Czesar’s request for a prolongation of his command was 
rejected. Suetonius does not mention this request, but from the 
order which Appian follows in his account I am inclined to think 
that this discussion took place before the Comacine incident and 
therefore probably at the same time as the initial discussion about 
them. ‘The two discussions were thus simply occasions for attacking 
Cesar. This makes it easier to understand the moderate attitude 
of Servius. 

MP Wane, wAn Willen 7221) OlCa LAs Vanes 

TeCicwe Aunvy 2031s) be, WILL tye 

an Noy, Hen (Gr, shih Ploy Isle Kee AhY 3a) 9 (Orley, Nas Ai Vly 


yO ate 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 151 


anxious to re-enter the ranks of the party to which he had 51 Buc. 
served his first apprenticeship. Indeed when Cicero inter- 
rupted his journey to see him at Taranto and spent three 
days discussing politics, Pompey had used language almost as 
frank and outspoken as Cato himself.* Yet for all this he 
was too prudent a man to adopt Marcellus’ crude and pre- 
cipitate methods of provocation, and at the session of the 
Senate which was held on the 1st of June or one of the 
following days he, either directly or indirectly, indicated his 
dissent from the proposal. Marcellus made a great harangue 
in which he declared that, since they had Cesar’s own 
guarantee that Gaul was pacified, they were justified in dis- 
banding the army and recalling the Proconsul. He added 
that the privilege of standing for the Consulship while absent 
from Rome, which the people had granted to Ceasar, was 
valueless, since it had been abolished by the law of Pompey. 
But Pompey, or some Senator who had been authorised to 
speak in his name, observed that by the Lex Licinta Pompeia of 
the year 55 it was illegal to discuss the question of Czsar’s 
successor before the 1st of March 50.f From the consti- 
tutional point of view this argument was difficult to refute, 
and Marcellus and his friends were not so blind as light- 
heartedly to engage in a quarrel with Pompey. Marcellus 
wisely refrained from pressing his point. 

Public opinion was soon diverted to the elections for 50, The elections 
which took place in June or July. Czsar sent home a large 
number of his soldiers to vote, but his candidate for the 
Consulship, Marcus Calidius, was not elected. The successful 
candidates were Caius Claudius Marcellus, a cousin of Marcus 
and a bitter enemy of Cesar, though related to him through 
his wife Octavia, whom Cesar had offered to Pompey: and 
Lucius AXmilius Paulus, who professed himself a Conserva- 

SOIC Dott Oye 2:0) Ae Ve 7-< 

; Cicero is of great help in determining the date of the debate. 
He tells us (F., viii. 1, 2) that Marcellus “in Kalendas Junias distulit 
relationem provinciarum Galliarum.”’ It is clear that this is the 
debate alluded to by Suet., Ces., 28, ‘‘M. Claudius Marcellus... 
retulit ad senatum ut ei succederetur ante tempus.’ This is also the 
proposal to which Pompey made the opposition recorded, not in 
Suetonius at all, but in App., B. C., ii. 26. There is one objection 
to this. According to Cic., A., v. 7, Pompey was at Taranto on 
May 20. Could he be in the Senate by June 1? It was not im- 
possible, by quick travelling, to go from Taranto to Rome in ten or 
eleven days. But if this be thought too fast, it can be supposed that 


the sitting did not take place on June 1, as Marcellus intended, but a 
few days later, or that Pompey was represented by one of his friends. 


BY B.C, 


# © Pompey still 
‘ambiguous. 


The Senate and 
the problem of 
debt. 


152, GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


tive but was not to be relied upon, because Cesar had given 
him some profitable contracts for building at Rome. The 
other elections had been more favourable to Cesar, and 
amongst the Tribunes there was only one, Caius Furnius, 
who was a supporter of the Conservative party. “The Con- 
servatives, however, immediately brought an action for corrup- 
tion against Servius Pola, one of the elected Tribunes, and 
succeeded in getting him condemned and finding a successor 
in Curio, one of Czsar’s most inveterate opponents.* The 
Pretorian elections had been postponed altogether. 

The electoral excitement was scarcely at an end before the 
enemies of Cesar renewed their attacks. ‘Their tactics were 
now to force Pompey to make a clear statement of his views, 
to say what he thought of Cesar and his policy, and the 
demands and pretensions in which he indulged. On the 
22nd of July, during a discussion in the Senate about the pay- 
ment of the legions of Pompey, who was anxious to go to 
Spain,t he was asked to account for the legion which he had 
lent to Czsar. Pompey declared that he meant to claim it 
back, but not immediately, in order to avoid putting the 
enemies of his friend in the right. He was asked again what 
he thought of Czsar’s recall, and he replied in vague terms 
that it was the duty of all citizens to be obedient to the 
Senate. He deferred all further action until his return from 
a trip to Rimini, where he was expected to superintend the 
recruiting which was to be made on his behalf in the valley 
of the Po.t 

Every one thought that the matter would be discussed in 
the sitting of the 13th of August; but the sitting was put off 
till a later date owing to a discussion on a charge of corruption 
brought against one of the Consuls designate ; and when the 
Senate next met, on the ist of September, it was found that 
there was not a quorum.§| ‘The Debating Society of business 
men and dilettantes began to grow uneasy. What was the 
meaning of all these manceuvres and counter-manceuvres ? 
Despite his drastic behaviour in the preceding year Pompey 
continued to give himself out as a friend of Cesar. ‘Those 
who were leading the movement against Cesar, despite their 


fo) 
illustrious names, were after all men of little mark, who 


* Lange, R. A,, ill. 377. 
PRGIC EAS sir dase 
elds, Ege Valdenae 4. 
Sid. PE, Wills O42 


‘*DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 153 


enjoyed the sport of baiting the Proconsul, but whose influ- 
ence could not be set in the scales against that of his bold, 
powerful and wealthy ally. However, in spite of an empty 
house, the enemies of Cesar succeeded in gaining a step. 
Pompey gave it to be understood that he did not approve of 
Czsar’s standing for the Consulship in his absence; and 
Scipio proposed that on the 1st of March the only question 
discussed should be that of the Gallic province, a suggestion 
which caused great concern to Czesar’s agent Cornelius 
Balbus,* as showing that Pompey’s conversion to Conser- 
vatism was still in progress. Meanwhile at the remaining 
elections Favonius, one of the Conservative candidates for the 
Prztorship, had been defeated, but Marcus Czlius Rufus and 
Marcus Octavius had been elected Curule AXdiles, and Curio 
Tribune of the people, all three enemies of Czsar.f Finally, 
at about the same time, the Senate adopted a serious measure 
to deal with the great increase of indebtedness and the scarcity 
of money which were the inevitable consequence of the mad 
gambling of the years 55 and 54. It enacted that the 
maximum of legal interest should be 12 per cent., and that 
unpaid interest should be added to the capital, but should not 
itself bear interest. 


SI B.c. 


It was a strange decision; for it looked as if the Senate, The “De 


within ten years of the Conspiracy, were inclined to adopt, in 
however attenuated a form, the old policy of Catiline. The 
financiers clamoured loudly against it. If the Senate lent all 
the weight and sanctity of its example to deprive existing laws 
of their force and undermine the inviolability of contract, the 
popular party would surely be justified in renewing their 
demand for the burning of all syngraphe.§ ‘There are certain 
things which it is difficult to do by halves, where to make 
terms is to yield all. Yet this indulgence on the part of the 
Senate was as symptomatic in its own way as the great success 
of Cicero’s new political study, the De Republica, published 
just at the moment of his impending departure. “The book 
was sought after and read with avidity all through the edu- 
cated classes ;|| it was copied and re-copied by the slaves and 


SC1C ye He WAIT) 1S 

Wer iednde whan, Al 37.5. 

PECs. nV Un Te 

§ Id. 

|| Id., F., viii. 1,4. Schmidt (B. W.C., 12) was not the first to point 
out the importance of the book from the standpoint of contemporary 
politics. 


Republica” 


51 B.C. 


Further pro- 
posals against 
Cesar. 


Pompey takes 
sides against 
Cesar. 


@ sEATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


tive h 1 Who worked as copyists and librarians for men like 
hi’ +5) who was a bookseller on a considerable scale. With 
,€ continuous advance in prosperity and refinement the 
educated public was more and more disposed to allay political 
and economic antagonisms by methods of conciliation and 
compromise rather than to press for a final solution through 
a decisive conflict. ‘There was no class or party which 
retained the energy and courage, or the toughness of fibre, to 
venture into a death-struggle against its rivals. “The days 
of Marius and Sulla seemed dim and distant. “There was a 
general desire to put an end to all difficulties between creditors 
and debtors, but without injustice or inconvenience to any 
one concerned, by settling the question in a manner agree- 
able to all parties. So too there was a general desire to 
reorganise the State, but without a revolution, through a 
government such as Cicero proposed in his book, which 
was to be a harmonious blend of democracy, aristocracy and 
monarchy. 

The spirit of conciliation might be in the air, but the 
enemies of Cesar were still irreconcilable. On the 30th of 
September Marcellus, in the presence of Pompey, proposed a 
decree in the Senate that on the 1st of March in the following 
year the Consuls should bring up the question of the Gallic 
command ; that the Senate should meet daily until it was 
decided ; and that even those Senators who were acting as 
judges should be obliged to be present. This proposal was 
approved; but when Marcellus proposed further that any 
veto which a Tribune might oppose against these pro- 
ceedings should be considered null and void, and that all 
Tribunes who objected to this measure should be considered 
as public enemies, and when he went on to ask that all 
requests for furlough made by Cesar’s soldiers should be 
taken into consideration, as though to invite them to 
desert their general, several of the Tribunes, amongst them 
Caius Czlius and Caius Vicius Pansa, made use of their 
veto. 

But all this was of relatively minor importance compared 
with Pompey’s attitude on this same occasion. Not only did 
he declare that, though it was impossible before next March 
to enter into discussion of the provinces then in Cesar’s occu- 
pation, these matters could and ought to be discussed from the 
1st of March onwards; but he added that in his opinion, if 
Czesar was instrumental in inducing a Tribune to oppose his 


152 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBL -A” 153 


veto, he should be considered as a rebel. Under the’ influ- 51 B.c. 
of this declaration, one of the Senators asked him wi ld, 
would do if Czsar wished all the same to remain at the hi” 
of his army ; to which Pompey replied, “ What should I do’\ 
my son gave me a box on the ear?” * This was by far the 
clearest announcement he had yet made of his separation from 
Czsar. Pompey’s conversion to Conservatism was proceeding 
apace, and the great success of the De Republica, which was 
the literary event of the year, was no doubt a contributory 
factor. Since the book was being read with such universal 
enthusiasm it seemed clear that Italy was ready for a saviour, 
who should be at once illustrious, intelligent and aristocratic. 
Who else but the man who had saved the State from anarchy 
the year before could be the hero foretold by Cicero, and 
desired by all his fellow-citizens? 

Cesar was still engaged on his final campaign in Gaul ; The Parthian 
but Rome was soon disquieted by bad news from the East. “""" 
Despatches arrived from Cassius and Deiotarus announcing 
that the Parthians had crossed the Euphrates in considerable 
force. Malicious wiseacres in the Conservative party at first 
refused to believe them, declaring that Cassius had invented 
the invasion in order to attribute to the Parthians ravages he 
had made himself; but a letter from Deiotarus soon removed 
all doubt.f As usual the public began to grow excited and 
clamoured at once for energetic measures ; some proposed to 
send Pompey and others Cesar to the East. Both Consuls 
were greatly alarmed lest the Senate, to avoid choosing either 
Cesar or Pompey, should entrust the campaign to one of 
themselves, an honour which neither Marcellus nor the old 
law-dog Servius were at all inclined to accept ; for since the 
death of Crassus the Parthians were a source of considerable 
dismay to imperialists at home. The Consuls therefore began 
to postpone the sittings of the Senate and prevent all discussion, 
at a moment when it was generally believed that the Empire 
was threatened with a serious war.t The friends of Cicero 
were especially anxious; they asked what would happen 
to the great writer, who was left with but a small force to 
support him in the Governorship of a province exposed to 
so formidable a foe. 


* For the whole of this sitting see the very important letter of 
Cicero, F., viii. 8. 

TIC vill Ose 2s 

W Meh Sal HOS, Se 


BACs 


Cicero’s out- 
ward journey. 


Cicero as 
Imperator. 


156 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


And indeed Cicero had found the opening months of this 
year distinctly disagreeable. In the course of his voyage out, 
as he was passing by Samos, a deputation of Italian tax-farmers 
resident in the province had come to bring him their con- 
gratulations and beg him to maintain in his edict certain 
dispositions which had been made by his predecessor.* Once 
disembarked in his province he had stopped some time at 
Laodicea to arrange for the exchange into the native currency 
of the sums which he had brought with him from Italy, and 
to see that it was fairly carried out.— But while engaged in 
these routine duties he was dismayed by the disorder prevalent 
in his troops. The army which was considered sufficient to 
defend the province against the Parthians had been broken 
up by his predecessor into small detachments at the service of 
the Italian usurers, who infested the country and used the 
soldiers to extract money by main force from their recalcitrant 
debtors. In the course of these operations three cohorts had 
gone astray and no one knew what had become of them.{ It 
can be imagined therefore how he felt when news arrived in 
August that the enemy had crossed the Euphrates in con- 
siderable force. He had originally hoped that his Syrian 
colleague would be able to repulse the Parthians; but when 
he learnt that Bibulus had not yet arrived in his province he 


wrote a pressing despatch to the Senate asking for help. ‘The 


provinces and their revenues were in serious danger ; it was 
urgently necessary to send him soldiers from Italy, for the 
Asiatic recruits were valueless and it was imprudent to trust 
the allies, who were sick of Roman maladministration. § 

In spite of this piteous appeal, it is a tribute to his genuine 
patriotism as well as to his skill and adaptability that he did his 
best to collect his small forces and set out with them to defend 
the road through Cappadocia, in case the Parthians attempted 
to invade the province of Asia. He calculated that the 
frontier of Cilicia on the side of Syria was easily defended 
with a small body of troops. But ascertaining soon after- 
wards that the Parthians had invaded Syria and were ad- 
vancing towards Antioch, he hastened back and arrived at 
‘Tarsus on the 5th of October, whence he proceeded at once to 
the mountains of Amanus. But about the roth of October, 


Os Ket aN ahhh wots daly 
eg pae dle ede eee 
CBS A erally Moy 


§ eR Diane aieyag 


Reeds 


“DE BELLO GALLICO” AND “DE REPUBLICA” 157 


hearing that Cassius had routed the Parthians below Antioch 
and that the enemy were in full retreat, his thoughts turned 
towards more lticrative fields of adventure, and he undertook 
an expedition against the wild tribes who lived by brigandage 
in the range of Amanus. Guided by the experience of his 
brother and Promptinus, he fought a small engagement, laid 
siege to the town of Pindenissus and received from his 
soldiers the title of Imperator ; he captured a large supply of 
slaves and horses, selling the slaves on the spot and distributing 
the proceeds to his soldiers. Then he returned to his province 
delighted with his short excursion into generalship.* 


51 B.C. 


The despatch of Cicero begging for reinforcements and that Satisfaction 


of the home 


of Cassius announcing his victory arrived simultaneously at public. 


Rome and were read at the Senate at the same sitting 
towards the end of October.f The one effaced the impres- 
sion caused by the other; it was believed that the invaders 
had been successfully routed, and the Roman public once 
more dismissed the subject from their minds. 


ee CIC AsV. 20. 

t+ Id., A., v. 21, 2, where it seems necessary to read with Hoffmann: 
“Liter in Senatu recitate sunt, date’ (instead of zd est) ‘‘ Nonis.”’ 
See Schmidt, B. W. C., 82. The letter of Celius (Cic., F., viii. 10, 2), 
written on Nov. 18, proves that Cicero’s despatch was read after 
(not, as Schmidt declares, before) that date. 


BL B.c, 


Czsar's 
discredited 
position. 


CHAPTER: x 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO, AND THE TROUBLES 
OF A ROMAN GOVERNOR 


Growing unpopularity of Czsar—Czesar’s Conservatism— 
Cesar and the educated classes—Curio—His manceuvres for 
Cesar—Public opinion unanimous for peace—Curio begins to 
oppose Pompey—Pompey and Curio’s opposition—Cicero in 
his province—Cilicia—The sufferings and anarchy of a Roman 
province—The troubles of an honest governor—Cicero’s 
administration—Cicero and the traffic in guarantees—The 
imbroglio of Valerius and Volusius—Historic importance of 
Cicero’s proconsulship—The marriage of Tullia. 


MEaAnwHILE troublous times seemed in store for Cesar. His 
efforts to secure the favour of the great impartial public, which 
had been successful for a short while in 56 and 55, had now 
definitely failed. Since the death of Julia everything seemed 
to have gone awry. ‘The ruin of Crassus, the disappearance 
of Clodius, the revolt of Vercingetorix, the doubtful attitude of 
Pompey, the new war which had broken out in Gaul in 51, 
had all gravely compromised his reputation. Whereas, but a 
few years before, every success gained by the Republic had 
been put down to his credit, most people now inclined to hold 
him responsible for every conceivable difficulty: for the dangers 
which seemed to threaten in the East, for the interminable 
operations in Gaul, for the increasing corruption at home and 
the imminent break-up of the whole fabric of the State. And 
now, to crown all, Pompey’s open declaration at the sitting 
of the 30th of September had put in the clearest light the 
growing likelihood of a rupture between him and his ally. 
To speak abusively or contemptuously of Cesar was now the 
fashion of the day, impartially imposed, with all the tyranny 
of a social convention, upon landlords and capitalists and all 
the gilded youth of the Capital. Cato did not mind saying 
openly that he would like to bring him into court and condemn 
him to exile as soon as his command came to an end.* Many 


* Lange, R. A., ili. 381. 
158 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 159 


who had been his admirers in the preceding years now turned 51 B.c. 
against him, an¢ even Atticus, always on the safe side, de- 

manded the sepayment of the fifty talents which he had lent 

Czsar before his Consulship.* It was little enough that he 

could set against these manifold influen¢es—the precarious 

support of the small contractors f to whom he had given, and 

was still giving, so much employment, and the admiring de- 

votion of the poorer classes, the artisans and freedmen, who 

could not forgive the Conservatives the death of their old 

patron Clodius. 

Though far away from the turmoil of the capital—perhaps Simplicity ands 
all the more for that reason—Czsar was conscious of this sogcratioms 
great change in public feeling and of its causes. If his native character. 
excitability sometimes tended to carry him, in the fever of the 
times, into unreasonable extremes, yet Caesar was not the 
man to yield at fifty—for he had already reached fifty—to the 
insatiable megalomania which Napoleon found irresistible at 
thirty-five. Not only had the Roman a more balanced judg- 
ment, and a finer and more penetrating intellect, but he had 
had to wait far longer for his success. All that he had won 
so far, riches, reputation, and power, he owed to twenty-five 
years of hard and uninterrupted labour, and at fifty he was still 
the best hated and most despised man of his class. He had 
had to adapt himself to the most various and uncertain moods 
of public opinion—to the respectable and conciliatory 
Liberalism of the years 70 to 65, to the subversive and revolu- 
tionary Radicalism of 65 to 60, to the bold, grasping and 
spendthrift Imperialism of 58 to 55. Yet throughout these 
Protean changes, with all his marvellous adaptability to shift- 
ing circumstances, he had remained the same simple and 
powerful personality—a man with the depth and insight of a 
scientific truth-seeker, who valued riches not, like Crassus, as 
an end in themselves, but as a means to his own purpose, who 
was full-blooded and passionate by nature, yet sober and ab- 
stemious in his personal habits; who had built and rebuilt 
villas and palaces in Italy to make employment, yet continued 
all the while to live without luxury in the wilds of Gaul ; who 
loved glory, yet despised the servile flattery and the boastful 
exaggerations of the mob; who had laboured on with the one 
instinctive and overruling desire to exercise the powers that 
were in him. ‘Too acute and clear-sighted to be blinded by 


BICC AS OVE, (25. 
1 oy dhe ACIS, V5, Tr 


in ses 


Cesar and 
the educated 
public. 


160 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


pride, he was all the more conscious of his own mistakes 
because it was necessity rather than inclii..tion which had 
driven him to commit them; he realised the «dvisability of 
meeting public opinion at least half way, and, with not the 
least startling of his miracles of versatility, turned away from 
the barbarities of his last campaign to baffle his Italian anta- 
gonists by appearing in a new and unexpected character—that 
of the moderate and exemplary citizen, disposed to every 
reasonable concession and solely desirous of the public good. 
Czesar was indeed, both by temperament and necessity, far 
more Conservative than his policy since the Catilinarian con- 
spiracy had enabled him to reveal. He was a Conservative by 
temperament because, like nearly all men of ability sprung 
from the educated classes, he could not bear to cut himself off 
for ever from the sympathy of his equals; he was a Con- 
servative by necessity because, though he had learnt by repeated 
triumphs the political inertia of the upper classes, he knew 
only too well that the cosmopolitan city mob, which would 
be all that was left of his party on Pompey’s desertion, could 
never be made into a really trustworthy instrument of govern- 
ment. At the head of the artisan population of Rome he had 
been able to seize, almost by a surprise attack, a foremost place 
in the State—but he would not occupy it for long unless, like 
Lucullus or Pompey or Cicero, he enjoyed the confidence and 
respect of the upper and middle classes, the educated and well- 
to-do bourgeoisie, which, despite its indifference to politics, 
possessed the two most powerful means of domination in a 
mercantile democracy—riches and knowledge. The consent 
of these classes was indispensable to any government ; and it 
was Czesar’s anxiety to secure their favour which is the master- 
key to his actions since the conspiracy of Catiline; it explains 
his hasty annexation and hard-won conquest of Gaul; it 
explains his sudden and striking reversion now to a policy of 
skilful moderation. He was not at this time hoping—he 
would have been a madman if he had hoped—for the possession 
of the supreme power.* His sole object was to become 
Consul in 48 without giving up his command. ‘To come to 
Rome for his candidature would be to place himself entirely 
at the mercy of Pompey who, since the reforms of 52, had 


* See the ingenious arguments of Schmidt in RA. Museum, xlvii. 
p-. 261. It is necessary to admit that Casar was unwilling to provoke 
a civil war, and regarded its outbreak as impossible, in order satis- 
factorily to explain most of what he did in the course of the year so. 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 161 


all the judges under his control, and of whom Czsar had now, 51 B.c. 
of course, a profound distrust.* How was he to secure his 
object? To attempt violent methods would have been to 
court defeat. Weak and weather-beaten as the old Republican 
constitution appeared, it still stood solid enough against any 
overt revolution. It was not mere hypocrisy but a real respect 
for the old machinery of government which induced all would- 
be usurpers, however they might offend against the spirit of 
the constitution, to pose as scrupulous observers of it in the 
letter. There was no way out, then, but by intrigue ; and 
Czesar set to work, with characteristic patience and subtlety, 
in the midst of his last and not least bloody campaign in Gaul, 
to extricate himself unhurt, by a series of ingenious and un- 
expected contortions, from the network of constitutional 
difficulties in which he had allowed himself gradually to 
become enmeshed. 

There can be no doubt that from the purely constitutional Czsar’s | ' 
and legal point of view his position was indefensible. He positieg ame 
could maintain that the privilege of absence granted him by 
the people implied approval of the prolongation of his com- 
mand to the year 48 : for otherwise the privilege itself would 
have been valueless. But the sophistry of this plea was evi- 
dent ; and his adversaries could easily retort that the privilege 
had only been granted him in case his presence should be 
necessary in Gaul during the whole of 49. Now he was 
obliged to reassure the public, whose patience had been ex- 
hausted by the length of the war, by declaring that the 
conquest of Gaul was already concluded—from which the 
Conservatives of course drew the rigorously logical conclusion 
that it was no longer necessary to prolong Czsar’s command, 
and that consequently there was no more reason for the 
privilege. Czesar realised that his best policy was to gain 
time, to secure the postponement of the nomination of his suc- 
cessor, which should have taken place on the 1st of March 50, 
but to employ no methods, either violent or scandalous, which 
might have caused indignation among the general public— 
even to refrain from the time-honoured expedient of the 
tribunician veto, which, after Pompey’s last declaration, would 
indeed not have been without danger. Once more there- 
fore it was necessary to surprise his enemies by some bold 
and unexpected stratagem. He needed a successor to Clodius, 
whose loss he must often have lamented in these years. He 

SL SCOICIC. VINE A 02. 
II L 


50 B.C. 


The bargain 
with Curio. 


The Odd 
Month trick. 


162 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


found one, where he was least looked for by the public, in 
Curio. 

Curio was a young man of good education and great 
abilities, a striking speaker and writer, but thoroughly de- 
bauched and hopelessly in debt, ambitious, cynical, and un- 
scrupulous, anxious only to make a name, a true “scoundrel 
of genius,’* as one of the ancients defined him, a Clodius, 
only with more subtlety and a stronger head: in short, a typical 
representative of the dying brilliance of the old Roman no- 
bility. By proposing to pay his debts and make him a rich 
man besides, Oppius attracted him to the party of Cesar. 
An arrangement was made, in the strictest secrecy, that 
Curio, pretending all the time to be hostile to Czsar, should 
complicate matters in such a way as to make it impossible that 
a vote should be taken on the 1st of March on the question 
of the Gallic command.f Once more, as in 59, when he 
formed the Triumvirate, Czsar concealed his tactics, partly 
in order to avoid frightening the public, partly, of course, to 
take his enemies off their guard. At first Curio was to stand 
up by himself, as Czesar had stood up for Crassus in 65, to 
conduct the dangerous intrigues necessary for the attainment 
of his object. It was not a very difficult secret to keep. The 
public could hardly suspect that two men whose enmity was 
of such long standing could be working together towards a 
common end. 

Scarcely had he entered on his office when Curio caused 
universal surprise by proposing various laws, some of them 
displeasing to the Conservatives, and others to the Democrats. 
Numerous pretexts were thus naturally found for postponing 
their discussion till the twofirst monthsof the year ; that is,almost 
till the beginning of March. Curio made no objection ; but 
as March approached he proposed, in his character of pontifex, 
to interpolate between the 23rd and 24th February the month 
of Mercedonius, which, according to an old usage, should have 
been added every second year in order to make the Calendar 
agree with the course of the sun. ‘There would thus, he said, 
be time to discuss his proposals before the month of March, 
which was to be given up to the discussion upon the pro- 
vinces, Mercedonius of course failed to secure recognition ; 


* Vell., ii. 48, 3. 

+ Dion, xl. 603 App, B.C. 0, 27 3 Plut., Cas,, 201) Vell teers 
Suet., Czs., 29; Serv., ad A&n., vi. 621. 

t Lange, R. A., iii. 382; Dion, xl. 61. 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 163 


and Curio, with a show of violent indignation against the 50 B.c. 
Conservatives, forthwith proposed two popular laws, one 
on the subject of roads, and the other on the price of 
corn.* The necessity of discussing these laws afforded a 
good pretext for the Consul Lucius A‘milius Paulus, who 
was that month presiding over the Senate and was a 
friend of Czsar, for the postponement of the provincial dis- 
cussion till later.f Czsar thus attained his object, thanks, 
it seemed, to the mysterious interposition of one of his 
enemies. It appeared impossible to reproach him for what 
had occurred. 

Pompey accepted the postponement, in spite of the declara- Fit er 
tion he had made in the preceding year, without expressing ™ ies 
his opinion upon it in public; but he let it be known that, 
in his view, it was possible to bring Cesar’s pretensions into 
harmony with the strict observance of the constitution b 
maintaining him in his command until the 15th of November, 
by which time the elections would already be over.{ Pompey 
was no more anxious than Cesar to precipitate events; he 
was at that time fifty-six years old and continually in bad 
health ; § and he was beginning to feel the effects of the hard 
campaigning of his youth and the nervous strain of a long 
succession of political intrigues. He enjoyed the respect of 
the popular party, which still remained faithful to him, as 
well as that of the Conservatives, who had now returned to 
him. In short, he was the most prominent and powerful man 
in the Empire. Why should he endanger this privileged 
position by driving the friends of Cesar to desperation? 
Some pessimists were indeed already declaring that a civil 
war between Cesar and Pompey was inevitable || because 
both men were too ambitious to remain together at the 
head of the Republic, and the ominous expression “civil 
war,” words awaking so many sombre memories, were 
once more whispered abroad. But there were few who 
believed in its possibility, and still fewer who desired it; 
it acted rather as a check than as a stimulus upon the parties 
and their chiefs. 

The Senate, after all, consisted mainly of a crowd of 


Pa ion ely O2t a CIC. is nvlily Ones. 

pe Nissenebl, 2) XiVin DOO CiCa iM Vill td) Tess) Vis, 3414 
PeCiG yak, Valle Ty 3s 

§ Id., A., viii. 2, 3. 

|| See Cic., F., vill. 14, 4. 


50 B.C. 


Public opinion 
and civil war. 


1644 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


politicians, individually of small account, who had managed 
to secure election to office and win wealth and influence by 
steering skilfully between the two recognised parties, inclining 
to Conservatives and Democrats, to Cato and Czsar, Pompey 
and Cicero, as opportunity offered, without ever openly taking 
sides with either. “These men had no desire to imperil their 
fortunes in dangerous adventures and were restrained, just 
as Czsar was restrained, by the all-powerful, if invisible, 
authority of public opinion. They realised that if Italy 
thought ill of the turbulent methods of Cesar, she would 
think still worse of a policy of deliberate civil war, provoked 
by the hotheads in the reactionary camp. Italy, that is, the 
public of landlords, merchants, capitalists, wealthy freedmen, 
schoolmasters, men of letters and leisure, who viewed these 
personal conflicts from an impartial standpoint, was unanimous 
for peace. ‘The public drew its picture of a future civil war 
from the memories of the last, which, to a generation that, 
despite many symptoms of debasement, was distinctly more 
settled and humanitarian than its predecessors, seemed too 
horrible to contemplate. It meant the re-emergence at Rome 
of some monster of violence like Sulla, the abomination upon 
whom all parties now looked back with impartial detestation. 
It meant the burning of workshops, the sacking of houses, the 
robbing of temples, which the ordinary citizen used for banks ; 
it meant the suspension of credit, now become almost a neces- 
sary of life in all classes ; above all, it meant the undermining 
of the foundation on which the whole of that mercantile and 
bourgeois society reposed—the fidelity of the slaves. Like 
all societies where there is a slave class, Italy, so proud of 
her world-wide power, so confident in her future, was yet 
for ever tormented by a ceaseless unrest. What would 
happen, in case of civil war, to the vast multitude of slaves 
now to be found in almost every house in the land—a multi- 
tude composed of every variety of humankind and held in 
subjection, in the anarchy of the times, by the hatreds and 
jealousies that divided them in their servitude, by differences 
of race and language, and by the personal exertions of their 
masters? Groaning beneath her vast burden of debt, dis- 
trustful of all parties and politicians, weary of the unmeasured 
corruption of public life, exhausted by the great effort of 
the last ten years, Italy was unanimous against war. No 
statesman and party dared openly to act counter to this 
universal sentiment. 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 165 


But when the times are ripe for great political changes 50 B.c.. 
neither parties nor statesmen can alter the stern logic of facts ; 
Rome was on the eve of a conflict which by the force of Cutlo wenn 

Pompey: 
circumstances, and in spite both of Caesar and Pompey, was 
bound to draw slowly to a climax. No sooner had he won 
his first success, the postponement of the nomination of his 
successor, than Cesar moved on to a more daring stroke. It 
had for some time been evident that the issue of the struggle 
between the reactionary Conservatives and Cesar depended 
in a large measure upon Pompey. With the large army under 
his control, with his host of relations and dependants and all 
the influence at his command, Pompey could turn the scale 
in whichever direction he wished. ‘The Conservatives had 
long ago grasped this, and they pressed round him with a 
constant chorus of homage and adulation. It thus naturally 
became Czsar’s object to loosen the hold which his opponents 
had gained over his old ally. But how was he todo so? By 
flattery or by menace? After the refusal of his proposals in 
March, and the last declaration of Pompey against him, Cesar 
could placeylittle reliance upon flattery. Pompey stood too 
high, and es in too little need of patronage and support from 
others. Yet the alternative method of threatening him, if it 
were openly adopted, might very possibly so exasperate Pompey 
as to drive him altogether into the Conservative camp, with 
the additional disadvantage of making Cesar appear to be the 
aggressor. Here again Cesar conceived the idea of making 
use of Curio. Calculating on the sensitive and impressionable 
character of Pompey, he instructed Curio to continue throwing 
difficulties and vexations in his path till he was practically 
worried into withdrawing his underhand opposition to Czsar’s 
demands. Curio, who was a politician of quite exceptional 
adroitness, accomplished this difficult task with consummate 
skill. Turning suddenly upon the man whom every one in 
Rome regarded as the model of constitutional propriety, he 
attacked Pompey in a series of violent speeches, posing, not as 
a partisan of Cesar, but as a disinterested supporter of justice 
and common sense. Why did Pompey affect to be so scrupu- 
lously and pedantically correct when it was he himself who, 
by the laws of 55, had created the present situation ? * 
How could he pose as the defender of the constitution 
after violating nearly all its provisions, after having been 


CIC ba Vali ok Lass 


50 B.c. 


Curio proposes 
simultaneous 
recall. 


Curio’s bid for 
popularity. 


166 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


simultaneously Consul and Proconsul? ‘This was shrewd 
and careful hitting: and it left its mark.* The public 
did not know whether to be more surprised that no one 
should have made these criticisms before or that some one 
should have been found brave enough to make them 
now. 

Pompey himself was so much concerned that he once more 
entered the arena to attempt a reply ; + but soon finding the 
exertion too great for his strength, he left Rome for Naples, 
where shortly after his arrival he fell seriously ill.f He was 
thus absent from Rome when, in April,§ the Consul Mar- 
cellus, who was presiding over the Senate, raised the whole 
issue afresh, by inviting a discussion on the vote of the sums 
necessary to Pompey’s army for the new year and on the 
unsettled question of the Gallic command. Encouraged by 
Pompey’s absence, Curio declared that Marcellus’ proposal 
to vote money to Pompey was fair enough, but that there was 
no reason why Cesar should abandon his command if Pompey 
kept his. Put in this way the question seemed to resolve 
itself into a petty personal quarrel between contending com- 
manders. The only means of solving it to the advantage 
of the Republic was to return to the ground of strict con- 
stitutional principle by putting an end to exceptional powers 
of every kind. Curio therefore proposed to recall both Cesar 
and Pompey and put his veto upon all the proposals of 
Marcellus,|| 

These means were very skilfully chosen. The Conser- 
vatives reproached Cesar for being in an illegal position. 
Why should they tolerate in Pompey privileges and illegalities 
of a still more flagrant character, which they now even pro- 
pose to increase? {| ‘The impartial public, with the possibility 
of a civil war before its eyes, thought Curio’s proposal 
excellent. Here at last was a chance of the definite solution 
of this complicated business. “To have done with all ex- 
ceptional powers, and to return to the constitution which 
made them illegal, became the rallying cry of all good citizens, 
The result was that the Senate rejected the proposal of Mar- 
cellus to enforce the decision of the previous year which 

PADD on Cillnay. 

~ Suet., De clar, rhet., 1. 

iAPlut Pompaes7; Coy Purvis es 
§ Lange tw A., iu, 386). 1. 


|| Nissen, H. Z., xlvi. p. 66. 
nif acchoyor, Meh (Oi syiihy 274 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 167 


deprived the tribunician veto of its validity;* and Curio 50 B.c. 
became in a moment one of the most popular men in Rome.t 

Only a few clear-sighted politicians suspected the hand of 

Cesar behind the whole intrigue. 

But Cesar had counted too securely upon Pompey’s timidity. Pompey’s . 

Curio’s proposal, however momentarily successful, failed in its Peavey ™ 
principal object, which was to make Pompey more amenable 
to compromise with Czsar. The proposals of Curio were too 
direct an attack upon his prestige and his interests ; and so far 
from drawing him nearer to Czsar they cemented his alliance 
with the reactionary Conservatives.t The change was not 
immediately apparent; Pompey even wrote to the Senate 
from Naples during his convalescence declaring himself ready 
to renounce his command ;§ but the offer was not made in 
sincerity. The law had given him the command of the 
Spanish army for five years, and he had no intention of 
renouncing his rights to please Curio. If Czsar, whom he 
suspected of being concealed behind Curio, was anxious to 
inflict this humiliation upon him, he would not endure it 
at any price. As for the notion that the constitution 
allowed no exceptional powers, it was the merest fiction. 
If the metropolitan mob had cast flowers upon Curio’s 
path as he left the Senate House, the towns of Cam- 
pania were now celebrating huge festivals in honour of 
Pompey’s recovery; the man whom Curio was trying to 
drive back into private life, or to some minor magistracy, 
was being openly invoked as the mainstay of great fabric of 
Empire.|| 

After his return to Rome Pompey declared once more that Pompey asks 
he was ready to accept the compromise proposed by Curios; tesione 
but his offer was received with such universal scepticism that 
Curio immediately renewed his attacks, and declared, in a 
number of speeches, that he could not take Pompey’s words 
at their face value. He added that words were not enough, 
that he needed actions; and to put the matter to the test 
he completed his preceding proposal by adding that whichever 
of the two refused to obey should be declared a public enemy 


*"Cic., Bo, vist. 13,2; Nissen, H.Z,, xivi. 60. 

+ App., B. C., ii. 27; Vell., 11. 48. 

+ The sequence of events proves that Curio’s propaganda was the 
immediate cause of the rupture between Cesar and Pompey; and 
this is expressly confirmed by Dion, xl. 63. 

§tApp.,¢B.iC.,, ii.228. 

|| Plut.,,Pomp., 57. 


168 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


50 B.c. and that troops should be prepared to make war against him.* 
Deeply hurt by this insulting suggestion,t Pompey felt more 
and more inclined to throw in his lot with the extreme Con- 
servatives ; and when, in May or June,t the Senate decided 
that Pompey and Czsar should both detach a legion from 
their army and send it to Syria against the Parthians, he 
seized the opportunity to ask back from Czsar the legions 
which he had lent him in 53.8 He was beginning to count 
up his forces against Czsar’s. He had seven legions in Spain, 
Cesar had eleven. After repaying him his legions Cesar still 
retained nine. If war were really to break out this would be 
an appreciable advantage. All discussion was then broken off 
on the approach of the elections, which were awaited in great 
excitement by all parties, 

Cicero's good During all this time Caesar in Gaul was slowly repairing 
intentions, : : 

the ravages of the last years of war and consolidating the 
Roman dominion, while Cicero was sincerely but not very 
successfully endeavouring to effect reforms in the administra- 
tion of his province. In the course of his voyage he had had 
reason to see how familiar a figure he had become throughout 
the whole of the Empire, even in the Hellenic countries. 
This world-wide admiration, and, above all, the great success 
of the De Republica, of which Czlius kept him informed, 
revived in him the illusion, which he had lost almost entirely 
in the ten years since his Consulship—that it was his mission 
to be a great statesman and ruler of men. He was anxious 
to act up to the level of his professions and to give his con- 
temporaries the example of a just and wise provincial 
administration.|| But the task was more difficult than he 
had imagined. ‘The provincial governors had become the 
agents of the political and financial oligarchy of Rome, the 
representatives of a whole system of powerful and wealthy 
interests. How could the man who was to be the instrument 
of the oppressor be at the same time the defender of the 
oppressed? Yet it was impossible to be blind to the urgent 
necessity of good government. On his first arrival, in the 
imminent fear of a Parthian invasion, Cicero had been chiefly 
struck with the want of discipline and efficiency among 

POAT Delos Cry lena On 

+ Id., ii. 29. 

{ Nissen, H. Z., xlvi. p. 69; Lange, R. A., iii. 388. 

§ Hirt., B.G., viii. 54; App., B. C., ii. 29 ; Dion, xl. 65 (wrong date) ; 


Plut., Pomp., 56; Cees., 20. 
NeGig Arr vie Ll; Sisal Os 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 169 


his troops. But when the Parthians retired and he was 50B.c. 
able to consider the condition of the country more at 

leisure, he realised the full nature of the duties he had 
undertaken—the government of a vast province which, 

from one end of his horizon to the other, over leagues 

and leagues of country, bore witness to the havoc of Italian 
speculation. 

The population of Cilicia consisted partly of native Asiatics, The municipal 
partly of Greek immigrants. The Greeks lived almost entirely ec 
in the towns, and were traders, skilled labourers, professional 
men and proprietors; while the natives were for the most 
part peasants, shepherds, humble artisans, or brigands in the 
mountains. ‘The province was divided into a certain number 
of districts each of which had some important town for its 
capital and was governed by a senate or council. This 
council was chosen from amongst the richer section of the 
population, which was almost exclusively Greek and governed 
the town according to the existing legal code, under the 
supreme control of the Roman Governor and Senate.* This 
municipal organisation was excellently devised, and the Romans 
had turned to study it with some interest as a contrast to the 
complexity and unwieldiness of the old arrangements still in 
force inItaly. But a period of warfare and anarchy, prolonged 
through more than a century, had gradually reduced these local 
councils to monstrous instruments of tyranny and spoliation. 
Everywhere the councillors banded together to make profits 
out of the revenues of the municipality, which were generally 
derived from taxes and town property. “They would decree 
public works, festivals, special missions and every kind of 
useless expense in order to share in the profits of the 
contractors; or make ruinous loans with Italian financiers 
and tax-farmers, or join with them in exploiting the 
municipal domains, or in pocketing the proceeds of an 
exorbitant taxation. t Soon after his arrival Cicero found 
the municipalities busily engaged in sending off special 
missions to Rome to eulogise the virtues of his predecessor 
before the Senate, and decreeing monuments and temples 
in his honour throughout the country, according to the 
degrading custom which survived from the days of the 
Hellenistic monarchs. 

* Mommeen, P. R., i. 307 f. 


{ Cic., A., vi. 2,4; see Mommsen, P. R., 1. 328. 
Cicely eel O21 SCCICIC: WAC EN ZI yn 7 


50 B.C. 


Financial 
Imperialism 
at work, 


Cicero and his 
friends at 
home. 


170 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


But the extortions and extravagance of these native oli- 
garchies was but the least of the evils which afflicted the un- 
happy province. Far more terrible was the last expiring effort 
of the Italian plutocracy to wring blood from an exhausted prey. 
What financial Imperialism had meant during the last twenty 
years, as the provinces had gradually less and less to offer to the 
invader, the accuser of Verres could now judge for himself. 
The system was only maintained by a systematic application 
of violence. In every part of the province money was being 
wrung out of wretched and helpless debtors by the help of the 
military ; and acts of cruelty and violence occurred daily. 
Finally, to crown all, every year there would arrive in the 
province a whole shipload of bankrupt Roman politicians—the 
governor with all his friends and the officers of the legions, 
who squeezed money out of cities and private individuals,* lived 
in luxury at the expense of the province, and sold every sort of 
favour at exorbitant prices. Exemptions from giving quarters 
to the military were especially lucrative—a curious sidelight on 
the reputation of the Roman army. Meanwhile the poorer 
classes, the small shop- -keepers and artisans, the peasant pro- 
prietors and free labourers in the country districts, were being 
slowly reduced to desperation, and forced to part with all that 
they held dearest—their land, their houses, the savings of 
generations, and often their own children.f 

These depredations shocked Cicero as they had shocked 
Rutilius Rufus and Lucullus before him; but he was unwilling 
to follow Rufus and Lucullus in declaring open war against 
the Italian financiers. Here as elsewhere he preferred, by a 
characteristic compromise, to typify the curious and contra- 
dictory emotions of his age. So far as his own personal in- 
tegrity permitted it, he was as obliging a governor as most. 
He treated with the hunters of panthers to satisfy his friend 
Czlius, who needed wild animals for the games of his edile- 
ship.{ He settled a business negotiation for Atticus at Ephesus,§ 
and secured him some valuable vases.|| He welcomed the 
friends and relatives of friends who came to him with letters 
of introduction, He asked to dinner the son of Hortensius, 
who was supposed to be studying but preferred to waste his 


*, ClG.g Any Varad re 

LA. As, Ve iLOs. 2 
t Id. ,QF.,fii.$11, "2. 
Sidi, Avy Velo 2. 
I Midep Viee tak oe 


—— 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 171 


money in riotous living.* He also showed kindness toa young 50 B.c. 
man called Marcus Feridius, a member of a well-to-do Italian 

family, who had come to Cilicia as the agent of a company 

which was farming the affairs of a town.t He performed all 

the ordinary duties of a governor—the liquidation of in- 
heritances, the ransom of Italians kidnapped by pirates, the 
recovery of the interest of sums lent by Italians in Asia. 

Yet at the same time he did his best to bring some relief to Cicero refuses 
the unfortunate native population. He refused the celebrations t° *ect 4h: 
and gifts of cities; he lived, and forced his escort to live, with 
extreme simplicity, in order to save the province from excessive 
expense, and showed himself markedly attentive to the principal 
citizens. He went out into the streets every morning while 
he was residing at Laodicea, to enable the humblest provincials 
to approach him if they wished: { and he did all he could to 
expedite the working of the law-courts. On several occasions 
he refused absolutely, in spite of the most pressing demands, to 
put his soldiers at the disposition of the money-lenders for the 
recovery of their debts.§ To beg, to solicit, to write letters 
he was not unwilling; but he would not stoop to use 
his army to recover the debts of his friends. ‘This led to 
some serious difficulties, not the least of which related to the 
loans made by his friend Brutus to Ariobarzanes, King of 
Cappadocia. Long since drained dry by Italian usurers, the 
old king was spending the little money which remained to 
him in paying the interest he owed to Pompey, which now 
amounted in all, probably through the accumulation of arrears, 
to thirty-three talents a month.|| Almost every month 
Pompey’s agents in Asia sent off to the coast on mules 
escorted by armed slaves a sum amounting to some £4800 
of our money. Meanwhile the other creditors remained un- 
satisfied. In vain did Cicero write letter upon letter to the 
king {@ on their behalf. It was believed throughout Asia that 
Pompey would shortly be sent into the East with a great army 
to make war against the Parthians; and Ariobarzanes could 
think of nothing but the settlement of his accounts with 
Pompey.** 


POCAC eA Viet SOs 
t Daye VAIO ed: 
eld vine 53 Plut., Cic.303 
Scien ey M2 Vp 10; vi. 1, 6. 
\| Id., vi. 7) ae 
q tek Vie2y Te 
PEP. Vitel a 4s 


50 B.c. 


He reduces 
interest to 
Io per cent. 


Brutus 
business in 
Cyprus. 


172, GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


But Cicero went further still. He declared in his edict that, 
whatever might be the private arrangements of individuals, he 
would not recognise as governor any annual interest higher 
than 10 per cent., and would refuse to enforce any claims for 
arrears of interest, thus reducing interest all round in the same 
way as the Senate had done at Rome.* At the same time he 
carefully revised the budgets of all the towns for the last ten 
years, remorselessly cancelling all superfluous expenses, and 
ruinous or unjust impositions. He forced numerous financiers 
to restore to the towns what they had taken, and took care 
that the reduced interest on loans made to the towns was 
punctually paid.t In this way he hoped to satisfy both parties, 
his Cilician subjects as well as the Italian tax-farmers, by 
an arrangement made at the expense of the municipal 
oligarchies. f 

But it was not easy for him to be virtuous in such an en- 
vironment. ‘The suppression of all the decrees voted in honour 
of Appius Claudius brought Cicero insolent letters from that 
personage ; and the reduction of interest to 10 per cent. was 
the occasion of a serious disagreement with Brutus. “Two 
business men named Scaptius and Matinius, who figured as 
creditors of the people of Salamis, had presented themselves 
before him to demand the payment of the modest interest of 
48 per cent. which had been arranged ; and on failing to re- 
ceive it they had acquainted him with the fact that the real 
creditor was Brutus. This revelation caused great surprise to 
Cicero, who had always regarded Brutus asa pattern of virtue : 
but he refused to alter his decision and remained obdurate 
even after the receipt of insulting letters from Brutus. En- 
couraged by his clemency, the unfortunate debtors asked 
permission to deposit in a temple the 10 per cent. interest 
which Scaptius and Matinius refused to accept and to declare 
them freed from every obligation. But at this point Cicero 
lost courage. Not daring to defy Brutus so openly, he left 
the matter in suspense. This was exactly what Scaptius and 
Matinius had now been hoping. ‘They knew that Cicero’s 
successor would not be equally obstinate, and would compel 
the Salaminians to pay according to the original bargain.§ 


MACLO aA Ve eb yeel 
Hy lide Ve 20, 775) Vig 20 View bute A yee Beit Clore oe 
(Gikopa ING Aials ith ilo 
§ All the details of this business are to be found in icy Ay, varie 
Vil, wavlenes 


. Et. 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 173 


But how could a Roman governor administer real justice 50 B.c. 
when every one round him was a party to transactions of this 
nature? Cicero did his best to set a good example. He re- The guarantee 
fused to touch a sesterce of the sums that fell to him as booty *@"“4! 
or of those which were assigned to him by the Senate for the 
government of his province, leaving the former to the prefects 
and the latter to the Questors.* But all his escort were busy 
making their pile. His Questor was the brother of a rich 
merchant living at Elis whom he had asked to join him as 
adviser ; { and one of his staff officers and Lepta his chief engineer 
were so compromised in an intrigue that he could only extri- 
cate them by consenting to an entirely exceptional indulgence. 
It was the practice of the Roman government never to give 
out a contract unless the contracting party presented a certain 
number of guarantors, who engaged to pay a fixed fine in case 
the contract were not executed. As contracts increased in 
number and importance, acceptable guarantors were naturally 
sought after for their wealth or political influence, as eagerly as 
letters of exchange from endorsers who enjoy a good credit 
with banks are in demand nowadays. All possible methods 
were employed to secure them: friendship or political associa- 
tion or the promise of a large profit. It is probable that many 
politicians at Rome made arrangements to make money with 
these guarantees. ‘They arranged the guarantee in return for 
the promise of an indemnity with the contractor; then if it 
turned out that the contractor did not keep his engagement 
with the State and the State proceeded against him, they ex- 
erted all their influence to avoid payment. ‘Thus it happened 
that one of Cicero’s agents and his chief engineer Lepta had 
stood security for a certain Valerius, who had undertaken a 
contract for some public work ; but Valerius had not been able 
to keep his engagements and had passed on his contract (prob- 
ably for a very small sum) to a usurer named Volusius. 
Volusius in his turn was probably in agreement with the 
Questor Rufus, and had engaged to execute the contract but 
not to pay the fine to which Valerius and, in his default, his 
guarantors were exposed. Valerius and his guarantors were 
of course in despair and appealed to the Proconsul, who took 
pity on them. Finding a legal flaw which entitled him to 
cancel the concession from Valerius to Volusius, Cicero broke 


**Cicn Balla i7, A's 
folds, Kil. 20. 
16 Gb Ron YE PLO) OF 


50 B.c. 


Significance 
of Cicero’s 
Proconsulship. 


Break-down of 
the provincial 
system. 


174 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


off the agreement, paid into the Treasury the sum which still 
remained to be paid to the contractor, and freed the guarantors 
from their engagements, to the great annoyance of Volusius, 
who thus lost both his money and the profits of the agree- 
ment.* So common were extortion and fraud in a society 
where financial interest was now the only tie between man 
and man! _ Cicero’s utmost efforts towards honest ad- 
ministration were doomed to failure; for instance, he was 
continually receiving letters from his friends asking for loans 
and suggesting that after the booty of his war he must neces- 
sarily be flush with money. Cicero was forced to send polite 
replies to the effect that this booty belonged not to him but to 
the Republic and that he could not make advances upon it to 
any one.f 

Cicero’s administration of Cilicia is a title to glory of which 
the unimaginative and pettifogging criticism of modern his- 
torians has in vain attempted to deprive him.{ It is true that 
succeeding years swept away the results of his labours as the 
waves sweep over the drawings made by a child in the sand. 
But Cicero after all was only human. He could not be ex- 
pected, single-handed, to cure the malady from which a whole 
generation was suffering. It is not for its results that his work 
is significant, but for the emotions and intentions with which 
it was inspired—for his anxious solicitude for the victims of a 
chronic misrule, and for the spirit of justice and pity and 
common humanity that endeavoured to transmute philosophic 
contemplation into active beneficence. At early dawn in the 
Alps, a few sentinel rocks on the summits catch the first 
rays of sunshine and proclaim the coming day, while the folds 
of the mountains, and the sleeping valley beneath, are still 
wrapped in gloom. Just so did the conscience of this timid 
man of letters, and a few solitary thinkers like him, tell a world 
still deep in the night of unrelieved depravity of the sure 
approach of a happier age. 

But Cicero little guessed what he was doing; and the mani- 
fold duties of his office, almost all of them disagreeable, vexed 
him beyond all belief. That the Empire could not last for 
long, under the conditions in which it was at this time, without 


* This seems to me the best interpretation of an obscure passage. 
CAG) wi VeeO ts 

Te ClGs sap len lL Zee 

t See, on the subject of Cicero’s administration, the just answer 
of Schmidt to the criticisms of Drimann and Tyrell and Purser, 


THE CAMPAIGN OF CURIO 175 


involving something like a total collapse of civilisation, is 
proved, not only by the maladministration of the other pro- 
vinces, but best of all by the utter weariness which overcame 
one of the few men who attempted to govern uprightly, after 
a short year at his task. The Proconsulship of Cicero shows 
that the encyclopzdic diversity of functions by which the same 
man had successively to act as general, orator, judge, adminis- 
trator, and architect was an obsolete heritage from a simpler 
epoch, and could not continue indefinitely in an age of in- 
creasing specialisation. At last there was a governor who was 
both honest and conscientious, and he was impatient to be rid 
of his harassing responsibilities. He begged all his friends to 
oppose the prolongation of his command * and seemed to have 
but one desire, to escape as quickly as possible from his pile of 
syngrapha, securities, contracts and official business and to 
return to Italy. 

There were many public and private reasons to call him 
home. His daughter, his dearly loved Tullia, who had already 
been twice married and twice divorced, was being courted by 
a number of great personages in the expectation of her father’s 
return from Cilicia and the prospect of a handsome dowry. 
Her mother, the adroit Terentia, had given the preference to 
Cneius Cornelius Dolabella, a young man of noble family, but 
dissolute character. Cicero was not ignorant of his future son- 
in-law’s moral and pecuniary reputation,f but his ambition to 
be allied with a genuinely aristocratic family overbore even 
considerations of paternal affection. He had always dreamed 
of intimacy with the great and noble as the supreme recom- 
pense for his labours. For in spite of the progress of the 
democracy and their own impoverishment and degeneration, 
the surviving aristocratic families still enjoyed great considera- 
tion ; they maintained the privilege of fairly easy access to office, 
since the abler men of the middle class, like Atticus, preferred 
money-making to the hazards of politics ; and, through constant 
intermarriage { they had come to form a small and exclusive 
caste, whose acquaintance was much sought after by social 
aspirants. His daughter’s marriage with Dolabella was almost 
a charter of nobility for the parvenu from Arpino, The 
serious aspect of public affairs, too, inclined him to hasten his 
return to the capital He had asked Czlius to keep him 

SEO eR ie 7 Als sel Doe + BAGS Vier? 2 


Ned Eat. LOS. 
+ See the interesting details collected by Ciccotti, D. P., 27, 28. 


50 B.C. 


The third 
marriag? 
of Tullia. 


50 B.C. 


Cicero’s 


homesickness. 


176 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


abreast of the news; and Celius had paid a certain Crestus, a 
professional journalist, to send him out a political and social 
chronicle of all the gossip of Rome.* His couriers too, who 
were generally on the move between Cilicia and Rome, brought 
him constant news, and he received further information from 
the couriers of the tax-farming companies, who often came 
with letters from distinguished friends at home. Yet despite 
all, the distance was too great to be bridged; news arrived 
long after it had occurred, and often in the wrong order. 
Cicero was longing to be home again. 


SA Ghkovped Seat neyy GU Se. Nabi lna he te 


CHAPTER XI 


INITIUM TUMULTUS, 50 B.C. 


The elections for 49—Czsar in Cisalpine Gaul—Cicero returns 
to Italy—The Censorship of Appius—Cezsar’s hopes of peace— 
The sitting of December 1, 507—The three contradictory Sena- 
torial votes—Pompey joins the Conservatives—The intrigues of 
December 1-10, 50—The coup @ état of Marcellus and Pompey— 
Cesar and Pompey—Last efforts of Cesar to avert war—The 
last days of December—Pompey’s luck and Czsar’s misfor- 
tunes—Cesar and the Civil War—The sitting of January 1, 
49—Last hopes and efforts for peace—The War Party gains 
the upper hand. 


Tue elections were now at hand and the contest for the 50 B.c. 
Consulship promised to be exceptionally keen. As the question 

of the Gallic command was at last to be settled in the course The elections 
of the year, both parties were more than usually anxious to 1 
secure the supreme magistracy. Czsar, who was still in a 
moderate mood and would have been satisfied to have one of 

the Consuls on his side, sent soldiers on furlough to Rome * 

to support his old general, Servius Sulpicius Galba. But the 
Conservatives put up two candidates against him, Lucius 
Cornelius Lentulus and Caius Claudius Marcellus ; the latter 

was cousin of the Consul then in office and brother of the 

Consul of the preceding year, and as ill-disposed as his 
namesakes to the cause of Cesar. The reaction against 

the Democrats was bringing the old aristocratic families back 

into prominence. ‘There was a desperate conflict, and Cesar 

was defeated. His friend and supporter Antony was elected 

to the Tribuneship, but Galba failed to secure the Consulship. 

The most important of the offices thus fell into the hands 

of the Conservatives. 

The result of the elections left Casar’s enemies in a state Cesar and 
of wild jubilation.f ‘They believed they had dealt a final blow u 
to the influence and power of Cesar. It was indeed a serious 
check, though not so much in itself as for the impression it 
made upon the timid and vacillating public, which began to 

FePlate bomps,.55. {BuTtiusy Ds Gj kvitie et. 

II 17 M 


50 B.c. 


The demon- 
strations in 


Cisalpine Gaul. 


178 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


be persuaded that the current rumours about his precarious 
position in Gaul must be well founded. Czsar, who was 
just now preparing to take his troops into winter quarters * 
for the enjoyment of a little well-earned repose, was so 
much disturbed by his defeat at the elections and the in- 
trigues of his enemies that he decided to cross over in person 
in Septemberf to Cisalpine Gaul to help Antony in his 
candidature for the Augurship against Lucius Domitius 
Ahenobarbus. 

He was already half-way on his journey when he heard that 
Antony had been elected;{ but, instead of turning back, 
he decided to make use of the opportunity to execute a 
project which he had long carried in his mind, that of 
organising a demonstration in his favour in Cisalpine Gaul. 
He was already extremely popular in that province. It was 
well known that he was in favour of granting it full citizen 
rights; many of his soldiers came from the villages which 
were springing up amid the forests and fens of that prosper- 
ing region; and moreover the inhabitants of the Po valley 
had been quick to understand that the conquest of Trans- 
alpine Gaul would tend to increase the wealth of their 
province by transforming it from a frontier territory into 
the main thoroughfare to a large and populous hinterland. 
Skilful agents were sent in advance and found no difficulty 
in persuading the notables of the Cisalpine province to pre- 
pare great demonstrations in honour of the conqueror of Gaul. 
The enthusiasm became infectious, as it generally does, and 
Czsar was able to make a regular triumphal progress through 
his province. Deputations came to meet him outside every 

* As Nissen remarks (H. Z., xlvi. p. 67, . 1), the words used by 
Hirtius, hibernis peractis (B. G., viii. 50), do not mean that the winter 
quarters of 52-51 were concluded, but that those for 51-5o had been 
prepared. As a matter of fact during the winter of 52-51 nearly 


every one of the legions was engaged in fighting. 

tf Nissen (H. Z., *xlvi. p. 68, n. “T) seems to me to have proved that 
the election of the Augur and consequently Czsar’s journey into 
Cisalpine Gaul was after the other elections, not before, as used to 
be believed, and that it actually took place in September. Proof of 
this is to be found in Cicero (F., viii. 12, 3), who alludes to the Ludi 
Circenses, which took place in September, and in Plutarch (Ant., 5), 
who says that Antony was first elected Tribune and then Augur. 
Moreover, it would be impossible to understand why Cesar should 
have made so long a journey solely for the election of an Augur if 
he had not been driven to it by the defeat of Sulpicius. Although the 
reasons are somewhat confusedly given, they may be detected also 
in Hirtius (B. G., viii. 50). 

emits host Gro Valle Or 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 179 


village; the municipalities and colonies invited him to 50 B.c. 
festivals; and the country people, who had given him so 

many soldiers and knew of his exploits from the tales they 

had brought home, came in crowds to ‘greet him on the 

road.* 

These demonstrations were not intended simply to gratify Czsar holds 

a soldier’s vanity. ‘They were to show Italians who were poe ne cute 
grumbling at the conquest of Gaul what enthusiasm it excited 
amongst a population which knew and dreaded its northern 
neighbours. Czsar was still so inclined to conciliation that, 
somewhere about this time, he sent back to Italy the legion 
demanded from him for the war against the Parthians, returned 
to Pompey the other legion he had borrowed from him, and 
instructed Curio to abandon his tactics against Pompey and 
to cancel his veto upon the supplies for the Spanish legions. 
After causing Pompey all these vexations, Cesar now judged 
the moment opportune for agreement, and held out the olive 
branch. He was so convinced that his enemies would not 
provoke a civil war upon so futile a pretext that, towards the 
end of September, he set out on his return journey and once 
more crossed the Alps to make final arrangements for installing 
his troops in their winter quarters. 

Meanwhile Cicero’s year of government, or rather of exile, Cicero on his 
had at length run out, and he had started post-haste on his jomenar4 
homeward journey, without even stopping to draw up the 
accounts of his administration. He had begged his Questor to 
come at once to Laodicea to settle this with him ;§ but his 
Questor could not be found and he had been too impatient 
to wait for him. He begged his scribe to collaborate with 
the Questor in drawing up the accounts, and to expose them, 
in accordance with the Lex Julia of 59, in two public places, 
at Laodicea and Apamea, for the scrutiny of the public. He 
had then set out || on his homeward journey, taking none of 
the income of the province with him, Part of it he left to 
his Quzstor, who remained behind as provisional governor, 
in the hope that it might prevent him from pillaging the 
country ; the rest, amounting to about a million sesterces, 
he deposited in the provincial treasury, to the great indigna- 
tion of his friends and officers, who failed to understand why 

forurtius, 5. G:, vill. 50. { Nissen, H. Z., xlvi. p. 69. 

PeCiCue. » will, 4.2. SIZ, eA Vin ya 2: 

|| Zd., F., v. 20, 1-2. This is, I think, the best way of harmonising 
this passage with A., vi. 7, 2 (cited above). 


50 B.c. 


[About 
440,000. } 


The Censorship 
of Appius. 


180 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


he should show more consideration for Phrygians and Cilicians 
than for themselves.*¥ His action was indeed without 
precedent. Yet even with these deductions Cicero could, 
salvis legibus, as he said, bring back to Italy money enough 
to pay for the triumph which he hoped would be decreed 
for his victories and to pay in some 2,200,000 sesterces f 
to the tax-farmers at Ephesus, probably his private share 
in the booty of his little war. Even the honestest of 
Proconsuls were sufficiently well paid for their year of 
government. On his way home he received a letter from 
his Questor protesting that his secretary had put into the 
treasury some 100,000 sesterces which should have come to 
him; and he wrote him a consoling answer to say that 
he was ready te indemnify him personally. He travelled by 
slow stages, to show his son and his nephew the sights of 
Asia and Greece, stopping some time at Athens,§ where he 
learnt that his friend Pretius had died and left him heir to his 
property.|| At Patras Tiro, a young slave, whom he loved 
as his own child, fell seriously ill, and the journey was 
again interrupted. As it proved to be a lengthy illness, 
Cicero was forced, to his great regret, to leave Tiro behind ; 
but he did not set out before making all the arrangements 
necessary for his comfort, quite regardless of expense. Manius 
Curius, a rich Italian merchant at Patras with whom he was 
acquainted, and who was intimate with Atticus, was asked 
to place at Tiro’s disposal any money that he might need 
from Cicero’s account.** Finally, on the 24th of November, 
he landed at Brindisi. 

Meanwhile in Italy the excitement had calmed down 
somewhat after the elections; but political and educated 
society had been considerably taken aback by the sudden 
appearance at Rome of a censor of quite perverse and old- 
fashioned severity, a true rival of the older Cato. It was 
a strange enough circumstance in itself, but what made it 
still stranger was the personality of the man who had 
suddenly taken it upon himself to pose as the incarnation 
of the austerity of a bygone age. It was Appius Claudius, 
brother of Clodius and the ex-Governor of Cilicia who had 
caused Cicero so much trouble in repairing the wrongs 


FLCC Ax wala OF f ha BV. 20) 10. 
a Ubi ley Niky LO}, eke Se Ley ATE Vane es 
EG waite pecs artes De RNa oa ia age te 

3 


** Td., F., 16,14, 2. This Curius is certainly the Manius Curius of 
By suit 17. eh lids bee vd Oreos 


‘a 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 181 


committed or sanctioned by him during his administration. 
He had since been accused of extortion by Publius Cornelius 
Dolabella, the francé of Tullia, but since one of his daughters 
was married to Brutus and another to a son of Pompey, 
Brutus and Pompey had not onny had him acquitted but even 
raised him to the Censorship.* Once safely in office, Appius 
had displayed a severity almost amounting to barbarism. He 
had expelled numerous Senators from that august body, 
brought forward several awkward prosecutions, harassed the 
proprietors of too extensive estates and all who were deeply 
in debt, and had even interfered with extravagance in pictures 
and statues.t Amongst his victims was Sallust, who lost 
his seat in the Senate, and Czlius and Curio, who, however, 
both eventually evaded his clutches. In short, Appius was 
doing his best to mimic Pompey’s behaviour during his sole 
Consulship. Yet his Censorship was a mere caricature, too 
ridiculous to excite more than passing amusement and annoy- 
ance. [he fashions of one year are the absurdities of the 
next, and the high moral tone so loudly professed by the 
Conservatives, which two years before Pompey seemed to 
have re-established as a rule of government, had already 
become rather a stale and unedifying farce. 


50 B.c. 


However nobody was seriously concerned about Appius, Disposition 


of Czsar’s 


for Italy was for the moment in absolute quiet. Pompey legions. 


was once more in Naples,{ while Czsar, having concluded 
his arrangements in Transalpine Gaul, was returning into 
the Cisalpine province to winter there and prepare for his 
candidature in the following year. So far was he from 
believing in the possibility of a civil war that he only 
brought into Italy a single legion to garrison the Cisalpine 
province, in place of the legion which he had detached 
for the Parthian war. The remaining eight he left behind 
him in Gaul, four under Caius Fabius in the country of 
the A‘dui, and four under Trebonius among the Belge, at 
the furthest possible distance from Italy. Pompey might 
perhaps no longer be his friend; but he was a man of 
prudence and discretion; his other enemies were almost 
all of them, with the exception of Cato, men of good 


* Lange, R, A., iii. 389. 

PaGiCni ites Vilin lA 4 DION ROS 

t This is clear from the fact that Cicero’s interviews with Pompey 
in December probably took place at Naples. See Schmidt, B. W. C., 94. 

§ Hirtius, B. G., viii. 54. 


50 B.c. 


Marcellus 
forces the 
issue, 


182. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


family but devoid of real influence, who could not possibly 
do violence to the unanimous opinion of Italy in favour 
of peace. He refused therefore to entertain the slightest 
doubt about arriving at some sort of an agreement with 
Pompey and the Senate. 

‘These were wise and careful calculations. That is why 
they were wrong. In a period of social transition, when 
the balance of parties and classes is precarious and unstable, 
the light-headed petulance of a group of amateur politicians, 
whether on the reactionary or revolutionary side, may be 
sufficient, against the desire of an overwhelming majority 
of the nation, to bring latent antagonisms to the surface 
and precipitate developments of far-reaching significance. 
It is this that sometimes gives historic importance to 
the petty tempers and ambitions of men like Marcellus. 
Marcellus was furious with the unbroken success of Curio, 
and could not bear to see his year expire without obtaining 
his revenge. Nor were Czsar’s other enemies inclined to give 
up their designs; and their determination was strengthened 
by a new source of encouragement. If it was soon to be 
demonstrated by the most unimpeachable logic that the 
fidelity of Czesar’s soldiers was proof against every test, it 
seems that amongst his officers, particularly amongst those 
who belonged to noble families, there prevailed a certain 
amount of dissatisfaction; perhaps they were affected, as 
it was impossible that the common soldiers should be, by 
the impression of Czsar’s growing unpopularity among the 
upper classes. Labienus himself was taking the lead in the 
movement. Now Rome was just in the mood to mistake 
the disaffection of a few officers for a feeling of mutiny 
throughout the whole army, and it was widely believed 
that Czsar’s troops, worn out with years of continuous 
warfare, were clamouring to be disbanded. Thus Czsar’s 
enemies were now confidently reckoning upon the support 
of his legionaries. Marcellus decided to make a supreme 
effort in the sitting of the 1st of December—to force a decision 
that Cesar’s powers should expire on the 1st of March and 
to defeat an analogous proposal with regard to Pompey. If 
he succeeded he would attain a double object; he would 
both humiliate Curio and, by doing Pompey a service, force 
him openly to join the Conservatives and become their 


leader. 
On the 1st of December the Senate met ; there was almost 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 183 


a full attendance, about 400 members being present.* But 50 B.c. 
the greatest indecision was found to prevail; hardly any one 
seemed to have come with his mind made up. Whilst they The sitting of 
were afraid of displeasing Cesar, they were equally afraid ma 
of offending Pompey. ‘The majority appeared to have but 
two desires, to avoid compromising themselves, and to avoid 
provoking a civil war. Marcellus and Curio alone knew what 
they wanted. At the beginning of the sitting Marcellus rose, 
and put the definite question whether Cesar was to return 
to Rome as a private citizen. It was generally expected that, 
as on the 1st of March, Curio would make use of his veto, 
and that the Senate would thus be saved from entering upon 
so serious and dangerous a discussion. But to the universal 
amazement Curio remained silent and motionless on his seat. 
Marcellus’ proposal could thus be put to the vote and was 
approved by a large majority. Without giving Curio a 
chance to intervene, Marcellus rose again and proposed to 
submit to the Senate the other question which had been 
raised, whether Pompey should resign his command. ‘Thus 
formulated, the proposal seemed to be aimed definitely at 
Pompey and so to violate a law specifically approved by 
the people. Marcellus had couched it in this form on 
purpose to anticipate any proposal by Curio. In its fear 
of offending Pompey the Senate of course rejected the 
proposal. ‘Thus the surprise had been completely successful, 
Curio and Czsar had again been defeated and nothing 
remained but to adjourn the assembly. But Marcellus had 
not reckoned with Curio. With great presence of mind 
he rose and begged leave to put another proposal before the 
Senate—that Cesar and Pompey should both simultaneously 
abandon their commands. Expressed in these terms and sup- 
ported by the skilful pleading of the Tribune, the proposal lost 
its character of personal hostility against Pompey and seemed 
simply a measure conceived in the interests of equity and 
concord, which only a bad citizen could oppose. Mar- 
cellus put it to the vote in the full belief that the 
Senate, being already bound by its preceding decision, would 
reject it decisively and so complete Curio’s discomfiture. 
But deliberative assemblies are not always guided by strictly 
logical considerations. Curio’s proposal corresponded, as the 
Senators knew, with the general feeling of Italy, and when 


* App., B. C., ti. 30; Nissen (H. Z., xlvi. p. 71, n. 1) has, I think, 
proved that the sitting was held on December 1. 


50 B.C. 


Marcellus’ 


calculations. 


[Luceria.] 


184 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME | 


it was put to the vote there were 370 against 22 in its 
favour.* Curio was thus once more successful, and the 
defeat was the more disastrous for Casar’s enemies because 
it showed that they could place absolute reliance upon only 
22 votes in the Senate. Marcellus adjourned the Senate in 
disgust, with the ejaculation that they had voted in favour 
of the tyranny of Cesar. 

If it had not given its vote in favour of tyranny the Senate 
had unconsciously, and in its desire to maintain the peace, 
given a vote for war. This vote was the direct cause of the 
outbreak of the civil war. Marcellus and the small group of 
Cesar’s enemies were furious at the turn affairs had taken. 
But they realised at once that one vital advantage had been 
gained. [he vote was as great a blow to Pompey as it was 
to themselves, and it might achieve what they had been vainly 
trying to do since 58—it might bring Pompey over to the 
Conservative side. Marcellus decided to suggest to Pompey 
the adoption of a supreme expedient—he would propose in 
the Senate to declare Caesar a public enemy, and, if the 
Tribunes intervened or the Senate did not approve, he would 
on his own authority declare a state of siege and entrust 
Pompey with the charge of public affairs and the command 
of the two legions of Cesar which were to go to Parthia and 
were still at Lucera.f The success of such a coup d'état could 
not surely be doubtful. With the two legions to be given 
him by the Consul the army of Pompey would amount to 
nine legions, which was as much as the total force at Czsar’s 

* App, B. G.u, 30; Plut., Pomp., 58.- By comparng the 
passage in Appian with Plutarch it will be seen that Plutarch puts 
into a single sitting occurrences which, according to Appian, took 
place in two sittings and at some interval. Appian’s version is most 
certainly the right one. It alone enables us to explain the coup @ état 
of Marcellus, of which we shall speak later, and the attitude of 
Pompey. Pompey had hitherto maintained great reserve. Although 
he was on bad terms with Czsar, some very serious motive was needed 
to make him put himself at the head of the Revolutionary Conservative 
party and accept the command of the Italian legions at Naples. The 
event which explains this behaviour is this vote, and for the reasons 
given in the text. But the coup d’éat must have been arranged 
between the Conservative chiefs and Pompey; and as Pompey was 
still at Naples this must have taken some time. 

t We have no information as to this plot; but it appears to me 
necessary to assume it: for it is absolutely impossible that Marcellus 
should have attempted his coup d’éat without being in agreement 
with Pompey. He would only have been exposing himself to 
disastrous defeat. Is it not possible that in the sinister words ad- 


dressed by Pompey to Cicero on the roth of December (A. vii. 4, 2) he 
is alluding to the coup d’ état which he knew to be imminent at Rome ? 


a 


ee 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 185 


disposal. With Pompey in command of equal forces and in 50 B.c. 
a position to offer him serious resistance, was it likely that 
Cesar and his friends would continue their opposition at the 
risk of provoking a war which would be disastrous to them- 
selves? If so, the majority of the Senate would certainly 
succumb to the greater fear and vote all that the enemies of 
Cesar desired. It is true that an impartial observer might 
have objected that the military position was hardly so favour- 
able to Pompey as it appeared. For while his nine legions 
were scattered, two being in Italy and seven in Spain, Cesar 
had his nine legions under his own hand in Gaul. But there 
was general confidence in the prestige and skill of Pompey, 
and it was also believed that Caesar would not run the risk 
of a new outbreak in Gaul by withdrawing his army from 
the province.* 

Letters and messages soon began to pass to and fro, in Pompey agrees 
all secrecy, between Rome and Naples. Marcellus and _ his Geant 
friends had calculated rightly. Pompey, who had never had 
any serious intention of giving up his Proconsular command, 
was more decided than ever after the vote in the Senate not 
to yield to the suggestions of Curio, who was evidently acting 
on Cesar’s behalf. He did not mean to resign a right which 
had been legally conferred upon him or to recognise a surprise 
vote snatched from the Senate by an intriguing Tribune and 
inconsistent with a decision made a few minutes before. He 
would perhaps have been ready to cancel his rights of his 
own accord, if that would have helped to keep the peace so 
much desired by the whole of Italy. But it was impossible 
for him to capitulate before the menaces of a low-class Tribune 
like Curio. He could not forget that he had been elected 
Consul without the exercise of any previous magistracy ; that 
he had a long record of distinguished service to his credit ; 
that he was the destroyer of the pirates, the conqueror of 
Mithridates, the invader of Syria; that he had doubled the 
State revenues and re-established order in the capital. If 
Czsar was short of money and unable to fulfil the delusive 
promises that he had made, and if he therefore desired to 
throw Italy into confusion by deliberately provoking a civil 
war, he must expect no mercy from Pompey.f He counted 
securely upon his own prestige and upon Cesar’s mutinous 
officers; with some of these he was personally related and 


¥> See Cic., B., XV. 12,4. f Suet., Czs., 30. 


50 B.C. 


Anxiety of 
Balbus. 


186 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


they seem to have inspired him with dangerous illusions. 
With Labienus he was already in communication and the 
officer escorting the two Parthian legions had told him that 


_Czsar’s troops would never take up arms against him.* 


Pompey in short felt himself complete master of the situa- 
tion. At the first whisper of hostilities Italy would rise 
and give him all the legions he wanted. Civil war was 
an impossibility ; he had only to threaten and Czsar would 
give way. 

Pompey therefore accepted the proposals of Marcellus ; and 
the public soon noticed that the situation was becoming 
threatening without in the least understanding the reason. 
Cicero, who was travelling to Rome by the Appian Way, 
stopped at Naples and visited Pompey on the roth of De- 
cember. He was disagreeably surprised to find him in an 
irritable and pessimistic temper and to hear him say that war 
was inevitable, that it was now impossible to come to an 
understanding with Cesar.f Cicero, who had no knowledge 
of the intrigues which were going on between Rome and 
Naples, failed entirely to understand why this should be. At 
Rome Cesar’s friends, particularly Cornelius Balbus, were 
exceedingly anxious. Scenting danger in the air, they kept 
close watch over the minority of the 1st of December and 
waited impatiently for Czsar’s arrival. Czasar was at this 
time quietly travelling through Cisalpine Gaul without any sus- 
picion of his danger, and was actually under the impression 
that on his arrival he would find an agreement with the 
Senate already concluded. On the 8th of December Hirtius, 
one of Czsar’s officers, arrived at Rome, bringing letters for 
Pompey, and stayed in the house of Balbus. Balbus dis- 
suaded him from continuing his journey to Naples, begged 
him to leave his message with Scipio, Pompey’s father-in-law, 
and made Hirtius set out the same evening post-haste to 
rejoin Czsar, to inform him more fully than could be done 
by correspondence of the sudden and ominous change in the 
situation. 

POP Iit Ont e5i7- 

t Cicero, A., vii. 4, 2. As regards the date and the place of this 
interview see Schmidt, B. W. C., 94. This unexpected change can 
only be explained, short of lunacy on Pompey’s part, by some change 
in the situation; and I can see no other than the vote of the 
ist of December. We have here a new proof .that two important 
sittings took place. As a matter of fact when Cicero wrote this letter 
the coup d’éat in which one of these sittings ended had not yet 
been made. 


INITIUM 'TUMULTUS 187 


But the suspense did not last long. So soon as Pompey’s 59 B.c. 

consent was received, probably on the goth of December,* 
Marcellus convened the Senate and made a violent speech The coup 
in which he attacked Cesar as a brigand and proposed ion on 
declare him a public enemy, at the same time ordering 
Pompey to take command of the legions which were at 
Lucera waiting to be embarked for Syria. Curio declared 
that the proposal could not be seriously meant and 
opposed his veto. Then Marcellus brought up his big bat- 
talions. He declared that, since he was hindered by factious 
interference from defending the Republic, he would have 
recourse to other than the ordinary constitutional means. 
He left the Senate and set out from Rome on the same 
day with a band of enthusiastic aristocrats, travelling in all 
haste to Naples to join Pompey, whom he reached on the 
13th of December.} 

His sudden departure must have caused consternation among Bom pey ser 
the public, which was ignorant of the intrigues of which it paecekaaten 
was the outcome. Would Pompey accept the rash offer that 
was being made him? On the roth of December Curio 
became once more a private citizen and he decided that, 
whatever happened, it would be wiser for him to be away 
from Rome. He set out to rejoin Casar who was marching 
his legions along the A®milian Road{ on his way from 


* Nissen (H. Z., xlvi. p. 72) puts this sitting on the 4th of December, 
Schmidt (B. W. C., 97) on the 1oth. Both these dates seem to me 
impossible, the former because there would have been no time to com- 
municate with Pompey, who was not, as Nissen supposes, at the gates 
of Rome but at Naples, or at any rate somewhere three or four days’ 
distance from Rome, as is clear from Cicero (A., vii. 4, 2). Moreover, 
if the coup d'état had been made at that time it must have formed the 
chief subject of the interview which took place on the 10th of December 
between Cicero and Pompey and of which Cicero speaks (A., vil. 4); 
but Cicero only mentions the coup déat, of which, moreover, he dis- 
approved, in A., vii. 5, 4. The second date is equally impossible ; 
for on the 1oth Curio was no longer Tribune. App., B. C., ii. 31; 
Dion, xl. 66; Plut., Pomp., 58, agree in saying that the veto 
was put by Curio, and it cannot be supposed that they have 
all written Curio in mistake for Antony. Schmidt’s supposition that 
Marcellus would have waited for the new Tribune to enter into office 
is futile. From the moment that the coup d’état was decided upon 
the agreement or non-agreement of the Tribunes was of no importance. 
I think therefore that the sitting took place on the 8th or gth, as 
soon as Pompey’s consent arrived. 

+ Schmidt, B. W. C., 97, 98. I accept his rectification of the 
date. 

t See Schmidt, Rh. Museum, xlvii. p. 248. 


50 B.C. 


Cesar’s 
dilemma. 


188 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Piacenza to Ravenna, where he intended to spend the winter.* 
Cesar clearly still believed in the maintenance of peace. But 
towards the 18th or 19th of December terrible news reached 
Rome,}t whence it penetrated three or four days later to 
Ravenna. In a speech of studied moderation Pompey had 
accepted the proposal of Marcellus and had started for Lucera, 
where he would shortly arrive to take over the command of 
the legions. The panic and indignation this news evoked 
among the public were indescribable. Impartial men, parti- 
cularly the rich financiers, shared Cicero’s disapproval of 
Pompey’s behaviour in precipitating a war :{ while the chiefs 
of the Cesarian party gave full rein to their anger. Antony 
summoned a mass meeting and delivered a violent address, 
recalling, amongst other things, the great number of citizens 
whom Pompey was already responsible for sending into exile.§ 
The extreme Conservative clique were of course openly 
exultant. 

But nobody was more disconcerted than Czsar when the 
news reached him at Ravenna, immediately after his arrival 
on the 24th or 25th of December.|| He saw all his hopes of 
a peaceful settlement dashed at one blow. It was impossible 
to entertain any illusions. Pompey’s sudden resolution would 
at once drive into the Conservative camp a number of Senators 
who, under the impression that Pompey was inclined to be 
conciliatory, had voted on the 1st of December for the simul- 
taneous retirement of the two generals. With Pompey openly 
arrayed against him, the last remnants of his popularity with 
the upper classes were taken from him, and their personal 


* It does not seem to me necessary to modify, as Schmidt 
(B. W.C., 99) wishes, the consistent account of Appian, B. C., ii. 32. 
Appian says that it was only the return journey which Curio made; 
it is probable that Curio left on the roth or 11th of December, at un- 
usual speed; that he joined Casar at Piacenza, or somewhere in the 
neighbourhood, and went with him to Ravenna, and that when the 
news of the coup d’état arrived he hastily conveyed Cesar’s ultimatum 
to the capital. In any case it seems to me certain that Curio left for 
Rome from Ravenna, which is about 260 miles from Rome, and not 
from Piacenza or from Milan, which is more than 400; it was indeed 
impossible for a man to cover 400 miles in three days. We must 
therefore accept the correction proposed by Mendelssohn and read 
dioxirlos for rproxeNio.s. 

+ Schmidt, B. W. C,, 98. 

T Cic., A., vii. 5,4. For the date see Schmidt, B.'W.C., ror. Iter 
Pompeit means his journey to Lucera. 

SuCiCa Ac Wills ophiy pS OMINIG TT, Wai Ons Ose 

|| Schmidt, B. W. C., 99. 


ya 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 189 


quarrel would gradually assume the form of a conflict between 
rich and poor, between the é/ite and the proletariat, in which 
respectability in a body would take Pompey’s side.* ‘There 
would be few found bold enough to brave the anger of Pompey, 
still less that taint of vulgarity which was attached, as in all 
struggles between rich and poor, to the chiefs of the popular 
party. If Pompey persisted in his demand that he should 
abandon his command on the Ist of next March, there was 
no alternative but open resistance. To return to Rome and 
face the prosecution threatened him by the Conservatives was 
no longer possible : for since the revision of the lists of judges, 
Pompey was master of the law-courts, and his condemnation 
would be assured. 

Czsar at once summoned his friends to a council of war. 
Curio proposed to summon the Gallic army and march at 
once upon Rome. If war was inevitable, better face it at 
once. But Czsar was unwilling. He knew that, though 
Pompey might carry the whole world of politics against him, 
the public opinion of Italy was still on the side of peace ; 
and he still hoped to set a united and peaceful Italy between 
himself and his enemies. Sulla was a distant memory, and 
the bitter antagonisms between class and class which had pro- 
voked the outbreak of the last civil war now existed no longer. 
Italy would not lightly forgive if the petty squabbles of poli- 
ticlans provoked another. Yet Czsar could not remain in- 
active. He recalled two legions, the 12th and the 8th, to 
Italy, and ordered Caius Fabius to proceed with three legions 
from Bibracte to Narbonne, to intercept a possible move- 
ment on the part of Pompey’s legions in Spain.t Mean- 
while he would make one more effort at conciliation. It 
was now the 25th or 26th of December. The Senate would 
meet on the 1st of January. If a courier could reach Rome 
before that day there would still be time to parry the 
blow that his enemies certainly intended to deliver in that 
sitting. Curio declared his readiness to accomplish this miracle 
of quickness. Czsar wrote a letter to the Senate and another 
to the people, and Curio left Ravenna at early dawn on the 
27th.§ In his letter to the Senate Cesar declared his readiness 
to abandon his command if Pompey acted likewise ; otherwise 

* See Cic., A., vii. 3, 5 ; and the picturesque and interesting passage, 
WEVA 7507 

+ Cic., A., vii. 6, 2. 

fa NISSCIN EZ. XLVae Deeg hie 

§ Schmidt, B. W. C., p. 99. 


50 B.C. 


Czsar’s last 
efforts for 
peace. 


50 B.c. 


Attitude of 
Pompey and 
Cicero, 


190 GREATNESS AND ‘DECLINE OF ROME 


he would take steps to defend his rights. In his letter to the 
people he said that he was ready to re-enter private life and 
to give an account of all he had done, and invited Pompey to 
do the same.* 

The last days of the year were a busy and anxious time for 
all parties. Pompey’s declaration had indeed converted, albeit 
reluctantly, a good number of the Senators and the wealthy 
classes to his side; for they had not the courage to take an 
open line against a man in his position ; and Czsar’s declared 
supporters were treated with coldness and almost boycotted. 
This movement of opinion was of course a further encourage- 
ment to Pompey. In a fit of irritation at the violent speeches 
of Antony he told Cicero on the 25th, in the neighbourhood 
of Formia, that he would absolutely oppose Czsar’s ever be- 
coming Consul either in 48 or at any other time; a second 
Consulship of Czsar would be fatal to the Republic. If he 
was foolish enough to go to war let him do his worst; he, 
Pompey, was not afraid.f Only the proletariat, which had 
supported and admired Catiline, was now united in its attach- 
ment to Cesar. But every one in either camp was in a state 
of feverish anxiety. What would happen at the sitting of the 
Ist of January? Cicero was especially unhappy, and almost 
regretted having left his province. He felt more indebted to 
Pompey than to Cesar, and now that the rupture was imminent 
he was sorry that he had not quite paid off his debts to the Pro- 
consul of Gaul. But above all he was anxious for peace and 
still hoped for some agreement to stave off the fatal and almost 
ludicrous expedient of civil war. For unlike many of his con- 

* This letter can be pieced together out of App., B. C., ii, 32; 
Dion; exliwin;) Ces., By C.715).01;) Suets, Ces. eon Plut.. (Pompasoe 
Plt Cees 3 Onn ClO ne Dee Tales 

ft Cicero, A., vii. 8, 4. This letter, which gives an account of an 
interview with Pompey, is of great importance, because it shows 
us that on the 25th of December Pompey himself thought that 
Cesar did not wish to provoke civil war out of ambition, but 
accepted it simply in order to defend his political position. Cicero, for 
instance, says that Pompey putat eum, cum audierit contra se diligenter 
parari, consulatum hoc anno neglecturum ac potius exercitum pro- 
vinciamque retenturum. Cicero adds further that Pompey was not 
anxious for peace: pacificationis ne voluntas quidem. If these words 
be compared with those of Hirtius (B. G., viii. 52 (Caesar), judicabat... 
liberis sententiis patrum conscriptorum causam suam facile obtinert), it 
will be seen that two very important authorities affirm, directly or 
indirectly, that Cesar was not anxious for war. Adding the weight 
of this evidence to the actual conduct of Cesar, which is inexplicable 
except on the assumption that he believed in peace, are we not 
justified in concluding absolutely that it was not Cesar but Pompey 
and the Conservatives who were responsible for the rupture ? 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 191 


temporaries he was under no illusions as to Czesar’s strength.* 50 3.c. 
Moreover, if a war broke out, what would become of his 
triumph ? 

But it is Cesar in the little town of Ravenna, which seems Cesar at 
predestined to be the refuge of great Italians in the stormy ®#ve™™* 
hours of their career, who must have suffered most during 
these terrible days of suspense. We cannot tell whether the 
fatalism to which, after so many years of conflict and 
corruption and intrigue, he had schooled his spirit, helped 
him to meet even this supreme trial with quiet indifference. 
Certainly he had every reason to give way to a blind indig- 
nation against mankind and his destiny. All that had gone so 
well for Pompey had gone ill for him. ‘Together they had 
courted the crowd, inflamed the passions of the democracy, 
corrupted the nation, opposed the Senate, tilted against 
the old republican institutions, all to win glory, riches and 
power. But Pompey had not been forced painfully by 
slow degrees to mount the ladder of office. He had been 
three times Consul: he had celebrated numerous triumphs : 
his victories over Mithridates and his conquest of Syria had 
made him the greatest general of his day: he had amassed an 
immense fortune and enjoyed it at his leisure at Rome, amid 
the admiration of the people and the nobles. He had become 
the representative of the great without losing the respect of 
the humble. All his life he had been moving from success to 
success. He thought of himself. What had all his labours 
brought him? With endless intrigue and difficulty and 
danger he had climbed into office ;.and when, at the age of 
forty, he had at length obtained a province which was to 
bring him in glory and riches, fortune had again played him 
false. He had received a country poor in comparison with 
the East and very difficult to conquer, where he had fought 
for nine years against almost continuous insurrections. And 
at the end of it all what had he to show? Had it brought 
him glory? He was the most despised and best hated man 
among the upper classes, and every Italian who had read a line 
of Xenophon was in a position to improve upon the strategy 
ef his campaigns. Had it brought him wealth? He came 
out of that gigantic struggle almost as poor as he went 
in, having used nearly all that his Gallic ravaging had 
brought him to corrupt Roman politicians, without even 
winning the gratitude to which his generosity had entitled 

* Cic., A., vii. 7, 6. 


50 B.C. 


Czesar’s 
moderation. 


192 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


him. Italy was united in reproaching him for a policy 
of pillage of which she alone had reaped the fruits. 
When Cesar turned back to the past to inquire into the 
reason for the strange divergence of their two careers, he 
could not help seeing that, if Pompey had been the favourite 
of fortune, he owed it to the part he had taken in the 
massacres of Sulla. It was then that he had acquired his 
great influence with the rich classes, which had enabled him 
later to join the Democrats without forfeiting the respect of 
the Conservatives. Safely entrenched behind an unassailable 
popularity, he had been able to secure all that he desired, 
offices and provinces, extraordinary commands and grandiose 
triumphs, all with but the smallest concessions to the popular 
party, until he had become universally recognised as indis- 
pensable to every undertaking. He himself on the other 
hand had excited the hatred of the Cabal during the régime 
of the reaction, and it was this hatred that had dogged 
him all through his career. His slow and laborious rise, the 
enormous debts he had contracted in order to make a name 
at all, his early conflicts with the Conservatives, the revolu- 
tionary action which was practically forced upon him during 
his Consulship, the ultra-Imperialist policy by which he had 
endeavoured to sustain it, the fatal alliance with the dema- 
gogues from which he had never been able to withdraw 
and which threatened now to drag him to his ruin, all these 
were but the necessary outcome of his connection with the 
conqueror of the Cimbri and of the chivalrous behaviour of 
his earliest days—-of his loyalty in the reign of terror to the 
daughter and to the memory of Cinna, of his haughty defiance 
of Sulla, of his horror of massacre and fratricide. If he had 
only consented then to betray the conquered side, his career 
would have been swift and easy, and he would have risen like 
Pompey to fortune and power. 

In the misfortunes which had befallen Cesar there was thus 
a real element of injustice ; men and circumstances alike had 
played him false. That his sense of this injustice did not 
embitter his nature, or drive him, at this climax of his career, 
to acts of cruelty and violence, is at once a proof of the serenity 
of his intellect and one of his most lasting titles to glory. The 
history of the civil war up to the battle of Pharsalia is perhaps 
the finest episode in Ceesar’s life. He displays a clear-sighted- 
ness and moderation which go far to make up for the indis- 
cretions and barbarism of his Gallic campaign. Even at this 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 193 


very moment, while Curio was galloping breathless upon the 49 B.c. 
Flaminian Road, Czsar was still confident of peace. He fully 

. expected that his letter, couched as it was in terms at once 

_ Vigorous and conciliatory, would awaken the reactionaries to 

wiser counsels. All seemed to depend upon whether it could 

reach Rome in time. 

Once more Curio justified the confidence reposed in him. Czsar’s letter 
| When the Senate met on the 1st of January the letter was” SS Cae 
, already in the hands of Antony. The Consuls were so afraid 

of the effect it might produce that they endeavoured to 
prevent it from being read. Antony and the friends of Czsar 
were naturally all the more anxious to read it, in the hope of 
producing another of those revulsions of feeling which had 
been so frequent in the last few months. It was only after a 
long and violent discussion that it was finally read.* The 
result was disastrous for the partisans of Cxsar. Whether 
out of genuine indignation, or out of fear of Pompey, who was 
now known to be entirely opposed to Czsar, or simply out of 
an instinctive desire to find a vent for the ill-humour with 
which they had all of them come together, the Senators 
punctuated the reading of the letter with a running chorus 
* of protest, and denounced it as insolent, dictatorial, and 
unworthy.j Before his supporters realised what had hap- 
pened, Czsar had lost his last chance in the Senate. Antony 
was too much disconcerted to speak, and the Conservatives, 
forgetting that they had tried to prevent the letter from being 
read, broke out into cries of exultation. Lentulus and Scipio 
made violent speeches, saying that it was time to have done 
with palaver; the defenders of Czsar could not make them- 
selves heard amid the general hubbub, and even Marcellus, 
the Consul of 51, was hissed into silence because he dared 
to ask whether it would not be better, before inviting a war, 
to examine the state of their resources} Had not Pompey 
repeatedly reassured anxious inquirers by the assertion that 
everything was ready? In the midst of this confusion 
approval was given to a proposal by which Czsar was 
declared an enemy of his country if he did not abandon 
his command before the 1st of July. Thanks to the in- 
tervention of Antony and Quintus Cassius the vote was 


PN ee tad £3 SE Oe ML de eae 

{7 Not Cesar, but Appian (B. C., ii. 32) tells us this. 

tes, 5. C212: 

§ This is a likely conjecture of Nissen, H. Z., xlvi. 80, n. 1. 
Il N 


49 B.C. 


The first 
ten days of 
January 49. 


194 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


not to take effect at once; * but this was almost a matter of 
indifference to the Conservatives ; they were certain of being 
able to vote a state of siege, which would annul the Tribu- 
nician veto, as soon so they wished it. 

Then followed ten days of breathless activity. Out came 
all the figures familiar on the eve of a great conflict—the 
peacemakers and the mischiefmakers, the inopportune oppor- 
tunists, and the inconsolable pessimists—all anxious to add 
their quota to the opinions of the moment. On the evening 
of the rst of January Pompey summoned numerous Senators to 
his house, addressed them words of praise and encouragement 
and invited them to be present in the Senate on the following 
day. At the same time a levy was begun, and the veterans 
were recalled to Rome.f Nevertheless there seems to have 
been a slight reaction among the Senators during the night. 
On the next day, the Consuls did not venture to dispute the 
Tribunician veto; the father-in-law of Cesar and the pretor 
Roscius demanded a suspension of six days to attempt con- 
ciliation, while others suggested that ambassadors should be 
sent to him.t It so happened that the Senate held no sitting 
on the 3rd and 4th and that on the 4th Cicero arrived in the 
neighbourhood of Rome, heartily welcomed by the more 
reasonable party among the Senators, which was anxious for 
peace and hoped that Cicero might be able to intervene. § 
Cicero at once undertook the task. He negotiated with the 
party leaders and proposed that Czsar should be authorised to 
stand for the Consulship in his absence, and that Pompey 
should go to Spain || during Czsar’s Consulship. Meanwhile 
Curio had received still more moderate proposals from Cesar. 
He was prepared to be satisfied with Cisalpine Gaul and 
Illyria with two legions.{/ For one moment it was believed 
that these two proposals might settle the difficulty. Pompey, 
who seems to have awoken for a moment to realities, gave 
secret instructions to Lucius Caesar, a young man whose 
father was a general in Cesar’s army, to treat for peace. 
Lucius Roscius, to whom Pompey had declared that he was 
inclined to accept the last conditions proposed by Curio, also 
left on a mission of his own to Caesar.** But Lentulus, Cato 

* Cas., B. C., i. 2. t Id., i. 3. t Id. 

SUCIC, skin View Denes HREM wie Onde 

q Nissen (H. Z., xlvi. p. 84, 2. 1) has shown the error in App., 
B. C., ii. 32, and made clear the right date of this proposal. 


** T do not believe, with Schmidt (B. W. C., 123) that Roscius and 
Cesar were sent after the news of the capture of Rimini, and as official 


INITIUM TUMULTUS 195 


and Scipio came to the rescue, and strengthened Pompey’s 
failing resolution. Czsar was but plotting as usual. Would 
he allow himself to fall into the trap?* Pompey’s vacillation 
had been reflected in the Senate which had held its hand on 
the 5th and 6th of January, discussing the question without 
arriving at a decision. But by the evening of the 6th Pompey 
had been reconverted by the extreme Conservatives. On 
the 7th the state of siege was declared,t and Antony and 
Quintus Cassius fled the city. Czesar’s enemies heaved a sigh 
of relief. After a year and a half of plots and counterplots 
the foe was at last at their mercy. If he wished to become 
Consul, he must pay the price of a civil war. Let him do so 
if he dared. With Pompey on their side Czsar’s enemies 
were now masters of the State. They disposed of the 
Treasury, the provinces, the allies, and the armies; the most 
celebrated of Roman generals, the most illustrious of Roman 
citizens was devoted to their cause. Czasar had but nine 
legions, worn out by a long war, and a small province, only 
recently subdued and still bitterly hostile. ‘The common 
opinion was that he would never dare to leave Gaul behind 
him and break into Italy, but would prefer to remain on the 
defensive in the valley of the Po.t On the following days 
the Senate held several sittings under the presidency of 
Pompey, who gave a reassuring account of the military situa- 
tion ; various measures directed against Caesar were approved 
without difficulty. ‘The State treasury and the municipal and 
private funds were placed at Pompey’s disposal; he was 
authorised to make forced loans,§ and the important provinces 
were distributed amongst the favourites of the Conservative 
party. Scipio received Syria, Domitius Transalpine Gaul, and 
Considius Nonianus Cisalpine Gaul.|| Finally it was decided 
to make a general levy. Italy was divided into divisions in 


representatives of the Senate. Cic., A., vii. 13, 13, and Cas., B.C., 1. 8, 
prove that each of them went on his own account and as emissaries 
of Pompey. Lange (R. A., iii. 401) appears to me nearer the truth ; 
only I do not think that they went after the news of the capture of 
Rimini, which arrived on January the 14th. They could not have been 
at Minturne on the 23rd; they would only have had time, according 
to Schmidt (B. W. C., 123) to reach Fano; and as Cesar declares that 
the interview took place at Rimini I see no reason to doubt it. They 
must have been sent at the moment when fresh hopes of peace were 
entertained. 

EE Cio bey ViniO Ole Vell lA emolct...ces,,.20)0 Elut. Pomp, 50); 
Ces., 31. 

st (CRScK 18 ys (Gris i, (Gite, 15, Shia. See 

§ App., B. C., 11. 34. lnGeesseb1C.. 1. Or) Cicty xvie 12703. 


49 B.C. 


49 B.C. 


Cesar in Italy. 


ere 


196 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


each of which a Senator of influence, who possessed estates in 
the districts, was selected for the chief command. Cicero 
received Capua,* Domitius the territory of the Marsi, 
Scribonius Libo Etruria, and Lentulus Spinther Picenum. 
The Conservative government seemed already re-established. 

When the Romans awoke on the morning of the 14th of 
January ¢ they found that a thunderbolt had burst upon the 
city. Czesar had crossed the Rubicon and occupied Rimini 
in considerable strength; the first fugitives of the invader 
were already in the capital. The chief of the demagogues, 
the patron of bankrupts and adventurers, was marching upon 
Rome at the head of his legions and the Gallic calvary. 


MO CIC Et ahcV lalla ¢ Schmidt, B. W. C., 106. 


CHAPTER. ALI 


BELLUM CIVILE 


Cesar and his army—Cesar’s last hesitations—The die is 
cast—Panic at Rome—Pompey in dismay—Evacuation of 
Rome—Departure of the Consuls and Cicero—New efforts for 
peace—Cesar seizes all Picenum—Weakness of the Conserva- 
tive party—Cesar on the road to Corfinium—Pompey and 
the vacillation of Domitius Ahenobarbus—The siege of Cor- 
finium—-Pompey’s retreat—Cesar follows him up—Pompey 
sets sail for Greece. 


Wuar had really happened was not so alarming as report 49 B.c. 
suggested. Czsar had not the intention so naively attributed 
to him in many quarters of remaining quietly on the defensive Czsar’s 
in the valley of the Po; but neither was he inclined to march “’@™™* 
straight upon the capital. By the 4th of January he had prob- 
ably heard of the reception given by the Senate to his last 
proposals and he had now to make up his mind how to face 
the situation. What course should he pursue? To wait 
quietly in his province, plying the Senate with futile re- 
criminations till his command expired on the ist of July 
was hardly practicable; it would have given his enemies 
just what they needed—time to collect their forces, and 
opportunities of sowing discord amongst his soldiers; for 
he had already for some time past been aware that Labienus 
was untrustworthy.* Somehow or other he must find means to 
stiffen his verbal protests ; the Senate needed the vigorous tonic 
of an open defiance. But defiance was difficult, for it in- 
volved the risk of provoking a civil war. Moreover, it was 
impossible to predict what impression it might produce upon 
his own soldiers. It was the attitude of the legionaries in 
the approaching crisis which really formed the pivot of the 
situation and swayed the calculations of the two opposing 
parties. "They had already been through a lengthy series of 
exhausting campaigns. Could he ask them now to follow 
him through the odium and vicissitudes of a civil war? 

* Hirtius, B. G., viii. 52. 

197 


49 B.C. 


His relations 
with his 
soldiers. 


He seizes 
Rimini. 


198 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


During the last ten years Casar had always taken the 
greatest pains to win the devotion of his soldiers. ‘True, 
when on active service he had demanded the most rigorous 
discipline and almost unexampled exertions; he had constantly 
appeared at unexpected moments to make sure that all was in 
order and had never failed to punish most severely any dere- 
liction of duty. But he had provided them on the other hand 
with the amplest compensation for their loyalty. He had 
heaped them with gold and prize-money; he had shown 
the greatest solicitude for their material well-being; he had 
multiplied the number of centurions by increasing the quantity 
and diminishing the fighting force of the legions; he had 
encouraged them in a taste for luxury and a liking for fine 
arms and helmets and cuirasses; and he had employed all the 
arts of cajolery generally so successful with simple and ignorant 
persons, trying to know all their names and the details of their 
lives, and speaking with high appreciation of their services in 
his public reports. The soldiers, who ‘were most of them 
poor peasants from the valley of the Po, had listened with 
pride as their patrician general harangued them not as 
“soldiers” but as “my comrades,” * and he had certainly 
succeeded in securing their enthusiastic fidelity. Yet, elaborate 
fiction though it was, the old Republican government was still 
capable of inspiring unbounded veneration. ‘The Senate, the 
magistrates, and the whole immemorial structure of the Roman 
state were still looked up to with respect by the mass of the 
Italian people. One moment of hesitation or distrust or fear 
at the beginning of the war and the attachment of his soldiers 
might have vanished before an age-long sentiment, and the 
Gallic army that he had so laboriously welded together would 
have dispersed in a few weeks. 

Perhaps Czsar never lived through so perplexing a time 
as the five or six days which followed.f But the news that 
the state of siege had been proclaimed at Rome on the 7th of 
January, and that the Tribunes had fled the city, put an end 
to all his doubts. Quite suddenly, probably on the morning 
of the roth, he made up his mind. He determined to make 
a sudden dash upon Rimini, the first Italian city across the 
Rubicon frontier, making it his base for the seizure of other 
important towns: thus making it clear to the Senate and to 
Pompey that he was not afraid of a civil war, and that if it 
was to be a fight to the death he would defend himself with 


* Suet., Czes., Ixv. 70. Toblity Cres so: 


BELLUM CIVILE 199 


the courage of despair. He would then once more attempt 49 3.c. 
to treat with his enemies, whom fear if not reason might by 
this time have brought into a more conciliatory mood. He 
set to work at once with the quickness which was his second 
nature. He communicated the plan to several friends and 
oficers who were to go with him, of whom Asinius Pollio 
was one, and concerted skilful arrangements to prevent any 
report of his intention from reaching Rimini. Each of them 
was to leave the city alone at nightfall by a different route ; 
they were to form a junction during the night with the 
cohorts whom Cesar had already sent forward under the 
command of Hortensius ; and together before dawn they were 
to occupy Rimini. Meanwhile Czsar was to do his best to 
distract the attention of the public. He showed himself all 
day in the streets of Ravenna; he went to the baths, appeared 
at a public spectacle, examined the plans for a gladiatorial 
school ; in the evening he even gave a great dinner at which 
he displayed the most complete self-control. And yet the 
plan was in itself exceedingly hazardous. If his intentions 
had become known and Rimini had closed its gates, he and 
his 1500 men could never have taken it; while a violation of 
the Italian frontier, however little he achieved, was a definite 
provocation of civil war. In the middle of dinner he apolo- 
gised for having to leave his guests for a short time upon 
urgent and unexpected business, mounted a tradesman’s cart, 
and left Ravenna by a road going in the opposite direction 
from Rimini. After driving a little distance he turned back, 
joined the cohorts and his friends, aroused the soldiers and 
ordered them to set out on the march with no other arms 
than their swords. On the morning of the 11th of January, 
when the burghers of Rimini awoke, Ceasar with his 1500 
legionaries was already in their town.* 

At Rimini he found Antony, fresh from the capital. The New efforts 
soldiers were introduced to their ex-general the Tribune in the poke 
slave costume in which he had fled the city. Czesar delivered 
a vigorous speech promising large rewards and declaring that 
it was his object to defend the liberties of the people against 
the tyranny of faction. In the excitement of the moment 
the soldiers eagerly pledged themselves to remain _loyal.f 

FePlut Ces, 325 Suet. Cas., 1. 

+ According to Suet. (Ces., 33) and Dion (xli. 4) this pronunciamento 
took place at Rimini; according to Cesar (B. C.,i. 7) at Ravenna. 


See in Schmidt (B. W. C., 105, m. 1) and Nissen (N. Z., xlvi. p. 97) the 
reasons for disbelieving Czsar. He has probably tried to conceal 


49 B.C. 


[Pisaurum. ] 
{[Fanum 
Fortune. ] 


Panic at 
Rome. 


200 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Cesar then sent Antony to fetch the five other cohorts who 
were on the A‘milian Way, probably in the neighbourhood 
of the modern Forlimpopoli,* ordering him to cross the 
Apennines and seize Arezzo. With the five cohorts under 
his own command he spent the following days in occupy- 
ing the principal towns along the coast, Pesaro, Fano and 
Ancona.f He did not do this with the object of beginning 
a campaign. How could he, with little more than 3000 
soldiers at his disposal?{ He was merely trying to secure 
an asset which would enable him to treat for peace on more 
favourable conditions, and to prove to his enemies that, under 
provocation, he could answer violence with violence. Thus 
when, towards the 19th of January,§ Roscius and Lucius Czsar 
reached Itim in one of the towns on the Adriatic coast, he 
was ready with his conditions, Pompey was to return to 
Spain ; all the troops recruited in Italy were to be dismissed ; 
the electors were to meet at Rome in the absence of the 
military ; if this were done he was prepared to renounce his 
province and to go to Rome to stand for the Consulship in 
person. 

Cesar, like the other side, had been engaged in bluffing ; 
and his tactics met with a very common, though always 
unexpected result. They failed, not because they did not 
succeed in frightening his enemies, but because they frightened 
them too much. When on the 14th, 15th and 16th of January 
the news of the successive occupations along the Adriatic 
coast reached Rome: when it was reported that Pesaro and 
Fano had followed Rimini and that Libo was hurriedly 


the fact that he took his soldiers more or less by surprise and only 
revealed them his plan when it was already half executed. 

* Nissen, H. Z., xlvi. p. 96. 

t Nissen (H. Z., xlvi. p. 96) and Schmidt (B. W. C., 114 f.) have shown 
that the passages in Cicero (A., vil, 11, 1, and F., xvi. 12, 2) prove that it 
was already known at Rome on the 17th of January that Ancona and 
Arezzo had been occupied; these towns must therefore have been 
occupied at the latest on the 14th. Some points in Cesar’s narra- 
tive are thus made inadmissible ; for instance, it is impossible that 
he should have occupied Pesaro, Fano and Ancona after hearing 
of the failure of the peace negotiations upon which Roscius and 
Lucius Cesar were engaged; in other words, Ceasar makes altera- 
tions in the first episodes of the war with the intention of showing 
that he was taken entirely by surprise by the violent decision of the 
Senate. 

t See Schmidt (Rh. Mus., xlvii. p. 261; B. W. C., 123), who seems 
to have demonstrated the true nature of Cesar’s intentions. 

§ See Schmidt, 1B. W. CC. p. 123). I. 

AGES BMS PM CAD CAG OR a Sb alah ingen ys 


BELLUM CIVILE 201 


abandoning Etruria and retiring upon Rome * a panic broke 49 B.c. 
out among the politicians at Rome which it was far beyond 
Pompey’s powers to allay. Czesar had certainly never imagined 
that it was so easy to disconcert, indeed to paralyse his op- 
ponents, Every one was convinced that he was preparing 
a surprise attack upon the capital; that he was on his way to 
Rome with a host of Gallic cavalry and legionaries who were 
thirsting for plunder; that he was already well-nigh at the 
gates ; 7 that all Italy lay helpless at his feet, since Pompey 
had nothing to set against him but two untrustworthy legions 
which had actually been returned him by Caesar. All day 
long a train of terror-stricken Senators and officials crowded 
round Pompey’s mansion feverishly asking for news or com- 
fort, and proffering futile prognostications or equally futile 
advice. So great was the confusion that the freedmen and 
slaves were unable to keep watch over the door; every one 
entered as he wished, and burdened the unfortunate Pompey 
with the outpourings of their hearts. The majority of the 
Senators, who had never been whole-hearted in their accept- 
ance of the war, now suddenly turned against the small 
Conservative majority, and especially against Pompey ; they 
accused him of miscalculation and impetuosity, they regretted 
not having accepted Czsar’s proposals,{ and several even used 
language which on other occasions they would have been 
the first to call insulting.§ 

This general panic was highly disconcerting to the Consul, Dismay and 
and the small knot of politicians who were responsible for We af Pannen 
rupture. ‘The preparations which were being hurried on on 
the 12th|| were as suddenly interrupted ; the Senate was not 
convened either on the 14th, the 15th, or the 16th, obviously 
because the Consuls were afraid lest the Senators should vote 
for unconditional submission. ‘The chiefs of the Conservative 
clique spent the days in deep debate; but they were unable 
to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. Pompey himself 
seems to have been in a most pitiable state of mind. He 
had never possessed the amazing quickness and elasticity 
which carried Cesar all over his obstacles, and he had for 
some time past been in feeble health. ‘The dizzy succession 
of rumours and recriminations crowding in from all sides now 


Florus, iv. 2; Lucan., ii. 462. 

Plt seeomp., OO; Apps, Gril. 35. 

App., B. C., 01.30: § Plut.; Pomp., 60°; ‘Cexs:, 33. 
Cio he XViseliy oe SAD py) ya dl 36. 


<++—b & 


49 B.C. 


The “tumultus” 


decreed. 


202 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


threw him utterly off his balance. Just when he should have 
been a tower of strength amid the universal confusion he 
seems for a time to have been almost paralysed. He did 
not even succeed in ascertaining, amid the various conflicting 
reports, what number of troops Czsar had at his command,* 
and whether he was really in a position to make a dash upon 
Rome. He was genuinely frightened, and as he was afraid 
to reveal it he preferred to remain inactive and to make no 
plans. His aristocratic hauteur gave him the strength to 
contain his feelings, but beneath a calm and almost non- 
chalant exterior there lurked a blind fury against the party 
which had egged him on to war and now, at the first stroke, 
was threatening to desert him: while he was laying up a 
store of lasting resentment against Cesar as the cause of this 
open and unexpected humiliation. Three whole days he 
spent in debate with the Consuls and chief persons in Rome 
without being able to make up his mind. He felt that it 
was his duty to leave Rome at once to take over the command 
of the legions which were awaiting him, to hurry on the 
recruiting and to organise the defence of the country; for, 
like every one else, he believed that Ceasar would take the 
offensive at once. But how could he leave behind him at 
Rome the government of the State in the hands of a terror- 
stricken Senate, whom Cesar could easily intimidate into 
submission? A short-lived panic would be sufficient to cause 
the Senate to disavow him, thus placing him in a painful 
and almost impossible situation. "The other alternative was 
to persuade the Senate and the magistrates to leave Rome 
in his company, thus taking with him the whole of the 
constitutional government, and withdrawing it from the 
actions or threats of Cesar. But this was a highly serious 
and complicated undertaking, and at present Pompey did not 
venture either to propose or to approve it. 

But on the 17th} came the news that not only Ancona 
but Arezzo also had been occupied by the enemy. Cesar 
seemed full on his march towards Rome. The panic had been 
bad enough before: it now became insupportable. Pompey 
at last awoke out of his lethargy,{ and came to a definite 

* Cic., A., vii. 16, 2, shows that it was not till February, after Labienus 
arrived, that Pompey realised the weakness of Caesar’s forces. 

7 schmidt, Bl W. C., 118. 

t Cic., F., xvi. 12, 2,and A., ix. 10, 2, prove that a sitting of the 


Senate plenus formidinis after the capture of Ancona and Arezzo 
decided on the evacuation of Rome. I believe this was the sitting 


ie 


BELLUM CIVILE 203 


understanding with Cato, the Consuls and the more important 
persons at Rome. All of them realised that speedy decision 
was now essential. After due consultation he decided to 
convene the Senate. The sitting was stormy and confused, 
lasting many hours and revealing many contradictions. Several 
Senators reproached Pompey with miscalculation.* Volcatius 
Tullus and Cicero proposed to send ambassadors to Czsar to 
treat for peace.t Cato, on the other hand, wished to entrust 
Pompey with full powers for the conduct of the war.{ Pompey 
listened with disdainful indifference to everything that was 
said against him. He refused to disguise the realities of the 
situation and quietly declared that he would look to the 
defence of Italy.§ But he opposed the proposal of ‘Tullus 
which was equivalent in his mind to a confession of weakness. 
This resolute attitude caused the war party to prevail; Cato’s 
proposal was approved and the twmultus decreed.1 Pompey 
then revealed his plan. The Consuls and the Senate were 
to abandon Rome and to retire to Capua, taking the State 
treasury with them; Pompey was to take vengeance on the 
towns which opened their gates to Ceasar and consider as 
enemies all Senators who did not leave Rome in his company.** 
It can be imagined with what stupefaction this decision was 


at which Pompey made the deciarations spoken of in Cic., A., vil. 11, I, 
Plut., Pomp., 60, Czs., B. C., 1. 32, 8, and App., B. C., ii. 36; at which 
Cato (Plut., Cat. U. 52; Pomp., 60) proposed to make Pompey 
Dictator and at which the decretum tumultus was passed. With regard 
to this last, I believe with Schmidt (B. W. C., 106 f.) that it took place 
after Cesar crossed the Rubicon, but not on January the 14th; since, 
according to all indications, there was no sitting till the 17th. The 
general uncertainty probably prevented the holding of another. We 
should certainly know of it had there been one. 

BeLint. ww Omp.,0O,. Ces.,. 33.) ADp:, 5.) C., il. 37. 

Tut. Lomp,, OO, App. b. C., it. 36; 

t, Pint. Pomp:, 60, Cat. U. 52; 

§ See Cic., A., vii. 11, 1 (the words of Pompey). 

i@rsrb ACs, 32.0. 

Nissen (N. Z., xlvi. p. 100) relying upon the vague expressions of 
Plutarch (Pompey, 60, and Cat. U. 52), and upon the weakness 
of Pompey during the war, believes that Cato’s proposal was not 
approved. Schmidt (B. W. C., 135) seems to share this opinion. But 
Velleius (ii. 49) says Consules senatusque Pompeto summam imperit 
detulerunt. It appears to me that Velleius is right. There is no 
other way of explaining Pompey’s order for the evacuation of Rome 
and the retreat to Greece, undertaken not only by the army but by 
the whole of the Senate. Moreover, during the campaign in Italy 
he directed the whole operations from Lucera. If his chief command 
was not successful, the reason does not lie in his want of the necessary 
powers but in his own and his party’s weakness. 

PAR CiCo eA ex O.n2. App... W375 Dion. xls 6. 


49 B.C. 


49 B.C. 


Difficulties of 
the evacuation. 


Pompey 
regains his 
ascendency. 


204 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


received. Rome was to be abandoned to the enemy. Here 
was a coup d’état on which Sulla himself would never have 
ventured. 

It seems that Pompey set out for Capua as soon as he left 
the Senate House. It was already late in the evening * and 
the numerous Senators who had not brought slaves with 
torches to escort them home and did not wish to venture 
alone into the unlighted streets of Rome, spent the night in 
the Curia. It would be interesting to know their feelings 
during those slow-moving hours. ‘The difficulty and incon- 
venience of so hurried a departure were of course innumerable. 
Pompey, the rich aristocrat, with his slaves and his secretaries, 
his friends and his clients, had not stopped to reflect that the 
majority of the Senate was not equally well circumstanced. 
W hat was to be done with the slaves that every one had in his 
household ? Could they be left behind at Rome during a civil 
war, with the price of provisions going up and a spirit of revolt 
in the air? t+ And where to send the women and children? f 
Besides it meant a total stoppage of business. Many of the 
Senators had not even the money necessary for the journey 
and not the least idea where to turn for it. “Their own friends 
were themselves in need, dealing in bills was practically 
suspended, and borrowing was very difficult in face of an 
imminent civil war.§ 

Nevertheless, now that Pompey knew his mind, he rapidly 


regained his ascendency. As people recovered from their 


first surprise they began to consider what was truly to their 
interest. Czesar’s victory must surely involve a_ political 
revolution in which the rich would be despoiled of their pos- 
sessions. ‘There was no disputing the cogency of this argu- 
ment; and thus, although Pompey’s conduct caused a good deal 
of bad temper, the greater number of the Senators decided to 
set out in his company. Even Caius Cassius, once Questor 
of Crassus, came over to Pompey’s side, together with his 
brother-in-law Brutus, whom Cesar had almost treated as his 
son and whose own father had been treacherously put to death 
by Pompey in the operations against Lepidus at Modena. 
Brutus had hitherto refused to have relations with Pompey, 
but at a moment like this he was unable to resist. Czsar’s 
supporters formed a contemptible handful—Sallust and Ceelius, 
still smarting under the persecution of Appius Claudius, Dola- 


* Appian, B. C., li. 37. t Cic., F., xiv. 7, 3. 
Th UCIG iy An, Vali en AG, Se Sold. A Vile Ge ak 


BELLUM CIVILE 205 


bella, the young libertine who had become the son-in-law of 49 B.c. 
Cicero, and Asinius Pollio, a personal friend of old standing. 

Next morning, amid general confusion, preparations began Renewed panic 
for departure, though many still hoped that some unexpected ** ®°™® 
incident would make it possible for them to remain. To 
procure money enough for their journey many of the Senators 
applied to Atticus, who placed at the disposal of his friends the 
huge sums he had stored in the cellars of his house or deposited 
in the temples at Rome.* Yet many had great difficulty in 
setting out, and not a few would have still further prolonged 
their preparations, if, fortunately for Pompey, a false rumour 
had not been spread on the 18th that Caesar was already 
marching on Rome at the head of his Gallic cavalry.f This 
suddenly revived the panic. The Consuls went off at once 
without even emptying the Treasury ; those who found most 
difficulty in their preparations finished them off without further 
ado, and before evening on that day the Appian Way was 
blocked with a long train of litters and slaves, waggons and 
beasts of burden. Crowds of knights, freedmen, and well-to- 
do plebians—in short, the whole of the wealthy and educated 
classes {—-were evacuating Rome, and, with a strange but not 
altogether unparalleled inconsequence at a time of revolution, 
were leaving behind them their women, children and slaves 
in a city on which Cesar was hourly expected to pounce with 
his barbarian cavalry. 

Cicero had left before the panic, on the morning of the Cicero's son- 
18th,§ in as bad a temper as many of his friends and thoroughly Casares 
disgusted with Pompey. He did not think it wise to abandon 
the capital in this hurried fashion. || Nor did he believe that 
Pompey could succeed so rapidly as he expected in collecting 
a large army in Italy.. He was therefore very uneasy. It 
seemed to him that Pompey had been at once too violent and 
too weak in face of the resolute attitude of Cesar. He had 
no reason to pin his faith on Cesar, yet he was on the whole 


PACOTAA NED.) HAtt.,. 7. 

{ It appears to me that this may be a right correction, suggested 
by Dion, xli. 16, of the account given by Cesar, B. C.,1. 14, which seems 
exaggerated but true in the main. Cesar, however, is wrong in 
saying that it was the news of the capture of Osimo which caused 
the panic; indeed he tells us himself that the panic took place on 
the 18th of January, the day following the departure of Pompey, at 
a time, that is, when Osimo had not yet been taken. 

t Dion, xli. 7. 

SECIGL A. Vile LOMA. Om lO As 

Wh dbo, Noe AGG Ap ey Seid mAe Vil L2) 2, 


49 B.C. 


Cesar seizes 
Gubbio. 


{Iguvium. ] 


Cesar reunites 
his forces. 


[Auximum.] 


206 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


more disposed to believe in his success than in Pompey’s. 
Events were confirming the sinister presentiment which he had 
felt at the beginning of the struggle. He repented of having 
accepted the mission at Capua, now that Capua was becoming 
the advance position of Pompey’s army, and was anxious to 
exchange it for a post of general supervision over the plain and 
coast of Latium.* Amidst all these anxieties he was by no 
means sorry to see his son-in-law Dolabella taking sides with 
Cesar. It was no doubt a disgrace to the family, yet if Caesar 
were to win, it might turn out a ogee: A son-in-law might 
serve as a useful intermediary.T 

Meanwhile Czsar of course did not in the least intend to 
march upon Rome. After occupying Ancona and Arezzo 
he had already, on the 19th of January, sent Curio to seize 
Gubbio which had been evacuated by the Pretor Thermus 
with five cohorts;{ and he had then paused to await reinforce- 
ments. With his 3000 men he could venture no farther. 
But soon the events which he had set in motion carried him far 
beyond his wildest calculations. He was much vexed to hear 
that Pompey, the Consuls and part of the Senate had evacuated 
Rome, and concluded that Pompey wished to deprive him of 
the means of negotiating an equitable peace with the Senate 
and to force him to a regular civil war in any or every part of 
the Empire, which was just what he least desired. He had 
immediately written, and persuaded his friends to write, to a 
large number of the departed Senators, amongst others to 
Cicero, to induce them to stay at Rome. § 

Meanwhile a far more serious danger threatened him from 
Osimo, where Actius Varus was hastily arming a number of 
cohorts, and seemed inclined to make a move forward against 
Cesar’s small force of 3000 men, now dispersed in a great 
triangle between Arezzo, Ancona and Rimini. Czsar, who 
had only his small Gallic army to fall back upon, realised that 
he must at all costs prevent the enemy from further recruiting. 
He therefore reunited his legions on the Adriatic coast, perhaps 
at Ancona, and gave orders to Curio and Antony to evacuate 
Gubbio and Arezzo,|| thus clearly revealing that the occupa- 
tion of Arezzo had been merely a piece of bluff. 

* See the interesting comments of Schmidt (B. W. C., 117) on 
Cire An Vile Glos VU gel ness EAE Vill, ih tpn Ly Ore aE ems mine 

TeClCpeAn evtU nl AG 

2 Schmidt, B. W. C., ak Rh. Mus., xvii, p. 261. 

SHCicn Any vals ge 3.5) SAL vii, BI, es 


|| Czes., B.Cy i. 12. On this concentration of troops see Schmidt, 
B. W. G., 125. 


BELLUM CIVILE 207 


It was at this moment, towards the end of January, that he 49 B.c. 
received the answer to the conditions of peace which he had 
proposed. On his return from his interview with Cesar, The Senatorial 
Pompey’s ambassador had met the Consuls and several Senators ?*°?°"* 
at Teano on the road to Capua.* Most of them were so 
much put out by their sudden departure from Rome on a 
dangerous adventure of which it was impossible to predict the 
outcome, that they were disposed in Pompey’s absence to accept 
the proposals of Czsar. Czsar desired peace and the Senate 
desired peace. Why should it be impossible to attain it? 

But events had passed beyond the control of human wisdom or 

human management. ‘The Senators who met at Teano had 

added to Czsar’s proposals the condition that he should retire 

into his province in order that the Senate might have full in- 
dependence for deliberation.f It was a natural demand on 

their part; they needed some pledge of Czsar’s sincerity. 
Unfortunately it was a demand that Cesar could not possibly 

accept. He knew how easy it would be for his enemies to 

find a pretext for war the moment they felt themselves strong 

enough to declare it. All this while, indeed, Actius Varus 

was continuing to arm his soldiers, and it was imperative for 

Cesar at all costs to prevent his adversaries from obtaining 

further recruits. Thus as soon as the whole of his army was 

under his command, probably on the 1st of February, he marched 

upon Osimo, took the city after a brief skirmish, and attached 

to his side, by the promise of high pay, a large number of 

Varus’ soldiers.t He then seized Cingoli and the whole of (Cingulum.] 
Picenum. § <A few days later, perhaps on the 3rd of February, || 

having now been joined by the 12th Legion,’ he advanced 

in the direction of Fermo ** with the intention of marching [Firmum.] 
upon Ascoli, which was held by Lentulus Spinther with ten rAsculum.] 
cohorts. 

These operations, which were forced upon Cesar to prevent 
the recruiting of his adversaries, put an end to all attempts at 
conciliation just at the moment when they seemed about to 


* Cic., A., vil. 14, 1; vil.15, 2. For the dates see Schmidt, B. W.C.,124. 
i a JXoy Npily LAE, tie i Hehe Veh) (San a EY 
§ Id., 15. (pochinidt) Bs WaG. 127 047-01, 
q cee TBH Gay in ee 
** Schmidt seems to me to be right in translating Ces., B. C., i. 15, 
Asculum Picenum proficiscitur, ‘‘ he set out in the direction of Ascoli.” 
Recepto Fiyvmo (i. 16) can be similarly explained. We need not 
suppose that Cesar first took Ascoli and then turned back upon 
Fermo; nor need we change the text. 


49 B.C. 


Loyalty of 
Czsar’s 
soldiers. 


Confusion 
of the 
Conservatives. 


208 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


succeed. Fate was dragging both sides remorselessly into civil 
war. Day by day the forces of Caesar seemed to swell and 
those of his enemies to dwindle. The daring of his first 
operations, the confusion which he had unexpectedly intro- 
duced into the enemy’s camp, the flight of Pompey, his 
occupation of a whole district of Italy, prepared the mind of 
the army for a civil war, and for the revolution which was its 
inevitable outcome. A report was current that Czsar would 
make knights of all the soldiers who followed him; and the 
hope of this reward had still further excited the enthusiasm of 
his Gallic troops for their Imperator.* 

Pompey, on the other hand, though armed with the fullest 
authority that the State could offer him, found it impossible to 
carry on the war withefficiency. He hadsucceeded in inducing 
the magistrates and the greater part of the Senate to evacuate 
Rome; but he was unable to make use of them for his own 
purposes. How could he make his way through the country, 
stopping at the little towns and villages on the way, dogged 
by a long and melancholy procession of Senators, who knew 
nothing that they could do to help him and spent their 
time quarrelling with him and one another and with the 
miserable accommodation the country places provided? It is 
not surprising that, before many days passed, he left the Senators 
to themselves and set out for Lucera, where he intended to 
take command of his two legions and concentrate all the 
troops that were being recruited on the Adriatic coast.t Thus 
left to themselves, the Senators gradually dispersed all through 
Campania; the Consuls were in one place, the Tribunes in 
another, while the majority of the Senate retired alone to their 
homes in solitary villas on the deserted and wintry country-side. 
The couriers did not know where or to whom to deliver their 
letters; Pompey and the Consuls were sometimes left in 
ignorance of the most important intelligence ; { orders arrived 
too late or could not possibly be carried out owing to distance. 
Altogether the Conservatives were by now in a condition of 
utter confusion; every one was complaining but few were 
acting, and those few took no pains to obey the instructions of 
Pompey, who was only nominally their chief.§ Levies were 
carried out remissly, and there was little enthusiasm. Pompey 
sent the Tribune Caius Cassius from Lucera to Capua to tell 


* Suet., Ces., 33. Te CiowrAs, wiles) ee 
{ E.g. the news of the loss of Picenum. Cic., A., vil. 21, 2. 
SuCIOM MAY Vilage ents 


‘i 


BELLUM CIVILE 209 


the Consuls to return to Rome for the treasure; but the 
Consuls refused on the pretext that the roads were not safe.* 
Not only the capital, but the treasure was thus abandoned to 
the enemy. Already thoroughly discouraged by the opening 
events of the war and by the losses entailed’ by the confusion 
of their departure, the Senators became still more depressed in 
the solitude of their country homes, where news which arrived 
days after it had happened seemed but the distant echo of a 
far-away world. ‘The hurried departure from the capital, 
evacuated for the first time in its history, had filled them 
with something like superstitious terror. How were men in 
this raber to be infused with the energy or the enthusiasm 
of battle? 


49 B.C. 


It was a grain of comfort at this juncture to learn that Treachery of 


Labienus had at last actually crossed over to Pompey’s side. 
We do not know the exact reasons for his treachery. It 
appears that there had for some time past been friction between 
Cesar and his subordinate, and that after the war against 
Vercingetorix, during which the only real victories had been 
those gained by Labienus over the Senones and Parisii, the 
obscure plebeian whose friendship with Cesar had made him 
a rich and prominent personage imagined he was actuall 

Cesar’s superior in generalship. In any case his defection did 
something to relieve the despondency of Pompey’s partisans, 
though it was far from removing their dissatisfaction. Cicero 
was going and coming constantly between Formia and Capua, 
impatient for news and a prey to constant and contradictory 


Labienus. 


emotions. At one moment he would wax furious at the The council 
audacity of Cesar, at another at the unpardonable inertia of * *"™* 


Pompey, then he would hark back once more to his favourite 
project for intervention and peace. On the 1oth of February 
a meeting was arranged on his estate at Formia between 
various friends and influential members of Pompey’s party, 
Caius Cassius, Marcus Lepidus and Lucius Torquatus. “They 
discussed the situation at length, and arrived unanimously at 
the conclusion that if a pitched battle was inevitable there 
must be one and no more. All serious and patriotic politicians 
would then unite in inducing the defeated party to renounce 
his pretensions and force him to the conclusion of peace.f 
While his adversaries were organising the defence with such 
slackness and want of spirit, Casar was moving rapidly and 


BECCA Vilna te. TCC AU eI E220 se KVR RTS eT 
Il O 


49 B.C. 


Cesar’s new 
plan of 
campaign. 


{[Camerinum.] 


Pompey and 
Domitius. 
[Sulmo.] 
[Alba 
Fucentia. ] 


210 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


resolutely forward. On his arrival at Fermo he heard that 
Ascoli had been evacuated and that Lentulus, dismayed by 
the speed and strength of his advance, had surrendered his 
command during the retreat to Vibullius Rufus* and had 
retired to Corfinium, where Domitius Ahenobarbus was con- 
centrating a large and formidable army. Lucilius Hirrus, who 
had abandoned Camerino, was also retiring upon Corfinium 
with a considerable force. Corfinium was thus becoming the 
rallying point of his opponents; and Cesar was compelled to 
continue his advance if for no other reason than that his 
enemies were flying before him, Realising that it was now 
impossible to secure terms without first fighting a pitched 
battle, which would overcome the obstinacy of some and the 
hesitation of others, he formed a new plan of campaign at 
Fermo, which he immediately put into execution. He would 
fight a short and sharp campaign in Italy, break up the army 
concentrated at Corfinium, force Pompey and the Consuls to 
conclude a reasonable peace, and thus, within a few weeks, 
restore peace to Italy. He stopped one day at Fermo, col- 
lecting supplies, and sending numerous couriers with a re- 
assuring manifesto to the chief cities of Italy to set forth his 
peaceable intentions. “Then with his habitual rapidity he set 
out once more, on the 8th of February, by forced marches 
along the coast ¢ in the direction of Corfinium. 

At Corfinium, and at Sulmona and Alba in the neighbour- 
hood, was a force of thirty-one cohorts in all, a little more 
than 10,000 men.{ Pompey wisely desired to concentrate 
his troops farther south, at Lucera, and if his plans had been 
carried out Czsar would have found the country of the Marsi 
deserted. But Pompey could not yet shake off the uncertainty 
and slackness which ruined all his best projects. He had 
unlimited powers, but he hesitated to use them against an 
influential aristocrat like Domitius Ahenobarbus. He had 


* See Schmidt, B. W. C., 131. 

t The fact that Cesar moved along the coast is proved by Cic., 
As, Vill. 12515.) 1) See Schmidt, Is. Wy Ci, n20. 

¢{ Cesar (B. C., i. 15) estimates the cohorts in this district at 
thirty-three, of which twenty were with Domitius. Cic., A., viii. 11, A 
and A., viii. 12, A.,i., says that according to Pompey there were thirty- 
one—fourteen under Vitellius, five under Hirrus, twelve (or eleven 
according to some editors) with Domitius. Pompey’s information was 
safer and directer than Cesar’s. The garrisons at Sulmona (seven 
cohorts, according to Cas., B. C., i., 18) and Alba were included in 
the thirty-one ; so that there were only eighteen at Corfinium. See 
Cich eA Vall, 12 An tn po OCMC Cus VV an Cem te 


BELLUM CIVILE 211 


advised rather than ordered him to fall back on Lucera* and 
had been gratified to hear, on the roth of February, that 
Domitius expected to set out on the gth.t Since then he had 
heard no more from Domitius. It was only some days later 
that he ascertained indirectly that he had changed his mind 
and was now anxious to oppose a bold front to Czsar’s ad- 
vance. Pompey, who knew the weaknesses of the Italian 
upper classes, concluded that some of the great landowners in 
the neighbourhood of Corfinium must have joined Domitius 
and were insisting that the country should be saved from 
pillage.t Himself a large landowner and indulgent towards 
the foibles of his class, and not vigorous enough to impose his 
will upon others, Pompey then took a step unworthy of a 
general. On the 12th of February he begged Domitius to send 
him nineteen cohorts and to keep the rest for his defence. § 
But on the 13th or 14th of February, || having now lost all hopes 
of seeing Domitius conform to his advice, and persuaded that 
he was on the point of being surprised by Cesar, he fell back 
upon the scheme of retiring to Greece. If it was no longer 
possible to defend himself in Italy he must leave the peninsula, 
move eastwards to collect an army, and renew the war later 
on with a more serious fighting force. But even after coming 
to this momentous decision Pompey showed a lack of the 
necessary energy. On the 13th he despatched Decimus 
Lzlius to the Consuls with a despatch in which he begged 
them, if the advice appeared “opportune,” the one to go to 
Sicily, with the troops recruited in the neighbourhood of 
Capua and with twelve of the cohorts of Domitius, to protect 
the corn supply, and the other to proceed with the rest of the 
troops to Brindisi to embark.** He also invited Cicero to meet 
him at Brindisi.t{ Unfortunately the fears that he had enter- 
tained on the subject of Domitius were but too well founded. 
On the 14th of February Domitius allowed himself to be sur- 
prised and besieged in Corfinium with eighteen cohorts. This 
news was of course received with great consternation through- 
out the peninsula, but it was believed that Pompey would 
march at once to the relief of the besieged. 

* Cic., A., viii, 12, A., i ¢ Id., A., viii. 11, A. 

12 LG dake, NEE GIP, logy ste 

§ Id., A., viii., 12, B., ii. For the date of this letter see Schmidt, 
IBS. G,, 130, See Cic., A, vill, 12, Ay, 1. 

|| Cic., A., viii. 12, A., iii. For the date, which may be fixed by 
reference to A., viii. 11, D., i., see Schmidt, B. W. C., 136. 


4 For the date of this order see Schmidt, B. W. C., 136. 
ESECICN A. Ville 12) the,) lls fy Clic. Ave vill 11, DX 1 


49 B.C. 


49 B.C. 


Capture of 
Corfinium, 


Czsar’s | 
moderation. 


212 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


The news of the siege and impending disaster at Corfinium 
at last woke Pompey out of his lethargy ; from this time 
onwards he seems to recover much of his old energy. At the 
risk of precipitating the Republic into anarchy and of perishing 
with his party ina gigantic struggle, he decided to have his 
revenge upon Cesar. Calculating that the two legions which 
he had at Lucera were not sufficient to relieve Domitius and 
that a check would be disastrous to his prestige, he resisted 
the unanimous entreaties of his fashionable friends, who were 
impatient to stake all upon the relief of Domitius, and showed 
sufficient strength of mind to come to the most difficult of all 
decisions—to confess himself temporarily beaten. He counted 
as lost all the recruits that had been made on the coast of the 
Adriatic, abandoned Domitius to his fate, and took the de- 
cisive step of retiring to Greece. In view of the insufficiency 
of his forces he even renounced his idea of securing a hold 
over Sicily, and sent the Consuls the laconic order to con- 
centrate at Brindisi with all the recruits that they had collected 
at Capua and all the arms which they could bring together.* 
His calculations were justified. After a seven days’ siege 
Domitius capitulated, while Pompey retired to Brindisi, where 
the fleet which was to carry him to Greece was already being 
collected. ‘The surrender of Corfinium was followed by that 
of Sulmona. During the course of the operations another 
legion, the 8th, reached Cesar from Gaul, together with 
twenty-two cohorts of new recruits and 300 horse sent by the 
King of Noricum.t 

The news of the fall of Corfinium caused stupefaction among 
the Italian upper classes. “The terrible demagogue had captured 
five hostile Senators and a large number of knights and young 
nobles! But Casar promptly set them at liberty, restored 
them all the money they had on them and treated them with 
every indulgence. As events carried him gradually forward 
into a war which he had never desired, Caesar showed an in- 
creasing desire to bring the struggle to a rapid conclusion ; he 
hoped to force Pompey to an honourable agreement satisfactory 
to a public which desired and indeed clamoured for peace and 
was ready to adore the man who was in a position to secure 
it. A civil war, even on the present limited scale, was injurious 
to innumerable private interests. Credit had become so diffi- 
cult that debtors were obliged to sell their possessions to pay 


*Gic., Al, Vill. 2) 7A lve oChmuG runs Gaal age 
TCE ws Oded as 


BELLUM CIVILE 213 


their interest, thus bringing about a general reduction of prices. 49 B.C. 
There was a dearth of employment and a great increase in 
distress, particularly at Rome with so many of the wealthy 
away. Cesar was anxious at all costs to arrive at an agreement 
with Pompey, if possibly in Italy and within a few weeks, and 
to conclude it in such a manner as to receive the credit for 
peace in the eyes of Italy. With his usual fertility of resource 
he wrote to Cicero to say he was ready to re-enter private life 
and to leave Pompey his place in the Republic, provided he 
was allowed to live in security.* He sent the nephew of 
Balbus to the Consul Lentulus to beg him to return to Rome 
and use his efforts in favour of peace.t He wrote to Oppius 
in Rome asking him to give out that he was not setting up 
to be the Sulla of the democracy, but was only anxious for a 
reconciliation with Pompey and his generous permission to 
atriumph.t Finally on the 21st of February, the very day of 
his capture of the town, he left Corfinium, taking six legions 
with him, three of which formed part of the army of Gaul, 
the remaining three having been formed on the spot out of 
new recruits and the soldiers of Domitius. On his way south 
he set at liberty any officers and supporters of Pompey with 
whom he fell in along the route. On the gth of March, after a 
series of forced marches, he arrived beneath the walls of Brindisi. 
But Pompey had already decided for war and had made his Pompey and 
arrangements. Recollecting at last that he had an army in Spain Sele 
he had sent Vibullius Rufus to take command of it. He had also 
sent Domitius to Marseilles to retain that town in its allegi- 
ance ;§ and he had despatched a part of the army with the 
Consuls to Epirus and was only waiting the return of their 
transports to cross over to join them. In the light of these pre- 
parations was peace still possible? Czesar seems to have enter- 
tained a last glimmer of hope on the arrival of Magius with 
proposals from Pompey.|| It is possible indeed that, at this 
supreme moment, if Cicero had happened to be at Brindisi he 
might still have made efforts towards the conciliation for which 
he had all along been working. Unhappily the veteran writer 
had not responded to Pompey’s invitation, on the pretext that 
the roads were unsafe, but in reality because he was unwilling 


PECIC eA HN Vill. 9; 4- iy he, Shik, eh, RS Siakbl, ai Ge 

1 HIG ib op tesa Ora § Ces,, BB. G., 1.34. 

i| This is a way of harmonising Ces., B. C., i. 26, with Cic., A., 
13, A. Schmidt, B. W. C., 152, takes the despatch of Magius as a 
feint; and I agree with him. 


49 B.C. 


Pompey sets 


sail for Greece. 


214 GREATNESS AND DECLINE-OF ROME 


to take part in a civil war which was as odious to him as to all 
sensible Italians. At the time when he should have been acting 
and travelling he remained on his estate at Formia in dreamy 
inaction, brooding over the hopes and fears of the situation. 
He had been deeply impressed by the clemency Czsar had 
displayed at Corfinium ; and he had also, most unfortunately, 
been flattered by the letters of Cesar and Balbus. “Though he 
pretended to conceal his satisfaction under a veil of distrust, 
he would discuss Czsar’s proposals frequently with his friends 
and enjoyed listening to their assurances that Caesar was quite 
sincere in reckoning upon his help for the conclusion of peace. 

Meanwhile the last opportunity was slipping through his 
fingers, if indeed it can be said that peace was still possible. 
Cesar waited for some days for the return of Magius,* and 
sent Titus Caninius Rebilus into the town with equal ill 
success to confer with Scribonius Libo, an intimate friend of 
Pompey’s. Libo’s response was that Pompey could not possibly 
discuss the question of peace in the absence of the Consuls.f 
The despatch of Magius had been a device to gain time. 
Pompey was anxious for war and desired it on a great and 
decisive scale. After the surrender of Corfinium Italy would 
be certain to consider him as having been conquered by Cesar, 
if he consented to make peace without taking his revenge. 
The horror of a civil war, and the infinite distress it was 
certain to involve, all this now counted as nothing to a man 
intoxicated by the greatness of his position and swayed by a 
blind and brutal access of egoism. ‘The extraordinary fortune 
which he had hitherto enjoyed was leading him to his ruin. 
Cesar was unable to prevent Pompey from setting sail with 
all his fleet on the 17th of March.§ The small quarrel that 
had broken out between two factions at Rome had swollen to 
gigantic size. ‘The real civil war had broken out. 

* This is, I think, the right interpretation of Ces., B. C., i. 26. 


te Caascn on Cunl 20. 
{ Schmidt, B. W. C., 152. § Cig AN ists eas 


CHAPTER XIII 


THE WAR IN SPAIN, 49 B.C. 


Italy and the Civil War—Cesar after the flight of Pompey— 
Cesar on his way to Rome—Interview between Cesar and 
Cicero—Czsar at Rome—Cesar’s violence against Metellus— 
Pompey’s army in Spain—Marseilles—Cesar’s policy in Gaul 
—Antony—tThe siege of Marseilles and the Spanish War— 
Critical position of Cesar outside Lerida—Cicero leaves Italy 
—Czesar saved by Decimus Brutus—Cesar made Dictator. 


Csar stopped only one day at Brindisi and then left hastily 49 B.c. 
for Rome in a violent temper, telling his friends that since 
Pompey and his Senators asked for war to the death he would cesar’s. 
take them at their word and move at once to the attack of Shangesin 
their stronghold in Spain.* Curio and Czlius, who had been 

filled with admiration at his moderate behaviour hitherto, were 
dumbfounded to hear him talk in this fashion.f But Cesar 

had only too much reason for irritation. The effects of what 

had taken place during the last two months were so far- 
reaching that Italians had as yet been unable to collect their 
impressions ; the result was a situation so obscure, so unpre- 
cedented and so utterly unforeseen that, despite his astonishing 
momentary success, Caesar could not bring himself to face it 

with any degree of assurance. The Italian upper classes had 

now long been used to thinking of the Republic as on the eve 

of dissolution, but the truth had proved far worse than their 


PCC AL eK. Th, vA 

t Cicero, A., x. 4, 8; x. 9, A., 1. This evidence from Curio and 
Czlius, who at that time saw Cesar daily, is exceedingly important 
as showing us his state of mind at Pompey’s departure. It can hardly 
be doubted that it is correct. Czlius indeed had no motive, in 
writing to Cicero, for crediting Cesar with violent ideas, and Curio, 
who was doing his best to attract Cicero to the party of his chief, 
would rather have exaggerated his moderation than his excitement. 
We are thus face to face with revelations of absolute sincerity and 
great psychological value. There is no contradiction, however, between 
this violent mood of Cesar and his previous moderation. The 
situation had changed so greatly and become so dangerous that he 
might well be carried beyond himself. 

21s 


49 B.C. 


Cesar’s new 
plan of 
campaign. 


216 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


gloomiest predictions. ‘They had seen the Senate and the 
magistracies, the whole venerable edifice of the old Republican 
government, crumble to pieces within two months, under the 
blows of a few legions of trained soldiers, and its débris swept 
from the soil of Italy. It was indeed just the very suddenness 
and completeness of his success which filled Czesar with dismay. 
He was in the perilous position of a usurper who has won one 
striking success over the legitimate government, thereby only 
provoking it to renewed exertions; he realised that after their 
hasty and humiliating flight Pompey and the Senate would 
never consent to return to Italy before they had crushed their 
exulting rival. No human force could now avert a civil war ; 
and in a civil war his enemies, despite their initial failure, had 
far greater forces at their disposal than himself. Practically 
the whole of the Empire was at their command. ‘They had 
supreme control of the sea; they had a large army in Spain: 
while they could recruit another and still more formidable 
force in the East. He himself on the other hand had but 
fourteen legions, little money and no fleet ; worst of all, he 
had to be on his guard against the smouldering disaffection 
of his province. If he recalled his legions from Gaul for the 
civil war he would be risking the outbreak of a new Gallic 
rising, a dilemma upon which his adversaries placed great 
reliance. 

Cesar had realised from the first that his only chance of 
safety lay in an extreme rapidity of action, and calmer investi- 
gation only confirmed this idea. With Pompey now escaped 
from his clutches, his policy must be to attack the forces of 
his opponents, collectively so formidable, while they were still 
dispersed ; and he would naturally begin with the army in 
Spain, which was threatening Gaul at close quarters. It was 
upon the Spanish legions that Pompey’s friends based most 
of their hopes, and a report was even current that Pompey 
would shortly take command there himself to lead his troops 
to the re-conquest of Italy.* It seems that with characteristic 
energy Czsar thought out a large and elaborate scheme on 
the road between Brindisi and Rome, which he at once began 
to put into execution, endeavouring through detailed instruc- 
tions to make his will felt in a hundred different places at 
once. He placed garrisons in the principal centres of South 
Italy ; f he ordered all the coast towns to send a quota of ships 

FU GIG, ea peVe ete yeas) Ans h Wale 20) blirse Villy oye MWS tire 
if Ceess BGs, tose App rise Cole tolr \GiGwe Aerie thems 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 217 


to Brindisi, and to set to work upon the construction of others; 
all this was to be left to Hortensius and Dolabella.* He at 
once took steps too to secure command over the corn-supply- 
ing countries nearest to Italy, ordering Quintus Valerius to 
proceed with one legion to Sardinia, and Curio to occupy 
Sicily with two legions, crossing over thence into Africa,f while 
Dolabella was to go to Illyria.t He also intended immediately 
on his arrival at Rome to convoke the few Senators and magis- 
trates who remained there and restore a semblance of legitimate 
government. ‘This was indeed a matter of urgent necessity 
both for himself and for Italy. ‘The condition of Italy, in the 
anarchy in which Pompey had left it, was indeed at this 
moment one of his greatest embarrassments.§ If in a short 
two months he and his soldiers had been able to break down 
the government of the Republic, he could not build it up again 
with the troops that he needed for his campaign, nor yet could 
he leave it without any government at all. Moreover, as the 
weaker party, it was greatly to his interest to secure some 
sort of legal justification for all that he had done or intended 
to do: more particularly, to be authorised to carry the war 
into Spain, and to take the sums which he needed from the 
State Treasury. 

Like all Czsar’s creations this plan was coherent and well 
thought out; but almost superhuman efforts were needed 
if he, with his friends and soldiers, was to carry it into 
execution. The difficulties it involved, social, military and 
political, were stupendous. Moreover, the state of public 
opinion, which still seemed dazed by the rapidity of events, 
must have appeared very alarming. It is true that circum- 
stances had modified it slightly in his favour. On the course 
of his journey some of the towns which had given Pompey 
a brilliant reception in the preceding year now turned out 
to welcome Cesar ;|| numerous Senators whom Pompey had 
persuaded to leave Rome were preparing to return with the 
conqueror {| and many observers now seemed disposed to grant 


RECE5: 1 DAC wi sOn ADD 2b, Os eils Ve 

fies C1 30s) Dion xiiS 5) App.,, 5. ©, 11, 40-41, (He is 
wrong in saying that Asinius Pollio was sent to Sicily. ) 

¢t From Oros., vi. 15, 8, and Dion, xli. 40, it seems clear (contrary to 
App., Jay, (Caxane, 41) that Dolabella (and not C. Antonius) was sent to 
Illyria. Caius seems to have gone later toreinforce Dolabella ; perhaps 
he was sent by his brother Marcus. 

$ See Cic., Aj, vil, 13, Ac, 1.3) Vil 9, 3. {| Cic., A, vil, 16, 1=2. 

Git (Gite, tay spt ly SF) Ripbb 9G) Ye Aanbls hep, EN bb cats Peer beh Rey it 


49 B.C. 


Italy and 
Cesar, 


49 B.C. 


Czesar’s inter- 
view with 
Cicero. 


218 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


that Caesar, and not Pompey, was in the right, that Casar had 
in no way provoked the conflict, and had in fact displayed a 
conciliatory temper all through. People were even sometimes 
heard exaggerating his merits and the power which he con- 
trolled, saying, for instance, that he could, if he wished, collect 
innumerable recruits from Gaul and had immense treasures at 
his command.* Yet, at bottom, for Cesar as for Pompey and 
all the other leaders in a struggle that they hated, Italians felt 
little else than distrust and indignation. ‘The reception which 
was given him by the towns on his journey, friendly though it 
seemed, was very different from that which had been given 
forty years before to his uncle on his return from Africa. 
After all, Italy was no longer the Italy of Marius. The sons 
and grandsons of the nobles and landlords and downtrodden 
peasants who, half a century before, had been unconscious 
victims for the future of their country now owned slave- 
worked estates in the country and houses in the towns; 
they had turned traders, or brokers, or opportunist politicians, 
or advocates and solicitors with friends in great houses, or 
hard-working small proprietors whose smartly dressed children 
were taken to school by a slave with the sons of the best 
families. “Taken in the mass, they made up a public opinion 
which was selfish, exacting and incompetent, which had no 
understanding of the inevitability of the present situation 
and lived in mortal terror of a civil war. They imagined 
that peace was an easy matter and depended solely on the 
will of Casar and Pompey. No one understood that Czsar 
had really no alternative now but to go forward; and the 
feeble reaction in his favour was in part determined by the 
hope that he would put an end to hostilities.t In short, 
whether favourable or unfavourable, public opinion with its 
naive and contradictory pretensions could not but cause him 
serious embarrassment. 

Czsar was able to take stock of this difficulty in an interview 
which he had with Cicero. Formia was on his road to Rome, 
and wishing at this critical moment to assure himself of the 
friendship of the most powerful writer of the time he paid him a 
visit, probably on the morning of the 28th of March.t Buta 
meeting which, had it taken place a month earlier, might have 
been a turning-point in the world’s history was now but a futile 


PCO. NGS ab dh Attety ake et, Melos 
t Dion, xli. 16. See App., Gay warAls 
TPCiGywAt Ix Lo, rl eee Schmidt, Bee Calor 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 219 


and conventional ceremony. Czsar made himself as agreeable 
as he could and invited Cicero to come to Rome to negotiate 
for peace. When Cicero asked if he would be free to employ 
any means he liked, Cesar replied that he would never 
venture to impose conditions on a man of his distinction. 
Cicero then informed him that he was prepared to stand 
up in the Senate and oppose the contemplated campaign 
in Spain and Greece. Czsar was obliged to tell him that 
this advice was useless, since he lay under the absolute neces- 
sity of conducting these campaigns with the least possible 
delay. ‘I knew it,” replied Cicero, “but I could not 
possibly say less.” ‘The conversation was then continued in 
a cold and trivial strain, and after various subjects had been 
raised Cesar broke it off by begging Cicero to think over his 
suggestion. Cicero of course promised to do so, and Cesar 
set out for Rome.* Still more unfavourable was the impres- 
sion left on his mind by Czsar’s escort, which was com- 
posed, he told Atticus, of a crew of criminals, adventurers 
and bankrupts. After the interview he finally made up his 
mind that Czesar and his supporters were engaged in a delibe- 
rate conspiracy for the ruin of Pompey, the confiscation of the 
goods of the rich and the exploitation of the State. Under 
these circumstances he could not think of going to the sitting 
of the Senate: far better make up his mind to rejoin his old 
friend in Greece.t 

On the 29th of March 48{ Cesar arrived in Rome. It was 
nine years since he had left it at the commencement of his 
Proconsulship. He might have paused to reflect on all that 
had happened during those eventful years, how the city itself 
had been changed and beautified. But he had no time now 
to admire the embellishments of the capital. He found the 
whole population, from the few Senators who had returned 
down to the common people, aghast at the idea that the 
war was to go on, at the armies which were encamping in 
all parts of Italy and at the revival of the memories of Marius 
and Sulla. He was in a serious dilemma. He was very un- 
willing to exasperate the upper classes in Italy and the public 
in general; yet he needed to set out for Spain at the earliest 
possible moment and to lay hands on the treasure that Pompey 
had so foolishly left behind. Antony and Quintus Cassius 
collected the few remaining Senators outside the city boun- 


#<Cic;, A. 41x. Ton ve Heldsnixe TS, 02s 
¢t Groebe, App. to Driimann, 1”, p. 402. 


49 B.C. 


Cesar at 
Rome. 


49 B.C. 


Cesar and 


the treasure. 


220 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


dary. Czsar pretended to be in the presence of a legitimate 
meeting of the Senate and delivered a moderate speech 
justifying his actions. He denied that he had used violence 
against any one and declared that he would allow all who 
wished to go off to join Pompey. He proposed that ambas- 
sadors should be sent to Greece to negotiate for peace. 
He then delivered a similar speech to the people, gave orders 
for the distribution of corn and promised 300 sesterces to 
every citizen.* All this was intended to reconcile public 
opinion to the Spanish campaign; but in the prevailing 
mood of suspicion and uncertainty it only served to intensify 
the discontent. It was observed that his proposal to negotiate 
for peace could not possibly be regarded as serious, if he did 
not suspend his preparations for war until the arrival of a 
reply.t ‘Ihe attempt to find an ambassador proved fruitless, 
in face of the threats of Pompey ; ; and the proposal was thus 
made to look even more insincere than it was in reality.t 

Nevertheless in the early days of April the cae and 
Czsar worked together with fair success to create some 
sort of a Government out of the magistrates who had re- 
mained at Rome. It was found that Marcus A‘milius 
Lepidus, son of the Consul who had died in the revolution 
of 78 and son-in-law of Servilia, a friend of Czsar’s boyhood 
and now holding the Pretorship, had stayed behind at Rome 
owing to his relationship with Servilia and his old intimacy 
with Cesar. Here was a fairly trustworthy agent, and the 
Senate was induced to decide that he should be acting 
Consul.§ By another senatorial decree Antony was placed at 
the head of the troops stationed in Italy, and further decrees 
ratified Czesar’s selection of Quintus Valerius for Sardinia, 
Curio for Sicily and Africa, Marcus Licinius Crassus for 
Transalpine Gaul and Dolabella for Illyricum.|| Thus for 
a time all went well. But when Czsar went on to ask 
the Senate to authorise his use of the Treasury funds, the 
trouble broke out. ‘Though Czsar refused to make an open 
statement, every one understood that the treasure was needed 

*7Czes:,. b. C. i032)" Dion, xi 15-10 N App, bs Gin lle Aurea en Gss 
Cees., 35. 

7 Cio Ay wx: 1) 3p Soumidt ba We. LOO; 

ft Cceg iS. Creede as ous beUt., Gress, 85. 

§ App., B. C., ii. 41. He is wrong in attributing this to Cesar. The 
constitution gave the Pretors the power of replacing absent consuls. 

|| App., B. C., i. 41. I think it probable that all these decisions 
were ratified by the Senate. See Zumpt, S. R., 203, who takes a 
contrary view. 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 221 


for the Spanish war. Whatever the decision of the Senate * 49 B.c. 
the idea that public money was to be used by one of the 
rivals for the prolongation of a wicked and calamitous war 
was highly unpopular and Lucullus Czcilius Metellus, one 
of the Tribunes, went so far as to oppose his sacrosanct 
person against the blacksmiths and soldiers whom Cesar 
sent to break the cellar-doors in the Temple of Saturn, where 
the money was deposited ; for the keys had been taken off by 
the Consuls in their flight. At this Czsar lost patience ; he 
appeared in person at the head of his soldiers and threatened 
to put the Tribune to death unless he instantly gave way. 
Fortunately for Czsar, Metellus had no intention of Casar hastily 
dying in defence of the law and his sacred tights. Casares 
was able to carry off 15,000 pounds in gold bullion, 35,000 
pounds in silver bullion and about forty million sesterces in 
coin { without shedding the blood of an inviolable magistrate. 
But the general public was profoundly moved by this exercise 
of violence against the most popular and the most sacred of the 
Republican officers. Men saw in it the first symptoms of a 
new Sullan tyranny. How could the old chief of the popular 
party now declare that he had taken up arms in defence of the 
rights of the Tribunes? Confiscation and pillage would soon 
reveal his true temper! Czsar was so much disturbed by this 
change of feeling that he decided upon a speedy departure, 
without even waiting for a legal authorisation of his campaign. 
All the rest that he intended to do he put off till his victorious 
return from Spain. He even gave up the idea of making a 
great speech before the people, although he had already 
prepared it. But one reform he still found time to carry 
through. In order to show the public that he had no 
intention of becoming a second Sulla, he made Antony 
propose before the Assembly the abolition of the monstrous 
and antiquated provision of Sulla excluding the descendants of 
the proscribed from the privilege of holding office.|| Then 


* In the absence of evidence, either may be supposed. 

(eDioweedin tA pp Coudin At elite aC sys 5 OCeNCas., 
B. C., i. 33. Note the terms he uses to conceal the seriousness of 
the action. 

+ These are the figures of Pliny, N. H., xxxvii. 17. Oros., vi. 15, 5, 
gives less likely figures. 

§ We have a safe witness of Cesar’s anxiety at the indignation 
evoked among the common poe by his insult to a tribune; the 
witness is Curio in Cic., A., x. 4,8. See also Cic., A., x. 8, 6. 

{| Dion, xli. 18. Plut.,. Ces., 37, puts this reform after his return 
from’ Spain. 


4Q B.C. 


Pompey’s 
forces in Spain. 


222 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


he left the city, six or seven days after his arrival, probably on 
the 6th of April,* with a small escort of friends.f 

His short stay at Rome had in fact been rather injurious 
than useful to his cause. During those few days he lost in 
public esteem all that he had gained in the four preceding 
months. Many impartial observers, upon whom his modera- 
tion in January and February had made a favourable impres- 
sion, now felt once more attracted towards the party of 
Pompey. The sincerity of Czsar’s talk of peace began to 
be suspected by those who actually witnessed his violence 
towards a Tribune and set eyes on the wretched band of 
adventurers by whom he was accompanied.{ It seemed absurd 
to entertain any further illusions. Most probably he and his 
precious confederates would not be heard of after another six 
months ; but if by any chance he came out conqueror the old 
ally of Catiline would surely justify the hopes placed in him bythe 
worst section of the Roman population. Czsar was therefore 
all the more anxious for some signal success in Spain. Pompe 
had two legions in Lusitania under the command of his legate 
Marcus Petreius; he had three more in Nearer Spain under 
Lucius Afranius and two in Farther Spain under Varro, 
making a total of seven legions. True, they were only 
accustomed to guerilla warfare in the mountains and against 
barbarians. Yet they were seasoned troops and commanded 
by trusty and skilful generals. Pompey had sent them orders 
to remain upon the defensive, hoping to retain part of Czsar’s 
army in Gaul by threatening the passes of the Pyrenees or to 
compel Cesar to the dangerous exploit of an invasion of Spain ; 
and the three generals had formed a common plan of defence. 
Varro was to remain in Farther Spain with his two legions to 
hold down the tribes who were as yet but half subdued,|| 


Fr CIC: AL On Onn ees GLOeDe eA Dpto Driimann, Ga Rea 
= 402; 
: t Of the six legions Caesar had at Corfinium, three, certainly the 
new arrivals, were sent to garrison Brindisi, Sipontum and Taranto 
(Cic., A., ix. 15, I); one was given to Q. Valerius, and two to Curio. 
The Spanish war and the siege of Marseilles were thus conducted 
with the eight legions left in Gaul. 
t{ See the important letter, Cic., A., x. 8, especially § 6 and 7. 
Sues.) daddy 
|| This appears, judging by Cesar’s own words in B, C., i. 38, to 
be the true reason why Varro remained in Farther Spain. The 
motive given in B, C., 1. 17, is a false one. That passage, which bears 
marks of ill-will and even of calumny, must be erroneous and written 
in a moment of ill-humour against Varro. It is not only in contra- 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 223 


while Afranius and Petreius with their united five legions 49 8.¢. 
were to advance as far as Lerida, a fortified town in a strong Ulerda.] 
situation near the Pyrenees frontier, to await the enemy if he 
ventured upon an invasion. Pompey had also induced the 

nobles of Marseilles to refrain from assisting Cesar. Without 

the aid of Marseilles, as Pompey knew very well from his war (Massilia.] 
against Sertorius, it would be difficult to maintain an army in 

Spain, where the population would certainly be hostile to 
Czsar.* The conqueror of Sertorius would be fresh in 

their memories while the name of Cesar was almost 
unknown.+ If the Spanish legions had not done all the 

service that the ingenuous strategists at Rome expected they 

were none the less, in conjunction with Marseilles, a for- 
midable barrier upon Cesar’s road. 

Czsar was indeed soon brought to a halt on his march. ai 
When probably on the 19th of April { he arrived under the “*" 
walls of Marseiiles, he found the city gates shut and the Senate 
steadfastly hostile on the pretext of neutrality. As the occu- 
pation of Marseilles was necessary to carry on a vigorous 
campaign in Spain, Cesar resolved at once to take it by force, 
and sent for three legions from Gaul. But before his soldiers 
came up Domitius arrived by sea, threw himself into the town 
and began to organise the defence. With Domitius against 
him the siege of Marseilles became a much longer and more 
difficult undertaking. Yet it was imperative for Cesar to come 
to blows with the Spanish army with the least possible delay. 

Vexed by this unexpected rebuff and resolved to stake all 
upon a rapid and signal success, Caesar suddenly decided upon 
two exceedingly rash enterprises. He resolved to withdraw all 
his troops from Gaul and to push on operations simultaneously 
under the walls of Marseilles and in Spain. No sooner had 
his three legions arrived than he commenced the siege, giving 
orders at the same time to the three legions which were already 
in the Narbonese Province under the orders of Caius Fabius 
and to the two last legions which remained in Gaul to proceed 


diction with Cesar’s own narrative in B. C., i. 38, but with the char- 
acter of Varro. Varro may have been cold and reserved; but he was 
certainly also upright and honourable. 

* It is impossible to understand this campaign unless it is realised 
that the military operations in Spain and the siege of Marseilles were 
intimately connected. Cicero knew this well, but it has escaped the 
notice of many modern historians. See Cicero, A., x. 12, 6. 

i Ces... C.1. OF. 

teSscumidt, B: Wa. C., ps 176: 


49 B.C. 


Cesar’s new 
Gallic policy. 


Fabius outside 
Lerida. 


224 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


to Spain.* Fabius was to attempt to detach the native in- 
habitants of the country from Pompey, while Caesar himself 
continued the siege of Marseilles. With that city once in 
his possession, he would advance into a country already 
partially conquered and complete the destruction of the 
armies of Pompey. 

So far as concerned Gaul the venture was entirely success- 
ful. Thanks to the measures that Cesar had taken and to 
a fortunate conjunction of circumstances, no rising resulted 
in that country. With his habitual quickness and adaptability 
Czsar had prepared for his action by once more exchanging 
his policy of violence for conciliation. Not only had he 
done his best to repair the damage caused by the last wars, 
but he had endeavoured to make peace with the surviving 
chiefs of the insurrectionary movement. He seems, for 
instance, to have succeeded in coming to a complete under- 
standing with Commius.f But he had achieved yet more. 
The Gallic nobles were for the most part men of the sword. 
A large number of the horsemen and foot-soldiers who were 
in the pay of the rich now found themselves without employ- 
ment and many of the impoverished nobles were only awaiting 
an opportunity for winning riches and renown, With the 
money from the Treasury and sums which he had borrowed 
from military Tribunes and Centurions, at once a useful con- 
tribution and a pledge of their fidelity, Caesar had enrolled a 
force of cavalry and infantry in Gaul and taken many of the 
nobles into his service on the promise of restoring their con- 
fiscated possessions. He was thus able to send into Spain, in 
addition to his five legions, no less than 3000 volunteers and 
6000 cavalry raised from Gaul itself.{ In short, he had 
actually succeeded in securing substantial support from the 
country which according to his adversaries should have been 
the greatest of his embarrassments. 

On the other hand his efforts to bring the war to a rapid 
conclusion led at first to disappointing results, While he was 
actively continuing his siege works in Marseilles and con- 
structing a small flotilla, Fabius had crossed the Pyrenees ; 
but he was so easily driven back by the troops of Afranius 
and Petreius that one is inclined to ask whether the retreat 


ei Cag BC Jy. 
t This is the best interpretation of the obscure passage, Dion, 


xl. 43. 
{ Ges) B. Cy, i130, 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 225 


was not a feint to tempt the enemy onwards. Fabius en- 49 B.c. 
camped on the banks of the Ségre a few miles from Lerida (Sicoris.1 
and began to scatter large sums of money through the town 

and the neighbouring country to detach the population from 
Pompey’s cause. Although the two legions had now already 

joined him,* he remained on the defensive awaiting the fall 

of Marseilles. 

But the whole of May passed, and Marseilles still held out. Rumours 
This unexpected delay very nearly led to a catastrophe in” geen 
Italy. The reaction in favour of Pompey, which had begun 
after Czsar’s departure, was steadily gathering force. ‘The 
resistance of Marseilles had at first been regarded by Pompey’s 
party merely as a poor compensation for the loss of Sicily, 
which had been abandoned by Cato and successfully occupied 
by Curio.t But as the weeks went on it began to be thought 
that Czsar’s simultaneous operations before Marseilles and in 
Spain could not possibly succeed.[ The strangest rumours 
were in circulation; it was said that Pompey had marched 
across through Illyria and Germany to encounter Cesar 
in Gaul.§ There were other reasons too why the public 
should be dissatisfied, not least the extraordinary behaviour of 
Antony. 

Antony was the last descendant of one of the noblest Antony. 
families in Rome; yet in some ways he seems more of a 
typical plebeian than an aristocrat. A regular barbarian, of 
great physical vigour and powers of enjoyment, a great eater 
and drinker, jovial, courageous and bloodthirsty, brought up 
in a primitive independence, removed from all family and 
social traditions, first among the lowest haunts in Rome and 
then in the camp, and thus utterly indifferent to the opinions 


* The text of Ces., B. C. i. 39, which enumerates the forces sent 
into Spain, is corrupt. But there must have been more than four 
and not more than five legions. More than four, because in the battle 
spoken of in Ces., B. C., 1. 40, Fabius sends four legions out of camp 
against the four of the enemy, and he must have kept one back to 
guard the camp. Not more than five, because Cesar had at that 
time fourteen legions in all; three were protecting the sea-coast towns 
of Italy (Cic., A., ix. 15, 1); one was in Sardinia, two in Sicily, three 
before Marseilles (Ces., B. C., i. 36). There is still a difficulty. With 
what forces did Dolabella conduct his campaign in Illyria, and whence 
came the fifteen cohorts sent to his help under C. Antonius (Oros., vi. 
15,9)? They must have come from the seaport garrisons; which is 
all the more likely as they would do the journey by sea. 

melityOat, Whim Cass nibs Cr ede3O1; DION, xi. AT. 

PCC. wiAl Ux. 12; O. 

SE XG OF Ls 

It P 


49 B.C. 


Loyalty of the 
Spaniards to 
Pompey. 


Czesar’s peril 
in Spain, 


& 


226 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of others, he was gifted by nature with a fair intelligence, a 
good measure of astuteness and a considerable insight into the 
more elementary passions of human nature; he could plot 
and counterplot like the rest and use the ordinary weapons 
of flattery and intimidation ; but he was utterly innocent of 
any general ideas and had no notion of using his abilities for 
any other object than the satisfaction of his personal passions. 
Left by Ceasar the practical master of Italy, he had scan- 
dalised even his hardened contemporaries by the shameless 
licence of his manner of life, keeping a harem of both sexes 
at Rome, and travelling through the country with Cithzris, 
a Greek courtezan, in his litter.* It is true that such scan- 
dals had been seen before in Italy; but Antony’s conduct 
produced an exceptional effect at this moment, when public 
opinion was particularly impressionable. Several Senators left 
Rome in disgust; and a rumour was trumpeted abroad, not 
without reason, that Cicero was anxious to follow their 
example. Antony was seriously annoyed and he could think 
of no better remedy than to bring pressure upon Cicero, at 
first in a politely worded letter f and then in more outspoken 
terms,{ to remain in Italy. 

Unfortunately towards the end of May the war took a still 
more favourable turn for Cesar. Marseilles was still holding 
out and Fabius was unsuccessful in his solicitations. The 
people of Spain remained obstinately faithful to Pompey, 
partly owing to his reputation in that country, partly to the 
five legions of Afranius and Petreius, and partly also to the 
rumours that were skilfully set in circulation. One story 
was that Pompey was on the point of landing in Africa with 
a large army.§ Fabius was soon in great straits for the 
supplies and began to be afraid that he would be obliged to 
retreat. Some striking victory was necessary to win Cesar 
the support of the Spanish tribes and to induce them to bring 
in food to his troops, rather than to those of Pompey. 

Cesar therefore decided to take an extreme step—to leave 
Decimus Brutus and Trebonius at Marseilles and take com- 
mand of the Spanish army in person to bring about an 
engagement. “Towards the middle of June|! he left the 


FRCIC., Ady Sen lOw bs Tela eS WAS 

ak They Oy S3Cees) 3. Gale sO: 

|| This date is clear from Czes., B. C., ii. 32, where he says that his 
operations against Afranius and Petreius took forty days, and from 
C. I. L., i. p. 398, according to which the surrender was on August 2. 


; 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 227 


besieged city with an escort of 900 cavalry, crossed the 
Pyrenees, rejoined his army, and at once advanced to Lerida, 
where Afranius was encamped on a hill, and offered him 
battle. But Afranius, who was aware of the critical position 
of his adversary, refused to fight.* Czsar was compelled to 
force the enemy to an engagement. He discovered a small 
height situated between Lerida and the hill where Afranius 
was encamped and commanding Afranius’ communications 
with the town and the stone bridge over the Ségre. One day 
he suddenly detached three legions to make an assault upon 
this position. But Afranius and Petreius were on their guard. 
They sent out their cohorts, and after a sanguinary hand-to- 
hand struggle Cezsar’s legionaries were repulsed at the foot 
of the rise. The check must have been a serious one,f for 
Cesar, although previously so anxious for an engagement, no 
longer attempted to take the offensive. Its consequences were 
soon apparent. The Spanish country towns which Fabius 
had won over to Cesar ceased to send in supplies, and pro- 
visioning became a matter of difficulty. Czsar’s embarrass- 
ments were increased by a sudden flood of the rivers between 
which he was encamped, carrying away the bridges. The 
army was soon reduced to the condition in which it had been 
under the walls of Alesia, in the clutches of the invisible 
enemy, famine.[ Within a few days the situation had be- 
come almost desperate. 


meres eG 1 AT. 

# See Dion, xli. 20. 

+ Cesar’s account in B. C., i. 41-56, should be examined with care 
and compared with Dion, xli. 20 ff. Czeesar describes (chaps. 43-48) 
the attack upon the hill as an incident of small importance which 
had no decisive effect on the subsequent events of the war. On the 
other hand, in chapters 48-56, he gives the rising of the rivers as the 
cause of the critical situation in which he was suddenly placed. But 
in this account there is one fact which is not explained. Caesar was so 
anxious for a battle that he had left the siege of Marseilles to bring 
one about; why then did he make no further attempt towards a 
serious conflict after this first encounter, which according to him 
was of uncertain result? Moreover, it is strange that the rising 
of the rivers was sufficient in itself to bring about so serious a famine. 
It is probable that the famine resulted rather from the hostile attitude 
of the Spanish population, which would have been intensified after 
the semi-defeat sustained by Cesar. This view is confirmed by an 
important and illuminating observation of Dion’s (xli. 21). He says 
that the first reverses of Caesar occasioned a famine and that plenty 
was restored to the camp of Cesar, not after the subsidence of 
the flood, but when the news of the victory of Decimus Brutus 
at Marseilles restored to Cesar the friendship of the natives in 
the surrounding country. To sum up, it appears to me that the 


49 B.C. 


49 B.C. 


Pompey in 
the east. 


Cicero leaves 
Italy. 


228 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


The news of the great danger in which Cesar was placed 
spread very rapidly through the whole Roman world and 
reached Rome, of course, in considerably exaggerated form.* 
At the same time favourable reports of Pompey arrived from 
Thessalonica. He was making active preparations for war, 
and was collecting a numerous fleet, provided by the allied 
states in the East, which he had put under the command 
of Bibulus. He had recalled one legion from Cilicia to attach 
it to the five legions he had brought over from Italy; he 
was recruiting another from amongst the Roman soldiers 
who had settled in Greece or Macedonia, and two more 
were being raised in Asia by Lentulus. He had instructed 
Scipio to send him two from Syria, and by holding out 
offers of pay he was enrolling cavalry, slingers and archers 
from amongst Gauls, Germans, Galatians, Cappadocians, 
Dardanians and Bessi; he was imposing a tribute or the 
obligation of furnishing military contingents upon the towns 
of Asia and Syria, the kings and chiefs of the East, and the 
great Italian trading companies which did business in the 
East.f He would shortly be master of the sea, commander 
of a formidable army, and at the head of a coalition of all 
the Eastern states under the protectorate of Rome. This 
news did not fail to influence the public, which already 
inclined to Pompey’s side, and many of the Senators left 
for Greece, without Antony being able to interfere with 
their departure. Cicero had already set sail from Formia 
on the 7th of June, { his fears and hesitations at length 
subdued. He was angry at the domineering tone adopted 
towards him by Antony and felt remorse at having allowed 
Pompey to go off alone on his adventure. He had little 
confidence in a victory and he realised the full risks of the 
enterprise ; but, when he felt certain that Czsar was deliber- 
ately provoking a war against his friend and benefactor, the 


necessity of bringing the war to a rapid conclusion impelled Cesar to 
the error of attempting at once to besiege Marseilles and to fight 
in Spain, that this blunder and the comparative failure of his first 
battle exposed him to great dangers, and that he afterwards en- 
deavoured to conceal his mistake as best he could by alleging that 
the floods were the cause of the whole difficulty. 

MCs, is Os win 53 

1 eee bhle ei 1% 0} oF al Oyen bh, 7-Loy 

+ Cic., F., xiv. 7. Duruy (H. R., iii. 305) is therefore unjust in 
reproaching Cicero for flying to Pompey when Caesar seemed to 
be on the point of defeat in Spain. On June 7 Cesar was still at 
Marseilles. 


THE WAR IN SPAIN 229 


writer of the De Republica could not display cowardice and 49 B.c. 
ingratitude. It was in vain that his wife begged him at 
least to wait for the conclusion of the Spanish War.* 

Cesar was thus once more in an extremely perilous Capitulation of 
situation. But fortune again came to his rescue. Towards ‘® Pompeians: 
the middle of July, Decimus Brutus gained a considerable 
victory over the fleet of Marseilles, and the news of this 
success, which seemed to make the fall of the city inevitable, 
was exaggerated by the emissaries of Cesar and caused some 
dismay among the natives of Spain, particularly those who 
lived between the Ebro and the Pyrenees. They expected 
that the legions which were besieging Marseilles would 
shortly be crossing the Pyrenees, and that a victory for 
Cesar was now assured. Many of them therefore abandoned 
the cause of Pompey and began to send into Czsar’s camp 
the supplies which they had been furnishing to Afranius and 
Petreius. The famine crossed over from one camp to the 
other and Czsar was thus almost miraculously saved.t The 
lack of supplies soon forced Afranius and Petreius to prepare 
to break up their camp and retire across the mountainous district 
towards Octogesa, then crossing the Ebro and taking refuge 
among the friendly tribes of Celtiberia. When he heard of 
their intention Cesar at once made arrangements for pursuit. 
Calculating that it would be a slow business to take his 
army over the weak wooden bridges which crossed the Segre, 
he conceived the idea of reducing the size of the river by 
constructing basins and canals by its banks, thus forming 
an artificial ford which his soldiers could cross on foot. The 
troops took pick and shovel and set cheerfully to work ; but 
their labours were still only half completed when the enemy 
got wind of them and hastily began their retreat. “The river 
was still flowing deep and strong and Afranius and Petreius 
were in full flight. Cesar hesitated a moment; then he had 
all work suspended, drove his army into the ford and crossed the 
river without losing a man. Once out of the dangerous island 
he might have attacked Afranius and Petreius on their march, 
but fearing that the Spanish legions might fight with the courage 

CIC AG a Xe Oye 2 em CCI CIC WAU Ke O50 7 

+ Ces. (B. C., i. 59-60) scarcely alludes to this change in the attitude 
of the Spaniards, and does not let it appear that this was the real 
cause of the commutatio rerum. On the other hand the true course 
of events is well described by Dion, xli. 21—another proof that Dion 


is following the text of an author who had studied Czsar’s wars with 
discernment and was not blindly dependent upon the Commentaries, 


49 B.C. 


Cesar 
nominated 
Dictator. 


(Corduba. ] 


[Gades. ] 


(Tarraco.] 


230 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of despair, he preferred to work for a bloodless capitulation. 
Throwing his legions, unimpeded by baggage, across the hills 
and the valleys by a long irregular route and by forced 
marches, he forged ahead of the enemy’s army as it con- 
tinued its retreat on the high road to Octogesa. Arriving 
before them at a gorge in the hills through which the road 
passed, he forced the enemy to retrace their steps in the 
direction of Lerida; and as soon as they were on the march he 
advanced on their heels, harassing the stragglers and cutting off 
supplies. Afranius and Petreius used all their efforts to save 
the army; but their soldiers rose against them and they were 
forced to surrender on the 2nd of August.* 

Cesar was magnanimous in his conditions. He allowed 
them all both their life and their money ; the soldiers were 
free to go where they wished, either to retreat to Pompey or 
to take service under Cesar’s standard, or to re-enter private 
life. Some time afterwards Varro, who had remained with 
two legions in Farther Spain, capitulated without a battle. 
His two legions joined the standard of Caesar? and the 
whole of Spain was thus in the power of the Proconsul 
of Gaul. Cesar held a sort of Diet at Cordova, made a 
great number of Spaniards Roman citizens, and imposed a 
considerable money tribute; then he passed on to Cadiz, 
which he gave the rights of a Roman city, { and thence 
by sea to Tarragona, leaving Quintus Cassius with four 
legions to administer the country. He left Spain by land 
for Marseilles, where he arrived towards the end of September. 
Here he learned that about the middle of August Marcus 
Lepidus had made use of the impression produced by his 
success in Spain to nominate him Dictator. He had done 
so by passing a law through the Assembly authorising him 
to act with the powers of a Consul §—an arrangement which 
had probably been agreed upon beforehand between Lepidus 
and Cesar. Cesar distrusted the Senators who remained 
behind at Rome and did not wish that the elections for 
48 should be presided over in the absence of the Consuls 
by an interrex nominated by them. As Dictator he would, 
of course, preside over them himself. 


* C.I.L.,1. p. 398. This part of the war is narrated in Ces., B. C., 
i. 61-87. 

TmOLOS a Viens yn 7s 

} Dion, xli. 24. 

§ Ces., B.C., 1. 21; Dion, xli. 36. See Zumpt, S) R., 205 f. 


CHAR LER XLV 


PHARSALIA, 48 B.C. 


Distress in Italy—Death of Curio in Africa—Cesar after the 
Spanish victories—He returns to Rome—His first Dictator- 
ship—Cesar and the question of debt—He sets sail from 
Brindisi—Cesar and Pompey on the Apsus—Renewed efforts 
for peace—Pompey’s camp—Arrival of Czsar’s reinforcements 
—Rashness of Cesar and caution of Pompey—Cesar’s defeat 
at Durazzo—-Critical position of Czsar—Pharsalia. 


For Lepidus and the remnant of the Senate which remained 49 B.c. 
at Rome Cesar’s Dictatorship perhaps provided a welcome 
means of withdrawing from the alarming responsibilities which Financial crisis 
were crowding in upon them. Since Czsar’s departure Italy '*“"” 
had passed through a time of frightful distress. The sus- 
pension of public payments, which had been decreed by the 
Senate simultaneously with the tumu/tus, the exhaustion of 

the Treasury, which Casar had emptied and from which 
Pompey was cutting off the tribute of Asia, the interruption 

of public works, the sudden departure from Italy of a large 
number of the wealthier citizens, the requisition of all the 

ships necessary for the transport of troops and supplies, the 
enormous forced loans that Pompey had raised from the 
temples of Italy, the recruiting of a large part of the youth 

of the country, the interruption of normal electoral and 
political activity, all these had combined to provoke an 
economic crisis of the gravest character. Trade, in all its 
branches, was almost at a standstill; the middle class missed 

the profits it drew from its trained slaves and freedmen, 
while at Rome especially a large number of artisans and 

small traders felt the lack of employment. Corn was scarce ; 
bankers and capitalists refused to give loans, for fear of a 
revolution which might end in the abolition of debts: and 
money was therefore almost unobtainable.* Debtors who 

had hitherto paid their debts or their interest at fixed seasons, 


* See Cic., A., ix. 9, 4, propter nummorum caritatem. 
231 


49 B.C. 


Illyria and 
Africa lost 
to Cesar. 


232, GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


by contracting new debts to pay them, found it impossible 
to borrow ; fathers were no longer in a position to pay the 
dowries they had promised to their daughters, nor divorced 
husbands to pay them back as the law required. At Rome 
and throughout Italy landlords of houses were unable to 
collect their rents, debtors and creditors were at one another’s 
throats, and many were obliged to sell all that they had if 
they were lucky enough to find a buyer. But there were 
many offers and few to take them. Prices fell to an unpre- 
cedented level, whether for gold or silver ware, or jewels or 
stuffs or furniture or land or houses. ‘The decree of the 
Senate in 51, reducing the rate of interest, afforded little 
alleviation ; for most people were in such straits that they 
continued to pile up debts on any conditions imposed upon 
them by the capitalists, and took no notice of a decree which 
seems universally to have been regarded as a dead letter. 
Thus the great question of debt became more and more 
urgent.* Lepidus, the acting Consul, was a man of forty- 
one, of no great capacity or influence in the State, who had 
only been prominent in politics hitherto during the un- 
fortunate interregnum which followed on the death of Clodius, 
and he gladly threw off the whole responsibility of his position 
upon Cesar. 

Unfortunately Czsar, who was now returning in all 
haste to Italy, was hardly in a position to face new difhi- 
culties with equanimity. In spite of his remarkable success 
in Spain his prospects were still very precarious. It is 
true that, when all hopes of reinforcements from Spain had 
disappeared, Marseilles had finally capitulated and consented 
to pay a large indemnity.f But in Africa and Illyria Czsar’s 
party had suffered two serious reverses. Curio, who had 
ventured into Africa with only two legions, although Cesar 
had sent him two more,{ had paid dear for his rashness. He 
had at first easily defeated Actius Varus, Czesar’s victim in 
Picenum, who had fled into Africa to recruit a small army ; 
but he had then been entrapped into an ambush by Pompey’s 


* Dion, xli. 37; Appian, B. C., ii. 48. The measures which were 
later taken by Czsar and those proposed by Celius and Dolabella 
show that this was the real trouble from which Italy was then suffering. 

t Dion, xli. 25. 

+t Ces., B. C., ii. 23. There is a difficulty here. Which were 
these two legions ? Perhaps the one which had been sent to Sardinia 
and one of those which had been detached for the protection of the 
coast towns of Italy. 


PHARSALIA 233 


Juba, King of Numidia, where he had been surrounded 49 3B.c. 
and killed. Only a few stragglers from his little army had 
found their way back to Italy.* Meanwhile Dolabella, who 
had proceeded with a part of the fleet to attempt the con- 
quest of Illyria, had been severely defeated at sea by Marcus 
Octavius and Lucius Scribonius Libo. He had then appealed 
to Antony for reinforcements. Antony sent him the fleet 
under Hortensius and the three legions which were garrison- 
ing the coast towns under the command of Sallust, Basilus, 
and his brother Caius; but these reinforcements had been 
repulsed and Caius himself made prisoner with fifteen cohorts. 
Illyria and Africa thus remained in the power of the enemy. 
The advantage that Czsar had secured from the two legions 
of Varro and the recruits who had come over from Afranius 
and Petreius was cancelled by losses of greater importance ; 
and, what was more serious still, a part of the fleet had been 
destroyed just at the moment when Cesar most needed it for 
carrying the war into the East; for the land route to Mace- 
donia was cut off by the defeat in Illyria. 

But the difficulties of transport, whether by land or sea, were Difficulties of 
perhaps the least of those which the new campaign presented. campaigns 
Pompey had collected a force of some 50,000 men, against 
which Czsar had only twelve legions, and those so weary 
after their hardships that the six which returned from Spain 
by forced marches dropped invalids at every stage { and their 
total after all losses was hardly above 25,000.§ It would really 
have been advisable, from the military point of view, to close up 
the ranks by reducing the number of the legions; but this would 
have involved cutting off some of the posts for officers, tribuni 
militum and centurions, which Cesar had always endeavoured 
to maintain as an avenue of promotion for the best of the 
common soldiers. Moreover Albania, Macedonia and Greece 
were poor countries where an army, however small, could not 
subsist for long unless supported by supplies from oversea— 
from Egypt or Sardinia or Sicily or the Chersonese. Pompey’s 
command of the sea would enable him to capture the corn 
ships, and might reduce Cesar to the same straits as Sulla 
during his Mithridatic campaign. Worst of all, Casar was 

* Ces., B. C., ii. 24-44; App., B. C., ii. 44-46; Dion, xli. 41-42. 

OLS. Vit5, SG Apps Dae. 1147.) ion, x40 5) Florus,ava2 > 
C5 Bs Gy cit, 10. 

+ Ces., B. C., iii. 2. 

§ From Ceas., B. C., iii. 2 and iii. 6 it is clear that the seven legions 
embarked at Brindisi amounted to 15,000 men. 


49 B.C. 


Cesar’s new 
plan of 
campaign. 


234. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


short of money, and the war promised to be enormously 
costly. Almost the whole of the money from the Treasury 
and from Gaul had been expended in Spain in gifts to the 
natives. Under these circumstances he could not help asking 
himself whether his soldiers, hitherto so faithful, would 
continue to follow him upon this last and most hazardous 
adventure. One legion had just mutinied at Piacenza and 
refused to advance unless it received the rewards promised 
at Brindisi. Czesar had been so much disquieted by this revolt 
that he had threatened the rebellious legion with decimation, 
though he had afterwards yielded to the appeals of his 
officers and had only punished twelve soldiers whom he 
pretended to select by lot; in reality, at least so it was 
believed at the time, he had arranged things in such a way 
as to select those whom the centurions pointed out as the 
ringleaders.* 

Immediately on Czsar’s arrival at Rome his father-in-law 
and the most influential members of his party begged 
him to send ambassadors to Pompey.f Ceasar would gladly 
have consented, if he had entertained the slightest hope of 
their success. He was aware of the difficulties of an eastern 
campaign, and the danger of the indefinite continuance of 
civil war. But he knew that Pompey would listen to no 
terms, and that his only chance lay in a speedy and vigorous 
prosecution of the campaign. ‘Thus it was that, partly out of 
anxiety to put an end toa time of dangerous suspense, partly out 
of a confidence in sudden and unexpected action confirmed by 
recent events, he prepared perhaps the most daring of all the 
surprises of his career. His scheme was to be nominated 
Consul for 48, and then, at the opening of the year, when 
he could enter upon his province as the legitimate repre- 
sentative of the Republic, to embark all his troops, without 
slaves and with the least possible encumbrance, so as to be 
able to land them at any creek on the coast, without using 
a harbour; to leave a small garrison of Gallic and Spanish 
horse to defend Italy, to venture across the sea in midwinter 
when he would be least expected, and then to face the enemy 
blindly trusting to fortune and the valour of his men. Before 
Pompey had recovered from the surprise of his sudden appear- 
ance in Epirus, he would offer him terms of peace as legi- 
timate Consul; there was no knowing if he would not 


* App., B. C., ii. 47; Dion, xli. 26-35. 
* Plut., Ces.,. 37. 


PHARSALIA 235 


accept them. While still on his way to Rome, without 49 B.c. 
divulging his plan even to his intimates,* he sent on to 
Brindisi his twelve legions and all the ships that he could re- 
quisition from Italian harbours; and he began to collect war 

stores as though he were preparing a campaign at leisure 

in the spring. 

But Cesar could not go on straight to Brindisi without The eleven 

stopping for a few days in Rome, to assume the Dictator- 475’ Rome 
ship and to make the most necessary provisions for the 
ordinary administration. He entered Rome towards the end 
of November,f and stayed there eleven days,{ perhaps the 
most crowded even in his crowded life. He presided over 
the elections, which of course resulted favourably to his party; 
he was elected Consul with Publius Servilius Vatia, son of the 
Isauricus under whom Cesar had fought as a boy, while 
the new Pretors were Czlius, Trebonius, Quintus Pedius, 
son of one of his nieces, and perhaps Caius Vibius Pansa.§ 
He presided over the Latin holidays; he caused various 
magistrates to propose to the people the recall of many of 
those condemned by Pompey’s laws in 52 and earlier, 
amongst others Gabinius, but not Milo;|| he passed a law 
granting citizen rights to the whole of Cisalpine Gaul ; 1 
and he attempted also to deal in some way with the 
question of debt. 

His action in this last question is one of the most important The question 
episodes in Czsar’s life, both in itself and for the consequences ° ee 
to which it led. The desperate competition for wealth in 
which all Italy was engaged had ended, as it seems that 
such competition always will end, in a gigantic accumula- 
tion of vested interests, which it needed nothing less than a 
revolution, a cataclysm, to break down. Enormous loans had 
been contracted at exorbitant rates of interest for the improve- 
ment of agriculture and industry or the promotion of a high 
standard of comfort and culture. ‘These debts were steadily 
accumulating, and it was impossible for Italy to shake them 
off. Not even the spoils of a second Gaul or Asia would have 


* App., B. C., ii. 52, proves that the departure from Brindisi took 
place unexpectedly, and earlier than had been awaited. 

t Mommsen, ‘a Sa £2 pa40; 

paces 1.0. 

§ Lange, Ie Ae iii. ine 

IRGes Bic., iii. I, rectifies Dion, xli. 36; App., B. C., ii. 48, and 
Phit., Ces., 37. See Lange, AR, A., m1. 411. 

4] Dion, xli. 36. 


49 B.C. 


Czesar and 
the abolition 
of debt. 


236 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


sufficed. Yet the age of expansion seemed definitely closed ; 
before long there would be no more unexpected importations 
of gold and silver captured in war ; debtors could place little 
hope in legislative assistance, and would soon be forced to 
meet their claims by their own efforts. When this point 
was reached the liquidation of this immense mass of debt would 
automatically follow. Yet the injury such a liquidation would 
entail to the whole structure of Italian life was appalling to 
contemplate. ‘There were many upper class families who 
might still manage to keep afloat by playing off their creditors 
against their debtors and reducing their scale of living. Not 
so the middle class. “The houses they had built and the slaves 
they had bought and trained with so much care during the last 
twenty years would pass into the hands of a small group of 
capitalist creditors, and with them would disappear the indus- 
trious and intelligent bourgeoisie which had been slowly formed 
during the last half century. The progress of this class is really 
the central feature in the history of Czsar’s time. On its pros- 
perity the future of Italy depended, and its ruin would have 
meant the stifling of all her nascent energies. The fate of 
this class depended entirely upon the solution of the problem of 
debt; and this solution could only be achieved by one of those 
revolutionary strokes which recur periodically in the history 
of nations. “There was no other way out. ‘This is proved by 
what happened seven years later, when under far less favour- 
able conditions, entailing much greater hardship and suffering, 
the abolition of debt was finally adopted, like a surgical opera- 
tion which is the more dangerous and painful the longer it has 
been delayed.* 

It is often said that in a great historical crisis a man of 
genius can divine the future course of events and drive the 
reluctant multitude along it, thus saving a whole nation by his 
own single-handed exertions. If this were true, Cesar, who 
was indisputably a man of genius, would have done so now. 
He had not shrunk from the most revolutionary action when 
his own life was endangered. He would not have shrunk 
from any measures, however high-handed, that were necessary, 
had he only known it, to save, not himself, but the combined 


* We shall see in vol. ili. (Da Cesare a Augusto: Milan, 1904, 
chapter xi.) that the proscriptions arranged in 43-42 by Antony, 
Lepidus and Octavian were not dictated by political revenge, but by 
the desire to get rid of the richest men in Italy and confiscate their 
capital and their credit. 


PHARSALIA 237 


labour of a whole generation, the civilisation of his people, 
the spiritual future of Europe. But Cesar could see no farther 
than the other men of his day ; and he acted, like all politicians, 
according to the impressions and the needs of the moment. 
In his ambition to win the place and authority of Pompey, as 
the controlling personality at Rome, it was to his interest to 
appear rigidly law-abiding, to avoid vexing or frightening the 
upper classes, the rich knights and capitalists, the landholding 
aristocracy and the wealthy members of the middle class. 
Ever since he crossed the Rubicon the moneyed classes had 
accused him of meditating nove tabule, the Abolition of debt.* 
‘They remembered the pillaging of forty years ago, in the great 
democratic upheaval, and they lived in dread of a wholesale 
spoliation. ‘They found allies, curiously enough, among those 
in their own station of life who were themselves most deeply 
in debt. These timid Epigoni of Catiline shrank from the 
far-reaching disturbance that Abolition would entail. The 

hated the popular party on whose banner it stood inscribed ; 
they were many of them at the mercy of capitalists who had 
lent them money; they shared the strange respect, almost 
amounting to adoration, which the rich seem destined to in- 
spire; they feared that the abolition of debt would be merely 
a prelude to the confiscation of lands ; and they clung to that 
abstract sentiment of justice which is often so lively in educated, 
persons and makes them so ill-disposed to anything savouring 
of revolution.f All these various apprehensions had been con- 
firmed by Czsar’s nomination to the Dictatorship, with its 
memories of Sulla’s spoliation at the close of the last civil war. 
Cesar therefore desired to show the rich that he intended 
before all to respect the rights of property. Following the 
precedent set under similar conditions in the cities of Greece,t 
and imitated by Cicero in Cilicia, he adopted an ingenious if 
unpractical device which many modern admirers of Cesar, 
in their contempt for Cicero, have denounced as ridiculous. 
Debtors were to hand over their goods not at the existing 
prices but at what they would have fetched before the civil 
war ; if creditors and debtors failed to arrive at an agreement 
about the price arbitrators were to be called in to settle it ; 


Be CIC PA VAL. 7507) oe en Oe 

1 Cf. Cic.,, De Of. 1. xxiv. 84. 

+ Compare Czsar’s measures with those taken at Ephesus during 
the Mithridatic war; they are detailed in the great inscription pub- 
lished by Dareste, N. R. H. D., 1877, p. 161 f. 


49 B.C. 


49 B.C. 


Cesar slips 
across the 
Adriatic. 


Renewed 
efforts for 
peace, 


238 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the interest already paid was to be subtracted from the capital.* 
It seems that to avoid unpleasant discussions in the Assembly 
Czsar sanctioned this arrangement by his own authority as 
Dictator.t He also attempted to bring capital forcibly into 
circulation by putting an old and long-forgotten law into 
operation, forbidding persons to keep more than 60,000 
sesterces in gold or silver in their houses; { and he made a 
last concession to public opinion by abdicating his Dictator- 
ship at the end of the eleven days, since it was useless to him 
after the elections. ‘Then he left Rome amidst the plaudits 
of the people, who seized the opportunity of his departure to 
make demonstrations in favour of peace.§ It was still generally 
hoped that a settlement was in sight. 

Cesar on the other hand was firm in his resolve to precipi- 
tate an issue. ‘The ships he had collected were only enough 
to carry a little more than half his troops, and to make a second 
journey was perilous. But he refused to wait. He appeared 
at Brindisi unexpectedly in December, called together his 
soldiers, told them his plan, made them new and more tempting 
promises. He then embarked 15,000 men, without corn or 
slaves or beasts of burden and with only the light baggage 
that a legionary can carry at the end of his spear. ‘The rest 
of the troops he left with Gabinius, Fufius Calenus and 
Antony, with orders to embark them as soon at the ships re- 
turned. On the 4th of January 48 || he put out to sea, taking 
with him the young Asinius Pollio and his subordinates Cneius 
Domitius Calvinus, Publius Vatinius, Publius Sulla, the un- 
fortunate Consul of 65, Lucius Cassius and Caius Calvisius 
Sabinus. His calculations proved correct. The enemy had not 
expected him to embark before spring. Bibulus was caught 
napping. His ships lay rocking on the grey Adriatic in the 
cold and threatening winter weather, while his sailors sat 
chattering round the tavern fires in port. When he learnt 
that the enemy had put out from Brindisi, Czsar and his 
army had already landed in a lonely creek near Oricum. 

Once safely on shore Cesar entered upon a twofold policy 
of conciliation and aggression. He at once sent an ambassador 

* Ces., B.C., iii. 1; Suet., Caes., 42; Dion, xli. 37 is confused ; though 
he gives exact details as to the arbitrators, App., B. C., ii. 48; Plut., 
Ces., 37, barely allude to the whole subject. 

t This seems clear from Ces., B. C., ili. 1, and from the care which 
he takes to inform us that the recall of the exiles was decided by a 


law of the people. t Dion, xl. 38. 
S App: B. Cyl 48: | Gas, BuCw io, 


PHARSALIA 239 


to propose peace once more to Pompey,* who was at this 48 B.c. 
moment taking his troops from Macedonia to Durazzo into (Dyrrhachium.] 
winter quarters. At the same time he endeavoured to seize 
the whole coast up to Durazzo, the most important port in 
that region, His object was to keep open every possible chance 
of peace, and at the same time to take possession of a huge 
tract of country, including several towns, from which he could 
draw not merely corn, but also beasts of burden, leather, wood, 
iron and necessary implements. He had no difficulty in seizing 
Oricum and Apollonia, where the small garrisons of Italians 
were discouraged by the attitude of the natives, who favoured 
the invader, not because his name was Cesar but because he 
was legitimate Consul; but he failed to take Durazzo. 
Learning on his way that Ceasar had landed and divining his 
intentions, Pompey advanced his army by forced marches and 
threw himself into the city before him. Czsar then encamped 
on the banks of the Apsus, a small stream to the south of 
Durazzo, to await the effect of his sudden appearance and the 
reply to his advances. Pompey and his army were on the 
opposite bank of the river. 

The two rivals were at last face to face, but, as Cesar had ee new 
feared, peace was as far off asever. As soon as Pompey’ Scamp taapaiem 
had recovered from the inconvenience of the hasty march, his 
intimates Lucceius, Theophilus of Mitylene and Libo submitted 
to him the proposals brought by Czsar’s ambassador. Pompey 
cut them short at once with an objection to which there was 

* Cesar, B. C., iii. 10. I see no reason to doubt that these pro- 
posals were made seriously and not to gain time, as Dion suggests 
(xli. 47), or to throw the responsibility for the war upon his opponent, 
as might also be supposed. Not only was Cesar’s situation so 
dangerous as to tempt any man gifted with ordinary common sense 
to accept an agreement ; but negotiations were reopened in too many 
different ways and with too much ingenuity to be dismissed as in- 
sincere. In reality it was Cesar who first lent ear to the proposals 
of Libo (B. C., ili. 16, 17) which were evidently designed to secure a 
truce. Later, during the siege of Durazzo, he endeavoured to induce 
Scipio, Pompey’s father-in-law, to interpose in favour of peace 
(B. C., iii. 57). Finally, during the active operations, at a date which 
it is impossible to determine, he endeavoured through the mediation 
of Cornelius and Balbus to win over Lentulus to the cause of peace 
(Vell., ii. 51). Balbus, who was the friend both of Pompey and 
Cesar, used all his efforts during the war to arrange a peace. More- 
over, if Cesar had not been anxious for peace he would have been 
foolish to propose it; for by causing his opponent to believe that 
he was frightened he cancelled the effect produced by his rapidity 


and his daring, upon which he relied greatly to compensate his in- 
feriority in numbers. 


{Opp b. ©, i. 54. 


48 B.C. 


[Corcyra. } 


Pompey and 
his camp. 


240 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


no reply. ‘I cannot return to Italy by the grace of Cesar.” * 
On the other hand Czsar’s attempted surprise had turned out 
a failure. Bibulus, not to be caught a second time, had sent 
Libo with fifty ships to blockade the port of Brindisi, and was 
keeping careful watch over the sea, despite the inclemency of 
the season. The troops Czsar had left behind him in Italy 
were thus unable to cross and Cesar found himself isolated 
with 15,000 men against an enemy almost three times his 
number, It was hardly likely that Pompey and the Roman 
aristocrats in his camp would be ready to conclude peace at a 
moment when Cesar, who had rashly ventured out of Italy 
with but a weak force at his disposal, was practically at their 
mercy. Cesar was left with no alternative but to alter his 
plans once more—to send his soldiers into winter quarters, to 
wait till the rest of his troops could somehow reach him from 
Brindisi, to seize the country behind him, sending out skirmish- 
ing parties on all sides to fetch in supplies, and to keep a careful 
watch over the coast in order to prevent the fleet of Bibulus 
from watering and thus obliging it to undertake long and 
frequent journeys to Corfu, when it would be easier for his 
ships to slip across from Brindisi. For the fleets of antiquity 
water played the same part as coal plays to-day : it bound down 
their movements to certain points on the mainland. 

But would not Pompey take advantage of his numerical 
superiority and force the enemy to give battle? “That was the 
advice of the majority of officers in his camp. But Pompey 
had not the untiring nervous resistance of his adversary ; the 
short-lived energy he had displayed before and after his retreat 
across the Adriatic had once more deserted him, and he seems 
to have been utterly worn out by the hardships and anxieties 
inseparable from a civil war in whicha single defeat means the 
break-up of a whole party andarmy. During all this campaign 
he is no longer the powerful, if prudent, strategist of the 
Mithridatic war, but a changed and feebler man. His char- 
acteristic aristocratic defects of slowness and irresolution clung 
to him all through ; he seems almost like a man with a disease 
of doubt, unable to come to even the smallest decision, plead- 
ing continually for patience, for consideration, for delay. With 
a morose and brooding vanity which he thought a mark of 
strength, but which was really the weakness of exhaustion, he 
withdrew from the life of the camp and kept his own counsel. 


* GG by Gillet ee 


PHARSALIA 241 


The camp as a whole was left to govern itself. It is easy to 48 B.c. 
imagine to what a chaos it was soon reduced, crowded as it 
was witha motley assemblage of Roman Senators and financiers 
of all ages and temperaments, with Oriental monarchs and 
barbarian chieftains. The great personages from Rome, weary 
of the privations they had been forced to tolerate and of 
the difficulties to which they had been reduced after lending 
Pompey all the money they had been able to collect,* were 
impatient to return to Italy, and they emphasised their com- 
plaints with threats of vengeance and confiscation which struck 
the good Cicero with dismay.f They regarded one another 
with unconcealed distrust ; they quarrelled over petty points 
of personal precedence ; and they flung accusations of treachery 
broadcast from morning till night.t After all they had no- 
thing better todo. Afranius and Cicero had been received in 
the camp with distrust and almost with contempt. Atticus 
himself, who had remained at Rome, was threatened with re- 
prisals as though he were a deserter. “hose who, like Brutus, 
took no interest in the war and stayed reading in their tents || 
could be treated still more lightly. In this temper they were 
naturally impatient to precipitate a battle. But Pompey paid 
no attention to their appeals. He listened only to the advice 
of a few intimate friends, who endeavoured to check the arrival 
of reinforcements, continued to keep the army under discipline, 
hastily recalled Scipio from Asia and, instead of attacking Czesar 
on the spot, preferred to wait till famine had decimated his 
forces, in the hope of inflicting a more crushing defeat. 

Thus week succeeded week, and nothing of importance took Cesar and the 

: : : reinforcements. 

place. In Czsar’s camp supplies became scantier and scantier, 
and he received neither news nor reinforcements from Italy. 
Cesar began to grow anxious. He had failed in his design of 
surprising the enemy ; on the other hand peace was impossible 
and his commissariat was insecure. ‘To extricate himself from 
this imbroglio he needed either the immediate arrival of his 
10,000 soldiers from Italy or else a victory. Could Gabinius, 
Antonius and Calenus succeed in crossing the sea, and if so, 
when? Fortunately, at this juncture, Bibulus died, and 
Pompey, with his usual indecision, nominated no one in his 
place. The fleet broke up into numerous small squadrons each 
of which operated separately in different parts of the Adriatic. 


* See Cic., A., xi. 3, 2, who corrects Cas., B. C., iii. 96. 
SY they Mhop the Mitel PIP Metcp, >a eel One {t Plut., Pomp., 66-67. 
SUCIC AL.) ale 10;.2. PPlut brut. 4s 


il Q 


48 B.c. 


Antony slips 
across to 
join him, 


[{Lissus. ] 


Rising of 
Czlius. 


242 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


As the spring approached there were several occasions on which 
the wind was favourable. Nevertheless the three generals 
were so afraid of crossing the Adriatic in the teeth of the 
Pompeian fleet that they refused to embark.* Czsar be- 
came more and more anxious; he began to fear treachery 
and wrote severe despatches to Calenus and Antony. It is 
even said that he one day attempted to cross alone on a small 
ship to Brindisi. 

Under the pressure of these repeated appeals the three 
generals at last decided to act. ‘They divided their forces. 
Gabinius with fifteen cohorts resolved to attempt the land 
journey and to pass through Dalmatia to join Cesar in 
Albania,{ while Calenus and Antony ventured to cross by sea. 
One day the two armies which were encamped opposite 
one another on the gulf of Durazzo saw a numerous fleet of 
vessels approaching with a good south wind behind them. 
There was a general rush to the shore, and it was soon 
ascertained that the fleet was Antony’s. Coponius, the 
Pompeian admiral who commanded the fleet which lay at 
anchor in the port of Durazzo sallied out with his ships; 
and the two squadrons disappeared towards the north. 
Skirmishers went out from the two camps to learn the 
news, and the troops were kept under arms and ready to 
march. Czasar must have gone through some hours of 
terrible anxiety. For his fate depended entirely upon the 
wind. But before long he learnt that, thanks to a favourable 
breeze, Antony had been able to embark his four legions 
almost in their entirety in a small bay not far from Alessio. 
Pompey and Cesar at once made for this place with part 
of their armies and by different routes. Pompey was anxious 
to defeat Antony before he could join Czsar, and Czsar to 
join Antony and return in safety with his reinforcements. 
Cesar arrived first and successfully united his forces; and 
Pompey was forced to retire southwards towards Durazzo, 
encamping his troops at Asparagium. 

Antony and Calenus brought Czsar anything but cheering 
news from Italy. The debt question, which Cesar thought he 
had settled by ingenious manipulation, had become more acute 
than ever after his departure, and seemed on the point of 


*' Crest, By G,, Wie 23=24) 

{ @.,225) Dion, xl, AO ub lit.) Casastr appt (Cniee nie 

t App., Ill, 12; B.C.,ii.59. The account in De Bell. Al., 42-43, is 
rather different. 


PHARSALIA 243 


provoking something like a miniature civil war within the 48 s.c. 
ranks of his own party. Czlius, the clever but unbalanced 
friend of Cicero, who was the son of a banker at Pozzuoli, 
a Conservative by party and the rival of Catullus in the 
affections of Lesbia, had been induced by the pressure of his 
debts and the spur of ambition to propose two laws, one 
dispensing tenants with the payment of arrears of rent, and 
another simply abolishing debts altogether. The Consul and 
Trebonius had opposed them, and disorders had resulted. 
Milo, who had returned from Marseilles in agreement with 
Czlius, had recruited bands of gladiators and slaves in southern 
Italy, and attempted to provoke an insurrection. Finally both 
Milo and Czlius had been defeated and killed by the Gallic 
and Spanish cavalry whom Cesar had left behind to protect 
Italy.* 

Cesar was all the more anxious to bring operations to a Cesar tempts 

A f Z . . Pompey to 
rapid conclusion. "The war seemed to bring out, in him fgnt. 
as in Pompey, the characteristic defects of their qualities. 
While Pompey was a prey to something like a mania of 
doubt, Czsar, always prone to feats of daring, now allowed 
himself to be carried away by fantastic conceptions of 
strategy which almost bordered on madness. Difficulties of 
commissariat impelled him, too, to try to finish the war 
whatever the risk. He sent Lucius Cassius to Thessaly with 
a newly recruited legion, Caius Calvisius Sabinus into A‘tolia 
with five cohorts, and Cneius Domitius Calvinus into Mace- 
donia with two legions, Calvinus’ orders were to procure 
corn and to face Scipio, who was moving up and down Asia 
raising money everywhere, even to the appropriation of con- 
siderable deposits left in the temples. Czsar then moved 
close up to Pompey and several times offered him battle, 
but always in vain. Pompey was, of course, as anxious to 
temporise as Czsar was anxious to fight. Cesar then 
attempted to entice his enemy out by placing himself, after 
a quick and skilful march, between Pompey’s camp and his 
base at Durazzo. But Pompey still refused to give battle 
and merely changed the position of his camp, placing it in 
a spot called Petra on the hills of the Gulf of Durazzo in 
such a way as to command the coast and communicate by 
sea with the town. 

Czsar could now no longer control his impatience. Ever 


© Ces. wis, C., ait. 120-22. 


48 B.C. 


The lines of 
Durazzo, 


Cesar retires 
into Thessaly. 


244 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


since his success at Alesia he had been as confident of victory 
with the spade as with the sword, and he now adopted the 
most singular and unprecedented tactics—nothing less than 
to imprison the enemy between a huge earthwork and the 
sea, hoping thus to force him to a sortie. His troops took 
pick and shovel and set to the familiar task. Pompey’s 
soldiers replied by constructing a rampart strengthened with 
towers on the model of Czsar’s; and soon a campaign of 
surprises and skirmishing began around these earthworks. 
Czsar harassed the army of Pompey by cutting off its water, 
by preventing it from sending its horses out to pasture, and 
by enclosing it in a narrow and unhealthy angle of ground. 
But instead of marching out and giving battle Pompey em- 
barked his cavalry for Durazzo and endeavoured to diminish 
Czsar’s strength by a policy of passive resistance. Last year’s 
harvest in Epirus and Macedonia was by now exhausted : 
the Pompeian fleet, now divided into four squadrons com- 
manded by Caius Cassius, Cneius Pompeius, Marcus Octavius 
and Decimus Lzlius, prevented all provisioning by sea; and 
Czsar’s soldiers were soon forced to live on roots. The 
whole of the Empire fixed its anxious gaze upon this corner 
of Epirus, where, in a campaign without battles, a des- 
perate and obstinate conflict was at last being fought out. 
Which of the two armies could hold out the longer? 
Cesar’s troops were soon reduced to so pitiful a condition 
that he himself gave secret instructions to Scipio to inter- 
pose for the conclusion of peace. One day, however, one 
of the ordinary skirmishes round the entrenchments developed 
by accident into a regular battle, in which Czsar’s exhausted 
soldiers were severely defeated. Czesar left 1000 dead on the 
field and lost thirty-two ensigns.* 

If Pompey had only pressed home his success this battle 
might have proved Czsar’s death-blow. But he refused to 
run any risks, Satisfied with what he had already achieved, 
he led his victorious cohorts back into camp. Nevertheless 
it was a very serious check for Cesar. Many people began 
to say that the skill which he had displayed in his campaigns 
against barbarians would not suffice against a general like 
Pompey, who had won campaign after campaign from Sulla’s 
civil wars down to the capture of Jerusalem. To crown 


* Schmidt has thought it justifiable to infer from Cic., A., xi. 4, 
that this battle took place between June 14 and 18. Cesar’s figures, 
quoted above, are less than those given by the other authorities, 


PHARSALIA 245 


his misfortunes, news came at this moment that Gabinius 48 B.c. 
had failed to break through to Albania after losing many 
soldiers on the way in skirmishes with the native Illyrians. 

He had succeeded in saving Salona, which was being be- (Next 
sieged by Marcus Octavius, but there he had fallen ill, °?****! 
and after his death the remains of his small army had 
dispersed.* It would indeed have been disastrous for 
Cesar if the confidence of his soldiers and their hope 

of future recompense had failed him at this moment. In 
reality, however, his defeat at Durazzo was of great use to 
him. It calmed the excitement in which he had of late 
been living and forced him to abandon his fantastic siege- 
works and to lead his army into a less desolate region to 
join Domitius Calvinus and Lucius Cassius, who had mean- 
while been fighting against Scipio in Macedonia. Some days 
after his defeat, towards the end of June, after reassuring 

his soldiers with new promises, he set out on his retreat 

for Thessaly, leaving the wounded behind at Apollonia under 

the care of four cohorts. If Pompey had started immediately 

in pursuit he might still have overtaken and crushed him. 

But Pompey as usual preferred to temporise, and his friends 

and intimates were divided in counsel. Some wished im- 
mediately to follow up the enemy, others to return to Italy, 
others to continue the tactics hitherto pursued.t Pompey 
finally decided to leave Cato and Cicero at Durazzo with 
fifteen cohorts to protect the baggage, and himself to follow 
slowly on the heels of the enemy hoping to wear him down 

by famine, even after he had joined forces with Calvinus. 

Cesar’s fate now depended entirely on the patience of The battle of 
his enemy. The two armies marched into Thessaly and P?*4!* 
drew up opposite to one another in the plain of Pharsalia. 
Pompey had now joined forces with Scipio, and the tire- 
some operations which had been going on for the last six 
months seemed about to recommence. But the Roman 
nobles, elated by their victory at Durazzo and impatient to 
return home, were anxious to finish off the campaign. The 
leading Pompeians could not conceal their contempt for a 
war in which the sole object appeared to be to avoid 
giving battle. They told Pompey plainly that he had 
grown so old and feeble that he did not dare to attack an 
already conquered foe whose forces were hardly half his 


*7App., Ll, 12; Dion, xiii: 11. ¢ Plut., Pomp., 66. 


48 B.c. 


246 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


own.* They set every artifice at work to force their 
unhappy general to an engagement. Worn out and dis- 
gusted by continual criticism, he allowed himself at last to 
be persuaded to offer battle on the gth of August in the plain 
of Pharsalia.f He ranged his cohorts in three lines with 
his right flank on the Enipeus and placed all his cavalry on 
the left flank. His plan was to throw his horse upon the 
less numerous cavalry of Cesar, and thus to break through 
his right flank. Czsar marched out the eighty cohorts 
which were left to him (two others were protecting the 
camp) and ranged them in three lines. But when he 
saw the whole of the enemy’s cavalry massed on the left 
he withdrew six cohorts from the third line, and made 
a fourth line, which he placed on the left flank behind the 
cavalry so as to help it to repulse any turning movement 
from Pompey’s side. He put Antony on the left wing, 
Calvinus in the centre, Publius Sulla on the right, himself 
remaining on the right wing to face Pompey. ‘Then he 
moved up his first two lines. But the enemy stood firm. 
Pompey’s cavalry then endeavoured to turn Cesar’s right 
wing, but Czsar’s cavalry, strengthened by the six cohorts 
of the fourth line, at first stood its ground, then gradually 
moved forward to the attack, and ended by putting the 
enemy’s cavalry to flight. The six cohorts of the fourth 
line, finding the road open, repulsed the left wing of Pompey’s 
army and menaced it in the rear. Cesar at once made use 
of his opportunity to withdraw the two first lines, which had 
borne the brunt of the fighting, and brought up his third 
line, which was still fresh. Pompey’s troops were now 
forced to give way. At this point a general with ordinary 
presence of mind would at once have arranged for an orderly 
retreat, fighting his way back to camp, the great fortress 
which every Roman army always held in its rear, But it 
was Pompey, not Cesar, who had to meet the situation. 
When he saw his wing attacked in the rear and the enemy 
also massed on his front, he lost his nerve, abandoned the 
command and fled almost unaccompanied into camp, crying 
out to the soldiers who guarded it to defend him. ‘Thus 
left to themselves, the cohorts could not be expected to 
retire in good order, and a regular rout ensued. Cesar 
then moved to the attack of the camp, which was but feebly 


POblittgebOmpy Oy. 
tf C.LL., i. p. 324 (Fastt Amiternint), p. 328 (Fasti Ant.), August 9. 


PHARSALIA 247 


defended. Pompey, who had retired into his tent, was 
roused by cries announcing the approach of the enemy, but 
leaping on horseback he escaped with a few friends by the 
back gate and galloped off on the road to Larissa. He was 
no longer in the age to resist what was the first real battle 
he had had to face since his campaign against Mithridates. 
On the loss of the camp Pompey’s army dispersed ; a certain 
number of cohorts retired with their officers on the road to 
Larissa; others fled hither and thither in the mountains. 
Czsar’s losses were small, while Pompey’s, though greater, 
were probably exaggerated later.* Amongst the dead was 
Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus. The terrible conflict which 
was to decide the destiny of the world had proved to be a 
brief and almost bloodless engagement. 


* Cesar (B. C., iii. 99) says that he only lost 200 men, while Pompey 
seems to have lost 15,000. Asinius Pollio reduces this number to 


6000 (Plut., Ces., 46). Perhaps Cesar counted the fugitives among 
the killed. 


48 B.C. 


48 Buc. 


Pompey’s flight 
and Czsar’s 
pursuit. 


CHARTER 


CLEOPATRA, 48-47 B.C. 


After Pharsalia—Pompey flees to Egypt—His death—The 
works of Pompey—Honours decreed to Czsar—Cesar at 
Alexandria—Cleopatra—Cicero’s despondency after Pharsalia 
—Cesar’s party—Discord in Cesar’s party—The social 
revolution of Dolabella—Czsar takes Alexandria—Cesar’s 
return to Italy—Czesar returns to a democratic policy—The 
African War. 


Cz#saR at once prepared to drive home his victory. He 
recalled his soldiers from the pillage of Pompey’s baggage, 
despatched part of them to guard the camp and sent others to 
defend his own. ‘Then with four legions he dashed in pursuit 
of the fugitives on the road to Larissa, and already at nightfall 
overtook the main body of Pompey’s army on a hill dominating 
the road. He encamped at its foot to await the daylight ; but 
next morning the enemy saved him all further trouble by a 
prompt capitulation. During the night the soldiers had shown 
so decided a disposition to come to terms that the irreconcil- 
ables among their leaders, such as Afranius and Labienus, had 
fled with small detachments towards Durazzo, leaving the 
army free to surrender. Without further loss of time Cesar 
continued his journey to Larissa, where several of Pompey’s 
officers, amongst others, Brutus, gave themselves up. Here he 
learned that Pompey had passed through the Vale of Tempe 
towards the mouth of the Peneus,* despatching slaves from 
his escort on the way to circulate an edict in Greece ordering 
all young Greeks and Romans resident in Greece to join his 
standard at Amphipolis.f Cesar then ordered Calenus to 
reduce Greece, commanded one legion to follow him by 
forced marches, and set out on the 11th of August at the 
head of a squadron of cavalry for Amphipolis, in the hope of 
finding Pompey. Meanwhile Pompey, after taking leave of 


‘Pint we OMmp.y.7.3> 
+ Ces., B. C., ill, 102. The fact that Pompey really went to 
Amphipolis seems to show that the plan was seriously intended. 
248 


niece 


CLEOPATRA 249 


his slaves at the mouth of the Peneus, had set sail in a small 48 B.c. 
vessel with Lentulus Spinther, Lentulus Crus, Favonius, King 
Deiotarus, and a few others. Once out at sea he had fallen 
in with a corn-ship belonging to a Roman merchant, in which 
he had embarked, and was at this moment nearing Amphipolis. 
By dint of forced marches Cesar with his squadron succeeded 
in covering the 180 Roman miles between Larissa and 
Amphipolis within six days,* and arrived shortly after his 
rival, but too late. Hearing that his opponent was already in 
the neighbourhood, Pompey spent only one night in the town, 
scraped together a little money from his friends and clients f 
and departed hurriedly for Mitylene, where his wife and 
younger son Sextus were staying, postponing all plans till he 
was safely at sea. His sudden departure gave Cesar the 
impression that he was on his way to Syria, the province 
which he had conquered.{ He therefore gave orders to the 
legion which was behind him to continue the pursuit, sent 
another to Rhodes, and himself proceeded to Sestos on the 
Dardanelles. 

About the same time, towards the middle of August,§ The council of 
Labienus with his Gauls and Germans reached Durazzo, ¥** 3¢ Conf 
bringing the news that the great army of Pompey had suffered 
defeat. A terrible panic broke out ; men imagined that Czsar 
was already at the gates and refused to stay a day longer in 
the town. It was decided to retire at once with the fleet to 
Corfu. The soldiers rushed to the magazines and in their 
haste spilt the grain over all the roads leading to the port ; all 
ships which refused to put out to sea were simply set on fire. 
At nightfall, in the glare of the burning vessels, the army left 
port, with Cicero, Varro and Cato on board.|| Meanwhile 
the news of Pharsalia passed gradually up the coast of the 
Adriatic ; and all four of Pompey’s admirals brought their 
fleets to Corfu—Caius Cassius from Sicily, Cneius Pompeius 
from Oricus, Marcus Octavius from a cruise along the coast 
of Dalmatia, and Decimus Lzlius from Brindisi, ‘To Corfu 
too came, one after another, all those of Pompey’s friends who 
were unwilling to surrender, amongst them Scipio.{ It was 
thus possible to hold a sort of Grand Council of War, under 
the presidency of Cato. Weare not told what ensued in the 

= Schmidt, B. W. C., 207. VeGees Cait lO2. 

t It is clear from Ces., B. C., ili. 102, that when he wrote his book 
he still believed that Pompey’s original plan was to stop in Syria. 


§ Schmidt, B. W. C., 179. \pGiex, De Div. 1axxxil, 66; 
"| Dion, xli- 135; App., B. C., 11. $7. 


48 B.c. 


Pompey coasts 
along Asia 
Minor. 


Cesar follows 
Pompey to 
Egypt. 


250 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


debate ; all we know is that Cneius Pompeius nearly murdered 
Cicero because he proposed to conclude peace,* and that after 
the meeting the majority of the chief personages dispersed in 
different directions. Cassius took his ships off to Pontus, with 
no very obvious intentions; Scipio and Labienus sailed for 
Africa, hoping there to meet Pompey; Marcus Octavius 
returned to Dalmatia to complete his conquests; and Cato 
proceeded with Cicero to Patras to collect the fugitives. 
There he succeeded in taking on board Petreius and Faustus 
Sulla, but on the approach of Calenus he was forced to set sail 
for Africa. Cicero, who had no heart to go on fighting, 
stayed behind at Patras, 

In the meantime Pompey, who had reached Mitylene on 
the 12th of August, took on board Cornelia and Sextus, who 
had as yet only received the good news of the victory at 
Durazzo.t ‘Taking leave of Deiotarus, who returned to 
Galatia, he coasted along Asia Minor and Pamphylia, touching 
land only to take in water and provisions, and stopping but a 
few hours at Phaselis{ and at Attalia,§ where some of the 
ships of his fleet and a few Senators were stationed. Great 
discussions took place on the voyage between Pompey and his 
friends as to the place where it would be possible to collect 
another army and renew the war. Some proposed Syria, 
others Egypt, others Africa ; it was imperative to come to a 
decision. The fugitives stopped on Sinedra to deliberate || 
and it was decided to take refuge in Syria. 

Meanwhile Czsar had arrived at Sestos, where, while he 
waited for his ships and his legions, he received the submission 
of one of Pompey’s admirals, Lucius Cassius, who had ten 
ships under his command.{ It was now too that he probably 
made definite arrangements with regard to Italy, whither he 
had been unwilling to send any official announcement of his 
victory. Antony was to lead back his troops to Italy, secure 
his nomination as Dictator and act as his Master of the Horse 
or vice-dictator. ‘Thus at the expiration of his consular year 
he would still possess all the powers necessary for the continu- 
ance of the war. When his ships and his legions were ready 

* Plut., Cic., 39; Cat. U. 35. 

+ For the details and the texts of Pompey’s flight see Drimann, 
G. R., iii. 519; Schmidt, B. W. C., 207 f. I do not believe that 
Pompey ever contemplated fleeing to Parthia, which would have been 
perilous as well as unpatriotic. See Dion, xlii. 2. 

i boucan,, Villeeo tr. § Plut., Pomp., 76. || Lucan, viii. 259. 


Dion, xli. 6. This was not Caius Cassius, Cesar’s murderer, as 
Judeich (C. O., 60) has shown. 


CLEOPATRA 251 


and he had heard of the successful reduction of Greece by 
Calenus, he set sail for Syria with a intention of touching 
at Ephesus and Rhodes on the way.* He was still under the 
impression that Pompey would attempt to take refuge in Syria. 
But Pompey, who had set out for Cyprus towards the roth of 
September, had just at this moment received information at 
Paphos that the inhabitants of Antioch refused to open their 
gates to him or any of his supporters. He proceeded to raise 
money from a big syndicate of Italian financiers established at 
Cyprus, collected a small fleet in the ports of the island, 
enrolled about 2000 soldiers from amongst the slaves whom 
the Italian merchants kept in depdt there for sale into Italy, 
and decided to make his way to Egypt.t That country was 
now under the rule of Ptolemy Dionysus and Cleopatra, the 
children of the Ptolemy Philometor whom Pompey had had 
re-established on his throne by Gabinius; according to the 
will of their father they were to marry one another and reign 
conjointly. Czsar, who was at Rhodes awaiting the legion 
which he had ordered Calenus to send him, soon divined from 
Pompey’s activity at Cyprus that he had changed his plans 
and was making for Egypt. As soon as his soldiers arrived, 
about the end of September, he set sail in haste for the 
kingdom of the Ptolemies.{ The two rivals would at last be 
brought face to face on a narrow stage. 


48 B.C. 


But when Czsar reached Alexandria on the 2nd of Octo- Masao ot 


ber§ he was met by unexpected news which formed a fitting 
dénouement to a story full of strange and unforeseen episodes. 
Pompey was dead. He had arrived to ask Egyptian hos- 
pitality at a critical moment in the affairs of that country. 
The young king was at war with his sister, who had been 
driven out by his ministers because she was older and 
cleverer than himself. His counsellors were unwilling to 
be embroiled with Cesar; yet they feared that if they 
refused to receive Pompey he might be driven to take sides 
with Cleopatra. There was an easy way out—to plot his 
death. When the few ships of the fugitive arrived in view 
of Pelusium, where Ptolemy and his army happened to be at 
the time, a small boat put out to fetch him. Pompey was 
not without his suspicions; but he consented to step in, 
remarking that whoever passed the threshold of a _ royal 
* App., B. C., 1. 89. 


*ochinidt, B. W. C., 208 ;-Ces., Bi C., 11. 103. 
ieCes,, 5. C., lil. 100. § Schmidt, B. W. C., 208. 


48 B.C, 


Pompey’s 
work. 


New honours 
for Czesar. 


252 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


dwelling became a slave. When the boat approached the 
bank and Pompey rose to disembark, Cornelia, who was 
anxiously following him with her eyes from the admiral’s 
vessel, saw a soldier who was in the boat strike him down 
from behind.* 

We have now reached the 29th of September in the year 
48.+ On this very date thirteen years before Pompey had 
entered Rome in the costume of Alexander the Great to 
celebrate his great Asiatic triumph. Pompey was not a 
fool, as several modern historians in their enthusiasm for 
Czsar have been pleased to call him, but a typical and in 
some ways exceedingly capable aristocrat, with all the faults 
and all the virtues of the old nobility, upon whom the cir- 
cumstances of his time had imposed a task which was far 
beyond his powers. If he lacked the consuming activity 
and the unwearied intellectual energy of his successful rival, 
yet it must be remembered that he owed his fall not merely 
to the blunders which he himself committed, but also, and in 
a far greater degree, to the vices and faults of the upper 
classes, whose champion circumstances rather than any 
deliberate policy had forced him to become. Nor must we 
forget the very considerable part which he played in the 
history of Rome. He annexed to the Roman Empire the 
country of Christ, with results of perhaps even supremer 
importance than the occupation of Gaul. Moreover, by 
the building of his theatre, by the festivals he gave to the 
people, and by his indiscriminate liberality, he did more 
almost than any one to disseminate eastern culture through- 
out Italy, to give Rome a taste for the luxury of the imperial 
epoch whose remains we still continue to admire and even to 
imitate. 

Of all the lucky chances in Cesar’s life the sudden death 
of Pompey was certainly the luckiest. The rival who would 
never have laid down his arms disappeared at one blow, cut 
down by a miserable conspiracy of oriental eunuchs; and 
Cesar was saved from the guilt of having shed his blood. 
When the news of his death reached Italy towards the 
middle of November { through Diochares, one of Czesar’s 
fastest couriers, every one regarded Cesar as definitely 

* Plut., Pomp., 78-79; App., B. C., ii. 84-85 ; Dion, xlii. 3-4. 

+) Dion; xii.5, See Zumpt, So R.,) 200. 

+ See, with regard to the length of the journey between Rome and 


Alexandria, Schmidt’s (B. W. C., 205) successful refutationgof the 
statements of Judeich. 


CLEOPATRA 253 


victorious ; and as in politics success is the chief criterion of 
popularity, the impression produced was far greater than 
Cesar himself could have expected. The statues of Sulla and 
Pompey were removed, and the public relapsed into a con- 
dition of ecstatic admiration for the man whom they had 
despised six months before as a criminal.* On the pro- 
position of his friends and without any suggestions of 
opposition, extraordinary and unprecedented honours were 
voted to him, honours such as Sulla himself had never known. 
Not only was he given the Dictatorship for the whole of 47 
as he desired,f but the right of presiding alone over the 
elections of the magistrates ordinarily presided over by the 
Consul—that is, of all the magistrates, with the exception of 
the Tribunes and the Atdiles of the people—the right of 
himself distributing the provinces amongst the Pretors, 
instead of drawing lots, and finally that of ranking as a 
Tribune of the people for life.ft In short, Cesar had now 
regularly taken Pompey’s place in public consideration and 
had become master of the Republic. 


48 B.C. 


This rapid change in opinion is but another example of the Cen 
great social and moral crisis through which Italy was passing. popularity. 


It is true that the ardent desire for peace, the vacillation and 
nervousness of public opinion, the marked inclination for 
moderate measures that Cesar had hitherto displayed, all 
helped to produce an outburst of enthusiasm that was in 


* Dion, xiii. 19. 

{| Fastt capit: year 706, C. I. L., 1%, p. 40. There is by no means 
agreement upon the time at which Cesar was made Dictator. Judeich 
(C. O., 182) and Sternkoff (Programm., Dortmund, 1891, p. 27) say 
that it was at the beginning of November... Mommsen (C. I. L., 1°, 
p- 41) during the last months of the year; Schmidt (B. W. C., 211) 
in the middle of September ; Groebe (App. to Driimann, 1%, p. 404) 
at the end of September or beginning of October. None of the argu- 
ments seem to me conclusive; but I am inclined to agree with 
Schmidt in thinking that Cesar conceived the idea of securing the 
Dictatorship soon after Pharsalia, when he saw that he would have 
to continue the war even after the expiration of his consular year. 
Nevertheless I do not think that we must believe Cicero when he 
says (Phil. li. xxv. 62) that Antony nominated himself Master of 
the Horse. It would have been too great an abuse, and Cesar, who 
was still disposed to moderation, would never have tolerated it. It 
seems to me more likely that when, about the 25th of October accord- 
ing to Schmidt (B. W. C., 211), Cesar ascertained at Alexandria 
that he had been nominated Dictator, he sent back his nomination of 
the Master of the Horse, which would thus arrive in the first days 
of December. Another alternative is to accept the textual correction 
of Dion (xlii. 21) made by Zumpt (R. S., 211-2). 

{ Dion, xlii. 20. 


48 B.c. 


Cicero’s em- 


barrassments. 


Cesar misses 
his chance. 


254 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


part sincere, in part fictitious. But if we look below the 
surface there are deeper reasons to be found for this strange 
revulsion. It was the normal and necessary outcome of the 
new conditions of Italian society. “There no longer existed in 
Italy classes and parties sufficiently powerful, either politically 
or economically, to resist the political cliques which centred 
round the most powerful figure in the State. So long as there 
had been two rival cliques, many men had been able to preserve 
a certain measure of independence by skilfully passing from one 
to the other ; but now that Pompey’s clique had been broken 
up at Pharsalia and Cesar seemed sole master of the Republic 
and the administration, interest alone compelled a great 
majority to submit. A large part of the political world lived 
upon office, and for them to display obstinacy in opposing the 
victorious clique would have been simply suicidal. 

Cicero’s experiences at this juncture are a good commentary 
upon this text. Next to Pompey and Cesar he was the best 
known figure in the Roman world. Yet he was just now in 
a position of the very greatest embarrassment because every 
one considered his political foothold precarious. No one was 
prepared to advance him money, and many of his creditors 
were insisting on payment. His family affairs had thus become 
highly involved. He had had to suspend the payment of 
Tullia’s dowry and was exceedingly alarmed lest Dolabella 
should demand a divorce. ‘Terentia had been reduced to the 
most desperate intrigues; his creditors had even threatened 
to drive him into bankruptcy to force him to sell his goods ; 
perhaps he would really have gone bankrupt if Atticus had 
not come to his help, and if a fortunate legacy had not arrived 
just in time.* If even Cicero’s finances depended entirely on 
the political situation, it can be imagined what was the pre- 
dicament of a great number of the obscurer Senators under 
similar circumstances, Vigorous opposition to the victorious 
clique, dictated either by sentiment or principle, was simply 
out of the question ; every one felt his interests so bound up 
with the State that the small party which controlled the 
government had for the moment the whole of society on 
its side. 

Never in his life had Casar been so happily placed. For- 
tune had put the whole game in his hands. He had only to 
make use of the unanimous enthusiasm of Italy, all the more 
overwhelming because it was inevitably short-lived, to return 


HES66 CIC. HAG Eki L dy Slee ne a ea ler epee 


CLEOPATRA 255 


to Rome and attack the great problems of the age—to adjust 
the old republican institutions to a mercantile society, to 
conciliate liberty with imperialism, Latin traditions with the 
new demands of eastern luxury and culture. But Cesar 
was a man of genius, and not a demigod ; he could not dis- 
cern all that is so clear to us in the perspective of twenty 
centuries, At this critical moment in his career he allowed 
himself to be diverted, like any ordinary man, by passing 
incidents and the immediate necessities of the situation. He 
needed money. Egypt was a rich country, and Ptolemy had 
not paid him the whole sum agreed upon in return for the 
help given him by Gabinius. He decided therefore to go to 
Alexandria, to claim as Consul the right of settling the differ- 
ence between brother and sister and interpreting the will of 
Ptolemy, and thus secure the payment of the father’s debt 
and of his own services as arbitrator before returning to 
Rome.* It is true that he had only some few thousands of 
soldiers with him, but after his previous successes he could 
not doubt that the matter would be finished off quickly and 
without serious difficulty.t| He therefore sent orders to Cleo- 
patra and Ptolemy to dismiss their armies and submit them- 
selves to his judgment, installed himself in the royal palace 
and imposed a tribute upon the inhabitants of Alexandria. 


48 B.C. 


But while the king’s ministers were haggling with Cesar Cleopatra. 


and trying to persuade him to leave the city, and while the 
restless metropolitan populace, excited by the exactions and 
the origies of the Roman soldiers,{ was beginning to break 
out into rioting, a woman, single-handed, carried the day 
against them all. The young queen slipped secretly into the 
town and the palace § and penetrated suddenly one evening 
into Czsar’s apartments. Herself utterly cold and callous, 
insensitive by nature to the flame of true devotion, Cleopatra 
was one of those women gifted with an unerring instinct for 
all the various roads to men’s affections. She could be the 
shrinking modest girl, too shy to reveal her half-unconscious 
emotions of jealousy and depression and self-abandonment ; or 


* That Czesar was led to stop in Egypt and intervene in the civil 
war by his need of money is clear from Dion, xlii. 9 and 34; Oros., 
vi. 15, 29; and Plut., Ces., 48 

pees. ise ©. 111.1 LOO. 

t This results from comparing Dion, xlii. 34, and Plut., Ces., 48, 
with Ces., B. C., iii. 106. The dompdiews rév xpnudrwy mentioned by Dion 
are the contributions alluded to in Plut., Ces., 48. 

§ Dion, xlii. 34. The Commentaries, of course, are discreetly silent. 


48 B.C. 


The waiting 
Senators. 


256 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


a woman carried away by the sweep of a fiery and uncon- 
trollable passion. She could tickle the zsthetic sensibilities of 
her victims by rich and gorgeous festivals, by the fantastic 
adornment of her own person and her palace, or by brilliant 
discussions on literature and art; she could conjure up all 
their grossest instincts with the vilest obscenities of conversa- 
tion, with the free and easy jocularity of a woman of the 
camps. Czesar had just emerged from one of the most tem- 
pestuous periods of his life; his faculties of enjoyment were 
heightened by his recent successes and the high promise of his 
future, by a long period of continence and the severe hardships 
of his campaigning. It was easy for Cleopatra to persuade 
him in a single interview, between night and morning, that 
her cause was the just one. Her interference put a new 
complexion upon the whole situation. When on the follow- 
ing morning Ptolemy and his ministers learned that Cleopatra 
had spent the night in Czsar’s company, they knew that 
their cause was lost. Pothinus, the Minister of Finance who 
saw in Czsar a new Rabirius, incited the people to revolt 
and urged Ptolemy’s general to go to Alexandria, to fight 
the Romans. The Egyptian army was a kind of Stranger’s 
Legion composed of ex-soldiers of Gabinius, of adventurers, 
of fugitive slaves and deserters from every Mediterranean 
country.* This small force soon compelled Czsar to retire 
with his soldiers within the high walls of the palace and sub- 
mit to a siege, while he awaited the reinforcements hastily 
summoned from Cneius Domitius Calvinus, who had stayed 
behind in Asia as governor of the province. 

Thus up to the 13th of December Czsar continued to govern 
Italy and the Empire; he had still time to nominate Antony 
Master of the Horse, and to promulgate a law forbidding all 
Pompey’s partisans, with the sole exception of Cicero and 
Decimus Lezlius,f from returning to Italy. Then winter 
and the new war cut him off, in the royal palace at Alex- 
andria, from all contact with the outer world. During the 
first six months of the year Italy and the Empire received 
no news of his doings.[ It is to this long absence that Cicero 
justly attributes much of the trouble which subsequently 


Pe Ces, cs. Cry WL LO, 

+ Cic., A., xi. 7,2. With regard to this edict see Judeich, C. O., 
p. 185 ; Schmidt, B. W.C., 214 f.; Groebe, App. to Driimann, G. R., 1’, 
402. But the history of the decree is still very obscure. 

tT CiComAlyekda Lisa se 


CLEOPATRA 257 


occurred.* The Senators who had left Pompey after Pharsalia 47 8.c. 
and were in hiding in different cities on the Mediterranean 
coasts, awaiting Czsar’s return before venturing to Italy, were 
condemned to a long period of delay which allowed them time 
to meditate upon the moral and material damages they had 
sustained through the civil war. To form a picture of the 
suffering and suspense which many distinguished personages 
went through during these months, we have only to turn to 
what is told us by Cicero. Cicero spent the whole winter 
and spring at Brindisi brooding over the friends he had lost 
in the war, over his quarrel with his brother Quintus, who 
complained of having been coerced on to Pompey’s side, over 
the Ephesian money he had lent to Pompey, which had dis- 
appeared for good, over the penury to which he and his 
family were now reduced, over the troubles of Tullia, who 
was being disgracefully treated by Dolabella, over the insolent 
contempt of the less educated wing of Czsar’s party, and, last 
but not least, over his loss of popularity with the public, who 
regarded him with unconcealed suspicion because he had 
fought on the wrong, or rather, the beaten, side.ft Pharsalia 
had brought divisions into his family and ruin into his affairs, 
destroyed his political prestige and veiled the glories of the 
De Republica. Who was there now who could possibly look 
up to him as the great political thinker of the day? The 
meanest of Czsar’s centurions who had fought at Lerida and 
Pharsalia had better claims than he. 

Cicero had at least definitely made up his mind not to take New rumours 
up arms. But there were others in less submissive mood than % *** 
himself who were beginning to grow impatient, to lend an 
ear to the rumours which circulated along the Mediterranean 
coasts and brought hope to exiles longing for vengeance. 
Though Illyria, now in the hands of Czsar’s questor Quintus 
Cornificius and of Vatinius, who had sailed from Brindisi to 
his help, had been definitely abandoned, the Pompeian ex- 
governor Marcus Octavius had been able to take his fleet 
with him to Africa 5 here he was said to be re-creating an 
army out of the surviving members of Pompey’s force, and to 
have plans for the invasion of Italy. Czsar himself was de- 
clared to be in danger of his life at Alexandria, and the war 
might break out afresh at any moment. 

Far greater were the troubles in Italy itself. According to 


Ra CIG. Ht XVnD5 2 fee. Cicn A. xle2sek x24), 
II R 


AZ BC. 


Antony’s 
Italian 
administration. 


The two wings 
of Cesar’s 
party. 


258 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the law passed after Pharsalia Casar alone was to preside 
over all the elections ordinarily presided over by a Consul: 
this meant that no magistrates except Tribunes and Atdiles 
of the people could be elected during his absence. “The State 
was thus left almost entirely in the power of the Vice-dictator 
Antony, who was young, frivolous and debauched, a capable 
soldier perhaps, but a quite inexperienced administrator, who 
regarded his position rather as a privilege than as a responsibility 
and gave himself up to amusement and self-indulgence in 
the congenial company of singers, dancers, and the notorious 
Citheris.* Before long something like a social revolution 
had broken out almost under his eyes. 

In Cesar’s party, as in all democratic parties which represent 
the most numerous and the poorest section of the community 
but draw their leaders from the upper classes, there was a 
latent contradiction which was bound eventually to cause 
trouble. One part of it, what may be called the educated or 
aristocratic wing, included representatives of the upper classes 
such as Caius ‘Trebonius, Marcus and Decimus Brutus, Sul- 
picius Rufus, Sulpicius Galba and Asinius Pollio, men of 
means, of good education and decent morality, according to 
the standard of the age. Some of them had come over to him 
after Pharsalia, because they wanted peace, and saw no alter- 
native course. Some had been with him from the first, out 
of personal sympathy or from an over-hasty ambition, or be- 
cause they were disgusted at the crying misgovernment, the 
callousness and arrogance of the last genuine survivors of the 
Roman aristocracy. These men had been brought up in 
aristocratic and cultivated surroundings, and shared the senti- 
ments and ideas, the prejudices and interests of the upper 
classes. If they desired a democratic government which was 
generous towards the poor, they desired neither the rule of 
demagogues nor such a revolution as would disturb the upper 
classes in the enjoyment of luxury and culture. But there 
was a second and far more numerous section, composed of 
adventurers, malcontents, criminals, agitators and bankrupts, 
men drawn from all classes, the highest and the lowest, often 
bold and energetic but generally ignorant, almost always devoid 
of principle and of all political ideas, actuated solely by the 
desire to satisfy their ambition : such men as Dolabella, Vatinius, 
Fufius Calenus and Ventidius Bassus, Oppius, Cornelius Balbus, 


POPC, Antiy Ox 


CLEOPATRA 259 


and Faberius, the skilful but unscrupulous secretary of Cesar. 47 B.C. 
These men cared little for public order or tradition, or the 
tranquillity of the upper classes, so long as they increased their 

own power; and to obtain that power they were ready to 

gratify the malice, the madness or the greed’ of the poor. 

So long as they were fighting their way together into office Dolabella and 

the divergence between the two sections of the party remained pr Phe 
latent, and Casar did his best to conceal it by alternately 
playing to the proletariat and coquetting with the Conserva- 
tives. But the moment that they felt power at last within 
their grasp, at the beginning of 47, trouble was inevitable. 
By this time the distress had reached appalling dimensions ; 
everywhere tenants and debtors were sinking deeper into the 
slough, and crying out for a rescuer. Dolabella, who was 
the nearest to bankruptcy among the Tribunes, an unbalanced 
young politician of twenty-two, refused to take warning by 
the fate of Czlius. Encouraged by the utter demoralisation 
of the Conservatives and by the chaos to which the Republic 
had been reduced for lack of magistrates, he attempted to 
gratify the desires not only of the left wing of Czsar’s party 
but of the whole of Italy, and to win lasting popularity for 
himself, by reintroducing, in January, the old proposals of 
Czlius for the cancelling of rents and the abolition of debt. 
This caused a panic amongst all owners of house property, 
such as Atticus, and amongst the wealthy capitalists. The 
social revolution which had been looming in the distance since 
the beginning of the civil war, but which they had just begun 
to hope they might escape after all, was now suddenly and un- 
expectedly at their doors. Czsar had several times declared 
his respect for private property ; but he was far away; the 
Conservative party was crushed, and there remained no authority 
in the State capable of maintaining public order. “Thus even 
to those who feared it most, the present seemed a most favour- 
able moment for the outbreak of a social revolution. 

But to their great surprise the upper classes soon perceived Antony 
that safety was to come from a quarter whence they had least the rioters 
expected it. Partly under the influence of personal friendships ** Ro™* 
and in obedience to moral and legal scruples, partly because 
they felt ashamed to be associated by their social equals with 
the politicians of the gutter, the educated right wing of Czsar’s 
party treated Dolabella’s proposals as the Conservatives would 
have treated them under similar conditions. The Tribunes 
_ Trebellius and Asinius Pollio, supported by the Senate, opposed 


47 B.C. 


Restlessness 
of the upper 
classes. 


260 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the law. Dolabella insisted, and Antony, at heart thoroughly 
indifferent, but pleased to be courted by the rich, for some time 
refused to take sides. Finally the multitude of artisans, small 
shopkeepers and freedmen, whose profits and corn-doles had 
been diminished during the last two years and who were 
threatened with eviction by landlords to whom they paid no 
rent, broke into an open agitation, and riots ensued.* The 
Senate suspended the constitution and charged Antony with 
the duty of maintaining order, employing soldiers if necessary. 
But this gave rise to a new danger. The legions in Campania, 
which had just returned from Greece elated after their victories 
and missed the controlling hand of Czsar, threatened to mutiny 
if they did not receive their discharge and the money grant 
so frequently promised them.t Antony had immediately to 
repair to Campania, where he had great difficulty in restoring 
discipline. Unfortunately the excitement of the populace was 
encouraged by the revolt of the soldiers. On his return to 
Rome Antony found the situation far worse than when he 
left. Dolabella was continuing his agitation, not only deliver- 
ing panegyrics in memory of Clodius but organising armed 
bands as at the time of the Revolution. Cicero, who had hoped 
to ennoble his family by marrying him to Tullia, had the 
supreme chagrin of seeing a son-in-law of his own emulating 
Catiline. Thereupon Antony, impelled it appears by personal 
motives (for he suspected Dolabella of being the lover of his 
wife), decided to take sides with the partisans of order and 
set himself vigorously to repress the revolt. Dolabella was not 
easily to be intimidated. On the day on which his law was 
discussed in the Assembly he had the Forum barricaded by 
his partisans in order not to be driven out. Excited by 
this manceuvre, Antony, always violent and hot-headed, saw 
Revolution in the air: he hurled his soldiers upon the Forum 
and dispersed Dolabella’s bands, with a loss of 800 killed.§ It 
was years since Rome had seen such a slaughter. 

This drastic remedy allayed the agitation among the poor 
for a time; but it greatly discredited Casar and his party 
among the Italian upper classes. Their restlessness was soon 
augmented by the arrival of more definite news from Africa 
and Asia. ‘Iwo of Pompey’s sons, together with Cato, Scipio 
and Labienus, had collected the remains of Pompey’s army in 

* Dion xlin20; ft LO ae Plt SAI Os 

; (Cees.)) B. Alex., 65 5) Dion, xiii. 30. 

§ Dion, xlii. 31; Liv., Per., 113. Cf. Ziehen in Rh. Mus., 1896, 593 f. 


= hee 


CLEOPATRA 261 


Africa and formed an alliance with Juba King of Numidia. 47 B.c. 
They were recruiting archers, slingers and Gallic cavalry, 
accumulating arms, raiding Sicily and Sardinia with their fleet, 
and attempting to win over the Spanish natives who were 
dissatisfied with the government of Quintus Cassius. Mean- 
while at the very moment when a new army was preparing to 
attack Ceesar in Africa under the supreme command of Scipio, 
Pharnaces son of Mithridates suddenly emerged with an army 
in Asia from the small principality of the Chersonese, bent on 
the reconquest of his father’s kingdoms, and inflicted a defeat 
upon Domitius Calvinus. All the hopes that Italy, weary of 
political discord and civil war, had so joyfully cherished in 
the autumn of 48 gave place in the spring of 47 to a great and 
growing uneasiness, The social revolution seemed on the 
point of breaking out in Italy, the civil war was being revived 
in Africa, while in the East the Empire of Rome was being 
disputed by the son of the indomitable Mithridates. And all 
this time Czsar gave no sign of life. 

It was only towards the end of April* that Rome learnt Czsar leaves 
through private sources that, after the arrival of his reinforce- "87°* 
ments, Cesar had succeeded on the 27th of March in taking 
Alexandria.t Every one supposed that he would then return 
immediately to Italy ; and the rioting, which had already 
calmed down, stopped as though by magic.{ But days and 
weeks passed without any official news of his victory,§ with- 
out even news of his departure from Alexandria.|| Soon fresh 
troubles broke out in Rome.{1 The most various rumours 
were current as to the cause of the delay. Czsar’s friends 
grew anxious and wrote him pressing letters urging immediate 
return ; many even set out to look for him and hasten his 
journey.** But Cesar, after having reconquered Alexandria 
and given the throne of Egypt to Cleopatra (for Ptolemy 
had died during the war), had committed the additional 
blunder of taking a trip up the Niletf and prolonging for 
another enjoyable two months his gallant but disastrous 
adventure with the queen, who was expecting a child. The 
situation soon became so dangerous at Rome that Czsar’s 
friends caused the people to vote a series of laws designed to 
dash the rising hopes of Pompey’s partisans. Czsar was to 


* Schmidt, B. W. C., p. 222. 

+ C. 1. L., i. p. 304, Fastt Maffetani, March 27. 

+ Dion, xlii. 30. SCie AL, M85) Ls Nelda Xl el 63s 

{| Dion, xlii. 30. A (Oxs,) Bs ac O55 Tileen Pin ids (9951290: 


47 B.C. 


“Veni, vidi, 
vici.” 


Cesar’s cold 
welcome in 
Italy. 


262 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


have the right of making war and peace with all nations and 
to treat Pompey’s supporters as he pleased.* At last, in the 
first days of June,t Czsar set out for Syria, after having wasted 
nine precious months { at a time when days were worth years, 
and years centuries, 

On his arrival at Antioch he found a batch of letters and a 
great number of persons who urged him to come at once to 
Italy ; yet he allowed a new delay to intervene. He was un- 
willing to return to Rome until he had done something to 
re-establish order in the East. A few days sufficed him to 
reorganise affairs in Syria. He left Antioch in the first days 
of July, and encountered the Pompeian squadron at the mouth 
of the Cydnus under the command of Caius Cassius, who had 
spent a large part of his time studying eloquence at Rhodes 
with Brutus.§ Cassius immediately surrendered. Czesar sailed 
on to Ephesus, marched upcountry with a small army against 
Pharnaces, using every expedient to extort money on the way, 
and on the 2nd of August defeated Pharnaces at Zela.|| He 
then held a Diet at Nicza, made a distribution of kingdoms 
and lands, receiving rich presents in exchange from the kings 
of the East, but without making reprisals against those who had 
opposed him at Pharsalia, gave a free pardon to Deiotarus King 
of Galatia, whose cause was pleaded by Brutus ; then, passing 
by Greece and Athens, he sailed for Italy, disembarked at 
Taranto on the 26th of September,™ giving a cordial welcome 
to Cicero who had come down to meet him, and made his way 
to Rome. 

At last he was back in the capital. But he had let his 
great opportunity slip by. His long absence and his con- 
nection with Cleopatra had damaged his reputation in many 


* Dion (xlii. 20) enumerates together all the honours voted to Cesar 
both immediately after Pharsalia and later on during the year 47, 
with the sole exception of the power of making war and peace, which 
he says was accorded to him afterwards when the danger of a war 
in Africa appeared very urgent. It seems to me probable that the 
right of treating the Pompeians as he wished was given him at the 
same time, as a threat on the part of the Cesarians. Immediately 
after Pharsalia this measure would have been inconsistent with the 
spirit of conciliation then prevailing. 

t Date fixed by Judeich. See Schmidt, B. W. C., 

ih deWyoyoyy, ere iy a6 (olor 

§ Bynum, Byres. 

|| C. I. L., 1. p. 306 (Fastt Maffetani), p. 324 (Fasti Amiternint), 
August 2. 

| Schmidt (B. W, C., 226) fixes this date by Cic., F., xiv. 20 (written 
on October 1). 


CLEOPATRA 263 


quarters ; and the revolt of the legions, the discord in his own 
party and the appearance of a new Pompeian army in Africa 
had revived the old uncertainty as to the issue of the war. 
This was particularly the case in the upper classes, where dis- 
trust and hatred for Caesar had been allayed for a time, but 
were not extinct. Many persons began to ask if the future 
had not as great surprises in store as the past. The party of 
Czsar, which appeared so homogeneous, was distracted by in- 
ternal dissensions, and the last few years had shown striking 
and unexpected vicissitudes of fortune. “Thus Cesar was not 
received with the enthusiasm he might have had a year before. 
He soon perceived that an attitude of cold respect, and the 
prospect of a new campaign in Africa, indirectly supported 
from Rome, were all he had gained by his moderation towards 
the upper classes and the care with which he had avoided 
confiscation and plunder even at the risk of goading his legions 
to revolt. The impression of his striking victory at Pharsalia 
was in large part effaced, and the situation had again become 
dangerous and obscure. His reconciliation with the upper 
classes was only skin-deep, the fidelity of the legions precarious : 
his party was in danger of breaking up: and he had lost the 
sympathy of the masses, who had seen their hopes of relief 
through Dolabella frustrated by the action of a whole group 
of the Cesarian party. 

Czsar immediately discerned that the best way to crush 
the rising hopes of the Conservatives was to strike a blow at 
once at the new Pompeian army in Africa. But he saw also 
that he could not again leave Italy without some attempt to 
improve the internal situation, which his previous vacillation 
had rendered so confused and even dangerous. If he con- 
tinued this uncertain policy he ran great risk of losing his 
popularity among the lower classes without winning the con- 
fidence of the upper. Preoccupied by this danger and ex- 
asperated by the new campaign with which the Pompeians 
had replied to his advances, Cesar decided before his departure 
to return to his old democratic policy, and give some clear 
indication of his intention to benefit the poorer classes, who 
after all supplied him with legionaries, electors and the in- 
dispensable momentum of popularity. At a moment when 
every one was expecting him to reward Antony and crush 
Dolabella, he gave a public proof of his sympathy with Dola- 
bella and his indignation with the man responsible for the 
murder of 800 plebeians. He even went so far as to adopt one 


47 B.C. 


Cesar sides 
with the left 
wing. 


yg om 


264 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


part of Dolabella’s proposals, not the universal abolition of 
debt but the cancelling for a year of all rents below 2000 ses- 
terces at Rome and 500 sesterces in the other towns of Italy.* 

He refused to accept the nomination of Consul for five years, 
but passed laws forbidding the mortgage of more than a certain 
proportion of an estate, forcing capitalists to invest part of their 
money in land,t imposing obligatory loans upon rich indi- 
viduals and towns,§ and confiscating for sale the patrimony of 
many citizens who had fallen in the civil war, amongst others 
that of Pompey.|| This was at once an act of reprisal against 
the irreconcilables, a hint to those who still wavered, and a 
financial expedient to procure money. Antony purchased 
Pompey’s palace, intending not to pay for it, and laid hands 
on his works of art, his luxurious furniture and well-stocked 
cellars, Finally Ceesar presided in place of the Consul over 
the elections of magistrates for the years 47 and 46, or rather 
he secured the election of his own nominees and distributed 
the propretorships among his faithful followers. Vatinius 
and Calenus were to be Consuls in 47, Cesar himself and 
Lepidus in 46, Hirtius was to be one of the Pretors, while 
Decimus Brutus, for whom he had a marked predilection, was 
to be left in Transalpine Gaul; Marcus Brutus, to whom he 
showed favour for Servilia’s sake, was despatched to Cisalpine 
Gaul, Trebonius to Farther Spain, his nephew Quintus 
Pedius and Quintus Fabius Maximus to Nearer Spain, Servius 
Sulpicius Rufus, the lawyer who had drawn up the electoral bill 
against Catiline, to Achza, Publius Sulpicius Rufus to Illyria, 
Pansa to Bithynia, Publius Servilius Isauricus to Asia. But 
Cesar was to have an encounter with the legions before he left. 
When he gave orders to Sallust to lead back the Campanian 
troops to Sicily with the promise of large sums of money 
the soldiers mutinied once more, nearly put Sallust to death, 
and marched in serried bands on Rome, murdering two 
Senators and spreading pillage and devastation wherever they 
went. Cesar was forced to allow them to enter the city 
and had great difficulty in calming them down.** But he was 


*Plut Ants, LOs WOM Ki boy Suet, Crso SS. 

t This is a conjecture of Zumpt, S. R., 221, which appears to me 
likely. 

1 Lace Anti. vin LO: 

§ Dion, xli. 50; Corn. Nep., Att., 7. 

\* Dion, xii, sos Plat. Ant: ro: 

") Lange, R..A., til. 433, 

** Dion, xii. 52-55. 


a 


CLEOPATRA 265 


in no mood to delay his departure for Africa. Towards the 47 B.c. 
middle of December * he set out for Sicily, arrived at Marsala (Litybeum.) 
‘on the 19th, tf embarked with six legions on the 25th, landed 
at Hadrumetum on the 28th{ and at once commenced 
operations. 

SONMUIG boy Wes, 195 


* 
+ (Ces.) Bell. Afr., 1. 
no he Rea 


46 B.C. 


Cicero’s 
“Brutus” 


CHAPTER XVI 


CAESAR’S TRIUMPHS, 46 B.C. 


Cicero’s Brutus—New honours heaped on Cesar after Thapsus 
—The domestic troubles of Cicero—The death of Cato—The 
rewards given to the veterans of the Civil War—Czsar’s 
triumphs—His reforms—Caius Octavius—Decline of Czsar’s 
intellectual powers—Cleopatra at Rome. 


Csar’s sudden reversion to a democratic policy could not 
fail to set serious issues in motion. Its first result was abruptly 
to cut short all hopes of a reconciliation with the Conservative 


and its political classes. No doubt these classes ought really once more to 


setting. 


have been grateful to Cesar for staying his hand after selling 
the goods of his fallen enemies. But their feelings were 
so inflamed at the time that the confiscation of Pompey’s 
goods was indignantly resented as a monstrous act of tyranny 
and revenge. The right wing of Czsar’s own party was 
equally dissatisfied ; it chafed at the unexpected treatment 
Cesar had meted out to Antony on the one hand and 
Dolabella on the other. So the months during which Cesar 
was fighting in Africa were a time of anxious suspense for 
the upper classes in Italy. Great was the speculation and 
uncertainty as to Czsar’s intentions. What course would 
he adopt when he had finally crushed the resistance of the 
Pompeians? The sale of the goods of Pompey’s partisans, 
the law about rents and the indulgence accorded to Dolabella 
were ominous of trouble. It is true that since the beginning 
of 46 Czsar was no longer Dictator.* But would he not 
force them to give him new honours after his victory, a 

* Zumpt (S. R., 211) is, I think, right in following Dion, xlii. 20. 
According to Dion the second Dictatorship was not conferred on Cesar 
for an indefinite term but for the whole of 47. He was therefore no 
longer Dictator on January 1, 46. Why should he have been given 
the Dictatorship for ten years in April 46 if he was already Dictator 
for an indefinite term? Moreover, we have coins of the year 46 in 
which Cesar is simply called Cons. III. (Cohen, n. 2, 3), and in the 
Fasti Capitolini (C. I. L., 12, p. 21) there is no mention of a Dictator- 
ship in 46. 

266 


gage é 


a ee 


CZESAR’S TRIUMPHS 267 


victory which seemed only too well assured? As in the 
first fitful days of early spring the sky and the earth are 
darkened by passing storm-clouds, brightening again after 
a moment only to be darkened once more, so cloud on 
cloud of foreboding swept over the mind of Italy during 
these long-drawn months. We can see their shadow still, 
after the lapse of all these centuries, over the books written 
that same spring by the most delicate interpreter of the 
thoughts and feelings of the upper classes. Under the en- 
couragement of Brutus, with whom, oblivious of their 
quarrel in Cilicia, he was becoming increasingly intimate, 
Cicero had once more taken up his pen, and, early in 46, 
had begun to compose a history of Latin eloquence, in the 
form of a Platonic dialogue, with Brutus, Atticus and him- 
self as the speakers; it is the work known as Brutus seu de 
claris oratoribus. But these literary relaxations could not 
distract his mind from political anxieties: although at the 
beginning of the dialogue Atticus declares that there will 
be no politics discussed,* there are covert allusions on almost 
every page. Cicero’s heartfelt distress at the renewal of 
the civil war makes him envy the lot of Hortensius, who 
had died shortly before, not living to behold the Forum 
deserted and dumb.f Ai little later Brutus delivers a fine 
eulogy on the first Consul of the Republic, the destroyer 
of the monarchy, from whom Atticus, who was something 
of an antiquarian, had shown that Marcus Brutus was directly 
descended.{ ‘Then the dialogue goes on to praise Marcellus, 
the Consul of 51 and a personal enemy of Czsar, who had 
retired to Mitylene, far removed from ‘the common and 
destined miseries of mankind.” § 

But only half the book was written when news arrived 
from Africa of the sudden conclusion of the war, on the 
6th of April, by Czsar’s signal victory at Thapsus. For once 
he had given no quarter. Faustus Sulla, Lucius Afranius 
and Lucius Julius Cesar, who fell into his hands, had been 
summarily put to death. Lucius Manlius Torquatus, Marcus 
Petreius and Scipio had died by their own hand; only 
Labienus and Cneius Pompeius had succeeded in escaping 
to Spain, and Cato to Utica. The gloomy forecasts of the 
Dialogue had thus been justified by events. The proscriptions 
were beginning once more! All that remained of the Con- 


FNCiC. MSTilt ss iiie Uk We 2iehin Diath bly (Se 
Hel Ge LV 5 3 S Wik, Ibert: 7i-(ey 


46 B.C. 


The decennial 
Dictatorship. 


46 B.c. 


Cicero’s 
domestic 
troubles. 


268 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


servative party withdrew into silence to mourn for its fallen 
friends and the death-agony of the Republic. For the more 
ambitious of Czsar’s supporters made use of the victory, as 
far-seeing men had predicted, to decree him the most extra- 
ordinary honours—the Dictatorship for ten years, the Censorial 
power under the name of Prefectura Morum,* and the right of 
proposing candidates for the Tribuneship and the Atdileship.T 
The impression that these measures caused was most disastrous. 
Not the most pessimistic of observers had predicted such 
inroads on the constitution. The decennial Dictatorship 
above all seemed almost the same as a revival of monarchy 
to a public which had been brought up in a traditional 
hatred for undivided, long-continued and irresponsible office.{ 
It was clear what was going to happen. Cesar’s Dictatorship 
would be followed by the arbitrary government of a greedy 
and exclusive cabal. Yet no resistance seemed possible. The 
left wing of Czsar’s party gained ground daily, and was 
increasing the power of its chief in order at the same time 
to increase its own. It was this small clique which, together 
with a few fanatical admirers and a crowd of parasites, 
surrounded the new Sulla, who commanded the loyalty of 
all the soldiers in the Empire. ‘Through him it had supreme 
control over the Senate and the electorate, and even over 
the more moderate section of their own party, which, though 
secretly disapproving of the turn affairs had taken, was not 
strong enough to offer any open resistance. 

So the tone of the Brutus becomes more and more 
despondent. When Brutus mentions Lucius Manlius 
Torquatus, Cicero begs him to be silent. ‘The memory 
of past sorrows is unhappy, and more unhappy still the ex- 
pectation of sorrows to come.Ӥ Once more Cicero dwells 
on the happy lot of Hortensius; he regrets that his earthly 
journey is ending in this “night of the Republic,” and he 
is almost led to pity Brutus, who is young and will see an 
infinite succession of still greater troubles.|| As the book 


* Dion, xliii, 14. See Mommsen, C. I. L., 14, p. ar. 

t Dion, xliii. 14. Dion’s language is not very clear; but Stobbe 
(die Candidati Cesaris in Phil., xxvii. p. 94), seems rightly to draw 
this inference from a comparison with xliii. 45 (giving the new honours 
after Munda). 

Pe Diony, Sli ES. 

& Cich, Bruty, Gexvi. 200; 

Rdg KOVInesOnt. 


oan 


CAESAR’S TRIUMPHS 269 


nears its close the tone becomes darker and darker, and the 
letters written by Cicero to Varro during these months are 
full of the same melancholy.* Private griefs came to re- 
inforce public disasters. His beloved Tullia could no longer 
live with the discredited Dolabella ; while, for reasons which 
it is dificult to unravel, there had arisen between himself and 
his wife Terentia one of those strange difficulties between 
elderly married couples in which an irritable old age some- 
times indulges: so serious a quarrel, indeed, that Rome very 
nearly witnessed father and daughter simultaneously divorced. 
Now that the excitement of his conflict in the Forum and 
the Senate-house, his cherished ambitions and the pleasures of 
notoriety, no longer occupied his thoughts, the comparative 
penury to which he had been reduced and the hopeless 
entanglement of his affairs began to weigh heavily on his 
mind. His only consolation was to immerse himself in 
his favourite studies, in finding answers, for instance, to 
the numerous questions on Roman history put to him 
by Atticus, who spent the leisure hours of his business in 
collecting material for a history of Rome. He found some 
satisfaction, too, in the esteem with which he was regarded 
by the most prominent and cultivated members of Czsar’s 
party, who invited him almost daily to dinner.f{ Hirtius 
even asked him to give him lessons in oratory and enter- 
tained him royally in return. Here too he met Dolabella 
who had managed somehow, despite his behaviour to Tullia, 
to keep in the good graces of his father-in-law, With his 
unfailing charm of manner he had induced the old orator 
to overlook his behaviour, as he had extorted a similar in- 
dulgence from Czsar and from all the men and even from 
all the women of his acquaintance.|| Worn out by the 
burden of his years and misfortunes, Cicero accepted these 
invitations just for the pleasures of society, though from time 
to time he felt a sting of remorse when something happened 


CAG: TX Ta 7, 

} The first allusion to trouble with Terentia occurs in A., xi. 16, 5, 
dated June 5,47. By Cic., F., iv. 14, 3, the breach has become irre- 
parable. The divorce must have taken place at the end of 47 or the 
beginning of 46. See Schmidt, B. W. C., 239. The reasons for the 
divorce are not very clear. The freedman Philotimus seems to have 
been mixed up in it. 

LAG oe ARAMab any nae ab: < fa loy) 5 

SLGi Xl Or0 7 

ilesee'Cic., A: v1.6, I. 


46 B.C. 


46 Buc. 


Death of Cato. 


Cesar’s 
moderation on 
his return. 


270 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


to recall the miserable catastrophe which had cost him so 
many of his friends. 

To these the name of Cato had by now to be added. The old 
aristocrat had ended his life with the same inflexible obstinacy 
with which he had lived it. Despatched after the battle of 
Thapsus to the defence of Utica, he soon realised that all 
resistance was useless; unwilling to accept a pardon from 
Cesar, he had quietly set his affairs in order, then one evening, 
after bidding his son farewell, he retired to his room, spent 
some hours over the Phedo and then fell upon his sword. 
When his friends found him he was already dying.* 

Meanwhile Cesar, after annexing the kingdom of Juba to 
the Roman Empire and raising considerable contributions, left 
Utica on the 13th of June, disembarked on the 16th at Cagliari, 
where he stayed till the 27th, despatching Caius Didius and 
his soldiers to Spain to hunt down the last remnants of the 
enemy. The winds were contrary and he did not reach Rome 
till the 25th of July.t Immediately on landing he made a 
speech to the people and another to the Senate celebrating the 
vast extent of the lands conquered in Africa, their fertility and 
the abundance of corn they would furnish to Rome, and giving 
assurances that his government would not be tyrannical and 
that he intended simply to act as head of the people.{ He did 
not at once accept decennial Dictatorship,§ contenting himself 
with the position of Consul, and the electoral powers of the 
prefectura morum. 


* Pluts Cats Ui. OO Dion exit, LO tae wuAD pe Db. Cain Oonts 

t (Ces.) Bell. Afr., 98 ; Dion, xlili. 14. 

i Dion, xiii. 15; Plut:; Cees. 55: 

§ It seems to me that the only way to settle the numerous diffi- 
culties about Czsar’s third Dictatorship is to suppose that Cesar 
only accepted the Dictatorship which was decreed him after Thapsus 
towards the end of 46, certainly before January 1,45, although Mommsen 
(C. I. L., 12, p. 42) supposes the contrary. Dion, xlili. 1, says that in 46 
he was Dictator and Consul for the third time; but this is refuted 
by the Fastit Capitolini (C. I. L., 14, p. 28), which say nothing of a 
Dictatorship in 46, while they indicate, as do the coins of 46 (Cohen, 
nN. 34-36; mn. 15, 17), that Cesar’s third Dictatorship was in 45 and 
his fourth in 44. Thus the third Dictatorship must be that of 45. 
On the other hand there are coins of 46 (Cohen, ”. 4) on which Casar 
is styled Dictator, and even if we accept the ingenious arguments 
by which Zumpt attempts to assign them to 47 (S. R., 215), it is clear 
from (Ces.) Bell. Hisp., ii. (dictator tertio, consul designatus quarto) 
that Cesar assumed the Dictatorship a little before the close of 
the year, on his departure for Spain. This would explain why the 
compilers of the Fasti Capitolint say nothing of the Dictatorship of 
40. 


ed 


CZESAR’S TRIUMPHS 271 


But if his speeches were reassuring the upper classes awaited 
his actions with ill-concealed anxiety ; their ancient hostility 
was reinforced by the helplessness of their position and a sullen 


jealousy at the honours that were being heaped upon him. 


While a few sanguine spirits dared to hope that the end of 
the civil war meant a restoration of republican institutions, the 
majority dreaded an open, violent and rapacious tyranny. It 
was not long before both parties discovered that they were 
mistaken. ‘True, Cesar had no intention of retiring into 
private life. “Though he had originally entered upon the war 
not out of lust for the supreme power but to win a secure and 
honourable position in the aristocratic republic, yet his over- 
whelming successes, his intimacy with Cleopatra, and the 
revolutionary movement which was affecting the whole of 
Italy, appearing now in the new literary fashions of the 
younger generation, now in the prevalent affectation of 
oriental customs, had left their mark upon his ambitions. 
Czsar was no sceptical voluptuary like Sulla, no easy-going 
dilettante like Pompey, but a restless and ardent spirit for whom 
feverish activity, engrossing labour, and intense and continuous 
excitement had become almost a second nature. At last, after 
years and years of painful effort to win scope for the exercise 
of these transcendent abilities, he had it within his power to 
control an army, to put trusted supporters in the chief offices 
of State and to dispose of huge sums of money. ‘To return to 
private life, to renounce the execution of the great designs 
which he was maturing in his brain, was too much to ask of 
him. Moreover, he was beginning to find pleasure in some, 
though not in all, the temptations of omnipotence. Supposing 
he retired into private life, was it likely that Cleopatra would 
keep her promise to visit him in Rome? 

But even had he wished it, to renounce the supremacy was 
no longer in his power. His hands were tied by the very 
completeness of his success. He was the prisoner of his own 
victory. He had won his triumph by exciting in the multitude, 
as Sulla had done before him, the most dangerous passion of 
his age, cupidity, by promising his soldiers lands and privileges 
and money, heaping promise on promise, each greater than the 
last, the promises of Spain on those of Rimini, and the promises 
of Brindisi on those of Spain, and on those of Brindisi the 
recent and still more extravagant promises made after the 
defeat at Durazzo. And his soldiers had trusted him. They 
had worked themselves to death in their trust, relying on his 


46 B.C. 


Czsar’s 
ambitions, 


Cesar the 
prisoner of 
his success. 


46 B.c. 


The weakness 
of Cesar’s 
position. 


272, GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


untarnished reputation for generosity. Now had come the 
time for keeping his word. All his other engagements he 
could disavow, as idle tales for the dupes who had helped 
him to victory—but not these pledges given to 30,000 or 
40,000 men who had either followed him from Gaul or 
come over to him from the enemy, and who had now for 
three years been dreaming of settling down at their ease in 
the country on Czsar’s money. The recent mutinies of the 
legions, impatient for their rewards and their discharge, had 
shown him that they were not to be hoodwinked. ‘The 
civil war and his promises together had raised them to a pitch 
of dangerous excitement ; they would not shrink from taking 
the law into their own hands and precipitating a military 
revolution in which their general would be the first victim. 
Like Sulla, he was personally responsible for all the promises 
made, all the wild hopes conceived in his name; like Sulla he 
could not abandon his post at the helm, which was his sole 
means of fulfilling his multitudinous pledges. 

But if the few who expected Cesar forthwith to lay down 
his powers had utterly mistaken his position, those who looked 
for the recurrence of a Sullan régime of violence were perhaps 
even further from the truth. Cesar had indeed every reason 
to be indignant with the survivors of the Pompeian party and 
with the upper classes at Rome for the insincerity of their 
attitude since Pharsalia, and he made no attempt to conceal his 
ill-humour on the occasion of his triumphs. He had four 
triumphs each lasting a whole day, the first over the Gauls, 
the second over the Egyptians, the third over Pharnaces, and 
the fourth over Juba. In the last of these Cesar exhibited the 
arms taken from his Roman opponents and circulated cari- 
catures of his chief enemies, including Cato. If Cesar took 
no pains to conceal his hostility to the aristocrats at Rome and 
his intention of relying upon the popular classes, if he returned 
resolved to govern the Republic without considering the pre- 
judices and pretensions of the Conservatives, he knew very 
well that it was impossible for him to do a tenth part of the 
work that Sulla had achieved. One of the greatest mistakes 
made by all historians of Cesar is the assertion that after 
Pharsalia and Thapsus he was practically omnipotent, sole 
master of the Republic and of the Roman world. In truth 
he was nothing of the kind. Sulla had saved the whole 
Empire from imminent destruction and rescued an entire 
class of citizens from political extinction. Ceasar had not 


CZESAR’S TRIUMPHS 27% 


emerged triumphant from a revolution; he had merely 46 B.c. 
happened to win in a civil war brought about in a peaceful 
and peace-loving country through the rivalry of two political 
cliques. He had neither the prestige to inspire one tenth of 
the terror or admiration of Sulla, nor an army on whose 
fidelity he could rely, nor a body of supporters united in 
their aims and ideals. On the contrary discord was making 
way among all classes of his adherents and the solid block 
of his party showed new fissures every day. Antony himself 
had refused to obey him in paying for Pompey’s goods, which 
he had bought by auction, and was spreading threats and 
invectives against his leader broadcast through Rome. It 
was even whispered that he had made attempts to hire an 
assassin.* 

The weakness of Czsar’s position is thus easily explained. Czsar’s 

The conquest of Gaul had not provided him with prestige for winning 
adequate to the extraordinary responsibility which he had the supreme 
assumed, while, as for his successive victories since he left 
his province, they had been gained in a civil war and had 
better be forgotten than proclaimed. Cesar saw very clearly 
that if he was to be truly master of the Republic he must 
win some greater and purer title to glory by his services to 
Italy ; that all the pains that he had spent hitherto were 
only a prelude to the great work which he was now to 
undertake. At last he was in a position, not to enjoy but 
to win a real supremacy in the Republic through the per- 
formance of some immortal achievement. Now that the 
civil war was over he dreamt of forming a government which 
should be stable, beneficent and memorable to posterity, 
a government with three essential features in its programme, 
a large and generous policy towards the poor, a complete 
reorganisation, such as the nation rightly demanded, of the 
whole disordered machinery of administration, and lastly, in 
the domain of foreign policy, some great and striking military 
achievement. He was returning in fact to the old ideas, or 
the old dreams, of 56. 

No sooner was he back in Rome than he set resolutely A series of 
to work in his usual spirit with the help of several friends Consernariza 
and freedmen. With the six hundred million sesterces and 
vast quantities of precious metals he had brought back from 
Africa,t he paid each citizen the 300 sesterces promised in 
49, the 80,000 promised to each soldier, the 160,000 promised 

*1Cic., Phil ii, xxix. 72: ft Velloris65. App. 5. C5 i 102, 

I s 


46 B.C. 


274. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


to the centurions and the 320,000 promised to the military 
Tribunes;* he also gave a great public banquet and 
made a free distribution of corn and oil.f By using his 
authority as a censor or by proposing bills to the electors 
he carried through a series of reforms all thoroughly 
Conservative in spirit. He reorganised the tribunals, giving 
them a more aristocratic character ;{ he modified the “penal 
laws by strengthening the penalties against crimes of violence; § 
he dissolved all illegal associations, including the collegia of 
workmen organised by Clodius, which had proved so useful 
to himself in his struggle with the Conservatives; || he 
reduced the number of the poor who had been admitted 
by the law of Clodius to take part in the distributions of 
corn ;{1 he published a sumptuary law putting a check on 
the use of pearls and purple and litters; ** he attempted to 
check the emigration of young Italians, which had seriously 
affected the recruiting for the army ; tf he made arrangements 
for the better administration of his Land Law, which had 
languished hitherto, by the formation of colonies in Campania 
in the neighbourhood of Calatia and Casilinum ;{{ he made 
arrangements for the issue of a new gold coin, the aureus ; 
he brought Egyptian astronomers to Rome to rectify the 
calendar ;§§ he attempted to regulate the neglected finances 
of the Republic by re-establishing customs dues and by taking 
over for the State and leasing out the emery quarries in Crete, 
which had been largely worked without authorisation by private 
enterprise ; |||| and he devoted himself to the working out of the 
famous lex Julia munictpalis, of which there will be frequent 
mention as our story continues and which was to reorganise 
the government and administration of all the towns of Italy. 1 

* Suet: Cees:, 38; App., B.C. ii. 1023) Dion, xlii- 21-7 (The figures 
vary slightly.) 

t Dion (xliii. 21) distinguishes the celebrations at the Triumphs from 
those held a little later to inaugurate the Temple of Venus Genetrix. 
The other authorities confuse the two occasions. 

Pe Dion; xii pose mouetiocas:. Ak. SsSuet.,, Ces. 42. || Id. 

"| Dion; xlin-21; ee Suct., Cass., 493 Diony xis: 

Th suet., Cas. 42. 

tt Zumpt (C. E., i. 300) supposes, rightly, as I think, that the grants 
of Italian land in 45 and 44 were made in accordance with the Land 
Law of 59. 

§§ Dion, xliii. 26; Plut., Czs., 59. 

il) Suet., Ces:, 435° Dig. xxxix. 4,15. 

bbl There is no agreement as to the promulgation of the Lex Julia 
Munticipalis. Savigny assigns it to 45; Mommsen(C. I. L., p. 123) to 
the close of 45; Lange (R. A., ili. 440) to 46; Nissen (Rh. Mus., xlv. 
p- 100) toMay to September 46. Iam inclined to agree with Mommsen. 


CZESAR’S TRIUMPHS 275 


But he was nursing still greater projects than these. He 
intended to revive the old idea of Caius Gracchus, to re- 
establish the ancient centres of civilisation which had been 
crushed or undermined by the expansion of the Roman 
dominion, to rebuild Carthage and Corinth, to send out 
colonies to Provence, to Lampsacus, to Albania, to Sinope, 
to Heraclea and the coasts of the Black Sea, still smarting 
from the brutality of the soldiers and officers of Lucullus ; 
last of all he dreamt of returning to the adventure which 
had cost Crassus his life, the conquest and annexation of 
Parthia. Hitherto the unkind chances of politics had banished 
him, sorely against his will, to the cold grey skies of northern 
Europe. Now that he was free to go his own way he 
turned towards the East, the land of his early ambitions, 
which cast its spell over him as over all his contemporaries, 
and beckoned him to repeat the fabulous exploits of Alexander. 
Gaul after all was but a poor and barbarous country; the 
road to the civilisation of the future lay through Asia, through 
the wealthy and highly civilised lands on which the Mace- 
donian and his successors had left immortal marks of their 
achievement. 

Several of these reforms were highly pleasing to the Con- 
servatives, and consoled them somewhat for their mortification 
at seeing a caricature of Cato carried in the Fourth Triumph. 
For there was now something like a hero-worship of Cato 
growing up among the Italian upper classes. Cicero, who, 
still at Brutus’ suggestion, had written a panegyric on him 
and had now set himself to compose the Orator,* was con- 
stantly wondering whether Caesar was not going to restore 
the republican government; he kept watch over all his 
actions, and waylaid his intimates with questions, in a con- 
tinual alternation of confidence and despair. He had been 
very sanguine up to the end of September, so much so that 
he had even consented to break through what he had regarded 
as his mourning for the Republic, and to make a speech in 
the Senate, full of complimentary references to Czsar, on 
behalf of the exiled Marcellus, alluding confidently to the 
reconstruction of a normal civil government.f 

But his hopes were soon rudely shattered. ‘Towards the 
end of September Czsar consecrated a temple to Venus 
Genetrix and scandalised Cicero and the public by displaying 


*/Schmidt, B. W. C:, 25:5. 
taCics) E, 1Veid) 4-7 (Cic.,, Pros Marcello) ix) 27. 


46 B.c. 


Cesar and 
the east. 


Cicero’s hopes 
in Cesar. 


Pro 
Marcello.” 


46 B.c. 


The tem ei of 
Venus, t 
mother ar 
the Julii. 


Cesar “contra 
mundum.” 


276 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


in it a statue of Cleopatra by Archesilaus, one of the 
most well-known Roman sculptors.* The general disgust 
was increased by the festivals which were celebrated at the 
inauguration. "These were on a far larger scale than those 
which had been given at the Triumphs; there were wild- 
beast hunts and gladiatorial fights, and performances given 
in every quarter and in all languages for the amusement of 
the cosmopolitan proletariat; there was even a sea-fight on 
an artificial lake. Casar then was bent on corrupting the 
people, just as he was bent on degrading the Senate by 
electing members from amongst the obscurer ranks of society, . 
including even the professional Aaruspices.} Both these new 
additions to the Senate and Cesar’s inexplicable delay in 
convening the electors were highly unpopular; and they 
were soon followed by a series of disagreeable incidents. 
Czesar’s activity was degenerating into a wild impatience. It 
was in this spirit that he forced Archesilaus to exhibit his 
unfinished statue in the Temple of Venus Genetrix in order 
that he might proceed with the inauguration ;{ and he fre- 
quently hurried on preparations with an arbitrary procedure 
which caused widespread annoyance. ‘Thus one day Cicero 
received the thanks of certain oriental princes for a decree 
which he had caused to be approved by the Senate, though 
he had never even heard of the existence of the potentates in 
question.§ His nominations of governors for the year 45 
proved equally unpopular ; with a few exceptions they were all 
old friends of his own, || some of them were peculiarly odious 
to the Conservatives, the notorious Vatinius, for instance, and 
Sallust, who had been made propretor of Numidia after 
Thapsus and was allowed to remain there an extra year to re- 
cover the fortune which he had wasted on dissipation at Rome. 
Thus the situation was becoming more and more difficult. 
This constant state of inward excitement, the extraordinary 
nervous tension of the last years, his natural exaltation after 
his victories, the feeling of strength springing in his case 
partly out of the very strain at which he lived, all combined 
to tempt Cesar to assume responsibilities such as no man, not 
even he, could carry with impunity. Here again historians 
are wrong. ‘They are fond of asserting that, because Cesar 
had been able to construct so wonderful an instrument of 
yl PN copjalish (Gay wleniayy, tT Gics, Be, Vis sat 
feOverbeck, iG. G. Psy i. 482, § Cie. BY, i csynae 
|| Lange, R. A., ili, 448. 


CARSAR’S TRIUMPHS 277 


rule as his army, he was thereby placed in a position where 
he could govern and reorganise the Empire as he wished. 
He had indeed used his army as an incomparable weapon of 
destruction; it had helped him to crush the Conservative 
party and destroy the legitimate government; but it could 
not help him, except in a wholly insufficient manner, to 
form a new government on the ruins of the old. The 
breach was widening on all sides of him. He stood alone, 
and well-nigh helpless, in the place of power. The nobility, 
even those of them who had rallied to his side after Pharsalia, 
had forgiven him nothing ; they held suspiciously aloof, and it 
was only with the greatest difficulty that they could be pre- 
vailed upon to accept office. Even in his own party the 
whole of the right wing was lukewarm and gradually with- 
drawing from all active support. Only the small and vigorous 
coterie of his partisans from amongst the lower orders remained 
actively loyal; and they courted the Dictator merely to mono- 
polise his favours and keep off all dangerous intruders. The 
faithful Oppius, the skilful Balbus, the intriguing Faberius, 
the gay Dolabella, Vatinius, Calenus, Decimus Brutus, his 
favourite amongst them all, who had saved him from disaster 
in Spain and who had, for the last two years, been Governor 
of Transalpine Gaul where he had repressed a new revolt 
amongst the Bellovaci—these were now his chief collabora- 
tors in the gigantic task of reorganising the Empire, a work 
that called for all the talent and energy in the Roman State. 
And there were gaps even in that inner circle. Antony had 
now fallen quite into disgrace and was living in obscurity with 
his newly married wife, Fulvia the widow of Clodius and 
Curio. Czsar had now neither the time nor the wish to 
search the crowd, as he had so successfully done hitherto, 
for the unknown man whom he could use for his purposes ; 
and within the close gathering of his intimates there were few 
new admissions, only the sons of his two nephews Quintus 
Pedius and Caius Octavius, and the family of Servilia; these 
last, Servilia’s son Brutus and her two sons-in-law, Caius 
Cassius and Lepidus, formed a small aristocratic group in 
Czsar’s party, and were treated by Ceasar with great con- 
sideration, though Lepidus was the only one with whom he 
was really intimate.* Caius Octavius was a young man of 


* The affection and intimacy between Caesar and Brutus have been 
much exaggerated. It must be remembered that from Pharsalia down 
to Cesar’s return from Spain they can only have been together for 


46 B.c. 


46 B.c, 


The young 
Augustus. 


Cesar’s 
intellectual 
decline. 


278 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


seventeen who showed promise of great ability; after the 
death of his father and his mother’s second marriage with 
Lucius Marcius Philippus he had been brought up in the 
house of his grandmother, Czsar’s sister. Czasar himself had 
for some time past taken him under his protection ; he super- 
vised his education, introduced him to the public by several 
special marks of distinction, and was probably instrumental in 
finding him two new teachers, Athenodorus of Tarsus and 
Didymus Areus, in addition to the masters under whom he 
was learning already. Didymus belonged to that small Neo- 
pythagorean school which we have already seen attempting to 
spread a new and ascetic morality * in the Roman world. 
But Octavius was a young man of delicate health and was 
actually at this moment suffering from a serious illness which 
caused great anxiety to Cesar. 

Thus the loyal and vigorous co-operation which might have 
enabled him to carry his great projects into execution was not 
to be found; and the idea that a single man, however re- 
markable his energy and ability, together with a few friends 
and freedmen picked up at random at various times in his 
career during twelve years of war and adventure, could arrest 
the growing disorder of a long process of social decomposition 
and change throughout a vast Empire, was the idlest of dreams. 
It had been easy to use his army to triumph over the Con- 
servative party and the degenerate upper classes of Italy ; but 
it was impossible for one man by mere legislation to reconcile 
the terrible antagonisms that were raging in a violent over- 
bearing and money-loving society. One difficulty after 
another confronted him, often created by his very impatience 
to overcome them, and the worry, the weariness, the dis- 
appointments of his never-ending labours dulled that keen 
and exquisite sense of what was real and practicable which had 
stood him in such stead in past years. Sometimes he himself 
would say, like a man worn out, that he had lived long 
enough.f His intimates, Balbus and Oppius, had noticed 
for some time how he was daily becoming more irritable, 
headstrong and strange in his manner; how every suggestion, 


quite a short time, during 47 in the East; afterwards Cesar went 
to Africa and Brutus spent the whole of 46 as Governor of Cisalpine 
Gaul. When Brutus returned to Rome Cesar had already left for 
Spain. See Bynum, B., 29 and 39. 
* Suet., Aug., 89. See Weichert, Commentatio de imp. Ca@s. scriptis 
eorumque reliquis (Grime, 1835), p. 27 f.; Gardthausen, A. Z.,i. p. 47 f. 
t Cic., Pro Marcello, viii. 25. 


| 
| 
| 


Se Oe eee ee Pe eee ee ee 


C/ESAR’S TRIUMPHS 279 


however guarded, of the wisdom of laying down at least a part 
of his power caused him increasing annoyance ; they had seen 
him so out of temper at Cicero’s panegyric of Cato that he 
meditated writing a refutation and had encouraged Hirtius to 
do the same. Yet he refused to have it said that he was 
violating the constitution, or breaking with Roman tradition, 
or acting against the spirit, as opposed to the letter, of the 
laws which had granted him his powers. He was just now 


46 B.c. 


engaged in composing his Memoirs of the Civil War, doing (De Bello 


his utmost to prove that he had scrupulously observed the © 
constitution, and that it was his opponents and not he who 
had laid hands on the property and the rights of the citizens. 
But as the months slowly went by in this endless year, in 
which there was room for so much to happen because it was 
increased to fifteen months and 445 days by. the astronomers 
who were reforming the calendar, the situation corresponded 
less and less with his words and his intentions, 


Towards the end of the year Caesar committed a grave Cleopatra 


blunder by opening his house to Cleopatra who had come to~ 
Rome with a large suite of slaves and ministers. This caused 
a huge scandal at Rome and in Italy.* It had been an open 
secret for some time past that Cesar had been giving rein to 
his passions, particularly in his relations with royal personages, 
and that during the African war he had a connection with 
Eunoe, wife of Bogud, King of Mauretania, and had made 
her enormous presents.f But this new scandal shamelessly 
flaunted before the eyes of Rome shocked and excited a 
public that was only too ready to find a mark for its criticism. 
The old Latin family had exercised many judicial and dis- 
ciplinary functions now reserved for the State, and its 
dissolution tended to aggravate social disorder in a way 
quite out of proportion to the relaxation of family ties under 
modern conditions. Perhaps no other of the many problems 
of the day was more lamented by contemporaries or seemed 
more hopeless of remedy. Cleopatra’s open appearance in 
Rome gave fresh emphasis to these complaints. Every one felt 
pity for the unhappy Calpurnia, married in 59 for a political 
intrigue, then left alone for years by a travel-loving husband, 
and now compelled to receive a rival into her own household. 
Yet Calpurnia was but a melancholy instance of the lot 


* For the harm done to Cesar by his relations with Cleopatra 
see Dion, xliii. 27; Suet., Ces., 52. 
Wi sSlles, sCeS., 52. 


46 B.c. 


280 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


reserved for all the women in Roman high society who were 
not either dissolute or criminal. It was the same fate that 
befel Tullia, in spite of her father’s devotion, or Cornelia, 
the widow of Publius Crassus and of Pompey, and hundreds 
of others whose names have not come down to us. They 
were married, abandoned, and remarried from one year to the 
next, without regard to the age or the character of their 
husbands; they moved from one home and household and 
society to another, according to the accidents and vicissitudes 
of politics; often they had not even the consolation of mother- 
hood and found stepsons older than themselves at their 
husband’s table; at the worst they had to endure the shame 
of being openly superseded by freedwomen and slaves. ‘This 
was one of the evils of the age—one of those numberless 
symptoms of disorder, lamentable, yet inevitable, that marked 
the great change that was taking place in Roman civilisation, 
to which women had to contribute their share, and more 
than their share, of suffering. But for once an envious public 
reserved for Czsar their resentment against an evil that was 
common to his class. It was intolerable that the Dictator 
should make public ostentation of his private vices, 


SS 


CHAPTER XVII 


CZESAR’S LAST AMBITION—THE CONQUEST 
OF PARTHIA 


Cesar’s last ambition—Cesar and the ideas of Caius Gracchus 
—The popular monarchy of Cesar—The eight prefecti urbi— 
Discontent of the upper classes—The writings of Cicero— 
Brutus—New honours decreed Cesar after Munda—Cesar 
and Brutus—Grandiose and chimerical projects of Casar— 
Laws and reforms of Cesar—Antony changes sides—Supreme 
powers given to Czsar—The illusions of a Dictatorship— 
Czsar’s colonies—Atticus and the settlement at Buthrotum 
—The Lupercalia. 


Amonc the upper classes discontent was thus gathering to a 46 B.c. 
climax. Hereditary pride and dislike of discipline set them 

naturally against any ordered system of government ; and they Growing _ 
were still smarting under the effects of the civil war, mourning pfpopularity 
the loss of parents and friends and damage to their property or pratt 
interests. “Ihe confiscation of the goods of the vanquished 
had robbed many of windfalls on which they had reckoned : 

others had lost sums deposited in the temples of Italy and the 

East, while more still were hard hit by the scarcity of money 

and the difficulty of raising credit. It was in vain that Cesar 
attempted to show in his AZemoirs on the Civil War that it was 

Pompey and not he who had laid hands on the deposits of 
individuals, while they had him to thank for the safety of the 

great Temple of Diana at Ephesus and the treasure there 

stored.* Pompey was dead and his rival, who was still alive, 

had to bear the brunt of the blame. 

It needed a man of unwearied skill and patience, of unruffled The financial 
calm and unfailing discretion to steer his way through these “°?re**!°™ 
difficulties. Deliberate malice and ill-tempered criticism, petty 
personal quarrels and far-seeing ambitions all joined to block 
his path. But Czsar was no longer equal to the work. The 
strain was at last beginning to tell on his character. The 


* Ces., B. C., iii. 31-33. 


281 


46 B.C. 


Parthia and 
the need for 
Cesarism. 


282 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


excitement of power and success, the constant adulation, the 
very weariness that his position entailed, pricked him into the 
desire to achieve something great and decisive. His dreams 
of rivalling the romantic exploits of Alexander bore down 
the habitual restraints of vigilance and good sense, These 
tendencies were only encouraged by the inevitable pressure 
of circumstances. In face of the appeals that poured in upon 
him from all sides he was practically compelled to throw off 
all semblance of legality. All around him were problems 
crying out for courageous handling. He can be excused for 
believing that it was not personal ambition but the imperious 
necessities of his age that drove him into absolutism. ‘Through- 
out Italy the distress had grown to appalling dimensions; a 
large part of the middle class and the proletariat had been 
driven almost to desperation by the continuance of the 
depression. A large number of skilled eastern slaves had been 
set free in different parts of the country by masters who had 
been unable to find them employment and could not afford to 
keep them idle till the arrival of better times. The distress 
was increased by the reduction that had been found necessary 
in the number of the recipients of the corn-dole; there were 
thousands at Rome living in enforced idleness on the verge of 
starvation. An awful catastrophe seemed inevitable unless 
some new source of revenue could be discovered. In what 
direction were these riches to be sought ? 

There was only one possible answer to the question, and 
Czar had long ago divined it. In Parthia alone lay his hopes 
of reconstruction ; in the fabulous treasures of the East lay the 
capital that was to relieve the necessities of Italy. It was a 
great and daring programme. But how could he carry it toa 
successful conclusion if he had all the while to be considering 
the absurd prejudices and the petty personal interests of a knot 
of grumbling Roman Senators? Besides, he owed them no 
more consideration than they in turn paid him. ‘They had 
no eyes for the difficulties of his task or the troubles of their 
fellow-countrymen, At this moment all they cared about 
was the latest news of some little victory of young Pompey 
in Spain and the composition of silly and malicious eulogies of 
Cato. Even Brutus had followed the prevailing fashion and 
was writing up the suicide at Utica. In his present mood 
of impatience to be at work the clanking and creaking of 
the old constitutional machinery was altogether intolerable. 
He was growing old. He had never yet known failure. He 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 283 


must act, and act quickly, to secure his popularity and win an 46 B.c. 
undying title to renown. He had no old scores to wipe off 

like Sulla; he did not wish to despoil the rich in order to 

relieve the poor. But just because his ends were so moderate 

he felt justified in assuming wide powers, regardless of con- 
stitutional propriety, to enable him to achieve them. 

It is not improbable that the visit of Cleopatra contributed Cleopatra and 
to produce this change in his attitude. The Queen of Egypt, a 
herself one of the tragic figures of the time, plays a strange 
and significant part in the tragedy of the Roman Republic. 
Placed on the throne of Egypt at a moment when the govern- 
ment of Rome had fallen into the hands of a sole military 
Dictator, she had conceived a new diplomacy for the pre- 
servation of her kingdom. Her object it is not difficult to 
guess, though we are not told it in any well-authenticated 
document. She desired to become Cesar’s wife; and that 
by her example and the fascination of her presence and plead- 
ing she hoped to awaken in him the passion for kingship is an 
equally justifiable assumption. How indeed could she think 
or act otherwise? She was young, ambitious, greedy of 
pleasure, and still greedier of power; and she was born an 
Egyptian princess. The conclusion is irresistible. What is 
certain at least is this—that Cleopatra came to Rome with 
her infant son to win Cesar’s permission to call him after his 
father ; and that when she left Rome she had, amongst other 
gifts and privileges, obtained this precious concession.* But 
whatever Czsar’s ultimate ambitions their realisation depended 
at this moment upon the success of his Parthian campaign. 

This therefore was henceforward his dominant idea, and 
towards it all his energies were now directed. 

Unfortunately in the second half of 46 serious incidents Cesar calcd 
intervened to interrupt his preparations. In Spain Cneius ‘°°?*™ 
Pompeius and Labienus made play with the popularity of 
Pompey’s name; and through the widespread disgust at 
Cezsar’s governors, assisted by the discontent of some of the 
legions, they had succeeded in recruiting an army and in 
conquering a large part of the Peninsula. Cesar had at 
first made light of the danger and entrusted the conduct of 
the war to subordinates; but when all their efforts proved 
futile they had finally appealed to their chief to come in person. 

The news from Spain of course only intensified the prevailing 


* Cees,, Cees., 52: 


46 B.c. 


Czsar assumes 
autocratic 
powers, 


The Land 
Law of 59 
enforced. 


284 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


excitement and uncertainty, and Cesar was forced reluctantly 
to admit that he could not set out for the East leaving a 
victorious enemy behind him in the West. ‘Truly the civil 
war seemed to be becoming almost chronic. That a new 
campaign should be required just at this moment was the most 
disconcerting thing that could have happened. It obliged him 
to break off in the very midst of his work of reform and to 
postpone the great war against Parthia, while it increased his 
difficulties with Italian public opinion by showing that he had 
not yet succeeded in granting his promised boon of peace. 

Impatient at the prospect of his Spanish campaign, and in 
the hope of overwhelming his enemies by one bold and un- 
expected stroke, Caesar, towards the end of the year, threw off 
all pretence of constitutional rule and assumed to himself all 
the supreme powers of government. He took the Dictator- 
ship, choosing this time as his Master of the Horse not Antony, 
who was still in disgrace, but the faithful Lepidus, who had 
been nominated Governor of Nearer Spain and Narbonese 
Gaul, and who, to the general astonishment, was authorised 
to administer these provinces through legates.* He also 
desired to be nominated Consul without a colleague for the 
year 45 ;f and he postponed till later the election of the other 
magistrates. As Dictator and at the same time Consul with- 
out a colleague he was for all practical purposes an autocratic 
ruler. 

These measures produced a most disastrous impression. 
They widened the breach of distrust—already wide enough— 
which separated him from the upper classes, and encouraged 
the current apprehension that absolute power in Czsar’s hands 
was synonymous with a social revolution. A report was sud- 
denly circulated that Caesar had undertaken a measurement of 
lands in different parts of Italy with a view to a wholesale 
confiscation on the Sullan pattern, for the benefit of his 
troops.[ For a moment there was a regular panic. But it 
was soon ascertained that Cesar was merely putting in a new 
commission, in accordance with the Land Law of 59, to find 
land in Italy and Cisalpine Gaul for distribution among his 
soldiers.§ On several occasions large portions of the public 
domain had passed into private hands ; but the arrangements 

ig EMO yy ley Ong pila wloys 

Te DLON sid. Benn Cp Lee yeas a see Cic., Elise py 

SiSee Dion, xiii, 540; Appi, 5. ©, ale O4i) Clic, me. i 3) selon 
xiii. 7; xiii. 8. (All these are pleas for estates which were or might 
be considered State Land.) 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 285 


had been carried out in such haste and disorder that a few 46 8.c. 
remnants were still left over, either in the possession of the 
State or leased out to private persons, especially in Etruria and 
Campania and in the neighbourhood of Leontini. It was 
this remnant that Ceasar was anxious to divide among his 
veterans, supplementing it with estates bought from private 
owners. The lands were to be given on the condition 
originally laid down by the Gracchi, that they were to be 
inalienable for twenty years.* It was an attempt, somewhat 
late in the day, to revive the central idea of the Gracchan 
policy. 

No sooner had this excitement abated when new incidents Ceasar 
occurred to alarm the public. Czsar had set out for Spain fapishes 
without convoking the electors,t and every one at Rome fovernment | 
expected that in the course of his journey he would provide 
for the offices in the usual fashion. But towards the end of 
the year there was a new surprise. Czsar nominated eight 
praefecti urbi who were to be entrusted with all the powers of 
the Prztors and certain powers, such as the administration 
of the Treasury, that belonged properly to the Questors,{ 
nominally under the direction of Lepidus, but really also con- 
trolled by Cornelius Balbus and Oppius. Thus by a stroke of 
the pen, to the dismay of the public, he created what was 
practically a system of Cabinet Government, in which the 
people and the Senate were of no account at all, Meanwhile 
he occupied his spare hours on the journey in writing a book 
against Cato to combat the recrudescence of Republican 
sentiment. 

This sudden change in Czsar’s policy caused consternation Uneasiness 

and suspicions 
among the upper Pisses in Italy and even among the right in Ttaly. 
wing of his own supporters,§ who regarded it as a prelude to 
the definite victory of the revolutionary section of the party. 
A whole flood of recriminations broke out. ‘The grant of his 
own name to the child of Cleopatra was bitterly criticised ; || 
while the creation of the prefect: urbi was regarded as one of 
the most arbitrary measures Rome had even known. Men 
began to whisper—and the whisper had proved fatal to many 


FCT ADp., . G., 1.2 ands7. Saal Gilets eWay bebla wey 
{ Suet., Ces., 76; Dion, xliii. 28 and 48; Cic., F., vi. 8,1; Schmidt, 
B: W. C., 263. 


§ We have a proof of this in what we are told about Trebonius in 
Plut., Ant., 13. See Cic., Phil., ii. xiv. 34. Also, the allusion to the 
unfavourable prognostications of Antony in Cic., F., vi. 2, 2. 

|| Suet., Caes., 52. 


45 B.C. 


The death 
of Tullia. 


286 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


an illustrious Roman in the past—that he was stretching out 
his hands towards the monarchy. It was at this moment that 
news came that Marcellus the Consul of 51, to whom Cesar 
had lately given a free pardon, had been mysteriously assassi- 
nated at Athens on his homeward journey; and evil tongues 
suggested that Caesar had secretly plotted his death, to gratify 
a personal hatred whilst pretending in public to grant him a 
free pardon. ‘The publication of the book against Cato added 
fuel to the flames. Written in a sour and venomous spirit, 
it was universally resented as an unworthy calumny on the 
memory of a great man. All the more striking were the 
warm references in it to Cicero, which succeeded, as usual, in 
hitting that tender mark. The old orator sent a hearty note 
of congratulation through Balbus and Dolabella to the Dictator. 
But he was alone in his opinion, and even he had not the 
courage to submit his letter to Atticus for approval.* The 
labours of the Land Commission too were causing widespread 
anxiety. The common people were being encouraged to 
indulge in hopes and illusions which might some day prove 
dangerous to the State. Moreover the inquiries made to 
identify the public lands were highly disconcerting in many 
quarters, for if rigorously pressed home they might lead to 
some unpleasant revelations. Naturally the commissioners 
were overwhelmed with special appeals from landlords and 
their friends and relations.t Every one was anxious to own 
land in Italy, where the soil was under special privileges by 
law, paid no tax except the ¢ributum levied in war time, and 
could be held as absolute freehold ; whereas in the provinces 
the soil belonged to Rome and the occupiers might be turned 


out of their holdings at any moment. 


Thus, while Czsar was fighting in Spain the situation at 
Rome was far from reassuring. Balbus and Oppius wrote 
letter after letter to Casar and did their best meanwhile to 
soothe the ruffled feelings of the leaders of opinion. ‘They 
were particularly attentive to Cicero, now passing into life’s 
evening with the shadow of many troubles upon him. At 
the end of 46 he had contracted a second marriage with 
Publilia, a rich young girl of 14; { but at the beginning of 
45 a great blow had been struck at his happiness. ‘Tullia 
died in childbirth, shortly after her divorce.§€ Her father 


AS VIG yA pels, SO, pee Kills hilt 
Teles Sabi AD Baht OS. 775 Sahib Sy 
7 Schmidt, 5B; W. GC.) 268: § 1d... 27% 


a e 


CZESAR’S LAST AMBITION 287 


could hardly bear up against his grief. To distract his mind 
he turned resolutely to the execution of a design he had 
perhaps been contemplating for some time but from which 
the vicissitudes of politics had always diverted him—to 
gather up the leading ideas of Greek philosophy in a series of 
dialogues after the model of Plato, in which all the great 
Romans of the last generation from Cato to Lucullus and 
Varro were to appear as interlocutors. It was a project that 
gave ample scope to the peculiarly dramatic powers of his 
style. The working out of this idea might have produced 
one of the masterpieces of literature, creating and reanimating 
for all posterity, in the calm and intimate atmosphere of philo- 
sophic dialogue, the great figures that history only shows us in 
the strife of war and politics. 


45 B.C. 


But such a task needed the leisure for quiet and continuous Cicero as 


workmanship ; and Cicero’s life at this moment was crowded x 


with petty worries and distractions. He had continually to re- 
quisition Dolabella for the recovery by instalments of the dowry 
of Tullia ; and he was trying to find the money for a sumptuous 
mausoleum to his daughter’s memory. Moreover he was tor- 
mented by the question of Czsar’s intentions, which formed 
the subject of constant letters to Brutus, now one of his 
closest friends, who had only lately returned from the gover- 
norship of Cisalpine Gaul. He was also deep in the study of 
the great Greek books on political philosophy. He had been 
specially attracted by the letters written by Aristotle and other 
Greek thinkers to Alexander urging him to reserve autocratic 
rule for the Asiatics and to remain first citizen, primus inter 
pares, among the Greeks, the noble race which had always 
lived and could only live under free institutions.* Arristotle’s 
letter suggested the idea of writing one in similar terms to 
Cesar ; and Cicero actually composed an eloquent little treatise 
which he submitted to Atticus.f But the cautious banker 
advised his friend to submit it first to Oppius and Balbus, who 
persuaded him not to send it on to the Dictator.{ The inci- 
dent was a great disillusion to Cicero and caused renewed 
suspicions among the educated classes. One touch of bright- 
ness came to light up his troubles. A certain Cluvius, who 
had been one of his most ardent admirers, left him a large 


PaCicy AG, kill, 28. 

i Gh, wale EtG iy aii We iNoye.stil, Cop 23H Yalan p.ibbly PIs 3% 

+ Id., xiii. 27, 1. Isti means Oppius and Balbus, as is clear from A., 
Saul 7 ee 


Cesar’s 
ristotle, 


45 B.C. 


Cesar’s 
negligence, 
in Spain. 


Brutus and 


his marriage, 


288 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


bequest which tided him over his pecuniary difficulties. Yet 
Cicero, like the rest of Rome, was in a continuous state of 
nervous suspense. 

The news which arrived from Spain at the beginning of 
45 only increased the general uneasiness, Czsar had been 
so busy thinking out his Parthian plans that he had omitted 
to prepare the details of this preliminary campaign. From 
the very first the supplies were insufficient and the soldiers 
suffered severely from famine.* It was the same difficulty 
that had befallen him in the war against Vercingetorix, in his 
first campaign in Spain, and during the operations in Albania ; 
but with this difference, that it could now only be set down 
to the carelessness of the master of the great Mediterranean 
granaries. 

Meanwhile a strange and unexpected event intervened to 
distract the attention of Roman society from the Spanish War. 
The virtuous Brutus divorced the daughter of Appius Claudius 
and married Portia, daughter of Cato and widow of Marcus 
Bibulus,t Czsar’s old colleague in the Consulship, the admiral 
who had died during the war in Albania. A noble of ancient 
lineage, an enthusiastic student of art, literature and philo- 
sophy, Brutus was one of those spoilt children of fortune who 
succeed in winning general admiration for achievements they 
have not yet performed. Endowed with certain virtues rare 
in high society, with sobriety and continence, an unusual 
austerity in his private habits and a high disdain for vulgar 
ambitions, he had gained a great reputation among his con- 
temporaries. They overlooked small peccadilloes like his 
trouble with the Cilician debtors, and universally regarded 
him, Czsar included, as a prodigy of will and energy,{ who 
had great and enduring achievements to his credit, and could 
rightfully expect to be offered privileges which others laboured 
painfully to earn. He could take what liberties he liked: there 
was none to gainsay him. He had sided with Pompey out of 
regard for Servilia; yet Casar had loaded him with honours 
and responsibilities. He had become a leading member of 
the aristocratic Casarian party: yet without sacrificing the 
friendship of Cicero and other distinguished Pompeians. Now 
he suddenly announced his marriage with the daughter and 


* Dion, xliii. 32. 

t+ Mommsen’s objections to Portia’s parentage (Hermes, xv. p. 99 f.) 
are well refuted by Bynum, B., 33. 

PEE Lut stub Ol Mm OlC AN LU Dyes 


C/ZESAR’S LAST AMBITION 289 


widow of two of the Dictator’s bitterest enemies. All Rome 
was agog with excitement. What did this new development 
portend? Hostility on Brutus’ part to Cesar’s recent change 
of policy, or an open reconciliation between Cesar and his 
old enemies? Servilia, who feared that the marriage might 
cost her son the friendship of the Dictator, did her best to 
dissuade him, and Cicero maintained a judicious reserve. But 
all in vain. Brutus had set his heart on the marriage, and it 
had to take place. We may suspect that politics had really 
very little to do with it; it was an old intimacy between 
cousins which had been renewed after long years of separation. 
In any case it is clear that Brutus had no intention of break- 
ing with Cesar ; indeed, perhaps by way of compensation, 
he wrote a pamphlet i in his defence against the current accusa- 
tion that he had caused the death of Marcellus. 


45 B.C. 


Meanwhile the Spanish War had come to a victorious con- The battle 


clusion, but only after perils and vicissitudes that no one had 
expected. Czsar himself had fallen ill on several occasions, 
and he had conducted operations with so little vigour that in 
the final battle at Munda, on the 17th of March 45, he was 
within an ace of being defeated and taken prisoner. More- 
over the victory lacked the finality of its predecessors. He 
had left some notable enemies still in the field. Cneius 
Pompeius and Labienus had fallen in battle, but the young 
Sextus Pompeius had successfully made his escape to the 
north. But Czsar was impatient to be in Italy. Leaving 
his subordinates to deal with Sextus, he hastily set out on the 
homeward journey. 


f Munda, 


His arrival was anxiously awaited in Italy. The battle of End of the 


Munda seemed to close the era of the civil war. There was 
no longer either pretext or reason, so the upper classes held, 
for the prolongation of the Dictatorship. ‘The decisive mo- 
ment, then, was approaching ; at last the world would know 
whether Czsar cared more for liberty or for the temptations 
of tyranny and revolution. The omens were far from favour- 
able. His party had made immediate use of the victory to 
propose new honours, which had of course been approved. 
Czsar was to bear the title of Imperator as hereditary pre- 
nomen ; he was to be Consul for ten years, and he was also to 
have the right of nominating the candidates for the A‘dileship 
and the Tribuneship.* At the same time Balbus and Oppius, 


* Dion, xliii. 44, 45. 
II T 


civil war. 


45 B.C. 


Brutus goes 
out to meet 
Cesar. 


290 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


partly to gratify Cesar, partly to impress the public, sent 
invitations to all the chief personages in Rome to come out 
to meet Czsar on his return and escort him back in state to 
the city. It seemed clear therefore, unless his partisans were 
going farther than he wished, that Casar was aiming at 
supreme and absolute power. Amid a welter of hopes and 
doubts, and endless discussion of his possible intentions, Rome 
feverishly awaited the conqueror’s return. 

Yet still he delayed his appearance. He spent some time 
making several Spanish cities into Roman colonies, including 
Hispalis,* Carthagena,} and Tarragona,{ confiscating a part 
of their territory and settling a number of discharged soldiers 
on their lands. He was further detained in Narbonese Gaul, 
where he entrusted Caius Claudius Nero, a friend who ha 
done him useful service at Alexandria, with the duty of dis- 
tributing lands to the veterans of the sixth and tenth legions 
in the neighbourhood of Arles and Narbonne.§ T’'wo more 
legions were thus disbanded. Yet even before he crossed the 
Alps Cesar was swept into the whirlpool of Roman contro- 
versy. Representatives of all the different sections of opinion, 
Conservatives as well as moderate and extreme members of his 
own party, had jumped at the invitation of Oppius and Balbus 
and arrived daily to swell the numbers of his escort. They 
must have formed a singular company. Amongst them was 
Antony, who had grown tired of the pleasures of obscurity 
and had come determined to make his peace with his old 
master : || and Trebonius, who was so indignant at Cesar’s 
new policy that he was already dreaming of a dagger to cut 
the knot ;{ and finally Brutus, who had gone out to Cis- 
alpine Gaul, on Cicero’s encouragement, to sound Cesar’s 
intentions and find out what the Dictator thought of his wed- 
ding. He had no reason, as it turned out, to be nervous. To 
Brutus all things were lawful. He found a hearty welcome, 
and was warmly congratulated on the zeal he had displayed 
during his provincial administration. Of course he was de- 
lighted with his reception, which put all his old apprehensions 
to sleep. He wrote a most reassuring letter to Cicero, 


* Isidorus, xv. I, 71; Strabo, iil. 2, 1. On the text of this last 
Passage see rsa A L. : ii. Di ace: 

Colt, 1. 402. Tdd,, 1. S28, 

§ Suet., Tib., 4. Kromayer (Hermes, xxi. p- is ate has, I think, 
proved that only these two colonies, which were styled Julia paterna, 
were founded by Cesar for the veterans of the second Spanish War. 

{| Plut., Ant., 13. 9) id.; Cic.,, Philony sive Sat 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 291 


declaring that Cxsar aimed at the re-establishment of an 
aristocratic government on the Conservative pattern.* 

And indeed Cesar had been genuinely impressed by the 
unanimity of the public and the dissensions within his own 
party, and was for a moment inclined to make concessions to 
the right wing of his supporters and the Conservative school 
of opinion. He was publicly reconciled with Antony, and to 
show that he had forgiven him his conduct to the rioters in 
47 allowed him to make part of the journey in his own litter. 
Arrived in Rome he deposed the prefecti urbi, refused some 
suggested distinctions, and resigned his sole Consulship ; then 
he convened the electors, and nominated the ordinary magis- 
trates, selecting for the Consulship Quintus Fabius Maximus, 
one of his Spanish generals, and Trebonius, who was 
one of the most prominent and disaffected of the moderate 
Cesarians. 

In an impressionable society this was sufficient to revive 
the wildest hopes. Many believed that the end of the ex- 
ceptional régime was actually imminent. But Cicero, always 
far-sighted, could not bring himself to believe it; and he was 
right. Casar was, in fact, not in the least interested in the 
constitutional question that was absorbing so the leisured 
classes at Rome ; his sole and all-engrossing thought was still 
the Eastern War and the annexation of Parthia. Moreover 
his health was growing steadily worse; the attacks of epilepsy 
from which he had never been entirely free were increasing in 
frequency and violence; body and soul were almost worn 
out. The striking bust of him in the Louvre, the work of a 
great unknown master, gives a wonderful representation of the 
last expiring effort of his prodigious vitality. The brow is 
furrowed with huge wrinkles, the lean and shapeless face bears 
marks of intense physical suffering, and the expression is that 
of a man utterly exhausted. In truth he was tired out. 

Yet, as so often with tired men, he could not take the rest 
he needed. The vision of Parthia lured him on to fresh 
exertions. His short spell of moderation did not last for long. 
No sooner had he arrived at Rome than he set to work on the 
military and political preparations for the expedition. One of 
his first objects was to influence public opinion in favour of 
the war. Sumptuous festivals were given to celebrate his 
Spanish triumph, and in the huge popular banquets that accom- 


CECI EA eI SAO UL 
} App., B.C., ii. 110. Nicolas of Damascus, 23. 


45 B.C. 


A new phase 
of moderation. 


Czsar’s health 
breaking down. 


Czsar’s pro- 
jects for his 
supremacy. 


45 B.C. 


Unscrvpulous- 


ness of 


friends. 


zesar’s 


292 GREATNESS AND ‘DECLINE OF ROME 


panied them Cesar for the first time substituted in place of 
the usual Greek wines some of the new Italian vintages which, 
thanks to the skilful cultivation of the eastern slaves, were now 
beginning to be widely known. It wasa good way of adver- 
tising a new home product, and of encouraging the Italian 
vine-grower, whose prosperity was rapidly increasing, in spite 
of the prevailing depression.* The law on the oversea colonies 
was at once proposed and approved and settlers were recruited 
from amongst soldiers, citizens and freedmen. Then followed 
surprise on surprise. Every day Rome was stupefied to hear 
of some new and daring project. The Dictator intended to 
divert the course of the Tiber in order to drain the Pontine 
marshes ; to cut up the Campus Martius into building sites, 
using the land at the foot of the Vatican Hill in its place; to 
raise a huge theatre, afterwards completed by Augustus, and 
familiar to the modern traveller as the great Theatre of Mar- 
cellus ; to commission Varro to establish large libraries in all 
parts of Rome; to pierce the Isthmus of Corinth; to lay out 
a road over the Apennines; to create a huge port at Ostia; 
to assign great public works to contractors and labourers; to 
collect and codify all the existing laws: all schemes to be 
executed, of course, after the completion of the great Parthian 
campaign, for which they were to serve as an overwhelming 
justification. 

But Czesar was for once mistaken in thinking that he could 
dazzle Italy with this profusion of grandiose ideas. The cos- 
mopolitan proletariat of the metropolis might still be deluded 
into chimerical hopes at the promise of colonies and employ- 
ment; but the middle class remained sullenly hostile, vainly 
waiting for a break in the prevailing depression, while the 
upper ranks of society, touched in their tenderest prejudices 
by Czsar’s calm assumption of autocratic authority, and always 
afraid of a social revolution which would despoil them of their 
riches at the bidding of a dictator, amused themselves by pre- 
tending that Casar was becoming insane and by heaping 
derision even on serious projects, such as the reform of the 
calendar. { They took a childish pleasure in working up 
indignation against the noisy clique of men and women who 
surrounded the Dictator, To raise the money necessary for 
his Parthian campaign Czsar was obliged to make an indis- 
criminate sale of the property confiscated from his enemies 


* Pliny, N. H., xiv. 15, 97. t+ Plut., Cxs., 58. t Id., 59. 
5 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 293 


and the public land which was not suitable for settlements, as 45 B.C. 
well as the treasures in the temples; * and these hurried 
auctions were made full use of by his friends, many of whom 
bought huge lands at purely nominal prices. Servilia, for 
instance, secured a large confiscated estate in this way,f and 
many centurions, military tribunes and generals in Czsar’s 
army as well as a few astute freedmen amassed huge fortunes. 
Amongst these latter was the young German slave named 
Licinus whom Czsar had once caught playing the usurer 
against his companions in servitude and had raised to an im- 
portant post in the administration, where he had become one 
of his most skilful coadjutors. 

Czsar could not risk losing the support of his intimates, and Conservative 
he was obliged to let these abuses go on; but his enemies ae 
found in them a most useful leverage. In their indiscriminate 
condemnation of all his acts and intentions they were parti- 
cularly emphatic against the Parthian War, now the keystone 
of Czsar’s whole policy. His premature annexation of Gaul 
had been sufficiently disastrous to the Republic ; yet he was 
still thirsting for fresh conquests.{ Surely it was inexcusable 
for him to assume these unprecedented powers only to leave 
the Republic in the throes of a great crisis in order to go off 
buccaneering in the East.§ 

Disaffection then was spreading through all classes of the Czsar's 
community ; yet Caesar was daily growing less amenable to maa 
criticism. Relaxing the self-mastery that had served him so 
well hitherto, he would let fall violent and indiscreet remarks, 
such as that Sulla was a fool to lay down his office; that the 
Republic now only existed in name ; that his wish was as good 
as law.|| His municipal proposals had been approved by the 
people, but they bore signs of haste in every line. We may 
search vainly in the confused and contradictory fragment that has 
come down to us for the lucidity and distinction of Latin official 
writing. His other arrangements reveal the same exacting 
impatience. He entrusted the coining of money and the 


* Dion, xliii. 47. { Suet., Czs., 50. 

+ Cic., A., xiii. 31, 3, reveals to us this discontent among the upper 
classes. It was in order to allay this that Cesar wrote to Oppius and 
Balbus that he would not start for Persia till he had reorganised the 
State. 

§ Suet., Czes., 77. || Id., 76. 

4 For the singular style of the extant fragment (C. I. L., 1., p. 206) 
and the hasty compilation which was probably the cause of it see 
Nissen in Rh. Mus., xlv. p. 104 f. 


45 B.C. 


Parthian 
preparations. 


(Near 
Pagasz. | 


294 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


whole of his financial arrangements to oriental slaves, most 
probably Egyptians ; * he introduced slaves and freedmen into 
all the public services; he administered a severe rebuke to 
Pontius Aquila, one of the Tribunes, for not rising when he 
passed in front of the Tribunician seats; he allowed himself 
to break out into unworthy and indecent invective ; he was 
furious when he discovered that any of his laws, even the 
pettiest provisions against luxury, were not being scrupulously 
carried out, and attempted to secure their better observance 
by organising a number of vexatious persecutions on matters 
of detail. But he refused to listen to the suggestion that he 
was aiming at monarchy or tyranny, and took elaborate pains 
on several occasions to show his disapproval at any attempt 
to proclaim him king. Yet he was so tortured by the secret 
longing for an heir that in the will made on his return from 
Spain, in view of his approaching departure from Parthia, he 
named tutors for the child who might be born to him, and 
actually adopted Octavius, the nephew of his sister, as his 
son.{ When two Tribunes removed a diadem that an un- 
known hand had placed on one of his statues he broke out 
in fury against what he declared to be a deliberate insult.§ It 
is hard to say if Cesar really intended to found a dynasty 
analogous to that of the Hellenistic monarchs of Asia, or if 
he merely toyed with the idea in passing, at the suggestion of 
Cleopatra, without making up his mind either boldly to accept 
it or to cast it from him as an unworthy temptation. In any 
case his enemies had every excuse for circulating the report 
that he was aiming at the “ Kingship.” So the rumour went 
the round of the capital, unsettling all minds, awaking hopes 
and fears, suspicion and bitterness, and complicating a situation 
already sufficiently difficult. 

Yet amid all this inward and outward confusion there was 
but one object really on which Casar’s mind was set. All 
his serious thoughts, all his remaining energies were directed 
upon Parthia, It was the one clear path through the maze 
of his difficulties, Once back in Italy with his legions from 
Parthia, loaded with eastern treasure, with the halo of victory 
round his standard, he would see Rome and Italy at his 
feet. Already his preparations were well advanced. He was 
accumulating supplies of money, making a great depdt of arms 
at Demetrias, working out a plan of campaign and sending on 


* Suet., Cas., 76. spe kel eA 
Tears. § Id., 79. 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 295 


the young Octavius to Apollonia with his tutors and sixteen 45 B.c. 
legions composed partly of new recruits. A number of young 
Italians had been driven by poverty to enlist, in the hope of 
returning rich on Parthian gold. 

Thus i in the second half of 45 the right and the left wing of Cesar and 
Czsar’s party, the moderates and the extremists, were fighting *e extremists. 
hard for predominance in the counsels of the Dictator ; but the 
extremists were steadily gaining ground, They had been quick 
to realise, what their rivals still failed to see, that the Parthian 
expedition was the inevitable outcome of the situation. With- 
out it their party must inevitably succumb, sooner or later, to 
difficulties which it was not in a position to surmount. If so, 
there must be no haggling about constitutional legalities. The 
Dictator must be given all the powers that he needed, even all 
the ordinary magistracies united in one hand, to secure his 
success in the indispensable campaign. It was a difficult and 
hazardous enterprise that would tax all the energies of their 
general; and it was imperative that he should enter on it 
unfettered by constitutional restrictions. “These arguments 
were irresistible, and the men that wielded them had the ear 
of the Dictator. Amongst them was Dolabella, the bankrupt 
adventurer, now constantly at Czsar’s side, and Antony, who 
after two painful years of expiation for his services in the 
cause of order, had now finally thrown in his lot with the 
winning side. 

Antony’s defection was a serious blow to the moderate Antony 

° SOE a 5 5 : + +7 restored 
group, for his distinguished services in the Gallic and Civil to favour. 
Wars gave him a commanding position in Cesar’s party. 

Soon afterwards, towards the close of 45, the moderates 
received a still more serious, almost an irreparable check. 
Cesar decided to use the right which had been conferred on 
him after Munda of nominating magistrates to the electors, 
allowing the people only the power of confirming his nomi- 
nation. This was a cruel disillusion for all those, and they 
were very numerous, who had persisted in hoping to the last 
that Cesar would refuse to exercise this unprecedented pre- 
rogative. What indeed was left of the Republic if a single 
man had it in his power to distribute all the offices? And 
how did Cesar differ from a purely autocratic ruler, if all 
aspirants to a magistracy were henceforth dependent upon his 
will and pleasure? Moreover his first set of nominees did not 
serve to allay the prevailing dissatisfaction. Czsar attempted, 
it is true, to give some compensation to the Conservative wing 


Cesar king in 
all but name. 


296 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


of his party, by nominating two of its four most eminent 
members, Brutus and Cassius, to the Prztorship; but he 
effaced this concession by his generosity to their enemy the 
turncoat. Antony was selected as Czsar’s colleague in the 
Consulship, and his two brothers Caius and Lucius were made 
Pretor and Tribune respectively. Rome seemed threatened 
with a government of the House of Antony. The disgust 
of the public was intensified by an open scandal. Czsar was 
anxious to name a Consul Suffectus for the time during which 
he would be absent in Parthia. His choice fell upon his 
favourite Dolabella, who had not even held the Prztorship. 
Thus the leader of the revolutionary party would be one of 
the chief officers of the Republic during Czsar’s absence. But 
for once his calculations were curiously falsified. Feeling that 
he had the whole strength of public opinion at his back, 
Antony who had an old grudge to pay off against Dolabella, 
and was perhaps seeking to regain the favour of his old friends 
on the right wing, declared in the sitting of the 1st of January 
44 that in his capacity as Augur he would forbid the electors 
to meet for Dolabella’s nomination. Czsar bowed to the 
clamour and refused to intervene. 

Rome was in a state of extraordinary confusion. The upper 
classes, now utterly disgusted, had withdrawn entirely from 
politics. Czesar stood practically alone, with a small knot of 
greedy adventurers. His parasites used their power to induce 
the Senate and the people, in the first days of 44, to vote him 
still more extravagant honours borrowed from the disgusting 
eastern practice of deification. A temple was decreed in 
honour of Jupiter Julius; the name of the month Quintilis 
was changed into Julius, and Cesar was given the right of 
being buried inside the City boundary and of maintaining a 
bodyguard of senators and knights.* These were all the 
trappings, if not yet the name, of kingship. It was still more 
ominous that when the Senate went to communicate to him 
the conferment of these honours, he received the deputation 
without rising from his seat : ¢ that he nominated all sorts and 
conditions of new members to the Senate, including a number 
of Gauls : and lastly that, for the Vice-dictatorship in 44, when 
Lepidus had left Rome for his province, he proposed to appoint 
his nephew Caius Octavius who was not yet eighteen years of 
age. ‘This was openly to violate some of the oldest and most 


* Dion, xliv. 5. + Suet.;,Caas373. 


ee 


% 


a ee | 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 297 


venerated of Roman traditions: a daring application in the 
sphere of politics of the radical and revolutionary ideas that 
were widespread among the rising generation of writers and 
thinkers. 

Meanwhile this steady accumulation of honours was accom- 
panied by a progressive weakening of authority. With every 
fresh access of power Cesar seemed less able to wield it. He 
was constantly finding it necessary to make concessions, par- 
ticularly to his enemies in the Conservative camp. His situa- 
tion was indeed almost ludicrously contradictory, inconsistent 
at once with the supreme position which he occupied and 
with the idea which most historians have formed of his Dic- 
tatorship. The root of all his trouble lay in the Parthian 
campaign. ‘This forced him at once to assume the fullest 
possible powers, yet to set out without leaving too many 
enemies behind his back. He needed, if he could, to have 
a favourable public. Unfortunately the prolongation of his 
exceptional authority exposed him to widespread and irrecon- 
cilable hostility. Unable as he was to renounce any of these 
powers, he endeavoured to allay irritation by yielding on minor 
points, sometimes even to the detriment of the prestige of the 
State. Alarmed at the excitement caused by his nomination 
of all the magistrates he went back upon his decision and tried 
to find a way out by proposing through Lucius Antonius, 
apparently at the beginning of 44, a very curious lex de eee 
tione comitiorum which doubled the number of the Questors, 
enacting that one-half should be elected by the people and 
one-half nominated by himself and automatically accepted by 
the electors. The same law perhaps also provided that half 
the Tribunes and plebeian A%diles should be nominated by 
Cesar, and half elected by the people, and that both the 
Consuls should be nominated by Czsar, but the curule Addiles 
by the people.* By these ingenious arrangements he showed 
a proper respect for the rights of the people whilst maintaining 
in office a due proportion of his own adherents. It was no 
doubt also to gratify the Conservatives that he proposed the 
lex Cassia, an attempt to fill up the number of the old patrician 
families many of which had become extinct. 


44 B.C. 


Czsar’s efforts 
to win back 
the public. 


The same spirit is displayed in his concessions to the Cesar and 


Pompeians. Not only did he reverse his previous policy 
and proclaim a complete amnesty, but he welcomed them 

* Dion, xliii. 51; Cic., Phil., vii. vi. 16. See Stobbe in Pwil., xxvii. 
P- 95- 


the Pompeians, 


44 B.C. 


Cesar and 
land settlement 
in Italy. 


[Volaterre. ] 


[Larinum.] 
(Casilinum, } 


298 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


back to Italy with open arms, restored the widows and 
children of the dead a part of the confiscated property,* and 
heaped favours upon the returning exiles, somewhat to the 
neglect of his old associates in the dark days of his career.f 
Hirtius and Pansa warned him repeatedly against being 
too open-hearted.{ But Czsar refused to listen. He dis- 


missed his whole bodyguard, including his Spanish slaves, 


and desired to be accompanied only by lictors on his walks.§ 
When told that nocturnal meetings were being held against 
him in different parts of Rome, and a conspiracy very possibly 
being set on foot, he did no more than publish an edict 
declaring his full knowledge of all that was going on, and 
make a speech to the people in which he warned all would- 
be evildoers to be careful of their ways.|| Better to die than 
to live as a tyrant, as he said one day to Hirtius and Pansa. 

Meanwhile he made promises of all sorts, possible and 
impossible, to every one who came near him,** and no longer 
even attempted to stop the wholesale pillage of public money 
which his friends were conducting under his very eyes.ff The 
Dictatorship was degenerating into a senile and purposeless 
opportunism that recalled the feeblest expedients of the old 
republican government. Many of his veterans had been 
settled at Volterra and Arezzo, on lands which, originally 
confiscated but restored by Sulla to their old proprietors, 
had once more been reclaimed for the State by Cesar. 
Many more had been given holdings in various places up 
and down Italy and had been made members of the order 
of Decurions, the municipal aristocracy reorganised by the 
lex Juha in many of the smaller Italian towns as at Ravenna 
and Larino, at Capua and Suessa, at Calatia, Casilino and 
Sipontum.{{ But the search for what remained of the old 
State domain proceeded but very slowly, the Commissioners 
being overwhelmed with appeals for delay from persons of 
influence. ‘The majority of the veterans had therefore to 
rest content for the present with the old promises of their 
general.§§ 

Nor were the oversea colonies more successful. It appears 
that a certain number of settlers actually started for Lamp- 


* Suet., Caes., 75. t Nic., Dam., 19. dy Vell Was 

§ App., B. C., ii, 107. See Suet., Cxs., 86. || Suet., Cees. 70% 
Mi oVelleail ws 7 ** Dion, xiii, 47; TT td., td. 

tt See Zumpt, C. E., i. 304-307. 

§§ This is clear from App., B. C., ii. 125, 133, 139. 


CZESAR’S LAST AMBITION 299 


sacus * and the Black Sea,f but the preparations for Carthage 44 B.c. 
and Corinth were not pushed forward so rapidly,{ and the 
idea of founding a colony in Albania had to be abandoned Cesar bows 
altogether. This had led indeed to a very curious situation, Pefre Atticus. 
Making use of his rights over provincial Jand, Cesar had 
confiscated part of the municipal domain of Buthrotum which 
had refused to pay him a fine fixed during the war, intend- 
ing to distribute it among Italian settlers. But one of the 
proprietors thus despoiled of their estates happened to be 
Atticus, who was responsible, it must be remembered, for 
the investments of a large number of prominent Romans, 
Atticus brought so much pressure to bear upon Czsar through 
his friends at court that the decree was eventually revoked on 
condition that Atticus be responsible for the original fine. 
Thus a financier who had never held even the lowest office 
in the State had got the better of the almighty Dictator. 
But the sequel is more curious still, Casar continued his 
preparations for the colony as though nothing had happened, 
till Atticus and Cicero, who had worked hard for his friend 
in the matter, again became uneasy and asked for an explana- 
tion. Czsar soon reassured them, but begged them to keep 
the matter quiet. He was unwilling that the public should 
discover that he had given up his colony to satisfy a Roman 
plutocrat. He must carry the matter through. He prepared 
to embark his settlers, and land them in Albania, and then 
find them some other destination than Buthrotum, though 
where that should be he had not yet decided.§ Such were 
the shifts to which the master of the world was reduced. 
He was not even successful in allaying the open hostility 
between Antony and Dolabella; and Antony had actually 
carried through his threat of preventing the nomination of 
Dolabella as Consul Suffectus. Thus even the apparently 
omnipotent Dictator was himself entangled in the network 
of robbery and corruption which encircled Rome as it encircles 
all mercantile societies where money has become the supreme 
object of desire. He could no more break through them than 
the meanest of his dependants, 

Yet all these concessions failed utterly in their object ; 

PrApDp. bb. C., 1.137. 

t Sinope: Strabo, xii. 3, 11. See the coins in Head, Historia 
Nummorum (Oxford, 1887), p. 435. Perhaps Heraclea should be added ; 
Cf. Strabo) xi. 3,6. See Zumpt, C. E., i, 317. 


t See App., Pun., 136; Zumpt, C. E., i. 318. 
§ Cic., A., xvi. 16, A-F. 


44 B.C. 


After Parthia. 


The 
Lupercalia, 


300 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Cesar’s unpopularity increased from day to day.* In the 
whole situation there was a latent contradiction that no human 
force or ingenuity could resolve, and which was destined 
indeed to drive Cesar to his doom. Czsar endeavoured to 
justify the prolongation of his exceptional powers on the 
plea of his Parthian expedition. But it was precisely his 
Parthian ambitions which set so many, particularly in the 
upper classes, against his Dictatorship. Everywhere men 
were asking what more he would do when he returned 
victorious. Surely then he would be, in fact as well as in 
name, the absolute master of the Republic? While Cicero 
was trying to persuade himself that Czsar was fore- 
doomed to the fate of Crassus, others looked forward with 
genuine dismay to the exploits of a general who had never 
known defeat, and did their best to sow suspicion and dis- 
trust of his intentions. The strangest rumours were set 
in circulation. According to one version Czsar proposed 
to marry Cleopatra, to transfer the Metropolis of the Roman 
Empire to Ilion or Alexandria,f and then after the conquest 
of Parthia to conduct a great expedition against the Getz and 
Scythians and return to Italy by way of Gaul.t Cleopatra 
seems to have returned to Rome towards the end of the year 
45, in time to play her part in the composition of these fairy 
tales. On the top of all this came a serious scandal. On the 
26th of January 44, as Casar was passing through the streets, 
some of the common people saluted him as king; the two 
Tribunes of the people with whom he had already come into 
conflict about the diadem promptly clapped them into prison. 
Cesar was furious. He declared that the Tribunes had 
excited these poor people to make a demonstration in order 
to cast suspicion upon him for monarchical ambitions. When 
the two Tribunes objected to his interference, he passed a 
law to depose them and had them expelled from the Senate, 
thereby scandalising the common people who still regarded 
the Tribune as the most sacred of magistrates.§ 
Meanwhile Czsar and the extreme party among his asso- 
ciates were breaking down the last barriers of constitutional 
legality. In the first fortnight of February || the Senate of 


*<See Ciox, Hi; Vile 30: 

t suet. Cas. 75.) Nic, Dan, 20; 

et FeLi Geese 58. 

S-App), BoG, i 108; Suet., Czxs., 79. 
\| Lange, R. iil. 470. 


CAESAR’S LAST AMBITION 301 


the people nominated Czsar perpetual Dictator.* This was 44 B.c 
the last and the most important of the measures taken in view 
of the Parthian War on which Cesar was almost immediately 
to set out. Its object was to provide him with the full and 
unfettered powers which he needed on his campaign without 
fear of being distracted by the vicissitudes of politics in the 
Metropolis. A perpetual Dictator was, of course, only good 
Latin for Monarch. In order to weaken the impression of 
what was really a coup d’état and to reassure a public that 
felt a traditional and almost superstitious horror of monarchy, 
Cesar appears to have arranged with Antony for a public 
pantomime to take place on the Feast of the Lupercals on 
the 15th of February. Cesar presided over the festival in 
person. Antony advanced, diadem in hand, and pretended 
to be about to place it on his head. Cesar declined it, 
but Antony insisted and Czsar again declined with added 
emphasis. He was of course long and loudly applauded, 
after which he had a note inscribed in the Calendar, stating 
that on this day the people had offered him the royal crown 
and he had refused it. But this palpable falsehood only 
increased the public indignation. 

All this while Italy was as distracted as ever with the Revolutionary 

A x ° dreams among 

problem of debt, and the middle class was still feeling the the poor, 
pinch of the prevailing crisis, while among the poor popula- 
tion of Italy and Rome there was a strange recrudescence of 
vague revolutionary propaganda which was becoming daily 
more alarming to the property-owning classes. ‘The wildest 
dreams were bandied about in the streets of Rome and over 
the Italian country side. Cesar, with his colonies and his 
Parthian War, would bring back the age of gold; the 
tyranny of the rich and powerful was drawing to its close, 
and a newer and better government was at hand. ‘The 
memories of the great popular revolution became so lively 
in men’s minds that a certain Erophilos, a native of Magna 
Grecia, a veterinary surgeon by profession and no doubt 
more or less weak in the head, passed himself off as the 
grandson of Marius and immediately became the hero of 
the hour. Associations of workmen, colonies of veterans 


Sebi Onexdivrd1 PADD. Cail. OO. 

imDione xiliy, Tus eApp. ba ©. i. 100s blut. (Cees,, 61 +) Ant,, 12% 
Snet., Ces., 79; Vell., ii. 56. The scene was so long remembered that it 
is frequently mentioned in Cicero’s Philippics. See esp. Phil., ii. xxxiv. 
85-87, and Columba, I/ Marzo del 44 a Roma (Palermo, 1896), Pp. 9. 


44. B.C. 


302 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


and even municipalities chose him as their patron, and he 
actually formed a sort of court around him and dared to treat 
Czesar and the aristocracy on terms of equality. Afraid to 
embroil himself with the people, Czsar did not dare to 
remove him; and the utmost he would do was to turn him 
out of the metropolis.* 


“Nics, Dams 14> Vale, lax.) xe 15,125) (CIC. A cll Omi 


ia 


CHAPTER XVIII 


THE IDES OF MARCH 


The originator of the conspiracy—Cassius and Brutus—The 
motives of the conspiracy—Cesar’s political ideas—Czsar the 
Archdestroyer—A conspiracy of eighty—The scheme of the 
plotters—The hesitations of Brutus—The Ides of March— 
The death of Cesar. 


THEN it was that a man took up the idea foreshadowed by 
Trebonius a few months before—the idea of assassination. 
It was Cassius * who revived it, the Questor of Crassus in 
his Parthian campaign who had married the daughter of 
Servilia. He was a young man of ability and ambition, 
but bitter, violent and overbearing, too clever to delude 
himself that he had more to gain by Cesar’s removal than 
he might safely expect from his favour. His first step was 
to discuss the notion cautiously with a few close friends, 
whom he knew to be opposed to the Dictator. A small 
group of conspirators was formed, and the possibility of the 
attempt seriously examined. It was soon agreed that it 
was indispensable to secure the co-operation of Brutus, the 
brother-in-law of Cassius,t who had great influence amongst 
all parties as son of Servilia and an intimate of Czsar’s. 
If it became known that Brutus was actually one of the 
conspirators many a possible ally would find courage to join. 


44 B.C. 


Cassius and 
the nucleus of 
the conspiracy. 


Like so many another who has been dragged to the front The career 


by the caprices of revolutionary history Brutus was the very 
opposite of a strong man. His was one of those temperaments 
so common among the hereditary nobility in a civilised age, 
reasonably intelligent but devoid either of energy or passion, 
conceited but entirely wrapped up in himself, with few outside 
ambitions, without a touch of cruelty or vindictiveness, and 


* The statement of Dion (xliv. 13) that Brutus was the originator 
of the conspiracy, which is contrary to all psychological probability, 
is contradicted by the statements of all other historians, especially 
Phit., Brut., 8. 

7 llut., Brut., 70. 

303 


of Brutus. 


44 B.C. 


Brutus: the 
student in 
politics. 


304 GREATNESS AND ‘DECLINE OF ROME 


given to a rather overt display of self-denial and benevolence. 
Fond of modelling himself on others, like all men of weak 
character, he had taken for a time to the fashionable pastime 
of usury; he had joined Pompey in 49, when, in the great 
panic after the capture of Rimini, the upper classes went 
blindly after the leader who represented property and order. 
Later he had made his peace with Cesar and enjoyed his 
friendship. Yet by nature he was neither a piler up of 
millions nor a political aspirant, but a quiet and simple- 
minded student who in any ordinary age would have de- 
veloped into nothing more than an aristocratic dilettante, 
somewhat strange in his ideas and chilling in his manner, 
finding as much satisfaction in his books as other men in 
love or fame or riches. But in these troublous times the 
fervent admiration conceived by the people for his unusual 
gifts of character had stirred that in him which was stronger 
even than his taste for study—the insidious passion of vanity. 
He loved to pose as a hero of iron will and unshrinking 
resolution, a model of those difficult virtues which can only 
be exercised by dint of painful self-mastery. This vanity, 
which a study of the Stoic philosophy had still further 
excited, together with the underlying feebleness of character 
which it only partially concealed, are the real keys to a 
nature which has puzzled generations of historians and 
moralists. 

Cassius was a clever man. He had seen through his 
brother-in-law, and knew the right bait to use. He began 
by causing Brutus to find mysterious notes left during the 
night on his prztor’s seat, or at the foot of the statue of 
the first Brutus in the Forum; they contained strange and 
suggestive admonitions, such as “Oh Brutus, if thou wert 
still living,” or “ Thou art asleep, oh Brutus.” * Sometimes 
too in the street Brutus heard men cry behind him, “We 
have need of a Brutus.” Not guessing whence these 
missives proceeded the ingenuous student imagined that a 
whole people was crying out to him as the inflexible hero 
who was alone capable of the deed of blood. His vanity 
was touched : he began to reflect on Czsar’s actions, to ask 
himself if it was not his painful duty to cut them short. 


eet, Brut, 9); Cees, 625 App. By Gi i. tte) 0ih thinkwiceprote 
able, in spite of what Plutarch says, that Cassius and his accomplices 
were responsible for these missives. See App., B. C., ii, 113. 

{ Dion, xliv. 12. 


THE IDES OF MARCH 305 


No doubt his gentle soul shrank back at first in dismay 
when he pictured the dangers and the ingratitude of the 
murder, when he thought of Czsar’s kindness to himself 
and his old and unbroken friendship with his mother. But 
once intrenched in that stiffly logical mind the idea of 
assassination was not to be exorcised. It cast a spell over 
his narrow and bookish imagination. He called to mind 
the glory of the tyrant-slayers in Greek literature and Roman 
tradition ; he read and re-read the subtle reasoning by which 
the old philosophers justified regicide on grounds of the 
highest morality. Argument against argument, emotion 
against emotion. Czsar had been his benefactor. That 
was no reason for forgiveness. All the more necessary to 
strike him down without flinching, to sacrifice a personal 
affection to the public good, as his ancestor, the first Consul 
of the Republic, had put his own children to death for the 
sake of Rome. It was at this point in the struggle that 
Cassius intervened. Marcus Brutus must prove no ordinary 
pretor; Rome looked to him with confidence for guidance 
and inspiration. None so fitted as he to lead her back to 
freedom! * Czsar, then deep in his Parthian preparations, 
saw little of Brutus during these critical weeks. So Cassius 
conquered ; and the conspiracy spread, as it had sprung up, 
among the small group of aristocratic Czsarians who centred 
round Servilia, as a natural reaction against the open victory 
of the radical and revolutionary faction. Lepidus was the 
only one of the group who knew nothing and remained 
loyal to his leader. 


44 B.C. 


Brutus and Cassius found many accomplices among the Rapid spread 


surviving Pompeians and the right wing of Czsar’s party : 
even some of his best known generals, such as Caius Trebonius 
and Servius Sulpicius Galba, were ready to join. Modern 
historians almost all express surprise at the ease with which 
the conspiracy was arranged; in their very justifiable ad- 
miration for the man who was seeking to reorganise the 
Roman world they have been unsparing in their judgments 
upon the treachery, the obstinacy, the short-sightedness of 
his murderers. Had they tried to form an estimate of the 
actual situation, as it must have appeared to men at the 
time, they might have found reason to modify both their 
surprise and their condemnation. Great man as Cesar was, 
it was impossible that his contemporaries should anticipate 
oA TN OY, JBL (Opes VGIEy 
II U 


of the con- 
° spiracy. 


The versatility 
of genius. 


306 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the child-like hero-worship of posterity or see in him a demi- 
god whose very blunders and self-deceptions were material 
for adoration! Many of the conspirators may indeed have 
been actuated by paltry and personal considerations. But 
these after all were not the real dynamic forces at work. 
Neither the conspiracy itself nor Czsar’s work as a whole 
can be judged good or bad by a simple inquiry into the 
private motives of the actors concerned. We must realise, 
in all its dramatic intensity, the unique situation which 
impelled them to action. 

Cesar was a genius—a man whose powers have seldom or 
never been equalled in history. He was at once student, 
artist and man of action; and in every sphere of his activity 
he left the imprint of greatness. His soaring yet intensely 
practical imagination, his wonderfully clear-cut and well- 
balanced intelligence, his untiring energy and lightning 
quickness of decision, his marvellous elasticity of temper and 
iron power of self-control, his indifference even at moments 
of the greatest strain to anything of the nature of sentiment or 
mysticism, would have made him, at any time in the world’s 
history, one of the giants of his age. Under twentieth-century 
conditions he might have become a captain of industry in the 
United States or a great pioneer or mine-owner or empire- 
builder in South Africa, or a scientist or man of letters in 
Europe with a world-wide influence over his contemporaries. 
In the Rome of his day both family tradition and personal 
inclination forced him into politics. Political life is always 
perilous to a man of genius. There is no sphere of activity 
which is so much at the mercy of unforeseen accidents or 
where the effort put out is so incommensurable with the 
result obtained. In the field of Roman politics Caesar suc- 
ceeded in becoming a great general, a great writer, a great 
character. He failed to become a great statesman.* 

There were three great political objects for which he fought 


* This opinion is directly contrary to that of Mommsen (R. G., ili. 
464). ‘‘ No doubt,” he says, “‘ Cesar was a great orator, a great writer, 
and a great general, but he became all these because he was an in- 
comparable statesman.”’ Paolo Orano, in his essay, Il problema del 
Cristianesimo (Rome, 1901), in which there are some suggestive observa- 
tions, couched in a somewhat involved style, on the Roman world, 
remarks with justice (p. 84) that ‘‘ the personal causes which contri- 
buted to Cesar’s greatness were necessary causes.’’ But he is mis- 
taken, in my opinion, in speaking of him as “‘ a magnificent statesman 
and incomparable opportunist.” 


THE IDES OF MARCH 307 


during his career: the reconstruction of the Constitutional 44 B.c. 
Democratic party in 59, a bold adoption and extension of 
the Imperialism of Lucullus in 56, and the regeneration of Czsar’s career 
the Roman world by the conquest of Parthia after the death "der 
of Pompey. ‘The first and second of these ideas were taken 
up too late: the third was inherently impossible. The first 
ended in the revolutionary Radicalism of his Consulship, the 
second in the field of Carrhz and the horrors of the death- 
struggle with Vercingetorix, the third in the Ides of March. 
It would be unjust to lay the blame for these failures at 
Cesar’s door. If he was not a statesman, it was because the 
times forbade him to become one. In a democracy bitten 
with the mad passion for power, riches and self-indulgence, 
a man who stands aloof from these temptations may live 
very happily in retirement and write books upon philosophy ; 
but he must not stray into the hazardous paths of politics. 
An inexorable destiny seems to dog Cesar all his days. It 
was events which drove him to the revolutionary measures 
of his Consulship. Again it was the necessity under which he 
lay to save himself, his party and his work from the results of 
that revolution which drove him to the boldest step in his 
life, the annexation of Gaul. Annexation once praclaimed, 
it was no longer in his power to turn back; he was pushed 
on to those sanguinary acts of repression which form the 
darkest page in his history. The civil war arose so inevit- 
ably out of the policy which he adopted in Gaul that all 
his efforts to avert it were doomed to failure. His success 
in the civil war proved even greater than he had hoped—so 
great, in fact, as to defeat his own object. Victory left him 
in an unexpected and painfully difficult position. Ostensibly 
master of the Roman world, he was in reality suspended 
between two equally impossible alternatives——either to 
abandon the position he had just triumphantly captured, or, 
almost single-handed, with the help of a few personal ad- 
herents, to administer a huge and disorganised Empire. He 
dreamt of escaping from this dilemma by the conquest of 
Parthia, an enterprise which was to be the beginning of a 
new era in Roman history. With the experience of twenty 
centuries to guide us, it is easy to understand how he enter- 
tained such an idea: but easy also to understand that it was a 
fantastic illusion. 

Cesar was not a great statesman; but he was a great 
destroyer. In him were personified all the revolutionary 


44 B.C. 


Cesar the 
Archdestroyer. 


308 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


forces, the magnificent but devastating forces, of a mercantile 
age in conflict with the traditions of an old-world society— 
its religious sceptism, its indifference to morality, its insensi- 
bility to family affection, its opportunist and undisciplined 
politics, its contempt for precedent and tradition, its Eastern 
luxury, its grasping militarism, its passion for the baser 
forms of commerce and speculation, its first tentative efforts 
towards intellectual refinement, its naive enthusiasm for art 
and science. ‘There is hardly a stranger irony in history than 
that the rulers of Germany and Russia should have assumed 
the title of this prince of revolutionaries. For we fail to grasp 
the true significance of Czsar’s career till we discern that, 
like Pompey and Crassus and the other great figures of his 
day, his mission was primarily destructive—to complete the 
disorganisation and dissolution of the old world, both in 
Italy and the provinces, and thus make way for a stabler and 
juster system. But when he imagined that he could apply 
his unrivalled powers of mind and will to all the intellectual 
and social influences of the time, and direct them to his own 
purposes, he displeased all parties and was removed from the 
scene. It matters little that in the later part of his life he 
displayed more wisdom and moderation than in the earlier ; 
that he attempted in part, though with many inconsistencies, 
to repair as a reformer the mistakes he had committed as a 
demagogue ; that he had at last come to see that a discon- 
tented society, blind and breathless in the race for riches 
and self-indulgence, has set its selfish course, beyond all 
turning, for the Abyss. To avert this collapse was beyond 
any single man’s powers. ‘Too many foes were struggling 
for mastery in the Roman society of his day—from the 
truceless conflict between riches and poverty or capital and 
debt, to the antagonism between the spirit of revolution and 
the spirit of authority, Asiatic profusion and Latin frugality, 
the new Hellenistic culture and the traditions of Roman life. 
No doubt Ceasar had displayed a marvellous vigour and 
elasticity, far beyond that of any contemporary, in his pro- 
longed resistance against the rolling and tossing of the 
Roman democracy, adrift as it was, like a derelict in a 
stormy ocean, amid the blasts of a perverse and excitable 
public opinion. But how could he compose or control 
these far-reaching conflicts in the whole of society when he 
could not even dominate those within the ranks of his own 
party? Until the struggle had reached its climax in the 


ee! 


oh 


THE IDES OF MARCH 309 


great crisis which began at Cesar’s death and raged without 44 8.c. 
intermission through the whole of the next decade, it was 
impossible for a new generation to build a sounder and Empire 
more sheltered society out of the débris left by its predecessors Qrassisess 
—a busy, fortunate, Titanic breed of builders, but too worn 
and weary, too arrogant, too much embittered by war and 
hatred, too prone to licence in morals and politics and in their 
general philosophy of life, to be dowered with lasting happi- 
ness. ‘The times called for a quieter, a more cautious, a more 
patient race of workers. Czsar’s hour had come and gone. 
He must pass, as Crassus, Pompey, Cato, had passed before 
him, as Cicero was to follow after a few more months, 
together with the flower of the aristocracy that had lived 
through the greatest and most stirring age of Roman history. 

It is in this rdle of Titanic destroyer therefore that we must Cesar and 

: A K = + the might 

admire him, a réle which demanded almost superhuman quali- have been. 
ties of conception and achievement. We find him, it is true, 
at the close of his career, busy with the reorganisation of 
a world whose disorder he had done so much to promote, 
attempting to build on the field which he and his contem- 
poraries had piled with wreckage. But for the success of this 
work two conditions were necessary. First, Caesar must re- 
tain sufhcient vigour and elasticity to adapt himself to the 
needs of an altered policy ; second, the great solvents that had 
been at work for the last century, loosening the fabric of 
Italian society, must have finished their work with the civil 
war. To the former condition fate forbids us the reply. 
Perhaps the Archdestroyer had still strength enough left 
him to turn that Protean genius to the work of reconstruc- 
tion. As to the second, we have the evidence of the next 
twenty-five years. The forces of dissolution were indeed very 
far from exhausted. So far were they from being arrested at 
the time of Czsar’s death, that they went on to provoke what 
was perhaps one of the most tremendous crises in the whole 
course of world-history. 

Moreover the fact that Czsar did not succeed in healing or The object of 

C * ; pe . ov ape aers the conspiracy. 

even allaying the dissensions within his own party is in itself 
significant. It does not suggest that he would have been more 
successful in controlling the similar but far more violent an- 
tagonisms in the wider field of society. We need not be 
surprised that Czsar, who could not see into the future, had 
little sense of the realities of the situation: that he naively 
looked forward to the conquest of Parthia as the prelude to an 


44 B.C, 


Eighty to 


keep a secret. 


310 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


easy reorganisation of the Republic. But the modern observer, 
viewing the centuries behind him in their right perspective, has 
a clearer vision of his dilemma. He has no excuse for re- 
garding the plot to which Cesar fell a victim as an unlucky 
misadventure, due to the weakness or the wickedness of a few 
isolated individuals. The very opposite is the truth. “The 
conspiracy was the first outcome of an important movement, 
inevitable both for practical and sentimental reasons. It marks 
a genuine alliance between the surviving Conservatives and 
the right wing of Czsar’s party. Its object was to hinder the 
Parthian expedition. ‘The conspirators were in fact less con- 
cerned with the actual situation than with that which would 
face them when Cesar returned victorious from the East. Not 
all his most emphatic denials could convince them that he was 
not intending to establish an open kingship. As the repre- 
sentatives of the old Latin and Conservative Republic, the 
defenders of property and class interest, they banded themselves 
together against the Asiatic and revolutionary monarchy which 
they saw looming in the East, between the folds of Czsar’s 
conquering banners. 

The plot was so well taken up that by the 1st of March it 
comprised according to one account sixty, according to another, 
no less than eighty Senators.* One of the last to join was 
Decimus Brutus, Czsar’s favourite friend, who had returned 
to Rome from Gaul towards the end of February. Cicero on 
the other hand was not admitted into the secret; they were | 
unwilling to expose the veteran writer and speaker to the 
dangers of conspiracy. ‘The large number of plotters is 
astonishing in view of the fact that the risk of indiscretions is 
always necessarily increased with the number of accomplices. 
But there was probably good reason for their action. The 
loyalty of the army to their general was regarded as unassail- 
able ; while the proletariat, among whom the excitement was 
rising daily higher, seemed, rightly or wrongly, to be wholly 
on Cesar’s side. It was therefore absolutely necessary that 
Czsar should be struck down not by a few personal enemies 
but by a practically unanimous Senate. It was the only way 
in which the coalition of Pompeians and moderate Cesarians 
could hope, after his death, to maintain control over the legions, 
the populace and the Provinces. This is no doubt also the 
reason why, after lengthy discussion, it was decided that 


* Nic., Dam., 19, says eighty, the other authorities sixty. 


THE IDES OF MARCH 311 


Antony should not meet the same fate as his leader. It was 
not Brutus, with his scruples against the shedding of Roman 
blood, that saved him, but more probably the reflection that 
the simultaneous disappearance of the two Consuls would have 
prevented the immediate restoration of the old constitution.* 
No doubt they also hoped that so recent a convert to the party 
of tyranny would return to his old allies on the death of the 
Dictator. 


44. B.C. 


The place and the method of the assassination are clear The details 


evidence of the real intentions of its authors. These details 
opened up a very difficult question, and a number of alter- 
native plans were discussed ¢ during the visits which the 
conspirators paid to one another in their houses; for to avoid 
suspicion no common meeting was held.{ But the days were 
passing and immediate action was imperative. Czsar would 
shortly be starting for Parthia. His veterans, who were to 
escort him out of the city, were already streaming in from all 
parts of Italy, finding quarters as best they could in the 
temples.§ Several different proposals were made, but no one 
seemed satisfactory. “The conspirators began to lose heart ; 
several already repented of having joined. There was one 
moment of awful suspense when the weaker section threatened 
to break off the whole enterprise.|| But the force of events 
and the danger in which they were already involved came to 
strengthen their sinking resolution. Casar was moving on 
from illegality to illegality. He had now gone so far as to 
pass through the Senate a law providing that before his de- 
parture magistrates should be chosen to cover the whole of 
the next three years, the probable duration of his campaign. 
Early in March Hirtius and Pansa were nominated Consuls for 
43, together with a new batch of Tribunes. According to 
one report, a Sibylline oracle had declared that only a king 
could conquer the Parthians, and Lucius Aurelius Cotta, the 
Consul of 65, against whom Cesar had conspired in 66, was 
about to propose his proclamation as king of the whole Roman 
Empire outside Italy. When at last it was known that 
Czsar intended to convoke the Senate on the 15th in the 
Curia of Pompey to settle the question of Dolabella’s consul- 
ship and other outstanding business, and that he was to leave 


* On the constitutional difficulties opened up by vacancies in the 
consulship see Cic., Fam., xi. I0, 2. 

¢ Nic., Dam., 23; Suet., Cas., 80. { Nie; Dam, 24. 

§ App., B. C., ii. 120. || Dion, xliv.-15. J Suet., Czs., 79. 


arranged. 


44 B.C. 


The second 
week of 
March. 


312 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Rome on the 17th, all agreed that this last opportunity must 
not be allowed to go by. Cut down in the Senate-house by 
a band of eighty influential Senators Czsar would seem to fall 
like Romulus at the hands of his country.* 

There was no more drawing back. On the Ides of March 
the blow must be struck, cost what it might. The last days 
before the sitting began slowly to run their course. Every 
evening in eighty of the richest houses of Rome men who 
had often and often faced death on the battlefield went 
trembling to their beds, not knowing whether Cesar would 
let them live till morning. At dawn they would recommence 
the wearisome round of visits to friends’ houses, avoiding the 
curious eyes of passers-by in the streets, baffling the listening 
ears of the slaves in the houses, with the pretended indifference 
of a ceremonious visitor. Brutus suffered especially from these 
torments of doubt and anxiety. If he bore himself in the 
streets with all the outward marks of serenity, within doors he 
would plunge into long and melancholy reveries ; he would 
toss and sigh in his sleep, with a trouble that Portia was 
unable to divine. Fear, gratitude and affection were fighting 
a hard battle within him against his obstinate ambition to play 
the hero’s part.f Meanwhile the days were passing ; nothing 
stirred in Rome; the secret was well kept.t Neither Czsar 
nor his intimates seemed to dream of danger. Only Portia, 
by constant questioning, had wrung the truth from her hus- 
band. Bit by bit at private meetings all the details of the 
assassination were arranged. ‘The conspirators were to con- 
ceal daggers under their togas; Trebonius was to detain 
Antony in conversation. In the theatre of Pompey, just 
outside the Curia, Decimus Brutus was to station a troop of 
gladiators that he had hired for the Games, who would defend 
the conspirators in case of need. Immediately after the murder 


*SADPs, Gy, Wana. 

ip LaMhbhene, Perley, Bees 

+ I believe that there is a great deal of exaggeration in the ancient 
stories of warnings given to Cesar. If the conspiracy had been so 
well known it would have come to the ears of Antony, Lepidus and 
other faithful friends, which would have been enough to stop it. It 
was not necessary that Cesar himself should be warned. It is prob- 
able that during these days he received imaginary revelations of a 
conspiracy such as he had often received before, like all heads of a 
government. The only real piece of evidence for a betrayal of the 
secret seems to me to be that of Popilius Lena in Plut., Brut., 15. 
The conspirators, after all, were Senators and aristocrats, and it is 
not surprising that they could keep their own counsel. 


THE IDES OF MARCH 313 


Brutus was to deliver a speech to the Senate explaining the 44 s.c. 
reasons of their action and proposing the reconstitution of the 
Republic. ‘The 14th of March came and passed without a 
hint of trouble. Czsar had arranged to spend that evening 
with Lepidus, and would return home late—a clear sign that 
he had no suspicions. How many eyes must have been 
turned that night towards the sky, to watch for the setting of 
the stars and the rising of the sun that was to see Czsar dead 
and the Republic restored! Only Cesar, home late from his 
friend, slept innocent of his hehietene broken sleep of a sick 
and weary man. 

On the morning of the 15th the conspirators were early at The morning 
their rendezvous, at the colonnade of Pompey, near the pre-™ '* is 
sent Campo dei Fiori. Brutus, who was Pretor, mounted the 
judgment-seat and began quietly to attend to his day’s litiga- 
tion, controlling his inward excitement. The rest of the 
conspirators awaited the opening of the sitting, walking up 
and down the colonnade talking to their friends and trying 
to conceal their agitation.* In the neighbouring theatre of 
Pompey a performance was going on. ‘There was the usual 
bustle and traffic in the streets. Casar might arrive at any 
moment. 

But Czsar delayed to come, detained, it seems, by a slight Cesar tarries. 
indisposition, which had almost induced him for a moment to 
postpone the sitting. “The conspirators, already excited, began 
to grow anxious, to start up at every passing noise. A friend 
approached Casca, one of the conspirators, and said to him, 
laughing, “ You know how to keep a secret, but Brutus has 
told me everything.” Casca, dumbfounded, was about to 
reveal the whole plot, when his friend’s next words showed 
that he was alluding to Casca’s intention of standing for the 
Hidileship. One of the Senators, Popilius Lena, came up to 
Brutus and Cassius and whispered into their ear, “Success is 
possible, but whatever you do do quickly.” ¢ Still Czesar did 
not come. It was perhaps about ten in the morning} and 
the sun was already high in the heavens. “The conspirators 
were exhausted by their long wait. ‘They spoke of treachery 
and their nerve began to fail. At last Cassius resolved to send 
Decimus Brutus to Czsar’s house, to see what was detaining 
him and to bring him to the Curia. Decimus hurriedly 


* Plut., Brut._14. 
(ald. ai vemeApp- aos, dull 6. 
~ Columba, p. 4o. 


44 B.C. 


The murder. 


314. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


threaded the back streets by the Campus Martius, descended 
into the Forum, and found his way into the domus publica, 
where Cesar had his official dwelling as Pontifex Maximus. 
He found him just on the point of postponing the sitting. It 
was the crucial moment. But Decimus had the nerve, or the 
ferocity, to drag to the slaughter-house the friend who trusted 
blindly to his guidance. He engaged him in pleasant conver- 
sation, amiably overruled his objections, and persuaded him to 
come.* 

At last Czsar’s litter hove in sight. Just outside the Curia 
the Dictator descended, and the conspirators, who were already 
collected in the hall, observed Popilius Lena go up to him and 
address him in low tones. It was a cruel instant of suspense 
for Brutus and Cassius. Cassius very nearly lost his self- 
control ; but Brutus, calmer than his colleague, had the 
courage to look Cesar for an instant in the face. That stern, 
emaciated, careworn countenance, with the marks of his work 
lined upon it, was listening unmoved. Brutus beckoned 
Cassius that all was well.f But there was another delay. 
Cesar stopped outside the Senate-house to make the sacrifices 
ordained by the State ritual. At last he entered and took his 
seat, while Trebonius detained Antony in conversation outside. 
Tullius Cimber approached the Dictator to demand pardon for 
an exiled brother. The others gathered round him, as though 
to join their prayers to Cimber’s, till Caesar, feeling that they 
were pressing him too close, stood up and bade them move 
farther away. Then Tullius seized him by the toga, which 
slipped down to his feet, leaving the body covered only with a 
light tunic. It was the appointed signal. Casca aimed the 
first blow, but missed in his fright, hitting him in the shoulder, 
Cesar turned sharply on him with a cry, seizing his stz/us in 
self-defence. Casca called for help to his brother, who plunged 
his dagger in Cesar’s side. Cassius struck him in the face, 
Decimus in the groin. In an instant the whole band was 
upon him, so excited that they hit one another, while Cesar 
fought like a wild beast at bay, and the rest of the Senators, 
after a moment’s stupor, fled panic-stricken from the hall, 
shouting and pushing and stumbling over one another in their 
haste, Czesar’s own supporters, even Antony, amongst them. 
Only two rushed forward to rescue Cesar. Their loyalty 
was in vain. Still madly beating off his enemies Ceasar had 


* Plut., Ces., 64; Dion,ixliv. 18. t Plut.,,Brut., 16. 


THE IDES OF MARCH 315 


fought his way to the foot of Pompey’s statue, where he had 
fallen at last in a sea of blood.* 

The murder over, Brutus turned to deliver his speech to the 
Senate. But the Curia was empty. The conspirators had 
not reflected that a childish panic might upset their elaborate 
plan for at once decreeing the restoration of the Republic. 
What was to be done? In the excitement of the moment 
they held a brief consultation. Fearing trouble from the 
veterans and the people they resolved to summon the gladiators 
of Decimus and take them up to a fortified position on the 
Capitol, where they could deliberate in greater calm. Then 
they emerged from the Curia, with their togas twisted round 
their left arms for shields, brandishing their bloody daggers in 
their right hands, bearing aloft on a stick the cap, the symbol 
of liberty, and shouting to Liberty, to the Republic, and to 
Cicero, the philosopher of Republicanism. But outside they 
found all was noise and confusion.f In the colonnade and the 
neighbouring streets people had taken fright at the sudden 
emergence of the panic-stricken Senators and the appearance 
of the armed gladiators. "The alarm was raised in an instant 
and the public took to their heels. The noise of the shouting 
reached the spectators in the theatre of Pompey, who rushed 
out to join the fugitives, while pickpockets laid hands on the 
baskets and carts of the strolling costers round the theatre.{ 
There was a general rush for refuge into houses and shops, 
which their owners as promptly closed. “The sudden appear- 
ance of a crowd of armed men, reeking with blood, increased 
the disorder in the streets they traversed. It was in vain that, 
led by Brutus, they shouted and gesticulated to quiet the 
crowd.§ Men were far too frightened to listen. Meanwhile 


* Plut., Czes.,66-67 ; Brut., 17-18; Dion, xliv. 19-20; App., B.C., ii. 17; 
Nic., Dam., 24-25. I have only given the details of the beginning of 
the assassination, as they alone are probable. It is natural enough that 
the conspirators should have remembered the first acts in the mélee 
and retained no clear memory of the rest. Czsar’s words to Brutus 
as he wrapped himself in his toga are certainly a myth. How could 
he wrap himself in his toga with his assassins striking at him from 
all sides? As for the invocation to Brutus (tu quoque, Brute fili mt) 
it is merely a piece of sentiment tacked on to the fantastic legend 
which makes Brutus the child of Cesar. 

7 App:, B.C: ii. 1195" Nic:, Dam., 25: 

5), LICL, 

§ Dion, xliv. 20; Nic., Dam., 25. I do not agree with Groebe’s 
conjecture (App. to Driimann, G. R., i.”, 407 f.) that Brutus chose 
this moment to make a first speech to the people in the Forum. The 
authorities, especially Nicolas of Damascus and Dion Cassius, who 


44 B.C. 


The panic and 
the silence. 


44. B.C. 


The salvation 
of Parthia. 


The last of 
the giants. 


316 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the news was spreading rapidly to the farthest corners of 
Rome, and everywhere people were flying panic-stricken for 
shelter. Before long Antony was safely shut up in _ his 
house, the conspirators were entrenched in the Capitol, 
the frightened public had retired expectant to their homes, 
and Rome was wrapped in funereal silence, like a city of the 
dead. All parties were afraid of one another. 

Parthia was saved. The Archdestroyer had himself been 
cut down at the moment when he was setting out to conquer 
the Empire of Parthia and set Rome on the road trodden by 
Alexander. For this was the dream which had absorbed all 
his energies during the last months of his life, while the 
rumours as to his monarchical ambitions were probably nothing 
more than inventions or at least exaggerations on the part 
of his enemies. How he would have acted on his return, 
supposing he returned victorious, no one can say. Perhaps 
he did not know himself. After all, he had been an oppor- 
tunist all his life. Thrown into politics in an age of un- 
exampled confusion, he had learnt, by thirty years’ experience, 
to adapt himself to the most widely divergent conditions. 
Always entirely engrossed in the question of the hour, he 
was at this moment only considering how he could use the 
Dictatorship that he had won in the civil war to become a 
second Alexander and bring home from Parthia the secret 
of social reorganisation. 

But for once the incomparable opportunist had mistaken his 
reckoning. Czsar had already, without knowing it, contributed 
more than all his contemporaries to the future of the world. 
His greatest work for posterity was the conquest of Gaul, to 
which he himself attributed so little importance. But to the 
men of his own day he had no remedy to offer. Before the 
great regeneration of her society could come about Rome 
needed, not feats of arms on her distant frontiers, but a great 
crisis at home in which the forces of dissolution, now at 
work for a century, could at last run their course. "Twenty 
more long years of storm and tragedy. ‘Then, when all the 
foremost figures of the age had gone to their deaths by violence 
and their bones lay scattered through the lands of the Empire 
they had done so much to extend, an ordered and peaceful 
world would reap the tardy fruits of their labours. ‘Then at 


describe the whole episode with admirable clearness, speak only of 
exhortations to keep order, made by Brutus and the others with 
gestures and a few shouted words, amid the general din and confusion. 


THE IDES OF MARCH 317 


last it would be plain how the conspirators had in part been 
right ; that the hour of military autocracy was still far off; 
that as yet no citizen could raise an eastern palace in the 
capital of the old Latin Republic ; that death, the far-seeing 
liberator, had rescued Cesar from an entanglement which not 
even he could have unravelled ; that not through absolutism, 
however inspired, but by the free, patient and often halting 
development of infinite small social forces, the stormy morning 
of the Roman Empire would broaden into a clear and tranquil 
noon. 


44 B.C. 


APPENDICES 


APPENDIX A 


ON THE CORN TRADE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 
(Vol. I. pp. 36 and 318.) 


Ir is a common opinion among historians that the competition of 
foreign (i.¢., Sicilian and African) wheat was the cause of the agricul- 
tural depression from which Italy began to suffer in 150 B.c. Weber 
(R.A.G. 225) and Salvioli (D.P.F. 62 ff.) have been almost alone 
in refusing to accept this explanation, which I regard as entirely 
mistaken. In antiquity each district consumed its own wheat; and 
there never was any trade in cereals, whether private or international, 
comparable to that of modern times. 

I append proofs :— 

In the fifth and fourth centuries B.c. the population of Attica, 
which had become an industrial district and a centre of political 
power, became so dense that the harvests of the country were 
insufficient to feed it. Attica was thus obliged to import, even in 
good seasons, a supply of wheat amounting, according to Demosthenes 
(in Lept. 31) to 800,000 medimni, or about 12,000,000 bushels ; but 
which Boeckh (E.P.A. p. 154) estimates at a million medimni, z.e., 
about 15,000,000 bushels. 

Whichever figure, be accepted, the amount in question remains a 
very small one, compared with the figures ofmodern commerce. And 
yet private enterprise would have been unable to supply Attica with 
these half million hectolitres without the aid or sometimes even the 
compulsion of the State. It appears from Demosthenes (i Lacrit. 
50-51) that all vessels owned by Athenians or subsidised by Athenian 
owners or metics were compelled under severe penalties to return partly 
laden with wheat. The speech against Phormio (36-37) shows 
further that any skipper trading between Athens and the Greek 
colonies of the Crimea who sold a cargo of grain at any port except 
Athens could be punished with death, Chapter 38 of the same speech 
shows that a rich capitalist earned distinct merit as a citizen by the 
scrupulous observance of these laws (on which see also im Theoc. 10.) 
All this goes to prove that the import of cereals, even at a great 
centre like Athens, within five miles of the sea, tended to be regarded 

II 321 x 


322 GREATNESS AND. DECLINE OF ROME 


as a burdensome duty imposed on merchants by the State, in exchange 
for its protection and other definite privileges. 

But this is not all. Not only was the import of corn in part 
compulsory, but even after its arrival in the country the corn on the 
market was kept under strict supervision. Two-thirds of the corn 
arriving at the Pireus went by law to Athens, according to Aristotle 
(Resp. Ath. 51); from the speech of Lysias against the corn dealers we 
learn that speculation in wheat was punishable with death. And 
while the retailing of other provisions was superintended by the 
dyop4vopot, the corn market was under the care of special officers 
known as otropvdaxes (Lys. 22, 16), who had to record the amount 
of wheat imported from different countries (Dem. 20, 32). Yet even 
then the supply was not sufficient to avert the possibilities of famine, 
and it became necessary from time to time for the State or private 
donors to provide for distributions of corn at a reduced price, such 
as afterwards became customary at Rome. (4r. Vesp. 718 et schol. 
ad loc., schol. Equit. 103; Dem. in Phorm. 37 ; C. I. A. ii 108, 
143, 170, 194, 195. The scholiast on Aristophanes 4c. 548 seems 
to imply that Pericles built a great public granary). There were even 
special magistrates for the purchase of corn (o:révar) not appointed 
by lot but elected by the people, who often contributed towards the 
purchase out of their own fortune (Dem. de Cor. 248 ; C.I.A. il. 335, 
353): , 

Moreover, while the industrial countries of to-day seek so far as 
possible to check the import of cereals by protective duties, Athens 
used every expedient of war and diplomacy to render the supply of 
imported corn both regular and abundant. Demosthenes (in Lept. 
29 ff.) praises the great magnanimity of Leucon, tyrant of the Crimea, 
who had granted to Athenian merchants the privilege of exporting 
any quantity of grain they pleased without payment of any tax ; this 
exemption was equivalent to a yearly gift of 13,000 medimni, or less 
than 2,000 bushels ; yet to Demosthenes it seemed most munificent. 
The dearest ambition of the Athenians, when at the zenith of their 
power, was to obtain the mastery of the Black Sea and especially of 
the Bosphorus, in order to capture the corn trade for themselves, or 
to entrust it, on their own conditions, to whom they pleased (Boeckh, 
E.P.A. 124; Dem. de Cor. 87 ; C. I. A.i, 40). Numerous decrees are 
also extant in honour of Kings of Egypt who conceded the privilege 
of exporting corn. 

The foregoing facts can only be explained by supposing that corn 
was not easily transported for sale beyond the local market. Except 
in certain countries in which the population was sparse and the land 
very fertile, as in the Crimea, and in certain others in which the 
population was dense but thrifty and the land extraordinarily fertile, 
as in Egypt, the crops were hardly sufficient for the local demand. 
Consequently there was a disinclination to export, and export was in 


sn 


i 


CORN TRADE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 323 


fact often actually forbidden. The small amount available for export 
even under ordinary conditions was alone almost sufficient to 
prevent it. 

Moreover, in ancient times the expenses and risks of transporting 
merchandise even by sea were very great. This was accounted for 
by the scarcity of capital and very high rate of interest, the smallness 
and slowness of the boats, and the risks of weather, war, piracy, bad 
faith, and general insecurity. ‘These expenses and ‘dangers were still 
greater in land transport. Under such conditions merchants did not 
attempt numerous or ambitious enterprises ; their object was rather 
to make a large profit on each undertaking. They preferred to carry 
small quantities of goods from a cheap market to a dear one and thus 
to make large profits on quite a light cargo. This is the reason why 
ancient nations tended principally to exchange luxuries, &c., that is, 
commodities with a limited and wealthy circle of consumers and an 
elastic price. There was a second class of goods, too, which it paid 
them to carry. The coasts of the Mediterranean were inhabited by 
a few civilised and many barbarous or semi-barbarous nations ; and 
the value of commodities tends to vary in direct proportion to civili- 
sation. Now, there are many commodities, not exactly luxuries (for 
instance, dried fruits, wool, honey and perfumes), which were very 
abundant in poor and uncivilised countries and highly valued in 
countries that were both rich and civilised ; and which it was there- 
fore profitable to convey from one to another. In a word, trade was 
carried on so that the freight of a vessel or a caravan brought in 
enough profit to cover the expenses of the journey, the interest on 
the capital, and the heavy risks involved. 

Apply these considerations to the corn-trade. Cereals are both bulky 
and expensive to transport, and consequently there was no inducement 
for private individuals to carry wheat from one country to another, 
whatever the buying price, except at times of great scarcity ; and even 
then they would tend to carry small quantities to allay, rather 
than completely to relieve, the famine; for if they imported an 
amount sufficient perceptibly to diminish the price, they would not 
realise profits large enough to compensate them for the enormous 
expense and risk of carrying such bulky and damageable mer- 
chandise. In other words, the private corn-trade became a specu- 
lation on partial and local ‘famines, rather than what it is now, a 
sure and regular means of provisioning countries and equalising inter- 
national prices. This is confirmed by Xenophon (Econ. 20, 27, 28), 
who expressly tells us that corn-merchants speculated on famines by 
selling in foreign markets; and by Demosthenes (in Dionys. 7-11), 
who describes a very curious sort of Trust made by a group of 
merchants ; they speculated on all the famines which might occur in 
the countries bordering on the Mediterranean by carrying small 
cargoes of wheat from one to another and profiting by the great 


324 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


difference in the prices. If the corn trade had been international, 
speculations on a rise would have depended not on the market but on 
the season, as they do now. No one now speculates by buying in a 
country where corn is plentiful, but by buying at a time when prices 
are low in order to sell again when they rise. And it was because 
these local and limited markets were so very uncertain that ancient 
speculation was so risky as it was declared to be by Demosthenes (iz 
Zenothemidem, 25). 

I have dwelt at some length on the Athenian corn-trade, because 
of the abundance of our evidence. But since the conditions of 
ancient civilisation remained constant, these considerations apply 
equally well to Rome and Italy. If in the fifth and fourth 
centuries B.c., the corn of Pontus and Egypt could not be transported 
to a wealthy maritime centre like Athens without a subsidy from the 
State or the help of rich merchants who either voluntarily or com- 
pulsorily assumed a part of the expense, how could Egyptian corn 
have been sold two centuries later in the interior of Italy, in Cispa- 
dane Gaul, and in the townships in the Apennine highlands? Long 
before it reached its destination it would have risen toa price far 
outside the competition of home grown wheat, which was thus far 
better protected by the expense of transport than by any protective 
duty. The import of foreign corn was indeed so difficult that it 
became necessary, at least at Rome, to have recourse to artificial 
incentives analogous to those which had been employed at Athens— 
state purchases of corn and free distributions at the expense of 
private individuals. When Rome had acquired a position of some 
importance and newcomers flocked in from the countryside, the food 
supply began to be drawn from a wider range, and prices rose in 
proportion to the increased cost of transport. Modern Europeans 
and Americans are so accustomed to see cities with populations of 
many millions regularly fed by private enterprise that they regard 
this as the normal and natural state of things. In reality it is one 
of the most recent and marvellous signs of the progress of civilisa- 
tion, and has only been rendered possible by the invention of railways 
and steamboats, by the powerful and complex organisation of modern 
industry and commerce, by the increase and the fluidity of labour 
and by the unprecedented accumulation of wealth. In antiquity it 
was an almost insoluble problem adequately to provision a town of 
100,000 inhabitants. 

This explains why ancient cities were almost always very small, and 
should make us cautious in accepting the high figures which are some- 
times given for the population of the ancient capitals. It explains also 
how in a country enriched by commerce and industry such as Attica, 
or by usury and plunder, such as Italy, both of which witnessed the 
familiar phenomenon of the rural exodus, the food supply became a 
political problem of the first importance. It was vital for the State 


CORN TRADE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 325 


to be able to obtain food from countries in which there was every 
year a surplus of corn ; and it was therefore necessary either to pre- 
serve diplomatic relations with such countries, or else to conquer 
them. Finally it explains how the military expansion of ancient 
states depended partly on the possession of good corn-growing terri- 
tories. When once she had conquered Sicily, Sardinia and Spain, 
and established regular relations with Egypt, Rome could land 
troops in any part of the Mediterranean. She had immense grana- 
ries at her disposal whenever she required them, So, too, Mithridates 
was able to undertake his long struggle against Rome when he had 
conquered the fertile plains of the Crimea. A large army, as Thucy- 
dides remarked long ago, is simply a movable city, ‘an accumulation of 
hungry mouths. A country which hardly raised sufficient corn for 
its own needs would have been reduced to perpetual famine if it had 
been obliged to send away part of its yearly harvest of corn to supply 
its armies. It was, I believe, with these considerations in mind that 
Cesar and Crassus clamoured in 65 for the conquest of Egypt as 
the richest granary of the Mediterranean. They expected the idea 
to be welcomed by the populace, which is always in fear of famine, 
with the same enthusiasm as it had shown over Pompey’s defeat of 
the pirates. 

It is impossible, therefore, to admit that Italian agriculture, from 
the year 150 B.c. onwards, was ruined by the competition of foreign 
corn. What, then, was the cause of the agricultural depression of which 
we hear so much? [believe it is to be found simply in the increased 
cost ofliving. It is, of course, merely a conjecture, for we have not 
the facts to prove it, but it is a conjecture which seems to me in- 
herently probable. The historians of antiquity gave us countless 
reminders of the increase of luxury in Italy after the end of the second 
Punic war, and Pliny has preserved for us significant instances which 
I have quoted in the course of this work. This increase of luxury, 
which was in reality only a growing intensity of life due to the influ- 
ence of a more refined civilisation, is sufficient to account for a grave 
crisis in a country devoid of any great natural resources. History is 
full of analogous instances. ‘The economic crisis from which Italy 
has been suffering during the last twenty years is due to the increased 
cost of living occasioned by the introduction, from 1848 onwards, of the 
industrial civilisation of England and France into an old agricultural 
society. The same thing happened in Russia after 1863. A pheno- 
menon of the same nature, although confined within narrower limits, 
must have taken place in Italy at the time of which we are speaking. 
When the costly and pleasure-loving civilisation of Greece and the 
Orient penetrated to the simple rural population of ancient Italy it 
produced effects not merely in the moral but in the economic order. 
It destroyed the old basis of wealth. But that is a vast and impor- 
tant question which I intend to examine in detail in a separate study. 


APPENDIX B 


ON THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE CAMPAIGNS OF 
LUCULLUS. (Vol. I. p. 137.) 


Previous to Reinach it had always been assumed that the war for 
the conquest of Bithynia began in the spring of 74. This is the 
opinion of Mommsen, R. G., ili., 55, ff. Reinach, on the other 
hand, while admitting that Nicomedes died at the end of 74, makes 
the war begin in 73 (M.E, 321, note 1); and his opinion has been 
followed by Jiirgens (De Sallustii Historiarum religuiis, Géttingen, 
1892). More recently, Maurenbrecher (Sa//ustii historiarum reli- 
quiz, Leipsig, 1893) and Bernhardt (Chronologie der Mithridatischen 
Kriege, Marburg, 1896) have returned to the old chronology. I 
have studied the matter at length, and find it impossible to accept 
the emendation of Reinach. Cicero (fro Mur., xv., 33); Livy 
(p. 93)3 Eutropius (vi.,6) and Appian (Mit4., 72) say, in speaking 
of Lucullus and Cotta, or of Lucullus alone, that the Consuls were 
sent to take command of the war. It seems to me very rash to sup- 
pose that all these authorities wrote Consuls when they meant Pro- 
consuls. It is true that Cicero says (Acad. prior il., 1., 1): Con- 
sulatum ita (Lucullus) gessit ut... admirarentur omnes; post ad 
Mithridaticum bellum missus a senatu...). But Lucullus spent 
at least four or five months as Consul at Rome, and Cicero is evidently 
alluding to this brief period. Similarly the words of Velleius (ii., 
23, L. Lucullus . . . ex consulatu sortitus Asiam) cannot be quoted 
in support of this view. In an incidental clause attached tothe name 
of Lucullus by a gui, Velleius gives a brief outline of the war, and in 
this rapid and confused résume he makes various errors. He attributes 
to Lucullus the province of Asia instead of Cilicia: he mentions the 
victory of Cyzicus, the first gained by Lucullus, after the defeats in- 
flicted on Mithridates, which belonged to the following campaign. 
This proves that Velleius was ill-acquainted with the history of the 
complicated wars which he is summarising ; and if he is at fault 
as to the name of the province and the enumeration of the most 
important events, he may well have been equally wrong as to the 
authority with which Lucullus was invested when he went to Asia. 
326 


aot 


CAMPAIGNS OF LUCULLUS 227 


His testimony cannot therefore prevail against that of Eutropius, 
Appian, Livy, and especially Cicero. 

But without going through the arguments drawn from the text, 
which may be found in the work of Bernhardt, I believe that a 
definite conclusion may be reached by simply studying the somewhat 
confused history of the war. Our knowledge of it is drawn from two 
principal sources, Plutarch, who in the life of Lucullus has almost cer- 
tainly drawn from Sallust, and Appian, who in the wars of Mithridates 
is following some less reliable writer than Sallust, possibly Nicolas 
of Damascus. Both these authorities give a very obscure account 
owing to the fact that, in an attempt to summarise a rather compli- 
cated series of events, they have either abridged or completely 
neglected one essential factor in the operations—that Mithridates’ 
invasion of Bithynia and Asia took place quite unexpectedly. We 
need not discuss the question whether it occurred in 74 or in 73. 
The essential point is that it took place when both Cotta and 
Lucullus were still in Italy, when there was a vacancy, owing to the 
death of Octavius, in the government of Cilicia, and there were no 
troops in Asia beyond the two legions of Fimbria under the command 
of a Propretor. I believe that the obscurity of the two ancient 
accounts and of many modern historians, including Reinach himself, 
arises from the fact that they have none of them noticed that the 
history of the first year of the war presents many insoluble dirticulties. 
If Cotta had already occupied Bithynia with an army before the 
invasion of Mithridates, why did no town in Bithynia (with the 
exception of Chalcedon) offer any resistance ? Cotta could not have 
avoided placing a garrison at least at Nicomedia, the capital, which 
contained the royal treasuries. If Lucullus had been in Asia with 
five legions at the time of the invasion of Mithridates, the enlistments 
made by Cesar, who was at the time studying at Rhodes (Suetonius, 
Cesar, 4), would have been an uncalled-for piece of bravado, for 
which Lucullus might have called him to account. But they 
become a reasonable if useless measure of precaution once it is 
admitted that the invasion occurred unexpectedly, when Asia was 
left with only the two legions of Fimbria under a Propretor, that 
the rich classes were in dread of a new revolution, and that most pro- 
bably all the cities prepared to defend themselves as best they 
might. Moreover, we know that as soon as the question of war 
arose at Rome Lucullus desired the governorship of Cilicia in order 
to attempt an invasion of Pontus through Cappadocia (Plutarch Luc. 
6) ; but that when he had obtained it, instead of going to Cilicia, he 
disembarked in Asia, where he had as yet no authority. (This is 
wrongly disputed by Reinach, M.E., 321, n. 1; see Lange, R.A., 
lig 20%. 

fe therefore changed his plan of campaign. Why did he do 
so? The reason must be that at this juncture Mithridates invaded 


i 


328 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


Asia, thus forcing Lucullus back upon defensive instead of aggressive 
measures. In my opinion the decisive proof of all this is to be found 
in the fact that the command was divided between Cotta and Lucullus, 
and in the decree setting forth this division, which has happily been 
preserved for us by Cicero (pro Mur., 15, 333 ut alter Mithridatem 
persequeretur, alter Bithyniam tueretur). It is absurd to suppose that 
the Senate issued this decree while Mithridates was still in Pontus, 
when no one yet knew how he intended to act and every one at 
Rome still looked forward to offensive operations. Why send Cotta 
to defend Bithynia and the Sea of Marmora, which were threatened 
by no danger? Why charge Lucullus to follow up Mithridates, an 
expression which clearly indicates an enemy who had already taken 
the offensive? On the other hand, this decision becomes reasonable 
if it be admitted that it was arrived at when the Senate knew that 
Bithynia and Asia had been invaded by two armies. The Senate 
sent Cotta to try and reconquer Bithynia, and Lucullus to cope with 
the army which was in Asia. This also explains the disembarkation 
of Lucullus in Asia. Moreover, there is the behaviour of Lucullus 
himself when he had landed in Asia. How could he, when invested 
with no authority in the province, venture to decree measures of finan- 
cial relief for the Asiatics, unless Mithridates was already in thecountry, 
making it imperative for him to allay the discontent before advancing 
north against the Pontic army ? 

Finally, our hypothesis permits us to unravel the history of the 
intrigues preceding the nomination of Lucullus, which in the pages 
of Plutarch remain a complete enigma. Lucullus must have begun 
the intrigue and made advances to Pretia and to Lucius Quintius in 
order to obtain the pro-consulate of Cilicia. But when it became 
known that Mithridates had invaded Bithynia and Asia and that a 
repetition of the massacre of 88 was to be feared, it was recognised 
that the responsibility of such a war could not be left to a Propretor 
with only two legions, nor undertaken while Cilicia remained without 
a governor ; and it became desirable at any cost, even by an extra- 
ordinary measure such as that by which Pompey had been sent to 
Spain, to send out a man capable of holding his own against the 
enemy. This pointed at once to Lucullus. He was Consul; he had 
a great military reputation ; and he knew the East, where he had 
already fought with distinction against Mithridates. In the moment 
of danger the other candidates were disregarded and put off with 
subordinate commands. 

Mithridates then invaded Asia and Bithynia in the spring which 
followed the death of Nicomedes, at a time when Rome had made 
no preparation for war. Was this the spring of 74 or of 73? Clearly 
in my opinion the spring of 74. Lucius Octavius was Proconsul in 
Cilicia in 74. If the war had broken out in 73 the government of 
Cilicia would have been held by his ordinary successor, and would 


CAMPAIGNS OF LUCULLUS 329 


not have become vacant, as it did, in a manner which caused alarm 
to the home government. Besides, Lucullus would already have been , 
in his allotted province of Gaul, and not at Rome. It is evident, 
from a close study of Plutarch’s account, that the intrigues for the 
command of the East took place when Lucullus and Cotta were 
Consuls at Rome, and such a supposition is probable in itself. If 
Lucullus, who should have been Proconsul in Gaul, had remained at 
Rome in order to obtain the Proconsulship of Bithynia, and not to 
replace a dead Proconsul, but to supersede a governor already 
appointed, we should have been informed of so unusual and un- 
constitutional a proceeding. It is simpler to believe Cicero, who 
says in so many words that the Consuls Lucullus and Cotta were sent 
to the front. For the Consuls to go to the front was not common, 
but it was not so rare as Reinach supposes. 

As to the date of the death of Nicomedes, the argument drawn 
from the Bithynian Tetradrachme struck in the year 224 of the 
Bithynian era, which began in the month of October of the year 
74 B.C., Which Reinach uses (M.E. 318, n. 2) in order to prove that 
Nicomedes was dead at the end of 74, has already been refuted by 
Maurenbrecher. It is by no means far-fetched to suppose that even 
after the death of Nicomedes, in the political disorder that followed 
the annexation, the old coinage was continued, especially if, as 
Maurenbrecher says, these coins bore not the effigy of the deceased 
King, but that of his father Nicomedes II. (S.H.R. p. 228). 

I have accepted the theory that, in the first invasion, Mithridates 
accompanied the division of the army which entered Asia and not 
that which invaded Bithynia, relying chiefly on Plutarch (Serz. 24). 
This text certainly refers to the first invasion, and it gives too many 
details to admit of doubt as to its authority. Nor is it surprising that 
Mithridates, who placed great hopes upon a rising in Asia, should 
have desired to accompany Marcus Marius in order to emphasise to 
the waverers that the insurrection did not necessarily involve a 
rupture with Rome. ‘This supposition suggests another, perhaps less 
justifiable, conjecture—that the two generals Taxilas and Hermocrates, 
of whom Appian speaks (Mith., 71), were sent to Bithynia. But 
Eutropius (vi.6) and Appian (Miz4., 70) say that Cotta was defeated 
at Chalcedon by Mithridates. This leads me to suppose that when 
Mithridates knew that Cotta was going to Chalcedon with a fleet, he 
abandoned the army of Asia and went personally to lead the Bithynian 
troops to the siege of Chalcedon. ‘The Roman fleet at Chalcedon 
might inflict great damage upon the whole Pontic army, and 
Mithridates was the more anxious to defeat Cotta because the 
revolutionary movement in Asia was making slow progress ; he there- 
fore went in person to direct the operations against him. ‘Thus he 
committed the same error as the Romans; he divided his forces in 
order to attain two separate objects; but the imprudence of Cotta 


330 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


turned his blunder into a success. He was able to defeat Cotta and 
to return, probably with a part of the besieging army, in time to march 
against Lucullus, who was now advancing after having reorganised his 
legions. 

It might be objected that if Mithridates invaded Asia when Cotta 
and Lucullus were still in Italy he had three months in Asia with very 
insignificant forces against him. Why then did he not seize the 
occasion to overrun a great part of the province of Asia instead of 
remaining all the time in the North? His action was no doubt 
dictated by the attitude of the Asiatic towns. Only a small number 
of them, and those the less important, sided with the invader. The 
others, terrified by their recollection of the miserable dénouement of the 
previous revolution, and influenced by the Roman emigrants and the 
wealthy classes, who were not likely to let themselves be surprised a 
second time, refused to stir. Owing to the scarcity of provisions, it 
would have been very unwise for Mithridates to venture into the heart 
of a hostile country and tire out in difficult siege operations the forces 
which he wished to preserve unimpaired for the impending struggle 
with the main Roman army, 


ssi Mh oni 


APPENDIX C 


THE RELATIONS BETWEEN CRASSUS, POMPEY AND 
CASAR BETWEEN 70 AND 608.c. (Vol. I. p. 216.) 


Tue relations between Crassus and Pompey during the ten years 
which elapsed between their joint consulship and that of Cesar are 
of great importance for the interpretation of the events of this 
period ; but the accounts of the ancient historians are so confused 
and defective that it seems necessary to add a few notes to explain the 
conjectures upon which my version is based. 

It is generally admitted, as I have stated and explained in the text, 
that Pompey and Crassus had quarrelled before the end of their 
consulship. My conjecture is that this quarrel was due to Crassus’ 
successful attempt to prevent Pompey from succeeding Lucullus. It 
is so natural, and so necessary for the understanding of the sequel, to 
suppose that Pompey was already entertaining this ambition, that it 
has been assumed even by Mommsen (R.G. 111. 106), who explains 
its abandonment by the fact that in 70 the war against Mithridates 
seemed to have come to an end. It seems to me however more 
probable that Pompey renounced the idea because Crassus forced him 
into doing so. It was not difficult to foresee even in 70 that the war 
against Mithridates would lead to troublesin Armenia. Moreover if 
this quarrel between the two rivals, which was renewed after the 
reconciliation of January 70 for reasons connected with the consulship, 
was so fierce and long-continued and so dangerous to the popular 
party, it must have been due to some cause that went deeper than a 
mere personal difference. A cause of this nature is ready to hand in 
the competition to obtain an extraordinary pro-consular command. 
Finally, my conjecture makes it easy to explain a passage of Velleius 
Paterculus (ii. 31), who states that Pompey as Consul took an oath 
se in nullam provinciam ex eo magistratu iturum, a solemn public declara- 
tion which cannot have been made without due reason. It is surely 
not fantastic to suppose that Crassus and his Conservative allies had 
circulated distorted accounts of Pompey’s ambitions, such, for instance, 
as that he wished to go to the East in order to follow in the steps of 
Sulla and make himself master of the whole Empire (an ambition 

331 


332 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


which was in fact generally attributed to him until his return from 
the East), and that Pompey, weary of these calumnies, and irritated 
by the incessant difficulties, had been driven into making this con- 
temptuous declaration. I can imagine no other occasion and no 
other motive for such a proceeding. Besides, it seems to me impossible 
that Pompey should have remained at Rome after his consulship except 
under compulsion ; and his reserved and scornful attitude and the 
bitterness which he displayed towards Crassus seer to indicate that it 
was Crassus who forced him to remain in private life. 

This hypothesis is confirmed by the subsequent behaviour of Crassus. 
During the years 69 and 68, while Pompey was secretly intriguing 
against Lucullus and pretending to find satisfaction in the recreations 
of a private citizen, Crassus abstained from politics and quietly attended 
to his own affairs : he did not even stir when in 67 Pompey was com- 
missioned to suppress the pirates. But when in 66 Pompey was 
appointed to succeed Lucullus, Crassus again unexpectedly intervened, 
displaying a restless and imprudent ambition that was strangely out of 
keeping in the cautious banker of the preceding years. To the indig- 
nation of the Conservatives he suddenly attempted to persuade the 
Senate to decree the conquest of Egypt, a country which had for many 
years been on terms of friendship and alliance with the Republic 
(Plut. Crass., 13). It is true that Suetonius (Ces. 11) says that it was 
Cesar who desired this command ; but I prefer to accept the version 
of Plutarch, for it is not likely that Cesar, who at that time had only 
just been elected Aidile and whose debts far exceeded his influence, 
could have entertained such ambitions. Since we know that Cesar 
was at this time in the service of Crassus and his most active lieutenant, 
it is probable that Suetonius mistook the propaganda carried out by 
Cesar on behalf of his patron for a display of personal ambition, 
Crassus then is suddenly seized with the desire to win extraordinary 
military honours. The careful financier, so much attached both by 
temperament aad by interest to Conservative ideas, and hitherto the 
model of prudence and reserve, suddenly turns demagogue and throws 
himself into the struggle between popular party and the Conservatives, 
simply in order to obtain the command in the Egyptian war. To 
attain this object he proposes to grant the citizenship to the Trans- 
padani, he takes part in the conspiracy of 65, and pours out his money 
to raise Catiline to the Consulship in 63. 

Unless we bring in the hypothesis of mental aberration, this change 
must have been due to some exterior cause ; and this cause is to be 
found, I believe, in the fact that the despatch of Pompey to the East 
was a serious personal rebuff to Crassus. He had probably flattered 
himself that he had finally thwarted Pompey’s hopes of succeeding 
Lucullus; and his first success in doing so must have added largely to 
his influence. But now Pompey was having his revenge ; the old 
rivalry was renewed ; and Crassus demanded satisfaction in the shape 


CRASSUS, POMPEY AND CASAR 33 


of some extraordinary commission which would place him again over 
Pompey’s head. Unless we suppose that Pompey had been compelled 
by Crassus in 70 against his own will to renounce his province all this 
later development appears almost inexplicable. 

What part did Crassus take in the conspiracy of 66? In the 
absence of direct or even tangible evidence all hypotheses are admis- 
sible. In spite of the fact that Dion (xxxvi. 42) and Sallust (Cat. 18) 
do not name Crassus amongst the conspirators, while Suetonius (Cs. 9) 
and Asconius in toga candida treat the question of the participation of 
Crassus as a doubtful rumour, I am inclined to believe that Crassus 
and Cesar were both privy to the conspiracy. It is the only possible 
explanation, as John insists, of the indulgent attitude of the Senate. 
If the Senate and the Consuls had had to deal only with Autronius, 
Sulla and Piso, they certainly would have put them to death, especi- 
ally as the proceedings taken against Sulla three years later show that 
the intended victims were not wanting in animosity. Yet the Senate 
spared and even rewarded them. Surely this was because they had 
behind them a man far more powerful than themselves: and this 
must have been the man who seems at this time to have been moved 
by such various ambitions, and who appears in Sallust’s account as 
the proposer of the honours decreed to Piso in reward for his con- 
spiracy. Now why should Crassus interest himself in obtaining this 
mission for Piso? This question depends on another : what induced 
Crassus to take a share in the conspiracy? I say “a share”’ because, 
unlike John, I think it probable that Crassus did not originate it him- 
self, but only encouraged the promoters, who must have been the two 
Consuls. The rumour recorded by Suetonius to the effect that Crassus 
desired to be elected Dictator with Cesar as his magister equitum, seems 
to me unlikely. Even if Crassus had been Dictator in 65, how would 
that have helped him to gratify his hatred for Pompey or to attain his 
further ambitions, if he had no army to back him up? Sulla had been 
master of Italy for several years, not in virtue of the Dictatorship which 
was conferred upon him, but thanks to the army which he had brought 
back from Asia. Even if it be admitted that Crassus, in order to 
defend himself against Pompey on his return, or to take the offensive 
and crush him, was at this time looking forward to a Sullan Dictator- 
ship, it was still indispensable for him to procure an army, and that 
could not be done through a war. It therefore seems to me more 
probable that his object in helping Sulla and Autronius to regain the 
Consulship was to have the Consuls on his side, and by their aid to 
obtain the command in the Egyptian war. On the failure of this 
attempt he tries in 65 to grant the franchise to the T'ranspadanes, and 
to foment a popular agitation through the instrumentality of Cesar, 
whose zdilician games were certainly undertaken at Crassus’ expense. 
After a second failure he recurs obstinately to his original plan of 
getting two of his friends elected Consuls, and comes to an under- 


334 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


standing with Catiline and Antonius. The collapse of this scheme, 
followed by the detection of the conspiracy, makes havoc of his 
projects, and he now definitely renounces his ambitious designs. In 
short, I agree with Mommsen (R.G. iii. 172 ff.) that it was the con- 
quest of Egypt at which Crassus was aiming during the whole course 
of his agitation to be equal with Pompey, and that it was therefore 
also the cause of his participation in the first conspiracy. It follows 
that the despatch of Piso to Spain cannot have been connected with 
the plans of the revolutionaries, for the government of Spain could 
not in any way contribute to the conquest of Egypt; but it was at 
the same time an insult to Pompey, to whom Piso was hostile, and a 
personal gratification to Crassus ; it displayed his power, and gave a 
death-blow to the rumours which were current concerning his share 
in the conspiracy. 

The part played by Sitius still remains inexplicable, and I have 
looked in vain for a hypothesis which would satisfactorily account 
for it. 

I have still to justify my account of the relations between Crassus 
and Cesar during Pompey’s absence. Mommsen, followed by John, 
supposes that Czesar and Crassus jointly planned the conquest of Egypt 
and the despatch of Piso to Spain in order to procure themselves an 
army to oppose Pompey. But this theory is open to one objection 
that seems insuperable. Unlike Crassus, Cesar had no reason to fear 
or to hate Pompey, with whom, on the contrary, he was on friendly 
terms. Cesar had helped to pass the Manilian Law at the beginning 
of the year 66: why then at the end of 66, when Pompey had not 
yet finally subdued Mithridates, should he have endeavoured to defend 
himself against the effects of the law which he had supported ten 
months previously ? Moreover, the growth of Pompey’s power, by 
weakening the Conservatives and giving confidence to the popular 
party, was of great service to Cesar, who was then only just elected 
AEdile, and could not hope to compete with Pompey for the leading 
position at Rome. Pompey on his side had no reason to fear Cesar; 
Ceesar was far less influential than himself ; he was poor, and probably in 
his debt ; he had already done him good service and might do so again. 
If Cesar intervened to help Crassus at the risk of quarrelling with 
Pompey, whose friend it was to his interest to remain, he must have 
had some serious reason, which must be looked for, I think, in the 
state of his finances. Czesar was in debt, and in considerable difficul- 
ties ; this is rendered probable by the offer of Catulus during the 
pontifical election, and by the confiscation of his baggage before his 
departure for Spain ; and it is confirmed by a consideration of the 
crisis from which the whole of Italy was suffering—the scarcity of 
money, which was at the root of all the political troubles of the times 
and which made the renewal of credit more and more difficult. 
Cesar was obliged to continue spending money with his ordinary 


CRASSUS, POMPEY AND CAISAR 335 


profusion, besides incurring the great expenses of the A‘dileship. 
Moreover we know for certain that Crassus did supply Cesar with 
money. The conclusion drawn from these facts seems to be probable, 
and is confirmed by the fact that Czsar evidently took pains that his 
zeal for Crassus should not imply hostility to Pompey, with whom he 
successfully endeavoured to remain on good terms. For instance, in 
63 Cesar supported a proposal moved by one of his most devoted 
followers, Labienus, for granting extraordinary honours to Pompey on 
the termination of the war against Mithridates, and in 62 he person- 
ally proposed further honours, and joined with Q. Metellus Nepos, a 
partisan of Pompey and originator of the proposal for his recall to 
Italy, in attacking the Conservatives. Even if this renewal of friend- 
ship for Pompey was stimulated by the failure of Crassus’ intrigues, 
Cesar could not possibly have made these proposals and allied himself 
with Metellus if in the two preceding years he had openly taken sides 
with Pompey’s enemies. Nor could he two years later have inter- 
vened as peacemaker between Crassus and Pompey, after their long- 
continued quarrel, unless he had previously not been the friend of 
both. Cesar was clearly determined to stand well with both sides, 
and as he had helped Pompey to the command in Asia so he now 
wished to help Crassus to the command in Egypt, to which after all 
he had a substantial claim, That Crassus desired this command 
partly through jealousy of Pompey might annoy but was not sufficient 
to deter him. Pompey could not fail to recognise the perfect justice 
and loyalty of his conduct. 

Hero-worshippers will no doubt think it almost blasphemous to 
assign so petty and personal a motive to a series of acts which had an 
immense influence on Czsar’s life, and which are therefore among 
the leading events of history, but this consideration will not weigh 
with those who have learnt by experience how often the most impor- 
tant actions are performed just for the very reason that their ultimate 
consequences are not realised at the time. 


APPENDIX D 
THE WAR AGAINST THE HELVETII AND THE SUEVI 


| 


Tue account given in the text (vol. ii. chap. 1.) of Cesar’s first war 
in Gaul differs so greatly from that which has become traditional, that 
it seems necessary to justify it by a critical and detailed examination 
of the sources. ‘The inquiry concerns one of the most important and 
difficult problems in Roman history : why Czsar conquered Gaul, 

We know for certain that it was only in the course of the year 61, 
that is to say barely three years before Czsar’s Proconsulate, that the 
Roman Senate began to take an interest in Gaul. Its attention was 
awakened by events which can fortunately be determined with 
precision by putting together certain isolated notices that have 
hitherto escaped the attention of historians. Cesar tells us (B.G. 
i. 31) that an A’duan chief, Divitiacus, had been sent as ambassador to 
Rome; and Cicero (De Div. i. 41, 90) informs us that Divitiacus 
was a Druid and had been his guest in the capital. It is therefore 
highly probable that it was when Divitiacus came to Rome, on the 
embassy of which Cexsar speaks, that he enjoyed the hospitality of 
Cicero. But when and why was Divitiacus sent to Rome as ambas- 
sador by the A.duan Senate? Although neither Cesar nor Cicero 
mention the date, Cesar indirectly provides a clue by his statement 
(B.G. i, 35) that in the year 61 (M. Messala, M. Pisone consulibus) 
the Senate made a decree which confirmed the Avdui in their right 
to call themselves friends and allies of the Roman people, and en- 
trusted the governor of the Narbonese province with the responsibilities 
of defending them, It is surely a very probable supposition that 
Divitiacus had come to Rome in 62 or 61 to solicit this decree. We 
know from the Commentaries that Divitiacus was the chief of the Roman- 
ising party among the Afdui: it was therefore natural that the A’duan 
Government should employ him to negotiate with Rome. As to the 
reasons which led the Aidui to demand help from Rome, Cesar 
(B.G. i, 31) gives us an indirect but sufficiently explicit indication. 
The Adui needed assistance in their war against Ariovistus, King of 
the Suevi. 

336 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 337 


It is therefore exceedingly likely that in 62 or 61 Divitiacus 
came to Rome toset before the Senators the unhappy situation of 
Gaul, and to denounce the “ German peril’? with which they were 
threatened owing to the growing power of Ariovistus; and that he 
returned to Gaul after having obtained from the Senate the decree 
which Czsar mentions. This decree authorised the Aidui to apply 
to the Governor of Narbonese and Cisalpine Gaul for the support 
of his legions against Ariovistus. 

But only a year afterwards, in 60, a curious thing happens : 
Ariovistus in his turn opens negotiations to be declared friend and 
ally of the Roman people. It is Pliny (H.N. ii. 67, 170) who in- 
directly informs us of thisin astatement that Ariovistus made large 
presents to Metellus, one of the Consuls of the year 60. Since we 
know that in the following year, 59, Cesar, as Consul, granted the 
request of Ariovistus, we may suppose that the presents made to 
Metellus were intended to pave the way for these negotiations. 
There is no doubt that under the direction of the incompetent 
senatorial cliques, at the mercy of party jealousies and intrigues and 
the random votes of the Assembly, Roman foreign policy was at this 
time hopelessly inconsistent. But even this cannot justify us in 
believing that two enemies at open war could both be declared allies 
and friends of the Republic. The double alliance with the Hdui 
and the Suevi remains entirely inexplicable, and, indeed, almost 
criminally foolish, unless we imagine that something had occurred to 
change the situation in Gaul and convince the Romans that a recon- 
ciliation between Ariovistus and the #idui was both possible and 
expedient. We may therefore confidently affirm that some event of 
great importance had taken place in Gaul during the year 61. 

Now, Czsar tells us in the first chapters of the Commentaries, 
that in the year 61 the Helvetii, one of the most barbarous and bellicose 
of the Gallic tribes, were persuaded by one of their chiefs, Orgetorix, 
to attempt the invasion and conquest of Gaul; while Cicero, ina 
letter written to Atticus on March 15, 60, mentions that at the 
beginning of this year there was already considerable apprehension 
at Rome concerning the projects of the Helvetii, and adds these 
further details regarding the movement. ‘‘ People are afraid of a 
war in Gaul. It is certain that the Helvetii have armed and are 
raiding the province. ‘The Senate has decided that the Consuls are 
to draw lots for the two Gauls: levies are to be raised and exemptions 
suspended, and ambassadors are to be sent to the different nations of 
Gaul to detach them from the Helvetii” (ad A4tt.,1., 19, 1). Cicero 
is apparently afraid of a federation of the Gallic peoples centring 
round the Helvetii, and his slightly different version of the story 
. tather completes than contradicts that of Cesar. Before invading 
Gaul the Helvetii desired to gain allies and supporters throughout 
the country in the hope of founding a great Gallic empire under 

II Y 


338 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


their military hegemony. Surely here, in the migration of the Hel- 
vetii, we have the cause of the important change in the situation for 
which we have been looking. The proposed invasion of the Helvetii 
must have been quite as alarming to the AZdui and Ariovistus as to 
the Romans. While the ‘dui, weakened by internal dissensions, 
were in danger of being crushed by the Helvetian federation, the 
Romans themselves still remembered only too vividly the terrible 
invasion of Cimbri and Teutones, in which the Helvetii had taken 
part, and which, once at the head of a Gallic confederation, they 
would be certain to renew. It was therefore to the interests of 
Romans, Suevi and A:dui alike to unite against,the common enemy. 

Up to this point all seems clear. However little they might be 
disposed to occupy themselves with the affairs of Gaul, Roman poli- 
ticlans must at last have perceived that the threatened invasion of 
the Helvetii necessitated measures of defence. The Senate had hoped 
to provide for emergencies by the decree to which Cicero refers in 
his letter, while another section of opinion, represented by Metellus 
and Cesar, undertook to supplement these precautions by the alliance 
with Ariovistus, by which Rome became the peacemaker between the 
Suevi and the Akdui. In short, the Helvetian peril took the sting 
out of a Roman alliance with the A’dui against Ariovistus. 

The early developments of this policy during the year 60 now 
become quite clear. Once public interest had been awakened in 
the affairs of Gaul, the prevalent spirit of Imperialism intervened to 
give a new direction to the purely defensive policy which the Senate 
hadin view. A coterie of politicians proposed to use this policy to 
kindle a war which was to be as lucrative and as glorious as the cam- 
paigns of Lucullus and Pompey in the East. No doubt, too, the 
political troubles which broke out at Romeon Pompey’s return helped 
to divert men’s minds to the West. So long as Pompey’s arrange- 
ments were unratified everything in the East continued in suspense. 
The kings created by Pompey did not know if they were really kings ; 
the new province of Syria did not know what was to be its fate ; and 
while these questions remained undecided the East was closed to all 
further enterprise. It was idle, for instance, to dream of conquests 
in Parthia before the Syrian annexations were finally ratified. The 
Imperialists of the time were therefore obliged to look further afield, 
even to so uncertain and uncivilised a sphere of action as Gaul. In 
another letter to Atticus (i., 20, 5) Cicero tells us who it was who first 
hit upon the idea of using the migration of the Helvetii to stir up a war 
in Gaul. Curiously enough it was not Cesar, who was indeed at this 
moment Propretor in Spain, but the Consul, Quintus Metellus Celer, 
husband of the famous Clodia, and great-grandson of Metellus Mace- 
donicus. Cicero writes to Atticus: “Your friend Metellus is an 
excellent consul. I only regret that he seems so dissatisfied now that 
the news from Gaul allows us to hope that war may be averted, 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 339 


Really he is far too anxious for a triumph.’ ‘These few lines reveal 
that already in the year 60 there was a party which hoped to make 
the migration of the Helvetii an excuse to applying to Gaul the ag- 
gressive policy which had been so successful in the East ; and that 
the more prudent school of observers disapproved of their projects. 
The Consul Metellus, who had already obtained Cisalpine Gaul as 
his province, was at the head of the war party ; Cicero was among 
the friends of peace. 

Everything therefore leads us to suppose that the new governor 
looked forward to attacking the Helvetii in the spring of 59. But 
an unforeseen incident upset the Imperialist calculations. Early in 
the year 59 Metellus died, so suddenly that his wife was accused 
of having poisoned him. Cesar, now in his Consulship and on the 
look-out for a favourite province, hastened to take over the plans and 
prospects of Metellus, and passed a law through the Assembly, on the 
proposition of Vatinius, giving him Cisalpine Gaul for five years from 
the day of the vote, which was apparently March 1. All his 
acts up to the moment when he set out for Gaul, in March 58, seem 
easily explicable on the supposition that his views on Gaul were those 
current in political circles at Rome, and his plans identical with 
those of his predecessor. If, like every one else, he regarded the 
Helvetian invasion of Gaul or the Roman Province as imminent, it is 
easy to understand why he obtained leave from the Assembly to take 
command of the legions at once, even before his Consulship had expired. 
If he was even more anxious than Metellus to make use of this 
impending war for his own imperialist purposes, it is natural that he 
should have favoured the conferment of the title of friend and ally of 
the Roman people upon Ariovistus, in order to prevent an alliance 
between Suevi and the already formidable Helvetii. The Helvetii 
did not leave their mountains at all during the year 59 ; and Cesar 
was too deeply engaged in party controversies to attend to them. 
But when, early in the spring of 58, he learned that the Helvetii 
were ready to march, he hastened his departure. This is exactly 
what we might expect. If the long-apprehended invasion of Gaul 
was at last in progress it was his bounden duty ts take every precau- 
tion necessary for the defence of the province, and, if necessary, in 
accordance with the Senate’s decree, for the protection of the Aédui. 


I 


We have now reached the moment at which the story of the Com- 
mentaries opens. So far it has been fairly easy to explain the course 
of events. It seems quite clear that it was the Helvetian design of 
founding a great Gallic empire which had obliged the Senate to take 
defensive measures, and that these defensive measures were trans- 


340 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


formed into a policy of aggression by the prevalent influence of 
imperialism and kindred financial interests. So far we have had only 
a few stray notices to rely on. Now that we can call the history of 
the war, written by the man who waged it, to our service, we might 
reasonably expect to find the task far easier. Exactly the opposite is the 
case. The first book of the Commentaries once more opens up all 
the questions to which satisfactory answers had apparently been given, 

for it destroys the very foundation of our whole interpretation. It 
proves in a word that the Helvetii had not the slightest ambition to 
found a great Gallic empire, and that the “ Helvetian peril” was a 
bogey of the imagination. 

Immediately after his celebrated geographical and ethnological sketch 
of Gaul, Czsar devotes four chapters (ch. 3-6) to the movement of the 
Helvetii. Buta close study of these chapters reveals that they are vague, 
obscure, and almost embarrassed in expression, and that they exhibit 
the most singular contradictions. Cesar begins by stating that one 
of the great chiefs of the Helvetii, Orgetorix, had persuaded the 
nobility and people to invade and conquer Gaul; and that the 
Helvetii had allowed themselves to be persuaded because they did not 
wish to live any longer in a country shut in on all sides by the 
mountains, whence it was difficult to make those incursions on 
neighbouring tribes which were necessary as a relief to their martial 
instincts. Yet Cesar tells us in the preceding chapter that the 
Helvetii were always engaged in wars offensive or defensive with 
their neighbours, especially with the Germans. The contradiction is, 
perhaps, not a serious one ; and even if we hesitate to admit that the 
Helvetii were infected with this mania for fighting of which Cesar 
speaks, we need not on this account question that their chiefs had 
conceived the idea of an invasion of Gaul and decided, as Czxsar 
tells us a few lines earlier, to conclude treaties of alliance with the 
neighbouring tribes through the instrumentality of Orgetorix. 
Czsar thus confirms what Cicero had led us to suppose: that the 
Helvetii hoped to carry out their designs by placing themselves at the 
head of a Gallic coalition. But we should naturally expect from 
Cesar, in an account of the conquest of Gaul, a more detailed 
explanation of this coalition than that given by Cicero in a private 
letter to his friend Atticus. ‘The historian, however, does not linger 
over a question which is, of course, one of vital importance for his 
narrative, but hurries on to inform us (chap. iii.) that in the course 
of the negotiations Orgetorix betrayed the cause of nobility and 
people. Instead of concluding an alliance between the three peoples, 
he persuaded a chief of the Sequani, Castic, and a chief of the Adui, 
Dumnorix, to seize the supreme power in their respective tribes, pro- 
mising to lead the Helvetii to their assistance ; by which means the 
three conspirators controlling the three most powerful tribes in Gaul 
would have become masters of the entire country. But this account, 


a 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 341 


too, is far from clear. The part played by Orgetorix is especially 
mysterious ; he is said to have proposed to help Castic and Dumnorix 
to overthrow the legitimate government of their people suis copiis 
suogue exercitu, But how could he expect to put the Helvetian forces 
at the disposal of his friends? Did he simultaneously intend to 
attempt a coup d’état to seize the supreme power among his own 
countrymen? Cesar, indeed, tells us that Orgetorix ‘ was about to 
obtain supreme control of the State,” suae civitatis imperium optenturus 
esset, a vague phrase which seems to refer to a projected revolution. 
He goes on to say that when the intrigues of Orgetorix were dis- 
covered judicial proceedings were instituted against him ; but that he 
died mysteriously before the trial could take place. But is it not 
surprising, if Orgetorix was preparing to attempt a coup d’état in his 
own country, that he should have simultaneously undertaken to sup- 
port two other coups @état, one among the ‘dui, the other among 
the Sequani? 

His conduct would be intelligible if he had sought the support of 
a foreign power ; but why any sane man should thus have increased 
his risks for no corresponding advantages must remain a mystery. 
There is, indeed, only one conclusion to be drawn from an examina- 
tion of this obscure chapter. It is that Castic and Dumnorix played 
a part in the invasion of the Helvetii which Cesar either did not 
fully understand himself or was unwilling to make intelligible to his 
readers. 

After recording (in chap. iv.) the death of Orgetorix, Cesar takes 
up thestory in the fifth chapter with these words: Post eius mortem 
nikilominus Helvetii id quod constituerant facere conantur. (‘In spite of the 
death of Orgetorix the Helvetii did not abandon their enterprise.’’) 
Cesar affects to be surprised that the death of Orgetorix and the dis- 
covery of his intrigues did not put a stop to the migration. Yet his 
surprise is wholly unjustified by the facts he has himself recorded. 
According to his own narrative the plot of Orgetorix with Castic 
and Dumnorix was not an essential part of the original plan, but 
involved a deviation from it, and Cesar tells us himself that the Hel- 
vetii had made great preparations for the movement. What then 
more natural than that, having once discovered and punished the 
traitor, the nobles and the peoples should revert to their original 
plan for the invasion of Gaul? It seems, therefore, highly probable 
that Cesar has not told us the whole truth concerning this mysterious 
plot, which must have been of great importance, since Cesar seems 
to have expected that its discovery would have led to the abandon- 
ment of the whole scheme sketched out by Orgetorix and the other 
chief of the Helvetii. 

Thus, in striking contrast to the geographical and ethnological 
sketch of Gaul at the beginning of the book, the succeeding chapters, 
which profess to explain the movement of the Helvetii, are exceed- 


342 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


ingly obscure. To what is this obscurity to be attributed? Is it 
due to Czsar’s inability to discover all the details of events which 
had occurred in Gaul before his arrival, many of which were in the 
nature of diplomatic secrets? Unfortunately the narrative does not 
become less obscure when Cesar is recording his own action in Gaul, 
his negotiations and struggles with the mysterious Helvetii. 

In the early spring of 58 the Helvetii, unwilling to enter Gaul by 
the difficult gorges of the southern Jura, send ambassadors to Cesar 
for permission to pass through the Province, and undertaking to do no 
damage. Czsar cuts the bridge at Geneva, collects his troops, brings 
up the legion in the province to fortify all the points on the left bank 
of the Rhone at which a landing was possible, from the Jura to the 
end of the lake, and refuses the permission demanded by the Helvetii. 
The latter, after a few attempts to cross the river in his despite, of 
which Cesar probably gives an exaggerated account, abandon the 
idea of passing through the province, address themselves to the 
Sequani, secure permission to traverse their country, and turn back 
to the passes of the Jura. Thereupon Cesar leaves his legion in 
charge of Labienus, crosses the Alps, calls out three legions which 
were wintering at Aquileia, recruits two new legions, returns to Gaul 
with five legions by way of the Col de Genévre and Grenoble, and 
hastens to the Rhone at the northern frontier of the province. 
Clearly he is here executing a vigorous offensive movement against 
the Helvetii, who had meanwhile arrived at the Sadne and were 
invading the Aiduan territory. This offensive movement had, I 
believe, been planned long before; he had conceived it at Rome so 
soon as he had fully recognised the urgent necessity of repulsing the 
dangerous invaders. What is our surprise, then, to find that Cesar 
gives quite a different reason for his activity? He says (chap. x.) 
that he hastened to concentrate six legions in Narbonese Gaul 
because he had learned that the Helvetii desired to settle down on 
the coast, in Saintonge, that is to say, in a fertile piece of country 
bordering on the province and not far from Toulouse. How are we to 
reconcile this very singular explanation with what Cesar has told us 
a few chapters back, that the Helvetii were bent upon the conquest 
of Gaul? A trek into Saintonge was an enterprise very different 
from an invasion of Gaul ; yet Cesar makes no attempt to reconcile 
the two statements. Which are we to believe? Furthermore, if 
Cesar desired to protect the province from an attack by the Helvetii 
from the side of Saintonge, why did he not march towards ‘Toulouse 
and the Garonne? Why, after Labienus had joined him, did he 
continue his march to the north, passing the Rhone at its confluence 
with the Sadne and crossing the frontier of the Roman province? 
This rapid and resolute march can only be explained on the supposi- 
tion that Cesar intended to carry out the plan of Metellus, and 
attack the Helvetii at the earliest possible moment, which turned out 


. 
k 
. 
f 
\ 
| 
i 
. 
| 


eS 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 343 


to be while they were preparing to cross the Sadne, probably at 
Macon. Cesar was aware of the inconsistency, and endeavoured to 
excuse it by stating that as soon as he had crossed the frontier, ambas- 
sadors of the dui, Ambarri and Allobroges came to his camp 
to ask for help against the Helvetii, and that it was only then 
that he decided to attack the Helvetii before their arrival in 
Saintonge. In other words, he wishes us to believe that the idea of 
an offensive movement against the Helvetii occurred to him after he 
had passed the frontier and had received the ASduan envoys. But 
this is obviously a very far-fetched explanation. Cesar has still to 
explain to us why, in his anxiety to defend Toulouse in the west, he 
should have marched due north and crossed the northern boundary of 
the province. 

What lies at the root of these manifest inconsistencies? It would 
be absurd to attribute them to careless writing or to the speed with 
which the Commentaries were composed. Quam facile et celeriter 
eos (i.€., the Commentaries) perfecerit scimus, writes Hirtius. But 
Cesar is far too clever for us to acquiesce in such anexplanation. He 
can write with the most admirable lucidity and accuracy, even when 
he is most hurried. Moreover, these contradictions are too serious 
to be regarded as involuntary blunders, It is far more probable that 
we are face to face with inconsistencies imposed by some necessity 
of concealment. 

Is it possible to discover what it is that Czesar desired to conceal? 
He did not write the Commentaries to perpetuate the memory of 
his victories ; but because, accused of having pursued during his gover- 
norship a policy of violence and aggression, he desired to prove that he 
had always fought reluctantly, and that all his campaigns, from the 
first year onwards, so far from being aggressive, had been necessary 
measures of precaution and self-defence. Now, on these very lines, 
Cesar had an excellent opportunity of interpreting his great offensive 
movement against the Helvetii: he had only to base his explanation 
on what he himself had said in his opening chapters—on what Cicero 
wrote to Atticus—namely, that the Helvetii desired to found a great 
Gallic empire. No justification would have carried greater weight in 
the eyes of his countrymen ; no one would have ventured to refuse 
Cesar the credit of having saved the empire from a second invasion 
of Cimbri and Teutones by a war which, in spite of its apparently 
offensive character, was, in reality, only a prudent measure of defence. 
Why, then, when on the point of adopting a simple and lucid 
explanation, based, moreover, upon facts recorded by himself, does 
Cesar abandon it and have recourse to the confused and incoherent 
explanations which we have reviewed : first, the necessity of defend- 
ing the Province ; then the necessity of defending Toulouse ; finally, 
the necessity of defending the A.dui and other Gallic allies of Rome ? 
There is only one way of explaining what is, on the face of it, an 


344. GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


absurdity ; we must believe that the fears expressed by Cicero con- 
cerning the migration of the Helvetii were much exaggerated ; that 
the Helvetii had no plan so ambitious as that of conquering the 
whole of Gaul; and that between the year 58 and the year 52 this 
fact had become so notorious that, when Czsar was writing the 
Commentaries at the end of 52, he had no longer the courage to 
justify his offensive strategy by pleading the necessity of breaking up 
the nucleus of a future Celto-Helvetian empire. ‘This explanation 
being now inadmissible, Cesar found himself obliged to confess, 
either that he had wholly misjudged the purpose and character of the 
Helvetian migration, or that he had attacked them without due 
cause. He avoided the dilemma by attempting to prove provocation 
on the part of the Helvetii, and by modifying his account by ingenious 
alterations which, for all his cleverness, he could not succeed in 
making wholly consistent. 

We are thus in a position to draw the important conclusion that 
the Helvetii had no desire to conquer Gaul or to establish a great 
Gallic federation. But this immediately gives rise to several other 
questions, What was the real object of the Helvetian migration ? 
Did they really desire to migrate to Saintonge, as Caesar says? And 
if the Helvetii did not desire to invade Gaul how are we to explain 
the conduct of the Senate and of Metellus and Cesar? We have 
seen that the formidable character attributed to the Helvetian move- 
ment would explain all our difficulties. If this be denied, in what 
direction are we to modify our whole account ? Let us continue our 
examination of Cesar’s narrative, which will supply us with many of 
the answers required. 

After the conclusion of his negotiations with the Aedui, Cesar 
executed the last part of his offensive movement with characteristic 
quickness and energy. He attempted to surprise and crush the 
Helvetii at the passage of the Sadne, but, succeeding only in destroy- 
ing a small rearguard which had remained on the eastern bank, he 
threw all his army across the river in one day and began to follow 
the enemy at a short distance, waiting for an opportunity to attack. 
Ceesar describes this march with great detail in ten chapters (xiii—xxiii), 
but without ever indicating its direction, and narrates one incident 
of exceptional importance. At one moment he discovered treachery 
among some of the Aidui. The Aidui had given him a body of 
cavalry and had promised to supply him with corn, but the A’duan 
cavalry was defeated with suspicious regularity in all the skirmishes 
and engagements during the march, while the promised corn never 
arrived, though provisions were running short and the Avduan leaders 
found it more and more difficult to explain the delay. Czsar decided 
to clear up the mystery, and held an enquiry. At this point a 
character whose acquaintance we made at the beginning of the 
narrative again makes his appearance—Dumnorix, the Aéduan chief 


3 
: 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI = 345 


who was said to have taken part in the conspiracy of Orgetorix. 
Cesar discovered that the Roman alliance had been demanded by 
one party, with Divitiacus at its head, while Dumnorix, on the other 
hand, favoured the Helvetii, because his wife was a Helvetian, and 
he hoped through them to obtain the supremacy in his nation. Un- 
fortunately for Casar, Dumnorix was immensely rich and had wide- 
spread influence, and it was he who, as commander of the cavalry, 
had given his men secret orders to let themselves be defeated by the 
Helvetii, and was preventing the arrival of supplies. 

This incident is of the greatest importance. It shows us, first of 
all, that Dumnorix’s mysterious connection with the Helvetian expe- 
dition had not been severed by the death of Orgetorix. It shows us 
also that the movement of the Helvetii, though it had not the 
ambitious purpose which had been attributed to it at Rome, must 
have aimed at something less modest than the migration to Saintonge, 
which would have concerned only the Helvetii themselves. For in 
that case why should the powerful party of which Dumnorix was 
leader have been interested in the success of the movement? But 
Cesar does little to satisfy our curiosity. After briefly informing us 
that he generously pardoned Dumnorix he hurries on with the 
narrative, 

He states that he hoped on one occasion to crush the Helvetii by 
a night surprise, but that the attempt failed, and that he was about 
to abandon the pursuit through lack of provisions when he was 
suddenly attacked by the enemy. It is now that he gives us the first 
indication of the locality. The attack tock place on the heights of 
Bibracte (Mont Beauvrai) near Autun. The Helvetii had therefore 
marched northwards and made a long detour in order to reach 
Saintonge. But our surprise increases after reading the account of 
the battle, which Cesar describes as a glorious victory for his legions. 
Rauchenstein, who has subjected the history of this war to an 
ingenious if sometimes almost over subtle criticism, has used Czsar’s 
own narrative to testify to the doubtful result of the battle. It is 
certain, for instance, that Caesar was obliged to remain on the field 
for three days in order to bury his dead and attend to his wounded, 
while the Helvetii were quietly continuing their march in the 
direction of Langres. Here is a second piece of topographical infor- 
mation, and it is no less significant than the first. ‘The Helvetii, 
who according to Cesar desired to move towards the coast, were now 
marching north-east, that is to say, in the opposite direction. 
Czsar succeeded at last in making peace, and the majority of the 
Helvetii decided to return to their old home, while an obstinate 
minority proceeded ad Rhenum finesque Germanorum, ‘This detail 
throws much light on the obscure question which we are attempting 
to solve and supplements the two first indications of the Helvetian 
line of march. Why did this minority march towards the Rhine ? 


346 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


It is clear that when they separated from their compatriots they were 
not in a position to take any road at random ; they must have con- 
tinued in the direction which they had been following with the rest 
of the tribe. We have seen that the Helvetii had already turned 
eastwards. The Helvetii therefore were migrating towards the 
Rhine. 

Have we now arrived at sufficient data to determine the purpose 
of this mysterious migration? Let us first of all notice certain rather 
curious coincidences. In 62 or 61 the AZdui asked help from the 
Roman Senate; in 61 the Helvetii are persuaded to migrate. The 
negotiations at Rome are entrusted to Divitiacus; Dumnorix is 
somehow involved from the beginning in the intrigues which 
precede the movement of the Helvetii. What was it that Divitiacus 
was to demand at Rome? ‘The support of the Roman legions against 
Ariovistus. In what direction were the Helvetians marching? 
Towards the Rhine, that is to say, towards the country in which the 
army of Ariovistus was probably encamped. ‘Throughout the war 
Divitiacus acts as Cesar’s friend, Dumnorix as protector of the 
Helvetii. One is therefore strongly tempted to ask whether the 
migration of the Helvetii was not intended to serve the same end as 
the negotiations of Divitiacus at Rome ; that is to say, to drive back 
Ariovistus beyond the Rhine. Let us take this hypothesis as a basis 
for the reconstruction of the Gallic situation on Cesar’s arrival, and 
we shall see how its probability is enhanced. The great problem 
which had for some years past occupied every nation in Gaul was the 
“German peril,” the growing power of Ariovistus. The Adui, who 
had been deprived by Ariovistus of the supremacy of Gaul, were so 
discouraged by repeated failures that they despaired of succeeding 
with their own unaided forces, and had decided to have recourse to 
Rome. This was the mission with which Divitiacus had been 
entrusted. But Rome was evidently not the only foreign power 
from whom the Aédui might expect assistance ; the warlike Helvetii 
who had already waged long campaigns against the Suevi might prove 
very valuable allies. Now Divitiacus was the leader of the Conser- 
vative party which represented the old nobility of Gaul, and his party 
was opposed by a faction, led by Dumnorix and supported by the 
lower classes, which may be described as the popular party. The 
issue between these parties must have involved some serious matter of 
policy. ‘Thus we arrive at the following fairly obvious conclusion. 
Both parties were equally convinced that the Aidui could not by 
themselves overthrow the German supremacy, but they were not in 
agreement as to the foreign power to which they should appeal. 
The party of Divitiacus relied on Rome; the Nationalists under 
Dumnorix looked to the Helvetii. It was probably Dumnorix, and 
not Orgetorix, who made the proposal to the Helvetii, with the 
promise of lands in some fertile part of Gaul, while Orgetorix was 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 347 


merely the chief agent of the Nationalist party among the 
Helvetii. 

Rash as these hypotheses may appear, it is remarkable how they 
clear up all the facts which remain obscure or unexplained: the 
alliance of Rome with Ariovistus, the alarming rumours concerning 
, he movements of the Helvetii, the death of Orgetorix, and, finally, 
the offensive movement undertaken by Cxsar. We can now under- 
stand why in 60 and 59 Ariovistus was so anxious to be declared 
friend and ally of the Roman people. It was not, as we naturally 
supposed, the vague fear of a Helvetian invasion, but a far more 
serious danger that induced him to seek the friendship of Rome. As 
soon as he knew that Divitiacus and Dumnorix were both intriguing 
against him, one at Rome and the other among the Helvetii, he took 
alarm lest the two brothers should succeed in forming against him a 
coalition of Aidui, Helvetii and Romans. He was forced to take 
prompt measures to anticipate this coalition before it was formed. It 
is very probable that he attempted to counteract the intrigues of 
Dumnorix among the Helvetii, though we possess no information on 
this point. It is evident, on the other hand, that his request to the 
Romans for the title of friend and ally was intended to cancel Rome’s 
alliance with the A‘dui. 

This being so we are able to give a very probable explanation of 
the alarming rumours current in Rome concerning the Helvetian 
migration, The A‘dui had asked for the support of Rome against 
Ariovistus, and Rome had granted it by the senatorial decree of 61. 
Now, although Ariovistus was ready to pay any price for the Roman 
alliance, he and his friends at Rome were obliged to find some means 
to conceal from the public the inconsistency between this alliance 
and that already concluded with the AXdui. The best means of 
doing this was evidently to demonstrate that Romans, A‘dui and 
Suevi were all menaced by a great common danger, which made it 
advisable for them to forgive and forget their petty quarrels. It 
therefore seems to me very probable that Ariovistus took advantage 
of the Helvetian migration and the ignorance of Roman politicians 
in order to exaggerate the peril and persuade influential Romans that 
the Helvetii intended to place themselves at the head of a Gallic 
federation which might one day attack Italy itself. Ariovistus 
achieved his object the more easily, because he was probably assisted by 
one party among his enemies. We have already noticed that Cicero, 
in his letter written to Atticuson March 16 of the year 60, is the first 
to acquaint us with the Helvetian peril. Whence did he obtain his 
information? We have seen that he was on intimate terms with 
Divitiacus, who had been his guest. It is therefore very probable 
that this piece of information, as well as others on Gallic affairs, had 
its source in Divitiacus. It is not difficult to see why those Aidui 
who favoured the alliance with Rome joined in attempting to alarm 


348 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


the Romans on the subject of the Helvetii. It was to their interest 
to anticipate the Nationalists in promoting the overthrow of 
Ariovistus. Since Dumnorix was doing his best to stir up the 
Helvetii, they were obliged to try to force the inert Senate into 
action by the application of some powerful stimulant. The Helvetian 
peril could be made to serve their ends by being used to precipitate 
the Roman intervention. Gaul was in a critical position; if Rome 
did not intervene to deliver it from Ariovistus the Helvetii would 
undoubtedly do so, and once masters of Gaul the Helvetii would be 
a grave danger to Italy. ‘This must have been the essence of the 
communications which the Roman party among the dui sent to 
Italy. It is very probable that the friends of Divitiacus were 
intriguing among the Helvetii to checkmate the negotiations, for it 
seems likely that Orgetorix fell a victim to the intrigues of Ariovistus 
or of the Aédui, or of both. We are thus enabled to account for 
Cesar’s surprise when he discovered that the death of Orgetorix 
made no difference to the preparations of the Helvetii. Orgetorix 
was the representative and leader of the Nationalist party among the 
Helvetii, the most active and intelligent of Dumnorix’s agents, and 
the chief organiser of the expedition. If the cabal which brought 
about his death aimed at making the Helvetii oppose all the under- 
takings of the Nationalist party, it is easy to understand how Cesar 
who by the time he wrote his book in 52 was aware of the whole 
truth, should in a moment of forgetfulness express his surprise that 
the fall of Orgetorix in no way affected the preparations for the 
expedition. 

Gallic affairs were thus during the course of the year 60 becoming 
more and more complicated. ‘The Nationalists were working hard 
to bring up the Helvetii ; the Romanising party and Ariovistus were 
both, but for different reasons, denouncing the Helvetii. Roman 
politicians found themselves in a very difficult position. Were they 
to yield to the solicitations of the A’dui, send an army to fight 
Ariovistus, and put a stop to Helvetian intervention by themselves 
undertaking to overthrow the Germans? Or were they to attend 
first of all to the “‘ Helvetian peril,” accept the alliance of Ariovistus, 
and move at once against the Helvetii in order to secure Italy from 
all danger in the future? They had to choose between two alterna- 
tive policies, the anti-Helvetian and the anti-German. The little 
that we know of the plans of the Consul Metellus leads us to believe 
that he already inclined to the anti-Helvetian policy. Cesar decided 
definitely in its favour in the course of §9, as is proved by the alliance 
which he concluded with the King of the Suevi. ‘This alliance meant 
the triumph of the intrigues of Ariovistus over those of Divitiacus. 
It would no doubt be very interesting to know the reasons which led 
him to make so unfortunate a choice, but in the absence of evidence 
we must content ourselves with conjecture. Most probably the cause 


WAR AGAINST HELVETII AND SUEVI 349 


of his mistake lay in the general ignorance which prevailed at Rome 
about Gaul. The alarming rumours spread by Ariovistus and 
Divitiacus concerning the movement of the Helvetii must have 
produced a great impression, for the invasion of Cimbri and Teutones 
was still fresh in the public memory. As soon as these rumours 
began to circulate, the politicians and the public, with that tendency 
to rash generalisation so characteristic of democracies, concluded that 
the entire Gallic problem centred round the Helvetii ; everything 
else, the struggle between A®dui and Suevi, the “ German peril,” the 
Rhine frontier, was of secondary importance. Czesar was infected by 
the infatuation of the majority, and as soon as he found himself at the 
head of his army made the necessary arrangements for attacking the 
Helvetii. 

The choice was in reality a very serious mistake. The Helvetian 
expedition must have been exceedingly popular throughout Gaul, 
because men hoped that it would contribute to the disappearance of 
the Germans ; and the intervention of the pro-consul as the cat’s- 
paw of Ariovistus wounded the pride and the interests of the Nation- 
alists, and placed the Romanising party and Cesar himself in a very 
dificult position. The partisans of the Roman alliance were 
naturally held responsible for the action of Rome’s representative in 
Gaul. They had predicted that the Roman intervention would 
confer the greatest benefits on Gaul; whereas the Proconsul now 
made his appearance as the zealous ally of Ariovistus, who had been 
rescued by Czsar from a formidable enemy without the trouble of 
moving asingle soldier. Here again is what looks like a somewhat rash 
hypothesis ; but it can be supported by an argument which is, I think, 
decisive, for it permits us to explain the violent change in Cesar’s 
policy as soon as peace was concluded with the Helvetii. 

Great as are the difficulties which we have examined in the first 
book of the Commentaries, there remains one much greater. 
Czsar nowhere explains why, after the war against the Helvetii, he 
immediately proceeded to attack Ariovistus. He states that on the 
termination of the Helvetian war the representatives of the tribes of 
Gaul asked permission to convene an assembly, and gives a pathetic 
description of its session. ‘The representatives sat plunged in gloomy 
silence, and he himself, alarmed and affected by the sight, was 
obliged almost to drag the truth from lips which were closed by 
superstitious fear. When at last they were persuaded to speak, they 
gave Czsar an account of the burdensome oppression of Ariovistus. 
Whereupon Cesar, regarding it as intolerable that friends of the 
Roman people should be so cruelly maltreated, in a noble outburst 
of generosity decided for war—a chivalrous war of liberation under- 
taken in the name of justice. 

No one with any experience of politics can take this heroic story 
very seriously. Roman policy in general and Cesar in particular 


350 GREATNESS AND DECLINE OF ROME 


knew nothing of sentimental considerations, The war against 
Ariovistus was a very serious war, for it meant marching six legions 
into a distant country with no certain base of operations against 
a very powerful enemy in the flush of success. Moreover, there 
was a political as well as the military difficulties. Ariovistus was 
the ally of Rome, and he had kept his engagements with perfect 
loyalty ; his quarrel with the A&dui could not be taken as a 
pretext for a rupture, because they were anterior to the alliance. 
In declaring the AZdui and Suevi her friends and allies, Rome had 
evidently undertaken to interfere no further in their differences. 
There was, therefore, no decent pretext for the war. Now, although 
an unjust war would in no way have troubled the conscience of a 
Roman pro-Consul, an illegal war was on a very different footing. In 
case of failure, the general who had undertaken such a war would 
have incurred very serious responsibilities; nor must we forget the 
possible effect of such an unlawful aggression on a superstitious and 
ignorant soldiery. At Besancon Cesar actually had to face an incident 
very rare in the military history of Rome: the troops mutinied and 
refused to proceed further, protesting among other things that the 
war was unlawful. 

It is clear, therefore, that, if Casar embarked on so highly dan- 
gerous an enterprise at a few weeks’ notice, willingly encountering 
every danger and staking his whole prestige, he must have been 
driven by some very pressing political interest which would not 
permit delay. Otherwise he would have attempted to gain time, in 
order to increase his army (as in the following year, for the war 
against the Belgz), and in order to find a more serious casus belli. 
What was this pressing political necessity? If we follow the Com- 
mentaries or the traditional narrative it cannot be discovered ; but 
we can give a very satisfactory answer to the question if we accept 
the explanations which we have suggested. Cesar made war against 
Ariovistus in order to remove the disastrous impression produced in 
Gaul by his campaign against the Helvetii. That war had destroyed 
the whole basis of his policy, and had only served to increase the 
power of his rival, Ariovistus. During the Helvetian war, or on its 
conclusion, Czsar must have perceived his blunder; and in order to 
lose no time in retrieving it he boldly broke the alliance which he 
had himself concluded, and declared war on Ariovistus. On this 
hypothesis everything becomes explicable. 

There is, of course, an alternative line of argument. It may be 
urged that Cesar was aware all the time of the real purpose of the 
Helvetian migration, that he knew when he left Rome that he would 
have to overcome, not the Helvetian, but the German peril, and that 
he had made up his mind to make war on Ariovistus, but desired first 
of all to get rid of the Helvetii, who were his rivals in the same under- 
taking. In this case the German alliance becomes a mere trick to 


WAR AGAINST HELVETIT AND SUEVI 351 


gratify Ariovistus and induce him to leave Cesar’s hands free during 
the war against the Helvetii. This is the theory of Duruy, but in 
my opinion it is open to two insuperable objections. First of all, if 
Cesar had been thoroughly acquainted with the situation in Gaul 
and with the true character of the Helvetian migration, he would 
have refused to accept Dumnorix as commander of his cavalry. The 
Commentaries show that the discovery of Dumnorix’s treachery was 
a great surprise to Caesar, and this proves that he was unaware 
of the true bearing of the expedition upon the state of political 
parties in Gaul, that is to say, that he had only a superficial and 
imperfect idea of the real nature of the movement. The other 
capital objection is the alliance with Ariovistus. If he had foreseen 
the inevitability of a war with Ariovistus he would surely never have 
consented to see him granted the title of friend and ally. No one 
acquainted with Roman history will believe that Ceasar can have 
deliberately adopted a daring expedient so likely to involve him in 
serious embarrassment. 


LIST OF BOOKS REFERRED TO IN 
THE ‘TEXT 


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Aumate (Duc d’).—Alésia, in the Revue des Deux Mondes for May 6, 
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B.C. H.—Bulletin de Correspondance hellénique. Paris. 

Baseton.—M. R. R.: Description historique et chronologique des 
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Barsacatto.—R. R. E.: Le relazione politiche di Roma con PEgitto, 
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Betiezza.—F. S.: Det fonti e dell’ autoritd storica di C. Sallustio 
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Betocu.—B. 4. W.: Die Bevilkerung der griechisch-romischen Welt. 
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Betocu.—Die Bevilkerung Gallien’s zur Zeit Casars, in Rheintisches 
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Betocu.—l. B.: Der [talische Bund unter Roms Hegemonie. Leipzig, 
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Bernuarpt.—C. M. K.: Chronologie der mithridatische Kriege. 
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Berrranp.—Les tombelles d’Auvenay, in the Revue archéologique de 
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Bevan.—T he House of Seleucus. London, 1902. 

“Braset.—Die Motiven der Gesetzgebung des C. Sempronius Gracchus. 
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Brumner.—G. 7. A.: Die Gewerbliche Tatigkeit der Vilker des 
klassischen Altertums. Leipzig, 1869. 

Bocxu.—F. P. A.: L’Economia publica degli Ateniesi. Milan. 
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Vilfredo Pareto. 

Botssier.—Cicéron et ses amis. Paris, 1902. 

Bonrante.—D, R.: Diritto Romano. Florence, 1900. 

I z 


354 LIST OF BOOKS 


Borsart.—T7". R. : Topografia di Roma antica. Milan, 1897. 

Brunn.—G. G. K.: Geschichte der griechischen Kinstler. Stuttgart, 
1857-59. tg ; 

Bruns.—Fontes juris romani antiqui. ‘Tiibingen, 1860. 

Boson, in NOP. PB. See Ve oP; 

Bynum.—L. M. F. B.: Das Leben des M. Funius Brutus bis auf 
Caesars Ermordung. Halle, 1898. 

Carrant-Lovatetit (Countess Ersilia)—TZ giardint di Lucullo, in the 
Nuova Antologia, August 16, 1901. 

Carrant-LovateLui.—l giornali dei Romani, in the Nuova Antologia. 
November, Igor. 

Cattecari.—ZL.8.C.: La legislazione sociale di Caio Gracco. Padua, 
1896. 

Cite eit .S.: La magistratura di Silla durante la guerra civile. 
Rome, 1899.. 

CasteLii.—Gli E.: Gli Ebret. Florence, 1899. 

C.I.A : Corpus inscriptionum A tticarum. 

C.1.Gr.: Corpus inscriptionum Grecarum. 

C.1I.L.: Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. 

Ciccort1.—D. P.: Donne e politica negli ultimi anni della republica 
romana. Milan, 1895. 

Ciccott1.—P.V.: Il processo di Verre. Milan, 1895. 

Ciccorri.—Tf. 8. I] tramonto della schiavitu nel mondo antico. ‘Turin, 
1899. 

Conen.—Description historique des monnaies frappées sous Pempire 
romain. Vol.I. Paris, 1859. 

CotumsBa.—I1 marzo del 44 a Roma. Palermo, 1896. 

Coursaup.—B. R. R. : Le bas-relief romain a représentations historiques. 
Paris, 1899. 

Croiset (A. et M.).—Histotre de la littérature grecque. Vol. V. Paris, 
1899. 

DareMBerc, Sacuio et Porrier.—D. A.: Dictionnaire des antiquitées 
grecques. Paris, 1873. 

Darsstz, in N.R.H.D. See N.R.H.D. 

Detoume.—M. A. R.: Les manieurs d’argent a Rome. Paris, 1890. 

Dr Marzo.—S. P. C. R.: Storia della procedura criminale romana. 
Palermo, 1898. 

De Sautcy.—Guerre des Helvétes, in the Revue archéologique, 1861. 

Drimann.—G. R.: Geschichte Roms in seinem Uebergange von der 
republikanischen zur monarchischen V erfassung. Vol. 1. Zweite Auflage, 
herausgegeben von P. Groebe. Berlin, 1899. Vol. II. Kénigsberg, 
1835 ; Vol. III., Kénigsberg, 1837; Vol. IV., Kénigsberg, 1838 ; Vol. V., 
Kénigsberg, 1874. 

Duruy.—H. R.: Histoire romaine. Vol. III. Paris, 188r. 

F. H. G.: Fragmenta Historicorum Grecorum edidit Carolus Miller. 
Paris, 1874. 


ae 


LIST OF BOOKS 355 


Fasroni.—Storia degli antichi vast fittilt aretint, 1841. 

Ferrero (E.).—Det Libertini. ‘Turin, 1877. 

Ferrero (G.).—Da Cesare a Augusto. Milan, 1904. 

Forcerzra—l. C. M.: Le industrie e il commercio a Milano sotto + 
Romani. Milan, 1go1. 

Foucart.—See le Bas. 

Francuina.—Le condiziont economiche della Sicilia ai tempi di Verre. 
Palermo, 1897. 

Franxe.—l.P.P. See N.I.P.P. 

Frrepiarnper.—D, S$. G. R.: Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte 
Roms in der Zeit vom August bis zum Ausgang der Antonine. (6th Ed.). 
Leipzig, 1888. 

Fuster pe Coutancrs.—C. 4.; La cité antique. Paris, 1870. 

Fustet pe Coutancrs.—G. R.: La Gaule romaine. Paris, 1891. 

GarpTHausen.—A. Z.: Augustus und seine Zeit. Leipzig, 1896. 

Giipert.—T. R.: Geschichte und Topographie der Stadt Rom im 
Altertum. Leipzig, 1883-1890. 

Grirt.—I] suicidio di Lucrezio. Palermo, 1895. 

Grrenipce.—d History of Rome during the later Republic and early 
Principate. London, 1904. 

GRrEENIDGE AND Ciay.—Sources for Roman History, 133-70 B.c. 
Oxford, 1903. 

Groesrt.—See Drimann. 

Grussant.—L. R. + Litteratura romana, Milan (Vallardi). 

Go eR (von).—Céasars Gallischer Krieg in dem Fabre 52. Karlsruhe, 
1859. 

Heav.—Historia nummorum. Oxford, 1887. 

Hetter in Phil. See Philologus. 

Hermes, Zeitschrift fur classische Philologie, Berlin. 

Homotir.—B. C. H.: Les Romains a Délos, in the Bulletin de corre- 
spondance hellénique. Vol. VIII. 

Hiner. De senatus populique romani actis. Leipzig, 1860. 

Inne.—R. G.: Rimische Geschichte. Vol. VI. Leipzig, 1886. 

Joun.—£. G. C V.: Entstehungsgeschichte der Catilinarischen 
Verschwirung, in Fahrbicher fur Philologie und Pedagogik. Suppl. to 
Vol. VIII. 

Jorpan.—T. R.: Topographie der Stadt Rom im Altertum. Berlin, 
1878. 

Bec O.: Céasarim Orient. Leipzig, 1885. 

Jutuian.—Verc. : Vercingetorix. Paris, 19o!. 

weer bee NL. PLP. 

Kartowa.—R. R.G.: Rimuische Rechtsgeschichte. Leipzig, 1893. 

Kromayer in Phil., see Philologus. 

Kromayer in Hermes, see Hermes. 

Lanciani in B. C., in the Bolletino della commissione archeologica 
comunale di Roma. 


356 LIST OF BOOKS 


Lanciani.—Z. R. A.: Topografia di Roma antica; 1 Commentarit 
di Frontino intorno le acque e gli acquedotti. Silloge epigrafica aquaria. 
Rome, 1880. 

Lanciant.—Forma urbis Rome. Milan, 1893. 

Lanpucci.—Storia del diritto romano. Padua, 1895. 

Lance.—R. A.: Rémische Altertumer.: Vol. I. (2nd ed.), Berlin, 
1863; 7zd., Vol. II. (znd ed.), Berlin, 1867; zd., Vol. III. (1st ed.). 
Berlin, 1871. 

Le Bas, Wappincton et Foucart.—V. 4.: Voyage archéologique 
en Grece et en Asie Mineure pendant les années 1843-1844. Paris, 
1847-1877. 

LicuTensercer.—De Ciceronts re privata. Paris, 1895. 

Lorwy.—See Zeitschrift fiir Bildende Kunst, XXIUII1., pp. 74f. 1888. 

Lomsroso.—L’Uomo delinquente. ‘Turin, 1897. 

Loria.—Analisi della proprieta capitalista. ‘Turin, 1889. 

Lossau.—l. K.: Ideale der Kriegtiihrung. 

Manrrin.—C. P.: La cavalleria det Parthi nelle guerre contro 7 
Romani. Rome, 1893. 

Marovuarpt.—R. 8. V.: Réimische Staatsverwaltung (Handbuch der 
rimischen, Alterthiimer). Leipzig, 1871. 

Marovarpt.—V. P. R. + La vie privée des Romains. Paris, 1892. 

Mas1.—V. S. A. or A.: Vicende politiche del? Asia dal? Ellesponta 
al? Indo. Vol. 1., Modena, 1898 ; Vol. II., Citta di Castello, Igor. 

MavurensrecHer.—C, Sallusti Crispi historiarum reliquie. Leipzig, 
1893. 

Wak “Ores romanorum fragmenta. ‘Turici, 1842. 

Meyer.—U. G. G.: Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Gracchen. 
Halle, 1894. 

Micaretta.—F. D. C.: La fonte di Dione Cassio per le guerre galliche 
di Cesare. Lecce, 1896. 

Mommstn in Hermes, see Hermes. 

Mommsen.—P. R.: Le Provincie romane da Cesare a Diocleziano, 
Translation by Ruggiero. Rome, 1887. 

Mommsen.—R. F.: Rémische Forschungen. Berlin, 1864. 

Mommsen.—R. G.: Réimische Geschichte. Berlin, 1874. 

Mommsen.—R. M. W.: Geschichte des Rimischen Minzwesens. 
Berlin, 1860. 

N.I.P.P.: Neue Fabrbicher fir Philologie und Padagogik. Leipzig. 

Napotton II].—¥. C. - Histoire de Fules César. Paris, 1865-66. 

Neumann.—G. R. V.: Geschichte Roms wahrend des Verfalls der 
Republik vom Zeitalter des Scipio Aemilianus bis zu Sullas Tode. Breslau, 
1881. 

Niccouini in S.J. F. C., see S. I. F.C. 

Nissen.—I. L.: Italische Landeskunde. Vol.1. Berlin, 1883. 

Nissen in H. Z.: Der Ausbruch des Biirgerkrieges 49 vor Christi in the 
Historische Zeitschrift, Vols. XLIV. and XLVI. 


LIST OF BOOKS 357 


aad ——G.V.: Die Gracchen und thre nachsten Vorgénger. Berlin, 
1847. 
N.R.H.D.: Nouvelle Revue historique du droit. Paris. 

Orano.—Il problema del Cristianesimo. Rome, 1901. 

Oversrcx.—G G. P.: Geschichte der griechischen Plastik. Leipzig, 
1893-1894. 

Pauty-Wissowa.—R. E.: Real-encyclopddie der klassischen Alter- 
tumwissenschaft. Stuttgart, 1894-1907. 

Prerer.—G. R.: Geschichte Roms. Halle, 1881. 

Prrscu.—Die historische Glaubwiirdigkeit der Commentarien Césars 
vom gallischen Kriege nach gegenwartige Stande der Kritik. Gliickstadt, 
I., 1885; II., 1886. 

Phil. : Philologus ; Zeitschrift fur das klassische Altertum. Géttingen. 

Poutmann.—Die Uebervilkerung der antiken Grosstddte. Leipzig, 
1882. Published by the Jablonowski Society. 

Porzio in R.S. 4. See R.S. A. 

Raucuenstein.—F, C.: Der Feldzug Cdsars gegen die Helvetier. 
Ziirich, 1882. 

Rawutnson.—S. O. M. or 8S. G. O. M.: The sixth great Oriental 
Monarchy. Londen, 1873. 

Rernacu.—M, E.: Mithridate Eupator, rot du Pont. Paris, 1890. 

Rheinisches Museum fir Philologie. Frankfurt. 

R.S. A.: Rivista di storia antica. Messina. 

Rtsrow.—H. K. C : Heerwesen und Kriegfiihrung C. Fulius Casars. 
Nordhausen, 1862. 

Satviot1.—D. P. F.: Sulla distribuzione della Proprieta fondiaria 
tn Italia al tempo dell impero romano. Modena, 1899. 

Satvioi1.—Le capitalisme dans le monde antique. Paris, 1906. 

Scuanz.—G. R. L.: Geschichte der rimischen Litteratur. Miinchen, 
1890. 

Scuitter-Voict.—Die riimischen Privataltertiimer und Kulturges- 
chichte. Vol. IV. of the Handbuch der classischen Altertumwissen- 
schaft. Nordlingen, 1885. 

Scumipt.—B. W. C.: Der Briefwechsel des M. Tullius Cicero von 
seinem Prokonsulat in Cilicien bis zu Casars Ermordung. Leipzig, 1893. 

Scumipt in Rhein. Mus —Der Ausbruch des Biirgerkrieges in 49. v. 
Ch. in Rheinisches Museum, Vol. XLVII. 

S.I.F.C.: Studi italiani di flologia classica. 

Strampini.—T/ sutcidio di Lucrezio, in R.S. A., Vol. I. 

Stern.—C.: Catilina und die Parteikimpfe der fahre 67-68. Dorpat, 
1833. 

Srosse.—Die Candidati Cesaris, in Philologus, Vol. XXVII 

Sumpr.—B. O.: Casars Beurteilung seiner Offiziere in den Com- 
mentarien vom Gallischen Kriege. Quedlinburg, 1892. 

Sunpven.—De tribunitia potestate a L. Sulla imminuta questiones. 


Upsala, 1897. 


358 LIST OF BOOKS 


Tarentino.—C. C.: La congiura catilinaria. Catania, 1898. 

TyrreLL AND Purser.—Correspondence of Cicero. Dublin, 1879- 
1901. 

Vacuier1.—Di un nuovo frammento del cosidetto elogio di Turia, in 
the Notizie degli scavi, October 1898. 

Vocerind; PoP. “See NiIiP: P: 

Voict.—I. N.: Die Lehre vom Fus Naturale et Fus Gentium der 
Romer. Leipzig, 1856. 

Wappincton. See Le Bas. 

Wartzanc. G P. R.: Etude historique sur les corporations profes 
stonnelles chez les Romains. Vol. I. Louvain, 1895. 

Weser.—R. 4.G.: Die rimische Agrargeschichte. Stuttgart, 1891. 

WEICHERT.—Commentatio de imperatoris Cesaris scriptis ecorumque 
religuits. Grime, 1835. 

Witirms.—D, P. R.: Le droit public romain. Louvain, 1872. 

Wittrems.—S. R. R.: Le sénat de la république romaine. Louvain, 
Vol. L., 1878 ; Vol. II., 1883 ; appendices and lists, 1885. 

Wiassax.—Ldict und Klageform. Jena, 1882. 

ZIEHEN.—See Rheinisches Museum, 1896, pp. 593 f. 

Zumpt.—C. E.: Commentationes epigraphice. Vol. I. Berolini, 
1850. 

Zumrt.—S. R.: Studia romana. Berolini, 1859. 


INDEX 


ABOLITION of debt. See Debt 
question 

Acco or Accon— 
Heads the Senones, ii. &3; 
condemned to death, i. 99 

Achza, exiles from, i. 33 

Acidini, the Manlii, i. 28 

Aduatuca, li. 99 

Aduatuci— 
Cesar’s victory over the, ii. 
32-33; subsequent rise of the, 
li. 87 

#Edileship, right to propose candi- 
dates conferred on Cesar, il. 
268, 297 

ZEdui— 
Petition Czsar for help, il. 5 ; 
treachery to Cesar, ii. 111, 344; 
the A*duan election, 52 B.c., 
tieelig ss tising ot the 52) B.C., 
li. 116; the alliance against 
the Suevi, ii. 337-38; appeal 
to Rome, i. 273-74 

fEmilian Way, Cesar’s journey by 
the, ii. 187, 200 

fEmilianus. See Scipio 

Emilii, the Paulii, i. 28 

Afranius, Lucius—Pompey’s 

general— 

In Mesopotamia, i. 227-29; 
Consul, 60 B.c., i. 278; plan 
of campaign in Spain, ii. 222 ; 
repulses Czesar outside Lerida, 
ii. 227; flight and surrender, 
li. 229-30; death, ii. 267 

African War, the, li. 262 

Agendicum (Sens), meeting of the 
legions at, li. 110 and note 

Agriculture in Italy— 
Difficulties and decline of, i. 
35; vine and olive versus corn, 
i. 49 ; progress of, i. 123-24 


Ahenobarbus, Domitius ‘* Cneius, 
Censor, edict of, 75 note 

Ahenobarbus, Lucius Domitius— 
Leads the Conservatives, ii. 
56; candidate for the Consul- 
ship, 56 B.c., li. 59, 63 ; Consul, 
54 B.c., li. 67; Augurship of, 
li. 178; made governor of 
territory of the Marsi, ii. 195, 
196; at siege of Corfinium, 
ii. 210-12 ; defends Marseilles, 
li, 223 

Aix (near Vercelli), 
Marius at, i. 69 

Alba, forces at, il. 210 and note 

Albania, Czesar’s scheme to colonise, 
li. 275, 299 

Albanians, attack on Pompey, 
i. 209-10 

Alesia, siege of, ii. 118-19, 121-26 

Alessio, Italians emigrate to, i. 307 

Alexander IT., bequest to the Senate, 
i. 109, 214 

Alexandria— 
Cesar at, il. 255-56, 261 ; Neo- 
Pythagoreans established at, 
il. 44 

Aliens, influx into Italy, 1. 305-7 

Alise Sainte Reine, ii. 119 

Alliances, early Roman, i. 8-9 

Allier, Cesar crosses the, ii. 115 

“ Allies’ Revolt,” the, i. 81-82 

Allobroges— 
Catiline party ask help from, 
i. 255; revolt of the, 1. 270; 
petition Caesar for help, ii. 5 

Amanus, heights of, li. 156-57 

Amasia, taken by Lucullus, i. 174 

Amastris, Catullus buys his yacht 
at, li. 47 

Ambarri, the, petition Cesar for 
help, ii. 5 


victories of 


360 


Ambianes, submission of the, ii. 32. 
Ambiorix— 
Leads the Eburones, ii. 82; 
Czesar’s pusruit of, il. 87-88 
Amiens, the Diet at, 53 B.c., ii. 87 
Amisus— 
Siege of, i. 150, 151; capture 
and burning of, i. 157-58; 
Pompey’s durbar at, i. 225 
Amphipolis, Pompey at, i. 248 
and note 
Anarchy in Rome, ii. 82, 88, 100- 
101; in a Roman province, 
li. 170 ef seq. 
Ancona, purple dyes of, li. 134; 
occupied by Cesar, ii. 200, 202 
Andes— 

Submission of the, il. 37; 
join Vercingetorix, ii. 108 
Andronicus, translation of the 

Odyssey, i. 14 
Annexations, early Roman, i. 8 
Antioch— 


Italians emigrate to, i. 307; 


refusal to receive Pompey, 
ii. 251; Cesar’s arrival at, 
ii. 262 


Antissa, fate of, i. 33 

Antonius, Marcus— 
Corruption of, i. 68 ; defeat of, 
1. 145; admiral of the fleet 
in Cretan waters, i. 138 

Antony (Marcus Antonius)— 
In Egypt, ll. 64 ; candidate for 
Questorship, 52 B.c., il. 100; 
at siege of Alesia, li. 124; 
elected Tribune, 49 B.c., il. 177; 
Cesar and, li. 177-78; sum- 
mons mass meeting, li. 188; 
reads Czsar’s letter in the 
Senate, ii. 193; flees from 
Rome, ii. 199; head of troops 
in Italy, ii. 220; proposes 
abolition of a Sullan law, ii. 
221-22; conduct in Rome, 
li. 225-26; joins Cesar with 
reinforcements, ii. 242 ; Master 
of the Horse and Vice-Dictator, 
li. 250, 253 mote, 257-58; and 
Dolabella’s proposals, ii. 259- 
60; buys Pompey’s palace, 
ii. 264; marries Fulvia, ii. 
277; goes to meet Cesar, ii. 


INDEX 


Antony—(contd.) 
290 ; made Consul, li. 295-96 ; 
attitude during the conspiracy, 
ii. 312, 374; 326 

Apamea, occupied by Crassus, ii. 88 

Apellicon library, Sulla brings books 
of Aristotle from, i. 98 

Apion. See Ptolemy 

Apollonia— 

Seized by Czsar, ii. 239 ; Cesar 
leaves his wounded at, ii. 245 

Apollonius, the Belvedere Torso, 
ii. 66 

Appian, cited regarding land pro- 
prietorship, 46 notes 

Appian Way— 


Crucifixion of the slaves, i.- 


155; Clodius dies in the, ii. 
101; the retreat of the Senate 
along the, li. 205 

Apsus, Cesar and Pompey’ on the, 
li. 239 ef seq. 

Aqueduct, first Roman, i. 320-21 

Aquila, Pontius, reproved by 
Cesar, li. 294 

Aquileia, Cesar surprised at, ii. 2 

Aquilius, Manius, i. 82 

Aquitanians send help to Veniet, 
il. 55 

Archelaus, general of Mithridates— 
Defeated by Sulla, i. 85, gt, 
92; his son made High Priest 
of Comana, i. 225 

Archesilaus, sculptor, ii. 276 


Arezzo. See Arretium 
Ariobarzanes— 
“ King”? of Cappadocia, i. 
78-79, 83; indebtedness to 


Pompey, i. 225 ; ii. 171 
Ariovistus, King of the Suevi— 
Seeks Roman alliance, i. 286 ; 
li. 347; declared ‘‘ Friend and 
Ally” by Cesar, 1. 298; and 
the Helvetii, ii. 6 ; the German 
supremacy in Gaul, li. 6-7; 
Cxsar’s war on, il, 20-25, 99; 
reasons for, il. 350-51 
Aristobulus, King of Judea— 
Seeks Roman help, i. 229; 
Pompey’s prisoner, 1. 262, 279 
Aristocracy— 
Disappearance of old Roman, 
i, 36, 60-61, 64; return to 


aa4 


INDEX 361 


Aristocracy—(contd.) 

power on fall of Marius, i. 78, 
88; executions by Marius, 
1, 89; condition and policy, 
7O B.C., 1. 166-67; political 
powerlessness, i. 293-94; the 
new provincial, i. 308 ; position 
in time of Cesar, i. 312; the 
new local, ii. 135-36 

Aristotle— 
Books of, brought to Rome by 
Sulla, i. 98; philosophy of, 
i, 122--23, 189-90, ii. 43 

Arles, land in, given to veterans, 


li. 290 
Armenia, invasion by Lucullus, 
1. 176 et seq. 
Armorica, rising in, ii. 5s 
Army— 


Early Roman military system, 
i. 4; demoralisation of the, 
170-140 B.C., 1. 37-38; lex 
militarts of Ca. Gracchus, i. 
54; reforms of Marius, i. 65- 
66, 68; distribution of the 
commands in Mithridatic war, 
i. 135-38; mutiny of the 
legions of Lucullus, i. 192-93, 
198-99; pension scheme for 
» the veterans, 1.280 ; Pompey’s 

troops disbanded, i. 280; mili- 

tarism and the new military 

system, i. 314-15; decay of 

the, i. 322-23 ; composition of 


a legion, ii. 4 nofe; the un- 
employed soldiers in Gaul, 
ii. 69-70; Cesar forms the 


Lark Legion, ii. 70 ; decadence 
of the Gallian, li. 86; tactics 
of Crassus, ii. 92-93 ; the army 
of Crassus, li. 88 and note, 95 ; 
strength of Czsar’s in 52 B.C., 
il. 110 and note; system of 
billeting, ii. 170; levy of 
Pompey for the Civil War, 
ii. 194-96; contingent from 
Gaul for the Spanish War, 
ii. 224; Pompey’s, in the 
East, ii. 228; the Egyptian, 
ii. 256; mutiny of legions 
under Sallust, ii. 264; soldiers 
settled on lands in Spain, ii. 


290 


Arpinum, birthplace of Marius, 
i. 59; of Cicero, i. 81, 164 
Arretium (Arezzo)— 
Roman alliance with, i. 8; 
Etruscan pottery works of, 


ll. 134; occupied by Cesar, 
li. 202; the land distribution 
in, ii. 298 


Arsaniades, battle of the, i. 191-92 

Art, objects of, in fashionable 
Romie, i. 121 

Artabaces, King of Armenia, ii. 90 

Artaxata, attack of Lucullus on, 
i. 192 

Arts and crafts— 
Taught in Italy by the freed 
slaves, i. 306; Italian, of 52 
B.C., li. 134 

Arverni— 
Conquest of the, i. 61; Casar’s 
winter attack on the, ii. 
109-10 

Ascoli— 
Held by Lentuius Spinther, 
li. 207 ; evacuated, ii. 210 

Asia— 
Asiatic law of Caius Gracchus, 
i. 53; Roman protectorate in 
Asia Minor, i. 61 ; invasion by 
Mithridates, i. 83-86; Sulla 
master of, i. 96; the tax- 
farmers, i. 117; repeated in- 
vasion by Mithridates, i. 137 ; 
panic after