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By Plutarch

(died 44 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

After Sylla became master of Rome, he wished to make Caesar put away
his wife Cornelia, daughter of Cinna, the late sole ruler of the commonwealth,
but was unable to effect it either by promises or intimidation, and
so contented himself with confiscating her dowry. The ground of Sylla's
hostility to Caesar was the relationship between him and Marius; for
Marius, the elder, married Julia, the sister of Caesar's father, and
had by her the younger Marius, who consequently was Caesar's first
cousin. And though at the beginning, while so many were to be put
to death, and there was so much to do, Caesar was overlooked by Sylla,
yet he would not keep quiet, but presented himself to the people as
a candidate for the priesthood, though he was yet a mere boy. Sylla,
without any open opposition, took measures to have him rejected, and
in consultation whether he should be put to death, when it was urged
by some that it was not worth his while to contrive the death of a
boy, he answered, that they knew little who did not see more than
one Marius in that boy. Caesar, on being informed of this saying,
concealed himself, and for a considerable time kept out of the way
in the country of the Sabines, often changing his quarters, till one
night, as he was removing from one house to another on account of
his health, he fell into the hands of Sylla's soldiers, who were searching
those parts in order to apprehend any who had absconded. Caesar, by
a bribe of two talents, prevailed with Cornelius, their captain, to
let him go, and was no sooner dismissed but he put to sea and made
for Bithynia. After a short stay there with Nicomedes, the king, in
his passage back he was taken near the island of Pharmacusa by some
of the pirates, who, at that time, with large fleets of ships and
innumerable smaller vessels, infested the seas everywhere.

When these men at first demanded of him twenty talents for his ransom,
he laughed at them for not understanding the value of their prisoner,
and voluntarily engaged to give them fifty. He presently despatched
those about him to several places to raise the money, till at last
he was left among a set of the most bloodthirsty people in the world,
the Cilicians, only with one friend and two attendants. Yet he made
so little of them, that when he had a mind to sleep, he would send
to them, and order them to make no noise. For thirty-eight days, with
all the freedom in the world, he amused himself with joining in their
exercises and games, as if they had not been his keepers, but his
guards. He wrote verses and speeches, and made them his auditors,
and those who did not admire them, he called to their faces illiterate
and barbarous, and would often, in raillery, threaten to hang them.
They were greatly taken with this, and attributed his free talking
to a kind of simplicity and boyish playfulness. As soon as his ransom
was come from Miletus, he paid it, and was discharged, and proceeded
at once to man some ships at the port of Miletus, and went in pursuit
of the pirates, whom he surprised with their ships still stationed
at the island, and took most of them. Their money he made his prize,
and the men he secured in prison at Pergamus, and he made application
to Junius, who was then governor of Asia, to whose office it belonged,
as praetor, to determine their punishment. Junius, having his eye
upon the money, for the sum was considerable, said he would think
at his leisure what to do with the prisoners, upon which Caesar took
his leave of him, and went off to Pergamus, where he ordered the pirates
to be brought forth and crucified; the punishment he had often threatened
them with whilst he was in their hands, and they little dreamt he
was in earnest. 

In the meantime Sylla's power being now on the decline, Caesar's friends
advised him to return to Rome, but he went to Rhodes, and entered
himself in the school of Apollonius, Molon's son, a famous rhetorician,
one who had the reputation of a worthy man, and had Cicero for one
of his scholars. Caesar is said to have been admirably fitted by nature
to make a great statesman and orator, and to have taken such pains
to improve his genius this way that without dispute he might challenge
the second place. More he did not aim at, as choosing to be first
rather amongst men of arms and power, and, therefore, never rose to
that height of eloquence to which nature would have carried him, his
attention being diverted to those expeditions and designs which at
length gained him the empire. And he himself, in his answer to Cicero's
panegyric on Cato, desires his reader not to compare the plain discourse
of a soldier with the harangues of an orator who had not only fine
parts, but had employed his life in this study. 

When he was returned to Rome, he accused Dolabella of mal-administration,
and many cities of Greece came in to attest it. Dolabella was acquitted,
and Caesar, in return for the support he had received from the Greeks,
assisted them in their prosecution of Publius Antonius for corrupt
practices, before Marcus Lucullus, praetor of Macedonia. In this course
he so far succeeded, that Antonius was forced to appeal to the tribunes
at Rome, alleging that in Greece he could not have fair play against
Grecians. In his pleadings at Rome, his eloquence soon obtained him
great credit and favour, and he won no less upon the affections of
the people by affability of his manners and address, in which he showed
a tact and consideration beyond what could have been expected at his
age; and the open house he kept, the entertainments he gave, and the
general splendour of his manner of life contributed little by little
to create and increase his political influence. His enemies slighted
the growth of it at first, presuming it would soon fail when his money
was gone; whilst in the meantime it was growing up and flourishing
among the common people. When his power at last was established and
not to be overthrown, and now openly tended to the altering of the
whole constitution, they were aware too late that there is no beginning
so mean, which continued application will not make considerable, and
that despising a danger at first will make it at last irresistible.
Cicero was the first who had any suspicions of his designs upon the
government, and as a good pilot is apprehensive of a storm when the
sea is most smiling, saw the designing temper of the man through this
disguise of good humour and affability, and said that, in general,
in all he did and undertook, he detected the ambition for absolute
power, "but when I see his hair so carefully arranged, and observe
him adjusting it with one finger, I cannot imagine it should enter
into such a man's thoughts to subvert the Roman state." But of this
more hereafter. 

The first proof he had of the people's good-will to him was when he
received by their suffrages a tribuneship in the army, and came out
on the list with a higher place than Caius Popilius. A second and
clearer instance of their favour appeared upon his making a magnificent
oration in praise of his aunt Julia, wife to Marius, publicly in the
forum, at whose funeral he was so bold as to bring forth the images
of Marius, which nobody had dared to produce since the government
came into Sylla's hands, Marius's party having from that time been
declared enemies of the state. When some who were present had begun
to raise a cry against Caesar, the people answered with loud shouts
and clapping in his favour, expressing their joyful surprise and satisfaction
at his having, as it were, brought up again from the grave those honours
of Marius, which for so long a time had been lost to the city. It
had always been the custom at Rome to make funeral orations in praise
of elderly matrons, but there was no precedent of any upon young women
till Caesar first made one upon the death of his own wife. This also
procured him favour, and by this show of affection he won upon the
feelings of the people, who looked upon him as a man of great tenderness
and kindness of heart. After he had buried his wife, he went as quaestor
into Spain under one of the praetors, named Vetus, whom he honoured
ever after, and made his son his own quaestor, when he himself came
to be praetor. After this employment was ended, he married Pompeia,
his third wife, having then a daughter by Cornelia, his first wife,
whom he afterwards married to Pompey the Great. He was so profuse
in his expenses that, before he had any public employment, he was
in debt thirteen hundred talents, and many thought that by incurring
such expense to be popular he changed a solid good for what would
prove but a short and uncertain return; but in truth he was purchasing
what was of the greatest value at an inconsiderable rate. When he
was made surveyor of the Appian Way, he disbursed, besides the public
money, a great sum out of his private purse; and when he was aedile,
he provided such a number of gladiators, that he entertained the people
with three hundred and twenty single combats, and by his great liberality
and magnificence in theatrical shows, in processions, and public feastings,
he threw into the shade all the attempts that had been made before
him, and gained so much upon the people, that every one was eager
to find out new offices and new honours for him in return for his

There being two factions in the city, one that of Sylla, which was
very powerful, the other that of Marius, which was then broken and
in a low condition, he undertook to revive this and to make it his
own. And to this end, whilst he was in the height of his repute with
the people for the magnificent shows he gave as aedile, he ordered
images of Marius and figures of Victory, with trophies in their hands,
to be carried privately in the night and placed in the capitol. Next
morning when some saw them bright with gold and beautifully made,
with inscriptions upon them, referring them to Marius's exploits over
the Cimbrians, they were surprised at the boldness of him who had
set them up, nor was it difficult to guess who it was. The fame of
this soon spread and brought together a great concourse of people.
Some cried out that it was an open attempt against the established
government thus to revive those honours which had been buried by the
laws and decrees of the senate; that Caesar had done it to sound the
temper of the people whom he had prepared before, and to try whether
they were tame enough to bear his humour, and would quietly give way
to his innovations. On the other hand, Marius's party took courage,
and it was incredible how numerous they were suddenly seen to be,
and what a multitude of them appeared and came shouting into the capitol.
Many, when they saw Marius's likeness, cried for joy, and Caesar was
highly extolled as the one man, in the place of all others, who was
a relation worthy of Marius. Upon this the senate met, and Catulus
Lutatius, one of the most eminent Romans of that time, stood up and
inveighed against Caesar, closing his speech with the remarkable saying
that Caesar was now not working mines, but planting batteries to overthrow
the state. But when Caesar had made an apology for himself, and satisfied
the senate, his admirers were very much animated, and advised him
not to depart from his own thoughts for any one, since with the people's
good favour he would ere long get the better of them all, and be the
first man in the commonwealth. 

At this time, Metellus, the high priest, died, and Catulus and Isauricus,
persons of the highest reputation, and who had great influence in
the senate, were competitors for the office, yet Caesar would not
give way to them, but presented himself to the people as a candidate
against them. The several parties seeming very equal, Catulus, who,
because he had the most honour to lose, was the most apprehensive
of the event, sent to Caesar to buy him off, with offers of a great
sum of money. But his answer was, that he was ready to borrow a larger
sum than that to carry on the contest. Upon the day of election, as
his mother conducted him out of doors with tears after embracing her,
"My mother," he said, "to-day you will see me either high priest or
an exile." When the votes were taken, after a great struggle, he carried
it, and excited among the senate and nobility great alarm lest he
might now urge on the people to every kind of insolence. And Piso
and Catulus found fault with Cicero for having let Caesar escape,
when in the conspiracy of Catiline he had given the government such
advantage against him. For Catiline, who had designed not only to
change the present state of affairs, but to subvert the whole empire
and confound all, had himself taken to flight, while the evidence
was yet incomplete against him, before his ultimate purposes had been
properly discovered. But he had left Lentulus and Cethegus in the
city to supply his place in the conspiracy, and whether they received
any secret encouragement and assistance from Caesar is uncertain;
all that is certain is, that they were fully convicted in the senate,
and when Cicero, the consul, asked the several opinions of the senators,
how they would have them punished, all who spoke before Caesar sentenced
them to death; but Caesar stood up and made a set speech, in which
he told them that he thought it without precedent and not just to
take away the lives of persons of their birth and distinction before
they were fairly tried, unless there was an absolute necessity for
it; but that if they were kept confined in any towns of Italy Cicero
himself should choose till Catiline was defeated, then the senate
might in peace and at their leisure determine what was best to be

This sentence of his carried so much appearance of humanity, and he
gave it such advantage by the eloquence with which he urged it, that
not only those who spoke after him closed with it, but even they who
had before given a contrary opinion now came over to his, till it
came about to Catulus's and Cato's turn to speak. They warmly opposed
it, and Cato intimated in his speech the suspicion of Caesar himself,
and pressed the matter so strongly that the criminals were given up
to suffer execution. As Caesar was going out of the senate, many of
the young men who at that time acted as guards to Cicero ran in with
their naked swords to assault him. But Curio, it is said, threw his
gown over him, and conveyed him away, and Cicero himself, when the
young men looked up to see his wishes, gave a sign not to kill him,
either for fear of the people or because he thought the murder unjust
and illegal. If this be true, I wonder how Cicero came to omit all
mention of it in his book about his consulship. He was blamed, however,
afterwards, for not having made use of so fortunate an opportunity
against Caesar, as if he had let it escape him out of fear of the
populace, who, indeed, showed remarkable solicitude about Caesar,
and some time after, when he went into the senate to clear himself
of the suspicions he lay under, and found great clamours raised against
him, upon the senate in consequence sitting longer than ordinary,
they went up to the house in a tumult, and beset it, demanding Caesar,
and requiring them to dismiss him. Upon this, Cato, much fearing some
movement among the poor citizens, who were always the first to kindle
the flame among the people, and placed all their hopes in Caesar,
persuaded the senate to give them a monthly allowance of corn, an
expedient which put the commonwealth to the extraordinary charge of
seven million five hundred thousand drachmas in the year, but quite
succeeded in removing the great cause of terror for the present, and
very much weakened Caesar's power, who at that time was just going
to be made praetor, and consequently would have been more formidable
by his office. 

But there was no disturbance during his praetorship, only what misfortune
he met with in his own domestic affairs. Publius Clodius was a patrician
by descent, eminent both for his riches and eloquence, but in licentiousness
of life and audacity exceeded the most noted profligates of the day.
He was in love with Pompeia, Caesar's wife, and she had no aversion
to him. But there was strict watch kept on her apartment, and Caesar's
mother, Aurelia, who was a discreet woman, being continually about
her, made any interview very dangerous and difficult. The Romans have
a goddess whom they call Bona, the same whom the Greeks call Gynaecea.
The Phrygians, who claim a peculiar title to her, say she was mother
to Midas. The Romans profess she was one of the Dryads, and married
to Faunus. The Grecians affirm that she is that mother of Bacchus
whose name is not to be uttered, and, for this reason, the women who
celebrate her festival cover the tents with vine-branches, and, in
accordance with the fable, a consecrated serpent is placed by the
goddess. It is not lawful for a man to be by, nor so much as in the
house, whilst the rites are celebrated, but the women by themselves
perform the sacred offices, which are said to be much the same with
those used in the solemnities of Orpheus. When the festival comes,
the husband, who is either consul or praetor, and with him every male
creature, quits the house. The wife then taking it under her care
sets it in order, and the principal ceremonies are performed during
the night, the women playing together amongst themselves as they keep
watch, and music of various kinds going on. 

As Pompeia was at that time celebrating this feast, Clodius, who as
yet had no beard, and so thought to pass undiscovered, took upon him
the dress and ornaments of a singing woman, and so came thither, having
the air of a young girl. Finding the doors open, he was without any
stop introduced by the maid, who was in the intrigue. She presently
ran to tell Pompeia, but as she was away a long time, he grew uneasy
in waiting for her, and left his post and traversed the house from
one room to another, still taking care to avoid the lights, till at
last Aurelia's woman met him, and invited him to play with her, as
the women did among themselves. He refused to comply, and she presently
pulled him forward, and asked him who he was and whence he Clodius
told her he was waiting for Pompeia's own maid, Abra, being in fact
her own name also, and as he said so, betrayed himself by his voice.
Upon which the woman shrieking, ran into the company where there were
lights, and cried out she had discovered a man. The women were all
in a fright. Aurelia covered up the sacred things and stopped the
proceedings, and having ordered the doors to be shut, went about with
lights to find Clodius, who was got into the maid's room that he had
come in with, and was seized there. The women knew him, and drove
him out of doors, and at once, that same night, went home and told
their husbands the story. In the morning, it was all about the town,
what an impious attempt Clodius had made, and how he ought to be punished
as an offender, not only against those whom he had offended, but also
against the public and the gods. Upon which one of the tribunes impeached
him for profaning the holy rites, and some of the principal senators
combined together and gave evidence against him, that besides many
other horrible crimes, he had been guilty of incest with his own sister,
who was married to Lucullus. But the people set themselves against
this combination of the nobility, and defended Clodius, which was
of great service to him with the judges, who took alarm and were afraid
to provoke the multitude. Caesar at once dismissed Pompeia, but being
summoned as a witness against Clodius, said he had nothing to charge
him with. This looking like a paradox, the accuser asked him why he
parted with his wife. Caesar replied, "I wished my wife to be not
so much as suspected." Some say that Caesar spoke this as his real
thought, others, that he did it to gratify the people, who were very
earnest to save Clodius. Clodius, at any rate, escaped; most of the
judges giving their opinions so written as to be illegible that they
might not be in danger from the people by condemning him, nor in disgrace
with the nobility by acquitting him. 

Caesar, in the meantime, being out of his praetorship, had got the
province of Spain, but was in great embarrassment with his creditors,
who, as he was going off, came upon him, and were very pressing and
importunate. This led him to apply himself to Crassus, who was the
richest man in Rome, but wanted Caesar's youthful vigour and heat
to sustain the opposition against Pompey. Crassus took upon him to
satisfy those creditors who were most uneasy to him, and would not
be put off any longer, and engaged himself to the amount of eight
hundred and thirty talents, upon which Caesar was now at liberty to
go to his province. In his journey, as he was crossing the Alps, and
passing by a small village of the barbarians with but few inhabitants,
and those wretchedly poor, his companions asked the question among
themselves by way of mockery, if there were any canvassing for offices
there; any contention which should be uppermost, or feuds of great
men one against another. To which Caesar made answer seriously, "For
my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the
second man in Rome." It is said that another time, when free from
business in Spain, after reading some part of the history of Alexander,
he sat a great while very thoughtful, and at last burst out into tears.
His friends were surprised, and asked him the reason of it. "Do you
think," said he, "I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that
Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all
this time done nothing that is memorable." As soon as he came into
Spain he was very active, and in a few days had got together ten new
cohorts of foot in addition to the twenty which were there before.
With these he marched against the Calaici and Lusitani and conquered
them, and advancing as far as the ocean, subdued the tribes which
never before had been subject to the Romans. Having managed his military
affairs with good success, he was equally happy, in the course of
his civil government. He took pains to establish a good understanding
amongst the several states, and no less care to heal the differences
between debtors and creditors. He ordered that the creditor should
receive two parts of the debtor's yearly income, and that the other
part should be managed by the debtor himself, till by this method
the whole debt was at last discharged. This conduct made him leave
his province with a fair reputation; being rich himself, and having
enriched his soldiers, and having received from them the honourable
name of Imperator. 

There is a law among the Romans, that whoever desires the honour of
a triumph must stay without the city and expect his answer. And another,
that those who stand for the consulship shall appear personally upon
the place. Caesar was come home at the very time of choosing consuls,
and being in a difficulty between these two opposite laws, sent to
the senate to desire that, since he was obliged to be absent, he might
sue for the consulship by his friends. Cato, being backed by the law,
at first opposed his request; afterwards perceiving that Caesar had
prevailed with a great part of the senate to comply with it, he made
it his business to gain time, and went on wasting the whole day in
speaking. Upon which Caesar thought fit to let the triumph fall, and
pursued the consulship. Entering the town and coming forward immediately,
he had recourse to a piece of state policy by which everybody was
deceived but Cato. This was the reconciling of Crassus and Pompey,
the two men who then were most powerful in Rome. There had been a
quarrel between them, which he now succeeded in making up, and by
this means strengthened himself by the united power of both, and so
under the cover of an action which carried all the appearance of a
piece of kindness and good-nature, caused what was in effect a revolution
in the government. For it was not the quarrel between Pompey and Caesar,
as most men imagine, which was the origin of the civil wars, but their
union, their conspiring together at first to subvert the aristocracy,
and so quarrelling afterwards between themselves. Cato, who often
foretold what the consequence of this alliance would be, had then
the character of a sullen, interfering man, but in the end the reputation
of a wise but unsuccessful counsellor. 

Thus Caesar, being doubly supported by the interests of Crassus and
Pompey, was promoted to the consulship, and triumphantly proclaimed
with Calpurnius Bibulus. When he entered on his office he brought
in bills which would have been preferred with better grace by the
most audacious of the tribunes than by a consul, in which he proposed
the plantation of colonies and the division of lands, simply to please
the commonalty. The best and most honourable of the senators opposed
it, upon which, as he had long wished for nothing more than for such
a colourable pretext, he loudly protested how much it was against
his will to be driven to seek support from the people, and how the
senate's insulting and harsh conduct left no other course possible
for him than to devote himself henceforth to the popular cause and
interest. And so he hurried out of the senate, and presenting himself
to the people, and there placing Crassus and Pompey, one on each side
of him, he asked them whether they consented to the bills he had proposed.
They owned their assent, upon which he desired them to assist him
against those who had threatened to oppose him with their swords.
They engaged they would, and Pompey added further, that he would meet
their swords with a sword and buckler too. These words the nobles
much resented, as neither suitable to his own dignity, nor becoming
the reverence due to the senate, but resembling rather the vehemence
of a boy or the fury of a madman. But the people were pleased with
it. In order to get a yet firmer hold upon Pompey, Caesar having a
daughter, Julia, who had been before contracted to Servilius Caepio,
now betrothed her to Pompey, and told Servilius he should have Pompey's
daughter, who was not unengaged either, but promised to Sylla's son,
Faustus. A little time after, Caesar married Calpurnia, the daughter
of Piso, and got Piso made consul for the year following. Cato exclaimed
loudly against this, and protested, with a great deal of warmth, that
it was intolerable the government should be prostituted by marriages,
and that they should advance one another to the commands of armies,
provinces, and other great posts, by means of women. Bibulus, Caesar's
colleague, finding it was to no purpose to oppose his bills, but that
he was in danger of being murdered in the forum, as also was Cato,
confined himself to his house, and there let the remaining part of
his consulship expire. Pompey, when he was married, at once filled
the forum with soldiers, and gave the people his help in passing the
new laws, and secured Caesar the government of all Gaul, both on this
and the other side of the Alps, together with Illyricum, and the command
of four legions for five years. Cato made some attempts against these
proceedings, but was seized and led off on the way to prison by Caesar,
who expected that he would appeal to the tribunes. But when he saw
that Cato went along without speaking a word, and not only the nobility
were indignant, but the people also, out of respect for Cato's virtue,
were following in silence, and with dejected looks, he himself privately
desired one of the tribunes to rescue Cato. As for the other senators,
some few of them attended the house, the rest, being disgusted, absented
themselves. Hence Considius, a very old man, took occasion one day
to tell Caesar that the senators did not meet because they were afraid
of his soldiers. Caesar asked, "Why don't you, then, out of the same
fear, keep at home?" To which Considius replied, that age was his
guard against fear, and that the small remains of his life were not
worth much caution. But the most disgraceful thing that was done in
Caesar's consulship was his assisting to gain the tribuneship for
the same Clodius who had made the attempt on his wife's chastity and
intruded upon the secret vigils. He was elected on purpose to effect
Cicero's downfall; nor did Caesar leave the city to join his army
till they two had overpowered Cicero and driven him out of Italy.

Thus far have we followed Caesar's actions before the wars of Gaul.
After this, he seems to begin his course afresh, and to enter upon
a new life and scene of action. And the period of those wars which
he now fought, and those many expeditions in which he subdued Gaul,
showed him to be a soldier and general not in the least inferior to
any of the greatest and most admired commanders who had ever appeared
at the head of armies. For if we compare him with the Fabii, the Metelli,
the Scipios, and with those who were his contemporaries, or not long
before him, Sylla, Marius, the Luculli, or even Pompey himself, whose
glory, it may be said, went up at that time to heaven for every excellence
in war, we shall find Caesar's actions to have surpassed them all.
One he may be held to have outdone in consideration of the difficulty
of the country in which he fought, another in the extent of territory
which he conquered; some, in the number and strength of the enemy
whom he defeated; one man, because of the wildness and perfidiousness
of the tribes whose good-will he conciliated, another in his humanity
and clemency to those he overpowered; others, again, in his gifts
and kindnesses to his soldiers; all alike in the number of the battles
which he fought and the enemies whom he killed. For he had not pursued
the wars in Gaul full ten years when he had taken by storm above eight
hundred towns, subdued three hundred states, and of the three millions
of men, who made up the gross sum of those with whom at several times
he engaged, he had killed one million and taken captive a second.

He was so much master of the good-will and hearty service of his soldiers
that those who in other expeditions were but ordinary men displayed
a courage past defeating or withstanding when they went upon any danger
where Caesar's glory was concerned. Such a one was Acilius, who, in
the sea-fight before Marseilles, had his right hand struck off with
a sword, yet did not quit his buckler out of his left, but struck
the enemies in the face with it, till he drove them off and made himself
master of the vessel. Such another was Cassius Scaeva, who, in a battle
near Dyrrhachium, had one of his eyes shot out with an arrow, his
shoulder pierced with one javelin, and his thigh with another; and
having received one hundred and thirty darts upon his target, called
to the enemy, as though he would surrender himself. But when two of
them came up to him, he cut off the shoulder of one with a sword,
and by a blow over the face forced the other to retire, and so with
the assistance of his friends, who now came up, made his escape. Again,
in Britain, when some of the foremost officers had accidentally got
into a morass full of water, and there were assaulted by the enemy,
a common soldier, whilst Caesar stood and looked on, threw himself
in the midst of them, and after many signal demonstrations of his
valour, rescued the officers and beat off the barbarians. He himself,
in the end, took to the water, and with much difficulty, partly by
swimming, partly by wading, passed it, but in the passage lost his
shield. Caesar and his officers saw it and admired, and went to meet
him with joy and acclamation. But the soldier, much dejected and in
tears, threw himself down at Caesar's feet and begged his pardon for
having let go his buckler. Another time in Africa, Scipio having taken
a ship of Caesar's in which Granius Petro, lately appointed quaestor,
was sailing, gave the other passengers as free prize to his soldiers,
but thought fit to offer the quaestor his life. But he said it was
not usual for Caesar's soldiers to take but give mercy, and having
said so, fell upon his sword and killed himself. 

This love of honour and passion for distinction were inspired into
them and cherished in them by Caesar himself, who, by his unsparing
distribution of money and honours, showed them that he did not heap
up wealth from the wars for his own luxury, or the gratifying his
private pleasures, but that all he received was but a public fund
laid by the reward and encouragement of valour, and that he looked
upon all he gave to deserving soldiers as so much increase to his
own riches. Added to this also, there was no danger to which he did
not willingly expose himself, no labour from which he pleaded an exemption.
His contempt of danger was not so much wondered at by his soldiers
because they knew how much he coveted honour. But his enduring so
much hardship, which he did to all appearance beyond his natural strength,
very much astonished them. For he was a spare man, had a soft and
white skin, was distempered in the head and subject to an epilepsy,
which, it is said, first seized him at Corduba. But he did not make
the weakness of his constitution a pretext for his ease, but rather
used war as the best physic against his indispositions; whilst, by
indefatigable journeys, coarse diet, frequent lodging in the field,
and continual laborious exercise, he struggled with his diseases and
fortified his body against all attacks. He slept generally in his
chariots or litters, employing even his rest in pursuit of action.
In the day he was thus carried to the forts, garrisons, and camps,
one servant sitting with him, who used to write down what he dictated
as he went, and a soldier attending behind him with his sword drawn.
He drove so rapidly that when he first left Rome he arrived at the
river Rhone within eight days. He had been an expert rider from his
childhood; for it was usual with him to sit with his hands joined
together behind his back, and so to put his horse to its full speed.
And in this war he disciplined himself so far as to be able to dictate
letters from on horseback, and to give directions to two who took
notes at the same time or, as Oppius says, to more. And it is thought
that he was the first who contrived means for communicating with friends
by cipher, when either press of business, or the large extent of the
city, left him no time for a personal conference about matters that
required despatch. How little nice he was in his diet may be seen
in the following instance. When at the table of Valerius Leo, who
entertained him at supper at Milan, a dish of asparagus was put before
him on which his host instead of oil had poured sweet ointment, Caesar
partook of it without any disgust, and reprimanded his friends for
finding fault with it. "For it was enough," said he, "not to eat what
you did not like; but he who reflects on another man's want of breeding,
shows he wants it as much himself." Another time upon the road he
was driven by a storm into a poor man's cottage, where he found but
one room, and that such as would afford but a mean reception to a
single person, and therefore told his companions places of honour
should be given up to the greater men, and necessary accommodations
to the weaker, and accordingly ordered that Oppius, who was in bad
health, should lodge within, whilst he and the rest slept under a
shed at the door. 

His first war in Gaul was against the Helvetians and Tigurini, who
having burnt their own towns, twelve in number, and four hundred villages,
would have marched forward through that part of Gaul which was included
in the Roman province, as the Cimbrians and Teutons formerly had done.
Nor were they inferior to these in courage; and in numbers they were
equal, being in all three hundred thousand, of which one hundred and
ninety thousand were fighting men. Caesar did not engage the Tigurini
in person, but Labienus, under his directions, routed them near the
rivet Arar. The Helvetians surprised Caesar, and unexpectedly set
upon him as he was conducting his army to a confederate town. He succeeded,
however, in making his retreat into a strong position, where, when
he had mustered and marshalled his men, his horse was brought to him;
upon which he said, "When I have won the battle, I will use my horse
for the chase, but at present let us go against the enemy," and accordingly
charged them on foot. After a long and severe combat, he drove the
main army out of the field, but found the hardest work at their carriages
and ramparts, where not only the men stood and fought, but the women
also and children defended themselves till they were cut to pieces;
insomuch that the fight was scarcely ended till midnight. This action,
glorious in itself, Caesar crowned with another yet more noble, by
gathering in a body all the barbarians that had escaped out of the
battle, above one hundred thousand in number, and obliging them to
re-occupy the country which they had deserted and the cities which
they had burnt. This he did for fear the Germans should pass it and
possess themselves of the land whilst it lay uninhabited.

His second war was in defence of the Gauls against the Germans, though
some time before he had made Ariovistus, their king, recognized at
Rome as an ally. But they were very insufferable neighbours to those
under his government; and it was probable, when occasion offered,
they would renounce the present arrangements, and march on to occupy
Gaul. But finding his officers timorous, and especially those of the
young nobility who came along with him in hopes of turning their campaigns
with him into a means for their own pleasure or profit, he called
them together, and advised them to march off, and not run the hazard
of a battle against their inclinations, since they had such weak unmanly
feelings; telling them that he would take only the tenth legion and
march against the barbarians, whom he did not expect to find an enemy
more formidable than the Cimbri, nor, he added, should they find him
a general inferior to Marius. Upon this, the tenth legion deputed
some of their body to pay him their acknowledgments and thanks, and
the other legions blamed their officers, and all, with great vigour
and zeal, followed him many days' journey, till they encamped within
two hundred furlongs of the enemy. Ariovistus's courage to some extent
was cooled upon their very approach; for never expecting the Romans
would attack the Germans, whom he had thought it more likely they
would not venture to withstand even in defence of their own subjects,
he was the more surprised at conduct, and saw his army to be in consternation.
They were still more discouraged by the prophecies of their holy women,
who foretell the future by observing the eddies of rivers, and taking
signs from the windings and noise of streams, and who now warned them
not to engage before the next new moon appeared. Caesar having had
intimation of this, and seeing the Germans lie still, thought it expedient
to attack them whilst they were under these apprehensions, rather
than sit still and wait their time. Accordingly he made his approaches
to the strongholds and hills on which they lay encamped, and so galled
and fretted them that at last they came down with great fury to engage.
But he gained a signal victory, and pursued them for four hundred
furlongs, as far as the Rhine; all which space was covered with spoils
and bodies of the slain. Ariovistus made shift to pass the Rhine with
the small remains of an army, for it is said the number of the slain
amounted to eighty thousand. 

After this action, Caesar left his army at their winter quarters in
the country of the Sequani, and, in order to attend to affairs at
Rome, went into that part of Gaul which lies on the Po, and was part
of his province; for the river Rubicon divides Gaul, which is on this
side the Alps, from the rest of Italy. There he sat down and employed
himself in courting people's favour; great numbers coming to him continually,
and always finding their requests answered; for he never failed to
dismiss all with present pledges of his kindness in hand, and further
hopes for the future. And during all this time of the war in Gaul,
Pompey never observed how Caesar was on the one hand using the arms
of Rome to effect his conquests, and on the other was gaining over
and securing to himself the favour of the Romans with the wealth which
those conquests obtained him. But when he heard that the Belgae, who
were the most powerful of all the Gauls, and inhabited a third part
of the country, were revolted, and had got together a great many thousand
men in arms, he immediately set out and took his way hither with great
expedition, and falling upon the enemy as they were ravaging the Gauls,
his allies, he soon defeated and put to flight the largest and least
scattered division of them. For though their numbers were great, yet
they made but a slender defence, and the marshes and deep rivers were
made passable to the Roman foot by the vast quantity of dead bodies.
Of those who revolted, all the tribes that lived near the ocean came
over without fighting, and he, therefore, led his army against the
Nervii, the fiercest and most warlike people of all in those parts.
These live in a country covered with continuous woods, and having
lodged their children and property out of the way in the depth of
the forest, fell upon Caesar with a body of sixty thousand men, before
he was prepared for them, while he was making his encampment. They
soon routed his cavalry, and having surrounded the twelfth and seventh
legions, killed all the officers, and had not Caesar himself snatched
up a buckler and forced his way through his own men to come up to
the barbarians, or had not the tenth legion, when they saw him in
danger, run in from the tops of the hills, where they lay, and broken
through the enemy's ranks to rescue him, in all probability not a
Roman would have been saved. But now, under the influence of Caesar's
bold example, they fought a battle, as the phrase is, of more than
human courage, and yet with their utmost efforts they were not able
to drive the enemy out of the field, but cut them down fighting in
their defence. For out of sixty thousand men, it is stated that not
above five hundred survived the battle, and of four hundred of their
senators not above three. 

When the Roman senate had received news of this, they voted sacrifices
and festivals to the gods, to be strictly observed for the space of
fifteen days, a longer space than ever was observed for any victory
before. The danger to which they had been exposed by the joint outbreak
of such a number of nations was felt to have been great; and the people's
fondness for Caesar gave additional lustre to successes achieved by
him. He now, after settling everything in Gaul, came back again, and
spent the winter by the Po, in order to carry on the designs he had
in hand at Rome. All who were candidates for offices used his assistance,
and were supplied with money from him to corrupt the people and buy
their votes, in return of which, when they were chosen, they did all
things to advance his power. But what was more considerable, the most
eminent and powerful men in Rome in great numbers came to visit him
at Lucca, Pompey, and Crassus, and Appius, the governor of Sardinia,
and Nepos, the pro-consul of Spain, so that there were in the place
at one time one hundred and twenty lictors and more than two hundred
senators. In deliberation here held, it was determined that Pompey
and Crassus should be consuls again for the following year; that Caesar
should have a fresh supply of money, and that his command should be
renewed to him for five years more. It seemed very extravagant to
all thinking men that those very persons who had received so much
money from Caesar should persuade the senate to grant him more, as
if he were in want. Though in truth it was not so much upon persuasion
as compulsion that, with sorrow and groans for their own acts, they
passed the measure. Cato was not present, for they had sent him seasonably
out of the way into Cyprus; but Favonius, who was a zealous imitator
of Cato, when he found he could do no good by opposing it, broke out
of the house, and loudly declaimed against these proceedings to the
people, but none gave him any hearing; some slighting him out of respect
to Crassus and Pompey, and the greater part to gratify Caesar, on
whom depended their hopes. 

After this, Caesar returned again to his forces in Gaul, when he found
that country involved in a dangerous war, two strong nations of the
Germans having lately passed the Rhine to conquer it; one of them
called the Usipes. the other the Tenteritae. Of the war with the people,
Caesar himself has given this account in his commentaries, that the
barbarians, having sent ambassadors to treat with him, did, during
the treaty, set upon him in his march, by which means with eight hundred
men they routed five thousand of his horse, who did not suspect their
coming; that afterwards they sent other ambassadors to renew the same
fraudulent practices, whom he kept in custody, and led on his army
against the barbarians, as judging it mere simplicity to keep faith
with those who had so faithlessly broken the terms they had agreed
to. But Tanusius states that when the senate decreed festivals and
sacrifices for this victory, Cato declared it to be his opinion that
Caesar ought to be given into the hands of the barbarians, that so
the guilt which this breach of faith might otherwise bring upon the
state might be expiated by transferring the curse on him, who was
the occasion of it. Of those who passed the Rhine, there were four
hundred thousand cut off; those few who escaped were sheltered by
the Sugambri, a people of Germany. Caesar took hold of this pretence
to invade the Germans, being at the same time ambitious of the honour
of being the first man that should pass the Rhine with an army. He
carried a bridge across it, though it was very wide, and the current
at that particular point very full, strong, and violent, bringing
down with its waters trunks of trees, and other lumber, which much
shook and weakened the foundations of his bridge. But he drove great
piles of wood into the bottom of the river above the passage, to catch
and stop these as they floated down, and thus fixing his bridle upon
the stream, successfully finished his bridge, which no one who saw
could believe to be the work but of ten days. 

In the passage of his army over it he met with no opposition; the
Suevi themselves, who are the most warlike people of all Germany,
flying with their effects into the deepest and most densely wooded
valleys. When he had burnt all the enemy's country, and encouraged
those who embraced the Roman interest, he went back into Gaul, after
eighteen days' stay in Germany. But his expedition into Britain was
the most famous testimony of his courage. For he was the first who
brought a navy into the western ocean, or who sailed into the Atlantic
with an army to make war; and by invading an island, the reported
extent of which had made its existence a matter of controversy among
historians, many of whom questioned whether it were not a mere name
and fiction, not a real place, he might be said to have carried the
Roman empire beyond the limits of the known world. He passed thither
twice from that part of Gaul which lies over against it, and in several
battles which he fought did more hurt to the enemy than service to
himself, for the islanders were so miserably poor that they had nothing
worth being plundered of. When he found himself unable to put such
an end to the war as he wished, he was content to take hostages from
the king, and to impose a tribute, and then quitted the island. At
his arrival in Gaul, he found letters which lay ready to be conveyed
over the water to him from his friends at Rome, announcing his daughter's
death, who died in labour of a child by Pompey. Caesar and Pompey
both were much afflicted with her death, nor were their friends less
disturbed, believing that the alliance was now broken which had hitherto
kept the sickly commonwealth in peace, for the child also died within
a few days after the mother. The people took the body of Julia, in
spite of the opposition of the tribunes, and carried it into the field
of Mars, and there her funeral rites were performed, and her remains
are laid. 

Caesar's army was now grown very numerous, so that he was forced to
disperse them into various camps for their winter quarters, and he
having gone himself to Italy as he used to do, in his absence a general
outbreak throughout the whole of Gaul commenced, and large armies
marched about the country, and attacked the Roman quarters, and attempted
to make themselves masters of the forts where they lay. The greatest
and strongest party of the rebels, under the command of Abriorix,
cut off Cotta and Titurius with all their men, while a force sixty
thousand strong besieged the legion under the command of Cicero, and
had almost taken it by storm, the Roman soldiers being all wounded,
and having quite spent themselves by a defence beyond their natural
strength. But Caesar, who was at a great distance, having received
the news, quickly got together seven thousand men, and hastened to
relieve Cicero. The besiegers were aware of it, and went to meet him,
with great confidence that they should easily overpower such a handful
of men. Caesar, to increase their presumption, seemed to avoid fighting,
and still marched off, till he found a place conveniently situated
for a few to engage against many, where he encamped. He kept his soldiers
from making any attack upon the enemy, and commanded them to raise
the ramparts higher and barricade the gates, that by show of fear
they might heighten the enemy's contempt of them. Till at last they
came without any order in great security to make an assault, when
he issued forth and put them in flight with the loss of many men.

This quieted the greater part of the commotions in these parts of
Gaul, and Caesar, in the course of the winter, visited every part
of the country, and with great vigilance took precautions against
all innovations. For there were three legions now come to him to supply
the place of the men he had lost, of which Pompey furnished him with
two out of those under his command; the other was newly raised in
the part of Gaul by the Po. But in a while the seeds of war, which
had long since been secretly sown and scattered by the most powerful
men in those warlike nations, broke forth into the greatest and most
dangerous war that was in those parts, both as regards the number
of men in the vigour of their youth who were gathered and armed from
all quarters, the vast funds of money collected to maintain it, the
strength of the towns, and the difficulty of the country where it
carried on. It being winter, the rivers were frozen, the woods covered
with snow, and the level country flooded, so that in some places the
ways were lost through the depth of the snow; in others, the overflowing
of marshes and streams made every kind of passage uncertain. All which
difficulties made it seem impracticable for Caesar to make any attempt
upon the insurgents. Many tribes had revolted together, the chief
of them being the Arverni and Carnutini; the general who had the supreme
command in war was Vergentorix, whose father the Gauls had put to
death on suspicion of his aiming at absolute government.

He having disposed his army in several bodies, and set officers over
them, drew over to him all the country round about as far as those
that lie upon the Arar, and having intelligence of the opposition
which Caesar now experienced at Rome, thought to engage all Gaul in
the war. Which if he had done a little later, when Caesar was taken
up with the civil wars, Italy had been put into as great a terror
as before it was by the Cimbri. But Caesar, who above all men was
gifted with the faculty of making the right use of everything in war,
and most especially of seizing the right moment, as soon as he heard
of the revolt, returned immediately the same way he went, and showed
the barbarians, by the quickness of his march in such a severe season,
that an army was advancing against them which was invincible. For
in the time that one would have thought it scarce credible that a
courier or express should have come with a message from him, he himself
appeared with all his army, ravaging the country, reducing their posts,
subduing their towns, receiving into his protection those who declared
for him. Till at last the Edui, who hitherto had styled themselves
brethren to the Romans, and had been much honoured by them, declared
against him, and joined the rebels, to the great discouragement of
his army. Accordingly he removed thence, and passed the country of
the Ligones, desiring to reach the territories of the Sequani, who
were his friends, and who lay like a bulwark in front of Italy against
the other tribes of Gaul. There the enemy came upon him, and surrounded
him with many myriads, whom he also was eager to engage; and at last,
after some time and with much slaughter, gained on the whole a complete
victory; though at first he appears to have met with some reverse,
and the Aruveni show you a small sword hanging up in a temple, which
they say was taken from Caesar. Caesar saw this afterwards himself,
and smiled, and when his friends advised it should be taken down,
would not permit it, because he looked upon it as consecrated.

After the defeat, a great part of those who had escaped fled with
their king into a town called Alesia, which Caesar besieged, though
the height of the walls, and number of those who defended them, made
it appear impregnable; and meantime, from without the walls, he was
assailed by a greater danger than can be expressed. For the choice
men of Gaul, picked out of each nation, and well armed, came to relieve
Alesia, to the number of three hundred thousand; nor were there in
the town less than one hundred and seventy thousand. So that Caesar
being shut up betwixt two such forces, was compelled to protect himself
by two walls, one towards the town, the other against the relieving
army, as knowing if these forces should join, his affairs would be
entirely ruined. The danger that he underwent before Alesia justly
gained him great honour on many accounts, and gave him an opportunity
of showing greater instances of his valour and conduct than any other
contest had done. One wonders much how he should be able to engage
and defeat so many thousands of men without the town, and not be perceived
by those within, but yet more, that the Romans themselves, who guarded
their wall which was next to the town, should be strangers to it.
For even they knew nothing of the victory, till they heard the cries
of the men and lamentations of the women who were in the town, and
had from thence seen the Romans at a distance carrying into their
camp a great quantity of bucklers, adorned with gold and silver, many
breastplates stained with blood, besides cups and tents made in the
Gallic fashion. So soon did so vast an army dissolve and vanish like
a ghost or dream, the greatest part of them being killed upon the
spot. Those who were in Alesia, having given themselves and Caesar
much trouble, surrendered at last; and Vergentorix, who was the chief
spring of all the war, putting his best armour on, and adorning his
horse, rode out of the gates, and made a turn about Caesar as he was
sitting, then quitting his horse, threw off his armour, and remained
quietly sitting at Caesar's feet until he was led away to be reserved
for the triumph. 

Caesar had long ago resolved upon the overthrow of Pompey, as had
Pompey, for that matter, upon his. For Crassus, the fear of whom had
hitherto kept them in peace, having now been killed in Parthia, if
the one of them wished to make himself the greatest man in Rome, he
had only to overthrow the other; and if he again wished to prevent
his own fall, he had nothing for it but to be beforehand with him
whom he feared. Pompey had not been long under any such apprehensions,
having till lately despised Caesar, as thinking it no difficult matter
to put down him whom he himself had advanced. But Caesar had entertained
this design from the beginning against his rivals, and had retired,
like an expert wrestler, to prepare himself apart for the combat.
Making the Gallic wars his exercise-ground, he had at once improved
the strength of his soldiery, and had heightened his own glory by
his great actions, so that he was looked on as one who might challenge
comparison with Pompey. Nor did he let go any of those advantages
which were now given him both by Pompey himself and the times, and
the ill-government of Rome, where all who were candidates for offices
publicly gave money, and without any shame bribed the people, who,
having received their pay, did not contend for their benefactors with
their bare suffrages, but with bows, swords, and slings. So that after
having many times stained the place of election with blood of men
killed upon the spot, they left the city at last without a government
at all, to be carried about like a ship without a pilot to steer her;
while all who had any wisdom could only be thankful if a course of
such wild and stormy disorder and madness might end no worse than
in a monarchy. Some were so bold as to declare openly that the government
was incurable but by a monarchy, and that they ought to take that
remedy from the hands of the gentlest physician, meaning Pompey, who,
though in words he pretended to decline it, yet in reality made his
utmost efforts to be declared dictator. Cato, perceiving his design,
prevailed with the senate to make him sole consul, that with the offer
of a more legal sort of monarchy he might be withheld from demanding
the dictatorship. They over and above voted him the continuance of
his provinces, for he had two, Spain and all Africa, which he governed
by his lieutenants, and maintained armies under him, at the yearly
charge of a thousand talents out of the public treasury.

Upon this Caesar also sent and petitioned for the consulship and the
continuance of his provinces. Pompey at first did not stir in it,
but Marcellus and Lentulus opposed it, who had always hated Caesar,
and now did everything, whether fit or unfit, which might disgrace
and affront him. For they took away the privilege of Roman citizens
from the people of New Comum, who were a colony that Caesar had lately
planted in Gaul, and Marcellus, who was then consul, ordered one of
the senators of that town, then at Rome, to be whipped, and told him
he laid that mark upon him to signify he was no citizen of Rome, bidding
him, when he went back again, to show it to Caesar. After Marcellus's
consulship, Caesar began to lavish gifts upon all the public men out
of the riches he had taken from the Gauls; discharged Curio, the tribune,
from his great debts; gave Paulus, then consul, fifteen hundred talents,
with which he built the noble court of justice adjoining the forum,
to supply the place of that called the Fulvian. Pompey, alarmed at
these preparations, now openly took steps, both by himself and his
friends, to have a successor appointed in Caesar's room, and sent
to demand back the soldiers whom he had lent him to carry on the wars
in Gaul. Caesar returned them, and made each soldier a present of
two hundred and fifty drachmas. The officer who brought them home
to Pompey spread amongst the people no very fair or favourable report
of Caesar, and flattered Pompey himself with false suggestions that
he was wished for by Caesar's army; and though his affairs here were
in some embarrassment through the envy of some, and the ill state
of the government, yet there the army was at his command, and if they
once crossed into Italy would presently declare for him; so weary
were they of Caesar's endless expeditions, and so suspicious of his
designs for a monarchy. Upon this Pompey grew presumptuous, and neglected
all warlike preparations as fearing no danger, and used no other means
against him than mere speeches and votes, for which Caesar cared nothing.
And one of his captains, it is said, who was sent by him to Rome,
standing before the senate-house one day, and being told that the
senate would not give Caesar longer time in his government, clapped
his hand on the hilt of his sword and said, "But this shall."

Yet the demands which Caesar made had the fairest colours of equity
imaginable. For he proposed to lay down his arms, and that Pompey
should do the same, and both together should become private men, and
each expect a reward of his services from the public. For that those
who proposed to disarm him, and at the same time to confirm Pompey
in all the power he held, were simply establishing the one in the
tyranny which they accused the other of aiming at. When Curio made
these proposals to the people in Caesar's name, he was loudly applauded,
and some threw garlands towards him, and dismissed him as they do
successful wrestlers, crowned with flowers. Antony, being tribune,
produced a letter sent from Caesar on this occasion, and read it though
the consuls did what they could to oppose it. But Scipio, Pompey's
father-in-law, proposed in the senate, that if Caesar did not lay
down his arms within such a time he should be voted an enemy; and
the consuls putting it to the question, whether Pompey should dismiss
his soldiers, and again, whether Caesar should disband his, very few
assented to the first, but almost all to the latter. But Antony proposing
again, that both should lay down their commissions, all but a very
few agreed to it. Scipio was upon this very violent, and Lentulus,
the consul, cried aloud, that they had need of arms, and not of suffrages,
against a robber; so that the senators for the present adjourned,
and appeared in mourning as a mark of their grief for the dissension.

Afterwards there came other letters from Caesar, which seemed yet
more moderate, for he proposed to quit everything else, and only to
retain Gaul within the Alps, Illyricum, and two legions, till he should
stand a second time for consul. Cicero, the orator, who was lately
returned from Cilicia, endeavoured to reconcile differences, and softened
Pompey, who was willing to comply in other things, but not to allow
him the soldiers. At last Cicero used his persuasions with Caesar's
friends to accept of the provinces and six thousand soldiers only,
and so to make up the quarrel. And Pompey was inclined to give way
to this, but Lentulus, the consul, would not hearken to it, but drove
Antony and Curio out of the senate-house with insults, by which he
afforded Caesar the most plausible pretence that could be, and one
which he could readily use to inflame the soldiers, by showing them
two persons of such repute and authority who were forced to escape
in a hired carriage in the dress of slaves. For so they were glad
to disguise themselves when they fled out of Rome. 

There were not about him at that time above three hundred horse and
five thousand foot; for the rest of his army, which was left behind
the Alps, was to be brought after him by officers who had received
orders for that purpose. But he thought the first motion towards the
design which he had on foot did not require large forces at present,
and that what was wanted was to make this first step suddenly, and
so to astound his enemies with the boldness of it; as it would be
easier, he thought, to throw them into consternation by doing what
they never anticipated than fairly to conquer them, if he had alarmed
them by his preparations. And therefore he commanded his captains
and other officers to go only with their swords in their hands, without
any other arms, and make themselves masters of Ariminum, a large city
of Gaul, with as little disturbance and bloodshed as possible. He
committed the care of these forces to Hortensius, and himself spent
the day in public as a stander-by and spectator of the gladiators,
who exercised before him. A little before night he attended to his
person, and then went into the hall, and conversed for some time with
those be had invited to supper, till it began to grow dusk, when he
rose from table and made his excuses to the company, begging them
to stay till he came back, having already given private directions
to a few immediate friends that they should follow him, not all the
same way, but some one way, some another. He himself got into one
of the hired carriages, and drove at first another way, but presently
turned towards Ariminum. When he came to the river Rubicon, which
parts Gaul within the Alps from the rest of Italy, his thoughts began
to work, now he was just entering upon the danger, and he wavered
much in his mind when he considered the greatness of the enterprise
into which he was throwing himself. He checked his course and ordered
a halt, while he revolved with himself, and often changed his opinion
one way and the other, without speaking a word. This was when his
purposes fluctuated most; presently he also discussed the matter with
his friends who were about him (of which number Asinius Pollio was
one), computing how many calamities his passing that river would bring
upon mankind, and what a relation of it would be transmitted to posterity.
At last, in a sort of passion, casting aside calculation, and abandoning
himself to what might come, and using the proverb frequently in their
mouths who enter upon dangerous and bold attempts, "The die is cast,"
with these words he took the river. Once over, he used all expedition
possible, and before it was day reached Ariminum and took it. It is
said that the night before he passed the river he had an impious dream,
that he was unnaturally familiar with his own mother. 

As soon as Ariminum was taken, wide gates, so to say, were thrown
open, to let in war upon every land alike and sea, and with the limits
of the province, the boundaries of the laws were transgressed. Nor
would one have thought that, as at other times, the mere men and women
fled from one town of Italy to another in their consternation, but
that the very towns themselves left their sites and fled for succour
to each other. The city of Rome was overrun, as it were, with a deluge,
by the conflux of people flying in from all the neighbouring places.
Magistrates could not longer govern, nor the eloquence of any orator
quiet it; it was all but suffering shipwreck by the violence of its
own tempestuous agitation. The most vehement contrary passions and
impulses were at work everywhere. Nor did those who rejoiced at the
prospect of the change altogether conceal their feelings, but when
they met, as in so great a city they frequently must, with the alarmed
and dejected of the other party, they provoked quarrels by their bold
expressions of confidence in the event. Pompey, sufficiently disturbed
of himself, was yet more perplexed by the clamours of others; some
telling him that he justly suffered for having armed Caesar against
himself and the government; others blaming him for permitting Caesar
to be insolently used by Lentulus, when he made such ample concessions,
and offered such reasonable proposals towards an accommodation. Favonius
bade him now stamp upon the ground; for once talking big in the senate,
he desired them not to trouble themselves about making any preparations
for the war, for that he himself, with one stamp of his foot, would
fill all Italy with soldiers. Yet still Pompey at that time had more
forces than Caesar; but he was not permitted to pursue his own thoughts,
but, being continually disturbed with false reports and alarms, as
if the enemy was close upon him and carrying all before him, he gave
way and let himself be borne down by the general cry. He put forth
an edict declaring the city to be in a state of anarchy, and left
it with orders that the senate should follow him, and that no one
should stay behind who did not prefer tyranny to their country and

The consuls at once fled, without making even the usual sacrifices;
so did most of the senators, carrying off their own goods in as much
haste as if they had been robbing their neighbours. Some, who had
formerly much favoured Caesar's cause, in the prevailing alarm quitted
their own sentiments, and without any prospect of good to themselves
were carried along by the common stream. It was a melancholy thing
to see the city tossed in these tumults, like a ship given up by her
pilots, and left to run, as chance guides her, upon any rock in her
way. Yet, in spite of their sad condition people still esteemed the
place of their exile to be their country for Pompey's sake, and fled
from Rome, as if it had been Caesar's camp. Labienus even, who had
been one of Caesar's nearest friends, and his lieutenant, and who
had fought by him zealously in the Gallic wars, now deserted him,
and went over to Pompey. Caesar sent all his money and equipage after
him, and then sat down before Corfinium, which was garrisoned with
thirty cohorts under the command of Domitius. He, in despair of maintaining
the defence, requested a physician, whom he had among his attendants,
to give him poison; and taking the dose, drank it, in hopes of being
despatched by it. But soon after, when he was told that Caesar showed
the utmost clemency towards those he took prisoners, he lamented his
misfortune, and blamed the hastiness of his resolution. His physician
consoled him by informing him that he had taken a sleeping draught,
not a poison; upon which, much rejoiced, and rising from his bed,
he went presently to Caesar and gave him the pledge of his hand, yet
afterwards again went over to Pompey. The report of these actions
at Rome quieted those who were there, and some who had fled thence

Caesar took into his army Domitius's soldiers, as he did all those
whom he found in any town enlisted for Pompey's service. Being now
strong and formidable enough, he advanced against Pompey himself,
who did not stay to receive him, but fled to Brundusium, having sent
the consuls before with a body of troops to Dyrrhachium. Soon after,
upon Caesar's approach, he set to sea, as shall be more particularly
related in his Life. Caesar would have immediately pursued him, but
wanted shipping, and therefore went back to Rome, having made himself
master of all Italy without bloodshed in the space of sixty days.
When he came thither, he found the city more quiet than he expected,
and many senators present, to whom he addressed himself with courtesy
and deference, desiring them to send to Pompey about any reasonable
accommodation towards a peace. But nobody complied with this proposal;
whether out of fear of Pompey, whom they had deserted, or that they
thought Caesar did not mean what he said, but thought it his interest
to talk plausibly. Afterwards, when Metellus, the tribune, would have
hindered him from taking money out of the public treasure, and adduced
some laws against it, Caesar replied that arms and laws had each their
own time; "If what I do displeases you, leave the place; war allows
no free talking. When I have laid down my arms, and made peace, come
back and make what speeches you please. And this," he added, "I tell
you in diminution of my own just right, as indeed you and all others
who have appeared against me and are now in my power may be treated
as I please." Having said this to Metellus, he went to the doors of
the treasury, and the keys being not to be found, sent for smiths
to force them open. Metellus again making resistance and some encouraging
him in it, Caesar, in a louder tone, told him he would put him to
death if he gave him any further disturbance. "And this," said he,
"you know, young man, is more disagreeable for me to say than to do."
These words made Metellus withdraw for fear, and obtained speedy execution
henceforth for all orders that Caesar gave for procuring necessaries
for the war. 

He was now proceeding to Spain, with the determination of first crushing
Afranius and Varro, Pompey's lieutenants, and making himself master
of the armies and provinces under them, that he might then more securely
advance against Pompey, when he had no enemy left behind him. In this
expedition his person was often in danger from ambuscades, and his
army by want of provisions, yet he did not desist from pursuing the
enemy, provoking them to fight, and hemming them with his fortifications,
till by main force he made himself master of their camps and their
forces. Only the generals got off, and fled to Pompey. 

When Caesar came back to Rome, Piso, his father-in-law, advised him
to send men to Pompey to treat of a peace; but Isauricus, to ingratiate
himself with Caesar, spoke against it. After this, being created dictator
by the senate, he called home the exiles, and gave back their rights
as citizens to the children of those who had suffered under Sylla;
he relieved the debtors by an act remitting some part of the interest
on their debts, and passed some other measures of the same sort, but
not many. For within eleven days he resigned his dictatorship, and
having declared himself consul, with Servilius Isauricus, hastened
again to the war. He marched so fast that he left all his army behind
him, except six hundred chosen horse and five legions, with which
he put to sea in the very middle of winter, about the beginning of
the month of January (which corresponds pretty nearly with the Athenian
month Posideon), and having passed the Ionian Sea, took Oricum and
Apollonia, and then sent back the ships to Brundusium, to bring over
the soldiers who were left behind in the march. They, while yet on
the march, their bodies now no longer in the full vigour, and they
themselves weary with such a multitude of wars, could not but exclaim
against Caesar, "When at last, and where, will this Caesar let us
be quiet? He carries us from place to place, and uses us as if we
were not to be worn out, and had no sense of labour. Even our iron
itself is spent by blows, and we ought to have some pity on our bucklers,
and breastplates, which have been used so long. Our wounds, if nothing
else, should make him see that we are mortal men whom he commands,
subject to the same pains and sufferings as other human beings. The
very gods themselves cannot force the winter season, or hinder the
storms in their time; yet he pushes forward, as if he were not pursuing,
but flying from an enemy." So they talked as they marched leisurely
towards Brundusium. But when they came thither, and found Caesar gone
off before them, their feelings changed, and they blamed themselves
as traitors to their general. They now railed at their officers for
marching so slowly, and placing themselves on the heights overlooking
the sea towards Epirus, they kept watch to see if they could espy
the vessels which were to transport them to Caesar. 

He in the meantime was posted in Apollonia, but had not an army with
him able to fight the enemy, the forces from Brundusium being so long
in coming, which put him to great suspense and embarrassment what
to do. At last he resolved upon a most hazardous experiment, and embarked,
without any one's knowledge, in a boat of twelve oars, to cross over
to Brundusium, though the sea was at that time covered with a vast
fleet of the enemies. He got on board in the night-time, in the dress
of a slave, and throwing himself down like a person of no consequence
lay along at the bottom of the vessel. The river Anius was to carry
them down to sea, and there used to blow a gentle gale every morning
from the land, which made it calm at the mouth of the river, by driving
the waves forward; but this night there had blown a strong wind from
the sea, which overpowered that from the land, so that where the river
met the influx of the seawater and the opposition of the waves it
was extremely rough and angry; and the current was beaten back with
such a violent swell that the master of the boat could not make good
his passage, but ordered his sailors to tack about and return. Caesar,
upon this, discovers himself, and taking the man by the hand, who
was surprised to see him there, said, "Go on, my friend, and fear
nothing; you carry Caesar and his fortune in your boat." The mariners,
when they heard that, forgot the storm, and laying all their strength
to their oars, did what they could to force their way down the river.
But when it was to no purpose, and the vessel now took in much water,
Caesar finding himself in such danger in the very mouth of the river,
much against his will permitted the master to turn back. When he was
come to land, his soldiers ran to him in a multitude, reproaching
him for what he had done, and indignant that he should think himself
not strong enough to get a victory by their sole assistance, but must
disturb himself, and expose his life for those who were absent, as
if he could not trust those who were with him. 

After this, Antony came over with the forces from Brundusium, which
encouraged Caesar to give Pompey battle, though he was encamped very
advantageously, and furnished with plenty of provisions both by sea
and land, whilst he himself was at the beginning but ill supplied,
and before the end was extremely pinched for want of necessaries,
so that his soldiers were forced to dig up a kind of root which grew
there, and tempering it with milk, to feed on it. Sometimes they made
a kind of bread of it, and advancing up to the enemy's outposts, would
throw in these loaves, telling them, that as long as the earth produced
such roots they would not give up blockading Pompey. But Pompey took
what care he could that neither the loaves nor the words should reach
his men, who were out of heart and despondent through terror at the
fierceness and hardihood of their enemies, whom they looked upon as
a sort of wild beasts. There were continual skirmishes about Pompey's
outworks, in all which Caesar had the better, except one, when his
men were forced to fly in such a manner that he had like to have lost
his camp. For Pompey made such a vigorous sally on them that not a
man stood his ground; the trenches were filled with the slaughter,
many fell upon their own ramparts and bulwarks, whither they were
driven in flight by the enemy. Caesar met them and would have turned
them back, but could not. When he went to lay hold of the ensigns,
those who carried them threw them down, so that the enemy took thirty-two
of them. He himself narrowly escaped; for taking hold of one of his
soldiers, a big and strong man, that was flying by him, he bade him
stand and face about; but the fellow, full of apprehensions from the
danger he was in, laid hold of his sword, as if he would strike Caesar,
but Caesar's armour-bearer cut off his arm. Caesar's affairs were
so desperate at that time that when Pompey, either through over-cautiousness
or his ill fortune, did not give the finishing stroke to that great
success, but retreated after he had driven the routed enemy within
their camp, Caesar, upon seeing his withdrawal, said to his friends,
"The victory to-day had been on the enemies' side if they had had
a general who knew how to gain it." When he was retired into his tent,
he laid himself down to sleep, but spent that night as miserable as
ever he did any, in perplexity and consideration with himself, coming
to the conclusion that he had conducted the war amiss. For when he
had a fertile country before him, and all the wealthy cities of Macedonia
and Thessaly, he had neglected to carry the war thither, and had sat
down by the seaside, where his enemies had such a powerful fleet,
so that he was in fact rather besieged by the want of necessaries,
than besieging others with his arms. Being thus distracted in his
thoughts with the view of the difficulty and distress he was in, he
raised his camp, with the intention of advancing towards Scipio, who
lay in Macedonia; hoping either to entice Pompey into a country where
he should fight without the advantage he now had of supplies from
the sea, or to overpower Scipio if not assisted. 

This set all Pompey's army and officers on fire to hasten and pursue
Caesar, whom they concluded to be beaten and flying. But Pompey was
afraid to hazard a battle on which so much depended, and being himself
provided with all necessaries for any length of time, thought to tire
out and waste the vigour of Caesar's army, which could not last long.
For the best part of his men, though they had great experience, and
showed an irresistible courage in all engagements, yet by their frequent
marches, changing their camps, attacking fortifications, and keeping
long night-watches, were getting worn out and broken; they being now
old, their bodies less fit for labour, and their courage, also, beginning
to give way with the failure of their strength. Besides, it was said
that an infectious disease, occasioned by their irregular diet, was
prevailing in Caesar's army, and what was of greatest moment, he was
neither furnished with money nor provisions, so that in a little time
he must needs fall of himself. 

For these reasons Pompey had no mind to fight him, but was thanked
for it by none but Cato, who rejoiced at the prospect of sparing his
fellow-citizens. For he, when he saw the dead bodies of those who
had fallen in the last battle on Caesar's side, to the number of a
thousand, turned away, covered his face, and shed tears. But every
one else upbraided Pompey for being reluctant to fight, and tried
to goad him on by such nicknames as Agamemnon, and king of kings,
as if he were in no hurry to lay down his sovereign authority, but
was pleased to see so many commanders attending on him, and paying
their attendance at his tent. Favonius, who affected Cato's free way
of speaking his mind, complained bitterly that they should eat no
figs even this year at Tusculum, because of Pompey's love of command.
Afranius, who was lately returned out of Spain, and, on account of
his ill success there, laboured under the suspicion of having been
bribed to betray the army, asked why they did not fight this purchaser
of provinces. Pompey was driven, against his own will, by this kind
of language, into offering battle, and proceeded to follow Caesar.
Caesar had found great difficulties in his march, for no country would
supply him with provisions, his reputation being very much fallen
since his late defeat. But after he took Gomphi, a town of Thessaly,
he not only found provisions for his army, but physic too. For there
they met with plenty of wine, which they took very freely, and heated
with this, sporting and revelling on their march in bacchanalian fashion,
they shook off the disease, and their whole constitution was relieved
and changed into another habit. 

When the two armies were come into Pharsalia, and both encamped there,
Pompey's thoughts ran the same way as they had done before, against
fighting, and the more because of some unlucky presages, and a vision
he had in a dream. But those who were about him were so confident
of success, that Domitius, and Spinther, and Scipio, as if they had
already conquered, quarrelled which should succeed Caesar in the pontificate.
And many sent to Rome to take houses fit to accommodate consuls and
praetors, as being sure of entering upon those offices as soon as
the battle was over. The cavalry especially were obstinate for fighting,
being splendidly armed and bravely mounted, and valuing themselves
upon the fine horses they kept, and upon their own handsome persons;
as also upon the advantage of their numbers, for they were five thousand
against one thousand of Caesar's. Nor were the numbers of the infantry
less disproportionate, there being forty-five thousand of Pompey's
against twenty-two thousand of the enemy. 

Caesar, collecting his soldiers together, told them that Corfinius
was coming up to them with two legions, and that fifteen cohorts more
under Calenus were posted at and Athens; he then asked him whether
they would stay till these joined them, or would hazard the battle
by themselves. They all cried out to him not to wait, but on the contrary
to do whatever he could to bring about an engagement as soon as possible.
When he sacrificed to the gods for the lustration of his army, upon
the death of the first victim, the augur told him, within three days
he should come to a decisive action. Caesar asked him whether he saw
anything in the entrails which promised a happy event. "That," said
the priest, "you can best answer yourself; for the gods signify a
great alteration from the present posture of affairs. If, therefore,
you think yourself well off now, expect worse fortune; if unhappy,
hope for better." The night before the battle, as he walked the rounds
about midnight, there was a light seen in the heavens, very bright
and flaming, which seemed to pass over Caesar's camp and fall into
Pompey's. And when Caesar's soldiers came to relieve the watch in
the morning, they perceived a panic disorder among the enemies. However,
he did not expect to fight that day, but set about raising his camp
with the intention of marching towards Scotussa. 

But when the tents were now taken down, his scouts rode up to him,
and told him the enemy would give him battle. With this news he was
extremely pleased, and having performed his devotions to the gods,
set his army in battle array, dividing them into three bodies. Over
the middlemost he placed Domitius Calvinus; Antony commanded the left
wing, and he himself the right, being resolved to fight at the head
of the tenth legion. But when he saw the enemy's cavalry taking position
against him, being struck with their fine appearance and their number,
he gave private orders that six cohorts from the rear of the army
should come and join him, whom he posted behind the right wing, and
instructed them what they should do when the enemy's horse came to
charge. On the other side, Pompey commanded the right wing, Domitius
the left, and Scipio, Pompey's father-in-law, the centre. The whole
weight of the cavalry was collected on the left wing, with the intent
that they should outflank the right wing of the enemy, and rout that
part where the general himself commanded. For they thought no phalanx
of infantry could be solid enough to sustain such a shock, but that
they must necessarily be broken and shattered all to pieces upon the
onset of so immense a force of cavalry. When they were ready on both
sides to give the signal for battle, Pompey commanded his foot, who
were in the front, to stand their ground, and without breaking their
order, receive, quietly, the enemy's first attack, till they came
within javelin's cast. Caesar, in this respect, also, blames Pompey's
generalship, as if he had not been aware how the first encounter,
when made with an impetus and upon the run, gives weight and force
to the strokes, and fires the men's spirits into a flame, which the
general concurrence fans to full heat. He himself was just putting
the troops into motion and advancing to the action, when he found
one of his captains, a trusty and experienced soldier, encouraging
his men to exert their utmost. Caesar called him by his name, and
said, "What hopes, Caius Crassinius, and what grounds for encouragement?"
Crassinius stretched out his hand, and cried in a loud voice, "We
shall conquer nobly, Caesar; and I this day will deserve your praises,
either alive or dead." So he said, and was the first man to run in
upon the enemy, followed by the hundred and twenty soldiers about
him, and breaking through the first rank, still pressed on forwards
with much slaughter of the enemy, till at last he was struck back
by the wound of a sword, which went in at his mouth with such force
that it came out at his neck behind. 

Whilst the foot was thus sharply engaged in the main battle, on the
flank Pompey's horse rode up confidently, and opened their ranks very
wide, that they might surround the right wing of Caesar. But before
they engaged, Caesar's cohorts rushed out and attacked them, and did
not dart their javelins at a distance, nor strike at the thighs and
legs, as they usually did in close battle, but aimed at their faces.
For thus Caesar had instructed them, in hopes that young gentlemen,
who had not known much of battles and wounds, but came wearing their
hair long, in the flower of their age and height of their beauty,
would be more apprehensive of such blows, and not care for hazarding
both a danger at present and a blemish for the future. And so it proved,
for they were so far from bearing the stroke of the javelins, that
they could not stand the sight of them, but turned about, and covered
their faces to secure them. Once in disorder, presently they turned
about to fly; and so most shamefully ruined all. For those who had
beat them back at once outflanked the infantry, and falling on their
rear, cut them to pieces. Pompey, who commanded the other wing of
the army, when he saw his cavalry thus broken and flying, was no longer
himself, nor did he now remember that he was Pompey the Great, but,
like one whom some god had deprived of his senses, retired to his
tent without speaking a word, and there sat to expect the event, till
the whole army was routed and the enemy appeared upon the works which
were thrown up before the camp, where they closely engaged with his
men who were posted there to defend it. Then first he seemed to have
recovered his senses, and uttering, it is said, only these words,
"What, into the camp too?" he laid aside his general's habit, and
putting on such clothes as might best favour his flight, stole off.
What fortune he met with afterwards, how he took shelter in Egypt,
and was murdered there, we tell you in his Life. 

Caesar, when he came to view Pompey's camp, and saw some of his opponents
dead upon the ground, others dying, said, with a groan, "This they
would have; they brought me to this necessity. I, Caius Caesar, after
succeeding in so many wars, had been condemned had I dismissed my
army." These words, Pollio says, Caesar spoke in Latin at that time,
and that he himself wrote them in Greek; adding, that those who were
killed at the taking of the camp were most of them servants; and that
not above six thousand soldiers fell. Caesar incorporated most of
the foot whom he took prisoners with his own legions, and gave a free
pardon to many of the distinguished persons, and amongst the rest
to Brutus, who afterwards killed him. He did not immediately appear
after the battle was over, which put Caesar, it is said, into great
anxiety for him; nor was his pleasure less when he saw him present
himself alive. 

There were many prodigies that foreshadowed this victory, but the
most remarkable that we are told of was that at Tralles. In the temple
of Victory stood Caesar's statue. The ground on which it stood was
naturally hard and solid, and the stone with which it was paved still
harder; yet it is said that a palm-tree shot itself up near the pedestal
of this statue. In the city of Padua, one Caius Cornelius, who had
the character of a good augur, the fellow-citizen and acquaintance
of Livy, the historian, happened to be making some augural observations
that very day when the battle was fought. And first, as Livy tells
us, he pointed out the time of the fight, and said to those who were
by him that just then the battle was begun and the men engaged. When
he looked a second time, and observed the omens, he leaped up as if
he had been inspired, and cried out, "Caesar, are victorious." This
much surprised the standers-by, but he took the garland which he had
on from his head, and swore he would never wear it again till the
event should give authority to his art. This Livy positively states
for a truth. 

Caesar, as a memorial of his victory, gave the Thessalians their freedom,
and then went in pursuit of Pompey. When he was come into Asia, to
gratify Theopompus, the author of the collection of fables, he enfranchised
the Cnidians, and remitted one-third of their tribute to all the people
of the province of Asia. When he came to Alexandria, where Pompey
was already murdered, he would not look upon Theodotus, who presented
him with his head, but taking only his signet, shed tears. Those of
Pompey's friends who had been arrested by the King of Egypt, as they
were wandering in those parts, he relieved, and offered them his own
friendship. In his letter to his friends at Rome, he told them that
the greatest and most signal pleasure his victory had given him was
to be able continually to save the lives of fellow-citizens who had
fought against him. As to the war in Egypt, some say it was at once
dangerous and dishonourable, and noways necessary, but occasioned
only by his passion for Cleopatra. Others blame the ministers of the
king, and especially the eunuch Pothinus, who was the chief favourite
and had lately killed Pompey, who had banished Cleopatra, and was
now secretly plotting Caesar's destruction (to prevent which, Caesar
from that time began to sit up whole nights, under pretence of drinking,
for the security of his person), while openly he was intolerable in
his affronts to Caesar, both by his words and actions. For when Caesar's
soldiers had musty and unwholesome corn measured out to them, Pothinus
told them they must be content with it, since they were fed at another's
cost. He ordered that his table should be served with wooden and earthen
dishes, and said Caesar had carried off all the gold and silver plate,
under pretence of arrears of debt. For the present king's father owed
Caesar one thousand seven hundred and fifty myriads of money. Caesar
had formerly remitted to his children the rest, but thought fit to
demand the thousand myriads at that time to maintain his army. Pothinus
told him that he had better go now and attend to his other affairs
of greater consequence, and that he should receive his money at another
time with thanks. Caesar replied that he did not want Egyptians to
be his counsellors, and soon after privately sent for Cleopatra from
her retirement. 

She took a small boat, and one only of her confidants, Apollodorus,
the Sicilian, along with her, and in the dusk of the evening landed
near the palace. She was at a loss how to get in undiscovered, till
she thought of putting herself into the coverlet of a bed and lying
at length, whilst Apollodorus tied up the bedding and carried it on
his back through the gates to Caesar's apartment. Caesar was first
captivated by this proof of Cleopatra's bold wit, and was afterwards
so overcome by the charm of her society that he made a reconciliation
between her and her brother, on the condition that she should rule
as his colleague in the kingdom. A festival was kept to celebrate
this reconciliation, where Caesar's barber, a busy listening fellow,
whose excessive timidity made him inquisitive into everything, discovered
that there was a plot carrying on against Caesar by Achillas, general
of the king's forces, and Pothinus, the eunuch. Caesar, upon the first
intelligence of it, set a guard upon the hall where the feast was
kept and killed Pothinus. Achillas escaped to the army, and raised
a troublesome and embarrassing war against Caesar, which it was not
easy for him to manage with his few soldiers against so powerful a
city and so large an army. The first difficulty he met with was want
of water, for the enemies had turned the canals. Another was, when
the enemy endeavoured to cut off his communication by sea, he was
forced to divert that danger by setting fire to his own ships, which,
after burning the docks, thence spread on and destroyed the great
library. A third was, when in an engagement near Pharos, he leaped
from the mole into a small boat to assist his soldiers who were in
danger, and when the Egyptians pressed him on every side, he threw
himself into the sea, and with much difficulty swam off. This was
the time when, according to the story, he had a number of manuscripts
in his hand, which, though he was continually darted at, and forced
to keep his head often under water, yet he did not let go, but held
them up safe from wetting in one hand, whilst he swam with the other.
His boat in the meantime, was quickly sunk. At last, the king having
gone off to Achillas and his party, Caesar engaged and conquered them.
Many fell in that battle, and the king himself was never seen after.
Upon this, he left Cleopatra queen of Egypt, who soon after had a
son by him, whom the Alexandrians called Caesarion, and then departed
for Syria. 

Thence he passed to Asia, where he heard that Domitius was beaten
by Pharnaces, son of Mithridates, and had fled out of Pontus with
a handful of men; and that Pharnaces pursued the victory so eagerly,
that though he was already master of Bithynia and Cappadocia, he had
a further design of attempting the Lesser Armenia, and was inviting
all the kings and tetrarchs there to rise. Caesar immediately marched
against him with three legions, fought him near Zela, drove him out
of Pontus, and totally defeated his army. When he gave Amantius, a
friend of his at Rome, an account of this action, to express the promptness
and rapidity of it he used three words, I came, saw, and conquered,
which in Latin, having all the same cadence, carry with them a very
suitable air of brevity. 

Hence he crossed into Italy, and came to Rome at the end of that year,
for which he had been a second time chosen dictator, though that office
had never before lasted a whole year, and was elected consul for the
next. He was ill spoken of, because upon a mutiny of some soldiers,
who killed Cosconius and Galba, who had been praetors, he gave them
only the slight reprimand of calling them Citizens instead of Fellow-Soldiers,
and afterwards assigned to each man a thousand drachmas, besides a
share of lands in Italy. He was also reflected on for Dolabella's
extravagance, Amantius's covetousness, Antony's debauchery, and Corfinius's
profuseness, who pulled down Pompey's house, and rebuilt it, as not
magnificent enough; for the Romans were much displeased with all these.
But Caesar, for the prosecution of his own scheme of government, though
he knew their characters and disapproved them, was forced to make
use of those who would serve him. 

After the battle of Pharsalia, Cato and Scipio fled into Africa, and
there, with the assistance of King Juba, got together a considerable
force, which Caesar resolved to engage. He accordingly passed into
Sicily about the winter solstice, and to remove from his officers'
minds all hopes of delay there, encamped by the seashore, and as soon
as ever he had a fair wind, put to sea with three thousand foot and
a few horse. When he had landed them, he went back secretly, under
some apprehensions for the larger part of his army, but met them upon
the sea, and brought them all to the same camp. There he was informed
that the enemies relied much upon an ancient oracle, that the family
of the Scipios should be always victorious in Africa. There was in
his army a man, otherwise mean and contemptible, but of the house
of the Africani, and his name Scipio Sallutio. This man Caesar (whether
in raillery to ridicule Scipio, who commanded the enemy, or seriously
to bring over the omen to his side, it were hard to say), put at the
head of his troops, as if he were general, in all the frequent battles
which he was compelled to fight. For he was in such want both of victualling
for his men and forage for his horses, that he was forced to feed
the horses with seaweed, which he washed thoroughly to take off its
saltness, and mixed with a little grass to give it a more agreeable
taste, The Numidians, in great numbers, and well horsed, whenever
he went, came up and commanded the country. Caesar's cavalry, being
one day unemployed, diverted themselves with seeing an African, who
entertained them with dancing and at the same time played upon the
pipe to admiration. They were so taken with this, that they alighted,
and gave their horses to some boys, when on a sudden the enemy surrounded
them, killed some, pursued the rest and fell in with them into their
camp; and had not Caesar himself and Asinius Pollio come to their
assistance, and put a stop to their flight, the war had been then
at an end. In another engagement, also, the enemy had again the better,
when Caesar, it is said, seized a standard-bearer, who was running
away, by the neck, and forcing him to face about, said, "Look, that
is the way to the enemy." 

Scipio, flushed with this success at first, had a mind to come to
one decisive action. He therefore left Afranius and Juba in two distinct
bodies not far distant and marched himself towards Thapsus, where
he proceeded to build a fortified camp above a lake, to serve as a
centre-point for their operations, and also as a place of refuge.
Whilst Scipio was thus employed, Caesar with incredible despatch made
his way through thick woods, and a country supposed to be impassable,
cut off one part of the enemy and attacked another in the front. Having
routed these, he followed up his opportunity and the current of his
good fortune, and on the first carried Afranius's camp, and ravaged
that of the Numidians, Juba, their king, being glad to save himself
by flight; so that in a small part of a single day he made himself
master of three camps, and killed fifty thousand of the enemy, with
the loss only of fifty of his own men. This is the account some give
of that fight. Others say he was not in the action, but that he was
too far disordered his senses, when he was already beginning to shake
under its influence, withdrew into a neighbouring fort where he reposed
himself. Of the men of consular and praetorian dignity that were taken
after the fight, several Caesar put to death, others anticipated him
by killing themselves. 

Cato had undertaken to defend Utica, and for that reason was not in
the battle. The desire which Caesar had to take him alive made him
hasten thither;