Julius Caesar.

C. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum. Caesar's Commentaries: the Gallic war, books I-Iv, with selections from books V-VII and from the civil war; online

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b. Caesar sometimes uses a Perfect Passive Participle in agreement
with a Noun where the Participle has the main idea and is best trans-
lated by a Noun ; as, ante primam confectam vigiliam, before the
end of the first ivatch, lit. before the first tvatch having been complt led
(VII. 3).

c. Caesar sometimes uses a Participle in agreement with the Object
of a Verb to depict an Action or a Situation more vividly. Thus,
aliquds ex nav! ggredientSs conspexerant. had seen some (soldiers)
disembarking, is more vivid than aliquos . . . egredi. that some (sol-
diers) were disembarking (IV. 26).

§ 230] Gerund and Gerundive Construction 579

229. a. Habeo with a Perfect Passive Participle in agreement
with its Object may have almost the force of a Perfect or Pluperfect
tense; as, quern . . . coactum habgbat, which he had collected, lit.
which, having been collected, he was having (I. 15).

b. Caesar uses the Future Passive Participle (Gerundive) in agree-
ment with the Object of Certain Verbs to express Purpose or Accom-
plishment; as, pontem faciendum curat (Historical Present), he
had a bridge built, he attended to the building of a bridge, lit. cared for
a bridge to be built (I. 13).

The verbs thus used are euro, arrange, provide ; do, give (IV. 22) ; and
trado, deliver (VI. 4).

c. The Future Passive Participle combined with the forms of sum
in the Passive Periphrastic Conjugation (63) is often used to express
Obligation, Necessity, or Propriety ; as, revocandi [erant] milites,
the soldiers had to be called back (II. 20). Cf. 357, a and b (p. 643).


230. In place of the Gerund, Caesar more often uses the Gerun-
dive Construction, with the Noun in the case in which the Gerund
might have been put, and the Gerundive agreeing with it. His use
of the Gerund and of the Gerundive Construction is as follows :

(1) Genitive after Nouns and Adjectives, and with causa and gra-

tia expressing Purpose : bellandi cupidi, desirous of waging
war (I. 2) ; Galliae impugnandae causa, in order to attack
Gaul (I. 44). Cf. 355 (p. 643).

(2) Dative after Verbs (Gerundive Construction only) : vix ut els

rebus . . . collocandis . . . tempus daretur, barely time
(enough) was given for making those arrangements, lit. for those
things to be arranged (III. 4).

(3) Accusative after ad to express Purpose : ad deliberandum,

for consideration (I. 7) ; Ad eas res conficiendas, To com-
plete these preparations, lit. for these things to be accomplished
(I. 3). Cf. 355 (p. 643).

(4) Ablative of Means without a Preposition, and Ablative with

the Prepositions in or de : fallendo, by practising deception
(IV. 13) ; in quaerendo, on making inquiry (I. 18) ; de
expugnando oppido, in regard to storming the stronghold
(II. 10)..

580 Companion to Caesar [§ 231


231. a. The Supine in -um is used, chiefly after Verbs of Motion,
to express Purpose; as, ad Caesarem gr5tul5tum conv6n§runt,
came to Caesar to offer congratulations (I. 30). Cf. 355 (p. 643).

b. The Supine in -um may be followed by a Direct Object, or by a
Clause; as, legatos mittunt (Historical Present) rog&tum auxilium.
sent envoys to ask for help (I. 11); questum, quod Harudes . . .
fines eorum popularentur, to make complaint because the Harudes
were laying waste their country (I. 37).

232. Caesar uses the Supine in -u after a few adjectives to denote
in What Respect their Meaning is to be taken ; as, Perfacile factu,
very easy of accomplishment, lit. very easy in respect to the doing (I. 3).

The Adjectives thus used by Caesar are horridus (V. 14), optimus (IV.
30), and perfacilis (I. 3, VII. 64).


233. a. Of the Copulative Conjunctions Caesar uses et, and, et . . .
et, both . . . and, on the one hand ... on the other, to express simple
connection ; -que, and, -que . . . -que, both . . . and, to express a closer
connection ; atque or ac, and also, and indeed, and, to express a
close connection and also make that which follows slightly more
prominent; and neque or nee, and . . . not, neque (or nee) . . . neque
(or nee), neither . . . nor, not . . . and not ; et . . . neque, both . . . and not :
neque or nee . . . et, and not . . . and, to express a connection with a
negative idea.

b. The enclitic Conjunction -que, and, is attached to the word
introduced by it, or to the first word of a Phrase or Clause which it
introduces, excepting a Prepositional Phrase; -que introducing a
Prepositional Phrase may be attached to the first word after the
Preposition. Thus, ob easque r§s, and on. account of these thing*

c. After words expressing Similarity, or the Opposite, atque or ac
has the force of than, as ; as, in parem . . . condicionem atque ipsi
erant, into the same condition . . . at themseln 9, lit. as (and) tin y tin m-
selves were (I. 28).

d. Caesar uses the conjunctions et, -que, atque, ac, and neque in
various combinations, sometimes joining more than two members: as,
et . . . que (III. 11), -que . . . et (II. ±>), et . . . atque (I. 15),
atque . . . et (II. 8), atque . . . -que (VI. 11), neque . . . atque

§ 236] Conjunctions 581

(II. 10), neque . . . et (II. 25), -que . . . -que . . . -que (I. 30),
ac . . . atque . . . -que (III. 5), et . . . atque . . . et . . . et
. . . et (IV. 33).

234. a. When more than two words stand in the same relation,
the Copulative Conjunction may be expressed with all, or omitted
with all, or the last two words may be joined by -que ; in each case
English usage generally prefers "and" between the last two words.
Thus, Rauracis et Tulingis et Latobrigis, the Rauraci, Tulingi, and
Latobrigi (I. 5) ; lingua, institutis, legibus, in respect to language, in-
stitutions, and laws (1. 1) ; pueri, senes mulieresque, children, old men,
and women (I. 29).

b. Sometimes, especially after a negative expression, Caesar uses
et, -que, and atque or ac, where English usage prefers but ; as,
portus . . . capere non potuerunt, et paulo Infra delatae sunt,
could not make the harbors but were carried a short distance below (IV. 36).

235. a. Of the Disjunctive Conjunctions Caesar uses aut, or, to
connect alternatives that cannot, in most cases, both be true at the
same time ; vel, or, negative neve or neu, or not, and not, to connect
alternatives between which there might be a choice ; and sive or seu,
or if, to connect alternatives involving a condition. Thus, quinis aut
senis milibus passuum, Jive or six miles each day (1. 15) ; Bruto . . .
vel tribunis, to Brutus or the tribunes (III. 14).

b. The Disjunctive Conjunctions are often used in pairs, as aut . . .
aut, either . . . or (I. 1), vel . . . vel, either . . . or (I. 6), sive
. . . sive, whether . . . or, either . . . or (I. 12).

236. a. Of the Adversative Conjunctions Caesar uses at, but, at any
rate, to express Contrast or Restriction ; autem, however, on the other
hand, moreover, to express Contrast or Addition ; sed, but, to correct
or limit a Preceding Statement ; tamen, nevertheless, yet, to emphasize
the importance of something that follows in opposition to a Preced-
ing Statement ; and vero, in fact, but in truth, to emphasize a contrast
with a Preceding Statement.

b. The Adversative Conjunctions autem and vero are regularly
placed after the First Word of a Clause.

c. The Adversative Conjunction tamen sometimes stands after the
First Word of a Clause.

d. Caesar uses correlatively non solum . . . sed etiam, not only . . .
hut also; non modo . . . sed etiam, not only . . . but also; non
modo . . . sed, not only . . . but ; non modo non . . . sed n§ . . .
quidem, not only not . . . but not even.

582 Companion to Caesar [§ 237

e. In non modo . . . n5 — quidem Caesar uses non modo as
equivalent to non modo non, when a verb appears only in the
second member ; as non modo defesso . . . sed ne saucio quidem,
not only not to one (who was) exhausted . . . but even to a wounded man
(III. 4).

237. a. Of the Conjunctions denoting Logical Relations Caesar
uses chiefly itaque, accordingly (lit. and so), to introduce a statement
of a fact or situation naturally resulting from what preceded ; pro-
inde, hence, to introduce a Command ; nam or enim, for, to introduce
an Explanation of a Preceding Statement; and quare, wherefore, and
therefore, to introduce a Logical Consequence, or a Command.

b. In presenting a succession of points Caesar often uses primum,
first, and deinde, then, in the second place ; sometimes, also, d§nique
in fine, to introduce the conclusion of an argument.

c. In the Adverbial Phrase n6 . . . quidem, not even, the word or
phrase emphasized is placed between the two words; as, ne" pabuli
quidem, not even of fodder (I. 16).


238. Caesar uses the following Grammatical Figures:

a. Asyndeton (a-sin'de-ton), 1 the omission of a Conjunction where
a Connective might have been used ; as, loca, portus, aditus cogno-
visset, should have become acquainted with the natural features, the har-
bors (and) the approaches (IV. 20) ; L. Pisone, A. Gabinio consuli-
bus, in the Consulship of Lucius Piso (and) Aulus Gabinius (I. 6).

b. Brachylogy (bra-kil'o-ji), a condensed form of expression; as,
consimilis capris figura, shape like (that of) goats, that is, figura
consimilis figurae (Dative) caprarum (VI. 27).

c. Ellipsis (e-lip'sis), the omission of words essential to the mean-
ing ; as, Duae filiae, for Duae filiae fugrunt, There were two daugh-
ters (I. 53).

d. Hendiadys (hen-di'a-dis), the use of two Nouns with a Connec-
tive where a noun with a Modifying Genitive or Adjective might
have been expected ; as, fidem et ius iurandum, « pledge of good
faith bound by an oath, lit. good faith and oath (I. 3).

e. Parenthesis (pa-ren'the-sis), the insertion of an Independent
Sentence or phrase, interrupting the Construction; as, quam maxi-
mum potest mllitum numerum imperat (erat . . . legio Una),

1 The key to the Pronunciation is given at the he^iunin^of the Vocabulary.

§ 239] Figures of Speech 583

pontem . . . iubet (Historical Present), rescind!, he levied as many
soldiers as possible (there was only one legion, altogether, in further Gaul)
and gave orders that the bridge be cut down (I. 7).

f. Polysyndeton (pol-i-sin'de-ton), the use of more Conjunctions
than the sense requires ; as, Ceutrones et Graioceli et Caturiges,
the Ceutrones, the Graioceli, and the Caturiges (I. 10).

g. Prolepsis (pro-lep'sis), or Anticipation, the use of a Noun as
Object in a clause preceding that in which it naturally belongs as
Subject ; as, rem frumentariam, ut supportari posset, timere, that
they feared that the supply of grain could not be brought up, lit. they feared
the supply of grain, that it ... (I. 39).

h. Synesis (sin'e-sis), construction according to the Sense, without
regard to the Grammatical Form ; as, civitati persuasit, ut . . .
exirent, persuaded the (people of his) state to go out, lit. persuaded his
state that they should go out (I. 2).

239. Caesar uses the following Rhetorical Figures:

a. Anaphora (an-af'o-ra), the Repetition of the same word at the
beginning of Successive Phrases or Clauses; as, non aetate con-
fectis, non mulieribus, non infantibus pepercerunt, they spared
not the aged, not the women, not the children (VII. 28).

b. Antithesis (an-tith'e-sis), the juxtaposition of contrasted ex-
pressions in like order ; as, Non sese Gallis, sed Gallos sibi, bellum
intulisse, He did not make war on the Gauls, but the Gauls on him (I. 44).

c. Chiasmus (kl-as'mus), an arrangement of contrasted words in
inverse order; as, fama nobiles potentesque bello, in reputation
notable, and powerful in war (VII. 77).

d. Climax (kll'max), an arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses
with gradual increase of interest or vigor of expression to the end ;
as, conferre, comportari, adesse, that it was being collected, ivas on
the way, ivas at hand (I. 16).

e. Euphemism (u'fe-mizm), the use of a mild expression in order
to avoid a word of bad omen ; as, si quid accidat Romanis, if any-
thing should happen to the Romans, meaning if any disaster should befall
the Romans (I. 18).

/. Hyperbaton (hl-per'ba-ton), the arrangement of words in un-
usual order, as the separation of words that belong together, such as
the insertion of one or more words between the parts of an Ablative
Absolute ; thus, simulata Caesarem amicitia, that Caesar under the
pretense of friendship, the usual order being Caesarem, simulata
amicitia (I. 44, 1. 37).


Companion to Caesar


g. Litotes (lit'o-tez), the Affirmation of an idea through the Nega-
tion of its Opposite ; as, neque tam imperitum esse rgrum ut non
sciret, and he was not so unversed in affairs as not to know, meaning
that he was so worldly toise that he very well knew (I. 44, 1. 32).

h. Personification (per-son'i-fi'ka'shun), the representation of some-
thing inanimate or abstract as endowed with Life and Action; as
ConspicStae naves triremes duae navem D. Bruti, Two triremes,
sighting the ship of Decimus Brutus (C. II. 6). •


240. a. The Roman year (annus) is usually dated by the consuls
in office, their names being given in the Ablative Absolute with

consulibus ; as, Cn. Pom-
peio, M. Crasso consuli-
bus, in the consulship of
Gnaeus Pompey and Marcus
Crassus (IV. 1), 55 B.C.

b. In Caesar's time the
year commenced on Jan-
uary 1, and the months were
named (mgnsis) Ianuarius,
Februarius, Martius (orig-
inally the first month of the
year), Aprilis, Maius, Iun-
ius, Quinctilis (from quin-
que ; named the fifth month
when the year began with
March), Sextilis (sex),
September, October, No-
vember, December (the
tenth month, reckoning March
as the first). Afterwards
Quinctilis was changed t(J
Iulius (our July) in honor

of Julius Caesar, and Sextilis to Augustus (our August) in honor

of the Emperor Augustus.

241. a. Dates in the month were reckoned backward from three
points, the mode of reckoning being similar to thai which we use
when we say " Four days yet before the New Moon." These points,
designated by Plural Feminine Nouns, are the ( 'alend*, Kaleudae,

Figure 152. — A Roman Calendar.
Of marble. Above the name of each month is
a sign of the zodiac associated with it: Capricorn
with January, Aquarius with February, Pisces with
March, Aries with April, Taurus with May, and
Gemini with June.

§ 242] Expressions Relating to Time 585

the first day of the month ; the Nones, Nonae (ninth before the
Ides), the seventh day of March, May, July, and October, the fifth day
of other months; and the Ides (Idus), the fifteenth day of March,
May, July, and October, the thirteenth of other months.

b. In giving dates the days at the beginning and end of a given period
were both included, and abbreviations were employed. Thus, a. d. v.
Kal. Apr. (I. 6), in full would be ante diem quintum Kalendas
Apriles, which is translated as if it were (dies) qulntus ante
Kalendas Apriles, the fifth (day) before the Calends of April; since
March had 31 days, we start from April 1 and count back :

Day I Day II Day III Day IV Day V

April 1 March 31 March 30 March 29 March 28

and so we find the fifth day, which is March 28 according to our
method of writing dates.

c. In 46 B.C. the Calendar was reformed by Julius Caesar by virtue
of his authority as Supreme Pontiff (252), and since that year it has
undergone slight change. As the dates of the Gallic War and of the
Civil War are prior to 46 B.C., they fall in the period of the Un-
reformed Calendar, when there was much confusion. Thus, the
twenty-eighth day of March of the Unreformed Calendar in 58 b.c.
(I. 6) is considered by some to be the same as March 24 of our Cal-
endar ; by others, the same as March 25 ; by others still, as April 16
of our Calendar.

242. a. The day from sunrise to sunset was divided into twelve
hours, horae, which varied in length according to the season of the
year, and were numbered 1-12 ; thus, hora septima, the seventh hour 1
(I. 26). Since the sixth hour ended at noon, the seventh hour at the
equinoxes would correspond exactly with the hour between twelve
and one o'clock according to our reckoning; at other times the sev-
enth hour would end after, or before, one o'clock.

b. The method of reducing the Roman hours to our system of
reckoning may be illustrated by the following problem :

Question. "What, approximately, is our equivalent of the fourth Roman
hour in the last week of August in the region of Dover, England ? "

Answer. In the region of Dover in the last week in August the sun rises
about 5 o'clock and sets about f. The length of the day is therefore about 14
hours by our reckoning. Since the Romans divided the full day into 12 equal
hours, we divide 14 by 12 and have \\, that is, the Roman 'hour in this prob-
lem = 1| of our hours. At the beginning of the fourth Roman hour 3 Roman
hours have passed; 3 X 1£ = 3|, that is, at the beginning of the fourth
Roman hour 3| of our hours have passed since sunrise. As sunrise is

586 Companion to Caesar [§ 243

reckoned about 5 o'clock by our time, we add 3£ to 5, making 8.30 ; that is,
8.30 a.m., by our reckoning from midnight, will approximately represent the
beginning of the fourth hour of the day by Roman reckoning under the condi-
tions of the problem.

c. In military usage the night was divided into four watches of
three hours each : prima vigilia, first watch (VII. 3), commencing at
sunset, 6 to 9 o'clock by Roman reckoning ; secunda vigilia (II. 11),
ending at midnight, 9 to 12 o'clock ; tertia vigilia (II. 33), commencing
at midnight, 12 to 3 o'clock a.m.; quarta vigilia (I. 21), ending at
sunrise, 3 to 6 o'clock a.m., by Roman reckoning.

d. Caesar uses the Preposition dg in certain expressions of time
with the meaning just q/ler, in the course of; as dS media nocte, /art
after midnight (II. 7) ; de tertia vigilia, soon after the beginning of the
third ivatch (I. 12), which lasted from midnight to 3 a. m.

e. When the sun was not visible, recourse might be had to water
clocks, ex aqua mensurae (V. 13), for the measurement of time.


243. a. Of the terms denoting measurement Caesar uses digitus,
finger-breadth (VII. 73); pgs, foot (1.8), which measured approxi-
mately .97 of the English foot ; passus, pace (I. 49) ; and mille
passus, mile, Plural milia passuum, miles (I. 2). The passus con-
tained two ordinary steps (gradus), and measured the distance be-
tween the points where the same heel is lifted and touches the ground

b. The relations of the units of measurement, and their modern
equivalents, are as follows :

English Feet Meters

= .728 inch = .0185

= 11.65 inches = .296

= 2 feet 5£ inches = .74

= 4 feet 10} inches = 1.48

= 4854 feet = 1480.00

Since the Roman foot was approximately .97 of the English foot in
length, the Roman mile, 4854 English feet in length, was 426 feet
shorter than the English mile of 5280 feet; 12 English miles are a
little more than the equivalent of 13 Roman miles.

c. Long distances may be loosely expressed by iter (Accusative)
with the Genitive; as, novem dierum iter, a nine days^ journey
(VI. 25).

1 digitus

16 digit!

= 1 pes

2\ pedes

= 1 gradus

2 gradus

= 1 passus

1000 passus

= mille passus



244. " My aunt Julia," said Julius Caesar in an address in
68 b.c. at the funeral of his aunt, wife of the famous Marius,
" My aunt Julia on her mother's side traced her ancestry back
to kings, on her father's side to the immortal gods. For those
who bear the name Marcius Rex, her mother's family, are
descended from Ancus Marcius ; 1 from Venus the Julii are
sprung, and to that clan our family
belongs. In our stock therefore are
blended the sacred authority of kings,
whose power is greatest among men,
and a right to the reverence due to
the gods, under whose power kings
themselves are."

Whatever the truth may be about
the origin of the Julian clan (gens),
in these proud words the man who was
destined to become its most distin-
guished representative asserted, un-
mistakably, its aristocratic standing.
Twenty years afterwards, when Caesar
had the authority to strike coins, he gave a visible expression
to the popular belief in the Trojan origin of the Julii, from
Venus and Anchises ; stamped upon a denarius (85) Aeneas
appears, in the flight from burning Troy, carrying his aged
father Anchises upon his left shoulder and in his right hand
the sacred image, the Palladium, which, men said, had fallen
from heaven (Fig. 153).

1 The fourth king of Rome, following Tullus Hostilius.

Figure 153. — Aeneas flee-
ing from Troy.

Silver coin, denarius, struck in
the East soon after the battle
of Pharsalus. Inscription,


Companion to Caesar


245. Toward the end of the Republic the Caesar famih Ear
outstripped the other families of the Julian gens in prominence.
In the two centuries immediately preceding the Christian era
it furnished a full score of names sufficiently distinguished to
find mention in biographical dictionaries two thousand years
afterwards. Of the father of Julius Caesar, however, nothing
important is of record except his sudden death, at Pisa, when
he was putting on his shoes.

246. Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 12, in the year
100 B.O. ; he was thus six years younger than Pompey and

the orator Cicero. It is
assumed that his birth-
place was Rome. His
mother was Aurelia, a
Roman matron of the
highest type. She not
only watched over the
education of her son —
and Julius 'was the only
son — with great care, but
followed his career with
solicitude, and on one
occasion at least rendered
him a notable service.
She was not spared, how-
ever, to see her son at
the head of the State, or
to be harrowed by civil war; she died when Caesar was in

We know nothing about the education of the young Julius,
except that he had as private teacher, at his own home.
Antonius Gnipho, a distinguished rhetorician, who had studied
at Alexandria and was well versed in Greek. We may assume
that the youth received the usual training of the time in Greek
as well as in declamation, numbers, and music; for (J reek
was then the foundation of liberal studies.

Figure 154. — A Roman Boy

Portrait of a Roman boy, probably connected
with the Caesar family. From a bronze statue
of the first century b.c, in the Metropolitan
Museum. New York.

§249] Life of Caesar 589

At the age of twelve Caesar's face must remotely, at least,
have resembled that of the Roman boy whose portrait is pre-
served in the lifelike bronze statue acquired in 1914 by the
Metropolitan Museum in New York (Fig. 154).

247. The only career deemed suitable for a young patrician
was in the service of the State, either through public office,
or through service in the field, as occasion might require. We
do not understand how high-born Caesars were first led to
espouse the cause of the common people and champion the
interests of the masses as opposed to the aristocracy, which
believed in the government of the many by the few and had
its stronghold in the Senate ; but when Julius was old enough
to take an active interest in public affairs, his uncle by mar-
riage, Marius, was leader of the popular or democratic party,
which was then dominant. Marius died in 86 B.C., and was
succeeded by Cornelius Cinna as democratic leader.

248. The daughter of this Cinna, Cornelia, in 83 b.c became
Caesar's wife. To them was born a daughter Julia who, in
59 b.c, in her early twenties, became the fourth wife of

249. In 82 b.c Sulla returned from a series of victories in
the East and restored the power of the Senate, wreaking ven-
geance upon political enemies. There was a reign of terror.
Cinna had been killed, and Sulla ordered Caesar to divorce
his wife, Cinna's daughter. This Caesar refused, at the risk
of his life. In disguise he made his escape to the mountains.
He was tracked by Sulla's emissaries, one of whom found
him ; he purchased his life with a large bribe. After a time,
through influential friends, pardon was obtained from Sulla,
who is said to have granted it with the warning that in young
Caesar there were many Mariuses.

Advancement in Rome, however, was blocked so long as
Sulla lived. Caesar went East and joined the army. At the
siege of Mytilene, on the island of Lesbos, in 80 b.c, he was
awarded the Civic Crown for conspicuous bravery. This
crown, though made of oak leaves, represented a military dis-

Online LibraryJulius CaesarC. Iulii Caesaris Commentarii rerum gestarum. Caesar's Commentaries: the Gallic war, books I-Iv, with selections from books V-VII and from the civil war; → online text (page 50 of 73)