Cassius Dio Cocceianus.

Dio's Roman history, with an English translation online

. (page 2 of 35)
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communities in Italy which had sided with Antony b.o. 80
he was able to grant to his soldiers their cities and ,
their farms. To most of those who were dispossessed ,
he made compensation by permitting them to settle
in Djrrachium, Philippi, and elsewhere, while to the
remainder he either granted money for their land or
else promised to do so ; for though he had acquired
great sums by his victory, yet he was spending still
more by far. For this reason he advertised at
auction both his own possessions and those of his
companions, in order that any one who desired to
purchase any of them, or to take any of them in
exchange for something else, might do so. And
although nothing was purchased, and nothing taken
in exchange, either — for who, pray, would ever have
dared follow either course i* — yet he secured by this
means a plausible excuse for delay in carrying out
his promise, and later he discharged the debt out of,
the spoils of Egypt.

After settling this and the other business that
pressed, giving to those who had received a grant of
anmesty the right also to live in Italy, not before
permitted them, and forgiving the populace which had
remained behind in Rome for not having gone to
meet him, he set out once more for Greece on the
thirtieth day after his arrival. Then, because it was
winter, he carried his ships across the isthmus of the
Peloponnesus ^ and got back to Asia so quickly that
Antony and Cleopatra learned at one and the same
time both of his departure and of his return. They,
it appears, when they had made their escape from the
naval battle at Actiimi, had gone as far as the ^

* In order to avoid the dangerous passage around Cape


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Peloponnesus together ; from there, after they had b.c. so
first dismissed a number of their associates whom
they suspected, — naany, too, withdrew against their
wishes, — Cleopatra had hastened to Egypt, for fear
that her subjects would begin a revolt if they heard
of the disaster before her arrival. And in order
to make her approach, too, safe she crowned her
prows with garlands as if she had actually won a
victory, and had songs of triumph chanted to the
accompaniment of flute-players. But as soon as she'
had reached safety, she slew many of the foremost/
men, inasmuch as they had always been displeasedj
with her and were now elated over her disaster;!
and she proceeded to gather vast wealth from their
estates and from various other sources both profane
and sacred, sparing not even the most holy shrines^
and also to fit out her forces and to look about for\
allies. She put to death the Armenian king and sent
his head to the Mede, who might be induced thereby,
she thought, to aid them. Antony, for his part, had
sailed to Pinarius Scarpus in Africa and to the army
under Scarpus* command previously assembled there
for the protection of Egypt. But when this general
not only refused to receive him but furthermore slew
the men sent ahead by Antony, besides executing
some of the soldiers under his command who showed
displeasure at this act, then Antony, too, pro-
ceeded to Alexandria without having accomplished

Now among the other preparations they made for
speedy warfare, they enrolled among the youths of -
military age, Cleopatra her son Caesarion and Antony ,
his son Antyllus, who had been born to him by
Fulvia and was then with him. Their purpose was


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to arouse the enthusiasm of the Egyptians^ who , b.c. so
would feel that they had at last a man for their \
king, and to cause the rest to continue the struggle \
with these boys as their leaders, in case anything
untoward should happen to the parents. Now as
for the lads, this proved one of the causes of their
undoing ; for Caesar spared neither of them, claiming
that they were men and were clothed with a sort of
leadership. But to return to Antony and Cleopatra,
they were indeed making their preparations with a
view to waging war in Egypt both on sea and on
land, and to this end they were calling to their
aid the neighbouring tribes and the kings who were
friendly to them ; but they were also making ready,
none the less, to sail to Spain if need should arise,
and to stir up a revolt there by their vast resources
of money and by other means, or even to change
the base of their operations to the Red Sea. And
in order that while engaged in these plans they
might escape observation for the longest possible
time or even deceive Caesar in some way or actually
slay him by treachery, they despatched emissaries
who carried peace proposals to him and bribes of
money to his followers. Meanwhile Cleopatra, on
her part, unknown to Antony, sent to him a golden
sceptre and a golden crown together with the royal
throne, signifying that through them she offered him ^
the kingdom as well ; for she hoped that even if he \
did hate Antony, he would yet take pity on her 1
at least. Caesar accepted her gifts as a good omen, •
but made no answer to Antony ; to Cleopatra, how-
ever, although he publicly sent threatening messages,
including the announcement that, if she would give '
up her armed forces and renounce her sovereignty,

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he would consider what ought to be done in heif
case^ he secretly sent word that, if she would kiln
Antony, he would grant her pardon and leave he^
realm inviolate.

While these negotiations were proceeding, the
Arabians, instigated by Quintus Didius, the governor
of Syria, burned the ships in the Arabian Gulf which
had been built for the voyage to the Red Sea,^ and
the peoples and princes without exception refused
their assistance to Antony. Indeed, I cannot but
marvel that, while a great many others, though
they had received numerous gifts from Antony and
Cleopatra, now left them in the lurch, yet the men
who were being kept for gladiatorial combats,
who were among the most despised, showed the
utmost zeal in their behalf and fought most bravely.
ITiese men, I should explain, were training in
Cyzicus for the triumphal games which they were
expecting to hold in celebration of Caesar's over-
throw, and as soon as they became aware of what
had taken place, they set out for Egypt to bear
aid to their rulers. Many were their exploits
against Amyntas in Galatia and many against the
sons of Tarcondimotus in CUicia, who had been their
strongest friends but now in view of the changed
circumstances had gone over to the other side ;
many also were their exploits against Didius, who
undertook to prevent their passing through Syria;
nevertheless, they were unable to force their way
through to Egypt. Yet even when they were sur-
rounded on all sides, not even then would they
accept any terms of surrender, though Didius made

* The " Red Sea " of the ancients is the Persian Gulf of
to-day, their ** Arabian Gulf" the modern Red Sea.


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them many promises. Instead^ they sent for Antony, b.c. so
feeling that they would fight better even in Sjrria
if he were with them ; and then, when he neither
came himself nor sent them any message, they at
last decided that he had perished and reluctantly
made terms, on condition that they were never to
fight as gladiators. And they received from Didius
Daphne, the suburb of Antioch, to dwell in until
the matter should be brought to Caesar's attention.

These men were later deceived by Messalla and
sent to various places under the pretext that they
were to be enlisted in the legions, and were then
put out of the way in some convenient manner.
Antony and Cleopatra, for their part, upon hearing
from the envoys the demands which Caesar made of
them, sent to him again. Cleopatra promised to give
him large amounts of money, and Antony reminded
him of their friendship and kinship, made a defence
also of his connexion with the Egyptian woman, and
recounted all the amorous adventures and youthful
pranks which they had shared together. Finally,
he surrendered to him Publius TuruUius, who was a
senator and one of the assassins of Caesar and was
then living with Antony as a friend ; and he offered' * ,. ,-^
to take his own life, if in that way Cleopatra might. J*
be saved. Caesar put TuruUius to death (it chanced
that this man had cut wood for the fieet from the
grove of Aesculapius in Cos, and since he was executed
in Cos, he was thought to be making amends to the
god as well as to Caesar), but this time also he gave
no answer to Antony. So Antony despatched a


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third embassy^ sending him his son Antyilus with b.c. so
much gold. Caesar accepted the money, but sent
the boy back empty-handed, giving him no answer.
To Cleopatra, however, as in the first instance, so
again on the second and third occasions, he sent
many threats and promises alike. Yet he was afraid,
even so, that they might perhaps despair of obtaining
pardon from him and so hold out, and either prove
superior by their own efforts, or set sail for Spain and
Gaul, or else might destroy their wealth, which he
kept hearing was of vast extent ; for Cleopatra had
collected it all in her tomb which she was construct-
ing in the royal grounds, and she threatened to bum
it all up with her in case she should fail of even
the slightest of her demands. So he sent Thyrsus,
a freedman of his, to say many kind things to her
and in particular to tell her that he was in love
with her. He hoped that by this means at least,
since she thought it her due to be loved by all
mankind, she would make away with Antony and
keep herself and her money unharmed. And so it

But before this happened, Antony learned that
Cornelius Gallus had taken over Scarpus' army and
had suddenly marched with these troops upon
Paraetonium and occupied it. Hence, although he
wished to set out for Syria in response to the
summons of the gladiators, he did not go thither,
but proceeded against Gallus, in the hope of winning
over the troops without a struggle, if possible, inas-
much as they had been with him on campaigns and
were fairly well disposed toward him, but otherwise
of subduing them by force, since he was leading


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against them a large force both of ships and of b.c. so
infantry. Nevertheless, he was unable even to talk
with them, although he approached their ramparts
and raised a mighty shout; for Gallus ordered his
trumpeters to sound their instruments all together
and gave no one a chance to hear a word. More-
over, Antony also failed in a sudden assault and later
suffered a reverse with his ships as well. Gallus,
it seems, caused chains to be stretched at night
across the mouth of the harbour under water, and
then took no measures openly to guard against his
opponents but contemptuously allowed them to sail
in with perfect immimity. When they were inside,
however, he drew up the chains by means of machines,
and encompassing their ships on all sides — from the
land, from the houses, and from the sea — he burned
some and sank others. In the meantime Caesar took
Pelusium, ostensibly by storm, but really because
it was betrayed by Cleopatra. For she saw that
no one came to their aid and perceived that Caesar
was not to be withstood; and, most important of
all, she listened to the message sent her through
Thyrsus, and believed that she was really beloved, in
the first place, because she wished to be, and, in the
second place, because she had in the same manner
enslaved Caesar's father and Antony. Consequently
she expected to gain not only forgiveness and the
sovereignty over the Egyptians, but the empire ot
the Romans as well. So she pelded Pelusium to
him at once ; and later, when he marched against
the city, she prevented the Alexandrians from making
a sortie. She accomplished this secretly, of course.


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since, to judge by the outcry she made, she exhorted

Online LibraryCassius Dio CocceianusDio's Roman history, with an English translation → online text (page 2 of 35)