Cassius Dio.

Dio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E online

. (page 13 of 30)
Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 13 of 30)
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utterances of the Sibyl. Gabinius was later brought to trial for this,
but on account of Pompey's influence and the money at his command was
not convicted. Public administration had so deteriorated among the
Romans of that day that when some of the magistrates and jurymen
received from him only a very little of the great bribes that he
disbursed, they heeded no requirement of propriety, and furthermore
instructed others to commit crimes for money, showing them that they
could easily buy immunity from punishment. At this time, consequently,
Gabinius was acquitted; but he was again brought to trial on some other
charge, - chiefly that he had plundered more than a million from the
province, - and was convicted. This was a matter of great surprise to
him, seeing that by money he had freed himself from the former suit; but
it was for that reason principally that he was condemned on these
charges. It was also a surprise to Pompey, because previously he had,
through his friends, rescued Gabinius even at a distance, but now while
in the suburbs of the city and, as you might say, in the courtroom
itself, he had accomplished nothing.

[-56-] This was the way of it. Gabinius had injured Syria in many ways,
even to the point of inflicting more damage upon the people than had the
pirates, who were then in their prime. Still, he regarded all his gains
from that source as mere trifles and was at one time planning and
preparing to lead a campaign also against the Parthians and their
wealth. Phraates had been treacherously murdered by his children, and
Orodes having taken the kingdom in turn had expelled Mithridates his
brother from Media, which he was governing. The latter took refuge with
Gabinius and persuaded him to connive at his restoration. However, when
Ptolemy came with Pompey's letter and promised that he would furnish
large sums, both to him and the army, Gabinius abandoned the Parthian
project and hastened to Egypt. This he did although the law forbade
governors to enter any one's territory outside their own borders or to
begin wars on their own responsibility, and although the people and the
Sibyl had declared that the man should not be restored. But the only
restraint these considerations exercised was to lead him to sell them
for a higher price. He left in Syria Sisenna his son, a mere boy, and a
very few soldiers with him, exposing the province to which he had been
assigned more than ever to the pirates. He himself then reached
Palestine, arrested Aristobulus, who had caused some trouble at Rome and
escaped, sent him to Pompey, imposed tribute upon the Jews and
thereafter invaded Egypt.

[-57-] Berenice was at this time ruling the Egyptians, and though she
feared the Romans she accorded him no satisfactory treatment. Instead,
she sent for one Seleucus who purported to belong to the royal race that
once had flourished in Syria, acknowledged him as her husband and made
him sharer of the kingdom and of the war. When he was seen to be held in
no esteem she had him killed and joined to herself on the same terms
Archelaus, son of that Archelaus who had deserted to Sulla; he was an
energetic man living in Syria. Gabinius could, indeed, have stopped the
evil in its beginning: he had arrested Archelaus, of whom he had been
suspicious all along, and seemed likely, therefore, to have no further
trouble. He was afraid, however, that this course might cause him to
receive from Ptolemy less of the money that had been stipulated, on the
assumption that he had done nothing of importance, and he hoped that he
could exact even a larger amount in view of the cleverness and renown of
Archelaus; moreover he received numerous other contributions from the
prisoner himself and so voluntarily released him, pretending that he had
escaped.[-58-] Thus he reached Pelusium without meeting opposition, and
while advancing from there with his army in two divisions he encountered
and conquered the Egyptians on the same day, and after this vanquished
them again on the river with his ships and also on land. For the
Alexandrians are very apt to face everything boldly and to speak out
whatever may occur to them, but for war and its terrors they are
decidedly worthless. This is true in spite of the fact that in
seditions, which occur among them in great numbers and of serious
proportions, they always become involved in slaughter, set no value upon
life as compared with the rivalry of the moment, but pursuing
destruction in such quarrels as if it were a most necessary prize. So
Gabinius conquered them, and after slaying Archelaus and many others he
immediately gained control of all Egypt and delivered it over to

Now Ptolemy killed his daughter and the foremost and richest of the
other citizens, because he had much need of money. [-59-] Gabinius after
restoring him in this fashion sent no message home about what he had
done, in order not to give them information against himself of his
transgressions of the law. But it was not possible for a proceeding of
such magnitude to be concealed. The people learned it directly, for the
Syrians cried out loudly against Gabinius, especially since in his
absence they were terribly abused by the pirates; and again the tax
collectors, being unable to levy taxes on account of the marauders, were
owing numerous sums. This enraged the populace: they passed resolutions
and were ready to condemn him. Cicero attacked him vigorously and
advised them to read again the Sibylline verses, expecting that there
was contained in them some punishment, in case their injunctions should
be transgressed. [-60-] Pompey and Crassus were still consuls, the
former acted as his own interests dictated, the latter was for pleasing
his colleague and also soon received money sent him by Gabinius. Thus
they openly justified his conduct, calling Cicero among other names
"exile," and would not put the question to a vote.

[B.C. 54 (_a.u._ 700)]

When, however, they had ended their office, Lucius Domitius and Appius
Claudius became their successors, once more many resolutions were
published and the majority proved to be against Gabinius. Domitius was
hostile to Pompey on account of the latter's canvass and because he had
been appointed consul contrary to his wish. Claudius, although a
relative of Pompey's, still wished to play the game of politics and
indulge the people, and furthermore he expected to get bribes from
Gabinius, if he should cause him any uneasiness. So both worked in every
way against him. The following fact, also, militated strongly against
him; that he had not received a certain lieutenant sent in advance by
Crassus to succeed him in the office, but held fast to the position as
if he had obtained an eternal sovereignty. They decided, therefore, that
the verse of the Sibyl should be read, in spite of Pompey's opposition.
[-61-] Meantime the Tiber, perhaps because excessive rains took place
somewhere up the stream above the city, or because a violent wind from
the sea beat back its outgoing tide, or still more probably, by the act
of some Divinity, suddenly rose so high as to inundate all the lower
levels in the city and to overwhelm much even of the higher ground. The
houses, therefore, being constructed of brick, were soaked through and
washed away, while all the cattle perished under water. And of the men
all who did not take refuge betimes on very high points were caught,
some in their dwellings, some on the streets, and lost their lives. The
remaining houses, too (because the evil lasted for many days), became
rotten and injured some persons at once and others afterward. The
Romans, distressed at such calamities and expecting others worse
because, as they thought, Heaven had become angry with them for the
restoration of Ptolemy, were urgent to put Gabinius to death even while
absent, believing that they would be harmed less if they should destroy
him with speed. So insistent were they that although nothing about
punishment was found in the Sibylline oracles, still the senate passed a
preliminary resolution that the governors and populace might accord him
very bitter and harsh treatment.

[-62-] While this was going on, money sent ahead by Gabinius caused by
its very presence a setback to his interests though he was not only
absent but not even on his way home. And, indeed, he was placed by his
conscience in such a wretched and miserable condition that he long
delayed coming to Italy, and was conveyed to his house by night, and for
a considerable number of days did not dare to appear outside of his
house. Complaints were many and he had abundance of accusers.
Accordingly, he was first tried for the restoration of Ptolemy, as his
greatest offence. Practically the entire populace surged into the
courthouse and often wished to tear him to pieces, particularly because
Pompey was not present and Cicero accused him with fearful earnestness.
Though this was their attitude, he was acquitted. For he himself,
appreciating the gravity of the charges on which he was tried, expended
vast sums of money, and the companions of Pompey and Caesar very
willingly aided him, declaring that a different time and different king
were meant by the Sybil, and, most important of all, that no punishment
for his deeds were recorded in her verses.

[-63-] The populace, therefore, came near killing the jurymen, but, when
they escaped, turned their attention to the remaining complaints against
him and caused him to be convicted at least on those. The men who were
chosen by lot to pass judgment on the charges both feared the people and
likewise obtained but little from Gabinius; knowing that his conduct in
minor matters only was being investigated and expecting to win this time
also he did not lay out much. Hence they condemned him, in spite of
Pompey's proximity and Cicero's advocacy of his cause. Pompey had left
town to attend to the grain, much of which had been ruined by the river,
but set out with the intention of attending the first court, - for he was
in Italy, - and, as he missed that, did not retire from the suburbs until
the other was also finished. He had the people assemble outside the
pomerium, since, as he held already the office of proconsul, he was not
allowed to enter the town, and harangued them at length in behalf of
Gabinius, reading to them a letter sent to him by Caesar in the man's
behalf. He even implored the jurymen, and not only prevented Cicero from
accusing him again but actually persuaded him to plead for him; as a
result the derogatory epithet of "deserter" became widely applied to the
orator. However, he did Gabinius no good: the latter was at this time
convicted and exiled, as stated, but was later restored by Caesar.

[-64-] At this same time the wife of Pompey died, after giving birth to
a baby girl. And whether by the arrangement of Caesar's friends and his
or because there were some who wished on general principles to do them a
favor, they caught up the body, as soon as she had received proper
eulogies in the Forum, and buried it in the Campus Martius. The
opposition of Domitius and his declaration (among others) that it was
impious for any one to be buried in the sacred spot without some decree
proved of no avail.

[-65-] At this season Gaius Pomptinus also celebrated the triumph over
the Gauls. Up to that time, as no one granted him the right to hold it,
he had remained outside the pomerium. And he would have missed it then,
too, had not Servius Galba, who had made a campaign with him, granted as
praetor secretly and just before dawn to certain persons the privilege of
voting: - this, in spite of the fact that it is not permitted by law for
any business to be transacted in the popular assembly before the first
hour. For this reason some of the tribunes, who had been left out of the
meeting, caused him trouble (at least, in the procession), so that there
was some killing.



The following is contained in the Fortieth of Dio's Rome.

How Caesar for the second time sailed across into Britain (chapters 1-3.)

How Caesar turned back from Britain and again engaged in war with the
Gauls (chapters 4-11).

How Crassus began to carry on war with the Parthians (chapters 12, 13).

About the Parthians (chapters 14, 15).

How Crassus was defeated by them and perished (chapters 16-30).

How Caesar subjugated the whole of Transalpine Gaul (chapters 31-43).

How Milo killed Clodius and was condemned by the court (chapters 44-57).

How Caesar and Pompey began to be at variance (chapters 58-66).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consulship of Domitius and Appius
Claudius, together with four additional years, in which there were the
following magistrates here enumerated.

Cn. Domitius M.F. Calvinus, M. Valerius || Messala. || (B.C. 53 = a.u.

|| Cn. Pompeius || Cn. F. Magnus (III), Caecilius Metellus Scipio Nasicae
F. (B.C. 52 = a.u. 702.)

Servius Sulpicius Q.F. Rufus, M. Claudius M.F. Marcellus. (B.C. 51 =
a.u. 703.)

L. Aemilius M.F. Paulus, || C. Claudius C.F. Marcellus. || (B.C. 50 =
a.u. 704.)


[B.C. 54 (_a.u._ 700)]

[-1-] These were the occurrences in Rome while the city was passing
through its seven hundredth year. In Gaul Caesar during the year of those
same consuls, Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius, among other
undertakings constructed ships of a style halfway between his own swift
vessels and the native ships of burden, endeavoring to make them as
light as possible and yet entirely seaworthy, and he left them on dry
land to avoid injury. When the weather became fit for sailing, he
crossed over again to Britain, giving as his excuse that the people of
that country, thinking that he would never cross to them again because
he had once retired empty-handed, had not sent all the hostages they had
promised; the truth of the matter was that he vehemently coveted the
island, so that he would have certainly found some other pretext, if
this had not been in existence. He came to land at the same place as
before, no one daring to oppose him because of the number of his ships
and his approaching the shore at all points at once; thus he got
possession of the harbor immediately. [-2-] The barbarians for the
reasons specified had not been able to hinder his approach and being far
more afraid than before, because he had come with a larger army, carried
away all their most valued possessions into the most woody and overgrown
portions of the neighboring country. After they had put them in safety
by cutting down the surrounding wood and piling more upon it row after
row until the whole looked like an entrenched camp, they proceeded to
annoy Roman foraging parties. Indeed, in one battle after being defeated
on open ground they drew the invaders toward that spot in pursuit, and
killed many of them. Soon after, as storm had once more damaged the
ships, the Britons sent for allies and set out against their naval
arsenal itself, with Casuvellaunus, regarded as the foremost of the
chiefs in the island, at their head. The Romans upon meeting them were
at first thrown into confusion by the attack of their chariots, but
later opened ranks, and by letting them pass through and striking the
occupants obliquely as they drove by, made the battle equal. [-3-] For
the time being both parties remained where they were. At another meeting
the barbarians proved superior to the infantry, but were damaged by the
cavalry and withdrew to the Thames, where they encamped after planting
stakes across the ford, some visible and some under water. But Caesar by
a powerful assault forced them to leave the palisade and later on by
siege drove them from the fort, and others repulsed a party of theirs
that attacked the harbor. They then became terrified and made terms,
giving hostages and being rated for a yearly tribute.

[-4-] Under these circumstances Caesar departed entirely from the island
and left no body of troops behind in it. He believed that such a force
would be in danger while passing the winter on a foreign shore and that
it might be inconvenient for him to absent himself from Gaul for any
considerable period: hence he was satisfied with his present
achievements, in the fear that if he reached for more, he might be
deprived of these. It seemed that in this he had done rightly, as was,
indeed, proved by what took place. For when he had gone to Italy,
intending to winter there, the Gauls, though each separate nation
contained many garrisons, still planned resistance and some of them
openly revolted. So if this had happened while he was staying in Britain
to finish the winter season, all the hither regions would have been a
scene of confusion indeed.

[-5-] This war was begun by the Eburones, under Ambiorix as chief. They
said the disturbance was due to their being oppressed by the presence of
the Romans, who were commanded by Sabinus and Lucius Cotta, lieutenants.
As a matter of fact they despised the garrison, thinking they would not
prove competent to defend themselves and expecting that Caesar would not
speedily head an expedition against their tribe. They accordingly came
upon the soldiers unawares, expecting to take the camp without striking
a blow, and, when they failed of this, had recourse to deceit. Ambiorix
after setting ambuscades in the most suitable spots came to the Romans
for a parley and represented that he had taken part in the war against
his will and was himself sorry. But against the others he advised them
be on their guard, for his compatriots would not obey him and were
intending to attack the garrison at night. Consequently he made the
suggestion to them that they should abandon Eburonia, because they would
be in danger, if they stayed, and pass on as quickly as possible to
where some of their comrades were wintering near by.[-6-] The Romans
were persuaded by this disclosure, especially as he had received many
favors from Caesar and seemed in this to be repaying him in kindness.
They packed up their belongings with zeal just after nightfall and
later[59] started out, but fell into the ambush set and suffered a
terrible reverse. Cotta with many others perished immediately: Sabinus
was sent for by Ambiorix under the pretext of saving him, for the Gallic
leader was not on the ground and even then seemed faithful to him
personally; on his arrival, however, Ambiorix seized him, stripped him
of his arms and clothing, and then struck him down with his javelin,
uttering boasts over him, one to this effect: "How can such creatures as
you are have the idea of ruling a nation of our strength?" This was the
fate that these men suffered. The rest managed to break through to the
fortress from which they had set out, but when the barbarians assailed
that, too, and they could neither repel them nor escape, they killed one

[-7-] After this event some other of the neighboring tribes revolted,
among them the Nervii, though Quintus Cicero, a brother of Marcus Cicero
and lieutenant of Caesar, was wintering in their territory. Ambiorix
added them to his force and began a conflict with Cicero. The contest
was close, and after capturing some prisoners alive the chieftain tried
to deceive him likewise, but being unable to do so resorted to siege.
Before long by means of his large force and the experience which he had
gained from the campaign that he made with the Romans, together with
some detailed information that he obtained from the captives, he managed
to enclose him with a palisade and ditch. There were battles, as natural
in such operations, - many of them, - and far larger numbers of barbarians
perished, because there were more of them. They, however, by reason of
their abundant army were never in sight of destruction, whereas the
Romans, not being many in the first place, kept continually growing
fewer and were encompassed without difficulty. [-8-] They were unable to
treat their wounds with success through lack of the necessary
applications, and did not have a large supply of food, because they had
been besieged unexpectedly. No one came to their aid, though many were
wintering at no great distance, for the barbarians guarded the roads
with care and all who were sent out they caught and slaughtered before
the eyes of their friends. As they were therefore in danger of being
captured, a Nervian who was friendly to them as the result of kindness
shown and at this time was besieged with Cicero, presented them with a
slave of his to send as a messenger through the lines. Because of his
dress and his native speech he would be able to associate with the enemy
as one of their number, without attracting notice, and after that he
could depart. [-9-] In this way Caesar learned of what was taking place
(he had not yet gone to Italy but was still on the way), and, turning
back, took with him the soldiers in the winter establishments through
which he passed, and pressed rapidly on. Meanwhile being afraid that
Cicero in despair of assistance might suffer disaster or capitulate, he
sent forward a horseman. He did not trust the servant of the Nervian, in
spite of having received an actual proof of his good will: he was afraid
that he might pity his countrymen and work him some great evil. So he
sent a horseman of the allies who knew their dialect and had dressed
himself in their garb. And in order that even he might not voluntarily
or involuntarily reveal the secret he gave him no verbal message and
wrote to Cicero in Greek all the injunctions that he wished to give, in
order that even if the letter should be captured, it might still be
incomprehensible to the barbarians and afford them no information. He
had also the custom as a usual thing, when he was sending a secret order
to any one, to write constantly the fourth letter beyond, instead of the
proper one, so that the writing might be unintelligible to most persons.
The horseman reached the camp of the Romans, but not being able to come
close up to it he fastened the letter to a small javelin and hurled it
into the enemy's ranks, fixing it purposely in a tower.[-10-] Thus
Cicero, on learning of the advent of Caesar, took courage and held out
more stubbornly. The barbarians for a long time knew nothing of the
assistance he was bringing; he journeyed by night, lying by day in most
obscure places, so as to fall upon them as far as possible unawares. At
last from the unnatural cheerfulness of the besieged they suspected it
and sent out scouts. Learning from them that Caesar was at last drawing
near they set out against him, thinking to attack him while off his
guard. He received advance information of this movement and remained
where he was that night, but just before dawn took up a strong position.
There he encamped apparently with the utmost haste, for the purpose of
appearing to have only a few followers, to have suffered from the
journey, to fear their onset, and by this plan to draw them to the
higher ground. And so it proved. Their contempt for him led them to
charge up hill, and they met with such a severe defeat that they
committed not another warlike act.

[-11-] In this way both they and all the rest were at that time subdued;
they did not, however, feel kindly toward the Romans. The Treveri,
indeed, when Caesar sent for the principal men[60] of each tribe and
punished them, through fear that they, too, might be called upon to pay
the penalty assumed again a hostile attitude, lending an attentive ear
to the persuasions of Indutiomarus. They led some others who feared the
same treatment to revolt and headed an expedition against Titus
Labienus, who was among the Remi, but were annihilated in an unexpected
sally made by the Romans.

[-12-] This was what took place in Gaul, and Caesar wintered there so as
to be able to keep strict control of affairs. Crassus, desiring for his
part to accomplish something that would confer some glory and profit
upon him, made a campaign against the Parthians, since after
consideration he saw no such opportunity in Syria, where the people were
quiet and the officers who had formerly warred against the Romans were
by reason of their impotency causing no disturbance. He had no complaint
to bring against the Parthians nor had war been decreed, but he heard
that they were exceeding wealthy and expected that Orodes would be easy
to capture, because but newly established. Therefore he crossed the
Euphrates and proceeded to traverse a considerable portion of
Mesopotamia, devastating and ravaging the country. As his crossing was
unexpected by the barbarians no strong guard had been placed at that
point. Silaces, then governor of that region, was quickly defeated near

Online LibraryCassius DioDio's Rome, Volume 2 An Historical Narrative Originally Composed in Greek During the Reigns of Septimius Severus, Geta and Caracalla, Macrinus, Elagabalus and Alexander Severus; and Now Presented in E → online text (page 13 of 30)