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

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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 16 of 30)
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ordered the soldiers to drive them out of the Forum by striking them
with the side, or the flat, of their swords. When they would not yield,
but showed defiance as if the broadsides were being used for mere sport,
some of them were wounded and killed.

[-54-] After this, the courts being convened in quiet, many were
condemned on various charges, and, for the murder of Clodius, Milo among
others though he had Cicero as a defender. That orator, seeing Pompey
and the soldiers contrary to custom in the court, was alarmed and
overwhelmed with dread, so that he did not deliver any of the speech he
had prepared, but after saying a few words with effort in a half-dead
voice, was glad to retire. This speech which is now supposed to have
been delivered at that time in behalf of Milo he wrote some time later
and at leisure, when he had recovered his courage. There is also the
following story about it. When Milo, in banishment, made the
acquaintance of the speech sent to him by Cicero, he wrote back saying
that it was lucky for him those words had not been spoken in that form
in the court; for he would not be eating such fine mullets in Massilia
(where he was passing his exile), if any such defence had been made.
This he wrote, not because he was pleased with his circumstances, - he
made many ventures to secure his return, - but as a joke on Cicero,
because after saying nothing important at the time of the defence he
later both practiced and sent to him these fruitless words, as if they
could now be of any service to him.

[-55-] In this way Milo was convicted; and so were Rufus and Plancus, as
soon as they had finished their term of office, together with numerous
others on account of the burning of the senate-house. Plancus was not
even benefited by Pompey, who was so earnest in his behalf that he sent
to the court a volume containing both a eulogy of the prisoner and a
supplication for him. Marcus Cato, who was eligible to sit as a juryman,
said he would not allow the eulogizer to destroy his own laws. But he
got no opportunity to cast his vote; for Plancus rejected him, feeling
sure that he would give his voice for condemnation: (by the laws of
Pompey each of the parties to a suit was allowed to set aside five out
of the number that were to judge him;) the other jurors, however, voted
against him, especially as it did not seem right to them after they had
condemned Rufus to acquit Plancus, who was on trial on the same charge.
And when they saw Pompey co√ґperating with him, they showed the more zeal
against him, for fear they might be thought to be absolute slaves of his
rather than jurymen. It should be said that on this occasion, too,
Cicero accused Plancus no better than he had defended Milo: for the
appearance of the courtroom was the same, and Pompey in each case was
planning and acting against him, - a circumstance that naturally led to a
second collision between them.

[-56-] After attending to these matters Pompey revived the law about
elections (which had fallen somewhat into disuse) commanding those who
seek an office to present themselves without fail before the assembly,
so that no one who is absent may be chosen. He also confirmed the
ordinance, passed a short time previously, that those who had held
office in the city should not be allotted to foreign governorships
before five years had passed. He was not ashamed at this time to record
such measures, although a little later he himself took Spain for five
years more and granted Caesar, whose friends were in a terrible state of
irritation, the right to canvass for the consulship (as had been
decreed), even in his absence. He amended the law to read that only
those should be permitted to do it who were granted the privilege by
name and without disguise; but of course this was no different from its
not being prohibited at all, for men who had any influence were
certainly going to manage to get the right voted to them.

[-57-] Such were the political acts of Pompey. Scipio without enacting
any new laws abolished the measures emanating from Clodius, with regard
to the censors. It looked as though he had done this out of favor to
them since he restored to them the authority which they formerly had:
but it turned out to be the opposite. For in view of the fact that there
were many worthless men both in the equestrian and in the senatorial
orders, so long as it had not been permitted them to expel any one,
either accused or convicted, no fault was found with them on account of
those whose names were not expunged. But when they got back their old
power and were allowed to do this and to examine the life of each man
separately, they had not the hardihood to come to an open break with
many and did not wish to incur any censure for not expelling those
guilty of improper conduct, and for this reason no sensible person had
any desire for the office any longer.

[-58-] This was the vote passed with regard to the censors. Cato on the
whole did not wish any office, but seeing Caesar and Pompey outgrowing
the system of government, and surmising that they would either get
control of affairs between themselves or would quarrel with each other
and create a mighty strife, the victor in which would be sole ruler, he
wished to overthrow them before they became antagonists, and hence
sought the consulship to use it against them, because as a private
citizen he was likely to wield no influence.

[B.C. 51 (_a.u._ 703)]

His designs were guessed, however, by the adherents of the two men and
he was not appointed, but instead Marcus Marcellus and Sulpicius Rufus
were chosen, the one on account of his acquaintance with the law and the
other for his ability in speaking. One special reason was that they,
even if they did not employ bribes or violence, yet showed deference to
all and were wont to exhort people frequently, whereas Cato was
deferential to no one. He never again became a candidate for the office,
saying that it was the duty of an upright man not to avoid the
leadership of the commonwealth if any person wished him to enjoy it, nor
yet to pursue it beyond the limits of propriety. [-59-] Marcellus at
once directed all his efforts to compass the downfall of Caesar, - for he
was of Pompey's party, - and among the many measures against him that he
proposed was one to the effect that a successor to him should be sent
before the appointed time. He was resisted by Sulpicius and some of the
tribunes, - by the latter out of good will toward Caesar. Sulpicius made
common cause with them and with the multitude, because he did not like
the idea of a magistrate who had done no wrong being stopped in the
middle of his term. Pompey was starting from the city with the avowed
intention of leading an expedition into Spain, but he did not at this
time even leave the bounds of Italy, and after assigning to his
lieutenants the entire business abroad he himself kept close watch on
the city. Now when he heard how things were going, he pretended that the
plan of having Caesar detached from his command did not please him
either, but he arranged matters so that when Caesar should have served
out the time allowed him, an event not of the distant future, but due to
occur the following year, - he should lay down his arms and return home
to be a private citizen. In pursuance of this object he made Gaius
Marcellus, a cousin of Marcus,[67] or a brother (both traditions are
current), obtain the consulship, because although allied to Caesar by
marriage he was hostile to him; and he made Gaius Curio, who was also an
oldtime foe of his rival, receive the tribuneship.

[B.C. 50 (_a.u._ 704)]

[-60-] Caesar was on no account inclined to become a private citizen
after so great a command and one of such long standing, and was afraid
that he might fall into the power of his enemies. Therefore he made
preparations to stay in office in spite of them, collected additional
soldiers, gathered money, manufactured arms, and conducted himself to
please all. Meanwhile, desiring to settle matters at home somewhat
beforehand, so as not to seem to be gaining all his ends by violence,
but some by persuasion, he decided to effect a reconciliation with
Curio. For the latter belonged to the family of the Curiones, had a keen
intelligence, was eloquent, was greatly trusted by the populace and
absolutely unsparing of money for all purposes by which he could either
benefit himself or hoped to gain benefit for others. So, by buoying him
up with many hopes and releasing him from all his debts which on account
of his great expenditures were numerous, Caesar attached him to himself.
In view of the present importance of the objects for which he was
working he did not spare money, since he could collect it from the
people themselves, and he also promised various persons large sums, of
which he was destined to give them not the smallest particle. He courted
not only the free but the slaves who had any influence whatever with
their masters, and as a result a number of the knights and the senators,
too, joined his party.

[-61-]Thus Curio began to espouse Caesar's cause; not immediately,
however, did he begin to show open activity, because he was seeking an
excuse of fair semblance and was trying to appear to have transferred
his allegiance not willingly, but under compulsion. He also took into
consideration that the more he should associate with his patron's
enemies in the guise of their friend the more and the greater secrets of
theirs he would learn. For these reasons he dissimulated for a very long
time, and to prevent any suspicion of his having changed sides and not
maintaining and representing still at this time an attitude of
unqualified opposition to Caesar as one of the leading spirits in the
movement, he even made a public harangue against him, as a result of
which he gained the tribuneship and prepared many unusual measures. Some
bills he offered against the senate and its most powerful members, who
were especially active in Pompey's behalf, not because he either wished
or expected that any one of them would be passed, but in order that, as
they did not accept them, so no measure might be passed against Caesar
(for many motions to his detriment were being offered by many persons),
and that he himself might transfer his support on this excuse.

[-62-]After this, having used up considerable time at various occasions
on various pretexts, not a single one of which met with favor, he
pretended to be vexed and asked that another month be inserted for the
legislation that resulted from his measures. This practice was followed
at regular periods, established by custom, but not for any such reason
as his, and he himself, being pontifex, understood that fact.
Nevertheless he said that it ought to be done and made a fine show of
forcing his fellow-priests. At last not being able to persuade them to
assent to his proposal (of which he was very glad), he would not permit
any other matter for this reason to voted upon. On the contrary he
already began openly to justify Caesar's actions, since, as he said, he
was unable to accomplish anything against him, and brought forward every
possible proposition which was sure of not being accepted. The chief of
these was that all persons in arms must lay these down and disband their
legions, or else they should not strip Caesar of his weapons and expose
him to the forces of his rivals. This he said, not because he wished
Caesar to do it, but because he well understood that Pompey would not
yield obedience to it, and thus a plausible excuse was offered the
former for not dismissing his soldiers.

[-63-] Pompey, accordingly, as he could effect nothing in any other way,
proceeded without any further disguise to harsh measures and openly said
and did everything against Caesar. He failed, however, to accomplish
aught. Caesar had many followers, among them Lucius Paulus, colleague of
Marcellus, and Lucius Piso, his father-in-law, who was censor. For at
this time Appius Claudius and Piso (though the latter did not desire
it), were made censors. So Piso on account of his relationship belonged
to Caesar, while Claudius opposed him, espousing Pompey's cause, yet
quite involuntarily he rendered Caesar very efficient aid. He expelled
very many both of the knights and the senators, overpowering his
colleague, and in this made them all favor Caesar's aspirations. Piso on
every account wished to avoid trouble and to maintain friendship with
his son-in-law paid court to many people, being himself responsible for
none of the above acts, but he did not resist Claudius when he drove
from senate all the freedmen and numbers of the real nobility, among
them Sallustius Crispus who wrote the History. When Curio, however, was
about to have his name expunged, Piso, with the help of Paulus (whose
kinsman he was), did beg him off. [-64-] Consequently Claudius did not
expel him but made public in the senate the opinion that he had of him,
so that he, indignant, rent his clothes. Marcellus followed him, and
thinking that the senate would pass some severe vote against Curio and,
because of him, against Caesar, brought forward propositions about him.
Curio at first opposed any decision being rendered regarding him; but on
coming to realize that of the majority of the senators then present some
really were attached to Caesar's cause and others thoroughly feared him,
he allowed them to decide, saying incidentally only this: "I am
conscious of doing what is best and most advantageous for my country: to
you, however, I surrender both my body and soul to treat as you please."
Marcellus accordingly accused him, thinking that he would certainly be
convicted, and then when he was acquitted by the majority the accuser
took it greatly to heart: rushing out of the assembly he came to Pompey,
who was in the suburbs, and on his own responsibility, without the
formality of a vote, gave him charge to keep guard over the city along
with two legions of civilians. These soldiers were then present, having
been collected in the following way and for the following purpose.
[-65-] Pompey before this, while he was still on friendly terms with
Caesar, had given him one legion composed of those troops which according
to the register belonged to him, inasmuch as he was not conducting any
war and Caesar had need of soldiers. When they fell out with each other,
in his desire to get this back from him and to deprive him of yet
another he delivered a speech, stating that Bibulus required soldiers
against the Parthians; and in order that no new levies should be
raised, - for the matter was urgent, he said, and they had an abundance
of legions, - he got it voted that each of them, himself and Caesar, must
send one to him. Thereupon he failed to despatch any of those engaged in
warfare under his own command, but ordered those whose business it was
to demand that legion which he had given to Caesar. So nominally both of
them contributed, but in reality Caesar alone sent the two. He knew what
was being done, but complied with the demand, not wishing to incur the
charge of disobedience, particularly because on this excuse he intended
to raise in turn many more soldiers.

[-66-] These legions, therefore, were apparently made ready to be sent
against the Parthians, but when there proved to be no need of them,
(there was really no use to which they could be put,) Marcellus, fearing
that they might be restored to Caesar, at first declared that they must
remain in Italy, and then, as I have said, gave them into Pompey's
charge. These proceedings took place near the close of the year and were
destined not to be in force for long, since they had been approved
neither by the senate nor by the populace: accordingly, he brought over
to Pompey's side Cornelius Lentulus and Gaius Claudius, who were to hold
the consulship the next year, and caused them to issue the same
commands. Since they were allowed to give out letters to men appointed
to office and to perform even so early some other functions belonging to
the highest post in the state before they assumed it, they believed that
they had authority also in this matter. And Pompey, although he was very
exact in all other details, nevertheless on account of his need of
soldiers did not investigate this action at all, nor the sources from
which he was getting them, nor in what way, but accepted them very
gratefully. Yet no such result was accomplished as one would have
expected to come from so great a piece of audacity: they merely
displayed their enmity toward Caesar, as a consequence of which they
could not gather any further formidable equipment, and furnished to him
a plausible excuse for retaining the troops that were with him. For
Curio using the acts mentioned as his text delivered before the populace
a violent arraignment both of the consuls and of Pompey, and when he had
finished his term he at once set out to join Caesar.



The following is contained in the Forty-first of Dio's Rome.

How Caesar came into Italy, and how Pompey, leaving it, sailed across to
Macedonia (chapters 1-17).

How Caesar subjugated Spain (chapters 18-37).

How Caesar sailed across to Macedonia to encounter Pompey (chapters

How Caesar and Pompey fought at Dyrrachium (chapters 47-51).

How Caesar conquered Pompey at Pharsalus (chapters 52-63).

Duration of time, two years, in which there were the following
magistrates, here enumerated.

L. Cornelius P.F. Lentulus, C. Claudius M.F. Marcellus. (B.C. 49 =
a.u. 705.)

C. Iulius C.F. Caesar (II), P. Servilius P.F. Isauricus. (B.C. 48 =
a.u. 706.)


[B.C. 49 (_a.u._ 705)]

[-1-] This is what he (sc. Curio) did then: later he came to Rome with a
letter to the senate from Caesar on the very first day of the month on
which Cornelius Lentulus and Gains Claudius entered upon office; and he
would not give it to the consuls until they reached the senate-house,
for fear that if they received it outside they might conceal it. Even as
it was they waited a long time, not wishing to read it, but at last they
were compelled by Quintus Cassius Longinus and Mark Antony, the
tribunes, to make it public. Now Antony for the favor he did Caesar at
the time in this matter was destined to receive a great return and to be
raised himself to heights of power. In the letter was contained a list
of the benefits which Caesar had conferred upon the commonwealth and a
defence of the charges which were brought against him. He promised that
he would disband his legions and give up his office if Pompey would also
do the same: for while the latter bore arms, he said, it was not just
for him to be compelled to part with his and so be exposed to his

[-2-] The vote on this proposition was taken not individually for fear
that through having respect to others or some element of fear the
senators might express the opposite of their true opinion; but it was
done by their taking their stand on this side or on that of the
senate-chamber. No one voted that Pompey should cease to bear arms (for
he had his troops in the suburbs), but all, except one Marcus Caelius and
Curio, who had carried his letter, decided that Caesar must. About the
tribunes I say nothing because no necessity was laid upon them to
separate into two different groups; for they had authority to contribute
their vote if they wished, or otherwise not. This, then, was the
decision made, but Antony and Longinus did not allow any point in it to
be ratified either on that day or the next. [-3-] The rest, indignant at
this, voted to change their garb, but through the intervention of the
same men did not obtain ratification of this measure either. Their
opinion, however, was recorded and the appropriate action followed:
namely, all straightway left the senate-house, and after changing their
clothes came in again and proceeded to deliberate about vengeance to be
taken on the obstructionists. They, seeing this, at first resisted but
later became afraid, especially when Lentulus advised them to get out of
the way before the votes should be cast: hence after many remarks and
protestations they set out with Curio and with Caelius to Caesar, little
heeding that they had been expelled from the senate. This was the
determination reached at that time, and the care of the city was
committed to the consuls and to the other magistrates, as had been the
custom. Afterward the senators went outside the pomerium to Pompey
himself, declared that there was a state of disorder, and gave to him
both the money and soldiers. They voted that Caesar should surrender his
office to his successors and send away his legions by a given day, or
else be considered an enemy, because acting contrary to the interests of
the country.

[-4-] When he was informed of this he came to Ariminum, then for the
first time overstepping the confines of his own province, and after
collecting his soldiers he bade Curio and the others who had come with
him relate what had been done by them. After this was finished he
inspirited them by adding such words as the occasion demanded. Next he
set out and marched straight upon Rome itself, taking possession of all
the intervening cities without a conflict, since the garrisons of some
abandoned them by reason of weakness and others espoused his cause.
Pompey, perceiving this, was frightened, especially when he learned all
his intentions from Labienus. The latter had abandoned Caesar and come as
a deserter, and he announced all the latter's secrets to Pompey. One
might feel surprise that after having always been honored by Caesar in
the highest degree, to the extent of governing all the legions beyond
the Alps whenever their head was in Italy, he should have done this. The
reason was that when he had clothed himself with wealth and fame he
began to conduct himself more haughtily than his position warranted, and
Caesar, seeing that he put himself on the same level with his master,
ceased to be so fond of him. As he could not endure this changed
attitude and was at the same time afraid of suffering some harm, he
transferred his allegiance.

[-5-]Pompey as a result of what was told him about Caesar and because he
had not yet prepared a force to cope with him changed his plans: for he
saw that the dwellers in the city, yes, the members of the sedition
themselves, even more than the others, shrank from the war through
remembrance of the deeds of Marius and Sulla and wished to escape it in
safety. Therefore he sent as envoys to Caesar, Lucius Caesar, a relative
of his, and Lucius Roscius, a praetor, - both of them volunteering for the
service, - to see if he could avoid his open attack and then make an
agreement with him on some fair terms. The other replied to the same
effect as in his letter, previously forwarded, and said also that he
wished to converse with Pompey: but the people were displeased to hear
this, fearing that some measures might be concerted against them. When,
however, the envoys uttered many words in praise of Caesar, and finally
promised besides that no one should suffer any harm at his hands and
that the legions should immediately be disbanded, they were pleased and
sent the same envoys to him again, and besought both of the opposing
leaders with shouts, calling upon them everywhere and always to lay down
their arms at the same time. [-6-] Pompey was frightened at this,
knowing well that he would be far inferior to Caesar if they should both
have to depend on the clemency of the populace, and betook himself to
Campania before the envoys returned, with the idea that there he could
more easily make war. He also commanded the whole senate together with
those who held the offices to accompany him, granting them permission by
a decree of absence, and telling them in advance that whoever remained
behind he should regard as equal and alike to those were working against
him. Furthermore he enjoined them to vote that all the public moneys and
the votive offerings in the city be removed, hoping that from this
source he could gather a vast number of soldiers. For practically all
the cities of Italy felt such friendliness for him that when a short
time before they had heard he was dangerously ill, they vowed they would
offer public sacrifices for his preservation. That this was a great and
brilliant honor which they bestowed upon him no one could gainsay; there
is no one in whose behalf such a vote has been passed, except those who
later assumed absolute sovereignty: nevertheless he had not a sure
ground of confidence that they would not abandon him under the influence

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 16 of 30)