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 17 of 30)
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of fear of a stronger power. The recommendation about the moneys and the
votive offerings was allowed, but neither of them was touched; for
having ascertained meanwhile that Caesar's answer to the envoys had been
anything but peaceful and that he also reproached them with having made
some false statements about him, that his soldiers were many and bold
and liable to do any kind of mischief (such reports, tending to greater
terror, as are usually made about such matters), the senators became
frightened and hastily took their departure before they could lay a
finger on any of the objects.

[-7-] For reason their removal was equally in all other respects of a
tumultuous and confused appearance. The departing citizens, practically
all of whom were the foremost men of the senate and of the knights and
of the populace, nominally were setting out for war, but really were
undergoing the experiences of captives. They were terribly distressed at
being compelled to abandon their country and their pursuits there, and
to consider foreign walls more native than their own. Such as removed
with their entire household said farewell to the temples and their
houses and their paternal threshold with the feeling that these would
straightway become the property of their opponents: they themselves, not
being ignorant of Pompey's intention, had the purpose, in case they
should survive, of establishing themselves in Macedonia or Thrace. And
those who left behind on the spot their children and wives and their
other most valued possessions appeared to have some little hope of their
country but really fared much worse than the others, since being
sundered from their dearest treasures they exposed themselves to a
double and most hostile fortune. For in delivering their closest
interests to the power of their bitterest foes they were destined to
play the coward and yet themselves encounter danger, to show zeal and
yet to be deprived of what they prized: moreover they would find a
friend in neither rival, but an enemy in both, - in Caesar because they
themselves did not remain behind, and in Pompey because they did not
take the others with them. Hence they assumed a twofold attitude in
their decisions, in their prayers, and in their hopes: with their bodies
they were being drawn away from those nearest to them, and their souls
they found cleft in twain.

[-8-] These were the feelings of the departing throng: and those left
behind had to face a different, but equally unpleasant situation. Bereft
of the association of their nearest relatives, deprived, as it were, of
their guardians and far from able to defend themselves, exposed to the
enemy and about to be subject to the authority of him who should make
himself master of the city, they were themselves distressed by fear both
of outrages and of murders as if they were already taking place. In view
of these same possibilities such as were angry at the fugitives, because
they themselves had been left in the lurch, cursed them for it, and
those who condoned their action because of the necessity still felt
consequent fears. The rest of the populace entire, even if they
possessed not the least kinship with those departing, were nevertheless
grieved at their fate, some expecting that their neighbors, and others
that their comrades would go far away from them and do and suffer many
unusual things. Most of all they bewailed their own lot, seeing the
magistrates and the senate and all the rest who had any power, - they
were not sure whether a single one of them would be left behind, - cast
out of their country and away from them. They reflected how those men,
had not many altogether dreadful calamities fastened themselves upon the
State, would never have wished to flee, and they likened themselves,
made destitute of allies, in every conceivable respect to orphaned
children and widow women. Being the first to await the wrath and the
lust of the oncoming foe, they remembered their former sufferings, some
by experience and others by hearing it from the victims, all the
outrages that Marius and Sulla had committed, and they therefore did not
look to Caesar for moderate treatment.[68] On the contrary, because his
army was constituted very largely of barbarians, they expected that
their misfortunes would be far more in number and more terrible than
those of yore.

[-9-] Since, then, all of them were in this condition, and no one except
those who appeared to be good friends of Caesar made light of the
situation, and even they, in consideration of the change of character to
which most men are subject according to their circumstances, were not
courageous enough to think that the source of their confidence was
reliable, it is not easy to conceive how great confusion and how great
grief prevailed at the departure of the consuls and those who set out
with them. All night they made an uproar in packing up and going about,
and toward dawn great sorrow fell upon them, induced by the action of
the priests, who went about offering prayers on every side. They invoked
the gods, showered kisses on the floors, enumerated how many times and
from what perils they had survived, and lamented that they were leaving
their country, - a venture they had never made before. Near the gates,
too, there was much wailing. Some took fond leave at once of each other
and of the city as if they were beholding them for the last time: others
bewailed their own lot and joined their prayers to those of the
departing: the larger number, on the ground that they were being
betrayed, uttered maledictions. The whole population, even those that
stayed behind, were there with all the women and all the children. Then
the one group set out on their way and the other group escorted them.
Some interposed delays and were detained by their acquaintances: others
embraced and clung to each other for a long time. Those that remained
accompanied those setting out, calling after them and expressing their
sympathy, while with invocations of Heaven they besought them to take
them, too or to remain at home themselves. Meanwhile there were shrill
sounds of wailing over each one of the exiles even from outsiders, and
insatiate floods of tears. Hope for the best they were scarcely at all
inclined to entertain in their condition; it was rather suffering which
was expected, first by those who were left and subsequently by those who
were departing. Any one that saw them would have guessed that two
peoples and two cities were being made from one and that one was being
driven out and was fleeing, whereas the other was being left to its fate
and was being captured.

[-10-] Pompey thus left the city drawing many of the senators after him;
some remained behind, either attached to Caesar's cause or maintaining a
neutral attitude toward both. He hastily raised levies from the cities,
collected money, and sent garrisons to almost every point. Caesar, when
he learned this, did not hurry to Rome: it, he knew, was offered as a
prize to the victors, and he said that he was not marching against that
place as hostile to him but against his political opponents in its
behalf. And he sent a letter throughout all Italy in which he summoned
Pompey to a kind of trial, encouraged all to be of good cheer, bade them
remain in their places, and made them many promises. He set out next
against Corfinium, which, being occupied by Lucius Domitius, had not
joined his adherents, and after conquering in battle a few who met him
he shut up the rest in a state of siege. Pompey, inasmuch as these
citizens were being besieged and many of the others were falling off to
Caesar, had no further hope of Italy but resolved to cross over into
Macedonia, Greece, and Asia. He derived much encouragement from the
remembrance of what he had achieved there and from the friendship of the
people and the princes. (Spain was likewise devoted to him, but he could
not reach it safely because Caesar had possession of both the Gauls.)
Moreover he calculated that if he should sail away, no one would pursue
him on account of the lack of boats and on account of the winter, - the
late autumn being far advanced, - and meanwhile he would at leisure amass
both money and troops, much of them from subject and much from allied
territory. [-11-] With this design, therefore, he himself set out for
Brundusium and bade Domitius abandon Corfinium and accompany him. In
spite of the large force that Domitius had and the hopes he reposed in
it - for he had courted the favor of the soldiers in every way and had
won some of them by promises of land (having belonged to Sulla's
veterans he had acquired a large amount in that reign) - he nevertheless
obeyed orders. Meanwhile Pompey proceeded with his preparations to
evacuate the country in safety: his associates learning this shrank from
the journey abroad, because it seemed to them a flight, and attached
themselves to Caesar. So these joined the invader's army: but Domitius
and the other senators after being censured by Caesar for arraying
themselves in opposition, were released and came to Pompey.

[-12-]Caesar now was anxious to join issue with him before he sailed
away, to fight it out with him in Italy, and to overtake him while he
was still at Brundusium; for since there were not sufficient boats for
them, Pompey had sent forward the consuls and others, fearing that they
might begin some rebellion if they stayed on the spot. Caesar, seeing the
difficulty of capturing the place, urged his opponent to accede to some
agreement, assuring him that he should obtain both peace and friendship
again. When Pompey made no further response than that he would
communicate to the consuls what Caesar said, the latter, inasmuch as they
had decided to receive no citizen in arms for a conference, assaulted
the city. Pompey repelled him for some days until the boats came back.
Having meanwhile barricaded and obstructed with fortifications the roads
leading to the harbor so that no one should attack him while sailing
off, he then set sail by night. Thus he crossed over to Macedonia in
safety and Brundusium was captured as well as two boats full of men.

[-13-] Pompey accordingly deserted in this way his country and the rest
of Italy, choosing and carrying out quite the opposite of his former
course, when he sailed back to it from Asia; wherefore he obtained the
reverse fortune and the reverse reputation. Formerly he broke up his
legions at Brundusium, in order not to cause the citizens any
solicitude, but now he was leading away through the town to fight
against them other forces gathered from Italy. Whereas he had brought
the wealth of the barbarians to Rome, he had now conveyed away from it
all that he possibly could to other places. And of all those at home he
was in despair, but purposed to use against his country foreigners and
the allies once enslaved by him, and he put far more hope in them both
of safety and of power than in those who had been benefited. Instead of
the brilliance, therefore, which, acquired in those wars, had marked his
arrival, he set out with humiliation as his portion in return for his
fear of Caesar: and instead of fame which he had had for exalting his
country, he became most infamous for his desertion of her.

[-14-] At the very moment of coming to land at Dyrrachium he learned
that he should not obtain a prosperous outcome. Thunderbolts destroyed
soldiers even as the ships were approaching; spiders occupied the army
standards; and after he had left the vessel serpents followed and
obliterated his footprints. These were the portents which he encountered
in person, but before the whole capital others had occurred both that
year and a short time previously. For there is no doubt about the fact
that in seditions the state is injured by both parties. Hence many
wolves and owls were seen in the City itself and continual earthquakes
with bellowings took place, fire shot down from the west to the east,
and other fires burned both the temple of Quirinus and a second. The
sun, too, suffered a total eclipse, and thunderbolts damaged a sceptre
of Jupiter, a shield and a helmet of Mars that were votive offerings on
the Capitol, and furthermore the tablets which contained the laws. Many
animals brought forth creatures outside of their own species, certain
oracles purporting to be those of the Sibyl were made known, and some
men becoming inspired practiced numerous divinations. No praefectus urbi
was chosen for the Feriae, as had been the custom, but the praetors, at
least according to some accounts, performed all his duties; others say
they did this only in the next year. If the former are right it happened
twice; and the first season Perperna who had once been censor with
Philippus died, being the last, as I stated, of all the senators who had
been alive in his censorship. This event, too, seemed likely to cause
political confusion. The people were, then, naturally disturbed at the
portents, but as both sides thought and hoped that they could lay them
all on their opponents, they offered no expiatory sacrifices.

[-15-] Caesar at this time did not even attempt to sail to Macedonia,
because he was short of boats and had fears for Italy, dreading that the
lieutenants of Pompey from Spain might assail and occupy it. He put
Brundusium under guard for the purpose that no one of those departed
should sail back again, and went to Rome. There the senate had been
assembled for him outside the pomerium by Antony and Longinus: they, who
had been expelled from it, now convened that body. He accordingly made a
speech of some length and of a temperate character, so that they might
experience good-will toward him at the present and feel an excellent
hope for the future. And since he saw them displeased at what was going
on and suspicious of the multitude of soldiers, he wished to encourage
and to conciliate them somewhat, to the end that quiet might prevail in
their quarter while he was conducting the war. Therefore he censured no
one and delivered no threat against any person, but made an attack not
without imprecations upon those who wished to war against citizens, and
at last moved that ambassadors be sent immediately in behalf of peace
and harmony to the consuls and to Pompey. [-16-] He made these same
statements also to the populace, when that body had likewise assembled
outside the pomerium, and he sent for corn from the islands and promised
each one of them seventy-five denarii. He hoped to tempt them with this
bait. The men, however, reflected that those who are pursuing certain
ends and those who have attained them do not think or act alike: at the
start of their operations they make all the most delightful offers to
such as can work against them in any way, but when they succeed in what
they wish, they remember nothing at all about it and use against those
very persons the power which they have received from them. They
remembered also the behavior of Marius and Sulla, - how many kind things
they had often told them, and then what treatment they had given them in
return for their confidence, - and furthermore perceiving Caesar's
necessity and seeing that his armed followers were many and were
everywhere in the city, they were unable either to trust or to be
cheered by his words. On the contrary, as they had fresh in their memory
the fear caused by former events, they suspected him also, particularly
because the ambassadors apparently intended to initiate a reconciliation
were chosen, to be sure, but did not go out. Indeed, for even making
mention of them once Piso, his father-in-law, was severely rebuked.
[-17-] The people, far from getting at that time the money which he had
promised them, had to give him all the rest that remained in the public
coffers for the support of his soldiers, whom they feared. Amid all
these happenings, as being favorable, they wore the garb of peace, which
they had not as yet put off. Lucius Metellus, a tribune, opposed the
proposition about the money, and when his efforts proved ineffectual
went to the treasury and kept watch of its doors. The soldiers, paying
little heed to either his guarding or his outspokenness, cut through the
bar, - for the consuls had the key, as if it were not possible for
persons to use axes in place of it, - and carried out all the money. In
fact, Caesar's other projects also, as I have often stated, he both
brought to vote and carried out in the same fashion, under the name of
democracy, - the most of them being introduced by Antony, - but with the
substance of despotism. Both men named their political rivals enemies of
their country and declared that they themselves were fighting for the
public interests, whereas each really ruined those interests and
increased only his own private possessions.

[-18-] After taking these steps Caesar occupied Sardinia and Sicily
without a battle, as the governors there at that time withdrew.
Aristobulus he sent home to Palestine to accomplish something against
Pompey. He also allowed the children of those proscribed by Sulla to
canvass for office, and arranged everything else both in the city and in
the rest of Italy to his own best advantage, so far as circumstances
permitted. Affairs, at home he now committed to Antony's care and
himself set out for Spain which distinctly chose to follow Pompey and
caused him some uneasiness lest his rival should induce the Gallic
countries to revolt. Meantime Cicero and other senators did not appear
in Caesar's sight, but retired to join Pompey, who, they believed, had
more justice on his side and would conquer in the war. For the consuls
before setting sail and Pompey using the authority of proconsul had
ordered them all to accompany him to Thessalonica on the general ground
that the capital was being held by certain enemies but that they
themselves were the senate and would maintain the form of the government
wherever they should be. For this reason most of the senators and the
knights, some of them immediately and others later, and all the cities
that were not subdued by Caesar's arms, embraced his cause.

[-19-]The Massilians, however, alone of the peoples who dwell in Gaul,
refused to co√ґperate with Caesar, and would not receive him into their
city, but made a noteworthy answer to him. They said they were allies of
the Roman people and were favorably disposed toward both generals, and
they could not go into details and were not competent to judge which of
the two was in the wrong: consequently, in case of friendly overtures
being made they would receive them both, they said, without their arms,
but on a war basis neither of them. On being placed in a state of siege
they repulsed Caesar himself and held out for a very long time against
Trebonius and Decimus Brutus, who subsequently besieged them. Caesar
contended stoutly for some time, thinking to capture them easily, and
regarding it as ridiculous that after vanquishing Rome without a battle
he was not received by the Massilians; but later, when their resistance
proved stubborn, he committed them to the care of others and himself
hastened to Spain. [-20-] He had sent thither already Gaius Fabius, but
fearing he would fail while contending by himself, he too began a
campaign. Afranius and Petreius at this time had charge of affairs in
the vicinity of the Iber and had posted a guard over the pass in the
mountains, but chiefly they had gathered their forces in Ilerda, and
there awaited the attackers. Fabius repulsed the hostile garrison at the
Pyrenees but as he was crossing the river Sicoris they fell upon him
suddenly and killed many of his men who were cut off. The bridge
assisted them materially by breaking before all had crossed. When Caesar
came up not much later, he crossed the river by another bridge and
challenged them to battle; but they did not dare to try conclusions with
him for a very considerable number of days, and remained quietly
encamped opposite him. Encouraged from this cause he undertook to seize
the ground, a strong position, between their rampart and the city, with
the intention of shutting them off from the walls. Afranius and his
followers on perceiving this occupied it first, repulsed their
assailants, and pursued them when they fled. Then when others came out
against them from the fortress they first resisted, then yielded
purposely, and so enticed the sallying party into positions which ere
favorable to themselves, where they slew many more of them. After this
they took courage, attacked Caesar's foraging parties and harassed the
scattered members. And on one occasion when some soldiers had crossed to
the other side of the river and meantime a great storm had come up and
the bridge which they had used was destroyed, they crossed over also by
the other bridge, which was near the city, and annihilated them all, as
no one was able to come to their assistance.

[-21-] Caesar, when this continued to happen, fell into desperate
straits: none of his allies rendered him assistance, for his opponents
met and annihilated[69] them as fast as they heard that each one was
approaching, and it was with difficulty that he managed to obtain
provisions, inasmuch as he was in a hostile territory and unsuccessful
in his operations. The Romans at home, when they ascertained it,
renounced all hopes of him, and believing that he would survive but a
short time longer fell off to Pompey. Some few senators and others set
out to join the latter even so late as this. It happened just at this
time that the Massilians were defeated in a naval battle by Brutus
through the size of his ships and the strength of his marines, although
they had Domitius as an ally and surpassed in their experience of naval
affairs; they were subsequently shut in entirely. But for this nothing
would have prevented Caesar's projects from being ruined. As it was,
however, the victory by preconcerted arrangement was announced to the
Spaniards with so many embellishments that it led some of them to change
and follow the fortunes of Caesar. When he had obtained these as
adherents, he secured plenty of food, constructed bridges, harassed his
opponents, and once intercepted suddenly a number of them who were
wandering about the country and destroyed them.

[-22-] Afranius was disheartened at these results, and seeing that
affairs in Ilerda were not safe or satisfactory for a prolonged delay,
he determined to retire to the Iber and to the cities there. He set out
on this journey by night, intending to escape the enemy's notice or at
least get the start of them. His departure proved no secret, yet he was
not immediately pursued, for Caesar did not think it safe in the darkness
to follow up with men who were strangers to the place an enemy that was
well acquainted with the country. When, however, day dawned, he hastened
forward and overtaking them in the middle of their journey he
encompassed them suddenly on all sides from a distance; for he was much
superior in numbers and found the bowl-shaped character of the country a
help. He did not wish to come into close quarters with the enemy, partly
because he was afraid that they might become frenzied and accomplish
some desperate undertaking, and partly again because he hoped to win
them over without conflict. This also took place. They tried to break
through at many points, but were unable to do so anywhere: they were
wearied from loss of sleep and from their march; they had no food,
since, expecting to finish their journey the same day, they had brought
none, and were not well supplied with water, for that region is notably
waterless: for these reasons they surrendered themselves, on condition
that they should not be maltreated nor compelled to join his expedition
against Pompey. [-23-]Caesar kept each of his promises to them
scrupulously He killed not a single man captured in this war in spite of
the fact that his foes had once, during a kind of truce, destroyed some
of his own men who were in an unguarded position; and he did not force
them to fight against Pompey, but released the most eminent and employed
the rest as voluntary allies induced by the prospect of gains and
honors. By this act he grew very greatly both in reputation and
prosperity, and attached to his cause all the cities in Spain and all
the soldiers who were in them (some of whom were in Baetica and others,
quite a number, with Marcus Terentius Varro, the lieutenant). [-24-] In
taking charge of these and arranging their affairs he pursued his course
as far as Gades, injuring no one except so far as a collection of money
was concerned, - for of this he levied very large amounts. Many of the
natives he honored both privately and publicly and to all the people of



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 17 of 30)