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 18 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 18 of 30)
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Gades he granted citizenship, in which the people of Rome later
confirmed them. This kindness he did them in return for the vision of
his dream at the time that he was quaestor there, wherein he seemed to
have intercourse with his mother and had received the hope of sole
rulership, as I have stated.[70] After this act he assigned that nation
to Cassius Longinus because the latter was accustomed to the inhabitants
from his quaestorship which he had served under Pompey. Caesar himself
proceeded by boat to Tarraco. Thence he advanced across the Pyrenees,
but did not set up any trophy on their summits because he understood
that not even Pompey was well spoken of for so doing; but he erected a
great altar constructed of polished stones not far from his rival's

[-25-] While this was going on the Massilians, as ships had again been
sent them by Pompey, faced danger afresh. They were defeated, to be
sure, on this occasion also, but held their ground even though they
learned that Caesar was already master of Spain. All attacks they
vigorously repulsed and made a truce, pretendedly for the purpose of
arranging terms with Caesar, when he should come. Then they sent out
Domitius secretly and wrought such havoc among the soldiers who had
attacked them in the midst of the truce and by night, that these
ventured to make no further attempts. With Caesar, however, when he came
himself, they made terms: he at that time deprived them of their arms,
ships and money, and later of everything else except the name of
freedom. To counterbalance this misfortune Phocaea, their mother city,
was made independent by Pompey.

[-26-] At Placentia some soldiers mutinied and refused to accompany
Caesar longer, under the pretext that they were exhausted, but really
because he did not allow them to plunder the country nor to do all the
other things on which their minds were set; they were hoping to obtain
anything whatever of him, inasmuch as he stood in such tremendous need
of them. Yet he did not yield, but, with a view to being safe from them
and in order that after listening to his address and seeing the persons
punished they should feel no wish in an way to transgress the
established rules, he called together both the mutinous body and the
rest, and spoke as follows: - [-27-] "Fellow soldiers, I desire to have
your love, and still I should not choose on that account to participate
in your errors. I am fond of you and should wish, as a father might for
his children, that you should be preserved, be prosperous, and have a
good repute. Do not think it is the duty of one who loves to assent to
things which ought not to be done, and for which it is quite inevitable
that dangers and ill-repute should fall to the lot of his beloved, but
rather he must teach them the better way and keep them from the worse,
both by advising and by disciplining them. You will recognize that I
speak the truth if you do not estimate advantage with reference to the
pleasure of the moment but instead with reference to what is continually
beneficial, and if you will avoid thinking that gratifying your desires
is more noble than restraining them. It is disgraceful to take pleasure
temporarily in something of which you must later repent, and it is
outrageous after conquering the enemy to be vanquished by some pleasure
or other.

[-28-] "To what do the words I speak apply? To the fact that you have
provisions in abundance, - I am going to speak right out with no
disguise: you do get your pay in full and on time and you are always and
everywhere supplied with plenty of food - that you endure no inglorious
toil nor useless danger; furthermore that you gather many great prizes
for your bravery and are rebuked little or not at all for your errors,
and yet you do not see fit to be satisfied with these things. I am
speaking not of all of you, for you are not all such men, but only to
those who for their own gain are casting reproach on the rest. Most of
you obey my orders very scrupulously and satisfactorily, abide by your
ancestral customs, and in that way have acquired so much land and wealth
and glory; some few, however, are attaching much disgrace and disrespect
to all of us. Though I understood clearly before this that they were
that sort of persons, - for there is none of your interests that I fail
to notice, - still I pretended not to know it, thinking that they might
become better if they believed they were not observed in some of their
evil deeds and had the fear that if they ever presumed too far they
might be punished for the guilt of which they were conscious. Since
they, however, proceeding on the ground that they may do whatever they
wish because they were not brought to book at the very start, are
overbold and are trying to make the rest of you, who are guilty of no
irregularity, likewise mutinous, it becomes necessary for me to devote
some care to them and to give them my attention. [-29-] In general, no
society of men can preserve its unity and continue to exist, if the
criminal element be not disciplined: if the part afflicted does not
receive proper medicine, it causes all the rest, as in fleshly bodies,
to be sick at the same time. And least of all in armies can discipline
be relaxed, because when the wrongdoers have strength they become more
daring and corrupt the excellent also by causing them to grow dejected
and to believe that they will obtain no benefit from right behavior.
Wherever the insolent element has the advantage, there inevitably the
decent element has the worst of it: and wherever injustice is
unpunished, there uprightness also goes without reward. What is there
you could assert is doing right, if these men are doing no wrong? How
could you logically desire to be honored, if these men do not endure
their just punishment? Are you ignorant of the fact that if one class is
freed from the fear of retribution and the other is deprived of the hope
of prizes, no good is brought about, but only numberless ills? Hence if
you really practice valor and excellence, you should detest these men as
enemies. What is friendly is not distinguished from what is hostile by
any characteristic of birth, but is determined by habits and actions,
which if they are good can make the alien intimate, but if they are bad
can alienate everything, even kindred. [-30-] And you should speak in
your own defence, because by the behavior of these few we must all
inevitably fall into disrepute, even if we have done no wrong. Every one
who is acquainted with our numbers and progress refers the errors of the
few to us all; and thus though we do not share in their gains, we bear
an equal share of their reproach. Who would not be indignant at hearing
that we had the name of Romans, but did deeds of the Celtae? Who would
not lament the sight of Italy ravaged like Britain? Is it not outrageous
for us to cease injuring the possessions of the Gauls, because they are
subdued, and then to devastate the property of dwellers south of the
Alps, as if they were some Epirots, or Carthaginians, or Cimbi? Is it
not disgraceful for us to give ourselves airs and say that we were the
first of the Romans to cross the Rhine and to sail the ocean, and then
to plunder our native land which is safe from harm at the hands of foes
and to receive blame instead of praise, dishonor in place of honor, loss
instead of gain, punishment instead of prizes?[-31-] Do not think that
because you are in the army, that makes you stronger than the citizens
at home. You are both Romans, and they like you both have been and will
be soldiers. Nor yet again that because you have arms, it is permitted
you to injure. The laws have more authority than you, and some day you
will without fail lay down these weapons. Do not, again, rely on your
numbers. Those capable of being wronged are, if they unite, more than
you. And they will unite, if you do wrong. Do not, because you have
conquered the barbarians, despise these citizens also, from whom you
differ not the slightest either in birth or in education, in the matter
of food or in customs. Instead, as is proper and advantageous for you,
use no violence and wrong no one of them, but receive provisions from
their willingness to provide, and accept rewards from their willing
hands. [-32-] In addition to what I have just said and other
considerations that one might cite who should enter upon a long
discussion of such questions, you must also take account of the
following fact, - that we have come here now to assist our country under
oppression and to ward off those that are harming her. If she were in no
danger, we should neither have come into Italy with arms, - since it is
unlawful, - nor should we have left unfinished the business of the Celts
and Britons, when we might have subjugated those regions too. Then is it
not remarkable if we who are here for vengeance upon the evildoers
should show ourselves no less greedy of gain than they? Is it not
inconceivable that when we have arrived to aid our country we should
force her to require other allies against us? And yet I think my claims
so much better warranted than Pompey's that I have often challenged him
to a trial; and since he by reason of his guilty conscience has refused
to have the questions peaceably decided, I hope by this act of his to
attach to my cause all the allies and the entire people. But now, if we
also shall take up a course similar to his, I shall not have any decent
excuse to offer nor be able to charge my opponents with any unbecoming
conduct. You must also look ahead very carefully to the justice of your
cause. If you have this, the strength that arms afford is full of hope,
but without it nothing remains sure, though for the moment a man may be

[-33-] "That nature has ordained this most of you understand, and you
fulfill all your duties without urging. That is why I have convened
you, - to make you both witnesses and spectators of my words and acts.
But you are not of such a character as some men I have been mentioning
and therefore it is that you receive praise. Only some few of you
observe how, in addition to working many injuries and paying no penalty
at all for them hitherto, these malcontents are also threatening us.
However, as a general principle, I do not think it well for any ruler to
be subdued by his subjects, nor do I believe that any safety could
possibly result, if the class appointed to assist a person should
attempt to overcome him. Consider what sort of order could exist in a
house where those in the prime of youth should despise their elders, or
what order in schools, if the students should pay no heed to their
instructors? What health would there be for the sick, if those
indisposed should not obey their physicians in all points, or what
safety for the navigators if the sailors should turn a deaf ear to their
pilots? It is by a natural law both necessary and salutary that the
principle of ruling and again that of being ruled have been placed among
men, and without them it is impossible for anything to continue to exist
for ever so short a time. Now it belongs to him who is stationed over
another both to think out and to command the requisite course, and to
him who is made subservient to obey without questioning and to put the
order into action. By this the sensible element is distinguished from
the senseless and the understanding element from the ignorant in all

[-34-] "Since these things are so I would never under compulsion assent
to these brawlers nor give them my permission perforce. Why am I sprung
from Aeneas and Iulus, why have I been praetor, why consul, for what end
have I led some of you out from home and gathered others later, for what
end have I received and held the authority of a proconsul now for so
long a time, if I am to be a slave to any one of you and conquered by
any one of you here in Italy and near to Rome, - I, to whom you owe your
subjection of the Gauls and your conquest of Britain? What should I fear
or dread? That some one of you will kill me? Nay, but if you all had
this mind, I would voluntarily choose to die rather than to give up the
dignity of my position as leader or to abandon the attitude of mind
befitting the head of an enterprise. For a far greater danger than the
unjust death of one man confronts the city, if the soldiers shall become
accustomed to issue orders to their generals and to take the justice of
the law into their own hands.[-35-] No one of them, however, has so much
as made this threat: if he had, I am sure he would have been slain
forthwith by the rest of you. But they are withdrawing from the campaign
on the pretence of being wearied and are laying down their arms because
(they say) they are worn out, and certainly if they do not obtain my
consent to this wish of theirs, they will leave their ranks and go over
to Pompey: some of them make this perfectly evident. Who would not be
glad to be deprived of such men, and who would not pray that such
soldiers might belong to his rival, seeing that they are not content
with what is given and are not obedient to orders, but that simulating
old age in the midst of youth and in strength simulating weakness they
claim the right to lord it over their rulers and to tyrannize over their
leaders? I had ten thousand times rather be reconciled with Pompey on
any terms whatever or suffer any other conceivable fate than do anything
unworthy of my native thought or of my own deliberate policy. Are you
unaware that it is not sovereignty or gain that I desire and that I am
not bent upon accomplishing anything absolutely, an at any cost, so that
I would lie and flatter and fawn upon people to this end? Will you give
up, then, for these reasons the campaign, O what can I call you? Yet
still it shall be not as you yourselves desire and say but as is
profitable for the commonwealth and for myself."

After this speech he distributed lots among them for the infliction of
the death penalty, and the most audacious, - for these, as was previously
arranged, drew the lots, - he condemned, and the rest he dismissed,
saying he had no further need of them. And they repented of what they
had done and were ready to renew the campaign.

[-36-] While he was still on the way Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, the man who
later became a member of the triumvirate, in his capacity of praetor took
counsel with the people to elect Caesar dictator and immediately moved
his nomination, contrary to ancestral custom. The latter accepted the
office as soon as he entered the city, but committed no act of terror
while in it. On the contrary he granted a return to all the exiles
except Milo, and filled the offices for the ensuing year: at that time
they had chosen no one temporarily in place of the absentees, and
whereas there was no aedile in town, the tribunes exercised all the
functions pertaining to the aedileship: moreover he set up priests in the
places of those who were lost (though not observing all the detailed
ceremonies that were customary for them at such a juncture), and to the
Gauls who live this side of the Alps and beyond the Po he gave
citizenship because he had once governed them. After effecting this he
resigned the name of dictator, for he had quite all the power and
functions of the position constantly in his grasp. He employed the
strength that is afforded by arms, and also got in addition a
quasi-legal authority from the senate that was on the spot; for he was
permitted to do with impunity whatever he might wish.

[-37-] Having obtained this he at once set aright an affair of great
moment and necessity. The money lenders had exacted money quite
relentlessly from some, who needed large funds on account of the
political disputes and the wars. Many of the debtors by reason of the
same events were not able, even if they wished it, to pay back anything;
for they did not find it easy to sell anything or to borrow more. Hence
the mutual dealings of the two classes were ofttimes marked by deceit
and ofttimes by treachery, so that there was fear of the matter
progressing till it became an incurable evil. Certain modifications in
regard to interest had been made even before this by some of the
tribunes, but since even so payment was not secured, but the one class
kept forfeiting its securities and the other demanding the principal in
money, Caesar now came to the aid of both so far as he could. He ordered
that securities should have a fixed valuation according to their worth,
and to decide that point he assigned arbiters to be allotted to persons
disputing any point. [-38-] Since also many were said to possess large
properties but to be concealing all their wealth, he forbade any one to
have more than fifteen thousand denarii in silver or gold: this law, he
alleged, he did not enact himself, but he was simply enforcing a measure
some time previously introduced. His object was either that those who
owed should make good some of their debt to the lenders and the rest
lend to such as needed, or else that the well-to-do might be clearly
apparent and no one of them keep his property all together, for fear
some political change might take place in his absence. When the
populace, elated at this, asked that in addition to it rewards be
offered to servants for information against their masters, he refused to
add such a clause to the law and furthermore called down dire
destruction upon himself if he should ever trust a slave speaking
against his master.

[-39-] Caesar after doing this and removing all the Capitoline offerings
and others hastened to Brundusium toward the close of the year and
before entering upon the consulship to which he had been elected. And as
he was attending to the details of his departure a kite in the Forum let
fall a sprig of laurel upon one of his companions. Later, while he was
sacrificing to Fortuna, the bull escaped before being wounded, rushed
out of the city, and coming to a kind of pond swam across it. As a
consequence he continued his preparations with greater courage and
especially because the soothsayers declared that destruction should be
his if he remained at home, but if he crossed the sea salvation and
victory. When he had gone, the boys in the city spontaneously divided
into two classes, one side calling itself Pompeiians and the other
Caesarians, and they fought one another after a fashion without arms, and
those conquered who used Caesar's name.

[-40-] While such was the progress of events in Rome and in Spain,
Marcus Octavius and Lucius Scribonius Libo by using Pompey's fleet
expelled from Dalmatia Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who was there
attending to Caesar's interests. After this they shut up Gaius Antonius,
who was desirous of aiding him, in a little islet and there, abandoned
by the natives and oppressed by hunger, they captured him with all his
force save a few; some of them had escaped in season to the mainland,
and others who were sailing across on rafts and were caught made away
with themselves. [-41-] Curio had meanwhile reduced Sicily without a
battle; for Cato, the governor of it, being no match for him and not
wishing idly to expose the cities to danger, withdrew beforehand to
Pompey; afterward, however, the conqueror passed over to Africa and
perished. At his approach by sea Lucius Caesar abandoned the city of
Aspis in which he merely happened to be staying, and Publius Attius
Varus, then in charge of the affairs of that region, was defeated by him
and lost many soldiers and a few cities. Juba, however, son of Hiempsus
and king over the Numidians, esteemed the interests of Pompey as those
of the people and the senate, and hated Curio both for this reason and
because the latter when tribune had attempted to take away his kingdom
from him and confiscate the land: therefore he vigorously prosecuted the
war against him. He did not wait for him to invade his home country of
Numidia but assailed him with something less than his entire force at
the siege of Utica, for fear that the Roman, being previously informed,
might retire; and he was rather more anxious to take vengeance on him
than to repulse him. Accordingly, Juba sent forward a few men who
reported that the king had departed in some other direction and to a
distance: he himself followed after these and did not miss the results
he had hoped for. [-42-] Before this Curio with the idea that his enemy
was approaching had transferred his men to the camp near the sea and had
framed an intention, in case he were hard pushed, of embarking on the
ships and leaving Africa altogether. But when he ascertained that only a
few men were arriving and these without Juba, he took courage and
started out that very night as if to a victory waiting for him, and
fearing only that they should escape him. In his advance he destroyed
some of the van who were sleeping on the road and became much
emboldened. Next, about dawn, he encountered the rest who had started
out ahead from the camp; and without any delay, in spite of the fact
that his soldiers were exhausted both by the march and by loss of sleep,
he at once joined battle with them. At this juncture, while matters were
at a standstill and they were fighting rather evenly, Juba suddenly
appeared upon the scene and by his unexpected coming as well as by his
numbers overwhelmed him. Curio and most of the others he killed on the
spot by means of this surprise, and the rest he pursued as far as the
ditch, after which he confined them to their ships and in the midst of
the confusion got possession of large amounts of money and destroyed
many men. Numbers of them perished when they seemed to have escaped,
some being knocked down in the mêlée while boarding the boats, and
others drowned while in the ships themselves by the overloading of the
vessels. During these occurrences some being afraid they might suffer
the same fate went over to Varus expecting that their lives would be
spared, but received no benefit from it. For Juba asserted that it was
he who had conquered them and so slaughtered them all except a few. Thus
Curio died after rendering most valuable assistance to Caesar upon whom
he had founded many hopes. Juba found honors at the hands of Pompey and
the senators who were in Macedonia and was saluted as king: but on the
part of Caesar and those in the city he was censured and declared an
enemy, while Bocchus and Bogud were named kings because they were
hostile to him.

[B.C. 48 (_a.u._ 706)]

[-43-] The ensuing year the Romans had two sets of magistrates, contrary
to custom, and a mighty conflict was engendered. The people of the city
had chosen as consuls Caesar and Publius Servilius, together with
praetors, and everything else according to law: the party in Thessalonica
had made no such preparations although they had by some accounts about
two hundred of the senate and the consuls and had appropriated a small
piece of land for divinations to the end that their proceedings might
seem to take place under a certain form of law. Wherefore they regarded
the people and the entire city as present there (the reason being that
the consuls had not introduced the lex curiata), and they employed those
same officials as formerly, only changing their names and calling some
proconsuls, others propraetors, and others pro-quaestors. For they were
very careful about ancestral customs even though they had raised their
arms against their country and abandoned their native shores, and were
anxious to perform all necessary acts not merely with a view to
temporary demands or contrary to the exact wording of the ordinances. It
is quite time that nominally these officials ruled the two parties, but
in reality it was Pompey and Caesar who were supreme, bearing, for the
sake of good repute, the legal titles, - one that of consul and the other
that of proconsul, - and doing not what the magistrates allowed but
whatever they themselves pleased.

[-44-] Under these conditions, with the government divided in twain,
Pompey wintered in Thessalonica and did not keep a very careful guard of
the coast. He did not think that Caesar had yet arrived in Italy from
Spain, and even if he were there he did not suspect that his rival, in
winter, at least, would venture to cross the Ionian sea. Caesar was in
Brundusium, waiting for spring, but when he ascertained that Pompey was
some distance off and that Epirus just opposite was rather heedlessly
guarded, he seized the opportunity of the war to attack him while in a
state of relaxation. When the winter was about half gone he set out with
a portion of his army, - there were not enough ships to carry them all
across at once, - escaped the attention of Marcus Bibulus to whom the

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 18 of 30)