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 22 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 22 of 30)
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the people. They declared her queen and proceeded to prosecute the war
more vigorously, inasmuch as they now had a representative of the race
of the Ptolemies. Caesar, therefore, in fear that Pothemos might kidnap
Ptolemy, put the former to death and guarded the latter strictly without
any further dissimulation. This contributed to incense the Egyptians
still more, to whose party numbers were added daily, whereas the Roman
soldiers from Syria were not yet on the scene. Caesar was anxious to
bring the people to a condition of peace, and so he had Ptolemy take his
stand on a high place from which they could hear his voice and bade him
say to them that he was unharmed and was averse to warfare. He urged
them to peaceful measures and promised that he would arrange the details
for them. Now if he had talked thus to them of his own accord, he could
have persuaded them to become reconciled; but as it was, they suspected
that it was all prearranged by Caesar, and they would not yield.

[-40-] As time went on a dispute arose among the followers of Arsinoë,
and Ganymedes prevailed upon her to put Achillas to death, on the ground
that he wished to betray the fleet. When this had been done he assumed
command of the soldiers and gathered all the boats that were in the
river and the lake, besides constructing others. All of them he conveyed
through the canals to the sea, where he attacked the Romans while off
their guard, burned some of their freight ships to the water's edge and
towed others away. Then he cleared out the entrance to the harbor and by
lying in wait for vessels there he caused the foreigners great
annoyance. One day Caesar noticed them behaving carelessly, by reason of
their supremacy, and suddenly sailed into the harbor, where he burned a
number of boats, and disembarking on Pharos slew the inhabitants of the
island. When the Egyptians on the mainland saw that, they came to their
aid over the bridges and after killing many of the Romans in their turn
they hurled the remainder back to their boats. While these fugitives
were forcing their way into them at any point and in crowds, Caesar,
besides many others, fell into the sea. And he would have perished
miserably weighed down by his robes and pelted by the Egyptians - his
garments, being purple, offered a good mark - had he not thrown off the
incumbrances and then succeeded in swimming out somewhere to a skiff,
which he boarded. In this way he was saved without wetting one of the
documents of which he held up a large number in his left hand as he
swam. His clothing the Egyptians took and hung upon the trophy which
they set up to commemorate this rout, as if they had as good as captured
the man himself. They also kept a close watch upon the landings (for the
legions which had been sent from Syria were now near at hand) and did
the Romans much injury. Caesar could ward off in a way the attack of
those who assailed him in the direction of Libya: but near the mouth of
the Nile they deceived many of his men by using signal fires as if they
too were Romans, and captured them, so that the rest no longer ventured
to coast along until Tiberius Claudius Nero at length sailed up the
river itself, conquered the foe in battle, and rendered the approach
less terrifying to his own followers.

[-41-] Meanwhile Mithridates, named the Pergamenian, undertook to ascend
with his ships the mouth of the Nile opposite Pelusium; but when the
Egyptians barred his entrance with their boats he betook himself by
night to the canal, hauled the ships over into it (it was one that does
not open into the sea), and through it sailed up into the Nile. After
that he suddenly began from the sea and the river at once a conflict
with the vessels that were guarding the mouth and broke up their
blockade, whereupon he assaulted Pelusium with both his infantry and his
force of ships, and took it. Advancing then to Alexandria he learned
that a certain Dioscorides was going to confront them, and he ambushed
and annihilated him.

[-42-] The Egyptians on receiving the news would not end the war even
under these conditions; yet they were irritated at the sovereignty of
the eunuch and the woman and thought if they could put Ptolemy at their
head, they would be superior to the Romans. So then, finding themselves
unable to seize him by any kind of violence because he was skillfully
guarded, they pretended that they were worn out by disasters and desired
peace; and they sent to Caesar a herald to ask for Ptolemy, to the end
that they might consult with him about the terms on which they would
make a truce. Caesar thought that they had in very truth changed front,
especially since he heard that they were cowardly and fickle and
perceived that at this time they were terrified in the face of their
defeats. And in order not to be regarded as hindering peace, even if
they were devising some trick, he said that he approved their request,
and sent them Ptolemy. He saw no tower of strength in the lad in view of
his youth and ignorance, and hoped that the Egyptians would either
become reconciled with him on what terms he wished or else would better
deserve the waging of war and subjugation, so that there might be some
reasonable excuse for delivering them to Cleopatra. He had no idea of
being defeated by them, particularly since his force had been augmented.
[-43-] The Egyptians, when they secured the child, had not a thought for
peace but straightway set out against Mithridates as if they were sure
to accomplish some great achievement in the name and by the family of
Ptolemy. They cut him off near the lake, between the river and the
marshes, and raised a great clamor. Caesar through fear of being ambushed
did not pursue them but at night he set sail as if he were hurrying to
some outlet of the Nile and kindled an enormous fire on each vessel so
that it might be thought that he was going a very long distance in this
direction. He started at first, then, to sail away, but afterward
extinguished the glare, returned and passed alongside the city to the
peninsula on the Libyan side, where he landed; there he disembarked the
soldiers, went around the lake, and fell upon the Egyptians unexpectedly
about dawn. They were so startled on the instant that they sent a herald
to him for terms, but, when he would not receive their entreaty, a
fierce battle subsequently took place in which he was victorious and
slew great numbers of the enemy. Some fled hastily to cross the river
and perished in it, together with Ptolemy.

[B.C. 47 (_a.u._ 707)]

[-44-] In this way Caesar overcame Egypt. He did not, however, make it
subject to the Romans, but bestowed it upon Cleopatra, for whose sake he
had waged the conflict. Yet, being afraid that the Egyptians might rebel
again because they were delivered to a woman to rule them and that the
Romans for this reason and because the woman was his companion might be
angry, he commanded her to make her other brother partner of her
habitation, and gave the kingdom to both of them, - at least nominally.
In reality Cleopatra alone was to hold all the power. For her husband
was still a child and in view of Caesar's favor there was nothing that
she could not do. Hence her living with her brother and sharing the
sovereignty with him was a mere pretence which she accepted, whereas she
actually ruled alone and spent her life in Caesar's company.

[-45-] She would have detained him even longer in Egypt or else would
have at once set out with him for Rome, had not Pharnaces drawn Caesar
most unwillingly from Afric's shores and hindered him from hurrying to
Italy. This man was a son of Mithridates and ruled the Cimmerian
Bosporus, as has been stated: it was his desire to win back again all
his ancestral kingdom, and so he revolted just at the time of the
quarrel between Caesar and Pompey, and, as the Romans had at that time
found business, with one another and afterward were detained in Egypt,
he got possession of Colchis without effort and, in the absence of
Deiotarus, subjugated all of Armenia and some cities of Cappadocia and
Pontus that were attached to the district of Bithynia. [-46-] While he
was thus engaged Caesar himself did not stir, - Egypt was not yet settled
and he had some hope of overcoming the man through others - but he sent
Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, assigning him charge of Asia and ...[79]
legions. This officer added to his force Deiotarus and Ariobarzanes and
marched straight against Pharnaces, who was in Nicopolis, - a city he had
previously occupied. Indeed, he felt contempt for the barbarian, because
the latter in terror of his presence was ready to agree to an armistice
looking to an embassy, and so he would not conclude a truce with him,
but attacked him and was defeated.

After that he had to retire to Asia, since he was no match for his
conqueror, and winter was approaching. Pharnaces, greatly elated, joined
to his cause nearly all of Pontus, captured Amisus, though it held out
against him a long time, plundered the city and put to the sword all the
young men in it. He then hastened into Bithynia and Asia with the same
hopes as his father had harbored. Meanwhile, learning that Asander whom
he had left as governor of the Bosporus had revolted, he no longer
advanced any farther. For Asander, as soon as the advance of Pharnaces
to a point distant from his own position was reported to him and it
seemed likely that even if he should temporarily escape his observation
with the greatest success, he would still not get out of it well later,
rose against him, so as to do a favor to the Romans and to receive the
government of the Bosporus from them. [-47-] This was the news on
hearing which Pharnaces started against him, but the venture was in
vain. For on ascertaining that Caesar was on the way and was hurrying
into Armenia Pharnaces turned back and met him there near Zela. Now that
Ptolemy was dead and Domitius vanquished Caesar had decided that delay in
Egypt was neither fitting nor profitable for him, but set out from there
and by using great speed reached Armenia. The barbarian, alarmed and
fearing his quickness much more than his army, sent messengers to him
before he drew near, making frequent propositions to see if in any way
on any terms he could compromise the existing situation and escape. One
of the principal pleas that he presented was that he had not coöperated
with Pompey, and by this he hoped that he might induce the Roman general
to grant a truce, particularly since the latter was anxious to hasten to
Italy and Africa; and once he was gone he, Pharnaces, could easily wage
war again. Caesar suspected this, and the first and second sets of envoys
he treated with great kindness in order that he might fall upon the foe
in a state quite unguarded, through hopes of peace: when the third
deputation came he began to reproach him, one of his grounds of censure
being that he had deserted Pompey, his benefactor. Then without delay,
that very day and just as he was, Caesar marched forward and attacked him
as soon as he came up to him; for a little while some confusion was
caused by the cavalry and the scythe-bearing chariots, but after that he
conquered the Asiatics with his heavy-armed soldiers. Pharnaces escaped
to the sea and later forced his way into Bosporus, where Asander shut
him up and killed him.

[-48-] Caesar took great pride in the victory, - more, indeed, than in any
other, in spite of the fact that it had not been very glorious, - because
on the same day and at one and the same hour he had come to the enemy,
had seen him, and had conquered him. All the spoils, though of great
magnitude, he bestowed upon the soldiers, and he set up a trophy to
offset one which Mithridates had raised to commemorate the defeat of
Triarius.[80] He did not dare to take down that of the barbarians
because it had been dedicated to the gods of war, but by the erection of
his own he overshadowed and to a certain extent demolished the other.
Next he gained possession of all the region belonging to the Romans and
those bound to them by oath which Pharnaces had ravaged, and restored it
to the individuals who had been dispossessed, except a portion of
Armenia, which he granted to Ariobarzanes. The people of Amisus he
rewarded with freedom, and to Mithridates the Pergamenian he gave a
tetrarchy in Galatia with the name of kingdom and allowed him to wage
war against Asander, so that by conquering him, because he had proved
base toward his friend Mithridates might get Bosporus also.

[-49-] After accomplishing this and bidding Domitius arrange the rest he
came to Bithynia and from there to Greece, whence he sailed for Italy,
collecting all the way great sums of money from everybody, and upon
every pretext, just as before. On the one hand he levied all that
individuals had promised in advance to Pompey, and on the other he asked
for still more from outside sources, bringing some accusation against
the places to justify his act. All votive offerings of Heracles at Tyre
he removed, because the people had received the wife and child of Pompey
when they were fleeing. Many golden crowns, also, commemorative of
victories, he took from potentates and kings. This he did not out of
malice but because his expenditures were on a vast scale and because he
was intending to lay out still more upon his legions, his triumph, and
everything else that could add to his brilliance. Briefly, he showed
himself a money-getter, declaring that there were two things which
created and protected and augmented sovereignties, - soldiers and money;
and that these two were dependent upon each other. By proper support
armies were kept together, and this support was gathered by the use of
arms: and if either the one or the other were lacking, the second of
them would be overthrown at the same time.

[-50-] These were ever his ideas and this his talk upon such matters.
Now it was to Italy he hurried and not to Africa, although the latter
region had been made hostile to him, because he learned of the
disturbances in the City and feared that they might get beyond his
control. However, as I said, he did no harm to any one, except that
there too he gathered large sums of money, partly in the shape of crowns
and statues and the like which he received as gifts, and partly by
borrowing not only from individual citizens but also from cities. This
name (of borrowing) he applied to levies of money for which there was no
other reasonable excuse; his exactions from his creditors were none the
less unjustified and acts of violence, since he never intended to pay
these loans. What he said was that he had spent his private possessions
for the public good and it was for that reason he was borrowing.
Wherefore, when the multitude demanded that there should be an annulment
of debts, he would not do it, saying; "I too am heavily involved." He
was easily seen to be wresting away the property of others by his
position of supremacy, and for this his companions as well as others
disliked him. These men had bought considerable of the confiscated
property, in some cases for more than its real value, in the hope of
retaining it free of charge, but found themselves compelled to pay the
full price.

[-51-] To such persons he paid no attention. However to a certain extent
he did court the favor of the people as individuals. To the majority he
allowed the interest they were owing, an act by which he had incurred
the enmity of Pompey, and he released them from all rent for one year,
up to the sum of five hundred denarii; furthermore he raised the
valuations on goods in which it was allowable according to law for loans
to be paid to their value at the time of payment, and this after having
considerably lowered the price for the populace on all confiscated
property. By these acts he gained the attachment of the people; and he
won the affection of the members of his party and those who had fought
for him also. For upon the senators he bestowed priesthoods and
offices, - some which lasted for the rest of that year and some which
extended to the following season. In order to reward a larger number he
appointed ten praetors for the next year and more than the customary
number of priests. To the pontifices and the augurs, of whom he was one,
and to the so-called Fifteen he added one each, although he really
wished to take all the priesthoods himself, as had been decreed. To the
knights in his army and to the centurions and subordinate officers he
gave among other rights the important privilege of choosing some of
their own number for the senate to fill the places of those who had

[-52-] The unrest of the troops, however, made trouble for him. They had
expected to obtain great things, and finding their rewards not less, to
be sure, than their deserts, but inferior to their expectations, they
raised an outcry. The most of them were in Campania, being destined to
sail on ahead to Africa. These nearly killed Sallust, who had been
appointed praetor so as to recover his senatorial office, and when
escaping them he set out for Rome to lay before Caesar what was being
done, a number followed him, sparing no one on their way, and killed
among others whom they met two senators. Caesar as soon as he heard of
their approach wished to send his guard against them, but fearing that
it too might join the uprising he remained quiet until they reached the
suburbs. While they waited there he sent to them and enquired what wish
or what need had brought them. Upon their replying that they would tell
him face to face he allowed them to enter the city unarmed, save as to
their swords; these they were regularly accustomed to wear in the city,
and they would not have submitted to laying them aside at this time.
[-53-] They insisted a great deal upon the toils and dangers they had
undergone and said a great deal about what they had hoped and what they
declared they deserved to obtain. Next they asked to be released from
service and were very clamorous on this point, not because they wished
to return to private life, - they were far from anxious for this since they
had long become accustomed to the gains from warfare - but because they
thought they would scare Caesar in this way and accomplish anything
whatever, since his projected invasion of Africa was close at hand. He,
however, made no reply at all to their earlier statements, but said merely:
"Quirites,[81] what you say is right: you are weary and worn out with
wounds," and then at once disbanded them all as if he had no further
need of them, promising that he would give the rewards in full to such
as had served the appointed time. At these words they were struck with
alarm both at his attitude in general and because he had called them
_Quirites_ and not soldiers; and humiliated, in fear of suffering some
calamity, they changed their stand, and addressed him with many
entreaties and offers, promising that they would join his expedition as
volunteers and would carry the war through for him by themselves. When
they had reached this stage and one of their leaders also, either on his
own impulse or as a favor to Caesar, had said a few words and presented a
few petitions in their behalf, the dictator answered: "I release both
you who are here present and all the rest whose years of service have
expired. I really have no further need of you. Yet even so I will pay
you the rewards, that no one may say that I after using you in dangers
later showed myself ungrateful, even though you were unwilling to join
my campaign while perfectly strong in body and able in other respects to
prosecute a war." [-54-] said for effect, for they were quite
indispensable to him. He then assigned them all land from the public
holdings and from his own, settling them in different places, and
separating them considerable distances from one another, to the end that
they should not inspire their neighbors with terror nor (dwelling apart)
be ready for insurrection. Of the money that was owing them, large
amounts of which he had promised to give them at practically every levy,
he offered to discharge a part immediately and to supply the remainder
with interest in the near future. When he had said this and so
enthralled them that they showed no sign of boldness but expressed their
gratitude, he added: "You have all that is due you from me, and I will
compel no one of you to endure campaigns any longer. If, however, any
one wishes of his own accord to help me subjugate what remains, I will
gladly receive him." Hearing this they were overjoyed, and all alike
were anxious to join the new expedition.

[-55-]Caesar put side the turbulent spirits among them, not all, but as
many as were moderately well acquainted with farming and so could make a
living, - and the rest he used. This he did also in the case of the rest
of his soldiers. Those who were overbold and able to cause some great
evil he took away from Italy in order that they might not raise an
insurrection by being left behind there; and in Africa he was glad to
employ different men on different pretexts, for while he was making away
with his opponents through their work, he at the same time got rid of
them. Though he was the kindliest of men and most frequently did favors
of various sorts for his soldiers and others, he bitterly hated those
given to uprisings and punished them with extreme severity.

This he did in that year in which he ruled as dictator really for the
second time and the consuls were said to be Calenus and Vatinius,
appointed near the close of the season.[-56-] He next crossed over into,
although winter had set in. And he had no little success when, somewhat
later, he made an unlooked for attack on his opponents. On all occasions
he accomplished a great deal by his rapidity and the unexpectedness of
his expeditions, so that if any one should try to study out what it was
that made him so superior to his contemporaries in warfare, he would
find by careful comparison that there was nothing more striking than
these two characteristics. Africa had not been friendly to Caesar
formerly, but after Curio's death it became entirely hostile. Affairs
were in the hands of Varus and Juba, and furthermore Cato, Scipio, and
their followers had taken refuge there simultaneously, as I have stated.
After this they made common cause in the war, trained the land forces,
and making descents by sea upon Sicily and Sardinia they harassed the
cities and brought back ships from which they obtained[82] arms andiron
besides, which alone they lacked. Finally they reached such a condition
of readiness and disposition that, as no army opposed them and Caesar
delayed in Egypt and the capital, they despatched Pompey to Spain. On
learning that the peninsula was in revolt they thought that the people
would readily receive him as being the son of Pompey the Great; and
while he made preparations to occupy Spain in a short time and set out
from there to the capital, the others were getting ready to make the
voyage to Italy. [-57-] At the start they experienced a slight delay,
due to a dispute between Varus and Scipio about the leadership because
the former had held sway for a longer time in these regions, and also
Juba, elated by his victory, demanded that he should have first place.
But Scipio and Cato reached an agreement as being far in advance of them
all, the former in esteem, the latter in understanding, and won over the
rest, persuading them to entrust everything to Scipio. Cato, who might
have led the forces on equal terms with him or even alone, refused,
first because he thought it a most injurious course in the actual state
of affairs, and second, because he was inferior to the other in
political renown. For he saw that in military matters the principle of
preference to ex-magistrates as a matter of course had especial force,
and therefore he willingly yielded him the command and furthermore
delivered to him the troops that he had brought there. After this Cato
made a request for Utica, which was suspected of favoring Caesar's cause
and had come near having its citizens removed by the others on this
account, and he received it to guard; and the whole country and sea in
that vicinity was entrusted to his garrisons. The rest Scipio commanded
as dictator. His very name was a source of strength to those who sided
with him, since by some strange, unreasonable hope they believed that no
Scipio could meet with misfortune in Africa.

[-58-] Caesar, when he learned this and saw that his own soldiers also
were persuaded that it was so and were consequently afraid, took with
him as an aid a man of the family of the Scipios who bore that name (he

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 22 of 30)