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 23 of 30)
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was otherwise known as Salvito)[83]and then made the voyage to
Adrymetum, since the neighborhood of Utica was strictly guarded. His
unexpected crossing in the winter enabled him to escape detection. When
he had left his ship an accident happened to him which, even if some
disaster was portended by Heaven, he nevertheless turned to a good omen.
Just as he was setting foot on land he slipped, and the soldiers seeing
him fall on his face were disheartened and in their chagrin raised an
outcry; but he never lost his presence of mind, and stretching out his
hands as if he had fallen on purpose he embraced and kissed repeatedly
the land, and cried with a shout: "I have thee, Africa!" His next move
was an assault upon Adrymetum, from which he was repulsed and moreover
driven violently out of his camp. Then he transferred his position to
another city called Ruspina, and being received by the inhabitants set
up his winter quarters there and made it the base for subsequent



The following is contained in the Forty-third of Dio's Rome:

How Caesar conquered Scipio and Juba (chapters 1-8). How the Romans got
possession of Numidia (chapter 9). How Cato slew himself (chapters
10-13). How Caesar returned to Rome and celebrated his triumph and
settled what business remained (chapters 14-21). How the Forum of Caesar
and the Temple of Venus were consecrated (chapters 22-25). How Caesar
arranged the year in its present fashion (chapters 26, 27). How Caesar
conquered in Spain Gnaeus Pompey the son of Pompey (chapters 28-45). How
for the first time consuls were appointed for not an entire year
(chapters 46-48). How Carthage and Corinth received colonies (chapters
49, 50). How the Aediles Cereales were appointed (chapter 51).

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

C. Iulius C.F. Caesar, Dictator (III), with Aemilius Lepidus, Master of
Horse, and Consul (III) with Aemilius Lepidus Cos. (B.C. 46 - a.u. 708.)

C. Iulius Caesar, Dictator (IV), with Aemilius Lepidus, Master of Horse;
also Consul (IV) alone. (B.C. 45 - a.u. 709.)

C. Iulius Caesar, Dictator (V), with Aemilius Lepidus, Master of Horse,
and Consul (V) with M. Antonius Cos. (B.C. 44 - a.u. 710.)


[B.C. 46 (_a.u._ 708)]

[-1-] Such were his adventures at this time. The following year he
became both dictator and consul at the same time (it was the third
occasion on which he had filled each of the two offices), and Lepidus
became his colleague in both instances. When he had been named dictator
by Lepidus the first time, he had sent him immediately after the
praetorship into Hither Spain; and when he returned he had honored him
with triumphal celebrations though Lepidus had conquered no foes nor so
much as fought with any, - the excuse being that he had been at the scene
of the exploits of Longinus and of Marcellus. Yet he sent home nothing
(if you want the facts) except what money he had plundered from the
allies. Caesar besides exalting Lepidus with these honors chose him
subsequently as his colleague in both the positions mentioned.

[-2-] Now while they were still in office, the populace of Rome became
excited by prodigies. There was a wolf seen in the city, and a pig that
save for its feet resembled an elephant was brought forth. In Africa,
too, Petreius and Labienus who had observed that Caesar had gone out to
villages after grain, by means of the Nomads drove his cavalry, that had
not yet thoroughly recovered strength from its sea-voyage, in upon the
infantry; and while as a result the force was in utter confusion, they
killed many of the soldiers at close quarters. They would have cut down
all the rest besides, who had crowded together on a bit of high ground,
had they not been severely wounded. Even as it was, by this deed they
alarmed Caesar considerably. When he stopped to consider how he had been
tripped by a few, while expecting, too, that Scipio and Juba would
arrive directly with all their powers, as they had been reported, he was
decidedly in a dilemma, and did not know what course to adopt. He was
not yet able to bring the war to a satisfactory conclusion; he saw,
furthermore, that to stay in the same place was difficult because of the
lack of subsistence even if the foe should keep away from his troops,
and that to retire was impossible, with the enemy pressing upon him both
by land and by sea. Consequently he was in a state of dejection.

[-3-] He was still in this situation when one Publius Sittius (if we
ought to call it him, and not the Divine Power) brought at one stroke
salvation and victory. This man had been exiled from Italy, and had
taken along some fellow-exiles: after crossing over into Mauritania he
collected a band and was general under Bocchus. Though he had no benefit
from Caesar to start with, and although in general he was not known to
him, he undertook to share in the war and to help him to overcome the
existing difficulty. Accordingly he bore no direct aid to Caesar himself,
for he heard that the latter was at a distance and thought that his own
assistance (for he had no large body of troops) would prove of small
value to him. It was Juba whom he watched start out on his expedition,
and then he invaded Numidia, which along with Gaetulia (likewise a part
of Juba's dominion) he harried so completely that the king gave up the
project before him and turned back in the midst of his journey with most
of his army; some of it he had sent off to Scipio. This fact made it as
evident as one could wish that if Juba had also come up, Caesar would
never have withstood the two. He did not so much as venture to join
issue with Scipio alone at once, because he stood in terrible dread of
the elephants (among other things), partly on account of their fighting
abilities, but still more because they were forever throwing his cavalry
into confusion. [-4-] Therefore, while keeping as strict a watch over
the camp as he could, Caesar sent to Italy for soldiers and elephants. He
did not count on the latter for any considerable military achievement
(since there were not many of them) but intended that the horses, by
becoming accustomed to the sight and sound of them, should learn for the
future not to fear at all those belonging to the enemy.

Meanwhile, also, the Gaetulians came over to his side, with some others
of the neighboring tribes. The latter's reasons for this step were,
first, - the persuasion of the Gaetuli, who, they heard, had been greatly
honored, and second, the fact that they remembered Marius, who was a
relative of Caesar. When this had occurred, and his auxiliaries from
Italy in spite of delay and danger caused by bad weather and hostile
agents had nevertheless accomplished the passage, he did not rest a
moment. On the contrary he was eager for the conflict, looking to
annihilate Scipio in advance of Juba's arrival, and moved forward
against him in the direction of a city called Uzitta, where he took up
his quarters on a certain crest overlooking both the city and the
enemy's camp, having first dislodged those who were holding it. Soon
after this he chased Scipio, who had attacked him, away from this higher
ground, and by charging down behind him with his cavalry did some

This position accordingly he held and fortified; and he took another on
the other side of the city by dislodging Labienus from it; after which
he walled off the entire town. For Scipio, fearing lest his own power be
spent too soon, would no longer risk a battle with Caesar, but sent for
Juba. And when the latter repeatedly failed to obey his summons he
(Scipio) promised to relinquish to him all the rights that the Romans
had in Africa. At that, Juba appointed others to have charge of the
operations against Sittius, and once more started out himself against

[-5-] While this was going on Caesar tried in every way to draw Scipio
into close quarters. Baffled in this, he made friendly overtures to the
latter's soldiers, and distributed among them brief pamphlets, in which
he promised to the native that he would preserve his possessions
unharmed, and to the Roman that he would grant immunity and the honors
which he owed to his own followers. Scipio in like manner undertook to
circulate both offers and pamphlets among the opposite party, with a
view to making some of them his own: however, he was unable to induce
any of them to change sides. Not that some of them would not have chosen
his cause by preference, if any announcement similar to Caesar's had been
made: their failure to do so was due to the fact that he promised them
nothing in the way of a prize, but merely urged them to liberate the
Roman people and the senate. And so, inasmuch as he chose a respectable
proposition instead of something which would advantage them in the needs
of the moment, he failed to gain the allegiance of a single one.

[-6-] While Scipio alone was in the camp, matters progressed as just
described, but when Juba also came up, the scene was changed. For these
two both tried to provoke their opponents to battle and harassed them
when they showed unwillingness to contend; moreover by their cavalry
they kept inflicting serious damage upon any who were scattered at a
distance. But Caesar was not for getting into close quarters with them if
he could help it. He stuck to his circumvallation, kept seizing
provender as was convenient, and sent after other forces from home. When
at last these reached him with much difficulty - (for they were not all
together, but kept gathering gradually, since they lacked boats in which
to cross in a body) - still, when in the course of time they did reach
him and he had added them to his army, he took courage again; so much
so, that he led out against the foe, and drew up his men in front of the
trenches. Seeing this his opponents marshaled themselves in turn, but
did not join issue with Caesar's troops. This continued for several days.
For aside from cavalry skirmishes of limited extent after which they
would invariably retire, neither side risked any important movement.

[-7-] Accordingly Caesar, who bethought himself that because of the
nature of the land he could not force them to come into close quarters
unless they chose, started toward Thapsus, in order that either they
might come to the help of the city and so engage his forces, or, if they
neglected it, he might capture the place. Now Thapsus is situated on a
kind of peninsula, with the sea on one side and a marsh stretching along
on the other: between them lies a narrow, swampy isthmus so that one has
access to the town from two directions by an extremely narrow road
running along both sides of the marsh close to the surf. On his way
toward this city Caesar, when he had come within these narrow approaches,
proceeded to dig ditches and to erect palisades. And the others made no
trouble for him (for they were not his match), but Scipio and Juba
undertook to wall off in turn the neck of the isthmus, where it comes to
an end near the mainland, dividing it into two portions by means of
palisades and ditches.

[-8-] They were still at work, and accomplishing a great deal every day
(for in order that they might build the wall across more quickly they
had assigned the elephants to that portion along which a ditch had not
yet been dug and on that account was somewhat accessible to the enemy,
while on the remaining defences all were working), when Caesar suddenly
attacked the others, the followers of Scipio, and with slings and arrows
from a distance threw the elephants into thorough confusion. As they
retreated he not only followed them up, but unexpectedly reaching the
workers he routed them, too. When they fled into the redoubt, he dashed
in with them and captured it without a blow.

Juba, seeing this, was so startled and terrified, that he ventured
neither to come into close quarters with any one, nor even to keep the
camp properly guarded, but fled incontinently homeward. So then, when no
one would receive him, chiefly because Sittius had conquered all
antagonists beforehand, he renounced all chances of safety, and with
Petreius, who likewise had no hope of amnesty, in single conflict fought
and died.

[-9-]Caesar, immediately after Juba's flight, captured the palisade and
wrought a vast slaughter among all those that met his troops: he spared
not even those who would change to his side. Next, meeting with no
opposition, he brought the rest of the cities to terms; the Nomads whom
he acquired he reduced to a state of submission, and delivered to
Sallust nominally to rule, but really to harry and plunder. This officer
certainly did receive many bribes and make many confiscations, so that
accusations were even preferred and he bore the stigma of the deepest
disgrace, inasmuch as after writing such treatises as he had, and making
many bitter remarks about those who enjoyed the fruits of others' labor,
he did not practice what he preached. Wherefore, no matter how full
permission was given him by Caesar, yet in his History the man himself
had chiseled his own code of principles deep, as upon a tablet.

Such was the course which events took. Now as for These tribes in Libya,
the Region surrounding Carthage (which we call also Africa) received the
title of Old, because it had been long ago subjugated, whereas the
region of the Nomads was called New, because it had been newly captured.
Scipio, who had fled from the battle, chancing upon a boat set sail for
Spain and Pompey. He was cast ashore, however, upon Mauritania, and
through fear of Sittius made way with himself.

[-10-] Cato, since many had sought refuge with him, was at first
preparing to take a hand in affairs and to offer a certain amount of
resistance to Caesar. But the men of Utica were not in the beginning
hostile to Caesar, and now, seeing him victorious, would not listen to
Cato. This made the members of the senate and the knights who were
present afraid of arrest at their hands, and they took counsel for
flight. Cato himself decide neither to war against Caesar - indeed, he
lacked the power, - nor to give himself up. This was not through any
fear: he understood well enough that Caesar would have been very ready to
spare him for the sake of that reputation for humaneness: but it was
because he was passionately in love with freedom, and would not brook
defeat in aught at the hands of any man, and regarded pity emanating
from Caesar as more hateful than death.

He called together those of the citizens who were Present, enquired
whither each one of them had determined to proceed, sent them forth with
supplies for the journey, and bade his son betake himself to Caesar.

To the youth's interrogation, "Why then do you also not do so?" he
replied: - "I, brought up in freedom, with the right of free speech, can
not in my old age change and learn slavery instead; but you, who were
both born and brought up under such a régime, you ought to serve the
deity that presides over your fortunes."

[-11-] When he had done this, after sending to the people of Utica an
account of his administration and returning to them the surplus funds,
as well as whatever else of theirs he had, he was filled with a desire
to depart previous to Caesar's arrival. He did not undertake any such
project by day (for his son and others surrounding him kept him under
surveillance), but when evening was come he slipped a tiny dagger
secretly under his pillow, and asked for Plato's book on the Soul, [84]
which he had written out. This he did either endeavoring to divert the
company from the suspicion that he had any sinister plan in mind, in
order to render himself as free from scrutiny as possible, or else in
the wish to obtain some little consolation in respect to death from the
reading of it. When he had read the work through, as it drew on toward
midnight, he stealthily drew out the dagger, and smote himself upon the
belly. He would have immediately died from loss of blood, had he not by
falling from the low couch made a noise and aroused those sleeping in
the antechamber. Thereupon his son and some others who rushed in duly
put back his bowels into his belly again, and brought medical attendance
for him. Then they took away the dagger and locked the doors, that he
might obtain sleep, - for they had no idea of his perishing in any other
way. But he, having thrust his hands into the wound and broken the
stitches of it expired.

Thus Cato, who had proved himself both the most democratic and the
strongest willed of his contemporaries acquired a great glory even from
his very death, so that he obtained the commemorative title "of Utica,"
both because he had died, as described, in that city, and because he was
publicly buried by the people.[-12-] Caesar declared that with him he was
angry, because Cato had grudged him the distinction attaching to the
preservation of such a man, but released his son and most of the rest,
as was his custom: for some came over to him immediately of their own
volition, and others later, so as to approach him after time should have
somewhat blurred his memory. So these escaped, but Afranius and Faustus
would not come to him of their own free will, for they felt sure of
destruction. They fled to Mauritania, where they were captured by
Sittius. Caesar put them to death without a trial, on the ground that
they were captives for a second time.[85] And in the case of Lucius
Caesar, though the man was related to him and came a voluntary suppliant,
nevertheless, since he had fought against him straight through, he at
first bade him stand trial so that the conqueror might seem to have some
legal right on his side in condemning him: later Caesar shrank from
killing him by his own vote, and put it off for the time, but afterward
did slay him secretly. [-13-] Even among his own followers those that
did not suit him he sacrificed without compunction to the opposing side
in some cases, and in others by prearrangement caused them to perish in
the actual conflicts, through the agency of their own comrades, for, as
I have said, he did not take measures openly against all those that had
troubled him, but any that he could not prosecute on some substantial
charge he quietly put out of the way in some obscure fashion. And yet at
that time he burned without reading all the papers that were found in
the private chests of Scipio, and of the men who had fought against him
he preserved many for their own sakes, and many also on account of their
friends. For, as has been said, he allowed each of his fellow-soldiers
and companions to ask the life of one man. He would have preserved Cato,
too. For he had conceived such an admiration for him that when Cicero
subsequently wrote an encomium of Cato he was no whit vexed, - although
Cicero had likewise warred against him, - but merely wrote a short
treatise which he entitled Anticato.

[-14-]Caesar after these events at once and before crossing into Italy
disencumbered himself of the more elderly among his soldiers for fear
they might revolt again. He arranged the other matters in Africa just as
rapidly as was feasible and sailed as far as Sardinia with all his
fleet. From that point he sent the discarded troops in the company of
Graius Didius into Spain against Pompey, and himself returned to Rome,
priding himself chiefly upon the brilliance of his achievements but also
to some extent upon the decrees of the senate. For they had decreed that
offerings should be made for his victory during forty days, and they had
granted him leave to celebrate the previously accorded triumph upon
white horses and with such lictors as were then in his company, with as
many others as he had employed in his first dictatorship, and all the
rest, besides, that he had in his second. Further, they elected him
superintendent of every man's conduct (for some such name was given him,
as if the title of censor were not worthy of him), for three years, and
dictator for ten in succession. They moreover voted that he should sit
in the senate upon the sella curulis with the acting consuls, and should
always state his opinion first, that he should give the signal in all
the horse-races, and that he should have the appointment of the officers
and whatever else formerly the people were accustomed to assign. And
they resolved that a representation of his chariot be set on the Capitol
opposite Jupiter, that upon an image of the inhabited world a bronze
figure of Caesar be mounted, holding a written statement to the effect
that he was a demi-god, and that his name be inscribed upon the Capitol,
in place of that of Catulus, on the ground that he had finished the
temple, in the course of the construction of which he had undertaken to
call Catulus to account. These are the only measures I have recorded,
not because they were also the only ones voted, - for a vast number of
things was proposed and of course ratified, - but because he disregarded
the rest, whereas these he accepted.

[-15-] Now that they had been settled, he entered Rome, where he saw
that the inhabitants were afraid of his power and suspicious of his
designs as a result of which they expected to suffer many terrible evils
such as had taken place before. Seeing also that on this account
excessive honors had been accorded him, through flattery but not through
good-will, he began to encourage the Romans and to inspire them with
hope by the following speech delivered in the senate:

"Let none of you, Conscript Fathers, expect that I shall make any harsh
proclamation or perform any cruel act merely because I have conquered
and am able to say whatever I may please without being called to
account, and to do with authority whatever I may choose. It is true that
Marius and Cinna and Sulla and all the rest, so to speak, who ever
subdued their adversaries, in their initial undertakings said and did
much that was humane, principally as a result of which they converted to
their side some whose alliance, or at least whose refraining from
hostilities, they enjoyed; and then after conquering and becoming
masters of the ends they sought, they adopted a course of behavior
diametrically opposed to their former stand both in word and in deed.
Let no one, however, for any such reason assume that this same policy
will be mine. I have not associated with you in former time under a
disguise, possessing in reality some different nature, only to become
emboldened in security now because that is possible: nor have I been so
excited or beclouded by my great good fortune as to desire also to play
the tyrant over you. Both of these afflictions, or rather the second,
seems to have befallen those men whom I mentioned. No, I am in nature
the same sort of a man as you have always found me: - why should I go
into details and become burdensome by a praise of self? - I should not
think of treating Fortune so shabbily, but the more I have enjoyed her
favors, the better will I use her in every respect. I have been anxious
to secure so great power and to rise to such a height as to chastise all
active foes and admonish all those disaffected for no other reason than
that I might be able to play a brave part without danger, and to obtain
prosperity with fame. [-16-] It is not, besides, in general either noble
or just for a man to be convicted of adopting that course for which he
had rebuked those who differed from him in opinion: nor should I ever be
satisfied to be compared with them through my imitation of their deeds,
and to differ merely by the reputation of my complete victory. For who
ought to benefit people more and more abundantly than he who has the
greatest power. Who ought to err less than he who is the strongest? Who
should use the gifts of Heaven more sensibly than he who has received
the greatest from that source? Who ought to handle present blessings
more uprightly than he who has the most of them and is most afraid of
their being lost? Good fortune, joined with temperance, continues: and
authority, if it maintains moderation, preserves all that has been
gained. Above all, as is seldom the case with those persons that succeed
without virtue, they make it possible for rulers while alive to be loved
unfeignedly, and when, dead to receive genuine praise. But the man who
without restraint absolutely applies his power to everything finds for
himself neither real good-will nor certain safety, but though accorded a
false flattery in public [is secretly cursed][86]. For the whole world,
besides those who associate with him most, both suspect and fear a ruler
who is not master of his own authority.

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 23 of 30)