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 6 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 6 of 30)
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to aid them. Only Cicero, in violent protestation, did take an
additional oath that he had saved the city.

[B.C. 62 (_a.u._ 692)]

[-39-] For that he incurred all the greater hatred. Catiline met his
doom at the very opening of the year in which Junius Silanus and Lucius
Licinius held office. For a while, although he had no small force, he
watched the movements of Lentulus and delayed, in the hope that if
Cicero and his adherents should be slain in good season he could easily
execute his remaining designs. But when he ascertained that Lentulus had
perished and that many of his followers had deserted for that reason, he
was compelled to risk the uttermost, especially as Antonius and Metellus
Celer, who were besieging Faesulae, did not allow him to advance in any
direction. He proceeded, therefore, against Antonius - the two were
separately encamped - although the latter had greater renown than
Metellus and was invested with greater power. The reason was that
Catiline had hopes of his letting himself be beaten in order to fulfill
the demands of his oath.

[-40-] The latter, who suspected this, no longer felt kindly toward
Catiline, because he was weak; for most men form both friendships and
enmities with reference to persons' influence and to individual
advantage. Furthermore, being afraid that the arch-conspirator, when he
saw them fighting earnestly, might utter some reproach and bring to
light things that should not be mentioned, he pretended to be sick and
confided the conduct of the battle to Marcus Petreius. This commander
joined battle with them and not without bloodshed cut down Catiline and
three thousand others while fighting most valiantly. No one of them
fled, but every man fell at his post. Even the victors mourned their
common loss, inasmuch as they had destroyed (no matter how justly) so
many and such brave men, who were citizens and allies. His head Antonius
sent to the city in order that its inhabitants might believe in his
death and have no further fear. He himself was named imperator for the
victory, although the number of the slaughtered was smaller than usual.
Sacrifices of oxen were also voted, and the people changed their raiment
to signify their deliverance from all dangers.

[-41-] Nevertheless, the allies who had shared the undertaking with
Catiline and still survived after that did not remain quiet, but through
fear of punishment created disturbances. Against each division of them
praetors were sent, overcame them in season, while still in a way
scattered, and punished them. Others that were avoiding observation were
convicted and condemned on information from Lucius Vettius, a knight,
who had taken part in the conspiracy but now on promise of immunity
revealed them. This went on until, after having impeached some men and
written their names on a tablet, he desired the privilege of writing in
others. The senators suspected that he was not dealing fair and would
not give him the document again for fear he should erase some names, but
had him mention orally all he had omitted. Then in shame and fear he
made known only a few others.

Since even under these circumstances disquietude prevailed in the city
and among the allies through ignorance of the persons named, and some
were needlessly troubled about themselves, while some incorrectly
suspected others, the senate decreed that the names be published. As a
result the innocent regained composure and judgments were pronounced
upon those called to account. Some were present to be condemned and
others let their cases go by default.

[-42-] Such was the career of Catiline and his downfall which, owing to
the reputation of Cicero and the speeches delivered against him, brought
him a greater name than his deeds deserved. Cicero came near being tried
immediately for the killing of Lentulus and the other prisoners. This
complaint, though technically brought against him, was really directed
against the senate. For among the populace its members were subject to
denunciations of the utmost virulence voiced by Metellus Nepos, to the
effect that they had no right to condemn any citizen to death without
the consent of the people. But Cicero had no trouble at that time. The
senate had granted immunity to all those who administered affairs during
that period and had further proclaimed that if any one should dare to
call any one of them to account again, he should be in the category of a
personal and public enemy; so that Nepos was afraid and aroused no
further tumult.

[-43-] This was not the senate's only victory. Nepos had moved that
Pompey be summoned with his army (he was still in Asia), pretendedly for
the purpose of bringing calm to the existing conditions, but really in
hope that he himself might through him get power in the disturbances he
was causing, because Pompey favored the multitude: this plan the
senators prevented from being ratified. For, to begin with, Cato and
Quintus Minucius in their capacity as tribunes vetoed the proposition
and stopped the clerk who was reading the motion. Nepos took the
document to read it himself, but they snatched it away, and when even so
he undertook to make some oral remarks they laid hold of his mouth. The
result was that a battle with sticks and stones and even swords took
place between them, in which some others joined who assisted both sides.
Therefore the senators convened in session that very day, changed their
togas and gave the consuls charge of the city, "that it suffer no
injury." Then even Nepos was afraid and retired immediately from their
midst: subsequently, after publishing some piece of writing against the
senate, he set out to join Pompey, although he had no right to be absent
from the city a single night.

[-44-] After this occurrence Caesar, who was now praetor, likewise showed
no further revolutionary tendencies. He effected the removal of the name
of Catulus from the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus - he was calling him to
account for theft and was demanding an account of the money he had
spent - and the entrusting to Pompey of the construction of the remainder
of the edifice. For many details, considering the size and character of
the work, were but half finished. Or else Caesar pretended it was so, in
order that Pompey might gain the glory for its completion and inscribe
his name instead. He was not, to be sure, so ready to do him a favor as
to submit to having passed concerning himself some decrees similar to
that regarding Nepos. He did not, in fact, act thus for Pompey's sake,
but in order that he might ingratiate himself with the populace. Still,
as it was, all feared Pompey to such an extent, seeing that it was not
yet clear whether he would give up his legions, that when he sent ahead
Marcus Piso, his lieutenant, to seek the consulship, they postponed the
elections in order that the latter might attend them, and on his arrival
elected him unanimously. For Pompey had recommended the man not only to
his friends, but also to his enemies.

[-45-] It was at this time that Publius Clodius debauched Caesar's wife
in her house and during the performance of the secret rites which
according to ancestral precedent the Vestals carried out at the
residences of consuls and praetors in behalf of the whole male
population. Caesar brought no charge against him, understanding well that
on account of his connections he would not be convicted, but divorced
his wife, telling her that he did not really believe the story but that
he could no longer live with her inasmuch as she had been suspected of
committing adultery at all: a chaste woman must not only not err, but
not even incur any evil suspicion.

[B.C. 61 (_a.u._ 693)]

[-46-] Following these events the stone bridge, called the Fabrician,
leading to the little island in the Tiber was constructed. The next year
in the consulship of Piso and Marcus Messala, the men in power showed
their hatred of Clodius and at the same time made expiation for his
pollution by delivering him to the court, after the pontifices had
decided that the rites because of his act had not been duly performed
and should be annulled. He was accused of adultery, in spite of Caesar's
silence, and of desertion at Nisibis and furthermore of having had
guilty relations with his sister: yet he was acquitted, although the
juries had requested and obtained of the senate a guard to prevent their
suffering any harm at his hands. Regarding this Catulus said jestingly
that they had asked for the guard not in order to condemn Clodius with
safety, but in order to preserve for themselves the money which they had
received in bribes.[25]

The author of this speech died shortly after, - a man who had always,
more conspicuously than his predecessors, held democracy in honor above
everything. That year the censors enrolled in the senatorial body all
who had attained office, even beyond the proper number. Until then, too,
the populace had watched unbroken series of armed combats, but now they
introduced the custom of going out to take lunch in the course of the
entertainment. This practice which began at that time continues even
now, when the person in authority exhibits games.

[-47-] This was the course of affairs in the city. Gaul in the vicinity
of Narbo was being devastated by the Allobroges, and Gaius Pomptinus,
its governor, sent his lieutenants against the enemy, but himself made a
stand at a convenient spot from which he could keep watch of what
occurred; this would enable him to give them opportune advice and
assistance, as their advantage might from time to time dictate.

Manlius Lentinus made a campaign against the city of Valentia and
terrified the inhabitants so, that the majority ran away and the rest
sent ambassadors for peace. Just then the country population coming to
their aid suddenly fell upon him; and he was repulsed from the wall, but
ravaged the land with impunity until Catugnatus, the commander of their
whole tribe, and some others of the dwellers across the Isar brought
them help. For the time being he did not dare to hinder them from
crossing, by reason of the number of the boats, for fear they might
gather in a body on seeing the Romans arrayed against them. As the
country was wooded, however, right down to the river bank, he planted
ambuscades in it, and captured and destroyed them as fast as they
crossed. While following up some fugitives he fell in with Catugnatus
himself, and would have perished with all his force, had not the advent
of a violent storm detained the barbarians from pursuit.

[-48-] Later, when Catugnatus had gone away to some distant place,
Lentinus overran the country again, and seized and razed to the ground
the wall where he had met with mishap. Also, Lucius Marius and Servius
Galba crossed the Rhone and after damaging the possessions of the
Allobroges finally reached the city of Solonium[27] and occupied a
strong position commanding it. In the battle they conquered their
opponents and set fire to the fortification, a portion of which was of
wood: they did not, however, capture it, being hindered by the
appearance of Catugnatus. Pomptinus, on receipt of this news, proceeded
against him with his entire force, and besieged and got possession of
the inhabitants all except Catugnatus. After that he more easily
subjugated the remaining portions.

[B.C. 60 (_a.u._ 694)]

[-49-] At this juncture Pompey entered Italy and had Lucius Afranius and
Metellus Celer appointed consuls, vainly hoping that through them he
could effect whatever he desired. Among his chief wishes was to have
some land given to him for the comrades of his campaigns and to have all
his acts approved; but he failed of these objects at that time, because
those in power, who were formerly not pleased with him, prevented the
questions being brought to vote. And of the consuls themselves Afranius
(who understood how to dance better than to transact any business) did
not unite with him for any purpose, and Metellus, in anger that Pompey
had divorced his sister in spite of having had children by her,
consistently opposed him in everything. Moreover, Lucius Lucullus whom
Pompey had once treated contemptuously at a chance meeting in Gaul was
greatly incensed against him, bidding him give an account individually
and separately of everything he had done instead of demanding a
ratification for all of his acts at once. He said it was only fair to
refuse to let absolutely everything that Pompey had done, as to the
character of which no one knew anything, be confirmed; it was unjust to
treat them like deeds performed by some master. When he (Lucullus) had
finished any of his own undertakings, he was accustomed to ask that an
investigation of each one be made in the senate, in order that the
senators might ratify whichever suited them. Lucullus was strongly
supported by Cato and Metellus and the rest who had the same wishes as

[-50-] Accordingly, when the tribune who moved that land be assigned to
the adherents of Pompey added to the proposition (in order that they
might more readily vote this particular measure and ratify his acts)
that the same opportunity be afforded all the citizens as well, Metellus
contested every point with him and attacked the tribune to such an
extent that the latter had him put in a cell. Then Metellus wished to
assemble the senate there. When the other - his name was Lucius
Flavius - set the tribune's bench at the very entrance of the cell and
sitting there became an obstacle to any one's entrance, Metellus ordered
the wall of the prison to be cut through so that the senate might have
an entrance through it, and made preparations to pass the night where he
was. Pompey, on learning of this, in shame and some fear that the
populace might take offence, directed Flavius to withdraw. He spoke as
if this were a request from Metellus, but was not believed: for the
latter's pride was well known to all. Indeed, Metellus would not give
his consent when the other tribunes wished to set him free. He would not
even yield when Flavius threatened him again that he would not allow him
to go out to the province which he had obtained by lot unless he should
assist the tribune in putting the law through: on the contrary he was
very glad to remain in the city.

Pompey, therefore, since he could accomplish nothing because of Metellus
and the rest, said that they were jealous of him and that he would let
the people know of this. Fearing, however, that he should miss their
support as well, and so be subjected to still greater shame, he
abandoned his original aims. Thus he learned that he had no power in
reality, but only the reputation and envy resulting from his former
authority, which on the other hand afforded him no actual benefit; and
he repented of having let his legions go and of having delivered himself
to his enemies.

[-51-] Clodius's hatred[27] of the influential men led him after the
trial to desire to be tribune, and he induced some of those who held
that office to move that a share in it be given to the patricians also.
As he could not bring this about, he abjured his noble rank and changing
his tactics set out to obtain the prerogatives of the populace, and was
even enrolled in their list. Immediately he sought the tribuneship but
was not appointed, owing to the opposition of Metellus, who was related
to him and did not like his actions. The excuse that Metellus gave was
that the transference of Clodius had not been in accord with tradition;
this change had been permitted only at the time when the lex curiata was
introduced. Thus ended this episode.

Since now the taxes were a great oppression to the city and the rest of
Italy, the law that abolished them caused pleasure to all. The senators,
however, were angry at the praetor who proposed it (Metellus Nepos was
the man) and wished to erase his name from the law, entering another one
instead. Although this plan was not carried out, it was still made clear
to all that they received not even benefits gladly from inferior men.
About this same time Faustus, son of Sulla, gave a gladiatorial combat
in memory of his father and entertained the people brilliantly,
furnishing them with baths and oil gratis.

[-52-] While this happened in the city, Caesar had obtained the
government of Lusitania after his praetorship: and, though he might
without any great labor have cleared the land of brigandage (which
probably always existed there) and then have kept quiet, he refused to
do so. He was eager for glory, emulating Pompey and his other
predecessors who at one time had held great power, and he harbored no
small designs; it was his hope, in case he should at that time
accomplish anything, to be immediately chosen consul and show the people
deeds of magnitude. That hope was based more especially upon the fact
that in Gades, when he was praetor, he had dreamed of intercourse with
his mother, and had learned from the seers that he should come to great
power. Hence, on beholding there a likeness of Alexander dedicated in
the temple of Hercules he had given a groan, lamenting that he had
performed no great work as yet.

Accordingly, though he might, as I have said, have been at peace, he
took his way to Mount Herminium and ordered the dwellers on it to move
into the plain, pretendedly that they might not rush down from their
strongholds and plunder, but really because he well knew that they would
never do what he asked, and that as a result he should get a cause for
war. This also happened. After these men, then, had taken up arms he
proceeded to draw them on. When some of the neighbors, fearing that he
would betake himself against them too, carried off their children and
wives and most valuable possessions out of the way across the Dorius, he
first occupied their cities, where these measures were being taken, and
next joined battle with the men themselves. They put their flocks in
front of them, so that the Romans might scatter to seize the cattle,
whereupon they would attack them. But Caesar, neglecting the quadrupeds,
took the men by surprise and conquered them. [-53-] Meanwhile he learned
that the inhabitants of Herminium had withdrawn and were intending to
ambuscade him as he returned. So for the time being he returned by
another road, but again made an attempt upon them in which he was
victorious and pursued them in flight to the ocean. When, however, they
abandoned the mainland and crossed over to an island, he stayed where he
was, for his supply of boats was not large. He did put together some
rafts, by means of which he sent on a part of his army, and lost
numerous men. The person in command of them had advanced to a breakwater
which was near the island and had disembarked the troops with a view to
their crossing over on foot, when he was forced off by the flood tide
and put out to sea, leaving them in the lurch. All of them died bravely
defending themselves save Publius Scaefius, the only one to survive.
Deprived of his shield and wounded in many places he leaped into the
water and escaped by swimming. These events occurred all at one time.
Later, Caesar sent for boats from Gades, crossed over to the island with
his whole army and overcame the dwellers there without a blow, as they
were in poor condition from lack of food. Thence he sailed along to
Brigantium, a city of Gallaecia, alarmed the people (who had never before
seen a vessel) by the breakers which his approach to land caused, and
subjugated them.

[-54-] On accomplishing this he thought he had gained a sufficient means
of access to the consulship and set out hastily, even before his
successor arrived, to the elections. He decided to seek the position
even before asking for a triumph, since it was not possible to hold a
festival beforehand. He was refused the triumph, for Cato opposed him
with might and main. However, he let that go, hoping to perform many
more and greater exploits and celebrate corresponding triumphs, if
elected consul. Besides the omens previously recited, on which, he at
all times greatly prided himself, was the fact that a horse of his had
been born with clefts in the hoofs of its front feet, and bore him
proudly, whereas it would not endure any other rider. Consequently his
expectations were of no small character, so that he willingly resigned
the triumphal celebration and entered the city to canvass for office.
Here he courted Pompey and Crassus and the rest so skillfully that
though they were still at enmity with each other, and their political
clubs were likewise, and though each opposed everything that he learned
the other wished, he won them over and was unanimously appointed by them
all. This evidences his cleverness in the greatest degree that he should
have known and arranged the occasions and the amount of his services so
well as to attach them both to him when they were working against each

[-55-] He was not even satisfied with this, but actually reconciled
them, not because he was desirous of having them agree, but because he
saw that they were the most powerful persons. And he understood well
that without the aid of both or of one he could never come to any great
power; but if he should make a friend of merely either one of them, he
should by that fact find the other his antagonist and should suffer more
reverses through him than he would win success by the support of the
other. For, on the one hand, it seemed to him that all men work more
strenuously against their enemies than they co√ґperate with their
friends, not merely as a corollary of the fact that anger and hate impel
more earnest endeavor than any friendship, but also because, when one
man works for himself, and a second for another, success does not hold a
like amount of pleasure or failure of pain in the two cases. Per contra
he reflected that it was handier to get in people's way and prevent
their reaching any prominence than to be willing to lead them to great
heights. The chief reason for this was that he who keeps another from
attaining magnitude pleases others as well as himself, whereas he who
exalts another renders him burdensome to both those parties.

[-56-] These reasons led Caesar at that time to insinuate himself into
their good graces, and subsequently he reconciled them with each other.
He did not believe that without them he could either attain permanent
power or fail to offend one of them some time, and had equally little
fear of their harmonizing their plans and so becoming stronger than he.
For he understood perfectly that he should master other people
immediately through their friendship, and a little later master them
through the agency of each other. And so it was.[28]

Pompey and Crassus, the moment they entered into his plan, themselves
made peace each with the other as if of their own accord, and took Caesar
into partnership respecting their designs. Pompey, on his side, was not
so strong as he had hoped to be, and seeing that Crassus was in power
and that Caesar's influence was growing feared that he should be utterly
overthrown by them; but he had the additional hope that if he made them
sharers in present advantages, he should win back his old authority
through them. Crassus thought that he should properly surpass them all
by reason of his family as well as his wealth; and since he was far
inferior to Pompey and thought that Caesar would rise to great heights,
he desired to set them in opposition one to the other, in order that
neither of them should have the upper hand. He expected that they would
be evenly matched antagonists and in this event he would get the benefit
of the friendship of each and gain honors beyond both of them. For
without supporting in all respects either the policy of the populace or
that of the senate he did everything to advance his own supremacy. Thus
it happened that he did both of them equal services and avoided the
enmity of either, promoting on occasion whatever measures pleased both
to such an extent as was likely to give him the credit for everything
that went to the liking of the two, without any share in more unpleasant

[-57-] Thus the three for these reasons cemented friendship, ratified it
with oaths, and managed public affairs by their own influence. Next they
gave and received in turn, one from another, whatever they set their
hearts on and was in view of the circumstances suitable to be carried
out by them. Their harmony caused an agreement also on the part of their
political followers: these, too, did with impunity whatever they wished,
enjoying the leadership of their superiors toward any ends, so that few
traces of moderation remained and those only in Cato and in any one else

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 6 of 30)