Julius Caesar.

Cæsar's Commentaries on the Gallic and civil wars: online

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joined him, and sent him to Thurinum to tamper with the shep-
herds. When he himself was on his road to Casilinum, at the
same time that his military standards and arms were seized at
Capua, his slaves seen at Naples, and the design of betraying
the town discovered : his plots being revealed, and Capua shut
against him, being apprehensive of danger, because the Roman
citizens residing there had armed themselves, and thought he
ought to be treated as an enemy to the state, he abandoned his
first design, and changed his route.

CHAP. XXII. Milo in the mean time dispatched letters to
the free towns, purporting that he acted as he did by the orders


and commands of Pompey, conveyed to him by Bibulus : and
be endeavored to engage in his interest all persons whom he
imagined were under difficulties by reason of their debts. But
not being able to prevail with them, he set at liberty some
slaves from the work-houses, and begant to assault Cosa in the
district of Thuriuum. There having received a blow of a stone
thrown from the wall of the town which was commanded by
Quiutus Pedius with one legion, he died of it; and Caelius
having set out, as he pretended for Caasar, went to Thurii, where
he was put to death as he was tampering with some of the
freemen of the town, and was offering money to Caesar's Gallic
and Spanish horse, which he had sent there to strengthen the
garrison. And thus these mighty beginnings, which had em-
broiled Italy, and kept the magistrates employed, found a speedy
and happy issue.

CHAP. XXIII. Libo having sailed from Oricum, 1 with a
fleet of fifty ships, which he commanded, came to Brundusium,
and seized an island, which lies opposite to the harbor ; judg-
ing it better to guard that place, which was our only pass to
sea, than to keep all the shores and ports blocked up by a fleet.
By his sudden arrival, he fell in with some of our transports,
and set them on fire, and carried off one laden with corn ; he
struck great terror into our men, and having in the night landed
a party of soldiers and archers, he beat our guard of horse from
their station, and gained so much by the advantage of situation,
that he dispatched letters to Pompey, and if he pleased he
might order the rest of the ships to be hauled upon shore and
repaired ; for that with his own fleet he could prevent Caesar
from receiving his auxiliaries.

CHAP. XXIV. Antonius was at this time at Brundusium,
and relying on the valor of his troops, covered about sixty of
the long-boats belonging to the men-of-war with penthouses and
bulwarks of hurdles, and put on board them select soldiers ;
and disposed them separately along the shore : and under the
pretext of keeping the seamen in exercise, he ordered two
three-banked galleys, which he had built at Brundusium, to row
to the mouth of the port. When Libo saw them advancing

1 Oricum, modern Ericho, a town of Macedon, founded by the Abantcs,
and surnamed Dardania, because Helenas and Andromache reigned
there for some time after the fall of Trov.


boldly toward him, he sent five four-banked galleys against
them, in hopes of intercepting them. When these came near
our ships, our veteran soldiers retreated within the harbor.
The enemy, urged by their eagerness to- capture them, pursued
them unguardedly : for instantly the boats of Antonius, on a
certain signal, rowed with great violence from all parts against
the enemy ; and at the first charge took one of the four-banked
galleys, with the seamen and marines, and forced the rest to
flee disgracefully. In addition to this loss, they were pre-
vented from getting water by the horse which Antonius had
disposed along the sea-coast. Libo, vexed at the distress and
disgrace, departed from Brundusium, and abandoned the

CHAP. XXV. Several months had now elapsed, and winter
was almost gone, and Caesar's legions and shipping were not
coming to him from Brundusium, and he imagined that some
opportunities had been neglected, for the winds had at least
been often favorable, and he thought that he must trust to
them at last. And the longer it was deferred, the more eager
were those who commanded Pompey's fleet to guard the coast,
and were more confident of preventing our getting assistance :
they received frequent reproofs from Pompey by letter, that as
they had not prevented Caesar's arrival wit the first, they should
at least stop the remainder of his army : and they were expect-
ing that the season for transporting troops, would become more
unfavorable every Jay, as the winds grew calmer. 1 Caesar,
feeling some trouble on this account, wrote in severe terms to
his officers at Brundusium, [and gave them orders] that as soon
as they found the wind to answer, they should not let the
opportunity of setting sail pass by, if they were even to steer
their course to the shore of Apollonia: because there they
might run their ships on ground. That these parts principally
were left unguarded by the enemy's fleet, because they dare not
venture too far from the harbor.

CHAP. XXVI. They [his officers], exerting boldness and
courage, aided by the instructions of Marcus Antonius, and
Fusius Kalenus, and animated by the soldiers strongly encourag-

1 Plutarch, Appian, Val. Maximus, and Suetonius, say that it was on
this occasion that Caesar in disguise went into a boat to cross over, and
when the rowers, in consequence of a storm wished to return, said, " be
bold, fear nothing, you cany Caesar and his fortunes."


ing them, and declining no danger for Caesar's safety, having
got a southerly wind, weighed anchor, and the next day were
carried past Apollonia and Dyrrachium, and being seen from
the continent, Quintus Coponius, who commanded the Rhodian
fleet at Dyrrachium, put out of the port with his ships ; and
when they had almost come up with us, in consequence of the
breeze dying away, the south wind sprang up afresh, and rescued
us. However, he did not desist from his attempt, but hoped by
the labor and perseverance of his seamen to be able to bear up
against the violence of the storm ; and although we were carried
beyond Dyrrachium, by the violence of the wind, he neverthe-
less continued to chase us. Our men, taking advantage of for-
tune's kindness, for they were still afraid of being attacked by
the enemy's fleet, if the wind abated, having come near a port,
called Nymphseum, about three miles beyond Lissus, put into
it (this port is protected from a south-west wind, but is not
secure against a south wind) ; and thought less danger was to
be apprehended from the storm than from the enemy. But as
soon as they were within the port, the south wind, which had
blown for two days, by extraordinary good luck veered round to
the south-west.

CHAP. XXVII. Here one might observe the sudden turns
of fortune. We who, a moment before, were alarmed for our-
selves, were safely lodged in a very secure harbor : and they
who had threatened ruin to our fleet, were^ forced to be uneasy
on their own account : and thus, by a change of circumstances,
the storm protected our ships, and damaged the Rhodian fleet
to such a degree that all their decked ships, sixteen in number,
foundered, without exception, and were wrecked : and of the
prodigious number of seamen and soldiers, some lost their lives
by being dashed against the rocks, others were taken, by our
men : but Caesar sent them all safe home.

CHAP. XXVIII. Two of our ships, that had not kept up
with the rest, being overtaken by the night, and not knowing
what port the rest had made to, came to an anchor opposite
Lissus. 1 Otacilius Crassus, who commanded Pompey's fleet,
detached after them several barges and small craft, and at-

1 Lissus, modern Alessio, a city of Illyricum, situated near the mouth
of the Drino. It was the most southern city of Illyricum, and was de-
fended by strong fortifications, said to have been built by Dionysius,
tyrant of Syracuse.


tempted to take them. At the same time, ho treated with
them about capitulating, and promised them their lives if they
would surrender. One of them carried two hundred and twenty
recruits, the other was manned with somewhat less than two
hundred veterans. Here it might be seen what security men
derive from a resolute spirit. For the recruits, frightened at
the number of vessels, and fatigued with the rolling of the sea,
and with sea-sickness, surrendered to Otacilius, after having
first received his oath, that the enemy would not injure them ;
but as soon as they were brought before him, contrary to the
obligation of his oath, they were inhumanly put to death in his
presence. But the soldiers of the veteran legion, who had
also struggled, not only with the inclemency of the weather,
but by laboring at the pump, thought it their duty to remit
nothing of their former valor : and having protracted the be-
ginning of the night in settling the terms, under pretense of
surrendering, they obliged the pilot to run the ship aground :
and having got a convenient place on the shore, they spent the
rest of the night there, and at day-break, when Otacilius had
sent against them a party of the horse, who guarded that part
of the coast, to the number of four hundred, beside some armed
men, who had followed them from the garrison, they made a
brave defense, and having killed some .of them, retreated in
safety to our army.

CHAP. XXIX. After this action, the Roman citizens, who
resided at Lissus, a town which Caesar had before assigned them,
and had carefully fortified, received Antony into their town, and
gave him every assistance. Otacilius, apprehensive for his own
safety, escaped out of the town, and went to Pompey. All his
forces, whose number amounted to three veteran legions, and
one of recruits, and about eight hundred horse being landed,
Antony sent most of his ships back to Italy, to transport the re-
mainder of the soldiers and horse. The pontons, which are a
sort of Gallic ships, he left at Lissus with this object, that if
Pompey, imagining Italy defenseless, should transport his army
thither (and this notion was spread among the common people),
Caesar might have some means of pursuing him ; and he sent
messengers to him with great dispatch, to inform him in what
part of the country he had landed his army, and what number
of troops he had brought over with him.

CHAP. XXX. Csesar and Pompey received this intelligence


almost at the same time ; for they had seen the ships sail past
Apollonia and Dyrrachium. They directed their march after
them by land ; but at first they were ignorant to what part they
had been carried ; but when they were informed of it, they
each adopted a different plan ; Caesar, to form a junction with
Antonius as soon as possible ; Pompey, to oppose Antonius's
forces on their march to Caesar, and, if possible, to fall upon
them unexpectedly from ambush. And the same day they both
led out their armies from their winter encampment along the
river Apsus ; Pompey, privately by night ; Caesar, openly by
day. But Caesar had to march a longer circuit up the river to
find a ford. Pompey's route being easy, because he was not
obliged to cross the river, he advanced rapidly and by forced
marches against Antonius, and being informed of his approach,
chose a convenient situation, where he posted his forces ; and
kept his men close within camp, and forbade fires to be kindled,
that his arrival might be the more secret. An account of this
was immediately carried to Antouius by the Greeks. He dis-
patched messengers to Caesar, and confined himself in his camp
for one day. The next day Caesar, came up with him. On
learning his arrival, Pompey, to prevent his being hemmed in
between two armies, quitted his position, and went with all his
forces to Asparagium,i in the territory of Dyrrachium, and there
encamped, in a convenient situation.

CHAP. XXXI. During these times, Scipio, though he had
sustained some losses near mount .Amanus, 2 had assumed
to himself the title of imperator, after which he demanded
large sums of money from the states and princes. He had
also exacted from the tax-gatherers, two years' rents that they
owed ; and enjoined them to lend him the amount of the next

1 Asparagium, a town of Greece, situated on the southern bank of tho
river Apsus, the modern Crevesta.

2 Amanus Mons, Lockham, orAlmaDaghy, is a spur of Mount Taurus,
which quits the main ridge on the borders of Cilicia, and terminates on
the coast of the Mediterranean, a little above the mouth of the Orontes.
It forms the great passes leading into Asia Minor, one of which, between
it and the sea, was called Syrise Pylse, Sagged Doutan; the other leading
into the interior of the country, was known as the Amanidse Pylse, and
has left its name in the neighboring town of Bylan: they are ren-
dered very interesting from the maneuvers of Alexander and Darius,
previous to the fatal battle of Issus. Arrowsmith'a Ancient Geog-


year, and demanded a supply of horse from the whole province.
When they were collected, leaving behind him his neighboring
enemies, the Parthians (who shortly before had killed Marcus
Crassus, the imperator, and had kept Marcus Bibulus besieged),
he drew his legions and cavalry out of Syria ; and when he
came into the province, which was under great anxiety and fear
of the Parthian war, 1 and heard some declarations of the sol-
diers, " That they would march against an enemy, if he would
lead them on ; but would never bear arms against a country-
man and consul ;" he drew off his legions to winter quarters to
Pergamus, and the most wealthy cities, and made them rich
presents : and in order to attach them more firmly to his in-
terest, permitted them to plunder the cities.

CHAP. XXXII. In the mean time, the money which had
been demanded from the province at large, was most vigorously
exacted. Besides, many new imposts of different kinds were

1 On the formation of the first triumvirate, Syria and the Parthian war
were assigned to Crassus, Gaul and Germany to Caesar, Hither and Further
Spain to Pompey. (Livy, Epitome of the 105th book.) Crassus crossed
the Euphrates, and after a series of unfortunate maneuvers, was betrayed
by his allies, and completely defeated at the battle of Carrhse (A. u. c. 701).
Crassua, with such of his troops as escaped the slaughter, occupied a
hill ; the Parthians being apprehensive lest he should escape, enticed him
to a conference. Crassus perceiving their treachery when it was too late,
and spurning the idea of falling into the hands of the enemy, fought
bravely, and at length, after an obstinate struggle, fell sword in hand.
Livy mentions that the name of the Parthian general on this occasion
was Surena, while other writers state it was Monaeses ; these apparent
discrepnacies are reconciled by supposing that Surena was the honorary
title given by the Parthians to their commander-in-chief. The Parthians,
after the defeat of Crassus, invaded Syria, but were driven back with
great loss by Caius Cassius, Crassus's quaestor. We learn, from the Epi-
tome of the 127th book of Livy, that the Parthians took advantage of
the disastrous wars 'that occurred after the assassination of Caesar, and
invaded Syria. They were commanded on this occasion by Labienus,
the son of that Labienus of whom so frequent and so honorable mention
has been made in the Gallic war, who, when the civil war broke out
between Csesar and Pompey, espoused the party of the latter, and sur-
vived the defeat of Pharsah'a to fall on the plains of Munda. Toung
Labienus was an ardent supporter of Brutus and Cassius, and after the
decisive battle of Philippi, fled to the Parthians. The invading army
was at first successful, and after defeating Decidius Saxa, Mark Antony's
lieutenant, occupied the whole of Syria. Their triumph, however, was
of short duration ; they were subsequently defeated in a most signal
manner by Publius Ventidius, another of Antony's lieutenants (on which
occasion Labienus was slain), and driven out of Syria.


devised to gratify his avarice. A tax of so much a head was
laid on every slave aud child. Columns, doors, corn, soldiers,
sailors, arms, engines, and carriages, were made subject to a
duty. Wherever a name could be found for any thing, it was
deemed a sufficient reason for levying money on it. Officers
were appointed to collect it, not only in the cities, but in almost
every village and fort : and whosoever of them acted with the
greatest rigor and inhumanity, was esteemed the best man, and
best citizen. The province was overrun with bailiffs and of-
ficers, and crowded with overseers and tax-gatherers ; who,
besides the duties imposed, exacted a gratuity for themselves ;
for they asserted, that being expelled from their own homes
and countries, they stood in need of every necessary ; endeavor-
ing by a plausible pretense, to color the most infamous con-
duct. To this was added the most exorbitant interest, as
usually happens in times of war ; the whole sums being called
in, on which occasion, they alleged that the delay of a single
day WP.S a donation. Therefore, in those two years, the debt
of the province was doubled : but notwithstanding, taxes were
exacted, not only from the Roman citizens, but from every cor-
poration and every state. And they said that these were loans,
exacted by the senate's decree. The taxes of the ensuing year
were demanded beforehand as a loan from the collectors, as on
their first appointment.

CHAP. XXXIII. Moreover, Scipio ordered the money for-
merly lodged in the temple of Diana at Ephesus, 1 to be taken
out with the statues of that goddess, which remained there.
When Scipio came to the temple, letters were delivered to him
from Pompey, in the presence of several senators, whom he had
called upon to attend him ; [informing him] that Caesar had
crossed the sea with his legions ; that Scipio should hasten to
him with his army, and postpone all other business. As soon
as he received the letter, he dismissed his attendants, and
began to prepare for his journey to 'Macedonia ; and a few

1 Ephesus, Aiosoluc, a famous city of Ionia, in Asia Minor, situated
near the mouth of the river Cayster, the Little Mendere. The temple of
Diana at Ephesus, 425 feet long and 220 feet broad, was distinguished
for its architectural beauties, as well as its vast size. The roof was sup-
ported by 127 marble pillars, sixty feet high. It was considered one of
the seven wonders of the world, and 220 years are said to have elapsed
between its foundation and completion. It was burned by Eratostratus
to immortalize his memory on tho night in which Alexander was born.

CHAP. xxrvi. THE CIVIL WAR. 337

days after set out. This circumstance saved the money at

CHAP. XXXIV. Caesar, having effected a junction with
Antonius's army, and having drawn his legion out of Oricum,
which he had left there to guard the coast, thought he ought
to sound the inclination of the provinces, and march further
into the country ; and when embassadors came to him from
Thessaly and JEtolia, to engage that the states in those
countries would obey his orders, if he sent a garrison to pro-
tect them, he dispatched Lucius Cassius Longinus, with the
twenty-seventh, a legion composed of young soldiers, and two
hundred horse, to Thessaly : and Caius Calvisius Sabinus,
with five cohorts, and a small party of horse, into ^Etolia. He
recommended them to be especially careful to provide corn,
because those regions were nearest to him. He ordered
Cneius Domitius Calvinus to march into Macedonia with two
legions, the eleventh and twelfth, and five hundred horse;
from which province, Menedemus, the principal man of those
regions, on that side which is called the Free, having come as
embassador, assured him of the most devoted affection of all
his subjects.

CHAP. XXXV. Of these Calvisius, on his first arrival in
^Etolia, being very kindly received, dislodged the enemy's gar-
risons in Calydon and Naupactus, and made himself master of
the whole country. Cassius went to Thessaly with his legion.
As there were two factions there, he found the citizens divided
in their inclinations. Hegasaretus, a man of established power,
favored Pompey's interest. Petreius, a young man of a most
noble family, warmly supported Csesar with his own and his
friends' influence.

CHAP. XXXVI. At the same time, Domitius arrived in
Macedonia : and when numerous embassies had begun to wait
on him from many of the states, news was brought that Scipio
was approaching with his legions, which occasioned various
opinions and reports ; for in strange events, rumor generally
goes before. Without making any delay in any part of
Macedonia, he marched with great haste against Domitius ;
and when he was come within about twenty miles of him,
wheeled on a sudden toward Cassius Longinus in Thessaly.
He effected this with such celerity, that news of his march
and arrival came together ; for to render his inarch expeditious,



ho left tho baggage of bis legions bebind bim at tho river
Haliacmon, which divides Macedonia from Tbessaly, under the
care of Marcus Favonius, with a guard of eight cohorts, and
ordered him to build a strong fort there. At the same time,
Cotus's cavalry, which used to infest the neighborhood of Ma-
cedonia, flew to attack Cassius's camp, at which Cassius being
alarmed, and having received information of Scipio's approach,
and seen the horse, which be imagined to be Scipio's, he betook
himself to the mountains that environ Thessaly, and thence
began to make bis route toward Ambracia. 1 But when Scipio
was hastening to pursue him, dispatches overtook him from
Favonius, that Domitius was marching against bim with his
legions, and that he could not maintain the garrison over which
he was appointed, without Scipio's assistance. On receipt of
these dispatches, Scipio changed bis designs and bis. route,
desisted from his pursuit of Cassius, and hastened to relieve
Favonius. Accordingly, continuing his march day and night,
he came to him so opportunely, that the dust raised by Do-
mitius's army, and Scipio's advanced guard, were observed at
the same instant. Thus, the vigilance of Domitius saved Cas-
sius, and the expedition of Scipio, Favonius.

CHAP. XXXVII. Scipio, having staid for two days in his
camp, along the river Haliacmon, which ran between him and
Domitius's camp, on the third day, at dawn, led his army
across a ford, and having made a regular encampment the day
following, drew up his forces in front of his camp. Domitius
thought he ought not to show any reluctance, but should
draw out his forces and hazard a battle. But as there was a
plain six miles in breadth between the two camps, he posted
his army before Scipio's camp ; while the latter persevered in
not quitting his intrenchment. However, Domitius with dif-
ficulty restrained his men, and prevented their beginning a
battle ; the more so as a rivulet with steep banks, joining
Scipio's camp, retarded the progress of our men. When
Scipio perceived the eagerness and alacrity of our troops to
engage, suspecting that be should bo obliged the next day,
either to fight, against his inclination, or to incur great
disgrace by keeping within his camp, though he had come

1 Ambracia, a town of Epiras, founded by a Corinthian colony; it
gave a name to the Sinus Ambracius, Gulf of Aria.]


with high expectation, yet by advancing .rashly, made a
shameful end ; and at night crossed the river, without even
giving the signal for breaking up the camp, and returned to
the ground from which he came, and there encamped near the
river, on an elevated situation. After a few days, he placed a
party of horse in ambush in the night, where our men had
usually gone to forage for several days before. And when
Quintus Varus, commander of Domitius's horse, came there as
usual, they suddenly rushed from their ambush. But our men
bravely supported their charge, and returned quickly every man
to his own rank, and in their turn, made a general charge on
the enemy ; and having killed about eighty of them, and put
the rest to flight, retreated to their camp with the loss of only
two men.

CHAP. XXXVIII. After these transactions, Domitius, hop-
ing to allure Scipio to a battle, pretended to be obliged to
change his position through want of corn, and having given

Online LibraryJulius CaesarCæsar's Commentaries on the Gallic and civil wars: → online text (page 34 of 59)