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

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son either chief priest or an exile."

But he said to them seriously, " I would rather be the first
among them, than the second among the Romans."

Do you not think that I have sufficient reason for grief, if
Alexander, at such an age, ruled over so many, but nothing
noble has been achieved by me.

It was enough, said Caesar, not to use it if you disliked it ;
he that finds fault with rusticity, is himself a rustic.

Caesar said, " Arms and laws do not flourish together ; if you


are not pleased with my acts, now withdraw, for war does not
require much freedom of language. Whenever I may lay down
my arms, and a treaty may be made, then come forward and

Go forward, my noble fellow, have courage and fear nothing,
for you have Caesar and his fortunes in the same galley with you.

And when a horse was brought to Cassar, he said, when I
shall conquer I will use it for the pursuit ; now let us march
against the enemy ; and rushing on he charged on foot.

To-day the victory would have been with the enemy, if they
had had a general who knew how to conquer.

Caesar is said to have observed " That Cassius urged the
juster claim, but he could not pass by Brutus."

Brutus will wait for this skin.

What think you are the intentions of Cassius ; for he does
not please me very much, being very pale ?

I do not fear at all those fat and luxurious men, but rather
these pale and slender men ; meaning Brutus and Cassius.

The ides of March are come ; but he replied in a low voice,
Yes, they are come, but they are not past yet.

When the subject was casually introduced what death was
the best, Caesar anticipated all and shouted out eagerly, " An
unexpected one." Plutarch.

They say that Caesar answered the person making the an-
nouncement by striking the hilt of his sword, and saying,
" This will give it to me."

He pardoned the Athenians at their request, and remarked :
" How often will the glory of your ancestors save you perishing
through your own conduct ?"

This will be the end of my life and of your campaigns .

They report that Caesar said " that he had often fought for
victory, but now for life."

Nothing is more wretched than constant apprehensions, for
they are always the mark of a coward. Appian.


But, however, said Atticus, addressing Brutus ; I myself
really entertain this opinion of Caesar an opinion, too, that I
hear very often expressed of this connoisseur in this art, that
he speaks the Latin language with the greatest purity and


elegance of all the orators that have yet appeared, and that not
merely for domestic habit, as we have lately heard it observed
of the families of the Laelii and Mucii (though even here I be-
lieve this might partly have been the case), but he chiefly ac-
quired it, and brought it to its present perfection, by a studious
application to the most intricate and refined branches of litera-
ture, and by a careful and constant attention to the purity of
his style. Cicero in Bruto, c. 75.

But proceed, my Pomponius, with Csesar, and give us the re-
mainder of his character.

We see then, said he, from what has just been mentioned,
that a pure and correct style is the ground-work and the very
basis and foundation upon which an orator must build his other
accomplishments, etc. But Caesar, summoning to his aid the
principles of the art, has corrected the imperfections of a vicious
custom, by adopting the rules and improvements of a good
one, as he found these occasionally displayed in the course of
polite conversation. Therefore when he adds to the elegance
of the Latin terms (which is necessary, although you may not
be an actor but a well-bred Roman citizen), all the varied or-
naments of elevation; then he seems to exhibit the finest
paintings in the most advantageous light. As he has such
extraordinary merit, even in the common run of his language,
I must confess that there is no person I know of to whom he
should yield the preference. Besides, his manner of speaking,
both as to his voice and gesture, is imposing and splendid,
without the least appearance of artifice or affectation ; his pres-
ence, too, is dignified and noble. Indeed, said Brutus, his ora-
tions please me highly, for I have had the satisfaction of reading
several of them. He has likewise some commentaries or short
memoirs of his own transactions, and such as merit the highest
approbation ; for they are simple, correct, and elegant, and di-
vested of all the ornaments of language, so as to appear (if I
may be allowed the expression) in a kind of undress. For while
he pretends to furnish only the loose materials for such as might
be inclined to furnish a regular history, he may perhaps have
gratified the vanity of a few literary coxcombs, who wish to set
off the incidents by a flourish of words ; but he has certainly
prevented all sensible men from an improvement on his plan.
Cicero in JBruto, c* 74.

What ? Which of the orators, who have made speaking the


sole business of their lives could you prefer to him (Caesar) ?
Who is more pointed or brief in his sentences ? Cicero ad Car.
Nep. Suetonius, chap. 55.

Caius Julius Caesar can not be considered a writer of Roman
history. His commentaries on the Gallic war, the reputation
of which has spread far and wide, are his only compositions ex-
tant : nor did he write any other historic composition as far as
I can ascertain : for Hirtius his secretary undertook the task of
completing the sequel to his commentaries, comprising his
other achievements after Caesar, but imposed on him the burden
of deciding on the causes of almost the entire world. Lupi Ab-
batis Ferrariensis.

But the reputation of the Catuli 1 for eloquence was not in-
ferior ; but in wit and humor Caesar* surpassed them all.
Cicero, de Officiis.

He has likewise left memoirs of his own transactions both in
the Gallic and Civil War with Pompey ; for the author of the
Alexandrian, African, and Spanish war has not been ascer-
tained. Some think it was Oppius, others Hirtius, who also
wrote a suppliment to the last book of the Gallic v ar which
was left unfinished. Pollio Aslnius thinks that they were not
carefully compiled or with a due regard to truth ; for Caesar,
as he will have it, is a little too hasty in believing what was
done by others under him, and he has given no very just
account of what he himself transacted in person, either through
design, or a defect of memory, and he is of opinion that he
intended a new and more correct draught of them. Suetonius,
c. 56.

If Caesar had made the bar his principal object, no other of
our orators could have better disputed the prize of eloquence
with Cicero. So great is his energy, so sharp his wit, such his
power of exciting emotions, that he appears to have spoken with
the same power as he fought ; he embellished all the talents of
eloquence by a surprising elegance of language which he made
his particular study .-*-Quintilian, 10, 1.

What should hinder our occasionally adopting the energy of

1 There were two Catuli, father and son. The allusion here seems to
be to the father, for the son was not considered a great orator.

2 The reference here is not to Caesar the Dictator, but to another of
the same name, of whom Brutus says that he was deficient in fire, and
that many of his speeches were quite tame.


Caesar, the asperity of Ccelius, 1 the accuracy of Pollio, and
the judgment of Calvus. Quintilian.

Calvus was more concise, Asinius more copious, Caesar
more brilliant, Ccelius more bitter, Brutus more dignified,
Cicero more vehement, rich and powerful. Dialogue on Ora-
tory, ch. 25.

Caesar is said to have possessed great natural gifts for
oratory, and he did not want ambition to cultivate them,
so that he was, undoubtedly, the second orator at Home.
Plutarch, Ccesar.

The eloquence Caesar displayed at Rome in defending persons
impeached, gained him considerable interest Ibid.

In answer to this he usually had recourse to authorities,
and produces Lysias among the Grecians, together with
Cato and the two Gracchi, among our own countrymen, as
instances in favor of the concise style. In return I name
Demosthenes, Machines, Hyperides, 2 and many others, in
oppositi<5h to Lysias, and I oppose Cato and the Gracchi, Pollio,
Caesar, Cselius, and above all Cicero, whose longest speech is
generally esteemed the best. Pliny, Epistle 1, 20.

Shall I fear that that would not become me which became
Marcus Tullius, Caius Calvus, Asinius Pollio, Marcus Messala,
etc., the deified Julius, the deified Augustus, the deified Nerva,
T. Caesar, etc. Pliny, Epistle 5, 3.

Caesar the Dictator was the rival of the most distinguished
orators. Tacitus Annales.

That most distinguished writer, the deified Julius. Tacitus,
de Moribus Germanorum.

Caius Caesar the Dictator was engaged alternately in the

1 None of the speeches of Coelius, Pollio, and Calvus, have descended
to us.

2 Hyperides was a celebrated Athenian orator cotemporary with De-
mosthenes. He embraced the same political party, and was sent along
with Ephialtes on a secret mission to the court of Persia, to procure aid
against Philip, King of Macedon. After the disastrous defeat at Chsero-
nea, Hyperides proposed that the Athenians should place their wives,
children, and valuable property in the Piraeus, recall their exiles, and
give liberty to their slaves, to enable them to make a desperate struggle
against Philip. By these measures Athens obtained an honorable peace.
Hyperides was put to death by the orders of Antipater, B.C. 322. His
body, which had been left without burial, was carried off by his relations
and interred in Attica.



pursuits of war, dictation, and reading. And although he was
the most distinguished man of the day, and was as celebrated
for his speeches in the camp as in the forum, yet he thought
that he had not a strong enough position in the citadel of
either art until he was preferred to other men by the decision
of the orator of Arpinum. Sidonius Apollonicus.


N.B. The numerals refer to the book, the figures to the chapter. GK stands
for the Gallic War, C. for the Civil, A. for the Alexandrian, Af. for
the African, and H. for the Spanish "War.

ACARNANIA, a region of Greece,

Acco, prince of the Senones, his
conduct on Caesar's approach, G.
vL 4 ; condemned in a council of
the Gauls, vi. 44.

Achaia, sometimes taken for all
Greece, but most commonly for a
part of it only ; in Peloponnesus,
Romania alia,,

Achillas, captain of Ptolemy's guards,
sent to kill Pompey, C. iii. 104 ;
appointed byPothinus commander
of all the Egyptian forces, ibid.
108 ; heads an army of twenty
thousand veteran troops, ibid.HQ;
variance between him and Arsi-
noe, Ptolemy's sister, A. 4.

Aoilla, or Achilla, or Acholla, There
were two cities in Africa of this
name, one inland, the other on
the coast. The modern name of
the latter is Elalia. It demands
a garrison from Caesar, AC 33 ;
besieged in vain by Considius,
ibid. 43.

Acilius, Caesar's lieutenant, C. iii. 15.

Actlum, a promontory of Epirus,
now called the Cape of Tigalo,
famous for a naval victory gained
near it, by Augustus, over M.

Actlus, a Pelignian, one of Pompey's
followers, taken by Caesar, and
dismissed in safety, C. i. 18.

Actius Rufus, accuses L. Apanius of
treachery, C. iii. 83.

Actlus Varus prevents Tubero from
landing in Africa, C. i. 31 ; his
forces, C. ii. 23 ; his camp, ibid.
26; engages Curio, ibid. 34; his
danger, defeat, and stratagem,
ibid. 35 ; his death, H. 31.

Adcantuannus, sallies upon Crassus
at the head of a chosen body of
troops, G. iii. 22.

Addua, the Adda,a river that rises in
the Alps, and, separating the duchy
of Milan from the state of Venice,
falls into the Po above Cremona.

Adriatic Sea, the Gulf of Venice, at
the extremity of which that city
is situated.

Adrumetum, a town in Africa, Ma-
hometta; held by Considius Lon-
gus with a garrison of one legion,
C. ii 23 ; Caesar makes himself
master of it, Af. 89.

Aduatuci (in some editions Atua-
tici), descendants of the Teutones
and Cimbri, G. ii. 29 ; they furnish
twenty-nine thousand men to the
general confederacy of Gaul, ibid.
4 ; Caesar obliges them to submit,
ibid. 29 ;

the Autunois, & people of
Gaul, near Auiun, in the country
now called Lower Burgundy ;
they complain to Caesar of the
ravages committed in their terri-
tories by the Helvetii, G. i. 11 ;
join in a petition against Ariovis-
tus, ibid. 33 ; at the head of one of
the two leading factions of Gaul,



G. vi. 12 ; Caesar quiets an intes-
tine commotion among them, C.
viL 33 ; they revolt from the
Komans, G. vii. 64; their law
concerning magistrates, ibid. 33 ;
their clients, i. 31 ; vii. 75.

JEgean Sea, the Archipelago, a part
of the Mediterranean, which lies
- between Greece, Asia Minor, and
the Isle of Crete.

/Egimurus, an island in the African
Sea, Galletia; a trireme belonging
to Csesar, taken there by Varus
and Octavius, Af. 44.

m, a town of Thessaly;
Domitius joins Caasar near that
place, C. iii. 79.

^Igus and Roscillus, their perfidious
behavior towards Csesar, C. iii.
59, 60.

JEgyptus, Egypt, an entensive coun-
try of Africa, bounded on the west
by part of Mannarica and the des-
erts of Lybia, on the north by the
Mediterranean, on the east by the
Sinus Arabicus, and a line drawn
from Arsinoe to Rhinocolura, and
on the south by ./Ethiopia. Egypt,
properly so called, may be de-
scribed as consisting of the long
and narrow valley which follows
the course of the Nile from Syene
(Assooari) to Cairo, near the site of
the ancient Memphis. The name
by which this country is known to
Europeans comes from the Greeks,
some of whose writers inform us
that it received this appellation
from ^Egyptus, son of Belus, it
having been previously called
JEria. In the Hebrew scriptures
it is called Mitsraim, and also
Matsor and Harets Cham; of these
names, however, the first is the
one most commonly employed.

Emilia Via, a Roman road in Italy,
from Rimini to Aquileia,and from
Pisa to Dertona.

^Etolia, a country of Greece, Despo-
iaio ; recovered from Pompey by
the partisans of Csefiar, C. iii. 35.

Afrimius, Pompey'a lieutenant, his

exploits in conjunction with Pe-
treius, C. i. 38 ; resolves to carry
the war into Celtiberia, ibid. 61 ;
surrenders to Ca>sar, ibid. 84 ; Af-
ranius and Faustus are taken
alive by P. Sitius, Af. 95 ; and put
to death by Caesar's soldiers in a
sedition, ibid.

Africa, one of the four great conti-
nents into which the earth is di-
vided ; the name seems to have
been originally applied by the
Romans to the country around
Carthage, the first part of the
continent with which they be-
came acquainted, and is said to
have been derived from a small
Carthaginian district on the north-
ern coast, called Frigi. Hence, '
even when the name had become
applied to the whole continent,
there still remained in Roman
geography the district of Africa
Proper, on the Mediterranean
coast, corresponding to the mod-
ern kingdom of Tunis, with part
of that of Tripoli.

Africans, a crafty warlike people,
Af. 10 ; their manner of conceal-
ing their corn, ibid. 65.

Agar, a town in Africa, unknown ;
it is defended with great bravery
against the Getulians, Af. 67, 76.

Agendicum, a city of the Senones,
Sens ; Cassar quarters four legions
there, G. vi 44 j Labienus leaves
his baggage in it under a guard
of new levies, and sets out for
Lutetia, G. vii. 57.

Alba, a town of Latium, in Italy,
Albano ; Domitius levies troops in
that neighborhood, C. L 15.

Alblci, a people of Gaul, unknown ;
some make them the same with
the Viv arois ; taken into the ser-
vice of the Marseillians, C. i. 34.

Albis, the Elbe, a large and noble
river in Germany, which has its
source in the Giant's Mountains,
in Silesia, on the confines of
Bohemia, and passing through
Bohemia, Upper and Lower Sax-



ony, falls into the North Sea at
Ritzbuttel, about sixty miles be-
low Hamburgh.

Alces, a species of animals some-
what resembling an elk, to be
found in the Hercynian forests,
C. vi. 27.

Alemanni, or Alamanni, a name
assumed by a confederacy of Ger-
man tribes, situated between the
Neckar and the Upper Rhine,
who united to resist the encroach-
ments of the Roman power. Ac-
cording to Mannert, they derived
their origin from the shattered
remains of the army of Ariovistus,
retired, after the defeat and death
of their leader, to the mountainous
country of the Upper Rhine.
After their overthrow by Clovis,
king of the Salian Franks, they
ceased to exist as one nation, and
were dispersed o.ver Gaol, Switz-
erland, and Nether Italy. From
them L'AUemagne, the French
name for Germany, is derived.

Alemannia, the country inhabited
by the Alemanni.

Alesia, or Alexia, a town of the
Mandubians, Alise; Caesar shuts
up Vercingetorix there, C. vii. 68 ;
Burrounds it with lines of circum-
vallation and contravallation,tWrf.
69, 72 ; obliges it to surrender,
ibid. 89.

Alexandria, a city of Egypt, Scan-
deria. It was built by Alexander
the Great, 330 years before Christ;
Caesar pursues Pompey thither,
C. iii. 106 ; is unexpectedly en-
tangled in war there, ibid. 107 ;
difficulties Caesar had to encoun-
ter there for want of water, A. 7 ;
Caesar enters the town with his
victorious army, and receives it
into his protection, ibid. 32.

Alexandrians, an acute and inge-
nious people, A. 3 ; but treacher-
ous and without faith, ibid. 7 ;
they petition Caesar to send them
their king, ibid. 23.

Aliso, by some supposed to be the

town now called IseOmrg ; or,
according to Junius, Wesel, in the
duchy of Cloves, but more proba-
bly Eisen.

Allier (Efaver), Caesar eludes the
vigilance of Vercingetorix, .and
by an artifice passes that river,
G. vii. 35.

Allobroges, an ancient people of
Gallia Transalplna, who inhabited
the country which is now called
Dauphiny, Savoy, and Piedmont.
The name, Allobroges, means
highlanders, and is derived from
Al, "high," and Broga, "land."
They are supposed to be disaffect-
ed to the Romans, G. i. 6 ; com-
plain to Caesar of the ravages of
the Helvetians, ibid. 11.

Alps, a ridge of high mountains,
which separates France and Ger-
many from Italy. That part of
them which separates Dauphiny
from Piedmont was called the
Cottian Alps. Then- name is
derived from their height, Alp
being the old Celtic appellation
for "a lofty mountain;" Caesar
crosses them with five legions, G.
L 10 ; sends Galba to open a free
passage over them to the Roman
merchants, G. iii. 1.

Alsatia, a province of Germany, in
the upper circle of the Rhine,

Amagetobria, a city of Gaul, un-
known; iamous for a defeat of
the Gauls there by Ariovistus, G.
i. 31.

Amantia, a town in Macedonia,
Porto Baffuseo; it submits to
Caesar, and sends embassadors to
know his pleasure, C. iiL 12.

Amanus, a mountain of Syria, Alma
Daghy, near which Scipio sustains
some losses, C. iii 31.

Amani Pylae, or Amanicse Portse,
Straits of Scanderona.

Ambarri, a people of Gaul, uncer-
tain ; they complain to Caesar of
the ravages committed in their
territories by the Helvetii, G. L 11.



Ambialitee, a people of Gaul, of
LambatteinBretagne. Others take
the word to be only a different
name for the Ambiani ; they join
in a confederacy with the Veneti
against Cffisar, G. iii. 9.

Ambiani, or Ambianenses, the peo-
ple of Amiens ; they furnish ten
thousand men to the general con-
federacy of the Belgians against
Caesar, G. ii. 4 ; sue for peace, and
submit themselves to Caesar's
pleasure, G. ii. 15.

Ambianum, a city of Belgium,

Ambibari, a people of Gaul, inhabit-
-ing Ambie, in Normandy.

Ambiorix, his artful speech to Sabi-
nus and Cotta, G. v. 27 ; Casssar
marches against him, G. vi. 29.
Eavages and lays waste his terri-
tories, ibid. 34; endeavors in
vain to get him into his hands,
ibid. 43

Ambivareti, a people of Gaul, the
Vivarais. They are ordered to
furnish their contingent for raising
the siege of Alesia, G. vii. 75.

Ambivariti, an ancient people of
Brabant, between the Rhine and
the Maese ; the German cavalry
sent to forage among them, G.
iv. 9.

Ambracia, a city of Epirus, Aria ;
Cassius directs his march thither,
C. iii. 36.

Ambrones, an ancient people, who
lived in the country, which is now
called the Canton of Bern, in

Amphilochia, a region of Epirus,
AnJUocha. Its inhabitants reduced
by Cassiua Longinus, C. iii. 55.

Amphipolis, a city of Macedonia,
Cristopoli, or Emboli. An edict in
Pompey's name published there,
C. iii. 102.

Anartes, a people, of Germany,
Walachians, Servians, or Bulga-
rians, bordering upon the Hercy-
nian Forest, G. vi. 25.

Anas, a river of Spain, the Guadi-

ana, or Rio Roydera, bounding
that part of Spain under the gov-
ernment of Petreius, C. i. 38.

Ancalites, a people of Britain, of the
hundred of Henley, in Oxford-
shire ; they send embassadors to
Csesarwith an offer of submission.
G. y. 21.

Anchialos, a city of Thrace, near the
Euxino Sea, now called Kerikis.

Ancibarii, or Ansivarii, an ancient
people of Lower Germany, of and
about the town of Ansestaet, or

Ancona, Ancona, a city of Italy, on
the coast of Pisenum. It is sup-
posed to derive its name from the
Greek word d-yKuv, an angle or
elbow, on account of the angular
form of the promontory on which
it is built. The foundation of
Ancona is ascribed by Strabo to
some Syracusans, who were flee-
ing from the tyranny of Dionysius.
Livy speaks of it as a naval sta-
tion of great importance in the
wars of Rome with the Illyrians.
"We find it occupied by Caesar
(Civil "War, book 1, c. ii.), shortly
after crossing the Rubicon ;
Ca?sar takes possession of it with
a garrison of one cohort, C. i. 11.

Andes, Angers, in France, the capi-
tal of the duchy of Anjou.

Andes, a people of Gaul, the ancient
inhabitants of the duchy of Anjou;
Caesar puts his troops into whiter
quarters among them, G. ii. 35.

Andomadunum Lingonum, a large
and ancient city of Champagne,
at the source of the river Marne,

Anglesey (Mona), an island situated
between Britain and Ireland,
where the night, during the win-
ter, is said to be a month long,
G. y. 13.

Angrivarii, an ancient people of
Lower Germany, who dwelt be-
tween the Ems and the "Weser,
below the Lippe.

Ansivarii, see Ancibarii.



Antiochia, Antachia, an ancient and
famous city, once the capital of
Syria, or rather of the East. It
is situate on two rivers, the Oron-
tes and the Phaspar, not far from
the Mediterranean; refuses to
admit the fugitives after the battle
of Pharsalia, C. iii. 102.

Antonius (Mark Anthony), Caesar's
lieutenant, G. vii. 11; quaestor,
G-.viii. 2 ; governor of Brundisium,
G. iii. 24; his standing for that
priesthood, G. viL 50; obliges
Libo to raise the siege of Bruu-
dusium, C. iii. 24 ; and in conjunc-
tion with Kalenus transports
Caesar's troops to Greece, ibid. 26.

Apamea, Apami, a city of Bithynia,
built by Nicomedes, the son of

Apennine Mountains, a large chain
of mountains, branching off from
the Maritime Alps, in the neigh-
borhood of Genoa, running diag-
onally from the Ligurian Gulf to
the Adriatic, in the vicinity of
Ancona ; from which it continues
nearly parallel with the latter
gulf, as far as the promontory of
Garganus, and again inclines to
Mare Inferum, till it finally ter-
minates in the promontory of
Leucopetra, near Rhegium. The
etymology of the name given to
these mountains must be traced
to the Celtic, and appears to com-
bine two terms of that language
nearly synonymous, Alp, or Ap,
"a high mountain," and Penn,
" a summit."

Apollonia, a city of Macedonia,
Piergo. Pompey resolves to winter
there, C. iii. 6 ; Caesar makes him-
self master of it, ibid. 11, 12.

Aponiana, an island near the pro-
montory of Lilybaeum, in Sicily.
Caesar orders his fleet to rendez-
vous near that island, Af. 2.

Appia Via, the Appian road which
led from Rome into Campania,
and from the sea to Brundusium.
It was made, as Livy informs us,

by the censor, Appius Caecus,
A.tr.o. 442, and was, in the first
instance, only laid down as far as
Capua, a distance of about 125
miles. It was subsequently car-
ried on to Beneventum,and finally
to Brundusium. According to
Eustace (Classical Tour, vol. iii.),
such parts of the Appian way as

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