HotFreeBooks.com
Dio's Rome
by Cassius Dio
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

"Yours is a very human objection," rejoined Philiscus. "I did not think, however, that you, who have shown so much wisdom and have trained yourself in so much learning, had failed to prepare yourself for all human possibilities, so that if any unexpected accident should happen to you, it would not find you unfortified. Since, notwithstanding, you are in this plight, why I might benefit you by rehearsing what is good for you. Thus, just as men who put a hand to people's burdens relieve them, so I might lighten this misfortune of yours, and the more easily than they inasmuch as I shall take upon myself the smallest share of it. You will not deem it unworthy, I trust, to receive some encouragement from another. If you were sufficient for your own self, we should have no need of these words. As it is, you are in a like case to Hippocrates or Democedes or any other of the great physicians, if one of them should fall a victim to a disease hard to cure and should need another's hand to bring about his own recovery."

[-19-] "Indeed," said Cicero, "if you have any such train of reasoning as will dispel this mist from my soul and restore me to the light of old, I am most ready to listen. For of words, as of drugs, there are many varieties and diverse potencies, so that it will not be surprising if you should be able to steep in some mixture of philosophy even me, the shining light of senate, assembly, and law-courts."

"Come then," continued Philiscus, "since you are ready to listen, let us consider first whether these conditions that surround you are actually bad, and next in what way we may cure them. First of all, now, I see you are in good physical health and quite vigorous,—a state which is by nature a blessing to mankind,—and next that you have provisions in sufficiency so as not to hunger or thirst or be cold or endure any other unpleasant experience through lack of means, a second circumstance which any one might naturally set down as good for man's nature. For when one's physical constitution is good and one can live along without worry every accessory to happiness is enjoyed."

[-20-] To this Cicero replied: "No, not one of such accessories is of use when some grief is preying upon one's spirit. The reflections of the soul distress one far more than bodily comforts can cause delight. Even so I at present set no value on my physical health because I am suffering in mind, nor yet in the abundance of necessaries; for the deprivations I have endured are many."

Said the other: "And does this grieve you? Now if you were going to be in want of things needful, there would be some reason for your being annoyed at your loss. But since you have all the necessaries in full measure, why do you harass yourself because you do not possess more? All that belongs to one beyond one's needs is in excess and its nature is the same whether present or absent, for you are aware that even formerly you did not make use of what was not necessary: hence suppose that at that time the things which you did not need were non-existent or else that those of which you are not in want are now here. Most of them were not yours by inheritance that you should be particularly exercised about them, but were furnished you by your own tongue and by your words,—the same causes that effected their loss. Accordingly, you should not take it hard that just as things were acquired, so they have been lost. Sea-captains are not greatly disturbed when they suffer great reverses. They understand, I think, how to look at it sensibly,—that the sea which gives them wealth takes it away again.

[-21-] "This is enough on one point. I think it should be enough for a man's happiness to possess a sufficiency and to lack nothing that the body requires, and I hold that everything in excess brings anxieties and trouble and jealousies. But as for your saying there is no enjoyment in physical blessings unless one have corresponding spiritual advantages, the statement is true: it is impossible if the spirit is in poor condition that the body should fail to partake of the sickness. However, I think it much easier for one to care for mental than for physical vigor. The body, being of flesh, contains many paradoxical possibilities and requires much assistance from the higher power: the intellect, of a nature more divine, can be easily trained and prompted. Let us look to this, therefore, to discover what spiritual blessing has abandoned you and what evil has come upon you that you cannot shake off.

[-22-] "First, then, I see that you are a man of the greatest intellectual gifts. The proof is that you nearly always persuaded both the senate and the people in cases where you gave them any advice and helped private citizens very greatly in cases where you acted as their advocate. And second that you are a most just man. Indeed you have contended everywhere for your country and for your friends and have arrayed yourself against those who plotted against them. Yes, this very misfortune which you have suffered has befallen you for no other reason than that you continued to speak and act in everything for the laws and for the government. Again, that you have attained the highest degree of temperance is shown by your very habits. It is not possible for a man who is a slave to sensual pleasures to appear constantly in public and to go to and fro in the Forum, making his deeds by day witnesses of those by night. And because this is so I thought you were the bravest of men, enjoying, as you did, so great strength of intellect, so great power in speaking. But it seems that you, startled out of yourself by having failed contrary to your hope and deserts, have been drawn back a little from the goal of real bravery. This loss, however, you will recover immediately, and as your circumstances are such, with a good physical state and a good spiritual, I cannot see what there is to distress you."

[-23-] At the end of this speech of his Cicero rejoined:—"There seems to you, then, to be no great evil in dishonor and exile and not living at home nor being with your friends, but instead being expelled with violence from your country, existing in a foreign land, and wandering about with the name of exile, causing laughter to your enemies and disgrace to your connections."

"Not a trace of evil, so far as I can see," declared Philiscus. "There are two elements of which we are constituted,—soul and body,—and definite blessings and evils are given to each of the two by Nature herself. Now if there should be any failure in these details, it might properly be considered hurtful and base, but if all should be right it would be advantageous rather. This, at the outset, is your condition. Those things which you mentioned, cases of dishonor among them, and everything else of the sort are disgraceful and evil only through law and a kind of notion, and work no injury to either body or soul. What body could you cite that has fallen sick or perished and what spirit that has grown wickeder or even more ignorant through dishonor and exile and anything of that sort? I see none. And the reason is that no one of these accidents is by nature evil, just as neither honorable position nor residence in one's country is by nature excellent, but whatever opinion each one of us holds about them, such they seem to be. For instance, mankind do not universally apply the term 'dishonor' to the same conditions, but certain deeds which are reprehensible in some regions are praised in others and various actions honored by this people are punishable by that. Some do not so much as know the name, nor the fact which it implies. This is quite natural. For whatever does not touch what belongs to man's nature is thought to have no bearing upon him. Just exactly as it would be most ridiculous, surely, if some judgment or decree were delivered that so-and-so is sick or so-and-so is base, so does the case stand regarding dishonor.

[-24-] "The same thing I find to be true in regard to exile. Living abroad is somehow in a way dishonorable, so that if dishonor pure and simple contains no evil, surely an evil reputation can not be attached to exile either. You know at any rate that many live abroad the longest possible time, some unwillingly and others willingly; and some even spend their whole life traveling about, just as if they were expelled from every place: and yet they do not regard themselves as being injured in doing so. It makes no difference whether a man does it voluntarily or not. The person who trains unwillingly gets no less strong than he who is willing about it, and the person who navigates unwillingly obtains no less benefit than the other. And as for this very element of unwillingness, I do not see how it can encounter a man of sense. If the difference between being well and badly off is that some things we readily volunteer to do and others we are unwilling and grudge to perform, the trouble can be easily mended. For if We endure willingly all necessary things and show the white feather before none of them, all those matters in which one might assume unwillingness have been abolished. There is, indeed, an old saying and a very good one, to the effect that we ought not to think it requisite for whatever we wish to come to pass, but to wish for whatever does come to pass as the result of any necessity. We neither have free choice in our course of life nor is it on ourselves that we are dependent; but according as it may suit Fortune, and according to the character of the Divinity granted each one of us for the fulfillment of what is ordained, must we also regard our life.

[-25-] "Such is the nature of the case whether we like it or not. If, now, it is not mere dishonor or mere exile that troubles you, but the fact that not only without having done your country any hurt, but after having benefited her greatly you were dishonored and expelled, look at it in this way,—that once it was destined for you to have such an experience, it has been the noblest and the best fortune that could befall you to be despitefully used without having committed any wrong. You advised and performed all that was proper for the citizens, not as individual but as consul, not meddling officiously in a private capacity but obeying the decree of the senate, not as a party measure but for the best ends. This or that other person, on the contrary, out of his superior power and insolence had devised everything against you, wherefore disasters and grief belong to him for his injustice, but for you it is noble as well as necessary to bear bravely what the Divinity has determined. Surely you would not have preferred to cooeperate with Catiline and to conspire with Lentulus, to give your country the exact opposite of advantageous counsel, to discharge none of the duties laid upon you by it, and thus to remain at home under a burden of wickedness instead of displaying uprightness and being exiled. Accordingly, if you have any care for reputation, it is far preferable for you to have been driven out, guilty of no wrong, than to have remained at home by executing some villainy; for, among other considerations, shame attaches to the men who have unjustly cast one forth, but not to the man who is wantonly expelled.

[-26-] "Moreover, the story as I heard it was that you did not depart unwillingly nor after conviction, but of your own accord; that you hated to live with them, seeing that you could not make them better and would not endure to perish with them, and that you were exiled not from your country but from those who were plotting against her. Consequently they would be the ones dishonored and banished, having cast out all that is good from their souls, but you would be honored and fortunate, as being nobody's slave in unseemly fashion and possessing all fitting qualities, whether you choose to live in Sicily, in Macedonia, or anywhere else in the world. Surely it is not localities that give either good fortune or unhappiness of any sort, but each man makes for himself both country and happiness always and everywhere. This is what Camillus had in mind when he was glad to dwell in Ardea; this is the way Scipio reckoned when he lived his life out without grieving in Liternum. What need is there to mention Aristides or to cite Themistocles, men whom exile rendered more esteemed, or Anni[44] ... or Solon, who of his own accord left home for ten years?

"Therefore do you likewise cease to consider irksome any such thing as pertains neither to our physical nor to our spiritual nature, and do not vex yourself at what has happened. For to us belongs no choice as I told you, of living as we please, but it is quite requisite for us to endure what the Divinity determines. If we do this voluntarily, we shall not be grieved: if involuntarily, we shall not escape at all what is fated and we shall lay upon ourselves besides the greatest of ills,—distressing our hearts to no purpose. The proof of it is that men who bear good-naturedly the most outrageous fortunes do not regard themselves as being in any very dreadful circumstances, while those that are disturbed at the lightest disappointments feel as if all human ills were theirs. And, among people in general, some who handle fair conditions badly and others who handle unfavorable conditions well make their good or ill fortune appear even in the eyes of others to be of precisely the same nature as they figure it to themselves. [-27-] Bear this in mind, then, and be not cast down by your present state, nor grieve if you learn that the men who exiled you are flourishing. In general the successes of men are vain and ephemeral, and the higher a man climbs as a result of them the more easily, like a breath, does he fall, especially in partisan conflicts. Borne along in a tumultuous and unstable medium they differ little, or rather not at all, from ships in a storm, but are carried up and then down, now hither, now yon; and if they make the slightest error, they sink altogether. Not to mention Drusus or Scipio or the Gracchi or some others, remember how Camillus the exile later came off better than Capitolinus, and remember how much Aristides subsequently surpassed Themistocles.

"Do you, then, as well, entertain a strong hope that you will be restored; for you have not been expelled on account of wrong doing, and the very ones who drove you forth will, as I take it, seek for you, while all will miss you. [-28-] But if you continue in your present state,—as give yourself no care about it, even so. For if you lean to my way of thinking you will be quite satisfied to pick out a little estate on the coast and there carry on at the same time farming and some historical writing, like Xenophon, like Thucydides. This form of learning is most lasting and most adaptable to every man, every government, and exile brings a leisure in some respects more productive. If, then, you wish to become really immortal, like those historians, imitate them. Necessities you have in sufficiency and you lack no measure of esteem. And, if there is any virtue in it, you have been consul. Nothing more belongs to those who have held office a second, a third, or a fourth time, except an array of idle letters which benefit no man, living or dead. Hence you would not choose to be Corvinus or Marius, the seven times consul, rather than Cicero. Nor, again, are you anxious for any position of command, seeing that you withdrew from one bestowed upon you because you scorned the gains to be had from it and scorned a brief authority that was subject to the scrutiny of all who chose to practice sycophancy, matters I have mentioned not because any one of them is requisite for happiness, but because, since it was best, you have been engaged in politics enough to learn from it the difference in lives and to choose the one but reject the other, to pursue the one but avoid the other.

"Our life is but short and you ought not to live all of it for others, but by this time to grant a little to yourself. Consider how much quiet is better than disturbance and a placid life than tumults, freedom than slavery, and safety than dangers, that you may feel a desire to live as I am urging you to do. In this way you will be happy, and your name because of it shall be great,—yes, always, whether you are alive or dead.

[-29-] "If, however, you are eager for a return and hold in esteem a brilliant political career,—I do not wish to say anything unpleasant, but I fear, as I cast my eyes on the case and call to mind your freedom of speech, and behold the power and numbers of your adversaries, that you may meet defeat once again. If then you should encounter exile, you can merely change your mind, but if you should incur some fatal punishment you will be unable to repent. Is it not assuredly a dreadful, a disgraceful thing to have one's head cut off and set up in the Forum, if it so happen, for any one, man or woman, to insult? Do not hate me as one foreboding evil to you: I but give you warning; be on your guard. Do not let the fact that you have certain friends among the influential men deceive you. You will get no help against those hostilely disposed from the men who seem to love you; this you probably know by experience. Those who have a passion for domination regard everything else as nothing in comparison with obtaining what they desire: they often give up their dearest friends and closest kin in exchange for their bitterest foes."

[-30-] On hearing this Cicero grew just a little easier in mind. His exile did not, in fact, last long. He was recalled by Pompey himself, who was most responsible for his expulsion. The reason was this.

Clodius had taken a bribe to deliver Tigranes the younger, who was even then still in confinement at the abode of Lucius Flavius, and had let him go. He outrageously insulted Pompey and Grabinius who had been incensed at the proceeding, inflicted blows and wounds upon their followers, broke to pieces the consul's rods, and dedicated his property. Pompey, enraged by this and particularly because the authority which he himself had restored to the tribunes Clodius had used against him, was willing to recall Cicero, and immediately began through the agency of Ninnius to negotiate for his return.

The latter watched for Clodius to be absent and then introduced in the senate the motion in Cicero's behalf. When another one of the tribunes opposed him, he not only went into the matter at some length, intimating that he should communicate it also to the people, but he furthermore opposed Clodius once for all at every point. From this ensued disputes and many consequent woundings on both sides. But before matters reached that point Clodius felt anxious to get Cato out of the way so that he might the more easily be successful in the business he had in hand, and likewise to take measures against Ptolemy who then held Cyprus, because the latter had failed to ransom him from the pirates. Hence he made the island public property and despatched Cato, very loath, to attend to its administration.

[-31-] While this went on in the city, Caesar found no hostility in Gaul: everything was absolutely quiet. The state of peace, however, did not continue, but to one war which at first arose against him another was added, so that his greatest wish was fulfilled of making war against and setting right everything at once.

The Helvetians, who abounded in numbers and had not land sufficient for their populous condition, refused to send out a part to form a colony for fear that separated they might be more subject to plots on the part of the tribes whom they had once injured. They decided all to leave their homes, with the intention of transferring their dwelling-place to some other larger and better country, and burned all their villages and cities so as to prevent any one's regretting the migration. After adding to their numbers some others who wanted the same changes, they started off with Orgetorix as leader,—their intention being to cross the Rhone and settle somewhere near the Alps.

When Caesar severed the bridge and made other preparations to hinder them from crossing, they sent to him to ask a right of way and promised in addition to do no harm to Roman territory.

And though he had the greatest distrust of them and had not the slightest idea of allowing them to proceed, yet, because he was still poorly equipped he answered that he wished to consult his lieutenants about their requests and would give them their reply on a stated day. In fact he offered some little hope of his granting them the passage. Meanwhile he dug ditches and erected walls in commanding positions, so that their road was made impassable.

[-32-] Accordingly the barbarians waited a little time, and then, when they heard nothing as agreed, they broke camp and proceeded through the Allobroges's country, as they had started. Encountering the obstacles they turned aside into Sequanian territory and passed through their land and that of the Aedui, who gave them a free passage on condition that they do no harm. Not abiding by their covenant, however, they plundered the Aeduans' country. Then the Sequani and Aedui sent to Caesar to ask assistance, and begged him not to let them perish.

Though their statements did not correspond with their deeds, they nevertheless obtained what they requested. Caesar was afraid the Helvetians might turn also against Tolosa and chose to drive them back with the help of the other tribes rather than to fight them after they had effected a reconciliation,—which, it was clear, would otherwise be the issue. For these reasons he fell upon the Helvetians as they were crossing the Arar, annihilated in the very passage the last of the procession and alarmed those that had gone ahead so much by the suddenness and swiftness of the pursuit and the report of their loss, that they desired to come to some agreement guaranteeing land. [-33-] They did not, however, reach any terms; for when they were asked for hostages they became offended, not because they were distrusted but because they disliked to give hostages to any one. So they disdained a truce and went forward again.

Caesar's cavalry had galloped far ahead of the infantry and was harassing, incidentally, their rear guards, when they faced about with their horse and conquered it. As a result they were filled with pride, and thinking that he had fled, both because of the defeat and because owing to a lack of provisions he was turning aside to a city that was off the road, they abandoned further progress to pursue after him. Caesar saw this, and fearing their impetus and numbers hurried with his infantry to some higher ground but sent forward his horsemen to engage the enemy till he should have marshaled his forces in a suitable place. The barbarians routed them a second time and were making a spirited rush up the hill when Caesar with forces drawn up dashed down upon them suddenly from his commanding position and without difficulty repulsed them, while they were scattered. After these had been routed some others who had not joined in the conflict—and owing to their multitude and eagerness not all had been there at once—took the pursuers in the rear and threw them into some confusion, but effected nothing further. For Caesar after assigning the fugitives to the care of his cavalry himself with his heavy-armed force turned his attention to the others. He was victorious and followed to the wagons both bodies, mingled in their flight; and there, though from these vehicles they made a vigorous defence, he vanquished them. After this reverse the barbarians were divided into two parties. The one came to terms with him, went back again to their native land whence they had set out, and there built up again the cities to live in. The other refused to surrender arms, and, with the idea that they could get back again to their primeval dwelling-place, set out for the Rhine. Being few in numbers and laboring under a defeat they were easily annihilated by the allies of the Romans through whose country they were passing.

[-34-] So went the first war that Caesar fought; but he did not remain quiet after this beginning. Instead, he at the same time satisfied his own desire and did his allies a favor. The Sequani and Aedui had marked the trend of his wishes[45] and had noticed that his deeds corresponded with his hopes: consequently they were willing at one stroke to bestow a benefit upon him and to take vengeance upon the Celts that were their neighbors. The latter had at some time in the past crossed the Rhine, cut off portions of their territory, and, holding hostages of theirs, had rendered them tributaries. And because they happened to be asking what Caesar was yearning for, they easily persuaded him to assist them.

Now Ariovistus was the ruler of those Celts: his dominion had been ratified by action of the Romans and he had been registered among their friends and allies by Caesar himself, in his consulship. In comparison, however, with the glory to be derived from the war and the power which that glory would bring, the Roman general heeded none of these considerations, except in so far as he wished to get some excuse for the quarrel from the barbarian so that it should not be thought that there was any grievance against him at the start. Therefore he sent for him, pretending that he wanted to hold some conversation with him. Ariovistus, instead of obeying, replied: "If Caesar wishes to tell me anything, let him come himself to me. I am not in any way inferior to him, and a man who has need of any one must always go to that person." At this the other showed anger on the ground that he had insulted all the Romans, and he immediately demanded of him the hostages of the allies and forbade him either to set foot on their land or to bring against them any auxiliary force from home. This he did not with the idea of scaring him but because he hoped to make him furious and by that means to gain a great and fitting pretext for the war. What was expected took place. The barbarian, enraged at the injunctions, made a long and outrageous reply, so that Caesar no longer bandied words with him but straightway, before any one was aware of his intentions, seized on Vesontio, the city of the Sequani, in advance.

[-35-] Meanwhile reports reached the soldiers. "Ariovistus is making vigorous preparations," was "There are many other Celts, some of whom have already crossed the Rhine undoubtedly to assist him, while others have collected on the very bank of the river to attack us suddenly," was another. Hence they fell into deep dejection. Alarmed by the stature of their enemies, by their numbers, their boldness, and consequent ready threats, they were in such a mood as to feel that they were going to contend not against men, but against uncanny and ferocious beasts. And the talk was that they were undertaking a war which was none of their business and had not been decreed, merely on account of Caesar's personal ambition; and they threatened, also, to leave him in the lurch if he should not change his course. He, when he heard of it, did not make any address to the body of soldiers. It was not a good plan, he thought, to discuss such matters before the multitude, especially when his words would reach the enemy; and he was afraid that they might by refusing obedience somehow raise a tumult and do some harm. Therefore he assembled his lieutenants and the subalterns, before whom he spoke as follows.

[-36-] "My friends, we must not, I think, deliberate about public interests in the same way as about private. In fact, I do not see that the same mark is set up for each man privately as for all together publicly. For ourselves it is proper both to plan and to perform what looks best and what is safest, but for the public what is most advantageous. In private matters we must be energetic: so only can a good appearance be preserved. Again, a man who is freest from outside entanglements is thought to be also safest. Yet a state, especially if holding sovereignty, would be very rapidly overthrown by such a course. These laws, not drawn up by man but enacted by nature herself, always did exist, do exist, and will exist so long as the race of mortals endures.

"This being so, no one of you at this juncture should have an eye to what is privately pleasant and safe rather than to what is suitable and beneficial for the whole body of Romans. For besides many other considerations that might naturally arise, reflect that we who are so many and of such rank (members of the senate and knights) have come here accompanied by a great mass of soldiers and with money in abundance not to be idle or careless, but for the purpose of managing rightly the affairs of our subjects, preserving in safety the property of those bound by treaty, repelling any who undertake to do them wrong, and increasing our own possessions. If we have not come with this in mind, why in the world did we take the field at all instead of staying at home with some occupation or other and on our private domains? Surely it were better not to have undertaken the campaign than when assigned to it to throw it over. If, however, some of us are here because compelled by the laws to do what our country ordains, and the greater number voluntarily on account of the honors and rewards that come from wars, how could we either decently or without sin be false at once to the hopes of the men that sent us forth and to our own? Not one person could grow so prosperous as a private citizen as not to be ruined with the commonwealth, if it fell. But if the republic succeeds, it lifts all fortunes and each one individually.

[-37-] "I am not saying this with reference to you, my comrades and friends who are here: you are not in general ignorant of the facts, that you should need to learn them, nor do you assume an attitude of contempt toward them, that you should require exhortation. I am saying it because I have ascertained that there are some of the soldiers who themselves are talking to the effect that the war we have taken up is none of our business, and are stirring up the rest to sedition. My purpose is that you yourselves may as a result of my words show a more ardent zeal for your country and teach them all they should know. They would be apt to receive greater benefit in hearing it from you privately and often than in learning it but once from my lips. Tell them, then, that it was not by staying at home or shirking campaigns or avoiding wars or pursuing idleness that our ancestors made the State so great, but it was by bringing their minds to venture readily everything that they ought and by working eagerly to the bitter end with bodily labor for everything that pleased them, by regarding their own things as belonging to others but acquiring readily the possessions of their neighbors as their own, while they saw happiness in nothing else than in doing what was required of them and held nothing else to be ill fortune than resting inactive. Accordingly, as a result of this policy those men, who had been at the start very few and possessed at first a city than which none was more diminutive, conquered the Latins, conquered the Sabines, mastered the Etruscans, Volsci, Opici, Leucanians and Samnites, in one word subjugated the whole land bounded by the Alps and repulsed all the alien tribes that came against them.

[-38-] "The later Romans, likewise, and our own fathers imitated them, not being satisfied with their temporary fortune nor content with what they had inherited, and they regarded sloth as their sure destruction but exertion as their certain safety. They feared that if their treasures remained unaugmented they would be consumed and worn away by age, and were ashamed after receiving so rich a heritage to make no further additions: thus they performed greater and more numerous exploits.

"Why should one name individually Sardinia, Sicily, Macedonia, Illyricum, Greece, Ionic Asia, the Bithynians, Spaniards, Africans? I tell you the Carthaginians would have given them plenty of money to stop sailing against that city, and so would Philip and Perseus to stop making campaigns against them; Antiochus would have given much, his children and descendants would have given much to let them remain on European soil. But those men in view of the glory and the greatness of the empire did not choose to be ignobly idle or to enjoy their wealth in confidence, nor did the elders of our own generation who even now are still alive.

"They knew well that the same practices as acquire good things serve also to preserve them: hence they made sure many of their original belongings and acquired many new ones. What need is there here to catalogue in detail Crete, Pontus, Cyprus, Asiatic Iberia, Farther Albania, both Syrian nations, each of the two Armenias, the Arabians, the Palestinians? We did not even know their names accurately in the old days: yet now we lord it over some ourselves and others we have bestowed upon various persons, insomuch that we have gained from them income and powers and honors and alliances.

[-39-] "With such examples before you, then, do not bring shame upon our fathers' deeds nor let slip that empire which is now the greatest. We cannot deliberate in like manner with the rest of mankind who possess no similar advantages. For them it suffices to live in ease and, with safety guaranteed, to be subservient to others, but for us it is inevitable to toil and march and amid dangers to preserve our existing prosperity. Against this prosperity many are plotting. Every object which surpasses others attracts both emulation and jealousy; and consequently an eternal war is waged by all inferiors against those who excel them in any respect. Hence we either ought not from the first to have increased, thus differing from other men, or else, since we have grown so great and have gained so many possessions, it has been fated that we should either rule these firmly or ourselves perish utterly. For it is impossible for men who have advanced to so great reputation and such vast power to live apart and without danger. Let us therefore obey Fortune and not repel her, seeing that she voluntarily and self-invited belonged to our fathers and now abides with us. This result will not be reached if we cast away our arms and desert the ranks and sit idly at home or wander among our allies. It will be reached if we keep our arms constantly in hand—this is the only way to preserve peace—and practice warlike deeds in the midst of dangers—this is the only way we shall avoid fighting forever—and aid promptly those allies that ask us—in this way we shall get more—and do not indulge those enemies who are always turbulent—in this way no one will any longer care to wrong us.

[-40-] "For if some god had actually become our sponsor that, even if we should fail to do this, no one would plot against us and we should forever enjoy in safety all that we have won, it would still be disgraceful to say that we ought to keep quiet; yet those who are willing to do nothing that is requisite would have some show of excuse. But, as a fact, it is inevitable that men who possess anything should be plotted against by many, and it behooves us to anticipate their attacks. One class that holds quietly to its own possessions incurs danger even for these, while another without any compulsion employs war to acquire the possessions of others and keeps them. No one who is in terror regarding his own goods longs for those of his neighbors; for the fear concerning what he already has effectually deters him, from meddling in what does not belong to him. Why then does any man say such a thing as this,—that we must not all the time be gaining something more!

"Do you not recall, partly from hearsay and partly from observation, that none of the Italian races refrained from plotting against our country until our ancestors brought war into their territories, nor did the Epirots until they crossed over into Greece? Philip did not refrain, but intended to make a campaign against Italy until they wrought harm to his land in advance. Nor was there hesitation on the part of Perseus, of Antiochus, of Mithridates, until they were subjected to the same treatment. And why must one mention the remaining cases? For a while the Carthaginians suffered no damage at our hands in Africa, and crossed into Italy, where they overran the country, sacked the towns and almost captured the City itself; but when war began to be made against them they decamped altogether from our land. One might instance this same course of events in regard to the Gauls and Celts. For these people while we remained on this side of the Alps often crossed them and ravaged a large part of Italy. But when we ventured at last to make a campaign beyond the mountains and to surround them with war, and actually detached a portion of their territory, we never again saw any war begun by them in Italy except once. When, accordingly, in the face of these facts anybody says that we ought not to make war he simply says that we ought not to be rich, ought not to rule others, ought not to be free, to be Romans. Just as you would not endure it if a man should say any of these things, but would kill him even as he stood before you, so now also, my comrades, assume a like attitude toward those who utter the other form of statement, judging their disposition not by their words but by their acts.

[-41-] "Now no one of you would contend, I think, that these are not the right kind of ideas to entertain. If, however, any one thinks that the fact of no investigation having been made about this war before the senate and of no vote having been passed in presence of the assembly is a reason why we need be less eager, let him reflect that of all the wars which have ever fallen to our lot some, to be sure, have come about as a result of preparation and previous announcement, but others equally on the spur of the moment. For this reason all uprisings that are made while we are staying at home and keeping quiet and in which the beginning of the complaints arises from some embassy both need and demand an enquiry into their nature and the introduction of a vote, after which the consuls and praetors must be assigned to them and the forces sent out: but all that come to light after persons have already gone forth and taken the field are no longer to be brought up for decision, but to be taken hold of in advance, before they increase, as matters decreed and ratified by Necessity herself.

"Else for what reason did the people despatch you to this point, for what reason did they send me immediately after my consulship? Why did they, on the one hand, elect me to hold command for five years at one time, as had never been done before, and on the other hand equip me with four legions, unless they believed that we should certainly be required to fight, besides? Surely it was not that we might be supported in idleness or traveling about to allied cities and subject territory prove a worse bane to them than an enemy. Not a man would make this assertion. It was rather that we might keep our own land, ravage that of the enemy, and accomplish something worthy both of our numbers and our expenditures. Therefore with this understanding both this war and every other whatsoever has been entrusted, has been delivered to us. They acted very sensibly in leaving in our hands the decision as to whom we should fight against, instead of voting for the war themselves. For they would not have been able to understand thoroughly the affairs of our allies, being at such a distance from them, and would not have taken measures against known and prepared enemies at an equally fitting moment. So we, to whom is left at once the decision and the execution of the war, by turning our weapons immediately against foes that are actually in the field shall not be acting in an unauthorized or unjust or incautious manner.

[-42-] "But suppose some one of you interrupts me with the following objection: 'What has Ariovistus done so far out of the way as to become an enemy of ours in Place of a friend and ally?' Let any such man consider the fact that one has to defend one's self against those who are undertaking to do any wrong not only on the basis of what they do, but also on the basis of what they intend, and has to check their growth in advance, before suffering some hurt, instead of waiting to have some real injury inflicted and then taking vengeance. Now how could he better be proven to be hostile, yes, most hostile toward us than from what he has done? I sent to him in a friendly way to have him come to me and deliberate in my company about present conditions, and he neither came nor promised that he would appear. And yet what did I do that was unfair or unfitting or arrogant in summoning him as a friend and ally? What insolence and wantonness rather, has he omitted in refusing to come? Is it not inevitable that he did this from one of two reasons, either that he suspected he should suffer some harm or that he felt contempt for me? Well, if he had any suspicions he convicted himself most clearly of conspiring against us. For no one that has not endured any injury is suspicious toward us nor does one become so as a result of an upright and guileless mind: no, it is those who have prepared to wrong others that are ready to be suspicious of them because of their own conscience. If, again, nothing of this sort was at the bottom of his action, but he merely looked down on us and insulted us with overweening words, what must we expect him to do when he lays hold of some real project? For when a man has shown such disdain in matters where he was not going to gain anything, how has he not been convicted of entire injustice in intention and in performance?

"Still, he was not satisfied with this, but further bade me come to him, if I wanted anything of him. [-43-] Do not, I beg of you, regard this addition as slight. It is really a good indication of his disposition. That he should have refused to visit me a person speaking in his defence might refer to shrinking and sickness and fear. But that he should send a summons to me admits of no excuse, and furthermore proves him to have acted from no other impulse than a readiness to yield me obedience in no point and a determination to impose corresponding demands in every case. With now much insolence and abuse does this very course of his teem! The proconsul of the Romans summons a man and the latter does not come: then one of the Allobroges [sic] summons the proconsul of the Romans. Do not think this a small matter and of little moment in that it was I, Caesar, whom he failed to obey, or because he called me Caesar. It was not I that summoned him, but the Roman, the proconsul, the rods, the dignity, the legions: it was not I that was summoned by him, but all of these. Privately I have no dealings with him, but in common we have all spoken and acted, received his retort and suffered.

[-44-] "Therefore the more that anybody asserts that he has been registered among our friends and among our allies, the more he will prove him to deserve our hatred. Why? Because acts such as not even any of our admittedly bitterest foes has ever ventured to perform have been committed by Ariovistus under the titles of friendship and of alliance; it looks as though he had secured them for the very purpose of having a chance to wrong us with impunity. On the other hand, our former treaty with him was not made with the idea of being insulted and plotted against, nor will it now be we who break the truce. For we sent envoys to him as to one who was still a friend and ally, but he—well you see how he has used us. Accordingly just as when he chose to benefit us and desired to be well treated in return he justly obtained his wishes, so now, too, when he does the opposite of that in everything, with thorough justice would he be held in the position of a foe. Do not be surprised that whereas once upon a time I myself did some little business in his behalf both in the senate and before the people I now speak in this way. So far as I am concerned my sentiments are the same now as then: I am not changing front. And what are they? To honor and reward the good and faithful, but to dishonor and punish the evil and unfaithful. It is he that is changing front, in that he makes an unfair and improper use of the privileges bestowed by us.

[-45-] "As to its being most just, then, for us to fight against him no one, I think, will have any contention to make. And that he is neither invincible nor even a difficult adversary you can see from the other members of his race whom you have often conquered before and have recently conquered very easily, and you can calculate further from what we learn about the man himself. For in general he has no native force that is united and welded together, and at present, since he is expecting no reverse, he utterly lacks preparation. Again, not one of his countrymen would readily aid him, not even if he makes most tempting offers. Who would choose to be his ally and fight against us before receiving any injury at our hands? Is it not rather likely that all would cooeperate with us, instead of with him,—from a desire to overthrow his principality, which joins theirs, and obtain from us some share of his territory?

"Even if some should band together, they would not prove at all superior to us. For, to omit the rest,—our numbers, our age, our experience, our deeds,—who is there ignorant of the fact that we have armor over all our body alike, whereas they are for the most part naked, and that we employ both plan and arrangement, whereas they, unorganized, rush at everything in a rage. Be sure not to dread their charge nor the greatness of either their bodies or their shout. For voice never yet killed any man, and their bodies, having the same hands as we, can accomplish no more, but will be capable of much greater damage through being both big and naked. And though their charge is tremendous and headlong at first, it is easily exhausted and lasts but a short time. [-46-] To you who have doubtless experienced what I mention and have conquered men like them I make these suggestions so that you need not appear to have been influenced by my talk and may really feel a most steadfast hope of victory as a result of what has already been accomplished. However, a great many of the very Gauls who are like them will be our allies, so that even if these nations did have anything terrible about them, it will belong to us as well as to the others.

"Do you, then, look at matters in this way and instruct the rest. I might as well tell you that even if some of you do hold opposite views, I, for my part, fight just as I am and will never abandon the position to which I was assigned by my country. The tenth legion will be enough for me. I am sure that they, even if there should be need of going through fire, would readily go through it naked. The rest of you be off the quicker the better and cease consuming supplies here to no purpose, recklessly spending the public money, laying claim to other men's labors, and appropriating the plunder gathered by others."

[-47-] At the end of this speech of Caesar's not only did no one raise an objection, even if some thought altogether the opposite, but they all approved his words, especially those who were suspected by him of spreading the talk they had heard mentioned. The soldiers they had no difficulty in persuading to yield obedience: some had of their own free will previously decided to do so and the rest were led to that course through emulation of them. He had made an exception of the tenth legion because for some reason he always felt kindly toward it. This was the way the government troops were named, according to the arrangement of the lists; whence those of the present day have similar titles.

When they had been thus united, Caesar, for fear that by delay they might again become indifferent, no longer remained stationary, but immediately set out and pressed forward against Ariovistus. By the suddenness of his approach he so alarmed the latter that he forced him to hold a conference with him regarding peace. They did not come to terms, however, since Caesar wished to impose all commands and Ariovistus refused to obey at all.

War consequently broke forth; and not only were the two chief parties interested on the alert, but so were also all the allies and enemies of both sides in that region; for they felt sure that the battle between them would take place in the shortest possible time and that they themselves should have to serve in every way those who once conquered. The barbarians had the superiority in numbers and in size of bodies, but the Romans in experience and armor. To some extent also Caesar's skill in planning was found to counterbalance the fiery spirit of the Celts and their disorderly, headlong charge. As a result, then, of their being evenly matched, their hopes and consequent zeal were in perfect equipoise.

[-48-] While they were encamped opposite each other the women on the barbarian side after divination forbade the men to engage in any battle before the new moon. For this reason Ariovistus, who already paid great heed to them whenever they took any such action, did not join in conflict with his entire force immediately, although the Romans were challenging him to come out. Instead, he sent out the cavalry together with the foot soldiers assigned to them and did the other side severe injury. Scornfully elated by his success he undertook to occupy a position beyond the line of their trench. Of this he held possession, while his opponents occupied in turn another. Then, although Caesar kept his army drawn up outside until afternoon, he would not proceed to battle, but when his foe toward evening retired he suddenly came after them and all but captured their palisade. Since his affairs progressed so well he recked little any longer of the women, and on the following day when, according to their daily custom the Romans were marshaled, he led out his forces against them.

[-49-] The Romans, seeing them advancing from their quarters, did not remain motionless, but made a forward dash which gave their opponents no chance to get carefully ordered, and by attacking with a charge and shout intercepted their javelins in which they had especial confidence. In fact, they got into such close quarters with them that the enemy could not employ their pikes or long swords. So the latter used their bodies in shoving oftener than weapons in fighting and struggled to overturn whoever they encountered and to knock down whoever withstood them. Many deprived even of the use of the short swords fought with hands and mouths instead, dragging down their adversaries, biting, tearing, since they far surpassed them in the size of their bodies. The Romans, however, did not suffer any great bodily injuries in consequence: they closed with their foes and by their armor and skill somehow proved a match. Finally, after carrying on that sort of battle for a very long time, late in the day they prevailed. For their daggers, which were smaller than those of the Gauls and had steel blades, proved very useful to them: moreover, the men themselves, constrained thereto by the very labor, lasted better than the barbarians because the endurance of the latter was not of like quality with the vehemence of their attacks. The Gauls for these reasons were defeated: they were not routed, merely because they were unable, through confusion and feebleness, to flee, and not because they lacked the wish. Three hundred therefore, more or less, gathered in a body, opposed their shields on all sides of them and standing upright, apart from the press, proved hard to move by reason of their solidity: so that they neither accomplished aught nor suffered aught.

[-50-] The Romans, when their warriors neither advanced against them nor fled but stood quietly in the same spot as if on towers, likewise laid aside first of all their short spears which could not be used: and as they could not with their swords fight in close combat nor reach the others' heads, where alone the latter, fighting with them exposed, were vulnerable, they threw down their shields and made an attack. Some by a long run and others from close at hand leaped upon[46] the foes in some way and struck them. At this many fell immediately, beneath a single blow, and many did not fall till after they were dead. They were kept upright even when dead by the closeness of their formation. In this way most of the infantry perished either there or near the wagons, according to how far they were pushed out of line toward them, with wives and children. Ariovistus with fifty horsemen straightway left the country and started for the Rhine. He was pursued, but not overtaken, and escaped on a boat ahead of his followers. Of the rest the Romans entered the river to kill some, and others the chief himself took up and brought away.



DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY

39

The following is contained in the Thirty-ninth of Dio's Rome.

How Caesar fought the Belgae (chapters 1-5).

How Cicero came back from exile (chapters 6-11).

How Ptolemy, expelled from Egypt, sought refuge in Rome (chapters 12-16).

How Cato settled matters in Cyprus (chapters 17-23).

How Pompey and Crassus were chosen consuls (chapters 24-37).

How Pompey's Theatre was dedicated (chapters 38, 39).

How Decimus Brutus, Caesar's lieutenant, conquered the Veneti in a sea-fight (chapters 40-43).

How Publius Crassus, Caesar's lieutenant, fought the Aquitani (chapters 44-46).

How Caesar after fighting with some of the Celtae crossed the Rhine: and about the Rhine (chapters 47-49).

How Caesar crossed over into Britain: and about the island (chapters 50-54).

How Ptolemy was restored to Egypt by Gabinius, and how Gabinius was brought to trial for it (chapters 55-85).

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

P. Cornelius P.F. Lentulus Spinther, C. Caecilius C.F. Metellus Nepos. (B.C. 57 = a.u. 697.)

Cn. Cornelius P.F. Lentulus Marcellinus, L. Marcius L.F. Philippus. (B.C. 56 = a.u. 698.)

Cn. Pompeius Cn. F. Magnus (II), M. Licinius P.F. Crassus (II). (B.C. 55 = a.u. 699.)

L. Domitius Cn. F. Ahenobarbus, Appius Claudius Appi F. Pulcher. (B.C. 54 = a.u. 700.)

(BOOK 39, BOISSEVAIN.)

[B.C. 57 (a.u. 697)]

[-1-] Such was the end of these wars. After this, when the winter had passed in which Cornelius Spinther and Metellus Nepos began their consulship, a third war burst upon them. The Belgae, dwelling near the Rhine with many mingled tribes and extending to the ocean opposite Britain, had been during the previous epoch at peace with the Romans so far as concerned a part of their nation, while the rest paid no heed to them: but now, noting Caesar's prosperity and fearing that he might advance against them, they made a change of front and by common agreement (except on the part of the Remi) took counsel against the Romans and conspired, making Galba their head.

Caesar learned this from the Remi and was on his guard against them: subsequently he encamped at the river Axona, collected his soldiers all together and exercised them. He did not venture to come into close quarters with the enemy, though they were overrunning Roman territory, until they felt contempt for him, thinking him afraid, and undertook to destroy the bridge and put a stop to the conveyance of grain, which the allies brought across it. He was made aware beforehand by deserters that this was to be done, and by night sent against the foe the light-armed troops and the cavalry. [-2-] So they, unexpectedly assaulting the barbarians, killed many of them, so that the following night they all withdrew thence to their own land, especially since the Aeduans were reported to have invaded it. Caesar perceived what was going on, but through ignorance of the country did not dare to pursue them immediately. At daybreak, however, he took the cavalry, bade the infantry follow behind, and came up with the fugitives. They proceeded to give battle, for he was thought to have come with his cavalry alone, and he delayed them until the infantry arrived. In this way he surrounded them with his whole force, cut down the majority, and made terms with the survivors. Later he brought into allegiance some of the peoples without fighting and some by war.

[-3-] The Nervii voluntarily retired before him from their plain country,—for they were not a match for his forces,—but betook themselves into the wooded parts of the mountains, and then, when they saw him settled in camp,[47] they came charging down unexpectedly. Opposite Caesar himself they soon turned to flight, but got the better of the major part of his army, capturing the camp without striking a blow. When Caesar became aware of this,—he had advanced a little way in pursuit of those he had routed,—he turned back and came upon them engaged in pillage within the fortification, where he ensnared and slaughtered them. After accomplishing this he found no difficulty in subduing the rest of the Nervii.

[-4-] Meanwhile the Aduatuci, near neighbors of theirs, sprung from the Cimbri and possessing their spirit, started out as if to assist them but were overpowered before they effected anything, whereupon they withdrew, and leaving all their other sites established themselves in one fort, the strongest. Caesar assaulted it but was for many days repulsed, until he turned to the making of engines. Then for a time they gazed at the Romans cutting wood and constructing the machines and through their inexperience laughed at what was taking place. But when the things were finished and heavy-armed soldiers upon them approached from all sides, they were panic-stricken because never before had they seen such an affair; so they sent the heralds for peace, supplied the soldiers with provisions, and threw some of their weapons from the wall. When, however, they saw the machines stripped of men again, and noticed the latter, as after a victory, following their own hearts' desires, they changed their minds and recovering courage made a sally by night to cut them down unawares. But Caesar was carefully managing everything every moment, and when they fell on the outposts from every side they were beaten back. Not one of the survivors could any longer obtain pardon, and they were all sold.

[-5-] When these had been subjugated and others, too, some by him and many by his lieutenants, winter set in and he retired to winter-quarters. The Romans at home heard of this and were astonished that he had seized so many nations, whose names they had known but imperfectly before, and voted a sacrifice of fifteen days for his deeds,—something that had never before occurred.

During the same period Servius Galba, acting as his lieutenant, had, while the season lasted and the army remained a unit, brought to terms the Varagri, dwelling beside Lake Lemannus and beside the Allobroges as far as the Alps: some he had mastered by force and others by capitulation, so that he was even preparing to winter where he was. When, however, the majority of the soldiers had departed, some on furloughs because they were not far from Italy, and others elsewhere to their own possessions, the natives took advantage of this fact and unexpectedly attacked him. Then he was led by despair to a kind of frenzy and suddenly dashing out of the winter camp astounded those attacking him by the strangeness of the move and passing through them gained the heights. On reaching safety he fought them off and later enslaved them: he did not winter there, however, but transferred his quarters to the Allobroges.

[-6-] These were the events in Gaul. Pompey meanwhile had brought about a vote for the recall of Cicero. The man that he had expelled through the agency of Clodius he now brought back to help him against that very person. So prone is human nature to change and in such wise do persons select in turn the very opposite things as likely to cause them benefit or injury. His helpers among the praetors and tribunes were Titus Annius Milo and the rest, who brought the proposition before the populace. Spinther the consul was zealous[48] for Cicero partly as a favor to Pompey and partly to damage Clodius, by reason of a private enmity which had led him as judge to condemn the man for incest: Clodius was supported by various men in public office, by Appius Claudius, his brother, who was praetor, and by Nepos the consul who hated Cicero for some reason of his own. [-7-] These parties, accordingly, with the consuls as leaders made more noise than before, and so did the rest in the city, championing one side or the other. Many disorderly proceedings were the result, chiefest of which was that during the very casting of the vote on the subject Clodius, knowing that the masses would be for Cicero, took the gladiators that his brother held in readiness for the funeral games in honor of Marcus his relative, leaped into the assemblage, wounded many and killed many more. Consequently no decision was reached and the perpetrator, as the companion of armed champions, was dreaded in general by all: he then stood for the aedileship, with a view to escaping the penalty for his violence by being elected. Milo had indicted him but did not succeed in bringing him to court, for the quaestors, by whom the allotment of jurors had to be made, had not been elected, and Nepos forbade the praetor to allow any case before their allotment. Now it was proper for the aediles to be chosen before the quaestors, and this proved the principal cause of delay. [-8-] Much disturbance was created by the contest over this very point, and at last Milo himself collected some gladiators and others who desired the same objects as he did and kept continually coming to blows with Clodius, so that fatal conflicts took place throughout practically the entire city. Nepos now, inspired with fear by his colleague and by Pompey and by the other prominent men, changed his attitude, and as the senate decreed, on motion of Spinther, that Cicero should be restored, and the populace on the motion of both consuls voted it, Clodius, to be sure, spoke against it to them, but he had Milo as an opponent so that he could commit no violence, and Pompey, among others, spoke in favor of the enactment, so that that party proved much the stronger.

[-9-] Cicero accordingly came home from exile and expressed his gratitude to both senate and people,—the consuls affording him an opportunity,—in their respective assemblies. He laid aside his hatred of Pompey for his banishment, became reconciled with him, and immediately repaid his kindness. A sore famine had arisen in the city and the entire populace rushed into the theatre (the kind of theatre that they were then still using for public gatherings) and from there to the Capitol where the senators were in session, threatening first to slay them with their own hands and later to burn them alive, temple and all. It was then that Cicero persuaded them to elect Pompey as commissioner of the grain supply and to give him consequently the office of proconsul for five years both within Italy and without. So he now, as previously in the case of the pirates, was to hold sway over the entire world at that time under Roman power.

[-10-] Caesar and Crassus really disliked Cicero, but paid some attention to him when they perceived that he would return in any case, Caesar even while absent displaying some good-will toward him; they received, however, no thanks for their pains. Cicero knew that they had not acted according to their real inclination and regarded them as having been most to blame for his banishment. And though he was not quite bold enough to oppose them openly, since he had recently tasted the fruits of unrestrained free speech, nevertheless he composed secretly a little book and inscribed upon it that it contained a kind of defence of his policy. In it he heaped together masses of denunciation against them and others, which led him to such fear of these statements getting out in his lifetime that he sealed up the volume and delivered it to his son with the injunction not to read nor to publish what was written, until his father should have departed from life.

[-11-] Cicero, accordingly, took root anew and got back his property and likewise the foundation of his home, although the latter had been given up to Liberty and Clodius both called the gods to witness and interposed religious scruples against its desecration. But Cicero found a flaw in the enactment of the lex curiata by the provisions of which his rival had been taken from the nobles into the rank of the people, on the ground that it had not been proposed within the limit of days set by ancestral custom. Thus he tried to make null and void the entire tribuneship of Clodius (in which also the decree regarding his house had been passed), saying that inasmuch as the transference of the latter to the common people had taken place unlawfully, it was not possible for any one of his acts while in office to be considered binding. By this means he persuaded the pontifices to give back to him the foundation as properly his and unconsecrated. So he obtained that and money for the construction of his house, and whatever else of his property had been damaged.

[-12-] After this there was further trouble on account of King Ptolemy. He had spent much money upon some of the Romans, some of his own income and some borrowed, in order to strengthen his kingdom and receive the name of friend and ally. He was collecting this sum forcibly from the Egyptians and was irritated at the difficulty he encountered as well as at their bidding him demand back Cyprus from the Romans or else renounce his friendship for the foreigners,—neither of which demands suited his wishes. Since he could neither persuade them to be quiet nor yet force them, as he had no foreign troops, he made his escape from Egypt, went to Rome, and accused them of having expelled him from his kingdom: he obtained the right to be restored by Spinther, to whom Cilicia had been entrusted.

[-13-] While this was going on, the people of Alexandria, who for a while did not know that he had departed for Italy or supposed he was dead, placed Berenice his daughter on the throne in his place. Then, learning the truth, they sent a hundred men to Rome to defend themselves against his complaints and to bring counter charges of all the wrongs they had suffered. He heard of it in advance (he was still in Rome) and lay in wait for the envoys, by sending various men in different directions, before their arrival. The majority of them perished on the road, and of the survivors he slew some in the city itself and others he either terrified by what had happened or by administering bribes persuaded them neither to touch upon the matters regarding which they had been sent, nor to make any mention at all of those who had been killed. [-14-] The affair, however, became so noised abroad that even the senate was mightily displeased, being urged on to action chiefly by Marcus Favonius, who assigned two causes for his indignation,—first, that many envoys sent by allies had perished by violence, and second, that numerous Romans also on this occasion had taken bribes. So they summoned Dio, the presiding officer of the envoys (for he had survived) in order to learn the truth from him. But this time, too, Ptolemy gained such a victory by money that neither did Dio enter the assemblage, nor was any mention made of the murder of the dead men, so long as Ptolemy was on the ground.[49] Furthermore, when Dio was subsequently treacherously slain, he paid no penalty for that deed, either. This was chiefly due to the fact that Pompey had entertained him in his house and continued to render him powerful assistance. Of the other abuses that sprang from this source many were accused at a later time, but few convicted. For bribery was rampant and each cooeperated with the other because of his own fear.

[-15-] While mortals were being influenced by money to behave themselves so, Heaven at the very beginning of the next year by striking with a thunderbolt the statue of Jupiter erected on the Alban hill, delayed the return of Ptolemy some little time. For when they had recourse to the Sibylline verses they found written in them this very passage: "If the king of Egypt come requesting some aid, refuse him not friendship altogether, nor yet succor him with any great force: otherwise, you will have both toils and dangers." Thereupon, amazed at the coincidence between the verses and the events of the time, they were persuaded by Gaius Cato the tribune to rescind all their decisions in the case. This was the way the oracle was given, and it was made public by Cato (for it was forbidden to announce to the populace any of the Sibylline statements unless the senate voted it). Yet as soon as the sense of the verses, as usually happens, began to be talked about, he was afraid that it might be concealed, led the priests before the populace and there compelled them to utter the oracle before the senate had given them any instructions. The more scruples they had against doing so, the more insistent[50] was the multitude. [-16-] Cato's wish prevailed; it was written in the Latin tongue and proclaimed. After this they gave their opinions: some were for assigning the restoration of Ptolemy to Spinther without an army and others urged that Pompey with two lictors should escort him home (Ptolemy, on learning of the oracle, had preferred this latter request and his letter was read in public by Aulus Plautius, the tribune). The senators then, fearing that Pompey would by this means obtain still greater power, opposed it, using the matter of the grain as an excuse.

All this happened in the consulship of Lucius Philippus and Gnaeus Marcellinus. Ptolemy, when he heard of it, refused the favor of restoration, went to Ephesus, and passed his time in the temple of the goddess.

[-17-] The year before a peculiar incident, which still has some bearing upon history, had taken place. It was this. The law expressly forbids any two persons of the same clan to hold the same priesthood at the same time. Now Spinther the consul was anxious to place his son Cornelius Spinther among the augurs, and when Faustus, the son of Sulla, of the Cornelian gens had been enrolled before him, took his son out of the clan and put him in that of Manlius Torquatus, and thus though the letter of the law was preserved, its spirit was broken.

[B.C. 56 (a.u. 698)]

[-18-] Clodius had now come to the office of aedile, in the year of Philippus and Marcellinus; being anxious to avoid the lawsuit he had got himself elected by a political combination. He immediately instituted proceedings against Milo for procuring gladiators: what he was doing himself and was likely to be brought to trial for he brought as a charge against his rival. He did this not really in the expectation of convicting Milo,—for the latter had many strong champions, among them Cicero and Pompey,—but in order that under this pretext he might carry on a campaign against Milo and harass his helpers. The following was one of his numerous devices. [-19-] He had instructed his clique that whenever he should ask them in the assemblies: "Who was it that did or said so-and-so?" they should all cry out: "Pompey!" Then on several occasions he would suddenly ask about everything that could be taken amiss in Pompey, either in physical peculiarities or any other respect, taking up various small topics, one at a time, as if he were not speaking of him particularly. Thereupon, as usually happens in such cases, some would start off and others join in the refrain, saying "Pompey!" and there was considerable jeering. The man attacked could not control himself and keep quiet nor would he stoop to a trick like Clodius's, so that he grew exceedingly angry, yet could not stir: thus nominally Milo was condemned, but in reality Pompey was convicted without even making a defence. For Clodius went one step farther and would not allow the lex curiata to be brought up for discussion; and until that was enacted no other serious business could be transacted in the commonwealth or any suit introduced.

[-20-] For a season Milo served as a shield for their abuses and assassinations, but about this time some portents occurred. In Albanum a small temple of Juno, set on a kind of table facing the east, was turned around to the west; a flash of light starting from the south shot across to the north; a wolf entered the city; an earthquake occurred; some of the citizens were killed by a thunderbolt; in Latin territory a subterranean tumult was distinctly heard: and the soothsayers, being anxious to produce a remedy, said that some spirit was angry with them because of some temples or sites not inhabited for holy purposes. Then Clodius substituted Cicero for Milo and attacked him vigorously in speeches because he had built upon the foundation of the house dedicated to Liberty; and once he went to it, with the apparent intention of razing it anew to the ground, though he did not do so, being prevented by Milo. [-21-] Cicero was angry at such treatment and kept making complaints, and finally with Milo and some tribunes as attendants he ascended the Capitol and took down the tablets set up by Clodius to commemorate his exile. This time Clodius came up with his brother Gaius, a praetor, and took them away from him, but later he watched for a time when Clodius was out of town, ascended the Capitol again, took them and carried them home. After this occurrence no quarter was shown on either side, but they abused and slandered each other as much as they could, without refraining from the basest means. One declared that the tribuneship of Clodius had been contrary to law and that therefore his deeds in office had no authority, and the other that Cicero's exile had been justly decreed and his restoration unlawfully voted.

[-22-]While they were contending, and Clodius was getting much the worst of it, Marcus Cato came upon the scene and made them equal. He had a grudge against Cicero and was likewise afraid that all his acts in Cyprus would be annulled, because he had been sent out under Clodius as tribune: hence he readily took sides with the latter. He was very proud of his deeds and anxious above all things that they should be confirmed. For Ptolemy, who at that time was master of the island, when he learned of the vote that had been passed, and neither dared to rise against the Romans nor could endure to live, deprived of that province, had taken his life by drinking poison.[51] Then the Cypriots, without reluctance, accepted Cato, expecting to be friends and allies of the Romans instead of slaves. It was not, however, of this that Cato made his chief boast; but because he had administered everything in the best possible manner, had collected slaves and large amounts of money from the royal treasury, yet had met with no reproach but had given account of everything unchallenged,—it was for this that he laid claim to valor no less than if he had conquered in some war. So many persons accepted bribes that he thought it more unusual for a man to despise money than to conquer the enemy.

[-23-] So at that time Cato for the reasons specified had some hope of a proper triumph, and the consuls in the senate proposed that a praetorship be given him, although by law it could not yet be his. He was not appointed (for he spoke against the measure himself), but obtained even greater renown from it. Clodius undertook to name the servants brought from Cyprus Clodians, because he himself had sent Cato there, but failed because the latter opposed it. So they received the title of Cyprians, although some of them wanted to be called Porcians; but Cato prevented this, too. Clodius took his opposition extremely ill and tried to pick flaws in his administration: he demanded accounts for the transactions, not because he could prove him guilty of any wrongdoing, but because nearly all of the documents had been destroyed by shipwreck and he might gain some prestige by following this line. Caesar, also, although not present, was aiding Clodius at this time, and according to some sent him in letters the accusations brought against Cato. One of their attacks upon Cato consisted in the charge that he himself had persuaded the consuls (so they affirmed) to propose a praetorship for him, and that he had then voluntarily put it by, in order not to appear to have missed it when he wanted it.

[B.C. 56 (a.u. 698)]

[-24-] So they kept up the conflict, and Pompey, too, encountered some trouble in the distribution of the grain. Many slaves had been freed in anticipation of the event, of whom he wished to take a census in order that the grain delivery might take place with some decency and order. This, to be sure, he managed fairly easily through his own wisdom and because of the large supply of grain: but in seeking the consulship he found annoyances which likewise entailed a measure of censure for him. Clodius's behavior irritated him, but even more the fact that he was treated slightingly by the rest, whose superior he was: and he felt injured both on account of his reputation and on account of the hopes by reason of which while still a private citizen he had thought to be honored beyond them all. Sometimes he could bring himself to despise all this. At first when people began to speak ill of him he was annoyed, but after a time, when he came to consider carefully his own excellence and their baseness, he paid no further attention to them. [-25-] The fact, however, that Caesar's influence had grown and the populace admired his achievements so much as to despatch ten men from the senate in recognition of the apparently absolute subjugation of the Gauls[52] and that the people were so slated by consequent hopes as to vote him large sums of money was a thorn in Pompey's side. He attempted to persuade the consuls not to read Caesar's letters but conceal the facts for a very long time until the glory of his deeds should of its own motion spread itself abroad, and further to send some one to relieve him even before the specified date. So jealous was he that he proceeded to disparage and abrogate all that he himself had effected with Caesar's aid: he was displeased at the great and general praise bestowed upon the latter (whereby his own exploits were being over-shadowed) and reproached the populace for paying little heed to himself and going frantic over Caesar. Especially was he vexed to see that they remembered former achievements just so long as nothing occurred to divert them, that they turned with greatest readiness to each new event, even if it were inferior to something previous because they became tired of the usual and liked the novel, and that they overthrew all established glory by reason of envy, but helped to build up any new power by reason of their hopes. [-26-] This was what caused his displeasure; and as he could not effect anything through the consuls and saw that Caesar had passed beyond the need of keeping faith with him, he regarded the situation as grave. He held that there were two things that destroy friendship,—fear and envy,—and that these can only arise from rival glory and strength. As long as persons possess these last in equal shares, their friendship is firm, but when one or the other excels in the least degree, then the inferior party is jealous and hates the superior while the stronger despises and abuses the weaker: so, whichever way you take it, the one is vexed by his inferiority, the other is elated by his advantage, and they come to strife and war in place of their former friendship. On the basis of some such calculations Pompey began to arm himself against Caesar. And because he thought he could not easily alone overthrow him, he cultivated Crassus even more than before, that he might act with him.

[-27-] When they had compared notes, they decided that it would be really impossible for them to accomplish anything as private citizens, but if they should get the consulship and divide the authority between them for rivalry against him, they would both be a match for him and quickly overcome him, being two against one. So they arranged an entire plan of dissimulation, to wit, that if any of their companions should urge them to the office, they should say they no longer cared to obtain the consulship: after this they put forth their best efforts to get it, in spite of the fact that they had formerly been friends with some of the other candidates. When they began to canvass for the office outside of the times directed by law and others made it plain that they would not allow them to be appointed (among these were the consuls themselves, for Marcellinus had some little influence), they brought it about that the elections should not be held that year (and to this end they employed Gaius Cato and some others), in order that an interrex might be chosen and they seek and secure the place in accordance with the laws. [-28-] Now this was done under some other pretext (as it was said, by reason of engagements made at a different time), but in reality by their own influence, for they openly showed dislike of those who opposed them. The senate, however, was violently enraged, and once while they were wrangling left the room. That was the end of the proceedings for the time being, and again when the same disturbance happened the senators voted to change their dress, as if for some calamity, and they paid no attention to Cato, who, because he gained nothing by speaking against the proposed step, rushed out of the gathering and called in any one he met in the market-place,[53] in order that no decision might be reached; for, if any person not a senator were within, they might not give their vote. But other tribunes were quick and prevented those invited from entering, and so this decree was passed, and it was also proposed that the senators should not be spectators at the festival then going on. When Cato opposed this measure, too, they rushed out in a body, and after changing their dress returned, hoping thus to frighten him. When even so he would not moderate his behavior, they all together proceeded to the Forum and brought to a state of sincere sorrow the multitude, who had come running to that place; Marcellinus was the speaker, and he lamented the present occurrences, while the rest listening wept and groaned, so that no one had a word to say against him. After doing this the senators entered the senate-house immediately, intending to vent their wrath upon those who were responsible.[-29-] But Clodius had meantime jumped to the side of Pompey and espoused his cause again in the hope that if he should help him in securing the prize now at stake, he would make him entirely his friend. So he came before the populace in his ordinary garb, without making any change as the decree required, and addressed a speech to them against Marcellinus and the rest. As great indignation at this act was shown by the senators, he abandoned the people in the midst of his speech and hastened to the senate, where he came near meeting his end. For the senate confronted him and prevented his going in, while at that moment he was surrounded by the knights and would have been torn limb from limb, had he not raised an outcry, calling upon the people for aid; whereupon many ran to the scene bringing fire and threatening to burn his oppressors along with the senate-house, if they should do him any harm.

[-30-] He, then, came within an ace of being killed. But Pompey, not alarmed at all by this, on one occasion rushed into the senatorial assembly, thwarting them as they were just about to vote, and prevented the measure from being carried. When Marcellinus after that publicly asked him whether he really desired to become consul, he in hope that the other might give ground admitted that he was a candidate, but said that he did not want the office so far as the just men were concerned, but that on account of the seditious he was exerting every influence to that end. So Pompey came out openly as his rival, and Crassus on being interrogated gave the same implication himself, not admitting the fact, to be sure, but not denying it, either: instead, he took, as usual, a middle course and said that he would do whatever was advantageous to the republic. In view of this situation Marcellinus and many others were terrified, as they observed their equipment and opposing array, and would no longer frequent the senate-house.

As the number required by custom for passing any vote about the elections did not assemble, it was impossible to have any business at all about them brought forward, and the year thus passed away. However, the senators did not change their attire nor attend the festivals nor celebrate the feast of Jupiter on the Capitol nor go out to Albanum for the Feriae Latinae, held there for the second time by reason of something not rightly done. Instead, like persons in bondage and not possessing authority to choose officials or conduct any other public business they spent the rest of the year.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse