Dio's Rome
by Cassius Dio
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[B.C. 55 (a.u. 699)]

[-31-]And after this Crassus and Pompey were appointed consuls by the interrex, as no one else of the earlier canvassers opposed them. Lucius Domitius, who contested the office up to the very last day of the year, started out from home for the assembly of the people just after dark, but when the boy that carried the torch in front of him was stabbed, he was frightened and went no farther. Hence, as no one else contested their election, and furthermore because of the action of Publius Crassus, who was a son of Marcus and then lieutenant under Caesar, in bringing soldiers to Rome for this very purpose, they were easily chosen.

[-32-] When they had thus assumed the leadership of the State, they had the other offices given to such as were well disposed toward them and prevented Marcus Cato from being appointed praetor. They suspected that he would not submit to their regime and were unwilling to add any legal power to his outspoken opposition. The nomination of the praetors was made in peace, for Cato did not see fit to offer any violence: in the matter of the curule aediles, however, assassinations took place, so that Pompey was implicated in much bloodshed. The other officials, too,—those elected by the people,—they appointed to please themselves (for they controlled the elections), and they made friends with the other aediles and most of the tribunes. Two tribunes, Gaius Ateius Capito and Publius Aquilius Gallus, would not come to terms with them.

[-33-] Accordingly, when the offices had been settled, they possessed the object of their strivings. They themselves made no mention of these matters before either the senate or the populace, but gravely pretended that they wanted nothing further. Gaius Trebonius, however, a tribune, presented a measure that to the one Syria and its environs be given to rule over for five years, and to the other the Hispaniae, where there had recently been an uprising, for a similar period; also that they should employ as many soldiers as they might wish, both citizens and allies, and should make peace and war with whomsoever they pleased. Many, and especially the friends of Caesar, took offence at this, because those men after obtaining provinces to govern were likely to keep Caesar from holding his position for a much longer time; and therefore some prepared to speak against the measure. Then the consuls fearing that they might fail utterly of the projects they had in hand won over all such supporters on the condition of extending his leadership also for three [54] years more (to follow the actual facts). However, they submitted no part of his case to the populace until their own business had been ratified. And the adherents of Caesar anticipated in this way, kept quiet, and the greater part of the rest, in bondage to fear and satisfied if even so they should save their lives, remained still. [-34-]On the other hand, Cato and Favonius resisted all their schemes, having the two tribunes and others to help them, since in fighting few against many their frankness was of no avail. Favonius, who obtained from Trebonius only one hour for his speech in opposition, used it up in crying out at random about the distressing condition of the times. Cato received the right of employing two hours in his harangue and turned his efforts to censuring the immediate proposition and the whole situation, as he was wont, and so he exhausted his time before he had touched upon any of the revolutionary aspects of the matter. This was done not because he did not have the privilege of speaking also on that topic, but in order that he might be silenced by Trebonius while still appearing to have something more to say and thus obtain this additional grievance to bring up against him. For he well understood that had he employed the entire day, he was still sure to be unable to persuade them to vote anything that he wished. Hence, when bidden to be silent he did not stop immediately, but had to be pushed and dragged from the assemblage, whereupon he came back, and at last though consigned to prison he did not moderate his behavior.

[-35-] That day was so spent that the tribunes were unable to speak any word at all. For in the meetings of the people where a measure was also under discussion, the right to speak was given to all the private citizens before those that held the offices, to the end, as it seemed, that none of them captivated beforehand by the opinion of a superior should dissimulate the thoughts that he had in mind, but should say what he thought with entire frankness. Hence Gallus, being afraid that some one might on the next day keep him from the Forum or do something worse still, went into the place of assembly directly after nightfall and passed the night there for the sake of the safety that the place afforded, and for the purpose of leaving there at dawn to join the populace outside. Trebonius, by shutting all the doors of the senate-house, caused this man to have spent the night and most of the day there in vain. Others occupied the site of the gathering by night and barred out Ateius, Cato, Favonius and the remainder of their followers. When Favonius and Ninnius got in somehow unobserved and Cato and Ateius climbed upon the shoulders of some of those standing around and being lifted up by them declared an omen directing the meeting to break up, the attendants of the tribunes drove them both out, wounded the rest who were with them and actually killed a few.

[-36-] After the law was in this way ratified and the people were already departing from the assembly Ateius took Gallus covered with blood (he had been struck in being forced out of the gathering), led him into the presence of those still on the spot, exhibited him to them, and by making all the comments that were natural, stirred them mightily. The consuls were made aware of this and came quickly, having, indeed, been waiting somewhere near to see what was going on. As they had a considerable body-guard they intimidated the men, immediately called a meeting and passed the additional measures relating to Caesar. The same persons tried to resist these, too, but were unable to accomplish anything.

[-37-] The consuls had this enactment passed, and next they laid heavier penalties upon such as bribed any persons, as if they themselves were any the less guilty because they had secured their office not by money but by force. They had even undertaken to curtail personal expenditures, which had gone to great lengths, although they themselves indulged in every kind of luxury and delicacy; they were prevented, however, by this very business of lawmaking. For Hortensius, one of the men fondest of expensive living, by reviewing the great size of the city and adverting with commendation to the costliness of their homes and their magnanimity toward others, persuaded them to give up their intention, for he could use their mode of life to champion his words. They respected his contention, and furthermore, because they shrank from appearing to debar others through any envy from rights that they themselves enjoyed, they voluntarily withdrew their motion.

[-38-] These were the same days in which Pompey dedicated the theatre wherein we take pride even at the present time. In it he provided an entertainment consisting of music and gymnastic contests, and in the hippodrome a horse-race and the slaughter of many beasts of all kinds. Five hundred lions were used up in five days, and eighteen elephants fought against men in heavy armor. Some of these beasts were killed immediately and others much later. For some of them, contrary to Pompey's wish, were pitied by the people when they were wounded and ceased fighting and walked about with their trunks raised toward heaven. They lamented so bitterly as to give rise to the report that they did so not by accident, but were crying out upon the oaths in which they trusted when crossing over from Libya, and were calling upon Heaven to avenge them. For it is said that they would not set foot upon the ships before they received a pledge under oath from their leaders that they should verily suffer no harm: whether this is really so or otherwise, I know not. For some in time past have further declared that in addition to understanding the language of their native country they also comprehend what is going on in the sky, so that at the time of new moon, before that luminary comes within the gaze of men, they reach running water and there make a kind of purification of themselves. These are some of the things I have heard; I have heard also that this theatre was not erected by Pompey, but by one Demetrius, a freedman of his, with the money he had gained while making campaigns with the general. Wherefore he yielded the name of the structure most justly to his master, that he might not be ill spoken of for having, as his freedman, gathered money enough to suffice for so huge an expenditure.

[-39-] No doubt in this Pompey afforded the populace no little delight, but in making with Crassus the levies, according to their votes, he displeased them exceedingly. Then the majority repented of their course and praised Cato and the rest. So the latter group both on his account and because a certain lawsuit, nominally against their lieutenants but really against them and with reference to their acts had been instituted by some of the tribunes, dared indeed to commit no act of violence, but, together with the malcontents in the senate, changed their clothing as if for a calamity. They immediately, however, repented in regard to this costume and without waiting for any excuse went back to their accustomed dress. Now when the tribunes endeavored to abolish the levies and rescind the vote for the proposed campaigns, Pompey, for his part, showed no anger. He had sent out his lieutenants without delay and he himself was glad to remain where he was on the plea that he was prevented from going abroad, especially as he ought to be in Rome on account of his duties in the care of the grain; and his plan in that case was to let his officers subdue the Hispaniae and himself manage the affairs at Rome and in the rest of Italy. Crassus, however, since neither of these considerations operated in his case, turned to force of arms. The tribunes, then, seeing that their boldness, being unarmed, was too weak to hinder any of his undertakings, in general kept silence. They announced many unusual portents, however, that applied to him, as if they could avoid including the public in their curse: at one time as he was offering on the Capitol the customary prayers for his campaign they spread a report of omens and wonders, and again when he was setting out they called down many terrible curses upon him. Ateius even attempted to cast him into prison, but other tribunes resisted, and there was a conflict among them and a delay, in the midst of which Crassus left the pomerium.

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

[-40-] Now he, whether by chance or as a result of the curses, before long met with defeat. As for Caesar, he, in the consulship of Marcellinus and Philippus, had made an expedition against the Veneti, who live near the ocean. They had seized some Roman soldiers sent out for grain and afterward detained the envoys who came to see about them, to the end that in exchange they might get back their own hostages. Caesar, instead of giving these back, sent out different bodies of troops in various directions, some to waste the possessions of those who had joined the revolt and thus to prevent the two bands from aiding each other, and others to guard the possessions of those that were under treaty for fear they too might cause some disturbance: he himself meanwhile went straight against the Veneti. He constructed in the interior boats, which he heard were of advantage for the reflux tide of the ocean, and conveyed them down the river Liger, but in so doing used up almost the entire season to no purpose. Their cities, established in strong positions, were inaccessible, and the ocean surging around practically all of them rendered an infantry attack out of the question, and a naval attack equally so in the midst of the ebb and flow of the tide. Consequently Caesar was in despair until Decimus Brutus came to him with swift ships from the Mediterranean. And he was inclined to think he would be unable to accomplish anything with those either, but the barbarians through contempt for the smallness and weakness of the cutters incurred defeat. [-41-] For these boats, with a view to rapid progress, had been built rather light in the prevailing style of naval architecture among us, whereas those of the barbarians, because in the constant reflux of the ocean they often needed to rest on dry ground and to hold out against the succession of ebb and flow, surpassed them very much in both size and stoutness. For these reasons the barbarians, never having had any experience with such a fleet, in view of the appearance of the ships believed their effectiveness of no importance; and as soon as they were lying at anchor they set sail against them, thinking to sink them in a very short time by means of their boathooks. They were carried by an extremely powerful wind, for their sails were of leather and so received greedily the full force of the wind. [-42-] Now Brutus for a time paid good heed to that fact and did not dare to sail out against them because of the number and size of the ships and the sweep of the wind and their impetus, but prepared to repel their attack near the land and to abandon the boats altogether. When, however, the wind suddenly fell, the waves were stilled, and the boats could no longer be propelled even with oars but because of their great heaviness stopped almost motionless, then he took courage and sailed to meet them. Falling upon them he wrought them many serious injuries with impunity, using both flank and smashing tactics,[55] now ramming one of them, now backing water, in whatever way and as much as he liked, sometimes with many vessels against one and again with equal numbers opposed, occasionally even approaching safely with few against many. At whatever point he was superior to them, there he stuck to them closely, and some he sank by ripping them open, and others he boarded from all sides with his mariners for a hand to hand conflict, thus slaughtering many. If he found himself inferior at any place, he very easily retired, so that the advantage rested with him in any case. [-43-] The barbarians did not use archery and had not provided themselves beforehand with stones, not expecting to have any need of them. Hence, if any one came into close quarters with them, they fought him off after a fashion, but with those that stood a little distance from them they knew not how to cope. So they were wounded and killed, some being unable to repel any one, and some of the boats were rammed and torn open, while others were set on fire and burned; still others were drawn off in tow, as if empty of men. The rest of the crews seeing this waited no longer: some killed themselves to avoid being captured alive and others leaped into the sea with the idea that from there they might board the hostile ships, or in any event not perish at the hands of the Romans. In earnestness and daring they were no whit inferior, but grieved terribly at being betrayed by the stationary qualities of their vessels. The Romans, to make sure that the wind when it sprang up again should not move the ships, applied from a distance long poles fitted with knives, by means of which they cut the ropes and split the sails. Through the circumstance that the enemy were compelled to fight a kind of land battle in their boats against a foe conducting a naval battle, great numbers perished there and all the survivors were captured. Of these Caesar slew the most prominent and sold the rest.

[-44-] Next he made a campaign against the Morini and Menapii, their neighbors, expecting to terrify them by what he had already accomplished and capture them easily. He failed, however, to subdue any of them. They had no cities, living only in huts, and they conveyed their most valued treasures to the ruggedest parts of the mountains, so that they did the attacking parties of the Romans much more harm than they themselves suffered. Caesar attempted by cutting down the forests to make his way into the very mountains, but renounced his plan on account of their size and the nearness of winter, and retired.

[-45-] While he was still in Venetia, Quintus Titurius Sabinus, his lieutenant, was despatched against the Unelli, whose leader was Viridovix. At first he was greatly terrified at their numbers and would have been satisfied if only the camp should be saved, but later he perceived that though this advantage made them bolder, they were not in reality dangerous, and he took courage. Most of the barbarians, in fact, in their threats make all sorts of terrible boasts that are without foundation.

Even so he did not dare to venture a passage of arms openly with them, for they kept him in position by mere numbers, but induced them recklessly to assault his rampart, though the site was on high ground. He did this by sending about evening, as a deserter, one of his allies who spoke their language, and persuaded them that Caesar had met with reverses. Trusting this report they straightway started out heedlessly against the Romans (for they were gorged with food and drink), in the fear that they might flee before their arrival. Moreover, since their plans contemplated not allowing even the fire-priest[56] to be saved they brought along chips and logs, carrying some and dragging others, with the evident intention of burning them alive. Thus they made their attack up-hill and came climbing up eagerly, meeting with no resistance. Sabinus did not move until the most of them were within his power. Then he charged down upon them from all sides at once, and terrifying those in front he dashed them all headlong down the hill, and while they were upset, tumbling over one another and the logs, he cut them down to such an extent that no one of them or of the others rose against him again. For the Gauls, who are unreasonably insatiate in all respects alike, know no limits in either their courage or their fear, but fall from the one into unthinkable cowardice and from the other into headstrong audacity.

[-46-] About the same period, Publius Crassus, too, son of Marcus Crassus, subjugated nearly all of Aquitania. The people are themselves Gauls, and dwell next to Celtica, and their territory extends straight along the Pyrenees to the ocean. Against these Crassus made his campaign, conquering the Sotiates in battle and capturing them by siege. He lost a few men, to be sure, by treachery in the course of a parley, but defended them vigorously in this very action. On seeing some others in a gathering with soldiers of Sertorius from Spain who carried on the war with more strategy than recklessness, believing that the Romans through lack of supplies would soon abandon the country, he pretended to be afraid of them. Though incurring their contempt he did not even so draw them into a conflict with him, but while they were calmly awaiting developments he attacked them suddenly and unexpectedly. At the point where he met them he accomplished nothing, because the barbarians advanced and repelled him vigorously; but while their main force was there, he sent some men around to the other side of their camp, got possession of this, which was destitute of men, and passing through it took the fighters in the rear. In this way they were all annihilated, and the rest, all but a few, made terms without a murmur.

[B.C. 55 (a.u. 699)]

[-47-] This was the work of the summer. While the Romans were in winter quarters on friendly ground the Tencteri and Usipetes, Celtic tribes, partly because forced out by the Suebi and partly because called upon by the Gauls, crossed the Rhine and invaded the country of the Treveri. Finding Caesar there they became afraid and sent to him to make a truce, asking for land or at least the permission to take some. When they could obtain none, at first they promised voluntarily to return to their homes and requested an armistice. Later their young men, seeing a few horsemen of his approaching, despised them and altered their determination: thereupon they stopped their journey, harassed the small detachment, which would not await their attack, and elated over this success continued the war.

[-48-] Their elders, condemning their action, came to Caesar even contrary to their advice and asked him to pardon them, laying the responsibility upon a few. He detained these emissaries with the assurance that he would give them an answer before long, set out against the other members of the tribe, who were in their tents, and came upon them as they were passing the noon hour and expecting no hostile demonstration, inasmuch as the delegation was with him.

Rushing into the tents[57] he found great numbers of infantrymen who did not have time even to pick up their weapons, and he cut them down near the wagons where they were disturbed by the presence of the women and the children scattered promiscuously about. The cavalry was absent at the time, and immediately, when the men learned of the occurrence, they set out to their native abodes and retired among the Sugambri. He sent after them and demanded their surrender, not because he expected that they would give themselves up to him (the men beyond the Rhine were not so afraid of the Romans as to listen to anything of that sort), but in order that on this excuse he might cross the stream itself. He himself was exceedingly anxious to do something that no one had previously equaled, and he expected to keep the Celts at a distance from the Gauls by invading the former's territory. When, therefore, the cavalry refused to give themselves up, and the Ubii, whose land was coterminal with the Sugambri and who were at variance with them, invoked his aid, he crossed the river by bridging it. But on finding that the Sugambri had betaken themselves into their strongholds and that the Suebi were gathering apparently to come to their aid, he retired within twenty days.

[-49-] The Rhine issues from the Celtic Alps, a little outside of Rhaetia, and proceeding westward, with Gaul and its inhabitants on the left, it bounds the Celts on the right, and finally empties into the ocean. This has always, even till now, been considered the boundary, from which they came to the difference in names, since very anciently both the peoples dwelling on each side of the river were called Celts.

[-50-] Caesar, then, first of Romans crossed the Rhine at this time, and later in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus he traversed the channel of Britain. This country is distant from the Belgic mainland, opposite the Morini, three hundred and fifty stades at the shortest computation,[58] and extends alongside the rest of Gaul and nearly all of Spain, reaching out into the sea. To the very first of the Greeks and Romans it was not even known; to their descendants it was a matter of dispute whether it was a continent or an island. And its history was written from both points of view by many who knew nothing about it, because they had not seen with their own eyes nor heard from the natives with their own ears, but indulged in guesses according as each had leisure or fondness for talk. As time went on, first under Agricola as propraetor and now under Severus as emperor, it has been clearly proven to be an island.

[-51-] To this land then, Caesar, since he had won over the Morini and the rest of Gaul was quiet, desired to cross. He made the voyage with infantry by the most desirable course, but did not select the best landing-place. For the Britons, having ascertained in advance that he as sailing against them, had secured all the landings on the main coast. Accordingly, he sailed around a kind of projecting headland and coasted along on the other side of it. There he disembarked in shoal water, conquered those who joined battle with him and got a footing on dry land before more numerous assistance could come, after which he repulsed their attack also. Not many of the barbarians fell, for they had chariot drivers, and being mounted easily escaped the Romans whose cavalry had not yet arrived; but alarmed at the reports about them from the mainland and because they had dared to cross at all and had managed to set foot upon the land, they sent to Caesar some of the Morini who were friends of theirs, to see about terms of peace. On this occasion he demanded hostages, which they were willing to give.[-52-] But as the Romans meanwhile began to encounter difficulties by reason of a storm which damaged their fleet that was present and also the one on the way, they changed their minds and though not attacking the invaders openly (for their camp was strongly guarded), they received some who had been sent out to bring in provisions on the assumption that the country was friendly, and destroyed them all, save a few, to whose rescue Caesar came with speed. After that they assaulted the very camp of the invaders. Here they accomplished nothing, but fared badly; they would not, however, make terms until they had been often defeated. And Caesar properly did not intend to make peace with them, but since the winter was approaching and he was not equipped with a sufficient force to continue fighting at that season,—moreover because his supplies had failed and the Gauls in absence had begun an uprising,—he somewhat unwillingly concluded a truce with them, demanding this time still more hostages, but obtaining only a few.

[-53-] So he sailed back to the mainland and put an end to the disturbances. From Britain he had won nothing for himself or for the City except the glory of having conducted an expedition against that land. But on this he prided himself greatly and the Romans at home magnified it to a remarkable degree. Seeing that the formerly unknown had become certain and the previously unheard of accessible, they regarded the hope arising from these facts as already realized and exulted over their expected achievements as if the latter were already within their grasp.

[-54-] Hence they voted to celebrate a thanksgiving for twenty days: but while that was taking place there was an uprising in Spain, which was consequently assigned to Pompey's care. Some tribes had revolted and obtained the help of the Vaccaei: while still unprepared they were conquered by Metellus Nepos, but as he was besieging Clunia they assailed him, proved themselves his superiors, and won back the city; at another time they were beaten, though without being enslaved or anything like it. In fact, they so far surpassed their opponents in numbers that Nepos was glad to remain quiet and not run any risks.

[-55-] About this same time Ptolemy, although the Romans voted not to assist him and were even now highly indignant at the bribery he had instituted, was nevertheless restored and got back the kingdom. Pompey and Gabinius effected this. So much power did official authority and abundance have as against the decrees of the people and the senate that when Pompey sent orders to Gabinius, then governor of Syria, the latter immediately put his army in motion. So the former out of kindness and the latter through corrupt influence restored the king contrary to the wish of the commonwealth, paying no heed either to it or to the utterances of the Sibyl. Gabinius was later brought to trial for this, but on account of Pompey's influence and the money at his command was not convicted. Public administration had so deteriorated among the Romans of that day that when some of the magistrates and jurymen received from him only a very little of the great bribes that he disbursed, they heeded no requirement of propriety, and furthermore instructed others to commit crimes for money, showing them that they could easily buy immunity from punishment. At this time, consequently, Gabinius was acquitted; but he was again brought to trial on some other charge,—chiefly that he had plundered more than a million from the province,—and was convicted. This was a matter of great surprise to him, seeing that by money he had freed himself from the former suit; but it was for that reason principally that he was condemned on these charges. It was also a surprise to Pompey, because previously he had, through his friends, rescued Gabinius even at a distance, but now while in the suburbs of the city and, as you might say, in the courtroom itself, he had accomplished nothing.

[-56-] This was the way of it. Gabinius had injured Syria in many ways, even to the point of inflicting more damage upon the people than had the pirates, who were then in their prime. Still, he regarded all his gains from that source as mere trifles and was at one time planning and preparing to lead a campaign also against the Parthians and their wealth. Phraates had been treacherously murdered by his children, and Orodes having taken the kingdom in turn had expelled Mithridates his brother from Media, which he was governing. The latter took refuge with Gabinius and persuaded him to connive at his restoration. However, when Ptolemy came with Pompey's letter and promised that he would furnish large sums, both to him and the army, Gabinius abandoned the Parthian project and hastened to Egypt. This he did although the law forbade governors to enter any one's territory outside their own borders or to begin wars on their own responsibility, and although the people and the Sibyl had declared that the man should not be restored. But the only restraint these considerations exercised was to lead him to sell them for a higher price. He left in Syria Sisenna his son, a mere boy, and a very few soldiers with him, exposing the province to which he had been assigned more than ever to the pirates. He himself then reached Palestine, arrested Aristobulus, who had caused some trouble at Rome and escaped, sent him to Pompey, imposed tribute upon the Jews and thereafter invaded Egypt.

[-57-] Berenice was at this time ruling the Egyptians, and though she feared the Romans she accorded him no satisfactory treatment. Instead, she sent for one Seleucus who purported to belong to the royal race that once had flourished in Syria, acknowledged him as her husband and made him sharer of the kingdom and of the war. When he was seen to be held in no esteem she had him killed and joined to herself on the same terms Archelaus, son of that Archelaus who had deserted to Sulla; he was an energetic man living in Syria. Gabinius could, indeed, have stopped the evil in its beginning: he had arrested Archelaus, of whom he had been suspicious all along, and seemed likely, therefore, to have no further trouble. He was afraid, however, that this course might cause him to receive from Ptolemy less of the money that had been stipulated, on the assumption that he had done nothing of importance, and he hoped that he could exact even a larger amount in view of the cleverness and renown of Archelaus; moreover he received numerous other contributions from the prisoner himself and so voluntarily released him, pretending that he had escaped.[-58-] Thus he reached Pelusium without meeting opposition, and while advancing from there with his army in two divisions he encountered and conquered the Egyptians on the same day, and after this vanquished them again on the river with his ships and also on land. For the Alexandrians are very apt to face everything boldly and to speak out whatever may occur to them, but for war and its terrors they are decidedly worthless. This is true in spite of the fact that in seditions, which occur among them in great numbers and of serious proportions, they always become involved in slaughter, set no value upon life as compared with the rivalry of the moment, but pursuing destruction in such quarrels as if it were a most necessary prize. So Gabinius conquered them, and after slaying Archelaus and many others he immediately gained control of all Egypt and delivered it over to Ptolemy.

Now Ptolemy killed his daughter and the foremost and richest of the other citizens, because he had much need of money. [-59-] Gabinius after restoring him in this fashion sent no message home about what he had done, in order not to give them information against himself of his transgressions of the law. But it was not possible for a proceeding of such magnitude to be concealed. The people learned it directly, for the Syrians cried out loudly against Gabinius, especially since in his absence they were terribly abused by the pirates; and again the tax collectors, being unable to levy taxes on account of the marauders, were owing numerous sums. This enraged the populace: they passed resolutions and were ready to condemn him. Cicero attacked him vigorously and advised them to read again the Sibylline verses, expecting that there was contained in them some punishment, in case their injunctions should be transgressed. [-60-] Pompey and Crassus were still consuls, the former acted as his own interests dictated, the latter was for pleasing his colleague and also soon received money sent him by Gabinius. Thus they openly justified his conduct, calling Cicero among other names "exile," and would not put the question to a vote.

[B.C. 54 (a.u. 700)]

When, however, they had ended their office, Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius became their successors, once more many resolutions were published and the majority proved to be against Gabinius. Domitius was hostile to Pompey on account of the latter's canvass and because he had been appointed consul contrary to his wish. Claudius, although a relative of Pompey's, still wished to play the game of politics and indulge the people, and furthermore he expected to get bribes from Gabinius, if he should cause him any uneasiness. So both worked in every way against him. The following fact, also, militated strongly against him; that he had not received a certain lieutenant sent in advance by Crassus to succeed him in the office, but held fast to the position as if he had obtained an eternal sovereignty. They decided, therefore, that the verse of the Sibyl should be read, in spite of Pompey's opposition. [-61-] Meantime the Tiber, perhaps because excessive rains took place somewhere up the stream above the city, or because a violent wind from the sea beat back its outgoing tide, or still more probably, by the act of some Divinity, suddenly rose so high as to inundate all the lower levels in the city and to overwhelm much even of the higher ground. The houses, therefore, being constructed of brick, were soaked through and washed away, while all the cattle perished under water. And of the men all who did not take refuge betimes on very high points were caught, some in their dwellings, some on the streets, and lost their lives. The remaining houses, too (because the evil lasted for many days), became rotten and injured some persons at once and others afterward. The Romans, distressed at such calamities and expecting others worse because, as they thought, Heaven had become angry with them for the restoration of Ptolemy, were urgent to put Gabinius to death even while absent, believing that they would be harmed less if they should destroy him with speed. So insistent were they that although nothing about punishment was found in the Sibylline oracles, still the senate passed a preliminary resolution that the governors and populace might accord him very bitter and harsh treatment.

[-62-] While this was going on, money sent ahead by Gabinius caused by its very presence a setback to his interests though he was not only absent but not even on his way home. And, indeed, he was placed by his conscience in such a wretched and miserable condition that he long delayed coming to Italy, and was conveyed to his house by night, and for a considerable number of days did not dare to appear outside of his house. Complaints were many and he had abundance of accusers. Accordingly, he was first tried for the restoration of Ptolemy, as his greatest offence. Practically the entire populace surged into the courthouse and often wished to tear him to pieces, particularly because Pompey was not present and Cicero accused him with fearful earnestness. Though this was their attitude, he was acquitted. For he himself, appreciating the gravity of the charges on which he was tried, expended vast sums of money, and the companions of Pompey and Caesar very willingly aided him, declaring that a different time and different king were meant by the Sybil, and, most important of all, that no punishment for his deeds were recorded in her verses.

[-63-] The populace, therefore, came near killing the jurymen, but, when they escaped, turned their attention to the remaining complaints against him and caused him to be convicted at least on those. The men who were chosen by lot to pass judgment on the charges both feared the people and likewise obtained but little from Gabinius; knowing that his conduct in minor matters only was being investigated and expecting to win this time also he did not lay out much. Hence they condemned him, in spite of Pompey's proximity and Cicero's advocacy of his cause. Pompey had left town to attend to the grain, much of which had been ruined by the river, but set out with the intention of attending the first court,—for he was in Italy,—and, as he missed that, did not retire from the suburbs until the other was also finished. He had the people assemble outside the pomerium, since, as he held already the office of proconsul, he was not allowed to enter the town, and harangued them at length in behalf of Gabinius, reading to them a letter sent to him by Caesar in the man's behalf. He even implored the jurymen, and not only prevented Cicero from accusing him again but actually persuaded him to plead for him; as a result the derogatory epithet of "deserter" became widely applied to the orator. However, he did Gabinius no good: the latter was at this time convicted and exiled, as stated, but was later restored by Caesar.

[-64-] At this same time the wife of Pompey died, after giving birth to a baby girl. And whether by the arrangement of Caesar's friends and his or because there were some who wished on general principles to do them a favor, they caught up the body, as soon as she had received proper eulogies in the Forum, and buried it in the Campus Martius. The opposition of Domitius and his declaration (among others) that it was impious for any one to be buried in the sacred spot without some decree proved of no avail.

[-65-] At this season Gaius Pomptinus also celebrated the triumph over the Gauls. Up to that time, as no one granted him the right to hold it, he had remained outside the pomerium. And he would have missed it then, too, had not Servius Galba, who had made a campaign with him, granted as praetor secretly and just before dawn to certain persons the privilege of voting:—this, in spite of the fact that it is not permitted by law for any business to be transacted in the popular assembly before the first hour. For this reason some of the tribunes, who had been left out of the meeting, caused him trouble (at least, in the procession), so that there was some killing.



The following is contained in the Fortieth of Dio's Rome.

How Caesar for the second time sailed across into Britain (chapters 1-3.)

How Caesar turned back from Britain and again engaged in war with the Gauls (chapters 4-11).

How Crassus began to carry on war with the Parthians (chapters 12, 13).

About the Parthians (chapters 14, 15).

How Crassus was defeated by them and perished (chapters 16-30).

How Caesar subjugated the whole of Transalpine Gaul (chapters 31-43).

How Milo killed Clodius and was condemned by the court (chapters 44-57).

How Caesar and Pompey began to be at variance (chapters 58-66).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consulship of Domitius and Appius Claudius, together with four additional years, in which there were the following magistrates here enumerated.

Cn. Domitius M.F. Calvinus, M. Valerius Messala. (B.C. 53 = a.u. 701.)

Cn. Pompeius Cn. F. Magnus (III), Caecilius Metellus Scipio Nasicae F. (B.C. 52 = a.u. 702.)

Servius Sulpicius Q.F. Rufus, M. Claudius M.F. Marcellus. (B.C. 51 = a.u. 703.)

L. Aemilius M.F. Paulus, C. Claudius C.F. Marcellus. (B.C. 50 = a.u. 704.)


[B.C. 54 (a.u. 700)]

[-1-] These were the occurrences in Rome while the city was passing through its seven hundredth year. In Gaul Caesar during the year of those same consuls, Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius, among other undertakings constructed ships of a style halfway between his own swift vessels and the native ships of burden, endeavoring to make them as light as possible and yet entirely seaworthy, and he left them on dry land to avoid injury. When the weather became fit for sailing, he crossed over again to Britain, giving as his excuse that the people of that country, thinking that he would never cross to them again because he had once retired empty-handed, had not sent all the hostages they had promised; the truth of the matter was that he vehemently coveted the island, so that he would have certainly found some other pretext, if this had not been in existence. He came to land at the same place as before, no one daring to oppose him because of the number of his ships and his approaching the shore at all points at once; thus he got possession of the harbor immediately. [-2-] The barbarians for the reasons specified had not been able to hinder his approach and being far more afraid than before, because he had come with a larger army, carried away all their most valued possessions into the most woody and overgrown portions of the neighboring country. After they had put them in safety by cutting down the surrounding wood and piling more upon it row after row until the whole looked like an entrenched camp, they proceeded to annoy Roman foraging parties. Indeed, in one battle after being defeated on open ground they drew the invaders toward that spot in pursuit, and killed many of them. Soon after, as storm had once more damaged the ships, the Britons sent for allies and set out against their naval arsenal itself, with Casuvellaunus, regarded as the foremost of the chiefs in the island, at their head. The Romans upon meeting them were at first thrown into confusion by the attack of their chariots, but later opened ranks, and by letting them pass through and striking the occupants obliquely as they drove by, made the battle equal. [-3-] For the time being both parties remained where they were. At another meeting the barbarians proved superior to the infantry, but were damaged by the cavalry and withdrew to the Thames, where they encamped after planting stakes across the ford, some visible and some under water. But Caesar by a powerful assault forced them to leave the palisade and later on by siege drove them from the fort, and others repulsed a party of theirs that attacked the harbor. They then became terrified and made terms, giving hostages and being rated for a yearly tribute.

[-4-] Under these circumstances Caesar departed entirely from the island and left no body of troops behind in it. He believed that such a force would be in danger while passing the winter on a foreign shore and that it might be inconvenient for him to absent himself from Gaul for any considerable period: hence he was satisfied with his present achievements, in the fear that if he reached for more, he might be deprived of these. It seemed that in this he had done rightly, as was, indeed, proved by what took place. For when he had gone to Italy, intending to winter there, the Gauls, though each separate nation contained many garrisons, still planned resistance and some of them openly revolted. So if this had happened while he was staying in Britain to finish the winter season, all the hither regions would have been a scene of confusion indeed.

[-5-] This war was begun by the Eburones, under Ambiorix as chief. They said the disturbance was due to their being oppressed by the presence of the Romans, who were commanded by Sabinus and Lucius Cotta, lieutenants. As a matter of fact they despised the garrison, thinking they would not prove competent to defend themselves and expecting that Caesar would not speedily head an expedition against their tribe. They accordingly came upon the soldiers unawares, expecting to take the camp without striking a blow, and, when they failed of this, had recourse to deceit. Ambiorix after setting ambuscades in the most suitable spots came to the Romans for a parley and represented that he had taken part in the war against his will and was himself sorry. But against the others he advised them be on their guard, for his compatriots would not obey him and were intending to attack the garrison at night. Consequently he made the suggestion to them that they should abandon Eburonia, because they would be in danger, if they stayed, and pass on as quickly as possible to where some of their comrades were wintering near by.[-6-] The Romans were persuaded by this disclosure, especially as he had received many favors from Caesar and seemed in this to be repaying him in kindness. They packed up their belongings with zeal just after nightfall and later[59] started out, but fell into the ambush set and suffered a terrible reverse. Cotta with many others perished immediately: Sabinus was sent for by Ambiorix under the pretext of saving him, for the Gallic leader was not on the ground and even then seemed faithful to him personally; on his arrival, however, Ambiorix seized him, stripped him of his arms and clothing, and then struck him down with his javelin, uttering boasts over him, one to this effect: "How can such creatures as you are have the idea of ruling a nation of our strength?" This was the fate that these men suffered. The rest managed to break through to the fortress from which they had set out, but when the barbarians assailed that, too, and they could neither repel them nor escape, they killed one another.

[-7-] After this event some other of the neighboring tribes revolted, among them the Nervii, though Quintus Cicero, a brother of Marcus Cicero and lieutenant of Caesar, was wintering in their territory. Ambiorix added them to his force and began a conflict with Cicero. The contest was close, and after capturing some prisoners alive the chieftain tried to deceive him likewise, but being unable to do so resorted to siege. Before long by means of his large force and the experience which he had gained from the campaign that he made with the Romans, together with some detailed information that he obtained from the captives, he managed to enclose him with a palisade and ditch. There were battles, as natural in such operations,—many of them,—and far larger numbers of barbarians perished, because there were more of them. They, however, by reason of their abundant army were never in sight of destruction, whereas the Romans, not being many in the first place, kept continually growing fewer and were encompassed without difficulty. [-8-] They were unable to treat their wounds with success through lack of the necessary applications, and did not have a large supply of food, because they had been besieged unexpectedly. No one came to their aid, though many were wintering at no great distance, for the barbarians guarded the roads with care and all who were sent out they caught and slaughtered before the eyes of their friends. As they were therefore in danger of being captured, a Nervian who was friendly to them as the result of kindness shown and at this time was besieged with Cicero, presented them with a slave of his to send as a messenger through the lines. Because of his dress and his native speech he would be able to associate with the enemy as one of their number, without attracting notice, and after that he could depart. [-9-] In this way Caesar learned of what was taking place (he had not yet gone to Italy but was still on the way), and, turning back, took with him the soldiers in the winter establishments through which he passed, and pressed rapidly on. Meanwhile being afraid that Cicero in despair of assistance might suffer disaster or capitulate, he sent forward a horseman. He did not trust the servant of the Nervian, in spite of having received an actual proof of his good will: he was afraid that he might pity his countrymen and work him some great evil. So he sent a horseman of the allies who knew their dialect and had dressed himself in their garb. And in order that even he might not voluntarily or involuntarily reveal the secret he gave him no verbal message and wrote to Cicero in Greek all the injunctions that he wished to give, in order that even if the letter should be captured, it might still be incomprehensible to the barbarians and afford them no information. He had also the custom as a usual thing, when he was sending a secret order to any one, to write constantly the fourth letter beyond, instead of the proper one, so that the writing might be unintelligible to most persons. The horseman reached the camp of the Romans, but not being able to come close up to it he fastened the letter to a small javelin and hurled it into the enemy's ranks, fixing it purposely in a tower.[-10-] Thus Cicero, on learning of the advent of Caesar, took courage and held out more stubbornly. The barbarians for a long time knew nothing of the assistance he was bringing; he journeyed by night, lying by day in most obscure places, so as to fall upon them as far as possible unawares. At last from the unnatural cheerfulness of the besieged they suspected it and sent out scouts. Learning from them that Caesar was at last drawing near they set out against him, thinking to attack him while off his guard. He received advance information of this movement and remained where he was that night, but just before dawn took up a strong position. There he encamped apparently with the utmost haste, for the purpose of appearing to have only a few followers, to have suffered from the journey, to fear their onset, and by this plan to draw them to the higher ground. And so it proved. Their contempt for him led them to charge up hill, and they met with such a severe defeat that they committed not another warlike act.

[-11-] In this way both they and all the rest were at that time subdued; they did not, however, feel kindly toward the Romans. The Treveri, indeed, when Caesar sent for the principal men[60] of each tribe and punished them, through fear that they, too, might be called upon to pay the penalty assumed again a hostile attitude, lending an attentive ear to the persuasions of Indutiomarus. They led some others who feared the same treatment to revolt and headed an expedition against Titus Labienus, who was among the Remi, but were annihilated in an unexpected sally made by the Romans.

[-12-] This was what took place in Gaul, and Caesar wintered there so as to be able to keep strict control of affairs. Crassus, desiring for his part to accomplish something that would confer some glory and profit upon him, made a campaign against the Parthians, since after consideration he saw no such opportunity in Syria, where the people were quiet and the officers who had formerly warred against the Romans were by reason of their impotency causing no disturbance. He had no complaint to bring against the Parthians nor had war been decreed, but he heard that they were exceeding wealthy and expected that Orodes would be easy to capture, because but newly established. Therefore he crossed the Euphrates and proceeded to traverse a considerable portion of Mesopotamia, devastating and ravaging the country. As his crossing was unexpected by the barbarians no strong guard had been placed at that point. Silaces, then governor of that region, was quickly defeated near Ichnai, a fortress so named, after contending with a few horsemen. He was wounded and retired to report personally to the king the Romans' invasion:[-13-] Crassus quickly got possession of the garrisons and especially the Greek cities, among them one named Nicephorium. Many of the Macedonians and of the rest that fought for the Parthians were Greek colonists, oppressed by violence, and not unwillingly transferred their allegiance to the Romans, who, they strongly hoped, would be favorable to the Greeks. The inhabitants of Zenodotium, pretending a willingness to revolt, sent for some of the invaders, but when they were within the town cut them off and killed them, for which act they were driven from their homes. Outside of this Crassus for the time being neither inflicted nor received any serious harm. He certainly would have subdued the other regions beyond the Tigris, if he had followed up the advantage from his own attack and the barbarians' panic equally in all respects, and had he wintered furthermore where he was, keeping a sharp lookout on their behavior. As it turned out, he captured only what he could seize by sudden assault and paid no heed to the rest nor to the people themselves, but wearied by his stay in Mesopotamia and longing for the indolence of Syria he afforded the Parthians time to prepare themselves and to injure the soldiers left behind in their country.

[-14-]This was the beginning that the Romans made of war against them. They dwell beyond the Tigris, possessing for the most part forts and garrisons, but also a few cities, among them Ctesiphon, in which there is a palace. Their stock was very likely in existence among the original barbarians and they had this same name even under the Persian rule. But at that time they inhabited only a small portion of the country and had not obtained any transmontane sovereignty. When the Persian kingdom had been destroyed and that of the Macedonians had reached its prime, and then the successors of Alexander had quarreled one with another, cutting off separate portions for their own and setting up individual monarchies, this land then first attained prominence under a certain Arsaces from whom their succeeding rulers have received the title of Arsacidae. By good fortune they acquired all the neighboring territory, kept control of Mesopotamia by means of satrapies, and finally advanced to so great glory and power as to fight against the Romans at that period and to be considered worthy antagonists up to present time.[61] They are really formidable in warfare and possess the greater reputation, in spite of never having gained anything from the Romans and having parted with certain portions of their own domain, because they have not yet been enslaved, but even now carry wars against us to the end, whenever they get into conflicts. [-15-] About their race and their country and the peculiarities of their customs many persons have spoken, and I have no intention of compiling an account. But it is fair to mention in what follows their equipment of arms, and the way they handle a war: the examination of these details properly concerns the present narrative, since it here needs to introduce them. The Parthians make no use of a shield, but their forces consist of mounted archers and pike-bearers, mostly in full armor. Their infantry is small, made up of the weaker persons; hence it may be said they are all archers. They practice from boyhood, and the sky and the country cooeperate with them for two good ends. The latter, being for the most part level, is excellent for raising horses and very suitable for riding over with horses. Therefore even in war the people lead about whole droves so that they can use some horses at one place and others at another, can ride up suddenly from a distance and also retire to a distance speedily. The sky above them, too, which is very dry and contains not the least moisture, affords them perfect opportunity for archery, except in the winter. For that reason they make no campaigns in any direction during the winter season. But the rest of the year they are almost invincible in their own country and in any that has similar characteristics. By long custom they can endure the sun, which is very scorching, and they have discovered many remedies for the scantiness and difficulty of a supply of drink,—a fact which is a help to them in repelling without difficulty the invaders of their land. Outside of this district and beyond the Euphrates they have once or twice exercised some sway by battles and sudden incursions, but to fight with any nation continuously, without stopping, is not in their power, when they encounter an entirely different condition of land and sky and have no supplies of either food or pay.

[-16-] Such is the Parthian state. Crassus, as has been stated, invaded Mesopotamia and Orodes sent envoys to him in Syria to censure him for the invasion and ask the causes of the war; he sent also Surena with an army to the captured and revolted sections. He himself had in mind to lead an expedition against Armenia, which had once belonged to Tigranes, in order that Artabazes, son of Tigranes, the king of the land at that time, should, through fear for his own domains, send no assistance to the Romans. Now Crassus said that he would tell him in Seleucia the causes of the war. (This is a city in Mesopotamia having even at the present day chiefly a Greek population.) And one of the Parthians, bringing down upon the palm of his left hand the fingers of the other, exclaimed: "More quickly will hair grow herein, than you will reach Seleucia."

[B.C. 53 (a.u. 701)]

[-17-] And when the winter set in,[62] in which Gnaeus Calvinus and Valerius Messala became consuls, many portents occurred even in Rome itself. Owls and wolves were seen, prowling dogs did damage, some sacred statues exuded sweat and others were destroyed by lightning. The offices, partly through rivalry but chiefly by reason of birds and omens, were with difficulty filled at last in the seventh month. Those signs, however, gave no clear indication as to what the event would be. For affairs in the City were in turmoil, the Gauls had risen again, and, though the Romans knew it not as yet, they had broken into war against the Parthians: but to Crassus signs that were both evident and easy to interpret appeared as he was crossing the Euphrates opposite Zeugma.[63] That spot has been so called from the campaign of Alexander, because he crossed at this point. [-18-] The omens were of the following nature. There is a small shrine and in it a golden eagle, which is found in all the legions that are on the register, and it never moves from the winter-quarters except the whole army goes forth on some errand. One man carries it on a long shaft, which ends in a sharp spike for the purpose of setting it firmly in the ground. Now of these so-called eagles one was unwilling to join him in his passage of the Euphrates at that time, but stuck fast in the earth as if planted until many took their places around it and pulled it out by force, so that it accompanied even involuntarily. But one of the large standards, that resemble sheets, with purple letters upon them to distinguish the division and its commander, turned about and fell from the bridge into the river. This happened in the midst of a violent wind. Then Crassus, who had the rest of equal length cut down, so as to be shorter and consequently steadier to carry, only increased the prodigies. In the very passage of the river so great a mist enshrouded the soldiers that they fell over one another and could see nothing of the enemy's country until they set foot upon it: and the sacrifices both for crossing and for landing proved very unfavorable. Meantime a great wind burst upon them, bolts of lightning fell, and the bridge, before they had all passed over, was destroyed. The occurrences were such that any one, even if extremely ignorant and uninstructed, would interpret them to mean that they would fare badly and not return. Hence there was great fear and dejection in the army. [-19-] Crassus, trying to encourage them, said: "Be not alarmed, fellow soldiers, that the bridge has been destroyed nor think because of this that any disaster is portended. For I declare to you upon oath that I have decided to make my return march through Armenia." By this he would have emboldened them, had he not at the end added in a loud voice the words: "Be of good cheer: for none of you shall come back this way." When they heard this, the soldiers deemed that it, no less than the rest, had been a portent for them, and fell into greater discouragement; and so it was that they paid no heed to the remainder of his exhortation, in which he belittled the barbarian and glorified the Roman State, offered them money and announced prizes for valor.

Still, even so, they followed and no one said a word or committed an act to oppose him, partly by reason of the law, but further because they were terrified and could neither plan nor carry out any measures of safety. In all other respects, too, as if predestined to ruin by some Divinity, they deteriorated both in mind and body.

[-20-] Nevertheless, the greatest injury was done them by Abgarus of Osrhoene. He had pledged himself to peace with the Romans in the time of Pompey, but now chose the side of the barbarians. The same was done by Alchaudonius the Arabian, who always attached himself to the stronger party. The latter, however, revolted openly, and hence was not hard to guard against. Abgarus favored the Parthian cause, but pretended to be well disposed toward Crassus. He spent money for him unsparingly, learned all his plans (which he reported to the foe), and further, if any course was excellent for the Romans he tried to divert him from it, but if disadvantageous, to urge him to it. At last he was responsible for the following occurrence. Crassus was intending to advance to Seleucia by such a route as to reach there safely along the side of the Euphrates and on its stream, with his army and provisions. Accompanied by the people of that city, whom he hoped to win over easily, because they were Greeks, he could cross without difficulty to Ctesiphon. Abgarus caused him to give up this course, on the ground that it would take a long time, and persuaded him to assail Surena, because the latter was near and had only a few men.

[-21-] Then, when he had arranged matters so that the invader should perish and the other should conquer (for he was continually in the company of Surena, on the pretext of spying), he led out the Romans, blinded by folly, to what he said was a victory in their very hands, and in the midst of the action joined the attack against them.

It happened like this.

[B.C. 52 (a.u. 702)]

The Parthians confronted the Romans with most of their army hidden; the ground was uneven in spots and wooded. Crassus seeing them—not Crassus the commander, but the younger, who had come to his father from Gaul,—and despising them (supposing them to be alone), led out his cavalry and, as they turned purposely to flight, pursued them. In his eagerness for victory he was separated far from his phalanx, and was then caught in a trap and cut down. [-22-] When this took place the roman infantry did not turn back, but valiantly joined battle with the Parthians to avenge his death. They accomplished nothing worthy of themselves, however, because of the enemy's numbers and tactics, especially as they suffered from the plotting of Abgarus. If they decided to lock shields for the purpose of avoiding the arrows by the density of their array, the pike-bearers were upon them with a rush, would strike down some, and at least scatter the others: and if they stood apart, so as to turn these aside, they would be shot with arrows.

Hereupon many died from fright at the very charge or the pike-bearers, and many hemmed in by the horsemen perished. Others were upset by the pikes or were carried off transfixed. The missiles falling thick upon them from all sides at once struck down many by an opportune blow, put many out of the battle, and caused annoyance to all. They flew into their eyes and pierced their hands and all the other parts of the body and penetrating their armor, forced them to take off their protection and expose themselves to wounds each minute. Thus, while a man was guarding against arrows or pulling out one that had stuck fast he received more wounds, one upon another. Consequently it was not feasible for them to move, nor feasible to remain at rest. Neither course afforded them safety, and both were fraught with destruction, the one because it was out of their power, and the other because they were more easily wounded. [-23-] This was what they suffered while they were fighting only against visible enemies. Abgarus did not immediately make his attempt upon them. When he, too, attacked, the Orshoeni themselves struck the Romans from behind in exposed places while they were facing in a different direction, and rendered them easier for the others to slaughter. For the Romans, altering their formation, so as to be facing them, put the Parthians behind them. They wheeled around again against the Parthians, then back again against the Orshoeni, then against the Parthians once more. Thrown into still greater confusion by this circumstance, because they were continually changing position this way and that and were forced to face the body that was wounding them at the time, many fell upon their own swords or were killed by their comrades. Finally they were shut up in so narrow a place, with the enemy continually assaulting them from all sides at once, and compelled to protect their exposed parts by the shields of those who stood beside them, that they could no longer move. They could not even get a sure footing by reason of the number of corpses, but kept falling over them. The heat and thirst—it was mid-summer and this action took place at noon—and the dust of which all the barbarians raised as much as possible by riding around them, told fearfully upon the survivors, and many succumbed to these influences, even though unwounded. [-24-] And they would have perished utterly, but for the fact that some of the pikes of the barbarians were bent and others were broken, while the bowstrings snapped under the constant shooting, the missiles were all discharged, every sword blunted, and, chief of all, that the men themselves grew weary of the slaughter. Under these conditions, then, when it grew night the assailants being obliged to ride off to a distance retired. They never encamp near even the weakest bodies, because they use no intrenchments and if any one comes upon them in the darkness, they are unable to deploy their cavalry or their archery to advantage. However, they captured no Roman alive at that time. Seeing them standing upright in their armor and perceiving that no one threw away any part of it or fled, they deemed that they still had some strength, and feared to lay hold of them.

[-25-] So Crassus and the rest, as many as could, set out for Carrae, kept faithful to them by the Romans that had stayed behind within the walls. Many of the wounded being unable to walk and lacking vehicles or even men to carry them (for the survivors were glad of the chance to drag their own persons away) remained on the spot. Some of them died of their wounds or by making away with themselves, and others were captured the next day. Of the captives many perished on the road, as their physical strength gave out, and many later because they were unable to obtain proper care immediately. Crassus, in discouragement, believed he would be unable to hold out safely even in the city any longer, but planned flight at once. Since it was impossible for him to go out by day without being detected, he undertook to escape by night, but failed to secure secrecy, being betrayed by the moon, which was at its full. The Romans accordingly waited for moonless nights, and then starting out in darkness and a foreign land that was likewise hostile, they scattered in tremendous fear. Some were caught when it became day and lost their lives: others got safely away to Syria in the company of Cassius Longinus, the quaestor. Others, with Crassus himself, sought the mountains and prepared to escape through them into Armenia. [-26-] Surena, learning this, was afraid that if they could reach any headquarters they might make war on him again, but still was unwilling to assail them on the higher ground, which was inaccessible to horses. As they were heavy-armed men, fighting from higher ground, and in a kind of frenzy, through despair, contending with them was not easy. So he sent to them, inviting them to submit to a truce, on condition of abandoning all territory east of the Euphrates. Crassus, nothing wavering, trusted him. He was in the height of terror and distraught by his private misfortune and the public calamity as well; and because, further, he saw that the soldiers shrank from the journey (which they thought long and rough) and that they feared Orodes, he was unable to foresee anything that he ought. When he displayed acquiescence in the matter of the truce, Surena refused to conduct the ceremony through the agency of others, but in order to cut him off with only a few and seize him, he said that he wished to hold a conference with the commander personally. Thereupon they decided to meet each other in the space between the two armies with an equal number of men from both sides. Crassus descended to the level ground and Surena sent him a present of a horse, to make sure of his coming to him more quickly. [-27-] While Crassus was thus delaying and planning what he should do, the barbarians took him forcibly and threw him on his horse. Meanwhile the Romans also laid hold of him, they came to blows, and for a time carried on an equal struggle; then aid came to the kidnapers, and they prevailed. The barbarians, who were in the plain and were prepared beforehand, were too quick for the Romans above to help their men. Crassus fell among the rest, whether he was slain by one of his own men to prevent his capture alive, or whether by the enemy because he was wounded anyway. This was his end. And the Parthians, as some say, poured gold into his mouth in mockery; for though a man of great wealth he was so eager for money as to pity those who could not support an enrolled legion from their own means, regarding them as poor men. Of the soldiers the majority escaped through the mountains to friendly territory, but a fraction fell into the hands of the enemy.

[B.C. 52 (a.u. 702)]

[-28-] The Parthians at this time did not advance beyond the Euphrates, but won back the whole country east of it. Later they also (though not in any numbers) invaded Syria, because the province had neither general nor soldiers. The fact that there were not many of them enabled Cassius easily to effect their repulse. When at Carrae the soldiers through hatred of Crassus granted to Cassius absolute control of themselves, and the commander himself on account of the greatness of the disaster voluntarily allowed it, but Cassius would not accept it: now, however, he took charge of Syria perforce, for the time being and subsequently. For the barbarians would not keep away from it, but campaigned once more against them with a larger band and under the nominal leadership of one Pacorus by name, the son of Orodes, though under the real direction of Osaces (for the other was still a child). They came as far as Antioch, subduing the whole country before them. They had hopes of subjugating also what remained, since the Romans were not at hand with a force fit to cope with them, and the people were fretting under Roman rule but ready to turn to the invaders, who were neighbors and acquaintances.

[-29-]As they failed to take Antioch, where Cassius repulsed them severely and they were unable to institute any siege, they turned to Antigonea. The neighborhood of the city was overgrown with wood and they were dismayed, not being able to march into it. They then formed a plan to cut down the trees and lay bare the whole place so that they might approach the town with boldness and safety. Finding themselves unable to do this, because the task was a great one and their time was spent in vain, while Cassius harassed those scattered about, they retired apparently with the intention of proceeding against some other position. Meanwhile Cassius set an ambush on the road along which they were to depart, and confronting them there with a few men he induced them to pursue, led them into the trap, and killed Osaces and others. Upon the latter's death Pacorus abandoned all of Syria and never invaded it again.

[-30-] He had scarcely retired when Bibulus arrived to govern Syria. His coming, to be sure, was in contravention of a decree intended to prevent rivalry for office, so productive of seditions, that no praetor nor consul, at once or at any time within four years, should go abroad to hold office. He administered the subject country in peace, and turned the Parthians against one another. Having won the friendship of Orondapates, a satrap, who had a grudge against Orodes, he persuaded him through messengers to set up Pacorus as king, and with him to conduct a campaign against the other.

[B.C. 51 (a.u. 703)]

This war came to an end in the fourth year from the time when it had begun, and while Marcus Marcellus and Sulpicius Rufus were consuls.

[-31-] In that same period Caesar by battle again gained control of Gallic affairs, which were in an unsettled state. He accomplished very much himself and some things through his lieutenants, of which I will state only the most important.

[B.C. 54 (a.u. 700)]

Ambiorix won the confidence of the Treveri, who at this time were still smarting under the setback of Indutiomarus's death, raised a greater conspiracy in that quarter, and sent for a mercenary force from the Celtae. Labienus wishing to join issue with them before this last contingent should be added to their number invaded the country of the Treveri in advance. The latter did not defend themselves, as they were awaiting reinforcements, but put a river between the two armies and remained quiet. Labienus then gathered his soldiers and addressed them in words of such a nature as were likely to alarm his own men and encourage the others: they must, he said, before the Celtae repelled them, withdraw to Caesar and safety; and he immediately gave the signal to pack up the baggage. Not much later he began actually to withdraw, expecting that that would occur which really did. The barbarians heard of his speech,—they took very good care in such matters and it was for just that reason that it had been delivered publicly,—and thought he was really afraid and truly taking to flight. Hence they eagerly crossed the river and started toward the Romans with spirit, as fast as each one could. So Labienus received their attack while they were scattered, and after terrifying the foremost easily routed the rest because of the action of the men in front. Then as they were fleeing in disorder, falling over one another and crowding toward the river, he killed many of them.

[B.C. 53 (a.u. 701)]

[-32-] Not a few of them escaped even so, of whom Caesar made no account, except of Ambiorix: this man by hurrying now one way and now another and doing much injury caused Caesar trouble in seeking and pursuing him. Not being able to catch him by any device the Roman commander made an expedition against the Celtae, alleging that they had wished to help the Treveri. On this occasion likewise he accomplished nothing, but retired rapidly through fear of the Suebi: he gained the reputation, however, of having crossed the Rhine again, and of the bridge he destroyed only the portions near the barbarians, constructing upon it a guard-house, as if he might at any time have a desire to cross. Then, in anger at the successful flight of Ambiorix, he delivered his country, though guilty of no rebellion, to any one who wished, to be plundered. He gave public notice of this in advance, that as many as possible might assemble, wherefore many Gauls and many Sugambri came for the plunder. It did not suffice the Sugambri, however, to make spoil of Gallic territory, but they attacked the Romans themselves. They watched until the Romans were absent getting provender and made an attempt upon their camp; but meanwhile the other soldiers, perceiving it, came to the rescue and killed a number of the assailants. Inspired with a fear of Caesar by this encounter they hurriedly withdrew homeward: he inflicted no punishment upon any one of them because of the winter and the political disputes in Rome, but after dismissing the soldiers to their winter-quarters, went himself to Italy on the plea of caring for Hither Gaul, but really in order that he might be located close to what was taking place in the city.

[B.C. 52 (a.u. 702)]

[-33-] Meantime the Gauls made another outbreak. The Arverni under the leadership of Vercingetorix revolted, killed all the Romans they found in their country, and proceeding against the tribes in alliance with the foreigner bestowed favors upon such as were willing to join their revolt, and injured the rest. Caesar, on ascertaining this, returned and found that they had invaded the Bituriges. He did not try to repel them, all his soldiers not being at hand as yet, but by invading the Arvernian country in his turn drew the enemy home again, whereupon, not deeming himself yet a match for them, he retired in good season. [-34-] They accordingly went back to the Bituriges, captured Avaricum, a city of theirs, and in it maintained a resistance a long time, for the wall was hard to approach, being bordered on one side by almost trackless swamps and on the other by a river with a swift current. When, therefore, later they were besieged by the Romans, their great numbers made it easy for them to repel assaults, and they made sallies, inflicting great damage. Finally they burned over everything in the vicinity, not only fields and villages but also cities from which they thought assistance could come to the foe, and if anything was being brought to them from allies at a distance, they seized it for booty. Therefore the Romans, while appearing to besiege the city, really suffered the fate of besieged, until a furious rain and great wind sprang up (the winter having already set in) during their attack on one point in the wall, which first drove the assailants back, making them seek shelter in their tents, and then confined the barbarians, too, in their houses. When they had gone from the battlements the Romans suddenly attacked again, while there were no men there: and first capturing a tower, before the enemy became aware of their presence, they then without difficulty got possession of the remaining works, plundered the whole city, and in anger at the siege and their hardship slew all the men.

[-35-] After effecting this Caesar conducted a campaign against their territory. The rest of the Arverni in view of the war being made upon them had gained possession in advance of the bridges which he had to cross; and he being in doubt as to how he should pass over, proceeded a considerable distance along the bank to see if he could find any place suitable for going over on foot through the water itself. Soon after he reached a woody and overshadowed spot, from which he sent forward the baggage-carriers and most of his army a long way, with line stretched out: he bade them go forward so that all his troops might appear to be in that one division. He himself with the strongest portion remained behind, cut down the wood, made rafts, and on them crossed the stream while the barbarians still had their attention fixed on those going along in front and calculated that Caesar was among them. After this he called back the advance party by night, transferred them across in the same way, and conquered the country. The people fled in a body to Gergovia, carrying there all their most valued possessions, and Caesar had a great deal of toil to no purpose in besieging them. [-36-] Their fort was on a strong hill and they had strengthened it greatly with walls; also the barbarians round about had seized all the high ground and were keeping guard over it, so that if they remained in position they could safely hold their own, and if they charged down they would gain the greater advantage. For Caesar, not having any sure position to choose, was encamped in the plain and never knew beforehand what was going on: but the barbarians, higher up, could look down upon his camp and kept making opportune charges. If they ever advanced farther than was fitting and were beaten back, they quickly got within their own domain again; and the Romans in no way could come as near to the places as stones and javelins could be hurled. The time was in general spent uselessly: often when he assaulted the very height upon which their fortress was located, he would capture a certain portion of it so that he could wall it in and continue thence more easily his progress against the rest of it, but on the whole he met with reverses. He lost a number of his soldiers, and saw that the enemy could not be captured. Moreover, there was at this time an uprising among the Aedui, and while he was absent attending to them, the men left behind fared badly. All these considerations led Caesar to raise the siege.

[-37-] The Aedui in the beginning abode by their agreements and sent him assistance, but later they made war rather involuntarily, being deceived by Litaviccus and others. He, having been unable by any other course to persuade them to adopt a hostile attitude, managed to get the appointment of conveying some men to Caesar to be the latter's allies. He started off as if to fulfill this mission, but sent ahead also some horsemen and bade some of them return and say that their companions and the rest of their men in the camp of the Romans had been arrested by the latter and put to death. Then he further excited the wrath of his soldiers by delivering a speech appropriate to the message. In this way the Aedui themselves rose and led others to revolt with them. Caesar, as soon as he ascertained this, sent to them the Aedui whom he had and was thought to have slain, so that they might be seen by all to be alive, and followed on with his cavalry. On this occasion, then, they repented and made terms. [-38-] The Romans were later, by reason of Caesar's absence, defeated close to Gergovia and then entirely withdrew from that country; wherefore those who had caused the uprising and were always desirous of a change in politics feared that if they delayed the Romans might exact vengeance[64] from them, and consequently rebelled entirely. Members of their tribe who were campaigning with Caesar, when they learned of this, asked him to allow them to return home, promising that they would arrange everything. Released on these conditions they came to Noviodunum where the Romans had deposited money and grain and many hostages, and with the cooeperation of the natives destroyed the garrisons, who were not expecting hostility, and became masters of all of them. That city, because advantageous, they burned down, to prevent the Romans from making it a starting point for the war, and they next caused the remainder of the Aedui to revolt. Caesar, therefore, attempted to march against them at once, but not being able, on account of the river Liger he turned his attention to the Lingones. And not even there did he meet with success. Labienus, however, occupied the island in the Sequana river by conquering its defenders on the shore, and crossed over at many points at once, both down stream and up, in order that his troops might not be hindered by all crossing at one spot.

[-39-] Before this happened Vercingetorix, filled with contempt for Caesar because of his reverses, had marched against the Allobroges. And he intercepted the Roman leader, who had meantime started out evidently to aid them, when he was in Sequania, and surrounded him but did him no damage: on the contrary he compelled the Romans to be brave through despair of safety, but he failed himself by reason of his numbers and audacity and was even defeated to a certain extent by the Celtae that were allies of the Romans; for to their charges with unwearying bodies they added the strength of daring and so broke through the enclosing ranks. Having discovered this device Caesar did not give ground, but shut up in Alesia such of the foe as fled, and besieged them. [-40-]Now Vercingetorix at first, before the wall had entirely cut off his followers, had sent out the horsemen to get fodder for the horses (there being none on hand), and in order to let them disperse, each to his native land, and bring thence provisions and assistance. As these delayed and food supplies began to fail the beleaguered party, he thrust out the children and the women and the most useless among the rest, vainly hoping that either the outcasts would be saved as booty by the Romans or else those left in the town might perhaps survive by enjoying for a longer time the supplies that would have belonged to their companions. But Caesar to begin with had not sufficient himself to feed others. Thinking, therefore, that by their return he could make the deficiency of food seem more severe to the enemy (for he expected that the expelled would without doubt be received), he forced them all back. So these perished most miserably between the city and the camp, because neither party would receive them. The relief looked for from the horsemen and such others as they were conducting reached the barbarians before long, but it was then defeated[65] by the onset of the Romans in a cavalry battle. Thereupon the relief party tried by night to enter the city through the enclosing wall but was bitterly disappointed: for the Romans had made hidden pits in those roads which were used by horses and had fixed stakes in them, afterward making the whole surface resemble the surrounding country; thus horse and man, falling into them absolutely without warning, were mangled. These reinforcements did not, however, give up until, marshaled once more in battle array beside the very walls, they themselves and at the same time the men in the city who came out to fight had met with failure.

[-41-] Now Vercingetorix might have escaped, for he had not been captured and was unwounded, but he hoped because he had once been on friendly terms with Caesar, that he would obtain pardon from him. So he came to him without any announcement by herald, but appeared before him suddenly, as Caesar was seated on a platform, and threw some that were present into alarm; he was first of all very tall, and in a suit of armor he made an extremely imposing figure. When quiet had been restored, he uttered not a word, but fell upon his knees and remained so, with clasped hands. This inspired many with pity at remembrance of his former fortune and at the distressing state in which he now appeared. But Caesar reproached him in this very matter on which he most relied for ultimate safety, and by setting before him how he had repaid friendliness with the opposite treatment proved his offence to have been the more abominable. Therefore he did not pity him even for one moment, but immediately confined him in bonds, and later, after sending him to his triumph, put him to death.

[B.C. 51 (a.u. 703)]

[-42-] This was really a later occurrence. At the time previously mentioned he gained some of the survivors by capitulation and enslaved the rest, after conquering them in battle. The Belgae, who live near by, put at their head Commius, an Atrebatian, and resisted for a great while. They fought two close cavalry battles and the third time in an infantry battle they showed themselves at first an equal match, but later, attacked unexpectedly in the rear by cavalry, they turned to flight. [-43-] After this the remainder abandoned the camp by night, and as they were passing through a wood set fire to it, leaving behind only the wagons, in order that the enemy might be delayed by these and by the fire, and they retire to safety. Their hopes, however, were not realized. The Romans, as soon as they perceived their flight, pursued them and on encountering the fire they extinguished part of it and hewed their way through the rest. Some even ran right through the flame, overtook the fugitives without warning and slaughtered great numbers. Thereafter some of them capitulated, but the Atrebatian, who escaped, would not keep quiet even after this experience. He undertook at one time to ambush Labienus, and after a defeat in battle was persuaded to hold a conference with him. Before any terms were made he was wounded by one of the Romans who surmised that it was not his real intention to make peace, but he escaped and again proved troublesome to them. At last, despairing of his project, he secured for his associates entire amnesty extending to all their people, and for himself, as some say, on condition of never appearing again within sight of any Roman. So the contending parties became reconciled and subsequently the rest, some voluntarily and others overcome in war, were subdued. Then Caesar by garrisons and legal penalties and levies of money and assignment of tribute humbled some and tamed others.

[B.C. 50 (a.u. 704)]

[-44-] Thus this trouble came to an end in the consulship of Lucius Paulus and Gaius Marcellus. Caesar in the interest of the Gauls and to see about the term allowed him for leadership had to leave Gaul and return to Rome. His office was about to terminate, the war had ceased, and he had no longer any satisfactory excuse for not disbanding his troops and returning to private life. Affairs in the city at this time were in turmoil, Crassus was dead, and Pompey had again come to power, after being three times consul and having managed to get the government of Spain granted to him for five years more. The latter had no longer any bond of alliance with Caesar, especially now that the child, who alone had kept them on friendly terms, had passed away. The returning general therefore was afraid that stripped of his soldiers he might fall into the power of Pompey and of his other enemies, and therefore did not dismiss them.

[B.C. 53 (a.u. 701)]

[-45-] In these same years many tumults of a seditious character had arisen in the city, and especially in connection with the elections, so that it was fully six months before Calvinus and Messala could be appointed consuls. And not even then would they have been chosen, had not Quintus Pompeius Rufus, though the grandson of Sulla and serving as tribune, been cast into prison by the senate, whereupon the measure was voted by the rest who were anxious to commit some outrages, and the campaign against opposition was handed over to Pompey. Sometimes the birds had prevented elections, refusing to allow the offices to belong to interreges; above all the tribunes, by managing affairs in the city so that they instead of the praetors conducted games, hindered the remaining offices from being filled. This also accounts for Rufus having been confined in a cell. He later on brought Favonius the aedile to the same place on some small charge, in order that he might have a companion in his disgrace. But all the tribunes introduced various obstructive pleas, proposing, among other things, to appoint military tribunes, so that more persons, as formerly, might come to office. When no one would heed them, they declared that Pompey, at all events, must be chosen dictator. By this pretext they secured a very long delay: for he was out of town, and of those on the spot there was no one who would venture to vote for the demand (for in remembrance of Sulla's cruelty they all hated that policy), nor yet venture to refuse to choose Pompey, on account of their fear of him.[-46-] At last, quite late, he came himself, refused the dictatorship offered to him, and made preparation to have the consuls named. These likewise on account of the turmoil from assassinations did not appoint any successors, though they had laid aside their senatorial garb and in the dress of knights convened the senate as if on the occasion of some great calamity. They also passed a decree that no one,—either an ex-praetor or an ex-consul,—should assume foreign office until five years should have elapsed: this they did to see if people when it was no longer in any one's power to be immediately elected would cease their craze for office. For no moderation was being shown and there was no purity in their methods, but they vied with one another in expending great sums and fighting more than ever, so that once the consul Calvinus was wounded. Hence no consul nor praetor nor prefect of the city had any successor, but at the beginning of the year the Romans were absolutely without a government in these branches.

[B.C. 52 (a.u. 702)]

[-47-] Nothing good resulted from this, and among other things the market recurring every ninth day was held on the very first of January. This seemed to the Romans to have taken place not by accident, and being considered in the light of a portent it caused trepidation. The same feeling was increased when an owl was both seen and caught in the city, a statue exuded perspiration for three days, a flash darted from the south to the east, and many thunderbolts, many clods, stones, tiles and blood descended through the air. It seems to me that that decree passed the previous year, near the close, with regard to Serapis and Isis, was a portent equal to any: the senate decided to tear down their temples, which some private individuals had built. For they did not reverence these gods any long time and even when it became the fashion to render public devotion to them, they settled them outside the pomerium.

[-48-] Such being the state of things in the city, with no one in charge of affairs, murders occurred practically every day and they did not finish the elections, though they were eager for office and employed bribery and assassination on account of it. Milo, for instance, who was seeking the consulship, met Clodius on the Appian Way and at first simply wounded him: then, fearing he would attack him for what had been done, he slew him. He at once freed all the servants concerned in the business, and his hope was that he might be more easily acquitted of the murder, now that the man was dead, than he would be for the wound in case he had survived. The people in the city heard of this about evening and were thrown into a terrible uproar: for to factional disturbances there was being added a starting-point for war and evils, and the middle class, even though they hated Clodius, yet on account of humanity and because on this excuse they hoped to get rid of Milo, showed displeasure.[-49-] While they were in this frame of mind Rufus and Titus Munatius Plancus took hold of them and excited them to greater wrath. As tribunes they conveyed the body into the Forum just before dawn, placed it on the rostra, exhibited it to all, and spoke appropriate words with lamentations. So the populace, as a result of what it both saw and heard, was deeply stirred and paid no further heed to considerations of sanctity or things divine, but overthrew all the customs of burial and nearly burned down the whole city. The body of Clodius they picked up and carried into the senate-house, arranged it in due fashion, and then after heaping a pyre of benches burned both the corpse and the convention hall. They did this, therefore, not under the stress of such an impulse as often takes sudden hold of crowds, but of set purpose, so that on the ninth day they held the funeral feast in the Forum itself, with the senate-house still smouldering, and furthermore undertook to apply the torch to Milo's house. This last was not burned because many were defending it. Milo for a time, in great terror over the murder, was hidden not only by ordinary citizens but under the guard of knights and some senators. When this other act, however, occurred, he hoped that the wrath of the senate would pass over to the outrage of the opposing party. They had assembled late in the afternoon on the Palatine for this very purpose, and had voted that an interrex be chosen by show of hands and that he and the tribunes and Pompey, moreover, care for the guarding of the city, that it suffer no detriment. Milo, accordingly, made his appearance in public, and pressed his claims to the office as strongly as before, if not more strongly.

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