Dio's Rome, Vol. III
by Cassius Dio
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

[-16-] "Why should one follow this line of refutation further? Turning now to the fact that he goes about with such a tragic air, and has but this moment said in the course of his remarks that Antony rendered the sight of the master of the horse most oppressive by using everywhere and under all circumstances the sword, the purple, the lictors, and the soldiers at once, let him tell me clearly how and in what respect we have been wronged by this. He will have no statement to make; for if he had had, he would have sputtered it out before anything else. Quite the reverse of his charge is true. Those who were quarreling at that time and causing all the trouble were Trebellius and Dolabella: Antony did no wrong and was active in every way in our behalf, so much so that he was entrusted by us with guarding the city against those very men, and not only did this remarkable orator not oppose it (he was there) but even approved it. Else let him show what syllable he uttered on seeing the licentious and accursed fellow (to quote from his abuse), besides doing nothing that the occasion required, securing also so great authority from you. He will have nothing to show. So it looks as if not a word of what he now shouts aloud was ventured at that time by this great and patriotic orator, who is everywhere and always saying and repeating: 'I alone am contending for freedom, I alone speak freely for the democracy; I cannot be restrained by favor of friends or fear of enemies from looking out for your advantage; I, even if it should be my lot to die in speaking in your behalf, will perish very gladly.' And his silence was very natural, for it occurred to him to reflect that Antony possessed the lictors and the purple-bordered vesture in accordance with the customs of our ancestors in regard to masters of horse, and that he was using the sword and the soldiers perforce against the rebels. For what most excessive outrages would they not have committed but for his being hedged about with these protections, when some of them so despised him as it was?

[-17-] "That these and all his other acts were correct and most thoroughly in accord with Caesar's intention the facts themselves show. The rebellion went no further, and Antony, far from paying a penalty for his course, was subsequently appointed consul. Notice, I beg of you, how he administered this office of his. You will find, if you scrutinize the matter minutely, that its tenure proved of great value to the city. His traducer, knowing this, could not endure his jealousy but dared to slander him for those deeds which he would have longed to do himself. That is why he introduced the matter of his stripping and anointing and those ancient fables, not because there was any pertinence in them now, but in order to obscure by external noise his opponent's consummate skill and success. Yet this same Antony, O thou earth, and ye gods (I shall call louder than you and invoke them with greater justice), saw that the city was already in reality under a tyranny through the fact that all the legions obeyed Caesar and all the people together with the senate submitted to him to such an extent that they voted among other measures that he should be dictator for life and use the appurtenances of a king. Then he showed Caesar his error most convincingly and restrained him most prudently, until the latter, abashed and afraid, would not accept either the name of king or the diadem, which he had in mind to bestow upon himself even against our will. Any other man would have declared that he had been ordered to do it by his master, and putting forward the compulsion as an excuse would have obtained pardon for it,—yes, indeed, he would, when you think of what kind of votes we had passed at that time and what power the soldiers had secured. Antony, however, because he was thoroughly acquainted with Caesar's disposition and accurately aware of all he was preparing to do, by great good judgment succeeded in turning him aside from his course and retarding his ambitions. The proof of it is that afterward he no longer behaved in any way like a monarch, but mingled publicly and unprotected with us all; and that accounts most of all for the possibility of his meeting the fate that he did.

[-18-] "This is what was done, O Cicero or Cicerulus or Ciceracius or Ciceriscus or Graeculus[17] or whatever you like to be called, by the uneducated, the naked, the anointed man: and none of it was done by you, the clever, the wise, the user of much more olive oil than wine, you who let your clothing drag about your ankles not, by Jupiter, as the dancers do, who teach you intricacies of reasoning by their poses, but in order to hide the ugliness of your legs. Oh no, it's not through modesty that you do this, you who delivered that long screed about Antony's habits. Who is there that does not see these soft clothes of yours? Who does not scent your carefully combed gray locks? Who is there unaware that you put away your first wife who had borne you two children, and at an advanced age married another, a mere girl, in order that you might pay your debts out of her property? And you did not even retain her, to the end that you might keep Caerellia fearlessly, whom you debauched when she was as much older than yourself as the maiden you married was younger, and to whom you write such letters as a jester at no loss for words would write if he were trying to get up an amour with a woman seventy years old. This, which is not altogether to my taste, I have been induced to say, Conscript Fathers, in the hope that he should not go away without getting as good as he sent in the discussion. Again, he has ventured to reproach Antony for a little kind of banquet, because he, as he says, drinks water, his purpose being to sit up at night and compose speeches against us,—though he brings up his son in such drunkenness that the latter is sober neither night nor day. Furthermore he undertook to make derogatory remarks about Antony's mouth, this man who has shown so great licentiousness and impurity throughout his entire life that he would not keep his hands off even his closest kin, but let out his wife for hire and deflowered his daughter.

[-18-] "These particulars I shall leave as they stand and return to the point where I started. That Antony against whom he has inveighed, seeing Caesar exalted over our government, caused him by granting what seemed personal favors to a friend not to put into effect any of the projects that he had in mind. Nothing so diverts persons from objects which they may attain without caring to secure them righteously, as for those who fear such results to appear to endure the former's conduct willingly. These persons in authority have no regard for their own consciousness of guilt, but if they think they have been detected, they are ashamed and afraid: thereafter they usually take what is said to them as flattery and believe the opposite, and any action which may result from the words as a plot, being suspicious in the midst of their shame. Antony knew this thoroughly, and first of all he selected the Lupercalia and that procession in order that Caesar in the relaxation of his spirit and the fun of the affair might be rebuked with immunity, and next he selected the Forum and the rostra that his patron might be shamed by the very places. And he fabricated the commands from the populace, in order that hearing them Caesar might reflect not on what Antony was saying at the time, but on what the Roman people would order a man to say. How could he have believed that this injunction had really been laid upon any one, when he knew that the people had not voted anything of the kind and did not hear them shouting out. But it was right for him to hear this in the Roman Forum, where we had often joined in many deliberations for freedom, and beside the rostra from which we had sent forth thousands and thousands of measures in behalf of the democracy, and at the festival of the Lupercalia, in order that he should remember Romulus, and from the mouth of the consul that he might call to mind the deeds of the early consuls, and in the name of the people, that he might ponder the fact that he was undertaking to be tyrant not over Africans or Gauls or Egyptians, but over very Romans. These words made him turn about; they humiliated him. And whereas if any one else had offered him the diadem, he might have taken it, he was then stopped short by that speech and felt a shudder of alarm.

"These, then are the deeds of Antony: he did not uselessly break a leg, in order himself to escape, nor burn off a hand, in order to frighten Porsenna, but by his cleverness and consummate skill he put an end to the tyranny of Caesar better than any spear of Decius and better than the sword of Brutus. [-20-] But you, Cicero, what did you effect in your consulship, not to mention wise and good things, that was not deserving of the greatest punishment? Did you not throw our city into uproar and party strife when it was quiet and harmonious, and fill the Forum and Capitol with slaves, among others, that you had called to your aid? Did you not ruin miserably Catiline, who was overanxious for office, but otherwise guilty of no violence? Did you not pitiably destroy Lentulus and his followers, who were not guilty, not tried, and not convicted, in spite of the fact that you are always and everywhere prating interminably about the laws and about the courts? If any one should take these phrases from your speeches, there is nothing left. You censured Pompey because he conducted the trial of Milo contrary to legalized precedent: yet you afforded Lentulus no privilege great or small that is enjoined in these cases, but without a speech or trial you cast him into prison, a man respectable, aged, whose ancestors had given many great pledges that he would be friendly to his country, and who by reason of his age and his character had no power to do anything revolutionary. What trouble did he have that would have been cured by the change of condition? What blessing did he possess that would not certainly be jeopardized by rebellion? What arms had he collected, what allies had he equipped, that a man who had been consul and was praetor should be so pitilessly and impiously cast into a cell without being allowed to say a word of defence or hear a single charge, and die there like the basest criminals? For this is what this excellent Tullius most of all desired,—that in [the Tullianum,] the place that bears his name, he might put to death the grandson of that Lentulus once became the head of the senate. [-21-] What would he have done if he had obtained authority to bear arms, seeing that he accomplished so many things of such a nature by his words alone? These are your brilliant achievements, these are your great exhibitions of generalship; and not only were you condemned for them by the rest, but you were so ready to vote against your own self in the matter that you fled before your trial came on. Yet what greater demonstration of your bloodguiltiness could there be than that you came in danger of perishing at the hands of those very persons in whose behalf you pretended you had done this, that you were afraid of the very ones whom you said you had benefited by these acts, and that you did not wait to hear from them or say a word to them, you clever, you extraordinary man, you aider of other people, but secured your safety by flight as if from a battle? And you are so shameless that you have undertaken to write a history of these events that I have related, whereas you ought to have prayed that no other man even should give an account of any of them: then you might at least derive this advantage, that your doings should die with you and no memory of them be transmitted to posterity. Now, gentlemen, if you want to laugh, listen to his clever device. He set himself the task of writing a history of the entire existence of the city (for he pretends to be a sophist and poet and philosopher and orator and historian), and he began not from the founding of it, like the rest are similarly busied, but from his own consulship, so that he might proceed backwards, making that the beginning of his account, and the kingdom of Romulus the end.

[-22-] "Tell me now, you who write such things and do such things, what the excellent man ought to say in popular address and do in action: for you are better at advising others about any matter whatsoever than at doing your own duty, and better at rebuking others than at reforming yourself. Yet how much better it were for you instead of reproaching Antony with cowardice to lay aside yourself that effeminacy both of spirit and of body, instead of bringing a charge of disloyalty against him to cease yourself from doing anything disloyal or playing the deserter, instead of accusing him of ingratitude to cease yourself from wronging your benefactors! For this, I must tell you, is one of his inherent defects, that he hates above all those who have done him any favor, and is always fawning upon somebody else but plotting against these persons. To leave aside other instances, he was pitied and preserved by Caesar and enrolled among the patricians, after which he killed him,—no, not with his own hand (he is too cowardly and womanish), but by persuading and making ready others who should do it. The men themselves showed that I speak the truth in this. When they ran out into the Forum with their naked blades, they invoked him by name, saying 'Cicero!' repeatedly, as you all heard. His benefactor, Caesar, then, he slew, and as for Antony from whom he obtained personally safety and a priesthood when he was in danger of perishing at the hands of the soldiers in Brundusium, he repays him with this sort of thanks, by accusing him for deeds with which neither he himself nor any one else ever found any fault and attacking him for conduct which he praises in others. Yet he sees this Caesar, who has not attained the age yet to hold office or have any part in politics and has not been chosen by you, sees him equipped with power and standing as the author of a war without our vote or orders, and not only has no blame to bestow, but pronounces laudations. So you perceive that he investigates neither what is just with reference to the laws nor what is useful with reference to the public weal, but simply manages everything to suit his own will, censuring in some what he extols in others, spreads false reports against you, and calumniates you gratuitously.[-23-] For you will find that all of Antony's acts after Caesar's demise were ordered by you. To speak about the disposition of the funds and the examination of the letters I deem to be superfluous. Why so? Because first it would be the business of the one who inherited his property to look into the matter, and second, if there was any truth in the charge of malfeasance, it ought to have been stopped then on the moment. For none of the transactions was carried on underhandedly, Cicero, but they were all recorded on tablets, as you yourself affirm. If Antony committed his many wrongs so openly and shamelessly as you say, and plundered the whole of Crete on the pretext that in accord with Caesar's letters it had been left free after the governorship of Brutus, though the latter was later given charge of it by us, how could you have kept silent and how could any one else have borne it? But these matters, as I said, I shall pass over; for the majority of them have not been mentioned individually, and Antony is not present, who could inform you exactly of what he has done in each instance. As to Macedonia and Gaul and the remaining provinces and legions, yours are the decrees, Conscript Fathers, according to which you assigned to the various governors their separate charges and delivered to Antony Gaul, together with the soldiers. This is known also to Cicero. He was there and helped vote for all of them just like you. Yet how much better it would have been for him then to speak in opposition, if any item of business was not going as it should, and to instruct you in these matters that are now brought forward, than to be silent at the time and allow you to make mistakes, and now nominally to censure Antony but really to accuse the senate!

[-24-] "Any sensible person could not assert, either, that Antony forced you to vote these measures. He himself had no band of soldiers so as to compel you to do anything contrary to your inclinations, and further the business was done for the good of the city. For since the legions had been sent ahead and united, there was fear that when they heard of Caesar's assassination they might revolt, put some inferior man at their head, and begin to wage war again: so it seemed good to you, taking a proper and excellent course, to place in command of them Antony the consul, who was charged with the promotion of harmony, who had rejected the dictatorship entirely from the system of government. And that is the reason that you gave him Gaul in place of Macedonia, that he should stay here in Italy, committing no harm, and do at once whatever errand was assigned him by you.

[-25-] "This I have said to you that you may know that you decided rightly. For Cicero that other point of mine was sufficient,—namely, that he was present during all these proceedings and helped us to pass the measures, though Antony had not a soldier at the time and could not have brought to bear on us pressure in the shape of any terror that would have made us neglect a single point of our interest. But even if you were then silent, tell us now at least: what ought we to have done under the circumstances? Leave the legions leaderless? Would they have failed to fill both Macedonia and Italy with countless evils? Commit them to another? And whom could we have found more closely related and suited to the business than Antony, the consul, the director of all the city's affairs, the one who had taken such good care of harmony among us, the one who had given countless examples of his affection for the State? Some one of the assassins, perhaps? Why, it wasn't even safe for them to live in the city. Some one of the party opposed to them? Everybody suspected those people. What other man was there surpassing him in esteem, excelling him in experience? Or are you vexed that we did not choose you? What kind of administration would you have given? What would you not have done when you got arms and soldiers, considering that you occasioned so many and so great instances of turmoil in your consulship as a result of these elaborate antitheses, which you have made your specialty, of which alone you were master. [-26-] But I return to my point that you were present when it was being voted and said nothing against it, but assented to all the measures as being obviously excellent and necessary. You did not lack opportunity to speak; indeed you roared out considerable that was beside the purpose. Nor were you afraid of anybody. How could you, who did not fear the armed warrior, have quailed before the defenceless man? Or how have feared him alone when you do not dread him in the possession of many soldiers! Yes, you also give yourself airs for absolutely despising death, as you affirm.

"Since these facts are so, which of the two, senators, seems to be in the wrong, Antony, who is managing the forces granted him by us, or Caesar, who is surrounded with such a large band of his own? Antony, who has departed to take up the office committed to him by us, or Brutus, who prevents him from setting foot in the country? Antony, who wishes to compel our allies to obey our decrees, or they, who have not received the ruler sent them by us but have attached themselves to the man who was voted against? Antony, who keeps our soldiers together, or the soldiers, who have abandoned their commander? Antony, who has introduced not one of these soldiers granted him by us into the city, or Caesar, who by money persuaded those who had long ago been in service to come here? I think there is no further need of argument to answer the imputation that he does not seem to be managing correctly all the duties laid upon him by us, and to show that these men ought to suffer punishment for what they have ventured on their own responsibility. Therefore you also secured the guard of soldiers that you might discuss in safety the present situation, not on account of Antony, who had caused no trouble privately nor intimidated you in any way, but on account of his rival, who both had gathered a force against him and has often kept many soldiers in the city itself.

[-27-] "I have said so much for Cicero's benefit, since it was he who began unfair argument against us. I am not generally quarrelsome, as he is, nor do I care to pry into others' misdeeds, as he continually gives himself airs for doing. Now I will tell you what advice I have to give, not favoring Antony at all nor calumniating Caesar or Brutus, but planning for the common advantage, as is proper. I declare that we ought not yet to make an enemy of either of these men in arms nor to enquire exactly what they have been doing or in what way. The present crisis is not suitable for this action, and as they are all alike our fellow-citizens, if any one of them fails the loss will be ours, or if any one of them succeeds his aggrandizement will be a menace to us. Wherefore I believe that we ought to treat them as friends and citizens and send messengers to all of them alike, bidding them lay down their arms and put themselves and their legions in our hands, and that we ought not yet to wage war on any one of them, but after their replies have come back approve those who are willing to obey us and fight against the disobedient. This course is just and expedient for us,—not to be in a hurry or do anything rashly, but to wait and after giving the leaders themselves and their soldiers an opportunity to change their minds, then, if in such case there be need of war, to give the consuls charge of it.

[-28-] "And you, Cicero, I advise not to show a womanish sauciness nor to imitate Bambalio even in making war[18] nor because of your private enmity toward Antony to plunge the whole city publicly again into danger. You will do well if you even become reconciled to him, with whom you have often enjoyed friendly intercourse. But even if you continue embittered against him, at least spare us, and do not after acting as the promoter of friendship among us then destroy it. Remember that day and the speech which you delivered in the precinct of Tellus, and yield a little to this goddess of Concord under whose guidance we are now deliberating, and avoid discrediting those statements and making them appear as if not uttered from a sincere heart, or by somebody else on that occasion. This is to the advantage of the State and will bring you most renown. Do not think that audacity is either glorious or safe, and do not feel sure of being praised just for saying that you despise death. Such men all suspect and hate as being likely to venture some deed of evil through desperation. Those whom they see, however, paying greatest attention to their own safety they praise and laud, because such would not willingly do anything that merited death. Do you, therefore, if you honestly wish your country to be safe, speak and act in such a way as will both preserve yourself and not, by Jupiter, involve us in your destruction!"

[-29-] Such language from Calenus Cicero would not endure. He himself always spoke his mind intemperately and immoderately to all alike, but he never thought he ought to get a similar treatment from others. On this occasion, too, he gave up considering the public interest and set himself to abusing his opponent until that day was spent, and naturally for the most part uselessly. On the following day and the third many other arguments were adduced on both sides, but the party of Caesar prevailed. So they voted first a statue to the man himself and the right to deliberate among the ex-quaestors as well as of being a candidate for the other offices ten years sooner than custom allowed, and that he should receive from the City the money which he had spent for his soldiers, because he had equipped them at his own cost for her defence: second, that both his soldiers and those that had abandoned Antony should have the privilege of not fighting in any other war and that land should be given them at once. To Antony they sent an embassy which should order him to give up the legions, leave Gaul, and withdraw into Macedonia—and to his followers they issued a proclamation to return home before a given day or to know that they would occupy the position of enemies. Moreover they removed the senators who had received from him governorships over the provinces and resolved that others should be sent in their place. These measures were ratified at that time. Not long after, before learning his decision, they voted that a state of rebellion existed, changed their senatorial garb, gave charge of the war against him to the consuls and Caesar (a kind of pretorian office), and ordered Lepidus and Lucius Munatius Plancus, who was governing a portion of Transalpine Gaul, to render assistance.

[-30-] In this way did they themselves furnish an excuse for hostility to Antony, who was without this anxious to make war. He was pleased to receive news of the decrees and forthwith violently reproached the envoys with not treating him rightly or fairly as compared with the youth (meaning Caesar). He also sent others in his turn, so as to put the blame of the war upon the senators, and make some counter-propositions which saved his face but were impossible of performance by Caesar and those who sided with him. He intended not to fulfill one of their demands, well aware that they too would not take up with anything that he submitted. He promised, however, that he would do all that they had determined, that he himself might have a refuge in saying that he would have done it, while at the same time his opponent's party would be before him in becoming responsible for the war, by refusing the terms he laid before them. In fine, he said that he would abandon Gaul and disband his legions, if they would grant these soldiers the same rewards as they had voted to Caesar's and would elect Cassius and Marcus Brutus consuls. He brought in the names of these men in his request with the purpose that they should not harbor any ill-will toward him for his operations against their fellow-conspirator Decimus.

[-31-] Antony made these offers knowing well that neither of them would be acted upon. Caesar would never have endured that the murderers of his father should become consuls or that Antony's soldiers by receiving the same as his own should feel still more kindly toward his rival. Nor, as a matter of fact, were his offers ratified, but they again declared war on Antony and gave notice to his associates to leave him, appointing a different day. All, even such as were not to take the field, arrayed themselves in military cloaks, and they committed to the consuls the care of the city, attaching to the decree the customary clause "to the end that it suffer no harm." And since there was need of large funds for the war, they all contributed the twenty-fifth part of the property they owned and the senators also four asses[19] per tile of all the houses in the city that they themselves owned or dwelt in belonging to others. The very wealthy besides donated no little more, while many cities and many individuals manufactured gratuitously weapons and other necessary accoutrements for a campaign. The public treasury was at that time so empty that not even the festivals which were due to fall during that season were celebrated, except some small ones out of religious scruple. [-32-] These subscriptions were given readily by those who favored Caesar and hated Antony. The majority, however, being oppressed by the campaigns and the taxes at once were irritated, particularly because it was doubtful which of the two would conquer but quite evident that they would be slaves of the conqueror. Many of those, therefore, that wished Antony well, went straight to him, among them tribunes and a few praetors: others remained in their places, one of whom was Calenus, but did all that they could for him, some things secretly and other things with an open defence of their conduct. Hence they did not change their costume immediately, and persuaded the senate to send envoys again to Antony, among them Cicero: in doing this they pretended that the latter might persuade him to make terms, but their real purpose was that he should be removed from their path. He too reflected on this possibility and becoming alarmed would not venture to expose himself in the camp of Antony. As a result none of the other envoys set out either.

[-33-] While this was being done portents of no small moment again occurred, significant for the City, and for the consul Vibius himself. In the last assembly before they set out for the war a man with the so-called sacred disease[20] fell down while Vibius was speaking. Also a bronze statue of him which stood at the porch of his house turned around of itself on the day and at the hour that he started on the campaign, and the sacrifices customary before war could not be interpreted by the seers by reason of the quantity of blood. Likewise a man who was just then bringing him a palm slipped in the blood which had been shed, fell, and defiled the palm. These were the portents in his case. Now if they had befallen him when a private citizen, they would have pertained to him alone, but since he was consul they had a bearing on all alike. They included the following incidents: the figure of the Mother of the Gods on the Palatine formerly facing the east turned around of its own accord to the west; that of Minerva held in honor near Mutina, where the most fighting was going on, sent forth after this a quantity of blood and milk; furthermore the consuls took their departure just before the Feriae Latinae; and there is no case where this happened that the forces fared well. So at this time, too, both the consuls and a vast multitude of the people perished, some immediately and some later, and also many of the knights and senators, including the most prominent. For in the first place the battles, and in the second place the assassinations at home which occurred again as in the Sullan regime, destroyed all the flower of them except those actually concerned in the murders.

[-34-] Responsibility for these evils rested on the senators themselves. For whereas they ought to have set at their head some one man of superior judgment and to have cooeperated with him continuously, they failed to do this, but made proteges of a few whom they strengthened against the rest, and later undertook to overthrow these favorites as well, and consequently they found no one a friend but all hostile. The comparative attitude of men toward those who have injured them and toward their benefactors is different, for they remember a grudge even against their wills but willingly forget to be thankful. This is partly because they disdain to appear to have been kindly treated by any persons, since they will seem to be the weaker of the two, and partly because they are irritated at the idea that they will be thought to have been injured by anybody with impunity, since that will imply cowardice on their part. So those senators by not taking up with some one person, but attaching themselves to one and another in turn, and voting and doing now something for them, now something against them, suffered much because of them and much also at their hands. All the leaders had one purpose in the war,—the abolition of the popular power and the setting up of a sovereignty. Some were fighting to see whose slaves they should be, and others to see who should be their master; and so both of them equally wrought havoc, and each of them won glory according to fortune, which varied. The successful warriors were deemed shrewd and patriotic, and the defeated ones were called both enemies of their country and pestilential fellows.

[-35-] This was the state that the Roman affairs had at that time reached: I shall now go on to describe the separate events. There seems to me to be a very large amount of self-instruction possible, when one takes facts as the basis of his reasoning, investigates the nature of the former by the latter, and then proves his reasoning true by its correspondence with the facts.

The precise reason for Antony's besieging Decimus in Mutina was that the latter would not give up Gaul to him, but he pretended that it was because Decimus had been one of Caesar's assassins. For since the true cause of the war brought him no credit, and at the same time he saw the popular party flocking to Caesar to avenge his father, he put forward this excuse for the conflict. That it was a mere pretext for getting control of Gaul he himself made plain in demanding that Cassius and Marcus Brutus be appointed consuls. Each of these two utterances, of the most opposite character as they were, he made with an eye to his own advantage. Caesar had begun a campaign against his rival before the war was granted him by the vote, but had done nothing worthy of importance. When he learned of the decrees passed he accepted the honors and was glad, especially because when he was sacrificing at the time of receiving the distinction and authority of praetor the livers of all the victims, twelve in number, were found to be double. He was impatient, to be sure, at the fact that envoys and proposals had been sent also to Antony, instead of unrelenting war being declared against him at once, and most of all because he ascertained that the consuls had forwarded some private despatch to his rival about harmony, that when some letters sent by the latter to certain senators had been captured these officials had handed them to the persons addressed, concealing the transaction from him, and that they were not carrying on the war zealously or promptly, making the winter their excuse. However, as he had no means of making known these facts,—for he did not wish to alienate them, and on the other hand he was unable to use any persuasion or force,—he stayed quiet himself in winter quarters in Forum Cornelium, until he became frightened about Decimus. [-36-] The latter had previously been vigorously fighting Antony off. On one occasion, suspecting that some men had been sent into the city by him to corrupt the soldiers, he called all those present together and after giving them a few hints proclaimed by herald that all the men under arms should go to one side of a certain place that he pointed out and the private citizens to the other side of it: in this way he detected and arrested Antony's followers, who were isolated and did not know which way to turn. Later he was entirely shut in by a wall; and Caesar, fearing he might be captured by storm or capitulate through lack of provisions, compelled Hirtius to join a relief party. Vibius was still in Rome raising levies and abolishing the laws of Antony. Accordingly, they started out and without a blow took possession of Bononia, which had been abandoned by the garrisons, and routed the cavalry who later confronted them: by reason of the river, however, near Mutina and the guard beside it they found themselves unable to proceed farther. They wished, notwithstanding, even so to make known their presence to Decimus, that he might not in undue season make terms, and at first they tried sending signals from the tallest trees. But since he did not understand, they scratched a few words on a thin sheet of lead, and rolling it up like a piece of paper gave it to a diver to carry across under water by night. Thus Decimus learned at the same time of their presence and their promise of assistance, and sent them a reply in the same fashion, after which they continued uninterruptedly to communicate all their plans to each other.

[-37-] Antony, therefore, seeing that Decimus was not inclined to yield, left him to the charge of his brother Lucius, and himself proceeded against Caesar and Hirtius. The two armies faced each other for a number of days and a few insignificant cavalry battles occurred, with honors even. Finally the Celtic cavalry, of whom Caesar had gained possession along with the elephants, withdrew to Antony's side again. They had started from the camp with the rest and had gone on ahead as if intending to engage separately those of the enemy who came to meet them; but after a little they turned about and unexpectedly attacked those following behind (who did not stand their ground), killing many of them. After this some foraging parties on both sides fell to blows and when the remainder of each party came to the rescue a sharp battle ensued between the two forces, in which Antony was victorious. Elated by his success and in the knowledge that Vibius was approaching he assailed the antagonists' fortification, thinking possibly to destroy it beforehand and make the rest of the conflict easier. They, in consideration of their disaster and the hope which Vibius inspired, kept guard but would not come out for battle. Hence Antony left behind there a certain portion of his army with orders to come to close quarters with them and so make it appear as much as possible that he himself was there and at the same time to take good care that no one should fall upon his rear. After issuing these injunctions he set out secretly by night against Vibius, who was approaching from Bononia. By an ambush he succeeded in wounding the latter severely, in killing the majority of his soldiers and confining the rest within their ramparts. He would have annihilated them, had he proceeded to besiege them for any time at all. As it was, after accomplishing nothing at the first assault he began to be alarmed lest while he was delaying he should receive some setback from Caesar and the rest; so he again turned against them. Wearied by the journey both ways and by the battle he was also in doubt whether he should find that his opponents had conquered the force hostile to them; and in this condition he was confronted by Hirtius and suffered a decisive defeat. For when Hirtius and Caesar perceived what was going on, the latter remained to keep watch over the camp while the former set out against Antony. [-38-] Upon the latter's defeat not only Hirtius was saluted as imperator by the soldiers and by the senate, but likewise Vibius, though he had fared badly, and Caesar who had done no fighting even. To those who had participated in the conflict and had perished there was voted a public burial, and it was resolved that the prizes of war which they had taken while alive should be restored to their fathers and sons.

Following this official action Pontius Aquila, one of the assassins and a lieutenant of Decimus, conquered in battle Titus Munatius Plancus, who opposed him; and Decimus, when a certain senator deserted to Antony, so far from displaying anger toward him sent back all his baggage and whatever else he had left behind in Mutina, the result being that the affection of many of Antony's soldiers grew cool, and some of the nations which had previously sympathized with him proceeded to rebel: Caesar and Hirtius, however, were elated at this, and approaching the fortifications of Antony challenged him to combat; he for a time was alarmed and remained quiet, but later when some reinforcements sent by Lepidus came to him he took courage. Lepidus himself did not make it clear to which of the two sides he sent the army: he thought well of Antony, who was a relative, but had been summoned against him by the senate; and for these reasons he made plans to have a refuge in store with both parties, by not giving to Marcus Silanus, the commander, orders that were in the least clear. But he, doubtless knowing well his master's frame of mind, went on his own responsibility to Antony. [-39-] So when the latter had been thus assisted he became bold and made a sudden sally from the gates: there was great slaughter on both sides, but at last he turned and fled.

Up to this time Caesar was being strengthened by the people and the senate, and because of this expected that among other honors to be bestowed he would be forthwith appointed consul. It happened that Hirtius perished in the occupation of Antony's camp and Vibius died of his wounds not long after, so that Caesar was charged with having caused their death that he might succeed to the office. But the senate had previously, while it was still uncertain which of the two would prevail, done away with all the privileges which formerly, granted to any person beyond the customs of the forefathers, had paved the way to sovereignty: they voted that this edict should apply to both parties, intending by it to anticipate the victor, while laying the blame upon the other, who should be defeated. First they forbade any one to hold office more than a year, and second that any superintendent of grain supplies or commissioner of food should be chosen. When they ascertained the outcome, they rejoiced at Antony's defeat, changed their raiment once more, and celebrated a solemn thanksgiving for sixty[21] days. All those arrayed on his side they held in the light of enemies, and took possession of their property as they did of the leader's. [-40-] Nor did they propose that Caesar any longer should receive any great reward, but even undertook to overthrow him, by allowing Decimus to secure all the prizes for which he was hoping. They voted Decimus not only the right of sacrifice but a triumph and gave him charge of the rest of the war and of the legions,—those of Vibius and others. Upon the soldiers that had been besieged with him they resolved that eulogies should be bestowed and all the other rewards which had formerly been offered to Caesar's men, although these troops had contributed nothing to the victory, but had merely beheld it from the walls. Aquila, who had died in the battle, they honored with an image, and restored to his heirs the money which he had expended from his own purse for the equipment of Decimus's soldiers. In a word, practically every advantage that had been given Caesar against Antony was voted to others against the man himself. And to the end that no matter how much he might wish it he should not be able to do any harm, they armed all his enemies against him. To Sextus Pompey they entrusted the fleet, to Marcus Brutus Macedonia, and to Cassius Syria together with the war against Dolabella. They would certainly have further deprived him of the forces that he had, but they were afraid to vote this openly, owing to their knowledge that his soldiers were devoted to him. Still, even so, they strove to set his followers at variance with one another and with him. They did not wish to approve and honor all of them, for fear they should fill them with too great conceit, nor again to dishonor and neglect all, for fear they should alienate them the more and as a consequence force them to agree together. Hence they adopted a middle course, and by approving some of them and others not, by allowing some to wear an olive garland at the festivals and others not, and furthermore by voting to some money to the extent of twenty-five hundred denarii and to others not a farthing, they hoped to bring about between them and by that means weaken them. [-41-] Those charged with these commissions also they sent not to Caesar but to the men in the field. He became enraged at this, but nominally allowed the envoys to mix with the army without his presence, though he sent word beforehand that no answer should be given and that he himself should be at once sent for. So when he came into the camp and joined them in listening to the despatches, he succeeded in conciliating them much more by that very action. Those who had been preferred in honor were not so delighted at this precedence as they were suspicious of the affair, particularly as a result of Caesar's influence. And those who had been slighted were not at all angry at their comrades, but added their doubts of the sincerity of the decrees, imputing their dishonor to all and sharing their anger with them. The people in the City, on learning this, though frightened did not even so appoint him consul, for which he was most anxious, but granted him the distinction of consular honors, so that he might now record his vote along with the ex-consuls. When he took no account of this, they voted that he should be made a praetor of the first rank and subsequently also consul. In this way did they think they had handled Caesar cleverly as if he were in reality a mere youth and child, as they were always repeating. He, however, was exceedingly vexed at their general behavior and especially at this very fact that he was called child, and so made no further delay, but turned against their camps and powers. With Antony he secretly arranged a truce, and he assembled the men who had escaped from the battle, whom he himself had conquered and the senate had voted to be enemies, and in their presence made many accusations against both the senate and the people.

[-42-] The people in the City on hearing this for a time held him in contempt, but when they heard that Antony and Lepidus had become of one mind they began again to court his favor,—for they were in ignorance of the propositions he had made to Antony,—and assigned to him charge of the war against the two. Caesar was accordingly ready to accept even this if he could be made consul for it. He was working in every way to be elected, through Cicero among others, and so earnestly that he promised to make him his colleague. When he was not even then chosen, he made preparations, to be sure, to carry on war, as had been decreed, but meanwhile arranged that his own soldiers (of their own motion, of course) should suddenly take an oath not to fight against any legion that had been Caesar's. This had a bearing on Lepidus and Antony, since the majority of their adherents were of that class. So he waited and sent as envoys to the senate on this business four hundred of the soldiers themselves.

[-43-] This was the excuse that they had for an embassy, but in addition they demanded the money that had been voted them and urged that Caesar be appointed consul. While the senators were postponing their reply, which required deliberation, as they said, they asked (naturally on the instructions from Caesar) that amnesty be granted to some one who had embraced Antony's cause. They were not really anxious to obtain it, but wanted to test the senators and see if they would grant the request, or, if such were not the issue, whether to pretend to be displeased about it would serve as a starting point for indignation. They failed to gain their petition, for while no one spoke against it there were many preferring the same request on behalf of others and thus among a mass of similar representations their demand also was rejected on some plausible excuse. Then they openly showed their anger, and one of them issued from the senate-chamber and grasping a sword (they had gone in unarmed) said: "If you do not grant the consulship to Caesar, this shall grant it." And Cicero interrupting him answered: "If you exhort in this way, he will get it." Now for Cicero this instrument had destruction in readiness. Caesar did not censure the soldier's act, but made a complaint because they had been obliged to lay aside their arms on entering the senate and because one of them was asked whether they had been sent by the legions or by Caesar. He summoned in haste Antony and Lepidus (whom he had attached to him through friendship for Antony), and he himself, pretending to have been forced to such measures by his soldiers, set out with all of them against Rome. [-44-] Some[22] of the knights and others who were present they suspected were acting as spies and they consequently slew them, besides injuring the lands of such as were not in accord with them and doing much other damage with this excuse. The senators on ascertaining their approach sent them their money before they came near, hoping that when the invaders received that they might retire, and when they still pressed on they appointed Caesar consul. Nothing, however, was gained by this step. The soldiers were not at all grateful to them for what they had done not willingly but under compulsion, but were even more emboldened, in the idea that they had thoroughly frightened them. Learning of this the senate altered its policy and bade the host not approach the city but remain over one hundred and fifty stadia from it. They themselves also changed their garb again and committed to the praetors the care of the city, as had been the custom. And besides garrisoning other points they occupied Janiculum in advance with the soldiers that were at hand and with others from Africa.

[-45-] While Caesar was still on the march this was the condition of things; and all the people who were at that time in Rome with one accord sought a share in the proceedings, as the majority of men are wont to be bold until they come in sight and have a taste of dangers. When, however, he arrived in the suburbs, they were alarmed, and first some of the senators, later many of the people, went over to his side. Thereupon the praetors also came down from Janiculum and surrendered to him their soldiers and themselves. Thus Caesar took possession of the city without a blow and was appointed consul also by the people, though two proconsuls were chosen to hold the elections; it was impossible, according to precedent, for an interrex to be created for so short a period merely to superintend the comitia, because many men who held the curule offices were absent from the city. They endured having the two proconsuls named by the praetor urbanus rather than to have the consuls elected under his direction, because now these proconsular officials would limit their activities to the elections and consequently would appear to have been invested with no powers outlasting them.[23] This was of course done under pressure of arms. Caesar, that he might appear to not to have used any force upon them, did not enter the assembly,—as if it was his presence that any one feared instead of his power.

[-46-] Thus he was chosen consul, and there was given him as a fellow-official—perhaps one ought to say under-official—Quintus Pedius. He was very proud of this fact that he was to be consul at an earlier age than it had ever been the lot of any one else, and further that on the first day of the elections, when he had entered the Campus Martius, he saw six vultures, and later while haranguing the soldier twelve others. For, comparing it with Romulus and the omen that had befallen the latter, he began to expect that he should obtain his sovereignty. He did not, however, simply on the ground that he had already been given the distinction of the consular honors, assume distinction as being consul for the second time. This custom was since then observed in all similar cases to our own day. The emperor Severus was the first to change it; for he honored Plautianus with the consular honors and afterward introduced him to the senate and appointed him consul, proclaiming that he was entering the consulship the second time. In imitation of him the same thing was done in other instances. Caesar, accordingly, arranged affairs in general in the city to suit his taste, and gave money to the soldiers, to some what had been voted from the funds prescribed, and to the rest individually from his private funds, as the story went, but in reality from the public store.

In this way and for the reasons mentioned did the soldiers receive the money on that occasion. But some of them got a wrong idea of the matter and thought it was compulsory for absolutely all the citizen forces at all times to be given the twenty-five hundred denarii, if they went to Rome under arms. For this reason the followers of Severus who had come to the city to overthrow Julianus behaved most terrifyingly both to their leader himself and to us, while demanding it. And they were won over by Severus with two hundred and fifty denarii, while people in general were ignorant what claim was being set up.

[-47-] Caesar while giving the soldiers the money also expressed to them his fullest and sincerest thanks. He did not even venture to enter the senate-chamber without a guard of them. To the senate he showed gratitude, but it was all fictitious and pretended. For he was accepting as if it were a favor received from willing hands what he had attained by violence. And they actually took great credit to themselves for their behavior, as if they had given him the office voluntarily; and moreover they granted to him whom previously they had not even wished to choose consul the right after his term expired to be honored, as often as he should be in camp, above all those who were consuls at one time or another. To him on whom they had threatened to inflict penalties, because he had gathered forces on his own responsibility without the passing of any vote, they assigned the duty of collecting others: and to the man for whose disenfranchisement and overthrow they had ordered Decimus to fight with Antony they added Decimus's legions. Finally he obtained the guardianship of the city, so that he was able to do everything that he wished according to law, and he was adopted into Caesar's family in the regular way, as a consequence changing his name. He had, as some think, been even before this accustomed to call himself Caesar, as soon as this name was bequeathed to him together with the inheritance. He was not, however, exact about his title, nor did he use the same one in dealing with everybody until at this time he had ratified it in accordance with ancestral custom, and was thus named, after his famous predecessor, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus. For it is the custom when a person is adopted for him to take most of his appellation from his adopter but to keep one of his previous names slightly altered in form. This is the status of the matter, but I shall call him not Octavianus but Caesar, because this name has prevailed among all such as secure dominion over the Romans. He took another one in addition, namely Augustus, and therefore the subsequent emperors assume it. That one will be given when it comes up in the history, but until then the title Caesar will be sufficient to show that Octavianus is indicated.

[-48-] This Caesar, then, as soon as he had conciliated the soldiers and enslaved the senate, turned himself to avenging his father's murder. As he was afraid of somehow causing an upheaval among the populace in the pursuit of this business he did not make known his intention until he had seen to the payment of the bequests made to them. When they had been made docile by means of the money, although it belonged to the public funds and had been collected on the pretext of war, then at length he began to follow up the assassins. In order that this procedure of his might not appear to be characterized by violence but by justice, he proposed a law about their trial and tried the cases in their absence. The majority of them were out of town and some even held governorships over provinces. Those who were present also did not come forward, by reason of fear, and withdrew unobserved. Consequently they were convicted by default, and not only those who had been the actual murderers of Caesar and their fellow-conspirators, but many others who so far from plotting against Caesar, had not even been in the city at the time. This action was directed chiefly against Sextus Pompey. The latter though he had had no share whatever in the attack was nevertheless condemned because he had been an enemy. Those adjudged guilty were debarred from fire and water and their property was confiscated. The provinces,—not only those which some of them were governing, but all the rest,—were committed to the friends of Caesar.

[-49-] Among those held liable was also Publius Servilius Casca, the tribune. He had suspected Caesar's purpose in advance, before he entered the city, and had quietly slipped away. For this act he was at once removed from his office, on the charge of having left the city contrary to precedent, by the populace convened by his colleague Publius Titius; and in this way he was condemned. When Titius not long after died, the proverbial fate that had been observed from of old was once more in evidence. No one up to that time who had expelled a colleague had lived the year out: but first Brutus after the expulsion of Collatinus died in his turn, then Gracchus was stabbed after expelling Octavius, and Cinna who put Marullus and Flavus out of the way not long after perished. This has been the general experience.

Now the assassins of Caesar had many accusers who were anxious to ingratiate themselves with his son, and many who were persuaded so to act by the rewards offered. They received money from the estate of the convicted man and the latter's honors and office, if he had any, and exemption from further service in the army, applicable to themselves and their children and grandchildren. Of the jurors the majority voted against the accused out of fear of Caesar and a wish to please him, generally hinting that they were justified in doing this. Some cast their votes in consideration of the law enacted about punishing the culprits, and others in consideration of the arms of Caesar. And one, Silicius Corona, a senator, voted outright to acquit Marcus Brutus. He made a great boast of this at the time and secretly received approval from the rest: that he was not immediately put to death gained for Caesar a great reputation for toleration, but later he was executed as the result of a proscription.

[-50-] After accomplishing this Caesar's next step was naturally a campaign against Lepidus and Antony. Antony on fleeing from the battle described had not been pursued by Caesar on account of the war being entrusted to Decimus; and the latter had not pursued because he did not wish a rival to Caesar to be removed from the field. Hence the fugitive collected as many as he could of the survivors of the battle and came to Lepidus, who had made preparations to march himself into Italy in accordance with the decree, but had again been ordered to remain where he was. For the senators, when they ascertained that Silanus had embraced Antony's cause, were afraid that Lepidus and Lucius Plancus might also cooeperate with him, and sent to them to say that they had no further need of them. To prevent their suspecting anything ulterior and consequently causing trouble they ordered them to help in building homes for the men once driven out of Vienna (in Gallia Narbonensis) by the Allobroges and then located between the Rhone and the Arar, at their confluence. Therefore they submitted, and founded the so-called Lugudunum, now known as Lugdunum. They might have entered Italy with their arms, had they wished, for the decrees by this time exerted a very weak influence upon such as had troops, but, with an eye to the outcome of the war Antony was conducting, they wished to appear to have yielded obedience to the senate and incidentally to strengthen their position. [-51-] Indeed, Lepidus censured Silanus severely for making an alliance with Antony, and when the latter himself came would not hold conversation with him immediately, but sent a despatch to the senate containing an accusation of his own against him, and for this stand he received praise and command of the war against Antony. Hence the first part of the time he neither admitted Antony nor repelled him, but allowed him to be near and to associate with his followers; he would not, however, hold a conference with him. But when he ascertained Antony's agreement with Caesar, he then came to terms with both of them himself. Marcus Juventius,[24] his lieutenant, learned what was being done and at first tried to alter his purpose; then, when he did not succeed in persuading him, he made away with himself in the sight of the soldiers. For this the senate voted eulogies and a statue to Juventius and a public funeral, but Lepidus they deprived of his image which stood upon the rostra and made him an enemy. They also set a certain day for his comrades and threatened them with war if they should not abandon him before that day. Furthermore they changed their clothing again,—they had resumed citizen's apparel in honor of Caesar's consulship,—and summoned Marcus Brutus and Cassius and Sextus to proceed against them. When the latter seemed likely to be too slow in responding, they committed the war to Caesar, being ignorant of the conspiracy existing. [-52-] He nominally received it, in spite of having made his soldiers give voice to a sentiment previously mentioned,[25] but accomplished no corresponding results. This was not because he had formed a compact with Antony and through him with Lepidus,—little he cared for that fact,—but because he saw they were powerful and knew their purposes were linked by the bands of kinship, and he could not use force with them; and besides he cherished hopes of bringing about through them the downfall of Cassius and Brutus, who were already very influential, and subsequently of wearing them out one against the other. Accordingly, even against his will he kept his covenant with them and directed his efforts to effecting a reconciliation for them with the senate and with the people. He did not himself propose the matter, lest some suspicion of what had really taken place should arise, but he set out as if to make war on them, while Quintus urged, as if it were his own idea, that amnesty and restoration be granted them. He did not secure this, however, until the senate had communicated it to the supposedly ignorant Caesar and he had unwillingly agreed to it, compelled, as he alleged, by the soldiers.

[-53-] While this was being done Decimus at first set forth in the intention of making war upon the pair, and associated with him Lucius Planeus, since the latter had been appointed in advance as his colleague for the following year. Learning, however, of his own condemnation and of their reconciliation he wished to lead a campaign against Caesar, but was abandoned by Plancus who favored the cause of Lepidus and Antony. Then he decided to leave Gaul and hasten into Macedonia on land through Illyricum to Marcus Brutus, and sent ahead some of the soldiers while he was engaged in finishing some business he had in hand. But they embraced Caesar's cause, and the rest were pursued by Lepidus and Antony and then were won over through the agency of others. So, being deserted, he was seized by a personal foe. When he was about to be executed he complained and lamented so loudly that one Helvius Blasio, who was kindly disposed to him from association on campaigns, in his sight voluntarily slew himself first.

[-54-] So Decimus afterward died also. Antony and Lepidus left lieutenants in Gaul and themselves proceeded to join Caesar in Italy, taking with them the larger and the better part of their armies. They did not trust him very far and wished not to owe him any favor, but to seem to have obtained amnesty and restoration on their own merits and by their own strength, and not through him. They also hoped to become masters of whatever they desired, of Caesar and the rest in the City, by the size of their armies. With such a feeling they marched through the country, according it friendly treatment. Still, it was damaged by their numbers and audacity no less than if there had been a war. They were met near Bononia by Caesar with many soldiers: he was exceedingly well prepared to defend himself against them, if they should offer any violence. Yet at this time he found no need of arms to oppose them. They really hated one another bitterly, but because they had just about equal forces and desired one another's assistance to take vengeance first on the rest of their enemies, they entered upon a simulated agreement. [-55-] They came together to confer, not alone but bringing an equal number of soldiers, on a little island in the river that flows past Bononia, with the understanding that no one else should be present on either side. First they withdrew to a distance from the various followers and searched one another carefully to make sure that no one had a dagger hidden under his arm. Then they considered at leisure different points and in general made a solemn compact for securing sovereignty and overthrowing enemies. But to prevent its appearing that they were headed straight toward an oligarchy and so envy and opposition arise on the part of the people at large, the three were to be chosen in common as a kind of commissioners and correctors for the administration and settlement of affairs. This office was not to be perpetual, but for five years, under the general proviso that they should manage all questions, whether they made any communication about them to the people and the senate or not, and give the offices and other honors to whomsoever they pleased. The private arrangement, however, in order that they should not be thought to be appropriating the entire sovereignty, was that both Libyas, Sardinia, and Sicily should be given to Caesar, all of Spain and Gallia Narbonensis to Lepidus, and the rest of Gaul south and north of the Alps to Antony to rule. The former was called Gallia Togata, as I have said, because it seemed to be more peaceful than the other divisions, and because the dwellers there already employed Roman citizen-garb: the other was termed Gallia Comata because the Gauls there mostly let their hair grow long, and were in this way distinguished from the others. [-56-] So they made these allotments, for the purpose of securing the strongest provinces themselves and giving others the impression that they were not striving for the whole. A further agreement was that they should cause assassinations of their enemies, that Lepidus after being appointed consul in Decimus's stead should keep guard over Rome and the remainder of Italy, and that the others should make an expedition against Brutus and Cassius. They also pledged themselves to this course by oath. After this, in order to let the soldiers hear and be witnesses of the terms they had made, they called them together and made known to them in advance all that it was proper and safe to tell them. Meanwhile the soldiers of Antony, of course at the latter's direction, committed to Caesar's charge the daughter of Fulvia (Antony's wife), whom she had by Clodius,—and this in spite of Caesar's being already betrothed to another. He, however, did not refuse her; for he did not think this inter-marriage would hinder him at all in the designs which he had against Antony. Among other points for his reflection was his knowledge that his father Caesar had not failed to carry out all of his plans against Pompey, in spite of the relationship between the two.




The following is contained in the Forty-seventh of Dio's Rome:

How Caesar, Antony, and Lepidus came to Rome and instituted a reign of slaughter (chapters 1-19).

About Brutus and Cassius and what they did before the battle of Philippi (chapters 20-36).

How Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Caesar and perished (chapters 37-49).

Duration of time, the remainder of the consulship of Gaius Vibius Pansa and Aulus Hirtius, together with one additional year, in which there were the following magistrates here enumerated:

M. Aemilius M.F. Lepidus cos. (II), L. Munatius L.F. Plancus. (B.C. 42 = a. u. 712.)


[B.C. 43 (a. u. 711)]

[-1-] After forming these compacts and taking mutual oaths they hastened to Rome under the assumption that they were all going to rule on equal terms, but each one had the intention of getting the entire power himself. Yet they had learned in advance very clearly before this, but most plainly at this time, what would be the future. In the case of Lepidus a serpent coiled about a centurion's sword and a wolf that entered his camp and his tent while he was eating dinner and knocked down the table indicated at once power and disappointment as a result of power: in that of Antony milk flowing about the ramparts and a kind of chant echoing about at night signified gladness of heart and destruction succeeding it. These portents befell them before they entered Italy. In Caesar's case at the very time after the covenant had been made an eagle settled upon his tent and killed two crows that attacked it and tried to pluck out its feathers,—a sign which granted him victory over his two rivals.

[-2-] So they came to Rome, first Caesar, then the others, each one separately, with all their soldiers, and immediately through the tribunes enacted such laws as pleased them. The orders they gave and force that they used thus acquired the name of law and furthermore brought them supplications; for they required to be besought earnestly when they were to pass any measures. Consequently sacrifices were voted for them as if for good fortune and the people changed their attire as if they had secured prosperity, although they were considerably terrified by the transactions and still more by omens. For the standards of the army guarding the city were covered with spiders, and weapons were seen reaching up from earth to heaven while a great din resounded from them, and in the shrines of Aesculapius bees gathered in numbers on the roof and crowds of vultures settled on the temple of the Genius Populi and on that of Concord. [-3-] And while these conditions still remained practically unchanged, those murders by proscription which Sulla had once caused were put into effect and the whole city was filled with corpses. Many were killed in their houses, many in the streets, and scattered about in the fora and near the temples: the heads of such were once more attached to the rostra and their trunks flung out to be devoured by the dogs and birds or cast into the river. Everything that had been done before in the days of Sulla found a counterpart at this time, except that only two white tablets were posted, one for the senators and one for the rest. The reason for this I have not been able to learn from any one else nor to find out myself. The cause which one might have imagined, that fewer were put to death, is least of all true: for many more names were listed, because there were more leaders concerned. In this respect, then, the case differed from the murders that had earlier taken place: but that the names of those prominent were not posted with the rabble, but separately, appeared very nonsensical to the men who were to be murdered in the same way. Besides this no few other very unpleasant conditions fell to their lot, although the former regime, one would have said, had left nothing to be surpassed. [-4-] But in Sulla's time those guilty of such murderous measures had some excuse in their very hardihood: they were trying the method for the first time, and not with set intentions; hence in most cases they behaved less maliciously, since they were acting not according to definite plans but as chance dictated. And the victims, succumbing to sudden and unheard of catastrophes, found some alleviation in the unexpectedness of their experience. At this time, on the other hand, they were executing in person or beholding or at least understanding thoroughly by fresh descriptions merely deeds that had been dared before; in the intervals, expecting a recurrence of similar acts, some were inventing various new methods to employ, and others were becoming afflicted by new fears that they too should suffer. The perpetrators resorted to most unusual devices in their emulation of the outrages of yore and their consequent eagerness to add, through the resources of art, novel features to their attempts. The others reflected on all that they might suffer and hence even before their bodies were harmed their spirits were thoroughly on the rack, as if they were already undergoing the trial. [-5-] Another reason for their faring worse on this occasion than before was that previously only Sulla's own enemies and the foes of the leaders associated with him were destroyed: among his friends and the people in general no one perished at his bidding; so that except the very wealthy,—and these can never be at peace with the stronger element at such a time,—the remainder took courage. In this second series of assassinations, however, not only the men's enemies or the rich were being killed, but also their best friends and quite without looking for it. On the whole it may be said that almost nobody had incurred the enmity of those men from any private cause that should account for his being slain by them. Politics and compromises regarding posts of authority had created both their friendships and their violent hatreds. All those that had aided or assisted one of the group in any way the others held in the light of an enemy. So it came about that the same persons had become friends to some one of them, and enemies to the entire body, so that while each was privately quelling his antagonists, they destroyed the dearest friends of all in general. In the course of their joint negotiations[26] they made a kind of account of who was on their side and who was opposed, and no one was allowed to take vengeance on one of his own enemies who was a friend of another without giving up some friend in his turn: and because of their anger over what was past and their suspicion of the future they cared nothing about the preservation of an associate in comparison with vengeance on an adversary, and so gave them up without much protest. [-6-] Thus they offered one another staunch friends for bitter enemies and implacable foes for close comrades; and sometimes they exchanged even numbers, at others several for one or fewer for more, altogether carrying on the transactions as if at a market, and overbidding one another as at an auction room. If some one was found just equivalent to another and the two were ranked alike, the exchange was a simple one; but all whose value was raised by some excellence or esteem or relationship could be despatched only in return for several. As there had been civil wars, lasting a long time and embracing many events, not a few men during the turmoil had come into collision with their nearest relatives. Indeed, Lucius Caesar, Antony's uncle, had become his enemy, and Lepidus's brother, Lucius Paulus, hostile to him. The lives of these were saved, but many of the rest were slaughtered even in the houses of their very friends and relatives, from whom they especially expected protection and honor. And in order that no person should feel less inclined to kill any one out of fear of being deprived of the rewards (remembering that in the time of Sulla Marcus Cato, who was quaestor, had demanded of some of the murderers all they had received for their work), they proclaimed that the name of no proscribed person should be registered in the public records. On this account they slew ordinary citizens more readily and made away with the prosperous, even though they had no dislike for a single one of them. For since they stood in need of vast sums of money and had no other source from which to satisfy the desire of their soldiers, they affected a kind of common enmity against the rich. Among the other transgressions they committed in the line of this policy was to declare a mere child of age, so that they might kill him as already exercising the privileges of a man.

[-7-] Most of this was done by Lepidus and Antony. They had been honored by the former Caesar for a very long time and as they had been in office and holding governorships most of the period they had many enemies. It appeared as if Caesar had a part in the business merely because of his sharing the authority, for he himself was not at all anxious to kill any large number. He was not naturally cruel and had been brought up in his father's ways. Moreover, as he was young and had just entered the political arena, there was no inevitable necessity for his bitterly hating many persons, and he wished to have people's affection. This is indicated by the fact that from the time he broke off his joint rulership with his colleagues and held the power alone he did nothing of the sort. And at this time he not only refrained from destroying many but preserved a large number. Those also who betrayed their masters or friends he treated most harshly and those who helped anybody most leniently. An instance of it occurs in the case of Tanusia, a woman of note. She concealed her husband Titus Vinius, who was proscribed, at first in a chest at the house of a freedman named Philopoemen[27] and so made it appear that he had been killed. Later she waited for a national festival, which a relative of hers was to direct, and through the influence of his sister Octavia brought it about that Caesar alone of the three entered the theatre. Then she sprang up and informed him of the deception, of which he was still ignorant, brought in the very chest and led from it her husband. Caesar, astonished, released all of them (death being the penalty also for such as concealed any one) and enrolled Philopoemen among the knights.

[-8-] He, then, saved the lives of as many as he could. Lepidus allowed his brother Paulus to escape to Miletus and toward others was not inexorable. But Antony killed savagely and relentlessly not only those whose names had been posted, but likewise those who had attempted to assist any of them. He had their heads in view when he happened to be eating and sated himself to the fullest extent on this most unholy and pitiable sight. Fulvia also put to death many herself both by reason of enmity and on account of their money, and some with whom her husband was not acquainted. When he saw the head of one man, he exclaimed: "I didn't know about him!" Cicero's head also being brought to them (he had been overtaken and slain while trying to flee), Antony uttered many bitter reproaches against him and then ordered it to be exposed on the rostra more prominently than the rest, in order that he might be seen in the place from which he used to be heard inveighing against him,—together with his right hand, just as it had been cut off. Before it was taken away Fulvia took it in her hands and after abusing it spitefully and spitting upon it, set it on her knees, opened the mouth, and pulled out the tongue, which she pierced with the brooches that she used for her hair, at the same time uttering many brutal jests. Yet even this pair saved some persons from whom they got more money than they could expect to obtain by their death. But in order that the places for their names on the tablets might not be empty, they inscribed others in their stead. Except that Antony did release his uncle at the earnest entreaty of his mother Julia he performed no other praiseworthy act.

[-9-] For these causes the murders had great variety of detail, and the rescues that fell to the lot of some were of many kinds. Numbers were ruined by their most intimate friends, and numbers were saved by their most inveterate foes. Some slew themselves and others were given freedom by the very pursuers, who approached as if to murder them. Some who betrayed masters or friends were punished and others were honored for this very reason: of those who helped others to survive some paid the penalty and others received rewards. Since there was not one man but three, who were acting in all cases each according to his own desire and for his private advantage, and since the same persons were not enemies or friends of the whole group, since, also, two of them might be anxious for some one to be saved whom the third wished to destroy, or for some one to perish whom the third wished to survive, many complicated situations resulted, according as they felt good-will or hatred toward any one. [-10-] I, accordingly, shall omit an accurate and detailed description of all the events,—it would be a vast undertaking and would not add much to the history,—but shall relate what I deem to be most worthy of remembrance. Here is one.

A slave had hidden his master in a cave, and then, when even so through another's information he was likely to perish, this slave changed clothes with him and wearing his master's apparel confronted the pursuers as the man himself and was slain. So they were turned aside, thinking they had despatched the desired man, but he when they had departed made his escape to some other place.

Or a second. Another slave had likewise changed his entire accoutrement with his master, and entered a covered litter which he made the other help to carry. When they were overtaken the one in the litter was killed without being even looked at, and the master, as a baggage-carrier, was saved. Those services were rendered by those servants to their benefactors in return for some kindness previously received.

There was also a branded runaway who so far from betraying the man who had branded him very willingly preserved him. He was detected in carrying him away and was being pursued, when he killed somebody who met him by chance and gave the latter's clothes to his master. Having then placed him upon a pyre he himself took his master's clothing and ring and going to meet the pursuers pretended that he had killed the man while fleeing. Because of his spoils and the marks of the branding he was believed and both saved the person in question and was himself honored.

The names connected with the above anecdotes have not been preserved. But in the case of Hosidius Greta his son arranged a funeral for him as though already dead and preserved him in that way. Quintus Cicero, the brother of Marcus, was secretly led away by his child and saved, so far as his rescuer's responsibility went. The boy concealed his father so well that he could not be discovered and when tormented for it by all kinds of torture did not utter a syllable. His father, learning what was being done, was filled at once with admiration and pity for the boy, and therefore came voluntarily to view and surrendered himself to the slayers.

[-11-] This gives an idea of the greatness of the manifest achievements of virtue and piety at the time. It was Popillius Laenas who killed Marcus Cicero, in spite of the latter's having done him favors as his advocate; and in order that he might depend not wholly on hearsay but also on the sense of sight to establish himself as the murderer of the orator, he set up an image of himself wearing a crown beside his victim's head, with an inscription that gave his name and the service rendered. By this act he pleased Antony so much that he secured more than the price offered. Marcus Terentius Varro was a man who had given no offence, but as his appellation was identical with that of one of the proscribed, except for one name, he was afraid that, this might lead him to suffer such a fate as did Cinna. Therefore he issued a statement making known this fact; he was tribune at the time. For this he became the subject of much idle amusement and laughter. The uncertainty of life, however, was evidenced by the very fact that Lucius Philuscius, who had previously been proscribed by Sulla and had escaped, had his name now inscribed again on the tablet and perished, whereas Marcus Valerius Messala, condemned to death by Antony, not only continued to live in safety but was later appointed consul in place of Antony himself. Thus many survive from inextricable difficulties and no fewer are ruined through a spirit of confidence. Hence a man ought not to be alarmed to the point of hopelessness by the calamities of the moment, nor to be elated to heedlessness by temporary exultation, but by placing his hope of the future half-way between both to make reliable calculations for either event. [-12-] This is the way it befell at that time: very many of those not proscribed were involved in the downfall of others on account of spite or money, and very many whose names were proclaimed not only survived but returned to their homes again, and some of them even held offices. They had a refuge, of course, with Brutus and Cassius and Sextus, and the majority directed their flight toward the last mentioned. He had been chosen formerly to command the fleet and had held sway for some time on the sea, so that he had surrounded himself with a force of his own, though he was afterward deprived of his office by Caesar. He had occupied Sicily, and then, when the order of proscription was passed against him, too, a host of assassinations took place, he aided greatly those who were in like condition. Anchoring near the coast of Italy he sent word to Rome and to the other cities offering among other things to those who saved anybody double the reward advertised for murdering the same and promising to the men themselves a reception and assistance and money and honors. [-13-] Therefore great numbers came to him. I have not even now recorded the precise total of those who were proscribed or slaughtered or who escaped, because many names originally inscribed on the tablets were erased and many were later inscribed in their place, and of these not a few were saved while many outside of these succumbed. It was not even allowed anybody to mourn for the victims, but several perished from this cause also. And finally, when the calamities broke through all the pretence they could assume and no one even of the most stout-hearted could any longer wear an air of indifference to them, but in all their work and conversation their countenances were overcast and they were not intending to celebrate the usual festival at the beginning of the year, they were ordered by a public notice to appear in good spirits, on pain of death if they should refuse to obey. So they were forced to rejoice over the common evils as over blessings. Yet why need I have mentioned it, when they voted to those men (the triumvirs, I mean) civic crowns and other distinctions as to benefactors and saviors of the State? They did not think of being held to blame because they were killing a few, but wished to receive additional praise for not putting more out of the way. And to the populace they once openly stated that they had emulated neither the cruelty of Marius and Sulla so as to incur hatred, nor the mildness of Caesar so as to be despised and as a result become objects of a conspiracy.

[-14-] Such were the conditions of the murders; but many other unusual proceedings took place in regard to the property of persons left alive. They actually announced, as if they were just and humane rulers, that they would give to the widows of the slain their dowries, to the male children a tenth, and to the female children a twentieth of the property of each one's father. This was not, however, granted save in a few cases: of the rest all the possessions without exception were ruthlessly plundered. In the first place they levied upon all the houses in the City and those in the rest of Italy a yearly rent, which was the entire amount from dwellings which people had let, and half from such as they occupied themselves, with reference to the value of the domicile. Again, from those who had lands they took away half of the proceeds. Besides, they had the soldiers get their support free from the cities in which they were wintering, and distributed them to various rural districts, pretending that they were sent to take charge of confiscated territory or that of persons who still opposed them. For this last class they had termed likewise enemies because they had not changed their attitude before the appointed day. So that the whole country outside the towns was also pillaged. The autocrats allowed the soldiers to do this to the end that, having their pay before the work, they might devote all their energy to their commanders' interests, and promised to give them cities and lands: And with this in view they further assigned to them persons to divide the land and settle them. The mass of the soldiers was made loyal by this course: of the more prominent they tempted some with the goods of those that had been despatched by lowering the price on certain articles and granting others to them free, and others they honored with the offices and priesthoods of the victims. The commanders, to make sure that they themselves should get the finest both of lands and buildings and give their followers what they pleased, gave notice that no one else should frequent the auction room unless he wanted to buy something: whoever did so should die. And they handled bona fide purchasers in such a way that the latter discovered nothing and paid the very highest price for what they wanted, and consequently had no desire to buy again.

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