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Dio's Rome, Vol. III
by Cassius Dio
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Just as he was he at once advanced toward Armenia, and learning there that the Mede had gone a considerable distance from his own land in the discharge of his duties as an ally of the Parthian king, he left behind the beasts of burden and a portion of the army with Oppius Statianus, giving orders for them to follow, and himself taking the cavalry and the strongest of the infantry hurried on in the confidence of seizing all his opponent's strongholds at one blow; he assailed Praaspa, the royal residence, heaped up mounds and made constant attacks. When the Parthian and the Medan kings ascertained this, they left him to continue his idle toil,—for the walls were strong and many were defending them,—but assailed Statianus off his guard and wearied on the march and slew the whole detachment except Polemon, king of Pontus, who was then accompanying the expedition. Him alone they took alive and released in exchange for ransom. They were able to accomplish this because the Armenian king was not present at the battle; but though he might have helped the Romans, as some say, he neither did this nor joined Antony, but retired to his own country. [-26-] Antony hastened at the first message sent him by Statianus to go to his assistance, but was too late. For except corpses he found no one. This outcome caused him fear, but, inasmuch as he fell in with no barbarian, he suspected that they had departed in some direction through terror, and this lent him new courage. Hence when he met them a little later he routed them, for his slingers were numerous, and as the latter could shoot farther than would the bows they inflicted severe injury upon the men in armor. However, he did not kill any remarkable number of them, because the barbarians could ride fast. So he proceeded again against Praaspa and besieged it, though he did no great damage to the enemy; for the men inside the walls repulsed him vigorously, and those outside could not easily be entrapped into a combat. Thus he lost many of his own men in searching for and bringing provisions, and many by his own discipline. At first, as long as they could get their food from somewhere in the neighborhood, they had no difficulty about either undertaking: they could attend to the siege and safely secure supplies both at once. When, however, all material at hand had been used up, and the soldiers were obliged to go to some distance, it happened to them that if few were sent anywhere, not only did they not bring anything, but they perished as well; if a number were sent, they left the wall destitute of besiegers and meantime lost many men and many engines at the hands of the barbarians, who would make a sortie against them. [-27-] For this reason Antony gave them all barley instead of wheat and destroyed every tenth man in some instances: indeed, the entire force which was supposed to be besieging endured the hardships of persons besieged. The men within the walls watched carefully for opportunities to make sallies; and those outside harassed fearfully the Romans that remained in position as often as they became separated, accomplishing this by making a sudden charge and wheeling about again in a narrow space: this force outside did not trouble the food trains while the latter were en route to the villages, but would fall upon them unexpectedly when scattered in the homeward march. But since Antony even under these conditions maintained his place before the city, Phraates, fearing that in the long run he might do it some harm either by himself or through securing some allied force, secretly sent some men to open negotiations with him and persuaded him by pretending that it would be very easy to secure peace. After this, when men were sent to him by Antony, he held a conference with them seated upon a golden chair and twanging his bowstring; he first inveighed against them at length, but finally promised that he would grant peace, if they would straightway remove their camp. On hearing this Antony was both alarmed at his boastfulness and ready to believe that a truce could be secured if he himself should shift his position: hence he withdrew without destroying any of his implements of siege but behaved as if in friendly territory. [-28-] When he had done this and was awaiting the truce, the Medes burned the engines and scattered the mounds, while the Parthians made no proposition to him respecting peace but suddenly attacked him and inflicted very serious damage. He found out that he had been deceived and did not venture to employ any further envoys, being sure that the barbarians would not agree to any reasonable terms, and not wishing to cast the soldiers into dejection by failing to arrange a truce. Therefore he resolved, since he had once started, to hurry on into Armenia. His troops took another road, since the one by which they had come they believed to have been blocked entirely, and on the way their sufferings were unusually great. They came into unknown regions where they wandered at random, and furthermore the barbarians seized the passes in advance of their approach, digging trenches outside of some and building palisades in front of others, spoiled the water-courses everywhere, and drove away the flocks. In case they ever got a chance to march through more favorable territory, the enemy would turn them aside from such places by false announcements that they had been occupied beforehand, and caused them to take different roads along which ambuscades had been previously posted, so that many perished through such mishaps and many of hunger. [-29-] As a result there were some desertions, and they would all have gone over, had not the barbarians shot down before the eyes of the others any who dared to take this course. Consequently the men refrained from this, and from Fortune's hands obtained the following relief. One day when they fell into an ambush and were struck with fast-flying arrows, they suddenly made by joining shields the testudo, and rested their left knees on the ground. The barbarians had never seen anything of the kind before and thought that they had fallen from their wounds and needed only one finishing blow; so they threw aside their bows, leaped from their horses, and drawing their daggers came close to put an end to them. At this the Romans rose to their feet, spread out the phalanx at a word, and each one attacked the man nearest and facing him; thus they cut down great numbers since they were contending armed against an unprotected foe, men prepared against men off their guard, heavy infantry against archers, Romans against barbarians. All the survivors immediately retired and no one followed them for the future.

[-30-] This testudo and the way in which it is formed deserve a word of explanation. The baggage animals, the light-armed troops, and the cavalry are marshaled in the center of the army. Those infantrymen who use the oblong, hollow, grooved shields are drawn up around the edges, making a rectangular figure; and, facing outward with spear-points projecting,[52] they enclose the rest. The other infantrymen, who have flat shields, form a compact body in the center and raise their shields above themselves and above all the rest, so that nothing but shields can be seen in every part of the phalanx alike and all the men by the density of formation are under shelter from missiles. It is so marvelously strong that men can walk upon it, and when ever they get into a hollow, narrow passage, even horses and vehicles can be driven over it. Such is the method of this arrangement, and this shows why it has received the title of testudo,[53]—with reference to its strength and to the excellent shelter it affords. They use it in two ways: either they approach some fort to assault it, often even enabling men to scale the very walls, or where sometimes they are surrounded by archers they all bend together,—even the horses being taught to kneel and recline,—and thereby cause the foe to think that they are exhausted; then, when the others draw near, they suddenly rise, to the latter's great alarm.

[-31-] The testudo, then, is the kind of device just described. As for Antony, he suffered no further harm from the enemy, but underwent severe hardships by reason of the cold. It was now winter, and the mountain districts of Armenia, through which, as the only route open to him, he was actually thankful to be able to proceed, are never free from snow and ice. The wounds, of which the men had many, there created especial discomfort. So many kept perishing and were continually rendered useless for fighting that he would not allow reports of each individual case, but forbade any one to bring him any such news; and although he was angry with the Armenian king for deserting them, and anxious to take vengeance on him, he nevertheless humiliated himself before the monarch and paid court to him for the purpose of obtaining provisions and money from him. Finally, as the soldiers could not hold out to march farther, in the winter time, too, and were at any rate going to have their hardships for nothing since he was minded to return to Armenia before a great while, he flattered the prince tremendously and made him many attractive promises, to get him to allow the men to winter where they were; he said that in the spring he would make another campaign against the Parthians. Money also came to him from Cleopatra, so that to each of the infantrymen was given one hundred denarii[54] and to the rest a proportionate allowance. But inasmuch as the amount sent was not enough for them he paid the remainder from his own funds, and though the expense was his own he gave Cleopatra the credit of the favor. For he both solicited contributions from his friends and levied a great deal of money upon the allies.

[-32-] Following these transactions he departed for Egypt. Now the Romans at home were not ignorant of anything that had taken place in spite of the fact that his despatches did not contain the truth; for he concealed all his unpleasant experiences and some of them he described as just the opposite, making it appear that he was progressing famously: but, for all that, rumor reported the truth and Caesar and his circle investigated it carefully and discussed it. They did not, however, make public their evidence, but instead sacrificed cattle and held festivals. Since Caesar at that time was still getting the worst of it against Sextus, the truth of the facts could not be rendered fitting or opportune. Besides his above actions Antony assigned positions of government, giving Gaul to Amyntas, though he had been only the secretary of Deiotarus, and also adding to his domain Lycaonia with portions of Pamphylia, and bestowing upon Archelaus Cappadocia after driving out Ariarathes. This Archelaus on his father's side belonged to those Archelauses who had contended against the Romans, but on his mother's side was the son of Glaphyra, an hetaera. It is quite true that for these appointments Antony, who could be very magnanimous in dealing with the possessions of other people, was somewhat less ill spoken of among the soldiers.

But in the matter of Cleopatra he incurred outspoken dislike because he had taken into his family children of hers,—the elder ones being Alexander and Cleopatra, twins at a birth, and the younger one Ptolemy, called also Philadelphus,—and because he had granted to them a great deal of Arabia, both the district of Malchus and that of the Ituraeans (for he executed Lysanias, whom he had himself made king over them, on the charge that he had favored Paccrus) and also a great deal of Phoenicia and Palestine together with parts of Crete, and Cyrene and Cyprus.

[B.C. 35 (a. u. 719)]

[-33-] These are his acts at that time: the following year, when Pompeius and Cornificius were consuls, he attempted to conduct a campaign against the Armenian prince; and as he placed no little hope in the Mede, because the latter was indignant at Phraates owing to not having received from him much of the spoils or any other honor, and was anxious to punish the Armenian king for bringing in the Romans, Antony sent Polemon to him and requested friendship and alliance. And he was so well satisfied with the business that he both made terms with the Mede and later gave Polemon Lesser Armenia as a reward for his embassy. First he summoned the Armenian to Egypt as a friend, intending to seize him there without effort and make away with him; but when the prince suspected this and did not obey, he plotted to deceive him in another fashion. He did not openly evince anger toward him, in order not to alienate him, but to the end that he might find his foe unprepared set sail from Egypt with the avowed object of making one more campaign against the Parthians. On the way Antony learned that Octavia was arriving from Rome, and went no farther, but returned; this he did in spite of having at once ordered her to go home and later accepting the gifts which she sent, some of them being soldiers which she had begged from her brother for this very purpose.

[-34-] As for him, he became more than ever a slave to the passion and wiles of Cleopatra. Caesar meantime, since Sextus had perished and affairs in Libya required settlement, went to Sicily as if intending to take ship thither, but after delaying there found that the winter made it too late for crossing. Now the Salassi, Taurisci, Liburni, and Iapudes had not for a long time been behaving fairly toward the Romans, but had failed to contribute revenue and sometimes would invade and harm the neighboring districts. At this time, in view of Octavius's absence, they were openly in revolt. Consequently he turned back and began his preparations against them. Some of the men who had been dismissed when they became disorderly, and had received nothing, wished to serve again: therefore he assigned them to one camp, in order that being alone they might find it impossible to corrupt any one else and in case they should wish to show themselves rebellions might be detected at once. As this did not teach them moderation any the more, he sent out a few of the eldest of them to become colonists in Gaul, thinking that thus he would inspire the rest with hopes and win their devotion. Since even then they continued audacious, some of them paid the penalty. The rest displayed rage at this, whereupon he called them together as if for some other purpose, had the rest of the army surround them, took away their arms, and removed them from the service. In this way they learned both their own weakness and Caesar's force of mind, and so they really experienced a change of heart and after urgent supplications were allowed to enter the service anew. For Caesar, being in need of soldiers and fearing that Antony would appropriate them, said that he pardoned them, and he found them most useful for all tasks.

[-35-] It was later that they proved their sincerity. At this time he himself led the campaign against the Iapudes, assigning the rest of the tribes to others to subdue. Those that were on his side of the mountains, dwelling not far from the sea, he reduced with comparatively little trouble, but he overcame those on the heights and beyond them with no small hardship. They strengthened Metulum, the largest of their cities, and repulsed many assaults of the Romans, burned to the ground many engines and laid low Octavius himself as he was trying to step from a wooden tower upon the circuit of the wall. Later, when he still did not desist but kept sending for additional forces, they pretended to wish to negotiate terms and received members of garrisons into their citadel. Then by night they destroyed all of these and set fire to their houses, some killing themselves and some their wives and children in addition, so that nothing whatever remained for Caesar. For not only they but also such as were captured alive destroyed themselves voluntarily shortly afterward.

[-36-] When these had perished and the rest had been subdued without performing any exploit of note, he made a campaign against the Pannonians. He had no complaint to bring against them, not having been wronged by them in any way, but he wanted both to give his soldiers practice and to support them abroad: for he regarded every demonstration against a weaker party as just, when it pleased the man whom weapons made their superior. The Pannonians are settled near Dalmatia close along the Ister from Noricum to European Moesia and lead the most miserable existence of mankind. They are not well off in the matter of land or sky, they cultivate no olives or vines except to the slightest extent, and these wretched varieties, since the greater part of their days is passed in the midst of most rigorous winter, but they drink as well as eat barley and millet. They have been considered very brave, however, during all periods of which we have cognizance. For they are very quick to anger and ready to slay, inasmuch as they possess nothing which can give them a happy life. This I know not by hearsay or reading only, but I have learned it from actual experience as their governor. For after my term as ruler in Africa and in Dalmatia,—the latter position my father also held for a time,—I was appointed[55] to Upper Pannonia, so-called, and hence my record is founded on exact knowledge of all conditions among them. Their name is due to the fact that they cut up a kind of toga in a way peculiar to themselves into strips which they call panni, and then stitch these together into sleeved tunics for themselves.

They have been named so either for this or for some other reason; but certain of the Greeks who were ignorant of the truth have spoken of them as Paeones, which is an old word but does not belong there, but rather applies to Rhodope, close to the present Macedonia, as far as the sea. Wherefore I shall call the dwellers in the latter district Paeones, but the others Pannonians, just as they themselves and as the Romans do.

[-37-] It was against this people, then, that Caesar at that time conducted a campaign. At first he did not devastate or plunder at all, although they abandoned their villages in the plain. He hoped to make them his subjects of their free will. But when they harassed him as he advanced to Siscia, he became angry, burned their land, and took all the booty he could. When he drew near the city the natives for a moment listened to their rulers and made terms with him and gave hostages, but afterward shut their gates and accepted a state of siege. They possessed strong walls and were in general encouraged by the presence of two navigable rivers. The one named the Colops[56] flows past the very circuit of the wall and empties into the Savus not far distant: it has now encircled the entire city, for Tiberius gave it this shape by constructing a great canal through which it rejoins its ancient course. At that time between the Colops on the one hand, which flowed on past the very walls, and the Savus on the other, which flowed at a little distance, an empty space had been left which had been buttressed with palisades and ditches. Caesar secured boats made by the allies in that vicinity, and after towing them through the Ister into the Savus, and through that stream into the Colops, he assailed the enemy with infantry and ships together, and had some naval battles on the river. For the barbarians prepared in turn some boats made of one piece of wood with which they risked a conflict; and on the river they killed besides many others Menas the freedman of Sextus, and on the land they vigorously repulsed the invader until they ascertained that some of their allies had been ambushed and destroyed. Then in dejection they yielded. When they had thus been captured the remainder of Pannonian territory was induced to capitulate.

[-38-] After this he left Fufius Geminus there with a small force and himself returned to Rome. The triumph which had been voted to him he deferred, but granted Octavia and Livia images, the right of administering their own affairs without a supervisor, and freedom from fear and inviolability equally with the tribunes.

[B.C. 34 (a. u. 720)]

In emulation of his father he had started out to lead an expedition into Britain, and had already advanced into Gaul after the winter in which Antony for the second time and Lucius Libo were consuls, when some of the newly captured and Dalmatians with them rose in revolt. Geminus, although expelled from Siscia, recovered the Pannonians by a few battles; and Valerius Messala overthrew the Salassi and the rest who had joined them in rebellion. Against the Dalmatians first Agrippa and then Caesar also made campaigns. The most of them they subjugated after undergoing many terrible experiences themselves, such as Caesar's being wounded, barley being given to some of the soldiers instead of wheat, and others, who had deserted the standards, being decimated: with the remaining tribes[57] Statilius Taurus carried on war.

[-39-] Antony meanwhile resigned his office as soon as appointed, putting Lucius Sempronius Atratinus in his place; consequently some name the latter and not the former in the enumeration of the consuls. In the course of his efforts to take vengeance on the Armenian king with least trouble to himself, he asked the hand of his daughter, pretending to want to unite her in marriage to his son Alexander; he sent on this errand one Quintus Deillius, who had once been a favorite of his, and promised to give the monarch many gifts. Finally, at the beginning of spring, he came suddenly into Nicopolis (founded by Pompey) and sent for him, stating that he wanted to deliberate on and execute with his aid some measures against the Parthians. The king suspecting the plot did not come, so he sent Deillius to have another talk with him and marched with undiminished haste toward Artaxata. In this way, after a long time, partly by persuading him through friends, and partly by scaring him through his soldiers, and writing and acting toward him in every way as thoroughly friendly, he induced him to come into his camp. Thereupon the Roman arrested him and at first keeping the prince without bonds he led him around among the garrisons with whom his treasures were deposited, to see if he could win them without a struggle. He made a pretence of having arrested him for no other purpose than to collect tribute of the Armenians that would ensure both his preservation and his sovereignty. When, however, the guardians of the gold would have nothing to do with him and the troops under arms chose Artaxes, the eldest of his children, king in his stead, Antony bound him in silver chains. It seemed disgraceful, probably, for one who had been a king to be made fast in iron bonds. [-40-] After this, capturing some settlements peaceably and some by force, Antony occupied all of Armenia, for Artaxes after fighting an engagement and being worsted retired to the Parthian prince. After doing this he betrothed to his son the daughter of the Median king with the intention of making him still more his friend; then he left the legions in Armenia and went once more to Egypt, taking the great mass of booty and the Armenian with his wife and children. He sent them ahead with the other captives for a triumph held in Alexandria, and himself drove into the city upon a chariot, and among the other favors he granted to Cleopatra he brought before her the Armenian and his family in golden bonds. She was seated in the midst of the populace upon a platform plated with silver and upon a gilded chair. The barbarians would not be her suppliants nor do obeisance to her, though much coercion was brought to bear upon them and hopes were held out to persuade them, but they merely addressed her by name: this gave them a reputation for spirit, but they were subject to a great deal of ill usage on account of it.

[-41-] After this Antony gave an entertainment to the Alexandrians, and in the assemblage had Cleopatra and her children sit by his side: also in the course of a public address he enjoined that she be called Queen of Monarchs, and Ptolemy (whom he named Caesarion) King of Kings. He then made a different distribution by which he gave them Egypt and Cyprus. For he declared that one was the wife and the other the true son of the former Caesar and he made the plea that he was doing this as a mark of favor to the dead statesman,—his purpose being to cast reproach in this way upon Octavianus Caesar because he was only an adopted and not a real son of his. Besides making this assignment to them, he promised to give to his own children by Cleopatra the following lands,—to Ptolemy Syria and all the region west of the Euphrates as far as the Hellespont, to Cleopatra Libya about Cyrene, and to their brother Alexander Armenia and the rest of the districts across the Euphrates as far as the Indi. The latter he bestowed as if they were already his. Not only did he say this in Alexandria, but sent a despatch to Rome, in order that it might secure ratification also from the people there. Nothing of this, however, was read in public.

[B.C. 32 (a. u. 722)]

Domitius and Sosius were consuls by that time and being extremely devoted to him refused to accede to Caesar's urgent demands that they should publish it to all. Though they prevailed in this matter Caesar won a victory in turn by not having anything that had been written about the Armenian king made known to the public. He felt pity for the prince because he had been secretly in communication with him for the purpose of injuring Antony, and he grudged the latter his triumph. While Antony was engaged as described he dared to write to the senate that he wished to give up his office and put all affairs into the hands of that body and of the people: he was not really intending to do anything of the kind, but he desired that under the influence of the hopes he roused they might either compel Caesar, because on the spot, to give up his arms first, or begin to hate him, if he would not heed them.

[-42-] In addition to these events at that time the consuls celebrated the festival held in honor of Venus Genetrix. During the Feriae, prefects, boys and beardless youths, appointed by Caesar and sprung from knights but not from senators, directed ceremonies. Also Aemilius Lepidus Paulus constructed at his own expense the so-called Porticus Pauli and dedicated it in his consulship; for he was consul a portion of that year. And Agrippa restored from his own purse the so-called Marcian water-supply, which had been cut off by the destruction of the pipes, and carried it in pipes to many parts of the city. These men, though rivals in the outlay of their private funds, still dissembled the fact and behaved sensibly: others who were holding even some most insignificant office strove to get a triumph voted to themselves, some through Antony and some through Caesar; and on this pretext they levied large sums upon foreign nations for gold crowns.

[B.C. 33 (a. u. 721)]

[-43-] The next year Agrippa agreed to be made aedile and without taking anything from the public treasury repaired all the public buildings and all the roads, cleaned out the sewers, and sailed through them underground into the Tiber. And seeing that in the hippodrome men made mistakes about the number of turns necessary, he established the system of dolphins and egg-shaped objects, so that by them the number of times the track had been circled might be clearly shown. Furthermore he distributed to all olive oil and salt, and had the baths open free of charge throughout the year for the use of both men and women. In the many festivals of all kinds which he gave (so many that the children of senators could perform the "Troy" equestrian exercise), he also paid barbers, to the end that no one should be at any expense for their services. Finally he rained upon the heads of the people in the theatre tickets that were good for money in one case, clothes in another, and something else in a third, and he also would place various other large stocks of goods in the squares and allow the people to scramble for them. Besides doing this Agrippa drove the astrologers and charlatans from the city. During these same days a decree was passed that no one belonging to the senatorial class should be tried for piracy, and so those who were under any such charge at the time were released and some were given carte blanche to commit crimes in future. Caesar became consul for the second time with Lucius Tullus as his colleague, but on the very first day, as Antony had done, he resigned; and with the sanction of the senate he introduced some persons from the populace to the rank of patricians. When a certain Lucius Asellius, who was praetor, on account of a long sickness wished to lay down his office, he appointed his son in his stead. And another praetor died on the last day of his term, whereupon Caesar chose another for the remaining hours. At the decease of Bocchus he gave his kingdom to no one else, but enrolled it among the Roman provinces. And since the Dalmatians had been utterly subdued, he erected from the spoils thus gained the porticoes and secured the collection of books called the Octavian, after his sister.

[-44-] Antony meantime had marched as far as the Araxes, presumably to conduct a campaign against the Parthians, but was satisfied to arrange terms with the Median monarch. They made a covenant to serve each other as allies, the one against the Parthians and the other against Caesar, and to cement the compact they exchanged some soldiers; the Median prince received a portion of the newly acquired Armenia and Antony his daughter Iotape, to be united in marriage with Alexander, and the military standards taken in the battle with Statianus; after this Antony bestowed upon Polemon, as I have stated, Lesser Armenia, both made Lucius Flavius consul and removed him (as his colleague), and set out for Ionia and Greece to wage war against Caesar. The Median at first, by employing the Romans as allies, conquered the Parthians and Artaxes who came against him; but as Antony sent for his soldiers and moreover retained those of the prince, the latter was in turn defeated and captured, and so Armenia was lost together with Media.

DIO'S ROMAN HISTORY 50

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

How Caesar and Antony commenced hostilities against each other (chapters 1-14).

How Caesar conquered Antony at Actium (chapters 15-35).

Duration of time two years, in which there were the following magistrates here enumerated:

Cn. Domitius L.F.Cn.N. Ahenobarbus, C. Sosius C.F. T.N. (B.C. 32 = a. u. 722.)

Caesar (III), M. Valerius M.F. Messala Corvinus. (B.C. 31 = a. u. 723.)

(BOOK 50, BOISSEVAIN.)

[-1-] The Roman people had been robbed of democracy but had not become definitely a monarchy: Antony and Caesar still controlled affairs on an equal footing, had divided the management of most of them, and nominally considered that the rest belonged to them in common, though in reality they endeavored to appropriate each interest as fast as either was able to gain any advantage over the other. Sextus had now perished, the Armenian king had been captured, the parties hostile to Caesar were silent, the Parthians showed no signs of restlessness, and so after this they turned openly against each other and the people became entirely enslaved. The causes for the war, or the pretexts, were as follows. Antony charged against Caesar that he had removed Lepidus from his position, and had taken possession of his territory and the troops of both him and Sextus, which ought to have been common property. He demanded the half of these as well as the half of the soldiers that had been levied in the parts of Italy which belonged to both of them. Caesar's charge against him was that he was holding Egypt and other countries that he had not drawn by lot, had killed Sextus (whom he would willingly have spared, he said), and by deceiving and binding the Armenian king had caused much ill repute to attach to the Roman people. He, too, demanded half of the spoils, and above all reproached him with Cleopatra and the children of hers which he had seen fit to regard as his own, the gifts bestowed upon them, and particularly that he called the boy such a name as Caesarion and placed him in the family of Caesar. [-2-] These were their mutual charges; and to a certain extent mutual rejoinders were made, some sent by letter to each other and others given to the public, by Caesar orally, by Antony in writing. On this pretext also they kept constantly sending envoys back and forth, wishing to appear as far as possible justified in the complaints they made and to reconnoitre each other's position at the same time.

[B.C. 32 (a. u. 722)]

Meanwhile they were collecting money avowedly for some different purpose and were making all other preparations for war as if against other persons, until the time that Gnaeus Domitius and Gaius Sosius, both belonging to Antony's party, became consuls. Then they made no further concealment, but admitted their alienation outright. It happened in the following way.

Domitius did not openly attempt any radical measures, since he had had the experience of many calamities. Sosius, however, had never experienced such evils, and so on the very first day of the month he spoke at length in praise of Antony and inveighed forcibly against Caesar. Indeed, he would have immediately introduced measures against the latter, had not Nonius Balbus, a tribune, prevented it. Caesar had suspected what he was going to do and wished neither to permit it to come to pass nor by offering opposition to appear to be commencing war; hence he did not enter the senate at this time nor even live in the city at all, but invented some excuse which took him out of town. He was not only influenced by the above considerations but desired to deliberate at leisure according to the reports brought to him and decide by mature reflection upon the proper course. Later he returned and convened the senate; he was surrounded by a guard of soldiers and friends who had daggers concealed, and sitting between the consuls upon his chair of state he spoke at length, and calmly, from where he sat regarding his own position, and brought many accusations against Sosius and Antony. When neither of the consuls themselves nor any one else ventured to utter a word, he bade them come together again on a specified day, giving them to understand that he would prove by certain documents that Antony was in the wrong. The consuls did not dare to reply to him and could not endure to be silent, and therefore secretly left the city before the time came for them to appear again; after that they took their way to Antony, followed by not a few of the senators who were left. Caesar on learning this declared, to prevent its appearing that he had been abandoned by them as a result of some injustice, that he had sent them out voluntarily and that he granted the rest who so wished permission to depart unarmed to Antony.

[-3-] This action of theirs just mentioned was counterbalanced by the arrival of others who had fled from Antony to Caesar—among them Titius and Plancus, though they were honored by Antony among the foremost and knew all his secrets. Their desertion was due to some friction between themselves and the Roman leader, or perhaps they were disgusted in the matter of Cleopatra: at any rate they left soon after the consuls had taken the final step and Caesar in the latter's absence had convened the senate and read and spoken all that he wished, upon hearing of which Antony assembled a kind of senate from the ranks of his followers, and after considerable talk on both sides of the question took up the war and renounced his connection with Octavia. Caesar was very glad to receive the pair and learned from them about Antony's condition, what he was doing, what he had in mind, what was written in his will, and the name of the man that had it; for they had taken part in sealing it. He became still more violently enraged from this cause and did not shrink from searching for the document, seizing it, and then carrying it into the senate and subsequently the assembly, and reading it. The clauses contained in it were of such a nature that his most lawless behavior brought upon him no reproach from the citizens. The writer had asseverated the fact that Caesarion was truly sprung from Caesar, had given some enormous presents to his children by the Egyptian queen, who were being reared by him, and had ordered that his body be buried in Alexandria and by her side.

[-4-] This made the Romans in their indignation believe that the other reports circulated were also true,—viz., that if Antony should prevail, he would bestow their city upon Cleopatra and transfer the seat of power to Egypt. And thereat they became so angry that all, not only such as disliked him or were indifferent to the two men, censured him, but even his most intimate friends did so severely. For in consternation at what was read and eager to relieve themselves of the suspicion felt toward them by Caesar, they said the same as the rest. They deprived him of the consulship, to which he had been previously elected, and of all his remaining authority. They did not declare him an enemy in so many words, because they feared its effect on his adherents, since it would be necessary that they also be held in the position of enemies in case they should not abandon him; but by action they showed their attitude as plainly as possible. For they voted to the men arrayed on his side pardon and praise if they would abandon him, and declared war outright upon Cleopatra, put on their military cloaks as though he were close at hand, and went to the temple of Bellona where they performed through Caesar as fetialis all the rites preliminary to war in the customary fashion. These were stated to refer to Cleopatra, but their real bearing was on Antony. [-5-] She had enslaved him so absolutely that she persuaded him to act as gymnasiarch[58] to the Alexandrians; and she was saluted by him as "queen" and "mistress," had Roman soldiers in her body-guard, and all of these inscribed her name upon their shields. She used to frequent the market-place with him, joined him in the management of festivals, in the hearing of lawsuits, and in riding; and in the cities she was actually carried in a chair, while Antony accompanied her on foot along with the eunuchs. He also termed his head-quarters "the palace", sometimes wore an Oriental dagger at his belt, dressed in a manner not in accordance with the customs of his native land, and let himself be seen even in public upon a gilded couch and a chair of similar appearance. He joined her in sitting for paintings and statues, he representing Osiris and Dionysus, and she Selene and Isis. This more than all made him seem to have become crazed by her through some enchantment. She so charmed and enthralled not only him but all the rest who had any influence with him that she conceived the hope of ruling the Romans, and made her greatest vow, whenever she took any oath, that of dispensing justice on the Capitol.

[-6-] This was the reason that they voted for war against Cleopatra, but they made no such declaration against Antony, knowing well that he would be made hostile in any case, for he was certainly not going to betray her and espouse Caesar's cause. And they wished to have this additional reproach to heap upon him, that he had voluntarily taken up war in behalf of the Egyptian woman against his native country, though no ill treatment had been accorded him personally at home.

Now the men of fighting age were being rapidly assembled on both sides, money was being collected from all quarters, and all warlike equipment was being gathered with speed. The entire armament distinctly surpassed in size anything previous. All the following nations cooeperated with one side or the other in this war. Caesar had Italy—he attached to his cause even all those who had been placed in colonies by Antony, partly by frightening them on account of their small numbers and partly by conferring benefits; among other things that he did was to settle again as an act of his own the men who inhabited Bononia, so that they might seem to be his colonists. His allies, then, were Italy, Gaul, Spain, Illyricum, the Libyans,—both those who had long since accepted Roman sway (except those about Cyrene), and those that had belonged to Bogud and Bocchus,—Sardinia, Sicily, and the rest of the islands adjacent to the aforementioned divisions of the mainland. On Antony's side were the regions obeying Rome in continental Asia, the regions of Thrace, Greece, Macedonia, the Egyptians, the Cyrenaeans together with the surrounding country, the islanders dwelling near them, and practically all the princes and potentates who were neighbors to that part of the Roman empire then under his control,—some taking the field themselves and others being represented by troops. And so enthusiastic were the outside contingents on both sides that they confirmed by oath their alliance with each man.

[-7-] Such was the strength of the contestants. Antony took an oath to his own soldiers that he would fight without quarter and further promised that within two months after his victory he would give up his entire power and commit it to the senate and the people: some of them with difficulty persuaded him to do so only when six months had elapsed, so that he might be able to settle matters leisurely. And he, however far he was from seriously contemplating such an act, yet made the offer to strengthen the belief that he was certainly and without fail going to conquer. He saw that his own force was much superior in numbers and hoped to weaken that of his opponent by bribes. He sent gold in every direction, most of all into Italy, and especially to Rome; and he tempted his opponents individually, trying to win followers. As a result Caesar kept the more vigilant watch and gave money to his soldiers.

[-8-] Such was the vigor and the equipment of the two; and meantime all sorts of stories were circulated by men, and from the gods also there were many plain indications. An ape entered the temple of Ceres during a certain service, and tumbled about everything in the building. An owl flew first upon the temple of Concord and then upon practically all the other holiest buildings, and finally after being driven away from every other spot settled upon the temple of the Genius Populi and was not caught, and did not depart until late in the day. The chariot of Jupiter was demolished in the Roman hippodrome, and for many days a flash would rise over the sea toward Greece and dart up into the firmament. Many unfortunate accidents also were caused by storm: a trophy standing upon the Aventine fell, a statue of Victory was dislodged from the back wall of the theatre, and the wooden bridge was broken down completely. Many objects were destroyed by fire, and moreover there was a fierce volcanic discharge from Aetna which damaged cities and fields. On seeing and hearing these things the Romans remembered also about the serpent, because he too had doubtless indicated something about the situation confronting them. A little before this a great two-headed serpent, eighty-five feet long, had suddenly appeared in Etruria and after doing much damage had been killed by lightning. This had a bearing upon all of them. The chief force engaged on both sides alike was made up of Romans, and many were destined at that juncture to perish in each army, and then all of the survivors to become the property of the victor. Antony was given omens of defeat beforehand by the children in Rome; without any one's having suggested it they formed two parties, of which one called itself the Antonians and the other the Caesarians, and they fought with each other for two days, when those that bore Antony's name were defeated. His death was portended by what happened to one of his images set up as an offering in the temple of Jupiter at Albanum; although it was stone it sent forth streams of blood.

[-9-] All alike were excited over these events, yet in that year nothing further took place. Caesar was busied settling matters in Italy, especially when he discovered the presence of money sent by Antony, and so could not go to the front before winter. His rival started out with the intention of carrying the war into Italy before they suspected his movements, but when he came to Corcyra and ascertained that the advance guard of ships sent to reconnoitre his position was hiding in the vicinity of the mountains of Ceraunia, he conceived the idea that Caesar himself with all his fleet had arrived; hence he would proceed no farther. Instead, he sailed back to the Peloponnesus, the season being already late autumn, and passed the winter at Patrae, distributing the soldiers in every direction to the end that they might keep guard over the various districts and secure more easily an abundance of provisions. Meanwhile volunteers from each party went over to both sides, senators as well as others, and Lucius Messius was caught as a spy by Caesar. He released the man in spite of his being one of those previously captured at Perusia, but first showed him all his power. To Antony Caesar sent a letter, bidding him either withdraw from the sea a day's journey on horseback, and grant him the free privilege of coming to him by boat on condition that they should meet within five days, or else to cross over to Italy himself on the same terms. Antony made a great deal of fun of him and said: "Who will be our arbitrator, if the compact is transgressed in any way?" And Caesar did not expect that his demands would receive compliance, but hoped to inspire his own soldiers with courage and his opponents with terror by this act.

[B.C. 31 (a. u. 723)]

[-10-] As consuls for the next year after this Caesar and Antony had been appointed at the time when they settled the offices for eight years at once[59]; and this was the last year of the period: and as Antony had been deposed,—a fact which I stated,[60]—Valerius Messala, who had once been proscribed by them,[61] became consul with Caesar. About this time a madman rushed into the theatre at one of the festivals, seized the crown of the former Caesar and put it on, whereupon he was torn to pieces by the bystanders. A wolf that darted into the temple of Fortune was caught and killed, and at the hippodrome during the very contest of the horses a dog overpowered and devoured another dog. Fire also consumed a considerable portion of the hippodrome, the temple of Ceres, another shrine dedicated to Spes, besides a large number of other structures. The freedmen were thought to have caused this. All of them who were in Italy and possessed property worth five myriads[62] or more had been ordered to contribute an eighth of it. The result was numerous riots, murders, and firing of buildings on their part, and they were not brought to order until they were subdued by armed force. After this the freedmen who held any land in Italy grew frightened and kept quiet: they had been ordered, too, to give a quarter of their annual income, and though they were on the point of rebelling against this extortion, they were not bold enough after the demonstration mentioned to show further insubordination, but reluctantly made their contribution without disputing the matter. Therefore it was believed that the fire was due to a plot originated by the freedmen: yet this did not prevent it from being recorded among the great portents, because of the number of buildings burned.

[-11-] Disregarding such omens as had appeared to them they neither felt fear nor displayed less hostility but spent the winter in employing spies and annoying each other. Caesar had set sail from Brundusium and proceeded as far as Corcyra, intending to attack the ships near Actium while off their guard, but he encountered rough weather and received damage which caused him to withdraw. When spring came, Antony made no move at any point: the crews that manned the triremes were made up of all kinds of nations, and as they had been wintering at a distance from him they had secured no practice and had been diminished in numbers by disease and desertions; Agrippa also had seized Methone by storm, had killed Bogud there, was watching for merchant vessels to come to land, and was making descents from time to time on various parts of Greece, which caused Antony extreme disturbance. Caesar in turn was encouraged by this and wished to employ as soon as possible the energy of the army, which was trained to a fine point, and to carry on the war in Greece near his rival's supporters rather than in Italy near Rome. Therefore he collected all his soldiers who were of any value, and all of the men of influence, both senators and knights, at Brundusium. He wished to have the first to cooeperate with him and to keep the second from being alone and acting in any revolutionary way, but chiefly he wished to show mankind that the largest and strongest element among the Romans was in accord with him. Therefore he ordered all to bring with them a stated number of servants and that, except the soldiers, they should also carry food for themselves; after this with the entire array he crossed the Ionian Gulf. [-12-] He was leading them not to the Peloponnesus or against Antony, but to Actium, where the greater part of his rival's fleet was at anchor, to see if he could gain possession of it, willing or unwilling, in advance. Consequently he disembarked the cavalry under the shadow of the Ceraunian mountains and sent them to the point mentioned, while he himself with his ships seized Corcyra, deserted by the garrisons within it, and came to a stop in the so-called Sweet Harbor: it is so named because it is made sweet by the river emptying into it. There he established a naval station and from there he set out to sail to Actium. No one came out to meet him or would hold parley with him, though he urged them to do one of two things,—come to an agreement or come into battle. But the first alternative they would not accept through distrust, nor the second, through fear. He then occupied the site where Nicopolis now stands and took up a position on a high piece of ground there from which there is a view over all the outer sea near Paxa, over the inner Ambracian Gulf, and the intermediary water (on which are the harbors near Nicopolis) alike. This spot he strengthened and constructed walls from it down to Comarus, the outer harbor, so that he commanded Actium with his camp and his fleet, by land and sea. I have heard the report that he transferred triremes from the outer sea to the gulf through the fortifications, using newly flayed hides smeared with olive oil instead of hauling-engines. However, I can find no exploit recorded of these ships in the gulf and therefore I am unable to trust the tradition; for it was certainly no small task to draw triremes on hides over a long and uneven tract of land. Still, it is said to have been performed. Actium is a place sacred to Apollo and is located in front of the mouth of the narrows leading into the Ambracian Gulf opposite the harbors at Nicopolis. These narrows are of uniform breadth, though closely confined, for a long distance, and both they and all the waters outside the entrance are fit for ships to come to anchor in and lie in wait. This space the adherents of Antony had occupied in advance, had built towers on each side of the mouth, and had taken up the intervening space with ships so that they could both sail out and retreat with security. The men were bivouacked on the farther side of the narrows, along by the sanctuary, on an extensive level area quite suitable for either battle or encampment. The nature of the place made them far more subject to disease both in winter and in summer.

[-13-] As soon as Antony ascertained Caesar's arrival, he did not delay, but hastened to Actium with his followers. He reached there in a short time but did not at once risk an encounter, though Caesar was constantly marshaling his infantry in front of the camp, often making dashes at them with his ships and beaching their transports; for his object was to join battle with only such as were present, before Antony's entire command assembled. For this very reason the latter was unwilling to risk his all, and he had recourse for several days to trials and skirmishes until he had gathered his legions. With these, especially since Caesar no longer displayed an equal readiness to assail them, he crossed the narrows and encamped not far from him, after which he sent cavalry around the gulf and besieged him on both sides. Caesar himself remained quiet, and did not take any risks which he could avoid, but sent a detachment into Greece and Macedonia with the intention of drawing Antony off in that direction. While they were so engaged Agrippa sailed suddenly to Leucas and captured the vessels there, took Patrae by conquering Quintus Nasidius in a fight at sea, and later also reduced Corinth. Following upon these events Marcus Titius and Statilius Taurus made a sudden charge upon Antony's cavalry, which they defeated, and won over Philadelphus, king of Paphlagonia. Meantime, also, Gnaeus Domitius, having some grievance against Cleopatra, transferred his allegiance and proved, indeed, of no service to Caesar (for he fell sick and died not long after), but still created the impression that his desertion was due to despair of the success of the party on whose side he was ranged. Many others followed his example, so that Antony was no longer equally imbued with courage but was suspicious of everybody. It was after this that he tortured and put to death Iamblichus, king of some of the Arabians, and others, and delivered Quintus Postumius, a senator, to his servants to be placed on the rack. Finally he became afraid that Quintus Deillius and Amyntas the Gaul, who happened to have been sent into Macedonia and Thrace after mercenaries, would espouse Caesar's cause, and he started to overtake them, pretending that he wished to render them assistance in case any hostile force should attack. And meantime a battle at sea occurred. [-14-] Lucius Tarius,[63] with a few ships was anchored opposite Sosius, and the latter hoped to achieve a notable success by attacking him before Agrippa, to whom the whole fleet had been entrusted, should arrive. Accordingly, after waiting for a thick mist, so that Tarius should not become aware of their numbers beforehand and flee, he set sail suddenly just before dawn and immediately at the first assault routed his opponent and pursued him, but failed to capture him; for Agrippa by chance met Sosius on the way, so that he not only gained nothing from the victory but perished[64] together with Tarcondimotus and many others.

Antony, because of his conflict and because he himself on his return had been defeated in a cavalry battle by Caesar's advance guard, no longer thought it well to encamp in two different places, but during the night left the redoubt which was near his opponents and retired to the other side of the narrows, where the larger part of his army had bivouacked. When provisions also began to fail him because he was cut off from foraging, he held a council to deliberate whether they should remain in position and hazard an encounter or transfer their post somewhere else and make the war a long one. [-15-] After several had given opinions the advice of Cleopatra prevailed,—that the choicest sites be given in possession of garrisons and that the rest of the force weigh anchor with them for Egypt. She held this view as a result of being disturbed by omens. Swallows had built their nests about her tent and on the flagship on which she sailed, and milk and blood together had dripped from beeswax. Their images with the forms of gods which the Athenians had placed on their Acropolis were hurled down by thunderbolts into the Theatre. This and the consequent dejection and listlessness of the army began to alarm Cleopatra and she filled Antony with fears. They did not wish, however, to sail out either secretly or openly as fugitives, for fear they should strike terror to the hearts of their allies, but rather with preparations made for a naval battle, in order that they might equally well force their way through in case there should be any resistance. Therefore they chose out first the best of the vessels, since the sailors had become fewer by death and desertion, and burned the rest; next they secretly put all their most prized valuables aboard of them by night. When the boats were ready, Antony gathered his soldiers and spoke as follows:—

[-16-] "All provisions that I was required to make for the war have received due attention, fellow-soldiers, in advance. First, there is your immense throng, all the chosen flower of our dependents and allies; and to such a degree are you masters of every form of combat recognized among us that alone by yourselves you are formidable to adversaries. Then again, you yourselves can see how large and how fine a fleet we have and how many fine hoplites, cavalry, slingers, peltasts, archers, mounted archers. Most of these classes are not found at all on the other side, and so far as they are found they are much fewer and weaker than ours. The funds of the enemy are small, though obtained by forced contributions, and can not last long, while they have rendered the contributors better disposed toward us than toward the men who took them; hence the population is in no way favorable to the oppressors and is moreover on the point of open revolt. Our treasury, filled from abundant resources, has harmed no one and will aid all of us. [-17-] In addition to these considerations so numerous and of such great importance I am on general principles disinclined to make any bombastic statement about myself. Yet since this too is one of the factors contributing to supremacy in war and is believed among all men to be of greatest importance,—I mean that men who are to fight well must secure an excellent general—necessity itself has rendered quite indispensable some remarks about myself, their purpose being to enable you to realize still more the fact that not only are you such soldiers that you could conquer even without a good leader, but I am such a leader that I can win even with poor soldiers. I am at that age when persons attain their greatest perfection both of body and intellect and suffer deterioration neither through the rashness of youth nor the feebleness of old age, but are strongest because in a condition half-way between the two. Moreover I possess such a nature and such a training that I can with greatest ease discern what requires to be done and make it known. Experience, which causes even the ignorant and the uneducated to appear to be of some value, I have been acquiring through my whole political and whole military career. From boyhood till now I have been continually exercised in similar pursuits; I have been much ruled and done much ruling, from which I have learned on the one hand what kind of orders and of what magnitude must be issued, and on the other how far and in what way one must render obedience. I have been subject to terror, to confidence: as a result I have made it my custom neither to entertain any fear too readily nor to venture on any hazard too heedlessly. I have met with good fortune, I have met with failure: consequently I find it possible to avoid both despair and excess of pride.

[-18-] "I speak to you who know these facts and make you who hear them my witnesses not in the intention of uttering idle boasts about myself,—your consciousness of the truth being sufficient glory for me,—but to the end that you may in this way bring home to yourselves how much better we are equipped than our opponents. For, while they are inferior to us in quantity both of soldiers and of money and in diversity of equipment, in no one respect are they so strikingly lacking as in the age and inexperience of their general. About him I need in general make no exact or detailed statement, but to sum up I will say this, which you all understand, that he is a veritable weakling in body and has never himself been victor in any important battle either on land or on the sea. Indeed, at Phillipi and in the same conflict I won the day, whereas he was defeated.

"To this degree do we differ from each other, and usually victories fall to the better equipped. And if they have any strength at all, you would find it to exist in their heavy-armed force on land; as for their ships, they will not so much as be able to sail out against us. You yourselves can of course see the size and stoutness of our vessels, which are such that if the enemy's were equivalent to them in number, yet because of these advantages the foe could do no damage either by charges from the side or by charges from the front. For first the thickness of the timbers and second the very height of the ships would certainly check them, even if there were no one on board to defend them. Where will any one find a chance to assail ships which carry so many archers and slingers striking assailants, moreover, from the towers up aloft? If any one should approach, how could he fail to get sunk by the very number of the oars or how could he fail to be plunged under water when shot at by all the warriors on the decks and in the towers? [-19-] Do not think that they have any nautical ability because Agrippa won a sea-fight off Sicily: they contended not against Sextus but against his slaves, not against a like equipment with ours but against one far inferior. If, again, any one makes much of their good fortune in that combat, he is bound to take into equal consideration the defeat which Caesar himself suffered at the hands of Sextus. By this comparison he will find that conditions are not the same, but that all our advantages are more numerous and greater than theirs. And, in general, how large a part does Sicily form of the whole empire and how large a fraction of our equipment did the troops of Sextus possess, that any one should properly fear Caesar's armament, which is precisely the same as before and has grown neither larger nor better, just on account of his good luck, instead of taking courage from the defeat that he endured? Reflecting on this fact I have not cared to risk our first engagement with the infantry, where they appear to have strength in a way, in order that no one of you should be liable to discouragement as a result of any failure in that department: instead, I have chosen to begin with the ships where we are strongest and have a vast superiority over our antagonists, to the end that after a victory with these we may despise the infantry. You know well that the whole outcome of the war depends on each side on our fleets. If we come out victorious in this engagement, we shall suffer no harm from any of the rest but cut them off on a kind of islet,—for all surrounding regions are in our possession,—and without effort subdue them, if in no other way, by hunger.

[-20-] "Now I do not think that further words are necessary to tell you that we shall be struggling not for small or unimportant interests, but it will prove true that if you are zealous you will obtain the greatest rewards, but if careless will suffer the most frightful misfortunes. What would they not do to us, if they should prevail, when they killed practically all the followers of Sextus that had been of any prominence, and even destroyed many followers of Lepidus that cooeperated with Caesar's party? But why should I mention this, seeing that they have removed Lepidus, who was guilty of no wrong and was further their ally, from all his powers as general and keep him under guard as if he were some captive? They have further hounded for money all the freedmen in Italy and likewise other men who possess any land to such an extent as to force some of them to take up arms, with the consequence that not a few perished. Is it possible that those who spared not their allies will spare us? Will those who seized for funds the property of their own adherents refrain from our wealth? Will they show humanity as victors who before victory have committed every conceivable outrage? Not to spend time in speaking of the concerns of other people, I will enumerate the audacity that they have displayed toward us who stand here. Who was ignorant that I was chosen a partner and colleague of Caesar and received charge of the management of public affairs equally with him, received similar honors and offices, and have been a great while now in possession of them? Yet of all of them, so far as is in his power, I have been deprived; I have become a private citizen instead of a leader, an outcast from the franchise instead of consul, and this not by the action of the people or the senate but by his own act and that of his adherents, who do not comprehend that they are preparing a sovereign for themselves first of all. For how could one speak of enactments of people and senate, when the consuls and some others fled straightway from the city, in order to escape casting any such vote? How will that man spare either you or anybody else, when he dared while I was alive, in possession of such great power, a victor over the Armenians, to seek for my will, take it by violence from those who had received it, open it, and read it publicly? And how will he manifest any humanity to others with whom he has no connection, when he has shown himself such a man toward me,—his friend, his table companion, his relative?

[-21-] "Now in case we are to draw any inferences from his decrees, he threatens you openly, having made the majority of you enemies outright, but against me personally no such declaration has been made, though he is at war with me and is already acting in every way like one who has not only conquered me but murdered me. Hence, when he treated me in such a way whom he pretends not yet even at this day to regard as an enemy, he will surely not keep his hands off you, with whom he clearly admits that he is at odds. What does it signify that he is threatening us all alike with arms but in his decree declares he is at war with some and not with others? It is not, by Jupiter, with the intention of making any distinction between us, or treating one class in one way and another in another, if he prevails, but it is in order to set us at variance and in collision and thus render us weaker. He is not unaware that while we are in accord and doing everything as one body he can never in any way get the upper hand, but if we quarrel, and some choose one policy and the rest another, he may perhaps prevail. [-22-] It is for this reason that he assumes this kind of attitude toward us. I and the Romans that cleave to me foresee the danger, although so far as the decrees are concerned we enjoy a kind of amnesty: we comprehend his plot and neither abandon you nor look personally to our own advantage. In like manner you, too, whom he does not even himself deny that he regards as hostile, yes, most hostile, ought to bear in mind all these facts, and embracing common dangers and common hopes cooeperate in every way and show enthusiasm to an equal degree in our enterprise and set over against each other carefully first what we shall suffer (as I said), if defeated, and what we shall gain, if victorious. For it is a great thing for us to escape being worsted and so enduring any form of insult or rapacity, but greatest of all to conquer and effect whatever any one of us may wish. On the other hand, it is most disgraceful for us, who are so many and so valiant, who have weapons and money and ships and horses, to choose the worse instead of the better course, and when we might afford the other party liberty to prefer to join them in slavery. Our aims are so utterly opposed that, whereas he desires to reign as sovereign over you, I wish to free you and them together, and this I have confirmed by oath. Therefore as men who are to struggle for both sides alike and to win blessings that shall be common to all, let us labor, fellow-soldiers, to prevail at the present juncture and to gain happiness for all time."

[-23-] After delivering a speech of this sort Antony put all his most prominent associates aboard the boats, to prevent them from concerting revolutionary measures when they got by themselves, as Deillius and some other deserters had done; he also embarked great numbers of archers, slingers, and hoplites. And since the defeat of Sextus had been largely due to the size of Caesar's ships and the number of his marines, Antony had equipped his vessels to surpass greatly those of his opponents, for he had had constructed only a few triremes, but the rest were ships with four banks and with ten banks, and represented all the remaining degrees of capacity: upon these he had built lofty towers, and he had put aboard a crowd of men who could fight from behind walls, as it were. Caesar for his part was observing their equipment and making his preparations; when he learned from Deillius and others their intention he himself assembled the army and spoke to this effect:—

[-24-] "Having discovered, fellow-soldiers, both from what I have learned from hearsay and from what I have tested by experience, that the most and greatest military enterprises, or, indeed, I might say human affairs in general, turn out in favor of those persons who both think and act in a more just and pious manner, I am keeping this strictly in mind myself and I advise you to consider it. No matter how numerous and mighty the force we possess, no matter if it be such that even a man who chose the less just of two courses might expect to win with its aid, nevertheless I base my confidence far more upon the causes underlying the war than upon this factor. For that we who are Romans and lords of the greatest and best portion of the world should be despised and trodden under foot of an Egyptian woman is unworthy of our fathers who overthrew Pyrrhus, Philip, Perseus, Antiochus, who uprooted the Numantini and the Carthaginians, who cut down the Cimbri and the Ambrones; it is unworthy also of ourselves who have subjugated the Gauls, have subdued the Pannonians, have advanced as far as the Ister, have crossed the Rhine, have gone over into Britain. How could all those who have had a hand in the exploits mentioned fail to grieve vehemently, if they should learn that we had succumbed to an accursed woman? Should we not be guilty of a gross deviation from right conduct, if, after surpassing all men everywhere in valor, we should then bear humbly the insults of this throng, who, O Hercules, are Alexandrians and Egyptians (what worse or what truer name could one apply to them?), who serve reptiles and other creatures as gods, who embalm their bodies to secure a reputation for immortality, who are most reckless in braggadocio but most deficient in bravery, and worst of all are slaves to a woman instead of a man? Yet these have dared to lay claim to our possessions and to acquire them through us, evidently expecting that we will give up the prosperity which we possess for them. [-25-] Who can help lamenting to see Roman soldiers acting as body-guards of their queen? Who can help groaning when he hears Roman knights and senators flattering her like eunuchs? Who can help weeping when he both hears and sees Antony himself, the man twice consul, often imperator, to whom was committed in common with me the superintendence of the public business, who was entrusted with so many cities, so many legions,—when he sees that this man has now abandoned all his ancestors' habits of life, has emulated all alien and barbaric customs, that he pays no honor to us or to the laws or to his fathers' gods, but worships that wench as if she were some Isis or Selene, calling her children Sun and Moon, and finally himself bearing the title of Osiris and Dionysus, in consequence of which he has bestowed entire islands and some of the continents, as though he were master of the whole earth and the whole sea? I am sure that this appears marvelous and incredible to you, fellow-soldiers: therefore you ought to be the more indignant. For if that is actually so which you do not even believe on hearing it, and if that man in his voluptuary career commits acts at which any one who learns of them must grieve, would you not properly become exceedingly enraged?

[-26-] "Yet at the start I was so devoted to him that I gave him a share of my leadership, married my sister to him, and granted him legions. Even after this I felt so kindly, so affectionately toward him that I was unwilling to wage war on him because of his insulting my sister, or because he neglected the children she had borne him, or because he preferred the Egyptian woman to her, or because he bestowed upon the former's children practically all your possessions, or, in fine, for any other reason. The cause is that, first of all, I did not think it proper to assume the same attitude toward Antony as toward Cleopatra. I deemed her by the very fact of her foreign birth to be at the outset hostile to his career, but I believed that he, as a citizen, could be corrected. Later I entertained the hope that if not voluntarily at least reluctantly he might change his mind as a result of the decrees passed against her. Consequently I did not declare war upon him. He, however, has looked haughtily and disdainfully upon my efforts and will neither be released, though we would fain release him, nor be pitied though we try to pity him. He is either unreasonable or mad,—and this which I have heard I do believe, that he has been bewitched by that accursed female,—and therefore pays no heed to our kindness or humaneness, but being in slavery to that woman he undertakes in her behalf both war and needless dangers which are both against our interests and against those of his country. What else, then, is our duty except to fight him back together with Cleopatra? [-27-]Hence let no one call him a Roman but rather an Egyptian, nor Antony but rather Serapio. Let no one think that he was ever consul or imperator, but only gymnasiarch. He has himself of his own free will chosen the latter title instead of the former, and casting away all the august terms of his own land has become one of the cymbal players from Canopus.[65] Again, let no one fear that he can give any unfavorable turn to the war. Even previously he was of no ability, as you know clearly who conquered him near Mutina. And even if once he did attain to some capacity through campaigning with us, be well assured that he has now ruined all of it by his changed manner of life. It is impossible for one who leads an existence of royal luxury and coddles himself like a woman to think any valorous thoughts or do valorous deeds, because it is quite inevitable that a person takes the impress of the practices with which he comes in contact. A proof of this is that in the one war which he has waged in all this long time and the one campaign that he has made he lost great numbers of citizens in the battles, returned in thorough disgrace from Praaspa, and parted with very many additional men in the flight. If any one of us were obliged to perform a set dance or cordax[66] in an amusing way, such a person would surely yield the honors to him; he has practiced this: but since it is a case of arms and battle, what is there about him that any one should dread? His physical condition? He has passed his prime and become effeminate. His strength of mind? He plays the woman and has surrendered himself to unnatural lust. His piety toward our gods? He is at war both with them and his country. His faithfulness to his allies? But is any one unaware how he deceived and imprisoned the Armenian? His liberal treatment of his friends? But who has not seen the men who have miserably perished at his hands? His reputation with the soldiers? But who even of them has not condemned him? Evidence of their feeling is found in the fact that numbers daily come over to our side. For my part I think that all our citizens will do this, as on a former occasion when he was going from Brundusium into Gaul. So long as they expected to get rich without danger, some were very glad to cleave to him. But they will not care to fight against us, their own countrymen, in behalf of what does not belong to them at all, especially when they are given the opportunity to win without hazard both preservation and prosperity by joining us.

[-28-] "Some one may say, however, that he has many allies and a store of wealth. Well, how we have been accustomed to conquer the dwellers on Asia the mainland is known to Scipio Asiaticus the renowned, is known to Sulla the fortunate, to Lucullus, to Pompey, to my father Caesar, and to your own selves, who vanquished the supporters of Brutus and Cassius. This being so, if you think their wealth is so much more than others', you must be all the more eager to make it your own. It is but fair that for the greatest prizes the greatest conflicts should be undergone. And I can tell you nothing else greater than that prize which lies within your grasp,—namely, to preserve the renown of your forefathers, to guard your individual pride, to take vengeance on those in revolt against us, to repulse those who insult you, to conquer and rule all mankind, to allow no woman to make herself equal to a man. Against the Taurisci and Iapudes and Dalmatians and Pannonians you yourselves now before me battled most zealously and frequently for some few walls and desert land; you subdued all of them though they are admittedly a most warlike race; and, by Jupiter, against Sextus also, for Sicily merely, and against this very Antony, for Mutina merely, you carried on a similar struggle, so that you came out victorious over both. And now will you show any less zeal against a woman whose plots concern all your possessions, and against her husband, who has distributed to her children all your property, and against their noble associates and table companions whom they themselves stigmatize as 'privy' councillors? Why should you? Because of their number? But no number of persons can conquer valour. Because of their race? But they have practiced carrying burdens rather than warfare. Because of their experience? But they know better how to row than how to fight at sea. I, for my part, am really ashamed that we are going to contend with such creatures, by vanquishing whom we shall gain no glory, whereas if we are defeated we shall be disgraced.

[-29-] "And surely you must not think that the size of their vessels or the thickness of the timbers of their ships is a match for our valour. What ship ever by itself either wounded or killed anybody? Will they not by their very height and staunchness be more difficult for their rowers to move and less obedient to their pilots? Of what use can they possibly be to the fighting men on board of them, when these men can employ neither frontal assault nor flank attack, manoeuvres which you know are essential in naval contests? For surely they do not intend to employ infantry tactics against us on the sea, nor on the other hand are they prepared to shut themselves up as it were in wooden walls and undergo a siege, since that would be decidedly to our advantage—I mean assaulting wooden barriers. For if their ships remain in the same place, as if fastened there, it will be possible for us to rip them open with our beaks, it will be possible, too, to damage them with our engines from a distance, and also possible to burn them to the water's edge with incendiary missiles; and if they do venture to stir from their place, they will not overtake anyone by pursuing nor escape by fleeing, since they are so heavy that they are entirely too inert to inflict any damage, and so huge that they are exceptionally liable to suffer it.

[-30-] "Indeed, what need is there to spend time in speaking further of them, when we have already often made trial of them, not only off Leucas but also here just the other day, and so far from proving inferior to them, we have everywhere shown ourselves superior? Hence you should be encouraged not so much by my words as by your own deeds, and should desire to put an end forthwith to the whole war. For be well assured that if we beat them to-day we shall have no further trouble. For in general it is a natural characteristic of human nature everywhere, that whenever a man fails in his first contests he becomes disheartened with respect to what is to come; and as for us, we are so indisputably superior to them on land that we could vanquish them even if they had never suffered any injury. And they are themselves so conscious of this truth—for I am not going to conceal from you what I have heard—that they are discouraged at what has already happened and despair of saving their lives if they stay where they are, and they are therefore endeavouring to make their escape to some place or other, and are making this sally, not with the desire to give battle, but in expectation of flight. In fact, they have placed in their ships the best and most valuable of the possessions they have with them, in order to escape with them if they can. Since, then, they admit that they are weaker than we, and since they carry the prizes of victory in their ships, let us not allows them to sail anywhere else, but let us conquer them here on the spot and take all these treasures away from them."

Such were Caesar's words. [-31-]After this he formed a plan to let them slip by, intending to fall upon them from the rear: he himself by fast sailing expected to capture them directly, and when the leaders had plainly shown that they were attempting to run away he thought that the remainder would make no contest about surrendering. He was restrained, however, by Agrippa, who feared that they might not overtake the fugitives, who would probably use sails, and he also felt some confidence of conquering without much effort because meantime a squall of rain with large quantities of spray had driven in the face of Antony's fleet alone and had created disturbance all through it. Hence he abandoned this plan, and after putting vast numbers of infantry aboard the ships himself and placing all his associates into auxiliary boats for the purpose of sailing about quickly, giving notice of requisite action to the warriors, and reporting to him what he ought to know, he awaited the onset of the foe. They weighed anchor to the sound of the trumpet and with ships in close array drew up their line a little outside the narrows, not advancing any farther: he in turn started out as if to come to close quarters or even make them retire. When they neither made a corresponding advance nor turned about, but remained in position and further made their array extremely dense, he became doubtful what to do. Therefore he ordered the sailors to let their oars rest in the water and waited for a time: then suddenly at a given signal led forward both the wings and bent around in the hope chiefly of surrounding the enemy, or otherwise of at least breaking their formation. Antony was afraid of this movement of his to wheel about and surround them, and hence adopted so far as he could corresponding tactics, which brought him, though reluctantly, into close combat. [-32-] So they attacked and began the conflict, both sides uttering many exhortations in their own ranks as to both artifice and zeal, and hearing many from the men on shore that shouted to them. The struggle was not of a similar nature on the two sides, but Caesar's followers having smaller and swifter ships went with a rush, and when they rammed were fenced about on all sides to avoid being wounded. If they sank any boat, well: if not, they would back water before a close engagement could be begun, and would either ram the same vessels suddenly again, or would let some go and turn their attention to others; and having damaged them slightly, to whatever degree the limited time would allow, they would proceed against others and then still others, in order that their assault upon any vessel might be so far as possible unexpected. Since they dreaded the defence of the enemy from a distance and likewise the battle at close quarters, they delayed neither in the approach nor in the encounter, but running up suddenly with the object of arriving before the opposing archers could work, they would inflict some wounds and cause a disturbance merely, so as to escape being held, and then retire out of range. The enemy tried to strike the approaching ships with many stones and arrows flying thick and fast, and to cast the grapnels upon the assailants. And in case they could reach them, they got the better of it, but if they missed, their boats would be pierced and they begin to sink, or else in their endeavor to avoid this calamity they would waste time and lay themselves open to attack on the part of some others. For when two or three at once fell upon the same ship, part would do all the damage they could and the rest suffer the brunt of the injuries. On the one side the pilots and the rowers endured the most annoyance and fatigue, and on the other the marines: and the one side resembled cavalry, now making a charge, now withdrawing, on account of the manoeuvres on their part in assaulting and backing water, and the other was like heavy-armed men guarding against the approach of foes and trying as much as possible to hold them. As a result they gained mutual advantages: the one party fell unobserved upon the lines of oars projecting from the ships and shattered the blades, whereas the other party with rocks and engines from above tried to sink them. There were also certain disadvantages: the one party could not injure those approaching it, and the other party, if it failed to sink some vessels by its ramming, was hemmed in and found no longer an equal contest.

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