The Establishment of the Military Monarchy



Translated with the Sanction of the Author


William Purdie Dickson, D.D., LL.D.
Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow

A New Edition Revised throughout and Embodying Recent Additions

Preparer's Notes

This work contains many literal citations of and references to words, sounds, and alphabetic symbols drawn from many languages, including Gothic and Phoenician, but chiefly Latin and Greek. This English language Gutenberg edition, constrained within the scope of 7-bit ASCII code, adopts the following orthographic conventions:

1) Words and phrases regarded as "foreign imports", italicized in the original text published in 1903; but which in the intervening century have become "naturalized" into English; words such as "de jure", "en masse", etc. are not given any special typographic distinction.

2) Except for Greek, all literally cited non-English words that do not refer to texts cited as academic references, words that in the source manuscript appear italicized, are rendered with a single preceding, and a single following dash; thus, -xxxx-.

3) Greek words, first transliterated into Roman alphabetic equivalents, are rendered with a preceding and a following double-dash; thus, —xxxx—. Note that in some cases the root word itself is a compound form such as xxx-xxxx, and is rendered as —xxx-xxx—

4) Simple non-ideographic references to vocalic sounds, single letters, or alphabeic dipthongs; and prefixes, suffixes, and syllabic references are represented by a single preceding dash; thus, -x, or -xxx.

5) The following refers particularly to the complex discussion of alphabetic evolution in Ch. XIV: Measuring and Writing). Ideographic references, meaning pointers to the form of representation itself rather than to its content, are represented as -"id:xxxx"-. "id:" stands for "ideograph", and indicates that the reader should form a mental picture based on the "xxxx" following the colon. "xxxx" may represent a single symbol, a word, or an attempt at a picture composed of ASCII characters. E. g. —"id:GAMMA gamma"— indicates an uppercase Greek gamma-form Followed by the form in lowercase. Such exotic parsing is necessary to explain alphabetic development because a single symbol may have been used for a number of sounds in a number of languages, or even for a number of sounds in the same language at different times. Thus, -"id:GAMMA gamma" might very well refer to a Phoenician construct that in appearance resembles the form that eventually stabilized as an uppercase Greek "gamma" juxtaposed to another one of lowercase. Also, a construct such as —"id:E" indicates a symbol that in graphic form most closely resembles an ASCII uppercase "E", but, in fact, is actually drawn more crudely.

6) The numerous subheading references, of the form "XX. XX. Topic" found in the appended section of endnotes are to be taken as "proximate" rather than topical indicators. That is, the information contained in the endnote indicates primarily the location in the main text of the closest indexing "handle", a subheading, which may or may not echo congruent subject matter.

The reason for this is that in the translation from an original paged manuscript to an unpaged "cyberscroll", page numbers are lost. In this edition subheadings are the only remaining indexing "handles" of sub-chapter scale. Unfortunately, in some stretches of text these subheadings may be as sparse as merely one in three pages. Therefore, it would seem to make best sense to save the reader time and temper by adopting a shortest path method to indicate the desired reference.

7) The attentive reader will notice occasional typographic or syntactic anomalies and errors. In almost all cases this conscious and due to an editorial decision for the first Gutenberg edition to transmit transparently all but the most egregious flaws found in the source text Scribner edition of 1903. Furthermore, a number of sentences may be virtually unintelligible to the English reader due to the architecture of relative clauses, prepositions, and verbs as carried over from the original German. It is the preparer's ambition for a second Gutenberg edition of the History of Rome to reconstruct and clarify the most turgid specimens.

8) Dr. Mommsen has given his dates in terms of Roman usage, A.U.C.; that is, from the founding of Rome, conventionally taken to be 753 B. C. To the end of each volume is appended a table of conversion between the two systems.


BOOK V: The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

I. Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Sertorius

II. Rule of the Sullan Restoration

III. The Fall of the Oligarchy and the Rule of Pompeius

IV. Pompeius and the East

V. The Struggle of Parties during the Absence of Pompeius

VI. Retirement of Pompeius and Coalition of the Pretenders

VII. The Subjugation of the West

VIII. The Joint Rule of Pompeius and Caesar

IX. Death of Crassus—Rupture between the Joint Rulers

X. Brundisium, Ilerda, Pharsalus, and Thapsus

XI. The Old Republic and the New Monarchy

XII. Religion, Culture, Literature, and Art


The Establishment of the Military Monarchy

Wie er sich sieht so um und um,
Kehrt es ihm fast den Kopf herum,
Wie er wollt' Worte zu allem finden?
Wie er mocht' so viel Schwall verbinden?
Wie er mocht' immer muthig bleiben
So fort und weiter fort zu schreiben?


Chapter I

Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Sertorius

The Opposition
Aristocrats Friendly to Reform

When Sulla died in the year 676, the oligarchy which he had restored ruled with absolute sway over the Roman state; but, as it had been established by force, it still needed force to maintain its ground against its numerous secret and open foes. It was opposed not by any single party with objects clearly expressed and under leaders distinctly acknowledged, but by a mass of multifarious elements, ranging themselves doubtless under the general name of the popular party, but in reality opposing the Sullan organization of the commonwealth on very various grounds and with very different designs. There were the men of positive law who neither mingled in nor understood politics, but who detested the arbitrary procedure of Sulla in dealing with the lives and property of the burgesses. Even during Sulla's lifetime, when all other opposition was silent, the strict jurists resisted the regent; the Cornelian laws, for example, which deprived various Italian communities of the Roman franchise, were treated in judicial decisions as null and void; and in like manner the courts held that, where a burgess had been made a prisoner of war and sold into slavery during the revolution, his franchise was not forfeited. There was, further, the remnant of the old liberal minority in the senate, which in former times had laboured to effect a compromise with the reform party and the Italians, and was now in a similar spirit inclined to modify the rigidly oligarchic constitution of Sulla by concessions to the Populares. There were, moreover, the Populares strictly so called, the honestly credulous narrow-minded radicals, who staked property and life for the current watchwords of the party-programme, only to discover with painful surprise after the victory that they had been fighting not for a reality, but for a phrase. Their special aim was to re-establish the tribunician power, which Sulla had not abolished but had divested of its most essential prerogatives, and which exercised over the multitude a charm all the more mysterious, because the institution had no obvious practical use and was in fact an empty phantom—the mere name of tribune of the people, more than a thousand years later, revolutionized Rome.

Proletarians of the Capital
The Dispossessed
The Proscribed and Their Adherents

There were, above all, the numerous and important classes whom the Sullan restoration had left unsatisfied, or whose political or private interests it had directly injured. Among those who for such reasons belonged to the opposition ranked the dense and prosperous population of the region between the Po and the Alps, which naturally regarded the bestowal of Latin rights in 665(1) as merely an instalment of the full Roman franchise, and so afforded a ready soil for agitation. To this category belonged also the freedmen, influential in numbers and wealth, and specially dangerous through their aggregation in the capital, who could not brook their having been reduced by the restoration to their earlier, practically useless, suffrage. In the same position stood, moreover, the great capitalists, who maintained a cautious silence, but still as before preserved their tenacity of resentment and their equal tenacity of power. The populace of the capital, which recognized true freedom in free bread-corn, was likewise discontented. Still deeper exasperation prevailed among the burgess-bodies affected by the Sullan confiscations—whether they like those of Pompeii, lived on their property curtailed by the Sullan colonists, within the same ring-wall with the latter, and at perpetual variance with them; or, like the Arretines and Volaterrans, retained actual possession of their territory, but had the Damocles' sword of confiscation suspended over them by the Roman people; or, as was the case in Etruria especially, were reduced to be beggars in their former abodes, or robbers in the woods. Finally, the agitation extended to the whole family connections and freedmen of those democratic chiefs who had lost their lives in consequence of the restoration, or who were wandering along the Mauretanian coasts, or sojourning at the court and in the army of Mithradates, in all the misery of emigrant exile; for, according to the strict family-associations that governed the political feeling of this age, it was accounted a point of honour(2) that those who were left behind should endeavour to procure for exiled relatives the privilege of returning to their native land, and, in the case of the dead, at least a removal of the stigma attaching to their memory and to their children, and a restitution to the latter of their paternal estate. More especially the immediate children of the proscribed, whom the regent had reduced in point of law to political Pariahs,(3) had thereby virtually received from the law itself a summons to rise in rebellion against the existing order of things.

Men of Ruined Fortunes
Men of Ambition

To all these sections of the opposition there was added the whole body of men of ruined fortunes. All the rabble high and low, whose means and substance had been spent in refined or in vulgar debauchery; the aristocratic lords, who had no farther mark of quality than their debts; the Sullan troopers whom the regent's fiat could transform into landholders but not into husbandmen, and who, after squandering the first inheritance of the proscribed, were longing to succeed to a second—all these waited only the unfolding of the banner which invited them to fight against the existing order of things, whatever else might be inscribed on it. From a like necessity all the aspiring men of talent, in search of popularity, attached themselves to the opposition; not only those to whom the strictly closed circle of the Optimates denied admission or at least opportunities for rapid promotion, and who therefore attempted to force their way into the phalanx and to break through the laws of oligarchic exclusiveness and seniority by means of popular favour, but also the more dangerous men, whose ambition aimed at something higher than helping to determine the destinies of the world within the sphere of collegiate intrigues. On the advocates' platform in particular—the only field of legal opposition left open by Sulla—even in the regent's lifetime such aspirants waged lively war against the restoration with the weapons of formal jurisprudence and combative oratory: for instance, the adroit speaker Marcus Tullius Cicero (born 3rd January 648), son of a landholder of Arpinum, speedily made himself a name by the mingled caution and boldness of his opposition to the dictator. Such efforts were not of much importance, if the opponent desired nothing farther than by their means to procure for himself a curule chair, and then to sit in it in contentment for the rest of his life. No doubt, if this chair should not satisfy a popular man and Gaius Gracchus should find a successor, a struggle for life or death was inevitable; but for the present at least no name could be mentioned, the bearer of which had proposed to himself any such lofty aim.

Power of the Opposition

Such was the sort of opposition with which the oligarchic government instituted by Sulla had to contend, when it had, earlier than Sulla himself probably expected, been thrown by his death on its own resources. The task was in itself far from easy, and it was rendered more difficult by the other social and political evils of this age—especially by the extraordinary double difficulty of keeping the military chiefs in the provinces in subjection to the supreme civil magistracy, and of dealing with the masses of the Italian and extra-Italian populace accumulating in the capital, and of the slaves living there to a great extent in de facto freedom, without having troops at disposal. The senate was placed as it were, in a fortress exposed and threatened on all sides, and serious conflicts could not fail to ensue. But the means of resistance organized by Sulla were considerable and lasting; and although the majority of the nation was manifestly disinclined to the government which Sulla had installed, and even animated by hostile feelings towards it, that government might very well maintain itself for a long time in its stronghold against the distracted and confused mass of an opposition which was not agreed either as to end or means, and, having no head, was broken up into a hundred fragments. Only it was necessary that it should be determined to maintain its position, and should bring at least a spark of that energy, which had built the fortress, to its defence; for in the case of a garrison which will not defend itself, the greatest master of fortification constructs his walls and moats in vain.

Want of Leaders

The more everything ultimately depended on the personality of the leading men on both sides, it was the more unfortunate that both, strictly speaking, lacked leaders. The politics of thisperiod were thoroughly under the sway of the coterie-system in its worst form. This, indeed, was nothing new; close unions of families and clubs were inseparable from an aristocratic organizationof the state, and had for centuries prevailed in Rome. But it was not till this epoch that they became all-powerful, for it was only now (first in 690) that their influence was attested rather than checked by legal measures of repression.

All persons of quality, those of popular leanings no less than the oligarchy proper, met in Hetaeriae; the mass of the burgesses likewise, so far as they took any regular part in political events at all, formed according to their voting-districts close unions with an almost military organization, which found their natural captains and agents in the presidents of the districts, "tribe- distributors" (-divisores tribuum-). With these political clubs everything was bought and sold; the vote of the elector especially, but also the votes of the senator and the judge, the fists too which produced the street riot, and the ringleaders who directed it—the associations of the upper and of the lower ranks were distinguished merely in the matter of tariff. The Hetaeria decided the elections, the Hetaeria decreed the impeachments, the Hetaeria conducted the defence; it secured the distinguished advocate, and in case of need it contracted for an acquittal with one of the speculators who pursued on a great scale lucrative dealings in judges' votes. The Hetaeria commanded by its compact bands the streets of the capital, and with the capital but too often the state. All these things were done in accordance with a certain rule, and, so to speak, publicly; the system of Hetaeriae was better organized and managed than any branch of state administration; although there was, as is usual among civilized swindlers, a tacit understanding that there should be no direct mention of the nefarious proceedings, nobody made a secret of them, and advocates of repute were not ashamed to give open and intelligible hints of their relation to the Hetaeriae of their clients. If an individual was to be found here or there who kept aloof from such doings and yet did not forgo public life, he was assuredly, like Marcus Cato, a political Don Quixote. Parties and party-strife were superseded by the clubs and their rivalry; government was superseded by intrigue. A more than equivocal character, Publius Cethegus, formerly one of the most zealous Marians, afterwards as a deserter received into favour by Sulla,(4) acted a most influential part in the political doings of this period—unrivalled as a cunning tale-bearer and mediator between the sections of the senate, and as having a statesman's acquaintance with the secrets of all cabals: at times the appointment to the most important posts of command was decided by a word from his mistress Praecia. Such a plight was only possible where none of the men taking part in politics rose above mediocrity: any man of more than ordinary talent would have swept away this system of factions like cobwebs; but there was in reality the saddest lack of men of political or military capacity.

Metellus, Catulus, the Luculli

Of the older generation the civil wars had left not a single man of repute except the old shrewd and eloquent Lucius Philippus (consul in 663), who, formerly of popular leanings,(5) thereafter leader of the capitalist party against the senate,(6) and closely associated with the Marians,(7) and lastly passing over to the victorious oligarchy in sufficient time to earn thanks and commendation,(8) had managed to escape between the parties. Among the men of the following generation the most notable chiefs of the pure aristocracy were Quintus Metellus Pius (consul in 674), Sulla's comrade in dangers and victories; Quintus Lutatius Catulus, consul in the year of Sulla's death, 676, the son of the victor of Vercellae; and two younger officers, the brothers Lucius and Marcus Lucullus, of whom the former had fought with distinction under Sulla in Asia, the latter in Italy; not to mention Optimates like Quintus Hortensius (640-704), who had importance only as a pleader, or men like Decimus Junius Brutus (consul in 677), Mamercus Aemilius Lepidus Livianus (consul in 677), and other such nullities, whose best quality was a euphonious aristocratic name. But even those four men rose little above the average calibre of the Optimates of this age. Catulus was like his father a man of refined culture and an honest aristocrat, but of moderate talents and, in particular, no soldier. Metellus was not merely estimable in his personal character, but an able and experienced officer; and it was not so much on account of his close relations as a kinsman and colleague with the regent as because of his recognized ability that he was sent in 675, after resigning the consulship, to Spain, where the Lusitanians and the Roman emigrants under Quintus Sertorius were bestirring themselves afresh. The two Luculli were also capable officers—particularly the elder, who combined very respectable military talents with thorough literary culture and leanings to authorship, and appeared honourable also as a man. But, as statesmen, even these better aristocrats were not much less remiss and shortsighted than the average senators of the time. In presence of an outward foe the more eminent among them, doubtless, proved themselves useful and brave; but no one of them evinced the desire or the skill to solve the problems of politics proper, and to guide the vessel of the state through the stormy sea of intrigues and factions as a true pilot. Their political wisdom was limited to a sincere belief in the oligarchy as the sole means of salvation, and to a cordial hatred and courageous execration of demagogism as well as of every individual authority which sought to emancipate itself. Their petty ambition was contented with little. The stories told of Metellus in Spain—that he not only allowed himself to be delighted with the far from harmonious lyre of the Spanish occasional poets, but even wherever he went had himself received like a god with libations of wine and odours of incense, and at table had his head crowned by descending Victories amidst theatrical thunder with the golden laurel of the conqueror— are no better attested than most historical anecdotes; but even such gossip reflects the degenerate ambition of the generations of Epigoni. Even the better men were content when they had gained not power and influence, but the consulship and a triumph and a place of honour in the senate; and at the very time when with right ambition they would have just begun to be truly useful to their country and their party, they retired from the political stage to be lost in princely luxury. Men like Metellus and Lucius Lucullus were, even as generals, not more attentive to the enlargement of the Roman dominion by fresh conquests of kings and peoples than to the enlargement of the endless game, poultry, and dessert lists of Roman gastronomy by new delicacies from Africa and Asia Minor, and they wasted the best part of their lives in more or less ingenious idleness. The traditional aptitude and the individual self-denial, on which all oligarchic government is based, were lost in the decayed and artificially restored Roman aristocracy of this age; in its judgment universally the spirit of clique was accounted as patriotism, vanity as ambition, and narrow-mindedness as consistency. Had the Sullan constitution passed into the guardianship of men such as have sat in the Roman College of Cardinals or the Venetian Council of Ten, we cannot tell whether the opposition would have been able to shake it so soon; with such defenders every attack involved, at all events, a serious peril.


Of the men, who were neither unconditional adherents nor open opponents of the Sullan constitution, no one attracted more the eyes of the multitude than the young Gnaeus Pompeius, who was at the time of Sulla's death twenty-eight years of age (born 29th September 648). The fact was a misfortune for the admired as well as for the admirers; but it was natural. Sound in body and mind, a capable athlete, who even when a superior officer vied with his soldiers in leaping, running, and lifting, a vigorous and skilled rider and fencer, a bold leader of volunteer bands, the youth had become Imperator and triumphator at an age which excluded him from every magistracy and from the senate, and had acquired the first place next to Sulla in public opinion; nay, had obtained from the indulgent regent himself—half in recognition, half in irony— the surname of the Great. Unhappily, his mental endowments by no means corresponded with these unprecedented successes. He was neither a bad nor an incapable man, but a man thoroughly ordinary, created by nature to be a good sergeant, called by circumstances to be a general and a statesman. An intelligent, brave and experienced, thoroughly excellent soldier, he was still, even in his military capacity, without trace of any higher gifts. It was characteristic of him as a general, as well as in other respects, to set to work with a caution bordering on timidity, and, if possible, to give the decisive blow only when he had established an immense superiority over his opponent. His culture was the average culture of the time; although entirely a soldier, he did not neglect, when he went to Rhodes, dutifully to admire, and to make presents to, the rhetoricians there. His integrity was that of a rich man who manages with discretion his considerable property inherited and acquired. He did not disdain to make money in the usual senatorial way, but he was too cold and too rich to incur special risks, or draw down on himself conspicuous disgrace, on that account. The vice so much in vogue among his contemporaries, rather than any virtue of his own, procured for him the reputation—comparatively, no doubt, well warranted—of integrity and disinterestedness. His "honest countenance" became almost proverbial, and even after his death he was esteemed as a worthy and moral man; he was in fact a good neighbour, who did not join in the revolting schemes by which the grandees of that age extended the bounds of their domains through forced sales or measures still worse at the expense of their humbler neighbours, and in domestic life he displayed attachment to his wife and children: it redounds moreover to his credit that he was the first to depart from the barbarous custom of putting to death the captive kings and generals of the enemy, after they had been exhibited in triumph. But this did not prevent him from separating from his beloved wife at the command of his lord and master Sulla, because she belonged to an outlawed family, nor from ordering with great composure that men who had stood by him and helped him in times of difficulty should be executed before his eyes at the nod of the same master:(9) he was not cruel, thoughhe was reproached with being so, but—what perhaps was worse— he was cold and, in good as in evil, unimpassioned. In the tumult of battle he faced the enemy fearlessly; in civil life he was a shy man, whose cheek flushed on the slightest occasion; he spoke in public not without embarrassment, and generally was angular, stiff, and awkward in intercourse. With all his haughty obstinacy he was— as indeed persons ordinarily are, who make a display of their independence—a pliant tool in the hands of men who knew how to manage him, especially of his freedmen and clients, by whom he had no fear of being controlled. For nothing was he less qualified than for a statesman. Uncertain as to his aims, unskilful in the choice of his means, alike in little and great matters shortsighted and helpless, he was wont to conceal his irresolution and indecision under a solemn silence, and, when he thought to play a subtle game, simply to deceive himself with the belief that he was deceiving others. By his military position and his territorial connections he acquired almost without any action of his own a considerable party personally devoted to him, with which the greatest things might have been accomplished; but Pompeius was in every respect incapable of leading and keeping together a party, and, if it still kept together, it did so—in like manner without his action—through the sheer force of circumstances. In this, as in other things, he reminds us of Marius; but Marius, with his nature of boorish roughness and sensuous passion, was still less intolerable than this most tiresome and most starched of all artificial great men. His political position was utterly perverse. He was a Sullan officer and under obligation to stand up for the restored constitution, and yet again in opposition to Sulla personally as well as to the whole senatorial government. The gens of the Pompeii, which had only been named for some sixty years in the consular lists, had by no means acquired full standing in the eyes of the aristocracy; even the father of this Pompeius had occupied a very invidious equivocal position towards the senate,(10) and he himself had once been in the ranks of the Cinnans(11)—recollections which were suppressed perhaps, but not forgotten. The prominent position which Pompeius acquired for himself under Sulla set him at inward variance with the aristocracy, quite as much as it brought him into outward connection with it. Weak-headed as he was, Pompeius was seized with giddiness on the height of glory which he had climbed with such dangerous rapidity and ease. Just as if he would himself ridicule his dry prosaic nature by the parallel with the most poetical of all heroic figures, he began to compare himself with Alexander the Great, and to account himself a man of unique standing, whom it did not beseem to be merely one of the five hundred senators of Rome. In reality, no one was more fitted to take his place as a member of an aristocratic government than Pompeius. His dignified outward appearance, his solemn formality, his personal bravery, his decorous private life, his want of all initiative might have gained for him, had he been born two hundred years earlier, an honourable place by the side of Quintus Maximus and Publius Decius: this mediocrity, so characteristic of the genuine Optimate and the genuine Roman, contributed not a little to the elective affinity which subsisted at all times between Pompeius and the mass of the burgesses and the senate. Even in his own age he would have had a clearly defined and respectable position had he contented himself with being the general of the senate, for which he was from the outset destined. With this he was not content, and so he fell into the fatal plight of wishing to be something else than he could be. He was constantly aspiring to a special position in the state, and, when it offered itself, he could not make up his mind to occupy it; he was deeply indignant when persons and laws did not bend unconditionally before him, and yet he everywhere bore himself with no mere affectation of modesty as one of many peers, and trembled at the mere thought of undertaking anything unconstitutional. Thus constantly at fundamental variance with, and yet at the same time the obedient servant of, the oligarchy, constantly tormented by an ambition which was frightened at its own aims, his much-agitated life passed joylessly away in a perpetual inward contradiction.


Marcus Crassus cannot, any more than Pompeius, be reckoned among the unconditional adherents of the oligarchy. He is a personage highly characteristic of this epoch. Like Pompeius, whose senior he was by a few years, he belonged to the circle of the high Roman aristocracy, had obtained the usual education befitting his rank, and had like Pompeius fought with distinction under Sulla in the Italian war. Far inferior to many of his peers in mental gifts, literary culture, and military talent, he outstripped them by his boundless activity, and by the perseverance with which he strove to possess everything and to become all-important. Above all, he threw himself into speculation. Purchases of estates during the revolution formed the foundation of his wealth; but he disdained no branch of gain; he carried on the business of building in the capital on a great scale and with prudence; he entered into partnership with his freedmen in the most varied undertakings; he acted as banker both in and out of Rome, in person or by his agents; he advanced money to his colleagues in the senate, and undertook— as it might happen—to execute works or to bribe the tribunals on their account. He was far from nice in the matter of making profit. On occasion of the Sullan proscriptions a forgery in the lists had been proved against him, for which reason Sulla made no more use of him thenceforward in the affairs of state: he did not refuse to accept an inheritance, because the testamentary document which contained his name was notoriously forged; he made no objection, when his bailiffs by force or by fraud dislodged the petty holders from lands which adjoined his own. He avoided open collisions, however, with criminal justice, and lived himself like a genuine moneyed man in homely and simple style. In this way Crassus rose in the course of a few years from a man of ordinary senatorial fortune to be the master of wealth which not long before his death, after defraying enormous extraordinary expenses, still amounted to 170,000,000 sesterces (1,700,000 pounds). He had become the richest of Romans and thereby, at the same time, a great political power. If, according to his expression, no one might call himself rich who could not maintain an army from his revenues, one who could do this was hardly any longer a mere citizen. In reality the views of Crassus aimed at a higher object than the possession of the best-filled money-chest in Rome. He grudged no pains to extend his connections. He knew how to salute by name every burgess of the capital. He refused to no suppliant his assistance in court. Nature, indeed, had not done much for him as an orator: his speaking was dry, his delivery monotonous, he had difficulty of hearing; but his tenacity of purpose, which no wearisomeness deterred and no enjoyment distracted, overcame such obstacles. He never appeared unprepared, he never extemporized, and so he became a pleader at all times in request and at all times ready; to whom it was no derogation that a cause was rarely too bad for him, and that he knew how to influence the judges not merely by his oratory, but also by his connections and, on occasion, by his gold. Half the senate was in debt to him; his habit of advancing to "friends" money without interest revocable at pleasure rendered a number of influential men dependent on him, and the more so that, like a genuine man of business, he made no distinction among the parties, maintained connections on all hands, and readily lent to every one who was able to pay or otherwise useful. The most daring party-leaders, who made their attacks recklessly in all directions, were careful not to quarrel with Crassus; he was compared to the bull of the herd, whom it was advisable for none to provoke. That such a man, so disposed and so situated, could not strive after humble aims is clear; and, in a very different way from Pompeius, Crassus knew exactly like a banker the objects and the means of political speculation. From the origin of Rome capital was a political power there; the age was of such a sort, that everything seemed accessible to gold as to iron. If in the time of revolution a capitalist aristocracy might have thought of overthrowing the oligarchy of the gentes, a man like Crassus might raise his eyes higher than to the -fasces- and embroidered mantle of the triumphators. For the moment he was a Sullan and adherent of the senate; but he was too much of a financier to devote himself to a definite political party, or to pursue aught else than his personal advantage. Why should Crassus, the wealthiest and most intriguing man in Rome, and no penurious miser but a speculator on the greatest scale, not speculate also on the crown? Alone, perhaps, he could not attain this object; but he had already carried out various great transactions in partnership; it was not impossible that for this also a suitable partner might present himself. It is a trait characteristic of the time, that a mediocre orator and officer, a politician who took his activity for energy and his covetousness for ambition, one who at bottom had nothing but a colossal fortune and the mercantile talent of forming connections—that such a man, relying on the omnipotence of coteries and intrigues, could deem himself on a level with the first generals and statesmen of his day, and could contend with them for the highest prize which allures political ambition.

Leaders of the Democrats

In the opposition proper, both among the liberal conservatives and among the Populares, the storms of revolution had made fearful havoc. Among the former, the only surviving man of note was Gaius Cotta (630-c. 681), the friend and ally of Drusus, and as such banished in 663,(12) and then by Sulla's victory brought back to his native land;(13) he was a shrewd man and a capable advocate, but not called, either by the weight of his party or by that of his personal standing, to act more than a respectable secondary part. In the democratic party, among the rising youth, Gaius Julius Caesar, who was twenty-four years of age (born 12 July 652?(14)), drew towards him the eyes of friend and foe. His relationship with Marius and Cinna (his father's sister had been the wife of Marius, he himself had married Cinna's daughter); the courageous refusal of the youth who had scarce outgrown the age of boyhood to send a divorce to his young wife Cornelia at the bidding of the dictator, as Pompeius had in the like case done; his bold persistence in the priesthood conferred upon him by Marius, but revoked by Sulla; his wanderings during the proscription with which he was threatened, and which was with difficulty averted by the intercession of his relatives; his bravery in the conflicts before Mytilene and in Cilicia, a bravery which no one had expected from the tenderly reared and almost effeminately foppish boy; even the warnings of Sulla regarding the "boy in the petticoat" in whom more than a Marius lay concealed—all these were precisely so many recommendations in the eyes of the democratic party. But Caesar could only be the object of hopes for the future; and the men who from their age and their public position would have been called now to seize the reins of the party and the state, were all dead or in exile.


Thus the leadership of the democracy, in the absence of a man with a true vocation for it, was to be had by any one who might please to give himself forth as the champion of oppressed popular freedom; and in this way it came to Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, a Sullan, who from motives more than ambiguous deserted to the camp of the democracy. Once a zealous Optimate, and a large purchaser at the auctions of the proscribed estates, he had, as governor of Sicily, so scandalously plundered the province that he was threatened with impeachment, and, to evade it, threw himself into opposition. It was a gain of doubtful value. No doubt the opposition thus acquired a well-known name, a man of quality, a vehement orator in the Forum; but Lepidus was an insignificant and indiscreet personage, who did not deserve to stand at the head either in council or in the field. Nevertheless the opposition welcomed him, and the new leader of the democrats succeeded not only in deterring his accusers from prosecuting the attack on him which they had begun, but also in carrying his election to the consulship for 676; in which, we may add, he was helped not only by the treasures exacted in Sicily, but also by the foolish endeavour of Pompeius to show Sulla and the pure Sullans on this occasion what he could do. Now that the opposition had, on the death of Sulla, found a head once more in Lepidus, and now that this their leader had become the supreme magistrate of the state, the speedy outbreak of a new revolution in the capital might with certainty be foreseen.

The Emigrants in Spain

But even before the democrats moved in the capital, the democratic emigrants had again bestirred themselves in Spain. The soul of this movement was Quintus Sertorius. This excellent man, a native of Nursia in the Sabine land, was from the first of a tender and even soft organization—as his almost enthusiastic love for his mother, Raia, shows—and at the same time of the most chivalrous bravery, as was proved by the honourable scars which he brought home from the Cimbrian, Spanish, and Italian wars. Although wholly untrained as an orator, he excited the admiration of learned advocates by the natural flow and the striking self-possession of his address. His remarkable military and statesmanly talent had found opportunity of shining by contrast, more particularly in the revolutionary war which the democrats so wretchedly and stupidly mismanaged; he was confessedly the only democratic officer who knew how to prepare and to conduct war, and the only democratic statesman who opposed the insensate and furious doings of his party with statesmanlike energy. His Spanish soldiers called him the new Hannibal, and not merely because he had, like that hero, lost an eye in war. He in reality reminds us of the great Phoenician by his equally cunning and courageous strategy, by his rare talent of organizing war by means of war, by his adroitness in attracting foreign nations to his interest and making them serviceable to his ends, by his prudence in success and misfortune, by the quickness of his ingenuity in turning to good account his victories and averting the consequences of his defeats. It may be doubted whether any Roman statesman of the earlier period, or of the present, can be compared in point of versatile talent to Sertorius. After Sulla's generals had compelled him to quit Spain,(15) he had led a restless life of adventure along the Spanish and African coasts, sometimes in league, sometimes at war, with the Cilician pirates who haunted these seas, and with the chieftains of the roving tribes of Libya. The victorious Roman restoration had pursued him even thither: when he was besieging Tingis (Tangiers), a corps under Pacciaecus from Roman Africa had come to the help of the prince of the town; but Pacciaecus was totally defeated, and Tingis was taken by Sertorius. On the report of such achievements by the Roman refugee spreading abroad, the Lusitanians, who, notwithstanding their pretended submission to the Roman supremacy, practically maintained their independence, and annually fought with the governors of Further Spain, sent envoys to Sertorius in Africa, to invite him to join them, and to commit to him the command of their militia.

Renewed Outbreak of the Spanish Insurrection
Metellus Sent to Spain

Sertorius, who twenty years before had served under Titus Didius in Spain and knew the resources of the land, resolved to comply with the invitation, and, leaving behind a small detachment on the Mauretanian coast, embarked for Spain (about 674). The straits separating Spain and Africa were occupied by a Roman squadron commanded by Cotta; to steal through it was impossible; so Sertorius fought his way through and succeeded in reaching the Lusitanians. There were not more than twenty Lusitanian communities that placed themselves under his orders; and even of "Romans" he mustered only 2600 men, a considerable part of whom were deserters from the army of Pacciaecus or Africans armed after the Roman style. Sertorius saw that everything depended on his associating with the loose guerilla-bands a strong nucleus of troops possessing Roman organization and discipline: for this end he reinforced the band which he had brought with him by levying 4000 infantry and 700 cavalry, and with this one legion and the swarms of Spanish volunteers advanced against the Romans. The command in Further Spain was held by Lucius Fufidius, who through his absolute devotion to Sulla—well tried amidst the proscriptions—had risen from a subaltern to be propraetor; he was totally defeated on the Baetis; 2000 Romans covered the field of battle. Messengers in all haste summoned the governor of the adjoining province of the Ebro, Marcus Domitius Calvinus, to check the farther advance of the Sertorians; and there soon appeared (675) also the experienced general Quintus Metellus, sent by Sulla to relieve the incapable Fufidius in southern Spain. But they did not succeed in mastering the revolt. In the Ebro province not only was the army of Calvinus destroyed and he himself slain by the lieutenant of Sertorius, the quaestor Lucius Hirtuleius, but Lucius Manlius, the governor of Transalpine Gaul, who had crossed the Pyrenees with three legions to the help of his colleague, was totally defeated by the same brave leader. With difficulty Manlius escaped with a few men to Ilerda (Lerida) and thence to his province, losing on the march his whole baggage through a sudden attack of the Aquitanian tribes. In Further Spain Metellus penetrated into the Lusitanian territory; but Sertorius succeeded during the siege of Longobriga (not far from the mouth of the Tagus) in alluring a division under Aquinus into an ambush, and thereby compelling Metellus himself to raise the siege and to evacuate the Lusitanian territory. Sertorius followed him, defeated on the Anas (Guadiana) the corps of Thorius, and inflicted vast damage by guerilla warfare on the army of the commander-in- chief himself. Metellus, a methodical and somewhat clumsy tactician, was in despair as to this opponent, who obstinately declined a decisive battle, but cut off his supplies and communications and constantly hovered round him on all sides.

Organizations of Sertorius

These extraordinary successes obtained by Sertorius in the two Spanish provinces were the more significant, that they were not achieved merely by arms and were not of a mere military nature. The emigrants as such were not formidable; nor were isolated successes of the Lusitanians under this or that foreign leader of much moment. But with the most decided political and patriotic tact Sertorius acted, whenever he could do so, not as condottiere of the Lusitanians in revolt against Rome, but as Roman general and governor of Spain, in which capacity he had in fact been sent thither by the former rulers. He began(16) to form the heads of the emigration into a senate, which was to increase to 300 members and to conduct affairs and to nominate magistrates in Roman form. He regarded his army as a Roman one, and filled the officers' posts, without exception, with Romans. When facing the Spaniards, he was the governor, who by virtue of his office levied troops and other support from them; but he was a governor who, instead of exercising the usual despotic sway, endeavoured to attach the provincials to Rome and to himself personally. His chivalrous character rendered it easy for him to enter into Spanish habits, and excited in the Spanish nobility the most ardent enthusiasm for the wonderful foreigner who had a spirit so kindred with their own. According to the warlike custom of personal following which subsisted in Spain as among the Celts and the Germans, thousands of the noblest Spaniards swore to stand faithfully by their Roman general unto death; and in them Sertorius found more trustworthy comrades than in his countrymen and party-associates. He did not disdain to turn to account the superstition of the ruder Spanish tribes, and to have his plans of war brought to him as commands of Diana by the white fawn of the goddess. Throughout he exercised a just and gentle rule. His troops, at least so far as his eye and his arm reached, had to maintain the strictest discipline. Gentle as he generally was in punishing, he showed himself inexorable when any outrage was perpetrated by his soldiers on friendly soil. Nor was he inattentive to the permanent alleviation of the condition of the provincials; he reduced the tribute, and directed the soldiers to construct winter barracks for themselves, so that the oppressive burden of quartering the troops was done away and thus a source of unspeakable mischief and annoyance was stopped. For the children of Spaniards of quality an academy was erected at Osca (Huesca), in which they received the higher instruction usual in Rome, learning to speak Latin and Greek, and to wear the toga—a remarkable measure, which was by no means designed merely to take from the allies in as gentle a form as possible the hostages that in Spain were inevitable, but was above all an emanation from, and an advance onthe great project of Gaius Gracchus and the democratic party for gradually Romanizing the provinces. It was the first attempt to accomplish their Romanization not by extirpating the old inhabitants and filling their places with Italian emigrants, but by Romanizing the provincials themselves. The Optimates in Rome sneered at the wretched emigrant, the runaway from the Italian army, the last of the robber-band of Carbo; the sorry taunt recoiled upon its authors. The masses that had been brought into the field against Sertorius were reckoned, including the Spanish general levy, at 120,000 infantry, 2000 archers and slingers, and 6000 cavalry. Against this enormous superiority of force Sertorius had not only held his ground in a series of successful conflicts and victories, but had also reduced the greater part of Spain under his power. In the Further province Metellus found himself confined to the districts immediately occupied by his troops; hereall the tribes, who could, had taken the side of Sertorius. In the Hither province, after the victories of Hirtuleius, there no longer existed a Roman army. Emissaries of Sertorius roamed through the whole territory of Gaul; there, too, the tribes began to stir, and bands gathering together began to make the Alpine passes insecure. Lastly the sea too belonged quite as much to the insurgents as to the legitimate government, since the allies of the former—the pirates—were almost as powerful in the Spanish waters as the Roman ships of war. At the promontory of Diana (now Denia, between Valencia and Alicante) Sertorius established for the corsairs a fixed station, where they partly lay in wait for such Roman ships as were conveying supplies to the Roman maritime towns and the army, partly carried away or delivered goods for the insurgents, and partly formed their medium of intercourse with Italy and Asia Minor. The constant readiness of these men moving to and fro to carry everywhere sparks from the scene of conflagration tended in a high degree to excite apprehension, especially at a time when so much combustible matter was everywhere accumulated in the Roman empire.

Death of Sulla and Its Consequences

Amidst this state of matters the sudden death of Sulla took place (676). So long as the man lived, at whose voice a trained and trustworthy army of veterans was ready any moment to rise, the oligarchy might tolerate the almost (as it seemed) definite abandonment of the Spanish provinces to the emigrants, and the election of the leader of the opposition at home to be supreme magistrate, at all events as transient misfortunes; and in their shortsighted way, yet not wholly without reason, might cherish confidence either that the opposition would not venture to proceed to open conflict, or that, if it did venture, he who had twice saved the oligarchy would set it up a third time. Now the state of things was changed. The democratic Hotspurs in the capital, long impatient of the endless delay and inflamed by the brilliant news from Spain, urged that a blow should be struck; and Lepidus, with whom the decision for the moment lay, entered into the proposal with all the zeal of a renegade and with his own characteristic frivolity. For a moment it seemed as if the torch which kindled the funeral pile of the regent would also kindle civil war; but the influence of Pompeius and the temper of the Sullan veterans induced the opposition to let the obsequies of the regent pass over in peace.

Insurrection of Lepidus

Yet all the more openly were arrangements thenceforth made to introduce a fresh revolution. Daily the Forum resounded with accusations against the "mock Romulus" and his executioners. Even before the great potentate had closed his eyes, the overthrow of the Sullan constitution, the re-establishment of the distributions of grain, the reinstating of the tribunes of the people in their former position, the recall of those who were banished contrary to law, the restoration of the confiscated lands, were openly indicated by Lepidus and his adherents as the objects at which they aimed. Now communications were entered into with the proscribed; Marcus Perpenna, governor of Sicily in the days of Cinna,(17) arrived in the capital. The sons of those whom Sulla had declared guilty of treason—on whom the laws of the restoration bore with intolerable severity—and generally the more noted men of Marian views were invited to give their accession. Not a few, such as the young Lucius Cinna, joined the movement; others, however, followed the example of Gaius Caesar, who had returned home from Asia on receiving the accounts of the death of Sulla and of the plans of Lepidus, but after becoming more accurately acquainted with the character of the leader and of the movement prudently withdrew. Carousing and recruiting went on in behalf of Lepidus in the taverns and brothels of the capital. At length a conspiracy against the new order of things was concocted among the Etruscan malcontents.(18)

All this took place under the eyes of the government The consul Catulus as well as the more judicious Optimates urged an immediate decisive interference and suppression of the revolt in the bud; the indolent majority, however, could not make up their minds to begin the struggle, but tried to deceive themselves as long as possible by a system of compromises and concessions. Lepidus also on his part at first entered into it. The suggestion, which proposed a restoration of the prerogatives taken away from the tribunes of the people, he as well as his colleague Catulus repelled. On the other hand, the Gracchan distribution of grain was to a limited extent re-established. According to it not all (as according to the Sempronian law) but only a definite number— presumably 40,000—of the poorer burgesses appear to have received the earlier largesses, as Gracchus had fixed them, of five -modii- monthly at the price of 6 1/3 -asses- (3 pence)—a regulation which occasioned to the treasury an annual net loss of at least 40,000 pounds.(19) The opposition, naturally as little satisfied as it was decidedly emboldened by this partial concession, displayed all the more rudeness and violence in the capital; and in Etruria, the true centre of all insurrections of the Italian proletariate, civil war already broke out, the dispossessed Faesulans resumed possession of their lost estates by force of arms, and several of the veterans settled there by Sulla perished in the tumult. The senate on learning what had occurred resolved to send the two consuls thither, in order to raise troops and suppress the insurrection.(20) It was impossible to adopt a more irrational course. The senate, in presence of the insurrection, evinced its pusillanimity and its fears by the re-establishment of the corn-law; in order to be relieved from a street-riot, it furnished the notorious head of the insurrection with an army; and, when the two consuls were bound by the most solemn oath which could be contrived not to turn the arms entrusted to them against each other, it must have required the superhuman obduracy of oligarchic consciences to think of erecting such a bulwark against the impending insurrection. Of course Lepidus armed in Etruria not for the senate, but for the insurrection— sarcastically declaring that the oath which he had taken bound him only for the current year. The senate put the oracular machinery in motion to induce him to return, and committed to him the conduct of the impending consular elections; but Lepidus evaded compliance, and, while messengers passed to and fro and the official year drew to an end amidst proposals of accommodation, his force swelled to an army. When at length, in the beginning of the following year (677), the definite order of the senate was issued to Lepidus to return without delay, the proconsul haughtily refused obedience, and demanded in his turn the renewal of the former tribunician power, the reinstatement of those who had been forcibly ejected from their civic rights and their property, and, besides this, his own re-election as consul for the current year or, in other words, the -tyrannis- in legal form.

Outbreak of the War
Lepidus Defeated
Death of Lepidus

Thus war was declared. The senatorial party could reckon, in addition to the Sullan veterans whose civil existence was threatened by Lepidus, upon the army assembled by the proconsul Catulus; and so, in compliance with the urgent warnings of the more sagacious, particularly of Philippus, Catulus was entrusted by the senate with the defence of the capital and the repelling of the main force of the democratic party stationed in Etruria. At the same time Gnaeus Pompeius was despatched with another corps to wrest from his former protege the valley of the Po, which was held by Lepidus' lieutenant, Marcus Brutus. While Pompeius speedily accomplished his commission and shut up the enemy's general closely in Mutina, Lepidus appeared before the capital in order to conquer it for the revolution as Marius had formerly done by storm. The right bank of the Tiber fell wholly into his power, and he was able even to cross the river. The decisive battle was fought on the Campus Martius, close under the walls of the city. But Catulus conquered; and Lepidus was compelled to retreat to Etruria, while another division, under his son Scipio, threw itself into the fortress of Alba. Thereupon the rising was substantially atan end. Mutina surrendered to Pompeius; and Brutus was, notwithstanding the safe-conduct promised to him, subsequently put to death by order of that general. Alba too was, after a long siege, reduced by famine, and the leader there was likewise executed. Lepidus, pressed on two sides by Catulus and Pompeius, fought another engagement on the coast of Etruria in order merely to procure the means of retreat, and then embarked at the port of Cosa for Sardinia from which point he hoped to cut off the supplies of the capital, and to obtain communication with the Spanish insurgents. But the governor of the island opposed to him a vigorous resistance; and he himself died, not long after his landing, of consumption (677), whereupon the war in Sardinia came to an end. A part of his soldiers dispersed; with the flower of the insurrectionary army and with a well-filled chest the late praetor, Marcus Perpenna, proceeded to Liguria, and thence to Spain to join the Sertorians.

Pompeius Extorts the Command in Spain

The oligarchy was thus victorious over Lepidus; but it found itself compelled by the dangerous turn of the Sertorian war to concessions, which violated the letter as well as the spirit of the Sullan constitution. It was absolutely necessary to send a strong army and an able general to Spain; and Pompeius indicated, very plainly, that he desired, or rather demanded, this commission. The pretension was bold. It was already bad enough that they had allowed this secret opponent again to attain an extraordinary command in the pressure of the Lepidian revolution; but it was far more hazardous, in disregard of all the rules instituted by Sulla for the magisterial hierarchy, to invest a man who had hitherto filled no civil office with one of the most important ordinary provincial governorships, under circumstances in which the observance of the legal term of a year was not to be thought of. The oligarchy had thus, even apart from the respect due to their general Metellus, good reason to oppose with all earnestness this new attempt of the ambitious youth to perpetuate his exceptional position. But this was not easy. In the first place, they had not a single man fitted for the difficult post of general in Spain. Neither of the consuls of the year showed any desire to measure himself against Sertorius; and what Lucius Philippus said in a full meeting of the senate had to be admitted as too true—that, among all the senators of note, not one was able and willing to command in a serious war. Yet they might, perhaps, have got over this, and after the manner of oligarchs, when they had no capable candidate, have filled the place with some sort of makeshift, if Pompeius had merely desired the command and had not demanded it at the head of an army. He had already lent a deaf ear to the injunctions of Catulus that he should dismiss the army; it was at least doubtful whether those of the senate would find a better reception, and the consequences of a breach no one could calculate— the scale of aristocracy might very easily mount up, if the sword of a well-known general were thrown into the opposite scale. So the majority resolved on concession. Not from the people, which constitutionally ought to have been consulted in a case where a private man was to be invested with the supreme magisterial power, but from the senate, Pompeius received proconsular authority and the chief command in Hither Spain; and, forty days after he had received it, crossed the Alps in the summer of 677.

Pompeius in Gaul

First of all the new general found employment in Gaul, where no formal insurrection had broken out, but serious disturbances of the peace had occurred at several places; in consequence of which Pompeius deprived the cantons of the Volcae-Arecomici and the Helvii of their independence, and placed them under Massilia. He also laid out a new road over the Cottian Alps (Mont Genevre,(21)), and so established a shorter communication between the valley of the Po and Gaul. Amidst this work the best season of the year passed away; it was not till late in autumn that Pompeius crossed the Pyrenees.

Appearance of Pompeius in Spain

Sertorius had meanwhile not been idle. He had despatched Hirtuleius into the Further province to keep Metellus in check, and had himself endeavoured to follow up his complete victory in the Hither province, and to prepare for the reception of Pompeius. The isolated Celtiberian towns there, which still adhered to Rome, were attacked and reduced one after another; at last, in the very middle of winter, the strong Contrebia (south-east of Saragossa) had fallen. In vain the hard-pressed towns had sent message after message to Pompeius; he would not be induced by any entreaties to depart from his wonted rut of slowly advancing. With the exception of the maritime towns, which were defended by the Roman fleet, and the districts of the Indigetes and Laletani in the north-east corner of Spain, where Pompeius established himself after he had at length crossed the Pyrenees, and made his raw troops bivouac throughout the winter to inure them to hardships, the whole of Hither Spain had at the end of 677 become by treaty or force dependent on Sertorius, and the district on the upper and middle Ebro thenceforth continued the main stay of his power. Even the apprehension, which the fresh Roman force and the celebrated name of the general excited in the army of the insurgents, had a salutary effect on it. Marcus Perpenna, who hitherto as the equal of Sertorius in rank had claimed an independent command over the force which he had brought with him from Liguria, was, on the news of the arrival of Pompeius in Spain, compelled by his soldiers to place himself under the orders of his abler colleague.

For the campaign of 678 Sertorius again employed the corps of Hirtuleius against Metellus, while Perpenna with a strong army took up his position along the lower course of the Ebro to prevent Pompeius from crossing the river, if he should march, as was to be expected, in a southerly direction with the view of effecting a junction with Metellus, and along the coast for the sake of procuring supplies for his troops. The corps of Gaius Herennius was destined to the immediate support of Perpenna; farther inland on the upper Ebro, Sertorius in person prosecuted meanwhile the subjugation of several districts friendly to Rome, and held himself at the same time ready to hasten according to circumstances to the aid of Perpenna or Hirtuleius. It was still his intention to avoid any pitched battle, and to annoy the enemy by petty conflicts and cutting off supplies.

Pompeius Defeated

Pompeius, however, forced the passage of the Ebro against Perpenna and took up a position on the river Pallantias, near Saguntum, whence, as we have already said, the Sertorians maintained their communications with Italy and the east. It was time that Sertorius should appear in person, and throw the superiority of his numbers and of his genius into the scale against the greater excellence of the soldiers of his opponent. For a considerable time the struggle was concentrated around the town of Lauro (on the Xucar, south of Valencia), which had declared for Pompeius and was on that account besieged by Sertorius. Pompeius exerted himself to the utmost to relieve it; but, after several of his divisions had already been assailed separately and cut to pieces, the great warrior found himself—just when he thought that he had surrounded the Sertorians, and when he had already invited the besieged to be spectators of the capture of the besieging army—all of a sudden completely outmanoeuvred; and in order that he might not be himself surrounded, he had to look on from his camp at the capture and reduction to ashes of the allied town and at the carrying off of its inhabitants to Lusitania—an event which induced a number of towns that had been wavering in middle and eastern Spain to adhere anew to Sertorius.

Victories of Metellus

Meanwhile Metellus fought with better fortune. In a sharp engagement at Italica (not far from Seville), which Hirtuleius had imprudently risked, and in which both generals fought hand to hand and Hirtuleius was wounded, Metellus defeated him and compelled him to evacuate the Roman territory proper, and to throw himself into Lusitania. This victory permitted Metellus to unite with Pompeius. The two generals took up their winter-quarters in 678-79 at the Pyrenees, and in the next campaign in 679 they resolved to make a joint attack on the enemy in his position near Valentia. But while Metellus was advancing, Pompeius offered battle beforehand to the main army of the enemy, with a view to wipe out the stain of Lauro and to gain the expected laurels, if possible, alone. With joy Sertorius embraced the opportunity of fighting with Pompeius before Metellus arrived.

Battle on the Sucro

The armies met on the river Sucro (Xucar): after a sharp conflict Pompeius was beaten on the right wing, and was himself carried from the field severely wounded. Afranius no doubt conquered with the left and took the camp of the Sertorians, but during its pillage he was suddenly assailed by Sertorius and compelled also to give way. Had Sertorius been able to renew the battle on the following day, the army of Pompeius would perhaps have been annihilated. But meanwhile Metellus had come up, had overthrown the corps of Perpenna ranged against him, and taken his camp: it was not possible to resume the battle against the two armies united. The successes of Metellus, the junction of the hostile forces, the sudden stagnation after the victory, diffused terror among the Sertorians; and, as not unfrequently happened with Spanish armies, in consequence of this turn of things the greater portion of the Sertorian soldiers dispersed. But the despondency passed away as quickly as it had come; the white fawn, which represented in the eyes of the multitude the military plans of the general, was soon more popular than ever; in a short time Sertorius appeared with a new army confronting the Romans in the level country to the south of Saguntum (Murviedro), which firmly adhered to Rome, while the Sertorian privateers impeded the Roman supplies by sea, and scarcity was already making itself felt in the Roman camp. Another battle took place in the plains of the river Turia (Guadalaviar), and the struggle was long undecided. Pompeius with the cavalry was defeated by Sertorius, and his brother-in-law and quaestor, the brave Lucius Memmius, was slain; on the other hand Metellus vanquished Perpenna, and victoriously repelled the attack of the enemy's main army directed against him, receiving himself a wound in the conflict. Once more the Sertorian army dispersed. Valentia, which Gaius Herennius held for Sertorius, was taken and razed to the ground. The Romans, probably for a moment, cherished a hope that they were done with their tough antagonist. The Sertorian army had disappeared; the Roman troops, penetrating far into the interior, besieged the general himself in the fortress Clunia on the upper Douro. But while they vainly invested this rocky stronghold, the contingents of the insurgent communities assembled elsewhere; Sertorius stole out of the fortress and even before the expiry of the year stood once more as general at the head of an army.

Again the Roman generals had to take up their winter quarters with the cheerless prospect of an inevitable renewal of their Sisyphean war-toils. It was not even possible to choose quarters in the region of Valentia, so important on account of the communication with Italy and the east, but fearfully devastated by friend and foe; Pompeius led his troops first into the territory of the Vascones(22) (Biscay) and then spent the winter in the territory of the Vaccaei (about Valladolid), and Metellus even in Gaul.

Indefinite and Perilous Character of the Sertorian War

For five years the Sertorian war thus continued, and still there seemed no prospect of its termination. The state suffered from it beyond description. The flower of the Italian youth perished amid the exhausting fatigues of these campaigns. The public treasury was not only deprived of the Spanish revenues, but had annually to send to Spain for the pay and maintenance of the Spanish armies very considerable sums, which the government hardly knew how to raise. Spain was devastated and impoverished, and the Roman civilization, which unfolded so fair a promise there, received a severe shock; as was naturally to be expected in the case ofan insurrectionary war waged with so much bitterness, and but too often occasioning the destruction of whole communities. Even the towns which adhered to the dominant party in Rome had countless hardships to endure; those situated on the coast had to be provided with necessaries by the Roman fleet, and the situation of the faithful communities in the interior was almost desperate. Gaul suffered hardly less, partly from the requisitions for contingents of infantry and cavalry, for grain and money, partly from the oppressive burden of the winter-quarters, which rose to an intolerable degree in consequence of the bad harvest of 680; almost all the local treasuries were compelled to betake themselves to the Roman bankers, and to burden themselves with a crushing load of debt. Generals and soldiers carried on the war with reluctance. The generals had encountered an opponent far superior in talent, a tough and protracted resistance, a warfare of very serious perils and of successes difficult to be attained and far from brilliant; it was asserted that Pompeius was scheming to get himself recalled from Spain and entrusted with a more desirable command somewhere else. The soldiers, too, found little satisfaction in a campaign in which not only was there nothing to be got save hard blows and worthless booty, but their very pay was doled out to them with extreme irregularity. Pompeius reported to the senate, at the end of 679, that the pay was two years in arrear, and that the army was threatening to break up. The Roman government might certainly have obviated a considerable portion of these evils, if they could have prevailed on themselves to carry on the Spanish war with less remissness, to say nothing of better will. In the main, however, it was neither their fault nor the fault of their generals that a genius so superior as that of Sertorius was able to carry on this petty warfare year after year, despite of all numerical and military superiority, on ground so thoroughly favourable to insurrectionary and piratical warfare. So little could its end be foreseen, that the Sertorian insurrection seemed rather as if it would become intermingled with other contemporary revolts and thereby add to its dangerous character. Just at that time the Romans were contending on every sea with piratical fleets, in Italy with the revolted slaves, in Macedonia with the tribes on the lower Danube; and in the east Mithradates, partly induced by the successes of the Spanish insurrection, resolved once more to try the fortune of arms. That Sertorius had formed connections with the Italian and Macedonian enemies of Rome, cannot be distinctly affirmed, although he certainly was in constant intercourse with the Marians in Italy. With the pirates, on the other hand, he had previously formed an avowed league, and with the Pontic king— with whom he had long maintained relations through the medium of the Roman emigrants staying at his court—he now concluded a formal treaty of alliance, in which Sertorius ceded to the king the client-states of Asia Minor, but not the Roman province of Asia, and promised, moreover, to send him an officer qualified to lead his troops, and a number of soldiers, while the king, in turn, bound himself to transmit to Sertorius forty ships and 3000 talents (720,000 pounds). The wise politicians in the capital were already recalling the time when Italy found itself threatened by Philip from the east and by Hannibal from the west; they conceived that the new Hannibal, just like his predecessor, after having by himself subdued Spain, could easily arrive with the forces of Spain in Italy sooner than Pompeius, in order that, like the Phoenician formerly, he might summon the Etruscans and Samnites to arms against Rome.

Collapse of the Power of Sertorius

But this comparison was more ingenious than accurate. Sertorius was far from being strong enough to renew the gigantic enterprise of Hannibal. He was lost if he left Spain, where all his successes were bound up with the peculiarities of the country and the people; and even there he was more and more compelled to renounce the offensive. His admirable skill as a leader could not change the nature of his troops. The Spanish militia retained its character, untrustworthy as the wave or the wind; now collected in masses to the number of 150,000, now melting away again to a mere handful. The Roman emigrants, likewise, continued insubordinate, arrogant, and stubborn. Those kinds of armed force which require that a corps should keep together for a considerable time, such as cavalry especially, were of course very inadequately represented in his army. The war gradually swept off his ablest officers and the flower of his veterans; and even the most trustworthy communities, weary of being harassed by the Romans and maltreated by the Sertorian officers, began to show signs of impatience and wavering allegiance. It is remarkable that Sertorius, in this respect also like Hannibal, never deceived himself as to the hopelessness of his position; he allowed no opportunity for bringing about a compromise to pass, and would have been ready at any moment to lay down his staff of command on the assurance of being allowed to live peacefully in his native land. But political orthodoxy knows nothing of compromise and conciliation. Sertorius might not recede or step aside; he was compelled inevitably to move on along the path which he had once entered, however narrow and giddy it might become.

The representations which Pompeius addressed to Rome, and which derived emphasis from the behaviour of Mithradates in the east, were successful. He had the necessary supplies of money sent to him by the senate and was reinforced by two fresh legions. Thus the two generals went to work again in the spring of 680 and once more crossed the Ebro. Eastern Spain was wrested from the Sertorians in consequence of the battles on the Xucar and Guadalaviar; the struggle thenceforth became concentrated on the upper and middle Ebro around the chief strongholds of the Sertorians—Calagurris, Osca, Ilerda. As Metellus had done best in the earlier campaigns, so too on this occasion he gained the most important successes. His old opponent Hirtuleius, who again confronted him, was completely defeated and fell himself along with his brother—an irreparable loss for the Sertorians. Sertorius, whom the unfortunate news reached just as he was on the point of assailing the enemy opposed to him, cut down the messenger, that the tidings might not discourage his troops; but the news could not be long concealed. One town after another surrendered, Metellus occupied the Celtiberian towns of Segobriga (between Toledo and Cuenca) and Bilbilis (near Calatayud). Pompeius besieged Pallantia (Palencia above Valladolid), but Sertorius relieved it, and compelled Pompeius to fall back upon Metellus; in front of Calagurris (Calahorra, on the upper Ebro), into which Sertorius had thrown himself, they both suffered severe losses. Nevertheless, when they went into winter-quarters—Pompeius to Gaul, Metellus to his own province—they were able to look back on considerable results; a great portion of the insurgents had submitted or had been subdued by arms.

In a similar way the campaign of the following year (681) ran its course; in this case it was especially Pompeius who slowly but steadily restricted the field of the insurrection.

Internal Dissension among the Sertorians

The discomfiture sustained by the arms of the insurgents failed not to react on the tone of feeling in their camp. The military successes of Sertorius became like those of Hannibal, of necessity less and less considerable; people began to call in question his military talent: he was no longer, it was alleged, what he had been; he spent the day in feasting or over his cups, and squandered money as well as time. The number of the deserters, and of communities falling away, increased. Soon projects formed by the Roman emigrants against the life of the general were reported to him; they sounded credible enough, especially as various officers of the insurgent army, and Perpenna in particular, had submitted with reluctance to the supremacy of Sertorius, and the Roman governors had for long promised amnesty and a high reward to any one who should kill him. Sertorius, on hearing such allegations, withdrew the charge of guarding his person from the Roman soldiers and entrusted it to select Spaniards. Against the suspected themselves he proceeded with fearful but necessary severity, and condemned various of the accused to death without resorting, as in other cases, to the advice of his council; he was now more dangerous—it was thereupon affirmed in the circles of the malcontents—to his friends than to his foes.

Assassination of Sertorius

A second conspiracy was soon discovered, which had its seat in his own staff; whoever was denounced had to take flight or die; but all were not betrayed, and the remaining conspirators, including especially Perpenna, found in the circumstances only a new incentive to make haste. They were in the headquarters at Osca. There, on the instigation of Perpenna, a brilliant victory was reported to the general as having been achieved by his troops; and at the festal banquet arranged by Perpenna to celebrate this victory Sertorius accordingly appeared, attended, as was his wont, by his Spanish retinue. Contrary to former custom in the Sertorian headquarters, the feast soon became a revel; wild words passed at table, and it seemed as if some of the guests sought opportunity to begin an altercation. Sertorius threw himself back on his couch, and seemed desirous not to hear the disturbance. Then a wine-cup was dashed on the floor; Perpenna had given the concerted sign. Marcus Antonius, Sertorius' neighbour at table, dealt the first blow against him, and when Sertorius turned round and attempted to rise, the assassin flung himself upon him and held him down till the other guests at table, all of them implicated in the conspiracy, threw themselves on the struggling pair, and stabbed he defenceless general while his arms were pinioned (682). With him died his faithful attendants. So ended one of the greatest men, if not the very greatest man, that Rome had hitherto produced— a man who under more fortunate circumstances would perhaps have become the regenerator of his country—by the treason of the wretched band of emigrants whom he was condemned to lead against his native land. History loves not the Coriolani; nor has she made any exception even in the case of this the most magnanimous, most gifted, most deserving to be regretted of them all.

Perpenna Succeeds Sertorius

The murderers thought to succeed to the heritage of the murdered. After the death of Sertorius, Perpenna, as the highest among the Roman officers of the Spanish army, laid claim to the chief command. The army submitted, but with mistrust and reluctance. However men had murmured against Sertorius in his lifetime, death reinstated the hero in his rights, and vehement was the indignation of the soldiers when, on the publication of his testament, the name of Perpenna was read forth among the heirs. A part of the soldiers, especially the Lusitanians, dispersed; the remainder had a presentiment that with the death of Sertorius their spirit and their fortune had departed.

Pompeius Puts an End to the Insurrection

Accordingly, at the first encounter with Pompeius, the wretchedly led and despondent ranks of the insurgents were utterly broken, and Perpenna, among other officers, was taken prisoner. The wretch sought to purchase his life by delivering up the correspondence of Sertorius, which would have compromised numerous men of standing in Italy; but Pompeius ordered the papers to be burnt unread, and handed him, as well as the other chiefs of the insurgents, overto the executioner. The emigrants who had escaped dispersed; and most of them went into the Mauretanian deserts or joined the pirates. Soon afterwards the Plotian law, which was zealously supported by the young Caesar in particular, opened up to a portion of them the opportunity of returning home; but all those who had taken part in the murder of Sertorius, with but a single exception, died a violent death. Osca, and most of the towns which had still adhered to Sertorius in Hither Spain, now voluntarily opened their gates to Pompeius; Uxama (Osma), Clunia, and Calagurris alone had to be reduced by force. The two provinces were regulated anew; in the Further province, Metellus raised the annual tribute of the most guilty communities; in the Hither, Pompeius dispensed reward and punishment: Calagurris, for example, lost its independence and was placed under Osca. A band of Sertorian soldiers, which had collected in the Pyrenees, was induced by Pompeius to surrender, and was settled by him to the north of the Pyrenees near Lugudunum (St. Bertrand, in the department Haute-Garonne), as the community of the "congregated" (-convenae-). The Roman emblems of victory were erected at the summit of the pass of the Pyrenees; at the close of 683, Metellus and Pompeius marched with their armies through the streets of the capital, to present the thanks of the nation to Father Jovis at the Capitol for the conquest of the Spaniards. The good fortune of Sulla seemed still to be with his creation after he had been laid in the grave, and to protect it better than the incapable and negligent watchmen appointed to guard it. The opposition in Italy had broken down from the incapacity and precipitation of its leader, and that of the emigrants from dissension within their own ranks. These defeats, although far more the result of their own perverseness and discordance than of the exertions of their opponents, were yet so many victories for the oligarchy. The curule chairs were rendered once more secure.

Chapter II

Rule of the Sullan Restoration

External Relations

When the suppression of the Cinnan revolution, which threatened the very existence of the senate, rendered it possible for the restored senatorial government to devote once more the requisite attention to the internal and external security of the empire, there emerged affairs enough, the settlement of which could not be postponed without injuring the most important interests and allowing present inconveniences to grow into future dangers. Apart from the very serious complications in Spain, it was absolutely necessary effectually to check the barbarians in Thrace and the regions of the Danube, whom Sulla on his march through Macedonia had only been able superficially to chastise,(1) and to regulate, by military intervention, the disorderly state of things along the northern frontier of the Greek peninsula; thoroughly to suppress the bands of pirates infesting the seas everywhere, but especially the eastern waters; and lastly to introduce better order into the unsettled relations of Asia Minor. The peace which Sulla had concluded in 670 with Mithradates, king of Pontus,(2) and of which the treaty with Murena in 673(3) was essentially a repetition, bore throughout the stamp of a provisional arrangement to meet the exigencies of the moment; and the relations of the Romans with Tigranes, king of Armenia, with whom they had de facto waged war, remained wholly untouched in this peace. Tigranes had with right regarded this as a tacit permission to bring the Roman possessions in Asia under his power. If these were not to be abandoned, it was necessary to come to terms amicably or by force with the new great-king of Asia.

In the preceding chapter we have described the movements in Italy and Spain connected with the proceedings of the democracy, and their subjugation by the senatorial government. In the present chapter we shall review the external government, as the authorities installed by Sulla conducted or failed to conduct it.

Dalmato-Macedonian Expeditions

We still recognize the vigorous hand of Sulla in the energetic measures which, in the last period of his regency, the senate adopted almost simultaneously against the Sertorians, the Dalmatians and Thracians, and the Cilician pirates.

The expedition to the Graeco-Illyrian peninsula was designed partly to reduce to subjection or at least to tame the barbarous tribes who ranged over the whole interior from the Black Sea to the Adriatic, and of whom the Bessi (in the great Balkan) especially were, as it was then said, notorious as robbers even among a race of robbers; partly to destroy the corsairs in their haunts, especially along the Dalmatian coast. As usual, the attack took place simultaneously from Dalmatia and from Macedonia, in which province an army of five legions was assembled for the purpose. In Dalmatia the former praetor Gaius Cosconius held the command, marched through the country in all directions, and took by storm the fortress of Salona after a two years' siege. In Macedonia the proconsul Appius Claudius (676-678) first attempted along the Macedono-Thracian frontier to make himself master of the mountain districts on the left bank of the Karasu. On both sides the war was conducted with savage ferocity; the Thracians destroyed the townships which they took and massacred their captives, and the Romans returned like for like. But no results of importance were attained; the toilsome marches and the constant conflicts with the numerous and brave inhabitants of the mountains decimated the army to no purpose; the general himself sickened and died. His successor, Gaius Scribonius Curio (679-681), was induced by various obstacles, and particularly by a not inconsiderable military revolt, to desist from the difficult expedition against the Thracians, and to turn himself instead to the northern frontier of Macedonia, where he subdued the weaker Dardani (in Servia) and reached as far as the Danube. The brave and able Marcus Lucullus (682, 683) was the first who again advanced eastward, defeated the Bessi in their mountains, took their capital Uscudama (Adrianople), and compelled them to submit to the Roman supremacy. Sadalas king of the Odrysians, and the Greek towns on the east coast to the north and south of the Balkan chain—Istropolis, Tomi, Callatis, Odessus (near Varna), Mesembria, and others—became dependent on the Romans. Thrace, of which the Romans had hitherto held little more than the Attalic possessions on the Chersonese, now became a portion—though far from obedient—of the province of Macedonia.


But the predatory raids of the Thracians and Dardani, confined as they were to a small part of the empire, were far less injurious to the state and to individuals than the evil of piracy, which was continually spreading farther and acquiring more solid organization. The commerce of the whole Mediterranean was in its power. Italy could neither export its products nor import grain from the provinces; in the former the people were starving, in the latter the cultivation of the corn-fields ceased for want of a vent for the produce. No consignment of money, no traveller was longer safe: the public treasury suffered most serious losses; a great many Romans of standing were captured by the corsairs, and compelled to pay heavy sums for their ransom, if it was not even the pleasure of the pirates to execute on individuals the sentence of death, which in that case was seasoned with a savage humour. The merchants, and even the divisions of Roman troops destined for the east, began to postpone their voyages chiefly to the unfavourable season of the year, and to be less afraid of the winter storms than of the piratical vessels, which indeed even at this season did not wholly disappear from the sea. But severely as the closing of the sea was felt, it was more tolerable than the raids made on the islands and coasts of Greece and Asia Minor. Just as afterwards in the time of the Normans, piratical squadrons ran up to the maritime towns, and either compelled them to buy themselves off with large sums, or besieged and took them by storm. When Samothrace, Clazomenae, Samos, Iassus were pillaged by the pirates (670) under the eyes of Sulla after peace was concluded with Mithradates, we may conceive how matters went where neither a Roman army nor a Roman fleet was at hand. All the old rich temples along the coasts of Greece and Asia Minor were plundered one after another; from Samothrace alone a treasure of 1000 talents (240,000 pounds) is said to have been carried off. Apollo, according to a Roman poet of this period, was so impoverished by the pirates that, when the swallow paid him a visit, he could no longer produce to it out of all his treasures even a drachm of gold. More than four hundred townships were enumerated as having been taken or laid under contribution by the pirates, including cities like Cnidus, Samos, Colophon; from not a few places on islands or the coast, which were previously flourishing, the whole population migrated, that they might not be carried off by the pirates. Even inland districts were no longer safe from their attacks; there were instances of their assailing townships distant one or two days' march from the coast. The fearful debt, under which subsequently all the communities of the Greek east succumbed, proceeded in great part from these fatal times.

Organization of Piracy

Piracy had totally changed its character. The pirates were no longer bold freebooters, who levied their tribute from the large Italo-Oriental traffic in slaves and luxuries, as it passed through the Cretan waters between Cyrene and the Peloponnesus—in the language of the pirates the "golden sea"; no longer even armed slave-catchers, who prosecuted "war, trade, and piracy" equally side by side; they formed now a piratical state, with a peculiar esprit de corps, with a solid and very respectable organization, with a home of their own and the germs of a symmachy, and doubtless also with definite political designs. The pirates called themselves Cilicians; in fact their vessels were the rendezvous of desperadoes and adventurers from all countries—discharged mercenaries from the recruiting-grounds of Crete, burgesses from the destroyed townships of Italy, Spain, and Asia, soldiers and officers from the armies of Fimbria and Sertorius, in a word the ruined men of all nations, the hunted refugees of all vanquished parties, every one that was wretched and daring—and where was there not misery and outrage in this unhappy age? It was no longer a gang of robbers who had flocked together, but a compact soldier- state, in which the freemasonry of exile and crime took the place of nationality, and within which crime redeemed itself, as it so often does in its own eyes, by displaying the most generous public spirit. In an abandoned age, when cowardice and insubordination had relaxed all the bonds of social order, the legitimate commonwealths might have taken a pattern from this state—the mongrel offspring of distress and violence—within which alone the inviolable determination to stand side by side, the sense of comradeship, respect for the pledged word and the self-chosen chiefs, valour and adroitness seemed to have taken refuge. If the banner of this state was inscribed with vengeance against the civil society which, rightly or wrongly, had ejected its members, it might be a question whether this device was much worse than those of the Italian oligarchy and the Oriental sultanship which seemed in the fair way of dividing the world between them. The corsairs at least felt themselves on a level with any legitimate state; their robber-pride, their robber-pomp, and their robber-humour are attested by many a genuine pirate's tale of mad merriment and chivalrous bandittism: they professed, and made it their boast, to live at righteous war with all the world: what they gained in that warfare was designated not as plunder, but as military spoil; and, while the captured corsair was sure of the cross in every Roman seaport, they too claimed the right of executing any of their captives.

Its Military-Political Power

Their military-political organization, especially since the Mithradatic war, was compact. Their ships, for the most part -myopiarones-, that is, small open swift-sailing barks, with a smaller proportion of biremes and triremes, now regularly sailed associated in squadrons and under admirals, whose barges were wont to glitter in gold and purple. To a comrade in peril, though he might be totally unknown, no pirate captain refused the requested aid; an agreement concluded with any one of them was absolutely recognized by the whole society, and any injury inflicted on one was avenged by all. Their true home was the sea from the pillars of Hercules to the Syrian and Egyptian waters; the refuges which they needed for themselves and their floating houses on the mainland were readily furnished to them by the Mauretanian and Dalmatian coasts, by the island of Crete, and, above all, by the southern coast of Asia Minor, which abounded in headlands and lurking-places, commanded the chief thoroughfare of the maritime commerce of that age, and was virtually without a master. The league of Lycian cities there, and the Pamphylian communities, were of little importance; the Roman station, which had existed in Cilicia since 652, was far from adequate to command the extensive coast; the Syrian dominion over Cilicia had always been but nominal, and had recently been superseded by the Armenian, the holder of which, as a true great-king, gave himself no concern at all about the sea and readily abandoned it to the pillage of the Cilicians. It was nothing wonderful, therefore, that the corsairs flourished there as they had never done anywhere else. Not only did they possess everywhere along the coast signal-places and stations, but further inland—in the most remote recesses of the impassable and mountainous interior of Lycia, Pamphylia, and Cilicia—they had built their rock-castles, in which they concealed their wives, children, and treasures during their own absence at sea, and, doubtless, in times of danger found an asylum themselves. Great numbers of such corsair-castles existed especially in the Rough Cilicia, the forests of which at the same time furnished the pirates with the most excellent timber for shipbuilding; and there, accordingly, their principal dockyards and arsenals were situated. It was not to be wondered at that this organized military state gained a firm body of clients among the Greek maritime cities, which were more or less left to themselves and managed their own affairs: these cities entered into traffic with the pirates as with a friendly power on the basis of definite treaties, and did not comply with the summons of the Roman governors to furnish vessels against them. The not inconsiderable town of Side in Pamphylia, for instance, allowed the pirates to build ships on its quays, and to sell the free men whom they had captured in its market.

Such a society of pirates was a political power; and as a political power it gave itself out and was accepted from the time when the Syrian king Tryphon first employed it as such and rested his throne on its support.(4) We find the pirates as allies of king Mithradates of Pontus as well as of the Roman democratic emigrants; we find them giving battle to the fleets of Sulla in the eastern and in the western waters; we find individual pirate princes ruling over a series of considerable coast towns. We cannot tell how far the internal political development of this floating state had already advanced; but its arrangements undeniably contained the germ of a sea-kingdom, which was already beginning to establish itself, and out of which, under favourable circumstances, a permanent state might have been developed.

Nullity of the Roman Marine Police

This state of matters clearly shows, as we have partly indicated already,(5) how the Romans kept—or rather did not keep—order on "their sea." The protectorate of Rome over the provinces consisted essentially in military guardianship; the provincials paid tax or tribute to the Romans for their defence by sea and land, which was concentrated in Roman hands. But never, perhaps, did a guardian more shamelessly defraud his ward than the Roman oligarchy defrauded the subject communities. Instead of Rome equipping a general fleet for the empire and centralizing her marine police, the senate permitted the unity of her maritime superintendence— without which in this matter nothing could at all be done—to fall into abeyance, and left it to each governor and each client state to defend themselves against the pirates as each chose and was able. Instead of Rome providing for the fleet, as she had bound herself to do, exclusively with her own blood and treasure and with those of the client states which had remained formally sovereign, the senate allowed the Italian war-marine to fall into decay, and learned to make shift with the vessels which the several mercantile towns were required to furnish, or still more frequently with the coast-guards everywhere organized—all the cost and burden falling, in either case, on the subjects. The provincials might deem themselves fortunate, if their Roman governor applied the requisitions which he raised for the defence of the coast in reality solely to that object, and did not intercept them for himself; or if they were not, as very frequently happened, called on to pay ransom for some Roman of rank captured by the buccaneers. Measures undertaken perhaps with judgment, such as the occupation of Cilicia in 652, were sure to be spoilt in the execution. Any Roman of this period, who was not wholly carried away by the current intoxicating idea of the national greatness, must have wished that the ships' beaks might be torn down from the orator's platform in the Forum, that at least he might not be constantly reminded by them of the naval victories achieved in better times.

Expedition to the South Coast of Asia Minor
Publius Servilius Isauricus
Zenicetes Vanquished
The Isaurians Subdued

Nevertheless Sulla, who in the war against Mithradates had the opportunity of acquiring an adequate conviction of the dangers which the neglect of the fleet involved, took various steps seriously to check the evil. It is true that the instructions which he had left to the governors whom he appointed in Asia, to equip in the maritime towns a fleet against the pirates, had borne little fruit, for Murena preferred to begin war with Mithradates, and Gnaeus Dolabella, the governor of Cilicia, proved wholly incapable. Accordingly the senate resolved in 675 to send one of the consuls to Cilicia; the lot fell on the capable Publius Servilius. He defeated the piratical fleet in a bloody engagement, and then applied himself to destroy those towns on the south coast of Asia Minor which served them as anchorages and trading stations. The fortresses of the powerful maritime prince Zenicetes—Olympus, Corycus, Phaselis in eastern Lycia, Attalia in Pamphylia— were reduced, and the prince himself met his death in the flames of his stronghold Olympus. A movement was next made against the Isaurians, who in the north-west corner of the Rough Cilicia, on the northern slope of Mount Taurus, inhabited a labyrinth of steep mountain ridges, jagged rocks, and deeply-cut valleys, covered with magnificent oak forests—a region which is even at the present day filled with reminiscences of the old robber times. To reduce these Isaurian fastnesses, the last and most secure retreats ofthe freebooters, Servilius led the first Roman army over the Taurus, and broke up the strongholds of the enemy, Oroanda, and above all Isaura itself—the ideal of a robber-town, situated on the summit of a scarcely accessible mountain-ridge, and completely overlooking and commanding the wide plain of Iconium. The war, not ended till 679, from which Publius Servilius acquired for himself and his descendants the surname of Isauricus, was not without fruit; a great number of pirates and piratical vessels fell in consequence of it into the power of the Romans; Lycia, Pamphylia, West Cilicia were severely devastated, the territories of the destroyed towns were confiscated, and the province of Cilicia was enlarged by their addition to it. But, in the nature of the case, piracy was far from being suppressed by these measures; on the contrary, it simply betook itself for the time to other regions, and particularly to Crete, the oldest harbour for the corsairs of the Mediterranean.(6) Nothing but repressive measures carried out on a large scale and with unity of purpose—nothing, in fact, but the establishment of a standing maritime police—could in such a case afford thorough relief.

Asiatic Relations
Tigranes and the New Great-Kingdom of Armenia

The affairs of the mainland of Asia Minor were connected by various relations with this maritime war. The variance which existed between Rome and the kings of Pontus and Armenia did not abate, but increased more and more. On the one hand Tigranes, kingof Armenia, pursued his aggressive conquests in the most reckless manner. The Parthians, whose state was at this period torn by internal dissensions and enfeebled, were by constant hostilities driven farther and farther back into the interior of Asia. Of the countries between Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Iran, the kingdoms of Corduene (northern Kurdistan), and Media Atropatene (Azerbijan), were converted from Parthian into Armenian fiefs, and the kingdom of Nineveh (Mosul), or Adiabene, was likewise compelled, at least temporarily, to become a dependency of Armenia. In Mesopotamia, too, particularly in and around Nisibis, the Armenian rule was established; but the southern half, which was in great part desert, seems not to have passed into the firm possession of the new great- king, and Seleucia, on the Tigris, in particular, appears not to have become subject to him. The kingdom of Edessa or Osrhoene he handed over to a tribe of wandering Arabs, which he transplanted from southern Mesopotamia and settled in this region, with the view of commanding by its means the passage of the Euphrates and the great route of traffic.(7)

Cappadocia Armenian

But Tigranes by no means confined his conquests to the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Cappadocia especially was the object of his attacks, and, defenceless as it was, suffered destructive blows from its too potent neighbour. Tigranes wrested the eastern province Melitene from Cappadocia, and united it with the opposite Armenian province Sophene, by which means he obtained command of the passage of the Euphrates with the great thoroughfare of traffic between Asia Minor and Armenia. After the death of Sulla the Armenians even advanced into Cappadocia proper, and carried off to Armenia the inhabitants of the capital Mazaca (afterwards Caesarea) and eleven other towns of Greek organization.

Syria under Tigranes

Nor could the kingdom of the Seleucids, already in full course of dissolution, oppose greater resistance to the new great-king. Here the south from the Egyptian frontier to Straton's Tower (Caesarea) was under the rule of the Jewish prince Alexander Jannaeus, who extended and strengthened his dominion step by step in conflict with his Syrian, Egyptian, and Arabic neighbours and with the imperial cities. The larger towns of Syria—Gaza, Straton's Tower, Ptolemais, Beroea—attempted to maintain themselves on their own footing, sometimes as free communities, sometimes under so-called tyrants; the capital, Antioch, in particular, was virtually independent. Damascus and the valleys of Lebanon had submitted to the Nabataean prince, Aretas of Petra. Lastly, in Cilicia the pirates or the Romans bore sway. And for this crown breaking into a thousand fragments the Seleucid princes continued perseveringly to quarrel with each other, as though it were their object to make royalty a jest and an offence to all; nay more, while this family, doomed like the house of Laius to perpetual discord, had its own subjects all in revolt, it even raised claims to the throne of Egypt vacant by the decease of king Alexander II without heirs. Accordingly king Tigranes set to work there without ceremony. Eastern Cilicia was easily subdued by him, and the citizens of Soli and other towns were carried off, just like the Cappadocians, to Armenia. In like manner the province of Upper Syria, withthe exception of the bravely-defended town of Seleucia at the mouth of the Orontes, and the greater part of Phoenicia were reduced by force; Ptolemais was occupied by the Armenians about 680, and the Jewish state was already seriously threatened by them. Antioch, the old capital of the Seleucids, became one of the residences of the great-king. Already from 671, the year following the peace between Sulla and Mithradates, Tigranes is designated in the Syrian annals as the sovereign of the country, and Cilicia and Syria appear as an Armenian satrapy under Magadates, the lieutenant of the great-king. The age of the kings of Nineveh, ofthe Salmanezers and Sennacheribs, seemed to be renewed; again oriental despotism pressed heavily on the trading population of the Syrian coast, as it did formerly on Tyre and Sidon; again great states of the interior threw themselves on the provinces along the Mediterranean; again Asiatic hosts, said to number half a million combatants, appeared on the Cilician and Syrian coasts. As Salmanezer and Nebuchadnezzar had formerly carried the Jews to Babylon, so now from all the frontier provinces of the new kingdom—from Corduene, Adiabene, Assyria, Cilicia, Cappadocia— the inhabitants, especially the Greek or half-Greek citizens of the towns, were compelled to settle with their whole goods and chattels (under penalty of the confiscation of everything that they left behind) in the new capital, one of those gigantic cities proclaiming rather the nothingness of the people than the greatness of the rulers, which sprang up in the countries of the Euphrates on every change in the supreme sovereignty at the fiat of the new grand sultan. The new "city of Tigranes," Tigrano-certa, founded on the borders of Armenia and Mesopotamia, and destined as the capital of the territories newly acquired for Armenia, became a city like Nineveh and Babylon, with walls fifty yards high, and the appendages of palace, garden, and park that were appropriate to sultanism. In other respects, too, the new great-king proved faithful to his part. As amidst the perpetual childhood of the east the childlike conceptions of kings with real crowns on their heads have never disappeared, Tigranes, when he showed himselfin public, appeared in the state and the costume of a successor of Darius and Xerxes, with the purple caftan, the half-white half-purple tunic, the long plaited trousers, the high turban, and the royal diadem—attended moreover and served in slavish fashion, wherever he went or stood, by four "kings."


King Mithradates acted with greater moderation. He refrained from aggressions in Asia Minor, and contented himself with— what no treaty forbade—placing his dominion along the Black Sea ona firmer basis, and gradually bringing into more definite dependence the regions which separated the Bosporan kingdom, now ruled under his supremacy by his son Machares, from that of Pontus. But he too applied every effort to render his fleet and army efficient, and especially to arm and organize the latter after the Roman model; in which the Roman emigrants, who sojourned in great numbers at his court, rendered essential service.

Demeanor of the Romans in the East
Egypt not Annexed

The Romans had no desire to become further involved in Oriental affairs than they were already. This appears with striking clearness in the fact, that the opportunity, which at this time presented itself, of peacefully bringing the kingdom of Egypt under the immediate dominion of Rome was spurned by the senate. The legitimate descendants of Ptolemaeus son of Lagus had come to an end, when the king installed by Sulla after the death of Ptolemaeus Soter II Lathyrus—Alexander II, a son of Alexander I—was killed, a few days after he had ascended the throne, on occasion of a tumult in the capital (673). This Alexander had in his testament(8) appointed the Roman community his heir. The genuineness of this document was no doubt disputed; but the senate acknowledged it by assuming in virtue of it the sums deposited in Tyre on account of the deceased king. Nevertheless it allowed two notoriously illegitimate sons of king Lathyrus, Ptolemaeus XI, who was styled the new Dionysos or the Flute-blower (Auletes), and Ptolemaeus the Cyprian, to take practical possession of Egypt and Cyprus respectively. They were not indeed expressly recognized by the senate, but no distinct summons to surrender their kingdoms was addressed to them. The reason why the senate allowed this state of uncertainty to continue, and did not commit itself to a definite renunciation of Egypt and Cyprus, was undoubtedly the considerable rent which these kings, ruling as it were on sufferance, regularly paid for the continuance of the uncertainty to the heads of the Roman coteries. But the motive for waiving that attractive acquisition altogether was different. Egypt, by its peculiar position and its financial organization, placed in the hands of any governor commanding it a pecuniary and naval power and generally an independent authority, which were absolutely incompatible with the suspicious and feeble government of the oligarchy: in this point of view it was judicious to forgo the direct possession of the country of the Nile.

Non-Intervention in Asia Minor and Syria

Less justifiable was the failure of the senate to interfere directly in the affairs of Asia Minor and Syria. The Roman government did not indeed recognize the Armenian conqueror as king of Cappadocia and Syria; but it did nothing to drive him back, although the war, which under pressure of necessity it began in 676 against the pirates in Cilicia, naturally suggested its interference more especially in Syria. In fact, by tolerating the loss of Cappadocia and Syria without declaring war, the government abandoned not merely those committed to its protection, but the most important foundations of its own powerful position. It adopted a hazardous course, when it sacrificed the outworks of its dominion in the Greek settlements and kingdoms on the Euphrates and Tigris; but, when it allowed the Asiatics to establish themselves on the Mediterranean which was the political basis of its empire, this was not a proof of love of peace, but a confession that the oligarchy had been rendered by the Sullan restoration more oligarchical doubtless, but neither wiser nor more energetic, and it was for Rome's place as a power in the world the beginning of the end.

On the other side, too, there was no desire for war. Tigranes had no reason to wish it, when Rome even without war abandoned to him all its allies. Mithradates, who was no mere sultan and had enjoyed opportunity enough, amidst good and bad fortune, of gaining experience regarding friends and foes, knew very well that in a second Roman war he would very probably stand quite as much alone as in the first, and that he could follow no more prudent course than to keep quiet and to strengthen his kingdom in the interior. That he was in earnest with his peaceful declarations, he had sufficiently proved in the conference with Murena.(9) He continued to avoid everything which would compel the Roman government to abandon its passive attitude.

Apprehensions of Rome

But as the first Mithradatic war had arisen without any of the partie properly desiring it, so now there grew out of the opposition of interests mutual suspicion, and out of this suspicion mutual preparations for defence; and these, by their very gravity, ultimately led to an open breach. That distrust of her own readiness to fight and preparation for fighting, which had for long governed the policy of Rome—a distrust, which the want of standing armies and the far from exemplary character of the collegiate rule render sufficiently intelligible—made it, as it were, an axiom of her policy to pursue every war not merely to the vanquishing, but to the annihilation of her opponent; in this point of view the Romans were from the outset as little content with the peace of Sulla, as they had formerly been with the terms which Scipio Africanus had granted to the Carthaginians. The apprehension often expressed that a second attack by the Pontic king was imminent, was in some measure justified by the singular resemblance between the present circumstances and those which existed twelve years before. Once more a dangerous civil war coincided with serious armaments of Mithradates; once more the Thracians overran Macedonia, and piratical fleets covered the Mediterranean; emissaries were coming and going—as formerly between Mithradates and the Italians— so now between the Roman emigrants in Spain and those at the court of Sinope. As early as the beginning of 677 it was declared in the senate that the king was only waiting for the opportunity of falling upon Roman Asia during the Italian civil war; the Roman armies in Asia and Cilicia were reinforced to meet possible emergencies.

Apprehensions of Mithradates
Bithynia Roman
Cyrene a Roman Province
Outbreak of the Mithradatic War

Mithradates on his part followed with growing apprehension the development of the Roman policy. He could not but feel that a war between the Romans and Tigranes, however much the feeble senate might dread it, was in the long run almost inevitable, and that he would not be able to avoid taking part in it. His attempt to obtain from the Roman senate the documentary record of the terms of peace, which was still wanting, had fallen amidst the disturbances attending the revolution of Lepidus and remained without result; Mithradates found in this an indication of the impending renewal of the conflict. The expedition against the pirates, which indirectly concerned also the kings of the east whose allies they were, seemed the preliminary to such a war. Still more suspicious were the claims which Rome held in suspense over Egypt and Cyprus: it is significant that the king of Pontus betrothed his two daughters Mithradatis and Nyssa to the two Ptolemies, to whom the senate continued to refuse recognition. The emigrants urged him to strike: the position of Sertorius in Spain, as to which Mithradates despatched envoys under convenient pretexts to the headquarters of Pompeius to obtain information, and which was about this very time really imposing, opened up to the king the prospect of fighting not, as in the first Roman war, against both the Roman parties, but in concert with the one against the other. A more favourable moment could hardly be hoped for, and after all it was always better to declare war than to let it be declared against him. In 679 Nicomedes III Philopator king of Bithynia, died, and as the last of his race—for a son borne by Nysa was, or was said to be, illegitimate—left his kingdom by testament to the Romans, who delayed not to take possession of this region bordering on the Roman province and long ago filled with Roman officials and merchants. At the same time Cyrene, which had been already bequeathed to the Romans in 658,(10) was at length constituted a province, and a Roman governor was sent thither (679). These measures, in connection with the attacks carried out about the same time against the pirates on the south coast of Asia Minor, must have excited apprehensions in the king; the annexation of Bithynia in particular made the Romans immediate neighbours of the Pontic kingdom; and this, it may be presumed, turned the scale. The king took the decisive step and declared war against the Romans in the winter of 679-680.

Preparations of Mithradates

Gladly would Mithradates have avoided undertaking so arduous a work singlehanded. His nearest and natural ally was the great-king Tigranes; but that shortsighted man declined the proposal of his father-in-law. So there remained only the insurgents and the pirates. Mithradates was careful to place himself in communication with both, by despatching strong squadrons to Spain and to Crete. A formal treaty was concluded with Sertorius,(11) by which Rome ceded to the king Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Galatia, and Cappadocia— all of them, it is true, acquisitions which needed to be ratified on the field of battle. More important was the support which the Spanish general gave to the king, by sending Roman officers to lead his armies and fleets. The most active of the emigrants inthe east, Lucius Magius and Lucius Fannius, were appointed by Sertorius as his representatives at the court of Sinope. From the pirates also came help; they flocked largely to the kingdom of Pontus, and by their means especially the king seems to have succeeded in forming a naval force imposing by the number as well as by the quality of the ships. His main support still lay in his own forces, with which the king hoped, before the Romans should arrive in Asia, to make himself master of their possessions there; especially as the financial distress produced in the province of Asia by the Sullan war-tribute, the aversion of Bithynia towards the new Roman government, and the elements of combustion left behind by the desolating war recently brought to a close in Cilicia and Pamphylia, opened up favourable prospects to a Pontic invasion. There was no lack of stores; 2,000,000 -medimni- of grain lay in the royal granaries. The fleet and the men were numerous and well exercised, particularly the Bastarnian mercenaries, a select corps which was a match even for Italian legionaries. On this occasion also it was the king who took the offensive. A corps under Diophantus advanced into Cappadocia, to occupy the fortresses there and to close the way to the kingdom of Pontus against the Romans; the leader sent by Sertorius, the propraetor Marcus Marius, went in company with the Pontic officer Eumachus to Phrygia, with a view to rouse the Roman province and the Taurus mountains to revolt; the main army, above 100,000 men with 16,000 cavalry and 100 scythe-chariots, led by Taxiles and Hermocrates under the personal superintendence of the king, and the war-fleet of 400 sail commanded by Aristonicus, moved along the north coast of Asia Minor to occupy Paphlagonia and Bithynia.

Roman Preparations

On the Roman side there was selected for the conduct of the war in the first rank the consul of 680, Lucius Lucullus, who as governor of Asia and Cilicia was placed at the head of the four legions stationed in Asia Minor and of a fifth brought by him from Italy, and was directed to penetrate with this army, amounting to 30,000 infantry and 1600 cavalry, through Phrygia into the kingdom of Pontus. His colleague Marcus Cotta proceeded with the fleet and another Roman corps to the Propontis, to cover Asia and Bithynia. Lastly, a general arming of the coasts and particularly of the Thracian coast more immediately threatened by the Pontic fleet, was enjoined; and the task of clearing all the seas and coasts from the pirates and their Pontic allies was, by extraordinary decree, entrusted to a single magistrate, the choice falling on the praetor Marcus Antonius, the son of the man who thirty years before had first chastised the Cilician corsairs.(12) Moreover, the senate placed at the disposal of Lucullus a sum of 72,000,000 sesterces (700,000 pounds), in order to build a fleet; which, however, Lucullus declined. From all this we see that the Roman government recognized the root of the evil in the neglect of their marine, and showed earnestness in the matter at least so far as their decrees reached.

Beginning of the War

Thus the war began in 680 at all points. It was a misfortune for Mithradates, that at the very moment of his declaring war the Sertorian struggle reached its crisis, by which one of his principal hopes was from the outset destroyed, and the Roman government was enabled to apply its whole power to the maritime and Asiatic contest. In Asia Minor on the other hand Mithradates reaped the advantages of the offensive, and of the great distance of the Romans from the immediate seat of war. A considerable number of cities in Asia Minor opened their gates to the Sertorian propraetor who was placed at the head of the Roman province, and they massacred, as in 666, the Roman families settled among them: the Pisidians, Isaurians, and Cilicians took up arms against Rome. The Romans for the moment had no troops at the points threatened. Individual energetic men attempted no doubt at their own hand to check this mutiny of the provincials; thus on receiving accounts of these events the young Gaius Caesar left Rhodes where he was staying on account of his studies, and with a hastily-collected band opposed himself to the insurgents; but not much could be effected by such volunteer corps. Had not Deiotarus, the brave tetrarch of the Tolistobogii—a Celtic tribe settled around Pessinus—embraced the side of the Romans and fought with success against the Pontic generals, Lucullus would have had to begin with recapturing the interior of the Roman province from the enemy. But even as it was, he lost in pacifying the province and driving back the enemy precious time, for which the slight successes achieved by his cavalry were far from affording compensation. Still more unfavourable than in Phrygia was the aspect of things for the Romans on the north coast of Asia Minor. Here the great Pontic army and the fleet had completely mastered Bithynia, and compelled the Roman consul Cotta to take shelter with his far from numerous force and his ships within the walls and port of Chalcedon, where Mithradates kept them blockaded.

The Romans Defeated at Chalcedon

This blockade, however, was so far a favourable event for the Romans, as, if Cotta detained the Pontic army before Chalcedon and Lucullus proceeded also thither, the whole Roman forces might unite at Chalcedon and compel the decision of arms there rather than in the distant and impassable region of Pontus. Lucullus did take the route for Chalcedon; but Cotta, with the view of executing a great feat at his own hand before the arrival of his colleague, ordered his admiral Publius Rutilius Nudus to make a sally, which not only ended in a bloody defeat of the Romans, but also enabled the Pontic force to attack the harbour, to break the chain which closed it, and to burn all the Roman vessels of war which were there, nearly seventy in number. On the news of these misfortunes reaching Lucullus at the river Sangarius, he accelerated his march to the great discontent of his soldiers, in whose opinion Cotta was of no moment, and who would far rather have plundered an undefended country than have taught their comrades to conquer. His arrival made up in part for the misfortunes sustained: the king raised the siege of Chalcedon, but did not retreat to Pontus; he went southward into the old Roman province, where he spread his army along the Propontis and the Hellespont, occupied Lampsacus, and began to besiege the large and wealthy town of Cyzicus. He thus entangled himself more and more deeply in the blind alley which he had chosen to enter, instead of—which alone promised success for him—bringing the wide distances into play against the Romans.

Mithradates Besieges Cyzicus

In few places had the old Hellenic adroitness and aptitude preserved themselves so pure as in Cyzicus; its citizens, although they had suffered great loss of ships and men in the unfortunate double battle of Chalcedon, made the most resolute resistance. Cyzicus lay on an island directly opposite the mainland and connected with it by a bridge. The besiegers possessed themselves not only of the line of heights on the mainland terminating at the bridge and of the suburb situated there, but also of the celebrated Dindymene heights on the island itself; and alike on the mainland and on the island the Greek engineers put forth all their art to pave the way for an assault. But the breach which they at length made was closed again during the night by the besieged, and the exertions of the royal army remained as fruitless as did the barbarous threat of the king to put to death the captured Cyzicenes before the walls, if the citizens still refused to surrender. The Cyzicenes continued the defence with courage and success; they fell little short of capturing the king himself in the course of the siege.

Destruction of the Pontic Army

Meanwhile Lucullus had possessed himself of a very strong position in rear of the Pontic army, which, although not permitting him directly to relieve the hard-pressed city, gave him the means of cutting off all supplies by land from the enemy. Thus the enormous army of Mithradates, estimated with the camp-followers at 300,000 persons, was not in a position either to fight or to march, firmly wedged in between the impregnable city and the immoveable Roman army, and dependent for all its supplies solely on the sea, which fortunately for the Pontic troops was exclusively commanded by their fleet. But the bad season set in; a storm destroyed a great part of the siege-works; the scarcity of provisions and above all of fodder for the horses began to become intolerable. The beasts of burden and the baggage were sent off under convoy of the greater portion of the Pontic cavalry, with orders to steal away or break through at any cost; but at the river Rhyndacus, to the east of Cyzicus, Lucullus overtook them and cut to pieces the whole body. Another division of cavalry under Metrophanes and Lucius Fannius was obliged, after wandering long in the west of Asia Minor, to return to the camp before Cyzicus. Famine and disease made fearful ravages in the Pontic ranks. When spring came on (681), the besieged redoubled their exertions and took the trenches constructed on Dindymon: nothing remained for the king but to raise the siege and with the aid of his fleet to save what he could. He went in person with the fleet to the Hellespont, but suffered considerable loss partly at its departure, partly through storms on the voyage. The land army under Hermaeus and Marius likewise set out thither, with the view of embarking at Lampsacus under the protection of its walls. They left behind their baggage as well as the sick and wounded, who were all put to death by the exasperated Cyzicenes. Lucullus inflicted on them very considerable loss by the way at the passage of the rivers Aesepus and Granicus; but they attained their object. The Pontic ships carried off the remains of the great army and the citizens of Lampsacus themselves beyond the reach of the Romans.

Maritime War
Mithradates Driven Back to Pontus

The consistent and discreet conduct of the war by Lucullus had not only repaired the errors of his colleague, but had also destroyed without a pitched battle the flower of the enemy's army— it was said 200,000 soldiers. Had he still possessed the fleet which was burnt in the harbour of Chalcedon, he would have annihilated the whole army of his opponent. As it was, the work of destruction continued incomplete; and while he was obliged to remain passive, the Pontic fleet notwithstanding the disaster of Cyzicus took its station in the Propontis, Perinthus and Byzantium were blockaded by it on the European coast and Priapus pillaged on the Asiatic, and the headquarters of the king were established in the Bithynian port of Nicomedia. In fact a select squadron of fifty sail, which carried 10,000 select troops including Marcus Marius and the flower of the Roman emigrants, sailed forth even into the Aegean; the report went that it was destined to effect a landing in Italy and there rekindle the civil war. But the ships, which Lucullus after the disaster off Chalcedon had demanded from the Asiatic communities, began to appear, and a squadron ran forth in pursuit of the enemy's fleet which had gone into the Aegean. Lucullus himself, experienced as an admiral,(13) took the command. Thirteen quinqueremes of the enemy on their voyage to Lemnos, under Isidorus, were assailed and sunk off the Achaean harbour in the waters between the Trojan coast and the island of Tenedos. At the small island of Neae, between Lemnos and Scyros, at which little-frequented point the Pontic flotilla of thirty-two sail lay drawn up on the shore, Lucullus found it, immediately attacked the ships and the crews scattered over the island, and possessed himself of the whole squadron. Here Marcus Marius and the ablest of the Roman emigrants met their death, either in conflict or subsequently by the axe of the executioner. The whole Aegean fleet of the enemy was annihilated by Lucullus. The war in Bithynia was meanwhile continued by Cotta and by the legates of Lucullus, Voconius, Gaius Valerius Triarius, and Barba, with the land army reinforced by fresh arrivals from Italy, and a squadron collected in Asia. Barba captured in the interior Prusias on Olympus and Nicaea while Triarius along the coast captured Apamea (formerly Myrlea) and Prusias on the sea (formerly Cius). They then united for a joint attack on Mithradates himself in Nicomedia; but the king without even attempting battle escaped to his ships and sailed homeward, and in this he was successful only because the Roman admiral Voconius, who was entrusted with the blockade of the port of Nicomedia, arrived too late. On the voyage the important Heraclea was indeed betrayed to the king and occupied by him; but a storm in these waters sank more than sixty of, his ships and dispersed the rest; the king arrived almost alone at Sinope. The offensive on the part of Mithradates ended in a complete defeat—not at all honourable, least of all for the supreme leader—of the Pontic forces by land and sea.

Invasion of Pontus by Lucullus

Lucullus now in turn proceeded to the aggressive. Triarius received the command of the fleet, with orders first of all to blockade the Hellespont and lie in wait for the Pontic ships returning from Crete and Spain; Cotta was charged with the siege of Heraclea; the difficult task of providing supplies was entrusted to the faithful and active princes of the Galatians and to Ariobarzanes king of Cappadocia; Lucullus himself advanced in the autumn of 681 into the favoured land of Pontus, which had long been untrodden by an enemy. Mithradates, now resolved to maintain the strictest defensive, retired without giving battle from Sinope to Amisus, and from Amisus to Cabira (afterwards Neocaesarea, now Niksar) on the Lycus, a tributary of the Iris; he contented himself with drawing the enemy after him farther and farther into the interior, and obstructing their supplies and communications. Lucullus rapidly followed; Sinope was passed by; the Halys, the old boundary of the Roman dominion, was crossed and the considerable towns of Amisus, Eupatoria (on the Iris), and Themiscyra (on the Thermodon) were invested, till at length winter put an end to the onward march, though not to the investments of the towns. The soldiers of Lucullus murmured at the constant advance which did not allow them to reap the fruits of their exertions, and at the tedious and—amidst the severity of that season— burdensome blockades. But it was not the habit of Lucullus to listen to such complaints: in the spring of 682 he immediately advanced against Cabira, leaving behind two legions before Amisus under Lucius Murena. The king had made fresh attempts during the winter to induce the great-king of Armenia to take part in the struggle; they remained like the former ones fruitless, or led only to empty promises. Still less did the Parthians show any desire to interfere in the forlorn cause. Nevertheless a considerable army, chiefly raised by enlistments in Scythia, had again assembled under Diophantus and Taxiles at Cabira. The Roman army, which still numbered only three legions and was decidedly inferior to the Pontic in cavalry, found itself compelled to avoid as far as possible the plains, and arrived, not without toil and loss, by difficult bypaths in the vicinity of Cabira, At this town the two armies lay for a considerable period confronting each other. The chief struggle was for supplies, which were on both sides scarce: for this purpose Mithradates formed the flower of his cavalry and a division of select infantry under Diophantus and Taxiles into a flying corps, which was intended to scour the country between the Lycus and the Halys and to seize the Roman convoys of provisions coming from Cappadocia. But the lieutenant of Lucullus, Marcus Fabius Hadrianus, who escorted such a train, not only completely defeated the band which lay in wait for him in the defile where it expected to surprise him, but after being reinforced from the camp defeated also the army of Diophantus and Taxiles itself, so that it totally broke up. It was an irreparable loss for the king, when his cavalry, on which alone he relied, was thus overthrown.

Victory of Cabira

As soon as he received through the first fugitives that arrived at Cabira from the field of battle—significantly enough, the beaten generals themselves—the fatal news, earlier even than Lucullus got tidings of the victory, he resolved on an immediate farther retreat. But the resolution taken by the king spread with the rapidity of lightning among those immediately around him; and, when the soldiers saw the confidants of the king packing in all haste, they too were seized with a panic. No one was willing to be the hindmost in decamping; all, high and low, ran pell-mell like startled deer; no authority, not even that of the king, was longer heeded; and the king himself was carried away amidst the wild tumult. Lucullus, perceiving the confusion, made his attack, and the Pontic troops allowed themselves to be massacred almost without offering resistance. Had the legions been able to maintain discipline and to restrain their eagerness for spoil, hardly a man would have escaped them, and the king himself would doubtless have been taken. With difficulty Mithradates escaped along with a few attendants through the mountains to Comana (not far from Tocat and the source of the Iris); from which, however, a Roman corps under Marcus Pompeius soon scared him off and pursued him, till, attended by not more than 2000 cavalry, he crossed the frontier of his kingdom at Talaura in Lesser Armenia. In the empire of the great-king he found a refuge, but nothing more (end of 682). Tigranes, it is true, ordered royal honours to be shown to his fugitive father-in-law; but he did not even invite him to his court, and detained him in the remote border-province to which he had come in a sort of decorous captivity.

Pontus Becomes Roman
Sieges of the Pontic Cities

The Roman troops overran all Pontus and Lesser Armenia, and as far as Trapezus the flat country submitted without resistance to the conqueror. The commanders of the royal treasure-houses also surrendered after more or less delay, and delivered up their stores of money. The king ordered that the women of the royal harem—his sisters, his numerous wives and concubines—as it was not possible to secure their flight, should all be put to death by one of his eunuchs at Pharnacea (Kerasunt). The towns alone offered obstinate resistance. It is true that the few in the interior— Cabira, Amasia, Eupatoria—were soon in the power of the Romans; but the larger maritime towns, Amisus and Sinope in Pontus, Amastris in Paphlagonia, Tius and the Pontic Heraclea in Bithynia, defended themselves with desperation, partly animated by attachment to the king and to their free Hellenic constitution which he had protected, partly overawed by the bands of corsairs whom the king had called to his aid. Sinope and Heraclea even sent forth vessels against the Romans; and the squadron of Sinope seized a Roman flotilla which was bringing corn from the Tauric peninsula for the army of Lucullus. Heraclea did not succumb till after a two years' siege, when the Roman fleet had cut off the city from intercourse with the Greek towns on the Tauric peninsula and treason had broken out in the ranks of the garrison. When Amisus was reduced to extremities, the garrison set fire to the town, and under cover of the flames took to their ships. In Sinope, where the daring pirate-captain Seleucus and the royal eunuch Bacchides conducted the defence, the garrison plundered the houses before it withdrew, and set on fire the ships which it could not take along with it; it is said that, although the greater portion of the defenders were enabled to embark, 8000 corsairs were there put to death by Lucullus. These sieges of towns lasted for two whole years and more after the battle of Cabira (682-684); Lucullus prosecuted them in great part by means of his lieutenants, while he himself regulated the affairs of the province of Asia, which demanded and obtained a thorough reform.

Remarkable, in an historical point of view, as was that obstinate resistance of the Pontic mercantile towns to the victorious Romans, it was of little immediate use; the cause of Mithradates was none the less lost. The great-king had evidently, for the present at least, no intention at all of restoring him to his kingdom. The Roman emigrants in Asia had lost their best men by the destruction of the Aegean fleet; of the survivors not a few, such as the active leaders Lucius Magius and Lucius Fannius, had made their peace with Lucullus; and with the death of Sertorius, who perished in the year of the battle of Cabira, the last hope of the emigrants vanished. Mithradates' own power was totally shattered, and one after another his remaining supports gave way; his squadrons returning from Crete and Spain, to the number of seventy sail, were attacked and destroyed by Triarius at the island of Tenedos; even the governor of the Bosporan kingdom, the king's own son Machares, deserted him, and as independent prince of the Tauric Chersonese concluded on his own behalf peace and friendship with the Romans (684). The king himself, after a not too glorious resistance, was confined in a remote Armenian mountain-stronghold, a fugitive from his kingdom and almost a prisoner of his son-in-law. Although the bands of corsairs might still hold out in Crete, and such as had escaped from Amisus and Sinope might make their way along the hardly- accessible east coast of the Black Sea to the Sanigae and Lazi, the skilful conduct of the war by Lucullus and his judicious moderation, which did not disdain to remedy the just grievances of the provincials and to employ the repentant emigrants as officers in his army, had at a moderate sacrifice delivered Asia Minor from the enemy and annihilated the Pontic kingdom, so that it might be converted from a Roman client-state into a Roman province. A commission of the senate was expected, to settle in concert with the commander-in-chief the new provincial organization.

Beginning of the Armenian War

But the relations with Armenia were not yet settled. Thata declaration of war by the Romans against Tigranes was in itself justified and even demanded, we have already shown. Lucullus, who looked at the state of affairs from a nearer point of view and with a higher spirit than the senatorial college in Rome, perceived clearly the necessity of confining Armenia to the other side of the Tigris and of re-establishing the lost dominion of Rome over the Mediterranean. He showed himself in the conduct of Asiatic affairs no unworthy successor of his instructor and friend Sulla. A Philhellene above most Romans of his time, he was not insensible to the obligation which Rome had come under when taking up the heritage of Alexander—the obligation to be the shield and sword of the Greeks in the east. Personal motives—the wish to earn laurels also beyond the Euphrates, irritation at the fact that the great- king in a letter to him had omitted the title of Imperator—may doubtless have partly influenced Lucullus; but it is unjust to assume paltry and selfish motives for actions, which motives of duty quite suffice to explain. The Roman governing college at any rate—timid, indolent, ill informed, and above all beset by perpetual financial embarrassments—could never be expected, without direct compulsion, to take the initiative in an expedition so vast and costly. About the year 682 the legitimate representatives of the Seleucid dynasty, Antiochus called the Asiatic and his brother, moved by the favourable turn of the Pontic war, had gone to Rome to procure a Roman intervention in Syria, and at the same time a recognition of their hereditary claims on Egypt. If the latter demand might not be granted, there could not, at any rate, be found a more favourable moment or occasion for beginning the war which had long been necessary against Tigranes. But the senate, while it recognized the princes doubtless as the legitimate kings of Syria, could not make up its mind to decree the armed intervention. If the favourable opportunity was to be employed, and Armenia was to be dealt with in earnest, Lucullus had to begin the war, without any proper orders from the senate, at his own hand and his own risk; he found himself, just like Sulla, placed under the necessity of executing what he did in the most manifest interest of the existing government, not with its sanction, but in spite of it. His resolution was facilitated by the relations of Rome towards Armenia, for long wavering in uncertainty between peace and war, which screened in some measure the arbitrariness of his proceedings, and failed not to suggest formal grounds for war. The state of matters in Cappadocia and Syria afforded pretexts enough; and already in the pursuit of the king of Pontus Roman troops had violated the territory of the great-king. As, however, the commission of Lucullus related to the conduct of the war against Mithradates and he wished to connect what he did with that commission, he preferred to send one of his officers, Appius Claudius, to the great-king at Antioch to demand the surrender of Mithradates, which in fact could not but lead to war.

Difficulties to Be Encountered

The resolution was a grave one, especially considering the condition of the Roman army. It was indispensable during the campaign in Armenia to keep the extensive territory of Pontus strongly occupied, for otherwise the army stationed in Armenia might lose its communications with home; and besides it might be easily foreseen that Mithradates would attempt an inroad into his former kingdom. The army, at the head of which Lucullus had ended the Mithradatic war, amounting to about 30,000 men, was obviously inadequate for this double task. Under ordinary circumstances the general would have asked and obtained from his government the despatch of a second army; but as Lucullus wished, and was in some measure compelled, to take up the war over the head of the government, he found himself necessitated to renounce that plan and—although he himself incorporated the captured Thracian mercenaries of the Pontic king with his troops—to carry the war over the Euphrates with not more than two legions, or at most 15,000 men. This was in itself hazardous; but the smallness of the number might be in some degree compensated by the tried valour of the army consisting throughout of veterans. A far worse feature was the temper of the soldiers, to which Lucullus, in his high aristocratic fashion, had given far too little heed. Lucullus was an able general, and—according to the aristocratic standard— an upright and kindly-disposed man, but very far from being a favourite with his soldiers. He was unpopular, as a decided adherent of the oligarchy; unpopular, because he had vigorously checked the monstrous usury of the Roman capitalists in Asia Minor; unpopular, on account of the toils and fatigues which he inflicted on his troops; unpopular, because he demanded strict discipline in his soldiers and prevented as far as possible the pillage of the Greek towns by his men, but withal caused many a waggon and many a camel to be laden with the treasures of the east for himself; unpopular too on account of his manner, which was polished, haughty, Hellenizing, not at all familiar, and inclining, wherever it was possible, to ease and pleasure. There was no trace in him of the charm which weaves a personal bond between the general and the soldier. Moreover, a large portion of his ablest soldiers had every reason to complain of the unmeasured prolongation of their term of service. His two best legions were the same which Flaccus and Fimbria had led in 668 to the east;(14) notwithstanding that shortly after the battle of Cabira they had been promised their discharge well earned by thirteen campaigns, Lucullus now led them beyond the Euphrates to face a new incalculable war—it seemed as though the victors of Cabira were to be treated worse than the vanquished of Cannae.(15) It was in fact more than rash that, with troops so weak and so much out of humour, a general should at his own hand and, strictly speaking, at variance with the constitution, undertake an expedition to a distant and unknown land, full of rapid streams and snow-clad mountains—a land which from the very vastness of its extent rendered any lightly-undertaken attack fraught with danger. The conduct of Lucullus was therefore much and not unreasonably censured in Rome; only, amidst the censure the fact should not have been concealed, that the perversity of the government was the prime occasion of this venturesome project of the general, and, if it did not justify it, rendered it at least excusable.

Lucullus Crosses the Euphrates

The mission of Appius Claudius was designed not only to furnish a diplomatic pretext for the war, but also to induce the princes and cities of Syria especially to take arms against the great-king: in the spring of 685 the formal attack began. During the winter the king of Cappadocia had silently provided vessels for transport; with these the Euphrates was crossed at Melitene, and the further march was directed by way of the Taurus-passes to the Tigris. This too Lucullus crossed in the region of Amida (Diarbekr), and advanced towards the road which connected the second capital Tigranocerta,(16) recently founded on the south frontier of Armenia, with the old metropolis Artaxata. At the former was stationed the great-king, who had shortly before returned from Syria, after having temporarily deferred the prosecution of his plans of conquest on the Mediterranean on account of the embroilment with the Romans. He was just projecting an inroad into Roman Asia from Cilicia and Lycaonia, and was considering whether the Romans would at once evacuate Asia or would previously give him battle, possibly at Ephesus, when the news was brought to him of the advance of Lucullus, which threatened to cut off his communications with Artaxata. He ordered the messenger to be hanged, but the disagreeable reality remained unaltered; so he left the new capital and resorted to the interior of Armenia, in order there to raise a force—which had not yet been done—against the Romans. Meanwhile Mithrobarzanes with the troops actually at his disposal and in concert with the neighbouring Bedouin tribes, who were called out in all haste, was to give employment to the Romans. But the corps of Mithrobarzanes was dispersed by the Roman vanguard, and the Arabs by a detachment under Sextilius; Lucullus gained the road leading from Tigranocerta to Artaxata, and, while on the right bank of the Tigrisa Roman detachment pursued the great-king retreating northwards, Lucullus himself crossed to the left and marched forward to Tigranocerta.

Siege and Battle of Tigranocerta

The exhaustless showers of arrows which the garrison poured upon the Roman army, and the setting fire to the besieging machines by means of naphtha, initiated the Romans into the new dangers of Iranian warfare; and the brave commandant Mancaeus maintained the city, till at length the great royal army of relief had assembled from all parts of the vast empire and the adjoining countries that were open to Armenian recruiting officers, and had advanced through the north-eastern passes to the relief of the capital. The leader Taxiles, experienced in the wars of Mithradates, advised Tigranes to avoid a battle, and to surround and starve out the small Roman army by means of his cavalry. But when the king saw the Roman general, who had determined to give battle without raising the siege, move out with not much more than 10,000 men against a force twenty times superior, and boldly cross the river which separated the two armies; when he surveyed on the one side this little band, "too many for an embassy, too few for an army," and on the other side his own immense host, in which the peoples from the Black Sea and the Caspian met with those of the Mediterranean and of the Persian Gulf, in which the dreaded iron-clad lancers alone were more numerous than the whole army of Lucullus, and in which even infantry armed after the Roman fashion were not wanting; he resolved promptly to accept the battle desired by the enemy. But while the Armenians were still forming their array, the quick eye of Lucullus perceived that they had neglected to occupy a height which commanded the whole position of their cavalry. He hastened to occupy it with two cohorts, while at the same time his weak cavalry by a flank attack diverted the attention of the enemy from this movement; and as soon as he had reached the height, he led his little band against the rear of the enemy's cavalry. They were totally broken and threw themselves on the not yet fully formed infantry, which fled without even striking a blow. The bulletin of the victor—that 100,000 Armenians and five Romans had fallen and that the king, throwing away his turban and diadem, had galloped off unrecognized with a few horsemen—is composed in the style of his master Sulla. Nevertheless the victory achieved on the 6th October 685 before Tigranocerta remains one of the most brilliant stars in the glorious history of Roman warfare; and it was not less momentous than brilliant.

All the Armenian Conquests Pass into the Hands of the Romans

All the provinces wrested from the Parthians or Syrians to the south of the Tigris were by this means strategically lost to the Armenians, and passed, for the most part, without delay into the possession of the victor. The newly-built second capital itselfset the example. The Greeks, who had been forced in large numbers to settle there, rose against the garrison and opened to the Roman army the gates of the city, which was abandoned to the pillage of the soldiers. It had been created for the new great-kingdom, and, like this, was effaced by the victor. From Cilicia and Syria all the troops had already been withdrawn by the Armenian satrap Magadates to reinforce the relieving army before Tigranocerta. Lucullus advanced into Commagene, the most northern province of Syria, and stormed Samosata, the capital; he did not reach Syria proper, but envoys arrived from the dynasts and communities as far as the Red Sea—from Hellenes, Syrians, Jews, Arabs—to do homage to the Romans as their sovereigns. Even the prince of Corduene, the province situated to the east of Tigranocerta, submitted; while, on the other hand, Guras the brother of the great-king maintained himself in Nisibis, and thereby in Mesopotamia. Lucullus came forward throughout as the protector of the Hellenic princes and municipalities: in Commagene he placed Antiochus, a prince of the Seleucid house, on the throne; he recognized Antiochus Asiaticus, who after the withdrawal of the Armenians had returned to Antioch, as king of Syria; he sent the forced settlers of Tigranocerta once more away to their homes. The immense stores and treasures of the great-king—the grain amounted to 30,000,000 -medimni-, the money in Tigranocerta alone to 8000 talents (nearly 2,000,000 pounds)—enabled Lucullus to defray the expenses of the war without making any demand on the state-treasury, and to bestow on each of his soldiers, besides the amplest maintenance, a present of 800 -denarii- (33 pounds).

Tigranes and Mithradates

The great-king was deeply humbled. He was of a feeble character, arrogant in prosperity, faint-hearted in adversity. Probably an agreement would have been come to between him and Lucullus— an agreement which there was every reason that the great-king should purchase by considerable sacrifices, and the Roman general should grant under tolerable conditions—had not the old Mithradates been in existence. The latter had taken no part in the conflicts around Tigranocerta. Liberated after twenty months' captivity about the middle of 684 in consequence of the variance that had occurred between the great-king and the Romans, he had been despatched with 10,000 Armenian cavalry to his former kingdom, to threaten the communications of the enemy. Recalled even before he could accomplish anything there, when the great-king summoned his whole force to relieve the capital which he had built, Mithradates was met on his arrival before Tigranocerta by the multitudes just fleeing from the field of battle. To every one, from the great-king down to the common soldier, all seemed lost. But if Tigranes should now make peace, not only would Mithradates lose the last chance of being reinstated in his kingdom, but his surrender would be beyond doubt the first condition of peace; and certainly Tigranes would not have acted otherwise towards him than Bocchus had formerly acted towards Jugurtha. The king accordingly staked his whole personal weight to prevent things from taking this turn, and to induce the Armenian court to continue the war, in which he had nothing to lose and everything to gain; and, fugitive and dethroned as was Mithradates, his influence at this court was not slight. He was still a stately and powerful man, who, although already upwards of sixty years old, vaulted on horseback in full armour, and in hand-to-hand conflict stood his ground like the best. Years and vicissitudes seemed to have steeled his spirit: while in earlier times he sent forth generals to lead his armies and took no direct part in war himself, we find him henceforth as an old man commanding in person and fighting in person on the field of battle. To one who, during his fifty years of rule, had witnessed so many unexampled changes of fortune, the cause of the great-king appeared by no means lost through the defeat of Tigranocerta; whereas the position of Lucullus was very difficult, and, if peace should not now take place and the war should be judiciously continued, even in a high degree precarious.

Renewal of the War

The veteran of varied experience, who stood towards the great-king almost as a father, and was now able to exercise a personal influence over him, overpowered by his energy that weak man, and induced him not only to resolve on the continuance of the war, but also to entrust Mithradates with its political and military management. The war was now to be changed from a cabinet contest into a national Asiatic struggle; the kings and peoples of Asia were to unite for this purpose against the domineering and haughty Occidentals. The greatest exertions were made to reconcile the Parthians and Armenians with each other, and to induce them to make common cause against Rome. At the suggestion of Mithradates, Tigranes offered to give back to the Arsacid Phraates the God (who had reigned since 684) the provinces conquered by the Armenians— Mesopotamia, Adiabene, the "great valleys"—and to enter into friendship and alliance with him. But, after all that had previously taken place, this offer could scarcely reckon on a favourable reception; Phraates preferred to secure the boundary of the Euphrates by a treaty not with the Armenians, but with the Romans, and to look on, while the hated neighbour and the inconvenient foreigner fought out their strife. Greater success attended the application of Mithradates to the peoples of the east than to the kings. It was not difficult to represent the war as a national one of the east against the west, for such it was; it might very well be made a religious war also, and the report might be spread that the object aimed at by the army of Lucullus was the temple of the Persian Nanaea or Anaitis in Elymais or the modern Luristan, the most celebrated and the richest shrine in the whole region of the Euphrates.(17) From far and near the Asiatics flocked in crowds to the banner of the kings, who summoned them to protect the east and its gods from the impious foreigners. But facts had shown not only that the mere assemblage of enormous hosts was of little avail, but that the troops really capable of marching and fighting were by their very incorporation in such a mass rendered useless and involved in the general ruin. Mithradates sought above all to develop the arm which was at once weakest among the Occidentals and strongest among the Asiatics, the cavalry; in the army newly formed by him half of the force was mounted. For the ranks of the infantry he carefully selected, out of the mass of recruits called forth or volunteering, those fit for service, and caused them to be drilled by his Pontic officers. The considerable army, however, which soon assembled under the banner of the great- king was destined not to measure its strength with the Roman veterans on the first chance field of battle, but to confine itself to defence and petty warfare. Mithradates had conducted the last war in his empire on the system of constantly retreating and avoiding battle; similar tactics were adopted on this occasion, and Armenia proper was destined as the theatre of war—the hereditary land of Tigranes, still wholly untouched by the enemy, and excellently adapted for this sort of warfare both by its physical character and by the patriotism of its inhabitants.

Dissatisfaction with Lucullus in the Capital and in the Army

The year 686 found Lucullus in a position of difficulty, which daily assumed a more dangerous aspect. In spite of his brilliant victories, people in Rome were not at all satisfied with him. The senate felt the arbitrary nature of his conduct: the capitalist party, sorely offended by him, set all means of intrigue and corruption at work to effect his recall. Daily the Forum echoed with just and unjust complaints regarding the foolhardy, the covetous, the un-Roman, the traitorous general. The senate so far yielded to the complaints regarding the union of such unlimited power—two ordinary governorships and an important extraordinary command—in the hands of such a man, as to assign the province of Asia to one of the praetors, and the province of Cilicia along with three newly-raised legions to the consul Quintus Marcius Rex, and to restrict the general to the command against Mithradates and Tigranes.

These accusations springing up against the general in Rome found a dangerous echo in the soldiers' quarters on the Iris andon the Tigris; and the more so that several officers including the general's own brother-in-law, Publius Clodius, worked upon the soldiers with this view. The report beyond doubt designedly circulated by these, that Lucullus now thought of combining with the Pontic-Armenian war an expedition against the Parthians, fed the exasperation of the troops.

Lucullus Advances into Armenia

But while the troublesome temper of the government and of the soldier thus threatened the victorious general with recall and mutiny, he himself continued like a desperate gambler to increase his stake and his risk. He did not indeed march against the Parthians but when Tigranes showed himself neither ready to make peace nor disposed, as Lucullus wished, to risk a second pitched battle, Lucullus resolved to advance from Tigranocerta, through the difficult mountain-country along the eastern shore of the lake of Van, into the valley of the eastern Euphrates (or the Arsanias, now Myrad-Chai), and thence into that of the Araxes, where, on the northern slope of Ararat, lay Artaxata the capital of Armenia proper, with the hereditary castle and the harem of the king. He hoped, by threatening the king's hereditary residence, to compel him to fight either on the way or at any rate before Artaxata. It was inevitably necessary to leave behind a division at Tigranocerta; and, as the marching army could not possibly be further reduced, no course was left but to weaken the position in Pontus and to summon troops thence to Tigranocerta. The main difficulty, however, was the shortness of the Armenian summer, so inconvenient for military enterprises. On the tableland of Armenia, which lies 5000 feet and more above the level of the sea, the corn at Erzeroum only germinates in the beginning of June, and the winter sets in with the harvest in September; Artaxata had to be reached and the campaign had to be ended in four months at the utmost.

At midsummer, 686, Lucullus set out from Tigranocerta, and, marching doubtless through the pass of Bitlis and farther to the westward along the lake of Van—arrived on the plateau of Musch and at the Euphrates. The march went on—amidst constant and very troublesome skirmishing with the enemy's cavalry, and especially with the mounted archers—slowly, but without material hindrance; and the passage of the Euphrates, which was seriously defended by the Armenian cavalry, was secured by a successful engagement; the Armenian infantry showed itself, but the attempt to involve it in the conflict did not succeed. Thus the army reached the tableland, properly so called, of Armenia, and continued its march into the unknown country. They had suffered no actual misfortune; but the mere inevitable delaying of the march by the difficulties of the ground and the horsemen of the enemy was itself a very serious disadvantage. Long before they had reached Artaxata, winter set in; and when the Italian soldiers saw snow and ice around them, the bow of military discipline that had been far too tightly stretched gave way.

Lucullus Retreats to Mesopotamia
Capture of Nisibus

A formal mutiny compelled the general to order a retreat, which he effected with his usual skill. When he had safely reached Mesopotamia where the season still permitted farther operations, Lucullus crossed the Tigris, and threw himself with the mass of his army on Nisibis, the last city that here remained to the Armenians. The great-king, rendered wiser by the experience acquired before Tigranocerta, left the city to itself: notwithstanding its brave defence it was stormed in a dark, rainy night by the besiegers, and the army of Lucullus found there booty not less rich and winter- quarters not less comfortable than the year before in Tigranocerta.

Conflicts in Pontus and at Tigranocerta

But, meanwhile, the whole weight of the enemy's offensive fell on the weak Roman divisions left behind in Pontus and in Armenia. Tigranes compelled the Roman commander of the latter corps, Lucius Fannius—the same who had formerly been the medium of communication between Sertorius and Mithradates (18)—to throw himself into a fortress, and kept him beleaguered there. Mithradates advanced into Pontus with 4000 Armenian horsemen and 4000 of his own, and as liberator and avenger summoned the nation to rise against the common foe. All joined him; the scattered Roman soldiers were everywhere seized and put to death: when Hadrianus, the Roman commandant in Pontus,(19) led his troops against him, the former mercenaries of the king and the numerous natives of Pontus following the army as slaves made common cause with the enemy. For two successive days the unequal conflict lasted; it was only the circumstance that the king after receiving two wounds had to be carried off from the field of battle, which gave the Roman commander the opportunity of breaking off the virtually lost battle, and throwing himself with the small remnant of his troops into Cabira. Another of Lucullus' lieutenants who accidentally came into this region, the resolute Triarius, again gathered round him a body of troops and fought a successful engagement with the king; but he was much too weak to expel him afresh from Pontic soil, and had to acquiesce while the king took up winter-quarters in Comana.

Farther Retreat to Pontus

So the spring of 687 came on. The reunion of the army in Nisibis, the idleness of winter-quarters, the frequent absence of the general, had meanwhile increased the insubordination of the troops; not only did they vehemently demand to be led back, but it was already tolerably evident that, if the general refused to lead them home, they would break up of themselves. The supplies were scanty; Fannius and Triarius, in their distress, sent the most urgent entreaties to the general to furnish aid. With a heavy heart Lucullus resolved to yield to necessity, to give up Nisibis and Tigranocerta, and, renouncing all the brilliant hopes of his Armenian expedition, to return to the right bank of the Euphrates. Fannius was relieved; but in Pontus the help was too late. Triarius, not strong enough to fight with Mithradates, had taken up a strong position at Gaziura (Turksal on the Iris, to the west of Tokat), while the baggage was left behind at Dadasa. But when Mithradates laid siege to the latter place, the Roman soldiers, apprehensive for their property, compelled their leader to leave his secure position, and to give battle to the king between Gaziura and Ziela (Zilleh) on the Scotian heights.

Defeat of the Romans in Pontus at Ziela

What Triarius had foreseen, occurred. In spite of the stoutest resistance the wing which the king commanded in person broke the Roman line and huddled the infantry together into a clayey ravine, where it could make neither a forward nor a lateral movement and was cut to pieces without pity. The king indeed was dangerously wounded by a Roman centurion, who sacrificed his life for it; but the defeat was not the less complete. The Roman camp was taken; the flower of the infantry, and almost all the staff and subaltern officers, strewed the ground; the dead were left lying unburied on the field of battle, and, when Lucullus arrived on the right bank of the Euphrates, he learned the defeat not from his own soldiers, but through the reports of the natives.

Mutiny of the Soldiers

Along with this defeat came the outbreak of the military conspiracy. At this very time news arrived from Rome that the people had resolved to grant a discharge to the soldiers whose legal term of service had expired, to wit, to the Fimbrians, and to entrust the chief command in Pontus and Bithynia to one of the consuls of the current year: the successor of Lucullus, the consul Manius Acilius Glabrio, had already landed in Asia Minor. The disbanding of the bravest and most turbulent legions and the recall of the commander-in-chief, in connection with the impression produced by the defeat of Ziela, dissolved all the bonds of authority in the army just when the general had most urgent need of their aid. Near Talaura in Lesser Armenia he confronted the Pontic troops, at whose head Tigranes' son-in-law, Mithradates of Media, had already engaged the Romans successfully in a cavalry conflict; the main force of the great-king was advancing to the same point from Armenia. Lucullus sent to Quintus Marcius the new governor of Cilicia, who had just arrived on the way to his province with three legions in Lycaonia, to obtain help from him; Marcius declared that his soldiers refused to march to Armenia. He sent to Glabrio with the request that he would take up the supreme command committed to him by the people; Glabrio showed still less inclination to undertake this task, which had now become so difficult and hazardous. Lucullus, compelled to retain the command, with the view of not being obliged to fight at Talaura against the Armenian and the Pontic armies conjoined, ordered a movement against the advancing Armenians.

Farther Retreat to Asia Minor

The soldiers obeyed the order to march; but, when they reached the point where the routes to Armenia and Cappadocia diverged, the bulk of the army took the latter, and proceeded to the province of Asia. There the Fimbrians demanded their immediate discharge; and although they desisted from this at the urgent entreaty of the commander-in-chief and the other corps, they yet persevered in their purpose of disbanding if the winter should come on without an enemy confronting them; which accordingly was the case. Mithradates not only occupied once more almost his whole kingdom, but his cavalry ranged over all Cappadocia and as far as Bithynia; king Ariobarzanes sought help equally in vain from Quintus Marcius, from Lucullus, and from Glabrio. It was a strange, almost incredible issue for a war conducted in a manner so glorious. If we look merely to military achievements, hardly any other Roman general accomplished so much with so trifling means as Lucullus; the talent and the fortune of Sulla seemed to have devolved on this his disciple. That under the circumstances the Roman army should have returned from Armenia to Asia Minor uninjured, is a military miracle which, so far as we can judge, far excels the retreat of Xenophon; and, although mainly doubtless to be explained by the solidity of the Roman, and the inefficiency of the Oriental, system of war, it at all events secures to the leader of this expedition an honourable name in the foremost rank of men of military capacity. If the name of Lucullus is not usually included among these, it is to all appearance simply owing to the fact that no narrative of his campaigns which is in a military point of view even tolerable has come down to us, and to the circumstance that in everything and particularly in war, nothing is taken into account but the final result; and this, in reality, was equivalent to a complete defeat. Through the last unfortunate turn of things, and principally through the mutiny of the soldiers, all the results of an eight years' war had been lost; in the winter of 687-688 the Romans again stood exactly at the same spot as in the winter of 679-680.

War with the Pirates

The maritime war against the pirates, which began at the same time with the continental war and was all along most closely connected with it, yielded no better results. It has been already mentioned (20) that the senate in 680 adopted the judicious resolution to entrust the task of clearing the seas from the corsairs to a single admiral in supreme command, the praetor Marcus Antonius. But at the very outset they had made an utter mistake in the choice of the leader; or rather those, who had carried this measure so appropriate in itself, had not taken into account that in the senate all personal questions were decided by the influence of Cethegus(21) and similar coterie-considerations. They had moreover neglected to furnish the admiral of their choice with money and ships in a manner befitting his comprehensive task, so that with his enormous requisitions he was almost as burdensome to the provincials whom he befriended as were the corsairs.

Defeat of Antonius off Cydonia

The results were corresponding. In the Campanian waters the fleet of Antonius captured a number of piratical vessels. But an engagement took place with the Cretans, who had entered into friendship and alliance with the pirates and abruptly rejected his demand that they should desist from such fellowship; and the chains, with which the foresight of Antonius had provided his vessels for the purpose of placing the captive buccaneers in irons, served to fasten the quaestor and the other Roman prisoners to the masts of the captured Roman ships, when the Cretan generals Lasthenes and Panares steered back in triumph to Cydonia from the naval combat in which they had engaged the Romans off their island. Antonius, after having squandered immense sums and accomplished not the slightest result by his inconsiderate mode of warfare, died in 683 at Crete. The ill success of his expedition, the costliness of building a fleet, and the repugnance of the oligarchy to confer any powers of a more comprehensive kind on the magistrates, led them, after the practical termination of this enterprise by Antonius' death, to make no farther nomination of an admiral-in-chief, and to revert to the old system of leaving each governor to look after the suppression of piracy in his own province: the fleet equipped by Lucullus for instance(22) was actively employed for this purpose in the Aegean sea.

Cretan War

So far however as the Cretans were concerned, a disgrace like that endured off Cydonia seemed even to the degenerate Romans of this age as if it could be answered only by a declaration of war. Yet the Cretan envoys, who in the year 684 appeared in Rome with the request that the prisoners might be taken back and the old alliance reestablished, had almost obtained a favourable decree of the senate; what the whole corporation termed a disgrace, the individual senator was ready to sell for a substantial price. It was not till a formal resolution of the senate rendered the loans of the Cretan envoys among the Roman bankers non-actionable— that is, not until the senate had incapacitated itself for undergoing bribery—that a decree passed to the effect that the Cretan communities, if they wished to avoid war, should hand over not only the Roman deserters but the authors of the outrage perpetrated off Cydonia—the leaders Lasthenes and Panares—to the Romans for befitting punishment, should deliver up all ships and boats of four or more oars, should furnish 400 hostages, and should pay a fine of 4000 talents (975,000 pounds). When the envoys declared that they were not empowered to enter into such terms, one of the consuls of the next year was appointed to depart on the expiry of his official term for Crete, in order either to receive there what was demanded or to begin the war.

Metellus Subdues Crete

Accordingly in 685 the proconsul Quintus Metellus appeared in the Cretan waters. The communities of the island, with the larger towns Gortyna, Cnossus, Cydonia at their head, were resolved rather to defend themselves in arms than to submit to those excessive demands. The Cretans were a nefarious and degenerate people,(23) with whose public and private existence piracy was as intimately associated as robbery with the commonwealth of the Aetolians; but they resembled the Aetolians in valour as in many other respects, and accordingly these two were the only Greek communities that waged a courageous and honourable struggle for independence. At Cydonia, where Metellus landed his three legions, a Cretan army of 24,000 men under Lasthenes and Panares was ready to receive him; a battle took place in the open field, in which the victory after a hard struggle remained with the Romans. Nevertheless the towns bade defiance from behind their walls to the Roman general; Metellus had to make up his mind to besiege them in succession. First Cydonia, in which the remains of the beaten army had taken refuge, was after a long siege surrendered by Panares in return for the promise of a free departure for himself. Lasthenes, who had escaped from the town, had to be besieged a second time in Cnossus; and, when this fortress also was on the point of falling, he destroyed its treasures and escaped once more to places which still continued their defence, such as Lyctus, Eleuthera, and others. Two years (686, 687) elapsed, before Metellus became master of the whole island and the last spot of free Greek soil thereby passed under the control of the dominant Romans; the Cretan communities, as they were the first of all Greek commonwealths to develop the free urban constitution and the dominion of the sea, were also to be the last of all those Greek maritime states that formerly filled the Mediterranean to succumb to the Roman continental power.

The Pirates in the Mediterranean

All the legal conditions were fulfilled for celebrating another of the usual pompous triumphs; the gens of the Metelli could add to its Macedonian, Numidian, Dalmatian, Balearic titles with equal right the new title of Creticus, and Rome possessed another name of pride. Nevertheless the power of the Romans in the Mediterranean was never lower, that of the corsairs never higher, than in those years. Well might the Cilicians and Cretans of the seas, who are said to have numbered at this time 1000 ships, mock the Isauricus and the Creticus, and their empty victories. With what effect the pirates interfered in the Mithradatic war, and how the obstinate resistance of the Pontic maritime towns derived its best resources from the corsair-state, has been already related. But that state transacted business on a hardly less grand scale on its own behoof. Almost under the eyes of the fleet of Lucullus, the pirate Athenodorus surprised in 685 the island of Delos, destroyed its far-famed shrines and temples, and carried off the whole population into slavery. The island Lipara near Sicily paid to the pirates a fixed tribute annually, to remain exempt from like attacks. Another pirate chief Heracleon destroyed in 682 the squadron equipped in Sicily against him, and ventured with no more than four open boats to sail into the harbour of Syracuse. Two years later his colleague Pyrganion even landed at the same port, established himself there and sent forth flying parties into the island, till the Roman governor at last compelled him to re-embark. People grew at length quite accustomed to the fact that all the provinces equipped squadrons and raised coastguards, or were at any rate taxed for both; and yet the pirates appeared to plunder the provinces with as much regularity as the Roman governors. But even the sacred soil of Italy was now no longer respected by the shameless transgressors: from Croton they carried off with them the temple-treasures of the Lacinian Hera; they landed in Brundisium, Misenum, Caieta, in the Etruscan ports, even in Ostia itself; they seized the most eminent Roman officers as captives, among others the admiral of the Cilician army and two praetors with their whole retinue, with the dreaded -fasces- themselves and all the insignia of their dignity; they carried away from a villa at Misenum the very sister of the Roman admiral-in-chief Antonius, who was sent forth to annihilate the pirates; they destroyed in the port of Ostia the Roman war fleet equipped against them and commanded by a consul. The Latin husbandman, the traveller on the Appian highway, the genteel bathing visitor at the terrestrial paradise of Baiae were no longer secure of their property or their life for a single moment; all traffic and all intercourse were suspended; the most dreadful scarcity prevailed in Italy, and especially in the capital, which subsisted on transmarine corn. The contemporary world and history indulge freely in complaints of insupportable distress; in this case the epithet may have been appropriate.

Servile Disturbances

We have already described how the senate restored by Sulla carried out its guardianship of the frontier in Macedonia, its discipline over the client kings of Asia Minor, and lastly its marine police; the results were nowhere satisfactory. Nor did better success attend the government in another and perhaps even more urgent matter, the supervision of the provincial, and above all of the Italian, proletariate. The gangrene of a slave-proletariate Gnawed at the vitals of all the states of antiquity, and the more so, the more vigorously they had risen and prospered; for the power and riches of the state regularly led, under the existing circumstances, to a disproportionate increase of the body of slaves. Rome naturally suffered more severely from this cause than any other state of antiquity. Even the government of the sixth century had been under the necessity of sending troops against the gangs of runaway herdsmen and rural slaves. The plantation-system, spreading more and more among the Italian speculators had infinitely increased the dangerous evil: in the time of the Gracchan and Marian crises and in close connection with them servile revolts had taken place at numerous points of the Roman empire, and in Sicily had even grown into two bloody wars (619-622 and 652-654;(24)). But the ten years of the rule of the restoration after Sulla's death formed the golden age both for the buccaneers at sea and for bands of a similar character on land, above all in the Italian peninsula, which had hitherto been comparatively well regulated. The land could hardly be said any longer to enjoy peace. In the capital and the less populous districts of Italy robberies were of everyday occurrence, murders were frequent. A special decree of the people was issued—perhaps at this epoch— against kidnapping of foreign slaves and of free men; a special summary action was about this time introduced against violent deprivation of landed property. These crimes could not but appear specially dangerous, because, while they were usually perpetrated by the proletariate, the upper class were to a great extent also concerned in them as moral originators and partakers in the gain. The abduction of men and of estates was very frequently suggested by the overseers of the large estates and carried out by the gangs of slaves, frequently armed, that were collected there: and many a man even of high respectability did not disdain what one of his officious slave-overseers thus acquired for him as Mephistopheles acquired for Faust the lime trees of Philemon. The state of things is shown by the aggravated punishment for outrages on property committed by armed bands, which was introduced by one of the better Optimates, Marcus Lucullus, as presiding over the administration of justice in the capital about the year 676,(25) with the express object of inducing the proprietors of large bands of slaves to exercise a more strict superintendence over them and thereby avoid the penalty of seeing them judicially condemned. Where pillage and murder were thus carried on by order of the world of quality, it was natural for these masses of slaves and proletarians to prosecute the same business on their own account; a spark was sufficient to set fire to so inflammable materials, and to convert the proletariate into an insurrectionary army. An occasion was soon found.

Outbreak of the Gladiatorial War in Italy

The gladiatorial games, which now held the first rank among the popular amusements in Italy, had led to the institution of numerous establishments, more especially in and around Capua, designed partly for the custody, partly for the training of those slaves who were destined to kill or be killed for the amusement of the sovereign multitude. These were naturally in great part brave men captured in war, who had not forgotten that they had once faced the Romans in the field. A number of these desperadoes broke out of one of the Capuan gladiatorial schools (681), and sought refuge on Mount Vesuvius. At their head were two Celts, who were designated by their slave-names Crixus and Oenomaus, and the Thracian Spartacus. The latter, perhaps a scion of the noble family of the Spartocids which attained even to royal honours in its Thracian home and in Panticapaeum, had served among the Thracian auxiliaries in the Roman army, had deserted and gone as a brigand to the mountains, and had been there recaptured and destined for the gladiatorial games.

The Insurrection Takes Shape

The inroads of this little band, numbering at first only seventy-four persons, but rapidly swelling by concourse from the surrounding country, soon became so troublesome to the inhabitants of the rich region of Campania, that these, after having vainly attempted themselves to repel them, sought help against them from Rome. A division of 3000 men hurriedly collected appeared under the leadership of Clodius Glaber, and occupied the approaches to Vesuvius with the view of starving out the slaves. But the brigands in spite of their small number and their defective armament had the boldness to scramble down steep declivities and to fall upon the Roman posts; and when the wretched militia saw the little band of desperadoes unexpectedly assail them, they took to their heels and fled on all sides. This first success procured for the robbers arms and increased accessions to their ranks. Although even now a great portion of them carried nothing but pointed clubs, the new and stronger division of the militia— two legions under the praetor Publius Varinius—which advanced from Rome into Campania, found them encamped almost like a regular army in the plain. Varinius had a difficult position. His militia, compelled to bivouac opposite the enemy, were severely weakened by the damp autumn weather and the diseases which it engendered; and, worse than the epidemics, cowardice and insubordination thinned the ranks. At the very outset one of his divisions broke up entirely, so that the fugitives did not fall back on the main corps, but went straight home. Thereupon, when the order was given to advance against the enemy's entrenchments and attack them, the greater portion of the troops refused to comply with it. Nevertheless Varinius set out with those who kept their ground against the robber-band; but it was no longer to be found where he sought it. It had broken up in the deepest silence and had turned to the south towards Picentia (Vicenza near Amain), where Varinius overtook it indeed, but could not prevent it from retiring over the Silarus into the interior of Lucania, the chosen land of shepherds and robbers. Varinius followed thither, and there at length the despised enemy arrayed themselves for battle. All the circumstances under which the combat took place were to the disadvantage of the Romans: the soldiers, vehemently as they had demanded battle a little before, fought ill; Varinius was completely vanquished; his horse and the insignia of his official dignity fell with the Roman camp itself into the enemy's hand. The south-Italian slaves, especially the brave half-savage herdsmen, flocked in crowds to the banner of the deliverers who had so unexpectedly appeared; according to the most moderate estimates the number of armed insurgents rose to 40,000 men. Campania, just evacuated, was speedily reoccupied, and the Roman corps which was left behind there under Gaius Thoranius, the quaestor of Varinius, was broken and destroyed. In the whole south and south-west of Italy the open country was in the hands of the victorious bandit- chiefs; even considerable towns, such as Consentia in the Bruttian country, Thurii and Metapontum in Lucania, Nola and Nuceria in Campania, were stormed by them, and suffered all the atrocities which victorious barbarians could inflict on defenceless civilized men, and unshackled slaves on their former masters. That a conflict like this should be altogether abnormal and more a massacre than a war, was unhappily a matter of course: the masters duly crucified every captured slave; the slaves naturally killed their prisoners also, or with still more sarcastic retaliation even compelled their Roman captives to slaughter each other in gladiatorial sport; as was subsequently done with three hundred of them at the obsequies of a robber-captain who had fallen in combat.

Great Victories of Spartacus

In Rome people were with reason apprehensive as to the destructive conflagration which was daily spreading. It was resolved next year (682) to send both consuls against the formidable leaders of the gang. The praetor Quintus Arrius, a lieutenant of the consul Lucius Gellius, actually succeeded in seizing and destroying at Mount Garganus in Apulia the Celtic band, which under Crixus had separated from the mass of the robber-army and was levying contributions at its own hand. But Spartacus achieved all the more brilliant victories in the Apennines and in northern Italy, where first the consul Gnaeus Lentulus who had thought to surround and capture the robbers, then his colleague Gellius and the so recently victorious praetor Arrius, and lastly at Mutina the governor of Cisalpine Gaul Gaius Cassius (consul 681) and the praetor Gnaeus Manlius, one after another succumbed to his blows. The scarcely- armed gangs of slaves were the terror of the legions; the series of defeats recalled the first years of the Hannibalic war.

Internal Dissension among the Insurgents

What might have come of it, had the national kings from the mountains of Auvergne or of the Balkan, and not runaway gladiatorial slaves, been at the head of the victorious bands, it is impossible to say; as it was, the movement remained notwithstanding its brilliant victories a rising of robbers, and succumbed less to the superior force of its opponents than to internal discord and the want of definite plan. The unity in confronting the common foe, which was so remarkably conspicuous in the earlier servile wars of Sicily, was wanting in this Italian war—a difference probably due to the fact that, while the Sicilian slaves found a quasi-national point of union in the common Syrohellenism, the Italian slaves were separated into the two bodies of Helleno-Barbarians and Celto-Germans. The rupture between the Celtic Crixus and the Thracian Spartacus—Oenomaus had fallen in one of the earliest conflicts—and other similar quarrels crippled them in turning to account the successes achieved, and procured for the Romans several important victories. But the want of a definite plan and aim produced far more injurious effects on the enterprise than the insubordination of the Celto-Germans. Spartacus doubtless—to judge by the little which we learn regarding that remarkable man—stood in this respect above his party. Along with his strategic ability he displayed no ordinary talent for organization, as indeed from the very outset the uprightness, with which he presided over his band and distributed the spoil, had directed the eyes of the multitude to him quite as much at least as his valour. To remedy the severely felt want of cavalry and of arms, he tried with the help of the herds of horses seized in Lower Italy to train and discipline a cavalry, and, so soon as he got the port of Thurii into his hands, to procure from that quarter iron and copper, doubtless through the medium of the pirates. But in the main matters he was unable to induce the wild hordes whom he led to pursue any fixed ulterior aims. Gladly would he have checked the frantic orgies of cruelty, in which the robbers indulged on the capture of towns, and which formed the chief reason why no Italian city voluntarily made common cause with the insurgents; but the obedience which the bandit-chief found in the conflic ceased with the victory, and his representations and entreaties were in vain. After the victories obtained in the Apennine in 682 the slave army was free to move in any direction. Spartacus himself is said to have intended to cross the Alps, with a view to open to himself and his followers the means of return to their Celtic or Thracian home: if the statement is well founded, it shows how little the conqueror overrated his successes and his power. When his men refused so speedily to turn their backs on the riches of Italy, Spartacus took the route for Rome, and is said to have meditated blockading the capital. The troops, however, showed themselves also averse to this desperate but yet methodical enterprise; they compelled their leader, when he was desirous to be a general, to remain a mere captain of banditti and aimlessly to wander about Italy in search of plunder. Rome might think herself fortunate that the matter took this turn; but even as it was, the perplexity was great. There was a want of trained soldiers as of experienced generals; Quintus Metellus and Gnaeus Pompeius were employed in Spain, Marcus Lucullus in Thrace, Lucius Lucullus in Asia Minor; and none but raw militia and, at best, mediocre officers were available. The extraordinary supreme command in Italy was given to the praetor Marcus Crassus, who was not a general of much reputation, but had fought with honour under Sulla and had at least character; and an army of eight legions, imposing if not by its quality, at any rate by its numbers, was placed at his disposal. The new commander-in-chief began by treating the first division, which again threw away its arms and fled before the banditti, with all the severity of martial law, and causing every tenth man in it to be executed; whereupon the legions in reality grew somewhat more manly. Spartacus, vanquished in the next engagement, retreated and sought to reach Rhegium through Lucania.

Conflicts in the Bruttian Country

Just at that time the pirates commanded not merely the Sicilian waters, but even the port of Syracuse;(26) with the help of their boats Spartacus proposed to throw a corps into Sicily, where the slaves only waited an impulse to break out a third time. The march to Rhegium was accomplished; but the corsairs, perhaps terrified by the coastguards established in Sicily by the praetor Gaius Verres, perhaps also bribed by the Romans, took from Spartacus the stipulated hire without performing the service for which it was given. Crassus meanwhile had followed the robber-army nearly as far as the mouth, of the Crathis, and, like Scipio before Numantia, ordered his soldiers, seeing that they did not fight as they ought, to construct an entrenched wall of the length of thirty-five miles, which shut off the Bruttian peninsula from the rest of Italy,(27) intercepted the insurgent army on the return from Rhegium, and cut off its supplies. But in a dark winter night Spartacus broke through the lines of the enemy, and in the spring of 683(28) was once more in Lucania. The laborious work had thus been in vain. Crassus began to despair of accomplishing his task and demanded that the senate should for his support recall to Italy the armies stationed in Macedonia under Marcus Lucullus and in Hither Spain under Gnaeus Pompeius.

Disruption of the Rebels and Their Subjugation

This extreme step however was not needed; the disunion and the arrogance of the robber-bands sufficed again to frustrate their successes. Once more the Celts and Germans broke off from the league of which the Thracian was the head and soul, in order that, under leaders of their own nation Gannicus and Castus, they might separately fall victims to the sword of the Romans. Once, at the Lucanian lake the opportune appearance of Spartacus saved them, and thereupon they pitched their camp near to his; nevertheless Crassus succeeded in giving employment to Spartacus by means of the cavalry, and meanwhile surrounded the Celtic bands and compelled them to a separate engagement, in which the whole body—numbering it is said 12,300 combatants—fell fighting bravely all on the spot and with their wounds in front. Spartacus then attempted to throw himself with his division into the mountains round Petelia (near Strongoli in Calabria), and signally defeated the Roman vanguard, which followed his retreat But this victory proved more injurious to the victor than to the vanquished. Intoxicated by success, the robbers refused to retreat farther, and compelled their general to lead them through Lucania towards Apulia to face the last decisive struggle. Before the battle Spartacus stabbed his horse: as in prosperity and adversity he had faithfully kept by his men, he now by that act showed them that the issue for him and for all was victory or death. In the battle also he fought with the courage of a lion; two centurions fell by his hand; wounded and on his knees he still wielded his spear against the advancing foes. Thus the great robber-captain and with him the best of his comrades died the death of free men and of honourable soldiers (683). After the dearly-bought victory the troops who had achieved it, and those of Pompeius that had meanwhile after conquering the Sertorians arrived from Spain, instituted throughout Apulia and Lucania a manhunt, such as there had never been before, to crush out the last sparks of the mighty conflagration. Although in the southern districts, where for instance the little town of Tempsa was seized in 683 by a gang of robbers, and in Etruria, which was severely affected by Sulla's evictions, there was by no means as yet a real public tranquillity, peace was officially considered as re-established in Italy. At least the disgracefully lost eagles were recovered— after the victory over the Celts alone five of them were brought in; and along the road from Capua to Rome the six thousand crosses bearing captured slaves testified to the re-establishment of order, and to the renewed victory of acknowledged law over its living property that had rebelled.

The Government of the Restoration as a Whole

Let us look back on the events which fill up the ten years of the Sullan restoration. No one of the movements, external or internal, which occurred during this period—neither the insurrection of Lepidus, nor the enterprises of the Spanish emigrants, nor the wars in Thrace and Macedonia and in Asia Minor, nor the risings of the pirates and the slaves—constituted of itself a mighty danger necessarily affecting the vital sinews of the nation; and yet the state had in all these struggles well-nigh fought for its very existence. The reason was that the tasks were everywhere left unperformed, so long as they might still have been performed with ease; the neglect of the simplest precautionary measures produced the most dreadful mischiefs and misfortunes, and transformed dependent classes and impotent kings into antagonists on a footing of equality. The democracy and the servile insurrection were doubtless subdued; but such as the victories were, the victor was neither inwardly elevated nor outwardly strengthened by them. It was no credit to Rome, that the two most celebrated generals of the government party had during a struggle of eight years marked by more defeats than victories failed to master the insurgent chief Sertorius and his Spanish guerillas, and that it was only the dagger of his friends that decided the Sertorian war in favour of the legitimate government. As to the slaves, it was far less an honour to have conquered them than a disgrace to have confronted them in equal strife for years. Little more than a century had elapsed since the Hannibalic war; it must have brought a blush to the cheek of the honourable Roman, when he reflected on the fearfully rapid decline of the nation since that great age. Then the Italian slaves stood like a wall against the veterans of Hannibal; now the Italian militia were scattered like chaff before the bludgeons of their runaway serfs. Then every plain captain acted in case of need as general, and fought often without success, but always with honour; now it was difficult to find among all the officers of rank a leader of even ordinary efficiency. Then the government preferred to take the last farmer from the plough rather than forgo the acquisition of Spain and Greece; now they were on the eve of again abandoning both regions long since acquired, merely that they might be able to defend themselves against the insurgent slaves at home. Spartacus too as well as Hannibal had traversed Italy with an army from the Po to the Sicilian straits, beaten both consuls, and threatened Rome with blockade; the enterprise which had needed the greatest general of antiquity to conduct it against the Rome of former days could be undertaken against the Rome of the present by a daring captain of banditti. Was there any wonder that no fresh life sprang out of such victories over insurgents and robber-chiefs?

The external wars, however, had produced a result still less gratifying. It is true that the Thraco-Macedonian war had yielded a result not directly unfavourable, although far from corresponding to the considerable expenditure of men and money. In the wars in Asia Minor and with the pirates on the other hand, the government had exhibited utter failure. The former ended with the loss of the whole conquests made in eight bloody campaigns, the latter with the total driving of the Romans from "their own sea." Once Rome, fully conscious of the irresistibleness of her power by land, had transferred her superiority also to the other element; now the mighty state was powerless at sea and, as it seemed, on the point of also losing its dominion at least over the Asiatic continent. The material benefits which a state exists to confer— security of frontier, undisturbed peaceful intercourse, legal protection, and regulated administration—began all of them to vanish for the whole of the nations united in the Roman state; the gods of blessing seemed all to have mounted up to Olympus and to have left the miserable earth at the mercy of the officially called or volunteer plunderers and tormentors. Nor was this decay of the state felt as a public misfortune merely perhaps by such as had political rights and public spirit; the insurrection of the proletariate, and the brigandage and piracy which remind us of the times of the Neapolitan Ferdinands, carried the sense of this decay into the remotest valley and the humblest hut of Italy, and made every one who pursued trade and commerce, or who bought even a bushel of wheat, feel it as a personal calamity.

If inquiry was made as to the authors of this dreadful and unexampled misery, it was not difficult to lay the blame of it with good reason on many. The slaveholders whose heart was in their money-bags, the insubordinate soldiers, the generals cowardly, incapable, or foolhardy, the demagogues of the market-place mostly pursuing a mistaken aim, bore their share of the blame; or, to speak more truly, who was there that did not share in it? It was instinctively felt that this misery, this disgrace, this disorder were too colossal to be the work of any one man. As the greatness of the Roman commonwealth was the work not of prominent individuals, but rather of a soundly-organized burgess-body, so the decay of this mighty structure was the result not of the destructive genius of individuals, but of a general disorganization. The great majority of the burgesses were good for nothing, and every rotten stone in the building helped to bring about the ruin of the whole; the whole nation suffered for what was the whole nation's fault. It was unjust to hold the government, as the ultimate tangible organ of the state, responsible for all its curable and incurable diseases; but it certainly was true that the government contributed after a very grave fashion to the general culpability. In the Asiatic war, for example, where no individual of the ruling lords conspicuously failed, and Lucullus, in a military point of view at least, behaved with ability and even glory, it was all the more clear that the blame of failure lay in the system and in the government as such—primarily, so far as that war was concerned, in the remissness with which Cappadocia and Syria were at first abandoned, and in the awkward position of the able general with reference to a governing college incapable of any energetic resolution. In maritime police likewise the true idea which the senate had taken up as to a general hunting out of the pirates was first spoilt by it in the execution and then totally dropped, in order to revert to the old foolish system of sending legions against the coursers of the sea. The expeditions of Servilius and Marcius to Cilicia, and of Metellus to Crete, were undertaken on this system; and in accordance with it Triarius had the island of Delos surrounded by a wall for protection against the pirates. Such attempts to secure the dominion of the seas remind us of that Persian great-king, who ordered the sea to be scourged with rods to make it subject to him. Doubtless therefore the nation had good reason for laying the blame of its failure primarily on the government of the restoration. A similar misrule had indeed always come along with the re-establishment of the oligarchy, after the fall of the Gracchi as after that of Marius and Saturninus; yet never before had it shown such violence and at the same time such laxity, never had it previously emerged so corrupt and pernicious. But, when a government cannot govern, it ceases to be legitimate, and whoever has the power has also the right to overthrow it. It is, no doubt, unhappily true that an incapable and flagitious government may for a long period trample under foot the welfare and honour of the land, before the men are found who are able and willing to wield against that government the formidable weapons of its own forging, and to evoke out of the moral revolt of the good and the distress of the many the revolution which is in such a case legitimate. But if the game attempted with the fortunes of nations may be a merry one and may be played perhaps for a long time without molestation, it is a treacherous game, which in its own time entraps the players; and no one then blames the axe, if it is laid to the root of the tree that bears such fruits. For the Roman oligarchy this time had now come. The Pontic-Armenian war and the affair of the pirates became the proximate causes of the overthrow of the Sullan constitution and of the establishment of a revolutionary military dictatorship.

Chapter III

The Fall of the Oligarchy and the Rule of Pompeius

Continued Subsistence of the Sullan Constitution

The Sullan constitution still stood unshaken. The assault, which Lepidus and Sertorius had ventured to make on it, had been repulsed with little loss. The government had neglected, it is true, to finish the half-completed building in the energetic spirit of its author. It is characteristic of the government, that it neither distributed the lands which Sulla had destined for allotment but had not yet parcelled out, nor directly abandoned the claim to them, but tolerated the former owners in provisional possession without regulating their title, and indeed even allowed various still undistributed tracts of Sullan domain-land to be arbitrarily taken possession of by individuals according to the old system of occupation, which was de jure and de facto set aside by the Gracchan reforms.(1) Whatever in the Sullan enactments was indifferent or inconvenient for the Optimates, was without scruple ignored or cancelled; for instance, the sentences under which whole communities were deprived of the right of citizenship, the prohibition against conjoining the new farms, and several of the privileges conferred by Sulla on particular communities—of course, without giving back to the communities the sums paid for these exemptions. But though these violations of the ordinances of Sulla by the government itself contributed to shake the foundations of his structure, the Sempronian laws were substantially abolished and remained so.

Attacks of the Democracy
Attempts to Restore the Tribunician Power

There was no lack, indeed, of men who had in view the re-establishment of the Gracchan constitution, or of projects to attain piecemeal in the way of constitutional reform what Lepidus and Sertorius had attempted by the path of revolution. The government had already under the pressure of the agitation of Lepidus immediately after the death of Sulla consented to a limited revival of the largesses of grain (676); and it did, moreover, what it could to satisfy the proletariate of the capital in regard to this vital question. When, notwithstanding those distributions, the high price of grain occasioned chiefly by piracy produced so oppressive a dearth in Rome as to lead to a violent tumult in the streets in 679, extraordinary purchases of Sicilian grain on account of the government relieved for the time the most severe distress; and a corn-law brought in by the consuls of 681 regulated for the future the purchases of Sicilian grain and furnished the government, although at the expense of the provincials, with better means of obviating similar evils. But the less material points of difference also—the restoration of the tribunician power in its old compass, and the setting aside of the senatorial tribunals— ceased not to form subjects of popular agitation; and in their case the government offered more decided resistance. The dispute regarding the tribunician magistracy was opened as early as 678, immediately after the defeat of Lepidus, by the tribune of the people Lucius Sicinius, perhaps a descendant of the man of the same name who had first filled this office more than four hundred years before; but it failed before the resistance offered to it by the active consul Gaius Curio. In 680 Lucius Quinctius resumed the agitation, but was induced by the authority of the consul Lucius Lucullus to desist from his purpose. The matter was taken up in the following year with greater zeal by Gaius Licinius Macer, who— in a way characteristic of the period—carried his literary studies into public life, and, just as he had read in the Annals, counselled the burgesses to refuse the conscription.

Attacks on the Senatorial Tribunals

Complaints also, only too well founded, prevailed respecting the bad administration of justice by the senatorial jurymen. The condemnation of a man of any influence could hardly be obtained. Not only did colleague feel reasonable compassion for colleague, those who had been or were likely to be accused for the poor sinner under accusation at the moment; the sale also of the votes of jurymen was hardly any longer exceptional. Several senators had been judicially convicted of this crime: men pointed with the finger at others equally guilty; the most respected Optimates, such as Quintus Catulus, granted in an open sitting of the senate that the complaints were quite well founded; individual specially striking cases compelled the senate on several occasions, e. g. in 680, to deliberate on measures to check the venality of juries, but only of course till the first outcry had subsided and the matter could be allowed to slip out of sight. The consequences of this wretched administration of justice appeared especially in a system of plundering and torturing the provincials, compared with which even previous outrages seemed tolerable and moderate. Stealing and robbing had been in some measure legitimized by custom; the commission on extortions might be regarded as an institution for taxing the senators returning from the provinces for the benefit of their colleagues that remained at home. But when an esteemed Siceliot, because he had not been ready to help the governor in a crime, was by the latter condemned to death in his absence and unheard; when even Roman burgesses, if they were not equites or senators, were in the provinces no longer safe from the rods and axes of the Roman magistrate, and the oldest acquisition of the Roman democracy—security of life and person—began to be trodden under foot by the ruling oligarchy; then even the public in the Forum at Rome had an ear for the complaints regarding its magistrates in the provinces, and regarding the unjust judges who morally shared the responsibility of such misdeeds. The opposition of course did not omit to assail its opponents in—what was almost the only ground left to it—the tribunals. The young Gaius Caesar, who also, so far as his age allowed, took zealous part in the agitation for the re-establishment of the tribunician power, brought to trial in 677 one of the most respected partisans of Sulla the consular Gnaeus Dolabella, and in the following year another Sullan officer Gaius Antonius; and Marcus Cicero in 684 called to account Gaius Verres, one of the most wretched of the creatures of Sulla, and one of the worst scourges of the provincials. Again and again were the pictures of that dark period of the proscriptions, the fearful sufferings of the provincials, the disgraceful state of Roman criminal justice, unfolded before the assembled multitude with all the pomp of Italian rhetoric, and with all the bitterness of Italian sarcasm, and the mighty dead as well as his living instruments were unrelentingly exposed to their wrath and scorn. The re-establishment of the full tribunician power, with the continuance of which the freedom, might, and prosperity of the republic seemed bound up as by a charm of primeval sacredness, the reintroduction of the "stern" equestrian tribunals, the renewal of the censorship, which Sulla had set aside, for the purifying of the supreme governing board from its corrupt and pernicious elements, were daily demanded with a loud voice by the orators of the popular party.

Want of Results from the Democratic Agitation

But with all this no progress was made. There was scandal and outcry enough, but no real result was attained by this exposure of the government according to and beyond its deserts. The material power still lay, so long as there was no military interference, in the hands of the burgesses of the capital; and the "people" that thronged the streets of Rome and made magistrates and laws in the Forum, was in fact nowise better than the governing senate. The government no doubt had to come to terms with the multitude, where its own immediate interest was at stake; this was the reason for the renewal of the Sempronian corn-law. But it was not to be imagined that this populace would have displayed earnestness on behalf of an idea or even of a judicious reform. What Demosthenes said of his Athenians was justly applied to the Romans of this period—the people were very zealous for action, so long as they stood round the platform and listened to proposals of reforms; but when they went home, no one thought further of what he had heard in the market-place. However those democratic agitators might stir the fire, it was to no purpose, for the inflammable material was wanting. The government knew this, and allowed no sort of concession to be wrung from it on important questions of principle; at the utmost it consented (about 682) to grant amnesty to a portion of those who had become exiles with Lepidus. Any concessions that did take place, came not so much from the pressure of the democracy as from the attempts at mediation of the moderate aristocracy. But of the two laws which the single still surviving leader of this section Gaius Cotta carried in his consulate of 679, that which concerned the tribunals was again set aside in the very next year; and the second, which abolished the Sullan enactment that those who had held the tribunate should be disqualified for undertaking other magistracies, but allowed the other limitations to continue, merely—like every half-measure—excited the displeasure of both parties.

The party of conservatives friendly to reform which lost its most notable head by the early death of Cotta occurring soon after (about 681) dwindled away more and more—crushed between the extremes, which were becoming daily more marked. But of these the party of the government, wretched and remiss as it was, necessarily retained the advantage in presence of the equally wretched and equally remiss opposition.

Quarrel between the Government and Their General Pompeius

But this state of matters so favourable to the government was altered, when the differences became more distinctly developed which subsisted between it and those of its partisans, whose hopes aspired to higher objects than the seat of honour in the senate and the aristocratic villa. In the first rank of these stood Gnaeus Pompeius. He was doubtless a Sullan; but we have already shown(2) how little he was at home among his own party, how his lineage, his past history, his hopes separated him withal from the nobility as whose protector and champion he was officially regarded. The breach already apparent had been widened irreparably during the Spanish campaigns of the general (677-683). With reluctance and semi-compulsion the government had associated him as colleague with their true representative Quintus Metellus; and in turn he accused the senate, probably not without ground, of having by its careless or malicious neglect of the Spanish armies brought about their defeats and placed the fortunes of the expedition in jeopardy. Now he returned as victor over his open and his secret foes, at the head of an army inured to war and wholly devoted to him, desiring assignments of land for his soldiers, a triumph and the consulship for himself. The latter demands came into collision with the law. Pompeius, although several times invested in an extraordinary way with supreme official authority, had not yet administered any ordinary magistracy, not even the quaestorship, and was still not a member of the senate; and none but one who had passed through the round of lesser ordinary magistracies could become consul, none but one who had been invested with the ordinary supreme power could triumph. The senate was legally entitled, if he became a candidate for the consulship, to bid him begin with the quaestorship; if he requested a triumph, to remind him of the great Scipio, who under like circumstances had renounced his triumph over conquered Spain. Nor was Pompeius less dependent constitutionally on the good will of the senate as respected the lands promised to his soldiers. But, although the senate—as with its feebleness even in animosity was very conceivable—should yield those points and concede to the victorious general, in return for his executioner's service against the democratic chiefs, the triumph, the consulate, and the assignations of land, an honourable annihilation in senatorial indolence among the long series of peaceful senatorial Imperators was the most favourable lot which the oligarchy was able to hold in readiness for the general of thirty-six. That which his heart really longed for—the command in the Mithradatic war—he could never expect to obtain from the voluntary bestowal of the senate: in their own well-understood interest the oligarchy could not permit him to add to his Africa and European trophies those of a third continent; the laurels which were to be plucked copiously and easily in the east were reserved at all events for the pure aristocracy. But if the celebrated general did not find his account in the ruling oligarchy, there remained— for neither was the time ripe, nor was the temperament of Pompeius at all fitted, for a purely personal outspoken dynastic policy— no alternative save to make common cause with the democratic party. No interest of his own bound him to the Sullan constitution; he could pursue his personal objects quite as well, if not better, with one more democratic. On the other hand he found all that he needed in the democratic party. Its active and adroit leaders were ready and able to relieve the resourceless and somewhat wooden hero of the trouble of political leadership, and yet much too insignificant to be able or even wishful to dispute with the celebrated general the first place and especially the supreme military control. Even Gaius Caesar, by far the most important of them, was simply a young man whose daring exploits and fashionable debts far more than his fiery democratic eloquence had gained him a name, and who could not but feel himself greatly honoured when the world-renowned Imperator allowed him to be his political adjutant. That popularity, to which men like Pompeius, with pretensions greater than their abilities, usually attach more value than they are willing to confess to themselves, could not but fall in the highest measure to the lot of the young general whose accession gave victory to the almost forlorn cause of the democracy. The reward of victory claimed by him for himself and his soldiers would then follow of itself. In general it seemed, if the oligarchy were overthrown, that amidst the total want of other considerable chiefs of the opposition it would depend solely on Pompeius himself to determine his future position. And of this much there could hardly be a doubt, that the accession of the general of the army, which had just returned victorious from Spain and still stood compact and unbroken in Italy, to the party of opposition must have as its consequence the fall of the existing order of things. Government and opposition were equally powerless; so soon as the latter no longer fought merely with the weapons of declamation, but had the sword of a victorious general ready to back its demands, the government would be in any case overcome, perhaps even without a struggle.

Coalition of the Military Chiefs and the Democracy

Pompeius and the democrats thus found themselves urged into coalition. Personal dislikings were probably not wanting on either side: it was not possible that the victorious general could love the street orators, nor could these hail with pleasure as their chief the executioner of Carbo and Brutus; but political necessity outweighed at least for the moment all moral scruples.

The democrats and Pompeius, however, were not the sole parties to the league. Marcus Crassus was in a similar situation with Pompeius. Although a Sullan like the latter, his politics were quite as in the case of Pompeius preeminently of a personal kind, and by no means those of the ruling oligarchy; and he too was now in Italy at the head of a large and victorious army, with which he had just suppressed the rising of the slaves. He had to choose whether he would ally himself with the oligarchy against the coalition, or enter that coalition: he chose the latter, which was doubtless the safer course. With his colossal wealth and his influence on the clubs of the capital he was in any case a valuable ally; but under the prevailing circumstances it was an incalculable gain, when the only army, with which the senate could have met the troops of Pompeius, joined the attacking force. The democrats moreover, who were probably somewhat uneasy at their alliance with that too powerful general, were not displeased to see a counterpoise and perhaps a future rival associated with him in the person of Marcus Crassus.

Thus in the summer of 683 the first coalition took place between the democracy on the one hand, and the two Sullan generals Gnaeus Pompeius and Marcus Crassus on the other. The generals adopted the party-programme of the democracy; and they were promised immediately in return the consulship for the coming year, while Pompeius was to have also a triumph and the desired allotments of land for his soldiers, and Crassus as the conqueror of Spartacus at least the honour of a solemn entrance into the capital.

To the two Italian armies, the great capitalists, and the democracy, which thus came forward in league for the overthrow of the Sullan constitution, the senate had nothing to oppose save perhaps the second Spanish army under Quintus Metellus Pius. But Sulla had truly predicted that what he did would not be done a second time; Metellus, by no means inclined to involve himself in a civil war, had discharged his soldiers immediately after crossing the Alps. So nothing was left for the oligarchy but to submit to what was inevitable. The senate granted the dispensations requisite for the consulship and triumph; Pompeius and Crassus were, without opposition, elected consuls for 684, while their armies, on pretext of awaiting their triumph, encamped before the city. Pompeius thereupon, even before entering on office, gave his public and formal adherence to the democratic programme in an assembly of the people held by the tribune Marcus Lollius Palicanus. The change of the constitution was thus in principle decided.

Re-establishing of the Tribunician Power

They now went to work in all earnest to set aside the Sullan institutions. First of all the tribunician magistracy regained its earlier authority. Pompeius himself as consul introduced the law which gave back to the tribunes of the people their time-honoured prerogatives, and in particular the initiative of legislation— a singular gift indeed from the hand of a man who had done more than any one living to wrest from the community its ancient privileges.

New Arrangement as to Jurymen

With respect to the position of jurymen, the regulation of Sulla, that the roll of the senators was to serve as the list of jurymen, was no doubt abolished; but this by no means led to a simple restoration of the Gracchan equestrian courts. In future—so it was enacted by the new Aurelian law—the colleges of jurymen were to consist one-third of senators and two-thirds of men of equestrian census, and of the latter the half must have rilled the office of district-presidents, or so-called -tribuni aerarii-. This last innovation was a farther concession made to the democrats, inasmuch as according to it at least a third part of the criminal jurymen were indirectly derived from the elections of the tribes. The reason, again, why the senate was not totally excluded from the courts is probably to be sought partly in the relations of Crassus to the senate, partly in the accession of the senatorial middle party to the coalition; with which is doubtless connected the circumstance that this law was brought in by the praetor Lucius Cotta, the brother of their lately deceased leader.

Renewal of the Asiatic Revenue-Farming

Not less important was the abolition of the arrangements as to taxation established for Asia by Sulla,(3) which presumably likewise fell to this year. The governor of Asia at that time, Lucius Lucullus, was directed to reestablish the system of farming the revenue introduced by Gaius Gracchus; and thus this important source of money and power was restored to the great capitalists.

Renewal of the Censorship

Lastly, the censorship was revived. The elections for it, which the new consuls fixed shortly after entering on their office, fell, in evident mockery of the senate, on the two consuls of 682, Gnaeus Lentulus Clodianus and Lucius Gellius, who had been removed by the senate from their commands on account of their wretched management of the war against Spartacus.(4) It may readily be conceived that these men put in motion all the means which their important and grave office placed at their command, for the purpose of doing homage to the new-holders of power and of annoying the senate. At least an eighth part of the senate, sixty-four senators, a number hitherto unparalleled, were deleted from the roll, including Gaius Antonius, formerly impeached without success by Gaius Caesar,(5) and Publius Lentulus Sura, the consul of 683, and presumably also not a few of the most obnoxious creatures of Sulla.

The New Constitution

Thus in 684 they had reverted in the main to the arrangements that subsisted before the Sullan restoration.

Again the multitude of the capital was fed from the state-chest, in other words by the provinces;(6) again the tribunician authority gave to every demagogue a legal license to overturn the arrangements of the state; again the moneyed nobility, as farmers of the revenue and possessed of the judicial control over the governors, raised their heads alongside of the government as powerfully as ever; again the senate trembled before the verdict of jurymen of the equestrian order and before the censorial censure. The system of Sulla, which had based the monopoly of power by the nobility on the political annihilation of the mercantile aristocracy and of demagogism, was thus completely overthrown. Leaving out of view some subordinate enactments, the abolition of which was not overtaken till afterwards, such as the restoration of the right of self-completion to the priestly colleges,(7) nothing of the general ordinances of Sulla survived except, on the one hand, the concessions which he himself found it necessary to make to the opposition, such as the recognition of the Roman franchise of all the Italians, and, on the other hand, enactments without any marked partisan tendency, and with which therefore even judicious democrats found no fault—such as, among others, the restriction of the freedmen, the regulation of the functional spheres of the magistrates, and the material alterations in criminal law.

The coalition was more agreed regarding these questions of principle than with respect to the personal questions which such a political revolution raised. As might be expected, the democrats were not content with the general recognition of their programme; but they too now demanded a restoration in their sense—revival of the commemoration of their dead, punishment of the murderers, recall of the proscribed from exile, removal of the political disqualification that lay on their children, restoration of the estates confiscated by Sulla, indemnification at the expense of the heirs and assistants of the dictator. These were certainly the logical consequences which ensued from a pure victory of the democracy; but the victory of the coalition of 683 was very far from being such. The democracy gave to it their name and their programme, but it was the officers who had joined the movement, and above all Pompeius, that gave to it power and completion; and these could never yield their consent to a reaction which would not only have shaken the existing state of things to its foundations, but would have ultimately turned against themselves—men still had a lively recollection who the men were whose blood Pompeius had shed, and how Crassus had laid the foundation of his enormous fortune. It was natural therefore, but at the same time significant of the weakness of the democracy, that the coalition of 683 took not the slightest step towards procuring for the democrats revenge or even rehabilitation. The supplementary collection of all the purchase money still outstanding for confiscated estates bought by auction, or even remitted to the purchasers by Sulla— for which the censor Lentulus provided in a special law— can hardly be regarded as an exception; for though not a few Sullans were thereby severely affected in their personal interests, yet the measure itself was essentially a confirmation of the confiscations undertaken by Sulla.

Impending Miliatry Dictatorship of Pompeius

The work of Sulla was thus destroyed; but what the future order of things was to be, was a question raised rather than decided by that destruction. The coalition, kept together solely by the common object of setting aside the work of restoration, dissolved of itself, if not formally, at any rate in reality, when that object was attained; while the question, to what quarter the preponderance of power was in the first instance to fall, seemed approaching an equally speedy and violent solution. The armies of Pompeius and Crassus still lay before the gates of the city. The former had indeed promised to disband his soldiers after his triumph (last day of Dec. 683); but he had at first omitted to do so, in order to let the revolution in the state be completed without hindrance under the pressure which the Spanish army in front of the capital exercised over the city and the senate—a course, which in like manner applied to the army of Crassus. This reason now existed no longer; but still the dissolution of the armies was postponed. In the turn taken by matters it looked as if one of the two generals allied with the democracy would seize the military dictatorship and place oligarchs and democrats in the same chains. And this one could only be Pompeius. From the first Crassus had played a subordinate part in the coalition; he had been obliged to propose himself, and owed even his election to the consulship mainly to the proud intercession of Pompeius. Far the stronger, Pompeius was evidently master of the situation; if he availed himself of it, it seemed as if he could not but become what the instinct of the multitude even now designated him—the absolute ruler of the mightiest state in the civilized world. Already the whole mass of the servile crowded around the future monarch. Already his weaker opponents were seeking their last resource in a new coalition; Crassus, full of old and recent jealousy towards the younger rival who so thoroughly outstripped him, made approaches to the senate and attempted by unprecedented largesses to attach to himself the multitude of the capital—as if the oligarchy which Crassus himself had helped to break down, and the ever ungrateful multitude, would have been able to afford any protection whatever against the veterans of the Spanish army. For a moment it seemed as if the armies of Pompeius and Crassus would come to blows before the gates of the capital.

Retirement of Pompeius

But the democrats averted this catastrophe by their sagacity and their pliancy. For their party too, as well as for the senate and Crassus, it was all-important that Pompeius should not seize the dictatorship; but with a truer discernment of their own weakness and of the character of their powerful opponent their leaders tried the method of conciliation. Pompeius lacked no condition for grasping at the crown except the first of all—proper kingly courage. We have already described the man—with his effort to be at once loyal republican and master of Rome, with his vacillation and indecision, with his pliancy that concealed itself under the boasting of independent resolution. This was the first great trial to which destiny subjected him; and he failed to stand it. The pretext under which Pompeius refused to dismiss the army was, that he distrusted Crassus and therefore could not take the initiative in disbanding the soldiers. The democrats induced Crassus to make gracious advances in the matter, and to offer the hand of peace to his colleague before the eyes of all; in public and in private they besought the latter that to the double merit of having vanquished the enemy and reconciled the parties he would add the third and yet greater service of preserving internal peace to his country, and banishing the fearful spectre of civil war with which they were threatened. Whatever could tell on a vain, unskilful, vacillating man—all the flattering arts of diplomacy, all the theatrical apparatus of patriotic enthusiasm—was put in motion to obtain the desired result; and—which was the main point—things had by the well-timed compliance of Crassus assumed such a shape, that Pompeius had no alternative but either to come forward openly as tyrant of Rome or to retire. So he at length yielded and consented to disband the troops. The command in the Mithradatic war, which he doubtless hoped to obtain when he had allowed himself to be chosen consul for 684, he could not now desire, since Lucullus seemed to have practically ended that war with the campaign of 683. He deemed it beneath his dignity to accept the consular province assigned to him by the senate in accordance with the Sempronian law, and Crassus in this followed his example. Accordingly when Pompeius after discharging his soldiers resigned his consulship on the last day of 684, he retired for the time wholly from public affairs, and declared that he wished thenceforth to live a life of quiet leisure as a simple citizen. He had taken up such a position that he was obliged to grasp at the crown; and, seeing that he was not willing to do so, no part was left to him but the empty one of a candidate for a throne resigning his pretensions to it.

Senate, Equites, and Populares

The retirement of the man, to whom as things stood the first place belonged, from the political stage reproduced in the first instance nearly the same position of parties, which we found in the Gracchan and Marian epochs. Sulla had merely strengthened the senatorial government, not created it; so, after the bulwarks erected by Sulla had fallen, the government nevertheless remained primarily with the senate, although, no doubt, the constitution with which it governed—in the main the restored Gracchan constitution— was pervaded by a spirit hostile to the oligarchy. The democracy had effected the re-establishment of the Gracchan constitution; but without a new Gracchus it was a body without a head, and that neither Pompeius nor Crassus could be permanently such a head, was in itself clear and had been made still clearer by the recent events. So the democratic opposition, for want of a leader who could have directly taken the helm, had to content itself for the time being with hampering and annoying the government at every step. Between the oligarchy, however, and the democracy there rose into new consideration the capitalist party, which in the recent crisis had made common cause with the latter, but which the oligarchs now zealously endeavoured to draw over to their side, so as to acquire in it a counterpoise to the democracy. Thus courted on both sides the moneyed lords did not neglect to turn their advantageous position to profit, and to have the only one of their former privileges which they had not yet regained—the fourteen benches reserved for the equestrian order in the theatre—now (687) restored to them by decree of the people. On the whole, without abruptly breaking with the democracy, they again drew closer to the government. The very relations of the senate to Crassus and his clients point in this direction; but a better understanding between the senate and the moneyed aristocracy seems to have been chiefly brought about by the fact, that in 686 the senate withdrew from Lucius Lucullus the ablest of the senatorial officers, at the instance of the capitalists whom he had sorely annoyed, the dministration of the province of Asia so important for their purposes.(8)

The Events in the East, and Their Reaction on Rome

But while the factions of the capital were indulging in their wonted mutual quarrels, which they were never able to bring to any proper decision, events in the east followed their fatal course, as we have already described; and it was these events that brought the dilatory course of the politics of the capital to a crisis. The war both by land and by sea had there taken a most unfavourable turn. In the beginning of 687 the Pontic army of the Romans was destroyed, and their Armenian army was utterly breaking up on its retreat; all their conquests were lost, the sea was exclusively in the power of the pirates, and the price of grain in Italy was thereby so raised that they were afraid of an actual famine. No doubt, as we saw, the faults of the generals, especially the utter incapacity of the admiral Marcus Antonius and the temerity of the otherwise able Lucius Lucullus, were in part the occasion of these calamities; no doubt also the democracy had by its revolutionary agitations materially contributed to the breaking up of the Armenian army. But of course the government was now held cumulatively responsible for all the mischief which itself and others had occasioned, and the indignant hungry multitude desired only an opportunity to settle accounts with the senate.

Reappearance of Pompeius

It was a decisive crisis. The oligarchy, though degraded and disarmed, was not yet overthrown, for the management of public affairs was still in the hands of the senate; but it would fall, if its opponents should appropriate to themselves that management, and more especially the superintendence of military affairs; and now this was possible. If proposals for another and better management of the war by land and sea were now submitted to the comitia, the senate was obviously—looking to the temper of the burgesses— not in a position to prevent their passing; and an interference of the burgesses in these supreme questions of administration was practically the deposition of the senate and the transference of the conduct of the state to the leaders of opposition. Once more the concatenation of events brought the decision into the hands of Pompeius. For more than two years the famous general had lived as a private citizen in the capital. His voice was seldom heard in the senate-house or in the Forum; in the former he was unwelcome and without decisive influence, in the latter he was afraid of the stormy proceedings of the parties. But when he did show himself, it was with the full retinue of his clients high and low, and the very solemnity of his reserve imposed on the multitude. If he, who was still surrounded with the full lustre of his extraordinary successes, should now offer to go to the east, he would beyond doubt be readily invested by the burgesses with all the plenitude of military and political power which he might himself ask. For the oligarchy, which saw in the political-military dictatorship their certain ruin, and in Pompeius himself since the coalition of 683 their most hated foe, this was an overwhelming blow; but the democratic party also could have little comfort in the prospect. However desirable the putting an end to the government of the senate could not but be in itself, it was, if it took place in this way, far less a victory for their party than a personal victory for their over-powerful ally. In the latter there might easily arise a far more dangerous opponent to the democratic party than the senate had been. The danger fortunately avoided a few years before by the disbanding of the Spanish army and the retirement of Pompeius would recur in increased measure, if Pompeius should now be placed at the head of the armies of the east.

Overthrow of the Senatorial Rule, and New Power of Pompeius

On this occasion, however, Pompeius acted or at least allowed others to act in his behalf. In 687 two projects of law were introduced, one of which, besides decreeing the discharge— long since demanded by the democracy—of the soldiers of the Asiatic army who had served their term, decreed the recall of its commander-in-chief Lucius Lucullus and the supplying of his place by one of the consuls of the current year, Gaius Piso or Manius Glabrio; while the second revived and extended the plan proposed seven years before by the senate itself for clearing the seas from the pirates. A single general to be named by the senate from the consulars was to be appointed, to hold by sea exclusive command over the whole Mediterranean from the Pillars of Hercules to the coasts of Pontus and Syria, and to exercise by land, concurrently with the respective Roman governors, supreme command over the whole coasts for fifty miles inland. The office was secured to him for three years. He was surrounded by a staff, such as Rome had never seen, of five-and-twenty lieutenants of senatorial rank, all invested with praetorian insignia and praetorian powers, and of two under-treasurers with quaestorian prerogatives, all of them selected by the exclusive will of the general commanding-in-chief. He was allowed to raise as many as 120,000 infantry, 5000 cavalry, 500 ships of war, and for this purpose to dispose absolutely of the means of the provinces and client-states; moreover, the existing vessels of war and a considerable number of troops were at once handed over to him. The treasures of the state in the capital and in the provinces as well as those of the dependent communities were to be placed absolutely at his command, and in spite of the severe financial distress a sum of; 1,400,000 pounds (144,000,000 sesterces) was at once to be paid to him from the state-chest.

Effect of the Projects of Law

It is clear that by these projects of law, especially by that which related to the expedition against the pirates, the government of the senate was set aside. Doubtless the ordinary supreme magistrates nominated by the burgesses were of themselves the proper generals of the commonwealth, and the extraordinary magistrates needed, at least according to strict law, confirmation by the burgesses in order to act as generals; but in the appointment to particular commands no influence constitutionally belonged to the community, and it was only on the proposition of the senate, or at any rate on that of a magistrate entitled in himself to hold the office of general, that the comitia had hitherto now and again interfered in this matter and conferred such special functions. In this field, ever since there had existed a Roman free state, the practically decisive voice pertained to the senate, and this its prerogative had in the course of time obtained full recognition. No doubt the democracy had already assailed it; but even in the most doubtful of the cases which had hitherto occurred—the transference of the African command to Gaius Marius in 647(9)—it was only a magistrate constitutionally entitled to hold the office of general that was entrusted by the resolution of the burgesses with a definite expedition.

But now the burgesses were to invest any private man at their pleasure not merely with the extraordinary authority of the supreme magistracy, but also with a sphere of office definitely settled by them. That the senate had to choose this man from the ranks of the consulars, was a mitigation only in form; for the selection was left to it simply because there was really no choice, and in presence of the vehemently excited multitude the senate could entrust the chief command of the seas and coasts to no other save Pompeius alone. But more dangerous still than this negation in principle of the senatorial control was its practical abolition by the institution of an office of almost unlimited military and financial powers. While the office of general was formerly restricted to a term of one year, to a definite province, and to military and financial resources strictly measured out, the new extraordinary office had from the outset a duration of three years secured to it—which of course did not exclude a farther prolongation; had the greater portion of all the provinces, and even Italy itself which was formerly free from military jurisdiction, subordinated to it; had the soldiers, ships, treasures of the state placed almost without restriction at its disposal. Even the primitive fundamental principle in the state-law of the Roman republic, which we have just mentioned— that the highest military and civil authority could not be conferred without the co-operation of the burgesses—was infringed in favour of the new commander-in-chief. Inasmuch as the law conferred beforehand on the twenty-five adjutants whom he was to nominate praetorian rank and praetorian prerogatives,(10) the highest office of republican Rome became subordinate to a newly created office, for which it was left to the future to find the fitting name, but which in reality even now involved in it the monarchy. It was a total revolution in the existing order of things, for which the foundation was laid in this project of law.

Pompeius and the Gabinian Laws

These measures of a man who had just given so striking proofs of his vacillation and weakness surprise us by their decisive energy. Nevertheless the fact that Pompeius acted on this occasion more resolutely than during his consulate is very capable of explanation. The point at issue was not that he should come forward at once as monarch, but only that he should prepare the way for the monarchy by a military exceptional measure, which, revolutionary as it was in its nature, could still be accomplished under the forms of the existing constitution, and which in the first instance carried Pompeius so far on the way towards the old object of his wishes, the command against Mithradates and Tigranes. Important reasons of expediency also might be urged for the emancipation of the military power from the senate. Pompeius could not have forgotten that a plan designed on exactly similar principles for the suppression of piracy had a few years before failed through the mismanagement of the senate, and that the issue of the Spanish war had been placed in extreme jeopardy by the neglect of the armies on the part of the senate and its injudicious conduct of the finances; he could not fail to see what were the feelings with which the great majority of the aristocracy regarded him as a renegade Sullan, and what fate was in store for him, if he allowed himself to be sent as general of the government with the usual powers to the east. It was natural therefore that he should indicate a position independent of the senate as the first condition of his undertaking the command, and that the burgesses should readily agree to it. It is moreover in a high degree probable that Pompeius was on this occasion urged to more rapid action by those around him, who were, it may be presumed, not a little indignant at his retirement two years before. The projects of law regarding the recall of Lucullus and the expedition against the pirates were introduced by the tribune of the people Aulus Gabinius, a man ruined in finances and morals, but a dexterous negotiator, a bold orator, and a brave soldier. Little as the assurance of Pompeius, that he had no wish at all for the chief command in the war with the pirates and only longed for domestic repose, were meant in earnest, there was probably this much of truth in them, that the bold and active client, who was in confidential intercourse with Pompeius and his more immediate circle and who completely saw through the situation and the men, took the decision to a considerable extent out of the hands of his shortsighted and resourceless patron.

The Parties in Relation to the Gabinian Laws

The democracy, discontented as its leaders might be in secret, could not well come publicly forward against the project of law. It would, to all appearance, have been in no case able to hinder the carrying of the law; but it would by opposition have openly broken with Pompeius and thereby compelled him either to make approaches to the oligarchy or regardlessly to pursue his personal policy in the face of both parties. No course was left to the democrats but still even now to adhere to their alliance with Pompeius, hollow as it was, and to embrace the present opportunity of at least definitely overthrowing the senate and passing over from opposition into government, leaving the ulterior issue to the future and to the well-known weakness of Pompeius' character. Accordingly their leaders—the praetor Lucius Quinctius, the same who seven years before had exerted himself for the restoration of the tribunician power,(11) and the former quaestor Gaius Caesar— supported the Gabinian proposals.

The privileged classes were furious—not merely the nobility, but also the mercantile aristocracy, which felt its exclusive rights endangered by so thorough a state-revolution and once more recognized its true patron in the senate. When the tribune Gabinius after the introduction of his proposals appeared in the senate-house, the fathers of the city were almost on the point of strangling him with their own hands, without considering in their zeal how extremely disadvantageous for them this method of arguing must have ultimately proved. The tribune escaped to the Forum and summoned the multitude to storm the senate-house, when just at the right time the sitting terminated. The consul Piso, the champion of the oligarchy, who accidentally fell into the hands of the multitude, would have certainly become a victim to popular fury, had not Gabinius come up and, in order that his certain success might not be endangered by unseasonable acts of violence, liberated the consul. Meanwhile the exasperation of the multitude remained undiminished and constantly found fresh nourishment in the high prices of grain and the numerous rumours more or less absurd which were in circulation—such as that Lucius Lucullus had invested the money entrusted to him for carrying on the war at interest in Rome, or had attempted with its aid to make the praetor Quinctius withdraw from the cause of the people; that the senate intended to prepare for the "second Romulus," as they called Pompeius, the fate of the first,(12) and other reports of a like character.

The Vote

Thereupon the day of voting arrived. The multitude stood densely packed in the Forum; all the buildings, whence the rostra could be seen, were covered up to the roofs with men. All the colleagues of Gabinius had promised their veto to the senate; but in presence of the surging masses all were silent except the single Lucius Trebellius, who had sworn to himself and the senate rather to die than yield. When the latter exercised his veto, Gabinius immediately interrupted the voting on his projects of law and proposed to the assembled people to deal with his refractory colleague, as Octavius had formerly been dealt with on the proposition of Tiberius Gracchus,(13) namely, to depose him immediately from office. The vote was taken and the reading out of the voting tablets began; when the first seventeen tribes, which came to be read out, had declared for the proposal and the next affirmative vote would give to it the majority, Trebellius, forgetting his oath, pusillanimously withdrew his veto. In vain the tribune Otho then endeavoured to procure that at least the collegiate principle might be preserved, and two generals elected instead of one; in vain the aged Quintus Catulus, the most respected man in the senate, exerted his last energies to secure that the lieutenant-generals should not be nominated by the commander-in-chief, but chosen by the people. Otho could not even procure a hearing amidst the noise of the multitude; the well-calculated complaisance of Gabinius procured a hearing for Catulus, and in respectful silence the multitude listened to the old man's words; but they were none the less thrown away. The proposals were not merely converted into law with all the clauses unaltered, but the supplementary requests in detail made by Pompeius were instantaneously and completely agreed to.

Successes of Pompeius in the East

With high-strung hopes men saw the two generals Pompeius and Glabrio depart for their places of destination. The price of grain had fallen immediately after the passing of the Gabinian laws to the ordinary rates—an evidence of the hopes attached to the grand expedition and its glorious leader. These hopes were, as we shall have afterwards to relate, not merely fulfilled, but surpassed: in three months the clearing of the seas was completed. Since the Hannibalic war the Roman government had displayed no such energy in external action; as compared with the lax and incapable administration of the oligarchy, the democratic— military opposition had most brilliantly made good its title to grasp and wield the reins of the state. The equally unpatriotic and unskilful attempts of the consul Piso to put paltry obstacles in the way of the arrangements of Pompeius for the suppression of piracy in Narbonese Gaul only increased the exasperation of the burgesses against the oligarchy and their enthusiasm for Pompeius; it was nothing but the personal intervention of the latter, that prevented the assembly of the people from summarily removing the consul from his office.

Meanwhile the confusion on the Asiatic continent had become still worse. Glabrio, who was to take up in the stead of Lucullus the chief command against Mithradates and Tigranes, had remained stationary in the west of Asia Minor and, while instigating the soldiers by various proclamations against Lucullus, had not entered on the supreme command, so that Lucullus was forced to retain it. Against Mithradates, of course, nothing was done; the Pontic cavalry plundered fearlessly and with impunity in Bithynia and Cappadocia. Pompeius had been led by the piratical war to proceed with his army to Asia Minor; nothing seemed more natural than to invest him with the supreme command in the Pontic-Armenian war, to which he himself had long aspired. But the democratic party did not, as may be readily conceived, share the wishes of its general, and carefully avoided taking the initiative in the matter. It is very probable that it had induced Gabinius not to entrust both the war with Mithradates and that with the pirates from the outset to Pompeius, but to entrust the former to Glabrio; upon no account could it now desire to increase and perpetuate the exceptional position of the already too-powerful general. Pompeius himself retained according to his custom a passive attitude; and perhaps he would in reality have returned home after fulfilling the commission which he had received, but for the occurrence of an incident unexpected by all parties.

The Manillian Law

One Gaius Manilius, an utterly worthless and insignificant man had when tribune of the people by his unskilful projects of legislation lost favour both with the aristocracy and with the democracy. In the hope of sheltering himself under the wing of the powerful general, if he should procure for the latter what every one knew that he eagerly desired but had not the boldness to ask, Manilius proposed to the burgesses to recall the governors Glabrio from Bithynia and Pontus and Marcius Rex from Cilicia, and to entrust their offices as well as the conduct of the war in the east, apparently without any fixed limit as to time and at any rate with the freest authority to conclude peace and alliance, to the proconsul of the seas and coasts in addition to his previous office (beg. of 688). This occurrence very clearly showed how disorganized was the machinery of the Roman constitution, whenthe power of legislation was placed as respected the initiative inthe hands of any demagogue however insignificant, and as respected the final determination in the hands of the incapable multitude, while it at the same time was extended to the most important questions of administration. The Manilian proposal was acceptable to none of the political parties; yet it scarcely anywhere encountered serious resistance. The democratic leaders, for the same reasons which had forced them to acquiesce in the Gabinian law, could not venture earnestly to oppose the Manilian; they kept their displeasure and their fears to themselves and spoke in public for the general of the democracy. The moderate Optimates declared themselves for the Manilian proposal, because after the Gabinian law resistance in any case was vain, and far-seeing men already perceived that the true policy for the senate was to make approaches as far as possible to Pompeius and to draw him over to their side on occasion of the breach which might be foreseen between him and the democrats. Lastly the trimmers blessed the day when they too seemed to have an opinion and could come forward decidedly without losing favour with either of the parties— it is significant that Marcus Cicero first appeared as an orator on the political platform in defence of the Manilian proposal. The strict Optimates alone, with Quintus Catulus at their head, showed at least their colours and spoke against the proposition. Of course it was converted into law by a majority bordering on unanimity. Pompeius thus obtained, in addition to his earlier extensive powers, the administration of the most important provinces of Asia Minor— so that there scarcely remained a spot of land within the wide Roman bounds that had not to obey him—and the conduct of a war as to which, like the expedition of Alexander, men could tell where and when it began, but not where and when it might end. Never since Rome stood had such power been united in the hands of a single man.

The Democratic-Military Revolution

The Gabinio-Manilian proposals terminated the struggle between the senate and the popular party, which the Sempronian laws had begun sixty-seven years before. As the Sempronian laws first constituted the revolutionary party into a political opposition, the Gabinio- Manilian first converted it from an opposition into the government; and as it had been a great moment when the first breach in the existing constitution was made by disregarding the veto of Octavius, it was a moment no less full of significance when the last bulwark of the senatorial rule fell with the withdrawal of Trebellius. This was felt on both sides and even the indolent souls of the senators were convulsively roused by this death- struggle; but yet the war as to the constitution terminated in a very different and far more pitiful fashion than it had begun. A youth in every sense noble had commenced the revolution; it was concluded by pert intriguers and demagogues of the lowest type. On the other hand, while the Optimates had begun the struggle with a measured resistance and with a defence which earnestly held out even at the forlorn posts, they ended with taking the initiative in club-law, with grandiloquent weakness, and with pitiful perjury. What had once appeared a daring dream, was now attained; the senate had ceased to govern. But when the few old men who had seen the first storms of revolution and heard the words of the Gracchi, compared that time with the present they found that everything had in the interval changed—countrymen and citizens, state-law and military discipline, life and manners; and well might those painfully smile, who compared the ideals of the Gracchan period with their realization. Such reflections however belonged to the past. For the present and perhaps also for the future the fall of the aristocracy was an accomplished fact. The oligarchs resembled an army utterly broken up, whose scattered bands might serve to reinforce another body of troops, but could no longer themselves keep the field or risk a combat on their own account. But as the old struggle came to an end, a new one was simultaneously beginning—the struggle between the two powers hitherto leagued for the overthrow of the aristocratic constitution, the civil- democratic opposition and the military power daily aspiring to greater ascendency. The exceptional position of Pompeius even under the Gabinian, and much more under the Manilian, law was incompatible with a republican organization. He had been as even then his opponents urged with good reason, appointed by the Gabinian law not as admiral, but as regent of the empire; not unjustly was he designated by a Greek familiar with eastern affairs "king of kings." If he should hereafter, on returning from the east once more victorious and with increased glory, with well-filled chests, and with troops ready for battle and devoted to his cause, stretch forth his hand to seize the crown—who would then arrest his arm? Was the consular Quintus Catulus, forsooth, to summon forth the senators against the first general of his time and his experienced legions? or was the designated aedile Gaius Caesar to call forth the civic multitude, whose eyes he had just feasted on his three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators with their silver equipments? Soon, exclaimed Catulus, it would be necessary once more to flee to the rocks of the Capitol, in order to save liberty. It was not the fault of the prophet, that the storm came not, as he expected, from the east, but that on the contrary fate, fulfilling his words more literally than he himself anticipated, brought on the destroying tempest a few years later from Gaul.

Chapter IV

Pompeius and the East

Pompeius Suppresses Piracy

We have already seen how wretched was the state of the affairs of Rome by land and sea in the east, when at the commencement of 687 Pompeius, with an almost unlimited plenitude of power, undertook the conduct of the war against the pirates. He began by dividing the immense field committed to him into thirteen districts and assigning each of these districts to one of his lieutenants, for the purpose of equipping ships and men there, of searching the coasts, and of capturing piratical vessels or chasing them into the meshes of a colleague. He himself went with the best part of the ships of war that were available—among which on this occasion also those of Rhodes were distinguished—early in the year to sea, and swept in the first place the Sicilian, African, and Sardinian waters, with a view especially to re-establish the supply of grain from these provinces to Italy. His lieutenants meanwhile addressed themselves to the clearing of the Spanish and Gallic coasts. It was on this occasion that the consul Gaius Piso attempted from Rome to prevent the levies which Marcus Pomponius, the legate of Pompeius, instituted by virtue of the Gabinian law in the province of Narbo—an imprudent proceeding, to check which, and at the same time to keep the just indignation of the multitude against the consul within legal bounds, Pompeius temporarily reappeared in Rome.(1) When at the end of forty days the navigation had been everywhere set free in the western basin of the Mediterranean, Pompeius proceeded with sixty of his best vessels to the eastern seas, and first of all to the original and main seat of piracy, the Lycian and Cilician waters. On the news of the approach of the Roman fleet the piratical barks everywhere disappeared from the open sea; and not only so, but even the strong Lycian fortresses of Anticragus and Cragus surrendered without offering serious resistance. The well-calculated moderation of Pompeius helped even more than fear to open the gates of these scarcely accessible marine strongholds. His predecessors had ordered every captured freebooter to be nailed to the cross; without hesitation he gave quarter to all, and treated in particular the common rowers found in the captured piratical vessels with unusual indulgence. The bold Cilician sea-kings alone ventured on an attempt to maintain at least their own waters by arms against the Romans; after having placed their children and wives and their rich treasures for security in the mountain-fortresses of the Taurus, they awaited the Roman fleet at the western frontier of Cilicia, in the offing of Coracesium. But here the ships of Pompeius, well manned and well provided with all implements of war, achieved a complete victory. Without farther hindrance he landed and began to storm and break up the mountain-castles of the corsairs, while he continued to offer to themselves freedom and life as the price of submission. Soon the great multitude desisted from the continuance of a hopeless war in their strongholds and mountains, and consented to surrender. Forty-nine days after Pompeius had appeared in the eastern seas, Cilicia was subdued and the war at an end.

The rapid suppression of piracy was a great relief, but not a grand achievement; with the resources of the Roman state, which had been called forth in lavish measure, the corsairs could as little cope as the combined gangs of thieves in a great city can cope with a well-organized police. It was a naive proceeding to celebrate such a razzia as a victory. But when compared with the prolonged continuance and the vast and daily increasing extent of the evil, it was natural that the surprisingly rapid subjugation of the dreaded pirates should make a most powerful impression on the public; and the more so, that this was the first trial of rule centralized in a single hand, and the parties were eagerly waiting to see whether that hand would understand the art of ruling better than the collegiate body had done. Nearly 400 ships and boats, including 90 war vessels properly so called, were either taken by Pompeius or surrendered to him; in all about 1300 piratical vessels are said to have been destroyed; besides which the richly-filled arsenals and magazines of the buccaneers were burnt. Of the pirates about 10,000 perished; upwards of 20,000 fell alive into the hands of the victor; while Publius Clodius the admiral of the Roman army stationed in Cilicia, and a multitude of other individuals carried off by the pirates, some of them long believed at home to be dead, obtained once more their freedom through Pompeius. In the summer of 687, three months after the beginning of the campaign, commerce resumed its wonted course and instead of the former famine abundance prevailed in Italy.

Dissensions between Pompeius and Metellus as to Crete

A disagreeable interlude in the island of Crete, however, disturbed in some measure this pleasing success of the Roman arms. There Quintus Metellus was stationed in the second year of his command, and was employed in finishing the subjugation-already substantially effected—of the island,(2) when Pompeius appeared in the eastern waters. A collision was natural, for according to the Gabinian law the command of Pompeius extended concurrently with that of Metellus over the whole island, which stretched to a great length but was nowhere more than ninety miles broad;(3) but Pompeius was considerate enough not to assign it to any of his lieutenants. The still resisting Cretan communities, however, who had seen their subdued countrymen taken to task by Metellus with the most cruel severity and had learned on the other hand the gentle terms which Pompeius was in the habit of imposing on the townships which surrendered to him in the south of Asia Minor, preferred to give in their joint surrender to Pompeius. He accepted it in Pamphylia, where he was just at the moment, from their envoys, and sent along with them his legate Lucius Octavius to announce to Metellus the conclusion of the conventions and to take over the towns. This proceeding was, no doubt, not like that of a colleague; but formal right was wholly on the side of Pompeius, and Metellus was most evidently in the wrong when, utterly ignoring the convention of the cities with Pompeius, he continued to treat them as hostile. In vain Octavius protested; in vain, as he had himself come without troops, he summoned from Achaia Lucius Sisenna, the lieutenant of Pompeius stationed there; Metellus, not troubling himself about either Octavius or Sisenna, besieged Eleutherna and took Lappa by storm, where Octavius in person was taken prisoner and ignominiously dismissed, while the Cretans who were taken with him were consigned to the executioner. Accordingly formal conflicts took place between the troops of Sisenna, at whose head Octavius placed himself after that leader's death, and those of Metellus; even when the former had been commanded to return to Achaia, Octavius continued the war in concert with the Cretan Aristion, and Hierapytna, where both made a stand, was only subdued by Metellus after the most obstinate resistance.

In reality the zealous Optimate Metellus had thus begun formal civil war at his own hand against the generalissimo of the democracy. It shows the indescribable disorganization in the Roman state, that these incidents led to nothing farther than a bitter correspondence between the two generals, who a couple of years afterwards were sitting once more peacefully and even "amicably" side by side in the senate.

Pompeius Takes the Supreme Command against Mithradates

Pompeius during these events remained in Cilicia; preparing for the next year, as it seemed, a campaign against the Cretans or rather against Metellus, in reality waiting for the signal which should call him to interfere in the utterly confused affairs of the mainland of Asia Minor. The portion of the Lucullan army that was still left after the losses which it had suffered and the departure of the Fimbrian legions remained inactive on the upper Halys in the country of the Trocmi bordering on the Pontic territory. Lucullus still held provisionally the chief command, as his nominated successor Glabrio continued to linger in the west of Asia Minor. The three legions commanded by Quintus Marcius Rex lay equally inactive in Cilicia. The Pontic territory was again wholly in the power of king Mithradates, who made the individuals and communities that had joined the Romans, such as the town of Eupatoria, pay for their revolt with cruel severity. The kings of the east did not proceed to any serious offensive movement against the Romans, either because it formed no part of their plan, or—as was asserted— because the landing of Pompeius in Cilicia induced Mithradates and Tigranes to desist from advancing farther. The Manilian law realized the secretly-cherished hopes of Pompeius more rapidly than he probably himself anticipated; Glabrio and Rex were recalled and the governorships of Pontus-Bithynia and Cilicia with the troops stationed there, as well as the management of the Pontic-Armenian war along with authority to make war, peace, and alliance with the dynasts of the east at his own discretion, were transferred to Pompeius. Amidst the prospect of honours and spoils so ample Pompeius was glad to forgo the chastising of an ill-humoured Optimate who enviously guarded his scanty laurels; he abandoned the expedition against Crete and the farther pursuit of the corsairs, and destined his fleet also to support the attack which he projected on the kings of Pontus and Armenia. Yet amidst this land-war he by no means wholly lost sight of piracy, which was perpetually raising its head afresh. Before he left Asia (691) he caused the necessary ships to be fitted out there against the corsairs; on his proposal in the following year a similar measure was resolved on for Italy, and the sum needed for the purpose was granted by the senate. They continued to protect the coasts with guards of cavalry and small squadrons, and though as the expeditions to be mentioned afterwards against Cyprus in 696 and Egypt in 699 show, piracy was not thoroughly mastered, it yet after the expedition of Pompeius amidst all the vicissitudes and political crises of Rome could never again so raise its head and so totally dislodge the Romans from the sea, as it had done under the government of the mouldering oligarchy.

War Preparations of Pompeius
Alliance with the Parthians
Variance between Mithradates and Tigranes

The few months which still remained before the commencement of the campaign in Asia Minor, were employed by the new commander- in-chief with strenuous activity in diplomatic and military preparations. Envoys were sent to Mithradates, rather to reconnoitre than to attempt a serious mediation. There was a hope at the Pontic court that Phraates king of the Parthians would be induced by the recent considerable successes which the allies had achieved over Rome to enter into the Pontic-Armenian alliance. To counteract this, Roman envoys proceeded to the court of Ctesiphon; and the internal troubles, which distracted the Armenian ruling house, came to their aid. A son of the great-king Tigranes, bearing the same name had rebelled against his father, either because he was unwilling to wait for the death of the old man, or because his father's suspicion, which had already cost several of his brothers their lives, led him to discern his only chance of safety in open insurrection. Vanquished by his father, he had taken refuge with a number of Armenians of rank at the court of the Arsacid, and intrigued against his father there. It was partly due to his exertions, that Phraates preferred to take the reward which was offered to him by both sides for his accession—the secured possession of Mesopotamia—from the hand of the Romans, renewed with Pompeius the agreement concluded with Lucullus respecting the boundary of the Euphrates,(4) and even consented to operate in concert with the Romans against Armenia. But the younger Tigranes occasioned still greater mischief than that which arose out of his promoting the alliance between the Romans and the Parthians, for his insurrection produced a variance between the kings Tigranes and Mithradates themselves. The great-king cherished in secret the suspicion that Mithradates might have had a hand in the insurrection of his grandson—Cleopatra the mother of the younger Tigranes was the daughter of Mithradates— and, though no open rupture took place, the good understanding between the two monarchs was disturbed at the very moment when it was most urgently needed.

At the same time Pompeius prosecuted his warlike preparations with energy. The Asiatic allied and client communities were warned to furnish the stipulated contingents. Public notices summoned the discharged veterans of the legions of Fimbria to return to the standards as volunteers, and by great promises and the name of Pompeius a considerable portion of them were induced in reality to obey the call. The whole force united under the orders of Pompeius may have amounted, exclusive of the auxiliaries, to between 40,000 and 50,000 men.(5)

Pompeius and Lucullus

In the spring of 688 Pompeius proceeded to Galatia, to take the chief command of the troops of Lucullus and to advance with them into the Pontic territory, whither the Cilician legions were directed to follow. At Danala, a place belonging to the Trocmi, the two generals met; but the reconciliation, which mutual friends had hoped to effect, was not accomplished. The preliminary courtesies soon passed into bitter discussions, and these into violent altercation: they parted in worse mood than they had met. As Lucullus continued to make honorary gifts and to distribute lands just as if he were still in office, Pompeius declared all the acts performed by his predecessor subsequent to his own arrival null and void. Formally he was in the right; customary tactin the treatment of a meritorious and more than sufficientlymortified opponent was not to be looked for from him.

Invasion of Pontus
Retreat of Mithradates

So soon as the season allowed, the Roman troops crossed the frontier of Pontus. There they were opposed by king Mithradates with 30,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry. Left in the lurch by his allies and attacked by Rome with reinforced power and energy, he made an attempt to procure peace; but he would hear nothing of the unconditional submission which Pompeius demanded—what worse could the most unsuccessful campaign bring to him? That he might not expose his army, mostly archers and horsemen, to the formidable shock of the Roman infantry of the line, he slowly retired before the enemy, and compelled the Romans to follow him in his various cross-marches; making a stand at the same time, wherever there was opportunity, with his superior cavalry against that of the enemy, and occasioning no small hardship to the Romans by impeding their supplies. At length Pompeius in his impatience desisted from following the Pontic army, and, letting the king alone, proceeded to subdue the land; he marched to the upper Euphrates, crossed it, and entered the eastern provinces of the Pontic empire. But Mithradates followed along the left bank of the Euphrates, and when he had arrived in the Anaitic or Acilisenian province, he intercepted the route of the Romans at the castle of Dasteira, which was strong and well provided with water, and from which with his light troops he commanded the plain. Pompeius, still wanting the Cilician legions and not strong enough to maintain himself in this position without them, had to retire over the Euphrates and to seek protection from the cavalry and archers of the king in the wooded ground of Pontic Armenia extensively intersected by rocky ravines and deep valleys. It was not till the troops from Cilicia arrived and rendered it possible to resume the offensive with a superiority of force, that Pompeius again advanced, invested the camp of the king with a chain of posts of almost eighteen miles in length, and kept him formally blockaded there, while the Roman detachments scoured the country far and wide. The distress in the Pontic camp was great; the draught animals even had to be killed; at length after remaining for forty-five days the king caused his sick and wounded, whom he could not save and was unwilling to leave in the hands of the enemy, to be put to death by his own troops, and departed during the night with the utmost secrecy towards the east. Cautiously Pompeius followed through the unknown land: the march was now approaching the boundary which separated the dominions of Mithradates and Tigranes. When the Roman general perceived that Mithradates intended not to bring the contest to a decision within his own territory, but to draw the enemy away after him into the far distant regions of the east, he determined not to permit this.

Battle at Nicopolis

The two armies lay close to each other. During the rest at noon the Roman army set out without the enemy observing the movement, made a circuit, and occupied the heights, which lay in front and commanded a defile to be passed by the enemy, on the southern bank of the river Lycus (Jeschil-Irmak) not far from the modern Enderes, at the point where Nicopolis was afterwards built. The following morning the Pontic troops broke up in their usual manner, and, supposing that the enemy was as hitherto behind them, after, accomplishing the day's march they pitched their camp in the very valley whose encircling heights the Romans had occupied. Suddenly in the silence of the night there sounded all around them the dreaded battle-cry of the legions, and missiles from all sides poured on the Asiatic host, in which soldiers and camp-followers, chariots, horses, and camels jostled each other; and amidst the dense throng, notwithstanding the darkness, not a missile failed to take effect. When the Romans had expended their darts, they charged down from the heights on the masses which had now become visible by the light of the newly-risen moon, and which were abandoned to them almost defenceless; those that did not fall by the steel of the enemy were trodden down in the fearful pressure under the hoofs and wheels. It was the last battle-field on which the gray-haired king fought with the Romans. With three attendants—two of his horsemen, and a concubine who was accustomed to follow him in male attire and to fight bravely by his side— he made his escape thence to the fortress of Sinoria, whither a portion of his trusty followers found their way to him. He divided among them his treasures preserved there, 6000 talents of gold (1,400,000 pounds); furnished them and himself with poison; and hastened with the band that was left to him up the Euphrates to unite with his ally, the great-king of Armenia.

Tigranes Breaks with Mithradates
Mithradates Crosses the Phasis

This hope likewise was vain; the alliance, on the faith of which Mithradates took the route for Armenia, already by that time existed no longer. During the conflicts between Mithradates and Pompeius just narrated, the king of the Parthians, yielding to the urgency of the Romans and above all of the exiled Armenian prince, had invaded the kingdom of Tigranes by force of arms, and had compelled him to withdraw into the inaccessible mountains. The invading army began even the siege of the capital Artaxata; but, on its becoming protracted, king Phraates took his departure with the greater portion of his troops; whereupon Tigranes overpowered the Parthian corps left behind and the Armenian emigrants led by his son, and re-established his dominion throughout the kingdom Naturally, however, the king was under such circumstances little inclined to fight with the freshly-victorious Romans, and least of all to sacrifice himself for Mithradates; whom he trusted less than ever, since information had reached him that his rebellious son intended to betake himself to his grandfather. So he entered into negotiations with the Romans for a separate peace; but he did not wait for the conclusion of the treaty to break off the alliance which linked him to Mithradates. The latter, when he had arrived at the frontier of Armenia, was doomed to learn that the great-king Tigranes had set a price of 100 talents (24,000 pounds) on his head, had arrested his envoys, and had delivered them to the Romans. King Mithradates saw his kingdom in the hands of the enemy, and his allies on the point of coming to an agreement with them; it was not possible to continue the war; he might deem himself fortunate, if he succeeded in effecting his escape along the eastern and northern shores of the Black Sea, in perhaps dislodging his son Machares—who had revolted and entered into connection with the Romans(6)—once more from the Bosporan kingdom, and in finding on the Maeotis a fresh soil for fresh projects. So he turned northward. When the king in his flight had crossed the Phasis, the ancient boundary of Asia Minor, Pompeius for the time discontinued his pursuit; but instead of returning to the region of the sources of the Euphrates, he turned aside into the region of the Araxes to settle matters with Tigranes.

Pompeius at Artaxata
Peace with Tigranes

Almost without meeting resistance he arrived in the region of Artaxata (not far from Erivan) and pitched his camp thirteen miles from the city. There he was met by the son of the great-king, who hoped after the fall of his father to receive the Armenian diadem from the hand of the Romans, and therefore had endeavoured in every way to prevent the conclusion of the treaty between his father and the Romans. The great-king was only the more resolved to purchase peace at any price. On horseback and without his purple robe, but adorned with the royal diadem and the royal turban, he appeared at the gate of the Roman camp and desired to be conducted to the presence of the Roman general. After having given up at the bidding of the lictors, as the regulations of the Roman camp required, his horse and his sword, he threw himself in barbarian fashion at the feet of the proconsul and in token of unconditional surrender placed the diadem and tiara in his hands. Pompeius, highly delighted at a victory which cost nothing, raised up the humbled king of kings, invested him again with the insignia of his dignity, and dictated the peace. Besides a payment of; 1,400,000 pounds (6000 talents) to the war-chest and a present to the soldiers, out of which each of them received 50 -denarii- (2 pounds 2 shillings), the king ceded all the conquests which he had made, not merely his Phoenician, Syrian, Cilician, and Cappadocian possessions, but also Sophene and Corduene on the right bank of the Euphrates; he was again restricted to Armenia proper, and his position of great-king was, of course, at an end. In a single campaign Pompeius had totally subdued the two mighty kings of Pontus and Armenia. At the beginning of 688 there was not a Roman soldier beyond the frontier of the old Roman possessions; at its close king Mithradates was wandering as an exile and without an army in the ravines of the Caucasus, and king Tigranes sat on the Armenian throne no longer as king of kings, but as a vassal of Rome. The whole domain of Asia Minor to the west of the Euphrates unconditionally obeyed the Romans; the victorious army took up its winter-quarters to the east of that stream on Armenian soil, in the country from the upper Euphrates to the river Kur, from which the Italians then for the first time watered their horses.

The Tribes of the Caucasus

But the new field, on which the Romans here set foot, raised up for them new conflicts. The brave peoples of the middle and eastern Caucasus saw with indignation the remote Occidentals encamping on their territory. There—in the fertile and well-watered tableland of the modern Georgia—dwelt the Iberians, a brave, well-organized, agricultural nation, whose clan-cantons under their patriarchs cultivated the soil according to the system of common possession, without any separate ownership of the individual cultivators. Army and people were one; the people were headed partly by the ruler- clans—out of which the eldest always presided over the whole Iberian nation as king, and the next eldest as judge and leader of the army—partly by special families of priests, on whom chiefly devolved the duty of preserving a knowledge of the treaties concluded with other peoples and of watching over their observance. The mass of the non-freemen were regarded as serfs of the king. Their eastern neighbours, the Albanians or Alans, who were settled on the lower Kur as far as the Caspian Sea, were in a far lower stage of culture. Chiefly a pastoral people they tended, on foot or on horseback, their numerous herds in the luxuriant meadows of the modern Shirvan; their few tilled fields were still cultivated with the old wooden plough without iron share. Coined money was unknown, and they did not count beyond a hundred. Each of their tribes, twenty-six in all, had its own chief and spoke its distinct dialect. Far superior in number to the Iberians, the Albanians could not at all cope with them in bravery. The mode of fighting was on the whole the same with both nations; they fought chiefly with arrows and light javelins, which they frequently after the Indian fashion discharged from their lurking-places in the woods behind the trunks of trees, or hurled down from the tops of trees on the foe; the Albanians had also numerous horsemen partly mailed after the Medo-Armenian manner with heavy cuirasses and greaves. Both nations lived on their lands and pastures in a complete independence preserved from time immemorial. Nature itself as it were, seems to have raised the Caucasus between Europe and Asia as a rampart against the tide of national movements; there the arms of Cyrus and of Alexander had formerly found their limit; now the brave garrison of this partition-wall set themselves to defend it also against the Romans.

Albanians Conquered by Pompeius
Iberians Conquered

Alarmed by the information that the Roman commander-in-chief intended next spring to cross the mountains and to pursue the Pontic king beyond the Caucasus—for Mithradates, they heard, was passing the winter in Dioscurias (Iskuria between Suchum Kale and Anaklia) on the Black Sea—the Albanians under their prince Oroizes first crossed the Kur in the middle of the winter of 688-689 and threw themselves on the army, which was divided for the sake of its supplies into three larger corps under Quintus Metellus Celer, Lucius Flaccus, and Pompeius in person. But Celer, on whom the chief attack fell, made a brave stand, and Pompeius, after having delivered himself from the division sent to attack him, pursued the barbarians beaten at all points as far as the Kur. Artoces the king of the Iberians kept quiet and promised peace and friendship; but Pompeius, informed that he was secretly arming so as to fall upon the Romans on their march in the passes of the Caucasus, advanced in the spring of 689, before resuming the pursuit of Mithradates, to the two fortresses just two miles distant from each other, Harmozica (Horum Ziche or Armazi) and Seusamora (Tsumar) which a little above the modern Tiflis command the two valleys of the river Kur and its tributary the Aragua, and with these the only passes leading from Armenia to Iberia. Artoces, surprised by the enemy before he was aware of it, hastily burnt the bridge over the Kur and retreated negotiating into the interior. Pompeius occupied the fortresses and followed the Iberians to the other bank of the Kur; by which he hoped to induce them to immediate submission. But Artoces retired farther and farther into the interior, and, when at length he halted on the river Pelorus, he did so not to surrender but to fight. The Iberian archers however withstood not for a moment the onset of the Roman legions, and, when Artoces saw the Pelorus also crossed by the Romans, he submitted at length to the conditions which the victor proposed, and sent his children as hostages.

Pompeius Proceeds to Colchis

Pompeius now, agreeably to the plan which he had formerly projected, marched through the Sarapana pass from the region of the Kur to that of the Phasis and thence down that river to the Black Sea, where on the Colchian coast the fleet under Servilius already awaited him. But it was for an uncertain idea, and an aim almost unsubstantial, that the army and fleet were thus brought to the richly fabled shores of Colchis. The laborious march just completed through unknown and mostly hostile nations was nothing when compared with what still awaited them, and if they should really succeed in conducting the force from the mouth of the Phasis to the Crimea, through warlike and poor barbarian tribes, on inhospitable and unknown waters, along a coast where at certain places the mountains sink perpendicularly into the sea and it would have been absolutely necessary to embark in the ships— if such a march should be successfully accomplished, which was perhaps more difficult than the campaigns of Alexander and Hannibal— what was gained by it even at the best, corresponding at all to its toils and dangers? The war doubtless was not ended, so long as the old king was still among the living; but who could guarantee that they would really succeed in catching the royal game for the sake of which this unparalleled chase was to be instituted? Was it not better even at the risk of Mithradates once more throwing the torch of war into Asia Minor, to desist from a pursuit which promised so little gain and so many dangers? Doubtless numerous voices in the army, and still more numerous voices in the capital, urged the general to continue the pursuit incessantly and at any price; but they were the voices partly of foolhardy Hotspurs, partly of those perfidious friends, who would gladly at any price have kept the too-powerful Imperator aloof from the capital and entangled him amidst interminable undertakings in the east. Pompeius was too experienced and too discreet an officer to stake his fame and his army in obstinate adherence to so injudicious an expedition; an insurrection of the Albanians in rear of the army furnished the pretext for abandoning the further pursuit of the king and arranging its return. The fleet received instructions to cruise in the Black Sea, to protect the northern coast of Asia Minor against any hostile invasion, and strictly to blockade the Cimmerian Bosporus under the threat of death to any trader who should break the blockade. Pompeius conducted the land troops not without great hardships through the Colchian and Armenian territory to the lower course of the Kur and onward, crossing the stream, into the Albanian plain.

Fresh Conflicts with the Albanians

For several days the Roman army had to march in the glowing heat through this almost waterless flat country, without encountering the enemy; it was only on the left bank of the Abas (probably the river elsewhere named Alazonius, now Alasan) that the force of the Albanians under the leadership of Coses, brother of the king Oroizes, was drawn up against the Romans; they are said to have amounted, including the contingent which had arrived from the inhabitants of the Transcaucasian steppes, to 60,000 infantry and 12,000 cavalry. Yet they would hardly have risked the battle, unless they had supposed that they had merely to fight with the Roman cavalry; but the cavalry had only been placed in front, and, on its retiring, the masses of Roman infantry showed themselves from their concealment behind. After a short conflict the army of the barbarians was driven into the woods, which Pompeius gave orders to invest and set on fire. The Albanians thereupon consented to make peace; and, following the example of the more powerful peoples, all the tribes settled between the Kur and the Caspian concluded a treaty with the Roman general. The Albanians, Iberians, and generally the peoples settled to the south along, and at the foot of, the Caucasus, thus entered at least for the moment into a relation of dependence on Rome. When, on the other hand, the peoples between the Phasis and the Maeotis—Colchians, Soani, Heniochi, Zygi, Achaeans, even the remote Bastarnae—were inscribed in the long list of the nations subdued by Pompeius, the notion of subjugation was evidently employed in a manner very far from exact. The Caucasus once more verified its significance in the history of the world; the Roman conquest, like the Persian and the Hellenic, found its limit there.

Mithradates Goes to Panticapaeum

Accordingly king Mithradates was left to himself and to destiny. As formerly his ancestor, the founder of the Pontic state had first entered his future kingdom as a fugitive from the executioners of Antigonus and attended only by six horsemen, so had the grandson now been compelled once more to cross the bounds of his kingdom and to turn his back on his own and his fathers' conquests. But for no one had the dice of fate turned up the highest gains and the greatest losses more frequently and more capriciously than for the old sultan of Sinope; and the fortunes of men change rapidly and incalculably in the east. Well might Mithradates now in the evening of his life accept each new vicissitude with the thought that it too was only in its turn paving the way for a fresh revolution, and that the only thing constant was the perpetual change of fortune. Inasmuch as the Roman rule was intolerable for the Orientals at the very core of their nature, and Mithradates himself was in good and in evil a true prince of the east, amidst the laxity of the rule exercised by the Roman senate over the provinces, and amidst the dissensions of the political parties in Rome fermenting and ripening into civil war, Mithradates might, if he was fortunate enough to bide his time, doubtless re-establish his dominion yet a third time. For this very reason—because he hoped and planned while still there was life in him—he remained dangerous to the Romans so long as he lived, as an aged refugee no less than when he had marched forth with his hundred thousands to wrest Hellas and Macedonia from the Romans. The restless old man made his way in the year 689 from Dioscurias amidst unspeakable hardships partly by land partly by sea to the kingdom of Panticapaeum, where by his reputation and his numerous retainers he drove his renegade son Machares from the throne and compelled him to put himself to death. From this point he attempted once more to negotiate with the Romans; he besought that his paternal kingdom might be restored to him, and declared himself ready to recognize the supremacy of Rome and to pay tribute as a vassal. But Pompeius refused to grant the king a position in which he would have begun the old game afresh, and insisted on his personal submission.

His Last Preparations against Rome

Mithradates, however, had no thought of delivering himself into the hands of the enemy, but was projecting new and still more extravagant plans. Straining all the resources with which the treasures that he had saved and the remnant of his states supplied him, he equipped a new army of 36,000 men consisting partly of slaves which he armed and exercised after the Roman fashion, and a war-fleet; according to rumour he designed to march westward through Thrace, Macedonia, and Pannonia, to carry along with him the Scythians in the Sarmatian steppes and the Celts on the Danube as allies, and with this avalanche of peoples to throw himself on Italy. This has been deemed a grand idea, and the plan of war of the Pontic king has been compared with the military march of Hannibal; but the same project, which in a gifted man is a stroke of genius, becomes folly in one who is wrong-headed. This intended invasion of Italy by the Orientals was simply ridiculous, and nothing but a product of the impotent imagination of despair. Through the prudent coolness of their leader the Romans were prevented from Quixotically pursuing their Quixotic antagonist and warding off in the distant Crimea an attack, which, if it were not nipped of itself in the bud, would still have been soon enough met at the foot of the Alps.

Revolt against Mithradates

In fact, while Pompeius, without troubling himself further as to the threats of the impotent giant, was employed in organizing the territory which he had gained, the destinies of the aged king drew on to their fulfilment without Roman aid in the remote north. His extravagant preparations had produced the most violent excitement among the Bosporans, whose houses were torn down, and whose oxen were taken from the plough and put to death, in order to procure beams and sinews for constructing engines of war. The soldiers too were disinclined to enter on the hopeless Italian expedition. Mithradates had constantly been surrounded by suspicion and treason; he had not the gift of calling forth affection and fidelity among those around him. As in earlier years he had compelled his distinguished general Archelaus to seek protection in the Roman camp; as during the campaigns of Lucullus his most trusted officers Diodes, Phoenix, and even the most notable of the Roman emigrants had passed over to the enemy; so now, when his star grew pale and the old, infirm, embittered sultan was accessible to no one else save his eunuchs, desertion followed still more rapidly on desertion. Castor, the commandant of the fortress Phanagoria (on the Asiatic coast opposite Kertch), first raised the standard of revolt; he proclaimed the freedom of the town and delivered the sons of Mithradates that were in the fortress into the hands of the Romans. While the insurrection spread among the Bosporan towns, and Chersonesus (not far from Sebastopol), Theudosia (Kaffa), and others joined the Phanagorites, the king allowed his suspicion and his cruelty to have free course. On the information of despicable eunuchs his most confidential adherents were nailed to the cross; the king's own sons were the least sure of their lives. The son who was his father's favourite and was probably destined by him as his successor, Pharnaces, took his resolution and headed the insurgents. The servants whom Mithradates sent to arrest him, and the troops despatched against him, passed over to his side; the corps of Italian deserters, perhaps the most efficient among the divisions of Mithradates' army, and for that very reason the least inclined to share in the romantic—and for the deserters peculiarly hazardous—expedition against Italy, declared itself en masse for the prince; the other divisions of the army and the fleet followed the example thus set.

Death of Mithadates

After the country and the army had abandoned the king, the capital Panticapaeum at length opened its gates to the insurgents and delivered over to them the old king enclosed in his palace. From the high wall of his castle the latter besought his son at least to grant him life and not imbrue his hands in his father's blood; but the request came ill from the lips of a man whose own hands were stained with the blood of his mother and with the recently-shed blood of his innocent son Xiphares; and in heartless severity and inhumanity Pharnaces even outstripped his father. Seeing therefore he had now to die, the sultan resolved at least to die as he had lived; his wives, his concubines and his daughters, including the youthful brides of the kings of Egypt and Cyprus, had all to suffer the bitterness of death and drain the poisoned cup, before he too took it, and then, when the draught did not take effect quickly enough, presented his neck for the fatal stroke to a Celtic mercenary Betuitus. So died in 691 Mithradates Eupator, in the sixty-eighth year of his life and the fifty-seventh of his reign, twenty-six years after he had for the first time taken the field against the Romans. The dead body, which king Pharnaces sent as a voucher of his merits and of his loyalty to Pompeius, was by order of the latter laid in the royal sepulchre of Sinope.

The death of Mithradates was looked on by the Romans as equivalent to a victory: the messengers who reported to the general the catastrophe appeared crowned with laurel, as if they had a victory to announce, in the Roman camp before Jericho. In him a great enemy was borne to the tomb, a greater than had ever yet withstood the Romans in the indolent east. Instinctively the multitude felt this: as formerly Scipio had triumphed even more over Hannibal than over Carthage, so the conquest of the numerous tribes of the east and of the great-king himself was almost forgotten in the death of Mithradates; and at the solemn entry of Pompeius nothing attracted more the eyes of the multitude than the pictures, in which they saw king Mithradates as a fugitive leading his horse by the rein and thereafter sinking down in death between the dead bodies of his daughters. Whatever judgment may be formed as to the idiosyncrasy of the king, he is a figure of great significance—in the full sense of the expression—for the history of the world. He was not a personage of genius, probably not even of rich endowments; but he possessed the very respectable gift of hating, and out of this hatred he sustained an unequal conflict against superior foes throughout half a century, without success doubtless, but with honour. He became still more significant through the position in which history had placed him thanthrough his individual character. As the forerunner of the national reaction of the Orientals against the Occidentals, he opened the new conflict of the east against the west; and the feeling remained with the vanquished as with the victors, that his death was not so much the end as the beginning.

Pompeius Proceeds to Syria

Meanwhile Pompeius, after his warfare in 689 with the peoples of the Caucasus, had returned to the kingdom of Pontus, and there reduced the last castles still offering resistance; these were razed in order to check the evils of brigandage, and the castle wells were rendered unserviceable by rolling blocks of rock into them. Thence he set out in the summer of 690 for Syria, to regulate its affairs.

State of Syria

It is difficult to present a clear view of the state of disorganization which then prevailed in the Syrian provinces. It is true that in consequence of the attacks of Lucullus the Armenian governor Magadates had evacuated these provinces in 685,(7) and that the Ptolemies, gladly as they would have renewed the attempts of their predecessors to attach the Syrian coast to their kingdom, were yet afraid to provoke the Roman government by the occupation of Syria; the more so, as that government had not yet regulated their more than doubtful legal title even in the case of Egypt, and had been several times solicited by the Syrian princes to recognize them as the legitimate heirs of the extinct house of the Lagids. But, though the greater powers all at the moment refrained from interference in the affairs of Syria, the land suffered far more than it would have suffered amidst a great war, through the endless and aimless feuds of the princes, knights, and cities.

Arabian Princes

The actual masters in the Seleucid kingdom were at this time the Bedouins, the Jews, and the Nabataeans. The inhospitable sandy steppe destitute of springs and trees, which, stretching from the Arabianpeninsula up to and beyond the Euphrates, reaches towards the west as far as the Syrian mountain-chain and its narrow belt of coast, toward the east as far as the rich lowlands of the Tigris and lower Euphrates—this Asiatic Sahara—was the primitive home of the sons of Ishmael; from the commencement of tradition we find the "Bedawi," the "son of the desert," pitching his tents there and pasturing his camels, or mounting his swift horse in pursuit now of the foe of his tribe, now of the travelling merchant. Favoured formerly by king Tigranes, who made use of them for his plans half commercial half political,(8) and subsequently by the total absence of any master in the Syrian land, these children of the desert spread themselves over northern Syria. Wellnigh the leading part in a political point of view was enacted by those tribes, which had appropriated the first rudiments of a settled existence from the vicinity of the civilized Syrians. The most noted of these emirs were Abgarus, chief of the Arab tribe of the Mardani, whom Tigranes had settled about Edessa and Carrhae in upper Mesopotamia;(9) then to the west of the Euphrates Sampsiceramus, emir of the Arabs of Hemesa (Homs) between Damascus and Antioch, and master of the strong fortress Arethusa; Azizus the head of another horde roaming in the same region; Alchaudonius, the prince of the Rhambaeans, who had already put himself into communication with Lucullus; and several others.


Alongside of these Bedouin princes there had everywhere appeared bold cavaliers, who equalled or excelled the children of the desert in the noble trade of waylaying. Such was Ptolemaeus son of Mennaeus, perhaps the most powerful among these Syrian robber- chiefs and one of the richest men of this period, who ruled over the territory of the Ityraeans—the modern Druses—in the valleys of the Libanus as well as on the coast and over the plain of Massyas to the northward with the cities of Heliopolis (Baalbec) and Chalcis, and maintained 8000 horsemen at his own expense; such were Dionysius and Cinyras, the masters of the maritime cities Tripolis (Tarablus) and Byblus (between Tarablus and Beyrout); such was the Jew Silas in Lysias, a fortress not far from Apamea on the Orontes.


In the south of Syria, on the other hand, the race of the Jews seemed as though it would about this time consolidate itself into a political power. Through the devout and bold defence of the primitive Jewish national worship, which was imperilled by the levelling Hellenism of the Syrian kings, the family of the Hasmonaeans or the Makkabi had not only attained to their hereditary principality and gradually to kingly honours;(10) but these princely high-priests had also spread their conquests to the north, east, and south. When the brave Jannaeus Alexander died (675), the Jewish kingdom stretched towards the south over the whole Philistian territory as far as the frontier of Egypt, towards the south-east as far as that of the Nabataean kingdom of Petra, from which Jannaeus had wrested considerable tracts on the right bank of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, towards the north over Samaria and Decapolis up to the lake of Gennesareth; here he was already making arrangements to occupy Ptolemais (Acco) and victoriously to repel the aggressions of the Ityraeans. The coast obeyed the Jews from Mount Carmel as far as Rhinocorura, including the important Gaza—Ascalon alone was still free; so that the territory of the Jews, once almost cut off from the sea, could now be enumerated among the asylums of piracy. Now that the Armenian invasion, just as it approached the borders of Judaea, was averted from that land by the intervention of Lucullus,(11) the gifted rulers of the Hasmonaean house would probably have carried their arms still farther, had not the development of the power of that remarkable conquering priestly state been nipped in the bud by internal divisions.


The spirit of religious independence, and the spirit of national independence—the energetic union of which had called the Maccabee state into life—speedily became once more dissociated and even antagonistic. The Jewish orthodoxy or Pharisaism, as it was called, was content with the free exercise of religion, as it had been asserted in defiance of the Syrian rulers; its practical aim was a community of Jews, composed of the orthodox in the lands of all rulers, essentially irrespective of the secular government— a community which found its visible points of union in the tribute for the temple at Jerusalem, which was obligatory on every conscientious Jew, and in the schools of religion and spiritual courts. Overagainst this orthodoxy, which turned away from political life and became more and more stiffened into theological formalism and painful ceremonial service, were arrayed the defenders of the national independence, invigorated amidst successful struggles against foreign rule, and advancing towards the ideal of a restoration of the Jewish state, the representatives of the old great families—the so-called Sadducees—partly on dogmatic grounds, in so far as they acknowledged only the sacred books themselves and conceded authority merely, not canonicity, to the "bequests of the scribes," that is, to canonical tradition;(12) partly and especially on political grounds, in so far as, instead of a fatalistic waiting for the strong arm of the Lord of Zebaoth, they taught that the salvation of the nation was to be expected from the weapons of this world, and from the inward and outward strengthening of the kingdom of David as re-established in the glorious times of the Maccabees. Those partisans of orthodoxy found their support in the priesthood and the multitude; they contested with the Hasmonaeans the legitimacy of their high- priesthood, and fought against the noxious heretics with all the reckless implacability, with which the pious are often found to contend for the possession of earthly goods. The state-party on the other hand relied for support on intelligence brought into contact with the influences of Hellenism, on the army, in which numerous Pisidian and Cilician mercenaries served, and on the abler kings, who here strove with the ecclesiastical power much as a thousand years later the Hohenstaufen strove with the Papacy. Jannaeus had kept down the priesthood with a strong hand; under his two sons there arose (685 et seq.) a civil and fraternal war, since the Pharisees opposed the vigorous Aristobulus and attempted to obtain their objects under the nominal rule of his brother, the good-natured and indolent Hyrcanus. This dissension not merely put a stop to the Jewish conquests, but gave also foreign nations opportunity to interfere and thereby obtain a commanding position in southern Syria.


This was the case first of all with the Nabataeans. This remarkable nation has often been confounded with its eastern neighbours, the wandering Arabs, but it is more closely related to the Aramaean branch than to the proper children of Ishmael. This Aramaean or, according to the designation of the Occidentals, Syrian stock must have in very early times sent forth from its most ancient settlements about Babylon a colony, probably for the sake of trade, to the northern end of the Arabian gulf; these were the Nabataeans on the Sinaitic peninsula, between the gulf of Suez and Aila, and in the region of Petra (Wadi Mousa). In their ports the wares of the Mediterranean were exchanged for those of India; the great southern caravan-route, which ran from Gaza to the mouth of the Euphrates and the Persian gulf, passed through the capital of the Nabataeans—Petra—whose still magnificent rock-palaces and rock-tombs furnish clearer evidence of the Nabataean civilization than does an almost extinct tradition. The leaders of the Pharisees, to whom after the manner of priests the victory of their faction seemed not too dearly bought at the price of the independence and integrity of their country, solicited Aretas the king of the Nabataeans for aid against Aristobulus, in return for which they promised to give back to him all the conquests wrested from him by Jannaeus. Thereupon Aretas had advanced with, it was said, 50,000 men into Judaea and, reinforced by the adherents of the Pharisees, he kept king Aristobulus besieged in his capital.

Syrian Cities

Amidst the system of violence and feud which thus prevailed from one end of Syria to another, the larger cities were of course the principal sufferers, such as Antioch, Seleucia, Damascus, whose citizens found themselves paralysed in their husbandry as well as in their maritime and caravan trade. The citizens of Byblus and Berytus (Beyrout) were unable to protect their fields and their ships from the Ityraeans, who issuing from their mountain and maritime strongholds rendered land and sea equally insecure. Those of Damascus sought to ward off the attacks of the Ityraeans and Ptolemaeus by handing themselves over to the more remote kings of the Nabataeans or of the Jews. In Antioch Sampsiceramus and Azizus mingled in the internal feuds of the citizens, and the Hellenic great city had wellnigh become even now the seat of an Arab emir. The state of things reminds us of the kingless times of the German middle ages, when Nuremberg and Augsburg found their protection not in the king's law and the king's courts, but in their own walls alone; impatiently the merchant-citizens of Syria awaited the strong arm, which should restore to them peace and security of intercourse.

The Last Seleucids

There was no want, however, of a legitimate king in Syria; there were even two or three of them. A prince Antiochus from the house of the Seleucids had been appointed by Lucullus as ruler of the most northerly province in Syria, Commagene.(13) Antiochus Asiaticus, whose claims on the Syrian throne had met with recognition both from the senate and from Lucullus,(14) had been received in Antioch after the retreat of the Armenians and there acknowledged as king. A third Seleucid prince Philippus had immediately confronted him there as a rival; and the great population of Antioch, excitable and delighting in opposition almost like that of Alexandria, as well as one or two of the neighbouring Arab emirs had interfered in the family strife which now seemed inseparable from the rule of the Seleucids. Was there any wonder that legitimacy became ridiculous and loathsome to its subjects, and that the so-called rightful kings were of even somewhat less importance in the land than the petty princes and robber-chiefs?

Annexation of Syria

To create order amidst this chaos did not require either brilliance of conception or a mighty display of force, but it required a clear insight into the interests of Rome and of her subjects, and vigour and consistency in establishing and maintaining the institutions recognized as necessary. The policy of the senate in support of legitimacy had sufficiently degraded itself; the general, whom the opposition had brought into power, was not to be guided by dynastic considerations, but had only to see that the Syrian kingdom should not be withdrawn from the clientship of Rome in future either by the quarrels of pretenders or by the Covetousness of neighbours. But to secure this end there was only one course; that the Roman community should send a satrap to grasp with a vigorous hand the reins of government, which had long since practically slipped from the hands of the kings of the ruling house more even through their own fault than through outward misfortunes. This course Pompeius took. Antiochus the Asiatic, on requesting to be acknowledged as the hereditary ruler of Syria, received the answer that Pompeius would not give back the sovereignty to a king who knew neither how to maintain nor how to govern his kingdom, even at the request of his subjects, much less against their distinctly expressed wishes. With this letter of the Roman proconsul the house of Seleucus was ejected from the throne which it had occupied for two hundred and fifty years. Antiochus soon after lost his life through the artifice of the emir Sampsiceramus, as whose client he played the ruler in Antioch; thenceforth there is no further mention of these mock-kings and their pretensions.

Military Pacification of Syria

But, to establish the new Roman government and introduce any tolerable order into the confusion of affairs, it was further necessary to advance into Syria with a military force and to terrify or subdue all the disturbers of the peace, who had sprung up during the many years of anarchy, by means of the Roman legions. Already during the campaigns in the kingdom of Pontus and on the Caucasus Pompeius had turned his attention to the affairs of Syria and directed detached commissioners and corps to interfere, where there was need. Aulus Gabinius—the same who as tribune of the people had sent Pompeius to the east—had in 689 marched along the Tigris and then across Mesopotamia to Syria, to adjust the complicated affairs of Judaea. In like manner the severely pressed Damascus had already been occupied by Lollius and Metellus. Soon afterwards another adjutant of Pompeius, Marcus Scaurus, arrived in Judaea, to allay the feuds ever breaking out afresh there. Lucius Afranius also, who during the expedition of Pompeius to the Caucasus held the command of the Roman troops in Armenia, had proceeded from Corduene (the northern Kurdistan) to upper Mesopotamia, and, after he had successfully accomplished the perilous march through the desert with the sympathizing help of the Hellenes settled in Carrhae, brought the Arabs in Osrhoene to submission. Towards the end of 690 Pompeius in person arrived in Syria,(15) and remained there till the summer of the following year, resolutely interfering and regulating matters for the present and the future. He sought to restore the kingdom to its state in the better times of the Seleucid rule; all usurped powers were set aside, the robber-chiefs were summoned to give up their castles, the Arab sheiks were again restricted to their desert domains, the affairs of the several communities were definitely regulated.

The Robber-Chiefs Chastised

The legions stood ready to procure obedience to these stern orders, and their interference proved especially necessary against the audacious robber-chiefs. Silas the ruler of Lysias, Dionysius the ruler of Tripolis, Cinyras the ruler of Byblus were taken prisoners in their fortresses and executed, the mountain and maritime strongholds of the Ityraeans were broken up, Ptolemaeus son of Mennaeus in Chalcis was forced to purchase his freedom and his lordship with a ransom of 1000 talents (240,000 pounds). Elsewhere the commands of the new master met for the most part with unresisting obedience.

Negotiations and Conflicts with the Jews

The Jews alone hesitated. The mediators formerly sent by Pompeius, Gabinius and Scaurus, had—both, as it was said, bribed with considerable sums—in the dispute between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus decided in favour of the latter, and had also induced king Aretas to raise the siege of Jerusalem and to proceed homeward, in doing which he sustained a defeat at the hands of Aristobulus. But, when Pompeius arrived in Syria, he cancelled the orders of his subordinates and directed the Jews to resume their old constitution under high-priests, as the senate had recognized it about 593,(16) and to renounce along with the hereditary principality itself all the conquests made by the Hasmonaean princes. It was the Pharisees, who had sent an embassy of two hundred of their most respected men to the Roman general and procured from him the overthrow of the kingdom; not to the advantage of their own nation, but doubtless to that of the Romans, who from the nature of the case could not but here revert to the old rights of the Seleucids, and could not tolerate a conquering power like that of Jannaeus within the limits of their empire. Aristobulus was uncertain whether it was better patiently to acquiesce in his inevitable doom or to meet his fate with arms in hand; at one time he seemed on the point of submitting to Pompeius, at another he seemed as though he would summon the national party among the Jews to a struggle with the Romans. When at length, with the legions already at the gates, he yielded to the enemy, the more resolute or more fanatical portion of his army refused to comply with the orders of a king who was not free. The capital submitted; the steep temple-rock was defended by that fanatical band for three months with an obstinacy ready to brave death, till at last the besiegers effected an entrance while the besieged were resting on the Sabbath, possessed themselves of the sanctuary, and handed over the authors of that desperate resistance, so far as they had not fallen under the sword of the Romans, to the axes of the lictors. Thus ended the last resistance of the territories newly annexed to the Roman state.

The New Relations of the Romans in the East

The work begun by Lucullus had been completed by Pompeius; the hitherto formally independent states of Bithynia, Pontus, and Syria were united with the Roman state; the exchange—which had been recognized for more than a hundred years as necessary— of the feeble system of a protectorate for that of direct sovereignty over the more important dependent territories,(17) had at length been realized, as soon as the senate had been overthrown and the Gracchan party had come to the helm. Rome had obtained in the east new frontiers, new neighbours, new friendly and hostile relations. There were now added to the indirect territories of Rome the kingdom of Armenia and the principalities of the Caucasus, and also the kingdom on the Cimmerian Bosporus, the small remnant of the extensive conquests of Mithradates Eupator, now a client-state of Rome under the government of his son and murderer Pharnaces; the town of Phanagoria alone, whose commandant Castor had given the signal for the revolt, was on that account recognized by the Romans as free and independent.

Conflicts with the Nabataeans

No like successes could be boasted of against the Nabataeans. King Aretas had indeed, yielding to the desire of the Romans, evacuated Judaea; but Damascus was still in his hands, and the Nabataean land had not yet been trodden by any Roman soldier. To subdue that region or at least to show to their new neighbours in Arabia that the Roman eagles were now dominant on the Orontes and on the Jordan, and that the time had gone by when any one was free to levy contributions in the Syrian lands as a domain without a master, Pompeius began in 691 an expedition against Petra; but detained by the revolt of the Jews, which broke out during this expedition, he was not reluctant to leave to his successor Marcus Scaurus the carrying out of the difficult enterprise against the Nabataean city situated far off amidst the desert.(18) In reality Scaurus also soon found himself compelled to return without having accomplished his object. He had to content himself with making war on the Nabataeans in the deserts on the left bank of the Jordan, where he could lean for support on the Jews, but yet bore off only very trifling successes. Ultimately the adroit Jewish minister Antipater from Idumaea persuaded Aretas to purchase a guarantee for all his possessions, Damascus included, from the Roman governor for a sum of money; and this is the peace celebrated on the coins of Scaurus, where king Aretas appears—leading his camel— as a suppliant offering the olive branch to the Roman.

Difficulty with the Parthians

Far more fraught with momentous effects than these new relations of the Romans to the Armenians, Iberians, Bosporans, and Nabataeans was the proximity into which through the occupation of Syria they were brought with the Parthian state. Complaisant as had been the demeanour of Roman diplomacy towards Phraates while the Pontic and Armenian states still subsisted, willingly as both Lucullus and Pompeius had then conceded to him the possession of the regions beyond the Euphrates,(19) the new neighbour now sternly took up his position by the side of the Arsacids; and Phraates, if the royal art of forgetting his own faults allowed him, might well recall now the warning words of Mithradates that the Parthian by his alliance with the Occidentals against the kingdoms of kindred race paved the way first for their destruction and then for his own. Romans and Parthians in league had brought Armenia to ruin; when it was overthrown, Rome true to her old policy now reversed the parts and favoured the humbled foe at the expense of the powerful ally. The singular preference, which the father Tigranes experienced from Pompeius as contrasted with his son the ally and son-in-law of the Parthian king, was already part of this policy; it was a direct offence, when soon afterwards by the orders of Pompeius the younger Tigranes and his family were arrested and were not released even on Phraates interceding with the friendly general for his daughter and his son-in-law. But Pompeius paused not here. The province of Corduene, to which both Phraates and Tigranes laid claim, was at the command of Pompeius occupied by Roman troops for the latter, and the Parthians who were found in possession were driven beyond the frontier and pursued even as far as Arbela in Adiabene, without the government of Ctesiphon having even been previously heard (689). Far the most suspicious circumstance however was, that the Romans seemed not at all inclined to respect the boundary of the Euphrates fixed by treaty. On several occasions Roman divisions destined from Armenia for Syria marched across Mesopotamia; the Arab emir Abgarus of Osrhoene was received under singularly favourable conditions into Roman protection; nay, Oruros, situated in Upper Mesopotamia somewhere between Nisibis and the Tigris 220 miles eastward from the Commagenian passage of the Euphrates, was designated as the eastern limit of the Roman dominion— presumably their indirect dominion, inasmuch as the larger and more fertile northern half of Mesopotamia had been assigned by the Romans in like manner with Corduene to the Armenian empire. The boundary between Romans and Parthians thus became the great Syro-Mesopotamian desert instead of the Euphrates; and this too seemed only provisional. To the Parthian envoys, who came to insist on the maintenance of the agreements—which certainly, as it would seem, were only concluded orally—respecting the Euphrates boundary, Pompeius gave the ambiguous reply that the territory of Rome extended as far as her rights. The remarkable intercourse between the Roman commander-in-chief and the Parthian satraps of the region of Media and even of the distant province Elymais (between Susiana, Media, and Persia, in the modern Luristan) seemed a commentary on this speech.(20) The viceroys of this latter mountainous, warlike, and remote land had always exerted themselves to acquire a position independent of the great-king; it was the more offensive and menacing to the Parthian government, when Pompeius accepted the proffered homage of this dynast. Not less significant was the fact that the title of "king of kings," which had been hitherto conceded to the Parthian king by the Romans in official intercourse, was now all at once exchanged by them for the simple title of king. This was even more a threat than a violation of etiquette. Since Rome had entered on the heritage of the Seleucids, it seemed almost as if the Romans had a mind to revert at a convenient moment to those old times, when all Iran and Turan were ruled from Antioch, and there was as yet no Parthian empire but merely a Parthian satrapy. The court of Ctesiphon would thus have had reason enough for going to war with Rome; it seemed the prelude to its doing so, when in 690 it declared war on Armenia on account of the question of the frontier. But Phraates had not the courage to come to an open rupture with the Romans at a time when the dreaded general with his strong army was on the borders of the Parthian empire. When Pompeius sent commissioners to settle amicably the dispute between Parthia and Armenia, Phraates yielded to the Roman mediation forced upon him and acquiesced in their award, which assigned to the Armenians Corduene and northern Mesopotamia. Soon afterwards his daughter with her son and her husband adorned the triumph of the Roman general. Even the Parthians trembled before the superior power of Rome; and, if they had not, like the inhabitants of Pontus and Armenia, succumbed to the Roman arms, the reason seemed only to be that they had not ventured to stand the conflict.

Organization of the Provinces

There still devolved on the general the duty of regulating the internal relations of the newly-acquired provinces and of removing as far as possible the traces of a thirteen years' desolating war. The work of organization begun in Asia Minor by Lucullus and the commission associated with him, and in Crete by Metellus, received its final conclusion from Pompeius. The former province of Asia, which embraced Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Caria, was converted from a frontier province into a central one. The newly-erected provinces were, that of Bithynia and Pontus, which was formed out of the whole former kingdom of Nicomedes and the western half of the former Pontic state as far as and beyond the Halys; that of Cilicia, which indeed was older, but was now for the first time enlarged and organized in a manner befitting its name, and comprehended also Pamphylia and Isauria; that of Syria, and that of Crete. Much was no doubt wanting to render that mass of countries capable of being regarded as the territorial possession of Rome in the modern sense of the term. The form and order of the government remained substantially as they were; only the Roman community came in place of the former monarchs. Those Asiatic provinces consisted as formerly of a motley mixture of domanial possessions, urban territories de facto or de jure autonomous, lordships pertaining to princes and priests, and kingdoms, all of which were as regards internal administration more or less left to themselves, and in other respects were dependent, sometimes in milder sometimes in stricter forms, on the Roman government and its proconsuls very much as formerly on the great-king and his satraps.

Feudatory Kings

The first place, in rank at least, among the dependent dynasts was held by the king of Cappadocia, whose territory Lucullus had already enlarged by investing him with the province of Melitene (about Malatia) as far as the Euphrates, and to whom Pompeius farther granted on the western frontier some districts taken off Cilicia from Castabala as far as Derbe near Iconium, and on the eastern frontier the province of Sophene situated on the left bank of the Euphrates opposite Melitene and at first destined for the Armenian prince Tigranes; so that the most important passage of the Euphrates thus came wholly into the power of the Cappadocian prince. The small province of Commagene between Syria and Cappadocia with its capital Samosata (Samsat) remained a dependent kingdom in the hands of the already-named Seleucid Antiochus;(21) to him too were assigned the important fortress of Seleucia (near Biradjik) commanding the more southern passage of the Euphrates, and the adjoining tracts on the left bank of that river; and thus care was taken that the two chief passages of the Euphrates with a corresponding territory on the eastern bank were left in the hands of two dynasts wholly dependent on Rome. Alongside of the kings of Cappadocia and Commagene, and in real power far superior to them, the new king Deiotarus ruled in Asia Minor. One of the tetrarchs of the Celtic stock of the Tolistobogii settled round Pessinus, and summoned by Lucullus and Pompeius to render military service with the other small Roman clients, Deiotarus had in these campaigns so brilliantly proved his trustworthiness and his energy as contrasted with all the indolent Orientals that the Roman generals conferred upon him, in addition to his Galatian heritage and his possessions in the rich country between Amisus and the mouth of the Halys, the eastern half of the former Pontic empire with the maritime towns of Pharnacia and Trapezus and the Pontic Armenia as far as the frontier of Colchis and the Greater Armenia, to form the kingdom of Lesser Armenia. Soon afterwards he increased his already considerable territory by the country of the Celtic Trocmi, whose tetrarch he dispossessed. Thus the petty feudatory became one of the most powerful dynasts of Asia Minor, to whom might be entrusted the guardianship of an important part of the frontier of the empire.

Princes and Chiefs

Vassals of lesser importance were, the other numerous Galatian tetrarchs, one of whom, Bogodiatarus prince of the Trocmi, was on account of his tried valour in the Mithradatic war presented by Pompeius with the formerly Pontic frontier-town of Mithradatium; Attalus prince of Paphlagonia, who traced back his lineage to the old ruling house of the Pylaemenids; Aristarchus and other petty lords in the Colchian territory; Tarcondimotus who ruled in eastern Cilicia in the mountain-valleys of the Amanus; Ptolemaeus son of Mennaeus who continued to rule in Chalcis on the Libanus; Aretas king of the Nabataeans as lord of Damascus; lastly, the Arabic emirs in the countries on either side of the Euphrates, Abgarus in Osrhoene, whom the Romans endeavoured in every way to draw over to their interest with the view of using him as an advanced post against the Parthians, Sampsiceramus in Hemesa, Alchaudonius the Rhambaean, and another emir in Bostra.

Priestly Princes

To these fell to be added the spiritual lords who in the east frequently ruled over land and people like secular dynasts, and whose authority firmly established in that native home of fanaticism the Romans prudently refrained from disturbing, as they refrained from even robbing the temples of their treasures: the high-priest of the Goddess Mother in Pessinus; the two high-priests of the goddess Ma in the Cappadocian Comana (on the upper Sarus) and in the Pontic city of the same name (Gumenek near Tocat), both lords who were in their countries inferior only to the king in power, and each of whom even at a much later period possessed extensive estates with special jurisdiction and about six thousand temple-slaves—Archelaus, son of the general of that name who passed over from Mithradates to the Romans, was invested by Pompeius with the Pontic high-priesthood—the high-priest of the Venasian Zeus in the Cappadocian district of Morimene, whose revenues amounted annually to 3600 pounds (15 talents); the "archpriest and lord" of that territory in Cilicia Trachea, where Teucer the son of Ajax had founded a temple to Zeus, over which his descendants presided by virtue of hereditary right; the "arch-priest and lord of the people" of the Jews, to whom Pompeius, after having razed the walls of the capital and the royal treasuries and strongholds in the land, gave back the presidency of the nation with a serious admonition to keep the peace and no longer to aim at conquests.

Urban Communities

Alongside of these secular and spiritual potentates stood the urban communities. These were partly associated into larger unions which rejoiced in a comparative independence, such as in particular the league of the twenty-three Lycian cities, which was well organized and constantly, for instance, kept aloof from participation in the disorders of piracy; whereas the numerous detached communities, even if they had self-government secured by charter, were in practice wholly dependent on the Roman governors.

Elevation of Urban Life in Asia

The Romans failed not to see that with the task of representing Hellenism and protecting and extending the domain of Alexander in the east there devolved on them the primary duty of elevating the urban system; for, while cities are everywhere the pillars of civilization, the antagonism between Orientals and Occidentals was especially and most sharply embodied in the contrast between the Oriental, military-despotic, feudal hierarchy and the Helleno- Italic urban commonwealth prosecuting trade and commerce. Lucullus and Pompeius, however little they in other respects aimed at the reduction of things to one level in the east, and however much the latter was disposed in questions of detail to censure and alter the arrangements of his predecessor, were yet completely agreed in the principle of promoting as far as they could an urban life in Asia Minor and Syria. Cyzicus, on whose vigorous resistance the first violence of the last war had spent itself, received from Lucullus a considerable extension of its domain. The Pontic Heraclea, energetically as it had resisted the Romans, yet recovered its territory and its harbours; and the barbarous fury of Cotta against the unhappy city met with the sharpest censure in the senate. Lucullus had deeply and sincerely regretted that fate had refused him the happiness of rescuing Sinope and Amisus from devastation by the Pontic soldiery and his own: he did at least what he could to restore them, extended considerably their territories, peopled them afresh—partly with the old inhabitants, who at his invitation returned in troops to their beloved homes, partly with new settlers of Hellenic descent—and provided for the reconstruction of the buildings destroyed. Pompeius acted in the same spirit and on a greater scale. Already after the subjugation of the pirates he had, instead of following the example of his predecessors and crucifying his prisoners, whose number exceeded 20,000, settled them partly in the desolated cities of the Plain Cilicia, such as Mallus, Adana, Epiphaneia, and especially in Soli, which thenceforth bore the name of Pompeius' city (Pompeiupolis), partly at Dyme in Achaia, and even at Tarentum. This colonizing by means of pirates met with manifold censure,(22) as it seemed in some measure to set a premium on crime; in reality it was, politically and morally, well justified, for, as things then stood, piracy was something different from robbery and the prisoners might fairly be treated according to martial law.

New Towns Established

But Pompeius made it his business above all to promote urban life in the new Roman provinces. We have already observed how poorly provided with towns the Pontic empire was:(23) most districts of Cappadocia even a century after this had no towns, but merely mountain fortresses as a refuge for the agricultural population in war; the whole east of Asia Minor, apart from the sparse Greek colonies on the coasts, must have been at this time in a similar plight. The number of towns newly established by Pompeius in these provinces is, including the Cilician settlements, stated at thirty- nine, several of which attained great prosperity. The most notable of these townships in the former kingdom of Pontus were Nicopolis, the "city of victory," founded on the spot where Mithradates sustained the last decisive defeat(24)—the fairest memorial of a general rich in similar trophies; Megalopolis, named from Pompeius' surname, on the frontier of Cappadocia and Lesser Armenia, the subsequent Sebasteia (now Siwas); Ziela, where the Romans fought the unfortunate battle,(25) a township which had arisen round the temple of Anaitis there and hitherto had belonged to its high- priest, and to which Pompeius now gave the form and privileges of a city; Diopolis, formerly Cabira, afterwards Neocaesarea (Niksar), likewise one of the battle-fields of the late war; Magnopolis or Pompeiupolis, the restored Eupatoria at the confluence of the Lycus and the Iris, originally built by Mithradates, but again destroyed by him on account of the defection of the city to the Romans;(26) Neapolis, formerly Phazemon, between Amasia and the Halys. Most of the towns thus established were formed not by bringing colonists from a distance, but by the suppression of villages and the collection of their inhabitants within the new ring-wall; only in Nicopolis Pompeius settled the invalids and veterans of his army, who preferred to establish a home for themselves there at once rather than afterwards in Italy. But at other places also there arose on the suggestion of the regent new centres of Hellenic civilization. In Paphlagonia a third Pompeiupolis marked the spot where the army of Mithradates in 666 achieved the great victory over the Bithynians.(27) In Cappadocia, which perhaps had suffered more than any other province by the war, the royal residence Mazaca (afterwards Caesarea, now Kaisarieh) and seven other townships were re-established by Pompeius and received urban institutions. In Cilicia and Coelesyria there were enumerated twenty towns laid out by Pompeius. In the districts ceded by the Jews, Gadara in the Decapolis rose from its ruins at the command of Pompeius, and the city of Seleucis was founded. By far the greatest portion of the domain-land at his disposal on the Asiatic continent must have been applied by Pompeius for his new settlements; whereas in Crete, about which Pompeius troubled himself little or not at all, the Roman domanial possessions seem to have continued tolerably extensive.

Pompeius was no less intent on regulating and elevating the existing communities than on founding new townships. The abuses and usurpations which prevailed were done away with as far as lay in his power; detailed ordinances drawn up carefully for the different provinces regulated the particulars of the municipal system. A number of the most considerable cities had fresh privileges conferred on them. Autonomy was bestowed on Antioch on the Orontes, the most important city of Roman Asia and but little inferior to the Egyptian Alexandria and to the Bagdad of antiquity, the city of Seleucia in the Parthian empire; as also on the neighbour of Antioch, the Pierian Seleucia, which was thus rewarded for its courageous resistance to Tigranes; on Gaza and generally on all the towns liberated from the Jewish rule; on Mytilene in the west of Asia Minor; and on Phanagoria on the Black Sea.

Aggregate Results

Thus was completed the structure of the Roman state in Asia, which with its feudatory kings and vassals, its priests made into princes, and its series of free and half-free cities puts us vividly in mind of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. It was no miraculous work, either as respects the difficulties overcome or as respects the consummation attained; nor was it made so by all the high-sounding words, which the Roman world of quality lavished in favour of Lucullus and the artless multitude in praise of Pompeius. Pompeius in particular consented to be praised, and praised himself, in such a fashion that people might almost have reckoned him still more weak-minded than he really was. If the Mytilenaeans erected a statue to him as their deliverer and founder, as the man who had as well by land as by sea terminated the wars with which the world was filled, such a homage might not seem too extravagant for the vanquisher of the pirates and of the empires of the east. But the Romans this time surpassed the Greeks. The triumphal inscriptions of Pompeius himself enumerated 12 millions of people as subjugated and 1538 cities and strongholds as conquered—it seemed as if quantity was to make up for quality— and made the circle of his victories extend from the Maeotic Sea to the Caspian and from the latter to the Red Sea, when his eyes had never seen any one of the three; nay farther, if he did not exactly say so, he at any late induced the public to suppose that the annexation of Syria, which in truth was no heroic deed, had added the whole east as far as Bactria and India to the Roman empire— so dim was the mist of distance, amidst which according to his statements the boundary-line of his eastern conquests was lost. The democratic servility, which has at all times rivalled that of courts, readily entered into these insipid extravagances. It was not satisfied by the pompous triumphal procession, which moved through the streets of Rome on the 28th and 29th Sept. 693— the forty-sixth birthday of Pompeius the Great—adorned, to say nothing of jewels of all sorts, by the crown insignia of Mithradates and by the children of the three mightiest kings of Asia, Mithradates, Tigranes, and Phraates; it rewarded its general, who had conquered twenty-two kings, with regal honours and bestowed on him the golden chaplet and the insignia of the magistracy for life. The coins struck in his honour exhibit the globe itself placed amidst the triple laurels brought home from the three continents, and surmounted by the golden chaplet conferred by the burgesses on the man who had triumphed over Africa, Spain, and Asia. It need excite no surprise, if in presence of such childish acts of homage voices were heard of an opposite import. Among the Roman world of quality it was currently affirmed that the true merit of having subdued the east belonged to Lucullus, and that Pompeius had only gone thither to supplant Lucullus and to wreathe around his own brow the laurels which another hand had plucked. Both statements were totally erroneous: it was not Pompeius but Glabrio that was sent to Asia to relieve Lucullus, and, bravely as Lucullus had fought, it was a fact that, when Pompeius took the supreme command, the Romans had forfeited all their earlier successes and had not a foot's breadth of Pontic soil in their possession. More pointed and effective was the ridicule of the inhabitants of the capital, who failed not to nickname the mighty conqueror of the globe after the great powers which he had conquered, and saluted him now as "conqueror of Salem," now as "emir" (-Arabarches-), now as the Roman Sampsiceramus.

Lucullus and Pompeius as Administrators

The unprejudiced judge will not agree either with those exaggerations or with these disparagements. Lucullus and Pompeius, in subduing and regulating Asia, showed themselves to be, not heroes and state-creators, but sagacious and energetic army-leaders and governors. As general Lucullus displayed no common talents and a self-confidence bordering on rashness, while Pompeius displayed military judgment and a rare self-restraint; for hardly has any general with such forces and a position so wholly free ever acted so cautiously as Pompeius in the east. The most brilliant undertakings, as it were, offered themselves to him on all sides; he was free to start for the Cimmerian Bosporus and for the Red Sea; he had opportunity of declaring war against the Parthians; the revolted provinces of Egypt invited him to dethrone king Ptolemaeus who was not recognized by the Romans, and to carry out the testament of Alexander; but Pompeius marched neither to Panticapaeum nor to Petra, neither to Ctesiphon nor to Alexandria; throughout he gathered only those fruits which of themselves fell to his hand. In like manner he fought all his battles by sea and land with a crushing superiority of force. Had this moderation proceeded from the strict observance of the instructions given to him, as Pompeius was wont to profess, or even from a perception that the conquests of Rome must somewhere find a limit and that fresh accessions of territory were not advantageous to the state, it would deserve a higher praise than history confers on the most talented officer; but constituted as Pompeius was, his self- restraint was beyond doubt solely the result of his peculiar want of decision and of initiative—defects, indeed, which were in his case far more useful to the state than the opposite excellences of his predecessor. Certainly very grave errors were perpetrated both by Lucullus and by Pompeius. Lucullus reaped their fruits himself, when his imprudent conduct wrested from him all the results of his victories; Pompeius left it to his successors to bear the consequences of his false policy towards the Parthians. He might either have made war on the Parthians, if he had had the courage to do so, or have maintained peace with them and recognized, as he had promised, the Euphrates as boundary; he was too timid for the former course, too vain for the latter, and so he resorted to the silly perfidy of rendering the good neighbourhood, which the court of Ctesiphon desired and on its part practised, impossible through the most unbounded aggressions, and yet allowing the enemy to choose of themselves the time for rupture and retaliation. As administrator of Asia Lucullus acquired a more than princely wealth; and Pompeius also received as reward for its organization large sums in cash and still more considerable promissory notes from the king of Cappadocia, from the rich city of Antioch, and from other lords and communities. But such exactions had become almost a customary tax; and both generals showed themselves at any rate to be not altogether venal in questions of greater importance, and, if possible, got themselves paid by the party whose interests coincided with those of Rome. Looking to the state of the times, this does not prevent us from characterizing the administration of both as comparatively commendable and conducted primarily in the interest of Rome, secondarily in that of the provincials.

The conversion of the clients into subjects, the better regulation of the eastern frontier, the establishment of a single and strong government, were full of blessing for the rulers as well as for the ruled. The financial gain acquired by Rome was immense; the new property tax, which with the exception of some specially exempted communities all those princes, priests, and cities had to pay to Rome, raised the Roman state-revenues almost by a half above their former amount. Asia indeed suffered severely. Pompeius brought in money and jewels an amount of 2,000,000 pounds (200,000,000 sesterces) into the state-chest and distributed 3,900,000 pounds (16,000 talents) among his officers and soldiers; if we add to this the considerable sums brought home by Lucullus, the non-official exactions of the Roman army, and the amount of the damage done by the war, the financial exhaustion of the land may be readily conceived. The Roman taxation of Asia was perhaps in itself not worse than that of its earlier rulers, but it formed a heavier burden on the land, in so far as the taxes thenceforth went out of the country and only the lesser portion of the proceeds was again expended in Asia; and at any rate it was, in the old as well as the newly-acquired provinces, based on a systematic plundering of the provinces for the benefit of Rome. But the responsibility for this rests far less on the generals personally than on the parties at home, whom these had to consider; Lucullus had even exerted himself energetically to set limits to the usurious dealings of the Roman capitalists in Asia, and this essentially contributed to bring about his fall. How much both men earnestly sought to revive the prosperity of the reduced provinces, is shown by their action in cases where no considerations of party policy tied their hands, and especially in their care for the cities of Asia Minor. Although for centuries afterwards many an Asiatic village lying in ruins recalled the times of the great war, Sinope might well begin a new era with the date of its re-establishment by Lucullus, and almost all the more considerable inland towns of the Pontic kingdom might gratefully honour Pompeius as their founder. The organization of Roman Asia by Lucullus and Pompeius may with all its undeniable defects be described as on the whole judicious and praiseworthy; serious as were the evils that might still adhere to it, it could not but be welcome to the sorely tormented Asiatics for the very reason that it came attended by the inward and outward peace, the absence of which had been so long and so painfully felt.

The East after the Departure of Pompeius

Peace continued substantially in the east, till the idea—merely indicated by Pompeius with his characteristic timidity—of joining the regions eastward of the Euphrates to the Roman empire was taken up again energetically but unsuccessfully by the new triumvirate of Roman regents, and soon thereafter the civil war drew the eastern provinces as well as all the rest into its fatal vortex. In the interval the governors of Cilicia had to fight constantly with the mountain-tribes of the Amanus and those of Syria with the hordes of the desert, and in the latter war against the Bedouins especially many Roman troops were destroyed; but these movements had no farther significance. More remarkable was the obstinate resistance, which the tough Jewish nation opposed to the conquerors. Alexander, son of the deposed king Aristobulus, and Aristobulus himself who after some time succeeded in escaping from captivity, excited during the governorship of Aulus Gabinius (697-700) three different revolts against the new rulers, to each of which the government of the high-priest Hyrcanus installed by Rome impotently succumbed. It was not political conviction, but the invincible repugnance of the Oriental towards the unnatural yoke, which compelled them to kick against the pricks; as indeed the last and most dangerous of these revolts, for which the withdrawal of the Syrian army of occupation in consequence of the Egyptian crisis furnished the immediate impulse, began with the murder of the Romans settled in Palestine. It was not without difficulty that the able governor succeeded in rescuing the few Romans, who had escaped this fate and found a temporary refuge on Mount Gerizim, from the insurgents who kept them blockaded there, and in overpowering the revolt after several severely contested battles and tedious sieges. In consequence of this the monarchy of the high-priests was abolished and the Jewish land was broken up as Macedonia had formerly been, into five independent districts administered by governing colleges with an Optimate organization; Samaria and other townships razed by the Jews were re-established, to form a counterpoise to Jerusalem; and lastly a heavier tribute was imposed on the Jews than on the other Syrian subjects of Rome.

The Kingdom of Egypt

It still remains that we should glance at the kingdom of Egypt along with the last dependency that remained to it of the extensive acquisitions of the Lagids, the fair island of Cyprus. Egypt was now the only state of the Hellenic east that was still at least nominally independent; just as formerly, when the Persians established themselves along the eastern half of the Mediterranean, Egypt was their last conquest, so now the mighty conquerors from the west long delayed the annexation of that opulent and peculiar country. The reason lay, as was already indicated, neitherin any fear of the resistance of Egypt nor in the want of a fitting occasion. Egypt was just about as powerless as Syria, and had already in 673 fallen in all due form of law to the Roman community.(28) The control exercised over the court of Alexandria by the royal guard—which appointed and deposed ministers and occasionally kings, took for itself what it pleased, and, if it was refused a rise of pay, besieged the king in his palace— was by no means liked in the country or rather in the capital (for the country with its population of agricultural slaves was hardly taken into account); and at least a party there wished for the annexation of Egypt by Rome, and even took steps to procure it But the less the kings of Egypt could think of contending in arms against Rome, the more energetically Egyptian gold set itself to resist the Roman plans of union; and in consequence of the peculiar despotico- communistic centralization of the Egyptian finances the revenues of the court of Alexandria were still nearly equal to the public income of Rome even after its augmentation by Pompeius. The suspicious jealousy of the oligarchy, which was chary of allowing any individual either to conquer or to administer Egypt, operated in the same direction. So the de facto rulers of Egypt and Cyprus were enabled by bribing the leading men in the senate not merely to respite their tottering crowns, but even to fortify them afresh and to purchase from the senate the confirmation of their royal title. But with this they had not yet obtained their object. Formal state-law required a decree of the Roman burgesses; until this was issued, the Ptolemies were dependent on the caprice of every democratic holder of power, and they had thus to commence the warfare of bribery also against the other Roman party, which as the more powerful stipulated for far higher prices.

Cyprus Annexed

The result in the two cases was different. The annexation of Cyprus was decreed in 696 by the people, that is, by the leaders of the democracy, the support given to piracy by the Cypriots being alleged as the official reason why that course should now be adopted. Marcus Cato, entrusted by his opponents with the execution of this measure, came to the island without an army; but he had no need of one. The king took poison; the inhabitants submitted without offering resistance to their inevitable fate, and were placed under the governor of Cilicia. The ample treasure of nearly 7000 talents (1,700,000 pounds), which the equally covetous and miserly king could not prevail on himself to apply for the bribes requisite to save his crown, fell along with the latter to the Romans, and filled after a desirable fashion the empty vaults of their treasury.

Ptolemaeus in Egypt Recognized but Expelled by His Subjects

On the other hand the brother who reigned in Egypt succeeded in purchasing his recognition by decree of the people from the new masters of Rome in 695; the purchase-money is said to have amounted to 6000 talents (1,460,000 pounds). The citizens indeed, long exasperated against their good flute-player and bad ruler, and now reduced to extremities by the definitive loss of Cyprus and the pressure of the taxes which were raised to an intolerable degree in consequence of the transactions with the Romans (696), chased him on that account out of the country. When the king thereupon applied, as if on account of his eviction from the estate which he had purchased, to those who sold it, these were reasonable enough to see that it was their duty as honest men of business to get back his kingdom for Ptolemaeus; only the parties could not agree as to the person to whom the important charge of occupying Egypt by force along with the perquisites thence to be expected should be assigned. It was only when the triumvirate was confirmed anew at the conference of Luca, that this affair was also arranged, after Ptolemaeus had agreed to a further payment of 10,000 talents (2,400,000 pounds); the governor of Syria, Aulus Gabinius, now obtained orders from those in power to take the necessary steps immediately for bringing back the king. The citizens of Alexandria had meanwhile placed the crown on the head of Berenice the eldest daughter of the ejected king, and given to her a husband in the person of one of the spiritual princes of Roman Asia, Archelaus the high-priest of Comana,(29) who possessed ambition enough to hazard his secure and respectable position in the hope of mounting the throne of the Lagids. His attempts to gain the Roman regents to his interests remained without success; but he did not recoil before the idea of being obliged to maintain his new kingdom with arms in hand even against the Romans.

And Brought Back by Gabinius
A Roman Garrison Remains in Alexandria

Gabinius, without ostensible powers to undertake war against Egypt but directed to do so by the regents, made a pretext out of the alleged furtherance of piracy by the Egyptians and the building of a fleet by Archelaus, and started without delay for the Egyptian frontier (699). The march through the sandy desert between Gaza and Pelusium, in which so many invasions previously directed against Egypt had broken down, was on this occasion successfully accomplished—a result especially due to the quick and skilful leader of the cavalry Marcus Antonius. The frontier fortress of Pelusium also was surrendered without resistance by the Jewish garrison stationed there. In front of this city the Romans met the Egyptians, defeated them—on which occasion Antonius again distinguished himself—and arrived, as the first Roman army, at the Nile. Here the fleet and army of the Egyptians were drawn up for the last decisive struggle; but the Romans once more conquered, and Archelaus himself with many of his followers perished in the combat. Immediately after this battle the capital surrendered, and therewith all resistance was at an end. The unhappy land was handed over to its legitimate oppressor; the hanging and beheading, with which, but for the intervention of the chivalrous Antonius, Ptolemaeus would have already in Pelusium begun to celebrate the restoration of the legitimate government, now took its course unhindered, and first of all the innocent daughter was sent by her father to the scaffold. The payment of the reward agreed upon with the regents broke down through the absolute impossibility of exacting from the exhausted land the enormous sums required, although they took from the poor people the last penny; but care was taken that the country should at least be kept quiet by the garrison of Roman infantry and Celtic and German cavalry left in the capital, which took the place of the native praetorians and otherwise emulated them not unsuccessfully. The previous hegemony of Rome over Egypt was thus converted into a direct military occupation, and the nominal continuance of the native monarchy was not so much a privilege granted to the land as a double burden imposed on it.

Chapter V

The Struggle of Parties During the Absence of Pompeius.

The Defeated Aristocracy

With the passing of the Gabinian law the parties in the capital changed positions. From the time that the elected general of the democracy held in his hand the sword, his party, or what was reckoned such, had the preponderance in the capital. The nobility doubtless still stood in compact array, and still as before there issued from the comitial machinery none but consuls, who according to the expression of the democrats were already designated to the consulate in their cradles; to command the elections andbreak down the influence of the old families over them was beyond the power even of the holders of power. But unfortunately the consulate, at the very moment when they had got the length of virtually excluding the "new men" from it, began itself to grow pale before the newly- risen star of the exceptional military power. The aristocracy felt this, though they did not exactly confess it; they gave themselves up as lost. Except Quintus Catulus, who with honourable firmness persevered at his far from pleasant post as champion of a vanquished party down to his death (694), no Optimate could be named from the highest ranks of the nobility, who would have sustained the interests of the aristocracy with courage and steadfastness. Their very men of most talent and fame, such as Quintus Metellus Pius and Lucius Lucullus, practically abdicated and retired, so far as they could at all do so with propriety, to their villas, in order to forget as much as possible the Forum and the senate-house amidst their gardens and libraries, their aviaries and fish-ponds. Still more, of course, was this the case with the younger generation of the aristocracy, which was either wholly absorbed in luxury and literature or turning towards the rising sun.


There was among the younger men a single exception; it was Marcus Porcius Cato (born in 659), a man of the best intentions and of rare devotedness, and yet one of the most Quixotic and one of the most cheerless phenomena in this age so abounding in political caricatures. Honourable and steadfast, earnest in purpose and in action, full of attachment to his country and to its hereditary constitution, but dull in intellect and sensuously as well as morally destitute of passion, he might certainly have made a tolerable state-accountant. But unfortunately he fell early under the power of formalism, and swayed partly by the phrases of the Stoa, which in their abstract baldness and spiritless isolation were current among the genteel world of that day, partly by the example of his great-grandfather whom he deemed it his especial task to reproduce, he began to walk about in the sinful capital as a model burgess and mirror of virtue, to scold at the times like the old Cato, to travel on foot instead of riding, to take no interest, to decline badges of distinction as a soldier, and to introduce the restoration of the good old days by going after the precedent of king Romulus without a shirt. A strange caricature of his ancestor—the gray-haired farmer whom hatred and anger made an orator, who wielded in masterly style the plough as well as the sword, who with his narrow, but original and sound common sense ordinarily hit the nail on the head—was this young unimpassioned pedant from whose lips dropped scholastic wisdom and who was everywhere seen sitting book in hand, this philosopher who understood neither the art of war nor any other art whatever, this cloud-walker in the realm of abstract morals. Yet he attained to moral and thereby even to political importance. In an utterly wretched and cowardly age his courage and his negative virtues told powerfully on the multitude; he even formed a school, and there were individuals—it is true they were but few—who in their turn copied and caricatured afresh the living pattern of a philosopher. On the same cause depended also his political influence. As he was the only conservative of note who possessed if not talent and insight, at any rate integrity and courage, and was always ready to throw himself into the breach whether it was necessary to do so or not, he soon became the recognized champion of the Optimate party, although neither his age nor his rank nor his intellect entitled him to be so. Where the perseverance of a single resolute man could decide, he no doubt sometimes achieved a success, and in questions of detail, more particularly of a financial character, he often judiciously interfered, as indeed he was absent from no meeting of the senate; his quaestorship in fact formed an epoch, and as long as he lived he checked the details of the public budget, regarding which he maintained of course a constant warfare with the farmers of the taxes. For the rest, he lacked simply every ingredient of a statesman. He was incapable of even comprehending a political aim and of surveying political relations; his whole tactics consisted in setting his face against every one who deviated or seemed to him to deviate from the traditionary moral and political catechism of the aristocracy, and thus of course he worked as often into the hands of his opponents as into those of his own party. The Don Quixote of the aristocracy, he proved by his character and his actions that at this time, while there was certainly still an aristocracy in existence, the aristocratic policy was nothing more than a chimera.

Democratic Attacks

To continue the conflict with this aristocracy brought little honour. Of course the attacks of the democracy on the vanquished foe did not on that account cease. The pack of the Populares threw themselves on the broken ranks of the nobility like the sutlers on a conquered camp, and the surface at least of politics was by this agitation ruffled into high waves of foam. The multitude entered into the matter the more readily, as Gaius Caesar especially kept them in good humour by the extravagant magnificence of his games (689)—in which all the equipments, even the cages of the wild beasts, appeared of massive silver—and generally by a liberality which was all the more princely that it was based solely on the contraction of debt. The attacks on the nobility were of the most varied kind. The abuses of aristocratic rule afforded copious materials; magistrates and advocates who were liberal or assumed a liberal hue, like Gaius Cornelius, Aulus Gabinius, Marcus Cicero, continued systematically to unveil the most offensive and scandalous aspects of the Optimate doings and to propose laws against them. The senate was directed to give access to foreign envoys on set days, with the view of preventing the usual postponement of audiences. Loans raised by foreign ambassadors in Rome were declared non-actionable, as this was the only means of seriously checking the corruptions which formed the order of the day in the senate (687). The right of the senate to give dispensation in particular cases from the laws was restricted (687); as was also the abuse whereby every Roman of rank, who had private business to attend to in the provinces, got himself invested by the senate with the character of a Roman envoy thither (691). They heightened the penalties against the purchase of votes and electioneering intrigues (687, 691); which latter were especially increased in a scandalous fashion by the attempts of the individuals ejected from the senate(1) to get back to it through re-election.

What had hitherto been simply understood as matter of course was now expressly laid down as a law, that the praetors were bound to administer justice in conformity with the rules set forth by them, after the Roman fashion, at their entering on office (687).


But, above all, efforts were made to complete the democratic restoration and to realize the leading ideas of the Gracchan period in a form suitable to the times. The election of the priests by the comitia, which Gnaeus Domitius had introduced(2) and Sulla had again done away,(3) was established by a law of the tribune of the people Titus Labienus in 691. The democrats were fond of pointing out how much was still wanting towards the restoration of the Sempronian corn-laws in their full extent, and at the same time passed over in silence the fact that under the altered circumstances—with the straitened condition of the public finances and the great increase in the number of fully-privileged Roman citizens—that restoration was absolutely impracticable. In the country between the Po and the Alps they zealously fostered the agitation for political equality with the Italians. As early as 686 Gaius Caesar travelled from place to place there for this purpose; in 689 Marcus Crassus as censor made arrangements to enrol the inhabitants directly in the burgess-roll—which was only frustrated by the resistance of his colleague; in the following censorships this attempt seems regularly to have been repeated. As formerly Gracchus and Flaccus had been the patrons of the Latins, so the present leaders of the democracy gave themselves forth as protectors of the Transpadanes, and Gaius Piso (consul in 687) had bitterly to regret that he had ventured to outrage one of these clients of Caesar and Crassus. On the other hand the same leaders appeared by no means disposed to advocate the political equalization of the freedmen; the tribune of the people Gaius Manilius, who in a thinly attended assembly had procured the renewal (31 Dec. 687) of the Sulpician law as to the suffrage of freedmen,(4) was immediately disavowed by the leading men of the democracy, and with their consent the law was cancelled by the senate on the very day after its passing. In the same spirit all the strangers, who possessed neither Roman nor Latin burgess- rights, were ejected from the capital by decree of the people in 689. It is obvious that the intrinsic inconsistency of the Gracchan policy—in abetting at once the effort of the excluded to obtain admission into the circle of the privileged, and the effort of the privileged to maintain their distinctive rights—had passed over to their successors; while Caesar and his friends on the one hand held forth to the Transpadanes the prospect of the franchise, they on the other hand gave their assent to the continuance of the disabilities of the freedmen, and to the barbarous setting aside of the rivalry which the industry and trading skill of the Hellenes and Orientals maintained with the Italians in Italy itself.

Process against Rabirius

The mode in which the democracy dealt with the ancient criminal jurisdiction of the comitia was characteristic. It had not been properly abolished by Sulla, but practically the jury-commissions on high treason and murder had superseded it,(5) and no rational man could think of seriously re-establishing the old procedure which long before Sulla had been thoroughly unpractical. But as the idea of the sovereignty of the people appeared to require a recognition at least in principle of the penal jurisdiction of the burgesses, the tribune of the people Titus Labienus in 691 brought the old man, who thirty-eight years before had slain or was alleged to have slain the tribune of the people Lucius Saturninus,(6) before the same high court of criminal jurisdiction, by virtue of which, if the annals reported truly, king Tullus had procured the acquittal of the Horatius who had killed his sister. The accused was one Gaius Rabirius, who, if he had not killed Saturninus, had at least paraded with his cut-off head at the tables of men of rank, and who moreover was notorious among the Apulian landholders for his kidnapping and his bloody deeds. The object, if not of the accuser himself, at any rate of the more sagacious men who backed him, was not at all to make this pitiful wretch die the death of the cross; they were not unwilling to acquiesce, when first the form of the impeachment was materially modified by the senate, and then the assembly of the people called to pronounce sentence on the guilty was dissolved under some sort of pretext by the opposite party—so that the whole procedure was set aside. At all events by this process the two palladia of Roman freedom, the right of the citizens to appeal and the inviolability of the tribunes of the people, were once more established as practical rights, and the legal basis on which the democracy rested was adjusted afresh.

Personal Attacks

The democratic reaction manifested still greater vehemence in all personal questions, wherever it could and dared. Prudence indeed enjoined it not to urge the restoration of the estates confiscated by Sulla to their former owners, that it might not quarrel with its own allies and at the same time fall into a conflict with material interests, for which a policy with a set purpose is rarelya match; the recall of the emigrants was too closely connected with this question of property not to appear quite as unadvisable. On the other hand great exertions were made to restore to the children of the proscribed the political rights withdrawn from them (691), and the heads of the senatorial party were incessantly subjected to personal attacks. Thus Gaius Memmius set on foot a process aimed at Marcus Lucullus in 688. Thus they allowed his more famous brother to wait for three years before the gates of the capital for his well-deserved triumph (688-691). Quintus Rex and the conqueror of Crete Quintus Metellus were similarly insulted.

It produced a still greater sensation, when the young leader of the democracy Gaius Caesar in 691 not merely presumed to compete with the two most distinguished men of the nobility, Quintus Catulus and Publius Servilius the victor of Isaura, in the candidature for the supreme pontificate, but even carried the day among the burgesses. The heirs of Sulla, especially his son Faustus, found themselves constantly threatened with an action for the refunding of the public moneys which, it was alleged, had been embezzled by the regent. They talked even of resuming the democratic impeachments suspended in 664 on the basis of the Varian law.(7) The individuals who had taken part in the Sullan executions were, as may readily be conceived, judicially prosecuted with the utmost zeal. When the quaestor Marcus Cato, in his pedantic integrity, himself made a beginning by demanding back from them the rewards which they had received for murder as property illegally alienated from the state (689), it can excite no surprise that in the following year (690) Gaius Caesar, as president of the commission regarding murder, summarily treated the clause in the Sullan ordinance, which declared that a proscribed person might be killed with impunity, as null and void, and caused the most noted of Sulla's executioners, Lucius Catilina, Lucius Bellienus, Lucius Luscius to be brought before his jurymen and, partially, to be condemned.

Rehabilitation of Saturninus and Marius

Lastly, they did not hesitate now to name once more in public the long-proscribed names of the heroes and martyrs of the democracy, and to celebrate their memory. We have already mentioned how Saturninus was rehabilitated by the process directed against his murderer. But a different sound withal had the name of Gaius Marius, at the mention of which all hearts once had throbbed; and it happened that the man, to whom Italy owed her deliverance from the northern barbarians, was at the same time the uncle of the present leader of the democracy. Loudly had the multitude rejoiced, when in 686 Gaius Caesar ventured in spite of the prohibitions publicly to show the honoured features of the hero in the Forum at the interment of the widow of Marius. But when, three years afterwards (689), the emblems of victory, which Marius had caused to be erected in the Capitol and Sulla had ordered to be thrown down, one morning unexpectedly glittered afresh in gold and marble at the old spot, the veterans from the African and Cimbrian wars crowded, with tears in their eyes, around the statue of their beloved general; and in presence of the rejoicing masses the senate did not venture to seize the trophies which the same bold hand had renewed in defiance of the laws.

Worthlessness of the Democratic Successes

But all these doings and disputes, however much noise they made, were, politically considered, of but very subordinate importance. The oligarchy was vanquished; the democracy had attained the helm. That underlings of various grades should hasten to inflict an additional kick on the prostrate foe; that the democrats also should have their basis in law and their worship of principles; that their doctrinaires should not rest till the whole privileges of the community were in all particulars restored, and should in that respect occasionally make themselves ridiculous, as legitimists are wont to do—all this was just as much to be expected as it was matter of indifference. Taken as a whole, the agitation was aimless; and we discern in it the perplexity of its authors to find an object for their activity, for it turned almost wholly on things already essentially settled or on subordinate matters.

Impending Collision between the Democrats and Pompeius

It could not be otherwise. In the struggle with the aristocracy the democrats had remained victors; but they had not conquered alone, and the fiery trial still awaited them—the reckoning not with their former foe, but with their too powerful ally, to whom in the struggle with the aristocracy they were substantially indebted for victory, and to whose hands they had now entrusted an unexampled military and political power, because they dared not refuse it to him. The general of the east and of the seas was still employed in appointing and deposing kings. How long time he would take for that work, or when he would declare the business of the war to be ended, no one could tell but himself; since like everything else the time of his return to Italy, or in other words the day of decision, was left in his own hands. The parties in Rome meanwhile sat and waited. The Optimates indeed looked forward to the arrival of the dreaded general with comparative calmness; by the rupture between Pompeius and the democracy, which they saw to be approaching, they could not lose, but could only gain. The democrats on the contrary waited with painful anxiety, and sought, during the interval still allowed to them by the absence of Pompeius, to lay a countermine against the impending explosion.

Schemes for Appointing a Democratic Military Dictatorship

In this policy they again coincided with Crassus, to whom no course was left for encountering his envied and hated rival but that of allying himself afresh, and more closely than before, with the democracy. Already in the first coalition a special approximation had taken place between Caesar and Crassus as the two weaker parties; a common interest and a common danger tightened yet more the bond which joined the richest and the most insolvent of Romans in closest alliance. While in public the democrats described the absent general as the head and pride of their party and seemed to direct all their arrows against the aristocracy, preparations were secretly made against Pompeius; and these attempts of the democracy to escape from the impending military dictatorship have historically a far higher significance than the noisy agitation, for the most part employed only as a mask, against the nobility. It is true that they were carried on amidst a darkness, upon which our tradition allows only some stray gleams of light to fall; for not the present alone, but the succeeding age also had its reasons for throwing a veil over the matter. But in general both the course and the object of these efforts are completely clear. The military power could only be effectually checkmated by another military power. The design of the democrats was to possess themselves of the reins of government after the example of Marius and Cinna, then to entrust one of their leaders either with the conquest of Egypt or with the governorship of Spain or some similar ordinary or extraordinary office, and thus to find in him and his military force a counterpoise to Pompeius and his army. For this they required a revolution, which was directed immediately against the nominal government, but in reality against Pompeius as the designated monarch;(8) and, to effect this revolution, there was from the passing of the Gabinio-Manilian laws down to the return of Pompeius (688-692) perpetual conspiracy in Rome. The capital was in anxious suspense; the depressed temper of the capitalists, the suspensions of payment, the frequent bankruptcies were heralds of the fermenting revolution, which seemed as though it must at the same time produce a totally new position of parties. The project of the democracy, which pointed beyond the senate at Pompeius, suggested an approximation between that general and the senate. But the democracy in attempting to oppose to the dictatorship of Pompeius that of a man more agreeable to it, recognized, strictly speaking, on its part also the military government, and in reality drove out Satan by Beelzebub; the question of principles became in its hands a question of persons.

League of the Democrats and the Anarchists

The first step towards the revolution projected by the leaders of the democracy was thus to be the overthrow of the existing government by means of an insurrection primarily instigated in Rome by democratic conspirators. The moral condition of the lowest as of the highest ranks of society in the capital presented the materials for this purpose in lamentable abundance. We need not here repeat what was the character of the free and the servile proletariate of the capital. The significant saying was already heard, that only the poor man was qualified to represent the poor; the idea was thus suggested, that the mass of the poor might constitute itself an independent power as well as the oligarchy of the rich, and instead of allowing itself to be tyrannized over, might perhaps in its own turn play the tyrant. But even in the circles of the young men of rank similar ideas found an echo. The fashionable life of the capital shattered not merely the fortunes of men, but also their vigour of body and mind. That elegant world of fragrant ringlets, of fashionable mustachios and ruffles—merry as were its doings in the dance and with the harp, and early and late at the wine-cup—yet concealed in its bosom an alarming abyss of moral and economic ruin, of well or ill concealed despair, and frantic or knavish resolves. These circles sighed without disguise for a return of the time of Cinna with its proscriptions and confiscations and its annihilation of account-books for debt; there were people enough, including not a few of no mean descent and unusual abilities, who only waited the signal to fall like a gang of robbers on civil society and to recruit by pillage the fortune which they had squandered. Where a band gathers, leaders are not wanting; and in this case the men were soon found who were fitted to be captains of banditti.


The late praetor Lucius Catilina, and the quaestor Gnaeus Piso, were distinguished among their fellows not merely by their genteel birth and their superior rank. They had broken down the bridge completely behind them, and impressed their accomplices by their dissoluteness quite as much as by their talents. Catilina especially was one of the most wicked men in that wicked age. His villanies belong to the records of crime, not to history; but his very outward appearance—the pale countenance, the wild glance, the gait by turns sluggish and hurried—betrayed his dismal past. He possessed in a high degree the qualities which are required in the leader of such a band— the faculty of enjoying all pleasures and of bearing all privations, courage, military talent, knowledge of men, the energy of a felon, and that horrible mastery of vice, which knows how to bring the weak to fall and how to train the fallen to crime.

To form out of such elements a conspiracy for the overthrow of the existing order of things could not be difficult to men who possessed money and political influence. Catilina, Piso, and their fellows entered readily into any plan which gave the prospect of proscriptions and cancelling of debtor-books; the former had moreover special hostility to the aristocracy, because it had opposed the candidature of that infamous and dangerous man for the consulship. As he had formerly in the character of an executioner of Sulla hunted the proscribed at the head of a band of Celts and had killed among others his own aged father-in-law with his own hand, he now readily consented to promise similar services to the opposite party. A secret league was formed. The number of individuals received into it is said to have exceeded 400; it included associates in all the districts and urban communities of Italy; besides which, as a matter of course, numerous recruits would flock unbidden from the ranks of the dissolute youth to an insurrection, which inscribed on its banner the seasonable programme of wiping out debts.

Failure of the First Plans of Conspiracy

In December 688—so we are told—the leaders of the league thought that they had found the fitting occasion for striking a blow. The two consuls chosen for 689, Publius Cornelius Sulla and Publius Autronius Paetus, had recently been judicially convicted of electoral bribery, and therefore had according to legal rule forfeited their expectancy of the highest office. Both thereupon joined the league. The conspirators resolved to procure the consulship for them by force, and thereby to put themselves in possession of the supreme power in the state. On the day when the new consuls should enter on their office—the 1st Jan. 689— the senate-house was to be assailed by armed men, the new consuls and the victims otherwise designated were to be put to death, and Sulla and Paetus were to be proclaimed as consuls after the cancelling of the judicial sentence which excluded them. Crassus was then to be invested with the dictatorship and Caesar with the mastership of the horse, doubtless with a view to raise an imposing military force, while Pompeius was employed afar off at the Caucasus. Captains and common soldiers were hired and instructed; Catilina waited on the appointed day in the neighbourhood of the senate- house for the concerted signal, which was to be given him by Caesar on a hint from Crassus. But he waited in vain; Crassus was absent from the decisive sitting of the senate, and for this time the projected insurrection failed. A similar still more comprehensive plan of murder was then concerted for the 5th Feb.; but this too was frustrated, because Catilina gave the signal too early, before the bandits who were bespoken had all arrived. Thereupon the secret was divulged. The government did not venture openly to proceed against the conspiracy, but it assigned a guard to the consuls who were primarily threatened, and it opposed to the band of the conspirators a band paid by the government. To remove Piso, the proposal was made that he should be sent as quaestor with praetorian powers to Hither Spain; to which Crassus consented, in the hope of securing through him the resources of that important province for the insurrection. Proposals going farther were prevented by the tribunes.

So runs the account that has come down to us, which evidently gives the version current in the government circles, and the credibility of which in detail must, in the absence of any means of checking it, be left an open question. As to the main matter—the participation of Caesar and Crassus—the testimony of their political opponents certainly cannot be regarded as sufficient evidence of it. But their notorious action at this epoch corresponds with striking exactness to the secret action which this report ascribes to them. The attempt of Crassus, who in this year was censor, officially to enrol the Transpadanes in the burgess-list(9) was of itself directly a revolutionary enterprise. It is still more remarkable, that Crassus on the same occasion made preparations to enrol Egypt and Cyprus in the list of Roman domains,(10) and that Caesar about the same time (689 or 690) got a proposal submitted by some tribunes to the burgesses to send him to Egypt, in order to reinstate king Ptolemaeus whom the Alexandrians had expelled. These machinations suspiciously coincide with the charges raised by their antagonists. Certainty cannot be attained on the point; but there is a great probability that Crassus and Caesar had projected a plan to possess themselves of the military dictatorship during the absence of Pompeius; that Egypt was selected as the basis of this democratic military power; and that, in fine, the insurrectionary attempt of 689 had been contrived to realize these projects, and Catilina and Piso had thus been tools in the hands of Crassus and Caesar.

Resumption of the Conspiracy

For a moment the conspiracy came to a standstill. The elections for 690 took place without Crassus and Caesar renewing their attempt to get possession of the consulate; which may have been partly owing to the fact that a relative of the leader of the democracy, Lucius Caesar, a weak man who was not unfrequently employed by his kinsman as a tool, was on this occasion a candidate for the consulship. But the reports from Asia urged them to make haste. The affairs of Asia Minor and Armenia were already completely arranged. However clearly democratic strategists showed that the Mithradatic war could only be regarded as terminated by the capture of the king, and that it was therefore necessary to undertake the pursuit round the Black Sea, and above all things to keep aloof from Syria(11)—Pompeius, not concerning himself about such talk, had set out in the spring of 690 from Armenia and marched towards Syria. If Egypt was really selected as the headquarters of the democracy, there was no time to be lost; otherwise Pompeius might easily arrive in Egypt sooner than Caesar. The conspiracy of 688, far from being broken up by the lax and timid measures of repression, was again astir when the consular elections for 691 approached. The persons were, it may be presumed, substantially the same, and the plan was but little altered. The leaders of the movement again kept in the background. On this occasion they had set up as candidates for the consulship Catilina himself and Gaius Antonius, the younger son of the orator and a brother of the general who had an ill repute from Crete. They were sure of Catilina; Antonius, originally a Sullan like Catilina and like the latter brought to trial on that account some years before by the democratic party and ejected from the senate(12)—otherwise an indolent, insignificant man, in no respect called to be a leader, and utterly bankrupt— willingly lent himself as a tool to the democrats for the prize of the consulship and the advantages attached to it. Through these consuls the heads of the conspiracy intended to seize the government, to arrest the children of Pompeius, who remained behind in the capital, as hostages, and to take up arms in Italy and the provinces against Pompeius. On the first news of the blow struck in the capital, the governor Gnaeus Piso was to raise the banner of insurrection in Hither Spain. Communication could not be held with him by way of the sea, since Pompeius commanded the seas. For this purpose they reckoned on the Transpadanes the old clients of the democracy— among whom there was great agitation, and who would of course have at once received the franchise—and, further, on different Celtic tribes.(13) The threads of this combination reached as far as Mauretania. One of the conspirators, the Roman speculator Publius Sittius from Nuceria, compelled by financial embarrassments to keep aloof from Italy, had armed a troop of desperadoes there and in Spain, and with these wandered about as a leader of free-lances in western Africa, where he had old commercial connections.

Consular Elections
Cicero Elected instead of Catalina

The party put forth all its energies for the struggle of the election. Crassus and Caesar staked their money—whether their own or borrowed—and their connections to procure the consulship for Catilina and Antonius; the comrades of Catilina strained every nerve to bring to the helm the man who promised them the magistracies and priesthoods, the palaces and country-estates of their opponents, and above all deliverance from their debts, and who, they knew, would keep his word. The aristocracy was in great perplexity, chiefly because it was not able even to start counter-candidates. That such a candidate risked his head, was obvious; and the times were past when the post of danger allured the burgess—now even ambition was hushed in presence of fear. Accordingly the nobility contented themselves with making a feeble attempt to check electioneering intrigues by issuing a new law respecting the purchase of votes—which, however, was thwarted by the veto of a tribune of the people—and with turning over their votes to a candidate who, although not acceptable to them, was at least inoffensive. This was Marcus Cicero, notoriously a political trimmer,(14) accustomed to flirt at times with the democrats, at times with Pompeius, at times from a somewhat greater distance with the aristocracy, and to lend his services as an advocate to every influential man under impeachment without distinction of person or party (he numbered even Catilina among his clients); belonging properly to no party or—which was much the same—to the party of material interests, which was dominant in the courts and was pleased with the eloquent pleader and the courtly and witty companion. He had connections enough in the capital and the country towns to have a chance alongside of the candidates proposed by the democracy; and as the nobility, although with reluctance, and the Pompeians voted for him, he was elected by a great majority. The two candidates of the democracy obtained almost the same number of votes; but a few more fell to Antonius, whose family was of more consideration than that of his fellow-candidate. This accident frustrated the election of Catilina and saved Rome from a second Cinna. A little before this Piso had—it was said at the instigation of his political and personal enemy Pompeius— been put to death in Spain by his native escort.(15) With the consul Antonius alone nothing could be done; Cicero broke the loose bond which attached him to the conspiracy, even before they entered on their offices, inasmuch as he renounced his legal privilege of having the consular provinces determined by lot, and handed over to his deeply-embarrassed colleague the lucrative governorship of Macedonia. The essential preliminary conditions of this project also had therefore miscarried.

New Projects of the Conspirators

Meanwhile the development of Oriental affairs grew daily more perilous for the democracy. The settlement of Syria rapidly advanced; already invitations had been addressed to Pompeius from Egypt to march thither and occupy the country for Rome; they could not but be afraid that they would next hear of Pompeius in person having taken possession of the valley of the Nile. It was by this very apprehension probably that the attempt of Caesar to get himself sent by the people to Egypt for the purpose of aiding the king against his rebellious subjects(16) was called forth; it failed, apparently, through the disinclination of great and small to undertake anything whatever against the interest of Pompeius. His return home, and the probable catastrophe which it involved, were always drawing the nearer; often as the string of the bow had been broken, it was necessary that there should be a fresh attempt to bend it. The city was in sullen ferment; frequent conferences of the heads of the movement indicated that some step was again contemplated.

The Servilian Agrarian Law

What they wished became manifest when the new tribunes of the people entered on their office (10 Dec. 690), and one of them, Publius Servilius Rullus, immediately proposed an agrarian law, which was designed to procure for the leaders of the democrats a position similar to that which Pompeius occupied in consequence of 2the Gabinio-Manilian proposals. The nominal object was the founding of colonies in Italy. The ground for these, however, was not to be gained by dispossession; on the contrary all existing private rights were guaranteed, and even the illegal occupations of the most recent times(17) were converted into full property. The leased Campanian domain alone was to be parcelled out and colonized; in other cases the government was to acquire the land destined for assignation by ordinary purchase. To procure the sums necessary for this purpose, the remaining Italian, and more especially all the extra-Italian, domain-land was successively to be brought to sale; which was understood to include the former royal hunting domains in Macedonia, the Thracian Chersonese, Bithynia, Pontus, Cyrene, and also the territories of the cities acquired in full property by right of war in Spain, Africa, Sicily, Hellas, and Cilicia. Everything was likewise to be sold which the state had acquired in moveable and immoveable property since the year 666, and of which it had not previously disposed; this was aimed chiefly at Egypt and Cyprus. For the same purpose all subject communities, with the exception of the towns with Latin rights and the other free cities, were burdened with very high rates of taxes and tithes. Lastly there was likewise destined for those purchases the produce of the new provincial revenues, to be reckoned from 692, and the proceeds of the whole booty not yet legally applied; which regulations had reference to the new sources of taxation opened up by Pompeius in the east and to the public moneys that might be found in the hands of Pompeius and the heirs of Sulla. For the execution of this measure decemvirs with a special jurisdiction and special -imperium- were to be nominated, who were to remain five years in office and to surround themselves with 200 subalterns from the equestrian order; but in the election of the decemvirs only those candidates who should personally announce themselves were to be taken into account, and, as in the elections of priests,(18) only seventeen tribes to be fixed by lot out of the thirty-five were to make the election. It needed no great acuteness to discern that in this decemviral college it was intended to create a power after the model of that of Pompeius, only with somewhat less of a military and more of a democratic hue. The jurisdiction was especially needed for the sake of deciding the Egyptian question, the military power for the sake of arming against Pompeius; the clause, which forbade the choice of an absent person, excluded Pompeius; and the diminution of the tribes entitled to vote as well as the manipulation of the balloting were designed to facilitate the management of the election in accordance with the views of the democracy.

But this attempt totally missed its aim. The multitude, finding it more agreeable to have their corn measured out to them under the shade of Roman porticoes from the public magazines than to cultivate it for themselves in the sweat of their brow, received even the proposal in itself with complete indifference. They soon came also to feel that Pompeius would never acquiesce in such a resolution offensive to him in every respect, and that matters could not stand well with a party which in its painful alarm condescended to offers so extravagant. Under such circumstances it was not difficult for the government to frustrate the proposal; the new consul Cicero perceived the opportunity of exhibiting here too his talent for giving a finishing stroke to the beaten party; even before the tribunes who stood ready exercised their veto, the author himself withdrew his proposal (1 Jan. 691). The democracy had gained nothing but the unpleasant lesson, that the great multitude out of love or fear still continued to adhere to Pompeius, and that every proposal was certain to fail which the public perceived to be directed against him.

Preparations of the Anarchists in Etruria

Wearied by all this vain agitation and scheming without result, Catilina determined to push the matter to a decision and make an end of it once for all. He took his measures in the course of the summer to open the civil war. Faesulae (Fiesole), a very strong town situated in Etruria—which swarmed with the impoverished and conspirators—and fifteen years before the centre of the rising of Lepidus, was again selected as the headquarters of the insurrection. Thither were despatched the consignments of money, for which especially the ladies of quality in the capital implicated in the conspiracy furnished the means; there arms and soldiers were collected; and there an old Sullan captain, Gaius Manlius, as brave and as free from scruples of conscience as was ever any soldier of fortune, took temporarily the chief command. Similar though less extensive warlike preparations were made at other points of Italy. The Transpadanes were so excited that they seemed only waiting for the signal to strike. In the Bruttian country, on the east coast of Italy, in Capua—wherever great bodies of slaves were accumulated—a second slave insurrection like that of Spartacus seemed on the eve of arising. Even in the capital there was something brewing; those who saw the haughty bearing with which the summoned debtors appeared before the urban praetor, could not but remember the scenes which had preceded the murder of Asellio.(19) The capitalists were in unutterable anxiety; it seemed needful to enforce the prohibition of the export of gold and silver, and to set a watch over the principal ports. The plan of the conspirators was—on occasion of the consular election for 692, for which Catilina had again announced himself— summarily to put to death the consul conducting the election as well as the inconvenient rival candidates, and to carry the election of Catilina at any price; in case of necessity, even to bring armed bands from Faesulae and the other rallying points against the capital, and with their help to crush resistance.

Election of Catalina as Consul again Frustrated

Cicero, who was always quickly and completely informed by his agents male and female of the transactions of the conspirators, on the day fixed for the election (20 Oct.) denounced the conspiracy in the full senate and in presence of its principal leaders. Catilina did not condescend to deny it; he answered haughtily that, if the election for consul should fall on him, the great headless party would certainly no longer want a leader against the small party led by wretched heads. But as palpable evidences of the plot were not before them, nothing farther was to be got from the timid senate, except that it gave its previous sanction in the usual way to the exceptional measures which the magistrates might deem suitable (21 Oct.). Thus the election battle approached— on this occasion more a battle than an election; for Cicero too had formed for himself an armed bodyguard out of the younger men, more especially of the mercantile order; and it was his armed force that covered and dominated the Campus Martius on the 28th October, the day to which the election had been postponed by the senate. The conspirators were not successful either in killing the consul conducting the election, or in deciding the elections according to their mind.

Outbreak of the Insurrection in Etruria
Repressive Measures of the Government

But meanwhile the civil war had begun. On the 27th Oct. Gaius Manlius had planted at Faesulae the eagle round which the army of the insurrection was to flock—it was one of the Marian eagles from the Cimbrian war—and he had summoned the robbers from the mountains as well as the country people to join him. His proclamations, following the old traditions of the popular party, demanded liberation from the oppressive load of debt and a modification of the procedure in insolvency, which, if the amount of the debt actually exceeded the estate, certainly still involved in law the forfeiture of the debtor's freedom. It seemed as though the rabble of the capital, in coming forward as if it were the legitimate successor of the old plebeian farmers and fighting its battles under the glorious eagles of the Cimbrian war, wished to cast a stain not only on the present but on the past of Rome. This rising, however, remained isolated; at the other places of rendezvous the conspiracy did not go beyond the collection of arms and the institution of secret conferences, as resolute leaders were everywhere wanting. This was fortunate for the government; for, although the impending civil war had been for a considerable time openly announced, its own irresolution and the clumsiness of the rusty machinery of administration had not allowed it to make any military preparations whatever. It was only now that the general levy was called out, and superior officers were ordered to the several regions of Italy that each might suppress the insurrection in his own district; while at the same time the gladiatorial slaves were ejected from the capital, and patrols were ordered on account of the apprehension of incendiarism.

The Conspirators in Rome

Catilina was in a painful position. According to his design there should have been a simultaneous rising in the capital and in Etruria on occasion of the consular elections; the failure of the former and the outbreak of the latter movement endangered his person as well as the whole success of his undertaking. Now that his partisans at Faesulae had once risen in arms against the government, he could no longer remain in the capital; and yet not only did everything depend on his inducing the conspirators of the capital now at least to strike quickly, but this had to be done even before he left Rome—for he knew his helpmates too well to rely on them for that matter. The more considerable of the conspirators—Publius Lentulus Sura consul in 683, afterwards expelled from the senate and now, in order to get back into the senate, praetor for the second time, and the two former praetors Publius Autronius and Lucius Cassius—were incapable men; Lentulus an ordinary aristocrat of big words and great pretensions, but slow in conception and irresolute in action; Autronius distinguished for nothing but his powerful screaming voice; while as to Lucius Cassius no one comprehended how a man so corpulent and so simple had fallen among the conspirators. But Catilina could not venture to place his abler partisans, such as the young senator Gaius Cethegus and the equites Lucius Statilius and Publius Gabinius Capito, at the head of the movement; for even among the conspirators the traditional hierarchy of rank held its ground, and the very anarchists thought that they should be unable to carry the day unless a consular or at least a praetorian were at their head. Therefore, however urgently the army of the insurrection might long for its general, and however perilous it was for the latter to remain longer at the seat of government after the outbreak of the revolt, Catilina nevertheless resolved still to remain for a time in Rome. Accustomed to impose on his cowardly opponents by his audacious insolence, he showed himself publicly in the Forum and in the senate-house and replied to the threats which were there addressed to him, that they should beware of pushing him to extremities; that, if they should set the house on fire, he would be compelled to extinguish the conflagration in ruins. In reality neither private persons nor officials ventured to lay hands on the dangerous man; it was almost a matter of indifference when a young nobleman brought him to trial on account of violence, for long before the process could come to an end, the question could not but be decided elsewhere. But the projects of Catilina failed; chiefly because the agents of the government had made their way into the circle of the conspirators and kept it accurately informed of every detail of the plot. When, for instance, the conspirators appeared before the strong Praeneste (1 Nov.), which they had hoped to surprise by a -coup de main-, they found the inhabitants warned and armed; and in a similar way everything miscarried. Catilina with all his temerity now found it advisable to fix his departure for one of the ensuing days; but previously on his urgent exhortation, at a last conference of the conspirators in the night between the 6th and 7th Nov. it was resolved to assassinate the consul Cicero, who was the principal director of the countermine, before the departure of their leader, and, in order to obviate any treachery, to carry the resolve at once into execution. Early on the morning of the 7th Nov., accordingly, the selected murderers knocked at the house of the consul; but they found the guard reinforced and themselves repulsed—on this occasion too the spies of the government had outdone the conspirators.

Catalina Proceed to Etruria

On the following day (8 Nov.) Cicero convoked the senate. Even now Catilina ventured to appear and to attempt a defence against the indignant attacks of the consul, who unveiled before his face the events of the last few days; but men no longer listened to him, and in the neighbourhood of the place where he sat the benches became empty. He left the sitting, and proceeded, as he would doubtless have done even apart from this incident, in accordance with the agreement, to Etruria. Here he proclaimed himself consul, and assumed an attitude of waiting, in order to put his troops in motion against the capital on the first announcement of the outbreak of the insurrection there. The government declared the two leaders Catilina and Manlius, as well as those of their comrades who should not have laid down their arms by a certain day, to be outlaws, and called out new levies; but at the head of the army destined against Catilina was placed the consul Gaius Antonius, who was notoriously implicated in the conspiracy, and with whose character it was wholly a matter of accident whether he would lead his troops against Catilina or over to his side. They seemed to have directly laid their plans towards converting this Antonius into a second Lepidus. As little were steps taken against the leaders of the conspiracy who had remained behind in the capital, although every one pointed the finger at them and the insurrection in the capital was far from being abandoned by the conspirators—on the contrary the plan of it had been settled by Catilina himself before his departure from Rome. A tribune was to give the signal by calling an assembly of the people; in the following night Cethegus was to despatch the consul Cicero; Gabinius and Statilius were to set the city simultaneously on fire at twelve places; and a communication was to be established as speedily as possible with the army of Catilina, which should have meanwhile advanced. Had the urgent representations of Cethegus borne fruit and had Lentulus, who after Catilina's departure was placed at the head of the conspirators, resolved on rapidly striking a blow, the conspiracy might even now have been successful. But the conspirators were just as incapable and as cowardly as their opponents; weeks elapsed and the matter came to no decisive issue.

Conviction and Arrest of the Conspirators in the Capital

At length the countermine brought about a decision. Lentulus in his tedious fashion, which sought to cover negligence in regard to what was immediate and necessary by the projection of large and distant plans, had entered into relations with the deputies of a Celtic canton, the Allobroges, now present in Rome; had attempted to implicate these—the representatives of a thoroughly disorganized commonwealth and themselves deeply involved in debt—in the conspiracy; and had given them on their departure messages and letters to his confidants. The Allobroges left Rome, but were arrested in the night between 2nd and 3rd Dec. close to the gates by the Roman authorities, and their papers were taken from them. It was obvious that the Allobrogian deputies had lent themselves as spies to the Roman government, and had carried on the negotiations only with a view to convey into the hands of the latter the desired proofs implicating the ringleaders of the conspiracy. On the following morning orders were issued with the utmost secrecy by Cicero for the arrest of the most dangerous leaders of the plot, and executed in regard to Lentulus, Cethegus, Gabinius, and Statilius, while some others escaped from seizure by flight. The guilt of those arrested as well as of the fugitives was completely evident. Immediately after the arrest the letters seized, the seals and handwriting of which the prisoners could not avoid acknowledging, were laid before the senate, and the captives and witnesses were heard; further confirmatory facts, deposits of arms in the houses of the conspirators, threatening expressions which they had employed, were presently forthcoming; the actual subsistence of the conspiracy was fully and validly established, and the most important documents were immediately on the suggestion of Cicero published as news-sheets.

The indignation against the anarchist conspiracy was general. Gladly would the oligarchic party have made use of the revelations to settle accounts with the democracy generally and Caesar in particular, but it was far too thoroughly broken to be able to accomplish this, and to prepare for him the fate which it had formerly prepared for the two Gracchi and Saturninus; in this respect the matter went no farther than good will. The multitude of the capital was especially shocked by the incendiary schemes of the conspirators. The merchants and the whole party of material interests naturally perceived in this war of the debtors against the creditors a struggle for their very existence; in tumultuous excitement their youth crowded, with swords in their hands, round the senate-house and brandished them against the open and secret partisans of Catilina. In fact, the conspiracy was for the moment paralyzed; though its ultimate authors perhaps were still at liberty, the whole staff entrusted with its execution were either captured or had fled; the band assembled at Faesulae could not possibly accomplish much, unless supported by an insurrection in the capital.

Discussions in the Senate as to the Execution of Those Arrested

In a tolerably well-ordered commonwealth the matter would now have been politically at an end, and the military and the tribunals would have undertaken the rest. But in Rome matters had come to such a pitch, that the government was not even in a position to keep a couple of noblemen of note in safe custody. The slaves and freedmen of Lentulus and of the others arrested were stirring; plans, it was alleged, were contrived to liberate them by force from the private houses in which they were detained; there was no lack— thanks to the anarchist doings of recent years—of ringleaders in Rome who contracted at a certain rate for riots and deeds of violence; Catilina, in fine, was informed of what had occurred, and was near enough to attempt a coup de main with his bands. How much of these rumours was true, we cannot tell; but there was ground for apprehension, because, agreeably to the constitution, neither troops nor even a respectable police force were at the command of the government in the capital, and it was in reality left at the mercy of every gang of banditti. The idea was suggested of precluding all possible attempts at liberation by the immediate execution of the prisoners. Constitutionally, this was not possible. According to the ancient and sacred right of appeal, a sentence of death could only be pronounced against the Roman burgess by the whole body of burgesses, and not by any other authority; and, as the courts formed by the body of burgesses had themselves become antiquated, a capital sentence was no longer pronounced at all. Cicero would gladly have rejected the hazardous suggestion; indifferent as in itself the legal question might be to the advocate, he knew well how very useful it is to an advocate to be called liberal, and he showed little desire to separate himself for ever from the democratic party by shedding this blood. But those around him, and particularly his genteel wife, urged him to crown his services to his country by this bold step; the consul like all cowards anxiously endeavouring to avoid the appearance of cowardice, and yet trembling before the formidable responsibility, in his distress convoked the senate, and left it to that body to decide as to the life or death of the four prisoners. This indeed had no meaning; for as the senate was constitutionally even less entitled to act than the consul, all the responsibility still devolved rightfully on the latter: but when was cowardice ever consistent? Caesar made every exertion to save the prisoners, and his speech, full of covert threats as to the future inevitable vengeance of the democracy, made the deepest impression. Although all the consulars and the great majority of the senate had already declared for the execution, most of them, with Cicero at their head, seemed now once more inclined to keep within the limits of the law. But when Cato in pettifogging fashion brought the champions of the milder view into suspicion of being accomplices of the plot, and pointed to the preparations for liberating the prisoners by a street-riot, he succeeded in throwing the waverers into a fresh alarm, and in securing a majority for the immediate execution of the transgressors.

Execution of the Catalinarians

The execution of the decree naturally devolved on the consul, who had called it forth. Late on the evening of the 5th of December the prisoners were brought from their previous quarters, and conducted across the market-place still densely crowded by men to the prison in which criminals condemned to death were wont to be kept. It was a subterranean vault, twelve feet deep, at the foot of the Capitol, which formerly had served as a well-house. The consul himself conducted Lentulus, and praetors the others, all attended by strong guards; but the attempt at rescue, which had been expected, did not take place. No one knew whether the prisoners were being conveyed to a secure place of custody or to the scene of execution. At the door of the prison they were handed over to the -tresviri- who conducted the executions, and were strangled in the subterranean vault by torchlight. The consul had waited before the door till the executions were accomplished, and then with his loud well-known voice proclaimed over the Forum to the multitude waiting in silence, "They are dead." Till far on in the night the crowds moved through the streets and exultingly saluted the consul, to whom they believed that they owed the security of their houses and their property. The senate ordered public festivals of gratitude, and the first men of the nobility, Marcus Cato and Quintus Catulus, saluted the author of the sentence of death with the name—now heard for the first time—of a "father of his fatherland."

But it was a dreadful deed, and all the more dreadful that it appeared to a whole people great and praiseworthy. Never perhaps has a commonwealth more lamentably declared itself bankrupt, than did Rome through this resolution—adopted in cold blood by the majority of the government and approved by public opinion— to put to death in all haste a few political prisoners, who were no doubt culpable according to the laws, but had not forfeited life; because, forsooth, the security of the prisons was not to be trusted, and there was no sufficient police. It was the humorous trait seldom wanting to a historical tragedy, that this act of the most brutal tyranny had to be carried out by the most unstable and timid of all Roman statesmen, and that the "first democratic consul" was selected to destroy the palladium of the ancient freedom of the Roman commonwealth, the right of -provocatio-.

Suppression of the Etruscan Insurrection

After the conspiracy had been thus stifled in the capital even before it came to an outbreak, there remained the task of putting an end to the insurrection in Etruria. The army amounting to about 2000 men, which Catilina found on his arrival, had increased nearly fivefold by the numerous recruits who flocked in, and already formed two tolerably full legions, in which however only about a fourth part of the men were sufficiently armed. Catilina had thrown himself with his force into the mountains and avoided a battle with the troops of Antonius, with the view of completing the organization of his bands and awaiting the outbreak of the insurrection in Rome. But the news of its failure broke up the army of the insurgents; the mass of the less compromised thereupon returned home. The remnant of resolute, or rather desperate, men that were left made an attempt to cut their way through the Apennine passes into Gaul; but when the little band arrived at the foot of the mountains near Pistoria (Pistoja), it found itself here caught between two armies. In front of it was the corps of Quintus Metellus, which had come up from Ravenna and Ariminum to occupy the northern slope of the Apennines; behind it was the army of Antonius, who had at length yielded to the urgency of his officers and agreed to a winter campaign. Catilina was wedged in on both sides, and his supplies came to an end; nothing was left but to throw himself on the nearest foe, which was Antonius. In a narrow valley enclosed by rocky mountains the conflict took place between the insurgents and the troops of Antonius, which the latter, in order not to be under the necessity of at least personally performing execution on his former allies, had under a pretext entrusted for this day to a brave officer who had grown gray under arms, Marcus Petreius. The superior strength of the government army was of little account, owing to the nature of the field of battle. Both Catilina and Petreius placed their most trusty men in the foremost ranks; quarter was neither given nor received. The conflict lasted long, and many brave men fell on both sides; Catilina, who before the beginning of the battle had sent back his horse and those of all his officers, showed on this day that nature had destined him for no ordinary things, and that he knew at once how to command as a general and how to fight as a soldier. At length Petreius with his guard broke the centre of the enemy, and, after having overthrown this, attacked the two wings from within. This decided the victory. The corpses of the Catilinarians—there were counted 3000 of them—covered, as it were in rank and file, the ground where they had fought; the officers and the general himself had, when all was lost, thrown themselves headlong on the enemy and thus sought and found death (beginning of 692). Antonius was on account of this victory stamped by the senate with the title of Imperator, and new thanksgiving-festivals showed that the government and the governed were beginning to become accustomed to civil war.

Attitude of Crassus and Caesar toward the Anarchists

The anarchist plot had thus been suppressed in the capital as in Italy with bloody violence; people were still reminded of it merely by the criminal processes which in the Etruscan country towns and in the capital thinned the ranks of those affiliated to the beaten party, and by the large accessions to the robber-bands of Italy— one of which, for instance, formed out of the remains of the armies of Spartacus and Catilina, was destroyed by a military force in 694 in the territory of Thurii. But it is important to keep in view that the blow fell by no means merely on the anarchists proper, who had conspired to set the capital on fire and had fought at Pistoria, but on the whole democratic party. That this party, and in particular Crassus and Caesar, had a hand in the game on the present occasion as well as in the plot of 688, may be regarded—not in a juristic, but in a historical, point of view— as an ascertained fact. The circumstance, indeed, that Catulus and the other heads of the senatorial party accused the leader of the democrats of complicity in the anarchist plot, and that the latter as senator spoke and voted against the brutal judicial murder contemplated by the oligarchy, could only be urged by partisan sophistry as any valid proof of his participation in the plans of Catilina. But a series of other facts is of more weight. According to express and irrefragable testimonies it was especially Crassus and Caesar that supported the candidature of Catilina for the consulship. When Caesar in 690 brought the executioners of Sulla before the commission for murder(20) he allowed the rest to be condemned, but the most guilty and infamous of all, Catilina, to be acquitted. In the revelations of the 3rd of December, it is true, Cicero did not include among the names of the conspirators of whom he had information those of the two influential men; but it is notorious that the informers denounced not merely those against whom subsequently investigation was directed, but "many innocent" persons besides, whom the consul Cicero thought proper to erase from the list; and in later years, when he had no reason to disguise the truth, he expressly named Caesar among the accomplices. An indirect but very intelligible inculpation is implied also in the circumstance, that of the four persons arrested on the 3rd of December the two least dangerous, Statilius and Gabinius, were handed over to be guarded by the senators Caesar and Crassus; it was manifestly intended that these should either, if they allowed them to escape, be compromised in the view of public opinion as accessories, or, if they really detained them, be compromised in the view of their fellow-conspirators as renegades.

The following scene which occurred in the senate shows significantlyhow matters stood. Immediately after the arrest of Lentulus and his comrades, a messenger despatched by the conspirators in the capital to Catilina was seized by the agents of the government, and, after having been assured of impunity, was induced to make a comprehensive confession in a full meeting of the senate. But when he came to the critical portions of his confession and in particular named Crassus as having commissioned him, he was interrupted by the senators, and on the suggestion of Cicero it was resolved to cancel the whole statement without farther inquiry, but to imprison its author notwithstanding the amnesty assured to him, until such time as he should have not merely retracted the statement, but should have also confessed who had instigated him to give such false testimony! Here it is abundantly clear, not merely that that man had a very accurate knowledge of the state of matters who, when summoned to make an attack upon Crassus, replied that he had no desire to provoke the bull of the herd, but also that the majority of the senate with Cicero at their head were agreed in not permitting the revelations to go beyond a certain limit. The public was not so nice; the young men, who had taken up arms to ward off the incendiaries, were exasperated against no one so much as against Caesar, on the 5th of December, when he left the senate, they pointed their swords at his breast and even now he narrowly escaped with his life on the same spot where the fatal blow fell on him seventeen years afterwards; he did not again for a considerable time enter the senate-house. Any one who impartially considers the course of the conspiracy will not be able to resist the suspicion that during all this time Catilina was backed by more powerful men, who—relying on the want of a legally complete chain of evidence and on the lukewarmness and cowardice of the majority of the senate, which was but half- initiated and greedily caught at any pretext for inaction—knew how to hinder any serious interference with the conspiracy on the part of the authorities, to procure free departure for the chief of the insurgents, and even so to manage the declaration of war and the sending of troops against the insurrection that it was almost equivalent to the sending of an auxiliary army. While the course of the events themselves thus testifies that the threads of the Catilinarian plot reached far higher than Lentulus and Catilina, it deserves also to be noticed, that at a much later period, when Caesar had got to the head of the state, he was in the closest alliance with the only Catilinarian still surviving, Publius Sittius the leader of the Mauretanian free bands, and that he modified the law of debt quite in the sense that the proclamations of Manlius demanded.

All these pieces of evidence speak clearly enough; but, even were it not so, the desperate position of the democracy in presence of the military power—which since the Gabinio-Manilian laws assumed by its side an attitude more threatening than ever—renders it almost a certainty that, as usually happens in such cases, it sought a last resource in secret plots and in alliance with anarchy. The circumstances were very similar to those of the Cinnan times. While in the east Pompeius occupied a position nearly such as Sulla then did, Crassus and Caesar sought to raise over against him a power in Italy like that which Marius and Cinna had possessed, with the view of employing it if possible better than they had done. The way to this result lay once more through terrorism and anarchy, and to pave that way Catilina was certainly the fitting man. Naturally the more reputable leaders of the democracy kept themselves as far as possible in the background, and left to their unclean associates the execution of the unclean work, the political results of which they hoped afterwards to appropriate. Still more naturally, when the enterprise had failed, the partners of higher position applied every effort to conceal their participation in it. And at a later period, when the former conspirator had himself become the target of political plots, the veil was for that very reason drawn only the more closely over those darker years in the life of the great man, and even special apologies for him were written with that very object.(21)

Total Destruction of the Democratic Party

For five years Pompeius stood at the head of his armies and fleets in the east; for five years the democracy at home conspired to overthrow him. The result was discouraging. With unspeakable exertions they had not merely attained nothing, but had suffered morally as well as materially enormous loss. Even the coalition of 683 could not but be for democrats of pure water a scandal, although the democracy at that time only coalesced with two distinguished men of the opposite party and bound these to its programme.

But now the democratic party had made common cause with a band of murderers and bankrupts, who were almost all likewise deserters from the camp of the aristocracy; and had at least for the time being accepted their programme, that is to say, the terrorism of Cinna. The party of material interests, one of the chief elements of the coalition of 683, was thereby estranged from the democracy, and driven into the arms of the Optimates in the first instance, or of any power at all which would and could give protection against anarchy. Even the multitude of the capital, who, although having no objection to a street-riot, found it inconvenient to have their houses set on fire over their heads, became in some measure alarmed. It is remarkable that in this very year (691) the full re-establishment of the Sempronian corn-largesses took place, and was effected by the senate on the proposal of Cato. The league of the democratic leaders with anarchy had obviously created a breach between the former and the burgesses of the city; and the oligarchy sought, not without at least momentary success, to enlarge this chasm and to draw over the masses to their side. Lastly, Gnaeus Pompeius had been partly warned, partly exasperated, by all these cabals; after all that had occurred, and after the democracy had itself virtually torn asunder the ties which connected it with Pompeius, it could no longer with propriety make the request— which in 684 had had a certain amount of reason on its side— that he should not himself destroy with the sword the democratic power which he had raised, and which had raised him.

Thus the democracy was disgraced and weakened; but above all it had become ridiculous through the merciless exposure of its perplexity and weakness. Where the humiliation of the overthrown government and similar matters of little moment were concerned, it was great and potent; but every one of its attempts to attain a real political success had proved a downright failure. Its relation to Pompeius was as false as pitiful. While it was loading him with panegyrics and demonstrations of homage, it was concocting against him one intrigue after another; and one after another, like soap-bubbles, they burst of themselves. The general of the east and of the seas, far from standing on his defence against them, appeared not even to observe all the busy agitation, and to obtain his victories over the democracy as Herakles gained his over the Pygmies, without being himself aware of it. The attempt to kindle civil war had miserably failed; if the anarchist section had at least displayed some energy, the pure democracy, while knowing doubtless how to hire conspirators, had not known how to lead them or to save them or to die with them. Even the old languid oligarchy, strengthened by the masses passing over to it from the ranks of the democracy and above all by the—in this affair unmistakeable—identity of its interests and those of Pompeius, had been enabled to suppress this attempt at revolution and thereby to achieve yet a last victory over the democracy. Meanwhile king Mithradates was dead, Asia Minor and Syria were regulated, and the return of Pompeius to Italy might be every moment expected. The decision was not far off; but was there in fact still room to speak of a decision between the general who returned more famous and mightier than ever, and the democracy humbled beyond parallel and utterly powerless? Crassus prepared to embark his family and his gold and to seek an asylum somewhere in the east; and even so elastic and so energetic a nature as that of Caesar seemed on the point of giving up the game as lost. In this year (691) occurred his candidature for the place of -pontifex maximus-;(22) when he left his dwelling on the morning of the election, he declared that, if he should fail in this also, he would never again cross the threshold of his house.

Chapter VI

Retirement of Pompeius and Coalition of the Pretenders

Pompeius in the East

When Pompeius, after having transacted the affairs committed to his charge, again turned his eyes homeward, he found for the second time the diadem at his feet. For long the development of the Roman commonwealth had been tending towards such a catastrophe; it was evident to every unbiassed observer, and had been remarked a thousand times, that, if the rule of the aristocracy should be brought to an end, monarchy was inevitable. The senate had now been overthrown at once by the civic liberal opposition and by the power of the soldiery; the only question remaining was to settle the persons, names, and forms for the new order of things; and these were already clearly enough indicated in the partly democratic, partly military elements of the revolution. The events of the last five years had set, as it were, the final seal on this impending transformation of the commonwealth. In the newly-erected Asiatic provinces, which gave regal honours to their organizer as the successor of Alexander the Great, and already received his favoured freedmen like princes, Pompeius had laid the foundations of his dominion, and found at once the treasures, the army, and the halo of glory which the future prince of the Roman state required. The anarchist conspiracy, moreover, in the capital, and the civil war connected with it, had made it palpably clear to every one who studied political or even merely material interests, that a government without authority and without military power, such as that of the senate, exposed the state to the equally ludicrous and formidable tyranny of political sharpers, and that a change of constitution, which should connect the military power more closely with the government, was an indispensable necessity if social order was to be maintained. So the ruler had arisen in the east, the throne had been erected in Italy; to all appearance the year 692 was the last of the republic, the first of monarchy.

The Opponents of the Future Monarchy

This goal, it is true, was not to be reached without a struggle. The constitution, which had endured for five hundred years, and under which the insignificant town on the Tiber had risen to unprecedented greatness and glory, had sunk its roots into the soil to a depth beyond human ken, and no one could at all calculate to what extent the attempt to overthrow it would penetrate and convulse civil society. Several rivals had been outrun by Pompeius in the race towards the great goal, but had not been wholly set aside. It was not at all beyond reach of calculation that all these elements might combine to overthrow the new holder of power, and that Pompeius might find Quintus Catulus and Marcus Cato united in opposition to him with Marcus Crassus, Gaius Caesar, and Titus Labienus. But the inevitable and undoubtedly serious struggle could not well be undertaken under circumstances more favourable. It was in a high degree probable that, under the fresh impression of the Catilinarian revolt, a rule which promised order and security, although at the price of freedom, would receive the submission of the whole middle party—embracing especially the merchants who concerned themselves only about their material interests, but including also a great part of the aristocracy, which, disorganized in itself and politically hopeless, had to rest content with securing for itself riches, rank, and influence by a timely compromise with the prince; perhaps even a portion of the democracy, so sorely smitten by the recent blows, might submit to hope for the realization of a portion of its demands from a military chief raised to power by itself. But, whatever might be the position of party-relations, of what importance, in the first instance at least, were the parties in Italy at all in presence of Pompeius and his victorious army? Twenty years previously Sulla, after having concluded a temporary peace with Mithradates, had with his five legions been able to carry a restoration runningcounter to the natural development of things in the face of the whole liberal party, which had been arming en masse for years, from the moderate aristocrats and the liberal mercantile class down to the anarchists. The task of Pompeius was far less difficult. He returned, after having fully and conscientiously performed his different functions by sea and land. He might expect to encounter no other serious opposition save that of the various extreme parties, each of which by itself could do nothing, and which even when leagued together were no more than a coalition of factions still vehemently hostile to each other and inwardly at thorough variance. Completely unarmed, they were without a military force and without a head, without organization in Italy, without support in the provinces, above all, without a general; there was in their ranks hardly a soldier of note—to say nothing of an officer—who could have ventured to call forth the burgesses to a conflict with Pompeius. The circumstance might further be taken into account, that the volcano of revolution, which had been now incessantly blazing for seventy years and feeding on its own flame, was visibly burning out and verging of itself to extinction. It was very doubtful whether the attempt to arm the Italians for party interests would now succeed, as it had succeeded with Cinna and Carbo. If Pompeius exerted himself, how could he fail to effect a revolution of the state, which was chalked out by a certain necessity of nature in the organic development of the Roman commonwealth?

Mission of Nepos to Rome

Pompeius had seized the right moment, when he undertook his mission to the east; he seemed desirous to go forward. In the autumn of 691, Quintus Metellus Nepos arrived from the camp of Pompeius in the capital, and came forward as a candidate for the tribuneship, with the express design of employing that position to procure for Pompeius the consulship for the year 693 and more immediately, by special decree of the people, the conduct of the war against Catilina. The excitement in Rome was great. It was not to be doubted that Nepos was acting under the direct or indirect commission of Pompeius; the desire of Pompeius to appear in Italy as general at the head of his Asiatic legions, and to administer simultaneously the supreme military and the supreme civil power there, was conceived to be a farther step on the way to the throne, and the mission of Nepos a semi-official proclamation of the monarchy.

Pompeius in Relation to the Parties

Everything turned on the attitude which the two great political parties should assume towards these overtures; their future position and the future of the nation depended on this. But the reception which Nepos met with was itself in its turn determined by the then existing relation of the parties to Pompeius, which was of a very peculiar kind. Pompeius had gone to the east as general of the democracy. He had reason enough to be discontented with Caesar and his adherents, but no open rupture had taken place. It is probable that Pompeius, who was at a great distance and occupied with other things, and who besides was wholly destitute of the gift of calculating his political bearings, by no means saw through, at least at that time, the extent and mutual connection of the democratic intrigues contrived against him; perhaps even in his haughty and shortsighted manner he had a certain pride in ignoring these underground proceedings. Then there came the fact, which with a character of the type of Pompeius had much weight, that the democracy never lost sight of outward respect for the great man, and even now (691) unsolicited (as he preferred it so) had granted to him by a special decree of the people unprecedented honours and decorations.(1) But, even if all this had not been the case, it lay in Pompeius' own well-understood interest to continue his adherence, at least outwardly, to the popular party; democracy and monarchy stand so closely related that Pompeius, in aspiring to the crown, could scarcely do otherwise than call himself, as hitherto, the champion of popular rights. While personal and political reasons, therefore, co-operated to keep Pompeius and the leaders of the democracy, despite of all that had taken place, in their previous connection, nothing was done on the opposite side to fill up the chasm which separated him since his desertion to the camp of the democracy from his Sullan partisans. His personal quarrel with Metellus and Lucullus transferred itself to their extensive and influential coteries. A paltry opposition of the senate— but, to a character of so paltry a mould, all the more exasperating by reason of its very paltriness—had attended him through his whole career as a general. He felt it keenly, that the senate had not taken the smallest step to honour the extraordinary man according to his desert, that is, by extraordinary means. Lastly, it is not to be forgotten, that the aristocracy was just then intoxicated by its recent victory and the democracy deeply humbled, and that the aristocracy was led by the pedantically stiff and half-witless Cato, and the democracy by the supple master of intrigue, Caesar.

Rupture between Pompeius and the Aristocracy

Such was the state of parties amidst which the emissary sent by Pompeius appeared. The aristocracy not only regarded the proposals which he announced in favour of Pompeius as a declaration of war against the existing constitution, but treated them openly as such, and took not the slightest pains to conceal their alarm and their indignation. With the express design of combating these proposals, Marcus Cato had himself elected as tribune of the people along with Nepos, and abruptly repelled the repeated attempts of Pompeius to approach him personally. Nepos naturally after this found himself under no inducement to spare the aristocracy, but attached himself the more readily to the democrats, when these, pliant as ever, submitted to what was inevitable and chose freely to concede the office of general in Italy as well as the consulate rather than let the concession be wrung from them by force of arms. The cordial understanding soon showed itself. Nepos publicly accepted (Dec. 691) the democratic view of the executions recently decreed by the majority of the senate, as unconstitutional judicial murders; and that his lord and master looked on them in no other light, was shown by his significant silence respecting the voluminous vindication of them which Cicero had sent to him. On the other hand, the first act with which Caesar began his praetorship was to call Quintus Catulus to account for the moneys alleged to have been embezzled by him at the rebuilding of the Capitoline temple, and to transfer the completion of the temple to Pompeius. This was a masterstroke. Catulus had already been building at the temple for fifteen years, and seemed very much disposed to die as he had lived superintendent of the Capitoline buildings; an attack on this abuse of a public commission—an abuse covered only by the reputation of the noble commissioner—was in reality entirely justified and in a high degree popular. But when the prospect was simultaneously opened up to Pompeius of being allowed to delete the name of Catulus and engrave his own on this proudest spot of the first city of the globe, there was offered to him the very thing which most of all delighted him and did no harm to the democracy—abundant but empty honour; while at the same time the aristocracy, which could not possibly allow its best man to fall, was brought into the most disagreeable collision with Pompeius.

Meanwhile Nepos had brought his proposals concerning Pompeius before the burgesses. On the day of voting Cato and his friend and colleague, Quintus Minucius, interposed their veto. When Nepos did not regard this and continued the reading out, a formal conflict took place; Cato and Minucius threw themselves on their colleague and forced him to stop; an armed band liberated him, and drove the aristocratic section from the Forum; but Cato and Minucius returned, now supported likewise by armed bands, and ultimately maintained the field of battle for the government. Encouraged by this victory of their bands over those of their antagonist, the senate suspended the tribune Nepos as well as the praetor Caesar, who had vigorously supported him in the bringing in of the law, from their offices; their deposition, which was proposed in the senate, was prevented by Cato, more, doubtless, because it was unconstitutional than because it was injudicious. Caesar did not regard the decree, and continued his official functions till the senate used violence against him. As soon as this was known, the multitude appeared before his house and placed itself at his disposal; it was to depend solely on him whether the struggle in the streets should begin, or whether at least the proposals made by Metellus should now be resumed and the military command in Italy desired by Pompeius should be procured for him; but this was not in Caesar's interest, and so he induced the crowds to disperse, whereupon the senate recalled the penalty decreed against him. Nepos himself had, immediately after his suspension, left the city and embarked for Asia, in order to report to Pompeius the result of his mission.

Retirement of Pompeius

Pompeius had every reason to be content with the turn which things had taken. The way to the throne now lay necessarily through civil war; and he owed it to Cato's incorrigible perversity that he could begin this war with good reason. After the illegal condemnation of the adherents of Catilina, after the unparalleled acts of violence against the tribune of the people Metellus, Pompeius might wage war at once as defender of the two palladia of Roman public freedom— the right of appeal and the inviolability of the tribunate of the people—against the aristocracy, and as champion of the party of order against the Catilinarian band. It seemed almost impossible that Pompeius should neglect this opportunity and with his eyes open put himself a second time into the painful position, in which the dismissal of his army in 684 had placed him, and from which only the Gabinian law had released him. But near as seemed the opportunity of placing the white chaplet around his brow, and much as his own soul longed after it, when the question of action presented itself, his heart and his hand once more failed him. This man, altogether ordinary in every respect excepting only his pretensions, would doubtless gladly have placed himself beyond the law, if only he could have done so without forsaking legal ground. His very lingering in Asia betrayed a misgiving of this sort. He might, had he wished, have very well arrived in January 692 with his fleet and army at the port of Brundisium, and have received Nepos there. His tarrying the whole winter of 691-692 in Asia had proximately the injurious consequence, that the aristocracy, which of course accelerated the campaign against Catilina as it best could, had meanwhile got rid of his bands, and had thus set aside the most feasible pretext for keeping together the Asiatic legions in Italy. For a man of the type of Pompeius, who for want of faith in himself and in his star timidly clung in public life to formal right, and with whom the pretext was nearly of as much importance as the motive, this circumstance was of serious weight. He probably said to himself, moreover, that, even if he dismissed his army, he did not let it wholly out of his hand, and could in case of need still raise a force ready for battle sooner at any rate than any other party-chief; that the democracy was waiting in submissive attitude for his signal, and that he could deal with the refractory senate even without soldiers; and such further considerations as suggested themselves, in which there was exactly enough of truth to make them appear plausible to one who wished to deceive himself. Once more the very peculiar temperament of Pompeius naturally turned the scale. He was one of those men who are capable it may be of a crime, but not of insubordination; in a good as in a bad sense, he was thoroughly a soldier. Men of mark respect the law as a moral necessity, ordinary men as a traditional everyday rule; for this very reason military discipline, in which more than anywhere else law takes the form of habit, fetters every man not entirely self-reliant as with a magic spell. It has often been observed that the soldier, even where he has determined to refuse obedience to those set over him, involuntarily when that obedience is demanded resumes his place in the ranks. It was this feeling that made Lafayette and Dumouriez hesitate at the last moment before the breach of faith and break down; and to this too Pompeius succumbed.

In the autumn of 692 Pompeius embarked for Italy. While in the capital all was being prepared for receiving the new monarch, news came that Pompeius, when barely landed at Brundisium, had broken up his legions and with a small escort had entered on his journey to the capital. If it is a piece of good fortune to gain a crown without trouble, fortune never did more for mortal than it did for Pompeius; but on those who lack courage the gods lavish every favour and every gift in vain.

Pompeius without Influence

The parties breathed freely. For the second time Pompeius had abdicated; his already-vanquished competitors might once more begin the race—in which doubtless the strangest thing was, that Pompeius was again a rival runner. In January 693 he came to Rome. His position was an awkward one and vacillated with so much uncertainty between the parties, that people gave him the nickname of Gnaeus Cicero. He had in fact lost favour with all. The anarchists saw in him an adversary, the democrats an inconvenient friend, Marcus Crassus a rival, the wealthy class an untrustworthy protector, the aristocracy a declared foe.(2) He was still indeed the most powerful man in the state; his military adherents scattered through all Italy, his influence in the provinces, particularly those of the east, his military fame, his enormous riches gave him a weight such as no other possessed; but instead of the enthusiastic reception on which he had counted, the reception which he met with was more than cool, and still cooler was the treatment given to the demands which he presented. He requested for himself, as he had already caused to be announced by Nepos, a second consulship; demanding also, of course, a confirmation of the arrangements made by him in the east and a fulfilment of the promise which he had given to his soldiers to furnish them with lands. Against these demands a systematic opposition arose in the senate, the chief elements of which were furnished by the personal exasperation of Lucullus and Metellus Creticus, the old resentment of Crassus, and the conscientious folly of Cato. The desired second consulship was at once and bluntly refused. The very first request which the returning general addressed to the senate, that the election of the consuls for 693 might be put off till after his entry into the capital, had been rejected; much less was there any likelihood of obtaining from the senate the necessary dispensation from the law of Sulla as to re-election.(3) As to the arrangements which he had made in the eastern provinces, Pompeius naturally asked their confirmation as a whole; Lucullus carried a proposal thatevery ordinance should be separately discussed and voted upon, which opened the door for endless annoyances and a multitude of defeats in detail. The promise of a grant of land to the soldiers of the Asiatic army was ratified indeed in general by the senate, but was at the same time extended to the Cretan legions of Metellus; and—what was worse—it was not executed, because the public chest was empty and the senate was not disposed to meddle with the domains for this purpose. Pompeius, in despair of mastering the persistent and spiteful opposition of the senate, turned to the burgesses. But he understood still less how to conduct his movements on this field. The democratic leaders, although they did not openly oppose him, had no cause at all to make his interests their own, and so kept aloof. Pompeius' own instruments—such as the consuls elected by his influence and partly by his money, Marcus Pupius Piso for 693 and Lucius Afranius for 694—showed themselves unskilful and useless. When at length the assignation of land for the veterans of Pompeius was submitted to the burgesses by the tribune of the people Lucius Flavius in the form of a general agrarian law, the proposal, not supported by the democrats, openly combated by the aristocrats, was left in a minority (beg. of 694). The exalted general now sued almost humbly for the favour of the masses, for it was on his instigation that the Italian tolls were abolished by a law introduced by the praetor Metellus Nepos (694). But he played the demagogue without skill and without success; his reputation suffered from it, and he did not obtain what he desired. He had completely run himself into a noose. One of his opponents summed up his political position at that time by saying that he had endeavoured "to conserve by silence his embroidered triumphal mantle." In fact nothing was left for him but to fret.

Rise of Caesar

Then a new combination offered itself. The leader of the democratic party had actively employed in his own interest the political calm which had immediately followed on the retirement of the previous holder of power. When Pompeius returned from Asia, Caesar had been little more than what Catilina was—the chief of a political party which had dwindled almost into a club of conspirators, and a bankrupt. But since that event he had, after administering the praetorship (692), been invested with the governorship of Further Spain, and thereby had found means partly to rid himself of his debts, partly to lay the foundation for his military repute. His old friend and ally Crassus had been induced by the hope of finding the support against Pompeius, which he had lost in Piso,(4) once more in Caesar, to relieve him even before his departure to the province from the most oppressive portion of his load of debt. He himself had energetically employed his brief sojourn there. Returning from Spain in the year 694 with filled chests and as Imperator with well-founded claims to a triumph, he came forward for the following year as a candidate for the consulship; for the sake of which, as the senate refused him permission to announce himself as a candidate for the consular election in absence, he without hesitation abandoned the honour of the triumph. For years the democracy had striven to raise one of its partisans to the possession of the supreme magistracy, that by way of this bridge it might attain a military power of its own. It had long been clear to discerning men of all shades that the strife of parties could not be settled by civil conflict, but only by military power; but the course of the coalition between the democracy and the powerful military chiefs, through which the rule of the senate had been terminated, showed with inexorable clearness that every such alliance ultimately issued in a subordination of the civil under the military elements, and that the popular party, if it would really rule, must not ally itself with generals properly foreign and even hostile to it, but must make generals of its own leaders themselves. The attempts made with this view to carry the election of Catilina as consul, and to gain a military support in Spain or Egypt, had failed; now a possibility presented itself of procuring for their most important man the consulship and the consular province in the usual constitutional way, and of rendering themselves independent of their dubious and dangerous ally Pompeius by the establishment, if we may so speak, of a home power in their own democratic household.

Second Coalition of Pompeius, Crassus, and Caesar

But the more the democracy could not but desire to open up for itself this path, which offered not so much the most favourable as the only prospect of real successes, the more certainly it might reckon on the resolute resistance of its political opponents. Everything depended on whom it found opposed to it in this matter. The aristocracy isolated was not formidable; but it had just been rendered evident in the Catilinarian affair that it could certainly still exert some influence, where it was more or less openly supported by the men of material interests and by the adherents of Pompeius. It had several times frustrated Catilina's candidature for the consulship, and that it would attempt the like against Caesar was sufficiently certain. But, even though Caesar should perhaps be chosen in spite of it, his election alone did not suffice. He needed at least some years of undisturbed working out of Italy, in order to gain a firm military position; and the nobility assuredly would leave no means untried to thwart his plans during this time of preparation. The idea naturally occurred, whether the aristocracy might not be again successfully isolated as in 683-684, and an alliance firmly based on mutual advantage might not be established between the democrats with their ally Crassus on the one side and Pompeius and the great capitalists on the other. For Pompeius such a coalition was certainly a political suicide. His weight hitherto in the state rested on the fact, that he was the only party-leader who at the same time disposed of legions— which, though now dissolved, were still in a certain sense at his disposal. The plan of the democracy was directed to the very object of depriving him of this preponderance, and of placing by his side in their own chief a military rival. Never could he consent to this, and least of all personally help to a post of supreme command a man like Caesar, who already as a mere political agitator had given him trouble enough and had just furnished the most brilliant proofs also of military capacity in Spain. But on the other hand, in consequence of the cavilling opposition of the senate and the indifference of the multitude to Pompeius and Pompeius' wishes, his position, particularly with reference to his old soldiers, had become so painful and so humiliating, that people might well expect from his character to gain him for such a coalition at the price of releasing him from that disagreeable situation. And as to the so-called equestrian party, it was to be found on whatever side the power lay; and as a matter of course it would not let itself be long waited for, if it saw Pompeius and the democracy combining anew in earnest. It happened moreover, that on account of Cato's severity— otherwise very laudable—towards the lessees of the taxes, the great capitalists were just at this time once more at vehement variance with the senate.

Change in the Position of Caesar

So the second coalition was concluded in the summer of 694. Caesar was assured of the consulship for the following year and a governorship in due course; to Pompeius was promised the ratification of his arrangements made in the east, and an assignation of lands for the soldiers of the Asiatic army; to the equites Caesar likewise promised to procure for them by means of the burgesses what the senate had refused; Crassus in fine—the inevitable—was allowed at least to join the league, although without obtaining definite promises for an accession which he could not refuse. It was exactly the same elements, and indeed the same persons, who concluded the league with one another in the autumn of 683 and in the summer of 694; but how entirely different was the position of the parties then and now! Then the democracy was nothing but a political party, while its allies were victorious generals at the head of their armies; now the leader of the democracy was himself an Imperator crowned with victory and full of magnificent military schemes, while his allies were retired generals without any army. Then the democracy conquered in questions of principle, and in return for that victory conceded the highest offices of state to its two confederates; now it had become more practical and grasped the supreme civil and military power for itself, while concessions were made to its allies only in subordinate points and, significantly enough, not even the old demand of Pompeius for a second consulship was attended to. Then the democracy sacrificed itself to its allies; now these had to entrust themselves to it. All the circumstances were completely changed, most of all, however, the character of the democracy itself. No doubt it had, ever since it existed at all, contained at its very core a monarchic element; but the ideal of a constitution, which floated in more or less clear outline before its best intellects, was always that of a civil commonwealth, a Periclean organization of the state, in which the power of the prince rested on the fact that he represented the burgesses in the noblest and most accomplished manner, and the most accomplished and noblest part of the burgesses recognized him as the man in whom they thoroughly confided. Caesar too set out with such views; but they were simply ideals, which might have some influence on realities, but could not be directly realized. Neither the simple civil power, as Gaius Gracchus possessed it, nor the arming of the democratic party, such as Cinna though in a very inadequate fashion had attempted, was able to maintain a permanent superiority in the Roman commonwealth; the military machine fighting not for a party but for a general, the rude force of the condottieri—after having first appeared on the stage in the service of the restoration—soon showed itself absolutely superior to all political parties. Caesar could not but acquire a conviction of this amidst the practical workings of party, and accordingly he matured the momentous resolution of making this military machine itself serviceable to his ideals, and of erecting such a commonwealth, as he had in his view, by the power of condottieri. With this design he concluded in 683 the league with the generals of the opposite party, which, notwithstanding that they had accepted the democratic programme, yet brought the democracy and Caesar himself to the brink of destruction. With the same design he himself came forward eleven years afterwards as a condottiere. It was done in both cases with a certain naivete—with good faith in the possibility of his being able to found a free commonwealth, if not by the swords of others, at any rate by his own. We perceive without difficulty that this faith was fallacious, and that no one takes an evil spirit into his service without becoming himself enslaved to it; but the greatest men are not those who err the least. If we still after so many centuries bow in reverence before what Caesar willed and did, it is not because he desired and gained a crown (to do which is, abstractly, as little of a great thing as the crown itself) but because his mighty ideal—of a free commonwealth under one ruler—never forsook him, and preserved him even when monarch from sinking into vulgar royalty.

Caesar Consul

The election of Caesar as consul for 695 was carried without difficulty by the united parties. The aristocracy had to rest content with giving to him—by means of a bribery, for which the whole order of lords contributed the funds, and which excited surprise even in that period of deepest corruption—a colleague in the person of Marcus Bibulus, whose narrow-minded obstinacy was regarded in their circles as conservative energy, and whose good intentions at least were not at fault if the genteel lords did not get a fit return for their patriotic expenditure.

Caesar's Agrarian Law

As consul Caesar first submitted to discussion the requests of his confederates, among which the assignation of land to the veterans of the Asiatic army was by far the most important. The agrarian law projected for this purpose by Caesar adhered in general to the principles set forth in the project of law, which was introduced in the previous year at the suggestion of Pompeius but not carried.(5) There was destined for distribution only the Italian domain-land, that is to say, substantially, the territory of Capua, and, if this should not suffice, other Italian estates were to be purchased out of the revenue of the new eastern provinces at the taxable value recorded in the censorial rolls; all existing rights of property and heritable possession thus remained unaffected. The individual allotments were small. The receivers of land were to be poor burgesses, fathers of at least three children; the dangerous principle, that the rendering of military service gave a claim to landed estate, was not laid down, but, as was reasonable and had been done at all times, the old soldiers as well as the temporary lessees to be ejected were simply recommended to the special consideration of the land-distributors. The execution of the measure was entrusted to a commission of twenty men, into which Caesar distinctly declared that he did not wish to be himself elected.

Opposition of the Aristocracy

The opposition had a difficult task in resisting this proposal. It could not rationally be denied, that the state-finances ought after the erection of the provinces of Pontus and Syria to be in a position to dispense with the moneys from the Campanian leases; that it was unwarrantable to withhold one of the finest districts of Italy, and one peculiarly fitted for small holdings, from private enterprise; and, lastly, that it was as unjust as it was ridiculous, after the extension of the franchise to all Italy, still to withhold municipal rights from the township of Capua. The whole proposal bore the stamp of moderation, honesty, and solidity, with which a democratic party-character was very dexterously combined; for in substance it amounted to the re-establishment of the Capuan colony founded in the time of Marius and again done away by Sulla.(6) In form too Caesar observed all possible consideration. He laid the project of the agrarian law, as well as the proposal to ratify collectively the ordinances issued by Pompeius in the east, and the petition of the farmers of the taxes for remission of a third of the sums payable by them, in the first instance before the senate for approval, and declared himself ready to entertain and discuss proposals for alterations. The corporation had now opportunity of convincing itself how foolishly it had acted in driving Pompeius and the equites into the arms of the adversary by refusing these requests. Perhaps it was the secret sense of this, that drove the high-born lords to the most vehement opposition, which contrasted ill with the calm demeanour of Caesar. The agrarian law was rejected by them nakedly and even without discussion. The decree as to the arrangements of Pompeius in Asia found quite as little favour in their eyes. Cato attempted, in accordance with the disreputable custom of Roman parliamentary debate, to kill the proposal regarding the farmers of the taxes by speaking, that is, to prolong his speech up to the legal hour for closing the sitting; when Caesar threatened to have the stubborn man arrested, this proposal too was at length rejected.

Proposals before the Burgesses

Of course all the proposals were now brought before the burgesses. Without deviating far from the truth, Caesar could tell the multitude that the senate had scornfully rejected most rational and most necessary proposals submitted to it in the most respectful form, simply because they came from the democratic consul. When he added that the aristocrats had contrived a plot to procure the rejection of the proposals, and summoned the burgesses, and more especially Pompeius himself and his old soldiers, to stand by him against fraud and force, this too was by no means a mere invention. The aristocracy, with the obstinate weak creature Bibulus and the unbending dogmatical fool Cato at their head, in reality intended to push the matter to open violence. Pompeius, instigated by Caesar to proclaim his position with reference to the pending question, declared bluntly, as was not his wont on other occasions, that if any one should venture to draw the sword, he too would grasp his, and in that case would not leave the shield at home; Crassus expressed himself to the same effect The old soldiers of Pompeius were directed to appear on the day of the vote— which in fact primarily concerned them—in great numbers, and with arms under their dress, at the place of voting.

The nobility however left no means untried to frustrate the proposals of Caesar. On each day when Caesar appeared before the people, his colleague Bibulus instituted the well-known political observations of the weather which interrupted all public business;(7) Caesar did not trouble himself about the skies, but continued to prosecute his terrestrial occupation. The tribunician veto was interposed; Caesar contented himself with disregarding it. Bibulus and Cato sprang to the rostra, harangued the multitude, and instigated the usual riot; Caesar ordered that they should be led away by lictors from the Forum, and took care that otherwise no harm should befall them—it was for his interest that the political comedy should remain such as it was.

The Agrarian Law Carried
Passive Resistance of the Aristocracy

Notwithstanding all the chicanery and all the blustering of the nobility, the agrarian law, the confirmation of the Asiatic arrangements, and the remission to the lessees of taxes were adopted by the burgesses; and the commission of twenty was elected with Pompeius and Crassus at its head, and installed in office. With all their exertions the aristocracy had gained nothing, save that their blind and spiteful antagonism had drawn the bonds of the coalition still tighter, and their energy, which they were soon to need for matters more important, had exhausted itself on these affairs that were at bottom indifferent. They congratulated each other on the heroic courage which they had displayed; the declaration of Bibulus that he would rather die than yield, the peroration which Cato still continued to deliver when in the hands of the lictors, were great patriotic feats; otherwise they resigned themselves to their fate. The consul Bibulus shut himself up for the remainder of the year in his house, while he at the same time intimated by public placard that he had the pious intention of watching the signs of the sky on all the days appropriate for public assemblies during that year. His colleagues once more admired the great man who, as Ennius had said of the old Fabius, "saved the state by wise delay," and they followed his example; most of them, Cato included, no longer appeared in the senate, but within their four walls helped their consul to fret over the fact that the history of the world went on in spite of political astronomy. To the public this passive attitude of the consul as well as of the aristocracy in general appeared, as it fairly might, a political abdication; and the coalition were naturally very well content that they were left to take their farther steps almost undisturbed.

Caesar Governor of the Two Gauls

The most important of these steps was the regulating of the future position of Caesar. Constitutionally it devolved on the senate to fix the functions of the second consular year of office before the election of the consuls took place; accordingly it had, in prospect of the election of Caesar, selected with that view for 696 two provinces in which the governor should find no other employment than the construction of roads and other such works of utility. Of course the matter could not so remain; it was determined among the confederates, that Caesar should obtain by decree of the people an extraordinary command formed on the model of the Gabinio-Manilian laws. Caesar however had publicly declared that he would introduce no proposal in his own favour; the tribune of the people Publius Vatinius therefore undertook to submit the proposal to the burgesses, who naturally gave their unconditional assent. By this means Caesar obtained the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul and the supreme command of the three legions which were stationed there and were already experienced in border warfare under Lucius Afranius, along with the same rank of propraetor for his adjutants which those of Pompeius had enjoyed; this office was secured to him for five years—a longer period than had ever before been assigned to any general whose appointment was limited to a definite time at all. The Transpadanes, who for years had in hope of the franchise been the clients of the democratic party in Rome and of Caesar in particular,(8) formed the main portion of his province. His jurisdiction extended south as far as the Arnus and the Rubico, and included Luca and Ravenna. Subsequently there was added to Caesar's official district the province of Narbo with the one legion stationed there—a resolution adopted by the senate on the proposal of Pompeius, that it might at least not see this command also pass to Caesar by extraordinary decree of the burgesses. What was wished was thus attained. As no troops could constitutionally be stationed in Italy proper,(9) the commander of the legions of northern Italy and Gaul dominated at the same time Italy and Rome for the next five years; and he who was master for five years was master for life. The consulship of Caesar had attained its object. As a matter of course, the new holders of power did not neglect withal to keep the multitude in good humour by games and amusements of all sorts, and they embraced every opportunity of filling their exchequer; in the case of the king of Egypt, for instance, the decree of the people, which recognized him as legitimate ruler,(10) was sold to him by the coalition at a high price, and in like manner other dynasts and communities acquired charters and privileges on this occasion.

Measures Adopted by the Allies for Their Security

The permanence of the arrangements made seemed also sufficiently secured. The consulship was, at least for the next year, entrusted to safe hands. The public believed at first, that it was destined for Pompeius and Crassus themselves; the holders of power however preferred to procure the election of two subordinate but trustworth men of their party—Aulus Gabinius, the best among Pompeius' adjutants, and Lucius Piso, who was less important but was Caesar's father-in-law— as consuls for 696. Pompeius personally undertook to watch over Italy, where at the head of the commission of twenty he prosecuted the execution of the agrarian law and furnished nearly 20,000 burgesses, in great part old soldiers from his army, with land in the territory of Capua. Caesar's north-Italian legions served to back him against the opposition in the capital. There existed no prospect, immediately at least, of a rupture among the holders of power themselves. The laws issued by Caesar as consul, in the maintenance of which Pompeius was at least as much interested as Caesar, formed a guarantee for the continuance of the breach between Pompeius and the aristocracy—whose heads, and Cato in particular, continued to treat these laws as null—and thereby a guarantee for the subsistence of the coalition. Moreover, the personal bonds of connection between its chiefs were drawn closer. Caesar had honestly and faithfully kept his word to his confederates without curtailing or cheating them of what he had promised, and in particular had fought to secure the agrarian law proposed in the interest of Pompeius, just as if the case had been his own, with dexterity and energy; Pompeius was not insensible to upright dealing and good faith, and was kindly disposed towards the man who had helped him to get quit at a blow of the sorry part of a suppliant which he had been playing for three years. Frequent and familiar intercourse with a man of the irresistible amiableness of Caesar did what was farther requisite to convert the alliance of interests into an alliance of friendship. The result and the pledge of this friendship—at the same time, doubtless, a public announcement which could hardly be misunderstood of the newly established conjoint rule—was the marriage of Pompeius with Caesar's only daughter, three-and-twenty years of age. Julia, who had inherited the charm of her father, lived in the happiest domestic relations with her husband, who was nearly twice as old; and the burgesses longing for rest and order after so many troubles and crises, saw in this nuptial alliance the guarantee of a peaceful and prosperous future.

Situation of the Aristocracy

The more firmly and closely the alliance was thus cemented between Pompeius and Caesar, the more hopeless grew the cause of the aristocracy. They felt the sword suspended over their head and knew Caesar sufficiently to have no doubt that he would, if necessary, use it without hesitation. "On all sides," wrote one of them, "we are checkmated; we have already through fear of death or of banishment despaired of 'freedom'; every one sighs, no one ventures to speak." More the confederates could not desire. But though the majority of the aristocracy was in this desirable frame of mind, there was, of course, no lack of Hotspurs among this party. Hardly had Caesar laid down the consulship, when some of the most violent aristocrats, Lucius Domitius and Gaius Memmius, proposed in a full senate the annulling of the Julian laws. This indeed was simply a piece of folly, which redounded only to the benefit of the coalition; for, when Caesar now himself insisted that the senate should investigate the validity of the laws assailed, the latter could not but formally recognize their legality. But, as may readily be conceived, the holders of power found in this a new call to make an example of some of the most notable and noisiest of their opponents, and thereby to assure themselves that the remainder would adhere to that fitting policy of sighing and silence. At first there had been a hope that the clause of the agrarian law, which as usual required all the senators to take an oath to the new law on pain of forfeiting their political rights, would induce its most vehement opponents to banish themselves, after the example of Metellus Numidicus,(11) by refusing the oath. But these did not show themselves so complaisant; even the rigid Cato submitted to the oath, and his Sanchos followed him. A second, far from honourable, attempt to threaten the heads of the aristocracy with criminal impeachments on account of an alleged plot for the murder of Pompeius, and so to drive them into exile, was frustrated by the incapacity of the instruments; the informer, one Vettius, exaggerated and contradicted himself so grossly, and the tribune Vatinius, who directed the foul scheme, showed his complicity with that Vettius so clearly, that it was found advisable to strangle the latter in prison and to let the whole matter drop. On this occasion however they had obtained sufficient evidence of the total disorganization of the aristocracy and the boundless alarm of the genteel lords: even a man like Lucius Lucullus had thrown himself in person at Caesar's feet and publicly declared that he found himself compelled by reason of his great age to withdraw from public life.

Cato and Cicero Removed

Ultimately therefore they were content with a few isolated victims. It was of primary importance to remove Cato, who made no secret of his conviction as to the nullity of all the Julian laws, and who was a man to act as he thought. Such a man Marcus Cicero was certainly not, and they did not give themselves the trouble to fear him. But the democratic party, which played the leading part in the coalition, could not possibly after its victory leave unpunished the judicial murder of the 5th December 691, which it had so loudly and so justly censured. Had they wished to bring to account the real authors of the fatal decree, they ought to have seized not on the pusillanimous consul, but on the section of the strict aristocracy which had urged the timorous man to that execution. But in formal law it was certainly not the advisers of the consul, but the consul himself, that was responsible for it, and it was above all the gentler course to call the consul alone to account and to leave the senatorial college wholly out of the case; for which reason in the grounds of the proposal directed against Cicero the decree of the senate, in virtue of which he ordered the execution, was directly described as supposititious. Even against Cicero the holders of power would gladly have avoided steps that attracted attention; but he could not prevail on himself either to give to those in power the guarantees which they required, or to banish himself from Rome under one of the feasible pretexts on several occasions offered to him, or even to keep silence. With the utmost desire to avoid any offence and the most sincere alarm, he yet had not self-control enough to be prudent; the word had to come out, when a petulant witticism stung him, or when his self- conceit almost rendered crazy by the praise of so many noble lords gave vent to the well-cadenced periods of the plebeian advocate.


The execution of the measures resolved on against Cato and Cicero was committed to the loose and dissolute, but clever and pre- eminently audacious Publius Clodius, who had lived for years in the bitterest enmity with Cicero, and, with the view of satisfying that enmity and playing a part as demagogue, had got himself converted under the consulship of Caesar by a hasty adoption from a patrician into a plebeian, and then chosen as tribune of the people for the year 696. To support Clodius, the proconsul Caesar remained in the immediate vicinity of the capital till the blow was struck against the two victims. Agreeably to the instructions which he had received, Clodius proposed to the burgesses to entrust Cato with the regulation of the complicated municipal affairs of the Byzantines and with the annexation of the kingdom of Cyprus, which as well as Egypt had fallen to the Romans by the testament of Alexander II, but had not like Egypt bought off the Roman annexation, and the king of which, moreover, had formerly given personal offence to Clodius. As to Cicero, Clodius brought in a project of law which characterized the execution of a burgess without trial and sentence as a crime to be punished with banishment. Cato was thus removed by an honourable mission, while Cicero was visited at least with the gentlest possible punishment and, besides, was not designated by name in the proposal. But they did not refuse themselves the pleasure, on the one hand, of punishing a man notoriously timid and belonging to the class of political weathercocks for the conservative energy which he displayed, and, on the other hand, of investing the bitter opponent of all interferences of the burgesses in administration and of all extraordinary commands with such a command conferred by decree of the burgesses themselves; and with similar humour the proposal respecting Cato was based on the ground of the abnormal virtue of the man, which made him appear pre-eminently qualified to execute so delicate a commission, as was the confiscation of the considerable crown treasure of Cyprus, without embezzlement. Both proposals bear generally the same character of respectful deference and cool irony, which marks throughout the bearing of Caesar in reference to the senate. They met with no resistance. It was naturally of no avail, that the majority of the senate, with the view of protesting in some way against the mockery and censure of their decree in the matter of Catilina, publicly put on mourning, and that Cicero himself, now when it was too late, fell on his knees and besought mercy from Pompeius; he had to banish himself even before the passing of the law which debarred him from his native land (April 696). Cato likewise did not venture to provoke sharper measures by declining the commission which he had received, but accepted itand embarked for the east.(12) What was most immediately necessary was done; Caesar too might leave Italy to devote himself to more serious tasks.

Chapter VII

The Subjugation of the West

The Romanizing of the West

When the course of history turns from the miserable monotony of the political selfishness, which fought its battles in the senate-house and in the streets of the capital, to matters of greater importance than the question whether the first monarch of Rome should be called Gnaeus, Gaius, or Marcus, we may well be allowed—on the threshold of an event, the effects of which still at the present day influence the destinies of the world—to look round us for a moment, and to indicate the point of view under which the conquest of what is now France by the Romans, and their first contact with the inhabitants of Germany and of Great Britain, are to be apprehended in their bearing on the general history of the world.

By virtue of the law, that a people which has grown into a state absorbs its neighbours who are in political nonage, and a civilized people absorbs its neighbours who are in intellectual nonage— by virtue of this law, which is as universally valid and as much a law of nature as the law of gravity—the Italian nation (the only one in antiquity which was able to combine a superior political development and a superior civilization, though it presented the latter only in an imperfect and external manner) was entitled to reduce to subjection the Greek states of the east which were ripe for destruction, and to dispossess the peoples of lower grades of culture in the west—Libyans, Iberians, Celts, Germans—by means of its settlers; just as England with equal right has in Asia reduced to subjection a civilization of rival standing but politically impotent, and in America and Australia has marked and ennobled, and still continues to mark and ennoble, extensive barbarian countries with the impress of its nationality. The Roman aristocracy had accomplished the preliminary condition required for this task— the union of Italy; the task itself it never solved, but always regarded the extra-Italian conquests either as simply a necessary evil, or as a fiscal possession virtually beyond the pale of the state. It is the imperishable glory of the Roman democracy or monarchy—for the two coincide—to have correctly apprehended and vigorously realized this its highest destination. What the irresistible force of circumstances had paved the way for, through the senate establishing against its will the foundations of the future Roman dominion in the west as in the east; what thereafter the Roman emigration to the provinces—which came as a public calamity, no doubt, but also in the western regions at any rate as a pioneer of a higher culture—pursued as matter of instinct; the creator of the Roman democracy, Gaius Gracchus, grasped and began to carry out with statesmanlike clearness and decision. The two fundamental ideas of the new policy—to reunite the territories under the power of Rome, so far as they were Hellenic, and to colonize them, so far as they were not Hellenic—had already in the Gracchan age been practically recognized by the annexation of the kingdom of Attalus and by the Transalpine conquests of Flaccus: but the prevailing reaction once more arrested their application. The Roman state remained a chaotic mass of countries without thorough occupation and without proper limits. Spain and the Graeco-Asiatic possessions were separated from the mother country by wide territories, of which barely the borders along the coast were subject to the Romans; on the north coast of Africa the domains of Carthage and Cyrene alone were occupied like oases; large tracts even of the subject territory, especially in Spain, were but nominally subject to the Romans. Absolutely nothing was done on the part of the government towards concentrating and rounding off their dominion, and the decay of the fleet seemed at length to dissolve the last bond of connection between the distant possessions. The democracy no doubt attempted, so soon as it again raised its head, to shape its external policy in the spirit of Gracchus—Marius in particular cherished such ideas—but as it did not for any length of time attain the helm, its projects were left unfulfilled. It was not till the democracy practically took in hand the government on the overthrow of the Sullan constitution in 684, that a revolution in this respect occurred. First of all their sovereignty on the Mediterranean was restored—the most vital question for a state like that of Rome. Towards the east, moreover, the boundary of the Euphrates was secured by the annexation of the provinces of Pontus and Syria. But there still remained beyond the Alps the task of at once rounding off the Roman territory towards the north and west, and of gaining a fresh virgin soil there for Hellenic civilization and for the yet unbroken vigour of the Italic race.

Historical Significance of the Conquests of Caesar

This task Gaius Caesar undertook. It is more than an error, it is an outrage upon the sacred spirit dominant in history, to regard Gaul solely as the parade ground on which Caesar exercised himself and his legions for the impending civil war. Though the subjugation of the west was for Caesar so far a means to an end that he laid the foundations of his later height of power in the Transalpine wars, it is the especial privilege of a statesman of genius that his means themselves are ends in their turn. Caesar needed no doubt for his party aims a military power, but he did not conquer Gaul as a partisan. There was a direct political necessity for Rome to meet the perpetually threatened invasion of the Germans thus early beyond the Alps, and to construct a rampart there which should secure the peace of the Roman world. But even this important object was not the highest and ultimate reason for which Gaul was conquered by Caesar. When the old home had become too narrow for the Roman burgesses and they were in danger of decay, the senate's policy of Italian conquest saved them from ruin. Now the Italian home had become in its turn too narrow; once more the state languished under the same social evils repeating themselves in similar fashion only on a greater scale. It was a brilliant idea, a grand hope, which led Caesar over the Alps—the idea and the confident expectation that he should gain there for his fellow-burgesses a new boundless home, and regenerate the state a second time by placing it on a broader basis.

Caesar in Spain

The campaign which Caesar undertook in 693 in Further Spain, may be in some sense included among the enterprises which aimed at the subjugation of the west. Long as Spain had obeyed the Romans, its western shore had remained substantially independent of them even after the expedition of Decimus Brutus against the Callaeci(1), and they had not even set foot on the northern coast; while the predatory raids, to which the subject provinces found themselves continually exposed from those quarters, did no small injury to the civilization and Romanizing of Spain. Against these the expedition of Caesar along the west coast was directed. He crossed the chain of the Herminian mountains (Sierra de Estrella) bounding the Tagus on the north; after having conquered their inhabitants and transplanted them in part to the plain, he reduced the country on both sides of the Douro and arrived at the northwest point of the peninsula, where with the aid of a flotilla brought up from Gades he occupied Brigantium (Corunna). By this means the peoples adjoining the Atlantic Ocean, Lusitanians and Callaecians, were forced to acknowledge the Roman supremacy, while the conqueror was at the same time careful to render the position of the subjects generally more tolerable by reducing the tribute to be paid to Rome and regulating the financial affairs of the communities.

But, although in this military and administrative debut of the great general and statesman the same talents and the same leading ideas are discernible which he afterwards evinced on a greater stage, his agency in the Iberian peninsula was much too transient to have any deep effect; the more especially as, owing to its physical and national peculiarities, nothing but action steadily continued for a considerable time could exert any durable influence there.


A more important part in the Romanic development of the west was reserved by destiny for the country which stretches between the Pyrenees and the Rhine, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, and which since the Augustan age has been especially designated by the name of the land of the Celts—Gallia—although strictly speaking the land of the Celts was partly narrower, partly much more extensive, and the country so called never formed a national unity, and did not form a political unity before Augustus. For this very reason it is not easy to present a clear picture of the very heterogeneous state of things which Caesar encountered on his arrival there in 696.

The Roman Province
Wars and Revolts There

In the region on the Mediterranean, which, embracing approximately Languedoc on the west of the Rhone, on the east Dauphine and Provence, had been for sixty years a Roman province, the Roman arms had seldom been at rest since the Cimbrian invasion which had swept over it. In 664 Gaius Caelius had fought with the Salyes about Aquae Sextiae, and in 674 Gaius Flaccus,(2) on his march to Spain, with other Celtic nations. When in the Sertorian war the governor Lucius Manlius, compelled to hasten to the aid of his colleagues beyond the Pyrenees, returned defeated from Ilerda (Lerida) and on his way home was vanquished a second time by the western neighbours of the Roman province, the Aquitani (about 676;(3)), this seems to have provoked a general rising of the provincials between the Pyrenees and the Rhone, perhaps even of those between the Rhone and Alps. Pompeius had to make his way with the sword through the insurgent Gaul to Spain,(4) and by way of penalty for their rebellion gave the territories of the Volcae-Arecomici and the Helvii (dep. Gard and Ardeche) over to the Massiliots; the governor Manius Fonteius (678-680) carried out these arrangements and restored tranquillity in the province by subduing the Vocontii (dep. Drome), protecting Massilia from the insurgents, and liberating the Roman capital Narbo which they invested. Despair, however, and the financial embarrassment which the participation in the sufferings of the Spanish war(5) and generally the official and non-official exactions of the Romans brought upon the Gallic provinces, did not allow them to be tranquil; and in particular the canton of the Allobroges, the most remote from Narbo, was in a perpetual ferment, which was attested by the "pacification" that Gaius Piso undertook there in 688 as well as by the behaviour of the Allobrogian embassy in Rome on occasion of the anarchist plot in 691,(6) and which soon afterwards (693) broke into open revolt Catugnatus the leader of the Allobroges in this war of despair, who had at first fought not unsuccessfully, was conquered at Solonium after a glorious resistance by the governor Gaius Pomptinus.

Relations to Rome

Notwithstanding all these conflicts the bounds of the Roman territory were not materially advanced; Lugudunum Convenarum, where Pompeius had settled the remnant of the Sertorian army,(7) Tolosa, Vienna and Genava were still the most remote Roman townships towards the west and north. But at the same time the importance of these Gallic possessions for the mother country was continually on the increase. The glorious climate, akin to that of Italy, the favourable nature of the soil, the large and rich region lying behind so advantageous for commerce with its mercantile routes reaching as far as Britain, the easy intercourse by land and sea with the mother country, rapidly gave to southern Gaul an economic importance for Italy, which much older possessions, such as those in Spain, had not acquired in the course of centuries; and as the Romans who had suffered political shipwreck at this period sought an asylum especially in Massilia, and there found once more Italian culture and Italian luxury, voluntary emigrants from Italy also were attracted more and more to the Rhone and the Garonne. "The province of Gaul," it was said in a sketch drawn ten years before Caesar's arrival, "is full of merchants; it swarms with Roman burgesses. No native of Gaul transacts a piece of business without the intervention of a Roman; every penny, that passes from one hand to another in Gaul, goes through the account books of the Roman burgesses." From the same description it appears that in addition to the colonists of Narbo there were Romans cultivating land and rearing cattle, resident in great numbers in Gaul; as to which, however, it must not be overlooked that most of the provincial land possessed by Romans, just like the greater part of the English possessions in the earliest times in America, was in the hands of the high nobility living in Italy, and those farmers and graziers consisted for the most part of their stewards—slaves or freedmen.

Incipient Romanizing

It is easy to understand how under such circumstances civilization and Romanizing rapidly spread among the natives. These Celts were not fond of agriculture; but their new masters compelled them to exchange the sword for the plough, and it is very credible that the embittered resistance of the Allobroges was provoked in part by some such injunctions. In earlier times Hellenism had also to a certain degree dominated those regions; the elements of a higher culture, the stimulus to the cultivation of the vine and the olive,(8) to the use of writing(9) and to the coining of money, came to them from Massilia. The Hellenic culture was in this case far from being set aside by the Romans; Massilia gained through them more influence than it lost; and even in the Roman period Greek physicians and rhetoricians were publicly employed in the Gallic cantons. But, as may readily be conceived, Hellenism in southern Gaul acquired through the agency of the Romans the same character as in Italy; the distinctively Hellenic civilization gave place to the Latino-Greek mixed culture, which soon made proselytes here in great numbers. The "Gauls in the breeches," as the inhabitants of southern Gaul were called by way of contrast to the "Gauls in the toga" of northern Italy, were not indeed like the latter already completely Romanized, but they were even now very perceptibly distinguished from the "longhaired Gauls" of the northern regions still unsubdued. The semiculture becoming naturalized among them furnished, doubtless, materials enough for ridicule of their barbarous Latin, and people did not fail to suggest to any one suspected of Celtic descent his "relationship with the breeches"; but this bad Latin was yet sufficient to enable even the remote Allobroges to transact business with the Roman authorities, and even to give testimony in the Roman courts without an interpreter.

While the Celtic and Ligurian population of these regions was thus in the course of losing its nationality, and was languishing and pining withal under a political and economic oppression, the intolerable nature of which is sufficiently attested by their hopeless insurrections, the decline of the native population here went hand in hand with the naturalizing of the same higher culture which we find at this period in Italy. Aquae Sextiae and still more Narbo were considerable townships, which might probably be named by the side of Beneventum and Capua; and Massilia, the best organized, most free, most capable of self-defence, and most powerful of all the Greek cities dependent on Rome, under its rigorous aristocratic government to which the Roman conservatives probably pointed as the model of a good urban constitution, in possession of an important territory which had been considerably enlarged by the Romans and of an extensive trade, stood by the side of those Latin towns as Rhegium and Neapolis stood in Italy by the side of Beneventum and Capua.

Free Gaul

Matters wore a different aspect, when one crossed the Roman frontier. The great Celtic nation, which in the southern districts already began to be crushed by the Italian immigration, still moved to the north of the Cevennes in its time-hallowed freedom. It is not the first time that we meet it: the Italians had already fought with the offsets and advanced posts of this vast stock on the Tiber and on the Po, in the mountains of Castile and Carinthia, and even in the heart of Asia Minor; but it was here that the main stock was first assailed at its very core by their attacks. The Celtic race had on its settlement in central Europe diffused itself chiefly over the rich river-valleys and the pleasant hill-country of the present France, including the western districts of Germany and Switzerland, and from thence had occupied at least the southern part of England, perhaps even at this time all Great Britain and Ireland;(10) it formed here more than anywhere else a broad, geographically compact, mass of peoples. In spite of the differences in language and manners which naturally were to be found within this wide territory, a close mutual intercourse, an innate sense of fellowship, seems to have knit together the tribes from the Rhone and Garonne to the Rhine and the Thames; whereas, although these doubtless were in a certain measure locally connected with the Celts in Spain and in the modern Austria, the mighty mountain barriers of the Pyrenees and the Alps on the one hand, and the encroachments of the Romans and the Germans which also operated here on the other, interrupted the intercourse and the intrinsic connection of the cognate peoples far otherwise than the narrow arm of the sea interrupted the relations of the continental and the British Celts. Unhappily we are not permitted to trace stage by stage the history of the internal development of this remarkable people in these its chief seats; we must be content with presenting at least some outline of its historical culture and political condition, as it here meets us in the time of Caesar.

Agriculture and the Rearing of Cattle

Gaul was, according to the reports of the ancients, comparatively well peopled. Certain statements lead us to infer that in the Belgic districts there were some 200 persons to the square mile— a proportion such as nearly holds at present for Wales and for Livonia—in the Helvetic canton about 245;(11) it is probable that in the districts which were more cultivated than the Belgic and less mountainous than the Helvetian, as among the Bituriges, Arverni, Haedui, the number rose still higher. Agriculture was no doubt practised in Gaul—for even the contemporaries of Caesar were surprised in the region of the Rhine by the custom of manuring with marl,(12) and the primitive Celtic custom of preparing beer (-cervesia-) from barley is likewise an evidence of the early and wide diffusion of the culture of grain—but it was not held in estimation. Even in the more civilized south it was reckoned not becoming for the free Celts to handle the plough. In far higher estimation among the Celts stood pastoral husbandry, for which the Roman landholders of this epoch very gladly availed themselves both of the Celtic breed of cattle, and of the brave Celtic slaves skilled in riding and familiar with the rearing of animals.(13) Particularly in the northern Celtic districts pastoral husbandry was thoroughly predominant. Brittany was in Caesar's time a country poor in corn. In the north-east dense forests, attaching themselves to the heart of the Ardennes, stretched almost without interruption from the German Ocean to the Rhine; and on the plains of Flanders and Lorraine, now so fertile, the Menapian and Treverian herdsman then fed his half-wild swine in the impenetrable oak-forest. Just as in the valley of the Po the Romans made the production of wool and the culture of corn supersede the Celtic feeding of pigs on acorns, so the rearing of sheep and the agriculture in the plains of the Scheldt and the Maas are traceable to their influence. In Britain even the threshing of corn was not yet usual; and in its more northern districts agriculture was not practised, and the rearing of cattle was the only known mode of turning the soil to account. The culture of the olive and vine, which yielded rich produce to the Massiliots, was not yet prosecuted beyond the Cevennes in the time of Caesar.

Urban Life

The Gauls were from the first disposed to settle in groups; there were open villages everywhere, and the Helvetic canton alone numbered in 696 four hundred of these, besides a multitude of single homesteads. But there were not wanting also walled towns, whose walls of alternate layers surprised the Romans both by their suitableness and by the elegant interweaving of timber and stones in their construction; while, it is true, even in the towns of the Allobroges the buildings were erected solely of wood. Of such towns the Helvetii had twelve and the Suessiones an equal number; whereas at all events in the more northern districts, such as among the Nervii, while there were doubtless also towns, the population during war sought protection in the morasses and forests rather than behind their walls, and beyond the Thames the primitive defence of the wooden barricade altogether took the place of towns and was in war the only place of refuge for men and herds.


In close association with the comparatively considerable development of urban life stands the activity of intercourse by land and by water. Everywhere there were roads and bridges. The river-navigation, which streams like the Rhone, Garonne, Loire, and Seine, of themselves invited, was considerable and lucrative. But far more remarkable was the maritime navigation of the Celts. Not only were the Celts, to all appearance, the nation that first regularly navigated the Atlantic ocean, but we find that the art of building and of managing vessels had attained among them a remarkable development. The navigation of the peoples of the Mediterranean had, as may readily be conceived from the nature of the waters traversed by them, for a comparatively long period adhered to the oar; the war-vessels of the Phoenicians, Hellenes, and Romans were at all times oared galleys, in which the sail was applied only as an occasional aid to the oar; the trading vessels alone were in the epoch of developed ancient civilization "sailers" properly so called.(14) On the other hand the Gauls doubtless employed in the Channel in Caesar's time, as for long afterwards, a species of portable leathern skiffs, which seem to have been in the main common oared boats, but on the west coast of Gaul the Santones, the Pictones, and above all the Veneti sailed in large though clumsily built ships, which were not impelled by oars but were provided with leathern sails and iron anchor-chains; and they employed these not only for their traffic with Britain, but also in naval combat. Here therefore we not only meet for the first time with navigation in the open ocean, but we find that here the sailing vessel first fully took the place of the oared boat—an improvement, it is true, which the declining activity of the old world did not know how to turn to account, and the immeasurable results of which our own epoch of renewed culture is employed in gradually reaping.


With this regular maritime intercourse between the British and Gallic coasts, the very close political connection between the inhabitants on both sides of the Channel is as easily explained as the flourishing of transmarine commerce and of fisheries. It was the Celts of Brittany in particular, that brought the tin of the mines of Cornwall from England and carried it by the river and land routes of Gaul to Narbo and Massilia. The statement, that in Caesar's time certain tribes at the mouth of the Rhine subsisted on fish and birds' eggs, may probably refer to the circumstance that marine fishing and the collection of the eggs of sea-birds were prosecuted there on an extensive scale. When we put together and endeavour to fill up the isolated and scanty statements which have reached us regarding the Celtic commerce and intercourse, we come to see why the tolls of the river and maritime ports play a great part in the budgets of certain cantons, such as those of the Haedui and the Veneti, and why the chief god of the nation was regarded by them as the protector of the roads and of commerce, and at the same time as the inventor of manufactures. Accordingly the Celtic industry cannot have been wholly undeveloped; indeed the singular dexterity of the Celts, and their peculiar skill in imitating any model and executing any instructions, are noticed by Caesar. In most branches, however, their handicraft does not appear to have risen above the ordinary level; the manufacture of linen and woollen stuffs, that subsequently flourished in central and northern Gaul, was demonstrably called into existence only by the Romans. The elaboration of metals forms an exception, and so far as we know the only one. The copper implements not unfrequently of excellent workmanship and even now malleable, which are brought to light in the tombs of Gaul, and the carefully adjusted Arvernian gold coins, are still at the present day striking witnesses of the skill of the Celtic workers in copper and gold; and with this the reports of the ancients well accord, that the Romans learned the art of tinning from the Bituriges and that of silvering from the Alesini—inventions, the first of which was naturally suggested by the traffic' in tin, and both of which were probably made in the period of Celtic freedom.


Hand in hand with dexterity in the elaboration of the metals went the art of procuring them, which had attained, more especially in the iron mines on the Loire, such a degree of professional skill that the miners played an important part in the sieges. The opinion prevalent among the Romans of this period, that Gaul was one of the richest gold countries in the world, is no doubt refuted by the well-known nature of the soil and by the character of the articles found in the Celtic tombs, in which gold appears but sparingly and with far less frequency than in the similar repositories of the true native regions of gold; this conception no doubt had its origin merely from the descriptions which Greek travellers and Roman soldiers, doubtless not without strong exaggeration, gave to their countrymen of the magnificence of the Arvernian kings,(15) and of the treasures of the Tolosan temples.(16) But their stories were not pure fictions. It may well be believed that in and near the rivers which flow from the Alps and the Pyrenees gold-washing and searches for gold, which are unprofitable at the present value of labour, were worked with profit and on a considerable scale in ruder times and with a system of slavery; besides, the commercial relations of Gaul may, as is not unfrequently the case with half-civilized peoples, have favoured the accumulation of a dead stock of the precious metals.

Art and Science

The low state of the arts of design is remarkable, and is the more striking by the side of this mechanical skill in handling the metals. The fondness for parti-coloured and brilliant ornaments shows the want of a proper taste, which is sadly confirmed by the Gallic coins with their representations sometimes exceedingly simple, sometimes odd, but always childish in design, and almost without exception rude beyond parallel in their execution. It is perhaps unexampled that a coinage practised for centuries with a certain technical skill should have essentially limited itself to always imitating two or three Greek dies, and always with increasing deformity. On the other hand the art of poetry was highly valued by the Celts, and intimately blended with the religious and even with the political institutions of the nation; we find religious poetry, as well as that of the court and of the mendicant, flourishing.(17) Natural science and philosophy also found, although subject to the forms and fetters of the theology of the country, a certain amount of attention among the Celts; and Hellenic humanism met with a ready reception wherever and in whatever shape it approached them. The knowledge of writing was general at least among the priests. For the most part in free Gaul the Greek writing was made use of in Caesar's time, as was done among others by the Helvetii; but in its most southern districts even then, in consequence of intercourse with the Romanized Celts, the Latin attained predominance—we meet with it, for instance, on the Arvernian coins of this period.

Political Organization
Cantonal Constitution

The political development of the Celtic nation also presents very remarkable phenomena. The constitution of the state was based in this case, as everywhere, on the clan-canton, with its prince, its council of the elders, and its community of freemen capable of bearing arms; but the peculiarity in this case was that it never got beyond this cantonal constitution. Among the Greeks and Romans the canton was very early superseded by the ring-wall as the basis of political unity; where two cantons found themselves together within the same walls, they amalgamated into one commonwealth; where a body of burgesses assigned to a portion of their fellow- burgesses a new ring-wall, there regularly arose in this way a new state connected with the mother community only by ties of piety and, at most, of clientship. Among the Celts on the other hand the "burgess-body" continued at all times to be the clan; prince and council presided over the canton and not over any town, and the general diet of the canton formed the authority of last resort in the state. The town had, as in the east, merely mercantile and strategic, not political importance; for which reason the Gallic townships, even when walled and very considerable such as Vienna and Genava, were in the view of the Greeks and Romans nothing but villages. In the time of Caesar the original clan-constitution still subsisted substantially unaltered among the insular Celts and in the northern cantons of the mainland; the general assembly held the supreme authority; the prince was in essential questions bound by its decrees; the common council was numerous—it numbered in certain clans six hundred members—but does not appear to have had more importance than the senate under the Roman kings. In the more stirring southern portion of the land, again, one or two generations before Caesar—the children of the last kings were still living in his time—there had occurred, at least among the larger clans, the Arverni, Haedui, Sequani, Helvetii, a revolution which set aside the royal dominion and gave the power into the hands of the nobility.

Development of Knighthood
Breaking Up of the Old Cantonal Constitution

It is simply the reverse side of the total want of urban commonwealths among the Celts just noticed, that the opposite pole of political development, knighthood, so thoroughly preponderates in the Celtic clan-constitution. The Celtic aristocracy was to all appearance a high nobility, for the most part perhaps the members of the royal or formerly royal families; as indeed it is remarkable that the heads of the opposite parties in the same clan very frequently belong to the same house. These great families combined in their hands financial, warlike, and political ascendency. They monopolized the leases of the profitable rights of the state. They compelled the free commons, who were oppressed by the burden of taxation, to borrow from them, and to surrender their freedom first de facto as debtors, then de jure as bondmen. They developed the system of retainers, that is, the privilege of the nobility to surround themselves with a number of hired mounted servants— the -ambacti- as they were called (18)—and thereby to form a state within the state; and, resting on the support of these troops of their own, they defied the legal authorities and the common levy and practically broke up the commonwealth. If in a clan, which numbered about 80,000 men capable of arms, a single noble could appear at the diet with 10,000 retainers, not reckoning the bondmen and the debtors, it is clear that such an one was more an independent dynast than a burgess of his clan. Moreover, the leading families of the different clans were closely connected and through intermarriages and special treaties formed virtually a compact league, in presence of which the single clan was powerless. Therefore the communities were no longer able to maintain the public peace, and the law of the strong arm reigned throughout. The dependent found protection only from his master, whom duty and interest compelled to redress the injury inflicted on his client; the state had no longer the power to protect those who were free, and consequently these gave themselves over in numbers to some powerful man as clients.

Abolition of the Monarchy

The common assembly lost its political importance; and even the power of the prince, which should have checked the encroachments of the nobility, succumbed to it among the Celts as well as in Latium. In place of the king came the "judgment-worker" or -Vergobretus-,(19) who was like the Roman consul nominated only for a year. So far as the canton still held together at all, it was led by the common council, in which naturally the heads of the aristocracy usurped the government. Of course under such circumstances there was agitation in the several clans much in the same way as there had been agitation in Latium for centuries after the expulsion of the kings: while the nobility of the different communities combined to form a separate alliance hostile to the power of the community, the multitude ceased not to desire the restoration of the monarchy; and not unfrequently a prominent nobleman attempted, as Spurius Cassius had done in Rome, with the support of the mass of those belonging to the canton to break down the power of his peers, and to reinstate the crown in its rights for his own special benefit.

Efforts towards National Unity

While the individual cantons were thus irremediably declining, the sense of unity was at the same time powerfully stirring in the nation and seeking in various ways to take shape and hold. That combination of the whole Celtic nobility in contradistinction to the individual canton-unions, while disturbing the existing order of things, awakened and fostered the conception of the collective unity of the nation. The attacks directed against the nation from without, and the continued diminution of its territory in war with its neighbours, operated in the same direction. Like the Hellenes in their wars with the Persians, and the Italians in their wars with the Celts, the Transalpine Gauls seem to have become conscious of the existence and the power of their national unity in the wars against Rome. Amidst the dissensions of rival clans and all their feudal quarrelling there might still be heard the voices of those who were ready to purchase the independence of the nation at the cost of the independence of the several cantons, and even at that of the seignorial rights of the knights. The thorough popularity of the opposition to a foreign yoke was shown by the wars of Caesar, with reference to whom the Celtic patriot party occupied a position entirely similar to that of the German patriots towards Napoleon; its extent and organization are attested, among other things, by the telegraphic rapidity with which news was communicated from one point to another.

Religious Union of the Nation

The universality and the strength of the Celtic national feeling would be inexplicable but for the circumstance that, amidst the greatest political disruption, the Celtic nation had for long been centralized in respect of religion and even of theology. The Celtic priesthood or, to use the native name, the corporation of the Druids, certainly embraced the British islands and all Gaul, and perhaps also other Celtic countries, in a common religious- national bond. It possessed a special head elected by the priests themselves; special schools, in which its very comprehensive tradition was transmitted; special privileges, particularly exemption from taxation and military service, which every clan respected; annual councils, which were held near Chartres at the "centre of the Celtic earth"; and above all, a believing people, who in painful piety and blind obedience to their priests seem to have been nowise inferior to the Irish of modern times. It may readily be conceived that such a priesthood attempted to usurp, as it partially did usurp, the secular government; where the annual monarchy subsisted, it conducted the elections in the event of an interregnum; it successfully laid claim to the right of excluding individuals and whole communities from religious, and consequently also from civil, society; it was careful to draw to itself the most important civil causes, especially processes as to boundaries and inheritance; on the ground, apparently, of its right to exclude from the community, and perhaps also of the national custom that criminals should be by preference taken for the usual human sacrifices, it developed an extensive priestly criminal jurisdiction, which was co-ordinate with that of the kings and vergobrets; it even claimed the right of deciding on war and peace. The Gauls were not far removed from an ecclesiastical state with its pope and councils, its immunities, interdicts, and spiritual courts; only this ecclesiastical state did not, like that of recent times, stand aloof from the nations, but was on the contrary pre-eminently national.

Want of Political Centralization
The Canton-Leagues

But while the sense of mutual relationship was thus vividly awakened among the Celtic tribes, the nation was still precluded from attaining a basis of political centralization such as Italy found in the Roman burgesses, and the Hellenes and Germans in the Macedonian and Frank kings. The Celtic priesthood and likewise the nobility—although both in a certain sense represented and combined the nation—were yet, on the one hand, incapable of uniting it in consequence of their particular class-interests, and, on the other hand, sufficiently powerful to allow no king and no canton to accomplish the work of union. Attempts at this work were not wanting; they followed, as the cantonal constitution suggested, the system of hegemony. A powerful canton induced a weaker to become subordinate, on such a footing that the leading canton acted for the other as well as for itself in its external relations and stipulated for it in state-treaties, while the dependent canton bound itself to render military service and sometimes also to pay a tribute. In this way a series of separate leagues arose; but there was no leading canton for all Gaul—no tie, however loose, combining the nation as a whole.

The Belgic League
The Maritime Cantons
The Leagues of Central Gaul

It has been already mentioned(20) that the Romans at the commencement of their Transalpine conquests found in the north a Britanno-Belgic league under the leadership of the Suessiones, and in central and southern Gaul the confederation of the Arverni, with which latter the Haedui, although having a weaker body of clients, carried on a rivalry. In Caesar's time we find the Belgae in north-eastern Gaul between the Seine and the Rhine still forming such an association, which, however, apparently no longer extends to Britain; by their side there appears, in the modern Normandy and Brittany, the league of the Aremorican or the maritime cantons: in central or proper Gaul two parties as formerly contended for the hegemony, the one headed by the Haedui, the other by the Sequani after the Arvernians weakened by the wars with Rome had retired. These different confederacies subsisted independently side by side; the leading states of central Gaul appear never to have extended their clientship to the north-east nor, seriously, perhaps even to the north-west of Gaul.

Character of Those Leagues

The impulse of the nation towards freedom found doubtless a certain gratification in these cantonal unions; but they were in every respect unsatisfactory. The union was of the loosest kind, constantly fluctuating between alliance and hegemony; the representation of the whole body in peace by the federal diets, in war by the general,(21) was in the highest degree feeble. The Belgian confederacy alone seems to have been bound together somewhat more firmly; the national enthusiasm, from which the successful repulse of the Cimbri proceeded,(22) may have proved beneficial to it. The rivalries for the hegemony made a breach in every league, which time did not close but widened, because the victory of one competitor still left his opponent in possession of political existence, and it always remained open to him, even though he had submitted to clientship, subsequently to renew the struggle. The rivalry among the more powerful cantons not only set these at variance, but spread into every dependent clan, into every village, often indeed into every house, for each individual chose his side according to his personal relations. As Hellas exhausted its strength not so much in the struggle of Athens against Sparta as in the internal strife of the Athenian and Lacedaemonian factions in every dependent community, and even in Athens itself, so the rivalry of the Arverni and Haedui with its repetitions on a smaller and smaller scale destroyed the Celtic people.

The Celtic Military System

The military capability of the nation felt the reflex influence of these political and social relations. The cavalry was throughout the predominant arm; alongside of which among the Belgae, and still more in the British islands, the old national war-chariots appear in remarkable perfection. These equally numerous and efficient bands of combatants on horseback and in chariots were formed from the nobility and its vassals; for the nobles had a genuine knightly delight in dogs and horses, and were at much expense to procure noble horses of foreign breed. It is characteristic of the spirit and the mode of fighting of these nobles that, when the levy was called out, whoever could keep his seat on horseback, even the gray-haired old man, took the field, and that, when on the point of beginning a combat with an enemy of whom they made little account, they swore man by man that they would keep aloof from house and homestead, unless their band should charge at least twice through the enemy's line. Among the hired warriors the free-lance spirit prevailed with all its demoralized and stolid indifference towards their own life and that of others. This is apparent from the stories— however anecdotic their colouring—of the Celtic custom of tilting by way of sport and now and then fighting for life or death at a banquet, and of the usage (which prevailed among the Celts, and outdid even the Roman gladiatorial games) of selling themselves to be killed for a set sum of money or a number of casks of wine, and voluntarily accepting the fatal blow stretched on their shield before the eyes of the whole multitude.


By the side of these mounted warriors the infantry fell into the background. In the main it essentially resembled the bands of Celts, with whom the Romans had fought in Italy and Spain. The large shield was, as then, the principal weapon of defence; among the offensive arms, on the other hand, the long thrusting lance now played the chief part in room of the sword. Where several cantons waged war in league, they naturally encamped and fought clan against clan; there is no trace of their giving to the levy of each canton military organization and forming smaller and more regular tactical subdivisions. A long train of waggons still dragged the baggage of the Celtic army; instead of an entrenched camp, such as the Romans pitched every night, the poor substitute of a barricade of waggons still sufficed. In the case of certain cantons, such as the Nervii, the efficiency of their infantry is noticed as exceptional; it is remarkable that these had no cavalry, and perhaps were not even a Celtic but an immigrant German tribe. But in general the Celtic infantry of this period appears as an unwarlike and unwieldy levy en masse; most of all in the more southern provinces, where along with barbarism valour had also disappeared. The Celt, says Caesar, ventures not to face the German in battle. The Roman general passed a censure still more severe than this judgment on the Celtic infantry, seeing that, after having become acquainted with them in his first campaign, he never again employed them in connection with Roman infantry.

Stage of Development of the Celtic Civilization

If we survey the whole condition of the Celts as Caesar found it in the Transalpine regions, there is an unmistakeable advance in civilization, as compared with the stage of culture at which the Celts came before us a century and a half previously in the valley of the Po. Then the militia, excellent of its kind, thoroughly preponderated in their armies;(23) now the cavalry occupies the first place. Then the Celts dwelt in open villages; now well- constructed walls surrounded their townships. The objects too found in the tombs of Lombardy are, especially as respects articles of copper and glass, far inferior to those of northern Gaul. Perhaps the most trustworthy measure of the increase of culture is the sense of a common relationship in the nation; so little of it comes to light in the Celtic battles fought on the soil of what is now Lombardy, while it strikingly appears in the struggles against Caesar. To all appearance the Celtic nation, when Caesar encountered it, had already reached the maximum of the culture allotted to it, and was even now on the decline. The civilization of the Transalpine Celts in Caesar's time presents, even for us who are but very imperfectly informed regarding it, several aspects that are estimable, and yet more that are interesting; in some respects it is more akin to the modern than to the Hellenic-Roman culture, with its sailing vessels, its knighthood, its ecclesiastical constitution, above all with its attempts, however imperfect, to build the state not on the city, but on the tribe and in a higher degree on the nation. But just because we here meet the Celtic nation at the culminating point of its development, its lesser degree of moral endowment or, which is the same thing, its lesser capacity of culture, comes more distinctly into view. It was unable to produce from its own resources either a national art or a national state; it attained at the utmost a national theology and a peculiar type of nobility. The original simple valour was no more; the military courage based on higher morality and judicious organization, which comes in the train of increased civilization, had only made its appearance in a very stunted form among the knights. Barbarism in the strict sense was doubtless outlived; the times had gone by, when in Gaul the fat haunch was assigned to the bravest of the guests, but each of his fellow-guests who thought himself offended thereby was at liberty to challenge the receiver on that score to combat, and when the most faithful retainers of a deceased chief were burnt along with him. But human sacrifices still continued, and the maxim of law, that torture was inadmissible in the case of the free man but allowable in that of the free woman as well as of slaves, throws a far from pleasing light on the position which the female sex held among the Celts even in their period of culture. The Celts had lost the advantages which specially belong to the primitive epoch of nations, but had not acquired those which civilization brings with it when it intimately and thoroughly pervades a people.

External Relations
Celts and Iberians

Such was the internal condition of the Celtic nation. It remains that we set forth their external relations with their neighbours, and describe the part which they sustained at this moment in the mighty rival race and rival struggle of the nations, in which it is everywhere still more difficult to maintain than to acquire. Along the Pyrenees the relations of the peoples had for long been peaceably settled, and the times had long gone by when the Celts there pressed hard on, and to some extent supplanted, the Iberian, that is, the Basque, original population. The valleys of the Pyrenees as well as the mountains of Bearn and Gascony, and also the coast- steppes to the south of the Garonne, were at the time of Caesar in the undisputed possession of the Aquitani, a great number of small tribes of Iberian descent, coming little into contact with each other and still less with the outer world; in this quarter only the mouth of the Garonne with the important port of Burdigala (Bordeaux) was in the hands of a Celtic tribe, the Bituriges-Vivisci.

Celts and Romans
Advance of Roman Trade and Commerce into Free Gaul

Of far greater importance was the contact of the Celtic nation with the Roman people, and with the Germans. We need not here repeat— what has been related already—how the Romans in their slow advance had gradually pressed back the Celts, had at last occupied the belt of coast between the Alps and the Pyrenees, and had thereby totally cut them off from Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean Sea—a catastrophe, for which the way had already been prepared centuries before by the laying out of the Hellenic stronghold at the mouth of the Rhone. But we must here recall the fact that it was not merely the superiority of the Roman arms which pressed hard on the Celts, but quite as much that of Roman culture, which likewise reaped the ultimate benefit of the respectable beginnings of Hellenic civilization in Gaul. Here too, as so often happens, trade and commerce paved the way for conquest. The Celt after northern fashion was fond of fiery drinks; the fact that like the Scythian he drank the generous wine unmingled and to intoxication, excited the surprise and the disgust of the temperate southern; but the trader has no objection to deal with such customers. Soon the trade with Gaul became a mine of gold for the Italian merchant; it was nothing unusual there for a jar of wine to be exchanged for a slave. Other articles of luxury, such as Italian horses, found advantageous sale in Gaul. There were instances even already of Roman burgesses acquiring landed property beyond the Roman frontier, and turning it to profit after the Italian fashion; there is mention, for example, of Roman estates in the canton of the Segusiavi (near Lyons) as early as about 673. Beyond doubt it was a consequence of this that, as already mentioned(24) in free Gaul itself, e. g. among the Arverni, the Roman language was not unknown even before the conquest; although this knowledge was presumably still restricted to few, and even the men of rank in the allied canton of the Haedui had to be conversed with through interpreters. Just as the traffickers in fire-water and the squatters led the way in the occupation of North America, so these Roman wine-traders and landlords paved the way for, and beckoned onward, the future conqueror of Gaul. How vividly this was felt even on the opposite side, is shown by the prohibition which one of the most energetic tribes of Gaul, the canton of the Nervii, like some German peoples, issued against trafficking with the Romans.

Celts and Germans

Still more violent even than the pressure of the Romans from the Mediterranean was that of the Germans downward from the Baltic and the North Sea—a fresh stock from the great cradle of peoples in the east, which made room for itself by the side of its elder brethren with youthful vigour, although also with youthful rudeness. Though the tribes of this stock dwelling nearest to the Rhine—the Usipetes, Tencteri, Sugambri, Ubii—had begun to be in some degree civilized, and had at least ceased voluntarily to change their abodes, all accounts yet agree that farther inland agriculture was of little importance, and the several tribes had hardly yet attained fixed abodes. It is significant in this respect that their western neighbours at this time hardly knew how to name any one of the peoples of the interior of Germany by its cantonal name; these were only known to them under the general appellations of the Suebi, that is, the roving people or nomads, and the Marcomani, that is, the land-guard(25)—names which were hardly cantonal names in Caesar's time, although they appeared as such to the Romans and subsequently became in various cases names of cantons.

The Right Bank of the Rhine Lost to the Celts

The most violent onset of this great nation fell upon the Celts. The struggles, in which the Germans probably engaged with the Celts for the possession of the regions to the east of the Rhine, are wholly withdrawn from our view. We are only able to perceive, that about the end of the seventh century of Rome all the land as far as the Rhine was already lost to the Celts; that the Boii, who were probably once settled in Bavaria and Bohemia,(26) were homeless wanderers; and that even the Black Forest formerly possessed by the Helvetii,(27) if not yet taken possession of by the German tribes dwelling in the vicinity, was at least waste debateable border- land, and was presumably even then, what it was afterwards called, the Helvetian desert The barbarous strategy of the Germans—which secured them from hostile attacks by laying waste the neighbourhood for miles—seems to have been applied here on the greatest scale.

German Tribes on the Left Bank of the Rhine

But the Germans had not remained stationary at the Rhine. The march of the Cimbrian and Teutonic host, composed, as respects its flower, of German tribes, which had swept with such force fifty years before over Pannonia, Gaul, Italy, and Spain, seemed to have been nothing but a grand reconnaissance. Already different German tribes had formed permanent settlements to the west of the Rhine, especially of its lower course; having intruded as conquerors, these settlers continued to demand hostages and to levy annual tribute from the Gallic inhabitants in their neighbourhood, as if from subjects. Among these German tribes were the Aduatuci, who from a fragment of the Cimbrian horde(28) had grown into a considerable canton, and a number of other tribes afterwards comprehended under the name of the Tungri on the Maas in the region of Liege; even the Treveri (about Treves) and the Nervii (in Hainault), two of the largest and most powerful peoples of this region, are directly designated by respectable authorities as Germans. The complete credibility of these accounts must certainly remain doubtful, since, as Tacitus remarks in reference to the two peoples last mentioned, it was subsequently, at least in these regions, reckoned an honour to be descended of German blood and not to belong to the little-esteemed Celtic nation; yet the population in the region of the Scheldt, Maas, and Moselle seems certainly to have become, in one way or another, largely mingled with German elements, or at any rate to have come under German influences. The German settlements themselves were perhaps small; they were not unimportant, for amidst the chaotic obscurity, through which we see the stream of peoples on the right bank of the Rhine ebbing and flowing about this period, we can well perceive that larger German hordes were preparing to cross the Rhine in the track of these advanced posts. Threatened on two sides by foreign domination and torn by internal dissension, it was scarcely to be expected that the unhappy Celtic nation would now rally and save itself by its own vigour. Dismemberment, and decay in virtue of dismemberment, had hitherto been its history; how should a nation, which could name no day like those of Marathon and Salamis, of Aricia and the Raudine plain—a nation which, even in its time of vigour, had made no attempt to destroy Massilia by a united effort—now when evening had come, defend itself against so formidable foes?

The Roman Policy with Reference to the German Invasion

The less the Celts, left to themselves, were a match for the Germans, the more reason had the Romans carefully to watch over the complications in which the two nations might be involved. Although the movements thence arising had not up to the present time directly affected them, they and their most important interests were yet concerned in the issue of those movements. As may readily be conceived, the internal demeanour of the Celtic nation had become speedily and permanently influenced by its outward relations. As in Greece the Lacedaemonian party combined with Persia against the Athenians, so the Romans from their first appearance beyond the Alps had found a support against the Arverni, who were then the ruling power among the southern Celts, in their rivals for the hegemony, the Haedui: and with the aid of these new "brothers of the Roman nation" they had not merely reduced to subjection the Allobroges and a great portion of the indirect territory of the Arverni, but had also, in the Gaul that remained free, occasioned by their influence the transference of the hegemony from the Arverni to these Haedui. But while the Greeks were threatened with danger to their nationality only from one side, the Celts found themselves hard pressed simultaneously by two national foes; and it was natural that they should seek from the one protection against the other, and that, if the one Celtic party attached itself to the Romans, their opponents should on the contrary form alliance with the Germans. This course was most natural for the Belgae, who were brought by neighbourhood and manifold intermixture into closer relation to the Germans who had crossed the Rhine, and moreover, with their less-developed culture, probably felt themselves at least as much akin to the Suebian of alien race as to their cultivated Allobrogian or Helvetic countryman. But the southern Celts also, among whom now as already mentioned, the considerable canton of the Sequani (about Besangon) stood at the head of the party hostile to the Romans, had every reason at this very time to call in the Germans against the Romans who immediately threatened them; the remiss government of the senate and the signs of the revolution preparing in Rome, which had not remained unknown to the Celts, made this very moment seem suitable for ridding themselves of the Roman influence and primarily for humbling the Roman clients, the Haedui. A rupture had taken place between the two cantons respecting the tolls on the Saone, which separated the territory of the Haedui from that of the Sequani, and about the year 683 the German prince Ariovistus with some 15,000 armed men had crossed the Rhine as condottiere of the Sequani.

Ariovistus on the Middle Rhine

The war was prolonged for some years with varying success; on the whole the results were unfavourable to the Haedui. Their leader Eporedorix at length called out their whole clients, and marched forth with an enormous superiority of force against the Germans. These obstinately refused battle, and kept themselves under cover of morasses and forests. It was not till the clans, weary of waiting, began to break up and disperse, that the Germans appeared in the open field, and then Ariovistus compelled a battle at Admagetobriga, in which the flower of the cavalry of the Haedui were left on the field. The Haedui, forced by this defeat to conclude peace on the terms which the victor proposed, were obliged to renounce the hegemony, and to consent with their whole adherents to become clients of the Sequani; they had to bind themselves to pay tribute to the Sequani or rather to Ariovistus, and to furnish the children of their principal nobles as hostages; and lastly they had to swear that they would never demand back these hostages nor invoke the intervention of the Romans.

Inaction of the Romans

This peace was concluded apparently about 693.(29) Honour and advantage enjoined the Romans to come forward in opposition to it; the noble Haeduan Divitiacus, the head of the Roman party in his clan, and for that reason now banished by his countrymen, went in person to Rome to solicit their intervention. A still more serious warning was the insurrection of the Allobroges in 693(30)— the neighbours of the Sequani—which was beyond doubt connected with these events. In reality orders were issued to the Gallic governors to assist the Haedui; they talked of sending consuls and consular armies over the Alps; but the senate, to whose decision these affairs primarily fell, at length here also crowned great words with little deeds. The insurrection of the Allobroges was suppressed by arms, but nothing was done for the Haedui; on the contrary, Ariovistus was even enrolled in 695 in the list of kings friendly with the Romans.(31)

Foundation of a German Empire in Gaul

The German warrior-prince naturally took this as a renunciation by the Romans of the Celtic land which they had not occupied; he accordingly took up his abode there, and began to establish a German principality on Gallic soil. It was his intention that the numerous bands which he had brought with him, and the still more numerous bands that afterwards followed at his call from home— it was reckoned that up to 696 some 120,000 Germans had crossed the Rhine—this whole mighty immigration of the German nation, which poured through the once opened sluices like a stream over the beautiful west, should become settled there and form a basis on which he might build his dominion over Gaul. The extent of the German settlements which he called into existence on the left bank of the Rhine cannot be determined; beyond doubt it was great, and his projects were far greater still. The Celts were treated by him as a wholly subjugated nation, and no distinction was made between the several cantons. Even the Sequani, as whose hired commander-in-chief he had crossed the Rhine, were obliged, as if they were vanquished enemies, to cede to him for his people a third of their territory—presumably upper Alsace afterwards inhabited by the Triboci—where Ariovistus permanently settled with his followers; nay, as if this were not enough, a second third was afterwards demanded of them for the Harudes who arrived subsequently. Ariovistus seemed as if he wished to take up in Gaul the part of Philip of Macedonia, and to play the master over the Celts who were friendly to the Germans no less than over those who adhered to the Romans.

The Germans on the Lower Rhine
The Germans on the Upper Rhine
Spread of the Helvetian Invasion to the Interior of Gaul

The appearance of the energetic German prince in so dangerous proximity, which could not but in itself excite the most serious apprehension in the Romans, appeared still more threatening, inasmuch as it stood by no means alone. The Usipetes and Tencteri settled on the right bank of the Rhine, weary of the incessant devastation of their territory by the overbearing Suebian tribes, had, the year before Caesar arrived in Gaul (695), set out from their previous abodes to seek others at the mouth of the Rhine. They had already taken away from the Menapii there the portion of their territory situated on the right bank, and it might be foreseen that they would make the attempt to establish themselves also on the left. Suebian bands, moreover, assembled between Cologne and Mayence, and threatened to appear as uninvited guests in the opposite Celtic canton of the Treveri. Lastly, the territory of the most easterly clan of the Celts, the warlike and numerous Helvetii, was visited with growing frequency by the Germans, so that the Helvetii, who perhaps even apart from this were suffering from over-population through the reflux of their settlers from the territory which they had lost to the north of the Rhine, and besides were liable to be completely isolated from their kinsmen by the settlement of Ariovistus in the territory of the Sequani, conceived the desperate resolution of voluntarily evacuating the territory hitherto in their possession to the Germans, and acquiring larger and more fertile abodes to the west of the Jura, along with, if possible, the hegemony in the interior of Gaul—a plan which some of their districts had already formed and attempted to execute during the Cimbrian invasion.(32) the Rauraci whose territory (Basle and southern Alsace) was similarly threatened, the remains, moreover, of the Boii who had already at an earlier period been compelled by the Germans to forsake their homes and were now unsettled wanderers, and other smaller tribes, made common cause with the Helvetii. As early as 693 their flying parties came over the Jura and even as far as the Roman province; their departure itself could not be much longer delayed; inevitably German settlers would then advance into the important region between the lakes of Constance and Geneva forsaken by its defenders. From the sources of the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean the German tribes were in motion; the whole line of the Rhine was threatened by them; it was a moment like that when the Alamanni and the Franks threw themselves on the falling empire of the Caesars; and even now there seemed on the eve of being carried into effect against the Celts that very movement which was successful five hundred years afterwards against the Romans.

Caesar Proceeds to Gaul
Caesar's Army

Under these circumstances the new governor Gaius Caesar arrived in the spring of 696 in Narbonese Gaul, which had been added by decree of the senate to his original province embracing Cisalpine Gaul along with Istria and Dalmatia. His office, which was committed to him first for five years (to the end of 700), then in 699 for five more (to the end of 705), gave him the right to nominate ten lieutenants of propraetorian rank, and (at least according to his own interpretation) to fill up his legions, or even to form new ones at his discretion out of the burgess-population—who were especially numerous in Cisalpine Gaul—of the territory under his sway. The army, which he received in the two provinces, consisted, as regards infantry of the line, of four legions trained and inured to war, the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, or at the utmost 24,000 men, to which fell to be added, as usual, the contingents of the subjects. The cavalry and light-armed troops, moreover, were represented by horsemen from Spain, and by Numidian, Cretan, and Balearic archers and slingers. The staff of Caesar—the elite of the democracy of the capital—contained, along with not a few useless young men of rank, some able officers, such as Publius Crassus the younger son of the old political ally of Caesar, and Titus Labienus, who followed the chief of the democracy as a faithful adjutant from the Forum to the battle-field. Caesar had not received definite instructions; to one who was discerning and courageous these were implied in the circumstances with which he had to deal. Here too the negligence of the senate had to be retrieved, and first of all the stream of migration of the German peoples had to be checked.

Repulse of the Helvetii

Just at this time the Helvetic invasion, which was closely interwoven with the German and had been in preparation for years, began. That they might not make a grant of their abandoned huts to the Germans and might render their own return impossible, the Helvetii had burnt their towns and villages; and their long trains of waggons, laden with women, children, and the best part of their moveables, arrived from all sides at the Leman lake near Genava (Geneva), where they and their comrades had fixed their rendezvous for the 28th of March(33) of this year. According to their own reckoning the whole body consisted of 368,000 persons, of whom about a fourth part were able to bear arms. As the mountain chain of the Jura, stretching from the Rhine to the Rhone, almost completely closed in the Helvetic country towards the west, and its narrow defiles were as ill adapted for the passage of such a caravan as they were well adapted for defence, the leaders had resolved to go round in a southerly direction, and to open up for themselves a way to the west at the point, where the Rhone has broken through the mountain-chain between the south-western and highest part of the Jura and the Savoy mountains, near the modern Fort de l'Ecluse. But on the right bank here the rocks and precipices come so close to the river that there remained only a narrow path which could easily be blocked up, and the Sequani, to whom this bank belonged, could with ease intercept the route of the Helvetii. They preferred therefore to pass over, above the point where the Rhone breaks through, to the left Allobrogian bank, with the view of regaining the right bank further down the stream where the Rhone enters the plain, and then marching on towards the level west of Gaul; there the fertile canton of the Santones (Saintonge, the valley of the Charente) on the Atlantic Ocean was selected by the wanderers for their new abode. This march led, where it touched the left bank of the Rhone, through Roman territory; and Caesar, otherwise not disposed to acquiesce in the establishment of the Helvetii in western Gaul, was firmly resolved not to permit their passage. But of his four legions three were stationed far off at Aquileia; although he called out in haste the militia of the Transalpine province, it seemed scarcely possible with so small a force to hinder the innumerable Celtic host from crossing the Rhone, between its exit from the Leman lake at Geneva and the point of its breaking through the mountains, over a distance of more than fourteen miles. Caesar, however, by negotiations with the Helvetii, who would gladly have effected by peaceable means the crossing of the river and the march through the Allobrogian territory, gained a respite of fifteen days, which was employed in breaking down the bridge over the Rhone at Genava, and barring the southern bank of the Rhone against the enemy by an entrenchment nearly nineteen miles long: it was the first application of the system—afterwards carried out on so immense a scale by the Romans—of guarding the frontier of the empire in a military point of view by a chain of forts placed in connection with each other by ramparts and ditches. The attempts of the Helvetii to gain the other bank at different places in boats or by means of fords were successfully frustrated by the Romans in these lines, and the Helvetii were compelled to desist from the passage of the Rhone.

The Helvetii Move towards Gaul

On the other hand, the party in Gaul hostile to the Romans, which hoped to obtain a powerful reinforcement in the Helvetii, more especially the Haeduan Dumnorix brother of Divitiacus, and at the head of the national party in his canton as the latter wasat the head of the Romans, procured for them a passage through the passes of the Jura and the territory of the Sequani. The Romans had no legal title to forbid this; but other and higher interestswereat stake for them in the Helvetic expedition than the question of the formal integrity of the Roman territory— interests which could only be guarded, if Caesar, instead of confining himself, as all the governors of the senate and even Marius(34) had done, to the modest task of watching the frontier, should cross what had hitherto been the frontier at the head of a considerable army. Caesar was general not of the senate, but of the state; he showed no hesitation. He had immediately proceeded from Genava in person to Italy, and with characteristic speed brought up the three legions cantoned there as well as two newly-formed legions of recruits.

The Helvetian War

These troops he united with the corps stationed at Genava, and crossed the Rhone with his whole force. His unexpected appearance in the territory of the Haedui naturally at once restored the Roman party there to power, which was not unimportant as regarded supplies. He found the Helvetii employed in crossing the Saone, and moving from the territory of the Sequani into that of the Haedui; those of them that were still on the left bank of the Saone, especially the corps of the Tigorini, were caught and destroyed by the Romans rapidly advancing. The bulk of the expedition, however, had already crossed to the right bank of the river; Caesar followed them and in twenty-four hours effected the passage, which the unwieldy host of the Helvetii had not been able to accomplish in twenty days. The Helvetii, prevented by this passage of the river on the part of the Roman army from continuing their march westward, turned in a northerly direction, doubtless under the supposition that Caesar would not venture to follow them far into the interior of Gaul, and with the intention, if he should desist from following them, of turning again toward their proper destination. For fifteen days the Roman army marched behind that of the enemy at a distance of about four miles, clinging to its rear, and hoping for an advantageous opportunity of assailing the Helvetic host under conditions favourable to victory, and destroying it. But this moment came not: unwieldy as was the march of the Helvetic caravan, the leaders knew how to guard against a surprise, and appeared to be copiously provided with supplies as well as most accurately informed by their spies of every event in the Roman camp. On the other hand the Romans began to suffer from want of necessaries, especially when the Helvetii removed from the Saone and the means of river-transport ceased. The non-arrival of the supplies promised by the Haedui, from which this embarrassment primarily arose, excited the more suspicion, as both armies were still moving about in their territory. Moreover the considerable Roman cavalry, numbering almost 4000 horse, proved utterly untrustworthy—which doubtless admitted of explanation, for they consisted almost wholly of Celtic horsemen, especially of the mounted retainers of the Haedui, under the command of Dumnorix the well-known enemy of the Romans, and Caesar himself had taken them over still more as hostages than as soldiers. There was good reason to believe that a defeat which they suffered at the hands of the far weaker Helvetic cavalry was occasioned by themselves, and that the enemy was informed by them of all occurrences in the Roman camp. The position of Caesar grew critical; it was becoming disagreeably evident, how much the Celtic patriot party could effect even with the Haedui in spite of their official alliance with Rome, and of the distinctive interests of this canton inclining it towards the Romans; what was to be the issue, if they ventured deeper and deeper into a country full of excitement, and if they removed daily farther from their means of communication? The armies were just marching past Bibracte (Autun), the capital of the Haedui, at a moderate distance; Caesar resolved to seize this important place by force before he continued his march into the interior; and it is very possible, that he intended to desist altogether from farther pursuit and to establish himself in Bibracte. But when he ceased from the pursuit and turned against Bibracte, the Helvetii thought that the Romans were making preparations for flight, and now attacked in their turn.

Battle at Bibracte

Caesar desired nothing better. The two armies posted themselves on two parallel chains of hills; the Celts began the engagement, broke up the Roman cavalry which had advanced into the plain, and rushed on against the Roman legions posted on the slope of the hill, but were there obliged to give way before Caesar's veterans. When the Romans thereupon, following up their advantage, descended in their turn to the plain, the Celts again advanced against them, and a reserved Celtic corps took them at the same time in flank. The reserve of the Roman attacking column was pushed forward against the latter; it forced it away from the main body towards the baggage and the barricade of waggons, where it was destroyed. The bulk of the Helvetic host was at length brought to give way, and compelled to beat a retreat in an easterly direction—the opposite of that towards which their expedition led them. This day had frustrated the scheme of the Helvetii to establish for themselves new settlements on the Atlantic Ocean, and handed them over to the pleasure of the victor; but it had been a hot day also for the conquerors. Caesar, who had reason for not altogether trusting his staff of officers, had at the very outset sent away all the officers' horses, so as to make the necessity of holding their ground thoroughly clear to his troops; in fact the battle, had the Romans lost it, would have probably brought about the annihilation of the Roman army. The Roman troops were too much exhausted to pursue the conquered with vigour; but in consequence of the proclamation of Caesar that he would treat all who should support the Helvetii as like the Helvetii themselves enemies of the Romans, all support was refused to the beaten army whithersoever it went— in the first instance, in the canton of the Lingones (about Langres)—and, deprived of all supplies and of their baggage and burdened by the mass of camp-followers incapable of fighting, they were under the necessity of submitting to the Roman general.

The Helvetii Sent back to Their Original Abode

The lot of the vanquished was a comparatively mild one. The Haedui were directed to concede settlements in their territory to the homeless Boii; and this settlement of the conquered foe in the midst of the most powerful Celtic cantons rendered almost the services of a Roman colony. The survivors of the Helvetii and Rauraci, something more than a third of the men that had marched forth, were naturally sent back to their former territory. It was incorporated with the Roman province, but the inhabitants were admitted to alliance with Rome under favourable conditions, in order to defend, under Roman supremacy, the frontier along the upper Rhine against the Germans. Only the south-western point of the Helvetic canton was directly taken into the possession of the Romans, and there subsequently, on the charming shore of the Leman lake, the old Celtic town Noviodunum (now Nyon) was converted into a Roman frontier-fortress, the "Julian equestrian colony."(35)

Caesar and Ariovistus

Thus the threatening invasion of the Germans on the upper Rhine was obviated, and, at the same time, the party hostile to the Romans among the Celts was humbled. On the middle Rhine also, where the Germans had already crossed years ago, and where the power of Ariovistus which vied with that of Rome in Gaul was daily spreading, there was need of similar action, and the occasion for a rupture was easily found. In comparison with the yoke threatened or already imposed on them by Ariovistus, the Roman supremacy probably now appeared to the greater part of the Celts in this quarter the lesser evil; the minority, who retained their hatred of the Romans, had at least to keep silence. A diet of the Celtic tribes of central Gaul, held under Roman influence, requested the Roman general in name of the Celtic nation for aid against the Germans. Caesar consented. At his suggestion the Haedui stopped the payment of the tribute stipulated to be paid to Ariovistus, and demanded back the hostages furnished; and when Ariovistus on account of this breach of treaty attacked the clients of Rome, Caesar took occasion thereby to enter into direct negotiation with him and specially to demand, in addition to the return of the hostages and a promise to keep peace with the Haedui, that Ariovistus should bind himself to allure no more Germans over the Rhine. The German general replied to the Roman, in the full consciousness of equality of rights, that northern Gaul had become subject to him by right of war as fairly as southern Gaul to the Romans; and that, as he did not hinder the Romans from taking tribute from the Allobroges, so they should not prevent him from taxing his subjects. In later secret overtures it appeared that the prince was well aware of the circumstances of the Romans; he mentioned the invitations which had been addressed to him from Rome to put Caesar out of the way, and offered, if Caesar would leave to him northern Gaul, to assist him in turn to obtain the sovereignty of Italy—as the party-quarrels of the Celtic nation had opened up an entrance for him into Gaul, he seemed to expect from the party- quarrels of the Italian nation the consolidation of his rule there. For centuries no such language of power completely on a footing of equality and bluntly and carelessly expressing its independence had been held in presence of the Romans, as was now heard from the king of the German host; he summarily refused to come, when the Roman general suggested that he should appear personally before him according to the usual practice with client-princes.

Ariovistus Attacked
And Beaten

It was the more necessary not to delay; Caesar immediately set out against Ariovistus. A panic seized his troops, especially his officers when they were to measure their strength with the flower of the German troops that for fourteen years had not come under shelter of a roof: it seemed as if the deep decay of Roman moral and military discipline would assert itself and provoke desertion and mutiny even in Caesar's camp. But the general, while declaring that in case of need he would march with the tenth legion alone against the enemy, knew not merely how to influence these by such an appeal to honour, but also how to bind the other regiments to their eagles by warlike emulation, and to inspire the troops with something of his own energy. Without leaving them time for reflection, he led them onward in rapid marches, and fortunately anticipated Ariovistus in the occupation of Vesontio (Besancon), the capital of the Sequani. A personal conference between the two generals, which took place at the request of Ariovistus, seemed as if solely meant to cover an attempt against the person of Caesar; arms alone could decide between the two oppressors of Gaul. The war came temporarily to a stand. In lower Alsace somewhere in the region of Muhlhausen, five miles from the Rhine,(36) the two armies lay at a little distance from each other, till Ariovistus with his very superior force succeeded in marching past the Roman camp, placing himself in its rear, and cutting off the Romans from their base and their supplies. Caesar attempted to free himself from his painful situation by a battle; but Ariovistus did not accept it. Nothing remained for the Roman general but, in spite of his inferior strength, to imitate the movement of the Germans, and to recover his communications by making two legions march past the enemy and take up a position beyond the camp of the Germans, while four legions remained behind in the former camp. Ariovistus, when he saw the Romans divided, attempted an assault on their lesser camp; but the Romans repulsed it. Under the impression made by this success, the whole Roman army was brought forward to the attack; and the Germans also placed themselves in battle array, in a long line, each tribe for itself, the cars of the army with the baggage and women being placed behind them to render flight more difficult. The right wing of the Romans, led by Caesar himself, threw itself rapidly on the enemy, and drove them before it; the right wing of the Germans was in like manner successful. The balance still stood equal; but the tactics of the reserve, which had decided so many other conflicts with barbarians, decided the conflict with the Germans also in favour of the Romans; their third line, which Publius Crassus seasonably sent to render help, restored the battle on the left wing and thereby decided the victory. The pursuit was continued to the Rhine; only a few, including the king, succeeded in escaping to the other bank (696).

German Settlements on the Left Bank of the Rhine

Thus brilliantly the Roman rule announced its advent to the mighty stream, which the Italian soldiers here saw for the first time; by a single fortunate battle the line of the Rhine was won. The fate of the German settlements on the left bank of the Rhine lay in the hands of Caesar; the victor could destroy them, but he did not do so. The neighbouring Celtic cantons—the Sequani, Leuci, Mediomatrici—were neither capable of self-defence nor trustworthy; the transplanted Germans promised to become not merely brave guardians of the frontier but also better subjects of Rome, for their nationality severed them from the Celts, and their own interest in the preservation of their newly-won settlements severed them from their countrymen across the Rhine, so that in their isolated position they could not avoid adhering to the central power. Caesar here, as everywhere, preferred conquered foes to doubtful friends; he left the Germans settled by Ariovistus along the left bank of the Rhine—the Triboci about Strassburg, the Nemetes about Spires, the Vangiones about Worms—in possession of their new abodes, and entrusted them with the guarding of the Rhine-frontier against their countrymen.(37) The Suebi, who threatened the territory of the Treveri on the middle Rhine, on receiving news of the defeat of Ariovistus, again retreated into the interior of Germany; on which occasion they sustained considerable loss by the way at the hands of the adjoining tribes.

The Rhine Boundary

The consequences of this one campaign were immense; they were felt for many centuries after. The Rhine had become the boundary of the Roman empire against the Germans. In Gaul, which was no longer able to govern itself, the Romans had hitherto ruled on the south coast, while lately the Germans had attempted to establish themselves farther up. The recent events had decided that Gaul was to succumb not merely in part but wholly to the Roman supremacy, and that the natural boundary presented by the mighty river was also to become the political boundary. The senate in its better times had not rested, till the dominion of Rome had reached the natural bounds of Italy—the Alps and the Mediterranean—and its adjacent islands. The enlarged empire also needed a similar military rounding off; but the present government left the matter to accident, and sought at most to see, not that the frontiers were capable of defence, but that they should not need to be defended directly by itself. People felt that now another spirit and another arm began to guide the destinies of Rome.

Subjugation of Gaul
Belgic Expedition

The foundations of the future edifice were laid; but in order to finish the building and completely to secure the recognition of the Roman rule by the Gauls, and that of the Rhine-frontier by the Germans, very much still remained to be done. All central Gaul indeed from the Roman frontier as far up as Chartres and Treves submitted without objection to the new ruler; and on the upper and middle Rhine also no attack was for the present to be apprehended from the Germans. But the northern provinces—as well the Aremorican cantons in Brittany and Normandy as the more powerful confederation of the Belgae—were not affected by the blows directed against central Gaul, and found no occasion to submit to the conqueror of Ariovistus. Moreover, as was already remarked, very close relations subsisted between the Belgae and the Germans over the Rhine, and at the mouth of the Rhine also Germanic tribes made themselves ready to cross the stream. In consequence of this Caesar set out with his army, now increased to eight legions, in the spring of 697 against the Belgic cantons. Mindful of the brave and successful resistance which fifty years before they had with united strength presented to the Cimbri on the borders of their land,(38) and stimulated by the patriots who had fled to them in numbers from central Gaul, the confederacy of the Belgae sent their whole first levy—300,000 armed men under the leadership of Galba the king of the Suessiones—to their southern frontier to receive Caesar there. A single canton alone, that of the powerful Remi (about Rheims) discerned in this invasion of the foreigners an opportunity to shake off the rule which their neighbours the Suessiones exercised over them, and prepared to take up in the north the part which the Haedui had played in central Gaul. The Roman and the Belgic armies arrived in their territory almost at the same time.

Conflicts on the Aisne
Submission of the Western Cantons

Caesar did not venture to give battle to the brave enemy six times as strong; to the north of the Aisne, not far from the modern Pontavert between Rheims and Laon, he pitched his camp on a plateau rendered almost unassailable on all sides partly by the river and by morasses, partly by fosses and redoubts, and contented himself with thwarting by defensive measures the attempts of the Belgae to cross the Aisne and thereby to cut him off from his communications. When he counted on the likelihood that the coalition would speedily collapse under its own weight, he had reckoned rightly. King Galba was an honest man, held in universal respect; but he was not equal to the management of an army of 300,000 men on hostile soil. No progress was made, and provisions began to fail; discontent and dissension began to insinuate themselves into the camp of the confederates. The Bellovaci in particular, equal to the Suessiones in power, and already dissatisfied that the supreme command of the confederate army had not fallen to them, could no longer be detained after news had arrived that the Haedui as allies of the Romans were making preparations to enter the Bellovacic territory. They determined to break up and go home; though for honour's sake all the cantons at the same time bound themselves to hasten with their united strength to the help of the one first attacked, the miserable dispersion of the confederacy was but miserably palliated by such impracticable stipulations. It was a catastrophe which vividly reminds us of that which occurred almost on the same spot in 1792; and, just as with the campaign in Champagne, the defeat was all the more severe that it took place without a battle. The bad leadership of the retreating army allowed the Roman general to pursue it as if it were beaten, and to destroy a portion of the contingents that had remained to the last. But the consequences of the victory were not confined to this. As Caesar advanced into the western cantons of the Belgae, one after another gave themselves up as lost almost without resistance; the powerful Suessiones (about Soissons), as well as their rivals, the Bellovaci (about Beauvais) and the Ambiani (about Amiens). The towns opened their gates when they saw the strange besieging machines, the towers rolling up to their walls; those who would not submit to the foreign masters sought a refuge beyond the sea in Britain.

The Conflict with the Nervii

But in the eastern cantons the national feeling was more energetically roused. The Viromandui (about Arras), the Atrebates (about St. Quentin), the German Aduatuci (about Namur), but above all the Nervii (in Hainault) with their not inconsiderable body of clients, little inferior in number to the Suessiones and Bellovaci, far superior to them in valour and vigorous patriotic spirit, concluded a second and closer league, and assembled their forces on the upper Sambre. Celtic spies informed them most accurately of the movements of the Roman army; their own local knowledge, and the high tree-barricades which were formed everywhere in these districts to obstruct the bands of mounted robbers who often visited them, allowed the allies to conceal their own operations for the most part from the view of the Romans. When these arrived on the Sambre not far from Bavay, and the legions were occupied in pitching their camp on the crest of the left bank, while the cavalry and light infantry were exploring the opposite heights, the latter were all at once assailed by the whole mass of the enemy's forces and driven down the hill into the river. In a moment the enemy had crossed this also, and stormed the heights of the left bank with a determination that braved death. Scarcely was there time left for the entrenching legionaries to exchange the mattock for the sword; the soldiers, many without helmets, had to fight just as they stood, without line of battle, without plan, without proper command; for, owing to the suddenness of the attack and the intersection of the ground by tall hedges, the several divisions had wholly lost their communications. Instead of a battle there arose a number of unconnected conflicts. Labienus with the left wing overthrew the Atrebates and pursued them even across the river. The Roman central division forced the Viromandui down the declivity. But the right wing, where the general himself was present, was outflanked by the far more numerous Nervii the more easily, as the central division carried away by its own success had evacuated the ground alongside of it, and even the half-ready camp was occupied by the Nervii; the two legions, each separately rolled together into a dense mass and assailed in front and on both flanks, deprived of most of their officers and their best soldiers, appeared on the point of being broken and cut to pieces. The Roman camp-followers and the allied troops were already fleeing in all directions; of the Celtic cavalry whole divisions, like the contingent of the Treveri, galloped off at full speed, that from the battle-field itself they might announce at home the welcome news of the defeat which had been sustained. Everything was at stake. The general himself seized his shield and fought among the foremost; his example, his call even now inspiring enthusiasm, induced the wavering ranks to rally. They had already in some measure extricated themselves and had at least restored the connection between the two legions of this wing, when help came up— partly down from the crest of the bank, where in the interval the Roman rearguard with the baggage had arrived, partly from the other bank of the river, where Labienus had meanwhile penetrated to the enemy's camp and taken possession of it, and now, perceiving at length the danger that menaced the right wing, despatched the victorious tenth legion to the aid of his general. The Nervii, separated from their confederates and simultaneously assailed on all sides, now showed, when fortune turned, the same heroic courage as when they believed themselves victors; still over the pile of corpses of their fallen comrades they fought to the last man. According to their own statement, of their six hundred senators only three survived this day.

Subjugation of the Belgae

After this annihilating defeat the Nervii, Atrebates, and Viromandui could not but recognize the Roman supremacy. The Aduatuci, who arrived too late to take part in the fight on the Sambre, attempted still to hold their ground in the strongest of their towns (on the mount Falhize near the Maas not far from Huy), but they too soon submitted. A nocturnal attack on the Roman camp in front of the town, which they ventured after the surrender, miscarried; and the perfidy was avenged by the Romans with fearful severity. The clients of the Aduatuci, consisting of the Eburones between the Maas and Rhine and other small adjoining tribes, were declared independent by the Romans, while the Aduatuci taken prisoners were sold under the hammer en masse for the benefit of the Roman treasury. It seemed as if the fate which had befallen the Cimbri still pursued even this last Cimbrian fragment. Caesar contented himself with imposing on the other subdued tribes a general disarmament and furnishing of hostages. The Remi became naturally the leading canton in Belgic, like the Haedui in central Gaul; even in the latter several clans at enmity with the Haedui preferred to rank among the clients of the Remi. Only the remote maritime cantons of the Morini (Artois) and the Menapii (Flanders and Brabant), and the country between the Scheldt and the Rhine inhabited in great part by Germans, remained still for the present exempt from Roman invasion and in possession of their hereditary freedom.

Expeditions against the Maritime Cantons
Venetian War

The turn of the Aremorican cantons came. In the autumn of 697 Publius Crassus was sent thither with a Roman corps; he induced the Veneti—who as masters of the ports of the modern Morbihan and of a respectable fleet occupied the first place among all the Celtic cantons in navigation and commerce—and generally the coast-districts between the Loire and Seine, to submit to the Romans and give them hostages. But they soon repented. When in the following winter (697-698) Roman officers came to these legions to levy requisitions of grain there, they were detained by the Veneti as counter-hostages. The example thus set was quickly followed not only by the Aremorican cantons, but also by the maritime cantons of the Belgae that still remained free; where, as in some cantons of Normandy, the common council refused to join the insurrection, the multitude put them to death and attached itself with redoubled zeal to the national cause. The whole coast from the mouth of the Loire to that of the Rhine rose against Rome; the most resolute patriots from all the Celtic cantons hastened thither to co-operate in the great work of liberation; they already calculated on the rising of the whole Belgic confederacy, on aid from Britain, on the arrival of Germans from beyond the Rhine.

Caesar sent Labienus with all the cavalry to the Rhine, with a view to hold in check the agitation in the Belgic province, and in case of need to prevent the Germans from crossing the river; another of his lieutenants, Quintus Titurius Sabinus, went with three legions to Normandy, where the main body of the insurgents assembled. But the powerful and intelligent Veneti were the true centre of the insurrection; the chief attack by land and sea was directed against them. Caesar's lieutenant, Decimus Brutus, brought up the fleet formed partly of the ships of the subject Celtic cantons, partly of a number of Roman galleys hastily built on the Loire and manned with rowers from the Narbonese province; Caesar himself advanced with the flower of his infantry into the territory of the Veneti. But these were prepared beforehand, and had with equal skill and resolution availed themselves of the favourable circumstances which the nature of the ground in Brittany and the possession of a considerable naval power presented. The country was much intersected and poorly furnished with grain, the towns were situated for the most part on cliffs and tongues of land, and were accessible from the mainland only by shallows which it was difficult to cross; the provision of supplies and the conducting of sieges were equally difficult for the army attacking by land, while the Celts by means of their vessels could furnish the towns easily with everything needful, and in the event of the worst could accomplish their evacuation. The legions expended their time and strength in the sieges of the Venetian townships, only to see the substantial fruits of victory ultimately carried off in the vessels of the enemy.

Naval Battle between the Romans and the Veneti
Submission of the Maritime Cantons

Accordingly when the Roman fleet, long detained by storms at the mouth of the Loire, arrived at length on the coast of Brittany, it was left to decide the struggle by a naval battle. The Celts, conscious of their superiority on this element, brought forth their fleet against that of the Romans commanded by Brutus. Not only did it number 220 sail, far more than the Romans had been able to bring up, but their high-decked strong sailing-vessels with flat bottoms were also far better adapted for the high-running waves of the Atlantic Ocean than the low, lightly-built oared galleys of the Romans with their sharp keels. Neither the missiles nor the boarding-bridges of the Romans could reach the high deck of the enemy's vessels, and the iron beaks recoiled powerless from the strong oaken planks. But the Roman mariners cut the ropes, by which the yards were fastened to the masts, by means of sickles fastened to long poles; the yards and sails fell down, and, as they did not know how to repair the damage speedily, the ship was thus rendered a wreck just as it is at the present day by the falling of the masts, and the Roman boats easily succeeded by a joint attack in mastering the maimed vessel of the enemy. When the Gauls perceived this manoeuvre, they attempted to move from the coast on which they had taken up the combat with the Romans, and to gain the high seas, whither the Roman galleys could not follow them; but unhappily for them there suddenly set in a dead calm, and the immense fleet, towards the equipment of which the maritime cantons had applied all their energies, was almost wholly destroyed by the Romans. Thus was this naval battle—so far as historical knowledge reaches, the earliest fought on the Atlantic Ocean— just like the engagement at Mylae two hundred years before,(39) notwithstanding the most unfavourable circumstances, decided in favour of the Romans by a lucky invention suggested by necessity. The consequence of the victory achieved by Brutus was the surrender of the Veneti and of all Brittany. More with a view to impress the Celtic nation, after so manifold evidences of clemency towards the vanquished, by an example of fearful severity now against those whose resistance had been obstinate, than with the view of punishing the breach of treaty and the arrest of the Roman officers, Caesar caused the whole common council to be executed and the people of the Venetian canton to the last man to be sold into slavery. By this dreadful fate, as well as by their intelligence and their patriotism, the Veneti have more than any other Celtic clan acquired a title to the sympathy of posterity.

Sabinus meanwhile opposed to the levy of the coast-states assembled on the Channel the same tactics by which Caesar had in the previous year conquered the Belgic general levy on the Aisne; he stood on the defensive till impatience and want invaded the ranks of the enemy, and then managed by deceiving them as to the temper and strength of his troops, and above all by means of their own impatience, to allure them to an imprudent assault upon the Roman camp, in which they were defeated; whereupon the militia dispersed and the country as far as the Seine submitted.

Expeditins against the Morini and Menapii

The Morini and Menapii alone persevered in withholding their recognition of the Roman supremacy. To compel them to this, Caesar appeared on their borders; but, rendered wiser by the experiences of their countrymen, they avoided accepting battle on the borders of their land, and retired into the forests which then stretched almost without interruption from the Ardennes towards the German Ocean. The Romans attempted to make a road through the forest with the axe, ranging the felled trees on each side as a barricade against the enemy's attacks; but even Caesar, daring as he was, found it advisable after some days of most laborious marching, especially as it was verging towards winter, to order a retreat, although but a small portion of the Morini had submitted and the powerful Menapii had not been reached at all. In the following year (699) while Caesar himself was employed in Britain the greater part of the army was sent afresh against these tribes; but this expedition also remained in the main unsuccessful. Nevertheless the result of the last campaigns was the almost complete reduction of Gaul under the dominion of the Romans. While central Gaul had submitted to it without resistance, during the campaign of 697 the Belgic, and during that of the following year the maritime, cantons had been compelled by force of arms to acknowledge the Roman rule. The lofty hopes, with which the Celtic patriots had begun the last campaign, had nowhere been fulfilled. Neither Germans nor Britons had come to their aid; and in Belgica the presence of Labienus had sufficed to prevent the renewal of the conflicts of the previous year.

Establishment of Communications with Italy by the Valais

While Caesar was thus forming the Roman domain in the west by force of arms into a compact whole, he did not neglect to open up for the newly-conquered country—which was destined in fact to fill up the wide gap in that domain between Italy and Spain-communications both with the Italian home and with the Spanish provinces. The communication between Gaul and Italy had certainly been materially facilitated by the military road laid out by Pompeius in 677 over Mont Genevre;(40) but since the whole of Gaul had been subdued by the Romans, there was need of a route crossing the ridge of the Alps from the valley of the Po, not in a westerly but in a northerly direction, and furnishing a shorter communication between Italy and central Gaul. The way which leads over the Great St. Bernard into the Valais and along the lake of Geneva had long served the merchant for this purpose; to get this road into his power, Caesar as early as the autumn of 697 caused Octodurum (Martigny) to be occupied by Servius Galba, and the inhabitants of the Valais to be reduced to subjection—a result which was, of course, merely postponed, not prevented, by the brave resistance of these mountain-peoples.

And with Spain

To gain communication with Spain, moreover, Publius Crassus was sent in the following year (698) to Aquitania with instructions to compel the Iberian tribes dwelling there to acknowledge the Roman rule. The task was not without difficulty; the Iberians held together more compactly than the Celts and knew better than these how to learn from their enemies. The tribes beyond the Pyrenees, especially the valiant Cantabri, sent a contingent to their threatened countrymen; with this there came experienced officers trained under the leadership of Sertorius in the Roman fashion, who introduced as far as possible the principles of the Roman art of war, and especially of encampment, among the Aquitanian levy already respectable from its numbers and its valour. But the excellent officer who led the Romans knew how to surmount all difficulties, and after some hardly-contested but successful battles he induced the peoples from the Garonne to the vicinity of the Pyrenees to submit to the new masters.

Fresh Violations of the Rhine-Boundary by the Germans
The Usipetes and Tencteri

One of the objects which Caesar had proposed to himself— the subjugation of Gaul—had been in substance, with exceptions scarcely worth mentioning, attained so far as it could be attained at all by the sword. But the other half of the work undertaken by Caesar was still far from being satisfactorily accomplished, and the Germans had by no means as yet been everywhere compelled to recognize the Rhine as their limit. Even now, in the winter of 698-699, a fresh crossing of the boundary had taken place on the lower course of the river, whither the Romans had not yet penetrated. The German tribes of the Usipetes and Tencteri whose attempts to cross the Rhine in the territory of the Menapii have been already mentioned,(41) had at length, eluding the vigilance of their opponents by a feigned retreat, crossed in the vessels belonging to the Menapii—an enormous host, which is said, including women and children, to have amounted to 430,000 persons. They still lay, apparently, in the region of Nimeguen and Cleves; but it was said that, following the invitations of the Celtic patriot party, they intended to advance into the interior of Gaul; and the rumour was confirmed by the fact that bands of their horsemen already roamed as far as the borders of the Treveri. But when Caesar with his legions arrived opposite to them, the sorely- harassed emigrants seemed not desirous of fresh conflicts, but very ready to accept land from the Romans and to till it in peace under their supremacy. While negotiations as to this were going on, a suspicion arose in the mind of the Roman general that the Germans only sought to gain time till the bands of horsemen sent out by them had returned. Whether this suspicion was well founded or not, we cannot tell; but confirmed in it by an attack, which in spite of the de facto suspension of arms a troop of the enemy made on his vanguard, and exasperated by the severe loss thereby sustained, Caesar believed himself entitled to disregard every consideration of international law. When on the second morning the princes and elders of the Germans appeared in the Roman camp to apologize for the attack made without their knowledge, they were arrested, and the multitude anticipating no assault and deprived of their leaders were suddenly fallen upon by the Roman army. It was rather a manhunt than a battle; those that did not fall under the swords of the Romans were drowned in the Rhine; almost none but the divisions detached at the time of the attack escaped the massacre and succeeded in recrossing the Rhine, where the Sugambri gave them an asylu in their territory, apparently on the Lippe. The behaviour of Caesar towards these German immigrants met with severe and just censure in the senate; but, however little it can be excused, the German encroachments were emphatically checked by the terror which it occasioned.

Caesar on the Right Bank of the Rhine

Caesar however found it advisable to take yet a further step and to lead the legions over the Rhine. He was not without connections beyond the river. the Germans at the stage of culture which they had then reached, lacked as yet any national coherence; in political distraction they—though from other causes—fell nothing short of the Celts. The Ubii (on the Sieg and Lahn), the most civilized among the German tribes, had recently been made subject and tributary by a powerful Suebian canton of the interior, and had as early as 697 through their envoys entreated Caesar to free them like the Gauls from the Suebian rule. It was not Caesar's design seriously to respond to this suggestion, which would have involved him in endless enterprises; but it seemed advisable, with the view of preventing the appearance of the Germanic arms on the south of the Rhine, at least to show the Roman arms beyond it. The protection which the fugitive Usipetes and Tencteri had found among the Sugambri afforded a suitable occasion. In the region, apparently between Coblentz and Andernach, Caesar erected a bridge of piles over the Rhine and led his legions across from the Treverian to the Ubian territory. Some smaller cantons gave in their submission; but the Sugambri, against whom the expedition was primarily directed, withdrew, on the approach of the Roman army, with those under their protection into the interior. In like manner the powerful Suebian canton which oppressed the Ubii—presumably the same which subsequently appears under the name of the Chatti—caused the districts immediately adjoining the Ubian territory to be evacuated and the non-combatant portion of the people to be placed in safety, while all the men capable of arms were directed to assemble at the centre of the canton. The Roman general had neither occasion nor desire to accept this challenge; his object—partly to reconnoitre, partly to produce an impressive effect if possible upon the Germans, or at least on the Celts and his countrymen at home, by an expedition over the Rhine—was substantially attained; after remaining eighteen days on the right bank of the Rhine he again arrived in Gaul and broke down the Rhine bridge behind him (699).

Expeditions to Britain

There remained the insular Celts. From the close connection between them and the Celts of the continent, especially the maritime cantons, it may readily be conceived that they had at least sympathized with the national resistance, and that if they did not grant armed assistance to the patriots, they gave at any rate an honourable asylum in their sea-protected isle to every one who was no longer safe in his native land. This certainly involved a danger, if not for the present, at any rate for the future; it seemed judicious—if not to undertake the conquest of the island itself—at any rate to conduct there also defensive operations by offensive means, and to show the islanders by a landing on the coast that the arm of the Romans reached even across the Channel. The first Roman officer who entered Brittany, Publius Crassus had already (697) crossed thence to the "tin-islands" at the south-west point of England (Stilly islands); in the summer of 699 Caesar himself with only two legions crossed the Channel at its narrowest part.(42) He found the coast covered with masses of the enemy's troops and sailed onward with his vessels; but the British war- chariots moved on quite as fast by land as the Roman galleys by sea, and it was only with the utmost difficulty that the Roman soldiers succeeded in gaining the shore in the face of the enemy, partly by wading, partly in boats, under the protection of the ships of war, which swept the beach with missiles thrown from machines and by the hand. In the first alarm the nearest villages submitted; but the islanders soon perceived how weak the enemy was, and how he did not venture to move far from the shore. The natives disappeared into the interior and returned only to threaten the camp; and the fleet, which had been left in the open roads, suffered very considerable damage from the first tempest that burst upon it. The Romans had to reckon themselves fortunate in repelling the attacks of the barbarians till they had bestowed the necessary repairs on the ships, and in regaining with these the Gallic coast before the bad season of the year came on.

Caesar himself was so dissatisfied with the results of this expedition undertaken inconsiderately and with inadequate means, that he immediately (in the winter of 699-700) ordered a transport fleet of 800 sail to be fitted out, and in the spring of 700 sailed a second time for the Kentish coast, on this occasion with five legions and 2000 cavalry. The forces of the Britons, assembled this time also on the shore, retired before the mighty armada without risking a battle; Caesar immediately set out on his march into the interior, and after some successful conflicts crossed the river Stour; but he was obliged to halt very much against his will, because the fleet in the open roads had been again half destroyed by the storms of the Channel. Before they got the ships drawn up upon the beach and the extensive arrangements made for their repair, precious time was lost, which the Celts wisely turned to account.


The brave and cautious prince Cassivellaunus, who ruled in what is now Middlesex and the surrounding district—formerly the terror of the Celts to the south of the Thames, but now the protector and champion of the whole nation—had headed the defence of the land. He soon saw that nothing at all could be done with the Celtic infantry against the Roman, and that the mass of the general levy— which it was difficult to feed and difficult to control—was only a hindrance to the defence; he therefore dismissed it and retained only the war-chariots, of which he collected 4000, and in which the warriors, accustomed to leap down from their chariots and fight on foot, could be employed in a twofold manner like the burgess- cavalry of the earliest Rome. When Caesar was once more able to continue his march, he met with no interruption to it; but the British war-chariots moved always in front and alongside of the Roman army, induced the evacuation of the country (which from the absence of towns proved no great difficulty), prevented the sending out of detachments, and threatened the communications. The Thames was crossed—apparently between Kingston and Brentford above London—by the Romans; they moved forward, but made no real progress; the general achieved no victory, the soldiers made no booty, and the only actual result, the submission of the Trinobante in the modern Essex, was less the effect of a dread of the Romans than of the deep hostility between this canton and Cassivellaunus. The danger increased with every onward step, and the attack, which the princes of Kent by the orders of Cassivellaunus made on the Roman naval camp, although it was repulsed, was an urgent warning to turn back. The taking by storm of a great British tree-barricade, in which a multitude of cattle fell into the hands of the Romans, furnished a passable conclusion to the aimless advance and a tolerable pretext for returning. Cassivellaunus was sagacious enough not to drive the dangerous enemy to extremities, and promised, as Caesar desired him, to abstain from disturbing the Trinobantes, to pay tribute and to furnish hostages; nothing was said of delivering up arms or leaving behind a Roman garrison, and even those promises were, it may be presumed, so far as they concerned the future, neither given nor received in earnest. After receiving the hostages Caesar returned to the naval camp and thence to Gaul. If he, as it would certainly seem, had hoped on this occasion to conquer Britain, the scheme was totally thwarted partly by the wise defensive system of Cassivellaunus, partly and chiefly by the unserviceableness of the Italian oared fleet in the waters of the North Sea; for it is certain that the stipulated tribute was never paid. But the immediate object—of rousing the islanders out of their haughty security and inducing them in their own interest no longer to allow their island to be a rendezvous for continental emigrants— seems certainly to have been attained; at least no complaints are afterwards heard as to the bestowal of such protection.

The Conspiracy of the Patriots

The work of repelling the Germanic invasion and of subduing the continental Celts was completed. But it is often easier to subdue a free nation than to keep a subdued one in subjection. The rivalry for the hegemony, by which more even than by the attacks of Rome the Celtic nation had been ruined, was in some measure set aside by the conquest, inasmuch as the conqueror took the hegemony to himself. Separate interests were silent; under the common oppression at any rate they felt themselves again as one people; and the infinite value of that which they had with indifference gambled away when they possessed it—freedom and nationality— was now, when it was too late, fully appreciated by their infinite longing. But was it, then, too late? With indignant shame they confessed to themselves that a nation, which numbered at least a million of men capable of arms, a nation of ancient and well- founded warlike renown, had allowed the yoke to be imposed upon it by, at the most, 50,000 Romans. The submission of the confederacy of central Gaul without having struck even a blow; the submission of the Belgic confederacy without having done more than merely shown a wish to strike; the heroic fall on the other hand of the Nervii and the Veneti, the sagacious and successful resistance of the Morini, and of the Britons under Cassivellaunus— all that in each case had been done or neglected, had failed or had succeeded—spurred the minds of the patriots to new attempts, if possible, more united and more successful. Especially among the Celtic nobility there prevailed an excitement, which seemed every moment as if it must break out into a general insurrection. Even before the second expedition to Britain in the spring of 700 Caesar had found it necessary to go in person to the Treveri, who, since they had compromised themselves in the Nervian conflict in 697, had no longer appeared at the general diets and had formed more than suspicious connections with the Germans beyond the Rhine. At that time Caesar had contented himself with carrying the men of most note among the patriot party, particularly Indutiomarus, along with him to Britain in the ranks of the Treverian cavalry-contingent; he did his utmost to overlook the conspiracy, that he might not by strict measures ripen it into insurrection. But when the Haeduan Dumnorix, who likewise was present in the army destined for Britain, nominally as a cavalry officer, but really as a hostage, peremptorily refused to embark and rode home instead, Caesar could not do otherwise than have him pursued as a deserter; he was accordingly overtaken by the division sent after him and, when he stood on his defence, was cut down (700). That the most esteemed knight of the most powerful and still the least dependent of the Celtic cantons should have been put to death by the Romans, was a thunder-clap for the whole Celtic nobility; every one who was conscious of similar sentiments—and they formed the great majority— saw in that catastrophe the picture of what was in store for himself.


If patriotism and despair had induced the heads of the Celtic nobility to conspire, fear and self-defence now drove the conspirators to strike. In the winter of 700-701, with the exception of a legion stationed in Brittany and a second in the very unsettled canton of the Carnutes (near Chartres), the whole Roman army numbering six legions was encamped in the Belgic territory. The scantiness of the supplies of grain had induced Caesar to station his troops farther apart than he was otherwise wont to do—in six different camps constructed in the cantons of the Bellovaci, Ambiani, Morini, Nervii, Remi, and Eburones. The fixed camp placed farthest towards the east in the territory of the Eburones, probably not far from the later Aduatuca (the modern Tongern), the strongest of all, consisting of a legion under one of the most respected of Caesar's leaders of division, Quintus Titurius Sabinus, besides different detachments led by the brave Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta(43) and amounting together to the strength of half a legion, found itself all of a sudden surrounded by the general levy of the Eburones under the kings Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. The attack came so unexpectedly, that the very men absent from the camp could not be recalled and were cut off by the enemy; otherwise the immediate danger was not great, as there was no lack of provisions, and the assault, which the Eburones attempted, recoiled powerless from the Roman intrenchments. But king Ambiorix informed the Roman commander that all the Roman camps in Gaul were similarly assailed on the same day, and that the Romans would undoubtedly be lost if the several corps did not quickly set out and effect a junction; that Sabinus had the more reason to make haste, as the Germans too from beyond the Rhine were already advancing against him; that he himself out of friendship for the Romans would promise them a free retreat as far as the nearest Roman camp, only two days' march distant. Some things in these statements seemed no fiction; that the little canton of the Eburones specially favoured by the Romans(44) should have undertaken the attack of its own accord was in reality incredible, and, owing to the difficulty of effecting a communication with the other far-distant camps, the danger of being attacked by the whole mass of the insurgents and destroyed in detail was by no means to be esteemed slight; nevertheless it could not admit of the smallest doubt that both honour and prudence required them to reject the capitulation offered by the enemy and to maintain the post entrusted to them. Yet, although in the council of war numerous voices and especially the weighty voice of Lucius Aurunculeius Cotta supported this view, the commandant determined to accept the proposal of Ambiorix. The Roman troops accordingly marched off next morning; but when they had arrived at a narrow valley about two miles from the camp they found themselves surrounded by the Eburones and every outlet blocked. They attempted to open a way for themselves by force of arms; but the Eburones would not enter into any close combat, and contented themselves with discharging their missiles from their unassailable positions into the dense mass of the Romans. Bewildered, as if seeking deliverance from treachery at the hands of the traitor, Sabinus requested a conference with Ambiorix; it was granted, and he and the officers accompanying him were first disarmed and then slain. After the fall of the commander the Eburones threw themselves from all sides at once on the exhausted and despairing Romans, and broke their ranks; most of them, including Cotta who had already been wounded, met their death in this attack; a small portion, who had succeeded in regaining the abandoned camp, flung themselves on their own swords during the following night. The whole corps was annihilated.

Cicero Attacked

This success, such as the insurgents themselves had hardly ventured to hope for, increased the ferment among the Celtic patriots so greatly that the Romans were no longer sure of a single district with the exception of the Haedui and Remi, and the insurrection broke out at the most diverse points. First of all the Eburones followed up their victory. Reinforced by the levy of the Aduatuci, who gladly embraced the opportunity of requiting the injury done to them by Caesar, and of the powerful and still unsubdued Menapii, they appeared in the territory of the Nervii, who immediately joined them, and the whole host thus swelled to 60,000 moved forward to confront the Roman camp formed in the Nervian canton. Quintus Cicero, who commanded there, had with his weak corps a difficult position, especially as the besiegers, learning from the foe, constructed ramparts and trenches, -testudines- and moveable towers after the Roman fashion, and showered fire-balls and burning spears over the straw-covered huts of the camp. The only hope of the besieged rested on Caesar, who lay not so very far off with three legions in his winter encampment in the region of Amiens. But—a significant proof of the feeling that prevailed in Gaul- for a considerable time not the slightest hint reached the general either of the disaster of Sabinus or of the perilous situation of Cicero.

Caesar Proceeds to His Relief
The Insurrection Checked

At length a Celtic horseman from Cicero's camp succeeded in stealing through the enemy to Caesar. On receiving the startling news Caesar immediately set out, although only with two weak legions, together numbering about 7000, and 400 horsemen; nevertheless the announcement that Caesar was advancing sufficed to induce the insurgents to raise the siege. It was time; not one tenth of the men in Cicero's camp remained unwounded. Caesar, against whom the insurgent army had turned, deceived the enemy, in the way which he had already on several occasions successfully applied, as to his strength; under the most unfavourable circumstances they ventured an assault upon the Roman camp and in doing so suffered a defeat. It is singular, but characteristic of the Celtic nation, that in consequence of this one lost battle, or perhaps rather in consequence of Caesar's appearance in person on the scene of conflict, the insurrection, which had commenced so victoriously and extended so widely, suddenly and pitiably broke off the war. The Nervii, Menapii, Aduatuci, Eburones, returned to their homes. The forces of the maritime cantons, who had made preparations for assailing the legion in Brittany, did the same. The Treveri, through whose leader Indutiomarus the Eburones, the clients of the powerful neighbouring canton, had been chiefly induced to that so successful attack, had taken arms on the news of the disaster of Aduatuca and advanced into the territory of the Remi with the view of attacking the legion cantoned there under the command of Labienus; they too desisted for the present from continuing the struggle. Caesar not unwillingly postponed farther measures against the revolted districts till the spring, in order not to expose his troops which had suffered much to the whole severity of the Gallic winter, and with the view of only reappearing in the field when the fifteen cohorts destroyed should have been replaced in an imposing manner by the levy of thirty new cohorts which he had ordered. The insurrection meanwhile pursued its course, although there was for the moment a suspension of arms. Its chief seats in central Gaul were, partly the districts of the Carnutes and the neighbouring Senones (about Sens), the latter of whom drove the king appointed by Caesar out of their country; partly the region of the Treveri, who invited the whole Celtic emigrants and the Germans beyond the Rhine to take part in the impending national war, and called out their whole force, with a view to advance in the spring a second time into the territory of the Remi, to capture the corps of Labienus, and to seek a communication with the insurgents on the Seine and Loire. The deputies of these three cantons remained absent from the diet convoked by Caesar in central Gaul, and thereby declared war just as openly as a part of the Belgic cantons had done by the attacks on the camps of Sabinus and Cicero.

And Suppressed

The winter was drawing to a close when Caesar set out with his army, which meanwhile had been considerably reinforced, against the insurgents. The attempts of the Treveri to concentrate the revolt had not succeeded; the agitated districts were kept in check by the marching in of Roman troops, and those in open rebellion were attacked in detail. First the Nervii were routed by Caesar in person. The Senones and Carnutes met the same fate. The Menapii, the only canton which had never submitted to the Romans, were compelled by a grand attack simultaneously directed against them from three sides to renounce their long-preserved freedom. Labienus meanwhile was preparing the same fate for the Treveri. Their first attack had been paralyzed, partly by the refusal of the adjoining German tribes to furnish them with mercenaries, partly by the fact that Indutiomarus, the soul of the whole movement had fallen in a skirmish with the cavalry of Labienus. But they did not on this account abandon their projects. With their whole levy they appeared in front of Labienus and waited for the German bands that were to follow, for their recruiting agents found a better reception than they had met with from the dwellers on the Rhine, among the warlike tribes of the interior of Germany, especially, as it would appear, among the Chatti. But when Labienus seemed as if he wished to avoid these and to march off in all haste, the Treveri attacked the Romans even before the Germans arrived and in a most unfavourable spot, and were completely defeated. Nothing remained for the Germans who came up too late but to return, nothing for the Treverian canton but to submit; its government reverted to the head of the Roman party Cingetorix, the son-in-law of Indutiomarus. After these expeditions of Caesar against the Menapii and of Labienus against the Treveri the whole Roman army was again united in the territory of the latter. With the view of rendering the Germans disinclined to come back, Caesar once more crossed the Rhine, in order if possible to strike an emphatic blow against the troublesome neighbours; but, as the Chatti, faithful to their tried tactics, assembled not on their western boundary, but far in the interior, apparently at the Harz mountains, for the defence of the land, he immediately turned back and contented himself with leaving behind a garrison at the passage of the Rhine.

Retaliatory Expedition against the Eburones

Accounts had thus been settled with all the tribes that took part in the rising; the Eburones alone were passed over but not forgotten. Since Caesar had met with the disaster of Aduatuca, he had worn mourning and had sworn that he would only lay it aside when he should have avenged his soldiers, who had not fallen in honourable war, but had been treacherously murdered. Helpless and passive the Eburones sat in their huts and looked on as the neighbouring cantons one after another submitted to the Romans, till the Roman cavalry from the Treverian territory advanced through the Ardennes into their land. So little were they prepared for the attack, that the cavalry had almost seized the king Ambiorix in his house; with great difficulty, while his attendants sacrificed themselves on his behalf, he escaped into the neighbouring thicket. Ten Roman legions soon followed the cavalry. At the same time a summons was issued to the surrounding tribes to hunt the outlawed Eburones and pillage their land in concert with the Roman soldiers; not a few complied with the call, including even an audacious band of Sugambrian horsemen from the other side of the Rhine, who for that matter treated the Romans no better than the Eburones, and had almost by a daring coup de main surprised the Roman camp at Aduatuca. The fate of the Eburones was dreadful. However they might hide themselves in forests and morasses, there were more hunters than game. Many put themselves to death like the gray-haired prince Catuvolcus; only a few saved life and liberty, but among these few was the man whom the Romans sought above all to seize, the prince Ambiorix; with but four horsemen he escaped over the Rhine. This execution against the canton which had transgressed above all the rest was followed in the other districts by processes of high treason against individuals. The season for clemency was past. At the bidding of the Roman proconsul the eminent Carnutic knight Acco was beheaded by Roman lictors (701) and the rule of the -fasces- was thus formally inaugurated. Opposition was silent; tranquillity everywhere prevailed. Caesar went as he was wont towards the end of the year (701) over the Alps, that through the winter he might observe more closely the daily-increasing complications in the capital.

Second Insurrection

The sagacious calculator had on this occasion miscalculated. The fire was smothered, but not extinguished. The stroke, under which the head of Acco fell, was felt by the whole Celtic nobility. At this very moment the position of affairs presented better prospects than ever. The insurrection of the last winter had evidently failed only through Caesar himself appearing on the scene of action; now he was at a distance, detained on the Po by the imminence of civil war, and the Gallic army, which was collected on the upper Seine, was far separated from its dreaded leader. If a general insurrection now broke out in central Gaul, the Roman army might be surrounded, and the almost undefended old Roman province be overrun before Caesar reappeared beyond the Alps, even if the Italian complications did not altogether prevent him from further concerning himself about Gaul.

The Carnutes
The Arverni

Conspirators from all the cantons of central Gaul assembled; the Carnutes, as most directly affected by the execution of Acco, offered to take the lead. On a set day in the winter of 701-702 the Carnutic knights Gutruatus and Conconnetodumnus gave at Cenabum (Orleans) the signal for the rising, and put to death in a body the Romans who happened to be there. The most vehement agitation seized the length and breadth of the great Celtic land; the patriots everywhere bestirred themselves. But nothing stirred the nation so deeply as the insurrection of the Arverni. The government of this community, which had formerly under its kings been the first in southern Gaul, and had still after the fall of its principality occasioned by the unfortunate wars against Rome(45) continued to be one of the wealthiest, most civilized, and most powerful in all Gaul, had hitherto inviolably adhered to Rome. Even now the patriot party in the governing common council was in the minority; an attempt to induce it to join the insurrection was in vain. The attacks of the patriots were therefore directed against the common council and the existing constitution itself; and the more so, that the change of constitution which among the Arverni had substituted the common council for the prince(46) had taken place after the victories of the Romans and probably under their influence.


The leader of the Arvernian patriots Vercingetorix, one of those nobles whom we meet with among the Celts, of almost regal repute in and beyond his canton, and a stately, brave, sagacious man to boot, left the capital and summoned the country people, who were as hostile to the ruling oligarchy as to the Romans, at once to re-establish the Arvernian monarchy and to go to war with Rome. The multitude quickly joined him; the restoration of the throne of Luerius and Betuitus was at the same time the declaration of a national war against Rome. The centre of unity, from the want of which all previous attempts of the nation to shake off the foreign yoke had failed, was now found in the new self-nominated king of the Arverni. Vercingetorix became for the Celts of the continent what Cassivellaunus was for the insular Celts; the feeling strongly pervaded the masses that he, if any one, was the man to save the nation.

Spread of the Insurrection
Appearance of Caesar

The west from the mouth of the Garonne to that of the Seine was rapidly infected by the insurrection, and Vercingetorix was recognized by all the cantons there as commander-in-chief; where the common council made any difficulty, the multitude compelled it to join the movement; only a few cantons, such as that of the Bituriges, required compulsion to join it, and these perhaps only for appearance' sake. The insurrection found a less favourable soil in the regions to the east of the upper Loire. Everything here depended on the Haedui; and these wavered. The patriotic party was very strong in this canton; but the old antagonism to the leading of the Arverni counterbalanced their influence— to the most serious detriment of the insurrection, as the accession of the eastern cantons, particularly of the Sequani and Helvetii, was conditional on the accession of the Haedui, and generally in this part of Gaul the decision rested with them. While the insurgents were thus labouring partly to induce the cantons that still hesitated, especially the Haedui, to join them, partly to get possession of Narbo—one of their leaders, the daring Lucterius, had already appeared on the Tarn within the limits of the old province—the Roman commander-in-chief suddenly presented himself in the depth of winter, unexpected alike by friend and foe, on this side of the Alps. He quickly made the necessary preparations to cover the old province, and not only so, but sent also a corps over the snow-covered Cevennes into the Arvernian territory; but he could not remain here, where the accession of the Haedui to the Gallic alliance might any moment cut him off from his army encamped about Sens and Langres. With all secrecy he went to Vienna, and thence, attended by only a few horsemen, through the territory of the Haedui to his troops. The hopes, which had induced the conspirators to declare themselves, vanished; peace continued in Italy, and Caesar stood once more at the head of his army.

The Gallic Plan of War

But what were they to do? It was folly under such circumstances to let the matter come to the decision of arms; for these had already decidedly irrevocably. They might as well attempt to shake the Alps by throwing stones at them as to shake the legions by means of the Celtic bands, whether these might be congregated in huge masses or sacrificed in detail canton after canton. Vercingetorix despaired of defeating the Romans. He adopted a system of warfare similar to that by which Cassivellaunus had saved the insular Celts. The Roman infantry was not to be vanquished; but Caesar's cavalry consisted almost exclusively of the contingent of the Celtic nobility, and was practically dissolved by the general revolt. It was possible for the insurrection, which was in fact essentially composed of the Celtic nobility, to develop such a superiority in this arm, that it could lay waste the land far and wide, burn down towns and villages, destroy the magazines, and endanger the supplies and the communications of the enemy, without his being able seriously to hinder it. Vercingetorix accordingly directed all his efforts to the increase of his cavalry, and of the infantry-archers who were according to the mode of fighting of that time regularly associated with it. He did not send the immense and self-obstructing masses of the militia of the line to their homes, but he did not allow them to face the enemy, and attempted to impart to them gradually some capacity of intrenching, marching, and manoeuvring, and some perception that the soldier is not destined merely for hand-to-hand combat. Learning from the enemy, he adopted in particular the Roman system of encampment, on which depended the whole secret of the tactical superiority of the Romans; for in consequence of it every Roman corps combined all the advantages of the garrison of a fortress with all the advantages of an offensive army.(47) It is true that a system completely adapted to Britain which had few towns and to its rude, resolute, and on the whole united inhabitants was not absolutely transferable to the rich regions on the Loire and their indolent inhabitants on the eve of utter political dissolution. Vercingetorix at least accomplished this much, that they did not attempt as hitherto to hold every town with the result of holding none; they agreed to destroy the townships not capable of defence before attack reached them, but to defend with all their might the strong fortresses. At the same time the Arvernian king did what he could to bind to the cause of their country the cowardly and backward by stern severity, the hesitating by entreaties and representations, the covetous by gold, the decided opponents by force, and to compel or allure the rabble high or low to some manifestation of patriotism.

Beginning of the Struggle

Even before the winter was at an end, he threw himself on the Boii settled by Caesar in the territory of the Haedui, with the view of annihilating these, almost the sole trustworthy allies of Rome, before Caesar came up. The news of this attack induced Caesar, leaving behind the baggage and two legions in the winter quarters of Agedincum (Sens), to march immediately and earlier than he would doubtless otherwise have done, against the insurgents. He remedied the sorely-felt want of cavalry and light infantry in some measure by gradually bringing up German mercenaries, who instead of using their own small and weak ponies were furnished with Italian and Spanish horses partly bought, partly procured by requisition of the officers. Caesar, after having by the way caused Cenabum, the capital of the Carnutes, which had given the signal for the revolt, to be pillaged and laid in ashes, moved over the Loire into the country of the Bituriges. He thereby induced Vercingetorix to abandon the siege of the town of the Boii, and to resort likewise to the Bituriges. Here the new mode of warfare was first to be tried. By order of Vercingetorix more than twenty townships of the Bituriges perished in the flames on one day; the general decreed a similar self-devastation as to the neighbour cantons, so far as they could be reached by the Roman foraging parties.

Caesar before Arvaricum

According to his intention, Avaricum (Bourges), the rich and strong capital of the Bituriges, was to meet the same fate; but the majority of the war-council yielded to the suppliant entreaties of the Biturigian authorities, and resolved rather to defend that city with all their energy. Thus the war was concentrated in the first instance around Avaricum, Vercingetorix placed his infantry amidst the morasses adjoining the town in a position so unapproachable, that even without being covered by the cavalry they needed not to fear the attack of the legions. The Celtic cavalry covered all the roads and obstructed the communication. The town was strongly garrisoned, and the connection between it and the army before the walls was kept open. Caesar's position was very awkward. The attempt to induce the Celtic infantry to fight was unsuccessful; it stirred not from its unassailable lines. Bravely as his soldiers in front of the town trenched and fought, the besieged vied with them in ingenuity and courage, and they had almost succeeded in setting fire to the siege apparatus of their opponents. The task withal of supplying an army of nearly 60,000 men with provisions in a country devastated far and wide and scoured by far superior bodies of cavalry became daily more difficult. The slender stores of the Boii were soon used up; the supply promised by the Haedui failed to appear; the corn was already consumed, and the soldier was placed exclusively on flesh-rations. But the moment was approaching when the town, with whatever contempt of death the garrison fought, could be held no longer. Still it was not impossible to withdraw the troops secretly by night and destroy the town, before the enemy occupied it. Vercingetorix made arrangements for this purpose, but the cry of distress raised at the moment of evacuation by the women and children left behind attracted the attention of the Romans; the departure miscarried.

Avaricum Conquered
Caesar Divides His Army

On the following gloomy and rainy day the Romans scaled the walls, and, exasperated by the obstinate defence, spared neither age nor sex in the conquered town. The ample stores, which the Celts had accumulated in it, were welcome to the starved soldiers of Caesar. With the capture of Avaricum (spring of 702), a first success had been achieved over the insurrection, and according to former experience Caesar might well expect that it would now dissolve, and that it would only be requisite to deal with the cantons individually. After he had therefore shown himself with his whole army in the canton of the Haedui and had by this imposing demonstration compelled the patriot party in a ferment there to keep quiet at least for the moment, he divided his army and sent Labienus back to Agedincum, that in combination with the troops left there he might at the head of four legions suppress in the first instance the movement in the territory of the Carnutes and Senones, who on this occasion once more took the lead; while he himself with the six remaining legions turned to the south and prepared to carry the war into the Arvernian mountains, the proper territory of Vercingetorix.

Labienus before Lutetia

Labienus moved from Agedincum up the left bank of the Seine with a view to possess himself of Lutetia (Paris), the town of the Parisii situated on an island in the Seine, and from this well-secured position in the heart of the insurgent country to reduce it again to subjection. But behind Melodunum (Melun), he found his route barred by the whole army of the insurgents, which had here taken up a position between unassailable morasses under the leadership of the aged Camulogenus. Labienus retreated a certain distance, crossed the Seine at Melodunum, and moved up its right bank unhindered towards Lutetia; Camulogenus caused this town to be burnt and the bridges leading to the left bank to be broken down, and took up a position over against Labienus, in which the latter could neither bring him to battle nor effect a passage under the eyes of the hostile army.

Caesar before Gergovia
Fruitless Blockade

The Roman main army in its turn advanced along the Allier down into the canton of the Arverni. Vercingetorix attempted to prevent it from crossing to the left bank of the Allier, but Caesar overreached him and after some days stood before the Arvernian capital Gergovia.(48) Vercingetorix, however, doubtless even while he was confronting Caesar on the Allier, had caused sufficient stores to be collected in Gergovia and a fixed camp provided with strong stone ramparts to be constructed for his troops in front of the walls of the town, which was situated on the summit of a pretty steep hill; and, as he had a sufficient start, he arrived before Caesar at Gergovia and awaited the attack in the fortified camp under the wall of the fortress. Caesar with his comparatively weak army could neither regularly besiege the place nor even sufficiently blockade it; he pitched his camp below the rising ground occupied by Vercingetorix, and was compelled to preserve an attitude as inactive as his opponent. It was almost a victory for the insurgents, that Caesar's career of advance from triumph to triumph had been suddenly checked on the Seine as on the Allier. In fact the consequences of this check for Caesar were almost equivalent to those of a defeat.

The Haedui Waver

The Haedui, who had hitherto continued vacillating, now made preparations in earnest to join the patriotic party; the body of men, whom Caesar had ordered to Gergovia, had on the march been induced by its officers to declare for the insurgents; at the same time they had begun in the canton itself to plunder and kill the Romans settled there. Caesar, who had gone with two-thirds of the blockading army to meet that corps of the Haedui which was being brought up to Gergovia, had by his sudden appearance recalled it to nominal obedience; but it was more than ever a hollow and fragile relation, the continuance of which had been almost too dearly purchased by the great peril of the two legions left behind in front of Gergovia. For Vercingetorix, rapidly and resolutely availing himself of Caesar's departure, had during his absence made an attack on them, which had wellnigh ended in their being overpowered, and the Roman camp being taken by storm. Caesar's unrivalled celerity alone averted a second catastrophe like that of Aduatuca. Though the Haedui made once more fair promises, it might be foreseen that, if the blockade should still be prolonged without result, they would openly range themselves on the side of the insurgents and would thereby compel Caesar to raise it; for their accession would interrupt the communication between him and Labienus, and expose the latter especially in his isolation to the greatest peril. Caesar was resolved not to let matters come to this pass, but, however painful and even dangerous it was to retire from Gergovia without having accomplished his object, nevertheless, if it must be done, rather to set out immediately and by marching into the canton of the Haedui to prevent at any cost their formal desertion.

Caesar Defeated before Gergovia

Before entering however on this retreat, which was far from agreeable to his quick and confident temperament, he made yet a last attempt to free himself from his painful perplexity by a brilliant success. While the bulk of the garrison of Gergovia was occupied in intrenching the side on which the assault was expected, the Roman general watched his opportunity to surprise another access less conveniently situated but at the moment left bare. In reality the Roman storming columns scaled the camp-wall, and occupied the nearest quarters of the camp; but the whole garrison was already alarmed, and owing to the small distances Caesar found it not advisable to risk the second assault on the city-wall. He gave the signal for retreat; but the foremost legions, carried away by the impetuosity of victory, heard not or did not wish to hear, and pushed forward without halting, up to the city-wall, some even into the city. But masses more and more dense threw themselves in front of the intruders; the foremost fell, the columns stopped; in vain centurions and legionaries fought with the most devoted and heroic courage; the assailants were chased with very considerable loss out of the town and down the hill, where the troops stationed by Caesar in the plain received them and prevented greater mischief. The expected capture of Gergovia had been converted into a defeat, and the considerable loss in killed and wounded— there were counted 700 soldiers that had fallen, including 46 centurions—was the least part of the misfortune suffered.

Renewed Insurrection
Rising of the Haedui
Rising of the Belgae

The imposing position of Caesar in Gaul depended essentially on the halo of victory that surrounded him; and this began to grow pale. The conflicts around Avaricum, Caesar's vain attempts to compel the enemy to fight, the resolute defence of the city and its almost accidental capture by storm bore a stamp different from that of the earlier Celtic wars, and had strengthened rather than impaired the confidence of the Celts in themselves and their leader. Moreover, the new system of warfare—the making head against the enemy in intrenched camps under the protection of fortresses—had completely approved itself at Lutetia as well as at Gergovia. Lastly, this defeat, the first which Caesar in person had suffered from the Celts crowned their success, and it accordingly gave as it were the signal for a second outbreak of the insurrection. The Haedui now broke formally with Caesar and entered into union with Vercingetorix. Their contingent, which was still with Caesar's army, not only deserted from it, but also took occasion to carry off the depots of the army of Caesar at Noviodunum on the Loire, whereby the chests and magazines, a number of remount-horses, and all the hostages furnished to Caesar, fell into the hands of the insurgents. It was of at least equal importance, that on this news the Belgae, who had hitherto kept aloof from the whole movement, began to bestir themselves. The powerful canton of the Bellovaci rose with the view of attacking in the rear the corps of Labienus, while it confronted at Lutetia the levy of the surrounding cantons of central Gaul. Everywhere else too men were taking to arms; the strength of patriotic enthusiasm carried along with it even the most decided and most favoured partisans of Rome, such as Commius king of the Atrebates, who on account of his faithful services had received from the Romans important privileges for his community and the hegemony over the Morini. The threads of the insurrection ramified even into the old Roman province: they cherished the hope, perhaps not without ground, of inducing the Allobroges themselves to take arms against the Romans. With the single exception of the Remi and of the districts—dependent immediately on the Remi— of the Suessiones, Leuci, and Lingones, whose peculiar isolation was not affected even amidst this general enthusiasm, the whole Celtic nation from the Pyrenees to the Rhine was now in reality, for the first and for the last time, in arms for its freedom and nationality; whereas, singularly enough, the whole German communities, who in the former struggles had held the foremost rank, kept aloof. In fact, the Treveri, and as it would seem the Menapii also, were prevented by their feuds with the Germans from taking an active part in the national war.

Caesar's Plan of War
Caesar Unites with Labienus

It was a grave and decisive moment, when after the retreat from Gergovia and the loss of Noviodunum a council of war was held in Caesar's headquarters regarding the measures now to be adopted. Various voices expressed themselves in favour of a retreat over the Cevennes into the old Roman province, which now lay open on all sides to the insurrection and certainly was in urgent need of the legions that had been sent from Rome primarily for its protection. But Caesar rejected this timid strategy suggested not by the position of affairs, but by government-instructions and fear of responsibility. He contented himself with calling the general levy of the Romans settled in the province to arms, and having the frontiers guarded by that levy to the best of its ability. On the other hand he himself set out in the opposite direction and advanced by forced marches to Agedincum, to which he ordered Labienus to retreat in all haste. The Celts naturally endeavoured to prevent the junction of the two Roman armies. Labienus might by crossing the Marne and marching down the right bank of the Seine have reached Agedincum, where he had left his reserve and his baggage; but he preferred not to allow the Celts again to behold the retreat of Roman troops. He therefore instead of crossing the Marne crossed the Seine under the eyes of the deluded enemy, and on its left bank fought a battle with the hostile forces, in which he conquered, and among many others the Celtic general himself, the old Camulogenus, was left on the field. Nor were the insurgents more successful in detaining Caesar on the Loire; Caesar gave them no time to assemble larger masses there, and without difficulty dispersed the militia of the Haedui, which alone he found at that point

Position of the Insurgents at Alesia

Thus the junction of the two divisions of the army was happily accomplished. The insurgents meanwhile had consulted as to the farthe conduct of the war at Bibracte (Autun) the capital of the Haeduil the soul of these consultations was again Vercingetorix, to whom the nation was enthusiastically attached after the victory of Gergovia. Particular interests were not, it is true, even now silent; the Haedui still in this death-struggle of the nation asserted their claims to the hegemony, and made a proposal in the national assembly to substitute a leader of their own for Vercingetorix. But the national representatives had not merely declined this and confirmed Vercingetorix in the supreme command, but had also adopted his plan of war without alteration. It was substantially the same as that on which he had operated at Avaricum and at Gergovia. As the base of the new position there was selected the strong city of the Mandubii, Alesia (Alise Sainte Reine near Semur in the department Cote d'Or)(49) and another entrenched camp was constructed under its walls. Immense stores were here accumulated, and the army was ordered thither from Gergovia, having its cavalry raised by resolution of the national assembly to 15,000 horse. Caesar with the whole strength of his army after it was reunited at Agedincum took the direction of Besancon, with the view of now approaching the alarmed province and protecting it from an invasion, for in fact bands of insurgents had already shown themselves in the territory of the Helvii on the south slope of the Cevennes. Alesia lay almost on his way; the cavalry of the Celts, the only arm with which Vercingetorix chose to operate, attacked him on the route, but to the surprise of all was worsted by the new German squadrons of Caesar and the Roman infantry drawn up in support of them.

Caesar in Front of Alesia
Siege of Alesia

Vercingetorix hastened the more to shut himself up in Alesia; and if Caesar was not disposed altogether to renounce the offensive, no course was left to him but for the third time in this campaign to proceed by way of attack with a far weaker force against an army encamped under a well-garrisoned and well-provisioned fortress and supplied with immense masses of cavalry. But, while the Celts had hitherto been opposed by only a part of the Roman legions, the whole forces of Caesar were united in the lines round Alesia, and Vercingetorix did not succeed, as he had succeeded at Avaricum and Gergovia, in placing his infantry under the protection of the walls of the fortress and keeping his external communications open for his own benefit by his cavalry, while he interrupted those of the enemy. The Celtic cavalry, already discouraged by that defeat inflicted on them by their lightly esteemed opponents, was beaten by Caesar's German horse in every encounter. The line of circumvallation of the besiegers extending about nine miles invested the whole town, including the camp attached to it. Vercingetorix had been prepared for a struggle under the walls, but not for being besieged in Alesia; in that point of view the accumulated stores, considerable as they were, were yet far from sufficient for his army—which was said to amount to 80,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry—and for the numerous inhabitants of the town. Vercingetorix could not but perceive that his plan of warfare had on this occasion turned to his own destruction, and that he was lost unless the whole nation hastened up to the rescue of its blockaded general. The existing provisions were still, when the Roman circumvallation was closed, sufficient for a month and perhaps something more; at the last moment, when there was still free passage at least for horsemen, Vercingetorix dismissed his whole cavalry, and sent at the same time to the heads of the nation instructions to call out all their forces and lead them to the relief of Alesia. He himself, resolved to bear in person the responsibility for the plan of war which he had projected and which had miscarried, remained in the fortress, to share in good or evil the fate of his followers. But Caesar made up his mind at once to besiege and to be besieged. He prepared his line of circumvallation for defence also on its outer side, and furnished himself with provisions for a longer period. The days passed; they had no longer a boll of grain in the fortress, and they were obliged to drive out the unhappy inhabitants of the town to perish miserably between the entrenchments of the Celts and of the Romans, pitilessly rejected by both.

Attempt at Relief
Conflicts before Alesia

At the last hour there appeared behind Caesar's lines the interminable array of the Celto-Belgic relieving array, said to amount to 250,000 infantry and 8000 cavalry, from the Channel to the Cevennes the insurgent cantons had strained every nerve to rescue the flower of their patriots and the general of their choice—the Bellovaci alone had answered that they were doubtless disposed to fight against the Romans, but not beyond their own bounds. The first assault, which the besieged of Alesia and the relieving troops without made on the Roman double line, was repulsed; but, when after a day's rest it was repeated, the Celts succeeded—at a spot where the line of circumvallation ran over the slope of a hill and could be assailed from the height above— in filling up the trenches and hurling the defenders down from the rampart. Then Labienus, sent thither by Caesar, collected the nearest cohorts and threw himself with four legions on the foe. Under the eyes of the general, who himself appeared at the most dangerous moment, the assailants were driven back in a desperate hand-to-hand conflict, and the squadrons of cavalry that came with Caesar taking the fugitives in rear completed the defeat.

Alesia Capitulates

It was more than a great victory; the fate of Alesia, and indeed of the Celtic nation, was thereby irrevocably decided. The Celtic army, utterly disheartened, dispersed at once from the battle-field and went home. Vercingetorix might perhaps have even now taken to flight, or at least have saved himself by the last means open to a free man; he did not do so, but declared in a council of war that, since he had not succeeded in breaking off the alien yoke, he was ready to give himself up as a victim and to avert as far as possible destruction from the nation by bringing it on his own head. This was done. The Celtic officers delivered their general— the solemn choice of the whole nation—over to the energy of their country for such punishment as might be thought fit. Mounted on his steed and in full armour the king of the Arverni appeared before the Roman proconsul and rode round his tribunal; then he surrendered his horse and arms, and sat down in silence on the steps at Caesar's feet (702).

Vercingetorix Executed

Five years afterwards he was led in triumph through the streets of the Italian capital, and, while his conqueror was offering solemn thanks to the gods on the summit of the Capitol, Vercingetorix was beheaded at its foot as guilty of high treason against the Roman nation. As after a day of gloom the sun may perhaps break through the clouds at its setting, so destiny may bestow on nations in their decline yet a last great man. Thus Hannibal stands at the close of the Phoenician history, and Vercingetorix at the close of the Celtic. They were not able to save the nations to which they belonged from a foreign yoke, but they spared them the last remaining disgrace—an inglorious fall. Vercingetorix, just like the Carthaginian, was obliged to contend not merely against the public foe, but also and above all against that anti-national opposition of wounded egotists and startled cowards, which regularly accompanies a degenerate civilization; for him too a place in history is secured, not by his battles and sieges, but by the fact that he was able to furnish in his own person a centre and rallying-point to a nation distracted and ruined by the rivalry of individual interests. And yet there can hardly be a more marked contrast than between the sober townsman of the Phoenician mercantile city, whose plans were directed towards one great object with unchanging energy throughout fifty years, and the bold prince of the Celtic land, whose mighty deeds and high- minded self-sacrifice fall within the compass of one brief summer. The whole ancient world presents no more genuine knight, whether as regards his essential character or his outward appearance. But man ought not to be a mere knight, and least of all the statesman. It was the knight, not the hero, who disdained to escape from Alesia, when for the nation more depended on him than on a hundred thousand ordinary brave men. It was the knight, not the hero, who gave himself up as a sacrifice, when the only thing gained by that sacrifice was that the nation publicly dishonoured itself and with equal cowardice and absurdity employed its last breath in proclaiming that its great historical death-struggle was a crime against its oppressor. How very different was the conduct of Hannibal in similar positions! It is impossible to part from the noble king of the Arverni without a feeling of historical and human sympathy; but it is a significant trait of the Celtic nation, that its greatest man was after all merely a knight.

The Last Conflicts
With the Bituriges and Carnutes

The fall of Alesia and the capitulation of the army enclosed in it were fearful blows for the Celtic insurrection; but blows quite as heavy had befallen the nation and yet the conflict had been renewed. The loss of Vercingetorix, however, was irreparable. With him unity had come to the nation; with him it seemed also to have departed. We do not find that the insurgents made any attempt to continue their joint defence and to appoint another generalissimo; the league of patriots fell to pieces of itself, and every clan was left to fight or come to terms with the Romans as it pleased. Naturally the desire after rest everywhere prevailed. Caesar too had an interest in bringing the war quickly to an end. Of the ten years of his governorship seven had elapsed, and the last was called in question by his political opponents in the capital; he could only reckon with some degree of certainty on two more summers, and, while his interest as well as his honour required that he should hand over the newly-acquired regions to his successor in a condition of tolerable peace and tranquillity, there was in truth but scanty time to bring about such a state of things. To exercise mercy was in this case still more a necessity for the victor than for the vanquished; and he might thank his stars that the internal dissensions and the easy temperament of the Celts met him in this respect half way. Where—as in the two most eminent cantons of central Gaul, those of the Haedui and Arverni—there existed a strong party well disposed to Rome, the cantons obtained immediately after the fall of Alesia a complete restoration of their former relations with Rome, and even their captives, 20,000 in number, were released without ransom, while those of the other clans passed into the hard bondage of the victorious legionaries. The greater portion of the Gallic districts submitted like the Haedui and Arverni to their fate, and allowed their inevitable punishment to be inflicted without farther resistance. But not a few clung in foolish frivolity or sullen despair to the lost cause, till the Roman troops of execution appeared within their borders. Such expeditions were in the winter of 702-703 undertaken against the Bituriges and the Carnutes.

With the Bellovaci

More serious resistance was offered by the Bellovaci, who in the previous year had kept aloof from the relief of Alesia; they seem to have wished to show that their absence on that decisive day at least did not proceed from want of courage or of love for freedom. The Atrebates, Ambiani, Caletes, and other Belgic cantons took part in this struggle; the brave king of the Atrebates Commius, whose accession to the insurrection the Romans had least of all forgiven, and against whom recently Labienus had even directed an atrocious attempt at assassination, brought to the Bellovaci 500 German horse, whose value the campaign of the previous year had shown. The resolute and talented Bellovacian Correus, to whom the chief conduct of the war had fallen, waged warfare as Vercingetorix had waged it, and with no small success. Although Caesar had gradually brought up the greater part of his army, he could neither bring the infantry of the Bellovaci to a battle, nor even prevent it from taking up other positions which afforded better protection against his augmented forces; while the Roman horse, especially the Celtic contingents, suffered most severe losses in various combats at the hands of the enemy's cavalry, especially of the German cavalry of Commius. But after Correus had met his death in a skirmish with the Roman foragers, the resistance here too was broken; the victor proposed tolerable conditions, to which the Bellovaci along with their confederates submitted. The Treveri were reduced to obedience by Labienus, and incidentally the territory of the outlawed Eburones was once more traversed and laid waste. Thus the last resistance of the Belgic confederacy was broken.

On the Loire

The maritime cantons still made an attempt to defend themselves against the Roman domination in concert with their neighbours on the Loire. Insurgent bands from the Andian, Carnutic, and other surrounding cantons assembled on the lower Loire and besieged in Lemonum (Poitiers) the prince of the Pictones who was friendly to the Romans. But here too a considerable Roman force soon appeared against them; the insurgents abandoned the siege, and retreated with the view of placing the Loire between themselves and the enemy, but were overtaken on the march and defeated; whereupon the Carnutes and the other revolted cantons, including even the maritime ones, sent in their submission.

And in Uxellodunum

The resistance was at an end; save that an isolated leader of free bands still here and there upheld the national banner. The bold Drappes and the brave comrade in arms of Vercingetorix Lucterius, after the breaking up of the army united on the Loire, gathered together the most resolute men, and with these threw themselves into the strong mountain-town of Uxellodunum on the Lot,(50) which amidst severe and fatal conflicts they succeeded in sufficiently provisioning. In spite of the loss of their leaders, of whom Drappes had been taken prisoner, and Lucterius had been cut off from the town, the garrison resisted to the uttermost; it was not till Caesar appeared in person, and under his orders the spring from which the besieged derived their water was diverted by means of subterranean drains, that the fortress, the last stronghold of the Celtic nation, fell. To distinguish the last champions of the cause of freedom, Caesar ordered that the whole garrison should have their hands cut off and should then be dismissed, each one to his home. Caesar, who felt it all-important to put an end at least to open resistance throughout Gaul, allowed king Commius, who still held out in the region of Arras and maintained desultory warfare with the Roman troops there down to the winter of 703-704, to make his peace, and even acquiesced when the irritated and justly distrustful man haughtily refused to appear in person in the Roman camp. It is very probable that Caesar in a similar way allowed himself to be satisfied with a merely nominal submission, perhaps even with a de facto armistice, in the less accessible districts of the north-west and north-east of Gaul.(51)

Gaul Subdued

Thus was Gaul—or, in other words, the land west of the Rhine and north of the Pyrenees—rendered subject after only eight years of conflict (696-703) to the Romans. Hardly a year after the full pacification of the land, at the beginning of 705, the Roman troops had to be withdrawn over the Alps in consequence of the civil war, which had now at length broken out in Italy, and there remained nothing but at the most some weak divisions of recruits in Gaul. Nevertheless the Celts did not again rise against the foreign yoke; and, while in all the old provinces of the empire there was fighting against Caesar, the newly-acquired country alone remained continuously obedient to its conqueror. Even the Germans did not during those decisive years repeat their attempts to conquer new settlements on the left bank of the Rhine. As little did there occur in Gaul any national insurrection or German invasion during the crises that followed, although these offered the most favourable opportunities. If disturbances broke out anywhere, such as the rising of the Bellovaci against the Romans in 708, these movements were so isolated and so unconnected with the complications in Italy, that they were suppressed without material difficulty by the Roman governors. Certainly this state of peace was most probably, just as was the peace of Spain for centuries, purchased by provisionally allowing the regions that were most remote and most strongly pervaded by national feeling—Brittany, the districts on the Scheldt, the region of the Pyrenees— to withdraw themselves de facto in a more or less definite manner from the Roman allegiance. Nevertheless the building of Caesar— however scanty the time which he found for it amidst other and at the moment still more urgent labours, however unfinished and but provisionally rounded off he may have left it—in substance stood the test of this fiery trial, as respected both the repelling of the Germans and the subjugation of the Celts.

Roman Taxation

As to administration in chief, the territories newly acquired by the governor of Narbonese Gaul remained for the time being united with the province of Narbo; it was not till Caesar gave up this office (710) that two new governorships—Gaul proper and Belgica—were formed out of the territory which he conquered. That the individual cantons lost their political independence, was implied in the very nature of conquest. They became throughout tributary to the Roman community. Their system of tribute however was, of course, not that by means of which the nobles and financial aristocracy turned Asia to profitable account; but, as was the case in Spain, a tribute fixed once for all was imposed on each individual community, and the levying of it was left to itself. In this way forty million sesterces (400,000 pounds) flowed annually from Gaul into the chests of the Roman government; which, no doubt, undertook in return the cost of defending the frontier of the Rhine. Moreover, the masses of gold accumulated in the temples of the gods and the treasuries of the grandees found their way, as a matter of course, to Rome; when Caesar offered his Gallic gold throughout the Roman empire and brought such masses of it at once into the money market that gold as compared with silver fell about 25 per cent, we may guess what sums Gaul lost through the war.

Indulgences towards Existing Arrangements

The former cantonal constitutions with their hereditary kings, or their presiding feudal-oligarchies, continued in the main to subsist after the conquest, and even the system of clientship, which made certain cantons dependent on others more powerful, was not abolished, although no doubt with the loss of political independence its edge was taken off. The sole object of Caesar was, while making use of the existing dynastic, feudalist, and hegemonic divisions, to arrange matters in the interest of Rome, and to bring everywhere into power the men favourably disposed to the foreign rule. Caesar spared no pains to form a Roman party in Gaul; extensive rewards in money and specially in confiscated estates were bestowed on his adherents, and places in the common council and the first offices of state in their cantons were procured for them by Caesar's influence. Those cantons in which a sufficiently strong and trustworthy Roman party existed, such as those of the Remi, the Lingones, the Haedui, were favoured by the bestowal of a freer communal constitution—the right of alliance, as it was called—and by preferences in the regulation of the matter of hegemony. The national worship and its priests seem to have been spared by Caesar from the outset as far as possible; no trace is found in his case of measures such as were adopted in later times by the Roman rulers against the Druidical system, and with this is probably connected the fact that his Gallic wars, so far as we see, do not at all bear the character of religious warfare after the fashion which formed so prominent a feature of the Britannic wars subsequently.

Introduction of the Romanizing of the Country

While Caesar thus showed to the conquered nation every allowable consideration and spared their national, political, and religious institutions as far as was at all compatible with their subjection to Rome, he did so, not as renouncing the fundamental idea of his conquest, the Romanization of Gaul, but with a view to realize it in the most indulgent way. He did not content himself with letting the same circumstances, which had already in great part Romanized the south province, produce their effect likewise in the north; but, like a genuine statesman, he sought to stimulate the natural course of development and, moreover, to shorten as far as possible the always painful period of transition. To say nothing of the admission of a number of Celts of rank into Roman citizenship and even of several perhaps into the Roman senate, it was probably Caesar who introduced, although with certain restrictions, the Latin instead of the native tongue as the official language within the several cantons in Gaul, and who introduced the Roman instead of the national monetary system on the footing of reserving the coinage of gold and of denarii to the Roman authorities, while the smaller money was to be coined by the several cantons, but only for circulation within the cantonal bounds, and this too in accordance with the Roman standard. We may smile at the Latin jargon, which the dwellers by the Loire and the Seine henceforth employed in accordance with orders;(52) but these barbarisms were pregnant with a greater future than the correct Latin of the capital. Perhaps too, if the cantonal constitution in Gaul afterwards appears more closely approximated to the Italian urban constitution, and the chief places of the canton as well as the common councils attain a more marked prominence in it than was probably the case in the original Celtic organization, the change may be referred to Caesar. No one probably felt more than the political heir of Gaius Gracchus and of Marius, how desirable in a military as well as in a political point of view it would have been to establish a series of Transalpine colonies as bases of support for the new rule and starting-points of the new civilization. If nevertheless he confined himself to the settlement of his Celtic or German horsemen in Noviodunum(53) and to that of the Boii in the canton of the Haedui (54)—which latter settlement already rendered quite the services of a Roman colony in the war with Vercingetorix(55)— the reason was merely that his farther plans did not permit him to put the plough instead of the sword into the hands of his legions. What he did in later years for the old Roman province in this respect, will be explained in its own place; it is probable that the want of time alone prevented him from extending the same system to the regions which he had recently subdued.

The Catastrophe of the Celtic Nation
Traits Common to the Celts and Irish

All was over with the Celtic nation. Its political dissolution had been completed by Caesar; its national dissolution was begun and in course of regular progress. This was no accidental destruction, such as destiny sometimes prepares even for peoples capable of development, but a self-incurred and in some measure historically necessary catastrophe. The very course of the last war proves this, whether we view it as a whole or in detail. When the establishment of the foreign rule was in contemplation, only single districts— mostly, moreover, German or half-German—offered energetic resistance. When the foreign rule was actually established, the attempts to shake it off were either undertaken altogether without judgment, or they were to an undue extent the work of certain prominent nobles, and were therefore immediately and entirely brought to an end with the death or capture of an Indutiomarus, Camulogenus, Vercingetorix, or Correus. The sieges and guerilla warfare, in which elsewhere the whole moral depth of national struggles displays itself, were throughout this Celtic struggle of a peculiarly pitiable character. Every page of Celtic history confirms the severe saying of one of the few Romans who had the judgment not to despise the so-called barbarians—that the Celts boldly challenge danger while future, but lose their courage before its presence. In the mighty vortex of the world's history, which inexorably crushes all peoples that are not as hard and as flexible as steel, such a nation could not permanently maintain itself; with reason the Celts of the continent suffered the same fate at the hands of the Romans, as their kinsmen in Ireland suffer down to our own day at the hands of the Saxons—the fate of becoming merged as a leaven of future development in a politically superior nationality. On the eve of parting from this remarkable nation we may be allowed to call attention to the fact, that in the accounts of the ancients as to the Celts on the Loire and Seine we find almost every one of the characteristic traits which we are accustomed to recognize as marking the Irish. Every feature reappears: the laziness in the culture of the fields; the delight in tippling and brawling; the ostentation—we may recall that sword of Caesar hung up in the sacred grove of the Arverni after the victory of Gergovia, which its alleged former owner viewed with a smile at the consecrated spot and ordered the sacred property to be carefully spared; the language full of comparisons and hyperboles, of allusions and quaint turns; the droll humour—an excellent example of which was the rule, that if any one interrupted a person speaking in public, a substantial and very visible hole should be cut, as a measure of police, in the coat of the disturber of the peace; the hearty delight in singing and reciting the deeds of past ages, and the most decided gifts of rhetoric and poetry; the curiosity—no trader was allowed to pass, before he had told in the open street what he knew, or did not know, in the shape of news— and the extravagant credulity which acted on such accounts, for which reason in the better regulated cantons travellers were prohibited on pain of severe punishment from communicating unauthenticated reports to others than the public magistrates; the childlike piety, which sees in the priest a father and asks for his counsel in all things; the unsurpassed fervour of national feeling, and the closeness with which those who are fellow-countrymen cling together almost like one family in opposition to strangers; the inclination to rise in revolt under the first chance-leader that presents himself and to form bands, but at the same time the utter incapacity to preserve a self-reliant courage equally remote from presumption and from pusillanimity, to perceive the right time for waiting and for striking a blow, to attain or even barely to tolerate any organization, any sort of fixed military or political discipline. It is, and remains, at all times and all places the same indolent and poetical, irresolute and fervid, inquisitive, credulous, amiable, clever, but—in a political point of view— thoroughly useless nation; and therefore its fate has been always and everywhere the same.

The Beginnings of Romanic Development

But the fact that this great people was ruined by the Transalpine wars of Caesar, was not the most important result of that grand enterprise; far more momentous than the negative was the positive result. It hardly admits of a doubt that, if the rule of the senate had prolonged its semblance of life for some generations longer, the migration of peoples, as it is called, would have occurred four hundred years sooner than it did, and would have occurred at a time when the Italian civilization had not become naturalized either in Gaul, or on the Danube, or in Africa and Spain. Inasmuch as the great general and statesman of Rome with sure glance perceived in the German tribes the rival antagonists of the Romano-Greek world; inasmuch as with firm hand he established the new system of aggressive defence down even to its details, and taught men to protect the frontiers of the empire by rivers or artificial ramparts, to colonize the nearest barbarian tribes along the frontier with the view of warding off the more remote, and to recruit the Roman army by enlistment from the enemy's country; he gained for the Hellenico-Italian culture the interval necessary to civilize the west just as it had already civilized the east. Ordinary men see the fruits of their action; the seed sown by men of genius germinates slowly. Centuries elapsed before men understood that Alexander had not merely erected an ephemeral kingdom in the east, but had carried Hellenism to Asia; centuries again elapsed before men understood that Caesar had not merely conquered a new province for the Romans, but had laid the foundation for the Romanizing of the regions of the west. It was only a late posterity that perceived the meaning of those expeditions to England and Germany, so inconsiderate in a military point of view, and so barren of immediate result. An immense circle of peoples, whose existence and condition hitherto were known barely through the reports—mingling some truth with much fiction—of the mariner and the trader, was disclosed by this means to the Greek and Roman world. "Daily," it is said in a Roman writing of May 698, "the letters and messages from Gaul are announcing names of peoples, cantons, and regions hitherto unknown to us." This enlargement of the historical horizon by the expeditions of Caesar beyond the Alps was as significant an event in the world's history as the exploring of America by European bands. To the narrow circle of the Mediterranean states were added the peoples of central and northern Europe, the dwellers on the Baltic and North seas; to the old world was added a new one, which thenceforth was influenced by the old and influenced it in turn. What the Gothic Theodoric afterwards succeeded in, came very near to being already carried out by Ariovistus. Had it so happened, our civilization would have hardly stood in any more intimate relation to the Romano-Greek than to the Indian and Assyrian culture. That there is a bridge connecting the past glory of Hellas and Rome with the prouder fabric of modern history; that Western Europe is Romanic, and Germanic Europe classic; that the names of Themistocles and Scipio have to us a very different sound from those of Asoka and Salmanassar; that Homer and Sophocles are not merely like the Vedas and Kalidasa attractive to the literary botanist, but bloom for us in our own garden—all this is the work of Caesar; and, while the creation of his great predecessor in the east has been almost wholly reduced to ruin by the tempests of the Middle Ages, the structure of Caesar has outlasted those thousands of years which have changed religion and polity for the human race and even shifted for it the centre of civilization itself, and it stands erect for what we may designate as eternity.

The Countries on the Danube

To complete the sketch of the relations of Rome to the peoples of the north at this period, it remains that we cast a glance at the countries which stretch to the north of the Italian and Greek peninsulas, from the sources of the Rhine to the Black Sea. It is true that the torch of history does not illumine the mighty stir and turmoil of peoples which probably prevailed at that time there, and the solitary gleams of light that fall on this region are, like a faint glimmer amidst deep darkness, more fitted to bewilder than to enlighten. But it is the duty of the historian to indicate also the gaps in the record of the history of nations; he may not deem it beneath him to mention, by the side of Caesar's magnificent system of defence, the paltry arrangements by which the generals of the senate professed to protect on this side the frontier of the empire.

Alpine Peoples

North-eastern Italy was still as before(56) left exposed to the attacks of the Alpine tribes. The strong Roman army encamped at Aquileia in 695, and the triumph of the governor of Cisalpine Gaul Lucius Afranius, lead us to infer, that about this time an expedition to the Alps took place, and it may have been in consequence of this that we find the Romans soon afterwards in closer connection with a king of the Noricans. But that even subsequently Italy was not at all secure on this side, is shown by the sudden assault of the Alpine barbarians on the flourishing town of Tergeste in 702, when the Transalpine insurrection had compelled Caesar to divest upper Italy wholly of troops.


The turbulent peoples also, who had possession of the district along the Illyrian coast, gave their Roman masters constant employment. The Dalmatians, even at an earlier period the most considerable people of this region, enlarged their power so much by admitting their neighbours into their union, that the number of their townships rose from twenty to eighty. When they refused to give up once more the town of Promona (not far from the river Kerka), which they had wrested from the Liburnians, Caesar after the battle of Pharsalia gave orders to march against them; but the Romans were in the first instance worsted, and in consequence of this Dalmatia became for some time a rendezvous of the party hostile to Caesar, and the inhabitants in concert with the Pompeians and with the pirates offered an energetic resistance to the generals of Caesar both by land and by water.


Lastly Macedonia along with Epirus and Hellas lay in greater desolation and decay than almost any other part of the Roman empire. Dyrrhachium, Thessalonica, and Byzantium had still some trade and commerce; Athens attracted travellers and students by its name and its philosophical school; but on the whole there lay over the formerly populous little towns of Hellas, and her seaports once swarming with men, the calm of the grave. But if the Greeks stirred not, the inhabitants of the hardly accessible Macedonian mountains on the other hand continued after the old fashion their predatory raids and feuds; for instance about 697-698 Agraeans and Dolopians overran the Aetolian towns, and in 700 the Pirustae dwelling in the valleys of the Drin overran southern Illyria. The neighbouring peoples did likewise. The Dardani on the northern frontier as well as the Thracians in the east had no doubt been humbled by the Romans in the eight years' conflicts from 676 to 683; the most powerful of the Thracian princes, Cotys, the ruler of the old Odrysian kingdom, was thenceforth numbered among the client kings of Rome. Nevertheless the pacified land had still as before to suffer invasions from the north and east. The governor Gaius Antonius was severely handled both by the Dardani and by the tribes settled in the modern Dobrudscha, who, with the help of the dreaded Bastarnae brought up from the left bank of the Danube, inflicted on him an important defeat (692-693) at Istropolis (Istere, not far from Kustendji). Gaius Octavius fought with better fortune against the Bessi and Thracians (694). Marcus Piso again (697-698) as general-in-chief wretchedly mismanaged matters; which was no wonder, seeing that for money he gave friends and foes whatever they wished. The Thracian Dentheletae (on the Strymon) under his governorship plundered Macedonia far and wide, and even stationed their posts on the great Roman military road leading from Dyrrhachium to Thessalonica; the people in Thessalonica made up their minds to stand a siege from them, while the strong Roman army in the province seemed to be present only as an onlooker when the inhabitants of the mountains and neighbouring peoples levied contributions from the peaceful subjects of Rome.

The New Dacian Kingdom

Such attacks could not indeed endanger the power of Rome, and a fresh disgrace had long ago ceased to occasion concern. But just about this period a people began to acquire political consolidation beyond the Danube in the wide Dacian steppes—a people which seemed destined to play a different part in history from that of the Bessi and the Dentheletae. Among the Getae or Dacians in primeval times there had been associated with the king of the people a holy man called Zalmoxis, who, after having explored the ways and wonders of the gods in distant travel in foreign lands, and having thoroughly studied in particular the wisdom of the Egyptian priests and of the Greek Pythagoreans, had returned to his native country to endhis life as a pious hermit in a cavern of the "holy mountain." He remained accessible only to the king and his servants, and gave forth to the king and through him to the people his oracles with reference to every important undertaking. He was regarded by his countrymen at first as priest of the supreme god and ultimately as himself a god, just as it is said of Moses and Aaron that the Lord had made Aaron the prophet and Moses the god of the prophet. This had become a permanent institution; there was regularly associated with the king of the Getae such a god, from whose mouth everything which the king ordered proceeded or appeared to proceed. This peculiar constitution, in which the theocratic idea had become subservient to the apparently absolute power of the king, probably gave to the kings of the Getae some such position with respect to their subjects as the caliphs had with respect to the Arabs; and one result of it was the marvellous religious-political reform of the nation, which was carried out about this time by the king of the Getae, Burebistas, and the god Dekaeneos. The people, which had morally and politically fallen into utter decay through unexampled drunkenness, was as it were metamorphosed by the new gospel of temperance and valour; with his bands under the influence, so to speak, of puritanic discipline and enthusiasm king Burebistas founded within a few years a mighty kingdom, which extended along both banks of the Danube and reached southward far into Thrace, Illyria, and Noricum. No direct contact with the Romans had yet taken place, and no one could tell what might come out of this singular state, which reminds us of the early times of Islam; but this much it needed no prophetic gift to foretell, that proconsuls like Antonius and Piso were not called to contend with gods.

Chapter VIII

The Joint Rule of Pompeius and Caesar

Pompeius and Caesar in Juxtaposition

Among the democratic chiefs, who from the time of the consulate of Caesar were recognized officially, so to speak, as the joint rulers of the commonwealth, as the governing "triumvirs," Pompeius according to public opinion occupied decidedly the first place. It was he who was called by the Optimates the "private dictator"; it was before him that Cicero prostrated himself in vain; against him were directed the sharpest sarcasms in the wall-placards of Bibulus, and the most envenomed arrows of the talk in the saloons of the opposition. This was only to be expected. According to the facts before the public Pompeius was indisputably the first general of his time; Caesar was a dexterous party-leader and party-orator, of undeniable talents, but as notoriously of unwarlike and indeed of effeminate temperament. Such opinions had been long current; it could not be expected of the rabble of quality that it should trouble itself about the real state of things and abandon once established platitudes because of obscure feats of heroism on the Tagus. Caesar evidently played in the league the mere part of the adjutant who executed for his chief the work which Flavius, Afranius, and other less capable instruments had attempted and not performed. Even his governorship seemed not to alter this state of things. Afranius had but recently occupied a very similar position, without thereby acquiring any special importance; several provinces at once had been of late years repeatedly placed under one governor, and often far more than four legions had been united in one hand; as matters were again quiet beyond the Alps and prince Ariovistus was recognized by the Romans as a friend and neighbour, there was no prospect of conducting a war of any moment there. It was natural to compare the position which Pompeius had obtained by the Gabinio-Manilian law with that which Caesar had obtained by the Vatinian; but the comparison did not turn out to Caesar's advantage. Pompeius ruled over nearly the whole Roman empire; Caesar over two provinces. Pompeius had the soldiers and the treasures of the state almost absolutely at his disposal; Caesar had only the sums assigned to him and an army of 24,000 men. It was left to Pompeius himself to fix the point of time for his retirement; Caesar's command was secured to him for a long period no doubt, but yet only for a limited term. Pompeius, in fine, had been entrusted with the most important undertakings by sea and land; Caesar was sent to the north, to watch over the capital from upper Italy and to take care that Pompeius should rule it undisturbed.

Pompeius and the Capital

But when Pompeius was appointed by the coalition to be ruler of the capital, he undertook a task far exceeding his powers. Pompeius understood nothing further of ruling than may be summed up in the word of command. The waves of agitation in the capital were swelled at once by past and by future revolutions; the problem of ruling this city—which in every respect might be compared to the Paris of the nineteenth century—without an armed force was infinitely difficult, and for that stiff and stately pattern-soldier altogether insoluble. Very soon matters reached such a pitch that friends and foes, both equally inconvenient to him, could, so far as he was concerned, do what they pleased; after Caesar's departure from Rome the coalition ruled doubtless still the destinies of the world, but not the streets of the capital. The senate too, to whom there still belonged a sort of nominal government, allowed things in the capital to follow their natural course; partly because the section of this body controlled by the coalition lacked the instructions of the regents, partly because the angry opposition kept aloof out of indifference or pessimism, but chiefly because the whole aristocratic corporation began to feel at any rate, if not to comprehend, its utter impotence. For the moment therefore there was nowhere at Rome any power of resistance in any sort of government, nowhere a real authority. Men were living in an interregnum between the ruin of the aristocratic, and the rise of the military, rule; and, if the Roman commonwealth has presented all the different political functions and organizations more purely and normally than any other in ancient or modern times, it has also exhibited political disorganization-anarchy— with an unenviable clearness. It is a strange coincidence that in the same years, in which Caesar was creating beyond the Alps a workto last for ever, there was enacted in Rome one of the most extravagant political farces that was ever produced upon the stage of the world's history. The new regent of the commonwealth did not rule, but shut himself up in his house and sulked in silence. The former half-deposed government likewise did not rule, but sighed, sometimes in private amidst the confidential circles of the villas, sometimes in chorus in the senate-house. The portion of the burgesses which had still at heart freedom and order was disgusted with the reign of confusion, but utterly without leaders and counsel it maintained a passive attitude-not merely avoiding all political activity, but keeping aloof, as far as possible, from the political Sodom itself.

The Anarchists

On the other hand the rabble of every sort never had better days, never found a merrier arena. The number of little great men was legion. Demagogism became quite a trade, which accordingly did not lack its professional insignia—the threadbare mantle, the shaggy beard, the long streaming hair, the deep bass voice; and not seldom it was a trade with golden soil. For the standing declamations the tried gargles of the theatrical staff were an article in much request;(1) Greeks and Jews, freedmen and slaves, were the most regular attenders and the loudest criers in the public assemblies; frequently, even when it came to a vote, only a minority of those voting consisted of burgesses constitutionally entitled to do so. "Next time," it is said in a letter of this period, "we may expect our lackeys to outvote the emancipation-tax." The real powers of the day were the compact and armed bands, the battalions of anarchy raised by adventurers of rank out of gladiatorial slaves and blackguards. Their possessors had from the outset been mostly numbered among the popular party; but since the departure of Caesar, who alone understood how to impress the democracy, and alone knew how to manage it, all discipline had departed from them and every partisan practised politics at his own hand. Even now, no doubt, these men fought with most pleasure under the banner of freedom; but, strictly speaking, they were neither of democratic nor of anti-democratic views; they inscribed on the— in itself indispensable—banner, as it happened, now the name of the people, anon that of the senate or that of a party-chief; Clodius for instance fought or professed to fight in succession for the ruling democracy, for the senate, and for Crassus. The leaders of these bands kept to their colours only so far as they inexorably persecuted their personal enemies—as in the case of Clodius against Cicero and Milo against Clodius—while their partisan position served them merely as a handle in these personal feuds. We might as well seek to set a charivari to music as to write the history of this political witches' revel; nor is it of any moment to enumerate all the deeds of murder, besiegings of houses, acts of incendiarism and other scenes of violence within a great capital, and to reckon up how often the gamut was traversed from hissing and shouting to spitting on and trampling down opponents, and thence to throwing stones and drawing swords.


The principal performer in this theatre of political rascality was that Publius Clodius, of whose services, as already mentioned,(2) the regents availed themselves against Cato and Cicero. Left to himself, this influential, talented, energetic and— in his trade—really exemplary partisan pursued during his tribunate, of the people (696) an ultra-democratic policy, gave the citizens corn gratis, restricted the right of the censors to stigmatize immoral burgesses, prohibited the magistrates from obstructing the course of the comitial machinery by religious formalities, set asidethe limitswhich had shortly before (690), for the purpose of checking the system of bands, been imposed on the right of association of the lower classes, and reestablished the "street-clubs" (-collegia compitalicia-) at that time abolished, which were nothing else than a formal organization—subdivided according to the streets, and with an almost military arrangement—of the whole free or slave proletariate of the capital. If in addition the further law, which Clodius had likewise already projected and purposed to introduce when praetor in 702, should give to freedmen and to slaves living in de facto possession of freedom the same political rights with the freeborn, the author of all these brave improvements of the constitution might declare his work complete, and as a second Numa of freedom and equality might invite the sweet rabble of the capital to see him celebrate high mass in honour of the arrival of the democratic millennium in the temple of Liberty which he had erected on the site of one of his burnings at the Palatine. Of course these exertions in behalf of freedom did not exclude a traffic in decrees of the burgesses; like Caesar himself, Caesar's ape kept governorships and other posts great and small on sale for the benefit of his fellow-citizens, and sold the sovereign rights of the state for the benefit of subject kings and cities.

Quarrel of Pompeius with Clodius

At all these things Pompeius looked on without stirring. If he did not perceive how seriously he thus compromised himself, his opponent perceived it. Clodius had the hardihood to engage in a dispute with the regent of Rome on a question of little moment, as to the sending back of a captive Armenian prince; and the variance soon became a formal feud, in which the utter helplessness of Pompeius was displayed. The head of the state knew not how to meet the partisan otherwise than with his own weapons, only wielded with far less dexterity. If he had been tricked by Clodius respecting the Armenian prince, he offended him in turn by releasing Cicero, who was preeminently obnoxious to Clodius, from the exile into which Clodius had sent him; and he attained his object so thoroughly, that he converted his opponent into an implacable foe. If Clodius made the streets insecure with his bands, the victorious general likewise set slaves and pugilists to work; in the frays which ensued the general naturally was worsted by the demagogue and defeated in the street, and Gaius Cato was kept almost constantly under siege in his garden by Clodius and his comrades. It is not the least remarkable feature in this remarkable spectacle, that the regent and the rogue amidst their quarrel vied in courting the favour of the fallen government; Pompeius, partly to please the senate, permitted Cicero's recall, Clodius on the other hand declared the Julian laws null and void, and called on Marcus Bibulus publicly to testify to their having been unconstitutionally passed.

Naturally no positive result could issue from this imbroglio of dark passions; its most distinctive character was just its utterly ludicrous want of object. Even a man of Caesar's genius had to learn by experience that democratic agitation was completely worn out, and that even the way to the throne no longer lay through demagogism. It was nothing more than a historical makeshift, if now, in the interregnum between republic and monarchy, some whimsical fellow dressed himself out with the prophet's mantle and staff which Caesar had himself laid aside, and the great ideals of Gaius Gracchus came once more upon the stage distorted into a parody; the so-called party from which this democratic agitation proceeded was so little such in reality, that afterwards it had not even a part falling to it in the decisive struggle. It cannot even be asserted that by means of this anarchical state of things the desire after a strong government based on military power had been vividly kindled in the minds of those who were indifferent to politics. Even apart from the fact that such neutral burgesses were chiefly to be sought outside of Rome, and thus were not directly affected by the rioting in the capital, those minds which could be at all influenced by such motives had been already by their former experiences, and especially by the Catilinarian conspiracy, thoroughly converted to the principle of authority; but those that were really alarmed were affected far more emphatically by a dread of the gigantic crisis inseparable from an overthrow of the constitution, than by dread of the mere continuance of the— at bottom withal very superficial—anarchy in the capital. The only result of it which historically deserves notice was the painful position in which Pompeius was placed by the attacks of the Clodians, and which had a material share in determining his farther steps.

Pompeius in Relation to the Gallic Victories of Caesar

Little as Pompeius liked and understood taking the initiative, he was yet on this occasion compelled by the change of his position towards both Clodius and Caesar to depart from his previous inaction. The irksome and disgraceful situation to which Clodius had reduced him, could not but at length arouse even his sluggish nature to hatred and anger. But far more important was the change which took place in his relation to Caesar. While, of the two confederate regents, Pompeius had utterly failed in the functions which he had undertaken, Caesar had the skill to turn his official position to an account which left all calculations and all fears far behind. Without much inquiry as to permission, Caesar had doubled his army by levies in his southern province inhabited in great measure by Roman burgesses; had with this army crossed the Alps instead of keeping watch over Rome from Northern Italy; had crushed in the bud a new Cimbrian invasion, and within two years (696, 697) had carried the Roman arms to the Rhine and the Channel. In presence of such facts even the aristocratic tactics of ignoring and disparaging were baffled. He who had often been scoffed at as effeminate was now the idol of the army, the celebrated victory- crowned hero, whose fresh laurels outshone the faded laurels of Pompeius, and to whom even the senate as early as 697 accorded the demonstrations of honour usual after successful campaigns in richer measure than had ever fallen to the share of Pompeius. Pompeius stood towards his former adjutant precisely as after the Gabinio-Manilian laws the latter had stood towards him. Caesar was now the hero of the day and the master of the most powerful Roman army; Pompeius was an ex-general who had once been famous. It is true that no collision had yet occurred between father-in-law and son-in-law, and the relation was externally undisturbed; but every political alliance is inwardly broken up, when the relative proportions of the power of the parties are materially altered. While the quarrel with Clodius was merely annoying, the change in the position of Caesar involved a very serious danger for Pompeius; just as Caesar and his confederates had formerly sought a military support against him, he found himself now compelled to seek a military support against Caesar, and, laying aside his haughty privacy, to come forward as a candidate for some extraordinary magistracy, which would enable him to hold his place by the side of the governor of the two Gauls with equal and, if possible, with superior power. His tactics, like his position, were exactly those of Caesar during the Mithradatic war. To balance the military power of a superior but still remote adversary by the obtaining of a similar command, Pompeius required in the first instance the official machinery of government. A year and a half ago this had been absolutely at his disposal. The regents then ruled the state both by the comitia, which absolutely obeyed them as the masters of the street, and by the senate, which was energetically overawed by Caesar; as representative of the coalition in Rome and as its acknowledged head, Pompeius would have doubtless obtained from the senate and from the burgesses any decree which he wished, even if it were against Caesar's interest. But by the awkward quarrel with Clodius, Pompeius had lost the command of the streets, and could not expect to carry a proposal in his favour in the popular assembly. Things were not quite so unfavourable for him in the senate; but even there it was doubtful whether Pompeius after that long and fatal inaction still held the reins of the majority firmly enough in hand to procure such a decree as he needed.

The Republican Opposition among the Public

The position of the senate also, or rather of the nobility generally, had meanwhile undergone a change. From the very fact of its complete abasement it drew fresh energy. In the coalition of 694 various things had come to light, which were by no means as yet ripe for it. The banishment of Cato and Cicero— which public opinion, however much the regents kept themselves in the background and even professed to lament it, referred with unerring tact to its real authors—and the marriage-relationship formed between Caesar and Pompeius suggested to men's minds with disagreeable clearness monarchical decrees of banishment and family alliances. The larger public too, which stood more aloof from political events, observed the foundations of the future monarchy coming more and more distinctly into view. From the moment when the public perceived that Caesar's object was not a modification of the republican constitution, but that the question at stake was the existence or non-existence of the republic, many of the best men, who had hitherto reckoned themselves of the popular party and honoured in Caesar its head, must infallibly have passed over to the opposite side. It was no longer in the saloons and the country houses of the governing nobilityalone that men talked of the "three dynasts," of the "three- headed monster." The dense crowds of people listened to the consular orations of Caesar without a sound of acclamation or approval; not a hand stirred to applaud when the democratic consul entered the theatre. But they hissed when one of the tools of the regents showed himself in public, and even staid men applauded when an actor utteredan anti-monarchic sentence or an allusion against Pompeius. Nay, when Cicero was to be banished, a great number of burgesses— it is said twenty thousand—mostly of the middle classes, put on mourning after the example of the senate. "Nothing is now more popular," it is said in a letter of this period, "than hatred of the popular party."

Attempts of the Regents to Check It

The regents dropped hints, that through such opposition the equites might easily lose their new special places in the theatre, and the commons their bread-corn; people were therefore somewhat more guarded perhaps in the expression of their displeasure, but the feeling remained the same. The lever of material interests was applied with better success. Caesar's gold flowed in streams. Men of seeming riches whose finances were in disorder, influential ladies who were in pecuniary embarrassment, insolvent young nobles, merchants and bankers in difficulties, either went in person to Gaul with the view of drawing from the fountain-head, or applied to Caesar's agents in the capital; and rarely was any man outwardly respectable—Caesar avoided dealings with vagabonds who were utterly lost—rejected in either quarter. To this fell to be added the enormous buildings which Caesar caused to be executed on his account in the capital—and by which a countless number of men of all ranks from the consular down to the common porter found opportunity of profiting—as well as the immense sums expended for public amusements. Pompeius did the same on a more limited scale; to him the capital was indebted for the first theatre of stone, and he celebrated its dedication with a magnificence never seen before. Of course such distributions reconciled a number of men who were inclined towards opposition, more especially in the capital, to the new order of things up to a certain extent; but the marrow of the opposition was not to be reached by this system of corruption. Every day more and more clearly showed how deeply the existing constitution had struck root among the people, and how little, in particular, the circles more aloof from direct party-agitation, especially the country towns, were inclined towards monarchy or even simply ready to let it take its course.

Increasing Importance of the Senate

If Rome had had a representative constitution, the discontent of the burgesses would have found its natural expression in the elections, and have increased by so expressing itself; under the existing circumstances nothing was left for those true to the constitution but to place themselves under the senate, which, degraded as it was, still appeared the representative and champion of the legitimate republic. Thus it happened that the senate, now when it had been overthrown, suddenly found at its disposal an army far more considerable and far more earnestly faithful, than when in its power and splendour it overthrew the Gracchi and under the protection of Sulla's sword restored the state. The aristocracy felt this; it began to bestir itself afresh. Just at this time Marcus Cicero, after having bound himself to join the obsequious party in the senate and not only to offer no opposition, but to work with all his might for the regents, had obtained from them permission to return. Although Pompeius in this matter only made an incidental concession to the oligarchy, and intended first of all to play a trick on Clodius, and secondly to acquire in the fluent consular a tool rendered pliant by sufficient blows, the opportunity afforded by the return of Cicero was embraced for republican demonstrations, just as his banishment had been a demonstration against the senate. With all possible solemnity, protected moreover against the Clodians by the band of Titus Annius Milo, the two consuls, following out a resolution of the senate, submitted a proposal to the burgesses to permit the return of the consular Cicero, and the senate called on all burgesses true to the constitution not to be absent from the vote. An unusual number of worthy men, especially from the country towns, actually assembled in Rome on the day of voting (4 Aug. 697). The journey of the consular from Brundisium to the capital gave occasion to a series of similar, but not less brilliant manifestations of public feeling. The new alliance between the senate and the burgesses faithful to the constitution was on this occasion as it were publicly proclaimed, and a sort of review of the latter was held, the singularly favourable result of which contributed not a little to revive the sunken courage of the aristocracy.

Helplessness of Pompeius

The helplessness of Pompeius in presence of these daring demonstrations, as well as the undignified and almost ridiculous position into which he had fallen with reference to Clodius, deprived him and the coalition of their credit; and the section of the senate which adhered to the regents, demoralized by the singular inaptitude of Pompeius and helplessly left to itself, could not prevent the republican-aristocratic party from regaining completely the ascendency in the corporation. The game of this party really at that time (697) was still by no means desperate for a courageous and dexterous player. It had now—what it had not possessed for a century past—a firm support in the people; if it trusted the people and itself, it might attain its object in the shortest and most honourable way. Why not attack the regents openly and avowedly? Why should not a resolute and eminent man at the head of the senate cancel the extraordinary powers as unconstitutional, and summon all the republicans of Italy to arms against the tyrants and their following? It was possible perhaps in this way once more to restore the rule of the senate. Certainly the republicans would thus play a bold game; but perhaps in this case, as often, the most courageous resolution might have been at the same time the most prudent. Only, it is true, the indolent aristocracy of this period was scarcely capable of so simple and bold a resolution. There was however another way perhaps more sure, at any rate better adapted to the character and nature of these constitutionalists; they might labour to set the two regents at variance and through this variance to attain ultimately to the helm themselves. The relations between the two men ruling the state had become altered and relaxed, now that Caesar had acquired a standing of preponderant power by the side of Pompeius and had compelled the latter to canvass for a new position of command; it was probable that, if he obtained it, there would arise in one way or other a rupture and struggle between them. If Pompeius remained unsupported in this, his defeat was scarcely doubtful, and the constitutional party would in that event find themselves after the close of the conflict under the rule of one master instead of two. But if the nobility employed against Caesar the same means by which the latter had won his previous victories, and entered into alliance with the weaker competitor, victory would probably, with a general like Pompeius, and with an army such as that of the constitutionalists, fall to the coalition; and to settle matters with Pompeius after the victory could not— judging from the proofs of political incapacity which he had already given-appear a specially difficult task.

Attempts of Pompeius to Obtain a Command through the Senate
Administration of the Supplies of Corn

Things had taken such a turn as naturally to suggest an understanding between Pompeius and the republican party. Whether such an approximation was to take place, and what shape the mutual relations of the two regents and of the aristocracy, which had become utterly enigmatical, were next to assume, fell necessarily to be decided, when in the autumn of 697 Pompeius came to the senate with the proposal to entrust him with extraordinary official power. He based his proposal once more on that by which he had eleven years before laid the foundations of his power, the price of bread in the capital, which had just then—as previously to the Gabinian law—reached an oppressive height. Whether it had been forced up by special machinations, such as Clodius imputed sometimes to Pompeius, sometimes to Cicero, and these in their turn charged on Clodius, cannot be determined; the continuance of piracy, the emptiness of the public chest, and the negligent and disorderly supervision of the supplies of corn by the government were already quite sufficient of themselves, even without political forestalling, to produce scarcities of bread in a great city dependent almost solely on transmarine supplies. The plan of Pompeius was to get the senate to commit to him the superintendence of the matters relating to corn throughout the whole Roman empire, and, with a view to this ultimate object, to entrust him on the one hand with the unlimited disposal of the Roman state- treasure, and on the other hand with an army and fleet, as well as a command which not only stretched over the whole Roman empire, but was superior in each province to that of the governor—in short he designed to institute an improved edition of the Gabinian law, to which the conduct of the Egyptian war just then pending(3) would therefore quite as naturally have been annexed as the conduct of the Mithradatic war to the razzia against the pirates. However much the opposition to the new dynasts had gained ground in recent years, the majority of the senate was still, when this matter came to be discussed in Sept. 697, under the constraint of the terror excited by Caesar. It obsequiously accepted the project in principle, and that on the proposition of Marcus Cicero, who was expected to give, and gave, in this case the first proof of the pliableness learned by him in exile. But in the settlement of the details very material portions were abated from the original plan, which the tribune of the people Gaius Messius submitted. Pompeius obtained neither free control over the treasury, nor legions and ships of his own, nor even an authority superior to that of the governors; but they contented themselves with granting to him, for the purpose of his organizing due supplies for the capital, considerable sums, fifteen adjutants, and in allaffairs elating to the supply of grain full proconsular power throughout the Roman dominions for the next five years, and with having this decree confirmed by the burgesses. There were many different reasons which led to this alteration, almost equivalent to a rejection, of the original plan: a regard to Caesar, with reference to whom the most timid could not but have the greatest scruples in investing his colleague not merely with equal but with superior authority in Gaul itself; the concealed opposition of Pompeius' hereditary enemy and reluctant ally Crassus, to whom Pompeius himself attributed or professed to attribute primarily the failure of his plan; the antipathy of the republican opposition in the senate to any decree which really or nominally enlarged the authority of the regents; lastly and mainly, the incapacity of Pompeius himself, who even after having been compelled to act could not prevail on himself to acknowledge his own action, but chose always to bring forward his real design as it were in incognito by means of his friends, while he himself in his well-known modesty declared his willingness to be content with even less. No wonder that they took him at his word, and gave him the less.

Egyptian Expedition

Pompeius was nevertheless glad to have found at any rate a serious employment, and above all a fitting pretext for leaving the capital. He succeeded, moreover, in providing it with ampler and cheaper supplies, although not without the provinces severely feeling the reflex effect. But he had missed his real object; the proconsular title, which he had a right to bear in all the provinces, remained an empty name, so long as he had not troops of his own at his disposal. Accordingly he soon afterwards got a second proposition made to the senate, that it should confer on him the charge of conducting back the expelled king of Egypt, if necessary by force of arms, to his home. But the more that his urgent need of the senate became evident, the senators received his wishes with a less pliant and less respectful spirit. It was immediately discovered in the Sibylline oracles that it was impious to send a Roman army to Egypt; whereupon the pious senate almost unanimously resolved to abstain from armed intervention. Pompeius was already so humbled, that he would have accepted the mission even without an army; but in his incorrigible dissimulation he left this also to be declared merely by his friends, and spoke and voted for the despatch of another senator. Of course the senate rejected a proposal which wantonly risked a life so precious to his country; and the ultimate issue of the endless discussions was the resolution not to interfere in Egypt at all (Jan. 698).

Attempt at an Aristocratic Restoration
Attack on Caesar's Laws

These repeated repulses which Pompeius met with in the senate and, what was worse, had to acquiesce in without retaliation, were naturally regarded—come from what side they would—by the public at large as so many victories of the republicans and defeats of the regents generally; the tide of republican opposition was accordingly always on the increase. Already the elections for 698 had gone but partially according to the minds of the dynasts; Caesar's candidates for the praetorship, Publius Vatinius and Gaius Alfius, had failed, while two decided adherents of the fallen government, Gnaeus Lentulus Marcellinus and Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, had been elected, the former as consul, the latter as praetor. But for 699 there even appeared as candidate for the consulship Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, whose election it was difficult to prevent owing to his influence in the capital and his colossal wealth, and who, it was sufficiently well known, would not be content with a concealed opposition. The comitia thus rebelled; and the senate chimed in. It solemnly deliberated over an opinion, which Etruscan soothsayers of acknowledged wisdom had furnished respecting certain signs and wonders at its special request. The celestial revelation announced that through the dissension of the upper classes the whole power over the army and treasure threatened to pass to one ruler, and the state to incur loss of freedom—it seemed that the gods pointed primarily at the proposal of Gaius Messius. The republicans soon descended from heaven to earth. The law as to the domain of Capua and the other laws issued by Caesar as consul had been constantly described by them as null and void, and an opinion had been expressed in the senate as early as Dec. 697 that it was necessary to cancel them on account of their informalities. On the 6th April 698 the consular Cicero proposed in a full senate to put the consideration of the Campanian land distribution in the order of the day for the 15th May. It was the formal declaration of war; and it was the more significant, that it came from the mouth of one of those men who only show their colours when they think that they can do so with safety. Evidently the aristocracy held that the moment had come for beginning the struggle not with Pompeius against Caesar, but against the -tyrannis- generally. What would further follow might easily be seen. Domitius made no secret that he intended as consul to propose to the burgesses the immediate recall of Caesar from Gaul. An aristocratic restoration was at work; and with the attack on the colony of Capua the nobility threw down the gauntlet to the regents.

Conference of the Regents at Luca

Caesar, although receiving from day to day detailed accounts of the events in the capital and, whenever military considerations allowed, watching their progress from as near a point of his southern province as possible, had not hitherto, visibly at least interfered in them. But now war had been declared against him as well as his colleague, in fact against him especially; he was compelled to act, and he acted quickly. He happened to be in the very neighbourhood; the aristocracy had not even found it advisable to delay the rupture, till he should have again crossed the Alps. In the beginning of April 698 Crassus left the capital, to concert the necessary measures with his more powerful colleague; he found Caesar in Ravenna. Thence both proceeded to Luca, and there they were joined by Pompeius, who had departed from Rome soon after Crassus (11 April), ostensibly for the purpose of procuring supplies of grain from Sardinia and Africa. The most noted adherents of the regents, such as Metellus Nepos the proconsul of Hither Spain, Appius Claudius the propraetor of Sardinia, and many others, followed them; a hundred and twenty lictors, and upwards of two hundred senators were counted at this conference, where already the new monarchical senate was represented in contradistinction to the republican. In every respect the decisive voice lay with Caesar. He used it to re-establish and consolidate the existing joint rule on a new basis of more equal distribution of power of most importance in a military point of view, next to that of the two Gauls, were assigned to his two colleagues—that of the two Spains to Pompeius, that of Syria to Crassus; and these offices were to be secured to them by decree of the people for five years (700-704), and to be suitably provided for in a military and financial point of view. On the other hand Caesar stipulated for the prolongation of his command, which expired with the year 700, to the close of 705, as well as for the prerogative of increasing his legions to ten and of charging the pay for the troops arbitrarily levied by him on the state-chest. Pompeius and Crassus were moreover promised a second consulship for the next year (699) before they departed for their governorships, while Caesar kept it open to himself to administer the supreme magistracy a second time after the termination of his governorship in 706, when the ten years' interval legally requisite between two consulships should have in his case elapsed. The military support, which Pompeius and Crassus required for regulating the affairs of the capital all the more that the legions of Caesar originally destined for this purpose could not now be withdrawn from Transalpine Gaul, was to be found in new legions, which they were to raise for the Spanish and Syrian armies and were not to despatch from Italy to their several destinations until it should seem to themselves convenient to do so. The main questions were thus settled; subordinate matters, such as the settlement of the tactics to be followed against the opposition in the capital, the regulation of the candidatures for the ensuing years, and the like, did not long detain them. The great master of mediation composed the personal differences which stood in the way of an agreement with his wonted ease, and compelled the most refractory elements to act in concert. An understanding befitting colleagues was reestablished, externally at least, between Pompeius and Crassus. Even Publius Clodius was induced to keep himself and his pack quiet, and to give no farther annoyance to Pompeius—not the least marvellous feat of the mighty magician.

Designs of Caesar in This Arrangement

That this whole settlement of the pending questions proceeded, not from a compromise among independent and rival regents meeting on equal terms, but solely from the good will of Caesar, is evident from the circumstances. Pompeius appeared at Luca in the painful position of a powerless refugee, who comes to ask aid from his opponent. Whether Caesar chose to dismiss him and to declare the coalition dissolved, or to receive him and to let the league continue just as it stood—Pompeius was in either view politically annihilated. If he did not in this case break with Caesar, he became the powerless client of his confederate. If on the other hand he did break with Caesar and, which was not very probable, effected even now a coalition with the aristocracy, this alliance between opponents, concluded under pressure of necessity and at the last moment, was so little formidable that it was hardly for the sake of averting it that Caesar agreed to those concessions. A serious rivalry on the part of Crassus with Caesar was utterly impossible. It is difficult to say what motives induced Caesar to surrender without necessity his superior position, and now voluntarily to concede—what he had refused to his rival even on the conclusion of the league of 694, and what the latter had since, with the evident design of being armed against Caesar, vainly striven in different ways to attain without, nay against, Caesar's will—the second consulate and military power. Certainly it was not Pompeius alone that was placed at the head of an army, but also his old enemy and Caesar's ally throughout many years, Crassus; and undoubtedly Crassus obtained his respectable military position merely as a counterpoise to the new power of Pompeius. Nevertheless Caesar was a great loser, when his rival exchanged his former powerlessness for an important command. It is possible that Caesar did not yet feel himself sufficiently master of his soldiers to lead them with confidence to a warfare against the formal authorities of the land, and was therefore anxious not to be forced to civil war now by being recalled from Gaul; but whether civil war should come or not, depended at the moment far more on the aristocracy of the capital than on Pompeius, and this would have been at most a reason for Caesar not breaking openly with Pompeius, so that the opposition might not be emboldened by this breach, but not a reason for conceding to him what he did concede. Purely personal motives may have contributed to the result; it may be that Caesar recollected how he had once stood in a position of similar powerlessness in presence of Pompeius, and had been saved from destruction only by his—pusillanimous, it is true, rather than magnanimous—retirement; it is probable that Caesar hesitated to breakthe heart of his beloved daughter who was sincerely attached to her husband—in his soul there was room for much besides the statesman. But the decisive reason was doubtless the consideration of Gaul. Caesar—differing from his biographers—regarded the subjugation of Gaul not as an incidental enterprise useful to him for the gaining of the crown, but as one on which depended the external security and the internal reorganization, in a word the future, of his country. That he might be enabled to complete this conquest undisturbed and might not be obliged to take in hand just at once the extrication of Italian affairs, he unhesitatingly gave up his superiority over his rivals and granted to Pompeius sufficient power to settle matters with the senate and its adherents. This was a grave political blunder, if Caesar had no other object than to become as quickly as possible king of Rome; but the ambition of that rare man was not confined to the vulgar aim of a crown. He had the boldness to prosecute side by side, and to complete, two labours equally vast—the arranging of the internal affairs of Italy, and the acquisition and securing of a new and fresh soil for Italian civilization. These tasks of course interfered with each other; his Gallic conquests hindered much more than helped him on his way to the throne. It was fraught to him with bitter fruit that, instead of settling the Italian revolution in 698, he postponed it to 706. But as a statesman as well as a general Caesar was a peculiarly daring player, who, confiding in himself and despising his opponents, gave them always great and sometimes extravagant odds.

The Aristocracy Submits

It was now therefore the turn of the aristocracy to make good their high gage, and to wage war as boldly as they had boldly declared it. But there is no more pitiable spectacle than when cowardly men have the misfortune to take a bold resolution. They had simply exercised no foresight at all. It seemed to have occurred to nobody that Caesar would possibly stand on his defence, or that Pompeius and Crassus would combine with him afresh and more closely than ever. This seems incredible; but it becomes intelligible, when we glance at the persons who then led the constitutional opposition in the senate. Cato was still absent;(4) the most influential man in the senate at this time was Marcus Bibulus, the hero of passive resistance, the most obstinate and most stupid of all consulars. They had taken up arms only to lay them down, so soon as the adversary merely put his hand to the sheath; the bare news of the conferences in Luca sufficed to suppress all thought of a serious opposition and to bring the mass of the timid—that is, the immense majority of the senate— back to their duty as subjects, which in an unhappy hour they had abandoned. There was no further talk of the appointed discussion to try the validity of the Julian laws; the legions raised by Caesar on his own behalf were charged by decree of the senate on the public chest; the attempts on occasion of regulating the next consular provinces to take away both Gauls or one of them by decree from Caesar were rejected by the majority (end of May 698). Thus the corporation did public penance. In secret the individual lords, one after another, thoroughly frightened at their own temerity, came to make their peace and vow unconditional obedience— none more quickly than Marcus Cicero, who repented too late of his perfidy, and in respect of the most recent period of his life clothed himself with titles of honour which were altogether more appropriate than flattering.(5) Of course the regents agreed to be pacified; they refused nobody pardon, for there was nobody who was worth the trouble of making him an exception. That we may see how suddenly the tone in aristocratic circles changed after the resolutions of Luca became known, it is worth while to compare the pamphlets given forth by Cicero shortly before with the palinode which he caused to be issued to evince publicly his repentance and his good intentions.(6)

Settlement of the New Monarchical Rule

The regents could thus arrange Italian affairs at their pleasure and more thoroughly than before. Italy and the capital obtained practically a garrison although not assembled in arms, and one of the regents as commandant. Of the troops levied for Syria and Spain by Crassus and Pompeius, those destined for the east no doubt took their departure; but Pompeius caused the two Spanish provinces to be administered by his lieutenants with the garrison hitherto stationed there, while he dismissed the officers and soldiers of the legions which were newly raised—nominally for despatch to Spain—on furlough, and remained himself with them in Italy.

Doubtless the tacit resistance of public opinion increased, the more clearly and generally men perceived that the regents were working to put an end to the old constitution and with as much gentleness as possible to accommodate the existing condition of the government and administration to the forms of the monarchy; but they submitted, because they were obliged to submit. First of all all the more important affairs, and particularly all that related to military matters and external relations, were disposed of without consulting the senate upon them, sometimes by decree of the people, sometimes by the mere good pleasure of the rulers. The arrangements agreed on at Luca respecting the military command of Gaul were submitted directly to the burgesses by Crassus and Pompeius, those relating to Spain and Syria by the tribune of the people Gaius Trebonius, and in other instances the more important governorships were frequently filled up by decree of the people. That the regents did not need the consent of the authorities to increase their troops at pleasure, Caesar had already sufficiently shown: as little did they hesitate mutually to borrow troops; Caesar for instance received such collegiate support from Pompeius for the Gallic, and Crassus from Caesar for the Parthian, war. The Transpadanes, who possessed according to the existing constitution only Latin rights, were treated by Caesar during his administration practically as full burgesses of Rome.(7) While formerly the organization of newly-acquired territories had been managed by a senatorial commission, Caesar organized his extensive Gallic conquests altogether according to his own judgment, and founded, for instance, without having received any farther full powers burgess-colonies, particularly Novum-Comum (Como) with five thousand colonists. Piso conducted the Thracian, Gabinius the Egyptian, Crassus the Parthian war, without consulting the senate, and without even reporting, as was usual, to that body; in like manner triumphs and other marks of honour were accorded and carried out, without the senate being asked about them. Obviously this did not arise from a mere neglect of forms, which would be the less intelligible, seeing that in the great majority of cases no opposition from the senate was to be expected. On the contrary, it was a well-calculated design to dislodge the senate from the domain of military arrangements and of higher politics, and to restrict its share of administration to financial questions and internal affairs; and even opponents plainly discerned this and protested, so far as they could, against this conduct of the regents by means of senatorial decrees and criminal actions. While the regents thus in the main set aside the senate, they still made some use of the less dangerous popular assemblies—care was taken that in these the lords of the street should put no farther difficulty in the way of the lords of the state; in many cases however they dispensed even with this empty shadow, and employed without disguise autocratic forms.

The Senate under the Monarchy
Cicero and the Majority

The humbled senate had to submit to its position whether it would or not. The leader of the compliant majority continued to be Marcus Cicero. He was useful on account of his lawyer's talent of finding reasons, or at any rate words, for everything; and there was a genuine Caesarian irony in employing the man, by means of whom mainly the aristocracy had conducted their demonstrations against the regents, as the mouthpiece of servility. Accordingly they pardoned him for his brief desire to kick against the pricks, not however without having previously assured themselves of his submissiveness in every way. His brother had been obliged to take the position of an officer in the Gallic army to answer in some measure as a hostage for him; Pompeius had compelled Cicero himself to accept a lieutenant-generalship under him, which furnished a handle for politely banishing him at any moment. Clodius had doubtless been instructed to leave him meanwhile at peace, but Caesar as little threw off Clodius on account of Cicero as he threw off Cicero on account of Clodius; and the great saviour of his country and the no less great hero of liberty entered into an antechamber-rivalry in the headquarters of Samarobriva, for the befitting illustration of which there lacked, unfortunately, a Roman Aristophanes. But not only was the same rod kept in suspense over Cicero's head, which had once already descended on him so severely; golden fetters were also laid upon him. Amidst the serious embarrassment of his finances the loans of Caesar free of interest, and the joint overseership of those buildings which occasioned the circulation of enormous sums in the capital, were in a high degree welcome to him; and many an immortal oration for the senate was nipped in the bud by the thought of Caesar's agent, who might present a bill to him after the close of the sitting. Consequently he vowed "in future to ask no more after right and honour, but to strive for the favour of the regents," and "to be as flexible as an ear-lap." They used him accordingly as—what he was good for— an advocate; in which capacity it was on various occasions his lot to be obliged to defend his very bitterest foes at a higher bidding, and that especially in the senate, where he almost regularly served as the organ of the dynasts and submitted the proposals "to which others probably consented, but not he himself"; indeed, as recognized leader of the majority of the compliant, he obtained even a certain political importance. They dealt with the other members of the governing corporation accessible to fear, flattery, or gold in the same way as they had dealt with Cicero, and succeeded in keeping it on the whole in subjection.

Cato and the Minority

Certainly there remained a section of their opponents, who at least kept to their colours and were neither to be terrified nor to be won. The regents had become convinced that exceptional measures, such as those against Cato and Cicero, did their cause more harm than good, and that it was a lesser evil to tolerate an inconvenient republican opposition than to convert their opponents into martyrs for the republic Therefore they allowed Cato to return (end of 698) and thenceforward in the senate and in the Forum, often at the peril of his life, to offer a continued opposition to the regents, which was doubtless worthy of honour, but unhappily was at the same time ridiculous. They allowed him on occasion of the proposals of Trebonius to push matters once more to a hand-to-hand conflict in the Forum, and to submit to the senate a proposal that the proconsul Caesar should be given over to the Usipetes and Tencteri on account of his perfidious conduct toward those barbarians.(8) They were patient when Marcus Favonius, Cato's Sancho, after the senate had adopted the resolution to charge the legions of Caesar on the state-chest, sprang to the door of the senate-house and proclaimed to the streets the danger of the country; when the same person in his scurrilous fashion called the white bandage, which Pompeius wore round his weak leg, a displaced diadem; when the consular Lentulus Marcellinus, on being applauded, called out to the assembly to make diligent use of this privilege of expressing their opinion now while they were still allowed to do so; when the tribune of the people Gaius Ateius Capito consigned Crassus on his departure for Syria, with all the formalities of the theology of the day, publicly to the evil spirits. These were, on the whole, vain demonstrations of an irritated minority; yet the little party from which they issued was so far of importance, that it on the one hand fostered and gave the watchword to the republican opposition fermenting in secret, and on the other hand now and then dragged the majority of the senate, which ithal cherished at bottom quite the same sentiments with reference to the regents, into an isolated decree directed against them. For even the majority felt the need of giving vent, at least sometimes and in subordinate matters to their suppressed indignation, and especially—after the manner of those who are servile with reluctance—of exhibiting their resentment towards the great foes in rage against the small. Wherever it was possible, a gentle blow was administered to the instruments of the regents; thus Gabinius was refused the thanksgiving-festival that he asked (698); thus Piso was recalled from his province; thus mourning was put on by the senate, when the tribune of the people Gaius Cato hindered the elections for 699 as long as the consul Marcellinus belonging to the constitutional party was in office. Even Cicero, however humbly he always bowed before the regents, issued an equally envenomed and insipid pamphlet against Caesar's father-in-law. But both these feeble signs of opposition by the majority of the senate and the ineffectual resistance of the minority show only the more clearly, that the government had now passed from the senate to the regents as it formerly passed from the burgesses to the senate; and that the senate was already not much more than a monarchical council of state employed also to absorb the anti-monarchical elements. "No man," the adherents of the fallen government complained, "is of the slightest account except the three; the regents are all-powerful, and they take care that no one shall remain in doubt about it; the whole senate is virtually transformed and obeys the dictators; our generation will not live to see a change of things." They were living in fact no longer under the republic, but under monarchy.

Continued Oppositon at the Elections

But if the guidance of the state was at the absolute disposal of the regents, there remained still a political domain separated in some measure from the government proper, which it was more easy to defend and more difficult to conquer; the field of the ordinary elections of magistrates, and that of the jury-courts. That the latter do not fall directly under politics, but everywhere, and above all in Rome, come partly under the control of the spirit dominating state-affairs, is of itself clear. The elections of magistrates certainly belonged by right to the government proper of the state; but, as at this period the state was administered substantially by extraordinary magistrates or by men wholly without title, and even the supreme ordinary magistrates, if they belonged to the anti-monarchical party, were not able in any tangible way to influence the state-machinery, the ordinary magistrates sank more and more into mere puppets—as, in fact, even those of them who were most disposed to opposition described themselves frankly and with entire justice as powerless ciphers—and their elections therefore sank into mere demonstrations. Thus, after the opposition had already been wholly dislodged from the proper field of battle, hostilities might nevertheless be continued in the field of elections and of processes. The regents spared no pains to remain victors also in this field. As to the elections, they had already at Luca settled between themselves the lists of candidates for the next years, and they left no means untried to carry the candidates agreed upon there. They expended their gold primarily for the purpose of influencing the elections. A great number of soldiers were dismissed annually on furlough from the armies of Caesar and Pompeius to take part in the voting at Rome. Caesar was wont himself to guide, and watch over, the election movements from as near a point as possible of Upper Italy. Yet the object was but very imperfectly attained. For 699 no doubt Pompeius and Crassus were elected consuls, agreeably to the convention of Luca, and Lucius Domitius, the only candidate of the opposition who persevered was set aside; but this had been effected only by open violence, on which occasion Cato was wounded and other extremely scandalous incidents occurred. In the next consular elections for 700, in spite of all the exertions of the regents, Domitius was actually elected, and Cato likewise now prevailed in the candidature for the praetorship, in which to the scandal of the whole burgesses Caesar's client Vatinius had during the previous year beaten him off the field. At the elections for 701 the opposition succeeded in so indisputably convicting the candidates of the regents, along with others, of the most shameful electioneering intrigues that the regents, on whom the scandal recoiled, could not do otherwise than abandon them. These repeated and severe defeats of the dynasts on the battle-field of the elections may be traceable in part to the unmanageableness of the rusty machinery, to the incalculable accidents of the polling, to the opposition at heart of the middle classes, to the various private considerations that interfere in such cases and often strangely clash with those of party; but the main cause lies elsewhere. The elections were at this time essentially in the power of the different clubs into which the aristocracy had grouped themselves; the system of bribery was organized by them on the most extensive scale and with the utmost method. The same aristocracy therefore, which was represented in the senate, ruled also the elections; but while in the senate it yielded with a grudge, it worked and voted here—in secret and secure from all reckoning—absolutely against the regents. That the influence of the nobility in this field was by no means broken by the strict penal law against the electioneering intrigues of the clubs, which Crassus when consul in 699 caused to be confirmed by the burgesses, is self-evident, and is shown by the elections of the succeeding years.

And in the Courts

The jury-courts occasioned equally great difficulty to the regents. As they were then composed, while the senatorial nobility was here also influential, the decisive voice lay chiefly with the middle class. The fixing of a high-rated census for jurymen by a law proposed by Pompeius in 699 is a remarkable proof that the opposition to the regents had its chief seat in the middle class properly so called, and that the great capitalists showed themselves here, as everywhere, more compliant than the latter. Nevertheless the republican party was not yet deprived of all hold in the courts, and it was never weary of directing political impeachments, not indeed against the regents themselves, but against their prominent instruments. This warfare of prosecutions was waged the more keenly, that according to usage the duty of accusation belonged to the senatorial youth, and, as may readily be conceived, there was more of republican passion, fresh talent, and bold delight in attack to be found among these youths than among the older members of their order. Certainly the courts were not free; if the regents were in earnest, the courts ventured as little as the senate to refuse obedience. None of their antagonists were prosecuted by the opposition with such hatred—so furious that it almost passed into a proverb—as Vatinius, by far the most audacious and unscrupulous of the closer adherents of Caesar; but his master gave the command, and he was acquitted in all the processes raised against him. But impeachments by men who knew how to wield the sword of dialectics and the lash of sarcasm as did Gaius Licinius Calvus and Gaius Asinius Pollio, did not miss their mark even when they failed; nor were isolated successes wanting. They were mostly, no doubt, obtained over subordinate individuals, but even one of the most high-placed and most hated adherents of the dynasts, the consular Gabinius, was overthrown in this way. Certainly in his case the implacable hatred of the aristocracy, which as little forgave him for the law regarding the conducting of the war with the pirates as for his disparaging treatment of the senate during his Syrian governorship, was combined with the rage of the great capitalists, against whom he had when governor of Syria ventured to defend the interests of the provincials, and even with the resentment of Crassus, with whom he had stood on ceremony in handing over to him the province. His only protection against all these foes was Pompeius, and the latter had every reason to defend his ablest, boldest, and most faithful adjutant at any price; but here, as everywhere, he knew not how to use his power and to defend his clients, as Caesar defended his; in the end of 700 the jurymen found Gabinius guilty of extortions and sent him into banishment.

On the whole, therefore, in the sphere of the popular elections and of the jury-courts it was the regents that fared worst. The factors which ruled in these were less tangible, and therefore more difficult to be terrified or corrupted than the direct organs of government and administration. The holders of power encountered here, especially in the popular elections, the tough energy of a close oligarchy—grouped in coteries—which is by no means finally disposed of when its rule is overthrown, and which is the more difficult to vanquish the more covert its action. They encountered here too, especially in the jury-courts, the repugnance of the middle classes towards the new monarchical rule, which with all the perplexities springing out of it they were as little able to remove. They suffered in both quarters a series of defeats. The election-victories of the opposition had, it is true, merely the value of demonstrations, since the regents possessed and employed the means of practically annulling any magistrate whom they disliked; but the criminal trials in which the opposition carried condemnations deprived them, in a way keenly felt, of useful auxiliaries. As things stood, the regents could neither set aside nor adequately control the popular elections and the jury-courts, and the opposition, however much it felt itself straitened even here, maintained to a certain extent the field of battle.

Literature of the Opposition

It proved, however, yet a more difficult task to encounter the opposition in a field, to which it turned with the greater zeal the more it was dislodged from direct political action. This was literature. Even the judicial opposition was at the same time a literary one, and indeed pre-eminently so, for the orations were regularly published and served as political pamphlets. The arrows of poetry hit their mark still more rapidly and sharply. The lively youth of the high aristocracy, and still more energetically perhaps the cultivated middle class in the Italian country towns, waged the war of pamphlets and epigrams with zeal and success. There fought side by side on this field the genteel senator's son Gaius Licinius Calvus (672-706) who was as much feared in the character of an orator and pamphleteer as of a versatile poet, and the municipals of Cremona and Verona Marcus Furius Bibaculus (652-691) and Quintus Valerius Catullus (667-c. 700) whose elegant and pungent epigrams flew swiftly like arrows through Italy and were sure to hit their mark. An oppositional tone prevails throughout the literature of these years. It is full of indignant sarcasm against the "great Caesar," "the unique general," against the affectionate father-in-law and son-in-law, who ruin the whole globe in order to give their dissolute favourites opportunity to parade the spoils of the long-haired Celts through the streets of Rome, to furnish royal banquets with the booty of the farthest isles of the west, and as rivals showering gold to supplant honest youths at home in the favour of their mistresses. There is in the poems of Catullus(9) and the other fragments of the literature of this period something of that fervour of personal and political hatred, of that republican agony overflowing in riotous humour or in stern despair, which are more prominently and powerfully apparent in Aristophanes and Demosthenes.

The most sagacious of the three rulers at least saw well that it was as impossible to despise this opposition as to suppress it by word of command. So far as he could, Caesar tried rather personally to gain over the more notable authors. Cicero himself had to thank his literary reputation in good part for the respectful treatment which he especially experienced from Caesar; but the governor of Gaul did not disdain to conclude a special peace even with Catullus himself through the intervention of his father who had become personally known to him in Verona; and the young poet, who had just heaped upon the powerful general the bitterest and most personal sarcasms, was treated by him with the most flattering distinction. In fact Caesar was gifted enough to follow his literary opponents on their own domain and to publish— as an indirect way of repelling manifold attacks—a detailed report on the Gallic wars, which set forth before the public, with happily assumed naivete, the necessity and constitutional propriety of his military operations. But it is freedom alone that is absolutely and exclusively poetical and creative; it and it alone is able even in its most wretched caricature, even with its latest breath, to inspire fresh enthusiasm. All the sound elements of literature were and remained anti-monarchical; and, if Caesar himself could venture on this domain without proving a failure, the reason was merely that even now he still cherished at heart the magnificent dream of a free commonwealth, although he was unable to transfer it either to his adversaries or to his adherents. Practical politics was not more absolutely controlled by the regents than literature by the republicans.(10)

New Exceptional Measures Resolved on

It became necessary to take serious steps against this opposition, which was powerless indeed, but was always becoming more troublesome and audacious. The condemnation of Gabinius, apparently, turned the scale (end of 700). The regents agreed to introduce a dictatorship, though only a temporary one, and by means of this to carry new coercive measures especially respecting the elections and the jury-courts. Pompeius, as the regent on whom primarily devolved the government of Rome and Italy, was charged with the execution of this resolve; which accordingly bore the impress of the awkwardness in resolution and action that characterized him, and of his singular incapacity of speaking out frankly, even where he would and could command. Already at the close of 700 the demand for a dictatorship was brought forward in the senate in the form of hints, and that not by Pompeius himself. There served as its ostensible ground the continuance of the system of clubs and bands in the capital, which by acts of bribery and violence certainly exercised the most pernicious pressure on the elections as well as on the jury-courts and kept it in a perpetual state of disturbance; we must allow that this rendered it easy for the regents to justify their exceptional measures. But, as may well be conceived, even the servile majority shrank from granting what the future dictator himself seemed to shrink from openly asking. When the unparalleled agitation regarding the elections for the consulship of 701 led to the most scandalous scenes, so that the elections were postponed a full year beyond the fixed time and only took place after a seven months' interregnum in July 701, Pompeius found in this state of things the desired occasion for indicating now distinctly to the senate that the dictatorship was the only means of cutting, if not of loosing the knot; but the decisive word of command was not even yet spoken. Perhaps it would have still remained for long unuttered, had not the most audacious partisan of the republican opposition Titus Annius Milo stepped into the field at the consular elections for 702 as a candidate in opposition to the candidates of the regents, Quintus Metellus Scipio and Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, both men closely connected with Pompeius personally and thoroughly devoted to him.

Killing of Clodius

Milo, endowed with physical courage, with a certain talent for intrigue and for contracting debt, and above all with an ample amount of native assurance which had been carefully cultivated, had made himself a name among the political adventurers of the time, and was the greatest bully in his trade next to Clodius, and naturally therefore through rivalry at the most deadly feud with the latter. As this Achilles of the streets had been acquired by the regents and with their permission was again playing the ultra- democrat, the Hector of the streets became as a matter of course an aristocrat! And the republican opposition, which now would have concluded an alliance with Catilina in person, had he presented himself to them, readily acknowledged Milo as their legitimate champion in all riots. In fact the few successes, which they carried off in this field of battle, were the work of Milo and of his well-trained band of gladiators. So Cato and his friends in return supported the candidature of Milo for the consulship; even Cicero could not avoid recommending one who had been his enemy's enemy and his own protector during many years; and as Milo himself spared neither money nor violence to carry his election, it seemed secured. For the regents it would have been not only a new and keenly-felt defeat, but also a real danger; for it was to be foreseen that the bold partisan would not allow himself as consul to be reduced to insignificance so easily as Domitius and other men of the respectable opposition. It happened that Achilles and Hector accidentally encountered each other not far from the capital on the Appian Way, and a fray arose between their respective bands, in which Clodius himself received a sword-cut on the shoulder and was compelled to take refuge in a neighbouring house. This had occurred without orders from Milo; but, as the matter had gone so far and as the storm had now to be encountered at any rate, the whole crime seemed to Milo more desirable and even less dangerous than the half; he ordered his men to drag Clodius forth from his lurking place and to put him to death (13 Jan. 702).

Anarchy in Rome

The street leaders of the regents' party—the tribunes of the people Titus Munatius Plancus, Quintus Pompeius Rufus, and Gaius Sallustius Crispus—saw in this occurrence a fitting opportunity to thwart in the interest of their masters the candidature of Milo and carry the dictatorship of Pompeius. The dregs of the populace, especially the freedmen and slaves, had lost in Clodius their patron and future deliverer;(11) the requisite excitement was thus easily aroused. After the bloody corpse had been exposed for show at the orators' platform in the Forum and the speeches appropriate to the occasion had been made, the riot broke forth. The seat of the perfidious aristocracy was destined as a funeral pile for the great liberator; the mob carried the body to the senate-house, and set the building on fire. Thereafter the multitude proceeded to the front of Milo's house and kept it under siege, till his band drove off the assailants by discharges of arrows. They passed on to the house of Pompeius and of his consular candidates, of whom the former was saluted as dictator and the latter as consuls, and thence to the house of the interrex Marcus Lepidus, on whom devolved the conduct of the consular elections. When the latter, as in duty bound, refused to make arrangements for the elections immediately, as the clamorous multitude demanded, he was kept during five days under siege in his dwelling house.

Dictatorship of Pompeius

But the instigators of these scandalous scenes had overacted their part. Certainly their lord and master was resolved to employ this favourable episode in order not merely to set aside Milo, but also to seize the dictatorship; he wished, however, to receive it not from a mob of bludgeon-men, but from the senate. Pompeius brought up troops to put down the anarchy which prevailed in the capital, and which had in reality become intolerable to everybody; at the same time he now enjoined what he had hitherto requested, and the senate complied. It was merely an empty subterfuge, that on the proposal of Cato and Bibulus the proconsul Pompeius, retaining his former offices, was nominated as "consul without colleague" instead of dictator on the 25th of the intercalary month(12) (702)—a subterfuge, which admitted an appellation labouring under a double incongruity(13) for the mere purpose of avoiding one which expressed the simple fact, and which vividly reminds us of the sagacious resolution of the waning patriciate to concede to the plebeians not the consulship, but only the consular power.(14)

Changes of in the Arrangement of Magistracies and the Jury-System

Thus in legal possession of full power, Pompeius set to work and proceeded with energy against the republican party which was powerful in the clubs and the jury-courts. The existing enactments as to elections were repeated and enforced by a special law; and by another against electioneering intrigues, which obtained retrospective force for all offences of this sort committed since 684, the penalties hitherto imposed were augmented. Still more important was the enactment, that the governorships, which were by far the more important and especially by far the more lucrative half of official life, should be conferred on the consuls and praetors not immediately on their retirement from the consulate or praetorship, but only after the expiry of other five years; an arrangement which of course could only come into effect after four years, and therefore made the filling up of the governorships for the next few years substantially dependent on decrees of senate which were to be issued for the regulation of this interval, and thus practically on the person or section ruling the senate at the moment. The jury-commissions were left in existence, but limits were put to the right of counter-plea, and—what was perhaps still more important—the liberty of speech in the courts was done away; for both the number of the advocates and the time of speaking apportioned to each were restricted by fixing a maximum, and the bad habit which had prevailed of adducing, in addition to the witnesses as to facts, witnesses to character or -laudatores-, as they were called, in favour of the accused was prohibited. The obsequious senate further decreed on the suggestion of Pompeius that the country had been placed in peril by the quarrel on the Appian Way; accordingly a special commission was appointed by an exceptional law for all crimes connected with it, the members of which were directly nominated by Pompeius. An attempt was also made to give once more a serious importance to the office of the censors, and by that agency to purge the deeply disordered burgess-body of the worst rabble.

All these measures were adopted under the pressure of the sword. In consequence of the declaration of the senate that the country was in danger, Pompeius called the men capable of service throughout Italy to arms and made them swear allegiance for all contingencies; an adequate and trustworthy corps was temporarily stationed at the Capitol; at every stirring of opposition Pompeius threatened armed intervention, and during the proceedings at the trial respecting the murder of Clodius stationed contrary to all precedent, a guard over the place of trial itself.

Humiliation of the Republicans

The scheme for the revival of the censorship failed, because among the servile majority of the senate no one possessed sufficient moral courage and authority even to become a candidate for such an office. On the other hand Milo was condemned by the jurymen (8 April 702) and Cato's candidature for the consulship of 703was frustrated. The opposition of speeches and pamphlets received through the new judicial ordinance a blow from which it never recovered; the dreaded forensic eloquence was thereby driven from the field of politics, and thenceforth felt the restraints of monarchy. Opposition of course had not disappeared either from the minds of the great majority of the nation or even wholly from public life—to effect that end the popular elections, the jury-courts, and literature must have been not merely restricted, but annihilated. Indeed, in these very transactions themselves, Pompeius by his unskilfulness and perversity helped the republicans to gain even under his dictatorship several triumphs which he severely felt. The special measures, which the rulers took to strengthen their power, were of course officially characterized as enactments made in the interest of public tranquillity and order, and every burgess, who did not desire anarchy, was described as substantially concurring in them. But Pompeius pushed this transparent fiction so far, that instead of putting safe instruments into the special commission for the investigation of the last tumult, he chose the most respectable men of all parties, including even Cato, and applied his influence over the court essentially to maintain order, and to render it impossible for his adherents as well as for his opponents to indulge in the scenes of disturbance customary in the courts of this period. This neutrality of the regent was discernible in the judgments of the special court. The jurymen did not venture to acquit Milo himself; but most of the subordinate persons accused belonging to the party of the republican opposition were acquitted, while condemnation inexorably befell those who in the last riot had taken part for Clodius, or in other words for the regents, including not a few of Caesar's and of Pompeius' own most intimate friends—even Hypsaeus his candidate for the consulship, and the tribunes of the people Plancus and Rufus, who had directed the -emeute- in his interest. That Pompeius did not prevent their condemnation for the sake of appearing impartial, was one specimen of his folly; and a second was, that he withal in matters quite indifferent violated his own laws to favour his friends— appearing for example as a witness to character in the trial of Plancus, and in fact protecting from condemnation several accused persons specially connected with him, such as Metellus Scipio. As usual, he wished here also to accomplish opposite things; in attempting to satisfy the duties at once of the impartial regent and of the party-chief, he fulfilled neither the one nor the other, and was regarded by public opinion with justice as a despotic regent, and by his adherents with equal justice as a leader who either could not or would not protect his followers.

But, although the republicans were still stirring and were even refreshed by an isolated success here and there, chiefly through the blunders of Pompeius, the object which the regents had proposed to themselves in that dictatorship was on the whole attained, the reins were drawn tighter, the republican party was humbled, and the new monarchy was strengthened. The public began to reconcile themselves to the latter. When Pompeius not long after recovered from a serious illness, his restoration was celebrated throughout Italy with the accompanying demonstrations of joy which are usual on such occasions in monarchies. The regents showed themselves satisfied; as early as the 1st of August 702 Pompeius resigned his dictatorship, and shared the consulship with his client Metellus Scipio.

Chapter IX

Death of Crassus—Rupture between the Joint Rulers

Crassus Goes to Syria

Marcus Crassus had for years been reckoned among the heads of the "three-headed monster," without any proper title to be so included. He served as a makeweight to trim the balance between the real regents Pompeius and Caesar, or, to speak more accurately, his weight fell into the scale of Caesar against Pompeius. This part is not a too reputable one; but Crassus was never hindered by any keen sense of honour from pursuing his own advantage. He was a merchant and was open to be dealt with. What was offered to him was not much; but, when more was not to be got, he accepted it, and sought to forget the ambition that fretted him, and his chagrin at occupying a position so near to power and yet so powerless, amidst his always accumulating piles of gold. But the conference at Luca changed the state of matters also for him; with the view of still retaining the preponderance as compared with Pompeius after concessions so extensive, Caesar gave to his old confederate Crassus an opportunity of attaining in Syria through the Parthian war the same position to which Caesar had attained by the Celtic war in Gaul. It was difficult to say whether these new prospects proved more attractive to the ardent thirst for gold which had now become at the age of sixty a second nature and grew only the more intense with every newly-won million, or to the ambition which had been long repressed with difficulty in the old man's breast and now glowed in it with restless fire. He arrived in Syria as early as the beginning of 700; he had not even waited for the expiry of his consulship to depart. Full of impatient ardour he seemed desirous to redeem every minute with the view of making up for what he had lost, of gathering in the treasures of the east in addition to those of the west, of achieving the power and glory of a general as rapidly as Caesar, and with as little trouble as Pompeius.

Expedition against Parthia Resolved on

He found the Parthian war already commenced. The faithless conduct of Pompeius towards the Parthians has been already mentioned;(1) he had not respected the stipulated frontier of the Euphrates and had wrested several provinces from the Parthian empire for the benefit of Armenia, which was now a client state of Rome. King Phraates had submitted to this treatment; but after he had been murdered by his two sons Mithradates and Orodes, the new king Mithradates immediately declared war on the king of Armenia, Artavasdes, son of the recently deceased Tigranes (about 698).(2) This was at the same time a declaration of war against Rome; therefore as soon as the revolt of the Jews was suppressed, Gabinius, the able and spirited governor of Syria, led the legions over the Euphrates. Meanwhile, however, a revolution had occurred in the Parthian empire; the grandees of the kingdom, with the young, bold, and talented grand vizier at their head, had overthrown king Mithradates and placed his brother Orodes on the throne. Mithradates therefore made common cause with the Romans and resorted to the camp of Gabinius. Everything promised the best results to the enterprise of the Roman governor, when he unexpectedly received orders to conduct the king of Egypt back by force of arms to Alexandria.(3) He was obliged to obey; but, in the expectation of soon coming back, he induced the dethroned Parthian prince who solicited aid from him to commence the war in the meanwhile at his own hand. Mithradates did so; and Seleucia and Babylon declared for him; but the vizier captured Seleucia by assault, having been in person the first to mount the battlements, and in Babylon Mithradates himself was forced by famine to surrender, whereupon he was by his brother's orders put to death. His death was a palpable loss to the Romans; but it by no means put an end to the ferment in the Parthian empire, and the Armenian war continued. Gabinius, after ending the Egyptian campaign, was just on the eve of turning to account the still favourable opportunity and resuming the interrupted Parthian war, when Crassus arrived in Syria and along with the command took up also the plans of his predecessor. Full of high-flown hopes he estimated the difficulties of the march as slight, and the power of resistance in the armies of the enemy as yet slighter; he not only spoke confidently of the subjugation of the Parthians, but was already in imagination the conqueror of the kingdoms of Bactria and India.

Plan of the Campaign

The new Alexander, however, was in no haste. Before he carried into effect these great plans, he found leisure for very tedious and very lucrative collateral transactions. The temples of Derceto at Hierapolis Bambyce and of Jehovah at Jerusalem and other rich shrines of the Syrian province, were by order of Crassus despoiled of their treasures; and contingents or, still better, sums of money instead were levied from all the subjects. The military operations of the first summer were limited to an extensive reconnaissance in Mesopotamia; the Euphrates was crossed, the Parthian satrap was defeated at Ichnae (on the Belik to the north of Rakkah), and the neighbouring towns, including the considerable one of Nicephorium (Rakkah), were occupied, after which the Romans having left garrisons behind in them returned to Syria. They had hitherto been in doubt whether it was more advisable to march to Parthia by the circuitous route of Armenia or by the direct route through the Mesopotamian desert. The first route, leading through mountainous regions under the control of trustworthy allies, commended itself by its greater safety; king Artavasdes came in person to the Roman headquarters to advocate this plan of the campaign. But that reconnaissance decided in favour of the march through Mesopotamia. The numerous and flourishing Greek and half-Greek towns in the regions along the Euphrates and Tigris, above all the great city of Seleucia, were altogether averse to the Parthian rule; all the Greek townships with which the Romans came into contact had now, like the citizens of Carrhae at an earlier time,(4) practically shown how ready they were to shake off the intolerable foreign yoke and to receive the Romans as deliverers, almost as countrymen. The Arab prince Abgarus, who commanded the desert of Edessa and Carrhae and thereby the usual route from the Euphrates to the Tigris, had arrived in the camp of the Romans to assure them in person of his devotedness. The Parthians had appeared to be wholly unprepared.

The Euphrates Crossed

Accordingly (701) the Euphrates was crossed (near Biradjik). To reach the Tigris from this point they had the choice of two routes; either the army might move downward along the Euphrates to the latitude of Seleucia where the Euphrates and Tigris are only a few miles distant from each other; or they might immediately after crossing take the shortest line to the Tigris right across the great Mesopotamian desert. The former route led directly to the Parthian capital Ctesiphon, which lay opposite Seleucia on the other bank of the Tigris; several weighty voices were raised in favour of this route in the Roman council of war; in particular the quaestor Gaius Cassius pointed to the difficulties of the march in the desert, and to the suspicious reports arriving from the Roman garrisons on the left bank of the Euphrates as to the Parthian warlike preparations. But in opposition to this the Arab prince Abgarus announced that the Parthians were employed in evacuating their western provinces. They had already packed up their treasures and put themselves in motion to flee to the Hyrcanians and Scythians; only through a forced march by the shortest route was it at all possible still to reach them; but by such a march the Romans would probably succeed in overtaking and cutting up at least the rear-guard of the great army under Sillaces and the vizier, and obtaining enormous spoil. These reports of the friendly Bedouins decided the direction of the march; the Roman army, consisting of seven legions, 4000 cavalry, and 4000 slingers and archers, turned off from the Euphrates and away into the inhospitable plains of northern Mesopotamia.

The March in the Desert

Far and wide not an enemy showed himself; only hunger and thirst, and the endless sandy desert, seemed to keep watch at the gates of the east. At length, after many days of toilsome marching, not far from the first river which the Roman army had to cross, the Balissus (Belik), the first horsemen of the enemy were descried. Abgarus with his Arabs was sent out to reconnoitre; the Parthian squadrons retired up to and over the river and vanished in the distance, pursued by Abgarus and his followers. With impatience the Romans waited for his return and for more exact information. The general hoped here at length to come upon the constantly retreating foe; his young and brave son Publius, who had fought with the greatest distinction in Gaul under Caesar,(5) and had been sent by the latter at the head of a Celtic squadron of horse to take part in the Parthian war, was inflamed with a vehement desire for the fight. When no tidings came, they resolved to advance at a venture; the signal for starting was given, the Balissus was crossed, the army after a brief insufficient rest at noon was led on without delay at a rapid pace. Then suddenly the kettledrums of the Parthians sounded all around; on every side their silken gold-embroidered banners were seen waving, and their iron helmets and coats of mail glittering in the blaze of the hot noonday sun; and by the side of the vizier stood prince Abgarus with his Bedouins.

Roman and Parthian Systems of Warfare

The Romans saw too late the net into which they had allowed themselves to be ensnared. With sure glance the vizier had thoroughly seen both the danger and the means of meeting it. Nothing could be accomplished against the Roman infantry of the line with Oriental infantry; so he had rid himself of it, and by sending a mass, which was useless in the main field of battle, under the personal leadership of king Orodes to Armenia, he had prevented king Artavasdes from allowing the promised 10,000 heavy cavalry to join the army of Crassus, who now painfully felt the want of them. On the other hand the vizier met the Roman tactics, unsurpassed of their kind, with a system entirely different. His army consisted exclusively of cavalry; the line was formed of the heavy horsemen armed with long thrusting-lances, and protected, man and horse, by a coat of mail of metallic plates or a leathern doublet and by similar greaves; the mass of the troops consisted of mounted archers. As compared with these, the Romans were thoroughly inferior in the corresponding arms both as to number and excellence. Their infantry of the line, excellent as they were in close combat, whether at a short distance with the heavy javelin or in hand-to-hand combat with the sword, could not compel an army consisting merely of cavalry to come to an engagement with them; and they found, even when they did come to a hand-to-hand conflict, an equal if not superior adversary in the iron-clad hosts of lancers. As compared with an army like this Parthian one, the Roman army was at a disadvantage strategically, because the cavalry commanded the communications; and at a disadvantage tactically, because every weapon of close combat must succumb to that which is wielded from a distance, unless the struggle becomes an individual one, man against man. The concentrated position, on which the whole Roman method of war was based, increased the danger in presence of such an attack; the closer the ranks of the Roman column, the more irresistible certainly was its onset, but the less also could the missiles fail to hit their mark. Under ordinary circumstances, where towns have to be defended and difficulties of the ground have to be considered, such tactics operating merely with cavalry against infantry could never be completely carried out; but in the Mesopotamian desert, where the army, almost like a ship on the high seas, neither encountered an obstacle nor met with a basis for strategic dispositions during many days' march, this mode of warfare was irresistible for the very reason that circumstances allowed it to be developed there in all its purity and therefore in all its power. There everything combined to put the foreign infantry at a disadvantage against the native cavalry. Where the heavy-laden Roman foot-soldier dragged himself toilsomely through the sand or the steppe, and perished from hunger or still more from thirst amid the pathless route marked only by water-springs that were far apart and difficult to find, the Parthian horseman, accustomed from childhood to sit on his fleet steed or camel, nay almost to spend his life in the saddle, easily traversed the desert whose hardships he had long learned how to lighten or in case of need to endure. There no rain fell to mitigate the intolerable heat, and to slacken the bowstrings and leathern thongs of the enemy's archers and slingers; there amidst the deep sand at many places ordinary ditches and ramparts could hardly be formed for the camp. Imagination can scarcely conceive a situation in which all the military advantages were more on the one side, and all the disadvantages more thoroughly on the other.

To the question, under what circumstances this new style of tactics, the first national system that on its own proper ground showed itself superior to the Roman, arose among the Parthians, we unfortunately can only reply by conjectures. The lancers and mounted archers were of great antiquity in the east, and already formed the flower of the armies of Cyrus and Darius; but hitherto these arms had been employed only as secondary, and essentially to cover the thoroughly useless Oriental infantry. The Parthian armies also by no means differed in this respect from the other Oriental ones; armies are mentioned, five-sixths of which consisted of infantry. In the campaign of Crassus, on the other hand, the cavalry for the first time came forward independently, and this arm obtained quite a new application and quite a different value. The irresistible superiority of the Roman infantry in close combat seems to have led the adversaries of Rome in very different parts of the world independently of each other—at the same time and with similar success—to meet it with cavalry and distant weapons. What as completely successful with Cassivellaunus in Britain(6) and partially successful with Vercingetorix in Gaul(7)— what was to a certain degree attempted even by Mithradates Eupator(8)— the vizier of Orodes carried out only on a larger scale and more completely. And in doing so he had special advantages: for he found in the heavy cavalry the means of forming a line; the bow which was national in the east and was handled with masterly skill in the Persian provinces gave him an effective weapon for distant combat; and lastly the peculiarities of the country and the people enabled him freely to realize his brilliant idea. Here, where the Roman weapons of close combat and the Roman system of concentration yielded for the first time before the weapons of more distant warfare and the system of deploying, was initiated that military revolution which only reached its completion with the introduction of firearms.

Battle near Carrhae

Under such circumstances the first battle between the Romans and Parthians was fought amidst the sandy desert thirty miles to the south of Carrhae (Harran) where there was a Roman garrison, and at a somewhat less distance to the north of Ichnae. The Roman archers were sent forward, but retired immediately before the enormous numerical superiority and the far greater elasticity and range of the Parthian bows. The legions, which, in spite of the advice of the more sagacious officers that they should be deployed as much as possible against the enemy, had been drawn up in a dense square of twelve cohorts on each side, were soon outflanked and overwhelmed with the formidable arrows, which under such circumstances hit their man even without special aim, and against which the soldiers had no means of retaliation. The hope that the enemy might expend his missiles vanished with a glance at the endless range of camels laden with arrows. The Parthians were still extending their line. That the outflanking might not end in surrounding, Publius Crassus advanced to the attack with a select corps of cavalry, archers, and infantry of the line. The enemy in fact abandoned the attempt to close the circle, and retreated, hotly pursued by the impetuous leader of the Romans. But, when the corps of Publius had totally lost sight of the main army, the heavy cavalry made a stand against it, and the Parthian host hastening up from all sides closed in like a net round it. Publius, who saw his troops falling thickly and vainly around him under the arrows of the mounted archers, threw himself in desperation with his Celtic cavalry unprotected by any coats of mail on the iron-clad lancers of the enemy; but the death-despising valour of his Celts, who seized the lances with their hands or sprang from their horses to stab the enemy, performed its marvels in vain. The remains of the corps, including their leader wounded in the sword-arm, were driven to a slight eminence, where they only served for an easier mark to the enemy's archers. Mesopotamian Greeks, who were accurately acquainted with the country, adjured Crassus to ride off with them and make an attempt to escape; but he refused to separate his fate from that of the brave men whom his too-daring courage had led to death, and he caused himself to be stabbed by the hand of his shield-bearer. Following his example, most of the still surviving officers put themselves to death. Of the whole division, about 6000 strong, not more than 500 were taken prisoners; no one was able to escape. Meanwhile the attack on the main army had slackened, and the Romans were but too glad to rest. When at length the absence of any tidings from the corps sent out startled them out of the deceitful calm, and they drew near to the scene of the battle for the purpose of learning its fate, the head of the son was displayed on a pole before his father's eyes; and the terrible onslaught began once more against the main army with the same fury and the same hopeless uniformity. They could neither break the ranks of the lancers nor reach the archers; night alone put an end to the slaughter. Had the Parthians bivouacked on the battle-field, hardly a man of the Roman army would have escaped. But not trained to fight otherwise than on horseback, and therefore afraid of a surprise, they were wont never to encamp close to the enemy; jeeringly they shouted to the Romans that they would give the general a night to bewail his son, and galloped off to return next morning and despatch the game that lay bleeding on the ground.

Retreat to Carrhae

Of course the Romans did not wait for the morning. The lieutenant- generals Cassius and Octavius—Crassus himself had completely lost his judgment—ordered the men still capable of marching to set out immediately and with the utmost silence (while the whole— said to amount to 4000—of the wounded and stragglers were left), with the view of seeking protection within the walls of Carrhae. The fact that the Parthians, when they returned on the following day, applied themselves first of all to seek out and massacre the scattered Romans left behind, and the further fact that the garrison and inhabitants of Carrhae, early informed of the disaster by fugitives, had marched forth in all haste to meet the beaten army, saved the remnants of it from what seemed inevitable destruction.

Departure from Carrhae
Surprise at Sinnaca

The squadrons of Parthian horsemen could not think of undertaking a siege of Carrhae. But the Romans soon voluntarily departed, whether compelled by want of provisions, or in consequence of the desponding precipitation of their commander-in-chief, whom the soldiers had vainly attempted to remove from the command and to replace by Cassius. They moved in the direction of the Armenian mountains; marching by night and resting by day Octavius with a band of 5000 men reached the fortress of Sinnaca, which was only a day's march distant from the heights that would give shelter, and liberated even at the peril of his own life the commander-in-chief, whom the guide had led astray and given up to the enemy. Then the vizier rode in front of the Roman camp to offer, in the name of his king, peace and friendship to the Romans, and to propose a personal conference between the two generals. The Roman army, demoralized as it was, adjured and indeed compelled its leader to accept the offer. The vizier received the consular and his staff with the usual honours, and offered anew to conclude a compact of friendship; only, with just bitterness recalling the fate of the agreements concluded with Lucullus and Pompeius respecting the Euphrates boundary,(9) he demanded that it should be immediately reduced to writing. A richly adorned horse was produced; it was a present from the king to the Roman commander-in-chief; the servants of the vizier crowded round Crassus, zealous to mount him on the steed. It seemed to the Roman officers as if there was a design to seize the person of the commander-in-chief; Octavius, unarmed as he was, pulled the sword of one of the Parthians from its sheath and stabbed the groom. In the tumult which thereupon arose, the Roman officers were all put to death; the gray-haired commander- in-chief also, like his grand-uncle,(10) was unwilling to serve as a living trophy to the enemy, and sought and found death. The multitude left behind in the camp without a leader were partly taken prisoners, partly dispersed. What the day of Carrhae had begun, the day of Sinnaca completed (June 9, 701); the two took their place side by side with the days of the Allia, of Cannae, and of Arausio. The army of the Euphrates was no more. Only the squadron of Gaius Cassius, which had been broken off from the main army on the retreat from Carrhae, and some other scattered bands and isolated fugitives succeeded in escaping from the Parthians and Bedouins and separately finding their way back to Syria. Of above 40,000 Roman legionaries, who had crossed the Euphrates, not a fourth part returned; the half had perished; nearly 10,000 Roman prisoners were settled by the victors in the extreme east of their kingdom—in the oasis of Merv—as bondsmen compelled after the Parthian fashion to render military service. For the first time since the eagles had headed the legions, they had become in the same year trophies of victory in the hands of foreign nations, almost contemporaneously of a German tribe in the west(11) and of the Parthians in the east. As to the impression which the defeat of the Romans produced in the east, unfortunately no adequate information has reached us; but it must have been deep and lasting. King Orodes was just celebrating the marriage of his son Pacorus with the sister of his new ally, Artavasdes the king of Armenia, when the announcement of the victory of his vizier arrived, and along with it, according to Oriental usage, the cut-off head of Crassus. The tables were already removed; one of the wandering companies of actors from Asia Minor, numbers of which at that time existed and carried Hellenic poetry and the Hellenic drama far into the east, was just performing before the assembled court the -Bacchae- of Euripides. The actor playing the part of Agave, who in her Dionysiac frenzy has torn in pieces her son and returns from Cithaeron carrying his head on the thyrsus, exchanged this for the bloody head of Crassus, and to the infinite delight of his audience of half-Hellenized barbarians began afresh the well-known song:

—pheromin ex oreos elika neotomon epi melathra makarian theiran—.

It was, since the times of the Achaemenids, the first serious victory which the Orientals had achieved over the west; and there was a deep significance in the fact that, by way of celebrating this victory, the fairest product of the western world— Greek tragedy—parodied itself through its degenerate representatives in that hideous burlesque. The civic spirit of Rome and the genius of Hellas began simultaneously to accommodate themselves to the chains of sultanism.

Consequences of the Defeat

The disaster, terrible in itself, seemed also as though it was to be dreadful in its consequences, and to shake the foundations of the Roman power in the east. It was among the least of its results that the Parthians now had absolute sway beyond the Euphrates; that Armenia, after having fallen away from the Roman alliance even before the disaster of Crassus, was reduced by it into entire dependence on Parthia; that the faithful citizens of Carrhae were bitterly punished for their adherence to the Occidentals by the new master appointed over them by the Parthians, one of the treacherous guides of the Romans, named Andromachus. The Parthians now prepared in all earnest to cross the Euphrates in their turn, and, in union with the Armenians and Arabs, to dislodge the Romans from Syria. The Jews and various other Occidentals awaited emancipation from the Roman rule there, no less impatiently than the Hellenes beyond the Euphrates awaited relief from the Parthian; in Rome civil war was at the door; an attack at this particular place and time was a grave peril. But fortunately for Rome the leaders on each side had changed. Sultan Orodes was too much indebted to the heroic prince, who had first placed the crown on his head and then cleared the land from the enemy, not to get rid of him as soon as possible by the executioner. His place as commander-in-chief of the invading army destined for Syria was filled by a prince, the king's son Pacorus, with whom on account of his youth and inexperience the prince Osaces had to be associated as military adviser. On the other side the interim command in Syria in room of Crassus was taken up by the prudent and resolute quaestor Gaius Cassius.

Repulse of the Parthians

The Parthians were, just like Crassus formerly, in no haste to attack, but during the years 701 and 702 sent only weak flying bands, who were easily repulsed, across the Euphrates; so that Cassius obtained time to reorganize the army in some measure, and with the help of the faithful adherent of the Romans, Herodes Antipater, to reduce to obedience the Jews, whom resentment at the spoliation of the temple perpetrated by Crassus had already driven to arms. The Roman government would thus have had full time to send fresh troops for the defence of the threatened frontier; but this was left undone amidst the convulsions of the incipient revolution, and, when at length in 703 the great Parthian invading army appeared on the Euphrates, Cassius had still nothing to oppose to it but the two weak legions formed from the remains of the army of Crassus. Of course with these he could neither prevent the crossing nor defend the province. Syria was overrun by the Parthians, and all Western Asia trembled. But the Parthians did not understand the besieging of towns. They not only retreated from Antioch, into which Cassius had thrown himself with his troops, without having accomplished their object, but they were on their retreat along the Orontes allured into an ambush by Cassius' cavalry and there severely handled by the Roman infantry; prince Osaces was himself among the slain. Friend and foe thus perceived that the Parthian army under an ordinary general and on ordinary ground was not capable of much more than any other Oriental army. However, the attack was not abandoned. Still during the winter of 703-704 Pacorus lay encamped in Cyrrhestica on this side of the Euphrates; and the new governor of Syria, Marcus Bibulus, as wretched a general as he was an incapable statesman, knew no better course of action than to shut himself up in his fortresses. It was generally expected that the war would break out in 704 with renewed fury. But instead of turning his arms against the Romans, Pacorus turned against his own father, and accordingly even entered into an understanding with the Roman governor. Thus the stain was not wiped from the shield of Roman honour, nor was the reputation of Rome restored in the east; but the Parthian invasion of Western Asia was over, and the Euphrates boundary was, for the time being at least, retained.

Impression Produced in Rome by the Defeat of Carrhae

In Rome meanwhile the periodical volcano of revolution was whirling upward its clouds of stupefying smoke. The Romans began to have no longer a soldier or a denarius to be employed against the public foe— no longer a thought for the destinies of the nations. It is one of the most dreadful signs of the times, that the huge national disaster of Carrhae and Sinnaca gave the politicians of that time far less to think and speak of than that wretched tumult on the Appian road, in which, a couple of months after Crassus, Clodius the partisan-leader perished; but it is easily conceivable and almost excusable. The breach between the two regents, long felt as inevitable and often announced as near, was now assuming such a shape that it could not be arrested. Like the boat of the ancient Greek mariners' tale, the vessel of the Roman community now found itself as it were between two rocks swimming towards each other; expecting every moment the crash of collision, those whom it was bearing, tortured by nameless anguish, into the eddying surge that rose higher and higher were benumbed; and, while every slightest movement there attracted a thousand, eyes, no one ventured to give a glance to the right or the left.

The Good Understanding between the Regents Relaxed

After Caesar had, at the conference of Luca in April 698, agreed to considerable concessions as regarded Pompeius, and the regents had thus placed themselves substantially on a level, their relation was not without the outward conditions of durability, so far as a division of the monarchical power—in itself indivisible— could be lasting at all. It was a different question whether the regents, at least for the present, were determined to keep together and mutually to acknowledge without reserve their title to rank as equals. That this was the case with Caesar, in so far as he had acquired the interval necessary for the conquest of Gaul at the price of equalization with Pompeius, has been already set forth. But Pompeius was hardly ever, even provisionally, in earnest with the collegiate scheme. His was one of those petty and mean natures, towards which it is dangerous to practise magnanimity; to his paltry spirit it appeared certainly a dictate of prudence to supplant at the first opportunity his reluctantly acknowledged rival, and his mean soul thirsted after a possibility of retaliating on Caesar for the humiliation which he had suffered through Caesar's indulgence. But while it is probable that Pompeius in accordance with his dull and sluggish nature never properly consented to let Caesar hold a position of equality by his side, yet the design of breaking up the alliance doubtless came only by degrees to be distinctly entertained by him. At any rate the public, which usually saw better through the views and intentions of Pompeius than he did himself, could not be mistaken in thinking that at least with the death of the beautiful Julia— who died in the bloom of womanhood in the autumn of 700 and was soon followed by her only child to the tomb—the personal relation between her father and her husband was broken up. Caesar attempted to re-establish the ties of affinity which fate had severed; he asked for himself the hand of the only daughter of Pompeius, and offered Octavia, his sister's grand-daughter, who was now his nearest relative, in marriage to his fellow-regent; but Pompeius left his daughter to her existing husband Faustus Sulla the son of the regent, and he himself married the daughter of Quintus Metellus Scipio. The personal breach had unmistakeably begun, and it was Pompeius who drew back his hand. It was expected that a political breach would at once follow; but in this people were mistaken; in public affairs a collegiate understanding continued for a time to subsist. The reason was, that Caesar did not wish publicly to dissolve the relation before the subjugation of Gaul was accomplished, and Pompeius did not wish to dissolve it before the governing authorities and Italy should be wholly reduced under his power by his investiture with the dictatorship. It is singular, but yet readily admits of explanation, that the regents under these circumstances supported each other; Pompeius after the disaster of Aduatuca in the winter of 700 handed over one of his Italian legions that were dismissed on furlough by way of loan to Caesar; on the other hand Caesar granted his consent and his moral support to Pompeius in the repressive measures which the latter took against the stubborn republican opposition.

Dictatorship of Pompeius
Covert Attacks by Pompeius on Caesar

It was only after Pompeius had in this way procured for himself at the beginning of 702 the undivided consulship and an influence in the capital thoroughly outweighing that of Caesar, and after all the men capable of arms in Italy had tendered their military oath to himself personally and in his name, that he formed the resolution to break as soon as possible formally with Caesar; and the design became distinctly enough apparent. That the judicial prosecution which took place after the tumult on the Appian Way lighted with unsparing severity precisely on the old democratic partisans of Caesar,(12) might perhaps pass as a mere awkwardness. That the new law against electioneering intrigues, which had retrospective effect as far as 684, included also the dubious proceedings at Caesar's candidature for the consulship,(13) might likewise be nothing more, although not a few Caesarians thought that they perceived in it a definite design. But people could no longer shut their eyes, however willing they might be to do so, when Pompeius did not select for his colleague in the consulship his former father-in-law Caesar, as was fitting in the circumstances of the case and was in many quarters demanded, but associated with himself a puppet wholly dependent on him in his new father-in-law Scipio;(14) and still less, when Pompeius at the same time got the governorship of the two Spains continued to him for five years more, that is to 709, and a considerable fixed sum appropriated from the state-chest for the payment of his troops, not only without stipulating for a like prolongation of command and a like grant of money to Caesar, but even while labouring ulteriorly to effect the recall of Caesar before the term formerly agreed on through the new regulations which were issued at the same time regarding the holding of the governorships. These encroachments were unmistakeably calculated to undermine Caesar's position and eventually to overthrow him. The moment could not be more favourable. Caesar had conceded so much to Pompeius at Luca, only because Crassus and his Syrian army would necessarily, in the event of any rupture with Pompeius, be thrown into Caesar's scale; for upon Crassus—who since the times of Sulla had been at the deepest enmity with Pompeius and almost as long politically and personally allied with Caesar, and who from his peculiar character at all events, if he could not himself be king of Rome, would have been content with being the new king's banker—Caesar could always reckon, and could have no apprehension at all of seeing Crassus confronting him as an ally of his enemies. The catastrophe of June 701, by which army and general in Syria perished, was therefore a terribly severe blow also for Caesar. A few months later the national insurrection blazed up more violently than ever in Gaul, just when it had seemed completely subdued, and for the first time Caesar here encountered an equal opponent in the Arvernian king Vercingetorix. Once more fate had been working for Pompeius; Crassus was dead, all Gaul was in revolt, Pompeius was practically dictator of Rome and master of the senate. What might have happened, if he had now, instead of remotely intriguing against Caesar, summarily compelled the burgesses or the senate to recall Caesar at once from Gaul! But Pompeius never understood how to take advantage of fortune. He heralded the breach clearly enough; already in 702 his acts left no doubt about it, and in the spring of 703 he openly expressed his purpose of breaking with Caesar; but he did not break with him, and allowed the months to slip away unemployed.

The Old Party Names and the Pretenders

But however Pompeius might delay, the crisis was incessantly urged on by the mere force of circumstances.

The impending war was not a struggle possibly between republic and monarchy—for that had been virtually decided years before— but a struggle between Pompeius and Caesar for the possession of the crown of Rome. But neither of the pretenders found his account in uttering the plain truth; he would have thereby driven all that very respectable portion of the burgesses, which desired the continuance of the republic and believed in its possibility, directly into the camp of his opponent. The old battle-cries raised by Gracchus and Drusus, Cinna and Sulla, used up and meaningless as they were, remained still good enough for watchwords in the struggle of the two generals contending for the sole rule; and, though for the moment both Pompeius and Caesar ranked themselves officially with the so-called popular party, it could not be for a moment doubtful that Caesar would inscribe on his banner the people and democratic progress, Pompeius the aristocracy and the legitimate constitution.

The Democracy and Caesar

Caesar had no choice. He was from the outset and very earnestly a democrat; the monarchy as he understood it differed more outwardly than in reality from the Gracchan government of the people; and he was too magnanimous and too profound a statesman to conceal his colours and to fight under any other escutcheon than his own. The immediate advantage no doubt, which this battle-cry brought to him, was trifling; it was confined mainly to the circumstance that he was thereby relieved from the inconvenience of directly naming the kingly office, and so alarming the mass of the lukewarm and his own adherents by that detested word. The democratic banner hardly yielded farther positive gain, since the ideals of Gracchus had been rendered infamous and ridiculous by Clodius; for where was there now—laying aside perhaps the Transpadanes— any class of any sort of importance, which would have been induced by the battle-cries of the democracy to take part in the struggle?

The Aristocracy and Pompeius

This state of things would have decided the part of Pompeius in the impending struggle, even if apart from this it had not been self-evident that he could only enter into it as the general of the legitimate republic. Nature had destined him, if ever any one, to be a member of an aristocracy; and nothing but very accidental and very selfish motives had carried him over as a deserter from the aristocratic to the democratic camp. That he should now revert to his Sullan traditions, was not merely befitting in the case, but in every respect of essential advantage. Effete as was the democratic cry, the conservative cry could not but have the more potent effect, if it proceeded from the right man. Perhaps the majority, at any rate the flower of the burgesses, belonged to the constitutional party; and as respected its numerical and moral strength might well be called to interfere powerfully, perhaps decisively, in the impending struggle of the pretenders. It wanted nothing but a leader. Marcus Cato, its present head, did the duty, as he understood it, of its leader amidst daily peril to his life and perhaps without hope of success; his fidelity to duty deserves respect, but to be the last at a forlorn post is commendable in the soldier, not in the general. He had not the skill either to organize or to bring into action at the proper time the powerful reserve, which had sprung up as it were spontaneously in Italy for the party of the overthrown government; and he had for good reasons never made any pretension to the military leadership, on which everything ultimately depended. If instead of this man, who knew not how to act either as party-chief or as general, a man of the political and military mark of Pompeius should raise the banner of the existing constitution, the municipals of Italy would necessarily flock towards it in crowds, that under it they might help to fight, if not indeed for the kingship of Pompeius, at any rate against the kingship of Caesar.

To this was added another consideration at least as important. It was characteristic of Pompeius, even when he had formed a resolve, not to be able to find his way to its execution. While he knew perhaps how to conduct war but certainly not how to declare it, the Catonian party, although assuredly unable to conduct it, was very able and above all very ready to supply grounds for the war against the monarchy on the point of being founded. According to the intention of Pompeius, while he kept himself aloof, and in his peculiar way, now talked as though he would immediately depart for his Spanish provinces, now made preparations as though he would set out to take over the command on the Euphrates, the legitimate governing board, namely the senate, were to break with Caesar, to declare war against him, and to entrust the conduct of it to Pompeius, who then, yielding to the general desire, was to come forward as the protector of the constitution against demagogico- monarchical plots, as an upright man and champion of the existing order of things against the profligates and anarchists, as the duly-installed general of the senate against the Imperator of the street, and so once more to save his country. Thus Pompeius gained by the alliance with the conservatives both a second army in addition to his personal adherents, and a suitable war-manifesto— advantages which certainly were purchased at the high price of coalescing with those who were in principle opposed to him. Of the countless evils involved in this coalition, there was developed in the meantime only one—but that already a very grave one— that Pompeius surrendered the power of commencing hostilities against Caesar when and how he pleased, and in this decisive point made himself dependent on all the accidents and caprices of an aristocratic corporation.

The Republicans

Thus the republican opposition, after having been for years obliged to rest content with the part of a mere spectator and having hardly ventured to whisper, was now brought back once more to the political stage by the impending rupture between the regents. It consisted primarily of the circle which rallied round Cato— those republicans who were resolved to venture on the struggle for the republic and against the monarchy under all circumstances, and the sooner the better. The pitiful issue of the attempt made in 698(15) had taught them that they by themselves alone were not in a position either to conduct war or even to call it forth; it was known to every one that even in the senate, while the whole corporation with a few isolated exceptions was averse to monarchy, the majority would still only restore the oligarchic government if it might be restored without danger—in which case, doubtless, it had a good while to wait. In presence of the regents on the one hand, and on the other hand of this indolent majority, which desired peace above all things and at any price, and was averse to any decided action and most of all to a decided rupture with one or other of the regents, the only possible course for the Catonian party to obtain a restoration of the old rule lay in a coalition with the less dangerous of the rulers. If Pompeius acknowledged the oligarchic constitution and offered to fight for it against Caesar, the republican opposition might and must recognize him as its general, and in alliance with him compel the timid majority to a declaration of war. That Pompeius was not quite in earnest with his fidelity to the constitution, could indeed escape nobody; but, undecided as he was in everything, he had by no means arrived like Caesar at a clear and firm conviction that it must be the first business of the new monarch to sweep off thoroughly and conclusively the oligarchic lumber. At any rate the war would train a really republican army and really republican generals; and, after the victory over Caesar, they might proceed with more favourable prospects to set aside not merely oneof the monarchs, but the monarchy itself, which was in the course of formation. Desperate as was the cause of the oligarchy, the offer of Pompeius to become its ally was the most favourable arrangement possible for it.

Their League with Pompeius

The conclusion of the alliance between Pompeius and the Catonian party was effected with comparative rapidity. Already during the dictatorship of Pompeius a remarkable approximation had taken place between them. The whole behaviour of Pompeius in the Milonian crisis, his abrupt repulse of the mob that offered him the dictatorship, his distinct declaration that he would accept this office only from the senate, his unrelenting severity against disturbers of the peace of every sort and especially against the ultra-democrats, the surprising complaisance with which he treated Cato and those who shared his views, appeared as much calculated to gain the men of order as they were offensive to the democrat Caesar. On the other hand Cato and his followers, instead of combating with their wonted sternness the proposal to confer the dictatorship on Pompeius, had made it with immaterial alterations of form their own; Pompeius had received the undivided consulship primarily from the hands of Bibulus and Cato. While the Catonian party and Pompeius had thus at least a tacit understanding as early as the beginning of 702, the alliance might be held as formally concluded, when at the consular elections for 703 there was elected not Cato himself indeed, but—along with an insignificant man belonging to the majority of the senate—one of the most decided adherents of Cato, Marcus Claudius Marcellus. Marcellus was no furious zealot and still less a genius, but a steadfast and strict aristocrat, just the right man to declare war if war was to be begun with Caesar. As the case stood, this election, so surprising after the repressive measures adopted immediately before against the republican opposition, can hardly have occurred otherwise than with the consent, or at least under the tacit permission, of the regent of Rome for the time being. Slowly and clumsily, as was his wont, but steadily Pompeius moved onward to the rupture.

Passive Resistance of Caesar

It was not the intention of Caesar on the other hand to fall out at this moment with Pompeius. He could not indeed desire seriously and permanently to share the ruling power with any colleague, least of all with one of so secondary a sort as was Pompeius; and beyond doubt he had long resolved after terminating the conquest of Gaul to take the sole power for himself, and in case of need to extort it by force of arms. But a man like Caesar, in whom the officer was thoroughly subordinate to the statesman, could not fail to perceive that the regulation of the political organism by force of arms does in its consequences deeply and often permanently disorganize it; and therefore he could not but seek to solve the difficulty, if at all possible, by peaceful means or at least without open civil war. But even if civil war was not to be avoided, he could not desire to be driven to it at a time, when in Gaul the rising of Vercingetorix imperilled afresh all that had been obtained and occupied him without interruption from the winter of 701-702 to the winter of 702-703, and when Pompeius and the constitutional party opposed to him on principle were dominant in Italy. Accordingly he sought to preserve the relation with Pompeius and thereby the peace unbroken, and to attain, if at all possible, by peaceful means to the consulship for 706 already assured to him at Luca. If he should then after a conclusive settlement of Celtic affairs be placed in a regular manner at the head of the state, he, who was still more decidedly superior to Pompeius as a statesman than as a general, might well reckon on outmanoeuvring the latter in the senate-house and in the Forum without special difficulty. Perhaps it was possible to find out for his awkward, vacillating, and arrogant rival some sort of honourable and influential position, in which the latter might be content to sink into a nullity; the repeated attempts of Caesar to keep himself related by marriage to Pompeius, may have been designed to pave the way for such a solution and to bring about a final settlement of the old quarrel through the succession of offspring inheriting the blood of both competitors. The republican opposition would then remain without a leader and therefore probably quiet, and peace would be preserved. If this should not be successful, and if there should be, as was certainly possible, a necessity for ultimately resorting to the decision of arms, Caesar would then as consul in Rome dispose of the compliant majority of the senate; and he could impede or perhaps frustrate the coalition of the Pompeians and the republicans, and conduct the war far more suitably and more advantageously, than if he now as proconsul of Gaul gave orders to march against the senate and its general. Certainly the success of this plan depended on Pompeius being good- natured enough to let Caesar still obtain the consulship for 706 assured to him at Luca; but, even if it failed, it would be always of advantage for Caesar to have given practical and repeated evidence of the most yielding disposition. On the one hand time would thus be gained for attaining his object meanwhile in Gaul; on the other hand his opponents would be left with the odium of initiating the rupture and consequently the civil war— which was of the utmost moment for Caesar with reference to the majority of the senate and the party of material interests, and more especially with reference to his own soldiers.

On these views he acted. He armed certainly; the number of his legion was raised through new levies in the winter of 702-703 to eleven, including that borrowed from Pompeius. But at the same time he expressly and openly approved of Pompeius' conduct during the dictatorship and the restoration of order in the capital which he had effected, rejected the warnings of officious friends as calumnies, reckoned every day by which he succeeded in postponing the catastrophe a gain, overlooked whatever could be overlooked and bore whatever could be borne— immoveably adhering only to the one decisive demand that, when his governorship of Gaul came to an end with 705, the second consulship, admissible by republican state-law and promised to him according to agreement by his colleague, should be granted to him for the year 706.

Preparation for Attacks on Caesar

This very demand became the battle-field of the diplomatic war which now began. If Caesar were compelled either to resign his office of governor before the last day of December 705, or to postpone the assumption of the magistracy in the capital beyond the 1st January 706, so that he should remain for a time between the governorship and the consulate without office, and consequently liable to criminal impeachment—which according to Roman law was only allowable against one who was not in office— the public had good reason to prophesy for him in this case the fate of Milo, because Cato had for long been ready to impeach him and Pompeius was a more than doubtful protector.

Attempt to Keep Caesar Out of the Consulship

Now, to attain that object, Caesar's opponents had a very simple means. According to the existing ordinance as to elections, every candidate for the consulship was obliged to announce himself personally to the presiding magistrate, and to cause his name to be inscribed on the official list of candidates before the election, that is half a year before entering on office. It had probably been regarded in the conferences at Luca as a matter of course that Caesar would be released from this obligation, which was purely formal and was very often dispensed with; but the decree to that effect had not yet been issued, and, as Pompeius was now in possession of the decretive machinery, Caesar depended in this respect on the good will of his rival. Pompeius incomprehensibly abandoned of his own accord this completely secure position; with his consen and during his dictatorship (702) the personal appearance of Caesar was dispensed with by a tribunician law. When however soon afterwards the new election-ordinance(16) was issued, the obligation of candidates personally to enrol themselves was repeated in general terms, and no sort of exception was added in favour of those released from it by earlier resolutions of the people; according to strict form the privilege granted in favour of Caesar was cancelled by the later general law. Caesar complained, and the clause was subsequently appended but not confirmed by special decree of the people, so that this enactment inserted by mere interpolation in the already promulgated law could only be looked on de jure as a nullity. Where Pompeius, therefore, might have simply kept by the law, he had preferred first to make a spontaneous concession, then to recall it, and lastly to cloak this recall in a manner most disloyal.

Attempt to Shorten Caesar's Governorship

While in this way the shortening of Caesar's governorship was only aimed at indirectly, the regulations issued at the same time as to the governorships sought the same object directly. The ten years for which the governorship had been secured to Caesar, in the last instance through the law proposed by Pompeius himself in concert with Crassus, ran according to the usual mode of reckoning from 1 March 695 to the last day of February 705. As, however, according to the earlier practice, the proconsul or propraetor had the right of entering on his provincial magistracy immediately after the termination of his consulship or praetorship, the successor of Caesar was to be nominated, not from the urban magistrates of 704, but from those of 705, and could not therefore enter before 1st Jan. 706. So far Caesar had still during the last ten months of the year 705 a right to the command, not on the ground of the Pompeio-Licinian law, but on the ground of the old rule that a command with a set term still continued after the expiry of the term up to the arrival of the successor. But now, since the new regulation of 702 called to the governorships not the consuls and praetors going out, but those who had gone out five years ago or more, and thus prescribed an interval between the civil magistracy and the command instead of the previous immediate sequence, there was no longer any difficulty in straightway filling up from another quarter every legally vacant governorship, and so, in the case in question, bringing about for the Gallic provinces the change of command on the 1st March 705, instead of the 1st Jan. 706. The pitiful dissimulation and procrastinating artifice of Pompeius are after a remarkable manner mixed up, in these arrangements, with the wily formalism and the constitutional erudition of the republican party. Years before these weapons of state-law could be employed, they had them duly prepared, and put themselves in a condition on the one hand to compel Caesar to the resignation of his command from the day when the term secured to him by Pompeius' own law expired, that is from the 1st March 705, by sending successors to him, and on the other hand to be able to treat as null and void the votes tendered for him at the elections for 706. Caesar, not in a position to hinder these moves in the game, kept silence and left things to their own course.

Debates as to Caesar's Recall

Gradually therefore the slow course of constitutional procedure developed itself. According to custom the senate had to deliberate on the governorships of the year 705, so far as they went to former consuls, at the beginning of 703, so far as they went to former praetors, at the beginning of 704; that earlier deliberation gave the first occasion to discuss the nomination of new governors for the two Gauls in the senate, and thereby the first occasion for open collision between the constitutional party pushed forward by Pompeius and the senatorial supporters of Caesar. The consul Marcus Marcellus introduced a proposal to give the two provinces hitherto administered by the proconsul Gaius Caesar from the 1st March 705 to the two consulars who were to be provided with governorships for that year. The long-repressed indignation burst forth in a torrent through the sluice once opened; everything that the Catonians were meditating against Caesar was brought forward in these discussions. For them it was a settled point, that the right granted by exceptional law to the proconsul Caesar of announcing his candidature for the consulship in absence had been again cancelled by a subsequent decree of the people, and that the reservation inserted in the latter was invalid. The senate should in their opinion cause this magistrate, now that the subjugation of Gaul was ended, to discharge immediately the soldiers who had served out their time. The cases in which Caesar had bestowed burgess-rights and established colonies in Upper Italy were described by them as unconstitutional and null; in further illustration of which Marcellus ordained that a respected senator of the Caesarian colony of Comum, who, even if that place had not burgess but only Latin rights, was entitled to lay claim to Roman citizenship,(17) should receive the punishment of scourging, which was admissible only in the case of non-burgesses.

The supporters of Caesar at this time—among whom Gaius Vibius Pansa, who was the son of a man proscribed by Sulla but yet had entered on a political career, formerly an officer in Caesar's army and in this year tribune of the people, was the most notable— affirmed in the senate that both the state of things in Gaul and equity demanded not only that Caesar should not be recalled before the time, but that he should be allowed to retain the command along with the consulship; and they pointed beyond doubt to the facts, that a few years previously Pompeius had just in the same way combined the Spanish governorships with the consulate, that even at the present time, besides the important office of superintending the supply of food to the capital, he held the supreme command in Italy in addition to the Spanish, and that in fact the whole men capable of arms had been sworn in by him and had not yet been released from their oath.

The process began to take shape, but its course was not on that account more rapid. The majority of the senate, seeing the breach approaching, allowed no sitting capable of issuing a decree to take place for months; and other months in their turn were lost over the solemn procrastination of Pompeius. At length the latter broke the silence and ranged himself, in a reserved and vacillating fashion as usual but yet plainly enough, on the side of the constitutional party against his former ally. He summarily and abruptly rejected the demand of the Caesarians that their master should be allowed to conjoin the consulship and the proconsulship; this demand, he added with blunt coarseness, seemed to him no better than if a son should offer to flog his father. He approved in principle the proposal of Marcellus, in so far as he too declared that he would not allow Caesar directly to attach the consulship to the pro-consulship. He hinted, however, although without making any binding declaration on the point, that they would perhaps grant to Caesar admission to the elections for 706 without requiring his personal announcement, as well as the continuance of his governorship at the utmost to the 13th Nov. 705. But in the meantime the incorrigible procrastinator consented to the postponement of the nomination of successors to the last day of Feb. 704, which was asked by the representatives of Caesar, probably on the ground of a clause of the Pompeio-Licinian law forbidding any discussion in the senate as to the nomination of successors before the beginning of Caesar's last year of office.

In this sense accordingly the decrees of the senate were issued (29 Sept. 703). The filling up of the Gallic governorships was placed in the order of the day for the 1st March 704; but even now it was attempted to break up the army of Caesar—just as had formerly been done by decree of the people with the army of Lucullus(18)— by inducing his veterans to apply to the senate for their discharge. Caesar's supporters effected, indeed, as far as they constitutionally could, the cancelling of these decrees by their tribunician veto; but Pompeius very distinctly declared that the magistrates were bound unconditionally to obey the senate, and that intercessions and similar antiquated formalities would produce no change. The oligarchical party, whose organ Pompeius now made himself, betrayed not obscurely the design, in the event of a victory, of revising the constitution in their sense and removing everything which had even the semblance of popular freedom; as indeed, doubtless for this reason, it omitted to avail itself of the comitia at all in its attacks directed against Caesar. The coalition between Pompeius and the constitutional party was thus formally declared; sentence too was already evidently passed on Caesar, and the term of its promulgation was simply postponed. The elections for the following year proved thoroughly adverse to him.

Counter-Arrangements of Caesar

During these party manoeuvres of his antagonists preparatory to war, Caesar had succeeded in getting rid of the Gallic insurrection and restoring the state of peace in the whole subject territory. As early as the summer of 703, under the convenient pretext of defending the frontier(19) but evidently in token of the fact that the legions in Gaul were now beginning to be no longer needed there, he moved one of them to North Italy. He could not avoid perceiving now at any rate, if not earlier, that he would not be spared the necessity of drawing the sword against his fellow- citizens; nevertheless, as it was highly desirable to leave the legions still for a time in the barely pacified Gaul, he sought even yet to procrastinate, and, well acquainted with the extreme love of peace in the majority of the senate, did not abandon the hope of still restraining them from the declaration of war in spite of the pressure exercised over them by Pompeius. He did not even hesitate to make great sacrifices, if only he might avoid for the present open variance with the supreme governing board. When the senate (in the spring of 704) at the suggestion of Pompeius requested both him and Caesar to furnish each a legion for the impending Parthian war(20) and when agreeably to this resolution Pompeius demanded back from Caesar the legion lent to him some years before, so as to send it to Syria, Caesar complied with the double demand, because neither the opportuneness of this decree of the senate nor the justice of the demand of Pompeius could in themselves be disputed, and the keeping within the bounds of the law and of formal loyalty was of more consequence to Caesar than a few thousand soldiers. The two legions came without delay and placed themselves at the disposal of the government, but instead of sending them to the Euphrates, the latter kept them at Capua in readiness for Pompeius; and the public had once more the opportunity of comparing the manifest endeavours of Caesar to avoid a rupture with the perfidious preparation for war by his opponents.


For the discussions with the senate Caesar had succeeded in purchasing not only one of the two consuls of the year, Lucius Aemilius Paullus, but above all the tribune of the people Gaius Curio, probably the most eminent among the many profligate men of parts in this epoch;(21) unsurpassed in refined elegance, in fluent and clever oratory, in dexterity of intrigue, and in that energy which in the case of vigorous but vicious characters bestirs itself only the more powerfully amid the pauses of idleness; but also unsurpassed in his dissolute life, in his talent for borrowing— his debts were estimated at 60,000,000 sesterces (600,000 pounds)— and in his moral and political want of principle. He had previously offered himself to be bought by Caesar and had been rejected; the talent, which he thenceforward displayed in his attacks on Caesar, induced the latter subsequently to buy him up—the price was high, but the commodity was worth the money.

Debates as to the Recall of Caesar and Pompeius

Curio had in the first months of his tribunate of the people played the independent republican, and had as such thundered both against Caesar and against Pompeius. He availed himself with rare skill of the apparently impartial position which this gave him, when in March 704 the proposal as to the filling up of the Gallic governorships for the next year came up afresh for discussion in the senate; he completely approved the decree, but asked that it should be at the same time extended to Pompeius and his extraordinary commands. His arguments—that a constitutional state of things could only be brought about by the removal of all exceptional positions, that Pompeius as merely entrusted by the senate with the proconsulship could still less than Caesar refuse obedience to it, that the one-sided removal of one of the two generals would only increase the danger to the constitution— carried complete conviction to superficial politicians and to the public at large; and the declaration of Curio, that he intended to prevent any onesided proceedings against Caesar by the veto constitutionally belonging to him, met with much approval in and out of the senate. Caesar declared his consent at once to Curio's proposal and offered to resign his governorship and command at any moment on the summons of the senate, provided Pompeius would do the same; he might safely do so, for Pompeius without his Italo-Spanish command was no longer formidable. Pompeius again for that very reason could not avoid refusing; his reply—that Caesar must first resign, and that he meant speedily to follow the example thus set— was the less satisfactory, that he did not even specify a definite term for his retirement. Again the decision was delayed for months; Pompeius and the Catonians, perceiving the dubious humour of the majority of the senate, did not venture to bring Curio's proposal to a vote. Caesar employed the summer in establishing the state of peace in the regions which he had conquered, in holding a great review of his troops on the Scheldt, and in making a triumphal march through the province of North Italy, which was entirely devoted to him; autumn found him in Ravenna, the southern frontier-town of his province.

Caesar and Pompeius Both Recalled

The vote which could no longer be delayed on Curio's proposal at length took place, and exhibited the defeat of the party of Pompeius and Cato in all its extent. By 370 votes against 20 the senate resolved that the proconsuls of Spain and Gaul should both be called upon to resign their offices; and with boundless joy the good burgesses of Rome heard the glad news of the saving achievement of Curio. Pompeius was thus recalled by the senate no less than Caesar, and while Caesar was ready to comply with the command, Pompeius positively refused obedience. The presiding consul Gaius Marcellus, cousin of Marcus Marcellus and like the latter belonging to the Catonian party, addressed a severe lecture to the servile majority; and it was, no doubt, vexatious to be thus beaten in their own camp and beaten by means of a phalanx of poltroons. But where was victory to come from under a leader, who, instead of shortly and distinctly dictating his orders to the senators, resorted in his old days a second time to the instructions of a professor of rhetoric, that with eloquence polished up afresh he might encounter the youthful vigour and brilliant talents of Curio?

Declaration of War

The coalition, defeated in the senate, was in the most painful position. The Catonian section had undertaken to push matters to a rupture and to carry the senate along with them, and now saw their vessel stranded after a most vexatious manner on the sandbanks of the indolent majority. Their leaders had to listen in their conferences to the bitterest reproaches from Pompeius; he pointed out emphatically and with entire justice the dangers of the seeming peace; and, though it depended on himself alone to cut the knot by rapid action, his allies knew very well that they could never expect this from him, and that it was for them, as they had promised, to bring matters to a crisis. After the champions of the constitution and of senatorial government had already declared the constitutional rights of the burgesses and of the tribunes of the people to be meaningless formalities,(22) they now found themselves driven by necessity to treat the constitutional decision; of the senate itself in a similar manner and, as the legitimate government would not let itself be saved with its own consent, to save it against its will. This was neither new nor accidental; Sulla(23) and Lucullus(24) had been obliged to carry every energetic resolution conceived by them in the true interest of the government with a high hand irrespective of it, just as Cato and his friends now proposed to do; the machinery of the constitution was in fact utterly effete, and the senate was now—as the comitia had been for centuries—nothing but a worn-out wheel slipping constantly out of its track.

It was rumoured (Oct. 704) that Caesar had moved four legions from Transalpine into Cisalpine Gaul and stationed them at Placentia. This transference of troops was of itself within the prerogative of the governor; Curio moreover palpably showed in the senate the utter groundlessness of the rumour; and they by a majority rejected the proposal of the consul Gaius Marcellus to give Pompeius on the strength of it orders to march against Caesar. Yet the said consul, in concert with the two consuls elected for 705 who likewise belonged to the Catonian party, proceeded to Pompeius, and these three men by virtue of their own plenitude of power requested the general to put himself at the head of the two legions stationed at Capua, and to call the Italian militia to arms at his discretion. A more informal authorization for the commencement of a civil war can hardly be conceived; but people had no longer time to attend to such secondary matters; Pompeius accepted it. The military preparations, the levies began; in order personally to forward them, Pompeius left the capital in December 704.

The Ultimatum of Caesar

Caesar had completely attained the object of devolving the initiative of civil war on his opponents. He had, while himself keeping on legal ground, compelled Pompeius to declare war, and to declare it not as representative of the legitimate authority, but as general of an openly revolutionary minority of the senate which overawed the majority. This result was not to be reckoned of slight importance, although the instinct of the masses could not and did not deceive itself for a moment as to the fact that the war concerned other things than questions of formal law. Now, when war was declared, it was Caesar's interest to strike a blow as soon as possible. The preparations of his opponents were just beginning and even the capital was not occupied. In ten or twelve days an army three times as strong as the troops of Caesar that were in Upper Italy could be collected at Rome; but still it was not impossible to surprise the city undefended, or even perhaps by a rapid winter campaign to seize all Italy, and to shut off the best resources of his opponents before they could make them available. The sagacious and energetic Curio, who after resigning his tribunate (10 Dec. 704) had immediately gone to Caesar at Ravenna, vividly represented the state of things to his master; and it hardly needed such a representation to convince Caesar that longer delay now could only be injurious. But, as he with the view of not giving his antagonists occasion to complain had hitherto brought no troops to Ravenna itself, he could for the present do nothing but despatch orders to his whole force to set out with all haste; and he had to wait till at least the one legion stationed in Upper Italy reached Ravenna. Meanwhile he sent an ultimatum to Rome, which, if useful for nothing else, by its extreme submissiveness still farther compromised his opponents in public opinion, and perhaps even, as he seemed himself to hesitate, induced them to prosecute more remissly their preparations against him. In this ultimatum Caesar dropped all the counter-demands which he formerly made on Pompeius, and offered on his own part both to resign the governorship of Transalpine Gaul, and to dismiss eight of the ten legions belonging to him, at the term fixed by the senate; he declared himself content, if the senate would leave him either the governorship of Cisalpine Gaul and Illyria with one, or that of Cisalpine Gaul alone with two, legions, not, forsooth, up to his investiture with the consulship, but till after the close of the consular elections for 706. He thus consented to those proposals of accommodation, with which at the beginning of the discussions the senatorial party and even Pompeius himself had declared that they would be satisfied, and showed himself ready to remain in a private position from his election to the consulate down to his entering on office. Whether Caesar was in earnest with these astonishing concessions and had confidence that he should be able to carry through his game against Pompeius even after granting so much, or whether he reckoned that those on the other side had already gone too far to find in these proposals of compromise more than a proof that Caesar regarded his cause itself as lost, can no longer be with certainty determined. The probability is, that Caesar committed the fault of playing a too bold game, far worse rather than the fault of promising something which he was not minded to perform; and that, if strangely enough his proposals had been accepted, he would have made good his word.

Last Debate in the Senate

Curio undertook once more to represent his master in the lion's den. In three days he made the journey from Ravenna to Rome. When the new consuls Lucius Lentulus and Gaius Marcellus the younger(25) assembled the senate for the first time on 1 Jan. 705, he delivered in a full meeting the letter addressed by the general to the senate. The tribunes of the people, Marcus Antonius well known in the chronicle of scandal of the city as the intimate friend of Curio and his accomplice in all his follies, but at the same time known from the Egyptian and Gallic campaigns as a brilliant cavalry officer, and Quintus Cassius, Pompeius' former quaestor,—the two, who were now in Curio's stead managing the cause of Caesar in Rome— insisted on the immediate reading of the despatch. The grave and clear words in which Caesar set forth the imminence of civil war, the general wish for peace, the arrogance of Pompeius, and his own yielding disposition, with all the irresistible force of truth; the proposals for a compromise, of a moderation which doubtless surprised his own partisans; the distinct declaration that this was the last time that he should offer his hand for peace— made the deepest impression. In spite of the dread inspired by the numerous soldiers of Pompeius who flocked into the capital, the sentiment of the majority was not doubtful; the consuls could not venture to let it find expression. Respecting the proposal renewed by Caesar that both generals might be enjoined to resign their commands simultaneously, respecting all the projects of accommodation suggested by his letter, and respecting the proposal made by Marcus Coelius Rufus and Marcus Calidius that Pompeius should be urged immediately to depart for Spain, the consuls refused— as they in the capacity of presiding officers were entitled to do— to let a vote take place. Even the proposal of one of their most decided partisans who was simply not so blind to the military position of affairs as his party, Marcus Marcellus—to defer the determination till the Italian levy en masse could be under arms and could protect the senate—was not allowed to be brought to a vote. Pompeius caused it to be declared through his usual organ, Quintus Scipio, that he was resolved to take up the cause of the senate now or never, and that he would let it drop if they longer delayed. The consul Lentulus said in plain terms that even the decree of the senate was no longer of consequence, and that, if it should persevere in its servility, he would act of himself and with his powerful friends take the farther steps necessary. Thus overawed, the majority decreed what was commanded— that Caesar should at a definite and not distant day give up Transalpine Gaul to Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, and Cisalpine Gaul to Marcus Servilius Nonianus, and should dismiss his army, failing which he should be esteemed a traitor. When the tribunes of Caesar's party made use of their right of veto against this resolution, not only were they, as they at least asserted, threatened in the senate-house itself by the swords of Pompeian soldiers, and forced, in order to save their lives, to flee in slaves' clothing from the capital; but the now sufficiently overawed senate treated their formally quite constitutional interference as an attempt at revolution, declared the country in danger, and in the usual forms called the whole burgesses to take up arms, and all magistrates faithful to the constitution to place themselves at the head of the armed (7 Jan. 705).

Caesar Marches into Italy

Now it was enough. When Caesar was informed by the tribunes who had fled to his camp entreating protection as to the reception which his proposals had met with in the capital, he called together the soldiers of the thirteenth legion, which had meanwhile arrived from its cantonments near Tergeste (Trieste) at Ravenna, and unfolded before them the state of things. It was not merely the man of genius versed in the knowledge and skilled in the control of men's hearts, whose brilliant eloquence shone forth and glowed in this agitating crisis of his own and the world's destiny; nor merely the generous commander-in-chief and the victorious general, addressing soldiers, who had been called by himself to arms and for eight years had followed his banners with daily-increasing enthusiasm. There spoke, above all, the energetic and consistent statesman, who had now for nine-and-twenty years defended the cause of freedom in good and evil times; who had braved for it the daggers of assassins and the executioners of the aristocracy, the swords of the Germans and the waves of the unknown ocean, without ever yielding or wavering; who had torn to pieces the Sullan constitution, had overthrown the rule of the senate, and had furnished the defenceless and unarmed democracy with protection and with arms by means of the struggle beyond the Alps. And he spoke, not to the Clodian public whose republican enthusiasm had been long burnt down to ashes and dross, but to the young men from the towns and villages of Northern Italy, who still felt freshly and purely the mighty influence of the thought of civic freedom; who were still capable of fighting and of dying for ideals; who had themselves received for their country in a revolutionary way from Caesar the burgess-rights which the government refused to them; whom Caesar's fall would leave once more at the mercy of the -fasces-, and who already possessed practical proofs(26) of the inexorable use which the oligarchy proposed to make of these against the Transpadanes. Such were the listeners before whom such an orator set forth the facts— the thanks for the conquest of Gaul which the nobility were preparing for the general and his army; the contemptuous setting aside of the comitia; the overawing of the senate; the sacred duty of protecting with armed hand the tribunate of the people wrested five hundred years ago by their fathers arms in hand from the nobility, and of keeping the ancient oath which these had taken for themselves as for their children's children that they would man by man stand firm even to death for the tribunes of the people.(27) And then, when he— the leader and general of the popular party—summoned the soldiers of the people, now that conciliatory means had been exhausted and concession had reached its utmost limits, to follow him in the last, the inevitable, the decisive struggle against the equally hated and despised, equally perfidious and incapable, and in fact ludicrously incorrigible aristocracy—there was not an officer or a soldier who could hold back. The order was given for departure; at the head of his vanguard Caesar crossed the narrow brook which separated his province from Italy, and which the constitution forbade the proconsul of Gaul to pass. When after nine years' absence he trod once more the soil of his native land, he trod at the same time the path of revolution. "The die was cast."

Chapter X

Brundisium, Ilerda, Pharsalus, and Thapsus

The Resources on Either Side

Arms were thus to decide which of the two men who had hitherto jointly ruled Rome was now to be its first sole ruler. Let us see what were the comparative resources at the disposal of Caesar and Pompeius for the waging of the impending war.

Caesar's Absolute Power within His Party

Caesar's power rested primarily on the wholly unlimited authority which he enjoyed within his party. If the ideas of democracy and of monarchy met together in it, this was not the result of a coalition which had been accidentally entered into and might be accidentally dissolved; on the contrary it was involved in the very essence of a democracy without a representative constitution, that democracy and monarchy should find in Caesar at once their highest and ultimate expression. In political as in military matters throughout the first and the final decision lay with Caesar. However high the honour in which he held any serviceable instrument, it remained an instrument still; Caesar stood, in his own party without confederates, surrounded only by military-political adjutants, who as a rule had risen from the army and as soldiers were trained never to ask the reason and purpose of any thing, but unconditionally to obey. On this account especially, at the decisive moment when the civil war began, of all the officers and soldiers of Caesar one alone refused him obedience; and the circumstance that that one was precisely the foremost of them all, serves simply to confirm this view of the relation of Caesar to his adherents.


Titus Labienus had shared with Caesar all the troubles of the dark times of Catilina(1) as well as all the lustre of the Gallic career of victory, had regularly held independent command, and frequently led half the army; as he was the oldest, ablest, and most faithful of Caesar's adjutants, he was beyond question also highest in position and highest in honour. As late as in 704 Caesar had entrusted to him the supreme command in Cisalpine Gaul, in order partly to put this confidential post into safe hands, partly to forward the views of Labienus in his canvass for the consulship. But from this very position Labienus entered into communication with the opposite party, resorted at the beginning of hostilities in 705 to the headquarters of Pompeius instead of those of Caesar, and fought through the whole civil strife with unparalleled bitterness against his old friend and master in war. We are not sufficiently informed either as to the character of Labienus or as to the special circumstances of his changing sides; but in the main his case certainly presents nothing but a further proof of the fact, that a military chief can reckon far more surely on his captains than on his marshals. To all appearance Labienus was one of those persons who combine with military efficiency utter incapacity as statesmen, and who in consequence, if they unhappily choose or are compelled to take part in politics, are exposed to those strange paroxysms of giddiness, of which the history of Napoleon's marshals supplies so many tragi-comic examples. He may probably have held himself entitled to rank alongside of Caesar as the second chief of the democracy; and the rejection of this claim of his may have sent him over to the camp of his opponents. His case rendered for the first time apparent the whole gravity of the evil, that Caesar's treatment of his officers as adjutants without independence admitted of the rise of no men fitted to undertake a separate command in his camp, while at the same time he stood urgently in need of such men amidst the diffusion—which might easily be foreseen—of the impending struggle through all the provinces of the wide empire. But this disadvantage was far outweighed by that unity in the supreme leadership, which was the primary condition of all success, and a condition only to be preserved at such a cost.

Caesar's Army

This unity of leadership acquired its full power through the efficiency of its instruments. Here the army comes, first of all, into view. It still numbered nine legions of infantry or at the most 50,000 men, all of whom however had faced the enemy and two-thirds had served in all the campaigns against the Celts. The cavalry consisted of German and Noric mercenaries, whose usefulness and trustworthiness had been proved in the war against Vercingetorix. The eight years' warfare, full of varied vicissitudes, against the Celtic nation—which was brave, although in a military point of view decidedly inferior to the Italian—had given Caesar the opportunity of organizing his army as he alone knew how to organize it. The whole efficiency of the soldier presupposes physical vigour; in Caesar's levies more regard was had to the strength and activity of the recruits than to their means or their morals. But the serviceableness of an army, like that of any other machine, depends above all on the ease and quickness of its movements; the soldiers of Caesar attained a perfection rarely reached and probably never surpassed in their readiness for immediate departure at any time, and in the rapidity of their marching. Courage, of course, was valued above everything; Caesar practised with unrivalled mastery the art of stimulating martial emulation and the esprit de corps, so that the pre-eminence accorded to particular soldiers and divisions appeared even to those who were postponed as the necessary hierarchy of valour. He weaned his men from fear by not unfrequently—where it could be done without serious danger—keeping his soldiers in ignorance of an approaching conflict, and allowing them to encounter the enemy unexpectedly. But obedience was on a parity with valour. The soldier was required to do what he was bidden, without asking the reason or the object; many an aimless fatigue was imposed on him solely as a training in the difficult art of blind obedience. The discipline was strict but not harassing; it was exercised with unrelenting vigour when the soldier was in presence of the enemy; at other times, especially after victory, the reins were relaxed, and if an otherwise efficient soldier was then pleased to indulge in perfumery or to deck himself with elegant arms and the like, or even if he allowed himself to be guilty of outrages or irregularities of a very questionable kind, provided only his military duties were not immediately affected, the foolery and the crime were allowed to pass, and the general lent a deaf ear to the complaints of the provincials on such points. Mutiny on the other hand was never pardoned, either in the instigators, or even in the guilty corps itself.

But the true soldier ought to be not merely capable, brave, and obedient, he ought to be all this willingly and spontaneously; and it is the privilege of gifted natures alone to induce the animated machine which they govern to a joyful service by means of example and of hope, and especially by the consciousness of being turned to befitting use. As the officer, who would demand valour from his troops, must himself have looked danger in the face with them, Caesar had even when general found opportunity of drawing his sword and had then used it like the best; in activity, moreover, and fatigue he was constantly far more exacting from himself than from his soldiers. Caesar took care that victory, which primarily no doubt brings gain to the general, should be associated also with personal hopes in the minds of the soldiers. We have already mentioned that he knew how to render his soldiers enthusiastic for the cause of the democracy, so far as the times which had become prosaic still admitted of enthusiasm, and that the political equalization of the Transpadane country—the native land of most of his soldiers— with Italy proper was set forth as one of the objects of the struggle.(2) Of course material recompenses were at the same time not wanting— as well special rewards for distinguished feats of arms as general rewards for every efficient soldier; the officers had their portions, the soldiers received presents, and the most lavish gifts were placed in prospect for the triumph.

Above all things Caesar as a true commander understood how to awaken in every single component element, large or small, of the mighty machine the consciousness of its befitting application. The ordinary man is destined for service, and he has no objection to be an instrument, if he feels that a master guides him. Everywhere and at all times the eagle eye of the general rested on the whole army, rewarding and punishing with impartial justice, and directing the action of each towards the course conducive to the good of all: so that there was no experimenting or trifling with the sweat and blood of the humblest, but for that very reason, where it was necessary, unconditional devotion even to death was required. Without allowing each individual to see into the whole springs of action, Caesar yet allowed each to catch such glimpses of the political and military connection of things as to secure that he should be recognized—and it may be idealized—by the soldiers as a statesman and a general. He treated his soldiers throughout, not as his equals, but as men who are entitled to demand and were able to endure the truth, and who had to put faith in the promises and the assurances of their general, without thinking of deception or listening to rumours; as comrades through long years in warfare and victory, among whom there was hardly any one that was not known to him by name and that in the course of so many campaigns had not formed more or less of a personal relation to the general; as good companions, with whom he talked and dealt confidentially and with the cheerful elasticity peculiar to him; as clients, to requite whose services, and to avenge whose wrongs and death, constituted in his view a sacred duty. Perhaps there never was an army which was so perfectly what an army ought to be—a machine able for its ends and willing for its ends, in the hand of a master, who transfers to it his own elasticity. Caesar's soldiers were, and felt themselves, a match for a tenfold superior force; in connection with which it should not be overlooked, that under the Roman tactics—calculated altogether for hand-to-hand conflict and especially for combat with the sword—the practised Roman soldier was superior to the novice in a far higher degree than is now the case under the circumstances of modern times.(3) But still more than by the superiority of valour the adversaries of Caesar felt themselves humbled by the unchangeable and touching fidelity with which his soldiers clung to their general. It is perhaps without a parallel in history, that when the general summoned his soldiers to follow him into the civil war, with the single exception already mentioned of Labienus, no Roman officer and no Roman soldier deserted him. The hopes of his opponents as to an extensive desertion were thwarted as ignominiously as the former attempts to break up his army like that of Lucullus.(4) Labienus himself appeared in the camp of Pompeius with a band doubtless of Celtic and German horsemen but without a single legionary. Indeed the soldiers, as if they would show that the war was quite as much their matter as that of their general, settled among themselves that they would give credit for the pay, which Caesar had promised to double for them at the outbreak of the civil war, to their commander up to its termination, and would meanwhile support their poorer comrades from the general means; besides, every subaltern officer equipped and paid a trooper out of his own purse.

Field of Caesar's Power
Upper Italy

While Caesar thus had the one thing which was needful— unlimited political and military authority and a trustworthy army ready for the fight—his power extended, comparatively speaking, over only a very limited space. It was based essentially on the province of Upper Italy. This region was not merely the most populous of all the districts of Italy, but also devoted to the cause of the democracy as its own. The feeling which prevailed there is shown by the conduct of a division of recruits from Opitergium (Oderzo in the delegation of Treviso), which not long after the outbreak of the war in the Illyrian waters, surrounded on a wretched raft by the war-vessels of the enemy, allowed themselves to be shot at during the whole day down to sunset without surrendering, and, such of them as had escaped the missiles, put themselves to death with their own hands during the following night. It is easy to conceive what might be expected of such a population. As they had already granted to Caesar the means of more than doubling his original army, so after the outbreak of the civil war recruits presented themselves in great numbers for the ample levies that were immediately instituted.


In Italy proper, on the other hand, the influence of Caesar was not even remotely to be compared to that of his opponents. Although he had the skill by dexterous manoeuvres to put the Catonian party in the wrong, and had sufficiently commended the rectitude of his cause to all who wished for a pretext with a good conscience either to remain neutral, like the majority of the senate, or to embrace his side, like his soldiers and the Transpadanes, the mass of the burgesses naturally did not allow themselves to be misled by these things and, when the commandant of Gaul put his legions in motion against Rome, they beheld—despite all formal explanations as to law—in Cato and Pompeius the defenders of the legitimate republic, in Caesar the democratic usurper. People in general moreover expected from the nephew of Marius, the son-in-law of Cinna, the ally of Catilina, a repetition of the Marian and Cinnan horrors, a realization of the saturnalia of anarchy projected by Catilina; and though Caesar certainly gained allies through this expectation— so that the political refugees immediately put themselves in a body at his disposal, the ruined men saw in him their deliverer, and the lowest ranks of the rabble in the capital and country towns were thrown into a ferment on the news of his advance,—these belonged to the class of friends who are more dangerous than foes.


In the provinces and the dependent states Caesar had even less influence than in Italy. Transalpine Gaul indeed as far as the Rhine and the Channel obeyed him, and the colonists of Narbo as well as the Roman burgesses elsewhere settled in Gaul were devoted to him; but in the Narbonese province itself the constitutional party had numerous adherents, and now even the newly-conquered regions were far more a burden than a benefit to Caesar in the impending civil war; in fact, for good reasons he made no use of the Celtic infantry at all in that war, and but sparing use of the cavalry. In the other provinces and the neighbouring half or wholly independent states Caesar had indeed attempted to procure for himself support, had lavished rich presents on the princes, caused great buildings to be executed in various towns, and granted to them in case of need financial and military assistance; but on the whole, of course, not much had been gained by this means, and the relations with the German and Celtic princes in the regions of the Rhine and the Danube,—particularly the connection with the Noric king Voccio, so important for the recruiting of cavalry,—were probably the only relations of this sort which were of any moment for him.

The Coalition

While Caesar thus entered the struggle only as commandant of Gaul, without other essential resources than efficient adjutants, a faithful army, and a devoted province, Pompeius began it as de facto supreme head of the Roman commonwealth, and in full possession of all the resources that stood at the disposal of the legitimate government of the great Roman empire. But while his position was in a political and military point of view far more considerable, it was also on the other hand far less definite and firm. The unity of leadership, which resulted of itself and by necessity from the position of Caesar, was inconsistent with the nature of a coalition; and although Pompeius, too much of a soldier to deceive himself as to its being indispensable, attempted to force it on the coalition and got himself nominated by the senate as sole and absolute generalissimo by land and sea, yet the senate itself could not be set aside nor hindered from a preponderating influence on the political, and an occasional and therefore doubly injurious interference with the military, superintendence. The recollection of the twenty years' war waged on both sides with envenomed weapons between Pompeius and the constitutional party; the feeling which vividly prevailed on both sides, and which they with difficulty concealed, that the first consequence of the victory when achieved would be a rupture between the victors; the contempt which they entertained for each other and with only too good grounds in either case; the inconvenient number of respectable and influential men in the ranks of the aristocracy and the intellectual and moral inferiority of almost all who took part in the matter—altogether produced among the opponents of Caesar a reluctant and refractory co-operation, which formed the saddest contrast to the harmonious and compact action on the other side.

Field of Power of the Coalition
Juba of Numidia

While all the disadvantages incident to the coalition of powers naturally hostile were thus felt in an unusual measure by Caesar's antagonists, this coalition was certainly still a very considerable power. It had exclusive command of the sea; all ports, all ships of war, all the materials for equipping a fleet were at its disposal. The two Spains—as it were the home of the power of Pompeius just as the two Gauls were the home of that of Caesar— were faithful adherents to their master and in the hands of able and trustworthy administrators. In the other provinces also, of course with the exception of the two Gauls, the posts of the governors and commanders had during recent years been filled up with safe men under the influence of Pompeius and the minority of the senate. The client-states throughout and with great decision took part against Caesar and in favour of Pompeius. The most important princes and cities had been brought into the closest personal relations with Pompeius in virtue of the different sections of his manifold activity. In the war against the Marians, for instance, he had been the companion in arms of the kings of Numidia and Mauretania and had reestablished the kingdom of the former;(5) in the Mithradatic war, in addition to a number of other minor principalities spiritual and temporal, he had re-established the kingdoms of Bosporus, Armenia, and Cappadocia, and created that of Deiotarus in Galatia;(6) it was primarily at his instigation that the Egyptian war was undertaken, and it was by his adjutant that the rule of the Lagids had been confirmed afresh.(7) Even the city of Massilia in Caesar's own province, while indebted to the latter doubtless for various favours, was indebted to Pompeius at the time of the Sertorian war for a very considerable extension of territory;(8) and, besides, the ruling oligarchy there stood in natural alliance—strengthened by various mutual relations— with the oligarchy in Rome. But these personal and relative considerations as well as the glory of the victor in three continents, which in these more remote parts of the empire far outshone that of the conqueror of Gaul, did perhaps less harm to Caesar in those quarters than the views and designs—which had not remained there unknown—of the heir of Gaius Gracchus as to the necessity of uniting the dependent states and the usefulness of provincial colonizations. No one of the dependent dynasts found himself more imminently threatened by this peril than Juba king of Numidia. Not only had he years before, in the lifetime of his father Hiempsal, fallen into a vehement personal quarrel with Caesar, but recently the same Curio, who now occupied almost the first place among Caesar's adjutants, had proposed to the Roman burgesses the annexation of the Numidian kingdom. Lastly, if matters should go so far as to lead the independent neighbouring states to interfere in the Roman civil war, the only state really powerful, that of the Parthians, was practically already allied with the aristocratic party by the connection entered into between Pacorus and Bibulus,(9) while Caesar was far too much a Roman to league himself for party-interests with the conquerors of his friend Crassus.

Italy against Caesar

As to Italy the great majority of the burgesses were, as has been already mentioned, averse to Caesar—more especially, of course, the whole aristocracy with their very considerable following, but also in a not much less degree the great capitalists, who could not hope in the event of a thorough reform of the commonwealth to preserve their partisan jury-courts and their monopoly of extortion. Of equally anti-democratic sentiments were the small capitalists, the landholders and generally all classes that had anything to lose; but in these ranks of life the cares of the next rent-term and of sowing and reaping outweighed, as a rule, every other consideration.

The Pompeian Army

The army at the disposal of Pompeius consisted chiefly of the Spanish troops, seven legions inured to war and in every respect trustworthy; to which fell to be added the divisions of troops— weak indeed, and very much scattered—which were to be found in Syria, Asia, Macedonia, Africa, Sicily, and elsewhere. In Italy there were under arms at the outset only the two legions recently given off by Caesar, whose effective strength did not amount to more than 7000 men, and whose trustworthiness was more than doubtful, because—levied in Cisalpine Gaul and old comrades in arms of Caesar—they were in a high degree displeased at the unbecoming intrigue by which they had been made to change camps,(10) and recalled with longing their general who had magnanimously paid to them beforehand at their departure the presents which were promised to every soldier for the triumph. But, apart from the circumstance that the Spanish troops might arrive in Italy with the spring either by the land route through Gaul or by sea, the men of the three legions still remaining from the levies of 699,(11) as well as the Italian levy sworn to allegiance in 702,(12) could be recalled from their furlough. Including these, the number of troops standing at the disposal of Pompeius on the whole, without reckoning the seven legions in Spain and those scattered in other provinces, amounted in Italy alone to ten legions(13) or about 60,000 men, so that it was no exaggeration at all, when Pompeius asserted that he had only to stamp with his foot to cover the ground with armed men. It is true that it required some interval—though but short—to render these soldiers available; but the arrangements for this purpose as well as for the carrying out of the new levies ordered by the senate in consequence of the outbreak of the civil war were already everywhere in progress. Immediately after the decisive decree of the senate (7 Jan. 705), in the very depth of winter the most eminent men of the aristocracy set out to the different districts, to hasten the calling up of recruits and the preparation of arms. The want of cavalry was much felt, as for this arm they had been accustomed to rely wholly on the provinces and especially on the Celtic contingents; to make at least a beginning, three hundred gladiators belonging to Caesar were taken from the fencing-schools of Capua and mounted—a step which however met with so general disapproval, that Pompeius again broke up this troop and levied in room of it 300 horsemen from the mounted slave-herdmen of Apulia.

The state-treasury was at a low ebb as usual; they busied themselves in supplementing the inadequate amount of cash out of the local treasuries and even from the temple-treasures of the -municipia-.

Caesar Takes the Offensive

Under these circumstances the war opened at the beginning of January 705. Of troops capable of marching Caesar had not more than a legion—5000 infantry and 300 cavalry—at Ravenna, which was by the highway some 240 miles distant from Rome; Pompeius had two weak legions—7000 infantry and a small squadron of cavalry— under the orders of Appius Claudius at Luceria, from which, likewise by the highway, the distance was just about as great to the capital. The other troops of Caesar, leaving out of account the raw divisions of recruits still in course of formation, were stationed, one half on the Saone and Loire, the other half in Belgica, while Pompeius' Italian reserves were already arriving from all sides at their rendezvous; long before even the first of the Transalpine divisions of Caesar could arrive in Italy, a far superior army could not but be ready to receive it there. It seemed folly, with a band of the strength of that of Catilina and for the moment without any effective reserve, to assume the aggressive against a superior and hourly-increasing army under an able general; but it was a folly in the spirit of Hannibal. If the beginning of the struggle were postponed till spring, the Spanish troops of Pompeius would assume the offensive in Transalpine, and his Italian troops in Cisalpine, Gaul, and Pompeius, a match for Caesar in tactics and superior to him in experience, was a formidable antagonist in such a campaign running its regular course. Now perhaps, accustomed as he was to operate slowly and surely with superior masses, he might be disconcerted by a wholly improvised attack; and that which could not greatly discompose Caesar's thirteenth legion after the severe trial of the Gallic surprise and the January campaign in the land of the Bellovaci,(14)—the suddenness of the war and the toil of a winter campaign—could not but disorganize the Pompeian corps consisting of old soldiers of Caesar or of ill-trained recruits, and still only in the course of formation.

Caesar's Advance

Accordingly Caesar advanced into Italy.(15) Two highways led at that time from the Romagna to the south; the Aemilio-Cassian which led from Bononia over the Apennines to Arretium and Rome, and the Popillio-Flaminian, which led from Ravenna along the coast of the Adriatic to Fanum and was there divided, one branch running westward through the Furlo pass to Rome, another southward to Ancona and thence onward to Apulia. On the former Marcus Antonius advanced as far as Arretium, on the second Caesar himself pushed forward. Resistance was nowhere encountered; the recruiting officers of quality had no military skill, their bands of recruits were no soldiers, the inhabitants of the country towns were only anxious not to be involved in a siege. When Curio with 1500 men approached Iguvium, where a couple of thousand Umbrian recruits had assembled under the praetor Quintus Minucius Thermus, general and soldiers took to flight at the bare tidings of his approach; and similar results on a small scale everywhere ensued.

Rome Evacuated

Caesar had to choose whether he would march against Rome, from which his cavalry at Arretium were already only about 130 miles distant, or against the legions encamped at Luceria. He chose the latter plan. The consternation of the opposite party was boundless. Pompeius received the news of Caesar's advance at Rome; he seemed at first disposed to defend the capital, but, when the tidings arrived of Caesar's entrance into the Picenian territory and of his first successes there, he abandoned Rome and ordered its evacuation. A panic, augmented by the false report that Caesar's cavalry had appeared before the gates, came over the world of quality. The senators, who had been informed that every one who should remain behind in the capital would be treated as an accomplice of the rebel Caesar, flocked in crowds out at the gates. The consuls themselves had so totally lost their senses, that they did not even secure the treasure; when Pompeius called upon them to fetch it, for which there was sufficient time, they returned the reply that they would deem it safer, if he should first occupy Picenum. All was perplexity; consequently a great council of war was held in Teanum Sidicinum (23 Jan.), at which Pompeius, Labienus, and both consuls were present. First of all proposals of accommodation from Caesar were again submitted; even now he declared himself ready at once to dismiss his army, to hand over his provinces to the successors nominated, and to become a candidate in the regular way for the consulship, provided that Pompeius were to depart for Spain, and Italy were to be disarmed. The answer was, that if Caesar would immediately return to his province, they would bind themselves to procure the disarming of Italy and the departure of Pompeius by a decree of the senate to be passed in due form in the capital; perhaps this reply was intended not as a bare artifice to deceive, but as an acceptance of the proposal of compromise; it was, however, in reality the opposite. The personal conference which Caesar desired with Pompeius the latter declined, and could not but decline, that he might not by the semblance of a new coalition with Caesar provoke still more the distrust already felt by the constitutional party. Concerning the management of the war it was agreed in Teanum, that Pompeius should take the command of the troops stationed at Luceria, on which notwithstanding their untrustworthiness all hope depended; that he should advance with these into his own and Labienus' native country, Picenum; that he should personally call the general levy there to arms, as he had done some thirty-five years ago,(16) and should attempt at the head of the faithful Picentine cohorts and the veterans formerly under Caesar to set a limit to the advance of the enemy.

Conflicts in Picenum

Everything depended on whether Picenum would hold out until Pompeius should come up to its defence. Already Caesar with his reunited army had penetrated into it along the coast road by way of Ancona. Here too the preparations were in full course; in the very northernmost Picenian town Auximum a considerable band of recruits was collected under Publius Attius Varus; but at the entreaty of the municipality Varus evacuated the town even before Caesar appeared, and a handful of Caesar's soldiers which overtook the troop not far from Auximum totally dispersed it after a brief conflict— the first in this war. In like manner soon afterwards Gaius Lucilius Hirrus with 3000 men evacuated Camerinum, and Publius Lentulus Spinther with 5000 Asculum. The men, thoroughly devoted to Pompeius, willingly for the most part abandoned their houses and farms, and followed their leaders over the frontier; but the district itself was already lost, when the officer sent by Pompeius for the temporary conduct of the defence, Lucius Vibullius Rufus—no genteel senator, but a soldier experienced in war—arrived there; he had to content himself with taking the six or seven thousand recruits who were saved away from the incapable recruiting officers, and conducting them for the time to the nearest rendezvous.

Corfinium Besieged
And Captured

This was Corfinium, the place of meeting for the levies in the Albensian, Marsian and Paelignian territories; the body of recruits here assembled, of nearly 15,000 men, was the contingent of the most warlike and trustworthy regions of Italy, and the flower of the army in course of formation for the constitutional party. When Vibullius arrived here, Caesar was still several days' march behind; there was nothing to prevent him from immediately starting agreeably to Pompeius' instructions and conducting the saved Picenian recruits along with those assembled at Corfinium to join the main army in Apulia. But the commandant in Corfinium was the designated successor to Caesar in the governorship of Transalpine Gaul, Lucius Domitius, one of the most narrow-minded and stubborn of the Roman aristocracy; and he not only refused to comply with the orders of Pompeius, but also prevented Vibullius from departing at least with the men from Picenum for Apulia. So firmly was he persuaded that Pompeius only delayed from obstinacy and must necessarily come up to his relief, that he scarcely made any serious preparations for a siege and did not even gather into Corfinium the bands of recruits placed in the surrounding towns. Pompeius however did not appear, and for good reasons; for, while he might perhaps apply his two untrustworthy legions as a reserved support for the Picenian general levy, he could not with them alone offer battle to Caesar. Instead of him after a few days Caesar came (14 Feb.). His troops had been joined in Picenum by the twelfth, and before Corfinium by the eighth, legion from beyond the Alps, and, besides these, three new legions had been formed partly from the Pompeian men that were taken prisoners or presented themselves voluntarily, partly from the recruits that were at once levied everywhere; so that Caesar before Corfinium was already at the head of an army of 40,000 men, half of whom had seen service. So long as Domitius hoped for the arrival of Pompeius, he caused the town to be defended; when the letters of Pompeius had at length undeceived him, he resolved, not forsooth to persevere at the forlorn post— by which he would have rendered the greatest service to his party— nor even to capitulate, but, while the common soldiers were informed that relief was close at hand, to make his own escape along with his officers of quality during the next night. Yet he had not the judgment to carry into effect even this pretty scheme. The confusion of his behaviour betrayed him. A part of the men began to mutiny; the Marsian recruits, who held such an infamy on the part of their general to be impossible, wished to fight against the mutineers; but they too were obliged reluctantly to believe the truth of the accusation, whereupon the whole garrison arrested their staff and handed it, themselves, and the town over to Caesar (20 Feb.). The corps in Alba, 3000 strong, and 1500 recruits assembled in Tarracina thereupon laid down their arms, as soon as Caesar's patrols of horsemen appeared; a third division in Sulmo of 3500 men had been previously compelled to surrender.

Pompeius Goes to Brundisium
Embarkation for Greece

Pompeius had given up Italy as lost, so soon as Caesar had occupied Picenum; only he wished to delay his embarkation as long as possible, with the view of saving so much of his force as could still be saved. Accordingly he had slowly put himself in motion for the nearest seaport Brundisium. Thither came the two legions of Luceria and such recruits as Pompeius had been able hastily to collect in the deserted Apulia, as well as the troops raised by the consuls and other commissioners in Campania and conducted in all haste to Brundisium; thither too resorted a number of political fugitives, including the most respected of the senators accompanied by their families. The embarkation began; but the vessels at hand did not suffice to transport all at once the whole multitude, which still amounted to 25,000 persons. No course remained but to divide the army. The larger half went first (4 March); with the smaller division of some 10,000 men Pompeius awaited at Brundisium the return of the fleet; for, however desirable the possession of Brundisium might be for an eventual attempt to reoccupy Italy, they did not presume to hold the place permanently against Caesar. Meanwhile Caesar arrived before Brundisium; the siege began. Caesar attempted first of all to close the mouth of the harbour by moles and floating bridges, with a view to exclude the returning fleet; but Pompeius caused the trading vessels lying in the harbour to be armed, and managed to prevent the complete closing of the harbour until the fleet appeared and the troops—whom Pompeius with great dexterity, in spite of the vigilance of the besiegers and the hostile feeling of the inhabitants, withdrew from the town to the last man unharmed—were carried off beyond Caesar's reach to Greece (17 March). The further pursuit, like the siege itself, failed for want of a fleet.

In a campaign of two months, without a single serious engagement, Caesar had so broken up an army of ten legions, that less than the half of it had with great difficulty escaped in a confused flight across the sea, and the whole Italian peninsula, including the capital with the state-chest and all the stores accumulated there, had fallen into the power of the victor. Not without reason did the beaten party bewail the terrible rapidity, sagacity, and energy of the "monster."

Military and Financial Results of the Seizure of Italy

But it may be questioned whether Caesar gained or lost more by the conquest of Italy. In a military respect, no doubt, very considerable resources were now not merely withdrawn from his opponents, but rendered available for himself; even in the spring of 705 his army embraced, in consequence of the levies en masse instituted everywhere, a considerable number of legions of recruits in addition to the nine old ones But on the other hand it now became necessary not merely to leave behind a considerable garrison in Italy, but also to take measures against the closing of the transmarine traffic contemplated by his opponents who commanded the sea, and against the famine with which the capital was consequently threatened; whereby Caesar's already sufficiently complicated military task was complicated further still. Financially it was certainly of importance, that Caesar had the good fortune to obtain possession of the stock of money in the capital; but the principal sources of income and particularly the revenues from the east were withal in the hands of the enemy, and, in consequence of the greatly increased demands for the army and the new obligation to provide for the starving population of the capital, the considerable sums which were found quickly melted away. Caesar soon found himself compelled to appeal to private credit, and, as it seemed that he could not possibly gain any long respite by this means, extensive confiscations were generally anticipated as the only remaining expedient.

Its Political Results
Fear of Anarchy

More serious difficulties still were created by the political relations amidst which Caesar found himself placed on the conquest of Italy. The apprehension of an anarchical revolution was universal among the propertied classes. Friends and foes saw in Caesar a second Catilina; Pompeius believed or affected to believe that Caesar had been driven to civil war merely by the impossibility of paying his debts. This was certainly absurd; but in fact Caesar's antecedents were anything but reassuring, and still less reassuring was the aspect of the retinue that now surrounded him. Individuals of the most broken reputation, notorious personages like Quintus Hortensius, Gaius Curio, Marcus Antonius,— the latter the stepson of the Catilinarian Lentulus who was executed by the orders of Cicero—were the most prominent actors in it; the highest posts of trust were bestowed on men who had long ceased even to reckon up their debts; people saw men who held office under Caesar not merely keeping dancing-girls—which was done by others also—but appearing publicly in company with them. Was there any wonder, that even grave and politically impartial men expected amnesty for all exiled criminals, cancelling of creditors' claims, comprehensive mandates of confiscation, proscription, and murder, nay, even a plundering of Rome by the Gallic soldiery?

Dispelled by Caesar

But in this respect the "monster" deceived the expectations of his foes as well as of his friends. As soon even as Caesar occupied the first Italian town, Ariminum, he prohibited all common soldiers from appearing armed within the walls; the country towns were protected from all injury throughout and without distinction, whether they had given him a friendly or hostile reception. When the mutinous garrison surrendered Corfinium late in the evening, he in the face of every military consideration postponed the occupation of the town till the following morning, solely that he might not abandon the burgesses to the nocturnal invasion of his exasperated soldiers. Of the prisoners the common soldiers, as presumably indifferent to politics, were incorporated with his own army, while the officers were not merely spared, but also freely released without distinction of person and without the exaction of any promises whatever; and all which they claimed as private property was frankly given up to them, without even investigating with any strictness the warrant for their claims. Lucius Domitius himself was thus treated, and even Labienus had the money and baggage which he had left behind sent after him to the enemy's camp. In the most painful financial embarrassment the immense estates of his opponents whether present or absent were not assailed; indeed Caesar preferred to borrow from friends, rather than that he should stir up the possessors of property against him even by exacting the formally admissible, but practically antiquated, land tax.(17) The victor regarded only the half, and that not the more difficult half, of his task as solved with the victory; he saw the security for its duration, according to his own expression, only in the unconditional pardon of the vanquished, and had accordingly during the whole march from Ravenna to Brundisium incessantly renewed his efforts to bring about a personal conference with Pompeius and a tolerable accommodation.

Threats of the Emigrants
The Mass of Quiet People Gained for Caesar

But, if the aristocracy had previously refused to listen to any reconciliation, the unexpected emigration of a kind so disgraceful had raised their wrath to madness, and the wild vengeance breathed by the beaten contrasted strangely with the placability of the victor. The communications regularly coming from the camp of the emigrants to their friends left behind in Italy were full of projects for confiscations and proscriptions, of plans for purifying the senate and the state, compared with which the restoration of Sulla was child's play, and which even the moderate men of their own party heard with horror. The frantic passion of impotence, the wise moderation of power, produced their effect. The whole mass, in whose eyes material interests were superior to political, threw itself into the arms of Caesar. The country towns idolized "the uprightness, the moderation, the prudence" of the victor; and even opponents conceded that these demonstrations of respect were meant in earnest. The great capitalists, farmers of the taxes, and jurymen, showed no special desire, after the severe shipwreck which had befallen the constitutional party in Italy, to entrust themselves farther to the same pilots; capital came once more to the light, and "the rich lords resorted again to their daily task of writing their rent-rolls." Even the great majority of the senate, at least numerically speaking—for certainly but few of the nobler and more influential members of the senate were included in it—had notwithstanding the orders of Pompeius and of the consuls remained behind in Italy, and a portion of them even in the capital itself; and they acquiesced in Caesar's rule. The moderation of Caesar, well calculated even in its very semblance of excess, attained its object: the trembling anxiety of the propertied classes as to the impending anarchy was in some measure allayed. This was doubtless an incalculable gain for the future; the prevention of anarchy, and of the scarcely less dangerous alarm of anarchy, was the indispensable preliminary condition to the future reorganization of the commonwealth.

Indignation of the Anarchist Party against Caesar
The Republican Party in Italy

But at the moment this moderation was more dangerous for Caesar than the renewal of the Cinnan and Catilinarian fury would have been; it did not convert enemies into friends, and it converted friends into enemies. Caesar's Catilinarian adherents were indignant that murder and pillage remained in abeyance; these audacious and desperate personages, some of whom were men of talent, might be expected to prove cross and untractable. The republicans of all shades, on the other hand, were neither converted nor propitiated by the leniency of the conqueror. According to the creed of the Catonian party, duty towards what they called their fatherland absolved them from every other consideration; even one who owed freedom and life to Caesar remained entitled and in duty bound to take up arms or at least to engage in plots against him. The less decided sections of the constitutional party were no doubt found willing to accept peace and protection from the new monarch; nevertheless they ceased not to curse the monarchy and the monarch at heart. The more clearly the change of the constitution became manifest, the more distinctly the great majority of the burgesses—both in the capital with its keener susceptibility of political excitement, and among the more energetic population of the country and country towns— awoke to a consciousness of their republican sentiments; so far the friends of the constitution in Rome reported with truth to their brethren of kindred views in exile, that at home all classes and all persons were friendly to Pompeius. The discontented temper of all these circles was further increased by the moral pressure, which the more decided and more notable men who shared such views exercised from their very position as emigrants over the multitude of the humbler and more lukewarm. The conscience of the honourable man smote him in regard to his remaining in Italy; the half-aristocrat fancied that he was ranked among the plebeians, if he did not go into exile with the Domitii and the Metelli, and even if he took his seat in the Caesarian senate of nobodies. The victor's special clemency gave to this silent opposition increased political importance; seeing that Caesar abstained from terrorism, it seemed as if his secret opponents could display their disinclination to his rule without much danger.

Passive Resistance of the Senate to Caesar

Very soon he experienced remarkable treatment in this respect at the hands of the senate. Caesar had begun the struggle to liberate the overawed senate from its oppressors. This was done; consequently he wished to obtain from the senate approval of what had been done, and full powers for the continuance of the war. for this purpose, when Caesar appeared before the capital (end of March) the tribunes of the people belonging to his party convoked for him the senate (1 April). The meeting was tolerably numerous, but the more notable of the very senators that remained in Italy were absent, including even the former leader of the servile majority Marcus Cicero and Caesar's own father-in-law Lucius Piso; and, what was worse, those who did appear were not inclined to enter into Caesar's proposals. When Caesar spoke of full power to continue the war, one of the only two consulars present, Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a very timid man who desired nothing but a quiet death in his bed, was of opinion that Caesar would deserve well of his country if he should abandon the thought of carrying the war to Greece and Spain. When Caesar thereupon requested the senate at least to be the medium of transmitting his peace proposals to Pompeius, they were not indeed opposed to that course in itself, but the threats of the emigrants against the neutrals had so terrified the latter, that no one was found to undertake the message of peace. Through the disinclination of the aristocracy to help the erection of the monarch's throne, and through the same inertness of the dignified corporation, by means of which Caesar had shortly before frustrated the legal nomination of Pompeius as generalissimo in the civil war, he too was now thwarted when making a like request. Other impediments, moreover, occurred. Caesar desired, with the view of regulating in some sort of way his position, to be named as dictator; but his wish was not complied with, because such a magistrate could only be constitutionally appointed by one of the consuls, and the attempt of Caesar to buy the consul Lentulus—of which owing to the disordered condition of his finances there was a good prospect—nevertheless proved a failure. The tribune of the people Lucius Metellus, moreover, lodged a protest against all the steps of the proconsul, and made signs as though he would protect with his person the public chest, when Caesar's men came to empty it. Caesar could not avoid in this case ordering that the inviolable person should be pushed aside as gently as possible; otherwise, he kept by his purpose of abstaining from all violent steps. He declared to the senate, just as the constitutional party had done shortly before, that he had certainly desired to regulate things in a legal way and with the help of the supreme authority; but, since this help was refused, he could dispense with it.

Provisional Arrangement of the Affairs of the Capital
The Provinces

Without further concerning himself about the senate and the formalities of state law, he handed over the temporary administration of the capital to the praetor Marcus Aemilius Lepidus as city-prefect, and made the requisite arrangements for the administration of the provinces that obeyed him and the continuance of the war. Even amidst the din of the gigantic struggle, and with all the alluring sound of Caesar's lavish promises, it still made a deep impression on the multitude of the capital, when they saw in their free Rome the monarch for the first time wielding a monarch's power and breaking open the doors of the treasury by his soldiers. But the times had gone by, when the impressions and feelings of the multitude determined the course of events; it was with the legions that the decision lay, and a few painful feelings more or less were of no farther moment.

Pompeians in Spain

Caesar hastened to resume the war. He owed his successes hitherto to the offensive, and he intended still to maintain it. The position of his antagonist was singular. After the original plan of carrying on the campaign simultaneously in the two Gauls by offensive operations from the bases of Italy and Spain had been frustrated by Caesar's aggressive, Pompeius had intended to go to Spain. There he had a very strong position. The army amounted to seven legions; a large number of Pompeius' veterans served in it, and several years of conflicts in the Lusitanian mountains had hardened soldiers and officers. Among its captains Marcus Varro indeed was simply a celebrated scholar and a faithful partisan; but Lucius Afranius had fought with distinction in the east and in the Alps, and Marcus Petreius, the conqueror of Catilina, was an officer as dauntless as he was able. While in the Further province Caesar had still various adherents from the time of his governorship there,(18) the more important province of the Ebrowas attached by all the ties of veneration and gratitude to the celebrated general, who twenty years before had held the command in it during the Sertorian war, and after the termination of that war had organized it anew. Pompeius could evidently after the Italian disaster do nothing better than proceed to Spain with the saved remnant of his army, and then at the head of his whole force advance to meet Caesar. But unfortunately he had, in the hope of being able still to save the troops that were in Corfinium, tarried in Apuli so long that he was compelled to choose the nearer Brundisium as his place of embarkation instead of the Campanian ports. Why, master as he was of the sea and Sicily, he did not subsequently revert to his original plan, cannot be determined; whether it was that perhaps the aristocracy after their short-sighted and distrustful fashion showed no desire to entrust themselves to the Spanish troops and the Spanish population, it is enough to say that Pompeius remained in the east, and Caesar had the option of directing his first attack either against the army which was being organized in Greece under Pompeius' own command, or against that which was ready for battle under his lieutenants in Spain. He had decided in favour of the latter course, and, as soon as the Italian campaign ended, had taken measures to collect on the lower Rhone nine of his best legions, as also 6000 cavalry— partly men individually picked out by Caesar in the Celtic cantons, partly German mercenaries—and a number of Iberian and Ligurian archers.

Massilia against Caesar

But at this point his opponents also had been active. Lucius Domitius, who was nominated by the senate in Caesar's stead as governor of Transalpine Gaul, had proceeded from Corfinium—as soon as Caesar had released him—along with his attendants and with Pompeius' confidant Lucius Vibullius Rufus to Massilia, and actually induced that city to declare for Pompeius and even to refuse a passage to Caesar's troops. Of the Spanish troops the two least trustworthy legions were left behind under the command of Varro in the Further province; while the five best, reinforced by 40,000 Spanish infantry— partly Celtiberian infantry of the line, partly Lusitanian and other light troops—and by 5000 Spanish cavalry, under Afranius and Petreius, had, in accordance with the orders of Pompeius transmitted by Vibullius, set out to close the Pyrenees against the enemy.

Caesar Occupies the Pyrenees
Position at Ilerda

Meanwhile Caesar himself arrived in Gaul and, as the commencement of the siege of Massilia still detained him in person, he immediately despatched the greater part of his troops assembled on the Rhone—six legions and the cavalry—along the great road leading by way of Narbo (Narbonne) to Rhode (Rosas) with the view of anticipating the enemy at the Pyrenees. The movement was successful; when Afranius and Petreius arrived at the passes, they found them already occupied by the Caesarians and the line of the Pyrenees lost. They then took up a position at Ilerda (Lerida) between the Pyrenees and the Ebro. This town lies twenty miles to the north of the Ebro on the right bank of one of its tributaries, the Sicoris (Segre), which was crossed by only a single solid bridge immediately at Ilerda. To the south of Ilerda the mountains which adjoin the left bank of the Ebro approach pretty close to the town; to the northward there stretches on both sides of the Sicoris a level country which is commanded by the hill on which the town is built. For an army, which had to submit to a siege, it was an excellent position; but the defence of Spain, after the occupation of the line of the Pyrenees had been neglected, could only be undertaken in earnest behind the Ebro, and, as no secure communication was established between Ilerda and the Ebro, and no bridge existed over the latter stream, the retreat from the temporary to the true defensive position was not sufficiently secured. The Caesarians established themselves above Ilerda, in the delta which the river Sicoris forms with the Cinga (Cinca), which unites with it below Ilerda; but the attack only began in earnest after Caesar had arrived in the camp (23 June). Under the walls of the town the struggle was maintained with equal exasperation and equal valour on both sides, and with frequent alternations of success; but the Caesarians did not attain their object— which was, to establish themselves between the Pompeian camp and the town and thereby to possess themselves of the stone bridge— and they consequently remained dependent for their communication with Gaul solely on two bridges which they had hastily constructed over the Sicoris, and that indeed, as the river at Ilerda itself was too considerable to be bridged over, about eighteen or twenty miles farther up.

Caesar Cut Off

When the floods came on with the melting of the snow, these temporary bridges were swept away; and, as they had no vessels for the passage of the highly swollen rivers and under such circumstance the restoration of the bridges could not for the present be thought of, the Caesarian army was confined to the narrow space between the Cinca and the Sicoris, while the left bank of the Sicoris and with it the road, by which the army communicated with Gaul and Italy, were exposed almost undefended to the Pompeians, who passed the river partly by the town-bridge, partly by swimming after the Lusitanian fashion on skins. It was the season shortly before harvest; the old produce was almost used up, the new was not yet gathered, and the narrow stripe of land between the two streams was soon exhausted. In the camp actual famine prevailed—the -modius- of wheat cost 50 -denarii- (1 pound 16 shillings)—and dangerous diseases broke out; whereas on the left bank there were accumulated provisions and varied supplies, as well as troops of all sorts—reinforcements from Gaul of cavalry and archers, officers and soldiers from furlough, foraging parties returning—in all a mass of 6000 men, whom the Pompeians attacked with superior force and drove with great loss to the mountains, while the Caesarians on the right bank were obliged to remain passive spectators of the unequal conflict. The communications of the army were in the hands of the Pompeians; in Italy the accounts from Spain suddenly ceased, and the suspicious rumours, which began to circulate there, were not so very remote from the truth. Had the Pompeians followed up their advantage with some energy, they could not have failed either to reduce under their power or at least to drive back towards Gaul the mass scarcely capable of resistance which was crowded together on the left bank of the Sicoris, and to occupy this bank so completely that not a man could cross the river without their knowledge. But both points were neglected; those bands were doubtless pushed aside with loss but neither destroyed nor completely beaten back, and the prevention of the crossing of the river was left substantially to the river itself,

Caesar Re-establishes the Communications

Thereupon Caesar formed his plan. He ordered portable boats of a light wooden frame and osier work lined with leather, after the model of those used in the Channel among the Britons and subsequently by the Saxons, to be prepared in the camp and transported in waggons to the point where the bridges had stood. On these frail barks the other bank was reached and, as it was found unoccupied, the bridge was re-established without much difficulty; the road in connection with it was thereupon quickly cleared, and the eagerly-expected supplies were conveyed to the camp. Caesar's happy idea thus rescued the army from the immense peril in which it was placed. Then the cavalry of Caesar which in efficiency far surpassed that of the enemy began at once to scour the country on the left bank of the Sicoris; the most considerable Spanish communities between the Pyrenees and the Ebro—Osca, Tarraco, Dertosa, and others—nay, even several to the south of the Ebro, passed over to Caesar's side.

Retreat of the Pompeians from Ilerda

The supplies of the Pompeians were now rendered scarce through the foraging parties of Caesar and the defection of the neighbouring communities; they resolved at length to retire behind the line of the Ebro, and set themselves in all haste to form a bridge of boats over the Ebro below the mouth of the Sicoris. Caesar sought to cut off the retreat of his opponents over the Ebro and to detain them in Ilerda; but so long as the enemy remained in possession of the bridge at Ilerda and he had control of neither ford nor bridge there, he could not distribute his army over both banks of the river and could not invest Ilerda. His soldiers therefore worked day and night to lower the depth of the river by means of canals drawing off the water, so that the infantry could wade through it. But the preparations of the Pompeians to pass the Ebro were sooner finished than the arrangements of the Caesarians for investing Ilerda; when the former after finishing the bridge of boats began their march towards the Ebro along the left bank of the Sicoris, the canals of the Caesarians seemed to the general not yet far enough advanced to make the ford available for the infantry; he ordered only his cavalry to pass the stream and, by clinging to the rear of the enemy, at least to detain and harass them.

Caesar Follows

But when Caesar's legions saw in the gray morning the enemy's columns which had been retiring since midnight, they discerned with the sure instinct of experienced veterans the strategic importance of this retreat, which would compel them to follow their antagonists into distant and impracticable regions filled by hostile troops; at their own request the general ventured to lead the infantry also into the river, and although the water reached up to the shoulders of the men, it was crossed without accident. It was high time. If the narrow plain, which separated the town of Ilerda from the mountains enclosing the Ebro were once traversed and the army of the Pompeians entered the mountains, their retreat to the Ebro could no longer be prevented. Already they had, notwithstanding the constant attacks of the enemy's cavalry which greatly delayed their march, approached within five miles of the mountains, when they, having been on the march since midnight and unspeakably exhausted, abandoned their original plan of traversing the whole plain on the same day, and pitched their camp. Here the infantry of Caesar overtook them and encamped opposite to them in the evening and during the night, as the nocturnal march which the Pompeians had at first contemplated was abandoned from fear of the night-attacks of the cavalry. On the following day also both armies remained immoveable, occupied only in reconnoitering the country.

The Route to the Ebro Closed

Early in the morning of the third day Caesar's infantry set out, that by a movement through the pathless mountains alongside of the road they might turn the position of the enemy and bar their route to the Ebro. The object of the strange march, which seemed at first to turn back towards the camp before Ilerda, was not at once perceived by the Pompeian officers. When they discerned it, they sacrificed camp and baggage and advanced by a forced march along the highway, to gain the crest of the ridge before the Caesarians. But it was already too late; when they came up, the compact masses of the enemy were already posted on the highway itself. a desperate attempt of the Pompeians to discover other routes to the Ebro over the steep mountains was frustrated by Caesar's cavalry, which surrounded and cut to pieces the Lusitanian troops sent forth for that purpose. Had a battle taken place between the Pompeian army— which had the enemy's cavalry in its rear and their infantry in front, and was utterly demoralized—and the Caesarians, the issue was scarcely doubtful, and the opportunity for fighting several times presented itself; but Caesar made no use of it, and, not without difficulty, restrained the impatient eagerness for the combat in his soldiers sure of victory. The Pompeian army was at any rate strategically lost; Caesar avoided weakening his army and still further envenoming the bitter feud by useless bloodshed. On the very day after he had succeeded in cutting off the Pompeians from the Ebro, the soldiers of the two armies had begun to fraternize and to negotiate respecting surrender; indeed the terms asked by the Pompeians, especially as to the sparing of their officers, had been already conceded by Caesar, when Petreius with his escort consisting of slaves and Spaniards came upon the negotiators and caused the Caesarians, on whom he could lay hands, to be put to death. Caesar nevertheless sent the Pompeians who had come to his camp back unharmed, and persevered in seeking a peaceful solution. Ilerda, where the Pompeians had still a garrison and considerable magazines, became now the point which they sought to reach; but with the hostile army in front and the Sicoris between them and the fortress, they marched without coming nearer to their object. Their cavalry became gradually so afraid that the infantry had to take them into the centre and legions had to be set as the rearguard; the procuring of water and forage became more and more difficult; they had already to kill the beasts of burden, because they could no longer feed them. At length the wandering army found itself formally inclosed, with the Sicoris in its rear and the enemy's force in front, which drew rampart and trench around it. It attempted to cross the river, but Caesar's German horsemen and light infantry anticipated it in the occupation of the opposite bank.

Capitulation of the Pompeians

No bravery and no fidelity could longer avert the inevitable capitulation (2 Aug. 705). Caesar granted to officers and soldiers their life and liberty, and the possession of the property which they still retained as well as the restoration of what had been already taken from them, the full value of which he undertook personally to make good to his soldiers; and not only so, but while he had compulsorily enrolled in his army the recruits captured in Italy, he honoured these old legionaries of Pompeius by the promise that no one should be compelled against his will to enter Caesar's army. He required only that each should give up his arms and repair to his home. Accordingly the soldiers who were natives of Spain, about a third of the army, were disbanded at once, while the Italian soldiers were discharged on the borders of Transalpine and Cisalpine Gaul.

Further Spain Submits

Hither Spain on the breaking up of this army fell of itself into the power of the victor. In Further Spain, where Marcus Varro held the chief command for Pompeius, it seemed to him, when he learned the disaster of Ilerda, most advisable that he should throw himself into the insular town of Gades and should carry thither for safety the considerable sums which he had collected by confiscating the treasures of the temples and the property of prominent Caesarians, the not inconsiderable fleet which he had raised, and the two legions entrusted to him. But on the mere rumour of Caesar's arrival the most notable towns of the province which had been for long attached to Caesar declared for the latter and drove away the Pompeian garrisons or induced them to a similar revolt; such was the case with Corduba, Carmo, and Gades itself. One of the legions also set out of its own accord for Hispalis, and passed over along with this town to Caesar's side. When at length even Italica closed its gates against Varro, the latter resolved to capitulate.

Siege of Massilia

About the same time Massilia also submitted. With rare energy the Massiliots had not merely sustained a siege, but had also kept the sea against Caesar; it was their native element, and they might hope to obtain vigorous support on it from Pompeius, who in fact had the exclusive command of it. But Caesar's lieutenant, the able Decimus Brutus, the same who had achieved the first naval victory in the Atlantic over the Veneti,(19) managed rapidly to equip a fleet; and in spite of the brave resistance of the enemy's crews— consisting partly of Albioecian mercenaries of the Massiliots, partly of slave-herdsmen of Domitius—he vanquished by means of his brave marines selected from the legions the stronger Massiliot fleet, and sank or captured the greater part of their ships. When therefore a small Pompeian squadron under Lucius Nasidius arrived from the east by way of Sicily and Sardinia in the port of Massilia, the Massiliots once more renewed their naval armament and sailed forth along with the ships of Nasidius against Brutus. The engagement which took place off Tauroeis (La Ciotat to the east of Marseilles) might probably have had a different result, if the vessels of Nasidius had fought with the same desperate courage which the Massiliots displayed on that day; but the flight of the Nasidians decided the victory in favour of Brutus, and the remains of the Pompeian fleet fled to Spain. The besieged were completely driven from the sea. On the landward side, where Gaius Trebonius conducted the siege, the most resolute resistance was still continued; but in spite of the frequent sallies of the Albioecian mercenaries and the skilful expenditure of the immense stores of projectiles accumulated in the city, the works of the besiegers were at length advanced up to the walls and one of the towers fell. The Massiliots declared that they would give up the defence, but desired to conclude the capitulation with Caesar himself, and entreated the Roman commander to suspend the siege operations till Caesar's arrival. Trebonius had express orders from Caesar to spare the town as far as possible; he granted the armistice desired. But when the Massiliots made use of it for an artful sally, in which they completely burnt the one-half of the almost unguarded Roman works, the struggle of the siege began anew and with increased exasperation. The vigorous commander of the Romans repaired with surprising rapidity the destroyed towers and the mound; soon the Massiliots were once more completely invested.

Massilia Capitulates

When Caesar on his return from the conquest of Spain arrived before their city, he found it reduced to extremities partly by the enemy's attacks, partly by famine and pestilence, and ready for the second time—on this occasion in right earnest— to surrender on any terms. Domitius alone, remembering the indulgence of the victor which he had shamefully misused, embarked in a boat and stole through the Roman fleet, to seek a third battle-field for his implacable resentment. Caesar's soldiers had sworn to put to the sword the whole male population of the perfidious city, and vehemently demanded from the general the signal for plunder. But Caesar, mindful here also of his great task of establishing Helleno-Italic civilization in the west, was not to be coerced into furnishing a sequel to the destruction of Corinth. Massilia—the most remote from the mother-country of all those cities, once so numerous, free, and powerful, that belonged to the old Ionic mariner-nation, and almost the last in which the Hellenic seafaring life had preserved itself fresh and pure, as in fact it was the last Greek city that fought at sea—Massilia had to surrender its magazines of arms and naval stores to the victor, and lost a portion of its territory and of its privileges; but it retained its freedom and its nationality and continued, though with diminished proportions in a material point of view, to be still as before intellectually the centre of Hellenic culture in that distant Celtic country which at this very time was attaining a new historical significance.

Expeditions of Caesar to the Corn-Provinces

While thus in the western provinces the war after various critical vicissitudes was thoroughly decided at length in favour of Caesar, Spain and Massilia were subdued, and the chief army of the enemy was captured to the last man, the decision of arms had also taken place on the second arena of warfare, on which Caesar had found it necessary immediately after the conquest of Italy to assume the offensive

Sardinia Occupied
Sicily Occupied

We have already mentioned that the Pompeians intended to reduce Italy to starvation. They had the means of doing so in their hands. They had thorough command of the sea and laboured with great zeal everywhere—in Gades, Utica, Messana, above all in the east—to increase their fleet. They held moreover all the provinces, from which the capital drew its means of subsistence: Sardinia and Corsica through Marcus Cotta, Sicily through Marcus Cato, Africa through the self-nominated commander-in-chief Titus Attius Varus and their ally Juba king of Numidia It was indispensably needful for Caesar to thwart these plans of the enemy and to wrest from them the corn-provinces. Quintus Valerius was sent with a legion to Sardinia and compelled the Pompeian governor to evacuate the island. The more important enterprise of taking Sicily and Africa from the enemy was entrusted to the young Gaius Curio with the assistance of the able Gaius Caninius Rebilus, who possessed experience in war. Sicily was occupied by him without a blow; Cato, without a proper army and not a man of the sword, evacuated the island, after having in his straightforward manner previously warned the Siceliots not to compromise themselves uselessly by an ineffectual resistance.

Landing of Curio in Africa

Curio left behind half of his troops to protect this island so important for the capital, and embarked with the other half— two legions and 500 horsemen—for Africa. Here he might expect to encounter more serious resistance; besides the considerable and in its own fashion efficient army of Juba, the governor Varus had formed two legions from the Romans settled in Africa and also fitted out a small squadron of ten sail. With the aid of his superior fleet, however, Curio effected without difficulty a landing between Hadrumetum, where the one legion of the enemy lay along with their ships of war, and Utica, in front of which town lay the second legion under Varus himself. Curio turned against the latter, and pitched his camp not far from Utica, just where a century and a half before the elder Scipio had taken up his first winter-camp in Africa.(20) Caesar, compelled to keep together his best troops for the Spanish war, had been obliged to make up the Sicilo-African army for the most part out of the legions taken over from the enemy, more especially the war-prisoners of Corfinium; the officers of the Pompeian army in Africa, some of whom had served in the very legions that were conquered at Corfinium, now left no means untried to bring back their old soldiers who were now fighting against them to their first allegiance. But Caesar had not erred in the choice of his lieutenant. Curio knew as well how to direct the movements of the army and of the fleet, as how to acquire personal influence over the soldiers; the supplies were abundant, the conflicts without exception successful.

Curio Conquers at Utica

When Varus, presuming that the troops of Curio wanted opportunity to pass over to his side, resolved to give battle chiefly for the sake of affording them this opportunity, the result did not justify his expectations. Animated by the fiery appeal of their youthful leader the cavalry of Curio put to flight the horsemen of the enemy and in presence of the two armies cut down also the light infantry which had accompanied the horsemen; and emboldened by this success and by Curio's personal example, his legions advanced through the difficult ravine separating the two lines to the attack, for which the Pompeians however did not wait, but disgracefully fled back to their camp and evacuated even this in the ensuing night. The victory was so complete that Curio at once took steps to besiege Utica. When news arrived, however, that king Juba was advancing with all his forces to its relief, Curio resolved, just as Scipio had done on the arrival of Syphax, to raise the siege and to return to Scipio's former camp till reinforcements should arrive from Sicily. Soon afterwards came a second report, that king Juba had been induced by the attacks of neighbouring princes to turn back with his main force and was sending to the aid of the besieged merely a moderate corps under Saburra. Curio, who from his lively temperament had only with great reluctance made up his mind to rest, now set out again at once to fight with Saburra before he could enter into communication with the garrison of Utica.

Curio Defeated by Juba on the Bagradas
Death of Curio

His cavalry, which had gone forward in the evening, actually succeeded in surprising the corps of Saburra on the Bagradas during the night and inflicting much damage upon it; and on the news of this victory Curio hastened the march of the infantry, in order by their means to complete the defeat Soon they perceived on the last slopes of the heights that sank towards the Bagradas the corps of Saburra, which was skirmishing with the Roman horsemen; the legions coming up helped to drive it completely down into the plain. But here the combat changed its aspect. Saburra was not, as they supposed, destitute of support; on the contrary he was not much more than five miles distant from the Numidian main force. Already the flower of the Numidian infantry and 2000 Gallic and Spanish horsemen had arrived on the field of battle to support Saburra, and the king in person with the bulk of the army and sixteen elephants was approaching. After the nocturnal march and the hot conflict there were at the moment not more than 200 of the Roman cavalry together, and these as well as the infantry, extremely exhausted by fatigue and fighting, were all surrounded, in the wide plain into which they had allowed themselves to be allured, by the continually increasing hosts of the enemy. Vainly Curio endeavoured to engage in close combat; the Libyan horsemen retreated, as they were wont, so soon as a Roman division advanced, only to pursue it when it turned. In vain he attempted to regain the heights; they were occupied and foreclosed by the enemy's horse. All was lost. The infantry was cut down to the last man. Of the cavalry a few succeeded in cutting their way through; Curio too might have probably saved himself, but he could not bear to appear alone before his master without the army entrusted to him, and died sword in hand. Even the force which was collected in the camp before Utica, and that which guarded the fleet—which might so easily have escaped to Sicily—surrendered under the impression made by the fearfully rapid catastrophe on the following day to Varus (Aug. or Sept. 705).

So ended the expedition arranged by Caesar to Sicily and Africa. It attained its object so far, since by the occupation of Sicily in connection with that of Sardinia at least the most urgent wants of the capital were relieved; the miscarriage of the conquest of Africa— from which the victorious party drew no farther substantial gain— and the loss of two untrustworthy legions might be got over. But the early death of Curio was an irreparable loss for Caesar, and indeed for Rome. Not without reason had Caesar entrusted the most important independent command to this young man, although he had no military experience and was notorious for his dissolute life; there was a spark of Caesar's own spirit in the fiery youth. He resembled Caesar, inasmuch as he too had drained the cup of pleasure to the dregs; inasmuch as he did not become a statesman because he was an officer, but on the contrary it was his political action that placed the sword in his hands; inasmuch as his eloquence was not that of rounded periods, but the eloquence of deeply-felt thought; inasmuch as his mode of warfare was based on rapid action with slight means; inasmuch as his character was marked by levity and often by frivolity, by pleasant frankness and thorough life in the moment. If, as his general says of him, youthful fire and high courage carried him into incautious acts, and if he too proudly accepted death that he might not submit to be pardoned for a pardonable fault, traits of similar imprudence and similar pride are not wanting in Caesar's history also. We may regret that this exuberant nature was not permitted to work off its follies and to preserve itself for the following generation so miserably poor in talents, and so rapidly falling a prey to the dreadful rule of mediocrities.

Pompeius' Plan of Campaign for 705

How far these events of the war in 705 interfered with Pompeius' general plan for the campaign, and particularly what part, in that plan was assigned after the loss of Italy to the important military corps in the west, can only be determined by conjecture. That Pompeius had the intention of coming by way of Africa and Mauretania to the aid of his army fighting in Spain, was simply a romantic, and beyond doubt altogether groundless, rumour circulating in the camp of Ilerda. It is much more likely that he still kept by his earlier plan of attacking Caesar from both sides in Transalpine and Cisalpine Gaul(21) even after the loss of Italy, and meditated a combined attack at once from Spain and Macedonia. It may be presumed that the Spanish army was meant to remain on the defensive at the Pyrenees till the Macedonian army in the course of organization was likewise ready to march; whereupon both would then have started simultaneously and effected a junction according to circumstances either on the Rhone or on the Po, while the fleet, it may be conjectured, would have attempted at the same time to reconquer Italy proper. On this supposition apparently Caesar had first prepared himself to meet an attack on Italy. One of the ablest of his officers, the tribune of the people Marcus Antonius, commanded there with propraetorian powers. The southeastern ports—Sipus, Brundisium, Tarentum—where an attempt at landing was first to be expected, had received a garrison of three legions. Besides this Quintus Hortensius, the degenerate son of the well-known orator, collected a fleet in the Tyrrhene Sea, and Publius Dolabella a second fleet in the Adriatic, which were to be employed partly to support the defence, partly to transport the intended expedition to Greece. In the event of Pompeius attempting to penetrate by land into Italy, Marcus Licinius Crassus, the eldest son of the old colleague of Caesar, was to conduct the defence of Cisalpine Gaul, Gaius the younger brother of Marcus Antonius that of Illyricum.

Caesar's Fleet and Army in Illyricum Destroyed

But the expected attack was long in coming. It was not till the height of summer that the conflict began in Illyria. There Caesar's lieutenant Gaius Antonius with his two legions lay in the island of Curicta (Veglia in the gulf of Quarnero), and Caesar's admiral Publius Dolabella with forty ships lay in the narrow arm of the sea between this island and the mainland. The admirals of Pompeius in the Adriatic, Marcus Octavius with the Greek, Lucius Scribonius Libo with the Illyrian division of the fleet, attacked the squadron of Dolabella, destroyed all his ships, and cut off Antonius on his island. To rescue him, a corps under Basilus and Sallustius came from Italy and the squadron of Hortensius from the Tyrrhene Sea; but neither the former nor the latter were able to effect anything in presence of the far superior fleet of the enemy. The legions of Antonius had to be abandoned to their fate. Provisions came to an end, the troops became troublesome and mutinous; with the exception of a few divisions, which succeeded in reaching the mainland on rafts, the corps, still fifteen cohorts strong, laid down their arms and were conveyed in the vessels of Libo to Macedonia to be there incorporated with the Pompeian army, while Octavius was left to complete the subjugation of the Illyrian coast now denuded of troops. The Dalmatae, now far the most powerful tribe in these regions,(22) the important insular town of Issa (Lissa), and other townships, embraced the party of Pompeius; but the adherents of Caesar maintained themselves in Salonae (Spalato) and Lissus (Alessio), and in the former town not merely sustained with courage a siege, but when they were reduced to extremities, made a sally with such effect that Octavius raised the siege and sailed off to Dyrrhachium to pass the winter there.

Result of the Campaign as a Whole

The success achieved in Illyricum by the Pompeian fleet, although of itself not inconsiderable, had yet but little influence on the issue of the campaign as a whole; and it appears miserably small, when we consider that the performances of the land and naval' forces under the supreme command of Pompeius during the whole eventful year 705 were confined to this single feat of arms, and that from the east, where the general, the senate, the second great army, the principal fleet, the immense military and still more extensive financial resources of the antagonists of Caesar were united, no intervention at all took place where it was needed in that all-decisive struggle in the west. The scattered condition of the forces in the eastern half of the empire, the method of the general never to operate except with superior masses, his cumbrous and tedious movements, and the discord of the coalition may perhaps explain in some measure, though not excuse, the inactivity of the land-force; but that the fleet, which commanded the Mediterranean without a rival, should have thus done nothing to influence the course of affairs—nothing for Spain, next to nothing for the faithful Massiliots, nothing to defend Sardinia, Sicily, Africa, or, if not to reoccupy Italy, at least to obstruct its supplies— this makes demands on our ideas of the confusion and perversity prevailing in the Pompeian camp, which we can only with difficulty meet.

The aggregate result of this campaign was corresponding. Caesar's double aggressive movement, against Spain and against Sicily and Africa, was successful, in the former case completely, in the latter at least partially; while Pompeius' plan of starving Italy was thwarted in the main by the taking away of Sicily, and his general plan of campaign was frustrated completely by the destruction of the Spanish army; and in Italy only a very small portion of Caesar's defensive arrangements had come to be applied. Notwithstanding the painfully-felt losses in Africa and Illyria, Caesar came forth from this first year of the war in the most decided and most decisive manner as victor.

Organizations in Macedonia
The Emigrants

If, however, nothing material was done from the east to obstruct Caesar in the subjugation of the west, efforts at least were made towards securing political and military consolidation there during the respite so ignominiously obtained. The great rendezvous of the opponents of Caesar was Macedonia. Thither Pompeius himself and the mass of the emigrants from Brundisium resorted; thither came the other refugees from the west: Marcus Cato from Sicily, Lucius Domitius from Massilia but more especially a number of the best officers and soldiers of the broken-up army of Spain, with its generals Afranius and Varro at their head. In Italy emigration gradually became among the aristocrats a question not of honour merely but almost of fashion, and it obtained a fresh impulse through the unfavourable accounts which arrived regarding Caesar's position before Ilerda; not a few of the more lukewarm partisans and the political trimmers went over by degrees, and even Marcus Cicero at last persuaded himself that he did not adequately discharge his duty as a citizen by writing a dissertatio on concord. The senate of emigrants at Thessalonica, where the official Rome pitched its interim abode, numbered nearly 200 members including many venerable old men and almost all the consulars. But emigrants indeed they were. This Roman Coblentz displayed a pitiful spectacle in the high pretensions and paltry performances of the genteel world of Rome, their unseasonable reminiscences and still more unseasonable recriminations, their political perversities and financial embarrassments. It was a matter of comparatively slight moment that, while the old structure was falling to pieces, they were with the most painstaking gravity watching over every old ornamental scroll and every speck of rust in the constitution; after all it was simply ridiculous, when the genteel lords had scruples of conscience as to calling their deliberative assembly beyond the sacred soil of the city the senate, and cautiously gave it the title of the "three hundred";(23) or when they instituted tedious investigations in state law as to whether and how a curiate law could be legitimately enacted elsewhere than within the ring-wall of Rome.

The Lukewarm

Far worse traits were the indifference of the lukewarm and the narrow-minded stubbornness of the ultras. The former could not be brought to act or even to keep silence. If they were asked to exert themselves in some definite way for the common good, with the inconsistency characteristic of weak people they regarded any such suggestion as a malicious attempt to compromise them still further, and either did not do what they were ordered at all or did it with half heart. At the same time of course, with their affectation of knowing better when it was too late and their over-wise impracticabilities, they proved a perpetual clog to those who were acting; their daily work consisted in criticizing, ridiculing, and bemoaning every occurrence great and small, and in unnerving and discouraging the multitude by their own sluggishness and hopelessness.

The Ultras

While these displayed the utter prostration of weakness, the ultras on the other hand exhibited in full display its exaggerated action. With them there was no attempt to conceal that the preliminary to any negotiation for peace was the bringing over of Caesar's head; every one of the attempts towards peace, which Caesar repeatedly made even now, was tossed aside without being examined, or employed only to cover insidious attempts on the lives of the commissioners of their opponent. That the declared partisans of Caesar had jointly and severally forfeited life and property, was a matter of course; but it fared little better with those more or less neutral. Lucius Domitius, the hero of Corfinium, gravely proposed in the council of war that those senators who had fought in the army of Pompeius should come to a vote on all who had either remained neutral or had emigrated but not entered the army, and should according to their own pleasure individually acquit them or punish them by fine or even by the forfeiture of life and property. Another of these ultras formally lodged with Pompeius a charge of corruption and treason against Lucius Afranius for his defective defence of Spain. Among these deep-dyed republicans their political theory assumed almost the character of a confession of religious faith; they accordingly hated their own more lukewarm partisans and Pompeius with his personal adherents, if possible, still more than their open opponents, and that with all the dull obstinacy of hatred which is wont to characterize orthodox theologians; and they were mainly to blame for the numberless and bitter separate quarrels which distracted the emigrant army and emigrant senate. But they did not confine themselves to words. Marcus Bibulus, Titus Labienus, and others of this coterie carried out their theory in practice, and caused such officers or soldiers of Caesar's army as fell into their hands to be executed en masse; which, as may well be conceived, did not tend to make Caesar's troops fight with less energy. If the counterrevolution in favour of the friends of the constitution, for which all the elements were in existence,(24) did not break out in Italy during Caesar's absence, the reason, according to the assurance of discerning opponents of Caesar, lay chiefly in the general dread of the unbridled fury of the republican ultras after the restoration should have taken place. The better men in the Pompeian camp were in despair over this frantic behaviour. Pompeius, himself a brave soldier, spared the prisoners as far as he might and could; but he was too pusillanimous and in too awkward a position to prevent or even to punish all atrocities of this sort, as it became him as commander-in-chief to do. Marcus Cato, the only man who at least carried moral consistency into the struggle, attempted with more energy to check such proceedings; he induced the emigrant senate to prohibit by a special decree the pillage of subject towns and the putting to death of a burgess otherwise than in battle. The able Marcus Marcellus had similar views. No one, indeed, knew better than Cato and Marcellus that the extreme party would carry out their saving deeds, if necessary, in defiance of all decrees of the senate. But if even now, when they had still to regard considerations of prudence, the rage of the ultras could not be tamed, people might prepare themselves after the victory for a reign of terror from which Marius and Sulla themselves would have turned away with horror; and we can understand why Cato, according to his own confession, was more afraid of the victory than of the defeat of his own party.

The Preparations for War

The management of the military preparations in the Macedonian camp was in the hands of Pompeius the commander-in-chief. His position, always troublesome and galling, had become still worse through the unfortunate events of 705. In the eyes of his partisans he was mainly to blame for this result. This judgment was in various respects not just. A considerable part of the misfortunes endured was to be laid to the account of the perversity and insubordination of the lieutenant-generals, especially of the consul Lentulus and Lucius Domitius; from the moment when Pompeius took the head of the army, he had led it with skill and courage, and had saved at least very considerable forces from the shipwreck; that he was not a match for Caesar's altogether superior genius, which was now recognized by all, could not be fairly made matter of reproach to him. But the result alone decided men's judgment. Trusting to the general Pompeius, the constitutional party had broken with Caesar; the pernicious consequences of this breach recoiled upon the general Pompeius; and, though owing to the notorious military incapacity of all the other chiefs no attempt was made to change the supreme command yet confidence at any rate in the commander-in-chief was paralyzed. To these painful consequences of the defeats endured were added the injurious influences of the emigration. Among the refugees who arrived there were certainly a number of efficient soldiers and capable officers, especially those belonging to the former Spanish army; but the number of those who came to serve and fight was just as small as that of the generals of quality who called themselves proconsuls and imperators with as good title as Pompeius, and of the genteel lords who took part in active military service more or less reluctantly, was alarmingly great. Through these the mode of life in the capital was introduced into the camp, not at all to the advantage of the army; the tents of such grandees were graceful bowers, the ground elegantly covered with fresh turf, the walls clothed with ivy; silver plate stood on the table, and the wine-cup often circulated there even in broad daylight. Those fashionable warriors formed a singular contrast with Caesar's daredevils, who ate coarse bread from which the former recoiled, and who, when that failed, devoured even roots and swore that they would rather chew the bark of trees than desist from the enemy. While, moreover, the action of Pompeius was hampered by the necessity of having regard to the authority of a collegiate board personally disinclined to him, this embarrassment was singularly increased when the senate of emigrants took up its abode almost in his very headquarters and all the venom of the emigrants now found vent in these senatorial sittings. Lastly there was nowhere any man of mark, who could have thrown his own weight into the scale against all these preposterous doings. Pompeius himself was intellectually far too secondary for that purpose, and far too hesitating, awkward, and reserved. Marcus Cato would have had at least the requisite moral authority, and would not have lacked the good will to support Pompeius with it; but Pompeius, instead of calling him to his assistance, out of distrustful jealousy kept him in the background, and preferred for instance to commit the highly important chief command of the fleet to the in every respect incapable Marcus Bibulus rather than to Cato.

The Legions of Pompeius

While Pompeius thus treated the political aspect of his position with his characteristic perversity, and did his best to make what was already bad in itself still worse, he devoted himself on the other hand with commendable zeal to his duty of giving military organization to the considerable but scattered forces of his party. The flower of his force was composed of the troops brought with him from Italy, out of which with the supplementary aid of the Illyrian prisoners of war and the Romans domiciled in Greece five legions in all were formed. Three others came from the east—the two Syrian legions formed from the remains of the army of Crassus, and one made up out of the two weak legions hitherto stationed in Cilicia. Nothing stood in the way of the withdrawal of these corps of occupation: because on the one hand the Pompeians had an understanding with the Parthians, and might even have had an alliance with them if Pompeius had not indignantly refused to pay them the price which they demanded for it—the cession of the Syrian province added by himself to the empire; and on the other hand Caesar's plan of despatching two legions to Syria, and inducing the Jews once more to take up arms by means of the prince Aristobulus kept a prisoner in Rome, was frustrated partly by other causes, partly by the death of Aristobulus. New legions were moreover raised— one from the veteran soldiers settled in Crete and Macedonia, two from the Romans of Asia Minor. To all these fell to be added 2000 volunteers, who were derived from the remains of the Spanish select corps and other similar sources; and, lastly, the contingents of the subjects. Pompeius like Caesar had disdained to make requisitions of infantry from them; only the Epirot, Aetolian, and Thracian militia were called out to guard the coast, and moreover 3000 archers from Greece and Asia Minor and 1200 slingers were taken up as light troops.

His Cavalry

The cavalry on the other hand—with the exception of a noble guard, more respectable than militarily important, formed from the young aristocracy of Rome, and of the Apulian slave-herdsmen whom Pompeius had mounted (25)—consisted exclusively of the contingents of the subjects and clients of Rome. The flower of it consisted of the Celts, partly from the garrison of Alexandria,(26) partly the contingents of king Deiotarus who in spite of his great age had appeared in person at the head of his troops, and of the other Galatian dynasts. With them were associated the excellent Thracian horsemen, who were partly brought up by their princes Sadala and Rhascuporis, partly enlisted by Pompeius in the Macedonian province; the Cappadocian cavalry; the mounted archers sent by Antiochus king of Commagene; the contingents of the Armenians from the west side of the Euphrates under Taxiles, and from the other side under Megabates, and the Numidian bands sent by king Juba—the whole body amounted to 7000 horsemen.


Lastly the fleet of Pompeius was very considerable. It was formed partly of the Roman transports brought from Brundisium or subsequently built, partly of the war vessels of the king of Egypt, of the Colchian princes, of the Cilician dynast Tarcondimotus, of the cities of Tyre, Rhodes, Athens, Corcyra, and generally of all the Asiatic and Greek maritime states; and it numbered nearly 500 sail, of which the Roman vessels formed a fifth. Immense magazines of corn and military stores were accumulated in Dyrrhachium. The war-chest was well filled, for the Pompeians found themselves in possession of the principal sources of the public revenue and turned to their own account the moneyed resources of the client- princes, of the senators of distinction, of the farmers of the taxes, and generally of the whole Roman and non-Roman population within their reach. Every appliance that the reputation of the legitimate government and the much-renowned protectorship of Pompeius over kings and peoples could move in Africa, Egypt, Macedonia, Greece, Western Asia and Syria, had been put in motion for the protection of the Roman republic; the report which circulated in Italy that Pompeius was arming the Getae, Colchians, and Armenians against Rome, and the designation of "king of kings" given to Pompeius in the camp, could hardly be called exaggerations. On the whole he had command over an army of 7000 cavalry and eleven legions, of which it is true, but five at the most could be described as accustomed to war, and over a fleet of 500 sail. The temper of the soldiers, for whose provisioning and pay Pompeius manifested adequate care, and to whom in the event of victory the most abundant rewards were promised, was throughout good, in several— and these precisely the most efficient—divisions even excellent but a great part of the army consisted of newly-raised troops, the formation and training of which, however zealously it was prosecuted, necessarily required time. The force altogether was imposing, but at the same time of a somewhat motley character.

Junction of the Pompeians on the Coast of Epirus

According to the design of the commander-in-chief the army and fleet were to be in substance completely united by the winter of 705-706 along the coast and in the waters of Epirus. The admiral Bibulus had already arrived with no ships at his new headquarters, Corcyra. On the other hand the land-army, the headquarters of which had been during the summer at Berrhoea on the Haliacmon, had not yet come up; the mass of it was moving slowly along the great highway from Thessalonica towards the west coast to the future headquarters Dyrrhachium; the two legions, which Metellus Scipio was bringing up from Syria, remained at Pergamus in Asia for winter quarters and were expected in Europe only towards spring. They were taking time in fact for their movements. For the moment the ports of Epirus were guarded, over and above the fleet, merely by their own civic defences and the levies of the adjoining districts.

Caesar against Pompeius

It thus remained possible for Caesar, notwithstanding the intervention of the Spanish war, to assume the offensive also in Macedonia; and he at least was not slow to act. He had long ago ordered the collection of vessels of war and transports in Brundisium, and after the capitulation of the Spanish army and the fall of Massilia had directed the greater portion of the select troops employed there to proceed to that destination. The unparalleled exertions no doubt, which were thus required by Caesar from his soldiers, thinned the ranks more than their conflicts had done and the mutiny of one of the four oldest legions, the ninth on its march through Placentia was a dangerous indication of the temper prevailing in the army; but Caesar's presence of mind and personal authority gained the mastery, and from this quarter nothing impeded the embarkation. But the want of ships, through which the pursuit of Pompeius had failed in March 705, threatened also to frustrate this expedition. The war-vessels, which Caesar had given orders to build in the Gallic, Sicilian, and Italian ports, were not yet ready or at any rate not on the spot; his squadron in the Adriatic had been in the previous year destroyed at Curicta;(27) he found at Brundisium not more than twelve ships of war and scarcely transports enough to convey over at once the third part of his army—of twelve legions and 10,000 cavalry—destined for Greece. The considerable fleet of the enemy exclusively commanded the Adriatic and especially all the harbours of the mainland and islands on its eastern coast. Under such circumstances the question presents itself, why Caesar did not instead of the maritime route choose the land route through Illyria, which relieved him from all the perils threatened by the fleet and besides was shorter for his troops, who mostly came from Gaul, than the route by Brundisium. It is true that the regions of Illyria were rugged and poor beyond description; but they were traversed by other armies not long afterwards, and this obstacle can hardly have appeared insurmountable to the conqueror of Gaul. Perhaps he apprehended that during the troublesome march through Illyria Pompeius might convey his whole force over the Adriatic, whereby their parts might come at once to be changed—with Caesar in Macedonia, and Pompeius in Italy; although such a rapid change was scarcely to be expected from his slow-moving antagonist. Perhaps Caesar had decided for the maritime route on the supposition that his fleet would meanwhile be brought into a condition to command respect, and, when after his return from Spain he became aware of the true state of things in the Adriatic, it might be too late to change the plan of campaign. Perhaps— and, in accordance with Caesar's quick temperament always urging him to decision, we may even say in all probability—he found himself irresistibly tempted by the circumstance that the Epirot coast was still at the moment unoccupied but would certainly be covered in a few days by the enemy, to thwart once more by a bold stroke the whole plan of his antagonist.

Caesar Lands in Epirus
First Successes

However this may be, on the 4th Jan. 706(28) Caesar set sail with six legions greatly thinned by toil and sickness and 600 horsemen from Brundisium for the coast of Epirus. It was a counterpart to the foolhardy Britannic expedition; but at least the first throw was fortunate. The coast was reached in the middle of the Acroceraunian (Chimara) cliffs, at the little-frequented roadstead of Paleassa (Paljassa). The transports were seen both from the harbour of Oricum (creek of Avlona) where a Pompeian squadron of eighteen sail was lying, and from the headquarters of the hostile fleet at Corcyra; but in the one quarter they deemed themselves too weak, in the other they were not ready to sail, so that the first freight was landed without hindrance. While the vessels at once returned to bring over the second, Caesar on that same evening scaled the Acroceraunian mountains. His first successes were as great as the surprise of his enemies. The Epirot militia nowhere offered resistance; the important seaport towns of Oricum and Apollonia along with a number of smaller townships were taken, and Dyrrhachium, selected by the Pompeians as their chief arsenal and filled with stores of all sorts, but only feebly garrisoned, was in the utmost danger.

Caesar Cut Off from Italy

But the further course of the campaign did not correspond to this brilliant beginning. Bibulus subsequently made up in some measure for the negligence, of which he had allowed himself to be guilty, by redoubling his exertions. He not only captured nearly thirty of the transports returning home, and caused them with every living thing on board to be burnt, but he also established along the whole district of coast occupied by Caesar, from the island Sason (Saseno) as far as the ports of Corcyra, a most careful watch, however troublesome it was rendered by the inclement season of the year and the necessity of bringing everything necessary for the guard-ships, even wood and water, from Corcyra; in fact his successor Libo—for he himself soon succumbed to the unwonted fatigues—even blockaded for a time the port of Brundisium, till the want of water again dislodged him from the little island in front of it on which he had established himself. It was not possible for Caesar's officers to convey the second portion of the army over to their general. As little did he himself succeed in the capture of Dyrrhachium. Pompeius learned through one of Caesar's peace envoys as to his preparations for the voyage to the Epirot coast, and, thereupon accelerating his march, threw himself just at the right time into that important arsenal. The situation of Caesar was critical. Although he extended his range in Epirus as far as with his slight strength was at all possible, the subsistence of his army remained difficult and precarious, while the enemy, in possession of the magazines of Dyrrhachium and masters of the sea, had abundance of everything. With his army presumably little above 20,000 strong he could not offer battle to that of Pompeius at least twice as numerous, but had to deem himself fortunate that Pompeius went methodically to work and, instead of immediately forcing a battle, took up his winter quarters between Dyrrhachium and Apollonia on the right bank of the Apsus, facing Caesar on the left, in order that after the arrival of the legions from Pergamus in the spring he might annihilate the enemy with an irresistibly superior force. Thus months passed. If the arrival of the better season, which brought to the enemy a strong additional force and the free use of his fleet, found Caesar still in the same position, he was to all appearance lost, with his weak band wedged in among the rocks of Epirus between the immense fleet and the three times superior land army of the enemy; and already the winter was drawing to a close. His sole hope still depended on the transport fleet; that it should steal or fight its way through the blockade was hardly to be hoped for; but after the first voluntary foolhardiness this second venture was enjoined by necessity. How desperate his situation appeared to Caesar himself, is shown by his resolution—when the fleet still came not—to sail alone in a fisherman's boat across the Adriatic to Brundisium in order to fetch it; which, in reality, was only abandoned because no mariner was found to undertake the daring voyage.

Antonius Proceed to Epirus

But his appearance in person was not needed to induce the faithful officer who commanded in Italy, Marcus Antonius, to make this last effort for the saving of his master. Once more the transport fleet, with four legions and 800 horsemen on board sailed from the harbour of Brundisium, and fortunately a strong south wind carried it past Libo's galleys. But the same wind, which thus saved the fleet, rendered it impossible for it to land as it was directed on the coast of Apollonia, and compelled it to sail past the camps of Caesar and Pompeius and to steer to the north of Dyrrhachium towards Lissus, which town fortunately still adhered to Caesar.(29) When it sailed past the harbour of Dyrrhachium, the Rhodian galleys started in pursuit, and hardly had the ships of Antonius entered the port of Lissus when the enemy's squadron appeared before it. But just at this moment the wind suddenly veered, and drove the pursuing galleys back into the open sea and partly on the rocky coast. Through the most marvellous good fortune the landing of the second freight had also been successful.

Junction of Caesar's Army

Antonius and Caesar were no doubt still some four days' march from each other, separated by Dyrrhachium and the whole army of the enemy; but Antonius happily effected the perilous march round about Dyrrhachium through the passes of the Graba Balkan, and was received by Caesar, who had gone to meet him, on the right bank of the Apsus. Pompeius, after having vainly attempted to prevent the junction of the two armies of the enemy and to force the corps of Antonius to fight by itself, took up a new position at Asparagium on the river Genusus (Skumbi), which flows parallel to the Apsus between the latter and the town of Dyrrhachium, and here remained once more immoveable. Caesar felt himself now strong enough to give battle; but Pompeius declined it. On the other hand Caesar succeeded in deceiving his adversary and throwing himself unawares with his better marching troops, just as at Ilerda, between the enemy's camp and the fortress of Dyrrhachium on which it rested as a basis. The chain of the Graba Balkan, which stretching in a direction from east to west ends on the Adriatic in the narrow tongue of land at Dyrrhachium, sends off—fourteen miles to the east of Dyrrhachium—in a south-westerly direction a lateral branch which likewise turns in the form of a crescent towards the sea, and the main chain and lateral branch of the mountains enclose between themselves a small plain extending round a cliff on the seashore.

Pompeius now took up his camp, and, although Caesar's army kept the land route to Dyrrhachium closed against him, he yet with the aid of his fleet remained constantly in communication with the town and was amply and easily provided from it with everything needful; while among the Caesarians, notwithstanding strong detachments to the country lying behind, and notwithstanding all the exertions of the general to bring about an organized system of conveyance and thereby a regular supply, there was more than scarcity, and flesh, barley, nay even roots had very frequently to take the place of the wheat to which they were accustomed.

Caesar Invests the Camp of Pompeius

As his phlegmatic opponent persevered in his inaction, Caesar undertook to occupy the circle of heights which enclosed the plain on the shore held by Pompeius, with the view of being able at least to arrest the movements of the superior cavalry of the enemy and to operate with more freedom against Dyrrhachium, and if possible to compel his opponent either to battle or to embarkation. Nearly the half of Caesar's troops was detached to the interior; it seemed almost Quixotic to propose with the rest virtually to besiege an army perhaps twice as strong, concentrated in position, and resting on the sea and the fleet. Yet Caesar's veterans by infinite exertions invested the Pompeian camp with a chain of posts sixteen miles long, and afterwards added, just as before Alesia, to this inner line a second outer one, to protect themselves against attacks from Dyrrhachium and against attempts to turn their position which could so easily be executed with the aid of the fleet. Pompeius attacked more than once portions of these entrenchments with a view to break if possible the enemy's line, but he did not attempt to prevent the investment by a battle; he preferred to construct in his turn a number of entrenchments around his camp, and to connect them with one another by lines. Both sides exerted themselves to push forward their trenches as far as possible, and the earthworks advanced but slowly amidst constant conflicts. At the same time skirmishing went on on the opposite side of Caesar's camp with the garrison of Dyrrhachium; Caesar hoped to get the fortress into his power by means of an understanding with some of its inmates, but was prevented by the enemy's fleet. There was incessant fighting at very different points—on one of the hottest days at six places simultaneously— and, as a rule, the tried valour of the Caesarians had the advantage in these skirmishes; once, for instance, a single cohort maintained itself in its entrenchments against four legions for several hours, till support came up. No prominent success was attained on either side; yet the effects of the investment came by degrees to be oppressively felt by the Pompeians. The stopping of the rivulets flowing from the heights into the plain compelled them to be content with scanty and bad well-water. Still more severely felt was the want of fodder for the beasts of burden and the horses, which the fleet was unable adequately to remedy; numbers of them died, and it was of but little avail that the horses were conveyed by the fleet to Dyrrhachium, because there also they did not find sufficient fodder.

Caesar's Lines Broken
Caesar Once More Defeated

Pompeius could not much longer delay to free himself from his disagreeable position by a blow struck against the enemy. He was informed by Celtic deserters that the enemy had neglected to secure the beach between his two chains of entrenchments 600 feet distant from each other by a cross-wall, and on this he formed his plan. While he caused the inner line of Caesar's entrenchments to be attacked by the legions from the camp, and the outer line by the light troops placed in vessels and landed beyond the enemy's entrenchments, a third division landed in the space left between the two lines and attacked in the rear their already sufficiently occupied defenders. The entrenchment next to the sea was taken, and the garrison fled in wild confusion; with difficulty the commander of the next trench Marcus Antonius succeeded in maintaining it and in setting a limit for the moment to the advance of the Pompeians; but; apart from the considerable loss, the outermost entrenchment along the sea remained in the hands of the Pompeians and the lin was broken through. Caesar the more eagerly seized the opportunity, which soon after presented itself, of attacking a Pompeian legion, which had incautiously become isolated, with the bulk of his infantry. But the attacked offered valiant resistance, and, as the ground on which the fight took place had been several times employed for the encampment of larger and lesser divisions and was intersected in various directions by mounds and ditches, Caesar's right wing along with the cavalry entirely missed its way; instead of supporting the left in attacking the Pompeian legion, it got into a narrow trench that led from one of the old camps towards the river. So Pompeius, who came up in all haste with five legions to the aid of his troops, found the two wings of the enemy separated from each other, and one of them in an utterly forlorn position. When the Caesarians saw him advance, a panic seized them; the whole plunged into disorderly flight; and, if the matter ended with the loss of 1000 of the best soldiers and Caesar's army did not sustain a complete defeat, this was due simply to the circumstance that Pompeius also could not freely develop his force on the broken ground, and to the further fact that, fearing a stratagem, he at first held back his troops.

Consequences of Caesar's Defeats

But, even as it was, these days were fraught with mischief. Not only had Caesar endured the most serious losses and forfeited at a blow his entrenchments, the result of four months of gigantic labour; he was by the recent engagements thrown back again exactly to the point from which he had set out. From the sea he was more completely driven than ever, since Pompeius' elder son Gnaeus had by a bold attack partly burnt, partly carried off, Caesar's few ships of war lying in the port of Oricum, and had soon afterwards also set fire to the transport fleet that was left behind in Lissus; all possibility of bringing up fresh reinforcements to Caesar by sea from Brundisium was thus lost. The numerous Pompeian cavalry, now released from their confinement, poured themselves over the adjacent country and threatened to render the provisioning of Caesar's army, which had always been difficult, utterly impossible. Caesar's daring enterprise of carrying on offensive operations without ships against an enemy in command of the sea and resting on his fleet had totally failed. On what had hitherto been the theatre of war he found himself in presence of an impregnable defensive position, and unable to strike a serious blow either against Dyrrhachium or against the hostile army; on the other hand it depended now solely on Pompeius whether he should proceed to attack under the most favourable circumstances an antagonist already in grave danger as to his means of subsistence. The war had arrived at a crisis. Hitherto Pompeius had, to all appearance, played the game of war without special plan, and only adjusted his defence according to the exigencies of each attack; and this was not to be censured, for the protraction of the war gave him opportunity of making his recruits capable of fighting, of bringing up his reserves, and of bringing more fully into play the superiority of his fleet in the Adriatic. Caesar was beaten not merely in tactics but also in strategy. This defeat had not, it is true, that effect which Pompeius not without reason expected; the eminent soldierly energy of Caesar's veterans did not allow matters to come to an immediate and total breaking up of the army by hunger and mutiny. But yet it seemed as if it depended solely on his opponent by judiciously following up his victory to reap its full fruits.

War Prospects of Pompeius
Scipio and Calvinus

It was for Pompeius to assume the aggressive; and he was resolved to do so. Three different ways of rendering his victory fruitful presented themselves to him. The first and simplest was not to desist from assailing the vanquished army, and, if it departed, to pursue it. Secondly, Pompeius might leave Caesar himself and his best troops in Greece, and might cross in person, as he had long been making preparations for doing, with the main army to Italy, where the feeling was decidedly antimonarchical and the forces of Caesar, after the despatch of the best troops and their brave and trustworthy commandant to the Greek army, would not be of very much moment. Lastly, the victor might turn inland, effect a junction with the legions of Metellus Scipio, and attempt to capture the troops of Caesar stationed in the interior. The latter forsooth had, immediately after the arrival of the second freight from Italy, on the one hand despatched strong detachments to Aetolia and Thessaly to procure means of subsistence for his army, and on the other had ordered a corps of two legions under Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus to advance on the Egnatian highway towards Macedonia, with the view of intercepting and if possible defeating in detail the corps of Scipio advancing on the same road from Thessalonica. Calvinus and Scipio had already approached within a few miles of each other, when Scipio suddenly turned southward and, rapidly crossing the Haliacmon (Inje Karasu) and leaving his baggage there under Marcus Favonius, penetrated into Thessaly, in order to attack with superior force Caesar's legion of recruits employed in the reduction of the country under Lucius Cassius Longinus. But Longinus retired over the mountains towards Ambracia to join the detachment under Gnaeus Calvisius Sabinus sent by Caesar to Aetolia, and Scipio could only cause him to be pursued by his Thracian cavalry, for Calvinus threatened his reserve left behind under Favonius on the Haliacmon with the same fate which he had himself destined for Longinus. So Calvinus and Scipio met again on the Haliacmon, and encamped there for a considerable time opposite to each other.

Caesar's Retreat from Dyrrachium to Thessaly

Pompeius might choose among these plans; no choice was left to Caesar. After that unfortunate engagement he entered on his retreat to Apollonia. Pompeius followed. The march from Dyrrhachium to Apollonia along a difficult road crossed by several rivers was no easy task for a defeated army pursued by the enemy; but the dexterous leadership of their general and the indestructible marching energy of the soldiers compelled Pompeius after four days' pursuit to suspend it as useless. He had now to decide between the Italian expedition and the march into the interior. However advisable and attractive the former might seem, and though various voices were raised in its favour, he preferred not to abandon the corps of Scipio, the more especially as he hoped by this march to get the corps of Calvinus into his hands. Calvinus lay at the moment on the Egnatian road at Heraclea Lyncestis, between Pompeius and Scipio, and, after Caesar had retreated to Apollonia, farther distant from the latter than from the great army of Pompeius; without knowledge, moreover, of the events at Dyrrhachium and of his hazardous position, since after the successes achieved at Dyrrhachium the whole country inclined to Pompeius and the messengers of Caesar were everywhere seized. It was not till the enemy's main force had approached within a few hours of him that Calvinus learned from the accounts of the enemy's advanced posts themselves the state of things. A quick departure in a southerly direction towards Thessaly withdrew him at the last moment from imminent destruction; Pompeius had to content himself with having liberated Scipio from his position of peril. Caesar had meanwhile arrived unmolested at Apollonia. Immediately after the disaster of Dyrrhachium he had resolved if possible to transfer the struggle from the coast away into the interior, with the view of getting beyond the reach of the enemy's fleet—the ultimate cause of the failure of his previous exertions. The march to Apollonia had only been intended to place his wounded in safety and to pay his soldiers there, where his depots were stationed; as soon as this was done, he set out for Thessaly, leaving behind garrisons in Apollonia, Oricum, and Lissus. The corps of Calvinus had also put itself in motion towards Thessaly; and Caesar could effect a junction with the reinforcements coming up from Italy, this time by the land-route through Illyria—two legions under Quintus Cornificius—still more easily in Thessaly than in Epirus. Ascending by difficult paths in the valley of the Aous and crossing the mountain-chain which separates Epirus from Thessaly, he arrived at the Peneius; Calvinus was likewise directed thither, and the junction of the two armies was thus accomplished by the shortest route and that which was least exposed to the enemy. It took place at Aeginium not far from the source of the Peneius. The first Thessalian town before which the now united army appeared, Gomphi, closed its gates against it; it was quickly stormed and given up to pillage, and the other towns of Thessaly terrified by this example submitted, so soon as Caesar's legions merely appeared before the walls. Amidst these marches and conflicts, and with the help of the supplies— albeit not too ample—which the region on the Peneius afforded, the traces and recollections of the calamitous days through which they had passed gradually vanished.

The victories of Dyrrhachium had thus borne not much immediate fruit for the victors. Pompeius with his unwieldy army and his numerous cavalry had not been able to follow his versatile enemy into the mountains; Caesar like Calvinus had escaped from pursuit, and the two stood united and in full security in Thessaly. Perhaps it would have been the best course, if Pompeius had now without delay embarked with his main force for Italy, where success was scarcely doubtful. But in the meantime only a division of the fleet departed for Sicily and Italy. In the camp of the coalition the contest with Caesar was looked on as so completely decided by the battles of Dyrrhachium that it only remained to reap the fruits of victory, in other words, to seek out and capture the defeated army. Their former over-cautious reserve was succeeded by an arrogance still less justified by the circumstances; they gave no heed to the facts, that they had, strictly speaking, failed in the pursuit, that they had to hold themselves in readiness to encounter a completely refreshed and reorganized army in Thessaly, and that there was no small risk in moving away from the sea, renouncing the support of the fleet, and following their antagonist to the battlefield chosen by himself. They were simply resolved at any price to fight with Caesar, and therefore to get at him as soon as possible and by the most convenient way. Cato took up the command in Dyrrhachium, where a garrison was left behind of eighteen cohorts, and in Corcyra, where 300 ships of war were left; Pompeius and Scipio proceeded—the former, apparently, following the Egnatian way as far as Pella and then striking into the great road to the south, the latter from the Haliacmon through the passes of Olympus—to the lower Peneius and met at Larisa.

The Armies at Pharsalus

Caesar lay to the south of Larisa in the plain—which extends between the hill-country of Cynoscephalae and the chain of Othrys and is intersected by a tributary of the Peneius, the Enipeus— on the left bank of the latter stream near the town of Pharsalus; Pompeius pitched his camp opposite to him on the right bank of the Enipeus along the slope of the heights of Cynoscephalae.(30) The entire army of Pompeius was assembled; Caesar on the other hand still expected the corps of nearly two legions formerly detached to Aetolia and Thessaly, now stationed under Quintus Fufius Calenus in Greece, and the two legions of Cornificius which were sent after him by the land-route from Italy and had already arrived in Illyria. The army of Pompeius, numbering eleven legions or 47,000 men and 7000 horse, was more than double that of Caesar in infantry, and seven times as numerous in cavalry; fatigue and conflicts had so decimated Caesar's troops, that his eight legions did not number more than 22,000 men under arms, consequently not nearly the half of their normal amount. The victorious army of Pompeius provided with a countless cavalry and good magazines had provisions in abundance, while the troops of Caesar had difficulty in keeping themselves alive and only hoped for better supplies from the corn-harvest not far distant. The Pompeian soldiers, who had learned in the last campaign to know war and trust their leader, were in the best of humour. All military reasons on the side of Pompeius favoured the view, that the decisive battle should not be long delayed, seeing that they now confronted Caesar in Thessaly; and the emigrant impatience of the many genteel officers and others accompanying the army doubtless had more weight than even such reasons in the council of war. Since the events of Dyrrhachium these lords regarded the triumph of their party as an ascertained fact; already there was eager strife as to the filling up of Caesar's supreme pontificate, and instructions were sent to Rome to hire houses at the Forum for the next elections. When Pompeius hesitated on his part to cross the rivulet which separated the two armies, and which Caesar with his much weaker army did not venture to pass, this excited great indignation; Pompeius, it was alleged, only delayed the battle in order to rule somewhat longer over so many consulars and praetorians and to perpetuate his part of Agamemnon. Pompeius yielded; and Caesar, who under the impression that matters would not come to a battle, had just projected a mode of turning the enemy's army and for that purpose was on the point of setting out towards Scotussa, likewise arrayed his legions for battle, when he saw the Pompeians preparing to offer it to him on his bank.

The Battle

Thus the battle of Pharsalus was fought on the 9th August 706, almost on the same field where a hundred and fifty years before the Romans had laid the foundation of their dominion in the east.(31) Pompeius rested his right wing on the Enipeus; Caesar opposite to him rested his left on the broken ground stretching in front of the Enipeus; the two other wings were stationed out in the plain, covered in each case by the cavalry and the light troops. The intention of Pompeius was to keep his infantry on the defensive, but with his cavalry to scatter the weak band of horsemen which, mixed after the German fashion with light infantry, confronted him, and then to take Caesar's right wing in rear. His infantry courageously sustained the first charge of that of the enemy, and the engagement there came to a stand. Labienus likewise dispersed the enemy's cavalry after a brave but short resistance, and deployed his force to the left with the view of turning the infantry. But Caesar, foreseeing the defeat of his cavalry, had stationed behind it on the threatened flank of his right wing some 2000 of his best legionaries. As the enemy's horsemen, driving those of Caesar before them, galloped along and around the line, they suddenly came upon this select corps advancing intrepidly against them and, rapidly thrown into confusion by the unexpected and unusual infantry attack,(32) they galloped at full speed from the field of battle. The victorious legionaries cut to pieces the enemy's archers now unprotected, then rushed at the left wing of the enemy, and began now on their part to turn it. At the same time Caesar's third division hitherto reserved advanced along the whole line to the attack. The unexpected defeat of the best arm of the Pompeian army, as it raised the courage of their opponents, broke that of the army and above all that of the general. When Pompeius, who from the outset did not trust his infantry, saw the horsemen gallop off, he rode back at once from the field of battle to the camp, without even awaiting the issue of the general attack ordered by Caesar. His legions began to waver and soon to retire over the brook into the camp, which was not accomplished without severe loss.

Its Issue
Flight of Pompeius

The day was thus lost and many an able soldier had fallen, but the army was still substantially intact, and the situation of Pompeius was far less perilous than that of Caesar after the defeat of Dyrrhachium. But while Caesar in the vicissitudes of his destiny had learned that fortune loves to withdraw herself at certain moments even from her favourites in order to be once more won back through their perseverance, Pompeius knew fortune hitherto only as the constant goddess, and despaired of himself and of her when she withdrew from him; and, while in Caesar's grander nature despair only developed yet mightier energies, the inferior soul of Pompeius under similar pressure sank into the infinite abyss of despondency. As once in the war with Sertorius he had been on the point of abandoning the office entrusted to him in presence of his superior opponent and of departing,(33) so now, when he saw the legions retire over the stream, he threw from him the fatal general's scarf, and rode off by the nearest route to the sea, to find means of embarking there. His army discouraged and leaderless— for Scipio, although recognized by Pompeius as colleague in supreme command, was yet general-in-chief only in name—hoped to find protection behind the camp-walls; but Caesar allowed it no rest; the obstinate resistance of the Roman and Thracian guard of the camp was speedily overcome, and the mass was compelled to withdraw in disorder to the heights of Crannon and Scotussa, at the foot of which the camp was pitched. It attempted by moving forward along these hills to regain Larisa; but the troops of Caesar, heeding neither booty nor fatigue and advancing by better paths in the plain, intercepted the route of the fugitives; in fact, when late in the evening the Pompeians suspended their march, their pursuers were able even to draw an entrenched line which precluded the fugitives from access to the only rivulet to be found in the neighbourhood. So ended the day of Pharsalus. The enemy's army was not only defeated, but annihilated; 15,000 of the enemy lay dead or wounded on the field of battle, while the Caesarians missed only 200 men; the body which remained together, amounting still to nearly 20,000 men, laid down their arms on the morning after the battle only isolated troops, including, it is true, the officers of most note, sought a refuge in the mountains; of the eleven eagles of the enemy nine were handed over to Caesar. Caesar, who on the very day of the battle had reminded the soldiers that they should not forget the fellow-citizen in the foe, did not treat the captives as did Bibulus and Labienus; nevertheless he too found it necessary now to exercise some severity. The common soldiers were incorporated in the army, fines or confiscations of property were inflicted on the men of better rank; the senators and equites of note who were taken, with few exceptions, suffered death. The time for clemency was past; the longer the civil war lasted, the more remorseless and implacable it became.

The Political Effects of the Battle of Pharsalus
The East Submits

Some time elapsed, before the consequences of the 9th of August 706 could be fully discerned. What admitted of least doubt, was the passing over to the side of Caesar of all those who had attached themselves to the party vanquished at Pharsalus merely as to the more powerful; the defeat was so thoroughly decisive, that the victor was joined by all who were not willing or were not obliged to fight for a lost cause. All the kings, peoples, and cities, which had hitherto been the clients of Pompeius, now recalled their naval and military contingents and declined to receive the refugees of the beaten party; such as Egypt, Cyrene, the communities of Syria, Phoenicia, Cilicia and Asia Minor, Rhodes, Athens, and generally the whole east. In fact Pharnaces king of the Bosporus pushed his officiousness so far, that on the news of the Pharsalian battle he took possession not only of the town of Phanagoria which several years before had been declared free by Pompeius, and of the dominions of the Colchian princes confirmed by him, but even of the kingdom of Little Armenia which Pompeius had conferred on king Deiotarus. Almost the sole exceptions to this general submission were the little town of Megara which allowed itself to be besieged and stormed by the Caesarians, and Juba king of Numidia, who had for long expected, and after the victory over Curio expected only with all the greater certainty, that his kingdom would be annexed by Caesar, and was thus obliged for better or for worse to abide by the defeated party.

The Aristocracy after the Battle of Pharsalus

In the same way as the client communities submitted to the victor of Pharsalus, the tail of the constitutional party—all who had joined it with half a heart or had even, like Marcus Cicero and his congeners, merely danced around the aristocracy like the witches around the Brocken—approached to make their peace with the new monarch, a peace accordingly which his contemptuous indulgence readily and courteously granted to the petitioners. But the flower of the defeated party made no compromise. All was over with the aristocracy; but the aristocrats could never become converted to monarchy. The highest revelations of humanity are perishable; the religion once true may become a lie,(34) the polity once fraught with blessing may become a curse; but even the gospel that is past still finds confessors, and if such a faith cannot remove mountains like faith in the living truth, it yet remains true to itself down to its very end, and does not depart from the realm of the living till it has dragged its last priests and its last partisans along with it, and a new generation, freed from those shadows of the past and the perishing, rules over a world that has renewed its youth. So it was in Rome. Into whatever abyss of degeneracy the aristocratic rule had now sunk, it had once been a great political system; the sacred fire, by which Italy had been conquered and Hannibal had been vanquished, continued to glow—although somewhat dimmed and dull—in the Roman nobility so long as that nobility existed, and rendered a cordial understanding between the men of the old regime and the new monarch impossible. A large portion of the constitutional party submitted at least outwardly, and recognized the monarchy so far as to accept pardon from Caesar and to retire as much as possible into private life; which, however, ordinarily was not done without the mental reservation of thereby preserving themselves for a future change of things. This course was chiefly followed by the partisans of lesser note; but the able Marcus Marcellus, the same who had brought about the rupture with Caesar,(35) was to be found among these judicious persons and voluntarily banished himself to Lesbos. In the majority, however, of the genuine aristocracy passion was more powerful than cool reflection; along with which, no doubt, self-deceptions as to success being still possible and apprehensions of the inevitable vengeance of the victor variously co-operated.


No one probably formed a judgment as to the situation of affairs with so painful a clearness, and so free from fear or hope on his own account, as Marcus Cato. Completely convinced that after the days of Ilerda and Pharsalus the monarchy was inevitable, and morally firm enough to confess to himself this bitter truth and to act in accordance with it, he hesitated for a moment whether the constitutional party ought at all to continue a war, which would necessarily require sacrifices for a lost cause on the part of many who did not know why they offered them. And when he resolved to fight against the monarchy not for victory, but for a speedier and more honourable fall, he yet sought as far as possible to draw no one into this war, who chose to survive the fall of the republic and to be reconciled to monarchy. He conceived that, so long as the republic had been merely threatened, it was a right and a duty to compel the lukewarm and bad citizen to take part in the struggle; but that now it was senseless and cruel to compel the individual to share the ruin of the lost republic. Not only did he himself discharge every one who desired to return to Italy; but when the wildest of the wild partisans, Gnaeus Pompeius the younger, insisted on the execution of these people and of Cicero in particular: it was Cato alone who by his moral authority prevented it.


Pompeius also had no desire for peace. Had he been a man who deserved to hold the position which he occupied, we might suppose him to have perceived that he who aspires to a crown cannot return to the beaten track of ordinary existence, and that there is accordingly no place left on earth for one who has failed. But Pompeius was hardly too noble-minded to ask a favour, which the victor would have been perhaps magnanimous enough not to refuse to him; on the contrary, he was probably too mean to do so. Whether it was that he could not make up his mind to trust himself to Caesar, or that in his usual vague and undecided way, after the first immediate impression of the disaster of Pharsalus had vanished, be began again to cherish hope, Pompeius was resolved to continue the struggle against Caesar and to seek for himself yet another battle-field after that of Pharsalus.

Military Effects of the Battle
The Leaders Scattered

Thus, however much Caesar had striven by prudence and moderation to appease the fury of his opponents and to lessen their number, the struggle nevertheless went on without alteration. But the leading men had almost all taken part in the fight at Pharsalus; and, although they all escaped with the exception of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was killed in the flight, they were yet scattered in all directions, so that they were unable to concert a common plan for the continuance of the campaign. Most of them found their way, partly through the desolate mountains of Macedonia and Illyria, partly by the aid of the fleet, to Corcyra, where Marcus Cato commanded the reserve left behind. Here a sort of council of war took place under the presidency of Cato, at which Metellus Scipio, Titus Labienus, Lucius Afranius, Gnaeus Pompeius the younger and others were present; but the absence of the commander-in-chief and the painful uncertainty as to his fate, as well as the internal dissensions of the party, prevented the adoption of any common resolution, and ultimately each took the course which seemed to him the most suitable for himself or for the common cause. It was in fact in a high degree difficult to say among the many straws to which they might possibly cling which was the one that would keep longest above water.

Macedonia and Greece
The East

Macedonia and Greece were lost by the battle of Pharsalus. It is true that Cato, who had immediately on the news of the defeat evacuated Dyrrhachium, still held Corcyra, and Rutilius Lupus the Peloponnesus, during a time for the constitutional party. For a moment it seemed also as if the Pompeians would make a stand at Patrae in the Peloponnesus; but the accounts of the advance of Calenus sufficed to frighten them from that quarter. As little was there any attempt to maintain Corcyra. On the Italian and Sicilian coasts the Pompeian squadrons despatched thither after the victories of Dyrrhachium(36) had achieved not unimportant successes against the ports of Brundisium, Messana and Vibo, and at Messana especially had burnt the whole fleet in course of being fitted out for Caesar; but the ships that were thus active, mostly from Asia Minor and Syria, were recalled by their communities in consequence of the Pharsalian battle, so that the expedition came to an end of itself. In Asia Minor and Syria there were at the moment no troops of either party, with the exception of the Bosporan army of Pharnaces which had taken possession, ostensibly on Caesar's account, of different regions belonging to his opponents. In Egypt there was still indeed a considerable Roman army, formed of the troops left behind there by Gabinius(37) and thereafter recruited from Italian vagrants and Syrian or Cilician banditti; but it was self-evident and was soon officially confirmed by the recall of the Egyptian vessels, that the court of Alexandria by no means had the intention of holding firmly by the defeated party or of even placing its force of troops at their disposal. Somewhat more favourable prospects presented themselves to the vanquished in the west. In Spain Pompeian sympathies were so strong among the population, that the Caesarians had on that account to give up the attack which they contemplated from this quarter against Africa, and an insurrection seemed inevitable, so soon as a leader of note should appear in the peninsula. In Africa moreover the coalition, or rather Juba king of Numidia, who was the true regent there, had been arming unmolested since the autumn of 705. While the whole east was consequently lost to the coalition by the battle of Pharsalus, it might on the other hand continue the war after an honourable manner probably in Spain, and certainly in Africa; for to claim the aid of the king of Numidia, who had for a long time been subject to the Roman community, against revolutionary fellow- burgesses was for Romans a painful humiliation doubtless, but by no means an act of treason. Those again who in this conflict of despair had no further regard for right or honour, might declare themselves beyond the pale of the law, and commence hostilities as robbers; or might enter into alliance with independent neighbouring states, and introduce the public foe into the intestine strife; or, lastly, might profess monarchy with the lips and prosecute the restoration of the legitimate republic with the dagger of the assassin.

Hostilities of Robbers and Pirates

That the vanquished should withdraw and renounce the new monarchy, was at least the natural and so far the truest expression of their desperate position. The mountains and above all the sea had been in those times ever since the memory of man the asylum not only of all crime, but also of intolerable misery and of oppressed right; it was natural for Pompeians and republicans to wage a defiant war against the monarchy of Caesar, which had ejected them, in the mountains and on the seas, and especially natural for them to take up piracy on a greater scale, with more compact organization, and with more definite aims. Even after the recall of the squadrons that had come from the east they still possessed a very considerable fleet of their own, while Caesar was as yet virtually without vessels of war; and their connection with the Dalmatae who had risen in their own interest against Caesar,(38) and their control over the most important seas and seaports, presented the most advantageous prospects for a naval war, especially on a small scale. As formerly Sulla's hunting out of the democrats had ended in the Sertorian insurrection, which was a conflict first waged by pirates and then by robbers and ultimately became a very serious war, so possibly, if there was in the Catonian aristocracy or among the adherents of Pompeius as much spirit and fire as in the Marian democracy, and if there was found among them a true sea-king, a commonwealth independent of the monarchy of Caesar and perhaps a match for it might arise on the still unconquered sea.

Parthian Alliance

Far more serious disapproval in every respect is due to the idea of dragging an independent neighbouring state into the Roman civil war and of bringing about by its means a counter-revolution; law and conscience condemn the deserter more severely than the robber, and a victorious band of robbers finds its way back to a free and well-ordered commonwealth more easily than the emigrants who are conducted back by the public foe. Besides it was scarcely probable that the beaten party would be able to effect a restoration in this way. The only state, from which they could attempt to seek support, was that of the Parthians; and as to this it was at least doubtful whether it would make their cause its own, and very improbable that it would fight out that cause against Caesar.

The time for republican conspiracies had not yet come.

Caesar Pursues Pompeius to Egypt

While the remnant of the defeated party thus allowed themselves to be helplessly driven about by fate, and even those who had determined to continue the struggle knew not how or where to do so, Caesar, quickly as ever resolving and quickly acting, laid everything aside to pursue Pompeius—the only one of his opponents whom he respected as an officer, and the one whose personal capture would have probably paralyzed a half, and that perhaps the more dangerous half, of his opponents. With a few men he crossed the Hellespont—his single bark encountered in it a fleet of the enemy destined for the Black Sea, and took the whole crews, struck as with stupefaction by the news of the battle of Pharsalus, prisoners—and as soon as the most necessary preparations were made, hastened in pursuit of Pompeius to the east. The latter had gone from the Pharsalian battlefield to Lesbos, whence he brought away his wife and his second son Sextus, and had sailed onward round Asia Minor to Cilicia and thence to Cyprus. He might have joined his partisans at Corcyra or Africa; but repugnance toward his aristocratic allies and the thought of the reception which awaited him there after the day of Pharsalus and above all after his disgraceful flight, appear to have induced him to take his own course and rather to resort to the protection of the Parthian king than to that of Cato. While he was employed in collecting money and slaves from the Roman revenue-farmers and merchants in Cyprus, and in arming a band of 2000 slaves, he received news that Antioch had declared for Caesar and that the route to the Parthians was no longer open. So he altered his plan and sailed to Egypt, where a number of his old soldiers served in the army and the situation and rich resources of the country allowed him time and opportunity to reorganize the war.

In Egypt, after the death of Ptolemaeus Auletes (May 703) his children, Cleopatra about sixteen years of age and Ptolemaeus Dionysus about ten, had ascended the throne according to their father's will jointly, and as consorts; but soon the brother or rather his guardian Pothinus had driven the sister from the kingdom and compelled her to seek a refuge in Syria, whence she made preparations to get back to her paternal kingdom. Ptolemaeus and Pothinus lay with the whole Egyptian army at Pelusium for the sake of protecting the eastern frontier against her, just when Pompeius cast anchor at the Casian promontory and sent a request to the king to allow him to land. The Egyptian court, long informed of the disaster at Pharsalus, was on the point of refusing to receive Pompeius; but the king's tutor Theodotus pointed out that, in that case Pompeius would probably employ his connections in the Egyptian army to instigate rebellion; and that it would be safer, and also preferable with regard to Caesar, if they embraced the opportunity of making away with Pompeius. Political reasonings of this sort did not readily fail of their effect among the statesmen of the Hellenic world.

Death of Pompeius

Achillas the general of the royal troops and some of the former soldiers of Pompeius went off in a boat to his vessel; and invited him to come to the king and, as the water was shallow, to enter their barge. As he was stepping ashore, the military tribune Lucius Septimius stabbed him from behind, under the eyes of his wife and son who were compelled to be spectators of the murder from the deck of their vessel, without being able to rescue or revenge (28 Sept. 706). On the same day, on which thirteen years before he had entered the capital in triumph over Mithradates,(39) the man, who for a generation had been called the Great and for years had ruled Rome, died on the desert sands of the inhospitable Casian shore by the hand of one of his old soldiers. A good officer but otherwise of mediocre gifts of intellect and of heart, fate had with superhuman constancy for thirty years allowed him to solve all brilliant and toilless tasks; had permitted him to pluck all laurels planted and fostered by others; had brought him face to face with all the conditions requisite for obtaining the supreme power—only in order to exhibit in his person an example of spurious greatness, to which history knows no parallel. Of all pitiful parts there is none more pitiful than that of passing for more than one really is; and it is the fate of monarchy that this misfortune inevitably clings to it, for barely once in a thousand years does there arise among the people a man who is a king not merely in name, but in reality. If this disproportion between semblance and reality has never perhaps been so abruptly marked as in Pompeius, the fact may well excite grave reflection that it was precisely he who in a certain sense opened the series of Roman monarchs.

Arrival of Caesar

When Caesar following the track of Pompeius arrived in the roadstead of Alexandria, all was already over. With deep agitation he turned away when the murderer brought to his ship the head of the man, who had been his son-in-law and for long years his colleague in rule, and to get whom alive into his power he had come to Egypt. The dagger of the rash assassin precluded an answer to the question, how Caesar would have dealt with the captive Pompeius; but, while the humane sympathy, which still found a place in the great soul of Caesar side by side with ambition, enjoined that he should spare his former friend, his interest also required that he should annihilate Pompeius otherwise than by the executioner. Pompeius had been for twenty years the acknowledged ruler of Rome; a dominion so deeply rooted does not perish with the ruler's death. The death of Pompeius did not break up the Pompeians, but gave to them instead of an aged, incapable, and worn-out chief in his sons Gnaeus and Sextus two leaders, both of whom were young and active and the second was a man of decided capacity. To the newly-founded hereditary monarchy hereditary pretendership attached itself at once like a parasite, and it was very doubtful whether by this change of persons Caesar did not lose more than he gained.

Caesar Regulates Egypt

Meanwhile in Egypt Caesar had now nothing further to do, and the Romans and the Egyptians expected that he would immediately set sail and apply himself to the subjugation of Africa, and to the huge task of organization which awaited him after the victory. But Caesar faithful to his custom—wherever he found himself in the wide empire—of finally regulating matters at once and in person, and firmly convinced that no resistance was to be expected either from the Roman garrison or from the court, being, moreover, in urgent pecuniary embarrassment, landed in Alexandria with the two amalgamated legions accompanying him to the number of 3200 men and 800 Celtic and German cavalry, took up his quarters in the royal palace, and proceeded to collect the necessary sums of money and to regulate the Egyptian succession, without allowing himself to be disturbed by the saucy remark of Pothinus that Caesar should not for such petty matters neglect his own so important affairs. In his dealing with the Egyptians he was just and even indulgent. Although the aid which they had given to Pompeius justified the imposing of a war contribution, the exhausted land was spared from this; and, while the arrears of the sum stipulated for in 695(40) and since then only about half paid were remitted, there was required merely a final payment of 10,000,000 -denarii- (400,000 pounds). The belligerent brother and sister were enjoined immediately to suspend hostilities, and were invited to have their dispute investigated and decided before the arbiter. They submitted; the royal boy was already in the palace and Cleopatra also presented herself there. Caesar adjudged the kingdom of Egypt, agreeably to the testament of Auletes, to the intermarried brother and sister Cleopatra and Ptolemaeus Dionysus, and further gave unasked the kingdom of Cyprus—cancelling the earlier act of annexation(41)— as the appanageof the second-born of Egypt to the younger children of Auletes, Arsinoe and Ptolemaeus the younger.

Insurrection in Alexandria

But a storm was secretly preparing. Alexandria was a cosmopolitan city as well as Rome, hardly inferior to the Italian capital in the number of its inhabitants, far superior to it in stirring commercial spirit, in skill of handicraft, in taste for science and art: in the citizens there was a lively sense of their own national importance, and, if there was no political sentiment, there was at any rate a turbulent spirit, which induced them to indulge in their street riots as regularly and as heartily as the Parisians of the present day: one may conceive their feelings, when they saw the Roman general ruling in the palace of the Lagids and their kings accepting the award of his tribunal. Pothinus and the boy-king, both as may be conceived very dissatisfied at once with the peremptory requisition of old debts and with the intervention in the throne- dispute which could only issue, as it did, in favour of Cleopatra, sent—in order to pacify the Roman demands—the treasures of the temples and the gold plate of the king with intentional ostentation to be melted at the mint; with increasing indignation the Egyptians—who were pious even to superstition, and who rejoiced in the world-renowned magnificence of their court as if it were a possession of their own—beheld the bare walls of their temples and the wooden cups on the table of their king. The Roman army of occupation also, which had been essentially denationalized by its long abode in Egypt and the many intermarriages between the soldiers and Egyptian women, and which moreover numbered a multitude of the old soldiers of Pompeius and runaway Italian criminals and slaves in its ranks, was indignant at Caesar, by whose orders it had been obliged to suspend its action on the Syrian frontier, and at his handful of haughty legionaries. The tumult even at the landing, when the multitude saw the Roman axes carried into the old palace, and the numerous cases in which his soldiers were assassinated in the city, had taught Caesar the immense danger in which he was placed with his small force in presence of that exasperated multitude. But it was difficult to return on account of the north-west winds prevailing at this season of the year, and the attempt at embarkation might easily become a signal for the outbreak of the insurrection; besides, it was not the nature of Caesar to take his departure without having accomplished his work. He accordingly ordered up at once reinforcements from Asia, and meanwhile, till these arrived, made a show of the utmost self-possession. Never was there greater gaiety in his camp than during this rest at Alexandria; and while the beautiful and clever Cleopatra was not sparing of her charms in general and least of all towards her judge, Caesar also appeared among all his victories to value most those won over beautiful women. It was a merry prelude to graver scenes. Under the leadership of Achillas and, as was afterwards proved, by the secret orders of the king and his guardian, the Roman army of occupation stationed in Egypt appeared unexpectedly in Alexandria; and as soon as the citizens saw that it had come to attack Caesar, they made common cause with the soldiers.

Caesar in Alexandria

With a presence of mind, which in some measure justifies his earlier foolhardiness, Caesar hastily collected his scattered men; seized the persons of the king and his ministers; entrenched himself in the royal residence and the adjoining theatre; and gave orders, as there was no time to place in safety the war-fleet stationed in the principal harbour immediately in front of the theatre, that it should be set on fire and that Pharos, the island with the light-tower commanding the harbour, should be occupied by means of boats. Thus at least a restricted position for defence was secured, and the way was kept open to procure supplies and reinforcements. At the same time orders were issued to the commandant of Asia Minor as well as to the nearest subject countries, the Syrians and Nabataeans, the Cretans and the Rhodians, to send troops and ships in all haste to Egypt. The insurrection at the head of which the princess Arsinoe and her confidant the eunuch Ganymedes had placed themselves, meanwhilehad free course in all Egypt and in the greater part of the capital. In the streets of the latter there was daily fighting, but without success either on the part of Caesar in gaining freer scope and breaking through to the fresh water lake of Marea which lay behind the town, where he could have provided himself with water and forage, or on the part of the Alexandrians in acquiring superiority over the besieged and depriving them of all drinking water; for, when the Nile canals in Caesar's part of the town had been spoiled by the introduction of salt water, drinkable water was unexpectedly found in wells dug on the beach.

As Caesar was not to be overcome from the landward side, the exertions of the besiegers were directed to destroy his fleet and cut him off from the sea by which supplies reached him. The island with the lighthouse and the mole by which this was connected with the mainland divided the harbour into a western and an eastern half, which were in communication with each other through two arched openings in the mole. Caesar commanded the island and the east harbour, while the mole and the west harbour were in possession of the citizens; and, as the Alexandrian fleet was burnt, his vessels sailed in and out without hindrance. The Alexandrians, after having vainly attempted to introduce fire-ships from the western into the eastern harbour, equipped with the remnant of their arsenal a small squadron and with this blocked up the way of Caesar's vessels, when these were towing in a fleet of transports with a legion that had arrived from Asia Minor; but the excellent Rhodian mariners of Caesar mastered the enemy. Not long afterwards, however, the citizens captured the lighthouse- island,(42) and from that point totally closed the narrow and rocky mouth of the east harbour for larger ships; so that Caesar's fleet was compelled to take its station in the open roads before the east harbour, and his communication with the sea hung only on a weak thread. Caesar's fleet, attacked in that roadstead repeatedly by the superior naval force of the enemy, could neither shun the unequal strife, since the loss of the lighthouse-island closed the inner harbour against it, nor yet withdraw, for the loss of the roadstead would have debarred Caesar wholly from the sea. Though the brave legionaries, supported by the dexterity of the Rhodian sailors, had always hitherto decided these conflicts in favour of the Romans, the Alexandrians renewed and augmented their naval armaments with unwearied perseverance; the besieged had to fight as often as it pleased the besiegers, and if the former should be on a single occasion vanquished, Caesar would be totally hemmed in and probably lost.

It was absolutely necessary to make an attempt to recover the lighthouse island. The double attack, which was made by boats from the side of the harbour and by the war-vessels from the seaboard, in reality brought not only the island but also the lower part of the mole into Caesar's power; it was only at the second arch- opening of the mole that Caesar ordered the attack to be stopped, and the mole to be there closed towards the city by a transverse wall. But while a violent conflict arose here around the entrenchers, the Roman troops left the lower part of the mole adjoining the island bare of defenders; a division of Egyptians landed there unexpectedly, attacked in the rear the Roman soldiers and sailors crowded together on the mole at the transverse wall, and drove the whole mass in wild confusion into the sea. A part were taken on board by the Roman ships; the most were drowned. So