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CHAPTER XXXV.

THE FIRST TRIUMVIRATE AND THE GREAT CIVIL WAR. – FROM THE FIRST CONSULSHIP TO THE DEATH

OF CÆSAR. BC. 59 TO B.C. 44.

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“Motum ex Metello consule civicum,
Bellique causas, et vitia, et modos,
Ludumque Fortune, gravesque

Principum amicitias, et arma
“ Nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus,
Periculosæ plenum opus alem,
Tractas, et incedis per ignes

Suppositos cineri doloso.

“ Audire magnos jam videor duces
Non indecoro pulvere sordidos,
Et cuncta terrarum subacta,
Præter atrocem animum Catonis."

HORAT. Carm. ii. 1.

ORIGIN OF THE CIVIL WAR FROM THE CONSULSHIP OF METELLUS-ITS CAUSES AND CHA

RACTER-FIRST CONSU LSHIP OF CÆSAR-MEASURES OF THE TRIUMVIRS-PROCOXS. LATE OF CÆSAR -- POSITION OF CICERO -CLODIUSELECTED TRIBUNE-CICERO'S BANISHMENT AND RECAL-CLODIUS QUARRELS WITH POMPEY - RIOTS OP MILO ASD CLODIUS-MEETING OF THE TRIUMVIRS AT LUCCA -- PARTITION OF THE PROVINCES SECOND CONSULSHIP OF POMPEY AND CRASSUS--DEDICATION OF POMPEY'S THEATREPOMPEY REMAINS AT ROME-CRASSUS DEPARTS FOR SYRIA-ONESS OF DISASTERHE CROSSES THE EUPHRATES AND RETIRES-EMBASSY FROM THE PARTHIANSCRASSUS ENTERS MESOPOTAMIA-TACTICS OF THE PARTHIANS - THE BATTLE OF CILARRE-DEATH OF THE YOUNGER CRASSUS-RETREAT TO CHARRE-DEATH CRASSUS-SEQUEL OF THE PARTHIAN WAR-ANARCHY AT ROME-MURDER OP CLODIT -POMPEY SOLE CONSUL--TRIAL OF MILO: SPEECH OF CICERO---PONPET JOINS THS OPTIMATES, AND AIMS TO STRENGTHEN HINSELF AGAINST CESAR-PROROGATION OF HIS COMMAND-CÆSAR'S GALLIC WAR-FIRST CAMPAIGN : THE HELVETII AND GERMANS-SECOND CAMPAIGN: THE BELGIC TRIBES—THIRD CAMPAIGN: THE ARVORIO NATIONS-FOURTH CAMPAIGN: CÆSAR CROSSES THE RHINE, AND INVADES BRITAISFIFTH CAMPAIGN: SECOND INVASION OF BRITAIN: ATTACKS ON THE WINTER QARTERS OF THE ROMANS-SIXTI CAMPAIGN : SECOND PASSAGE OF THE RHINE-SEVENTI CAMPAIGN: REVOLT OP GAUL UNDER VEROINGETORIX: SIEGE AND CAPTURE ALESIA-EIGHTH CAMPAIGN: COMPLETE SUBJECTION OF GAUL--CÆSAR IN CISALPINE GAUL--CICERO'S PROCONSULATE IN CILICIA-MEASURES OF THE SENATE AGAINST CÆSAR-HE IS DECLARED A PUBLIC ENEMY-ANTONY AND CASSIUS FLY TO CESAR'S CAMP-CESAR OROSSES THE

RUBICON THE GREAT CIVIL VAR BEGINS-YLIGHT OF TUE POMPEIANS TO BRUNDISIUM AND GREECE-CESAR MASTER OF ITALY WAR IN SPAIN: DEPEAT OP AFRANIUS AND PETREIUS-CAPTURE OF MASSILIA-CESAR DICTATOR FOR ELEVEN DAYS--CESAR IN GREECE: BATTLE OF PHARSALIA-FLIGHT OP POMPEY TO EGYPT-HIS DEATH-CESAR IN EGYPT-CLEOPATRA THE ALEXANDRINE WAR-OLESAR IN PONTUS: VENI, VIDI, VICI-HIS RETURN TO) BOXPARDON OF CICERO-AFRICAN WAR: BATTLE OF THAPSUS: SIEGE OF UTICA: DEATH OP CATO—TRIUMPH OF CÆSAR-REFORMATION OF THE CALENDAR --INSURRECTION IX SPAIN --CÆSAK DEFEATS TIE POMPEIANS AT MUNDA-NIS RETURN TO ROYE AS MASTER ОР THE EMPIRE-DIOTATORSHIP FOR LIFE, AND OTHER HONOURS-HIS GIGANTIO PROJECTS-THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST HIS LIFE-CHARACTER OF BRITISTHE IDES OF MARCH-CHARACTER OF CESAR-HIS ADMIRERS AND IMITATORS.

Pollio, who adorned the court of Augustus with qualities not inferior to those of Agrippa and Mæcenas, began his great work

on the Civil Wars of the two Cæsars from their true origin in the consulship of Metellus and Afranius (B.C. 60); and Horace, in addressing his friend upon the undertaking, connects with great accuracy the chief transaction of that year with its fatal consequences. The bollow friendship of the chieftains, pregnant with fruits as yet unforeseen (graces amicitiæ) led inevitably to the

” which Horace makes their direct sequel. What one of Cicero's correspondents observed as a fact, was a necessity of their characters and position: their professions of attachment and their jealous union could not subside again into covert detraction of each other; but the first rupture must needs burst out into a struggle for the mastery. * Nor is the poet less happy in his allusion to the " faults” which Cicero and Cato joined in bitterly lamenting, and in the justice that he does to the one hero of pure patriotism, who still divides with the conqueror the admiration of the world. His warning to Pollio is even now a lesson to the historian. The fires which burnt amidst the recent embers nineteen centuries ayo are still ready to burst forth at the summons of that party spirit, which is so eager to fortify itself with analogies often totally inapplicable to modern politics, and to exalt or to stigmatize the characters of men who acted on principles utterly different from those which guide or ought to guide our own leaders, of whatever party. The advance of historical knowledge and political intelligence may in some future age produce the writer, who shall pass unscathed through these treacherous fires, .and do justice to the great qualities on either side, without plunging into the pitfall laid for him by the false show of patriotism made by a selfish aristocracy, or being caught by the fatal flame in which the commonwealth is offered up as a sacrifice to a despot. In avoiding the old errors of making a hero of the vain, selfish, and irresolute Pompey, an ideal patriot of the ungrateful assassin Brutus, and a political martyr of the vindictive and rapacious Cassius, it is not necessary to despise Cicero or disparage Cato; nor does an honest admiration of Cæsar's true greatness require us to offer incense to that despotism, the unflinching hatred of which is in all ages the surest test of fidelity to the principles of liberty, or demand for him a higher political eulogy than this:

Unmoved, superior still in every state,

And scarce detested in his country's fate." To write the life of Cæsar in a spirit of unqualified admiration is a

Cælius, Epist. ad Div. VIII. 14. 8 2:-"Sic illi amores et invidiosa conjunctio non ad occultam recidit obtrectationem, sed ad bellum se erupit.”

work which may be left to those who wish to benefit by the precedent of his usurpation.

Caius Julius CÆSAR entered on the first of his five consulships in the year B.c. 59, and pursued for exactly fifteen years that marvellous political and military career, to which history has since furnished but one, and that an unequal parallel.* He at once brought forward his proposal for the division of the Campanian lands, the richest which remained in the possession of the state. The support of Crassus bad weight with the Senate, and Pompey plainly declared that he would meet any appeal to force with force. The vote of the Comitia was taken amidst a tumult in which Bibulus was driven out of the forum, not to reappear there during his consulship. Twenty commissioners were entrusted with the execution of the agrarian law, and provision was made for 20,000 poor citizens, including many of Pompey's veterans.

The means taken to carry the measure left no doubt of the subjection of the commonwealth to those whom Cicero calls the Dynasts.

Cæsar next secured the favour of the Equites by the very measure which their own great supporter, Cicero, had pronounced a shameless demand when it was proposed by Crassus the year before - their relief from one-third of the sum, which their rapacity had overreached itself by bidding for the farming of the taxes of Asia. The ratification of Pompey's acts was easily obtained ; and the personal bond was drawn closer by his marriage with Cæsar's daughter Julia. It remained to reap the substantial reward of power, and to lay the foundation of future mastery. The prolongation of the consulship, even if the people had been willing to return to that form of despotism, would not have suited Cæsar's plans. Even if he did not yet meditate the subversion of the Republic, he doubtless saw that the mortal blow must soon be given either by himself or Pompey, and he could safely leave his rival and the Senate to try how they could do without him at Rome, while, like Sulla, he was creating, in a prolonged proconsular government, an army devoted to his person. Accordingly the tribune, P. Vatinius, carried a Rogation, investing Cæsar with the government of Illyricum and Cisalpine Gaul for five years. The Senate anticipated by its own decree a second bill for extend

* The period of Napoleon's supremacy was also fifteen years, dating from his election as first consul in 1799–1800. However different the offices that were called by the same name, there is a close resemblance between the position of Cæsar with such a colleague as Bibulus, and that of Napoleon with his faineant colleagues, of whom it was said that 1+1+1=1.

ing his power to Transalpine Gaul for the same period, and added another legion to the three granted to the proconsul by the Vatinian Law. No field of action could better have suited Cæsar's present views or his future fame. As proconsul of Gallia Cisalpina, he could spend his winters in watching the progress of affairs in Italy; while the Further Province opened to him an unbounded prospect of surpassing the fame of Camillus and Marius by subjugating the country of those Celtic tribes, before whom Rome had trembled for her existence. Possessing, amidst his varied accomplishments, a Latin style even purer though less ornate than Cicero's, he has told us how he used the opportunity in that immortal work which (under the modest title of Commentaries, or Notes for History) must ever rank as the chief text-book of the military student.

The little reference to Cicero in the record of these proceedings is even less remarkable than the reserve of his familiar letters. Neither on public nor private grounds was he in any condition to resist the triumvirs, though he deeply felt that they were destroying the cause he had espoused; and his letters, after his return to Rome from the country, about June, contain allusions to their unpopularity.* He had come to confess that his political influence was departed. Crassus had often flattered his vanity, and he still clung to his union with Pompey as a source of strength. For Cæsar he felt a personal regard which was honourable to both, and which Cicero would have done wisely to have made the ground of closer relations. For he now began to feel that he needed powerful defenders. His allusions to Clodius are in a style of affected security which betrays deep uneasiness. And with good reason; for in this year Clodius gained his election to the tribunate, though not till he had sworn to Pompey that he would do Cicero no harm. If Pompey did not know the value of such an oath, Cæsar did; and he made a generous effort to save Cicero by inviting him to accompany him to Gaul as legate. In declining the offer Cicero seems to have relied on his popularity even more than on Pompey's good faith ; and it may well be doubted whether, if he had been entrusted with that memorable defence of the winter-quarters of a legion against the whole host of the Nervii his name would have stood in the 6 Commentaries " in the brilliant place filled by that of his brother Quintus, to whom Cæsar gave the legateship which he declined.f The uncertain nature of his reliance upon Pompey may be gathered from the following passage of a letter to Atticus :—“ Pompey loves me and treats me with affection. “Do you believe it?' you will ask. I do believe it: he makes me believe it. But we are warned by precepts both in prose and verse to be on our guard and avoid credulity. Well! I take care to be on my guard; but incredulous of his professions I cannot be." Those who are ever harping upon Cicero's pusillanimity overlook the self-confidence, amounting to rashness, which he felt in the prospect of measuring his strength with Clodius. But that confidence began to fail him as the machinations of his enemies were unfolded, and his later letters of this year breathe the despondency which disappointment engenders in natures like his. With the new year (B.C. 58) the final struggle came, and Clodius, supported by two consuls of a character as despicable as his own, proposed a bill to interdict from fire and water any man who had put Roman citizens to death without a trial. The rogation was, in effect, a “bill of pains and penalties" against Cicero, and the absence of his name merely covered the personal attack with the profession of a general principle. He assumed the sordid garb of an accused person, and made his appeal in the forum to the compassion of the citizens. The same classes that had offered their congratulations on his consulship now brought the tribute of their sympathy. Deputations from the Italian cities flocked to Rome : the whole equestrian order went into mourning; and, when the consul Gabinius prohibited the Senate from doing the like, many of the Senators tore their robes. But all availed nothing against the city rabble and the armed bands, by means of which Clodius kept possession of the forum. The triumvirs were appealed to ; and each of them gave a thoroughly characteristic refusal. Pompey had retired to his Alban villa, twenty miles from Rome, where, after rejecting the appeal of the Senators who followed him to his retreat, he had the contemptible gratification of seeing Cicero prostrate before him as a suppliant, and coldly repelling him with an answer which threw the responsibility upon Cæsar. As for Cæsar, he evidently thought that he had done enough to satisfy the claims of generosity, and it was not his policy to break with the popular faction on the eve of his departure, for the sake of a private friend and political opponent who had rejected his help. He was encamped with his army outside the walls; and, at an assembly of the people in the Flaminian Circus, Clodius asked him what he thought of Cicero's conduct in his consulship. Cæsar repeated the opinion

His real feeliugs of dislike towards Pompey find vent in the nicknames of Sampsiceramus and Hicrosolymitanus.

+ Cæsar, Bell. Gall, v.

38, foll.

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