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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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. Some 400 soldiers and a still greater number of men belonging to the fleet were sacrificed on this day; the general himself, who had shared the fate of his men, had been obliged to seek refuge, in his ship, and when this sank from having been overloaded with men, he had to save himself by swimming to another. But, severe as was the loss suffered, it was amply compensated by the recovery of the lighthouse-island, which along with the mole as far as the first arch-opening remained in the hands of Caesar.
Relieving Army from Asia Minor
At length the longed-for relief arrived. Mithradates of Pergamus, an able warrior of the school of Mithradates Eupator, whose natural son he claimed to be, brought up by land from Syria a motley army— the Ityraeans of the prince of the Libanus,(43) the Bedouins of Jamblichus, son of Sampsiceramus,(44) the Jews under the minister Antipater, and the contingents generally of the petty chiefs and communities of Cilicia and Syria. From Pelusium, which Mithradates had the fortune to occupy on the day of his arrival, he took the great road towards Memphis with the view of avoiding the intersected ground of the Delta and crossing the Nile before its division; during which movement his troops received manifold support from the Jewish peasants who were settled in peculiar numbers in this part of Egypt. The Egyptians, with the young king Ptolemaeus now at their head, whom Caesar had released to his people in the vain hope of allaying the insurrection by his means, despatched an army to the Nile, to detain Mithradates on its farther bank. This army fell in with the enemy even beyond Memphis at the so-called Jews'-camp, between Onion and Heliopolis; nevertheless Mithradates, trained in the Roman fashion of manoeuvring and encamping, amidst successful conflicts gained the opposite bank at Memphis. Caesar, on the other hand, as soon as he obtained news of the arrival of the relieving army, conveyed a part of his troops in ships to the end of the lake of Marea to the west of Alexandria, and marched round this lake and down the Nile to meet Mithradates advancing up the river.
Battle at the Nile
The junction took place without the enemy attempting to hinder it. Caesar then marched into the Delta, whither the king had retreated, overthrew, notwithstanding the deeply cut canal in their front, the Egyptian vanguard at the first onset, and immediately stormed the Egyptian camp itself. It lay at the foot of a rising ground between the Nile—from which only a narrow path separated it— and marshes difficult of access. Caesar caused the camp to be assailed simultaneously from the front and from the flank on the path along the Nile; and during this assault ordered a third detachment to ascend unseen the heights behind the camp. The victory was complete the camp was taken, and those of the Egyptians who did not fal beneath the sword of the enemy were drowned in the attempt to escape to the fleet on the Nile. With one of the boats, which sank overladen with men, the young king also disappeared in the waters of his native stream.
Pacificatin of Alexandria
Immediately after the battle Caesar advanced at the head of his cavalry from the land-side straight into the portion of the capital occupied by the Egyptians. In mourning attire, with the images of their gods in their hands, the enemy received him and sued for peace; and his troops, when they saw him return as victor from the side opposite to that by which he had set forth, welcomed him with boundless joy. The fate of the town, which had ventured to thwart the plans of the master of the world and had brought him within a hair's-breadth of destruction, lay in Caesar's hands; but he was too much of a ruler to be sensitive, and dealt with the Alexandrians as with the Massiliots. Caesar—pointing to their city severely devastated and deprived of its granaries, of its world-renowned library, and of other important public buildings on occasion of the burning of the fleet—exhorted the inhabitants in future earnestly to cultivate the arts of peace alone, and to heal the wounds which they had inflicted on themselves; for the rest, he contented himself with granting to the Jews settled in Alexandria the same rights which the Greek population of the city enjoyed, and with placing in Alexandria, instead of the previous Roman army of occupation which nominally at least obeyed the kings of Egypt, a formal Roman garrison—two of the legions besieged there, and a third which afterwards arrived from Syria—under a commander nominated by himself. For this position of trust a man was purposely selected, whose birth made it impossible for him to abuse it—Rufio, an able soldier, but the son of a freedman. Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemaeus obtained the sovereignty of Egypt under the supremacy of Rome; the princess Arsinoe was carried off to Italy, that she might not serve once more as a pretext for insurrections to the Egyptians, who were after the Oriental fashion quite as much devoted to their dynasty as they were indifferent towards the individual dynasts; Cyprus became again a part of the Roman province of Cilicia.
Course of Things during Caesar's Absence in Alexandria
This Alexandrian insurrection, insignificant as it was in itself and slight as was its intrinsic connection with the events of importance in the world's history which took place at the same time in the Roman state, had nevertheless so far a momentous influence on them that it compelled the man, who was all in all and without whom nothing could be despatched and nothing could be solved, to leave his proper tasks in abeyance from October 706 up to March 707 in order to fight along with Jews and Bedouins against a city rabble. The consequences of personal rule began to make themselves felt. They had the monarchy; but the wildest confusion prevailed everywhere, and the monarch was absent. The Caesarians were for the moment, just like the Pompeians, without superintendence; the ability of the individual officers and, above all, accident decided matters everywhere.
Insubordination of Pharnaces
In Asia Minor there was, at the time of Caesar's departure for Egypt, no enemy. But Caesar's lieutenant there, the able Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus, had received orders to take away again from king Pharnaces what he had without instructions wrested from the allies of Pompeius; and, as Pharnaces, an obstinate and arrogant despot like his father, perseveringly refused to evacuate Lesser Armenia, no course remained but to march against him. Calvinus had been obliged to despatch to Egypt two out of the three legions left behind with him and formed out of the Pharsalian prisoners of war; he filled up the gap by one legion hastily gathered from the Romans domiciled in Pontus and two legions of Deiotarus exercised after the Roman manner, and advanced into Lesser Armenia. But the Bosporan army, tried in numerous conflicts with the dwellers on the Black Sea, showed itself more efficient than his own.
Calvinus Defeated at Nicopolis
Victory of Caesar at Ziela
In an engagement at Nicopolis the Pontic levy of Calvinus was cut to pieces and the Galatian legions ran off; only the one old legion of the Romans fought its way through with moderate loss. Instead of conquering Lesser Armenia, Calvinus could not even prevent Pharnaces from repossessing himself of his Pontic "hereditary states," and pouring forth the whole vials of his horrible sultanic caprices on their inhabitants, especially the unhappy Amisenes (winter of 706-707). When Caesar in person arrived in Asia Minor and intimated to him that the service which Pharnaces had rendered to him personally by having granted no help to Pompeius could not be taken into account against the injury inflicted on the empire, and that before any negotiation he must evacuate the province of Pontus and send back the property which he had pillaged, he declared himself doubtless ready to submit; nevertheless, well knowing how good reason Caesar had for hastening to the west, he made no serious preparations for the evacuation. He did not know that Caesar finished whatever he took in hand. Without negotiating further, Caesar took with him the one legion which he brought from Alexandria and the troops of Calvinus and Deiotarus, and advanced against the camp of Pharnaces at Ziela. When the Bosporans saw him approach, they boldly crossed the deep mountain-ravine which covered their front, and charged the Romans up the hill. Caesar's soldiers were still occupied in pitching their camp, and the ranks wavered for a moment; but the veterans accustomed to war rapidly rallied and set the example for a general attack and for a complete victory (2 Aug. 707). In five days the campaign was ended—an invaluable piece of good fortune at this time, when every hour was precious.
Regulation of Asia Minor
Caesar entrusted the pursuit of the king, who had gone home by way of Sinope to Pharnaces' illegitimate brother, the brave Mithradates of Pergamus, who as a reward for the services rendered by him in Egypt received the crown of the Bosporan kingdom in room of Pharnaces. In other respects the affairs of Syria and Asia Minor were peacefully settled; Caesar's own allies were richly rewarded, those of Pompeius were in general dismissed with fines or reprimands. Deiotarus alone, the most powerful of the clients of Pompeius, was again confined to his narrow hereditary domain, the canton of the Tolistobogii. In his stead Ariobarzanes king of Cappadocia was invested with Lesser Armenia, and the tetrarchy of the Trocmi usurped by Deiotarus was conferred on the new king of the Bosporus, who was descended by the maternal side from one of the Galatian princely houses as by the paternal from that of Pontus.
War by Land and Sea in Illyria
Defeat of Gabinius
Naval Victory at Tauris
In Illyria also, while Caesar was in Egypt, incidents of a very grave nature had occurred. The Dalmatian coast had been for centuries a sore blemish on the Roman rule, and its inhabitants had been at open feud with Caesar since the conflicts around Dyrrhachium; while the interior also since the time of the Thessalian war, swarmed with dispersed Pompeians. Quintus Cornificius had however, with the legions that followed him from Italy, kept both the natives and the refugees in check and had at the same time sufficiently met the difficult task of provisioning the troops in these rugged districts. Even when the able Marcus Octavius, the victor of Curicta,(45) appeared with a part of the Pompeian fleet in these waters to wage war there against Caesar by sea and land, Cornificius not only knew how to maintain himself, resting for support on the ships and the harbour of the Iadestini (Zara), but in his turn also sustained several successful engagements at sea with the fleet of his antagonist. But when the new governor of Illyria, the Aulus Gabinius recalled by Caesar from exile,(46) arrived by the landward route in Illyria in the winter of 706-707 with fifteen cohorts and 3000 horse, the system of warfare changed. Instead of confining himself like his predecessor to war on a small scale, the bold active man undertook at once, in spite of the inclement season, an expedition with his whole force to the mountains. But the unfavourable weather, the difficulty of providing supplies, and the brave resistance of the Dalmatians, swept away the army; Gabinius had to commence his retreat, was attacked in the course of it and disgracefully defeated by the Dalmatians, and with the feeble remains of his fine army had difficulty in reaching Salonae, where he soon afterwards died. Most of the Illyrian coast towns thereupon surrendered to the fleet of Octavius; those that adhered to Caesar, such as Salonae and Epidaurus (Ragusa vecchia), were so hard pressed by the fleet at sea and by the barbarians on land, that the surrender and capitulation of the remains of the army enclosed in Salonae seemed not far distant. Then the commandant of the depot at Brundisium, the energetic Publius Vatinius, in the absence of ships of war caused common boats to be provided with beaks and manned with the soldiers dismissed from the hospitals, and with this extemporized war-fleet gave battle to the far superior fleet of Octavius at the island of Tauris (Torcola between Lesina and Curzola)— a battle in which, as in so many cases, the bravery of the leader and of the marines compensated for the deficiencies of the vessels, and the Caesarians achieved a brilliant victory. Marcus Octavius left these waters and proceeded to Africa (spring of 707); the Dalmatians no doubt continued their resistance for years with great obstinacy, but it was nothing beyond a local mountain-warfare. When Caesar returned from Egypt, his resolute adjutant had already got rid of the danger that was imminent in Illyria.
Reorganization of the Coalition in Africa
All the more serious was the position of things in Africa, where the constitutional party had from the outset of the civil war ruled absolutely and had continually augmented their power. Down to the battle of Pharsalus king Juba had, properly speaking, borne rule there; he had vanquished Curio, and his flying horsemen and his numberless archers were the main strength of the army; the Pompeian governor Varus played by his side so subordinate a part that he even had to deliver those soldiers of Curio, who had surrendered to him, over to the king, and had to look on while they were executed or carried away into the interior of Numidia. After the battle of Pharsalus a change took place. With the exception of Pompeius himself, no man of note among the defeated party thought of flight to the Parthians. As little did they attempt to hold the sea with their united resources; the warfare waged by Marcus Octavius in the Illyrian waters was isolated, and was without permanent success. The great majority of the republicans as of the Pompeians betook themselves to Africa, where alone an honourable and constitutional warfare might still be waged against the usurper. There the fragments of the army scattered at Pharsalus, the troops that had garrisoned Dyrrhachium, Corcyra, and the Peloponnesus, the remains of the Illyrian fleet, gradually congregated; there the second commander-in-chief Metellus Scipio, the two sons of Pompeius, Gnaeus and Sextus, the political leader of the republicans Marcus Cato, the able officers Labienus, Afranius, Petreius, Octavius and others met. If the resources of the emigrants had diminished, their fanaticism had, if possible, even increased. Not only did they continue to murder their prisoners and even the officers of Caesar under flag of truce, but king Juba, in whom the exasperation of the partisan mingled with the fury of the half-barbarous African, laid down the maxim that in every community suspected of sympathizing with the enemy the burgesses ought to be extirpated and the town burnt down, and even practically carried out this theory against some townships, such as the unfortunate Vaga near Hadrumetum. In fact it was solely owing to the energetic intervention of Cato that the capital of the province itself the flourishing Utica—which, just like Carthage formerly, had been long regarded with a jealous eye by the Numidian kings— did not experience the same treatment from Juba, and that measures of precaution merely were taken against its citizens, who certainly were not unjustly accused of leaning towards Caesar.
As neither Caesar himself nor any of his lieutenants undertook the smallest movement against Africa, the coalition had full time to acquire political and military reorganization there. First of all, it was necessary to fill up anew the place of commander-in-chief vacant by the death of Pompeius. King Juba was not disinclined still to maintain the position which he had held in Africa up to the battle of Pharsalus; indeed he bore himself no longer as a client of the Romans but as an equal ally or even as a protector, and took it upon him, for example, to coin Roman silver money with his name and device; nay, he even raised a claim to be the sole wearer of purple in the camp, and suggested to the Roman commanders that they should lay aside their purple mantle of office. Further Metellus Scipio demanded the supreme command for himself, because Pompeius had recognized him in the Thessalian campaign as on a footing of equality, more from the consideration that he was his son-in-law than on military grounds. The like demand was raised by Varus as the governor—self-nominated, it is true—of Africa, seeing that the war was to be waged in his province. Lastly the army desired for its leader the propraetor Marcus Cato. Obviously it was right. Cato was the only man who possessed the requisite devotedness, energy, and authority for the difficult office; if he was no military man, it was infinitely better to appoint as commander-in-chief a non-military man who understood how to listen to reason and make his subordinates act, than an officer of untried capacity like Varus, or even one of tried incapacity like Metellus Scipio. But the decision fell at length on this same Scipio, and it was Cato himself who mainly determined that decision. He did so, not because he felt himself unequal to such a task, or because his vanity found its account rather in declining than in accepting; still less because he loved or respected Scipio, with whom he on the contrary was personally at variance, and who with his notorious inefficiency had attained a certain importance merely in virtue of his position as father-in-law to Pompeius; but simply and solely because his obstinate legal formalism chose rather to let the republic go to ruin in due course of law than to save it in an irregular way. When after the battle of Pharsalus he met with Marcus Cicero at Corcyra, he had offered to hand over the command in Corcyra to the latter—who was still from the time of his Cilician administration invested with the rank of general— as the officer of higher standing according to the letter of the law, and by this readiness had driven the unfortunate advocate, who now cursed a thousand times his laurels from the Arnanus, almost to despair; but he had at the same time astonished all men of any tolerable discernment. The same principles were applied now, when something more was at stake; Cato weighed the question to whom the place of commander-in-chief belonged, as if the matter had reference to a field at Tusculum, and adjudged it to Scipio. By this sentence his own candidature and that of Varus were set aside. But he it was also, and he alone, who confronted with energy the claims of king Juba, and made him feel that the Roman nobility came to him not suppliant, as to the great-prince of the Parthians, with a view to ask aid at the hands of a protector, but as entitled to command and require aid from a subject. In the present state of the Roman forces in Africa, Juba could not avoid lowering his claims to some extent; although he still carried the point with the weak Scipio, that the pay of his troops should be charged on the Roman treasury and the cession of the province of Africa should be assured to him in the event of victory.
By the side of the new general-in-chief the senate of the "three hundred" again emerged. It established its seat in Utica, and replenished its thinned ranks by the admission of the most esteemed and the wealthiest men of the equestrian order.
The warlike preparations were pushed forward, chiefly through the zeal of Cato, with the greatest energy, and every man capable of arms, even the freedman and Libyan, was enrolled in the legions; by which course so many hands were withdrawn from agriculture that a great part of the fields remained uncultivated, but an imposing result was certainly attained. The heavy infantry numbered fourteen legions, of which two were already raised by Varus, eight others were formed partly from the refugees, partly from the conscripts in the province, and four were legions of king Juba armed in the Roman manner. The heavy cavalry, consisting of the Celts and Germans who arrived with Labienus and sundry others incorporated in their ranks, was, apart from Juba's squadron of cavalry equipped in the Roman style, 1600 strong. The light troops consisted of innumerable masses of Numidians riding without bridle or rein and armed merely with javelins, of a number of mounted bowmen, and a large host of archers on foot. To these fell to be added Juba's 120 elephants, and the fleet of 55 sail commanded by Publius Varus and Marcus Octavius. The urgent want of money was in some measure remedied by a self-taxation on the part of the senate, which was the more productive as the richest African capitalists had been induced to enter it. Corn and other supplies were accumulated in immense quantities in the fortresses capable of defence; at the same time the stores were as far as possible removed from the open townships. The absence of Caesar, the troublesome temper of his legions, the ferment in Spain and Italy gradually raised men's spirits, and the recollection of the Pharsalian defeat began to give way to fresh hopes of victory.
The time lost by Caesar in Egypt nowhere revenged itself more severely than here. Had he proceeded to Africa immediately after the death of Pompeius, he would have found there a weak, disorganized, and frightened army and utter anarchy among the leaders; whereas there was now in Africa, owing more especially to Cato's energy, an army equal in number to that defeated at Pharsalus, under leaders of note, and under a regulated superintendence.
Movements in Spain
A peculiar evil star seemed altogether to preside over this African expedition of Caesar. He had, even before his embarkation for Egypt, arranged in Spain and Italy various measures preliminary and preparatory to the African war; but out of all there had sprung nothing but mischief. From Spain, according to Caesar's arrangement, the governor of the southern province Quintus Cassius Longinus was to cross with four legions to Africa, to be joined there by Bogud king of West Mauretania,(47) and to advance with him towards Numidia and Africa. But that army destined for Africa included in it a number of native Spaniards and two whole legions formerly Pompeian; Pompeian sympathies prevailed in the army as in the province, and the unskilful and tyrannical behaviour of the Caesarian governor was not fitted to allay them. A formal revolt took place; troops and towns took part for or against the governor; already those who had risen against the lieutenant of Caesar were on the point of openly displaying the banner of Pompeius; already had Pompeius' elder son Gnaeus embarked from Africa for Spain to take advantage of this favourable turn, when the disavowal of the governor by the most respectable Caesarians themselves and the interference of the commander of the northern province suppressed just in right time the insurrection. Gnaeus Pompeius, who had lost time on the way with a vain attempt to establish himself in Mauretania, came too late; Gaius Trebonius, whom Caesar after his return from the east sent to Spain to relieve Cassius (autumn of 707), met everywhere with absolute obedience. But of course amidst these blunders nothing was done from Spain to disturb the organization of the republicans in Africa; indeed in consequence of the complications with Longinus, Bogud king of West Mauretania, who was on Caesar's side and might at least have put some obstacles in the way of king Juba, had been called away with his troops to Spain.
Military Revolt in Campania
Still more critical were the occurrences among the troops whom Caesar had caused to be collected in southern Italy, in order to his embarkation with them for Africa. They were for the most part the old legions, which had founded Caesar's throne in Gaul, Spain, and Thessaly. The spirit of these troops had not been improved by victories, and had been utterly disorganized by long repose in Lower Italy. The almost superhuman demands which the general made on them, and the effects of which were only too clearly apparent in their fearfully thinned ranks, left behind even in these men of iron a leaven of secret rancour which required only time and quiet to set their minds in a ferment. The only man who had influence over them, had been absent and almost unheard-of for a year; while the officers placed over them were far more afraid of the soldiers than the soldiers of them, and overlooked in the conquerors of the world every outrage against those that gave them quarters, and every breach of discipline. When the orders to embark for Sicily arrived, and the soldier was to exchange the luxurious ease of Campania for a third campaign certainly not inferior to those of Spain and Thessaly in point of hardship, the reins, which had been too long relaxed and were too suddenly tightened, snapt asunder. The legions refused to obey till the promised presents were paid to them, scornfully repulsed the officers sent by Caesar, and even threw stones at them. An attempt to extinguish the incipient revolt by increasing the sums promised not only had no success, but the soldiers set out in masses to extort the fulfilment of the promises from the general in the capital. Several officers, who attempted to restrain the mutinous bands on the way, were slain. It was a formidable danger. Caesar ordered the few soldiers who were in the city to occupy the gates, with the view of warding off the justly apprehended pillage at least at the first onset, and suddenly appeared among the furious bands demanding to know what they wanted. They exclaimed: "discharge." In a moment the request was granted. Respecting the presents, Caesar added, which he had promised to his soldiers at his triumph, as well as respecting the lands which he had not promised to them but had destined for them, they might apply to him on the day when he and the other soldiers should triumph; in the triumph itself they could not of course participate, as having been previously discharged. The masses were not prepared for things taking this turn; convinced that Caesar could not do without them for the African campaign, they had demanded their discharge only in order that, if it were refused, they might annex their own conditions to their service. Half unsettled in their belief as to their own indispensableness; too awkward to return to their object, and to bring the negotiation which had missed its course back to the right channel; ashamed, as men, by the fidelity with which the Imperator kept his word even to soldiers who had forgotten their allegiance, and by his generosity which even now granted far more than he had ever promised; deeply affected, as soldiers, when the general presented to them the prospect of their being necessarily mere civilian spectators of the triumph of their comrades, and when he called them no longer "comrades" but "burgesses,"—by this very form of address, which from his mouth sounded so strangely, destroying as it were with one blow the whole pride of their past soldierly career; and, besides all this, under the spell of the man whose presence had an irresistible power—the soldiers stood for a while mute and lingering, till from all sides a cry arose that the general would once more receive them into favour and again permit them to be called Caesar's soldiers. Caesar, after having allowed himself to be sufficiently entreated, granted the permission; but the ringleaders in this mutiny had a third cut off from their triumphal presents. History knows no greater psychological masterpiece, and none that was more completely successful.
Caesar Proceeds to Africa
Conflict at Ruspina
This mutiny operated injuriously on the African campaign, at least in so far as it considerably delayed the commencement of it. When Caesar arrived at the port of Lilybaeum destined for the embarkation the ten legions intended for Africa werefar from being fully assembled there, and it was the experienced troops that were farthest behind. Hardly however had six legions, of which five were newly formed, arrived there and the necessary war-vessels and transports come forward, when Caesar put to sea with them (25 Dec. 707 of the uncorrected, about 8 Oct. of the Julian, calendar). The enemy's fleet, which on account of the prevailing equinoctial gales was drawn up on the beach at the island Aegimurus in front of the bay of Carthage, did not oppose the passage; but, the same storms scattered the fleet of Caesar in all directions, and, when he availed himself of the opportunity of landing not far from Hadrumetum (Susa), he could not disembark more than some 3000 men, mostly recruits, and 150 horsemen. His attempt to capture Hadrumetum strongly occupied by the enemy miscarried; but Caesar possessed himself of the two seaports not far distant from each other, Ruspina (Monastir near Susa) and Little Leptis. Here he entrenched himself; but his position was so insecure, that he kept his cavalry in the ships and the ships ready for sea and provided with a supply of water, in order to re-embark at any moment if he should be attacked by a superior force. This however was not necessary, for just at the right time the ships that had been driven out of their course arrived (3 Jan. 708). On the very following day Caesar, whose army in consequence of the arrangements made by the Pompeians suffered from want of corn, undertook with three legions an expedition into the interior of the country, but was attacked on the march not far from Ruspina by the corps which Labienus had brought up to dislodge Caesar from the coast. As Labienus had exclusively cavalry and archers, and Caesar almost nothing but infantry of the line, the legions were quickly surrounded and exposed to the missiles of the enemy, without being able to retaliate or to attack with success. No doubt the deploying of the entire line relieved once more the flanks, and spirited charges saved the honour of their arms; but a retreat was unavoidable, and had Ruspina not been so near, the Moorish javelin would perhaps have accomplished the same result here as the Parthian bow at Carrhae.
Caesar's Position at Ruspina
Caesar, whom this day had fully convinced of the difficulty of the impending war, would not again expose his soldiers untried and discouraged by the new mode of fighting to any such attack, but awaited the arrival of his veteran legions. The interval was employed in providing some sort of compensation against the crushing superiority of the enemy in the weapons of distant warfare. The incorporation of the suitable men from the fleet as light horsemen or archers in the land-army could not be of much avail. The diversions which Caesar suggested were somewhat more effectual. He succeeded in bringing into arms against Juba the Gaetulian pastoral tribes wandering on the southern slope of the great Atlas towards the Sahara; for the blows of the Marian and Sullan period had reached even to them, and their indignation against Pompeius, who had at that time made them subordinate to the Numidian kings,(48) rendered them from the outset favourably inclined to the heir of the mighty Marius of whose Jugurthine campaign they had still a lively recollection. The Mauretanian kings, Bogud in Tingis and Bocchus in Iol, were Juba's natural rivals and to a certain extent long since in alliance with Caesar. Further, there still roamed in the border-region between the kingdoms of Juba and Bocchus the last of the Catilinarians, that Publius Sittius of Nuceria,(49) who eighteen years before had become converted from a bankrupt Italian merchant into a Mauretanian leader of free bands, and since that time had procured for himself a name and a body of retainers amidst the Libyan quarrels. Bocchus and Sittius united fell on the Numidian land, and occupied the important town of Cirta; and their attack, as well as that of the Gaetulians, compelled king Juba to send a portion of his troops to his southern and western frontiers.
Caesar's situation, however, continued sufficiently unpleasant. His army was crowded together within a space of six square miles; though the fleet conveyed corn, the want of forage was as much felt by Caesar's cavalry as by those of Pompeius before Dyrrhachium. The light troops of the enemy remained notwithstanding all the exertions of Caesar so immeasurably superior to his, that it seemed almost impossible to carry offensive operations into the interior even with veterans. If Scipio retired and abandoned the coast towns, he might perhaps achieve a victory like those which the vizier of Orodes had won over Crassus and Juba over Curio, and he could at least endlessly protract the war. The simplest consideration suggested this plan of campaign; even Cato, although far from a strategist, counselled its adoption, and offered at the same time to cross with a corps to Italy and to call the republicans there to arms— which, amidst the utter confusion in that quarter, might very well meet with success. But Cato could only advise, not command; Scipio the commander-in-chief decided that the war should be carried on in the region of the coast. This was a blunder, not merely inasmuch as they thereby dropped a plan of war promising a sure result, but also inasmuch as the region to which they transferred the war was in dangerous agitation, and a good part of the army which they opposed to Caesar was likewise in a troublesome temper. The fearfully strict levy, the carrying off of the supplies, the devastating of the smaller townships, the feeling in general that they were being sacrificed for a cause which from the outset was foreign to them and was already lost, had exasperated the native population against the Roman republicans fighting out their last struggle of despair on African soil; and the terrorist proceedings of the latter against all communities that were but suspected of indifference,(50) had raised this exasperation to the most fearful hatred. The African towns declared, wherever they could venture to do so, for Caesar; among the Gaetulians and the Libyans, who served in numbers among the light troops and even in the legions, desertion was spreading. But Scipio with all the obstinacy characteristic of folly persevered in his plan, marched with all his force from Utica to appear before the towns of Ruspina and Little Leptis occupied by Caesar, furnished Hadrumetum to the north and Thapsus to the south (on the promontory Ras Dimas) with strong garrisons, and in concert with Juba, who likewise appeared before Ruspina with all his troops not required by the defence of the frontier, offered battle repeatedly to the enemy. But Caesar was resolved to wait for his veteran legions. As these one after another arrived and appeared on the scene of strife, Scipio and Juba lost the desire to risk a pitched battle, and Caesar had no means of compelling them to fight owing to their extraordinary superiority in light cavalry. Nearly two months passed away in marches and skirmishes in the neighbourhood of Ruspina and Thapsus, which chiefly had relation to the finding out of the concealed store-pits (silos) common in the country, and to the extension of posts. Caesar, compelled by the enemy's horsemen to keep as much as possible to the heights or even to cover his flanks by entrenched lines, yet accustomed his soldiers gradually during this laborious and apparently endless warfare to the foreign mode of fighting. Friend and foe hardly recognized the rapid general in the cautious master of fence who trained his men carefully and not unfrequently in person; and they became almost puzzled by the masterly skill which displayed itself as conspicuously in delay as in promptitude of action.
Battle at Thapsus
At last Caesar, after being joined by his last reinforcements, made a lateral movement towards Thapsus. Scipio had, as we have said, strongly garrisoned this town, and thereby committed the blunder of presenting to his opponent an object of attack easy to be seized; to this first error he soon added the second still less excusable blunder of now for the rescue of Thapsus giving the battle, which Caesar had wished and Scipio had hitherto rightly refused, on ground which placed the decision in the hands of the infantry of the line. Immediately along the shore, opposite to Caesar's camp, the legions of Scipio and Juba appeared, the fore ranks ready for fighting, the hinder ranks occupied in forming an entrenched camp; at the same time the garrison of Thapsus prepared for a sally. Caesar's camp-guard sufficed to repulse the latter. His legions, accustomed to war, already forming a correct estimate of the enemy from the want of precision in their mode of array and their ill-closed ranks, compelled—while yet the entrenching was going forward on that side, and before even the general gave the signal— a trumpeter to sound for the attack, and advanced along the whole line headed by Caesar himself, who, when he saw his men advance without waiting for his orders, galloped forward to lead them against the enemy. The right wing, in advance of the other divisions, frightened the line of elephants opposed to it—this was the last great battle in which these animals were employed— by throwing bullets and arrows, so that they wheeled round on their own ranks. The covering force was cut down, the left wing of the enemy was broken, and the whole line was overthrown. The defeat was the more destructive, as the new camp of the beaten army was not yet ready, and the old one was at a considerable distance; both were successively captured almost without resistance. The mass of the defeated army threw away their arms and sued for quarter; but Caesar's soldiers were no longer the same who had readily refrained from battle before Ilerda and honourably spared the defenceless at Pharsalus. The habit of civil war and the rancour left behind by the mutiny asserted their power in a terrible manner on the battlefield of Thapsus. If the hydra with which they fought always put forth new energies, if the army was hurried from Italy to Spain, from Spain to Macedonia, from Macedonia to Africa, and if the repose ever more eagerly longed for never came, the soldier sought, and not wholly without cause, the reason of this state of things in the unseasonable clemency of Caesar. He had sworn to retrieve the general's neglect, and remained deaf to the entreaties of his disarmed fellow-citizens as well as to the commands of Caesar and the superior officers. The fifty thousand corpses that covered the battle-field of Thapsus, among whom were several Caesarian officers known as secret opponents of the new monarchy, and therefore cut down on this occasion by their own men, showed how the soldier procures for himself repose. The victorious army on the other hand numbered no more than fifty dead (6 April 708).
Cato in Utica
There was as little a continuance of the struggle in Africa after the battle of Thapsus, as there had been a year and a half before in the east after the defeat of Pharsalus. Cato as commandant of Utica convoked the senate, set forth how the means of defence stood, and submitted it to the decision of those assembled whether they would yield or defend themselves to the last man— only adjuring them to resolve and to act not each one for himself, but all in unison. The more courageous view found several supporters; it was proposed to manumit on behalf of the state the slaves capable of arms, which however Cato rejected as an illegal encroachment on private property, and suggested in its stead a patriotic appeal to the slave-owners. But soon this fit of resolution in an assembly consisting in great part of African merchants passed off, and they agreed to capitulate. Thereupon when Faustus Sulla, son of the regent, and Lucius Afranius arrived in Utica with a strong division of cavalry from the field of battle, Cato still made an attempt to hold the town through them; but he indignantly rejected their demand to let them first of all put to death the untrustworthy citizens of Utica en masse, and chose to let the last stronghold of the republicans fall into the hands of the monarch without resistance rather than to profane the last moments of the republic by such a massacre. After he had— partly by his authority, partly by liberal largesses—checked so far as he could the fury of the soldiery against the unfortunate Uticans; after he had with touching solicitude furnished to those who preferred not to trust themselves to Caesar's mercy the means for flight, and to those who wished to remain the opportunity of capitulating under the most tolerable conditions, so far as his ability reached; and after having thoroughly satisfied himself that he could render to no one any farther aid, he held himself released from his command, retired to his bedchamber, and plunged his sword into his breast.
The Leaders of the Republicans Put to Death
Of the other fugitive leaders only a few escaped. The cavalry that fled from Thapsus encountered the bands of Sittius, and were cut down or captured by them; their leaders Afranius and Faustus were delivered up to Caesar, and, when the latter did not order their immediate execution, they were slain in a tumult by his veterans. The commander-in-chief Metellus Scipio with the fleet of the defeated party fell into the power of the cruisers of Sittius and, when they were about to lay hands on him, stabbed himself. King Juba, not unprepared for such an issue, had in that case resolved to die in a way which seemed to him befitting a king, and had caused an enormous funeral pile to be prepared in the market-place of his city Zama, which was intended to consume along with his body all his treasures and the dead bodies of the whole citizens of Zama. But the inhabitants of the town showed no desire to let themselves be employed by way of decoration for the funeral rites of the African Sardanapalus; and they closed the gates against the king when fleeing from the battle-field he appeared, accompanied by Marcus Petreius, before their city. The king—one of those natures that become savage amidst a life of dazzling and insolent enjoyment, and prepare for themselves even out of death an intoxicating feast— resorted with his companion to one of his country houses, caused a copious banquet to be served up, and at the close of the feast challenged Petreius to fight him to death in single combat. It was the conqueror of Catilina that received his death at the hand of the king; the latter thereupon caused himself to be stabbed by one of his slaves. The few men of eminence that escaped, such as Labienus and Sextus Pompeius, followed the elder brother of the latter to Spain and sought, like Sertorius formerly, a last refuge of robbers and pirates in the waters and the mountains of that still half-independent land.
Regulation of Africa
Without resistance Caesar regulated the affairs of Africa. As Curio had already proposed, the kingdom of Massinissa was broken up. The most eastern portion or region of Sitifis was united with the kingdom of Bocchus king of East Mauretania,(51) and the faithful king Bogud of Tingis was rewarded with considerable gifts. Cirta (Constantine) and the surrounding district, hitherto possessed under the supremacy of Juba by the prince Massinissa and his son Arabion, were conferred on the condottiere Publius Sittius that he might settle his half-Roman bands there;(52) but at the same time this district, as well as by far the largest and most fertile portion of the late Numidian kingdom, were united as "New Africa" with the older province of Africa, and the defence of the country along the coast against the roving tribes of the desert, which the republic had entrusted to a client-king, was imposed by the new ruler on the empire itself.
The Victory of Monarchy
The struggle, which Pompeius and the republicans had undertaken against the monarchy of Caesar, thus terminated, after having lasted for four years, in the complete victory of the new monarch. No doubt the monarchy was not established for the first time on the battle-fields of Pharsalus and Thapsus; it might already be dated from the moment when Pompeius and Caesar in league had established their joint rule and overthrown the previous aristocratic constitution. Yet it was only those baptisms of blood of the ninth August 706 and the sixth April 708 that set aside the conjoint rule so opposed to the nature of absolute dominion, and conferred fixed status and formal recognition on the new monarchy. Risings of pretenders and republican conspiracies might ensue and provoke new commotions, perhaps even new revolutions and restorations; but the continuity of the free republic that had been uninterrupted for five hundred years was broken through, and monarchy was established throughout the range of the wide Roman empire by the legitimacy of accomplished fact.
The End of the Republic
The constitutional struggle was at an end; and that it was so, was proclaimed by Marcus Cato when he fell on his sword at Utica. For many years he had been the foremost man in the struggle of the legitimate republic against its oppressors; he had continued it, long after he had ceased to cherish any hope of victory. But now the struggle itself had become impossible; the republic which Marcus Brutus had founded was dead and never to be revived; what were the republicans now to do on the earth? The treasure was carried off, the sentinels were thereby relieved; who could blame them if they departed? There was more nobility, and above all more judgment, in the death of Cato than there had been in his life. Cato was anything but a great man; but with all that short-sightedness, that perversity, that dry prolixity, and those spurious phrases which have stamped him, for his own and for all time, as the ideal of unreflecting republicanism and the favourite of all who make it their hobby, he was yet the only man who honourably and courageously championed in the last struggle the great system doomed to destruction. Just because the shrewdest lie feels itself inwardly annihilated before the simple truth, and because all the dignity and glory of human nature ultimately depend not on shrewdness but on honesty, Cato has played a greater part in history than many men far superior to him in intellect. It only heightens the deep and tragic significance of his death that he was himself a fool; in truth it is just because Don Quixote is a fool that he is a tragic figure. It is an affecting fact, that on that world-stage, on which so many great and wise men had moved and acted, the fool was destined to give the epilogue. He too died not in vain. It was a fearfully striking protest of the republic against the monarchy, that the last republican went as the first monarch came—a protest which tore asunder like gossamer all that so-called constitutional character with which Caesar invested his monarchy, and exposed in all its hypocritical falsehood the shibboleth of the reconciliation of all parties, under the aegis of which despotism grew up. The unrelenting warfare which the ghost of the legitimate republic waged for centuries, from Cassius and Brutus down to Thrasea and Tacitus, nay, even far later, against the Caesarian monarchy—a warfare of plots and of literature— was the legacy which the dying Cato bequeathed to his enemies. This republican opposition derived from Cato its whole attitude— stately, transcendental in its rhetoric, pretentiously rigid, hopeless, and faithful to death; and accordingly it began even immediately after his death to revere as a saint the man who in his lifetime was not unfrequently its laughing-stock and its scandal. But the greatest of these marks of respect was the involuntary homage which Caesar rendered to him, when he made an exception to the contemptuous clemency with which he was wont to treat his opponents, Pompeians as well as republicans, in the case of Cato alone, and pursued him even beyond the grave with that energetic hatred which practical statesmen are wont to feel towards antagonists opposing them from a region of ideas which they regard as equally dangerous and impracticable.