PLUTARCH: "CAESAR"

A.  Chapters 1-14: Caesar's early life and his political career down to his first consulship. (100-59 B.C.)   (N.B.  Many think that the opening paragraphs of this Life, describing the birth and boyhood of Caesar, have been lost.) Chapter 1.  When Sulla was ruling (in Rome), being able neither by inducements nor by intimidation, to separate Cornelia, the daughter of the Cinna, (who had been) the sole ruler, from Caesar, he confiscated her dowry. Now the cause of Caesar's hatred towards Sulla was his relationship to Marius. For the elder Marius was married to Julia, the sister of Caesar's father, from whom was born the younger Marius (who) was Caesar's cousin, and he was not contented, because he was overlooked by Sulla at the outset by reason of the multitude of his proscriptions (lit. murders) and on account of his (many) engagements, but he came forward before the people, canvassing for the priesthood, (when) he was scarcely yet a lad, (and), Sulla, being set against (him), on the one hand, arranged for him to fail in this, and on the other hand (while) deliberating about putting (him) to death, with some saying that there was no point in killing so very (young) a boy, he said that they had no sense if they did not see that there were many Mariuses in this boy. This speech having been reported to Caesar, he hid himself in (the land of) the Sabines, wandering about for some time, (and) then, (while) transporting himself by night to another abode on account of sickness, he fell into the hands of some soldiers of Sulla (while they were) scouring these districts and gathering up those lying hidden (there). Persuading their leader Cornelius with (a bribe of) two talents, he was freed, and, immediately going down to the sea, he sailed off to King Nicomedes in Bithynia, (and) having tarried with him for a little while (lit. for a not very long time) (and) then sailing back, he was captured near the island of Pharmacusa by some pirates, (who were) even then controlling the sea with their large fleets (of ships) and innumerable skiffs. Chapter 2. So, firstly, having been asked by them for a ransom of twenty talents, he laughed (at them) for not knowing whom they had captured, and agreed that he would give them fifty of his own accord; then, having sent his followers (lit. those around him) to various cities (lit. some of his followers to one city, some to another) for the raising of the money, (and), having been left with one friend and two attendants among the most murderous Cilician men, he treated (them) so contemptuously that, sending (to them) whenever he was trying to sleep, he gave orders (to them) to keep silent. Then, for thirty-eight (lit. forty lacking two) days, as if he were not being watched by them, but was being attended (by them) as a body-guard, he played and trained with (them) with marked unconcern. Also, writing poems and speeches, he read some (of these) to them (as) hearers, and he called those not admiring (them) illiterates and barbarians to their face, and with laughter often threatened to hang them. Now they were delighted (by this), attributing this freedom of speech to a certain simplicity and boyishness. But, when the ransom-money came from Miletus, and, having paid (it), he was set free, immediately manning some ships, he put to sea from the harbour of Miletus against the pirates, and, catching (them) still lying at anchor off the island, he seized most of them, and made their property his booty, and, putting the men into prison in Pergamum, he went himself to Junius, who was governing Asia, as being a matter for (lit. as it belonged to) him, being the praetor, to punish the captives. But with him casting longing eyes on the money, Caesar, leaving him to his own devices (lit. allowing him to rejoice), went to Pergamum, and, taking the pirates out (of prison), he crucified (them) all, just as he had, (when he was) on the island, often said beforehand, (while) appearing to be in jest. Chapter 3.  After this, with Sulla's power now being on the wane, and those at home calling him (to return), he sailed to Rhodes for the purpose of study under (lit. in accordance with) Apollonius, the (son) of Molon, under whom Cicero also studied, (lit. to whom Cicero also hearkened), an illustrious sophist (lit. [a man] who gave remarkable lectures) and who was considered to be decent in respect of his way of life, and Caesar is said, too, to have produced the best (performances) with regard to political speeches, and to have cultivated his inborn ability most assiduously, so that he held the second (rank) indisputably, but to have eschewed the first (rank), as he was more occupied (in being) first in power and in arms, (thus) not attaining the effectiveness in speaking to which nature was directing (him), by reason of the campaigns and political activity, through which he gained the supremacy. And so, on a later occasion, he begged that he, himself, should not be measured, in respect of the speech of a military man, against the ability of a clever orator, who also brought plenty of leisure to this (gift). Chapter 4.  Returning to Rome, he prosecuted Dolabella for the maladministration of his province, and many of the cities of Greece gave evidence for him; Dolabella was acquitted (lit. escaped justice), but Caesar, repaying Greece for its support, acted as its advocate in prosecuting Publius Antonius for corruption before Marcus Lucullus, the praetor of Macedonia, and he was so effective that Antonius appealed to the tribunes, claiming that he was not having a fair trial in Greece against Greeks, and in Rome much favour shone upon him with regard to his advocacy, and good-will also came upon (him) from the people for his friendly dealings (with them) with regard to his salutations, as he was (lit. [with him] being) courteous beyond his years. He also had (lit. There was to him also) a certain gradually increasing influence with regard to politics, in consequence of his dinner-parties and hospitality and the splendour about his whole way of living. His enemies, at first thinking that this would soon fade, with his expenses having dried up, watched (it) blossom among the common people (lit. the many): but, later on, (it) having become great and hard to subvert, and aiming directly at (lit. walking straight towards) total revolution, they realised that no beginning of anything should be considered a small (matter), which a continuous state cannot quickly make important, if it acquired the fact that it was not checked from its having been considered insignificant. Then, Cicero, the first man who is thought to have looked at him with suspicion and to have feared for the republic like the smiling (surface) of the sea, and who observed the sternness of character beneath his kind and affable (exterior), said that he saw a tyrannical purpose in all the rest of his schemes and political actions, but he said, "When I see his hair so carefully arranged (and) him adjusting (it) with a single finger, this man does not seem likely to me to conceive of (lit. to put into his mind) so great a crime (as) the overthrow of the republic." So this then (belongs to) a later (period). Chapter 5.  He received the first proof of the good-will of the people towards him, when, competing against Gaius Popilius for the military tribuneship, he was elected before (him), and (he received) a second and more conspicuous (proof), when, being the nephew of Julia, the deceased wife of Marius, he delivered a magnificent encomium concerning her in the Forum, and with regard to her funeral procession he ventured to bring out the images of Marius, these then being seen for the first time since the republic (came) under Sulla, his followers having been pronounced (public) enemies. For, with some crying out against Caesar for this reason, the people shouted (them) down decisively, welcoming (him) with applause, and admiring (him) for bringing back to the city, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius after such a long time. Now, it was the custom among the Romans to recite funeral orations over elderly women, but as this was not in vogue for young women, Caesar was the first man to speak (thus) over his deceased wife; and this brought him considerable favour, and he so captivated the mob by his grief that they loved (him as) a man (who was) gentle and full of feeling. Having buried his wife, he went out to Spain (as) quaestor to Vetus, one of the praetors, a man whom he both always continued to honour, and whose son he in turn made his quaestor when he himself was governing. With him having served in this office, he married Pompeia (as) his third wife, having a daughter by Cornelia who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. Deploying outlays of money unsparingly and appearing to exchange a transient and short-lived fame for a very great expense, but in truth purchasing the greatest things for a small (price), he is said (to have been) a debtor to the extent of one thousand and three hundred talents before he was appointed to any public office; and, after this, having been appointed (as) curator of the Appian Way, he lavished very great sums of money illed the from his own resources, and, then, when he was aedile, he provided three hundred pairs of gladiators, and, with all his other expenditures and extravagances on theatrical shows, processions and (public) dinners, he obliterated (lit. washed away) the ambitions (of all those who had come) before him, so that he disposed the people, each and every one of them, to seek new offices and fresh honours, with which to repay him. Chapter 6.  There being two factions in the city, that of Sulla being very powerful and that of Marius, which, faring very poorly at that time, had been cowed and scattered, he, wishing to strengthen this (faction) and attach (it) to himself, during the ostentatious displays which were still being held, had secretly made images of Marius and trophy-bearing Victories, which, bringing (them) to the Capitol by night, he set up (there). At day-break, all those things gleaming with gold and rendered with exquisite craftsmanship and, through inscriptions, his successes over the Cimbri were made manifest to spectators, (and) there was amazement at the daring of the man who had put (them) up - for it was not unclear -, and, word (of this), spreading around, brought all the people to this sight; but some cried out that Caesar, (by) setting up again honours which had been buried by laws and decrees, was aiming at a tyranny, and that he was attempting this by the people being softened up beforehand, (to see) whether they they had been (sufficiently) tamed by him through his ostentatious displays to allow (him) to amuse himself with such things and to make innovations; the followers of Marius, however, encouraging one another, suddenly appeared in such amazing numbers, and filled the Capitol with their applause, and, with many (of them) gazing at the features of Marius, tears came through joy, and Caesar was highly extolled with praises as being the (one) man (who was) worthy of his relationship to Marius, and, the Senate having been convened, to (talk) about these (matters), Lutatius Catulus, at that time a man of especially good repute among the Romans, arising and denouncing Caesar, uttered the memorable (saying): "No longer by underground mining," he said, "but now, Caesar, by engines of war, you are capturing the republic." But, when Caesar, defending himself against this (charge), convinced the Senate, those who admired him were still more elated, and exhorted (him) to lower his pretensions for no one, for (they said that), with the people being willing, he would surpass all (others) and would hold the first place (in the republic). Chapter 7.  At this time, the chief priest, Metellus, having died, and the priesthood being contested, with Isauricus and Catulus, most illustrious men and very influential in the Senate, being among (the candidates for it), Caesar did not give way to them, but, going to the people, he stood for the office. The regard (of the electors) appearing about equal, Catulus, dreading more the uncertainty, through being the more worthy (of his competitors), sent (messages) trying to persuade Caesar to withdraw from his ambitious designs by (offering him) large sums of money. But he said that he would borrow more to keep in the contest.   The day (of the election) having arrived, and his mother, not without tears, accompanying him to the door, (on) kissing her, he said, "Mother, today you will see your son either the chief priest or an exile," but, the vote having been taken and the contest having occurred, he prevailed, and caused the Senate and the nobles fear that he would lead the people on to every kind of recklessness. Therefore, the followers of (lit. those around) Piso and Catulus found fault with Cicero for sparing Caesar during the affair about Catiline, when he gave (his enemies) a hold (over him). For Catiline, having planned not only to subvert the constitution, but (also) to destroy the whole government and to throw all matters into confusion, was himself expelled (from the city), having stumbled into lesser investigations before his ultimate plans had been uncovered, but he left Lentulus and Cethegus behind (him) in the city (as) his successors in the conspiracy; whether Caesar secretly gave any encouragement and assistance to these men is uncertain, but, (with them) having been overwhelmingly condemned in the Senate, and the consul Cicero having asked each person for his opinion with regard to their punishment, (all) the others down to Caesar urged that they be put to death, but Caesar, having stood up, delivered a speech which expressed concern that to put to death men of high rank and of a brilliant lineage did not seem (to him) in line with their traditions or just, except in the case of extreme necessity, but that, if, having been confined, they were kept under guard in the cities of Italy, which Cicero himself might select, until such time as Catiline was overcome, afterwards during peace and at their leisure, the Senate should be enabled (lit. it should be permitted to the Senate) to decide (what should be done) with regard to each one of them. Chapter 8. This opinion seeming so humane and his speech on it having been delivered so powerfully, not only (those) who having got up (to speak) after him, supported (him), but also many of those who had spoken before him changed the opinion which they had expressed to his, until the issue came round to Cato and Catulus, and, with them vigorously setting themselves against (it), and Cato even raising suspicion against him on account of his speech at the same time and attacking (him) violently, the men were handed over to be put to death, and many of the young men who were guarding Cicero at that time, running up, offered their drawn swords to Caesar. But it is said that Curio, throwing his toga around (him), drew (him) out of danger, and that Cicero, himself, when the young men looked (to him for a sign), shook his head, (either) through fear of the people or because he thought that the murder (would be) unjust and outside the law. Now, if this was true, I do not understand why Cicero did not write about it in the book about his consulship, but he later got the blame for not having then made best use of the opportunity for getting rid of Caesar, shrinking from the people, who were excessively attached to Caesar, who in fact having even come to the Senate after a few days, with him speaking in defence of himself concerning (those things) about which he was under suspicion, and falling foul of hostile noises, since the mob realised that the time for which the Senate had been sitting was beyond what was customary, (and) came up with shouting and surrounded the Senate House, crying out for the man and demanding that he should be sent forth. Now, for this reason, Cato, especially fearing a revolution of the poor, who, fixing their hopes on Caesar, were kindling a fire among all the population, persuaded the Senate to distribute a monthly grain-ration to them, as a result of which expenditure, seven and a half million (lit. seven hundred and fifty myriad) (drachmas) a year were added to the other expenses (of the republic); however, this measure manifestly extinguished the great fear at that time, and broke and disrupted the greatest (part) of Caesar's power at the critical moment, with him about to be praetor and to be more formidable on account of this office. Chapter 9.  Nothing disturbing happened during his (praetorship) but a certain unfavourable incident affected Caesar with regard to his household. Publius Clodius was a man patrician by birth and conspicuous for his wealth and eloquence, but in his insolence and audaciousness second to no one of those (who were) notorious for their evil-living.This man was in love with Pompeia, Caesar's wife, and she was not unwilling, but the night-guarding of the women's quarters was strict, and Caesar's mother Aurelia, a wise woman, looking after the young wife, always made a meeting difficult and full of risk for them. Now the Romans have (lit. there is to the Romans) a deity whom they call the Good (Goddess), just as the Greeks (have one they call) the Woman's (Goddess). The Phrygians also, claiming (her) as their own, say that she was the mother of King Midas; and the Romans (say that she was) a Dryad nymph (who was) wedded to Faunus, and the Greeks (that she was) the unnameable (one) of the mothers of Dionysus. For this reason (the women) celebrating her festival cover their tents with vine-branches, and a sacred serpent is set beside the goddess in accordance with the myth. (It is) not lawful for a man to attend, nor to be in the house, when the sacred (rites) are being celebrated, but these woman are said to perform many (rites) by themselves (which are) connected with the Orphics during their sacred service. So, whenever the time for the festival comes round, the (houseowner) himself, (being) a consular or praetorian man absents himself, and every male (with him); then his wife, taking possession of the house, arranges (everything), and the most important (ceremonies) are performed at night with games being mingled up during the night-long celebrations, and with much musical activity being present at the same time. Chapter 10.  With Pompeia celebrating this festival at that time, Clodius, not yet bearded, and thinking that on this account he would escape notice, having assumed the clothes and attire of a lute-girl, came (to the house), as it seemed with the appearance of a young woman. And, meeting with open doors, he was let in by a maidservant who was aware (of the secret), but, with her having run on ahead to inform Pompeia, and some time having passed, with Clodius not being patient (enough) to remain where he had been left, and roaming around in the large house, an attendant of Aurelia, falling upon (him), called upon (him) to play (as) indeed (one) woman (might play with another) woman, and, when he was not wishing (to do so), she dragged (him) into the midst (of everyone) and enquired who he was and whence (he he had come). With Clodius saying that he was waiting for Pompeia's Abra - this was the very name by which she was called - and with him becoming conspicuous through his voice, the attendant immediately leapt away from (him) with a scream towards the lights and the throng, crying out that a man had been caught, and, with the women having been startled, Aurelia put an end to the sacred rites of the goddess and covered up (the emblems), and then, ordering the doors to be closed, she went about the house with torches, searching for Clodius. He was found, seeking refuge in the room of the young girl, with whom he had entered, and, having become visible, he was driven out of doors by the women, and the women, going home at once, told their husbands about the business of that night, and in the day word spread through the city that Clodius had committed a crime, and owed satisfaction not only to those (who had been) affronted, but also to the city and to the gods. And so, one of the tribunes indicted Clodius for sacrilege, and the most influential men from the Senate combined together against him, bearing witness both to his other shocking abominations, and (to) his adultery with his sister, who had been married to Lucullus. But against the eager efforts of these men, the people, having set themselves against (them), supported Clodius, and were of great help (to him) with regard to the jurors, (who were) panic-stricken and afraid of the mob. Caesar divorced Pompeia at once, but, having been summoned (as) a witness at the trial, he said that he knew nothing about the charges against Clodius. When, his statement appearing incredible, the prosecutor asked (him), "Why, then, did you divorce your wife?" he said, "Because I thought my (wife) should not even be under suspicion." Some say that Caesar said this, (as he was) thinking in this way, but others that (he was) showing favour to the people, (who were) eager to save Clodius. And so he escaped the charge, with the majority of jurors giving in their verdicts in illegible writing in order that they might neither risk the lives with regard to the people (by) condemning (him), nor be held in disrepute among the nobility by acquitting (him). Chapter 11.  Immediately after his praetorship, Caesar, having received Spain as his province, as it was very hard for him to settle matters concerning the money-lenders (who were) harassing (him) and causing a commotion, had recourse to Crassus, who was the richest man among the Romans, but (who was) needing Caesar's acuteness and energy for his political campaign against Pompey. Then, with Crassus having met the demands of the most difficult and inexorable of his creditors and having given his personal surety for eight hundred and thirty talents, he left for his province by these means. It is said that, with him crossing the Alps and passing by some barbarian village inhabited by very few men and poor (to look at), his companions said, "Presumably, there are here some rivalries over office-holding and conflicts over primacy and jealousies among the powerful towards one another, are there not?" Then, (it is said) Caesar said to them most earnestly, "I would wish to be first among them rather than second among Romans." In the same way, (it is said) again that in Spain, (with him) being at his leisure, (and) reading some (part) of the histories of Alexander, he had become completely (bound up) in himself, and then burst into tears: with his friends wondering at the reason (for this), he said, "Does it not seem to you that it is worthy of grief, that, if Alexander, being at the same age (as me), was already ruling over so many people, nothing remarkable has yet been achieved by me?" Chapter 12.  At any rate, when he reached Spain, he was active at once, such that within a few days he raised ten cohorts in addition to the twenty which were there beforehand, and, advancing with his army against the Callaici and Lusitani, he conquered (them) and went on as far as the outer sea, subduing the tribes which were not previously obedient to the Romans. Having settled the affairs of war successfully, he managed the problems of peace no worse, establishing concord between the cities, and, in particular, healing the dissensions between debtors and their creditors. For he ordered that a creditor should receive two thirds (lit. parts) of the incomes of his debtors each year, and so on until the loan should be discharged. Esteemed for these (reasons), he retired from the province, having become wealthy himself and having enriched (lit. benefited) his soldiers from their campaigns, and having been saluted (as) 'imperator' by them. Chapter 13.  Now, since it is necessary for those suing for a triumph to while away time outside (the city), and those canvassing for the consulship to do (so while) being present in the city, he, being in such a conflict of laws, and arriving (home) at the time of the consular elections themselves, sent (a message) to the Senate, requesting that it should be granted to him, (while) being outside (the city), to put forward his candidature for the consulship through the agency of his friends. But with Cato, at first insisting upon the (letter of the) law with regard to his claim, then, when he saw that many (senators) had been won over by Caesar's attentions, adjourning the matter through (wasting) time and (through) exhausting the day in speaking, Caesar decided that, forgoing the triumph, he would try for the consulship. So, coming forward, he immediately adopted a policy, which somehow deceived everyone except Cato, and this was (to effect) the reconcilation of Pompey and Crassus, the most powerful men in the city, whom Caesar, (by) bringing (them) together into friendship from their quarrel, and (by) concentrating the strength of both (of them) upon himself, by an act enabling a kindly greeting, changed the constitution of the state without anyone noticing (it) (lit. escaped notice, [while] changing the constitution of the state). But the quarrel between Caesar and Pompey did not bring on the civil wars, as most men supposed, but rather their friendship, in the first place contriving the destruction of the aristocracy, and only then quarrelling between themselves. And, in the case of Cato, (who was) often foretelling what was to come, it came about that he received the reputation of a peevish (and) interfering man, and afterwards (that) of a wise but unlucky counsellor.   Chapter 14.  But then Caesar, supported in the midst of the friendship of Crassus and Pompey, pressed on towards the consulship, and, having been triumphantly elected along with Calpurnius Bibulus and having entered into this office, he immediately proposed measures, appropriate not to a consul but to a most radical tribune, introducing certain allotments and distributions of land, with a view to the gratification of the multitude. With the great and the good (elements) in the Senate opposing (these measures), (and as he had been) previously standing in need of a pretext, crying out and bearing witness that he was being driven to the (Assembly of the) People by necessity due to the arrogance and obstinacy of the Senate, he hastened before it, and, flanked by Crassus on the one side and by Pompey on the other, he asked (them) whether they approved his laws. Then, (with them) declaring that they did approve (them), he urged (them) to assist (him) against those who had threatened to resist (him) with swords. They promised (to do so), and Pompey even added that he would come against swords with swords, (while) bringing a buckler as well; for this reason he distressed the nobles, who heard this remark, (which they considered) not worthy of their esteem for him nor appropriate to the respect due to the Senate, but manic and juvenile, but the people were delighted (by it). Then Caesar, trying to avail himself of the power of Pompey still more, as he had (lit. there was to him) a daughter Julia, (who was) betrothed to Servilius Caepio, betrothed her to Pompey, and said that he would give the (daughter) of Pompey to Servilius, (although) she was not unbetrothed but engaged to Faustus, the son of Sulla. And shortly afterwards Caesar married (lit. led [to the altar]) Calpurnia, a daughter of Piso, and got Piso elected to the forthcoming consulship, with Cato also protesting vehemently at that very moment and exclaiming that it was an intolerable (state of affairs), the chief magistracy being prostituted  by marriages, and (men) introducing one another to provinces, military commands and positions of power by means of women. So, Caesar's colleague, Bibulus, since he accomplished nothing (by) obstructing his laws, but often ran the risk, together with Cato, of being killed in the forum, completed his term of office having shut himself up in his house. But Pompey, having got married, filled the forum with armed men and ratified these laws with the people, while giving to Caesar the whole of Gaul, this side of the Alps and beyond (lit. within and without the Alps), together with Illyricum and four legions for a period of five years. In the case of Cato, who had tried to speak against these (measures), Caesar haled (him) off to prison, supposing that he would appeal to the tribunes: but, with him walking off without speaking, Caesar, seeing that not only the most influential men were displeased but also that the populace, out of respect for Cato's virtue, were following (him) in silence and with downcast (looks), himself secretly begged one of the tribunes to get Cato released. Only a very few of the other senators used to go to the Senate with him (i.e. Caesar), and the rest, being displeased, were not to be seen. Then, with a certain Considius, (one of) the very old (senators) telling (him) that they were not convening because they were afraid of the weapons and the soldiers, Caesar said (to him), "Why then do you, being in fear of these things, not stay at home too?" Considius said, "Because my old age makes me fearless: for, as the life (which is) left (to me) is short, it does not require much forethought." But it was thought that the most disgraceful of the public actions of that time (was) to elect (as) tribune, during the consulship of Caesar, that Clodius by whom the (law) had been broken with regard to his marriage and the forbidden all-night vigils. He (i.e. Clodius), however, was elected for the removal of Cicero: and Caesar did not go forth on his campaign until (lit. earlier than) he, together with Clodius, had formed a faction against Cicero, and had assisted in casting (him) out of Italy. B.  Chapters 15-27:  The Gallic War (58-51 B.C.) Chapter 15.  Such, then, are said to be the (events of his life) prior to his Gallic campaigns. But the period of the wars which he fought after this, and of the campaigns by which he subjugated Gaul, with him, as it were, making another beginning and entering into some different way of life and (one) of fresh circumstances, showed him not to be inferior (as) a soldier and (as) a commander to any of those who have been most admired for their leadership and who have proved themselves the greatest (in these respects). But, if one compares (him) with men such as Fabius and Scipio and Metellus, and (with) the men of his own time or a little before him, (like) Sulla and Marius and both Luculli, or even Pompey himself, whose fame for every kind of excellence concerning war was then in full bloom right up to the sky, the achievements of Caesar surpass (them all), one in the difficulty of the places in which he fought, another in the extent of the country which he acquired, another in the numbers and strength of the enemies whom he defeated, another in the savage and treacherous (dispositions) of the enemies whom he won over, another in his reasonableness and mildness towards those whom he had captured, another in his gifts and favours towards those who served alongside (him), and above all in the fact that he fought the most battles and killed the greatest number of adversaries. For, although he waged war in Gaul for not even ten years, he took by storm more than eight hundred cities, subdued three hundred tribes, and, (while) successively meeting in pitched battle three million (lit. three hundred by ten thousand) men, he killed a million (lit. a hundred [times ten thousand]) in hand-to-hand fighting, and took as many others captive. Chapter 16.  The zeal of his soldiers expressed itself in such good-will with regard to himself that those who had in no way surpassed others in their earlier campaigns became invincible and irresistible in the face of every danger for the sake of Caesar's reputation; for instance, such a man was Acilius, who in the naval battle off Massilia, having boarded an enemy vessel, had his right man cut off by a sword, but he did not give up his shield (held) by his other hand, but, dashing (it) into the faces of his foes, he forced (them) back, and took possession of the ship; and then (there was) Cassius Scaeva, who in the battle at Dyrrachium, having been struck in the eye with arrow and having been transfixed in his shoulder by one javelin and in his thigh by another one, called out to the enemy as though he intended to surrender. Then, with two (of them) coming up, he lopped off the shoulder of one with his sword, and, smiting the other in the face, he drove (him) back, and got away safely himself, with his companions supporting (him). And again, in Britain, with the enemy having set upon the foremost centurions, who had fallen into a place (which was) marshy and full of water, a soldier, with Caesar himself observing the battle, (while) thrusting himself into the midst (of the fighting) and displaying many conspicuous deeds of daring, rescued the centurions, with the barbarians having been routed, and then he himself, making his way back with difficulty after all (the others), threw himself into the marshy stream and, without his shield, sometimes swimming, and sometimes wading, just got across. With those around Caesar being amazed and coming to meet (him) with cries of joy (lit. with joy and crying), he, himself, very greatly downcast and with tears in his eyes, fell at the feet of Caesar, begging his pardon for having let go of his shield. And again in Libya, the comrades of Scipio, having captured a ship of Caesar's, in which Granius Petro, who had been appointed (as) quaestor, was sailing, made booty of  the other (soldiers), but told the quaestor that they would spare his life (lit. give [him] deliverance); he. however, saying that with Caesar's soldiers it was the custom not to receive, but to give, mercy, stabbing himself with his sword, killed (himself). Chapter 17.  Such ambitions and passions for distinction Caesar himself cultivated and nurtured, in the first place (by) making it clear, through his unstinting distribution of honours, that he was not amassing wealth from the wars for his own luxury or for any self-indulgence, but that he was setting this aside as common prizes treasured by him for valour, and that he was offering as much of the wealth to the deserving among his soldiers as he was keeping for himself; and, in the second place by willingly undergoing every danger and not refusing any forms of hard work. (His men) were not surprised at his love of danger on account of his love of honour, but his acceptance of toils beyond his body's apparent power of endurance did astound (them), because he was slight in respect of his physical stature, white and soft in respect of his skin, and ailing in respect of his head and subject to epileptic fits, with this malady first attacking him in Corduba, (however) he did not make this weakness an excuse for easy living, but his military service a cure for his poor health, fighting off his illness and keeping his body tough by wearisome journeys, a simple diet, camping continuously in the open air and enduring hardship. In fact, he got most of his sleep in carriages or litters, (while) devoting his rest-time to business, and in the day-time he was conveyed to fortresses, cities and fortified camps, with one slave sitting beside him, having been trained to write at the same time as travelling, and with one soldier standing at his back holding a sword, and he drove so intensely that, (while) making his first journey from Rome he reached the Rhone in seven days (lit. on the eighth day). It had been easy for him to ride from boyhood, for he had been accustomed, (while) placing his hands behind his back and keeping them clasped (there), to ride his horse at full gallop. And in that campaign he trained (himself) to dictate letters on horseback, and to keep two scribes busy at the same time, or, as Oppius says, even more (than that), and it is said, moreover, that Caesar was the first to arrange to converse with his friends by means of letters, with (him) being unable to wait for face-to-face meetings in relation to matters where he was pressed for time, on account of the number of his engagements and the size of the city. They consider the proof of his indifference to his diet (to be) as follows, that, with his host Valerius Leo, (while) entertaining him to dinner at Milan, serving asparagus dressed with myrrh instead of olive-oil, he ate (it) quite calmly himself, and rebuked his friends, when they were unable to endure (it). "Surely," he said, "it was enough not to partake of things which were disagreeable, but the man finding fault with such boorishness is boorish himself. Once, too, on a journey, having been forced by a storm into a poor man's hut, when he found nothing more than one room (which was) scarcely able to accommodate one man, saying to his friends that it was necessary for the honours to go to the strongest but for necessities (to go) to the weakest, he told Oppius to stop there; and he himself together with the others lay down to sleep under the projecting roof of the doorway.
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