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The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 2 by Various

Part 6 out of 9

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them to flight, and pursued them to the very gates of Ptolemais, and
slew about three thousand of them, and took the spoils of those that
were slain and those Jews whom they had made captives, with their
baggage, and then returned home.

Now as for Judas Maccabaeus and his brother Jonathan, they passed over
the river Jordan, and when they had gone three days' journey they
lighted upon the Nabateans, who came to meet them peaceably and who told
them how the affairs of those in the land of Galilee stood and how many
of them were in distress and driven into garrisons and into the cities
of Galilee, and exhorted him to make haste to go against the foreigners,
and to endeavor to save his own countrymen out of their hands. To this
exhortation Judas hearkened and returned into the wilderness, and in the
first place fell upon the inhabitants of Bosor, and took the city, and
beat the inhabitants, and destroyed all the males, and all that were
able to fight, and burned the city. Nor did he stop even when night came
on, but he journeyed in it to the garrison where the Jews happened to be
then shut up, and where Timotheus lay round the place with his army; and
Judas came upon the city in the morning, and when he found that the
enemy were making an assault upon the walls, and that some of them
brought ladders on which they might get upon those walls, and that
others brought engines [to batter them], he bid the trumpeter to sound
his trumpet, and he encouraged his soldiers cheerfully to undergo
dangers for the sake of their brethren and kindred; he also parted his
army into three bodies and fell upon the backs of their enemies. But
when Timotheus' men perceived that it was Maccabaeus that was upon them,
of both whose courage and good success in war they had formerly had
sufficient experience, they were put to flight; but Judas followed them
with his army and slew about eight thousand of them. He then turned
aside to a city of the foreigners called Malle, and took it, and slew
all the males and burned the city itself. He then removed from thence,
and overthrew Casphom and Bosor, and many other cities of the land of

But not long after this Timotheus prepared a great army, and took many
others as auxiliaries, and induced some of the Arabians by the promise
of rewards to go with him in this expedition, and came with his army
beyond the brook over against the city Raphon; and he encouraged his
soldiers, if it came to a battle with the Jews, to fight courageously,
and to hinder their passing over the brook; for he said to them
beforehand that "if they come over it we shall be beaten." And when
Judas heard that Timotheus prepared himself to fight he took all his own
army and went in haste against Timotheus, his enemy; and when he had
passed over the brook he fell upon his enemies, and some of them met
him, whom he slew, and others of them he so terrified that he compelled
them to throw down their arms and fly, and some of them escaped; but
some of them fled to what was called the temple of Carnaim, and hoped
thereby to preserve themselves, but Judas took the city and slew them
and burned the temple, and so used several ways of destroying his

When he had done this he gathered the Jews together with their children
and wives and the substance that belonged to them, and was going to
bring them back into Judea. But as soon as he was come to a certain city
the name of which was Ephron, that lay upon the road--and as it was not
possible for him to go any other way, so he was not willing to go back
again--he then sent to the inhabitants, and desired that they would open
their gates and permit them to go on their way through the city; for
they had stopped up the gates with stones and cut off their passage
through it. And when the inhabitants of Ephron would not agree to this
proposal, he encouraged those that were with him, and encompassed the
city round and besieged it, and lying round it by day and night took the
city and slew every male in it and burned it all down, and so obtained a
way through it; and the multitude of those that were slain was so great
that they went over the dead bodies. So they came over Jordan and
arrived at the great plain over against which is situate the city
Bethshan, which is called by the Greeks Scythopolis.[67] And going away
hastily from thence, they came into Judea, singing psalms and hymns as
they went, and indulging such tokens of mirth as are usual in triumphs
upon victory. They also offered thank-offerings both for their good
success and for the preservation of their army, for not one of the Jews
was slain in these battles.

[Footnote 67: The reason why Bethshan was called Scythopolis is well
known from Herodotus, b. i., p. 105, and Syncellus, p. 214, that the
Scythians, where they overran Asia, in the days of Josiah, seized on
this city, and kept it as long as they continued in Asia; from which
time it retained the name of Scythopolis, or the City of the Scythians.]

But as to Joseph, the son of Zacharias, and Azarias, whom Judas left
generals [of the rest of his forces] at the same time when Simon was in
Galilee fighting against the people of Ptolemais, and Judas himself and
his brother Jonathan were in the land of Gilead, did these men also
affect the glory of being courageous generals in war, in order whereto
they took the army that was under their command and came to Jamnia.
There Gorgias, the general of the forces of Jamnia, met them, and upon
joining battle with him they lost two thousand of their army and fled
away, and were pursued to the very borders of Judea. And this misfortune
befell them by their disobedience to what injunctions Judas had given
them not to fight with anyone before his return. For besides the rest of
Judas' sagacious counsels, one may well wonder at this concerning the
misfortune that befell the forces commanded by Joseph and Azarias, which
he understood would happen if they broke any of the injunctions he had
given them. But Judas and his brethren did not leave off fighting with
the Idumeans, but pressed upon them on all sides, and took from them the
city of Hebron, and demolished all its fortifications and set all its
towers on fire, and burned the country of the foreigners and the city
Marissa. They came also to Ashdod, and took it, and laid it waste, and
took away a great deal of the spoils and prey that were in it and
returned to Judea.


B.C. 133


(Cornelia, whose father was Scipio Africanus, preferred to be called
"Mother of the Gracchi" rather than daughter of the conqueror of
Numantia. Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, her sons, were born at a time
when the social condition of Rome was rank with corruption. The small
farmer class were deprived of holdings, the soil was being worked by
slaves, and its products wasted on pleasure and debauchery by the rich;
the law courts were controlled by the wealthy and powerful, while
oppression, bribery, and fraud were generally rampant in the city.

On December 10, B.C. 133, Tiberius Gracchus entered upon the office of
tribune, to which he had been elected, and pledged himself to the
abolition of crying abuses. His first movement was in the direction of
agrarian legislation. He proposed to vest all public lands in the hands
of three commissioners [triumviri], who were to distribute the public
lands, at that time largely monopolized by the wealthy, to all citizens
in needy circumstances. The bill met with bitter opposition from the
rich landholders, but was eventually passed, and Gracchus rose to the
summit of popular power. He also brought forward a measure limiting the
necessary period of military service; a second bill was drawn up by him
for the reformation of the law courts, and a third established a right
of appeal from the law courts to the popular assembly. These measures
were afterward carried by his brother Caius. Tiberius Gracchus was
killed in a tumult which was raised in the Forum by the nobles and their
partisans, and three hundred of his followers lost their lives in the

Caius Gracchus, his brother, returned to Rome B.C. 124 from Sardinia,
where he had been engaged in subduing the mountaineers. For ten years he
had kept aloof from public life, but was at once elected tribune, in the
discharge of which office he showed distinguished powers as an orator.
He brought forth the important measures known as the Sempronian Laws,
the provisions of which were quite revolutionary in character. The first
of these laws renewed and extended the agrarian laws of his brother and
instituted new colonies in Italy and the provinces. By the second
Sempronian law the State undertook to furnish corn at a low price to all
Roman citizens.

Other measures aimed at diminishing the great administrative power of
the senate, which had so far monopolized all judicial offices. By the
law of Gracchus the administration of justice was entirely transferred
to a body of three hundred persons who possessed the equestrian rate of
property. The Sempronian law for the assignment of consular provinces,
which hitherto had been left to the senate, made the allotment of two
designated provinces to be decided by the newly elected consuls
themselves. The power of the senate was also crippled by the law of
Gracchus in which he transferred to the tribunes the burden of improving
the roads of Italy, contracts for which had hitherto been awarded by the
censor under the approval of the senate. These movements were all in the
direction of increasing popular and democratic power, and the work of
the Gracchi tended to the extension of political freedom. In the history
of politics these social struggles are among the most important events
illustrative of the gradual dawn of civil liberty among a people which
had been dominated and oppressed by a selfish aristocracy.)

The power of Gracchus rested on the mercantile class and the
proletariat; primarily on the latter, which in this conflict--wherein
neither side had any military reserve--acted, as it were, the part of an
army. It was clear that the senate was not powerful enough to wrest
either from the merchants or from the proletariat their new privileges;
any attempt to assail the corn laws or the new jury arrangement would
have led under a somewhat grosser or somewhat more civilized form to a
street riot, in presence of which the senate was utterly defenceless.
But it was no less clear that Gracchus himself and these merchants and
proletarians were only kept together by mutual advantage, and that the
men of material interests were ready to accept their posts, and the
populace, strictly so called, its bread, quite as well from any other as
from Caius Gracchus.

The institutions of Gracchus stood, for the moment at least, immovably
firm, with the exception of a single one--his own supremacy. The
weakness of the latter lay in the fact that in the constitution of
Gracchus there was no relation of allegiance subsisting at all between
the chief and the army; and, while the new constitution possessed all
other elements of vitality, it lacked one--the moral tie between ruler
and ruled, without which every state rests on a pedestal of clay. In the
rejection of the proposal to admit the Latins to the franchise it had
been demonstrated with decisive clearness that the multitude in fact
never voted for Gracchus, but always simply for itself. The aristocracy
conceived the plan of offering battle to the author of the corn
largesses and land assignations on his own ground.

As a matter of course the senate offered to the proletariat not merely
the same advantages as Gracchus had already assured to it in corn and
otherwise, but advantages still greater. Commissioned by the senate, the
tribune of the people, Marcus Livius Drusus, proposed to relieve those
who received land under the laws of Gracchus from the rent imposed on
them, and to declare their allotments to be free and alienable property;
and, further, to provide for the proletariat not in transmarine, but in
twelve Italian, colonies, each of three thousand colonists, for the
planting of which the people might nominate suitable men; only Drusus
himself declined--in contrast with the family complexion of the Gracchan
commission--to take part in this honorable duty. Presumably the Latins
were named as those who would have to bear the costs of the plan, for
there does not appear to have existed then in Italy other occupied
domain land of any extent save that which was enjoyed by them.

We find isolated enactments of Drusus--such as the regulation that the
punishment of scourging might only be inflicted on the Latin soldier by
the Latin officer set over him, and not by the Roman officer--which were
to all appearance intended to indemnify the Latins for other losses. The
plan was not the most refined. The attempt at rivalry was too clear; the
endeavor to draw the fair bond between the nobles and the proletariat
still closer by their exercising jointly a tyranny over the Latins was
too transparent; the inquiry suggested itself too readily.

In what part of the peninsula, now that the Italian domains had been
mainly given away already--even granting that the whole domains assigned
to the Latins were confiscated--was the occupied domain land requisite
for the formation of twelve new, numerous, and compact burgess
communities to be discovered? Lastly, the declaration of Drusus that he
would have nothing to do with the execution of his law was so dreadfully
prudent as to border on sheer folly. But the clumsy snare was quite
suited to the stupid game which they wished to catch. There was the
additional and perhaps decisive consideration that Gracchus, on whose
personal influence everything depended, was just then establishing the
Carthaginian colony in Africa, and that his lieutenant in the capital,
Marcus Flaccus, played into the hands of his opponents by his vehement
and maladroit acts. The "people" accordingly ratified the Livian laws as
readily as it had before ratified the Sempronian. It then as usual
repaid its latest by inflicting a gentle blow on its earlier benefactor,
declining to reelect him when he stood for the third time as a candidate
for the tribunate for the year B.C. 120. On this occasion, however,
there are alleged to have been unjust proceedings on the part of the
tribune presiding at the election, who had been offended by Gracchus.

Thus the foundation of his despotism gave way beneath him. A second blow
was inflicted on him by the consular elections, which not only proved,
in a general sense, adverse to the democracy, but which placed at the
head of the State Lucius Opimius, one of the least scrupulous chiefs of
the strict aristocratic party and a man firmly resolved to get rid of
their dangerous antagonist at the earliest opportunity. Such an
opportunity soon occurred. On the 10th of December, B.C. 121, Gracchus
ceased to be tribune of the people. On the 1st of January, B.C. 120,
Opimius entered upon his office.

The first attack, as was fair, was directed against the most useful and
the most unpopular measure of Gracchus, the reestablishment of Carthage,
while the transmarine colonies had hitherto been only indirectly
assailed through the greater allurements of the Italian. African hyenas,
it was now alleged, dug up the newly placed boundary stones of Carthage,
and the Roman priests when requested certified that such signs and
portents ought to form an express warning against rebuilding on a site
accursed by the gods. The senate thereby found itself in its conscience
compelled to have a law proposed which prohibited the planting of the
colony of Sunonia. Gracchus, who with the other men nominated to
establish it was just then selecting the colonists, appeared on the day
of voting at the Capitol, whither the burgesses were convoked, with a
view to procure by means of his adherents the rejection of the law.

He wished to shun acts of violence that he might not himself supply his
opponents with the pretext which they sought, but he had not been able
to prevent a great portion of his faithful partisans--who remembered the
catastrophe of Tiberius, and were well acquainted with the designs of
the aristocracy--from appearing in arms, fearing that, amid the immense
excitement on both sides, quarrels could hardly be avoided. The consul
Lucius Opimius offered the usual sacrifice in the porch of the
Capitoline temple, one of the attendants assisting at the ceremony.
Quintus Antullius, with the holy entrails in his hands, haughtily
ordered the "bad citizens" to quit the porch, and seemed as though he
would lay hands on Caius himself; whereupon a zealous Gracchan drew his
sword and cut the man down. A fearful tumult arose. Gracchus vainly
sought to address the people and to disclaim the responsibility for the
sacreligious murder; he only furnished his antagonists with a further
formal ground of accusation, as, without being aware of it in the
confusion, he interrupted a tribune in the act of speaking to the
people--an offence for which an obsolete statute, originating at the
time of the old dissensions between the orders (I. 353), had prescribed
the severest penalty. The consul Lucius Opimius took his measures to put
down by force of arms the insurrection for the overthrow of the
republican constitution, as they were fond of designating the events of
this day. He himself passed the night in the temple of Castor in the
Forum. At early dawn the Capitol was filled with Cretan archers, the
senate house and Forum with the men of the government party (the
senators and that section of the _equites_ adhering to them), who by
order of the consul had all appeared in arms, each attended by two armed
slaves. None of the aristocracy was absent; even the aged and venerable
Quintus Metellus, well disposed to reform, had appeared with shield and
sword. An officer of ability and experience acquired in the Spanish
wars, Decimus Brutus, was intrusted with the command of the armed force;
the senate assembled in the senate house. The bier with the corpse of
Antullius was deposited in front of it, the senate as if surprised
appeared _en masse_ at the door in order to view the dead body, and then
retired to determine what should be done.

The leaders of the democracy had gone from the Capitol to their houses;
Marcus Flaccus had spent the night in preparing for the war in the
streets, while Gracchus apparently disdained to strive with destiny.
Next morning when they learned of the preparations made by their
opponents at the Capitol and the Forum, both proceeded to the Aventine,
the old stronghold of the popular party in the struggles between the
patricians and the plebeians. Gracchus went thither silent and unarmed.
Flaccus called the slaves to arms and intrenched himself in the temple
of Diana, while he at the same time sent his younger son Quintus to the
enemy's camp in order if possible to arrange a compromise. The latter
returned with the announcement that the aristocracy demanded
unconditional surrender. At the same time he brought a summons from the
senate to Gracchus and Flaccus to appear before it and to answer for
their violation of the majesty of the tribunes.

Gracchus wished to comply with the summons, but Flaccus prevented him
from doing so, and repeated the equally weak and mistaken attempt to
move such antagonists to a compromise. When instead of the two cited
leaders the young Quintus Flaccus once more presented himself alone, the
consul treated their refusal to appear as the beginning of open
insurrection against the Government. He ordered the messenger to be
arrested and gave the signal for attack on the Aventine, while at the
same time he caused proclamations to be made in the streets that the
Government would give to whomsoever should bring the head of Gracchus or
of Flaccus its literal weight in gold; and that they would guarantee
complete indemnity to everyone who should leave the Aventine before the
beginning of the conflict. The ranks on the Aventine speedily thinned;
the valiant nobility in conjunction with the Cretans and the slaves
stormed the almost undefended mount, and killed all whom they
found--about two hundred and fifty persons, mostly of humble rank.
Marcus Flaccus fled with his eldest son to a place of concealment, where
they were soon afterward hunted out and put to death. Gracchus had at
the beginning of the conflict retired into the temple of Minerva and was
there about to pierce himself with his sword when his friend Publius
Laetorius seized his arm and besought him to preserve himself, if
possible, for better times.

Gracchus was induced to make an attempt to escape to the other bank of
the Tiber, but when hastening down the hill he fell and sprained his
foot. To gain time for him to escape, his two attendants turned, and
facing his pursuers allowed themselves to be cut down. As Marcus
Pomponius at the Porta Trigemina under the Aventine; Publius Laetorius
at the bridge over the Tiber--where Horatius Cocles was said to have
once withstood, singly, the Etruscan army--so Gracchus, attended only by
his slave Euporus, reached the suburb on the right bank of the Tiber.

There, in the grove of Furrina, afterward were found the two dead
bodies. It seemed as if the slave had put to death first his master, and
then himself. The heads of the two fallen leaders were handed over to
the Government as required. The stipulated price, and more, was paid to
Lucius Septumuleius, a man of quality, the bearer of the head of
Gracchus; while the murderers of Flaccus, persons of humble rank, were
sent away with empty hands. The bodies of the dead were thrown into the
river, and the houses of the leaders were abandoned to the pillage of
the multitude. The warfare of prosecution against the partisans of
Gracchus began on the grandest scale; as many as three thousand of them
are said to have been strangled in prison, among whom was Quintus
Flaccus, eighteen years of age, who had taken no part in the conflict,
and was universally lamented on account of his youth and his amiable
disposition. On the open space beneath the Capitol, where the altar
consecrated by Camillus after the restoration of internal peace (I.
382), and other shrines--erected on similar occasions to Concord--were
situated, the small chapels were pulled down, and out of the property of
the killed or condemned traitors--which was confiscated, even to the
portions of their wives--a new and splendid temple of Concord, with the
basilica belonging to it, was erected in accordance with a decree of the
senate by the consul Lucius Opimius.

Certainly it was an act in accordance with the spirit of the age to
remove the memorials of the old and to inaugurate a new Concord over the
remains of the three grandsons of Zama, all of whom--first, Tiberius
Gracchus, then Scipio Aemilianus, and lastly the youngest and the
mightiest, Caius Gracchus--had now been engulfed by the revolution. The
memory of the Gracchi remained officially proscribed; Cornelia was not
allowed even to put on mourning for the death of her last son; but the
passionate attachment which very many had felt toward the two noble
brothers, and especially toward Caius, during their life, was touchingly
displayed also after their death, in the almost religious veneration
which the multitude, in spite of all precautions of the police,
continued to pay to their memory and to the spots where they had fallen.


B.C. 58-50


[Footnote 68: From Louis Napoleon's Julius Caesar, by permission of
Harper & Brothers.]

(In Caesar's military performances the Gallic war plays the most
important part, as shown in his _Commentaries_, his sole extant literary
work and almost the only authority for this part of Roman history.

Cisalpine Gaul--that portion lying on the southern or Italian side of
the Alps--came partly under the dominion of Rome as early as B.C. 282,
when a Roman colony was founded at Sena Gallica. This division of Gaul
was wholly conquered by B.C. 191; and in B.C. 43, having been made a
Roman province, it became a part of Italy.

Transalpine Gaul--that part lying north and northwest of the Alps from
Rome--comprised in Caesar's day three divisions: Aquitaine to the
southwest, Celtic Gaul in the middle, and Belgic Gaul to the northwest.
The region was inhabited by various tribes having neither unity of race
nor of customs whereby nationality becomes distinguished. Toward the
close of the second century B.C. the Romans made their first settlements
in Transalpine Gaul, in the southeastern part. At the time when Caesar
became proconsul in Gaul, B.C. 58, the province was in a state of
tranquillity, but Fortune seemed determined that he should have great
opportunities for the display of his military genius, and, when Asia had
been subdued by Pompey, "conferred what remained to be done in Europe
upon Caesar." The attempt of the Helvetii to leave their homes in the
Alps for new dwelling-places in Gaul served him as an occasion for war.
As they were crossing the Arar [now Saone] he attacked and routed them,
later defeated them again, and at last drove them back to their own

The story of the long war, with its various campaigns, has become
familiar to the world's readers through the masterly account of Caesar
himself, known to "every schoolboy" who advances to the dignity of
classical studies. In the end the country between the Pyrenees and the
Rhine was subjugated, and for several centuries it remained a Roman

At the time when the history is taken up in the following narrative by
Napoleon III, the great rebellion, B.C. 52, had sustained a heavy blow
in the surrender of Alesia, and the capture of the heroic chief and
leader of the insurrection, Vercingetorix, whom Caesar exhibited in his
triumph at Rome, B.C. 46, and then caused to be put to death.

The distinguished author of the article says he wrote "for the purpose
of proving that when Providence raises up such men as Caesar,
Charlemagne, and Napoleon it is to trace out to peoples the path they
ought to follow, to stamp with the seal of their genius a new era, and
to accomplish in a few years the work of many centuries." The work was
prepared [_vide Manual of Historical Literature_: Adams] with the utmost
care--a care which extended in some instances to special surveys, to
insure perfect accuracy in the descriptions, etc.)

The capture of Alesia and that of Vercingetorix, in spite of the united
efforts of all Gaul, naturally gave Caesar hopes of a general
submission; and he therefore believed that he could leave his army
during the winter to rest quietly in its quarters from the hard labors
which had lasted without interruption during the whole of the past
summer. But the spirit of insurrection was not extinct among the Gauls;
and convinced by experience that whatever might be their number they
could not in a body cope with troops inured to war, they resolved, by
partial insurrections raised on all points at once, to divide the
attention and the forces of the Romans as their only chance of resisting
them with advantage.

Caesar was unwilling to leave them time to realize this new plan, but
gave the command of his winter quarters to his quaestor, Mark Antony;
quitted Bibracte on the day before the Calends of January (the 25th of
December) with an escort of cavalry, joined the Thirteenth legion, which
was in winter quarters among the Bituriges, not far from the frontier of
the Aldui, and called to him the Eleventh legion, which was the nearest
at hand. Having left two cohorts of each legion to guard the baggage, he
proceeded toward the fertile country of the Bituriges, a vast territory,
where the presence of a single legion was insufficient to put a stop to
the preparations for insurrection.

His sudden arrival in the midst of men without distrust, who were spread
over the open country, produced the result which he expected. They were
surprised before they could enter into their _oppidae_--for Caesar had
strictly forbidden everything which might have raised their suspicion;
especially the application of fire, which usually betrays the sudden
presence of an enemy. Several thousands of captives were made. Those who
succeeded in escaping sought in vain a refuge among the neighboring
nations. Caesar, by forced marches, came up with them everywhere and
obliged each tribe to think of its own safety before that of others.

This activity held the populations in their fidelity, and through fear
engaged the wavering to submit to the conditions of peace. Thus the
Bituriges, seeing that Caesar offered them an easy way to recover his
protection, and that the neighboring states had suffered no other
chastisement than that of having to deliver hostages, did not hesitate
in submitting.

The soldiers of the Eleventh and Thirteenth legions had, during the
winter, supported with rare constancy the fatigues of very difficult
marches in intolerable cold. To reward them he promised to give by way
of prize-money two hundred _sestertii_ to each soldier and two thousand
to each centurion. He then sent them into their winter quarters and
returned to Bibracte after an absence of forty days. While he was there,
dispensing justice, the Bituriges came to implore his support against
the attacks of the Carnutes. Although it was only eighteen days since he
returned, he marched again at the head of two legions--the Sixth and the
Fourteenth--which had been placed on the Saone to insure the supply of

On his approach the Carnutes, taught by the fate of others, abandoned
their miserable huts--which they had erected on the site of their burgs
and oppida destroyed in the last campaign--and fled in every direction.

Caesar, unwilling to expose his soldiers to the rigor of the season,
established his camp at Genabum (Gien), and lodged them partly in the
huts which had remained undestroyed, partly in tents under penthouses
covered with straw. The cavalry and auxiliary infantry were sent in
pursuit of the Carnutes, who, hunted down everywhere, and without
shelter, took refuge in the neighboring counties.

After having dispersed some rebellious meetings and stifled the germs of
an insurrection, Caesar believed that the summer would pass without any
serious war. He left therefore at Genabum the two legions he had with
him, and gave the command of them to C. Trebonius.

Nevertheless, he learned by several intimations from the Remi that the
Bellovaci and neighboring peoples, with Correus and Commius at their
head, were collecting troops to make an inroad on the territory of the
Suessiones, who had been placed--since the campaign of 697--under the
dependence of the Remi.

He considered that he regarded his interest as well as his dignity in
protecting allies who had deserved so well of the republic. He again
drew the Eleventh legion from its winter quarters, sent written orders
to C. Fabius, who was encamped in the country of the Remi, to bring into
that of the Suessiones the two legions under his command, and demanded
one of his legions from Labienus, who was at Besancon. Thus without
taking any rest himself he shared the fatigues among the legions by
turns, as far as the position of the winter quarters and the necessities
of the war permitted.

When this army was assembled he marched against the Bellovaci,
established his camp on their territory, and sent cavalry in every
direction in order to make some prisoners and learn from them the
designs of the enemy. The cavalry reported that the emigration was
general, and that the few inhabitants who were to be seen were not
remaining behind in order to apply themselves to agriculture, but to act
as spies upon the Romans.

Caesar by interrogating the prisoners learned that all the Bellovaci
able to fight had assembled on one spot, and that they had been joined
by the Ambiani, the Aulerci, the Caletes, the Veliocasses, and the
Atrebates. Their camp was in a forest on a height surrounded by
marshes--Mont Saint Marc, in the forest of Compiegne; their baggage had
been transported to more distant woods. The command was divided among
several chiefs, but the greater part obeyed Correus on account of his
well-known hatred of the Romans. Commius had a few days before gone to
seek succor from the numerous Germans who lived in great numbers in the
neighboring counties--probably those on the banks of the Meuse.

The Bellovaci resolved with one accord to give Caesar battle, if, as
report said, he was advancing with only three legions; for they would
not run the risk of having afterward to encounter his entire army. If,
on the contrary, the Romans were advancing with more considerable forces
they proposed to keep their positions and confine themselves to
intercepting, by means of ambuscades, the provisions and forage, which
were very scarce at that season.

This plan, confirmed by many reports, seemed to Caesar full of prudence
and altogether contrary to the usual rashness of the barbarians. He took
therefore every possible care to dissimulate as to the number of his
troops. He had with him the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth legions, composed
of old soldiers of tried valor, and the Eleventh, which, formed of
picked young men who had gone through eight campaigns, deserved his
confidence, although it could not be compared with the others with
regard to bravery and experience in war. In order to deceive the enemy
by showing them only three legions--the only number they were willing to
fight--he placed the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth in one line; while the
baggage, which was not very considerable, was placed behind under the
protection of the Eleventh legion, which closed the march. In this
order, which formed almost a square, he came unawares in sight of the
Bellovaci. At the unexpected view of the legions, which advanced in
order of battle and with a firm step, they lost their courage and,
instead of attacking, as they had engaged to do, they confined
themselves to drawing themselves up before their camp without leaving
the height. A valley deeper than it was wide separated the two armies.

On account of this obstacle and the numerical superiority of the
barbarians, Caesar, though he had wished for battle, abandoned the idea
of attacking them and placed his camp opposite that of the Gauls in a
strong position. He caused it to be surrounded with a parapet twelve
feet high, surmounted by accessory works proportioned to the importance
of the retrenchment and preceded by a double fosse fifteen feet wide,
with a square bottom. Towers of three stories were constructed from
distance to distance and united together by covered bridges, the
exterior parts of which were protected by hurdle-work. In this manner
the camp was protected not only by a double fosse, but also by a double
row of defenders, some of whom, placed on the bridges, could from this
elevated and sheltered position throw their missiles farther and with a
better aim; while the others, placed on the _vallum_, nearer to the
enemy, were protected by the bridges from the missiles which showered
down upon them. The entrances were defended by means of higher towers
and were closed with gates.

These formidable retrenchments had a double aim--to increase the
confidence of the barbarians by making them believe that they were
feared, and next to allow the number of the garrison to be reduced with
safety when they had to go far for provisions. For some days there were
no serious engagements, but slight skirmishes in the marshy plain which
extended between the two camps. The capture, however, of a few foragers
did not fail to swell the presumption of the barbarians, which was still
more increased by the arrival of Commius, although he had brought only
five hundred German cavalry.

The enemy remained for several days shut up in its impregnable position.
Caesar judged that an assault would cost too many lives; an investment
alone seemed to him opportune, but it would require a greater number of

He wrote thereupon to Trebonius to send him as soon as possible the
Thirteenth legion, which, under the command of T. Sextius, was in winter
quarters among the Bituriges, to join it with the Sixth and the
Fourteenth (which the first of these lieutenants commanded at Genabum),
and to come himself with these three legions by forced marches.

During this time he employed the numerous cavalry of the Remi, the
Lingones and the other allies, to protect the foragers and to prevent
surprises, but this daily service, as is often the case, ended by being
negligently performed. And one day the Remi, pursuing the Bellovaci with
too much ardor, fell into an ambuscade. In withdrawing they were
surrounded by foot-soldiers in the midst of whom Vertiscus, their chief,
met with his death. True to his Gaulish nature, he would not allow his
age to exempt him from commanding and mounting on horseback, although he
was hardly able to keep his seat. His death and this feeble advantage
raised the self-confidence of the barbarians still more, but it rendered
the Romans more circumspect.

Nevertheless, in one of the skirmishes which were continually taking
place within sight of the two camps about the fordable places of the
marsh, the German infantry--which Caesar had sent for from beyond the
Rhine in order to mix them with the cavalry--joined in a body, boldly
crossed the marsh, and, meeting with little resistance, continued the
pursuit with such impetuosity that fear seized not only the enemy who
fought, but even those who were in reserve. Instead of availing
themselves of the advantages of the ground, all fled in a cowardly
manner. They did not stop until they were within their camp, and some
even were not ashamed to fly beyond it. This defeat caused a general
discouragement, for the Gauls were as easily daunted by the least
reverse as they were made arrogant by the smallest success.

Day after day was passing in this manner when Caesar was informed of the
arrival of C. Trebonius and his troops, which raised the number of his
legions to seven. The chiefs of the Bellovaci then feared an investment
like that of Alesia, and resolved to quit their position. They sent away
by night the old men, the infirm, the unarmed men, and the part of the
baggage which they had kept with them. Scarcely was this confused
multitude in motion--embarrassed by its own mass and its numerous
chariots--when daylight surprised it, and the troops had to be drawn up
in line before the camp to give the column time to move away. Caesar saw
no advantage either in giving battle to those who were in position, nor,
on account of the steepness of the hill, in pursuing those who were
making their retreat; he resolved, nevertheless, to make two legions
advance in order to disturb the enemy in its retreat. Having observed
that the mountain on which the Gauls were established was connected with
another height (Mont Collet), from which it was only separated by a
narrow valley, he ordered bridges to be thrown across the marsh. The
legions crossed over them and soon attained the summit of the height,
which was defended on both sides by abrupt declivities.

There he collected his troops and advanced in order of battle up to the
extremity of the plateau, whence the engines placed in battery could
reach the masses of the enemy with their missiles.

The barbarians, rendered confident by the advantage of their position,
were ready to accept battle if the Romans dared to attack the mountain;
besides, they were afraid to withdraw their troops successively, as, if
divided, they might have been thrown into disorder. This attitude led
Caesar to resolve upon leaving twenty cohorts under arms, and on tracing
a camp on this spot and retrenching it. When the works were completed
the legions were placed before the retrenchments and the cavalry
distributed with their horses bridled at the outposts. The Bellovaci had
recourse to a stratagem in order to effect their retreat. They passed
from hand to hand the fascines and the straw on which, according to the
Gaulish custom, they were in the habit of sitting, preserving at the
same time their order of battle; placed them in front of the camp, and
toward the close of the day, on a preconcerted signal, set fire to them.
Immediately a vast flame concealed from the Romans the Gaulish troops,
who fled in haste.

Although the fire prevented Caesar from seeing the retreat of the enemy
he suspected it. He ordered his legions to advance, and sent the cavalry
in pursuit, but he marched slowly in fear of some stratagem, suspecting
the barbarians to have formed the design of drawing the Romans to
disadvantageous ground. Besides, the cavalry did not dare to ride
through the smoke and flames; and thus the Bellovaci were able to pass
over a distance of ten miles and halt in a place strongly fortified by
nature (Mont Ganelon), where they pitched their camp. In this position
they confined themselves to placing cavalry and infantry in frequent
ambuscades, thus inflicting great damage on the Romans when they went to
forage. After several encounters of this kind Caesar learned by a
prisoner that Correus, chief of the Bellovaci, with six thousand picked
infantry and one thousand horsemen, was preparing an ambuscade in places
where the abundance of corn and forage was likely to attract the Romans.
In consequence of this information he sent forward the cavalry, which
was always employed to protect the foragers, and joined with them some
light-armed auxiliaries, while he himself, with a greater number of
legions, followed them as closely as possible.

The enemy had posted themselves in a plain--that of Choisy-au-Bac--of
about one thousand paces in length and the same in breadth, surrounded
on one side by forests, on the other by a river which was difficult to
pass (the Aisne). The cavalry becoming acquainted with the designs of
the Gauls and feeling themselves supported, advanced resolutely in
squadrons toward this plain, which was surrounded with ambushes on all

Correus, seeing them arrive in this manner, believed the opportunity
favorable for the execution of his plan and began by attacking the first
squadrons with a few men. The Romans sustained the shock without
concentrating themselves in a mass on the same point, "which," says
Hirtius, "usually happens in cavalry engagements, and leads always to a
dangerous confusion." There, on the contrary, the squadrons, remaining
separated, fought in detached bodies, and when one of them advanced, its
flanks were protected by the others. Correus then ordered the rest of
his cavalry to issue from the woods. An obstinate combat began on all
sides without any decisive result until the enemy's infantry, debouching
from the forest in close ranks, forced the Roman cavalry to fall back.
The lightly armed soldiers who preceded the legions placed themselves
between the squadrons and restored the fortune of the combat. After a
certain time the troops, animated by the approach of the legions and the
arrival of Caesar, and ambitious of obtaining alone the honor of the
victory, redoubled their efforts and gained the advantage. The enemy, on
the other hand, were discouraged and took to flight, but were stopped by
the very obstacles which they intended to throw in the way of the
Romans. A small number, nevertheless, escaped through the forest and
crossed the river. Correus, who remained unshaken under this
catastrophe, obstinately refused to surrender, and fell pierced with
wounds. After this success Caesar hoped that if he continued his march
the enemy in dismay would abandon his camp, which was only eight miles
from the field of battle. He therefore crossed the Aisne, though not
without great difficulties.

The Bellovaci and their allies, informed by the fugitives of the death
of Correus, of the loss of their cavalry and the flower of their
infantry, and fearing every moment to see the Romans appear, convoked by
sound of trumpet a general assembly and decided by acclamation to send
deputies and hostages to the proconsul. The barbarians implored
forgiveness, alleging that this last defeat had ruined their power, and
that the death of Correus, the instigator of the war, delivered them
from oppression, for, during his life, it was not the senate which
governed, but an ignorant multitude. To their prayers Caesar replied
that last year the Bellovaci had revolted in concert with the other
Gaulish peoples, but that _they_ alone had persisted in the revolt. It
was very convenient to throw their faults upon those who were dead, but
how could it be believed that with nothing but the help of a weak
populace a man should have had sufficient influence to raise and sustain
a war contrary to the will of the chiefs, the decision of the senate,
and the desire of honest people? However, the evil which they had drawn
upon themselves was for him a sufficient reparation.

The following night the Bellovaci and their allies submitted, with the
exception of Commius, who fled to the country from which he had but
recently drawn support. He had not dared to trust the Romans for the
following reason: "The year before, in the absence of Caesar, T.
Labienus, informed that Commius was conspiring and preparing an
insurrection, thought that without accusing him of bad faith," says
Hirtius, "he could repress his treason." ("Under pretext of an interview
he sent C. Volusenus Quadratus, with some centurions, to kill him; but
when they were in the presence of the Gaulish chief the centurion who
was to strike him missed his blow and only wounded him; swords were
drawn on both sides and Commius had time to escape.")

The most warlike tribes had been vanquished and none of them dreamed of
further revolt. Nevertheless, many inhabitants of the newly conquered
countries abandoned the towns and the fields in order to withdraw
themselves from the Roman dominion. Caesar, in order to put a stop to
this emigration, distributed his army in different countries. He ordered
the quaestor, Mark Antony, to come to him with the Twelfth legion, and
sent the lieutenant Fabius with twenty-five cohorts into an opposite
part of Gaul--to the country situated between the Creuse and the
Vienne--where it was said that several tribes were in arms, and where
the lieutenant, Caninius Rebilus, who commanded with two legions, did
not appear to be sufficiently strong. Lastly, he ordered T. Labienus to
join him in person and to send the Fifteenth legion, which he had under
his command, into Cisalpine Gaul to protect the colonies of Roman
citizens there against the sudden inroads of the barbarians, who the
summer before had attacked the Tergestini (the inhabitants of Trieste).

As for Caesar, he proceeded with four legions to the territory of the
Eburones to lay it waste. As he could not secure Ambiorix, who was still
wandering at large, he thought it advisable to destroy everything by
fire and sword, persuaded that this chief would never dare to return to
a country upon which he had brought such a terrible calamity. The
legions and the auxiliaries were charged with the execution of this
plan. Then he sent Labienus, with two legions, to the country of the
Treviri, who, always at war with the Germans, were only kept in
obedience by the presence of a Roman army.

During this time Caninius Rebilus, who had first been appointed to go
into the country of the Ruteni, but who had been detained by petty
insurrections in the region situated between the Creuse and the Vienne,
learned that numerous hostile bands were assembling in the country of
the Pictones. He was informed of this by letters from Duratius, their
king, who, amid the defection of a part of his people, had remained
invariably faithful to the Romans. He started immediately for Lemonum
(Poitiers). On the road he learned from prisoners that Duratius was shut
up there and besieged by several thousand men under the orders of
Dumnacus, chief of the Andes.

Rebilus, at the head of two weak legions, did not dare to measure his
strength with the enemy; he contented himself with establishing his camp
in a strong position. At the news of his approach, Dumnacus raised the
siege, and marched to meet the legions, but after several days of
fruitless attempts to force their camp he returned to attack Lemonum.

Meanwhile, the lieutenant, Caius Fabius, occupied in pacifying several
other tribes, learned from Caninius Rebilus what was going on in the
country of the Pictones and marched without delay to the assistance of
Duratius. The news of the march of Fabius deprived Dumnacus of all hope
of opposing, at the same time, the troops shut up in Lemonum and the
relieving army. He abandoned the siege again in great haste, not
thinking himself safe until he had placed the Loire between himself and
the Romans; but he could only pass that river where there was a bridge
(at Saumur). Before he had joined Rebilus, before he had even obtained a
sight of the enemy, Fabius, who came from the North, and had lost no
time, doubted not, from what he heard from the people of the country,
that Dumnacus, in his fear, had taken the road which led to that bridge.
He therefore marched thither with his legions, preceded at a short
distance by his cavalry. The latter surprised the column of Dumnacus on
its march, dispersed it, and returned to the camp laden with booty.

During the night of the following day Fabius again sent his cavalry
forward with orders to delay the march of the enemy so as to give time
for the arrival of the infantry. The two bodies of cavalry were soon
engaged, but the enemy, thinking he had to contend with only the same
troops as the day before, drew up his infantry in line so as to support
the squadrons, when suddenly the Roman legions appeared in order of
battle. At this sight the barbarians were struck with terror, the long
train of baggage thrown into confusion, and the infantry dispersed. More
than twelve thousand men were killed and all the baggage fell into the
hands of the Romans.

Only five thousand fugitives escaped from this rout; they were received
by the Senonan, Drappes, the same who in the first revolt of the Gauls
had collected a crowd of vagabonds, slaves, exiles, and robbers to
intercept the convoys of the Romans.

They took the direction of the Narbonnese with the Cadurcan Lucterius
who had before attempted a similar invasion.

Rebilus pursued them with two legions in order to avoid the shame of
seeing the province suffering any injury from such a contemptible
rabble. As for Fabius, he led the twenty-five cohorts against the
Carnutes and the other tribes whose forces had already been reduced by
the defeat they had suffered from Dumnacus. The Carnutes, though often
beaten, had never been completely subdued. They gave hostages, and the
Armoricans followed their example. Dumnacus, driven out of his own
territory, went to seek a refuge in the remotest part of Gaul.

Drappes and Lucterius, when they learned that they were pursued by
Rebilus and his two legions, gave up the design of penetrating into the
province; they halted in the country of the Cadurci and threw themselves
into the _oppidum_ of Uxellodunum (Puy-d'Issolu, near Varac), an
exceedingly strong place formerly under the dependence of Lucterius, who
soon incited the inhabitants to revolt.

Rebilus appeared immediately before the town, which, surrounded on all
sides by steep rocks, was, even without being defended, difficult of
access to armed men. Knowing that there was in the oppidum so great a
quantity of baggage that the besieged could not send it away secretly
without being detected and overtaken by the cavalry, and even by the
infantry, he divided his cohorts into three bodies and established three
camps on the highest points. Next he ordered a countervallation to be
made. On seeing these preparations the besieged remembered the
ill-fortune of Alesia, and feared a similar fate. Lucterius, who had
witnessed the horrors of famine during the investment of that town, now
took especial care of the provisions.

During this time the garrison of the oppidum attacked the redoubts of
Rebilus several times, which obliged him to interrupt the work of the
countervallation, which, indeed, he had not sufficient forces to defend.

Drappes and Lucterius established themselves at a distance of ten miles
from the oppidum, with the intention of introducing the provisions
gradually. They shared the duties between them. Drappes remained with
part of the troops to protect the camp. Lucterius, during the
night-time, endeavored to introduce beasts of burden into the town by a
narrow and wooded path. The noise of their march gave warning to the
sentries. Rebilus, informed of what was going on, ordered the cohorts to
sally from the neighboring redoubts, and at daybreak fell upon the
convoy, the escort of which was slaughtered. Lucterius, having escaped
with a small number of his followers, was unable to rejoin Drappes.

Rebilus soon learned from prisoners that the rest of the troops which
had left the oppidum were with Drappes at a distance of twelve miles,
and that by a fortunate chance not one fugitive had taken that direction
to carry him news of the last combat. The Roman general sent in advance
all the cavalry and the light German infantry; he followed them with one
legion, without baggage, leaving the other as a guard to the three
camps. When he came near the enemy he learned, by his scouts, that the
barbarians--according to their custom of neglecting the heights--had
placed their camp on the banks of a river (probably the Dordogne); that
the Germans and the cavalry had surprised them, and that they were
already fighting. Rebilus then advanced rapidly at the head of the
legion drawn up in order of battle and took possession of the heights.

As soon as the ensigns appeared, the cavalry redoubled its ardor; the
cohorts rushed forward from all sides and the Gauls were taken or
killed. The booty was immense and Drappes fell into the hands of the

Rebilus, after this successful exploit, which cost him but a few
wounded, returned under the walls of Uxellodunum. Fearing no longer any
attack from without, he set resolutely to work to continue his
circumvallation. The day after, C. Fabius arrived, followed by his
troops, and shared with him the labors of the siege. While the south of
Gaul was the scene of serious trouble, Caesar left the quaestor, Mark
Antony, with fifteen cohorts in the country of the Bellovaci. To deprive
the Belgae of all idea of revolt he had proceeded to the neighboring
countries with two legions; had exacted hostages, and restored
confidence by his conciliating speeches. When he arrived among the
Carnutes--who the year before had been the first to revolt--he saw that
the remembrance of their conduct kept them in great alarm, and he
resolved to put an end to it by causing his vengeance to fall only upon
Gutruatus, the instigator of the war.

This man was brought in and delivered up. Although Caesar was naturally
inclined to be indulgent, he could not resist the tumultuous entreaties
of his soldiers, who made that chief responsible for all the dangers
they had run and for all the misery they had suffered. Gutruatus died
under the stripes and was afterward beheaded.

It was in the land of the Carnutes that Caesar received news, by the
letters of Rebilus, of the events which had taken place at Uxellodunum
and of the resistance of the besieged. Although a handful of men shut up
in a fortress was not very formidable, he judged it necessary to punish
their obstinacy, for fear that the Gauls should entertain the conviction
that it was not strength, but constancy, which had failed them in
resisting the Romans; and lest this example might encourage the other
states which possessed fortresses advantageously situated, to recover
their independence.

Moreover, it was known everywhere among the Gauls that Caesar had only
one more summer to hold his command, and that after that time they would
have nothing more to fear. He left therefore the lieutenant Quintus
Calenus at the head of his two legions, with orders to follow him by
ordinary marches, and, with his cavalry, hastened by long marches toward
Uxellodunum. Caesar, arriving unexpectedly before the town, found it
completely defended at all accessible points. He judged that it could
not be taken by assault (_neque ab oppugnatione recedi vidaret ulla
conditione posse_), and, as it was abundantly provided with provisions,
conceived the project of depriving the inhabitants of water.

The mountain was surrounded almost on every side by very low ground, but
on one side there existed a valley through which a river (the Tourmente)
ran. As it flowed at the foot of two precipitous mountains the
disposition of the localities did not admit of turning it aside and
conducting it into lower channels. It was difficult for the besieged to
come down to it, and the Romans rendered the approaches to it still more
dangerous. They placed posts of archers and slingers, and brought
engines which commanded all the slopes which gave access to the river.
The besieged had thenceforth no other means of procuring water but by
carrying it from an abundant spring which arose at the foot of the wall
three hundred feet from the channel of the Tourmente. Caesar resolved to
drain this spring, and for this purpose he did not hesitate to attempt a
laborious undertaking. Opposite the point where it rose he ordered
covered galleries to be pushed forward against the mountain, and under
protection of these a terrace to be raised--labors which were carried on
in the midst of continual fighting and weariness.

Although the besieged from their elevated position fought without danger
and wounded many Romans, yet the latter did not yield to discouragement,
but continued the work. At the same time they made a subterranean
gallery, which, running from the covered galleries, was intended to lead
up to the spring. This work, carried on free from all danger, was
executed without being perceived by the enemy. The terrace attained a
height of sixty feet and was surmounted by a tower of ten stories,
which, without equalling the elevation of the wall--a result it was
impossible to obtain--still commanded the fountain. Its approaches,
battered by engines from the top of this tower, became inaccessible. In
consequence of this, many men and animals in the place died of thirst.
The besieged, terrified at this mortality, filled barrels with pitch,
grease, and shavings, and rolled them flaming upon the Roman works,
making at the same time a sally to prevent them from extinguishing the
fire. Soon it spread to the covered galleries and the terrace, which
stopped the progress of the inflammable materials.

Notwithstanding the difficult nature of the ground and the increasing
danger, the Romans still persevered in their struggle. The battle took
place on a height within sight of the army. Loud cries were raised on
both sides. Each individual sought to rival his fellow in zeal, and the
more he was exposed to view the more courageously he faced the missiles
and the fire.

Caesar, as he was sustaining great loss, determined to feign an assault.
In order to create a diversion he ordered some cohorts to climb the hill
on all sides, uttering loud cries. This movement terrified the besieged,
who, fearing to be attacked at other points, called back to the defence
of the wall those who were setting fire to the works. Then the Romans
were enabled to extinguish the flames. The Gauls, although exhausted by
thirst and reduced to a small number, ceased not to defend themselves
vigorously. At length the subterranean gallery having reached the source
of the spring, the supply was turned aside. The besieged, beholding the
fountain suddenly become dry, believed in their despair that it was an
intervention of the gods, and, submitting to necessity, surrendered.

Caesar considered that the pacification of Gaul would never be completed
if as strong a resistance was encountered in other towns. He thought it
advisable to spread terror by a severe example--so much the more so as
"the well-known mildness of his temper," says Hirtius, "would not allow
this necessary rigor to be ascribed to cruelty." He ordered that all
those who had borne arms should have their hands cut off, and sent them
away living examples of the punishment reserved for rebels.

Drappes, who had been taken prisoner, starved himself to death;
Lucterius, who had been arrested by the Arvernan Epasnactus (a friend of
the Romans), was delivered up to Caesar. While these events were taking
place on the banks of the Dordogne, Labienus, in a cavalry engagement,
had gained a decisive advantage over a part of the Treviri and Germans;
had taken prisoner their chief, and thus subjected a people who were
always ready to support any insurrection against the Romans. The Aeduan
Surus fell also into his hands. He was a chief distinguished for his
courage and birth, and the only one of that nation who had not yet laid
down his arms.

From that moment Caesar considered Gaul to be completely pacified. He
resolved, however, to go himself to Aquitaine, which he had not yet
visited and which Publius Crassus had partly conquered. Arriving there
at the head of two legions, he obtained the complete submission of that
country without difficulty. All the tribes sent him hostages. He
proceeded next to Narbonne with a detachment of cavalry and charged his
lieutenants to put the army into winter quarters. Four legions, under
the orders of Mark Antony, Caius Trebonius, Publius Vatinius, and Q.
Tullius, were quartered in Belgium, two among the Aedui and two among
the Turones on the frontier of the Carnutes, to hold in check all the
countries bordering on the ocean.

These two last legions took up their winter quarters on the territory of
the Lemovices, not far from the Arverni, so that no part of Gaul should
be without troops. Caesar remained but a short time in the province,
presiding hastily over the assemblies, determining cases of public
dispute, and rewarding those who had served him well. He had had
occasion more than anyone to know their sentiments individually, because
during the general revolt of Gaul the fidelity and succor of the
province had aided him in triumphing over it. When these affairs were
settled he returned to his legions in Belgium and took up his winter
quarters at Nemetocenna (Arras).

There he was informed of the last attempts of Commius, who, continuing a
partisan war at the head of a small number of cavalry, intercepted the
Roman convoys. Mark Antony had charged C. Volusenus Quadratus, prefect
of the cavalry, to pursue him. He had accepted the task eagerly in the
hope of succeeding the second time better than the first, but Commius,
taking advantage of the rash ardor with which his enemy had rushed upon
him, had wounded him seriously and escaped. He was discouraged, however,
and had promised Mark Antony to retire to any spot which should be
appointed him on condition that he should never be compelled to appear
before a Roman. This condition having been accepted, he had given
hostages. Gaul was hereby subjugated. Death or slavery had carried off
its principal citizens. Of all the chiefs who had fought for its
independence only two survived--Commius and Ambiorix.

Banished far from their country they died in obscurity.


B.C. 55 - A.D. 79


(When Julius Caesar received the province of Gaul as his government,
B.C. 58, it was only a small portion of the territory inhabited by the
Gauls or Celts, being almost conterminous with the mediaeval Provence.
It was also at peace, and there seemed no excuse for making an extension
of Roman territory among the three tribes or races between which
Northern and Western Gaul were divided. But the Helvetii, who occupied
that part of the Alps known to-day as Switzerland, meditated an
emigration into the plains of Gaul, and, as their shortest route lay
across the Roman provinces, they asked leave of Caesar to pass three
hundred and sixty thousand souls in all, counting women and children,
through the imperial territory.

The Roman commander, after giving them an evasive answer, met them in
the territory of the Sequani and Aedui and defeated them, driving them
back to their mountains. He next went to the aid of the Aedui, ancient
allies of Rome, against the Arverni and Sequani, who had invaded the
Aeduan territory under a German chieftain, Ariovistus. The result was
that Ariovistus was defeated and driven eastward across the Rhine. He
then defeated the Belgae, who, in B.C. 57, took up arms against the
garrisons which he had left in the country of the Sequani [dwellers on
the Seine]. He continued his conquest of the Belgic territory, and
subjected the three nations who occupied it, finally entering the
country of the warlike Nervii, whom he only conquered after a stubborn
and bloody battle. As soon as he had subjugated the whole of Gaul, he
crossed the Rhine for the purpose of intimidating the Germans and
teaching them to keep within their own boundaries.

He pursued the same policy with regard to the Britons, who, according to
information received by him, had sent aid to the Gauls in their struggle
with Rome. His ships were brought round from the Loire to that part of
the French coast now known as Boulogne, and he set out for Britain,
where he landed, and eventually received the submission of the British

The Britons in their rude and barbarous state seemed to stand in need of
more polished instructors; and indeed whatever evils may attend the
conquest of heroes, their success has generally produced one good effect
in disseminating the arts of refinement and humanity. It ever happens
when a barbarous nation is conquered by another more advanced in the
arts of peace, that it gains in elegance a recompense for what it loses
in liberty.

The Britons had long remained in this rude but independent state, when
Caesar, having overrun Gaul with his victories, and willing still further
to extend his fame, determined upon the conquest of a country that
seemed to promise an easy triumph. He was allured neither by the riches
nor by the renown of the inhabitants; but being ambitious rather of
splendid than of useful conquests, he was willing to carry the Roman
arms into a country the remote situation of which would add seeming
difficulty to the enterprise and consequently produce an increase of
reputation. His pretence was to punish these islanders for having sent
succors to the Gauls while he waged war against that nation, as well as
for granting an asylum to such of the enemy as had sought protection
from his resentment.

The natives, informed of his intention, were sensible of the unequal
contest and endeavored to appease him by submission. He received their
ambassadors with great complacency, and having exhorted them to continue
steadfast in the same sentiments, in the mean time made preparations for
the execution of his design. When the troops designed for the expedition
were embarked he set sail for Britain about midnight, and the next
morning arrived on the coast near Dover, where he saw the rocks and
cliffs covered with armed men to oppose his landing.

Finding it impracticable to gain the shore where he first intended, from
the agitation of the sea and the impending mountains, he resolved to
choose a landing-place of greater security. The place he chose was about
eight miles farther on (some suppose at Deal), where an inclining shore
and a level country invited his attempts. The poor, naked, ill-armed
Britons we may well suppose were but an unequal match for the
disciplined Romans who had before conquered Gaul and afterward became
the conquerors of the world. However, they made a brave opposition
against the veteran army; the conflicts between them were fierce, the
losses mutual, and the success various.

The Britons had chosen Cassibelaunus for their commander-in-chief; but
the petty princes under his command, either desiring his station or
suspecting his fidelity, threw off their allegiance. Some of them fled
with their forces into the internal parts of the kingdom, others
submitted to Caesar; till at length Cassibelaunus himself, weakened by
so many desertions, resolved upon making what terms he was able while
yet he had power to keep the field. The conditions offered by Caesar and
accepted by him were that he should send to the Continent double the
number of hostages at first demanded and that he should acknowledge
subjection to the Romans.

The Romans were pleased with the name of this new and remote conquest,
and the senate decreed a supplication of twenty days in consequence of
their general's success. Having therefore in this manner rather
discovered than subdued the southern parts of the island, Caesar
returned into Gaul with his forces and left the Britons to enjoy their
customs, religion, and laws. But the inhabitants, thus relieved from the
terror of his arms, neglected the performance of their stipulations, and
only two of their states sent over hostages according to the treaty.
Caesar, it is likely, was not much displeased at the omission, as it
furnished him with a pretext for visiting the island once more and
completing a conquest which he had only begun.

Accordingly the ensuing spring he set sail for Britain with eight
hundred ships,[69] and arriving at the place of his descent he landed
without opposition. The islanders being apprised of his invasion had
assembled an army and marched down to the sea-side to oppose him, but
seeing the number of his forces, and the whole sea, as it were, covered
with his shipping, they were struck with consternation and retired to
their places of security. The Romans, however, pursued them to their
retreats until at last common danger induced these poor barbarians to
forget their former dissensions and to unite their whole strength for
the mutual defence of their liberty and possessions.

[Footnote 69: With regard to these Roman _ships_, let not our readers be
misled by a familiar notion or a pompous name. They were but little more
than rowboats, as may be easily imagined from the fact that Cicero
instances for its uncommon magnitude a _ship_ of only fifty-six tons!
These ancient vessels were occasionally sheathed with leather or lead,
and had the prow decorated with paint and gilding, while the stern was
sometimes carved in the figure of a shield, elaborately adorned. Upon a
staff there erected hung ribbons distinctive of the ship and serving at
the same time to show the direction of the wind. There, too, stood the
_tutela_, or chosen patron of the ship, to whom prayers and sacrifices
were daily offered. The selection of this deity was guided by either
private or professional reasons, and as merchants committed themselves
to the protection of Mercury, or lovers to the care of Cupid, warriors,
it will at once be surmised, made Mars the object of their pious

At a later period than the epoch to which our present note attaches,
when Constantius removed from Heliopolis to Rome an enormous obelisk,
weighing fifteen hundred tons, the vessel on board of which it was
shipped also carried _eleven hundred and thirty-eight tons_ of pulse;
but such vast and unmanageable masses were regarded as monsters, and
owed their existence to the absolute urgency of a remarkable purpose,
backed by the despotic institutions of the times.]

Cassibelaunus was chosen to conduct the common cause, and for some time
he harassed the Romans in their march and revived the desponding hopes
of his countrymen. But no opposition that undisciplined strength could
make was able to repress the vigor and intrepidity of Caesar. He
discomfited the Britons in every action; he advanced into the country,
passed the Thames in the face of the enemy, took and burned the capital
city of Cassibelaunus, established his ally Mandubratius as sovereign of
the Trinobantes; and having obliged the inhabitants to make new
submissions, he again returned with his army into Gaul, having made
himself rather the nominal than the real possessor of the island.

Whatever the stipulated tribute might have been, it is more than
probable, as there was no authority left to exact it, that it was but
indifferently paid. Upon the accession of Augustus, that Emperor had
formed a design of visiting Britain, but was diverted from it by an
unexpected revolt of the Pannonians. Some years after he resumed his
design; but being met in his way by the British ambassadors, who
promised the accustomed tribute and made the usual submissions, he
desisted from his intention. The year following, finding them remiss in
their supplies and untrue to their former professions, he once more
prepared for the invasion of the country; but a well-timed embassy again
averted his indignation, and the submissions he received seemed to
satisfy his resentment; upon his death-bed he appeared sensible of the
overgrown extent of the Roman Empire and recommended it to his
successors never to enlarge their territories.

Tiberius followed the maxims of Augustus and, wisely judging the empire
already too extensive, made no attempt upon Britain. Some Roman soldiers
having been wrecked on the British coast the inhabitants not only
assisted them with the greatest humanity, but sent them in safety back
to their general. In consequence of these friendly dispositions, a
constant intercourse of good offices subsisted between the two nations;
the principal British nobility resorted to Rome, and many received their
education there.

From that time the Britons began to improve in all the arts which
contribute to the advancement of human nature. The first art which a
savage people is generally taught by politer neighbors is that of war.
The Britons thenceforward, though not wholly addicted to the Roman
method of fighting, nevertheless adopted several of their improvements,
as well in their arms as in their arrangement in the field. Their
ferocity to strangers, for which they had been always remarkable, was
mitigated and they began to permit an intercourse of commerce even in
the internal parts of the country. They still, however, continued to
live as herdsmen and hunters; a manifest proof that the country was yet
but thinly inhabited. A nation of hunters can never be populous, as
their subsistence is necessarily diffused over a large tract of country,
while the husbandman converts every part of nature to human use, and
flourishes most by the vicinity of those whom he is to support.

The wild extravagances of Caligula by which he threatened Britain with
an invasion served rather to expose him to ridicule than the island to
danger. The Britons therefore for almost a century enjoyed their liberty
unmolested, till at length the Romans in the reign of Claudius began to
think seriously of reducing them under their dominion. The expedition
for this purpose was conducted in the beginning by Plautius and other
commanders, with that success which usually attended the Roman arms.

Claudius himself, finding affairs sufficiently prepared for his
reception, made a journey thither and received the submission of such
states as living by commerce were willing to purchase tranquillity at
the expense of freedom. It is true that many of the inland provinces
preferred their native simplicity to imported elegance and, rather than
bow their necks to the Roman yoke, offered their bosoms to the sword.
But the southern coast with all the adjacent inland country was seized
by the conquerors, who secured the possession by fortifying camps,
building fortresses, and planting colonies. The other parts of the
country, either thought themselves in no danger or continued patient
spectators of the approaching devastation.

Caractacus was the first who seemed willing, by a vigorous effort, to
rescue his country and repel its insulting and rapacious conquerors.[70]
The venality and corruption of the Roman praetors and officers, who were
appointed to levy the contributions in Britain, served to excite the
indignation of the natives and give spirit to his attempts. This rude
soldier, though with inferior forces, continued for about the space of
nine years to oppose and harass the Romans; so that at length Ostorius
Scapula was sent over to command their armies. He was more successful
than his predecessors. He advanced the Roman conquest over Britain,
pierced the country of the Silures, a warlike nation along the banks of
the Severn, and at length came up with Caractacus, who had taken
possession of a very advantageous post upon an almost inaccessible
mountain, washed by a deep and rapid stream.

[Footnote 70: The character of this hero has been powerfully depicted by
Beaumont and Fletcher, in one of their noblest dramas.]

The unfortunate British general, when he saw the enemy approaching, drew
up his army, composed of different tribes, and going from rank to rank
exhorted them to strike the last blow for liberty, safety, and life. To
these exhortations his soldiers replied with shouts of determined valor.
But what could undisciplined bravery avail against the attack of an army
skilled in all the arts of war and inspired by a long train of
conquests? The Britons were, after an obstinate resistance, totally
routed, and a few days after Caractacus himself was delivered up to the
conquerors by Cartismandua, queen of the Brigantes, with whom he had
taken refuge. The capture of this general was received with such joy at
Rome that Claudius commanded that he should be brought from Britain in
order to be exhibited as a spectacle to the Roman people. Accordingly,
on the day appointed for that purpose, the Emperor, ascending his
throne, ordered the captives and Caractacus among the number to be
brought into his presence. The vassals of the British King, with the
spoils taken in war, were first brought forward; these were followed by
his family, who, with abject lamentations, were seen to implore for

Last of all came Caractacus with an undaunted air and a dignified
aspect. He appeared no way dejected at the amazing concourse of
spectators that were gathered upon this occasion, but, casting his eyes
on the splendors that surrounded him, "Alas!" cried he, "how is it
possible that a people possessed of such magnificence at home could envy
me an humble cottage in Britain?" When brought into the Emperor's
presence he is said to have addressed him in the following manner: "Had
my moderation been equal to my birth and fortune, I had arrived in this
city not as a captive, but as a friend. But my present misfortunes
redound as much to your honor as to my disgrace; and the obstinacy of my
opposition serves to increase the splendor of your victory. Had I
surrendered myself in the beginning of the contest, neither my disgrace
nor your glory would have attracted the attention of the world, and my
fate would have been buried in general oblivion. I am now at your mercy;
but if my life be spared, I shall remain an eternal monument of your
clemency and moderation." The Emperor was affected with the British
hero's misfortunes and won by his address. He ordered him to be
unchained upon the spot, with the rest of the captives, and the first
use they made of their liberty was to go and prostrate themselves before
the empress Agrippina, who as some suppose had been an intercessor for
their freedom.

Notwithstanding these misfortunes, the Britons were not subdued, and
this island was regarded by the ambitious Romans as a field in which
military honor might still be acquired. The Britons made one expiring
effort to recover their liberty in the time of Nero, taking advantage of
the absence of Paulinus, the Roman general, who was employed in subduing
the isle of Anglesey. That small island, separated from Britain by a
narrow channel, still continued the chief seat of the Druidical
superstition, and constantly afforded a retreat to their defeated
forces. It was thought necessary therefore to subdue that place, in
order to extirpate a religion that disdained submission to foreign laws
or leaders; and Paulinus, the greatest general of his age, undertook the

The Britons endeavored to obstruct his landing on that last retreat of
their superstitions and liberties, both by the force of their arms and
the terrors of their religion. The priests and islanders were drawn up
in order of battle upon the shore, to oppose his landing. The women,
dressed like Furies, with dishevelled hair, and torches in their hands,
poured forth the most terrible execrations. Such a sight at first
confounded the Romans and fixed them motionless on the spot; so that
they received the first assault without opposition. But Paulinus,
exhorting his troops to despise the menaces of an absurd superstition,
impelled them to the attack, drove the Britons off the field, burned the
Druids in the same fires they had prepared for their captive enemies,
and destroyed all their consecrated groves and altars.

In the mean time the Britons, taking advantage of his absence, resolved,
by a general insurrection, to free themselves from that state of abject
servitude to which they were reduced by the Romans. They had many
motives to aggravate their resentment--the greatness of their taxes,
which were levied with unremitting severity; the cruel insolence of
their conquerors, who reproached that very poverty which they had
caused, but particularly the barbarous treatment of Boadicea, queen of
the Iceni, drove them at last into open rebellion.

Prasatagus, king of the Iceni, at his death had bequeathed one-half of
his dominions to the Romans, and the other to his daughters; thus hoping
by the sacrifice of a part to secure the rest in his family; but it had
a different effect; for the Roman procurator immediately took possession
of the whole, and when Boadicea, the widow of the deceased, attempted to
remonstrate, he ordered her to be scourged like a slave, and violated
the chastity of her daughters. These outrages were sufficient to produce
a revolt through the whole island. The Iceni, being the most deeply
interested in the quarrel, were the first to take arms; all the other
states soon followed the example, and Boadicea, a woman of great beauty
and masculine spirit, was appointed to head the common forces, which
amounted to two hundred and thirty thousand fighting men.

These, exasperated by their wrongs, attacked several of the Roman
settlements and colonies with success, Paulinus hastened to relieve
London, which was already a flourishing colony; but found on his arrival
that it would be requisite, for the general safety, to abandon that
place to the merciless fury of the enemy. London was therefore soon
reduced to ashes; such of the inhabitants as remained in it were
massacred; and the Romans with all other strangers to the number of
seventy thousand were cruelly put to the sword. Flushed with these
successes the Britons no longer sought to avoid the enemy, but boldly
came to the place where Paulinus awaited their arrival, posted in a very
advantageous manner with a body of ten thousand men. The battle was
obstinate and bloody. Boadicea herself appeared in a chariot with her
two daughters and harangued her army with masculine firmness; but the
irregular and undisciplined bravery of her troops was unable to resist
the cool intrepidity of the Romans. They were routed with great
slaughter; eighty thousand perished in the field, and an infinite number
were made prisoners, while Boadicea herself, fearing to fall into the
hands of the enraged victor, put an end to her life by poison. Nero soon
after recalled Paulinus from a government where, by suffering and
inflicting so many severities, he was judged improper to compose the
angry and alarmed minds of the natives.

After an interval, Cerealis received the command from Vespasian, and by
his bravery propagated the terror of the Roman arms. Julius Frontinus
succeeded Cerealis both in authority and reputation. The general who
finally established the dominion of the Romans in this island was Julius
Agricola, who governed it during the reigns of Vespasian, Titus, and
Domitian, and distinguished himself as well by his courage as humanity.

Agricola, who is considered as one of the greatest characters in
history, formed a regular plan for subduing and civilizing the island,
and thus rendering the acquisition useful to the conquerors. As the
northern part of the country was least tractable, he carried his
victorious arms thither, and defeated the undisciplined enemy in every
encounter. He pierced into the formerly inaccessible forests and
mountains of Caledonia; he drove onward all those fierce and intractable
spirits who preferred famine to slavery, and who, rather than submit,
chose to remain in perpetual hostility. Nor was it without opposition
that he thus made his way into a country rude and impervious by nature.

He was opposed by Galgacus at the head of a numerous army, whom he
defeated in a decisive action, in which considerable numbers were slain.
Being thus successful, he did not think proper to pursue the enemy into
their retreats; but embarking a body of troops on board his fleet, he
ordered the commander to surround the whole coast of Britain, which had
not been discovered to be an island till the preceding year. This
armament, pursuant to his orders, steered to the northward, and there
subdued the Orkneys; then making the tour of the whole island, it
arrived in the port of Sandwich, without having met with the least

During these military enterprises, Agricola was ever attentive to the
arts of peace. He attempted to humanize the fierceness of those who
acknowledged his power, by introducing the Roman laws, habits, manners,
and learning. He taught them to desire and raise all the conveniences of
life, instructed them in the arts of agriculture, and, in order to
protect them in their peaceable possessions, he drew a rampart, and
fixed a train of garrisons between them and their northern neighbors,
thus cutting off the ruder and more barren parts of the island and
securing the Roman province from the invasion of a fierce and
necessitous enemy. In this manner the Britons, being almost totally
subdued, now began to throw off all hopes of recovering their former
liberty, and, having often experienced the superiority of the Romans,
consented to submit, and were content with safety. From that time the
Romans seemed more desirous of securing what they possessed than of
making new conquests, and were employed rather in repressing than
punishing their restless northern invaders.


B.C. 51-30


(Several Egyptian princesses of the line of the Ptolemies bore the name
of Cleopatra, but history, romance, and tragedy are all illumined with
the story of one--Cleopatra the daughter of Ptolemy Auletes. Born at
Alexandria, B.C. 69, she ruled jointly with her brother Ptolemy from 51
to 48. Being then expelled by her colleague, she entered upon the
performance of her part in Roman history when her cause was espoused by
Julius Caesar, whom she had captivated by her charms. Her reinstatement
by the help of Caesar, as well as all that followed in her relations with
Roman rulers, was due primarily to personal considerations, rather than
political or military causes; and among women whose lives have vitally
influenced the conduct of great historic leaders, and thereby affected
the course of events, Cleopatra holds a place at once the most
conspicuous and most unique.

Like Caesar, Mark Antony, at his first interview with Cleopatra,
succumbed to the fascinations of the "Rare Egyptian," and he never after
ceased to be her slave. Not long after Caesar's death Antony had married
Fulvia, whom he deserted for the "enchanting queen." From this point to
its culmination in overwhelming disaster and the tragic death of this
celebrated pair of lovers, the romantic drama of Cleopatra's conquests
becomes even more important in literature than in history. This
extraordinary voluptuary, whose beauty and witcheries have interested
mankind for almost twenty centuries, has been the subject of some thirty
tragedies in various languages; and in _Antony and Cleopatra_--one of
his greatest plays--Shakespeare, closely following the narratives of
Plutarch and other classical writers, has invested her with a potency of
charm unparalleled among literary creations.

She matches Antony in qualities of intellect, while she dazzles him with
her coquettish arts. "A queen, a siren," says Thomas Campbell, "a
Shakespeare's Cleopatra alone could have entangled Shakespeare's
Antony." And Shakespeare alone, as declared by Mrs. Jameson, "has dared
to exhibit the Egyptian Queen with all her greatness and all her
littleness, all her paltry arts and dissolute passions, yet awakened our
pity for fallen grandeur without once beguiling us into sympathy with

Yet the plain history of this "Sorceress of the Nile," with her
"infinite variety," as told by Plutarch and the other ancients, and
retold, with whatever advantages gained from critical research, by the
modern masters, makes the same impression of moral contrast and
inscrutability as that imparted by the greatest poet who has dramatized
the character of Cleopatra.)

Now at last Egypt, coming into close connection with the world's
masters, becomes the stage for some of the most striking scenes in
ancient history. They seem to most readers something new and
strange--the pageants and passions of the fratricide Cleopatra as
something unparalleled--and yet she was one of a race in which almost
every reigning princess for the last two hundred years had been swayed
by like storms of passion, or had been guilty of like daring violations
of common humanity. What Arsinoe, what Cleopatra, from the first to the
last, had hesitated to murder a brother or a husband, to assume the
throne, to raise and command armies, to discard or adopt a partner of
her throne from caprice in policy, or policy in caprice? But hitherto
this desperate gambling with life had been carried on in Egypt and
Syria; the play had been with Hellenistic pawns--Egyptian or Syrian
princes; the last Cleopatra came to play with Roman pieces, easier
apparently to move than the others, but implying higher stakes, greater
glory in the victory, greater disaster in the defeat. Therefore is it
that this last Cleopatra, probably no more than an average specimen of
the beauty, talent, daring, and cruelty of her ancestors, has taken an
unique place among them in the imagination of the world, and holds her
own even now and forever as a familiar name throughout the world.

Ptolemy Auletes, when dying, had taken great care not to bequeath his
mortgaged kingdom to his Roman creditors. In his will he had named as
his heirs the elder of his two sons, and his daughter, who was the
eldest of the family. Nobody thought of claiming Egypt for a heritage of
the Roman Republic, when the whole world was the prize proposed in the
civil conflict, for though the war of Caesar and Pompey had not actually
broken out, the political sky was lowering with blackness, and the
coming tempest was muttering its thunder through the sultry air. So
Cleopatra, now about sixteen or seventeen years of age, and her much
younger brother (about ten) assumed the throne as was traditional,
without any tumult or controversy,

The opening discords came from within the royal family. The tutors and
advisers of the young King, among whom Pothinos, a eunuch brought up
with him as his playmate, according to the custom of the court, was the
ablest and most influential, persuaded him to assume sole direction of
affairs and to depose his elder sister. Cleopatra was not able to
maintain herself in Alexandria, but went to Syria as an exile, where she
promptly collected an army, as was the wont of these Egyptian
princesses, who seem to have resources always under their control, and
returned--within a few months, says Caesar--by way of Pelusium, to
reconquer her lawful share in the throne. This happened in the fourth
year of their so-called joint reign, B.C. 48, at the very time that
Pompey and Caesar were engaged in their conflict for a far greater

Caesar expressed his opinion that the quarrel of the sovereigns in Egypt
concerned the Roman people, and himself as consul, the more so as it was
in his previous consulate that the recognition of and alliance with
their father had taken place. So he signified his decision that Ptolemy
and Cleopatra should dismiss their armies, and should discuss their
claims before him by argument and not by arms. All our authorities,
except Dio Cassius, state that he sent for Cleopatra that she might
personally urge her claims; but Dio tells us, with far more detail and I
think greater probability, "that at first the quarrel with her brother
was argued for her by friends, till she, learning the amorous character
of Caesar, sent him word that her case was being mismanaged by her
advocates, and she desired to plead it herself, She was then in the
flower of her age (about twenty) and celebrated for her beauty.
Moreover, she had the sweetest of voices, and every charm of
conversation, so that she was likely to ensnare even the most obdurate
and elderly man. These gifts she regarded as her claims upon Caesar. She
prayed therefore for an interview, and adorned herself in a garb most
becoming, but likely to arouse his pity, and so came secretly by night
to visit him."

If she indeed arrived secretly and was carried into the palace by one
faithful follower as a bale of carpet, it was from fear of assassination
by the party of Pothinos. She knew that as soon as she had reached
Caesar's sentries she was safe; as the event proved, she was more than
safe, for in the brief interval of peace, and perhaps even of apparent
jollity, while the royal dispute was under discussion, she gained an
influence over Caesar which she retained till his death. Caesar
adjudicated the throne according to the will of Auletes; he even
restored Cyprus to Egypt, and proposed to send the younger brother and
his sister Arsinoe to govern it; but he also insisted on a repayment, in
part at least, of the enormous outstanding debt of Auletes to him and
his party.

A few months after Caesar's departure from Egypt Cleopatra gave birth to
a son, whom she alleged, without any immediate contradiction, to be the
dictator's. The Alexandrians called him Caesarion, and she never swerved
from asserting for him royal privileges. We hear of no other lover,
though it is impossible to imagine Cleopatra arriving at the age of
twenty without providing herself with this luxury. She was, however,
afraid to let Caesar live far from her influence, and some time before
his assassination--that is to say, some time between B.C. 48 and 44--she
came with the young King her brother to Rome, where she was received in
Caesar's palace beyond the Tiber, causing by her residence there
considerable scandal among the stricter Romans. Cicero confesses that he
went to see her, but protests that his reasons for doing so were
absolutely nonpolitical. Cicero found her haughty; he does not say she
was beautiful and fascinating. We do not hear of any political activity
on her part, though Cicero evidently suspects it; it is well-nigh
impossible that she can have preferred her very doubtful position at
Rome to her brilliant life in the East. She was suspected of urging
Caesar to move eastward the capital of his new empire, to desert Rome,
and choose either Ilium, the imaginary cradle of his race, or
Alexandria, as his residence. She is likely to have encouraged at all
events his expedition against the Parthians, which would bring him to
Syria, whence she hoped to gain new territory for her son. The whole
situation is eloquently, perhaps too eloquently, described by Merivale,
for he weaves in many conjectures of his own, as if they were
ascertained facts.

The colors of this imitation of a hateful original [the oriental despot]
were heightened by the demeanor of Cleopatra, who followed her lover to
Rome at his invitation. She came with the younger Ptolemaeus, who now
shared her throne, and her ostensible object was to negotiate a treaty
between her kingdom and the Commonwealth. While the Egyptian nation was
formally admitted to the friendship and alliance of Rome, its sovereign
was lodged in Caesar's villa on the other side of the Tiber, and the
statue of the most fascinating of women was erected in the temple of the
Goddess of Love and Beauty. The connection which subsisted between her
and the dictator was unblushingly avowed. Public opinion demanded no
concessions to its delicacy; the feelings of the injured Calpurnia had
been blunted by repeated outrage, and Cleopatra was encouraged to
proclaim openly that her child Caesarion was the son of her Roman
admirer. A tribune, named Helvius Cinna, ventured, it is said, to assert
among his friends that he was prepared to propose a law, with the
dictator's sanction, to enable him to marry more wives than one, for the
sake of progeny, and to disregard in his choice the legitimate
qualification of Roman descent. The Romans, however, were spared this
last insult to their prejudices. The queen of Egypt felt bitterly the
scorn with which she was popularly regarded as the representative of an
effeminate and licentious people. It is not improbable that she employed
her fatal influence to withdraw her lover from the Roman capital, and
urged him to schemes of oriental conquest to bring him more completely
within her toils. In the mean while the haughtiness of her demeanor
corresponded with the splendid anticipations in which she indulged. She
held a court in the suburbs of the city, at which the adherents of the
dictator's policy were not the only attendants. Even his opponents and
concealed enemies were glad to bask in the sunshine of her smiles.

When Caesar was assassinated, she was still at Rome, and had some wild
hopes of having her son recognized by the Caesareans. But failing in this
she escaped secretly, and sailed to Egypt, not without causing
satisfaction to cautious men like Cicero that she was gone. The passage
in which he seems to allude to a rumor that she was about to have
another child--another misfortune to the State--does not bear that
interpretation. As he says not a word concerning the young king Ptolemy,
we may assume that the youth was already dead, and that he died at Rome.
The common belief was that Cleopatra poisoned him as soon as his
increasing years made him troublesome to her. In her reign four years
are assigned to a joint rule with her elder brother, four more to that
with her younger, so that this latter must have died in the same year as

Cleopatra, watching from Egypt the great civil war which ensued,
summoned and commanded by the various leaders to send aid in ships and
money, threatened with plunder and confiscation by those who were now
exhausting Asia Minor and the islands with monstrous exactions, had
ample occupation for her talents in steering safely among these constant
dangers. Appian says she pleaded famine and pestilence in her country in
declining the demands of Cassius for subsidies. The latter was on the
point of invading Egypt, at the moment denuded of defending forces and
_wasted with famine_, when he was summoned to Philippi by Brutus.

It was not till B.C. 41, after the decisive battle of Philippi, that the
victorious Antony, turning to subdue the East to the Caesarean cause,
held his _joyeuse entree_ into Ephesus, and then proceeded to drain all
Asia Minor of money for the satisfaction of his greedy legionaries and
his own still more greedy vices. Reaching Cilicia, he sent an order to
the queen of Egypt to come before him and explain her conduct during the
late war, for she was reported to have sent aid to Cassius. The sequel
may be told in Plutarch's famous narrative:

"Dellius, who was sent on this message, had no sooner seen her face, and
remarked her adroitness and subtlety in speech, than he felt convinced
that Antony would not so much as think of giving any molestation to a
woman like this. On the contrary, she would be the first in favor with
him. So he set himself at once to pay his court to the Egyptian, and
gave her his advice, 'to go,' in the Homeric style, to Cilicia, 'in her
best attire,' and bade her fear nothing from Antony, the gentlest and
kindest of soldiers. She had some faith in the words of Dellius, but
more in her own attractions, which, having formerly recommended her to
Caesar and the young Cnaeus Pompey, she did not doubt might yet prove
more successful with Antony. Their acquaintance was with her when a
girl, young, and ignorant of the world, but she was to meet Antony in
the time of life when women's beauty is most splendid and their
intellects are in full maturity. She made great preparation for her
journey, of money, gifts, and ornaments of value, such as so wealthy a
kingdom might afford, but she brought with her her surest hopes in her
own magic arts and charms.

"She received several letters, both from Antony and from his friends, to
summon her, but she took no account of these orders; and at last, as if
in mockery of them, she came sailing up the river Cydnus, in a barge
with gilded stern and outspread sails of purple, while oars of silver
beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay
all along, under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a
picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted cupids, stood on each
side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like sea nymphs and graces, some
steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes.[71] The perfumes
diffused themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with
multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either bank, part
running out of the city to see the sight. The market-place was quite
emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon the tribunal,
while the word went through all the multitude that Venus was come to
feast with Bacchus, for the common good of Asia.[72] On her arrival,
Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should
come to her; so, willing to show his good humor and courtesy, he
complied, and went. He found the preparations to receive him magnificent
beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of
lights, for on a sudden there was let down altogether so great a number
of branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in squares
and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle that has
seldom been equalled for beauty."

[Footnote 71: There was no Egyptian feature in this show, which was
purely Hellenistic.]

[Footnote 72: How easily such a belief started up in the minds of a
crowd in the Asia Minor of that day appears from Acts xiv. 11 _seq_.,
where the crowd at Iconium, on seeing a cripple cured, at once exclaim
that the gods are come down to them in the likeness of men, and call
Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker,
bringing sacrifices to offer to the apostles.]

"The next day Antony invited her to supper, and was very desirous to
outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance; but he found he was
altogether beaten in both, and was so well convinced of it that he was
himself the first to jest and mock at his poverty of wit and his rustic
awkwardness. She, perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross and
savored more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the same
taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of reluctance or
reserve, for her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so
remarkable that none could be compared with her, or that no one could
see her without being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if
you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person,
joining with the charm of her conversation and the character that
attended all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a
pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an
instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another;
so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she answered by an
interpreter. To most of them she spoke herself, as to the Ethiopians,
troglodytes, Hebrews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes, Parthians, and many
others, whose language she had learned;[73] which was all the more
surprising, because most of the kings her predecessors scarcely gave
themselves the trouble to acquire the Egyptian tongue, and several of
them quite abandoned the Macedonian."

[Footnote 73: We have here the usual lies of courtiers.]

"Antony was so captivated by her that, while Fulvia, his wife,
maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by actual force of arms,
and the Parthian troops, commanded by Labienus--the King's generals
having made him commander-in-chief--were assembled in Mesopotamia, and
ready to enter Syria, he could yet suffer himself to be carried away by
her to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like a boy, in play and
diversion, squandering and fooling away in enjoyments that most costly,
as Antiphon says, of all valuables, time. They had a sort of company, to
which they gave a particular name, calling it that of the 'Inimitable
Livers.' The members entertained one another daily in turn, with an
extravagance of expenditure beyond measure or belief. Philotas, a
physician of Amphissa, who was at that time a student of medicine in
Alexandria, used to tell my grandfather Lamprias that, having some
acquaintance with one of the royal cooks, he was invited by him, being a
young man, to come and see the sumptuous preparations for dinner. So he
was taken into the kitchen, where he admired the prodigious variety of
all things, but, particularly seeing eight wild boars roasting whole,
says he, 'Surely you have a great number of guests.' The cook laughed at
his simplicity, and told him there were not above twelve to dine, but
that every dish was to be served up just roasted to a turn, and if
anything was but one minute ill-timed it was spoiled. 'And,' said he,
'maybe Antony will dine just now, maybe not this hour, maybe he will
call for wine, or begin to talk, and will put it off. So that,' he
continued, 'it is not one, but many dinners, must be had in readiness,
as it is impossible to guess at his hour.'"

Plato admits four sorts of flattery, but Cleopatra had a thousand. Were
Antony serious or disposed to mirth she had any moment some new delight
or charm to meet his wishes. At every turn she was upon him, and let him
escape her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him,
drank with him, hunted with him, and when he exercised in arms she was
there to see. At night she would go rambling with him to joke with
people at their doors and windows, dressed like a servant woman, for
Antony also went in servant's disguise, and from these expeditions he
always came home very scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten
severely, though most people guessed who it was. However, the
Alexandrians in general liked it all well enough, and joined
good-humoredly and kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much
obliged to Antony for acting his tragic parts at Rome and keeping his
comedy for them. It would be trifling without end to be particular in
relating his follies, but his fishing must not be forgotten. He went out
one day to angle with Cleopatra, and being so unfortunate as to catch
nothing in the presence of his mistress, he gave secret orders to the
fishermen to dive under water and put fishes that had been already taken
upon his hooks, and these he drew in so fast that the Egyptian perceived
it. But feigning great admiration, she told everybody how dexterous
Antony was, and invited them next day to come and see him again. So when
a number of them had come on board the fishing boats, as soon as he had
let down his hook, one of her servants was beforehand with his divers
and fixed upon his hook a salted fish from Pontus. Antony, feeling his
line taut, drew up the prey, and when, as may be imagined, great
laughter ensued, "Leave," said Cleopatra, "the fishing rod, autocrat, to
us poor sovereigns of Pharos and Canopus; your game is cities, kingdoms,
and continents."

Plutarch does not mention the most tragic and the most characteristic
proof of Cleopatra's complete conquest of Antony. Among his other crimes
of obedience he sent by her orders and put to death the Princess
Arsinoe, who, knowing well her danger, had taken refuge as a suppliant
in the temple of Artemis Leucophryne at Miletus.

It is not our duty to follow the various complications of war and
diplomacy, accompanied by the marriage with the serious and gentle
Octavia, whereby the brilliant but dissolute Antony was weaned, as it
were, from his follies, and persuaded to live a life of public activity.
Whether the wily Octavian did not foresee the result, whether he did not
even sacrifice his sister to accumulate odium against his dangerous
rival, is not for us to determine. But when it was arranged (in B.C. 36)
that Antony should lead an expedition against the Parthians, any man of
ordinary sense must have known that he would come within the reach of
the eastern siren, and was sure to be again attracted by her fatal
voice. It is hard to account for her strange patience during these four
years. She had borne twins to Antony, probably after the meeting in
Cilicia. Though she still maintained the claims of her eldest son
Caesarion to be the divine Julius' only direct heir, we do not hear of
her sending requests to Antony to support him, or that any agents were
working in her interests at Rome. She was too subtle a woman to solicit
his return to Alexandria. There are mistaken insinuations that she
thought the chances of Sextus Pompey, with his naval supremacy, better
than those of Antony, but these stories refer to his brother Cnaeus, who
visited Egypt before Pharsalia.

It is probably to this pause in her life, as we know it, that we may
refer her activity in repairing and enlarging the national temples. The
splendid edifice at Dendera, at present among the most perfect of
Egyptian temples, bears no older names than those of Cleopatra and her
son Caesarion, and their portraits represent the latter as a growing lad,
his mother as an essentially Egyptian figure, conventionally drawn
according to the rules which had determined the figures of gods and
kings for fifteen hundred years. Under these circumstances it is idle to
speak of this well-known relief picture as a portrait of the Queen. It
is no more so than the granite statues in the Vatican are portraits of
Philadelphus and Arsinoe. The artist had probably never seen the Queen,
and if he had, it would not have produced the slightest alteration in
his drawing.

Plutarch expressly says that it was not in peerless beauty that her
fascination lay, but in the combination of more than average beauty with
many other personal attractions. The Egyptian portrait is likely to
confirm in the spectator's mind the impression derived from
Shakespeare's play, that Cleopatra was a swarthy Egyptian, in strong
contrast to the fair Roman ladies, and suggesting a wide difference of
race. She was no more an Egyptian than she was an Indian, but a pure
Macedonian, of a race akin to, and perhaps fairer than, the Greeks.

No sooner had Antony reached Syria than the fell influence of the
Egyptian Queen revived. In the words of Plutarch:

"But the mischief that thus long had lain still, the passion for
Cleopatra, which better thoughts had seemed to have lulled and charmed
into oblivion, upon his approach to Syria, gathered strength again, and
broke out into a flame. And in fine, like Plato's restive and rebellious
horse of the human soul, flinging off all good and wholesome counsel and
breaking fairly loose, he sent Fonteius Capito to bring Cleopatra into
Syria; to whom at her arrival he made no small or trifling
present--Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, Cyprus, great part of Cilicia, that
side of Judea which produces balm, that part of Arabia where the
Nabathaeans extend to the outer sea--profuse gifts which much displeased
the Romans. For although he had invested several private persons with
great governments and kingdoms, and bereaved many kings of theirs, as
Antigonus of Judea, whose head he caused to be struck off--the first
example of that punishment being inflicted on a king--yet nothing stung
the Romans like the shame of these honors paid to Cleopatra. Their
dissatisfaction was augmented also by his acknowledging as his own the
twin children he had by her, giving them the names of Alexander and
Cleopatra, and adding, as their surnames, the titles of Sun and Moon."

After much dallying the triumvir really started for the wild East,
whither it is not our business to follow him. Cleopatra he sent home to
Egypt, to await his victorious return, and it was on this occasion that
she came in state to Jerusalem to visit Herod the Great--probably the
most brilliant scene of the kind which had taken place since the queen
of Sheba came to learn the wisdom of Solomon. But it was a very
different wisdom that Herod professed, and in which he was verily a high
authority, nor was the subtle daughter of the Ptolemies a docile pupil,
but a practised expert in the same arts of cruelty and cunning;
wherewith both pursued their several courses of ambition and sought to
wheedle from their Roman masters cities and provinces. The reunion of
Antony and Cleopatra must have greatly alarmed Herod, whose plans were
directly thwarted by the freaks of Antony, and he must have been
preparing at the time to make his case with Octavian, and seek from his
favor protection against the new caprices of the then lord of the East.

"The scene at Herod's palace must have been inimitable. The display of
counter-fascinations between these two tigers; their voluptuous natures
mutually attracted; their hatred giving to each that deep interest in
the other which so often turns to mutual passion while it incites to
conquest; the grace and finish of their manners, concealing a ruthless
ferocity; the splendor of their appointments--what more dramatic picture
can we imagine in history?

"We hear that she actually attempted to seduce Herod, but failed, owing
to his deep devotion to his wife Mariamne. The prosaic Josephus adds
that Herod consulted his council whether he should not put her to death
for this attempt upon his virtue. He was dissuaded by them on the ground
that Antony would listen to no arguments, not even from the most
persuasive of the world's princes, and would take awful vengeance when
he heard of her death. So she was escorted with great gifts and
politenesses back to Egypt."

Such, then, was the character of this notorious Queen. But her violation
of temples, and even of ancient tombs, for the sake of treasure must
have been a far more public and odious exhibition of that want of
respect for the sentiment of others which is the essence of bad

[Footnote 74: _The Greek World under Roman Sway._]

As is well known, the first campaign of Antony against Armenians and
Parthians was a signal failure, and it was only with great difficulty
that he escaped the fate of Crassus. But Cleopatra was ready to meet him
in Syria with provisions and clothes for his distressed and ragged
battalions, and he returned with her to spend the winter (B.C. 36-35) at
Alexandria. She thus snatched him again from his noble wife, Octavia,
who had come from Rome to Athens with succors even greater than
Cleopatra had brought. This at least is the word of the historians who
write in the interest of the Romans, and regard the queen of Egypt with
horror and with fear.

The new campaign of Antony (B.C. 34) was apparently more prosperous, but
it was only carried far enough to warrant his holding a Roman triumph at
Alexandria--perhaps the only novelty in pomp which the triumvir could
exhibit to the Alexandrian populace, while it gave the most poignant
offence at Rome. It was apparently now that he made that formal
distribution of provinces which Octavian used as his chief _casus

"Nor was the division he made among his sons at Alexandria less
unpopular. It seemed a theatrical piece of insolence and contempt of his
country, for, assembling the people in the exercise ground, and causing
two golden thrones to be placed on a platform of silver, the one for him
and the other for Cleopatra, and at their feet lower thrones for their
children, he proclaimed Cleopatra queen of Egypt, Cyprus, Libya, and
Coele-Syria, and with her conjointly Caesarion, the reputed son of the
former Caesar. His own sons by Cleopatra were to have the style of 'King
of Kings'; to Alexander he gave Armenia and Media, with Parthia so soon
as it should be overcome; to Ptolemy Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia.
Alexander was brought out before the people in Median costume, the tiara
and upright peak, and Ptolemy in boots and mantle and Macedonian cap
done about with the diadem; for this was the habit of the successors of
Alexander, as the other was of the Medes and Armenians. And, as soon as
they had saluted their parents, the one was received by a guard of
Macedonians, the other by one of Armenians. Cleopatra was then, as at
other times when she appeared in public, dressed in the habit of the
goddess Isis, and gave audience to the people under the name of the New

"This over, he gave Priene to his players for a habitation, and set sail
for Athens, where fresh sports and play-acting employed him. Cleopatra,
jealous of the honors Octavia had received at Athens--for Octavia was
much beloved by the Athenians--courted the favor of the people with all
sorts of attentions. The Athenians, in requital, having decreed her
public honors, deputed several of the citizens to wait upon her at her
house, among whom went Antony as one, he being an Athenian citizen, and
he it was that made the speech.

"The speed and extent of Antony's preparations alarmed Caesar, who feared
he might be forced to fight the decisive battle that summer, for he
wanted many necessaries, and the people grudged very much to pay the
taxes; freemen being called upon to pay a fourth part of their incomes,
and freed slaves an eighth of their property, so that there were loud
outcries against him, and disturbances throughout all Italy. And this is
looked upon as one of the greatest of Antony's oversights that he did
not then press the war, for he allowed time at once for Caesar to make
his preparations, and for the commotions to pass over, for while people
were having their money called for they were mutinous and violent; but,
having paid it, they held their peace.

"Titius and Plancus, men of consular dignity and friends to Antony,
having been ill-used by Cleopatra, whom they had most resisted in her
design of being present in the war, came over to Caesar, and gave
information of the contents of Antony's will, with which they were
acquainted. It was deposited in the hands of the vestal virgins, who
refused to deliver it up, and sent Caesar word, if he pleased, he should
come and seize it himself, which he did. And, reading it over to
himself, he noted those places that were most for his purpose, and,
having summoned the senate, read them publicly. Many were scandalized at
the proceeding, thinking it out of reason and equity to call a man to
account for what was not to be until after his death. Caesar specially
pressed what Antony said in his will about his burial, for he had
ordered that even if he died in the city of Rome, his body, after being
carried in state through the Forum, should be sent to Cleopatra at

"Calvisius, a dependent of Caesar's, urged other charges in connection
with Cleopatra against Antony: that he had given her the library of
Pergamus, containing two hundred thousand distinct volumes; that at a
great banquet, in the presence of many guests, he had risen up and
rubbed her feet, to fulfil some wager or promise; that he had suffered
the Ephesians to salute her as their queen; that he had frequently at
the public audience of kings and princes received amorous messages
written in tablets made of onyx and crystal, and read them openly on the
tribunal; that when Furnius, a man of great authority and eloquence
among the Romans, was pleading, Cleopatra happening to pass by in her
litter, Antony started up and left them in the middle of their cause, to
follow at her side and attend her home."[75]

[Footnote 75: Plutarch: _Antony_.]

When war was declared, Antony sought to gain the support of the East in
the conflict. He made alliance with a Median king who betrothed his
daughter to Cleopatra's infant son Alexander; but he made the fatal

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