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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 476 (search)
e knew that daring deeds
Are safely wrought beneath the smile of heaven:
And thus he hoped in fragile boat to cross
The stormy billows fearful to a fleet.
Now gentle night had brought repose from arms;
And sleep, blest guardian of the poor man's couch,
Restored the weary; and the camp was still.
The hour was come that called the second watch
When mighty Caesar, in the silence vast
With cautious tread advanced to such a deed Caesar himself says nothing of this adventure. But it is mentioned by Dion, Appian and Plutarch ('Caesar,' 38). Dean Merivale thinks the story may have been invented to introduce the apophthegm used by Caesar to the sailor, 'Fear nothing: you carry Caesar and his fortunes' (line 665 post). Mommsen accepts the story, as of an attempt which was only abandoned because no mariner could be induced to undertake it. Lucan colours it with his wildest and most exaggerated hyperbole.
As slaves should dare not. Fortune for his guide,
Alone he passes on, and o'er the guard
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 8, line 211 (search)
of Alexander the Great. It was, however, subdued by the Parthians about the middle of the third century B.C. walls,
' Home of the Mede; and haughty Babylon
' With all her storied towers: nor shall they dread
' The Roman onset; trusting to the shafts
' By which the host of fated Crassus fell.
' Nor trust they only to the javelin blade
' Untipped with poison: from the rancorous edge
'The slightest wound deals death. Would that my lot
' Forced me not thus to trust that savage race
' Of Arsaces!Dion could not believe it possible that Pompeius ever contemplated taking refuge in Parthia, but Plutarch states it as a fact; and says that it was Theophanes of Lesbos who dissuaded him from doing so. ('Pomp.,' 76.) Mommsen (vol. iv., pp. 421-423) discusses the subject, and says that from Parthia only could Pompeius have attempted to seek support, and that such an attempt, putting the objections to it aside, would probably have failed. Lucan's sympathies were probably with Lentulus. Yet now th