previous next

[65] After Cæsar had withdrawn Pompey called a council of war, at which Afranius advised that they should make use of their naval force in which they were much superior, and being masters of the sea should harass Cæsar, who was now wandering and destitute, and that Pompey himself should conduct his infantry with all haste to Italy, which was well disposed toward him and was now free from a hostile army. Having mastered it, together with Gaul and Spain, they could attack Cæsar again from their own home, the seat of imperial power. Although this was the best possible advice Pompey disregarded it and allowed himself to be persuaded by those who said that Cæsar's army would presently desert to him on account of hunger, and that there was not much left of it anyway after the victory of Dyrrachium. They said it would be disgraceful to abandon the pursuit of Cæsar when he was in flight, and for the victor to flee as though vanquished.1 Pompey sided with these advisers partly out of regard for the opinions of the eastern nations that were looking on, partly to prevent any harm befalling Lucius Scipio, who was still in Macedonia, but most of all because he thought that he ought to fight while his army was in high spirits. Accordingly he advanced and pitched his camp opposite to Cæsar's near Pharsalus, so that they were separated from each other by a distance of thirty stades.

1 Both Plutarch and Cæsar give entertaining accounts of what took place in Pompey's camp after Cæsar's retreat. "They cried out," says the former, " that Cæsar had fled. Some wanted to pursue him, others to cross over to Italy. Others despatched their friends and servants to Rome to hire houses in advance near the forum, as though they were about to run for office." (Life of Pompey, 66.) Cæsar's narrative says: "They contended with each other openly about rewards and priesthoods and disposed of the consulship for years to come. Some demanded the houses and goods of men in Cæsar's camp, and there was a great controversy over the question whether Lucius Hirrus, who had been sent by Pompey on a mission to the Parthians, should have the right to stand for the next prætorship while absent. . . . Domitius, Scipio, and Lentulus Spinther had daily disputes over the succession to Cæsar's priesthood and descended to the vilest language, Lentulus claiming it on the score of age, Domitius boasting of his influence in the city and his dignity, while Scipio trusted to his relationship with Pompey. Acutius Rufus even accused Afranius, in Pompey's presence, of betrayal of his army, which he said had been done in Spain." (iii. 82-83.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (L. Mendelssohn, 1879)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: