This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 Cæsar's army (for since many writers differ I shall follow the most credible Roman authorities, who give the most careful enumeration of the Italian soldiers, in whom they place most confidence, but do not make much account of the allied forces or record them exactly, regarding them as foreigners and as contributing to them little real assistance) consisted of about 22,000 men and of these about 1000 were cavalry. Pompey had more than double that number, of whom about 7000 were cavalry. Some of the most trustworthy writers say that 70,000 Italian soldiers were engaged in this battle. Others give the smaller number, 60,00000. Still others, grossly exaggerating, say 400,000.1 Of the whole number some say Pompey's forces were to those of Cæsar as one-and-a-half to one, others say that he had two parts out of three. So much doubt is there as to the exact truth. However that may be, each of them placed his chief reliance on his Italian troops. In the way of allied forces Cæsar had cavalry from both Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul, besides some light-armed Greeks, consisting of Dolopians, Acarnanians, and Ætolians. Such were Cæsar's allies. Pompey had a great number from all the eastern nations, part horse, part foot. From Greece he had Lacedemonians marshalled by their own kings, and others from Peloponnesus and Bœotians with them. The Athenians marched to his aid also, although proclamation had been made on both sides that no harm should be done to them by the soldiers, since they were the priests of the Thesmophoræ.2 Nevertheless, they wished to share in the glory of the war because this was a contest for the Roman leadership.3
1 One of the grossly exaggerating writers is Florus, who says: "Never did fortune behold so large a force of the Roman people or so much of their dignity collected in one place. More than 300,000 men were assembled on one side and the other, in addition to the auxiliaries of kings and nations."
2 The Thesmophoræ (law-bringers) were Ceres and Proserpine. They were worshipped together as the goddesses of tillage and civilized life. The Thesmophoria was an annual religious festival at Athens.
3 Schweighäuser says that the meaning of this passage is not quite clear to him. Combes-Dounous renders it intelligibly: "They came to take part in this war merely to have the glory of fighting in a contest where the empire of the Roman people was at stake."
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.