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[88] Cæsar remained two days at Pharsalus after the victory, offering sacrifice and giving his army a respite from fighting. Then he set free his Thessalian allies and granted pardon to the suppliant Athenians, and said to them, " How often will the glory of your ancestors save you from self-destruction?" On the third day he marched eastward, having learned that Pompey had fled thither, and for want of triremes he essayed to cross the Hellespont in skiffs. Here Cassius came upon him in mid-stream, with a part of his fleet, as he was hastening to Pharnaces. Although he might have mastered these small boats with his numerous triremes he was panic-stricken by Cæsar's astounding success, which was then heralded with consternation everywhere, and he thought that Cæsar had sailed purposely against him. So he extended his hands in entreaty from his trireme toward the skiff, begged pardon, and surrendered his fleet. So great was the power of Cæsar's prestige. I can see no other reason myself, nor can I think of any other instance where fortune was more propitious in a trying emergency than when Cassius, a most valiant man, with seventy triremes, fell in with Cæsar when he was unprepared, but did not venture to come to blows with him. And yet he who thus disgracefully surrendered to Cæsar, through fear alone, when the latter was crossing the straits, afterward murdered him in Rome when he was at the height of his power; by which fact it is evident that the panic which then seized Cassius was due to the fortune by which Cæsar was uplifted.1

1 This is a dubious tale. Cæsar tells us (iii. 101) that Cassius was in Sicily with a fleet when the news of Pharsalus arrived; that when the first news of the battle came the Pompeians considered it a fiction invented by Cæsar's friends, but that when they were convinced that it was true, Cassius departed with his fleet. Then Cæsar describes his own movements, saying that he considered it necessary to drop everything else and pursue Pompey, and that he pushed on every day as far as his cavalry could go, having ordered one legion to follow by shorter marches. He must have passed the Hellespont before Cassius sailed from Sicily. Again, Cicero in his second Philippic (11), while defending himself against Antony's charge that he had advised the assassination of Cæsar, says that he is not entitled to share this glory with Brutus and Cassius. Neither of them needed his advice. " Cassius," he adds, "would have done the deed himself in Cilicia, at the mouth of the river Cydnus, without the help of his illustrious friends, if Cæsar had landed on the shore where he (Cassius) had halted, instead of the opposite one." In other words they passed each other at the mouth of the Cydnus, as Cæsar was proceeding to Egypt. Suetonius (Jul. 63) says that it was Lucius Cassius whom Cæsar met in the Hellespont.

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