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 The murderers fled from the city secretly. The people returned to Cæsar's bier and bore it as a consecrated thing to the Capitol in order to bury it in the temple and place it among the gods. Being prevented from doing so by the priests, they placed it again in the forum where in the olden time stood the palace of the kings of Rome. There they collected together sticks of wood and benches, of which there were many in the forum, and anything else they could find of that sort, for a funeral pile, throwing on it the adornments of the procession, some of which were very costly. Some of them cast their own crowns upon it and many military gifts. Then they set fire to it, and the entire people remained by the funeral pile throughout the night. There an altar was first erected,1 but now there stands the temple of Cæsar himself, as he was deemed worthy of divine honors; for Octavius, his son by adoption, who took the name of Cæsar, and, following in the footsteps of the latter in political matters, greatly strengthened the government founded by Cæsar, and which remains to this day, decreed divine honors to his father. From this example the Romans now pay like honors to each emperor at his death if he has not reigned in a tyrannical manner or made himself odious, although at first they could not bear to call them kings while living.
1 Suetonius gives a similar account of Cæsar's funeral, and adds: "They afterward placed in the forum a solid column of Numidian marble nearly twenty feet high and inscribed on it the words ' To the Father of his Country,' at which they continued for a long time to offer sacrifice, to take vows, and to adjust controversies in which the oath was taken in the name of Cæsar." (Jul. 85.) This column was demolished by the consul Dolabella, who flung over the Tarpeian rock the free persons who participated in these ceremonies, crucified the slaves, and caused the ground to be repaved. This must have taken place shortly before the first of May, as Cicero, then at Puteoli, wrote a letter to Atticus on that day in which he mentioned it as news just received by him. "Oh, my admirable Dolabella," he says, " I now call him mine, for believe me, I had some little doubt of him before. The affair presents a great outlook. Over the rock! On the cross! The column demolished, the place itself under contract to be paved. Is it not heroic? He seems to me to have put an end to that appearance of regret for Cæsar which was hitherto spreading from day to day, and becoming chronic, so that I feared lest it should prove dangerous to our tyrant-killers." (Ad Att. xiv. 15.)
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