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 So died Gaius Cæsar on the so-called Ides of March, which correspond nearly with the middle of the Greek month Anthesterion, which day the soothsayer predicted that he should not survive. Cæsar jokingly said to him early in the morning, "Well, the Ides have come," and the latter, nothing daunted, answered, "But they are not past." Despising such prophecies, uttered with so much confidence by the soothsayer, and other prodigies that I have previously mentioned, Cæsar went on his way and was killed, being fifty-six years of age.1 He was a man most fortunate in all things, superhuman, of grand designs, and fit to be compared with Alexander. Both were men of the greatest ambition, both were most skilled in the art of war, most rapid in executing their decisions, most reckless of danger, least sparing of themselves, and relying as much on audacity and luck as on military skill. Alexander made a long journey through the desert in the hot season to visit the oracle of Ammon and crossed the Gulf of Pamphylia against a head sea successfully. A god restrained the waves for him until he had passed over, and sent him rain on his journey by land. In India he ventured upon an unknown sea. Once he was the first to ascend the scaling ladders and leaped over the wall among his enemies alone, and in this condition received thirteen wounds. Yet he was never defeated, and he finished almost every war in one or two battles. He conquered many barbarians in Europe and made himself master of Greece, a people hard to control, fond of freedom, who boasted that they had never obeyed anybody before him, except Philip for a little while under the guise of his leadership in war. He overran almost the whole of Asia. To sum up Alexander's fortune and power in a word, he acquired as much of the earth as he saw, and died while he was devising means to capture the rest.
1 Mommsen maintains, contrary to the testimony of Suetonius, Plutarch, and Appian, that Cæsar was fifty-eight instead of fifty-six years old at the time of his death. He reasons that Cæsar must have been born as early as the year 652 in order to hold the offices of ædile, prætor, and consul at the time when he was first elected to them, supposing that he was elected to each as early as he could be legally. Although the age limit was relaxed in special cases, we find no mention of exception in favor of Cæsar, and it is hardly possible that three exceptions could have been made in favor of so illustrious a man without any mention of it occurring in ancient writings. There are other facts which tend to corroborate Mommsen's view, which is now generally accepted by scholars.
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