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3. After this, Sulla's power being now on the wane, and Caesar's friends at home inviting him to return, Caesar sailed to Rhodes1 to study under Apollonius the son of Molon, an illustrious rhetorician with the reputation of a worthy character, of whom Cicero also was a pupil. It is said, too, that Caesar had the greatest natural talent for political oratory, and cultivated his talent most ambitiously, so that he had an undisputed second rank; the first rank, however, he renounced, [2] because he devoted his efforts to being first as a statesman and commander rather, and did not achieve that effectiveness in oratory to which his natural talent directed him, in consequence of his campaigns and of his political activities, by means of which he acquired the supremacy. And so it was that, at a later time, in his reply to Cicero's ‘Cato,’ he himself deprecated comparison between the diction of a soldier and the eloquence of an orator who was gifted by nature and had plenty of leisure to pursue his studies.

1 According to Suetonius ( Div. Jul. 4), this voyage, on which he was captured by pirates, was undertaken unsuccessful prosecution of Dolabella, mentioned in the next chapter. See the note on i. 4.

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