Caesar gave the Thessalians their freedom, to commemorate his victory, and then pursued Pompey; when he reached Asia he made the Cnidians also free, to please Theopompus the collector of fables, and for all the inhabitants of Asia remitted a third of their taxes.
Arriving at Alexandria just after Pompey's death, he turned away in horror from Theodotus as he presented the head of Pompey, but he accepted Pompey's seal-ring, and shed tears over it.1
Moreover, all the companions and intimates of Pompey who had been captured by the king as they wandered over the country, he treated with kindness and attached them to himself. And to his friends in Rome he wrote that this was the greatest and sweetest pleasure that he derived from his victory, namely, from time to time to save the lives of fellow citizens who had fought against him.
As for the war in Egypt, some say that it was not necessary, but due to Caesar's passion for Cleopatra, and that it was inglorious and full of peril for him. But others blame the king's party for it, and especially the eunuch Potheinus, who had most influence at court,2
and had recently killed Pompey; he had also driven Cleopatra from the country, and was now secretly plotting against Caesar. On this account they say that from this time on Caesar passed whole nights at drinking parties in order to protect himself. But in his open acts also Potheinus was unbearable, since he said and did many things that were invidious and insulting to Caesar.
For instance, when the soldiers had the oldest and worst grain measured out to them, he bade them put up with it and be content, since they were eating what belonged to others; and at the state suppers he used wooden and earthen dishes, on the ground that Caesar had taken all the gold and silver ware in payment of a debt. For the father of the present king owed Caesar seventeen million five hundred thousand drachmas,3
of which Caesar had formerly remitted a part to his children, but now demanded payment of ten millions for the support of his army.
When, however, Potheinus bade him go away now and attend to his great affairs, assuring him that later he would get his money with thanks, Caesar replied that he had no need whatever of Egyptians as advisers, and secretly sent for Cleopatra from the country.