After these matters had been finished and he had been declared consul for the fourth time, Caesar made an expedition into Spain against the sons of Pompey. These were still young, but had collected an army of amazing numbers and displayed a boldness which justified their claims to leadership, so that they beset Caesar with the greatest peril.
The great battle was joined near the city of Munda, and here Caesar, seeing his own men hard pressed and making a feeble resistance, asked in a loud voice as he ran through the armed ranks whether they felt no shame to take him and put him in the hands of those boys. With difficulty and after much strenuous effort he repulsed the enemy and slew over thirty thousand of them, but he lost one thousand of his own men, and those the very best.
As he was going away after the battle he said to his friends that he had often striven for victory, but now first for his life. He fought this victorious battle on the day of the festival of Bacchus,1
on which day also it is said that Pompey the Great had gone forth to the war; a period of four years intervened. As for Pompey's sons, the younger made his escape, but after a few days the head of the elder was brought in by Deidius.
This was the last war that Caesar waged; and the triumph that was celebrated for it vexed the Romans as nothing else had done. For it commemorated no victory over foreign commanders or barbarian kings, but the utter annihilation of the sons and the family of the mightiest of the Romans, who had fallen upon misfortune; and it was not meet for Caesar to celebrate a triumph for the calamities of his country, priding himself upon actions which had no defence before gods or men except that they had been done under necessity, and that too although previously he had sent neither messenger nor letters to announce to the people a victory in the civil wars, but had scrupulously put from him the fame arising therefrom.