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JULIUS CAESAR, the divine, 1 lost his father 2 when he was in the sixteenth year of his age; 3 and the year following, being nominated to the office of high-priest of Jupiter, 4 he repudiated Cossutia, who was very wealthy, although her family belonged only to the equestrian order, and to whom he had been contracted when he was a mere boy. He then married Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, who was four times consul; and had by her, shortly afterwards, a daughter named Julia. Resisting all the efforts of the dictator Sylla to induce him to divorce Cornelia, he suffered the penalty of being stripped of his sacerdotal office, his wife's dowry, and his own patrimonial estates; and, being identified with the adverse faction, 5 was compelled to withdraw from Rome. After changing his place of concealment nearly every night, 6 although he was suffering from a quartan ague, and having effected his release by bribing the officers who had tracked his footsteps, he at length obtained a pardon through the intercession of the vestal virgins, and of Mamercus AEmilius and Aurelius Cotta, his near relatives. We are assured that when Sylla, having withstood for a while the entreaties of his own best friends, persons of distinguished rank, at last yielded to their importunity, he exclaimed-either by a divine impulse, or from a shrewd conjecture: "Your suit is granted, and you may take him among you; but know," he added, " that this man, for whose safety you are so extremely anxious, will, some day or other, be the ruin of the party of the nobles, in defence of which you are leagued with me; for in this one Caesar, you will find many a Marius."
1 Julius Caesar Divus. Romulus, the founder of Rome, had the honour of an apotheosis conferred on him by the senate, under the title of Quirinus, to obviate the people's suspicion of his having been taken off by a conspiracy of the patrician order. Political circumstances again concurred with popular superstition to revive this posthumous adulation in favour of Julius Caesar, the founder of the empire, who also fell by the hands of conspirators. It is remarkable in the history of a nation so jealous of public liberty, that, in both instances, they bestowed the highest mark of human homage upon men who owed their fate to the introduction of arbitrary power.
2 Pliny informs us that Caius Julius, the father of Julius Caesar, a man of praetorian rank, died suddenly at Pisa.
3 A. U. C. (in the year from the foundation of Rome) 670; A. C. (before Christ) about 92.
4 Flamen Dialis. This was an office of great dignity, but subjected the holder to many restrictions. He was not allowed to ride on horseback, nor to absent himself from the city for a single night. His wife was also under particular restraints, and could not be divorced. If she died, the flamen resigned his office, because there were certain sacred rites which he could not perform without her assistance. Besides other marks of distinction, he wore a purple robe called laena, and a conical mitre called apex.
5 Two powerful parties were contending at Rome for the supremacy; Sylla being at the head of the faction of the nobles, while Marius espoused the cause of the people. Sylla suspected Julius Caesar of belonging to the Marian party, because Marius had married his aunt Julia.
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