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Cæsar's Four Triumphs -- Cæsar marches against Young Pompeius in Spain -- Battle of Munda -- Flight and Death of Young Pompeius

[101] When Cæsar returned to Rome he had four triumphs together: one for his Gallic wars, in which he had added many great nations to the Roman sway and subdued others that had revolted; one for the Pontic war against Pharnaces; one for the war in Africa against the African allies of L. Scipio, in which the historian Juba (the son of King Juba), then an infant, was led a captive. Between the Gallic and the Pontic triumphs he introduced a kind of
B.C. 46
Egyptian triumph, in which he led some captives taken in the naval engagement on the Nile.1 Although he took care not to inscribe any Roman names in his triumph (as it would have been unseemly in his eyes and base and inauspicious in those of the Roman people to triumph over fellow-citizens), yet all these misfortunes were represented in the processions and the men also by various images and pictures, all except Pompey, the only one whom he did not venture to exhibit, since the latter was still greatly regretted by all. The people, although restrained by fear, groaned over their domestic ills, especially when they saw the picture of Lucius Scipio, the general-in-chief, wounded in the breast by his own hand, casting himself into the sea, and Petreius committing self-destruction at the banquet, and Cato torn open by himself like a wild beast. They applauded the death of Achillas and Pothinus, and laughed at the flight of Pharnaces.

[102] It is said that money to the amount of 60,500 talents [of silver] was borne in the procession and 2822 crowns of gold weighing 20,414 pounds, from which wealth Cæsar made apportionments immediately after the triumph, paying the army all that he had promised and more. Each soldier received 5000 Attic drachmas, each centurion double, and each tribune of infantry and præfect of cavalry fourfold that sum. To each plebeian citizen also was given an Attic mina. He gave also various spectacles with horses and music, a combat of foot-soldiers, 1000 on each side, and a cavalry fight of 200 on each side. There was also another combat of horse and foot together. There was a combat of elephants, twenty against twenty, and a naval engagement of 4000 oarsmen, where 1000 fighting men contended on each side. He erected a temple to Venus, his ancestress, as he had vowed to do when he was about to begin the battle of Pharsalus, and he laid out ground around the temple which he intended to be a forum for the Roman people, not for buying and selling, but a meeting-place for the transaction of public business, like the public squares of the Persians, where the people assemble to seek justice or to learn the laws. He placed a beautiful image of Cleopatra by the side of the goddess, which stands there to this day. He caused an enumeration of the people to be made, and it is said that it was found to be only one-half of the number existing before this war.2 To such a degree had the rivalry of these two men reduced the city.

Y.R. 709

[103] Cæsar, now in his fourth consulship, marched against young Pompeius in Spain. This was all that was left of the civil war, but it was not to be despised, for such of the nobility as had escaped from Africa had assembled here. The army was composed of soldiers from Pharsalus and Africa itself, who had come hither with their leaders, and of Spaniards and Celtiberians, a strong and warlike race. There was a great number of emancipated slaves also in Pompeius' camp. All had been under discipline four years and were ready to fight with desperation. Pompeius was misled by this fact and did not postpone the battle, but engaged Cæsar straightway on his arrival, although the older ones, who had learned by experience at Pharsalus and Africa, advised him to wear Cæsar out by delay and reduce him to want, as he was in a hostile country. Cæsar made the journey from Rome in twenty-seven days, coming with a heavily-laden army by a very long

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route. Fear fell upon his soldiers as never before, in consequence of the reports received of the numbers, the discipline, and the desperate valor of the enemy.

[104] For this reason Cæsar himself also was ready to move slowly until Pompeius approached him at a certain place where he was reconnoitering and accused him of cowardice. Cæsar could not endure this reproach. He drew up his forces for battle near Corduba3 and then, too, gave Venus for his watchword. Pompeius, on the other hand, gave Piety for his. When battle was joined fear seized upon Cæsar's army and hesitation was joined to fear. Cæsar, lifting his hands toward heaven, implored all the gods that his many glorious deeds be not stained by this single disaster. He ran up and encourged his soldiers. He took his helmet off his head and shamed them to their faces and exhorted them. As they abated nothing of their fear he seized a shield from a soldier and said to the officers around him, "This shall be the end of my life and of your military service." Then he sprang forward in advance of his line of battle toward the enemy so far that he was only ten feet distant from them. Some 200 missiles were aimed at him, some of which he dodged while others were caught on his shield. Then each of the tribunes ran toward him and took position by his side, and the whole army rushed forward and fought the entire day, advancing and retreating by turns until, toward evening, Cæsar with difficulty won the victory. It was reported that he said that he had often fought for victory, but that this time he had fought even for existence.4

[105] After a great slaughter the Pompeians fled to Corduba, and Cæsar, in order to prevent the fugitives from preparing for another battle, ordered a siege of that place. The soldiers, wearied with toil, piled the bodies and arms of the slain together, fastened them to the earth with spears, and encamped behind this kind of a wall. On the following day the city was taken. Scapula, one of the Pompeian leaders, erected a funeral pile on which he consumed himself. The heads of Varus, Labienus, and other distinguished men were brought to Cæsar.5 Pompeius himself fled from the scene of his defeat with 150 horsemen toward Carteia, where he had a fleet, and entered the dockyard secretly as a private individual borne in a litter. When he saw that the men here despaired of their safety he feared lest he should be delivered up, and took to flight again. While going on board a small boat his foot was caught by a rope, and a man who attempted to cut the rope with his sword cut the sole of his foot instead. So he sailed to a certain place for medical treatment. Being pursued thither he fled by a rough and thorny road that aggravated his wound, until fagged out he took a seat under a tree. Here his pursuers came upon him and he was cut down while defending himself bravely. His head was brought to Cæsar who gave orders for its burial. Thus this war also, contrary to expectation, was brought to an end in one battle. A younger brother of this Pompeius, also named Pompeius but called by his first name, Sextus, collected those who escaped from this fight; but as yet he kept moving about in concealment and lived by robbery.

1 Plutarch says that Cæsar enjoyed three triumphs at this time: " the Egyptian, the Pontic, and the African, not over Scipio but probably over King Juba, whose son, still a boy, was led in the triumph, being most fortunate in his captivity since he was thus changed from a barbarous Numidian to one of the most learned of Greek writers."

2 The corresponding passage in Plutarch (Life of Cœsar, 55) says: "After the games the census was taken and instead of the former 320,000 inhabitants the whole number amounted to 150,000." This seems incredible. A note on this passage in Langhorne's Plutarch says that Rualdus has not only proved by other testimony that this is erroneous but has shown how the error came to be made. He says that Plutarch, for want of a thorough knowledge of Latin, was misled by a passage in Suetonius which says that Cæsar "made a new census (recensum) not in the usual manner or place (in the Campus Martius), but street by street, by means of the chief men of the tenement-house districts (insularum), and reduced the number of those receiving corn from the public stores from 320,000 to 150,000." The recensus was taken for the purpose of determining the number of persons entitled to receive public corn. The Epitome of Livy (CXV.) says: " he took a new census (recensum) by which it was ascertained that the number of citizens (civium capita) was 150,000," meaning probably the number entitled to receive corn.

3 The modern Cordova. The unknown author of the Commentaries on Cæsar's war in Spain places this engagement on the plain of Munda, (in campum Mundensem). Plutarch, Florus, Lucan, and the Epitome of Livy say Munda. It is doubtful, however, whether this was the Munda shown on the maps as the site of the modern Monda. The text of the Commentaries, describing the operations following the battle, implies that it was much nearer to Corduba than the present Monda is to Cordova.

4 Here we find one of those parallel passages in Plutarch -- parallel in language as well as in idea -- which suggest that both Plutarch and Appian drew from a common Greek, not Latin, source. Plutarch quotes the saying of Cæsar: πολλάκις μὲν ἀγωνίσαιτο περὶ νίκης νῦν δὲ πρῶτον περὶ ψυχῆς (Life of Cæsar, 56), which is the same as the text of Appian, except that the latter has καὶ in place of πρῶτον.

5 The writer of the Commentaries says that Labienus and Varus were killed in the battle of Munda, and that their funeral obsequies were performed where they fell.

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