Browsing named entities in C. Julius Caesar, Commentaries on the Civil War (ed. William Duncan).
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The king's ministers, who had the care of the government during his minority, being informed of this, either out of fear, as they afterwards pretended, lest Pompey should debauch the army, and thereby render himself master of Alexandria and Egypt; or despising his low condition (as friends, in bad fortune, often turn enemies), spoke favourably to the deputies in public, and invited Pompey to court; but privately despatched Achillas, captain of the king's guards, a man of singular boldness, and to murder him. They accosted him with an air of frankness, especially Septimius, who had served under him as a centurion in the war with the pirates; and inviting him into the boat, treacherously slew him. L. Lentulus was likewise seized by the king's co
For these reasons he sent into Asia for some of the legions which he had raised out of the remains of Pompey's army: being himself necessarily detained by the Etesian winds, which are directly contrary to any passage by sea from Alexandria. Meantime, considering the difference between Ptolemy and his sister, as subject to the cognizance of the Roman people, and of him as consul; and the rather, because the alliance with Ptolemy, the father, had been contracted during his former consulship; he gave the king and Cleopatra to understand, that it was his pleasure they should dismiss their troops, and instead of having recourse to arms, come and plead their cause before him.
While this affair was debated before Caesar, who passionately desired to terminate the matter amicably, and to the satisfaction of both parties, he was informed that the king's army, with all the cavalry, were arrived at Alexandria. Caesar's forces were by no means sufficient to give them battle without the town; and therefore the only course left was to secure the most convenient posts within the city, till he should get accquainted with Achillas's designs. Meantime he ordered all the soldiers to their arms, and admonished the king, to send some persons of the greatest authority to Achillas, to forbid his approach. Discorides and Serapion, who had both been ambassadors at Rome, and in great credit with Ptolemy, the father, were deputed to this office. But no sooner d
Achillas's army was far from being contemptible, whether we regard their number, courage, or experience in war. It amounted to twenty thousand effective men, many of whom were originally Romans, brought into the country by Gabinius, when he came to settle Auletes on the throne; and who, having afterwards married and settled in Alexandria, were devoted to the Ptolemean interest. There were also some brigades raised in Syria and Cilicia, together with a considerable number of renegade slaves, who had deserted their masters, and found protection in Egypt, by entering into the service. If any of these was seized by his master, their companions flocked to his rescue, regarding his safety as a common cause, because they were all embarked in the like
Achillas trusting to the valour of his troops, and despising the handful of men that followed Caesar, quickly made himself master of Alexandria, the palace only excepted, where Caesar thought proper to make his stand, and which he attacked briskly, though without effect. But it was on the side of the harbour that the greatest efforts were made. On that, in effect, the victory depended. Besides two and twenty constant guard-ships, there were in the port fifty galleys, from three to five banks of oars, which the year before 'had been sent to Pompey's assistance, and were returned since the battle of Pharsalia. Had Achillas been once master of these vessels, he might have cut Caesar off from all communication with the ocean, and consequently from all
The Pharos is a tower of prodigious height and wonderful workmanship, built in an island, from whence it takes its name. This island, lying over against Alexandria, makes a haven, and is joined to the continent by a causeway of nine hundred paces, and by a bridge. Here dwell several Egyptians, who have built a town, and live by pillaging the ships that are thrown upon their coast, either by mistake or tempest. As it is situate at the entrance of the port, which is but narrow, it absolutely commands it. Caesar knowing the importance of this post, whilst the enemywere engaged in the assault, landed some troops there, seized the tower, and put a garrison into it; thereby securing a safe reception for the supplies he had sent for on allsides. In the other