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Prosecutions for Bribery -- Cæsar authorized to stand for the Consulship while absent--Enmity of Marcellus--Attempts to deprive Cæsar of his Command -- Curio insists that Pompey shall lay down his Command also -- Increasing Hostility to Cæsar in the Senate -- Pompey's Neglect of Preparations for War--The Consuls invest Pompey with the Defence of Italy

[24] After making this answer he passed his law, and straightway there ensued a great number and variety of prosecutions. In order that the jurors might act without fear Pompey stationed soldiers around them and superintended them in person. The first ones convicted were absentees: Milo for the murder of Clodius; Gabinius both for violation of law and for impiety, because he had invaded Egypt without a decree of the Senate and contrary to the Sibylline books; Hypsæus, Memmius, Sextius, and many others for bribery and for corrupting the populace. The people interceded for Scaurus, but Pompey made proclamation that they should wait for the decision of the court. When the crowd again interrupted the accusers, Pompey's soldiers made a charge and killed several. Then the people held their tongues and Scaurus was convicted. All of them were banished. Gabinius was fined in addition. The Senate praised Pompey highly for these proceedings, voted him two more legions, and extended the term of his provincial government. As Pompey's law offered impunity to any one who should turn state's evidence, Memmius, who had been convicted of bribery, called Lucius Scipio, the father-in-law of Pompey himself, to trial for like participation in bribery. Thereupon Pompey put on mourning and many of the jurors did the same. Memmius took pity on the republic and withdrew the accusation.

[25] Pompey, as though he had completed the reforms that made the one-man power necessary, now made Scipio his colleague in the consulship for the remainder of the year. At the expiration of his term, however, although others were invested with the consulship, he was none the less the supervisor, and ruler, and all-in-all in Rome. He enjoyed the good-will of the Senate, particularly because they were jealous of Cæsar, who did not consult the Senate during his consulship, and because Pompey had so speedily restored the sick commonwealth, and had not made himself troublesome or offensive to any of them during his term of office. The banished ones went to Cæsar in crowds and advised him to beware of Pompey, saying that his law about bribery was especially directed against himself. Cæsar cheered them up and spoke well of Pompey. He also induced the tribunes to bring in a law to enable himself to stand for the consulship a second time while absent, and this was enacted while Pompey was still consul and without opposition from him. Cæsar suspected that the Senate would resist this project and feared lest he should be reduced to the condition of a private citizen and exposed

Y.R. 703
to his enemies. So he tried to retain his power
B.C. 51
until he should be elected consul, and asked the Senate to grant him a little more time in his present command of Gaul, or of a part of it. Marcellus, who succeeded Pompey as consul, forbade it. They say that when this was announced to Cæsar, he clapped his hand on his sword-hilt and exclaimed, "This shall give it to me."1

[26] Cæsar built the town of Novum Comum2 at the foot of the Alps and gave it the Latin rights, which included a provision that those who had exercised the yearly chief magistracy should be Roman citizens. One of these men, who had held this office and was consequently considered a Roman citizen, was beaten with rods for some reason by order of Marcellus in defiance of Cæsar--a punishment that was never inflicted on Roman citizens. Marcellus in his passion revealed his real intention that the blows should be the marks of the foreigner, and he told the man to carry his scars and show them to Cæsar. So insulting was Marcellus. Moreover, he proposed to send successors to take command of Cæsar's provinces before his time had expired, but Pompey interfered, making a pretence of fairness and good-will, saying that they ought not to put an indignity on a distinguished man who had been so extremely useful to his country, merely on account of a short interval of time; but he made it plain that Cæsar's command must come to an end immediately on its expiration. For this

Y.R. 704
reason the bitterest enemies of Cæsar were chosen consuls
B.C. 50
for the ensuing year: Æmilius Paulus and Claudius Marcellus, cousin of the Marcellus before mentioned. Curio, who was also a bitter enemy of Cæsar, but extremely popular with the masses and a most accomplished speaker, was chosen tribune. Cæsar was not able to influence Claudius with money, but he bought the neutrality of Paulus for 1500 talents and the assistance of Curio with a still larger sum, because he knew that the latter was heavily burdened with debt. With the money thus obtained Paulus built and dedicated to the Roman people the Basilica that bears his name, a very beautiful structure.

[27] Curio, in order that he might not be detected changing sides too suddenly, brought forward vast plans for repairing and building roads, of which he was to be superintendent for five years. He knew that he could not carry any such measure, but he hoped that Pompey's friends would oppose him so that he might have that as an excuse for opposing Pompey. Things turned out as he had anticipated, so that he had a pretext for disagreement. Claudius proposed the sending of successors to take command of Cæsar's provinces, as his term was now expiring. Paulus was silent. Curio, who was thought to differ from both, praised the motion of Claudius, but added that Pompey ought to resign his provinces and army just like Cæsar, for in this way he said the commonwealth would be made free and be relieved from fear in all directions. Many opposed this as unjust, because Pompey's term had not yet expired. Then Curio came out more openly and decidedly against appointing successors to Cæsar unless Pompey also should lay down his command; for since they were both suspicious of each other, he contended that there could be no lasting peace to the commonwealth unless both were reduced to the character of private citizens. He said this because he knew that Pompey would not give up his command and because he saw that the people were incensed against Pompey on account of his prosecutions for bribery. As Curio's position was plausible, the plebeians praised him as the only one who was willing to incur the enmity of both Pompey and Cæsar in order to fulfil worthily his duties as a citizen; and once they escorted him home like an athlete, scattering flowers, as though he had won the prize in some great and difficult contest, for nothing was considered more perilous then than to have a difference with Pompey.

[28] Pompey, while lying sick in Italy,3 wrote an artful letter to the Senate, praising Cæsar's exploits and also recounting his own from the beginning, saying that he had been invested with a third consulship, and with provinces and an army afterward, which he had not solicited, but had been called to serve the public weal. He added that the powers which he had accepted unwillingly he would gladly yield to those who wished to take them back, and would not wait the time fixed for their expiration. The artfulness of this communication consisted in showing the fairness of Pompey and in exciting prejudice against Cæsar, as though the latter was not willing to give up his command even at the appointed time. When Pompey came back to the city, he spoke to the senators in the same way and then, also, promised to lay down his command. As a friend and marriage connection of Cæsar he said that the latter would very cheerfully do the same, for his had been a long and laborious contest against very warlike peoples; he had added much to the Roman power and now he would come back to his honors and his sacrificings4 and take his rest. He said these things in order that successors to Cæsar might be sent at once, while he (Pompey) should merely stand on his promise. Curio exposed his artifice, saying that promises were not sufficient, and insisting that Pompey should lay down his command now and that Cæsar should not be disarmed until Pompey himself had returned to private life. On account of private enmity, he said, it would not be advisable either for Cæsar or for the Romans that such great authority should be held by one man. Rather should each of them have power against the other in case one should attempt violence against the commonwealth. Throwing off all disguise, he denounced Pompey unsparingly as one aiming at supreme power, and said that unless he would lay down his command now, when he had the fear of Cæsar before his eyes, he would never lay it down at all. He moved that, unless they both obeyed, both should be voted public enemies and military forces be levied against them. In this way he concealed the fact that he had been bought by Cæsar.

[29] Pompey was angry with him and threatened him and at once withdrew indignantly to his country-seat. The Senate now had suspicions of both, but it considered Pompey the better republican of the two, and it hated Cæsar because he had not shown it proper respect during his consulship. Some of the senators really thought that it would not be safe to the commonwealth to deprive Pompey of his power until after Cæsar should lay down his, since the latter was outside of the city and was the man of more towering designs. Curio held the contrary opinion, that they had need of Cæsar against the power of Pompey, or otherwise that both armies should be disbanded at the same time. As the Senate would not agree with him he dismissed it, leaving the whole business still unfinished. He had the power to do so as tribune. Thus Pompey had occasion to regret that he had restored the tribunician power to its pristine vigor after it had been reduced to extreme feebleness by Sulla. Nevertheless, one decree was voted before the session was ended, and that was that Cæsar and Pompey should each send one legion of soldiers to Syria to defend the province on account of the disaster to Crassus. Pompey artfully recalled. the legion that he had lately lent to Cæsar on account of the disaster to Cæsar's two generals, Titurius and Cotta. Cæsar awarded to each soldier 250 drachmas and sent the legion to Rome together with another of his own. As the expected danger did not show itself in Syria, these legions were sent into winter quarters at Capua.

[30] The persons who had been sent by Pompey to Cæsar to bring these legions spread many reports derogatory to Cæsar and repeated them to Pompey. They said that Cæsar's army was wasted by protracted service, that the soldiers longed for their homes and would change to the side of Pompey as soon as they should cross the Alps. They spoke in this way either from ignorance or because they were corrupted. In fact, every soldier was strongly attached to Cæsar and labored zealously for him, under the force of discipline and the influence of the gain which war usually brings to victors and which they received from Cæsar also; for he gave with ar lavish hand in order to mould them to his designs. They knew what his designs were, but they stood by him nevertheless. Pompey believed what was reported to him and collected neither soldiers nor apparatus suitable for so great a contest.5 In the Senate the opinion of each member was asked and Claudius craftily divided the question and took the votes separately, thus: "Shall successors be sent to Cæsar?" and again, "Shall Pompey be deprived of his command?" The majority voted against the latter proposition, and it was decreed that successors to Cæsar should be sent. Then Curio put the question whether both should lay down their commands, and 22 senators voted in the negative while 370 went back to the opinion of Curio in order to avoid civil discord.6 Then Claudius dismissed the Senate, exclaiming, "Enjoy your victory and have Cæsar for a master."

[31] Suddenly a false rumor came that Cæsar had crossed the Alps and was marching on the city, whereupon there was a great tumult and consternation on all sides. Claudius moved that the army at Capua be turned against Cæsar as a public enemy. When Curio opposed him on the ground that the rumor was false he exclaimed, "If I am prevented by the vote of the Senate from taking steps for the public safety, I will take such steps on my own responsibility as consul." After saying this he darted out of the Senate and proceeded to the suburbs with his colleague, where he presented a sword to Pompey, and said, "I and my colleague command you to march against Cæsar in behalf of your country, and we give you for this purpose the army now at Capua, or in any other part of Italy, and whatever additional forces you yourself choose to levy." Pompey promised to obey the orders of the consuls, but he added, "unless we can do better," thus dealing in trickery and still making a pretence of fairness. Curio had no power outside of the city (for it was not permitted to the tribunes to go beyond the walls), but he publicly deplored the state of affairs and demanded that the consuls should make proclamation that nobody need obey the conscription ordered by Pompey. As he could accomplish nothing, and as his term of office as tribune was about expiring, and he feared for his safety and despaired of being able to render any further assistance to Cæsar, he hastily departed to join the latter.

1 This is a highly improbable tale. Cæsar was not in the least given to theatrical display. Plutarch (Life of Cæsar, 29) says: "It is said that one of Cæsar's centurions, who had been sent by him to Rome, standing before the senate-house one day, and being told that the Senate would not give a longer time in his government, clapped his hand on the hilt of his sword and said, ' But this shall give it."'

2 The modern Como. Strabo (v. I. 6) says that Pompeius Strabo, the father of Pompey the Great, restored Como, which was then a town of moderate size oppressed by the neighboring Rhetians; that Gains Scipio added about 3000 to its population, and that Cæsar added 5000 more, the most distinguished of whom were 500 Greeks. "To the latter," he continues, " Cæsar gave the right of citizenship and inscribed them among the colonists, but they did not live there permanently, although they gave the name to the settlement. All the inhabitants are called Neocomitæ which, by interpretation, means the people of Novum Comum." So it appears that the place was recruited by Cæsar, not originally founded by him.

3 Cicero makes mention of this illness of Pompey in the Tusculan Disputations (i. 35).

4 θυσίας, " sacrificings." This refers, says Combes-Dounous, to Cæsar's duties as Pontifex Maximus, a life office, to which he had been chosen in his younger days.

5 A parallel passage in Plutarch says that "when some were saying that if Cæsar should turn his forces against the city, they could not see what power would be able to resist him, Pompey smiled, and with great unconcern bade them take no care of that, 'for,' he said, ' whenever I stamp upon the ground in any part of Italy there will rise up forces enough both horse and foot.'" (Life of Pompey, 57.)

6 Mendelssohn marks the text at this place turbata.

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