The Civil War: With the Anonymous Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars

The Civil War: With the Anonymous Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars

The Civil War: With the Anonymous Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars

The Civil War: With the Anonymous Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars

Synopsis

The Civil War is Caesar's masterly account of the celebrated war between himself and his great rival Pompey, from the crossing of the Rubicon in January 49 B.C. to Pompey's death and the start of the Alexandrian War in the autumn of the following year. His unfinished account of the continuing struggle with Pompey's heirs and followers is completed by the three anonymous accounts of the Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars, which bring the story down to within a year of Caesar's assassination in March 44 B.C. This generously annotated edition places the war in context and enables the reader to grasp it both in detail and as a whole.

Excerpt

Book I
The outbreak of the civil war; Caesar invades and captures Italy, Sardinia, and Sicily (1-33). Massilia refuses to admit Caesar (34-36). the campaign of Ilerda and defeat of Afranius and Petreius (37-87)

Events in Rome, early January 49. Flight of the tribunes Antonius and Q. Cassius to Caesar

(1) . . . when Caesar's letter was delivered to the consuls, it was only by the most strenuous efforts that the tribunes won their agreement that the letter should be read out in the senate. It was impossible to make them agree that a motion should be put to the senate on the basis of its contents, but they initiated a general debate on public affairs. the consul Lucius Lentulus promised the senate that he would not fail the republic, if members were willing to express their opinions boldly and forcefully; but if they kept one eye on Caesar and tried to please him, as they had done on previous occasions, he, Lentulus, would decide for himself what to do and would not obey the authority of the senate, because he too could take refuge in Caesar's favour and friendship. Scipio spoke to the same effect, saying that Pompey's intention was to do his duty to the republic, if the senate would follow him; but if they hesitated and procrastinated they would beg in vain for his help if they wanted it later.

(2) This speech of Scipio's seemed to be launched from Pompey's very lips, since the senate was meeting in the city and Pompey was nearby. Less impetuous views had been expressed, first for example by Marcus Marcellus, who took the line that no motion on the subject should be put to the senate until levies had been held throughout Italy and armies raised, under whose protection the senate could safely and freely make the decisions it wished; also by Marcus Calidius, who gave it as his opinion that Pompey should leave for his . . .

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