The Civil Wars
Indeed, beginning with Caesar, the Romans still confer these honors today on each holder of the imperial power when he dies, provided he has not been a despot or a disgrace in spite of the fact that previously when these men were alive they could not even bear to call them kings. II – 148
He was in the fifty-sixth year of his life, a man who was extremely lucky in everything, gifted with a divine spark, disposed to great deeds, and fittingly compared with Alexander. They were both extremely ambitious, warlike, rapid in executing their decisions, careless of danger, unsparing of their bodies, and believers not so much in strategy as in daring and good luck. II – 149
Pg. 151 The pair of them had armies…a similar end for both. II – 151
The senate were amazed at the drastic and illegal nature of this action, but were very happy to pretend it was necessary because they thought that without such firmness the position of Brutus and Cassius would never be secure. III – 3
The senate was amazed at each of these provisions, but accepted them with enthusiasm and spent the whole day blessing Antonius. They thought that no one could be more republican than Magnus, and hence no one was more greatly missed. Cassius and Brutus, who had belonged to Magnus’s party and were at that time highly respected by all, imagined that they were going to be quite safe. They thought that the view which had motivated their actions would prevail, and that they would ultimately restore the republic, if fate continued to run their way. III – 4
[Antonius’s bodyguard] inserted many addenda to secure the gratitude of a large number of people, and made gifts to cities and princes and to these bodyguards of his. Although everything was headed ‘Caesar’s memoranda’, it was to Antonius the recipients felt grateful. In the same way he also enrolled many new senators and took other steps to ingratiate himself with the senate so that they should cease to object to his guard. III – 5
pg. 156 They were apprehensive…by means of a law. III – 6&7
Now that this had been done in the popular assembly, Antonius asked the senate for Macedonia, well knowing that after Syria had been granted to Dolabella the senate would be reluctant to deny Macedonia to himself, especially as it was denuded of troops. Unwillingly, they gave him the province. III - 8
Some of the senior officers of the army were always visiting him because he was a relative of Caesar’s. As a result the army came to know him and wish him well, for he received everyone with kindness. III – 9
But his mother and her husband Phillipus wrote from Rome to say that he should not become excited or confident yet, but bear in mind the fate which Caesar, who had worsted all his enemies, suffered at the hands of his particular friends; instead he should choose the temporarily less dangerous course of behaving more like a private citizen, and come quickly and circumspectly to them in Rome. III – 10
He was safe from any open attack because of this crowd, but for the same reason he was very wary of a plot, since the overwhelming majority of his companions were men with whom his acquaintance was very recent. III – 12
These were his reflections but he hid them, and after performing sacrifice to mark the conferment of his command addressed his army, “This too, my fellow-soldiers, has come about through you, not just now, but from the time when you gave me the command. It is because of you that the senate has conferred it. You must therefore realize that I owe you thanks for this also, and that if the gods grant us success I will repay you handsomely.” In this way Octavian ingratiated himself with his troops and attached them to himself. III - 65
But when he was killed I had no means of helping him or avoiding joining the majority, whom you two have done well to obey in spite of having an army. Although at first they were afraid of you and Antonius, who like you seemed very keen to uphold Caesar’s policies, when you quarreled they were overjoyed at the prospect that you would destroy each other. When they saw that you had also become master of an army, they tried to win you over as they would a boy with specious and trivial honors. But at that moment you had your eye on a more impressive and powerful position, and when you declined the command which your army offered you, they were thrown into disarray and appointed you to a joint command with us. Their object was that we should divest you of the two more effective legions, and they hoped that when one of you and Antonius was defeated the other would be weaker and lacking allies. After destroying him they would then eliminate all of Caesar’s supporters. III - 75
When Decius inquired what Octavian’s policy towards Antonius was, he replied that he had given plenty of hints to people who had their wits about them, but that more would still not be enough for the stupid. III – 80
He wanted to frighten them with the prospect that to satisfy the Pompeian party each of Caesar’s followers would individually suffer the same fate as Antonius, a fate which he had incurred through his own thoughtlessness and failure to see this danger. Octavian thought that they ought, for appearances sake, to obey the senate, but plan together for their own safety while they still could. They should reprimand Antonius for his behavior, and imitate their own soldiers, who even when they were discharged from service did not separate and become easy targets for their enemies, but preferred settlement in a body, by force, in foreign lands, to enjoyment in their native regions as individuals. III - 81
When news of these events reached Rome, another sudden and marvelous transformation occurred. Those who shortly before had regarded Antonius with contempt became afraid, while those who had been afraid became bold. The notices of the commission of ten were insultingly torn down. III - 85
Pg 202 [Octavian’s speech to his troops]
And as is the way at times of panic, they laid the blame on each other. III - 89
All at once there was a complete transformation of the situation. [all the senate was willing to give to Octavian when first threatened]. A deputation hurried away to communicate these decisions to him urgently. But hardly had they left the city when the senators began to change their minds and think that they ought not to be such terrified cowards, nor accept another despotic regime without a fight, nor accustom men who sought office to obtaining it by violence, or serving soldiers to dictating to their country. III - 90
And again there was another sudden and wonderful change, as prominent figures hurried to go and greet him. The ordinary people also hurried to him, taking the good discipline of his soldiers as a sign of peace. Leaving his troops just where they were, Octavian entered the city on the following day with an appropriate bodyguard. Even then his opponents went to meet him in separate groups all along the way, greeting him with every sign of friendliness and spineless readiness to serve. III - 92
He let them all go to create an impression of generosity, but not much later he listed them among the proscribed. III - 94
III – 98 Pg. 208 He was captured and…to give it burial.
The triumvirs withdrew privately to put together a list of those who were to die. They marked down not only the powerful men they mistrusted, but also their own private foes. In exchange, they surrendered their own relations and friends to each other, both then and later. Extra names were constantly added to the list, some from enmity, others only because they had been a nuisance, or were friends of enemies, or enemies of friends, or were notably wealthy. IV - 5
For this reason the triumvirs finally imposed savage demands for money even on ordinary male citizens and women, and invented duties on sales and leases. IV-5
A shocking change occurred in the behavior of senators, whether consuls, praetors, or tribunes, or men still seeking these offices or actually holding them, who threw themselves moaning at the feet of their own slaves and called their domestics “lord” and “savior”. The most pitiable thing was that even when they had suffered this degradation they were shown no mercy. IV - 13
but because they were members of their household who had suddenly become their enemies, either from festering hatred, or because of the rewards announced, or on account of the gold and silver in the house. It was certainly for these reasons that no slave could any longer be trusted by his master. Faithful or kindly slaves were afraid to give help, or provide shelter, or be an accomplice because of their liability to identical punishment. The situation was quite different from the terror associated with the action against the first seventeen. Then, no one had been publicly named, and when a few men had been arrested without warning everyone feared the same fate and all stood shoulder to shoulder. But when the lists were published, some people at once became the prey of all, while others, secure now on their own account and eager for gain, helped the executioners by hunting the others for a reward. As for the rest of the population, some looted the houses of the murdered men, and their gains distracted them from understanding the present troubles. IV - 13
Pg 216 #15
Pg 220 #21,22,23,24
Pg 229 #39
“Yet though it was not I who proscribed you, I am lower than those who were proscribed. You should not ignore the mutability of human fortune, nor me as I stand here in front of you.” IV - 50
This was the substance of the Rhodian position, to which Cassius replied that war, not argument, would settle the other points. IV - 66
Nothing does more than the violation of a treaty to brand the guilty as for ever untrustworthy in the eyes of friend and foe. IV - 68
If men delay, they have no control over anything. IV – 119
The secret of wealth lies not in what we possess, but in using our strength to secure victory. IV – 119
News of the recent disaster in the Adriatic had now reached them and their opponents, and they became more apprehensive, both for these reasons and because winter was approaching when they had taken up quarters in a muddy plain. IV – 122
Pg 270 But his army…against them.
They preferred to suffer, if need be, any sort of injury in action and in hope rather than be wasted away by an evil against which they had no defense. IV – 127
Such were their feelings, and as each man communicated them to his neighbor, morale on both sides was greatly lifted and they were filled with a recklessness that was beyond the reach of fear. At the present moment they had not the slightest recollection that they were all Romans, and they issued threats against each other as though they were natural enemies by race. Thus their immediate fury overwhelmed their powers of reasoning and their nature. IV – 127
It became obvious that these Thracians had had no quarrel even at the beginning, but when two great and evenly matched armies were coming to grips with each other in their territory they split the risk, so that the winner could save the loser. IV – 136
In this way, by boldly taking risks and by fighting two infantry battles, Octavian and Antonius brought this great conflict, which resembled no others before it, to a successful conclusion. IV - 137
Pg 281 [Antonius’s approach to taxation]
So straight away the attention that Antonius had until now devoted to every matter was completely blunted, and whatever Cleopatra commanded was done, without consideration of what was right in the eyes of man or god. V – 9
Pg 283 [Antonius’s made up case against the Palmyrenes]
After expelling the autocrats, who took refuge on Parthian soil, and demanding oppressive contributions from the ordinary people, and taking this mistaken action against the Palmyrenes, Antonius did not even stay to restore order to the troubled country but sent his army to various winter quarters in the provinces, and went himself to join Cleopatra in Egypt. V – 10
Pg 285 V – 13 Octavian made the…V – 14 …of the goodwill.
So Octavian, although well aware that he was in the right by the terms of the agreement, gave way as a favor to Antonius. Antonius’s supporters then appointed organizers of the colonies for Antonius’s legions, and these organizers colluded with the soldiers to permit still more injustices, in order to appear to be doing them even greater favors than Octavian. V – 14
And the soldiers would be less willing to fight in the future unless they received the rewards of their previous victory. V – 15
Pg. 286 V – 15 Certainly, once when he was present in the theater a soldier had …V – 17… in that conflict.
Pg. 288 V – 19 The farmers who…of their land settlements.
As a result of the proscriptions, the colonial foundations, and this quarrel with Lucius, Pompeius had become a person of great prestige and power. People who feared for their lives, or were being robbed of their property, or were entirely alienated from the political regime, turned above all to him. V – 25
Pg. 298 V – 38 The morale of Lucius’s men…be betrayed.
For me, it would have been a fine thing to fight for my country to the last twist of fate, and such an end would have won high praise for my purpose. V – 39
This proposal was made to them all, but privately he lead Furnius, one of the three, to hope that Lucius and his friends, and the others except for his private enemies, might be treated more leniently. V – 40
Lucius dismissed his friends and came forward with only two lictors, thus revealing his intention by his demeanor. Octavian understood and imitated him, so that he could likewise demonstrate the kindness with which he was going to treat Lucius. But when he saw that Lucius was also hurrying to reach his fortifications, to give an additional indication that he was now surrendering, Octavian forestalled him by advancing outside the fortifications, so that it would still be possible for Lucius to weigh up the situation and take a free decision as to his own fate. Such were the messages conveyed by their dress and behavior as they greeted each other. V – 41
I shall recommend you the most advantageous course, which is not to take any drastic measures against them on account of our rivalry. Remember you are human and subject to chance, which is fickle, and do not discourage those who may one day be willing to hazard their lives for you, when opportunity or need calls, by letting them learn from your practice that the unsuccessful have little hope of mercy. V – 44
They then separated, Octavian speaking highly of Lucius and admiring him because he had said nothing stupid or ignoble, as people usually do in times of disaster, and Lucius having the same feelings towards Octavian because of his character and his economy of speech. The others drew their conclusions as to what had been said from the appearance of the two men. V – 45
Pg. 305 [Octavian spreading lies about Antonius’s plans to displace the troops]
In mad fury the people tore down the notice, seething because the triumvirs, having exhausted the public treasury, pillaged the provinces, and oppressed Italy itself with exactions, taxes, and confiscations – and these not for foreign wars or to extend the empire, but to use against their personal enemies over the private exercise of power, the pursuit of which had brought proscriptions, slaughter, and now this terrible famine – were going on to strip them of their remaining possessions. V – 67
Pg. 314 V – 68 [Antonius’s attack on the crowd successfully kept the people passive]
Pompeius then bribed Murcus’s own military tribune and centurion and sent them to kill him and say the murder had been committed by slaves. However, since he had previously perpetrated the same atrocity against Bithynicus, he failed to allude detection when he repeated it against a man who was a soldier of distinction, had supported the party unwaveringly from the beginning, and had not only been Pompeius’s personal benefactor in Spain but had willingly joined him in Sicily. V – 70
Pg. 317 V – 74 On hearing the news…of the aristocracy.
With her too he was very much in love, because he was easily attracted by women. But when the winter was over he was like a different man. He changed his dress again, and with his dress his image. V – 76
Since they were themselves jealous of Menodorus’s power, the ex-slaves willingly did so [to turn Pompeius against Menodorus]. V – 78
For the lust to enjoy sole power prevented them ever enjoying a respite from fear. V – 79
His associates advised him to take advantage of the opportunity and use his superiority in numbers to attack Pompeius and his handful of ships while the rest of the enemy fleet was absent, but Octavian rejected the advice and waited for Calvisius, observing that it was not wise to court danger when he could expect further reinforcement. V – 84
But the wind became more violent, and total confusion ensued, with the ships breaking away from their anchors and being pounded against the shore or each other. There was a babel of shouts from men terrified or crying or making exhortations to each other that fell on deaf ears. Orders no longer reached the hearer, and neither technical knowledge nor authority served to distinguish a ship’s captain from an ordinary seaman. V – 89
And so they went to their deaths unable to see each other any longer, some agitated and crying out, others quietly surrendering and accepting their doom, and a few hastening it on in the belief that their end was quite inevitable. V – 90
He sent orders to all his supporters and military commanders to be on the alert, in case his misfortunes provoked a plot against him from some quite different quarter. He also stationed the available infantry around the whole coast of Italy, in case Pompeius’s good fortune encouraged him to try attacking the land as well. V – 91
He sat beside Antonius in his carriage, arrived unescorted in Antonius’s quarters in Tarentum, and likewise slept there at night without any armed guards beside him. The same trust was displayed by Antonius on the following day. Thus their behavior constantly swung between suspicion, arising from their desire for power, and trust, arising from their current needs. V – 94
Pg 328 V – 96 [Roman purification of a fleet]
Pg 330 V – 101 [Menodurus’s 3rd desertion and his exploits and pretext in V – 102]
Octavian granted him his life, because of the guarantees given, and had him secretly watched. V – 102
Because he believed that only by divine power could the enemy have been thwarted twice in summertime. It is said that he became so conceited as a result of these events that he changed the color of his military cloak from the normal color of a commander-and-chief to dark blue, thus signifying that he was Neptune’s adoptive son. V – 100
I think it right to recall this here as a model of Roman virtue, that Messalla, when he had the man who proscribed him alone and between the jaws of disaster, cared for him as a commander-and-chief and saved his life. V – 113
Pg 340 V – 123 [Lepidus trying to seize power at an opportune time]
Pg 340 V – 124 The soldiers were exasperated…at war.
The commanders from other outposts went over from Lepidus to Octavian, some immediately, others when it was dark, some without being approached, others on the pretense of being harassed (though not seriously) by the cavalry. A few continued to resist the attacks and beat them off, for Lepidus had sent reinforcements out to all of them. When the reinforcements themselves changed sides, the remainder of Lepidus’s troops, even any who still remained loyal, began to change their views. V – 125
In this way Lepidus, through unexpectedly encountering a general resistance to orders, was rapidly deprived of a magnificent opportunity and a magnificent army. V – 126
Pg 342 V – 126 And so a man…murderers.
Pg 342 V – 127 As a result he…500 denarii.
He put to death a large number of those he caught and within a year brought all districts a peace that needed no armed force to maintain it. V – 132
Pg 344 V – 132 Octavian was much admired…their power.
Pg 346-347 [Pompeius’s deceit]
Pompeius was welcomed by people from Mysia, the Propontis, and regions on either side, who had been impoverished by the constant exactions and gladly enlisted in his service as mercenaries, particularly because of the reputation he had won by his victory. V – 138
[A bunch of] prominent men who still supported Pompeius…saw that even after the arrival of Titius, whom Antonius had placed in charge of the operations against him, Pompeius refused to abandon the struggle against superior forces; so they despaired of him and after negotiating terms for themselves left to join Antonius. V – 139
I think that if at that moment Pompeius had made a night attack with his entire force, or at least followed up after the rout, he might have won a decisive victory over them. But as it was heaven blinded him and he ignored this chance too, gaining nothing more from such a notable success than the ability to continue his march to the interior. V – 140
Pompeius expressed anger with Titius for his ingratitude in agreeing to undertake this military campaign against him, because he had saved Titius’s life when Titius had been taken prisoner. As well as being angry, he also thought it demeaning that he, Pompeius, should be a suppliant before Titius, a man of insufficient distinction, and he was wary of him, both because he suspected him of possessing an untrustworthy character and because he was aware of an old injury he had done him before the act of kindness. V – 142
He might have succeeded had Scaurus not deserted, and in spite of being ignorant of the plan revealed Pompeius’s departure and the route he took. Then Amyntas, with 1,500 cavalry, set off in pursuit of Pompeius, with none. On Amyntas’s approach, Pompeius’s men deserted, some of them slipping away and others openly changing sides. And so Pompeius, isolated and afraid now of his own side, a man who had thought it beneath him to surrender on terms to Titius, surrendered unconditionally to Amyntas. V – 142
Pg. 350 V – 143-144 His greatest achievement was to be the savior of Rome…for each other.