1Such was the end of this war. Later, at the end of the winter in which Cornelius Spinther and Metellus Nepos began their consulship, a third war arose. The Belgae, who dwelt near the Rhine in many mixed tribes 2and extended even to the ocean opposite Britain, though they had previously been at peace with the Romans, or, in the case of some, had paid no heed to them, observing now Caesar’s success and fearing that he might advance against them also, came together and by common agreement, except on the part of the Remi, devised plans against the Romans and formed a league, placing Galba at their head.
3Caesar learned this from the Remi and stationed outposts to watch them; later he encamped beside the river Axona, where he concentrated his troops and drilled them. Yet he did not venture to come to close quarters with the enemy, though they were overrunning Roman territory, 4until in their contempt for him, believing him to be afraid, they undertook to occupy the bridge and to put a stop to the conveyance of grain, which the allies brought across it. He was apprised beforehand by deserters that this was to be done, and so at night sent against the foe the light-armed troops and the cavalry. 2These fell upon the barbarians, taking them by surprise, and killed many of them, so that the following night they all withdrew to their own land, especially since the Aedui were reported to have invaded it. Caesar perceived what was going on, but through ignorance of the country did not venture to pursue them immediately. At daybreak, however, taking the cavalry, and bidding the infantry follow on behind, he came up with the fugitives; and when they offered battle, supposing he had come with his cavalry alone, he delayed them until his infantry arrived. In this way, having his whole army, he surrounded them, cut down the larger part, and received the surrender of the remainder. Thereupon he won over a number of their towns, some without fighting and some by war.
3The Nervii voluntarily retired before him from the level country, as they were no match for his forces, and betook themselves into the most densely wooded mountains; then, when . . . . . . they charged down upon them unexpectedly. In the part of the battle where Caesar himself was they soon turned and fled, but with the larger part of their army they proved superior and captured the camp without a blow. 2When Caesar, who had advanced a little way in pursuit of those he had routed, became aware of this, he turned back and came upon them as they were engaged in pillage within the entrenchments, where he surrounded and slaughtered them. After this success he found it no great task to subdue the rest of the Nervii.
4Meanwhile the Aduatuci, near neighbours of theirs, who belonged to the Cimbri by race and temperament, set out to assist them, but were overpowered before they accomplished anything, whereupon they withdrew, and leaving all their other sites, established themselves in one fortified town, the strongest they had. 2Caesar assaulted it, but was for many days repulsed, until he turned to the construction of engines. Then for a time they gazed at the Romans cutting wood and constructing the machines and in their ignorance of what was taking place, scoffed at them. 3But when the machines were finished and heavy-armed soldiers upon them were advanced from all sides at once, they became panic-stricken, since they never before had seen anything of the kind; so they made overtures, supplied the soldiers with provisions, and threw some of their arms from the wall. 4When, however, they saw the machines stripped of men again and noticed that the latter had given themselves over to pleasure, as after a victory, they changed their minds, and recovering courage, made a sortie by night, thinking to cut them down unawares. But Caesar was carefully managing everything all the while, and when they fell on the outposts from every side, they were beaten back. Not one of the survivors could any longer obtain pardon, and they were all sold.
5When these had been subjugated and others, too, some by him and many by his lieutenants, and winter had now set in, he retired to winter-quarters. The Romans at home when they learned of these achievements, were astonished that he had seized so many nations, whose names they had known but imperfectly before, and voted a thanksgiving of fifteen days because of his achievements—a thing that had never before occurred.
2During the same period Servius Galba, who was serving as his lieutenant, had, while the season lasted and his army remained a unit, brought to terms the Veragri, who dwelt along Lake Leman and beside the Allobroges as far as the Alps; some he had gained by force and others through surrender, and he was even preparing to winter where he was. 3When, however, the majority of the soldiers had departed, some on furlough because they were not far from Italy, and others elsewhere for reasons of their own, the natives took advantage of this situation and unexpectedly attacked him. 4Then Galba, driven mad by despair, suddenly dashed out of the winter camp, astounding his besiegers by the incredible boldness of his move, and passing through them, gained the heights. On reaching safety he fought them off and later subjugated them; he did not winter there, however, but transferred his quarters to the territory of the Allobroges. These were the events in Gaul.
6Pompey meanwhile had brought about a vote for the recall of Cicero. Thus, the man whom he had expelled through Clodius, he now brought back to help him against that very individual. So quickly does human nature sometimes change, and from the persons by whom people are expecting to be helped or injured, as the case may be, they receive the very opposite treatment. 2Assisting him were Titus Annius Milo and others of the praetors and tribunes, who also brought the measure before the populace. Spinther, the consul, [aided Cicero’s cause in the senate(?),] partly as a favour to Pompey and partly to avenge himself upon Clodius, by reason of a private enmity which had led him as a juror to vote to condemn Clodius for adultery. 3Clodius, on the other hand, was supported by various magistrates, including Appius Claudius, his brother, who was praetor, and Nepos, the consul, who had a private grudge against Cicero. 7These men, accordingly, now that they had the consuls as leaders, made more disturbance than before, and the same was true of the others in the city, as they championed one side or the other. Many disorderly proceedings were the result, 2chief of which was that during the very taking of the vote on the measure Clodius, knowing that the multitude would be on Cicero’s side, took the gladiators that his brother held in readiness for the funeral games in honour of Marcus,his relative, and rushing into the assemblage, wounded many and killed many others. 3Consequently the measure was not passed, and Clodius, both as the companion of those armed champions and otherwise, was dreaded by all. He then stood for the aedileship, thinking he would escape the penalty of his violence if he were elected. 4Milo did, indeed, indict him, but did not succeed in bringing him to trial, since the quaestors, by whom the allotment of jurors had to be made, had not been elected, and Nepos forbade the praetor to allow any trial before their allotment. Now it was necessary for the aediles to be chosen before the quaestors, and this proved the principal cause of delay. 8While contesting this very point Milo caused much disturbance, and at last himself collected some gladiators and others like-minded with himself and kept continually coming to blows with Clodius, so that bloodshed occurred throughout practically the whole city. 2Nepos, accordingly, inspired with fear by his colleague and by Pompey and by the other leading men, changed his attitude; and thus the senate decreed, on the motion of Spinther, that Cicero should be restored, and the populace, on the motion of both consuls, passed the measure. 3Clodius, to be sure, spoke in opposition to the others, but he had Milo as an opponent, so that he could commit no violence, and Pompey, among others, spoke in favour of the enactment, so that that side proved much the stronger.
9Cicero accordingly came home from exile and expressed his gratitude to both the senate and the people, the consuls having given him the opportunity of appearing before both bodies. He put aside the hatred he bore Pompey on account of his banishment, became reconciled with him, and immediately repaid his kindness. 2A sore famine had arisen in the city and the entire populace rushed into the theatre (they were then still using a temporary (?) theatre for public games) and afterwards to the Capitol where the senators were in session, threatening at first to slay them with their own hands, and later to burn them alive, temples and all. 3Cicero now persuaded them to elect Pompey as commissioner of the grain supply and to give him also on this account the office of proconsul for five years both in Italy and outside. So now in the case of the grain supply, as previously in the case of the pirates, he was once more to hold sway over the entire world then under Roman power. 10Caesar and Crassus really disliked Cicero, but showed some interest in him when they perceived that he would return in any case, Caesar even while absent displaying some good-will toward him; but they received no thanks for their pains. 2For Cicero knew that they had not done this in accordance with their real inclination, and he regarded them as having been most to blame for his banishment. And though he did not openly act toward them with marked insolence, since he had recently tasted the fruits of unrestrained free speech, nevertheless he secretly composed a little book to which he gave a title indicating that it contained a defence of his policies, 3and in it he heaped together many denunciations against them and certain other men. Fearing, therefore, that these statements might get out during his lifetime, he sealed up the volume and delivered it to his son with the injunction not to read or publish what was written until his death.
11Cicero, accordingly, was thriving once more; and he recovered his property and likewise the site of his house, although the latter had been dedicated to Liberty, and though Clodius both called the gods to witness and placed religious scruples in his way. 2But Cicero attacked the lex curiata by which the other had been transferred from the patricians to the plebs, on the ground that it had not been proposed at the time established by ancestral custom. Thus he tried to render null and void the entire tribuneship of Clodius, during which the decree regarding his house had been passed, claiming that inasmuch as his transfer to the common people had taken place unlawfully, it was not possible for any one of his acts while in office to be considered binding. 3By this means he persuaded the pontifices to give back to him the site, on the ground that it was profane and unconsecrated. Thus he obtained not only that but also money for restoring his house and any other property of his that had been injured.
12After this there was further disturbance on account of King Ptolemy. He had spent large amounts upon some of the Romans, part of it out of his own purse and part borrowed, in order to have his rule confirmed and to receive the name of friend and ally; and he was now collecting this sum forcibly from the Egyptians. 2They were accordingly angry at him both on this account and also because when they had bidden him demand back Cyprus from the Romans or else renounce his friendship for them, he had been unwilling to do so. And since he could neither persuade nor yet compel them to be quiet, as he had no foreign troops, 3he fled from Egypt, and coming to Rome, accused his countrymen of having expelled him from his kingdom. He was successful in having his restoration entrusted to Spinther, to whom Cilicia had been assigned. 13While this was going on, the people of Alexandria, who for a while did not know that he had departed for Italy, or supposed he was dead, placed Berenice, his daughter, on the throne in his place. Then, learning the truth, they sent a hundred men to Rome to defend them against his charges and to bring counter-complaints of all the wrongs they had suffered. 2Now he heard of it in season, while still in Rome, and sent men out in various directions to lie in wait for the envoys before they could arrive. Thus he caused the majority of them to perish by the way, while of the survivors he had some slain in the city itself, and others he either terrified by what had happened or by administering bribes persuaded them neither to consult the magistrates touching the matters for which they had been sent nor to make any mention at all of those who had been killed. 14The affair, however, became so noised abroad that even the senate was mightily displeased; it was urged to action chiefly by Marcus Favonius, on the double ground that many envoys sent by their allies had perished by violence and that numerous Romans had again on this occasion taken bribes. 2So they summoned Dio, the leader of the envoys, who survived, in order to learn the truth from him. But this time, too, Ptolemy had such influence with his money that not only did Dio fail to enter the senate-house, but there was not even any mention made of the murder of the dead men, so long at least as Ptolemy was there. 3Furthermore, even after Dio had later been assassinated, he suffered no punishment for that deed either, largely owing to the fact that Pompey had entertained him in his house and continued to render him powerful assistance. 4Of the other Alexandrines, however, many were accused at a later time, yet few were convicted; for those who had taken bribes were many, and each coöperated with the others because of his own fear.
15While mortals were acting thus under the influence of money, Heaven at the very beginning of the next year struck with a thunderbolt the statue of Jupiter erected on the Alban Mount, and so delayed the return of Ptolemy for some time. 2For when they read the Sibylline verses, they found written in them this very passage: “If the king of Egypt come requesting any aid, refuse him not friendship, nor yet succour him with any great force; else you shall have both toils and dangers.” 3Thereupon, amazed at the coincidence between the verses and the events of the time, they rescinded all their action in his case, following the advice of Gaius Cato, a tribune. Such was the nature of the oracle; and it was made public through Cato. 4Now it was unlawful to announce to the populace any of the Sibylline verses, unless the senate voted it; yet as soon as the sense of the verses, as usually happens, began to be talked about, he became afraid that it might be suppressed, and so brought the priests before the populace and there compelled them to utter the oracle before the senate had taken any action at all in the matter. The more scruples they had against doing so, [the more insistent] was the multitude. 16Such, then, was the oracle, and it was translated into the Latin tongue and proclaimed. When later the senate discussed the matter, some were for assigning to Spinther the restoration of Ptolemy without an army, and others urged that Pompey with two lictors should escort him home. 2Ptolemy, on learning of the oracle, had asked for the latter arrangement, and his letter was read in public by Aulus Plautius, a tribune. But the senators, fearing that Pompey would by this means obtain still greater power, opposed it, using his connection with the corn-supply as an excuse.
3All this happened in the consulship of Lucius Philippus and Gnaeus Marcellinus. Ptolemy, when he heard of it, despaired of his restoration, and going to Ephesus, passed his time in the temple of the goddess.
17The year before there had occurred an incident of a private nature which, however, has some bearing upon our history. It was this. Although the law expressly forbade any two persons of the same gens to hold the same priesthood at the same time, Spinther, the consul, was anxious to place his son Cornelius Spinther among the augurs, 2and since Faustus, the son of Sulla, of the Cornelian gens, had been enrolled before him, he transferred his son to the gens of Manlius Torquatus; thus, though the letter of the law was observed, its spirit was broken.
18After this Clodius attained the aedileship in the year of Philippus and Marcellinus; for, being anxious to avoid the lawsuit, he had got himself elected by a political combination. He immediately instituted proceedings against Milo for providing himself with gladiators, actually charging him with the very thing he was doing himself and for which he was likely to be brought to trial. 2He did this, not in the expectation of convicting Milo, inasmuch as the latter had many strong champions, among them Cicero and Pompey, but in order that under this pretext he might not only carry on a campaign against Milo but also insult his backers. 19For example, the following was one of his devices. He had instructed his clique that whenever he should ask them in the assemblies: “Who was it that did or said so-and -so?” they should all cry out: “Pompey!” Then on several occasions he would suddenly ask about everything that could be taken amiss in Pompey, either in the way of physical peculiarities or any other respect, touching upon such topics individually, one at a time, as if he were not speaking of him particularly. 2Thereupon, as usually happens in such cases, some would start up and others would join in with them, crying “Pompey!” and there was much jeering. Now Pompey could not control himself and keep quiet, nor would he stoop to a trick like that of Clodius, and so he grew exceedingly angry, yet could not stir; thus nominally Milo was the defendant, but in reality Pompey was being convicted without even offering a defence. 3For Clodius, in order to embarrass him the more, would not allow the lex curiata to be introduced; and until that was enacted no other serious business could be transacted in the state or any suit instituted.
20For a season, then, Milo served as an excuse for their taunts and assassinations. But about this time some portents occurred: on the Alban Mount a small temple of Juno, set on a kind of table facing the east, was turned around toward the north; a blaze of light darted from the south across to the north; 2a wolf entered the city; an earthquake occurred; some of the citizens were killed by thunderbolts; in the Latin territory a subterranean tumult was heard; and the soothsayers, being anxious to find a remedy, said that some divinity was angry with them because some temples or consecrated sites were being used for residence. 3Then Clodius substituted Cicero for Milo and not only attacked him vigorously in a speech because the site of the house he had built upon was dedicated to Liberty, but even went to it once, with the intention of razing it anew to the ground; but he did not do so, as he was prevented by Milo. 21Cicero, however, was as angry with him as if he had actually accomplished his purpose, and kept making accusations. Finally, taking with him Milo and some tribunes, he ascended the Capitol and took down the tablets set up by Clodius to commemorate his exile. 2This time Clodius came up with his brother Gaius, a praetor, and took them away from him, but later he watched for a time when Clodius was out of town, and going up to the Capitol again, took them and carried them home. 3After this occurrence no quarter was shown on either side, but they abused and slandered each other as much as they could, without refraining even from the basest means. 4The one declared that the tribuneship of Clodius had been contrary to the laws and that therefore his official acts were invalid, and the other that Cicero’s exile had been justly decreed and his restoration unlawfully voted.
22While they were contending, and Clodius was getting much the worst of it, Marcus Cato came upon the scene and restored their balance. He had a grudge against Cicero and was likewise afraid that all his acts in Cyprus would be annulled, because he had been sent out under Clodius as tribune; hence he eagerly took the latter’s side. 2For he was very proud of his deeds and anxious above all things that they should be confirmed. For Ptolemy, who at the time had been master of the island, when he learned of the vote that had been passed, and neither dared to rise against the Romans nor could endure to live deprived of his kingdom, had taken his life by drinking poison. 3Then the Cypriotes readily received Cato, expecting to be friends and allies of the Romans instead of slaves. 4Over this fact, however, Cato had no reason to vaunt himself; but because he had administered everything in the best possible manner, and after collecting slaves and large amounts of money from the royal treasury, had incurred no reproach but had turned over everything unchallenged, for these reasons he laid claim to valour no less than if he had conquered in some war. So many men were accepting bribes that he thought it more unusual for a man to despise money than to conquer the enemy.
23So at that time Cato for these reasons had created some expectation that he would receive a regular triumph, and the consuls proposed in the senate that he be given the praetorship, although by law he could not yet hold it. And though he was not appointed, for he spoke against the measure himself, yet he obtained greater renown from this very circumstance. 2Clodius undertook to name the slaves brought from Cyprus Clodians, because he himself had sent Cato there; but he failed because the latter opposed it. So they received the title of Cyprians, although some wished to call them Porcians; but Cato prevented this too. 3So Clodius became angry at his opposition and proceeded to attack his administration; he demanded the accounts of the transactions, not because he could prove him guilty of any wrongdoing, but because nearly all of the documents had been destroyed by shipwreck and he expected to gain some advantage from this circumstance. 4And Caesar, although not present, was again aiding Clodius at this time, and according to some was sending him in letters the accusations brought against Cato. One of the attacks upon Cato consisted in the charge that he himself had persuaded the consuls (so they affirmed) to propose the praetorship for him, and that he had then pretended to give it up voluntarily, in order not to appear to have lost it unwillingly.
24While these men kept up their conflict, Pompey, too, encountered some delay in the distribution of the grain. For since many slaves had been freed in anticipation of the event, he wished to take a census of them in order that the grain might be supplied to them with some order and system. 2This, to be sure, he managed fairly easily through his own wisdom and because of the large supply of grain; but in seeking the consulship he met with annoyances and incurred some censure. 3Clodius’ behaviour, for one thing, irritated him, but especially the fact that he was treated slightingly by the others, whose superior he was; and he felt outraged both on account of his reputation and on account of the hopes by reason of which while still a private citizen he had thought to be honoured above them all. 4Yet sometimes he could bring himself to scorn these; at the moment when people were speaking ill of him he was vexed, but after a time, when he came to consider carefully his own excellence and their baseness, he paid no further attention to them. 25The fact, however, that Caesar’s influence was increasing and the people admired his achievements so much that they dispatched men from the senate, on the supposition that the Gauls had been completely subjugated, and that they were so elated by their hopes based on him as to vote him large sums of money, was a cruel thorn in Pompey’s side. 2He attempted to persuade the consuls not to read Caesar’s letters immediately but to conceal the facts as long as possible, until the glory of his deeds should win its own way abroad, and furthermore to send some one to relieve him even before the regular time. 3So jealous was he that he undertook to disparage and undo all that he himself had helped to gain for Caesar, and that he was displeased with him both because he was greatly praised and because he was overshadowing his own exploits, and he blamed the people because they slighted him and were excessively enthusiastic over Caesar. 4Especially was he vexed to see that they remembered the former achievements of a man just so long as nothing new occurred, that they rushed with the greatest haste to each new achievement, even if it were inferior to that which had preceded, because they became tired of the usual and liked the novel, and that, actuated by envy, they overthrew everyone who had once been in high repute, but, urged on by their hopes, helped to exalt one who was just emerging. 26Because of this he was vexed, and being unable to accomplish anything through the consuls and seeing that Caesar had passed beyond the need of keeping faith with him, he regarded the situation as grave. For he held that there were two things which destroy people’s friendship, fear and envy, and that these can be prevented by nothing except an equality in fame and strength. 2For as long as persons possess these last in equal shares, their friendship is firm, but when one or the other excels at all, then the inferior party becomes jealous and hates the superior, while the stronger despises and insults the weaker; and thus, with such feelings on both sides, the one being vexed by his inferiority, the other elated by his advantage, they come to strife and war in place of their former friendship. 3On the basis of some such reasoning Pompey began to arm himself against Caesar. And because he thought he alone could not easily overthrow him, he attached Crassus to himself even more than before, that he might accomplish his purpose with his aid.
27After reaching an understanding, they decided that they could not hope to accomplish anything as private citizens, but that if they should become consuls and devote themselves to public affairs, in imitation of Caesar, they would not only be a match for him but would quickly triumph over him, being two against one. 2So they gave up all their dissimulation, whereby, whenever any of their associates urged them to seek the consulship, they had been claiming that they no longer cared to take the office; and they now openly sought it, in spite of the fact that they had previously been assisting some of the other candidates. 3When they began to canvass for the office outside of the period specified by law, and, among others the consuls themselves (for Marcellinus had some little influence) made it plain that they would not allow them to be elected, they tried to bring it about, through the agency of Gaius Cato and others, that the elections should not be held that year, in order that an interrex might be chosen and they might then seek and secure the office in accordance with the laws.
28This result, now, was being achieved, to all appearances, by the men employed on different pretexts, but in reality by these candidates themselves; at all events they openly showed dislike of those who opposed them. The senators, therefore, became highly indignant and once rose up and departed while these men were wrangling. 2Thus their strife was stopped for the time being; but when the same disturbance happened again, the senators voted to change their dress, as if for some calamity, in spite of the fact that Cato, when he gained nothing by speaking against the proposed step, rushed out of the gathering [and called in any one he met in the market-place (?)] in order that no decision might be reached; 3for, if any person not a senator were inside, they might not give their vote. But other tribunes were ahead of him and prevented the outsiders from entering; and so this decree was passed, and it was also decided that the senators should not be spectators at the games then going on. 4When Cato opposed this measure, too, they rushed out in a body, and after changing their dress returned, hoping thus to frighten him. When even then he would not moderate his behaviour, they all proceeded to the Forum together and brought the multitude, which had thereupon rushed together, to a state of extreme sorrow; 5for Marcellinus addressed them, lamenting their present situation, while the rest wept and groaned, so that no one had a word to say against him. After doing this the senators entered the senate-house immediately, intending to vent their wrath upon those who were responsible. 29But Clodius had meanwhile leaped over to the side of Pompey and espoused his cause again, in the hope that if he should give him any help in securing his present objects, he would make him thoroughly his friend. So he came before the populace in his ordinary garb, without having made any change as the decree required, and went to inveighing against Marcellinus and the rest. 2As great indignation was shown by the senators at this, he left the people in the midst of his speech and rushed to the senate-house, where he came near perishing. For the senate confronted him and prevented his going in, 3while at that moment he was surrounded by the knights and would have been torn limb from limb, had he not raised an outcry, calling upon the people for aid; whereupon many ran to the scene bringing fire and threatening to burn his oppressors along with the senate-house if they should do him any violence. Thus Clodius was saved after coming so near perishing.
30But Pompey, not alarmed at all by this, on one occasion rushed into the senate, thwarting them as they were just about to vote, and prevented the measure from being carried. When Marcellinus after that publicly asked him whether he really desired to become consul, in the hope that he would shrink from admitting that he was a candidate, Pompey declared that he did not want the office because of the just men, but that on account of the seditious he was trying very hard to gain it. 2So Pompey now openly strove for the office, and Crassus on being interrogated gave the same impression himself, not admitting the fact, to be sure, but not denying it, either; instead, he took, as usual, a middle course and said that he would do whatever was advantageous for the republic. Consequently Marcellinus and many others were terrified, as they observed the preparations and opposing array of these men, and would no longer frequent the senate-house. 3And since the number required by law for passing any vote concerning the elections did not assemble, it was impossible to have any business at all about them brought forward, and the year thus passed away. 4The senators, however, did not change back to their usual attire nor attend the games nor celebrate the feast of Jupiter on the Capitol nor go out to the Alban Mount for the Feriae Latinae, held there for the second time by reason of something not rightly done. Instead, they spent the rest of the year as if they were in bondage and possessed no authority to choose officials or carry on any other public business.
31Later Crassus and Pompey were appointed consuls after an interregnum, as no one else of the earlier candidates opposed them. To be sure, Lucius Domitius, who canvassed for the office up to the very last day of the year, set out from his house for the assembly just after dark, but when the slave who carried the torch in front of him was slain, he became frightened and went no farther. 2Hence, since no one at all opposed them, and furthermore since Publius Crassus, who was a son of Marcus and at that time lieutenant under Caesar, brought soldiers to Rome for this very purpose, they were easily chosen.
32When they had thus assumed the leadership of the state, they had the other offices given to such as were well disposed toward them and prevented Marcus Cato from being appointed praetor; for they suspected that he would not submit to their régime and were unwilling to add any legal power to his protests. 2The election of the praetors, now, was made in peace, for Cato did not see fit to offer any violence; in the matter of the curule aediles, however, there was some bloodshed, so that even Pompey was much bespattered with blood. 3Nevertheless, in the case of both these and the other officials elected by the people, they made appointments to please themselves, since they personally held the elections, and they made friends with the other aediles and most of the tribunes; but two tribunes, Gaius Ateius Capito and Publius Aquilius Gallus, did not come to terms with them.
33Accordingly, when the magistrates had been appointed, they proceeded to lay hold on the objects of their striving. They made no mention of these matters themselves before either the senate or the people, but gravely pretended that they wanted nothing further. 2Gaius Trebonius, however, a tribune, presented a measure, that to the one Syria and the neighbouring lands should be given as a province for five years, and to the other the two Spains, where there had recently been disturbances, for the same period; they should employ as many soldiers as they wished, both citizens and allies, and should make peace and war with whomsoever they pleased. 3Many took offence at this, especially the friends of Caesar, because these men were bound after gaining their present ends to restrict Caesar’s power and keep him from holding his position much longer, and therefore some prepared to speak against the measure. Then the consuls, fearing that they might fail utterly of the projects they had in hand, won over their opponents on the condition of extending Caesar’s command also for three years more—to state the actual fact. 4However, they submitted nothing to the people in regard to him until their own arrangements had been confirmed. For Caesar’s friends, having been gained over in the manner stated, remained quiet, and the majority of the others, in bondage to fear and satisfied if even so they might save their lives, kept still. 34On the other hand, Cato and Favonius resisted all their schemes, having the two tribunes and others to help them; but since they were fighting a few against many, their outspokenness was of no avail. 2Favonius, who obtained from Trebonius only one hour for his speech in opposition, used it up in uttering vain protests against this very limitation of his time. Cato, for his part, received the privilege of speaking for two hours, 3but devoted his efforts to criticizing present conditions and the general state of affairs, as was his wont, and so exhausted his time before he had touched upon any of the matters before them. He took this course, not because he had not the privilege of speaking on those matters as well, but in order that he might be silenced by Trebonius while still appearing to have something more to say and might thus obtain this additional grievance to bring against him. For he well understood that even if he employed the whole day, he could not persuade them to vote anything that he wished. 4Hence, when bidden to be silent, he did not stop immediately, but had to be pushed and dragged from the assembly, whereupon he came back, and though finally ordered to be taken to prison, he did not moderate his behaviour.
35That day was used up in such wise that the tribunes could not speak at all. For in all the meetings of the people in which they deliberated, the right to speak was given to the private citizens ahead of the magistrates, 2to the end apparently that none of them, captivated beforehand by the opinion of a superior, should conceal any of his own ideas, but should speak out his mind with entire frankness. 3Hence Gallus, fearing that some one might on the next day keep him from the Forum or do something worse still, went into the senate-house in the evening and passed the night there, both for the sake of the safety afforded by the place, and for the purpose of leaving there at dawn to join the populace outside. 4But Trebonius, by locking all the doors of the senate-house, caused him to spend not only the night there but most of the day as well, all in vain. Others occupied the meeting-place of the assembly by night and barred out Ateius, Cato, Favonius, and the others with them. 5When Favonius and Ninnius got in somehow unobserved, and Cato and Ateius climbed upon the shoulders of some of those standing around, and being lifted up by them, declared an omen with the purpose of breaking up the meeting, the attendants of the tribunes drove them both out, wounded the rest who were with them, and actually killed a few.
36After the law had been passed in this way and the crowd was already departing from the assembly, Ateius took Gallus, who had been struck in being forced out of the gathering, and led him, all covered with blood, into the presence of those still on the spot, showed him to them, and by making such remarks as might be expected, stirred them mightily. 2The consuls quickly arrived upon becoming aware of this; for they had been watching developments from somewhere near at hand. And as they had a considerable bodyguard they intimidated the men, immediately called a meeting, and put to vote the additional measures relating to Caesar. The same persons tried to speak in opposition to these, too, but were unable to accomplish anything.
37The consuls, accordingly, had these measures passed, and next they laid heavier penalties upon those offering bribes, as if their own offence were any less because they had secured their office by force instead of by money. 2They even undertook to curtail personal expenditures, which had increased to an enormous extent, although they themselves went to every length of luxury and indulgence; but they were prevented by this very circumstance from enacting the law. 3For Hortensius, one of the men fondest of expensive living, by reviewing the great size of the city and praising the costliness of their homes as well as their generosity toward others, thus making use of their own mode of life to support his arguments, persuaded them to give up their intention. 4They were brought to shame by his opposition and also shrank from appearing to debar others through jealousy from privileges that they themselves enjoyed; and so they voluntarily withdrew their motion.
38During these same days Pompey dedicated the theatre in which we take pride even at the present time. In it he provided an entertainment consisting of music and gymnastic contests, and in the Circus a horse-race and the slaughter of many wild beasts of all kinds. 2Indeed, five hundred lions were used up in five days, and eighteen elephants fought against men in heavy armour. Some of these beasts were killed at the time and others a little later. For some of them, contrary to Pompey’s wish, were pitied by the people when, after being wounded and ceasing to fight, 3they walked about with their trunks raised toward heaven, lamenting so bitterly as to give rise to the report that they did so not by mere chance, but were crying out against the oaths in which they had trusted when they crossed over from Africa, and were calling upon Heaven to avenge them. 4For it is said that they would not set foot upon the ships before they received a pledge under oath from their drivers that they should suffer no harm. Whether this is really so or not I do not know; 5for some in time past have further declared that in addition to understanding the language of their native country they also comprehend what is going on in the sky, so that at the time of the new moon, before that luminary comes within the gaze of men, they reach running water and there perform a kind of purification of themselves. 6These things I have heard; I have heard also that this theatre was not erected by Pompey, but by one Demetrius, a freedman of his, with the money he had gained while making campaigns with the general. Most justly, therefore, did he give his master’s name to the structure, so that Pompey might not incur needless reproach because of the fact that his freedman had collected money enough to suffice for so huge an expenditure.
39At all events Pompey in these matters afforded the populace no little delight; but in making with Crassus the levies for the campaigns assigned to them he displeased them exceedingly. Then, indeed, the majority repented of their course and praised Cato and the rest. Both on this account, therefore, 2and because of a suit instituted by some of the tribunes, nominally against the lieutenants of the consuls, but really against these themselves and their acts, the consuls, although they did not dare to use any violence, did, however, along with their partisans in the senate, change their clothing as if for a calamity. 3They immediately repented, and without offering any excuse went back to their accustomed dress; but the tribunes endeavoured to annul the levies and rescind the vote for the proposed campaigns. 4At this, Pompey, for his part, showed no anger, as he had sent out his lieutenants promptly and was glad to remain himself where he was on the plea that he was prevented from leaving the city, and ought in any case to be in Rome on account of his superintendence of the corn-supply; his plan was to let his officers subdue the Spains while he took in his own hands the affairs at Rome and in the rest of Italy. 5Crassus, however, since neither of these considerations applied to his case, looked to the force of arms. The tribunes, then, seeing that their boldness, unsupported by arms, was too weak to hinder any of his undertakings, held their peace for the most part, but they uttered many dire imprecations against him, as if, indeed, they were not cursing the state through him. 6At one time as he was offering on the Capitol the customary prayers for his campaign, they spread a report of omens and portents, and again when he was setting out they called down many terrible curses upon him. Ateius even attempted to cast him into prison, but other tribunes resisted, 7and there was a conflict among them and a delay, in the midst of which Crassus went outside the pomerium. Now he, whether by chance or as a result of these very curses, before long met with defeat.
40Caesar in the consulship of Marcellinus and Philippus made an expedition against the Veneti, who live near the ocean. They had seized some Roman soldiers sent out for grain and afterward detained the envoys who came in their behalf, in order that in exchange for these they might get back their own hostages. 2Caesar, instead of giving these back, sent out different bodies of troops in various directions, some to waste the possessions of those who had joined the revolt and thus to prevent the two bands from aiding each other, and others to guard the possessions of those who were under treaty, for fear they too might cause some disturbance; 3he himself proceeded against the Veneti. He constructed in the interior the kind of boats which he heard were of advantage for the tides of the ocean, and conveyed them down the river Liger, but in so doing used up almost the entire summer to no purpose. 4For their cities, established in strong positions, were inaccessible, and the ocean surging around practically all of them rendered an infantry attack out of the question, and a naval attack equally so in the midst of the ebb and flow of the tide. 5Consequently Caesar was in despair until Decimus Brutus came to him with swift ships from the Mediterranean. And he was inclined to believe he would be unable to accomplish anything with those either, but the barbarians through their contempt for the small size and frailty of the boats incurred defeat. 41For these boats had been built rather light in the interest of speed, after the manner of our naval construction, whereas those of the barbarians surpassed them very greatly both in size and stoutness, since amid the ever-shifting tides of the ocean they often needed to rest on dry ground and to hold out against the succession of ebb and flow. 2Accordingly, the barbarians, who had never had any experience of such a fleet, despised the ships as useless in view of their appearance; and as soon as they were lying in the harbour they set sail against them, thinking to sink them speedily by means of their boat-hooks. They were swept on by a great and violent wind, for their sails were of leather and so carried easily the full force of the wind. 42Now Brutus, as long as the wind raged, dared not sail out against them because of the number and size of their ships, the force with which they were driven by the wind, and their own attack, but he prepared to repel their attack near the land and to abandon the boats altogether. 2When, however, the wind suddenly fell, the waves were stilled, and the boats could no longer be propelled as they had been with the oars but because of their great bulk stopped motionless, as it were, then he took courage and sailed out to meet them. And falling upon them, he caused them many serious injuries with impunity, delivering both broadside and rear attacks, 3now ramming one of them, now backing water, in whatever way and as often as he liked, sometimes with many vessels against one and again with equal numbers opposed, occasionally even approaching safely with a few against many. 4At whatever point he was superior to them in . . . he stuck to them closely; he sank some by ripping them open, and boarding others from all sides, he engaged in a hand-to -hand conflict with the crews and slew many. If he found himself inferior anywhere, he very easily retired, so that the advantage rested with him in any case. 43For the barbarians did not use archery and had not provided themselves beforehand with stones, not expecting to have any need of them; hence, if any one came into close quarters with them, they fought him off after a fashion, but with those who stood at a little distance from them they knew not how to cope. 2So the men were being wounded and killed, even those who were unable to repel any one, while the boats were in some cases rammed and ripped open, in other cases were set on fire and burned; still others were towed away, as if empty of men. 3When the remaining crews saw this, some killed themselves to avoid being captured alive and others leaped into the sea with the idea that they would thus either board the hostile ships or in any event not perish at the hands of the Romans. 4For in zeal and daring they were not at all behind their opponents, but they were terribly angry at finding themselves betrayed by the sluggishness of their vessels. The Romans, to make sure that the wind when it sprang up again should not move the ships, employed from a distance long poles fitted with knives, by means of which they cut the ropes and split the sails. 5And since the barbarians were compelled to fight in their boats as if on land, while the foe could use his ships as at sea, great numbers perished then and there, and all the remainder were captured. Of these Caesar slew the most prominent and sold the rest.
44Next he made a campaign against the Morini and Menapii, their neighbours, hoping to terrify them by what he had already accomplished and capture them easily. He failed, however, to subdue any of them; 2for having no cities, and living only in huts, they conveyed their chief treasures to the most densely wooded parts of the mountains, so that they did the attacking parties of the Romans much more harm than they themselves suffered. Caesar attempted by cutting down the forests to make his way into the mountains themselves, but renounced his plan on account of their size and the nearness of winter, and retired.
45While he was still among the Veneti, Quintus Titurius Sabinus, his lieutenant, was dispatched against the Venelli [Unelli], whose leader was Viridovix. At first he was greatly terrified at their numbers and would have been satisfied if only he could save the camp, 2but later he perceived that though this advantage made them bolder, they were not really dangerous, and he accordingly took courage. Most barbarians, in fact, in their threats make all sorts of terrible boasts that are without foundation. Nevertheless he did not venture to fight openly with them even then, as he was seriously hampered by their great numbers; 3but he induced them to make a reckless assault upon his camp, although it was on high ground. He did this by sending out towards evening, in the guise of a deserter, one of his allies who spoke their language, and thus persuaded them that Caesar had met with reverses . . . 4Trusting this report, they straightway started out heedlessly against the Romans, being gorged with food and drink, in the fear that they might flee before their arrival. Moreover, since it was their avowed purpose that not a single soul should escape, they carried along fagots and dragged logs after them with the intention of burning the enemy alive. 5Thus they made their attack up-hill and came climbing up eagerly, meeting with no resistance. Sabinus did not move until the most of them were within his reach. Then he charged down upon them unexpectedly from all sides at once, and terrifying those in front, he dashed them all headlong down the hill, 6and while they were tumbling over one another and the logs in their retreat, he cut them to pieces so thoroughly that none of them or even of the others rose against him again. 7For the Gauls, who are unreasonably insatiate in all their passions, know no moderation in either courage or fear, but plunge from the one into hopeless cowardice and from the other into headstrong audacity.
46About the same time Publius Crassus, the son of Marcus Crassus, subjugated nearly all of Aquitania. The people are themselves Gauls, and dwell next to Celtica, and their territory extends right along the Pyrenees to the ocean. 2Making a campaign, now, against these, Crassus conquered the Sotiates in battle and captured them by siege. He lost a few men, to be sure, by treachery in the course of a parley, but punished the enemy severely for this. 3On seeing some others who had banded together along with soldiers of Sertorius from Spain and were carrying on the war with skill, and not recklessly, since they believed that the Romans through lack of supplies would soon abandon the country, he pretended to be afraid of them. But although he incurred their contempt, he did not even then draw them into a conflict with him; and so, while they were feeling secure with regard to the future, he attacked them suddenly and unexpectedly. 4At the point where he met them he accomplished nothing, because the barbarians rushed out and repelled him vigorously; but while their main force was there, he sent some men around to the other side of their camp, got possession of this, which was destitute of men, and passing through it took the fighters in the rear. In this way they were all annihilated, and the rest with the exception of a few made terms without any contest.
47This was the work of the summer. But when the Romans were in winter quarters in friendly territory, the Tencteri and Usipetes, German tribes, partly because they were forced out from their homes by the Suebi and partly because they were invited over by the Gauls, crossed the Rhine and invaded the country of the Treveri. 2Finding Caesar there, they became afraid and sent to him to make a truce, and to ask for land or at least the permission to take some. When they could obtain nothing, they at first promised voluntarily to return to their homes and requested an armistice. 3Later their young men, seeing a few horsemen of his approaching, despised them and changed their mind; thereupon they stopped their journey, harassed the small detachment, which was not expecting anything of the sort, and elated over this success, entered upon war. 48Their elders, condemning their action, came to Caesar contrary to their advice and asked him to pardon them, laying the responsibility upon a few. He detained these emissaries with the assurance that he would give them an answer before long, 2and setting out against the other members of the tribe, who were in their tents, he came upon them as they were taking their noonday rest and expecting no hostile move, inasmuch as their elders were with him. Rushing into the tents, he found great numbers of infantrymen who had not time even to pick up their weapons, and he cut them down amid the waggons where they were embarrassed by the presence of the women and the children scattered promiscuously about. 3The cavalry was absent at the time, but as soon as they learned of the occurrence, they immediately set out for their homes and retired among the Sugambri. He sent and demanded their surrender, not because he expected them to be given up, since the people beyond the Rhine were not so afraid of the Romans as to listen to anything of the sort, but in order that on this excuse he might cross that river also. 4For he was exceedingly anxious on his own part to do something that no one of his predecessors had ever equalled, and he also expected to keep the Germans at a distance from Gaul by invading their territory. When, therefore, the horsemen were not given up, and the Ubii, who dwelt alongside the Sugambri and who were at variance with them, invoked his aid, he crossed the river by bridging it. 5But on finding that the Sugambri had betaken themselves into their strongholds and that the Suebi were gathering to come to their aid, he retired within twenty days.
49The Rhine issues from the Celtic Alps, a little outside of Rhaetia, and proceeding westward, bounds Gaul and its inhabitants on the left, and the Germans on the right, and finally empties into the ocean. 2This river has always down to the present time been considered the boundary, ever since these tribes gained their different names; for very anciently both peoples dwelling on either side of the river were called Celts.
50Caesar, then, at this time was the first of the Romans to cross the Rhine, and later, in the consulship of Pompey and Crassus, he crossed over to Britain. 2This country is sixty miles distant, by the shortest way, from the Belgic mainland, where the Morini dwell, and extends alongside the rest of Gaul and nearly all of Spain, reaching out into the sea. 3To the very earliest of the Greeks and Romans it was not even known to exist, while to their descendants it was a matter of dispute whether it was a continent or an island; and accounts of it have been written from both points of view by many who knew nothing about it, because they had not seen it with their own eyes nor heard about it from the natives with their own ears, but indulged in surmises according to the scholarly sect or the branch of learning to which they severally belonged. 4In the lapse of time, however, it has been clearly proved to be an island, first under Agricola, the propraetor, and now under the emperor Severus.
51To this land, then, Caesar desired to cross, now that he had won over the Morini and the rest of Gaul was quiet. He made the passage with the infantry by the most desirable course, but did not select the best landing-place; for the Britons, apprised beforehand of his voyage, had secured all the landings on the coast facing the mainland. 2Accordingly, he sailed around a certain projecting headland, coasted along on the other side of it, and disembarking there in the shoals, conquered those who joined battle with him and gained a footing on dry land before more numerous assistance could come, after which he repulsed this attack also. 3Not many of the barbarians fell, for their forces consisted of chariot-drivers and cavalry and so easily escaped the Romans whose cavalry had not yet arrived; but alarmed at the reports about them from the mainland and because they had dared to cross at all and had managed to set foot upon the land, they sent to Caesar some of the Morini, who were friends of theirs, to see about terms of peace. Upon his demanding hostages, they were willing at the time to give them; 52but when the Romans in the meantime began to encounter difficulties by reason of a storm which damaged both the fleet that was present and also the one on the way, they changed their minds, and though not attacking the invaders openly, since their camp was strongly guarded, 2they took some men who had been sent out to forage for provisions on the assumption that the country was friendly, and destroyed them all, save a few, to whose rescue Caesar came in haste. After that they assaulted the camp itself of the Romans. Here they accomplished nothing, but fared badly; they would not make terms, however, until they had been defeated many times. 3Indeed, Caesar would have had no thought of making peace with them at all, except that the winter was approaching and that he was not equipped with a sufficient force to continue fighting at that season, since the additional force coming to his aid had met with mishap, and also that the Gauls in view of his absence had begun an uprising; so he reluctantly concluded a truce with them, demanding many hostages this time also, but obtaining only a few.
53So he sailed back to the mainland and put an end to the disturbances. From Britain he had won nothing for himself or for the state except the glory of having conducted an expedition against its inhabitants; but on this he prided himself greatly and the Romans at home likewise magnified it to a remarkable degree. 2For seeing that the formerly unknown had become certain and the previously unheard-of accessible, they regarded the hope for the future inspired by these facts as already actually realized and exulted over their expected acquisitions as if they were already within their grasp; hence they voted to celebrate a thanksgiving for twenty days.
54While this was taking place there was an uprising in Spain, which was consequently assigned to Pompey’s care. Some tribes had revolted and put themselves under the leadership of the Vaccaei. While still unprepared they were conquered by Metellus Nepos, 2but as he was besieging Clunia they assailed him, proved themselves his superiors, and won back the city; elsewhere they were defeated, though not sufficiently to cause their early enslavement. In fact, they so far surpassed their opponents in numbers that Nepos was glad to remain quiet and not run any risks.
55About this same time Ptolemy, although the Romans had voted not to assist him and were even now highly indignant at the bribery he had employed, was nevertheless restored and got back his kingdom. 2Pompey and Gabinius accomplished this. So much power had official authority and abundant wealth as against the decrees of both the people and the senate, 3that when Pompey sent orders to Gabinius, then governor of Syria, and the latter made a campaign, the one acting out of kindness and the other as the result of a bribe, they restored the king contrary to the wish of the state, paying no heed either to it or to the oracles of the Sibyl. 4Gabinius was later brought to trial for this, but on account of Pompey’s influence and the money at his command was not convicted. To such a state of confusion had affairs come with the Romans of that day, that when some of the magistrates and jurymen received from him but a very small part of the large bribes that he had received, they took no thought for their duty, and furthermore taught others to commit crimes for money, showing them that they could easily buy immunity from punishment. 5At this time, consequently, Gabinius was acquitted; but he was again brought to trial on some other charges—chiefly that he had plundered more than a hundred million denarii from the province—and was convicted. This was a matter of great surprise to him, seeing that by his wealth he had freed himself from the former suit, whereas he was now condemned for his wealth chiefly because of that suit. 6It was also a surprise to Pompey, because previously he had, through his friends, rescued Gabinius even at a distance, but now while in the suburbs of the city and, as you might say, in the very court-room, he accomplished nothing.
56This was the way of it. Gabinius had harried Syria in many ways, even to the point of inflicting far more injury upon the people than did the pirates, who were flourishing even then. Still, he regarded all his gains from that source as mere trifles and was at first planning and preparing to make a campaign against the Parthians and their wealth. 2Phraates, it seems, had been treacherously murdered by his sons, and Orodes after succeeding to the kingdom had expelled Mithridates, his brother, from Media, which he was governing. The latter took refuge with Gabinius and persuaded him to assist in his restoration. 3However, when Ptolemy came with Pompey’s letter and promised that he would furnish large sums both to him and the army, some to be paid at once, and the rest when he should be restored, Gabinius abandoned the Parthian project and hastened to Egypt. 4This he did notwithstanding the law forbade governors to enter territory outside their own borders or to begin wars on their own responsibility, and although the people and the Sibyl had declared that the man should not be restored. But the only restraint these considerations imposed was to lead him to sell his assistance for a higher price. 5He left in Syria his son Sisenna, a mere boy, and a very few soldiers with him, thus exposing the province to which he had been assigned more than ever to the pirates. 6He himself then reached Palestine, arrested Aristobulus, who had escaped from Rome and was causing some disturbance, sent him to Pompey, imposed tribute upon the Jews, and after this invaded Egypt.
57Berenice was at this time ruling the Egyptians, and though she feared the Romans, she took no steps suitable [to the emergency?]; instead, she sent for one Seleucus who claimed to belong to the royal race that once had flourished in Syria, formally recognized him as her husband, and made him a partner in the kingdom and in the war. 2When he was seen to be held in no esteem, she had him killed and joined to herself on the same terms Archelaus, son of that Archelaus who had deserted to Sulla; he was an energetic man, living in Syria. Now Gabinius could have stopped the mischief in its beginning; for he had arrested Archelaus, who had already aroused his suspicion, and he seemed likely to have no further trouble from him. 3He was afraid, however, that this course might cause him to receive from Ptolemy less money than had been stipulated, on the ground that he had done nothing of importance, and he hoped that he could exact even a larger amount in view of the cleverness and renown of Archelaus; moreover he received much money besides from the prisoner himself, and so voluntarily released him, pretending that he had escaped. 58Thus he reached Pelusium without encountering any opposition; and while advancing from there with his army in two divisions he encountered and conquered the Egyptians on the same day, and after this vanquished them again on the river with his ships and also on land. For the Alexandrines are most ready to assume a bold front everywhere and to speak out whatever may occur to them, 2but for war and its terrors they are utterly useless. This is true in spite of the fact that in seditions, which with them are very numerous and very serious, they always become involved in slaughter, setting no value upon life as compared with the rivalry of the moment, but pursuing destruction in such quarrels as if it were one of the best and dearest prizes. 3So Gabinius conquered them, and after slaying Archelaus and many others he promptly gained control of all Egypt and handed it over to Ptolemy. The latter put to death his daughter and also the foremost and richest of the citizens, because he had need of much money.
59Gabinius after restoring him in this fashion sent no message home concerning what he had done, in order that he might not be the one to announce his own illegal acts. But it was not possible for an affair of such magnitude to be concealed, and the people straightway learned of it; for the Syrians cried out loudly against Gabinius, 2especially since in his absence they had been terribly abused by the pirates, and the tax-gatherers, being unable to collect the taxes on account of the marauders, were owing numerous sums. Angered at this, the people expressed their views and were ready to condemn him. 3For Cicero attacked him vigorously and advised them to read again the Sibylline verses, expecting that there was contained in them some punishment in case any of their injunctions should be violated. 60Pompey and Crassus, now, were still consuls, and the former acted as his own interests dictated, while the latter was for pleasing his colleague and also soon received money sent him by Gabinius. Thus they openly justified his conduct, calling Cicero “exile” among other names, and would not put the question to a vote. 2When, however, they had laid down their office, and Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius became their successors, once more many opinions were expressed and the majority proved to be against Gabinius. 3Domitius was hostile to Pompey on account of the latter’s canvass and because he had been appointed consul contrary to his wish; and Claudius, although a relative of Pompey’s, still wished to play the game of politics and indulge the people, and furthermore he expected to get bribes from Gabinius, if he should cause any disturbance. 4So both worked in every way against him. There was a further fact that weighed strongly against him: he had not received a certain lieutenant sent ahead by Crassus to succeed him in the office, but held on to the position as if he had received it for all time. They decided, therefore, that the verses of the Sibyl should be read, in spite of Pompey’s opposition.
61Meantime the Tiber, either because excessive rains had occurred somewhere up the stream above the city, or because a violent wind from the sea had driven back its outgoing tide, or still more probably, as was surmised, by the act of some divinity, suddenly rose so high as to inundate all the lower levels in the city and to overwhelm many even of the higher portions. 2The houses, therefore, being constructed of brick, became soaked through and collapsed, while all the animals perished in the flood. And of the people all who did not take refuge in time on the highest points were caught, either in their dwellings, or in the streets, and lost their lives. The remaining houses, too, became weakened, since the mischief lasted for many days, and they caused injuries to many, either at the time or later. 3The Romans, distressed at these calamities and expecting others yet worse, because, as they thought, Heaven had become angry with them for the restoration of Ptolemy, were in haste to put Gabinius to death even while absent, believing that they would be harmed less if they should destroy him before his return. 4So insistent were they that although nothing about punishment was found in the Sibylline oracles, still the senate passed a decree that the magistrates and populace should accord him the bitterest and harshest treatment.
62While this was going on, money sent ahead by Gabinius caused him to suffer no serious penalty either while absent or upon his return, at least for this affair. And yet he was brought by his own conscience to such a wretched and miserable state that he long delayed coming to Italy, and entered the city by night, and for a considerable number of days did not dare to appear outside of his house. 2For the complaints were many and he had an abundance of accusers. First, then, he was tried for the restoration of Ptolemy, as his greatest offence. Practically the whole populace surged into the court-house and often wished to tear him to pieces, particularly because Pompey was not present and Cicero accused him with all the force of his oratory. And yet, though this was their attitude, he was acquitted. 3For not only he himself, appreciating the gravity of the charges on which he was being tried, spent vast sums of money, but the associates of Pompey and Caesar also very willingly aided him, declaring that a different time and different king were meant by the Sibyl, and, most important of all, that no punishment for his deeds was contained in her verses.
63The people accordingly were almost for putting the jurymen to death also, but, when they escaped, turned their attention to the remaining charges against him and caused him to be convicted on those at any rate. 2For the men who were chosen by lot to pass judgment on the charges both feared the people and likewise obtained but little from Gabinius; for he felt that he was being brought to book for minor matters only, and expecting to win this time also, he did not spend much. Hence they condemned him, even though Pompey was near at hand and Cicero acted as his counsel. 3For Pompey had been away from the city to provide for a supply of corn, since much had been ruined by the river, but hastened back to be present at the first trial (for he was in Italy); and when he missed that, he did not retire from the suburbs until the other also was finished. 4In fact when the people assembled outside the pomerium (since, as he already held the office of proconsul, he was not allowed to enter the city), he addressed them at length in behalf of Gabinius, and not only read to them a letter sent to him by Caesar in the man’s behalf, but also besought the jurymen, 5and not only prevented Cicero from accusing him again but actually persuaded him to plead for him; as a result the charge and epithet of “turn-coat” was applied to the orator more than ever. Gabinius, however, was not helped at all by Cicero, but was now convicted and exiled, as I have stated, though he was later restored by Caesar.
64At this same time the wife of Pompey died, after giving birth to a baby girl. And whether by the arrangement of his friends and Caesar’s or because there were some who wished in any case to do them a favour, they caught up the body, as soon as she had received proper eulogies in the Forum, and buried it in the Campus Martius. It was in vain that Domitius opposed them and declared among other things that it was sacrilegious for her to be buried in the sacred spot without a special decree.
65At this time Gaius Pomptinus celebrated a triumph over the Gauls; for as no one granted him the right to hold it, he had up to that time remained outside the pomerium. 2And he would have missed it then, too, had not Servius Galba, a praetor, who had made the campaign with him, granted as praetor to certain persons secretly and just before dawn the privilege of voting—this, in spite of the fact that it is not permitted by law for any business to be brought before the people before the first hour. For this reason some of the tribunes, who had been left out of the assembly, caused him trouble in the procession, at any rate, so that there was some bloodshed.