Orosius: Book 6


1. All men, whatever their convictions, mode of life, or country, are actuated by a quite natural disposition to follow the dictates of good sense, so that, even if their actions at times do not seem to indicate that the reasoning power of the mind was preferred to the gratification of the flesh, their judgment tells them that it ought to have been. The mind, enlightened by the guidance of reason, rises in the midst of virtues to which it is inclined by an innate predilection, however much it is abased by vices, and beholds the knowledge of God which towers like a citadel. Any man may despise God for a time, but he cannot forever be ignorant of Him. For this reason some people, envisaging God in many things, were driven by an undiscerning reverence to fashion many gods. But the operations of authoritative truth and the arguments of reason itself have very generally led to the abandonment of their position at the present time. Furthermore, their own philosophers also, to say nothing of our saints, exerting their mental powers to the utmost and investigating everything, have discovered one God to be the author of all things, to Whom alone all things should be traced. Hence even now the pagans, whom at this time revealed truth convicts of stubbornness rather than of ignorance, grant, when we dispute with them, that they do not follow many gods but worship many subordinate beings under one great god. Although it is true that the manifold ways of reaching a real understanding of God have necessarily brought about a good deal of confusion and a variety of opinion as to His true nature, there is almost universal agreement that God is one. Thus far human investigation has been able to proceed, even if with difficulty. But where reason fails, faith comes to the rescue; for unless we believe, we shall not understand. Hearken to the words of God Himself and thus learn the truth that you wish to know concerning Him.

Now this one true God, on Whom, as we said, all schools agree even though differing in their interpretations, this God, Who changes kingdoms, orders the times, and also punishes sin, has chosen the weak of the world to confound the mighty and has laid the foundation of the Roman Empire by choosing a shepherd of the humblest station. After this empire had prospered for many years under kings and consuls and had gained the mastery of Asia, Africa, and Europe, He conferred all things by His decree upon a single emperor, who was preeminent in power and mercy. Under this emperor, to whom almost all nations rendered respect and due honour with mingled love and fear, the true God, Who was worshipped with scrupulous observance of rites by those who did not know Him, opened that great fountainhead of His knowledge. For the purpose of teaching men more quickly through a man, He sent His Son to work miracles that surpassed man's power and to refute the demons, whom some had thought to be gods, in order that those very men who had not believed in Him as a man should believe in His works as of God. He did this also that the glory of the new name and the swift report of the promised salvation might spread abroad quickly and without hindrance in the midst of the state of great tranquillity and universal peace that prevailed and also that His disciples, as they passed through different nations and freely offered the gifts of salvation to all, might have security and liberty to go about and speak as Roman citizens among Roman citizens. I have thought it necessary to mention this because this sixth book extends to the time of Caesar Augustus, to whom these remarks apply.

Now some people think that this absolutely clear reasoning is unsound and instead give credit to their own gods, whom, as they believe, they first had the good sense to choose and then won over by their extraordinary devotion so that they established for them this extensive and magnificent empire. For these pagans indeed are always boasting that they themselves gained the special favor of the gods by the excellent character of their sacred rites, and that when these rites were abolished or neglected, all the gods went away

from sanctuary and abandoned altar,
gods, through whom this Empire had stood firm. [Vergil, Aen. ii 351]

Hence, although your holy reverence has already treated many matters most courageously and truthfully, the situation demands that I add a few considerations. If the Romans gained the favor of the gods by worshipping them and lost it by not worshipping them, then who through worship assured the safety of Romulus himself, the founder of Rome, amid all the evils that assailed him from his very birth? Was it his grandfather, Amulius, who exposed him to die? His father, whose identity was unknown? His mother, Rhea, convicted of fornication? His Alban kinsmen, who persecuted the rising power of Rome even from the very beginning? All Italy, which for four hundred years (as long as it dared) yearned for Rome's destruction? No, they answer. It was the gods themselves, who, knowing that they would be worshipped, protected their future worshippers. The gods, therefore, know the future. If they do know the future, why during all these centuries have they brought this empire to the highest pinnacle of its power just at the time when He willed Himself to be born among men and to be known as a man? For after His advent these gods fell into contempt as worthless and departed with their whole world, even those whom the gods had made mighty. But the answer is given. He crept into this world as one meanly born and entered unregarded. If unregarded and meanly born, whence His universal fame, His undoubted honour, His manifest power? It was by unmistakable signs and miracles that He captured and held fast the minds of men distracted by superstitions. But if a mere man had such power, surely the gods should have wielded still greater power. Inasmuch as He declared that this power was given Him by His Father, has anyone ever been able to attain to the knowledge of that known and unknown God, which knowledge, as I have said, none can apprehend save through Him? No one can do this except the man who, after a thorough self-examination and a humbling of self, has become converted to the wisdom of God, and has exchanged all the reason of a searcher for the faith of a believer.

I shall, however, argue the matter briefly as follows. The gods of the pagans are represented as being so powerful that the Roman state was thought to have been exalted by their favor and brought low by their displeasure. Now it is a well-established fact that, at the time when Christ willed to be born and to make Himself known to the nations, the gods were worshipped with the utmost devotion and fervor. Hence, assuming that they were consulting their own interest and that of their worshippers, why were they unable to repress or repel His "superstition," which, as they saw, must leave them scorned and their worshippers utterly forsaken ? However, if the people did not act willingly, the gods should have pardoned instead of abandoned them; if they acted willingly, the gods should have made use of their own foreknowledge and aided them earlier. This is what was done, they answer; we roused nations, we inflamed kings, we established laws, we appointed judges, we made preparations for punishment by torture and crucifixion, we searched the whole world to see if it was possible in any way to wipe the Christian name and religion off the face of the earth. These things went on for a long time until this barbarity, multiplying its kind, made such progress amid tortures and through tortures that it finally seized the imperial throne itself, by which alone it might have been restrained. Then what ensued? The Christian emperors, they say, ordered the sacrifices to cease and the temples to close and thus

they all went forth from sanctuary and abandoned altar,
The gods, through whom this empire had stood firm.

Oh, how great, how constant is the light of truth, if weak eyes were not unhappily, alas, closed to its radiance, which so freely offers itself! Now the Christian religion could not in any way be stamped out, although for many generations it was exposed on all sides to the fury of nations, kings, laws, slaughter, crucifixion, and death, but on the contrary, as I have said, it grew in the midst of and because of these things. Yet the worship of idols, which was already somehow failing of its own accord and feeling ashamed of itself, came to an end at the issue of a single most merciful command given without any threat of punishment. Who, then, can doubt that by this demonstration of wisdom those created finally learned those things about their Creator which up to then they had been seeking, however eagerly, through the employment of various forms of reasoning? Though their reasoning was beclouded by other matters, yet they immediately clung fast to their love for Him Whom they had cherished even in ignorance. In the same way it is not at all strange that in a large household there will be found some slaves who, having become accustomed to the loose society of their corruptors, contemptuously abuse the patience of their master. Rightly, therefore, does God reprove the ungrateful, the unbelieving, and also the disobedient with various chastisements. Such, we must agree, has always been the case; but it was especially so at the time when there was as yet no Church in all the world which, by the intercessory prayers of her faithful, might have tempered the deserved penalties of the world and the just judgment of God by entreating His mercy. Hence, it is that all the things that men now regard as misfortunes, of whatever kind they may be, were without doubt more severe in times past, as now will be shown in the order I have already begun.

The Mithridatic War or, to be more exact, the disasters of the Mithridatic War, involving as it did many provinces at the same time, was long drawn out, extending over a period of forty years. For the Mithridatic War first blazed forth in the six hundred and sixty-second year of the City, as I have said, at the time when the First Civil War also began. In the consulship of Cicero and Antony, however, to quote the words of the master poet,

the city was almost consumed by barbaric poison. [Lucan, i. 337]

Since the records of these days mention thirty years of warfare, one cannot easily explain why some speak of the war as lasting forty years.

2. Mithridates, the king of Pontus and Armenia, now strove to deprive of his kingdom Nicomedes, the king of Bithynia and the friend of the Roman people. When he had been warned by the Senate that if he should attempt to do this the Roman people would be forced to declare war against him, he became angry and at once invaded Cappadocia. He drove out its king, Ariobarzanes, and devastated the whole province with fire and sword. Bithynia next underwent the same destruction. Paphlagonia then suffered the same fate, for her kings, Pylaemenes and Nicomedes, were expelled. Mithridates, coming later to Ephesus, issued a cruel edict ordering that wherever Roman citizens were found throughout the entire province of Asia, they were all to be slaughtered on the same day. And this was done. Words cannot in any way set forth or make clear the number of Roman citizens slaughtered at that time, the mourning that overtook most of the provinces, and the groans of the slain and of the slayers alike when individuals were forced either to betray innocent guests and friends or themselves to risk the punishment intended for their guests.

Archelaus, a general of Mithridates, was sent in advance into Achaia with one hundred and twenty thousand infantry and cavalry. Sometimes employing force and at other times accepting surrender, he won control over Athens and all Greece. Sulla, to whose lot the Mithridatic War had fallen after he had completed his consulship, long besieged Archelaus at Piraeus, the Athenian port fortified with a sevenfold wall; he later took by storm the very city of the Athenians. Some time afterward he engaged Archelaus in a pitched battle. It was reported that Archelaus lost one hundred and ten thousand of his army and that barely ten thousand survived the battle.

When Mithridates learned of this disaster, he sent seventy thousand of his choicest troops from Asia to reinforce Archelaus. In a second battle fifty thousand of these were slain;and Diogenes, the son of Archelaus, also lost his life. In a third battle the entire force of Archelaus was wiped out. Twenty thousand of his soldiers were driven into a swamp and, though they begged for mercy from Sulla, were killed because his wrath could not be appeased. An equal number were driven into the river and slaughtered, while the wretched remnant was destroyed at random. Furthermore, Mithridates made up his mind to kill the leading men of the most famous cities of Asia and to confiscate their property. When he had already slaughtered one thousand six hundred in this manner, the Ephesians, fearing that they would undergo the same fate, expelled the garrison of Mithridates and barred their gates. The inhabitants of Smyrna, Sardis, Colophon, and Tralles did likewise. Mithridates, now alarmed, concluded through his general Archelaus a treaty of peace with Sulla.

In the meantime Fimbria, an accomplice of the Marian criminals and the boldest of them all, killed the consul Flaccus at Nicomedia, where he had gone to join his staff as a legate. As soon as he had taken over the consul's army, Fimbria forced the son of Mithridates to flee from Asia to Miletopolis; he then attacked the quarters of the king, drove him from Pergamum, and following him in his flight to Pitane, laid siege to that city. Fimbria would certainly have captured the king had L. Lucullus placed the safety of the Republic before civil discords and had he been willing to exert full pressure on the besieged king by having the fleet block his escape by sea.

Fimbria became enraged at the inhabitants of Ilium, who, in their loyalty to the Sullan faction, had repulsed him, it seemed, by barring their gates. He visited the city with fire and slaughter and utterly destroyed that ancient foster mother of Rome. But Sulla at once rebuilt the city. When this same Fimbria was besieged by the army of Sulla at Thyatira, he was driven by despair to commit suicide in the Temple of Aesculapius. Fannius and Magius fled from the army of Fimbria and joined Mithridates. On their advice the latter made a treaty with Sertorius through the offices of ambassadors whom he had sent to Spain. Sertorius sent M. Marius to him for the purpose of ratifying the treaty. Mithridates kept him at his side and in a short time appointed him general in place of Archelaus, who had betaken himself with his wife and children to Sulla. Marius and Eumachus, who were dispatched by Mithridates as generals against Lucullus, assembled a great army in a short time and engaged in battle with P. Rutilius near Chalcedon; he and the greater part of his army were slain there. By constructing a trench, Lucullus surrounded Mithridates while the latter was besieging the inhabitants of Cyzicus, and forced him to suffer what they had suffered. He also sent one of the soldiers, who was an expert swimmer, as a messenger to the Cyziceni to bid them be of good cheer. Supported by two inflated bladders, this soldier held a pole in the middle and, propelling himself along by his feet, covered a distance of seven miles. Mithridates, who was suffering from want, ordered part of his army to leave for home. But Lucullus overtook and destroyed all of this force. It is said that more than fifteen thousand men were killed at that time.

In those days also, not only Fannius, who had joined Mithridates, but also the royal praetor Metrophanes, was defeated by Mamercus. They fled with two thousand cavalry to Moesia and, turning aside from there to Malonia, came unexpectedly upon the hills and fields of the Inarimi. In that region not only did the mountains look scorched and the rocks darkened by some kind of soot, but over a space of fifty miles the fields, wretched in appearance because the soil had been burned by fire, were covered with a deep layer of decaying ashes, although there was no sign of either fire or crater. In three places dry chasms, which the Greeks call freaks of nature, were visible. The troops, wandering about these places for a long time, were at length delivered from unexpected dangers and secretly came to the king's camp. Deiotarus, the king of the Gallo-Greeks, slew the royal prefects in battle.

In the meantime, Mithridates was blockaded at Cyzicus and underwent as long a siege as had those whom he had blockaded. His army was reduced to great want and became a prey to disease. He is said to have lost more than thirty thousand men from hunger and disease during that siege. Mithridates himself and a few companions seized a ship and secretly fled from the camp. Lucullus, an eyewitness of his enemy's disaster, won a novel victory since he himself did not lose a single soldier. Soon afterward he attacked and defeated Marius and put him to flight in a battle in which more than eleven thousand of Marius's troops, according to report, were killed. Lucullus later met this same Marius in a naval encounter and sank or captured thirty-two of the royal ships and also a great many transports. Many of those whom Sulla had proscribed were killed in that battle. On the next day Marius was dragged out from a cave in which he was hiding and paid the penalty that his hostile intentions merited. In the same campaign, Lucullus desolated Apamia; after storming and capturing the heavily fortified city of Prusa, situated at the foot of Mount Olympus, he destroyed it. A storm overtook the fleet of Mithridates as it was sailing in battle array toward Byzantium; eighty beaked ships were lost. When his own ship was shattered and was sinking, he leaped aboard a myoparo belonging to a pirate named Seleucus, who went to his aid. Mithridates then managed with great difficulty to reach Sinope and later, Amisus.

3. In the same year at Rome, Catiline was accused of an incest which he was charged with having committed with Fabia, a Vestal Virgin. His friend Catulus, however, exerted influence in his behalf and thus he escaped punishment.

Lucullus laid siege to Sinope, intending to take it by storm. The arch-pirate Seleucus and the eunuch Cleo-chares, who were in command of the defense, abandoned the city after pillaging and burning it. Disturbed by the destruction now being wrought within the city's walls by his wretched enemy, Lucullus took swift measures to extinguish the fire that had been set ablaze. Thus the unfortunate city, alternately exposed to enemies and allies, was ruined by those whose duty it was to defend it and was saved by those who had sought to destroy it. M. Lucullus, who had succeeded Curio in Macedonia, accepted the surrender of the whole.nation of the Bessi with whom he had been at war.

At that time, Metellus, the praetor of Sicily, discovered that the island had been ruined under the disgraceful praetor-ship of C. Verres. He also found that she had been torn to pieces by the criminal depredations and slaughters of the arch-pirate Pyrganion, who had secured control of the port of Syracuse after the defeat of the Roman fleet. Metellus quickly crushed this man in a naval and land battle and forced him to leave Sicily.

Moreover, Lucullus crossed the Euphrates and Tigris, encountered Mithridates and Tigranes at Tigranocerta, and with a very small force killed a great number of the enemy. Thirty thousand men were reported to have fallen in that battle. Tigranes barely escaped with an escort of one hundred and fifty horsemen. To conceal his identity, he threw away his diadem and tiara. At this juncture envoys from almost the entire East came as suppliants to Lucullus. On the approach of winter, Lucullus retraced his march through Armenia to Mesopotamia and there stormed and captured Nisibis, a city which was then famous in those parts.

4. In these days pirates were scattered over all the seas and were not only intercepting the supply ships but were also laying waste islands and provinces. Their numbers were constantly being swelled by people who, prompted by greed for booty and by the opportunity of committing crime without risk of punishment, were everywhere joining their ranks. After they had long wrought much havoc on land and sea, Cn. Pompey crushed these men so quickly that people were utterly astonished.

At the same time Metellus for two years wrought destruction upon the island of Crete, which he eventually brought under his power when its resistance had been broken by long wars. He then substituted the laws of Rome in place of the laws of Minos.

Pompey, the successor of Lucullus, later invested the camp of the king in Lesser Armenia near Mount Dastarcum. After sallying forth in the night with all his troops, the king decided, as the next move, to repel his pursuer by engaging him in battle. Pompey did his best to overtake them as they fled. Battle was then joined at night. The moon had risen behind the Romans. The royal soldiers, judging the nearness of the Romans by the length of their shadows, hurled their darts in vain. Quite unharmed, the Romans later attacked and easily conquered them. Forty thousand of the royal army were slain or captured, while of the Romans only a thousand were wounded and barely forty killed. The king slipped away amid the din of battle and, aided by the faint light of the night, made good his escape. Abandoned by all of his friends, philosophers, historians, poets, and doctors, alone he led his horse through unfrequented ways, terrified by all the noises of the night. He finally took refuge in a certain stronghold and from there hastened to Armenia.

That he might follow the king between the two rivers, the Euphrates and the Araxes, which rise from one mountain though from different caverns, Pompey founded the city of Nicopolis, where he left the aged people, the camp followers, and the sick who wished to stay. He pardoned Tigranes at the latter's entreaty and three times defeated in battle the army of Orodes, the king of the Albanians, and his prefects. Later he was happy to receive a letter from Orodes and the presents sent by the Albani as a peace offering. He then fought and routed Artoces, the king of Iberia, and received all Iberia in surrender. After he had pacified and reorganized Armenia, the Colchians, Cappadocia, and Syria, he pushed on from Pontus into Parthia to Ecbatana, the capital of the Parthian kingdom, arriving there on the fifteenth day.

5. While Mithridates was celebrating the sacred rites of Ceres in Bosporus, an earthquake suddenly occurred of so great violence that it caused much damage to both city and country. At the same time Castor, who was the prefect of Mithridates and in command of Phanagorium, seized the citadel. After slaying the king's friends he turned over the four children of Mithridates to the Roman garrison. Mithridates, fired with anger, blazed forth in a series of crimes, murdering a great number of his friends at the time and also his own son Exipodra. He had already committed another parricide by putting Machares to death. Pharnaces, another son of his, now terrified by the fate of his brothers, won over to his side the army sent to attack him, and soon led it against his father. Mithridates, standing on the top of the wall, long pleaded in vain with his son. When he found him relentless, he is reported to have exclaimed when about to die: "Since Pharnaces orders my death, I beseech you, O gods of my native land, if you do exist, that he himself may also some day hear this utterance from his own children." Straightway he went down to his wives, concubines, and daughters, and gave poison to them all. Mithridates himself was the last to swallow the poison, but because he had taken antidotes over a long period, thus rendering his vital organs immune to the effects of poisonous juices, the poison could not kill him. He ran up and down in a vain attempt to see, as a final measure, whether the deadly drink would not now spread through his veins under the stimulus of vigorous exercise. Finally he summoned a certain Gallic soldier who happened to be running by after the wall had been broken down, and offered his throat to him. Such was the death suffered by Mithridates who, reputed to be one of the most superstitious of all men, left us an impressive example of his way of thinking. He was seventy-two years of age at the time of his death and had always surrounded himself with philosophers, skilled in all the arts.

"If you exist," he said, "O gods of my native land." Thus he had come to the conclusion after a long period of worship and of search, that those gods, who were usually thought to exist, could not with absolute certainty be proved to exist. A king of rich experience and one old in years did not grasp the fact that there was a true God, to the knowledge of Whom one comes only by hearing His Word in faith. He had perceived by the light of his reason that these gods were false, but he yielded to some extent to custom as well as asserting his own convictions. "If you exist, O gods," he said, thereby meaning: "I myself feel that there exists above mankind a power mightier than man himself. Being influenced by the need for prayer, I commend to them my scrupulousness, and I apologize for my own ignorance; for although I invoke a God who exists, actually I find one who does not exist." For this reason, this question must be sorrowfully and anxiously considered: what punishment or what judgment will they deserve who, contrary to the command of a truth that is at present widely diffused and known to all, eagerly follow and worship those gods whose credibility was already open to doubt in those days when people could have known no divinity other than those same gods? Nevertheless, I present the following brief reflection. What were the conditions that existed in those days over the entire East, when for a space of forty years the wretched nations were ground to pieces by great generals who successively ravaged them? Since each city in the midst of this warfare was inevitably endangered, it was therefore destined to inflame a new enemy by the very means through which it had rid itself of the old and to suffer disaster from what had been used as a temporary remedy. Terror-stricken embassies from different provinces then went to one Roman general after another and to Mithridates, who was even harsher than he was reputed to be, bringing different offers to each according as he was temporarily favored by the fortunes of war, exaggerating the dangers which they were trying to cure. I shall set forth in a few words what Pompey, who indeed was one of the most moderate of the Romans, accomplished after the close of the Mithridatic War throughout most of the regions of the East.

6. Six hundred and eighty-nine years after the founding of the City and during the consulship of M. Tullius Cicero and C. Antony, Pompey, upon receiving news of the death of Mithridates, invaded Syria Coele and Phoenicia. He first subdued the Ituraei and then the Arabians, also capturing their city, which they call Petra. Next he sent Gabinius with an army against the city of Jerusalem and against the Jews, over whom Aristobulus was reigning in succession to his brother Hyrcanus, who had been driven out. Aristobulus was the first member of the priesthood to become a king. Pompey himself followed closely behind Gabinius and though he was welcomed in the city by the fathers, nevertheless he was driven away by the people from the wall of the Temple; he therefore decided to capture it. The Temple was fortified not only by its natural location but also by a huge wall and a great ditch. After throwing legion after legion into the fray day and night without rest, each legion relieving the preceding one, Pompey barely managed to take the Temple by storm in the third month. Thirteen thousand Jews, according to report, were slain there. The rest of the number submitted to the Romans. Pompey gave orders for the walls of the city to be dismantled and leveled to the ground. Later he had a considerable number of the leading Jews executed, restored Hyrcanus to his priestly office, and had Aristobulus led captive to Rome. Appearing in person before an assembly of the Roman people, Pompey told the story of this war which he had waged against twenty-two kings.

In the meantime, there arose the conspiracy of Catiline against his native land. This conspiracy was betrayed in the City during these same days, but in Etruria it was extinguished by a civil war. In Rome the accomplices were put to death. But this story has been made so well known to all by Cicero's deeds and Sallust's description, that it is enough for me to present a much abridged account of it. The Marcelli, father and son, also instigated a rebellion in the country of the Palignae, but the uprising was betrayed by Vettius. When the conspiracy of Catiline was detected, it was crushed as if its very roots had been cut off; punishment was exacted in two localities, among the Palignae by Bibulus and among the Bruttii by Cicero.

7. In the six hundred and ninety-third year after the founding of the City and in the consulship of C. Caesar and L. Bibulus, the three provinces of Gallia Transalpina, Cisalpina, and Illyricum, with seven legions were awarded by the Lex Vatinia to Caesar for a period of five years. Gallia Comata was later added by the Senate.

Suetonius Tranquillus has most fully unfolded this history, the significant portions of which I myself have epitomized.

By holding out the hope of successfully invading all the Gallic provinces, a certain Orgetorix, the chief of the Helvetii, stirred up war among his people, the bravest of all the Gallic tribes. The Helvetii won this reputation because they were almost continuously at war with the Germans, who were separated from them by the Rhine. After Orgetorix had been seized and compelled to kill himself, the other nobles could not hold the people in check once their minds had been set on booty. They formed a conspiracy and on the appointed day burned their villages and homes so that no inducement to return would remain. They then began their march. Caesar blocked their passage at the Rhone River and after twice defeating them in great and hard-fought battles  forced them to surrender. The whole number of those who had set out in the first place, that is, the number of the Helvetii, Tulingi, Latobrigi, Rauraci, and Boii, counting both sexes, amounted to one hundred and fifty-seven thousand. Of these, forty-seven thousand fell in battle; the rest were sent back to their own lands.

In the territories of the Sequani, Caesar later conquered King Ariovistus, who was inciting warfare and bringing with him an incredible number of German troops. This king boasted that with these troops he had recently subjugated all the Gallic peoples, while Caesar's army, terrified by the vast number and courage of the Germans, had long declined the challenge to battle. After his defeat Ariovistus immediately seized a skiff, crossed the Rhine to Germany, and escaped; his two wives and two daughters, however, were captured. In the army of Ariovistus were the Harudes, Marcomanni, Triboci, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii, and Suebi. The battle fought was especially severe on account of the formation adopted by the Germans. They were drawn up in the form of a phalanx protected on all sides with advance columns in close formation and with shields interlocked above their heads in order to shatter the attack of the Roman battle line. But after some Roman soldiers, noted for their nimbleness and daring, had leaped over the overspreading testudo and had torn away the shields one by one as if they were scales, they pierced the exposed shoulders of the enemy who were caught unawares and without adequate covering. In their terror at this new peril threatening their lives, the Germans broke up their awe-inspiring formation and fled. The Romans pursued them over a distance of fifty miles and inflicted upon them a slaughter that never seemed to be satisfied. It is impossible to estimate either the number of the enemy engaged in that battle or the number slain.

After these events, the tribe of the Belgae, who constituted a third of the Gauls, broke out in rebellion against Caesar. The distribution of their forces was as follows: The Bellovaci, who enjoyed the reputation of excelling in numbers and courage, had sixty thousand picked troops, while the Suessiones had fifty thousand from twelve towns. The Nervii likewise had fifty thousand soldiers. Their untamed barbarity was a matter of common knowledge, it being everywhere known that never up to that time had they permitted merchants to bring into their territories wine or other articles of luxury, the enjoyment of which might paralyze their courage. The Atrebates and the Ambiani also had ten thousand; the Morini, twenty-five thousand; the Menapii, nine thousand; the Caleti, ten thousand; the Veliocasses and Viromandui each ten thousand; and the Aduatuci, eighteen thousand. The Con-drusi, Eburones, Caeroesi, Paemani, who were grouped under the one name of Germans, had forty thousand. Altogether there were reported to have been two hundred and seventy-two thousand picked soldiers. Caesar's army was thrown into confusion and put to flight by an unexpected attack made by these men, who suddenly burst forth from the forest. After suffering severe losses, the Roman army finally rallied under the encouragement of its leader, attacked the victors, and destroyed them almost to the last man.

8. After Caesar had accomplished great deeds in Gaul and had decided to set out for Italy, Galba was dispatched with the twelfth legion against the Veragri and Seduni. Galba took up his quarters for the winter in a village of the Veragri called Octodurus. He assigned to the inhabitants the central part of the town which was separated from the rest by a rapid stream. One day he noticed that they had left during the previous night and were occupying a nearby hill. The Veragri, indeed, holding in contempt the small numbers of the Romans, who had barely half a legion, thought that booty would of its own accord flow into their hands without any effort on their part. They also had invited their neighbors to participate in this carnage and to share in the spoils.

Galba was alarmed by the dangers now surrounding him on all sides, but hesitated to choose any definite plan because the advice so far received had been conflicting. The Gauls then suddenly poured down the slope of the mountain and laid siege to the unfinished camp. With rocks and darts they overwhelmed the defenders stationed at intervals along the rampart. While the camp was being assaulted, all the Romans, acting on the advice of the primipilar Pacuvius and the tribune Volusenus, burst forth from the gates and suddenly attacked the enemy who were off their guard. The Romans first threw them into confusion and then, after putting them to flight, slaughtered them mercilessly. More than thirty thousand barbarians, according to report, fell at this time.

Though Caesar thought that all the Gallic tribes had now been pacified, he was drawn back into a new and exceedingly great war. While P. Crassus, a young man, was wintering with the seventh legion by the Ocean among the Andicavi, the Veneti and other neighbors suddenly formed a conspiracy to wage war, bound the envoys of the Romans in chains, and announced that they would return these envoys to the Romans only when they had received back their own hostages. As allies for that war, they took the Osismi, Lexovii, Namnetes, Ambivariti, Morini, Diablintes, and Menapii, and they summoned assistance even from Britain.

Caesar was then informed by Crassus that the tribes which had previously surrendered were in rebellion. Although he knew how difficult it would be to begin war, he nevertheless realized that a matter of such grave importance could not be disregarded, lest other tribes might be tempted to follow their example. Consequently he advanced to engage the enemy in a land battle, but to no avail, since the enemy had withdrawn through marshes flooded by the Ocean into places difficult of approach and were now protected by the shelter their hiding places afforded. Therefore he ordered warships to be built on the Liger River, and floated them down to the Ocean. As soon as the enemy saw them, they speedily made ready two hundred and twenty ships of their own, equipped with every kind of armament. Leaving the harbor these ships took a position opposite the Romans. Brutus was aware that the naval conflict would be waged on very unequal terms, because the ships of the barbarians had been joined with beams of solid oak, and their mighty hulls, having the strength of rock, weakened the force of blows struck by the beaks of the opposing ships. His first move to help himself was to prepare sharply pointed hooks fastened to poles and attached with cords. With these contrivances, when need should arise, they could catch hold of the rigging from a distance and cut it down by withdrawing the shafts and retrieving the hook by pulling in the cord.

After these contrivances had been speedily made ready, he gave orders to his men to sever the tackle and sail yards of the enemy ships. When these sail yards had been brought down, many of their ships were rendered as motionless as if they had been captured. Some of the enemy, terrified by this danger, unfurled the sails of their ships where there was any wind at all and attempted to flee, but as the wind soon died, the Romans laughed at them. When all the ships had been set on fire and those Gauls engaged in the battle had been killed, all the rest surrendered. Because of the wrong done his ambassadors, and in order to teach a lesson to a people who were swayed by every new proposal, Caesar imprinted a terrible example upon their memory. He ordered all their chiefs to be tortured and put to death and the rest of the survivors to be sold into slavery.

In these same days Titurius Sabinius made a sortie and destroyed with unbelievable slaughter the Aulerci, Eburovices, and Lexovii, who had put their own chiefs to death because the latter were unwilling to recommend a renewal of the war. When Publius Crassus had come to Aquitania, he encountered armed resistance. The Sontiates attacked the Romans with a large detachment of cavalry and strong infantry forces, and threw them into serious disorder for a long time but were themselves ultimately defeated, driven into the town of the Sontiates, and besieged. When they saw that they would be conquered, they handed over their arms and surrendered.

Alarmed by this disaster, the Aquitani assembled an army from all sides, summoning assistance even from Hither Spain. They appointed as commanders for that war the same leaders who had served with Sertorius. While they were all making' preparations to besiege him, Crassus succeeded in overpowering and destroying them in their own camp. Out of fifty thousand of the Aquitani and Cantabri—forty thousand of the latter had come as auxiliaries—thirty-eight thousand, according to report, lost their lives. Caesar then attacked and reduced almost to the last man the Germans  who had crossed the Rhine with huge forces and who at that very time were preparing to bring all Gaul under their control. It is said that they numbered four hundred and forty thousand.

9. After constructing a bridge, Caesar then crossed to the country of the Germans and delivered the Sugambri and Ubii from a siege. His arrival brought terror to the entire country and also to the Suebi, the largest and fiercest tribe, who, according to information given by many people, had a hundred cantons and districts. Caesar then destroyed the bridge and withdrew to Gaul. Thence he came to the territories of the Morini where is to be found the nearest and shortest passage to Britain, to which, after preparing about eighty transports and swift ships, he set sail. In Britain he was first harassed by a bitter conflict and then overtaken by a disastrous storm; in the end he lost the greater part of the fleet, a considerable number of soldiers, and almost all of his cavalry. Returning to Gaul, he sent the legions into winter quarters and ordered six hundred ships to be built of every kind needed. With these ships, at the beginning of spring, he again sailed to Britain. While he himself was proceeding with his army against the enemy, the ships, which were riding at anchor, were overtaken by a storm and either smashed against one another or were dashed to pieces on the sands and destroyed. Forty ships were lost; the rest were refitted with great difficulty.

Caesar's cavalry was defeated by the Britons in the first battle, in which the tribune Labienus  lost his life. In a second battle, though not without risk to his own men, Caesar defeated and routed the Britons. Thence he advanced to the Thames River which, they say, is fordable only at one place. On the further bank, a vast host of the enemy had taken its position and had planted very sharp stakes under the water along almost the entire ford. When the Romans detected and avoided these obstacles, the barbarians, unable to withstand the onset of the legions, hid themselves in the woods, whence they severely harassed the Romans with their frequent sallies. In the meantime, the powerful city of the Trinobantes and their leader Mandubracius surrendered to Caesar, after giving forty hostages. Several other cities followed this example and entered the Roman alliance. Acting according to their advice, Caesar, after a severe struggle, finally captured the stronghold of Cassivellaunus, which was situated between two swamps and fortified by the covering of the wood and well stocked with supplies of all kinds.

10. After his return to Gaul from Britain, Caesar dispatched his legions to winter quarters. He was then beset and harassed on all sides by unexpected uprisings and wars. Ambiorix had formed a conspiracy with the Eburones and Aduatuci. Acting upon the plan suggested by the Treveri, Ambiorix led the legates Cotta and Sabinus into ambush in the territory of the Eburones, and slew them. Elated by his victory, Ambiorix hurriedly persuaded the Aduatuci, Nervii, and many other tribes to take up arms, and marched quickly against Cicero, the legate at that time commanding the legion in winter quarters. The number of the enemy can be deduced from the following incident. They had been taught by Roman prisoners that when they were besieging a camp, they should surround it with a rampart. But not having any farming implements with them, they had to dig up the soil with their swords and carry it away in military cloaks. It took them barely three hours to complete a rampart ten feet high and a ditch that was fifteen feet wide and fifteen thousand feet in circumference. In addition, they erected one hundred and twenty towers of unusual height.

Just when the enemy, fighting in wedge formation, were about to break, after a battle lasting seven continuous days and nights, a strong wind began to blow. They then used their slings to fling glowing tiles into the camp and also threw darts which had become red hot and ablaze from the heat of the fire. The breeze quickly swept through the straw thatch and fanned the fires which had already begun to spread. But not even then did the Romans, though overwhelmed on every side, yield to the hardship caused by wounds, long watches, hunger, and fire. Finally news came to Caesar that one legion had been wiped out and that the other was about to be destroyed.

When Caesar arrived on the scene with two legions, the enemy abandoned the siege and, uniting their forces, rushed out to engage him. Caesar, purposely concealing himself in a small camp, sent ahead the cavalry and ordered them to feign flight and thus lure the enemy, now contemptuous of him, to cross the intervening valley, which appeared to him to be fraught with danger. When the enemy drew near, he also ordered the gates to be barricaded. Upon noticing this, the Gauls, thinking that they had already won the battle, wheeled about in order to surround the rampart. From all gates Caesar suddenly let loose his army that was standing ready and after putting the Gauls to flight wrought great disaster upon them. According to report they numbered sixty thousand, of whom only a few escaped through the almost impassable swamps.

Indutiomarus, the chief of the Treveri, who had a large number of troops with him, after being assured of the unanimous accord of all Gaul, decided first to destroy the camp of Labienus and the legion which the latter commanded in the belief that this could be accomplished easily. Next he planned, in conjunction with the Eburones and Nervii, to overwhelm Caesar. Labienus practiced all sorts of wiles to make Indutiomarus believe that he was afraid, then made a sudden sally and crushed him while the barbarian, accompanied by his troops who were offering insults, was rather carelessly wandering in front of the fortification. This victory of Labienus checked any further attempts on the part of the Gauls, and Caesar spent the remaining part of the winter in comparative peace. Caesar, however, knew that greater difficulties still lay ahead of him in war, especially since the larger part of his army was lost and the remainder was incapacitated by wounds, and that he was apparently in no condition even to maintain his own position to say nothing of smashing the attack of the Gauls. Therefore he requested the proconsul Pompey to enroll legions for him and to dispatch them to his assistance. Before the end of the winter, three legions arrived at his camp.

At the beginning of spring Caesar prepared to attack the enemy, who were still terrified, and to crush them while they were still scattered far and wide in their own territories. He planned to do this before their forces could unite in one body. His first move was to ravage the territory of the Nervii, whose rich country he permitted his army to plunder. Then with three columns he made an attack upon the Menapii, who appeared to be well protected by immense swamps and almost impassable forests. After he had inflicted great slaughter upon them everywhere, he received in surrender the remnant who came to him as suppliants. In another battle, Labienus slew all the troops of the Treveri. He tricked them into battle before the approaching Germans could join them, and speedily captured their city.

Caesar, who wished to avenge the death of his legates Sabinus and Cotta, whose legion Ambiorix and the Eburones had destroyed, then learned that they had taken refuge in the Arduenna Forest. This forest was the largest in all Gaul and stretched from the banks of the Rhine and the territories of the Treveri to the lands of the Nervii, extending in length over fifty miles. He calculated that the undertaking would seriously endanger his own men, who were unacquainted with the region. Therefore he sent messengers to all the Gallic tribes and invited each, according to its pleasure, to seek and to plunder the booty hidden in the Arduenna Forest. This was done, and the Gauls, killing one another as their armies fought, avenged the great injuries that they had inflicted on the Romans without the loss of a single Roman soldier. By thus employing a method of conquest which was absolutely free from danger, Caesar returned to Italy in safety.

11. After Caesar had returned to Italy, the Gauls again formed a conspiracy to go to war and many tribes straightway entered into an alliance. Vercingetorix was their leader and on his advice all the Gauls of their own accord immediately set fire to their cities. Biturigo was the first city to be burnt by its own people. The Gauls then made an attack upon Caesar, who had secretly hurried back by forced marches through the province of Narbo. Caesar at this time had invested a town named Cenabum. After this town had been under attack for a long time and the Romans had suffered many disasters, it was finally captured and destroyed by towers that had been brought into action on a rainy day. The rain caused the agmenta and thongs of the enemy war machines to become slackened. Of the forty thousand men reported to have been in the engagement, barely eighty slipped away in flight and came to the nearest camp of the Gauls.

The Arverni and other neighbors—even the Aedui were induced to join them—also fought many battles against Caesar. When the enemy had retired to a certain fortress, the soldiers, wearied from fighting yet still eager for booty, were determined to storm the town, even after Caesar had pleaded in vain with them, pointing out the unfavorable character of the terrain. On this occasion Caesar was hard pressed by the enemy who were making sorties from above and, after losing a large part of his army, was defeated and took flight.

While these events were taking place at Alesia, Vercingetorix, who had been chosen king by the unanimous consent of all, persuaded everyone throughout entire Gaul capable of bearing arms to make ready to serve in this war. For this was a war which would result in perpetual liberty, eternal slavery, or death for all. Besides that countless multitude which he had brought together earlier, there were assembled about eight thousand cavalry and two hundred and fifty thousand infantry.

The Romans and the Gauls then occupied two hills opposite each other. From these hills they carried on battle by frequent sorties with changing fortunes, until the Romans won a victory, thanks to the splendid courage of the German cavalry whom they had summoned to their aid and who were friends of long standing. On another day Vercingetorix brought together all who had escaped by flight and said that he had in good faith been the prime mover of this war in defense of their freedom, that he had caused the treaty to be broken, and that he now would be ready to await their decision whether all the Gauls should offer themselves to the Romans to be killed or whether they should surrender him alone in behalf of all. The Gauls then brought to the surface the wish which through shame they had concealed for a long time; pretending that they were acting on the advice of their king, they asked pardon for themselves and surrendered Vercingetorix as the sole perpetrator of the great crime.

In the opinion of the Gauls themselves, the Bellovaci were braver than any other Gallic tribe. Under the leadership of Correus, these same Bellovaci resumed the war, securing as their allies for this new war the Ambiani, Aulerci, Caleti, Veliocasses, and Atrebates. They occupied a certain stretch of ground that was surrounded and rendered unapproachable by marshes. In the battle that followed they slew a large band of the Remi, who were serving as Roman auxiliaries. They themselves then occupied a favorable position and one well-suited for ambuscades. When the Romans discovered this, they advanced, equipped and drawn up in full battle array, to the place where the ambuscades were set. Battle was joined. The Romans surrounded the Gauls as they were fleeing from the fortified places in which they had been enclosed, and slew them almost to the last man. Correus, disdaining both flight and surrender, forced the Romans, who wished to capture him alive, to kill him on the spot.

When Caesar thought that the whole of Gaul was pacified and would not dare to raise any rebellion, he dispatched the legions into winter quarters, but he himself ravaged the territories of Ambiorix, who had stirred up so many wars, and inflicted a horrible slaughter upon the inhabitants. The legate C. Caninius, however, upon arriving in the territory of the Pictones, discovered a war raging there. A vast host of the enemy had surrounded the legion while it was encumbered on the march, and placed it in greatest peril. But the legate Fabius received a letter from Caninius and at once set out for the territory of the Pictones where he was informed by prisoners about the local situation. He took the enemy unawares, overwhelmed them after terrific slaughter, and carried off a great amount of booty. When Caninius had been notified of the legate's arrival, his soldiers suddenly rushed out from every part of the camp and threw themselves upon the enemy. Pressed by Fabius on one side and by Caninius on another, the countless Gallic forces were slaughtered in a great and long-drawn-out battle. Fabius then set out against the Carnutes, for he knew that Domnacus, their ancient leader and the instigator of the whole rebellion, had escaped from that battle and that if he were to join the Aremorican peoples, a great rebellion would again be set in motion in Gaul. By a remarkable display of courage and speed, Fabius subdued these tribes while they were dumbfounded by the unprecedented character of his tactics.

In the meantime, Drappes and Lucterius, seeing that Caninius and his legions were present in their territories, collected forces from all sides and seized the town of Uxellodunum. This town was situated on the highest peak of a mountain and was bordered on two sides by precipitous slopes and a fair-sized river. It was well supplied with water from an abundant spring situated in the middle of the slope and also had a large supply of grain stored within; from its secure position the city looked with contempt upon the ineffectual maneuvers of the enemy afar off. Caninius accomplished all that could be done by Roman foresight. He induced both Gallic generals with the greater part of their troops to come down into the plain where he overcame them in a great battle. When one of these generals had been slain, the other took flight with a very small number of men. No one returned to the town. But to capture that town they had to call upon Caesar.

When Caesar had learned through messengers how matters stood, he hastened to the place and, viewing the situation from all angles, saw that if he should try to force his way into the town by an assault, his army would become subject to the ridicule of the enemy. One thing alone could assist him, namely, depriving the enemy in any way whatsoever of their supply of water. But Caesar could not accomplish this if the spring which they were using for drinking purposes continued to pour forth its waters from the middle of one of the sloping sides of the mountain. Caesar ordered mantlets to be moved as near as possible to the spring and a tower erected. A great crowd from the town assembled on the spot. Although the Romans fought stubbornly and repeatedly made successful advances, yet many were slain, since the enemy from their position fought without danger to themselves. A rampart was therefore thrown up and a tower sixty feet high constructed, the top of which was on a level with the spring, so that the Romans could hurl missiles from the same level as the enemy without fear that showers of rocks might be thrown down upon them from above.

When the townsfolk saw that not only their flocks but even their aged men were dying of thirst, they filled tubs with grease, pitch, and shingle, and then, having set them afire, sent them hurtling down the slope. They themselves swarmed out from the entire town and followed closely after them. When his machines caught fire, Caesar saw that the battle would have serious consequences and would be very dangerous to his men. Therefore he ordered some cohorts to go secretly and swiftly around the town and suddenly to raise a loud shout from every quarter. When this was done, the townsfolk became alarmed, and wanting to run back to defend the town, gave up the attack on the towers as well as the work of demolishing the rampart. But the soldiers, working under the safe protection of the rampart, continued to extend the passages they were digging underground and were able to reduce the volume of water encountered in hidden channels by leading it off in many different channels, thereby destroying the supply.

When their spring had become dry, the townspeople were filled with despair and surrendered. Caesar cut off the hands of all who had borne arms but spared their lives. He did this so that posterity might more clearly see what penalty awaited those who did evil. For an example of punishment strikingly set forth is of great value in restraining audacity, since the wretched condition of those left alive warns those who know what happened and compels those who do not know to inquire.

12. When the Gauls had become exhausted and were completely subdued, Caesar, accompanied by his legions, returned in safety to Italy. He had no great fear of rebellion from the Gauls left behind, since he well knew that very few remained who would have the courage to rebel, or who if they should rebel were at all to be feared. At this point I should like to set forth the condition of a Gaul that had been drained of blood and worn out after those blazing fevers and internal fires had scorched her very vitals. I should like now to envisage how emaciated and pale she was, how dejected and enervated she lay, how she feared even the activities of necessary business lest these bring back another onset of misfortune ! For the Roman army, attacking unexpectedly, fell upon her just as sometimes a plague far stronger than itself besets an extremely healthy body—a plague whose virulence increases the more impatiently the disease is borne. Wretched Gaul panted, when she was forced at the point of the sword to acknowledge an agreement entailing perpetual slavery besides submitting to have hostages torn from her. She panted with thirst, as I have said, for that well-known sweetness of liberty that is so very delightful to all, just as a feverish patient thirsts for a drink of cold water; and the more she realized that she was losing her liberty the more eagerly did she yearn for it. Herein lay the cause of her oft-repeated resistance to restrictive laws; she was seized by an ill-timed and ravening wilfulness to defend her liberty and to regain that freedom which had been wrested from her, and instead of assuaging the pestilence in her system, as it seemed to do, this wilfulness increased it. We see then that the Roman was a more cunning plotter before battle, a more merciless enemy in battle, a more ruthless victor after battle. So far as overcoming the malady was concerned, all conditions, therefore, were growing worse and for that reason no faith in remedies existed any longer. Thus if I could ask this nation what she thinks about the days when she was suffering these ills, she would in my opinion answer and say: "The present fever has left me so feeble and made me so cold that even the present change, which has affected almost all people, has been unable to warm or to stir me; moreover, the Romans have so severely oppressed me that I am unable to rise against the Goths." But not even Rome herself escaped the disasters which she inflicted. The illegal extension of powers by military leaders had been so exercised and the strength of the legions had for a long time been so increased in every part of the world, that whenever these legions came into conflict, their victory resulted in injury to Rome and their defeat endangered her. For the return of victorious Caesar from Gaul was followed by civil wars and preceded by other great evils, the murder of Crassus and the butchery of his army by the Parthians.

13. In the six hundred and ninety-seventh year of the City, Crassus, who shared the consulship with Pompey, obtained by lot the command against the Parthians. He was a man of insatiable cupidity. When he heard of the riches of the Temple at Jerusalem that Pompey had left untouched, he turned aside to Palestine and came to Jerusalem, where he entered the Temple and plundered its treasures. Thence directing his course to Parthia he requisitioned auxiliaries from the allied states, wherever his march led, and exacted tribute. As soon as he had crossed the Euphrates, he met Vageses, who had been sent as an envoy by Orodes, the king of the Parthians. Vageses violently reproached the Roman for being led by avarice to cross the Euphrates contrary to the terms of the treaty of Lucullus and Pompey. He predicted that on account of this he would soon be burdened with Chinese iron instead of with Parthian gold.

When the Romans had arrived in the neighborhood of Carrhae, the Parthians under their prefects Surenas and Silaces suddenly fell upon them and overwhelmed them with arrows. Many senators, as well as some men of consular and praetorian rank, lost their lives. Crassus also, the son of Crassus, and a distinguished young man, was killed while fighting in the line of battle. In addition, four cohorts, together with the lieutenant Vargunteius, were surprised in open country and killed. Surenas set out quickly with his cavalry and by a forced march sought to overtake Crassus. Later he surrounded him and, after the latter had pleaded in vain for a conference, killed him; he would have preferred, however, to have taken him alive. A few escaped under cover of the night and took refuge in Carrhae.

When this disaster of the Romans became known, many provinces of the East would have withdrawn from the alliance and protection of the Roman people, had not Cassius, after collecting a few of the soldiers who had fled, exercised exceptional spirit, courage, and moderation, and thus restrained Syria, which was then in revolt. Cassius killed Antiochus and defeated his mighty forces in a battle. He also fought the Parthians who had been dispatched by Orodes into Syria and who had recently entered Antioch. He drove them off and slew their leader, Osages.

14. Thus Rome's fortune constantly underwent alternating changes and may be compared to the level of the Ocean, which is never the same from day to day. For a space of seven days the level rises by increases that gradually grow less, and then in the same number of days falls as a result of natural loss and internal absorption. To begin with events that now follow next in order, a Roman army perished at the hands of the conquering Cimbri and Tigurini near the Rhone River. Rome felt herself to be in terrible straits, but when the disaster threatened by the Cimbri was quickly warded off she was elated by her great success and forgot her earlier failures. The Italic War and the carnage of Sulla later restrained her boasting about her recent good fortune. Yet after this domestic and internal calamity, by which she was almost disemboweled and consumed to her very marrow, not only was Rome again restored in about an equal space of time, but her boundaries were also enlarged. When Lucullus had subdued Asia, when Pompey had subdued Spain, and when Caesar had subdued Gaul, the Roman Empire stretched to almost the extreme boundaries of the earth. This wide movement of expansion was followed by disasters far-reaching in scope. A Roman consul was killed and his army wiped out in the territory of the Parthians; the seeds of that terrible civil war between Pompey and Caesar were sown; and in the midst of all this, the city of Rome herself was suddenly swept by fire and reduced to ashes.

In the seven hundredth year after her founding, the greater part of the City was attacked by a fire of uncertain origin. People say that never before had so great a fire swept and devastated the City. Tradition tells us that fourteen sections of the City, together with the Iugarian quarter, were completely destroyed. At this time the Civil War, which had long been in the course of preparation as a result of grave dissensions and important movements, now commences.

15. When returning as a conqueror from Gaul, Caesar requested that a second consulship be voted him even while he was still absent. This request was denied by the consul Marcellus with the support of Pompey. The Senate then decreed that Caesar should not come into the City until he had first disbanded his army. By the authority of the consul Marcellus, Pompey was sent with the imperium to the legions stationed at Luceria. Caesar then betook himself to Ravenna. M. Antony and Q. Cassius, the tribunes of the plebs, intervened in Caesar's behalf, but upon being barred from the Curia and Forum by order of the consul Lentulus, they set out, accompanied by Curio and Caelius, to join Caesar. After crossing the Rubicon River, Caesar came to Ariminum, where he at once instructed the five cohorts, the only body of troops he had with him at that time, what he expected them to do. With these cohorts, according to Livy, he set out to attack the whole world.

Bitterly bewailing the injustices done him, Caesar openly declared that the restoration of the tribunes to Rome was the cause of the Civil War. He then received from Lucretius, through Antony, the seven cohorts tarrying at Sulmo; the three legions tarrying at Corfinium with Domitius, he transferred to his own party. Alarmed at the increasing strength of Caesar, Pompey and the entire Senate were driven, so to speak, from Italy, and crossed over to Greece where they selected Dyrrachium as the base from which to carry on the war. Caesar came to Rome, where, after breaking down the doors of the treasury, he seized the money that had been refused him. He took away four thousand one hundred and thirty-five pounds of gold and nearly nine hundred thousand pounds of silver. He then left for Ariminum to join his legions, and, crossing the Alps rapidly, came to Massilia.

Leaving Trebonius there with three legions to storm the city because it had refused to receive him, Caesar hastened to the Spanish provinces that the Pompeian generals L. Afranius, M. Petreius, and M. Varro were holding with their legions. After overcoming Petreius and Afranius in many battles, Caesar concluded a pact with them and let them go. In Further Spain, however, he took over two legions from the hands of M. Varro. Moreover, his own generals were equally successful. Curio drove Cato from Sicily, Valerius drove Cotta from Sardinia, and Varus expelled Tubero from Africa. Upon his return to Massilia, which had been captured after a siege, Caesar thoroughly sacked the city, conceding to the inhabitants only their lives and liberty.

In Illyria, however, Dolabella, a member of Caesar's faction, upon being defeated by Octavius and Libo and deprived of his troops, fled to Antony. Basilus and Sallustius, with the separate legions that they commanded, and Antony and Hortensius, the latter coming with his fleet from the Etruscan Sea, all together set out to do battle with Octavius and Libo, who, however, defeated them. When Antony had surrendered himself and his fifteen cohorts to Octavius, all were led away to Pompey by Libo. Curio, who crossed from Sicily to Africa with an army, was immediately overtaken by King Juba and slaughtered with his entire forces. While he was attempting to storm Salonae, Octavius lost almost all the troops that he was leading. Caelius revolted from Caesar and joined Milo in exile. Both were killed when they were trying, with the help of a band of slaves, to carry Capua by assault. Bibulus, worn out from lack of food and long watches, was overwhelmed with shame at Corcyra, because the enemy had made a laughingstock of the defenses he had constructed along the sea and before the town.

Appius Claudius Censorinus, who was guarding Greece at Pompey's order, wished to test the already discredited credibility of the Pythian oracle. He compelled the prophetess to descend into the grotto where she is said to have replied to his query about the war: "O Roman, this war does not concern you; you will obtain the Coela of Euboea." Now this Coela people call the Euboic Gulf. So Appius departed, confused by the perplexing prophecy.

The consulting of the oracle by Appius reminds me to take up with my critics a point they have raised. They complain everywhere that through the Christian faith their sacred rites have been forbidden them and their ceremonies abolished. They complain especially on the ground that when the consultation of entrails and prophecies was discontinued, future disasters were not avoided, since they could not be foreseen. Why, then, long before the reign of Caesar and the birth of Christ, as their own authorities bear witness, had the credibility of the Pythian oracle vanished? It vanished, indeed, because it was despised. To carry the argument further, why was it despised unless it had proven false or groundless, or at least dubious? Hence, wisely the poet foretold:

Men depart uncounseled and detest the seat of the Sibyl. [Vergil, Aen. iii, 452]

And let them not by any chance consider it of little moment that the oracle was abolished because it fell into contempt and became out of date, that is, both the divinity and the place. It was that same Pythian Apollo who, they say, appeared after the death of Python as the heir to the seat, to powers of divination, and to the name of that great serpent who was the founder and chief of all prophecy. Moreover, they also say that he chose to render the responses in the place where the power of divination itself, along with its author, apparently originated. His name is forcibly vented throughout other parts of the world by all those who are possessed with madness and pour meaningless words from their foaming mouths. A great number of earthly kings have run to him as if to find the living voice of a divinity who could be consulted. Even the Romans have very often sent the richest of gifts to him. And if this Pythian Apollo, due to the slow infiltration of knowledge, came to be despised, given up, and abandoned, what life can be expected of a dead animal, what truth, indeed, from a mad woman?

When the Tuscan at the altars has blown his pipe of ivory, [Vergil, Georgics, iii. 193]

what finally, after the intestines of a splendid animal had been laid open, in his greed for gain would the oracle not invent, if, as they themselves admit, Apollo himself leads one astray by speaking either obscurely or falsely? Wherefore, even though in the meantime they are unwilling to follow us, let them tolerate calmly our action in prohibiting by a true judgment that which their own forefathers were led by experience to despise.

Meanwhile, at Dyrrachium many kings of the East joined Pompey with reinforcements. When Caesar arrived there, he besieged him in vain, blockading him on the land side by a ditch fifteen miles long, though the sea remained open to him. Pompey overthrew a certain fortress near the sea, which Marcellinus was guarding, and killed the garrison stationed there by Caesar. Caesar then set out to attack Torquatus and his single legion. When Pompey was informed of the danger threatening his allies, he concentrated all his forces at that spot, but Caesar abandoned the siege and moved against him immediately. Torquatus, however, rushed forth instantly and attacked the rear guard of Caesar, whose soldiers became terrified by this twofold peril and took flight, even though Caesar himself tried in vain to stop them. But Pompey, whom Caesar admitted was the victor, recalled his army from the pursuit. Four thousand of Caesar's soldiers, twenty-two centurions, and some of the Roman cavalry fell in that battle.

When Caesar proceeded to Thessaly by a forced march through Epirus, Pompey followed with huge forces and engaged him in battle. The lines of battle were then drawn up on both sides. Pompey stationed eighty-eight cohorts in a triple line. There were forty thousand infantrymen and six hundred cavalry on the left wing, and five hundred on the right, not to speak of many kings, a great many Roman senators and knights, and a large force of light-armed troops. Caesar in like manner drew up his eighty cohorts in a triple line. His troops numbered less than thirty thousand infantry and a thousand horse. One could moan at the sight of the concentrated strength of Rome standing on the Pharsalian fields arrayed for mutual slaughter; had harmony only reigned, no nations or kings could have withstood them.

In the first engagement, the cavalry of Pompey was repulsed and its left flank was exposed. When mutual slaughter had gone on for a long time and while the issue was still in doubt, with Pompey on one side encouraging his soldiers, saying "spare the citizens," but not sparing them, and on the other side, Caesar crying "soldier, hit them in the face," the whole army of Pompey finally took flight and abandoned their camp to plunder. Fifteen thousand of Pompey's troops and thirty-three centurions were slain in this battle. This was the result of the battle fought at Palaeopharsalus.

In his flight Pompey came upon a merchant vessel at the mouth of the Peneus River and crossed into Asia. Thence he reached Egypt by way of Cyprus. As soon as he touched shore, he was killed by order of the youthful Ptolemy, who hoped thereby to win the favor of the victorious Caesar. The wife and children of Pompey took flight and the rest of Pompey's fleet was destroyed and all those on board were slaughtered with the utmost cruelty. Pompey Bithynicus also lost his life there, while Lentulus, a man of consular rank, was killed at Pelusium.

After having arranged his affairs in Thessaly, Caesar went to Alexandria. Upon seeing the head and ring of Pompey that were brought to him, he burst into tears. When he had betaken himself to the royal palace, he was cheated by the keepers, who, to prevent Caesar from getting the spoils, cunningly stripped their own temples in order that they might show that the royal treasures were gone and at the same time inflame the populace against Caesar. Moreover, Achillas, the royal commander, whose hands were stained with Pompey's blood, was also planning to kill Caesar. When he was ordered to dismiss his army consisting of twenty thousand armed troops, he not only scorned the order but even drew up his troops in battle array. During the combat orders were issued to set fire to the royal fleet, which by chance was drawn on shore. The flames spread to part of the city and there burned four hundred thousand books stored in a building which happened to be nearby. So perished that marvelous monument of the literary activity of our ancestors, who had gathered together so many great works of brilliant geniuses. In regard to this, however true it may be that in some of the temples there remain up to the present time book chests, which we ourselves have seen, and that, as we are told, these were emptied by our own men in our own day when these temples were plundered—this statement is true enough—yet it seems fairer to suppose that other collections had later been formed to rival the ancient love of literature, and not that there had once been another library which had books separate from the four hundred thousand volumes mentioned, and for that reason had escaped destruction.

Later Caesar captured the island on which Pharos was situated. Thither Achillas came with the Gabinian soldiers and there fought a great battle in which a great number of

Caesar's troops fell and all the slayers of Pompey were killed. When hard pressed by the force of the enemy's attack, Caesar boarded a skiff. This quickly became heavy from the added weight and sank, but Caesar swam two hundred yards to a ship, holding high the hand that held the charts. Soon afterward he was compelled to engage in a naval encounter and by a great stroke of luck sank or captured the vessels of the royal fleet.

16. In reply to the Alexandrians, who were making entreaties in behalf of their king, Caesar gave warning that the king would do better to cultivate Roman friendship. Nevertheless the king, as soon as he was free, immediately declared war. He and his army were at once destroyed in a battle in which twenty thousand men, according to report, were slain, while twelve thousand men and seventy warships surrendered. Five hundred of the victors are also said to have fallen. The king himself, a minor, entered a boat in order to escape, but so many jumped into the skiff that he was forced under the water and drowned. His body, which was washed ashore, was identified by a golden lorica. After sending this lorica in advance to Alexandria, Caesar forced all the Alexandrians, who were in despair, to surrender, and he bestowed the kingdom of Egypt on Cleopatra. Thence he overran Syria and conquered Pharnaces in Pontus.

When Caesar later came to Rome, he was made dictator and consul. He then crossed to Africa and at Thapsus engaged in battle with Juba and Scipio, a great number of whose men he killed. The camps of both were plundered and sixty elephants were captured. Cato committed suicide at Utica. Juba paid a man to cut his throat and Petreius transfixed himself with the same sword. Scipio, hurriedly taking ship for Spain, was turned back by the wind to Africa, where he cut his own throat. On the same ship, T. Torquatus was likewise slain. Caesar ordered the grandchildren of Pompey the Great to be killed and, at the same time, the daughter of Pompey together with Faustus Sulla, Afranius, and his son Petreius. Thereupon Caesar entered the city and was given four triumphs.

Having set in order the affairs of the restored Republic, Caesar immediately set out for the Spains against the Pompeys, that is, against the sons of Pompey. Seventeen days after leaving the City, he arrived at Saguntum and at once engaged the two Pompeys, Labienus, and Attius Varus in many battles with varying success. The last battle was fought at the Munda River. There huge forces contended and the slaughter of the combatants was so great that even Caesar —since his own veterans were not ashamed to yield ground— seeing that his battle line was being cut to pieces and forced back, was beginning to entertain the idea of suicide, anticipating the disgrace of coming defeat, when suddenly the army of the Pompeys broke and turned to flight. Indeed this battle was finished on the very day that Pompey, the father, had fled from the City to wage war, and for four years afterward the thunders of this Civil War reverberated incessantly over the whole earth. T. Labienus and Attius Varus were slain in the line of battle, but Gnaeus Pompey escaped with a hundred horse. His brother Sextus Pompey quickly gathering together a considerable band of Lusitani, engaged in battle with Caesonius, but after being defeated, he was killed in flight.

The city of Munda, after its inhabitants had suffered severe casualties from Caesar's assault, was finally captured with great difficulty.

17. Caesar returned to Rome. There he attempted to make minor changes in the form of the government of the Republic, which were contrary to the precedents set by the forefathers. While he was in the Senate House, he was stabbed twenty-three times and died. This conspiracy was instigated by Brutus and Cassius, but they also say that the greater part of the Senate knew of it and that there were more than sixty accomplices. The two Brutuses, C. Cassius, and the other conspirators, with drawn daggers withdrew to the Capitol. For a long time the people deliberated whether they should burn the Capitol together with the perpetrators of the murder. In their grief, the people took up Caesar's body and cremated it in the Forum on a pyre erected from pieces broken from the tribunal benches.

Rome spread her own misfortunes over the length and breadth of her realm and, turning to accomplish her own ruin, rendered satisfaction to all the separate nations in the very places where she had conquered them. In Asia, Europe, and Africa—I do not say in the three parts of the world, but in all the corners of the three divisions—Rome exhibited her own sons as gladiators and presented to enemies, who were enjoying the holiday, a spectacle of a vengeance that arouses pity. And yet the matter did not end when causes of war and those responsible for them had been destroyed; the seeds, returning to the soil and germinating in the self-same field, were destined at once to produce a great increase of disasters for those who harvested them with much sweat. Caesar, the victor of the Civil War, was killed by his fellow citizens. Large numbers were implicated as accomplices in the murder of this man. Caesar, done to death so shamefully, would ordinarily have found many avengers. But at this time the greater part of the nobility was linked in a single chain of crime to the end that this great source of evil might rather lead to a great war and not be settled by the prompt infliction of a penalty. We are told in fable that when the famous Medea had once sown the teeth of a dead serpent armed men sprang forth from the earth, as if indeed the crop were appropriate to the seed, and that they soon destroyed one another in combat. Verily poets in their fancies have invented this story. But upon the death of Caesar to how many armies did our Rome give birth from his ashes! How many great wars did his death stir up as a proof of his virulent fertility, not to serve merely as reading matter for youths, but actually to be a spectacle for the people to see! And yet the beginning of all these calamities was pride: from it civil wars blazed forth, from it they again multiplied. Therefore the slaughter of those who unjustly strove after slaughter was justifiable, provided that the punishment for this ambitious rivalry was visited upon the same persons who caused it. This will always be so until those who have declined a partnership in power learn to bear the rule of a master and, when supreme authority has been vested in one man, all men submit to a far different mode of life, that is, to humbly strive to please rather than to offend by an insolent spirit. For such a salutary doctrine of humility a teacher was needed. Therefore, when the affairs of Augustus Caesar had been opportunely arranged, the Lord Christ was born, Who, though in the image of God, humbly took upon Himself the form of a servant, that finally at that time the teaching of humility might become more effective, and that throughout the whole world the punishment for pride might serve as a warning to all.

18. In the seven hundred and tenth year of the City, Octavianus, according to the terms of the will of his uncle Julius Caesar, became his heir and assumed his name. After he had later won control of affairs, he was called Augustus. As soon as he, still a youth, had come to Rome, he dedicated his talents to civil wars. To unfold briefly that mass of evils, he waged five civil wars, that is, those involving Mutina, Philippi, Perusia, Sicily, and Actium. Of these, two (the first and last) he fought against M. Antony, the second against Brutus and Cassius, the third against L. Antony, and the fourth against Sextus Pompey, the son of Cn. Pompey. After Antony had been declared an enemy by the Senate and had besieged D. Brutus at Mutina, the consuls Hirtius and Pansa, together with Caesar, were sent to liberate Brutus and to subdue Antony. Pansa, who arrived first, was trapped in an ambush; while his forces were being slaughtered, he himself was seriously wounded by a javelin and died from the wound some days later. Hirtius, bringing aid to his colleague, destroyed Antony's great army with frightful carnage. Thus far Caesar had guarded his camp. In a second engagement with Antony, both sides suffered severe losses. For at that time and place, the consul Hirtius was killed, Antony fled after being defeated, and Caesar won the victory. To him, D. Brutus confessed his part in the conspiracy that had resulted in the murder of Julius Caesar and poured forth prayers of repentance. At Smyrna, Dolabella killed Trebonius, one of Caesar's assassins. The Senate declared Dolabella an enemy. Both armies of the slain consuls submitted to Caesar, and later D. Brutus was captured and put to death by the Sequani in Gaul. Basilus, likewise one of the assassins, was slain by his own slaves. Through the intercession of Lepidus, Caesar took Antony into his favor and as a pledge of their friendly reconciliation married the latter's daughter.

When they had reached the City, a rumor about a future proscription arose. C. Thoranius, a man of praetorian rank, fearing nothing of that kind, was killed in his own home by an attack of the soldiery. Many others were also slain, and in order that indiscriminate slaughter might not rage on a wider scale and without restraint, the names of one hundred and thirty-two senators were posted on the proscription list. The first list included those ordered and named by Lepidus, the second those by Antony, and the third those by Caesar. On his list Antony had proscribed his enemy Tullius Cicero and also his own uncle L. Caesar and—what made the crime worse—he did this while his mother was still alive. To his list, Lepidus added the name of his own brother, L. Paulus, and later thirty Roman knights were added to the number of proscribed. Over a long period of time many murders took place, the homes of the proscribed were demolished, and everything was stolen.

In Syria, however, Dolabella waged many battles with Cassius, but when he met defeat Dolabella took his own life. After assembling great armies, Brutus and Cassius united their forces at Athens and laid waste all Greece. Cassius forced the Rhodians to surrender after attacking them on land and sea; he left them nothing but their lives. Caesar and Antony then pursued Brutus and Cassius into Macedonia and compelled them to commit suicide. It is very clear, however, that this battle was brought to an end, not by courage on the part of Antony but by the good fortune of Caesar. The latter, feeling ill at the time, decided to confine himself to his camp so that he might rest. However, on the advice and entreaty of his physician, who confessed that he had been warned in a dream to lead Caesar from his camp on that day in order to save his life, Caesar made a great effort and set out with his troops for the field. Forthwith his own camp was captured by the enemy. But the troops of Caesar in turn captured the camp of Cassius. Reduced to desperation, Brutus and Cassius both resolved to commit suicide before the battle  came to an end. Cassius offered his head to the executioners whom they had summoned, while Brutus offered his side. At Rome, Fulvia, the wife of Antony and mother-in-law of Caesar, exercised her authority after the manner of a woman. Nobody knows whether in this change from the rank of a consul to that of a king she is to be counted as the last representative of a declining power or the first of a rising power, but certainly she acted in a haughty manner towards those who were placing her in a position to be arrogant. She even assailed Caesar with insults, party strife, and plots after he had returned to Brundisium. When he warded off her attacks, she betook herself to Greece to join Antony.

After Sextus Pompey had found his name among the number of those proscribed, he turned to piracy and laid waste the whole coast of Italy with slaughter and pillage. He quickly seized Sicily and by cutting off the flow of provisions brought famine upon Rome. The triumvirs—not to say tyrants— Lepidus, Caesar, and Antony, speedily made peace with him. But once Pompey, contrary to the terms of agreement, had allowed fugitives to join his forces, he was regarded as an enemy. Mena, the freedman of Pompey, with a fleet of sixty vessels, deserted to the side of Caesar who appointed him commander of the whole fleet. He and Statilius Taurus immediately fought a naval engagement against Menecrates, the Pompeian leader. Caesar himself then fought a very bloody naval battle against these same Pompeians; but very soon after he lost almost all his victorious fleet by shipwreck at Scylaceum. Ventidius in three great battles routed the Persians and Parthians who had broken into Syria, and killed their king Pacorus in the battle line on the very day, indeed, on which Crassus had been slain by the Parthians.

After capturing only one fort, Antony made peace with Antiochus in order that he himself might appear to have been the one who had brought so important an affair to a conclusion. He placed Ventidius in charge of Syria and ordered him to make war upon Antigonus, who at that time had by chance vanquished the Jews, and who, after the capture of Jerusalem, had despoiled the Temple and transferred the rule to Herod. Ventidius at once defeated Antigonus and accepted his surrender. The freedman Mena, who had returned with six ships to Pompey and had been kindly received by him, then set fire to the fleet of Caesar. Incidentally Caesar only a short time before had lost another fleet by a second shipwreck. This Mena was later overcome by Agrippa in a naval engagement and went over to the side of Caesar with six triremes. Caesar for the third time spared the deserter's life, but he left him powerless. After that, Agrippa fought a naval engagement against Demochares and Pompey between Mylae and the Liparian Islands and was victorious in an encounter in which he sank or captured thirty vessels and damaged the remainder. Pompey then took refuge in Messana.

Meanwhile Caesar crossed over to Tauromenium, but Pompey defeated him by a sudden attack. After many of his ships had been sunk and a great number of his troops lost, Caesar fled to Italy and then immediately returned to Sicily, where he met Lepidus who was coming from Africa. The latter by terror, threats, and a display of arrogance made good his claim to the greater part of the troops. Several days later, at the order of Caesar who had drawn up his battle lines and was watching the engagement from the shore, Agrippa fought a terrific naval battle against Pompey and was victorious, sinking or capturing one hundred and sixty-three ships. Pompey with seventeen ships barely managed to slip away and escaped.

Lepidus, who was now much puffed up with pride on account of the fact that he had twenty legions, plundered Messana, which had been turned over to his soldiers. Later he twice spurned Caesar himself who had come in person, and even went so far as to give an order that spears be hurled at him. By wrapping a cloak around his left arm, Caesar managed to ward off the attack and then made his escape. He quickly spurred his horse and riding back to his own men then drew up his forces and marched against Lepidus, the greater part of whose legions went over to Caesar's side as soon as they had suffered a few casualties. When Lepidus finally realized where his pride had led him, he laid aside his military cloak, put on a dark grey garment, and humbly petitioned Caesar. He was granted his life and property, but was condemned to perpetual exile. Taurus, Caesar's prefect, accepted the allegiance of almost all Sicily, which had been sorely tried and greatly terrified by warfare. Forty-four legions were now under the sole command of Caesar. The soldiers, somewhat arrogant on account of their numbers, began agitating for land grants; but Caesar, who had great courage, discharged twenty thousand of them from service and restored thirty thousand slaves to their masters; six thousand slaves who no longer had masters he had crucified. When Caesar entered the City in triumph, the Senate decreed that he should be given the tribunician power for life. At this time from an inn situated on the other side of the Tiber a spring of oil burst out and poured forth a great stream throughout the whole day.

19. After Antony had crossed the Araxes, he was beset on all sides by every kind of misfortune and barely managed in the end to make his way back with a few men to Antioch. Though defeated  by the great numbers of the cavalry and archers in all of the many battles he attempted, he always managed to escape. But once he was caught in unexplored and unknown parts of the country and compelled by severe hunger to eat unspeakable foods; many of his soldiers surrendered to the enemy. From this region he crossed to Greece and ordered Pompey, who after his defeat at the hands of Caesar was recruiting an army for the renewal of the war, to come to him with a small force. Pompey, fleeing from Antony's generals, Titius and Furnius, after he had repeatedly been defeated in battle on land and sea, was captured and a little while later put to death.

Caesar subdued and conquered Illyria, Pannonia, and part of Italy. Antony, who had captured Artabanes, the king of Armenia, by treachery and fraud, forced the king, whom he had bound with a silver chain, to reveal the location of the royal treasures. He next stormed the city where the king had disclosed that the treasures were hidden and carried off a large amount of gold and silver. He became puffed up with pride over the possession of this money and gave orders for war to be declared against Caesar and for divorce proceedings to be instituted against his own wife, Octavia, who was Caesar's sister. He also bade Cleopatra to leave Alexandria and join him. He himself set out for Actium, where he had stationed his fleet. When he found that almost a third of his rowers had perished from hunger, he said, without any display of emotion, "Let oars only be safe, for as long as Greece has men, we shall not lack for rowers." Caesar then set out from Brundisium for Epirus with two hundred and thirty beaked ships.

Agrippa, whom Caesar had ordered to proceed in advance, captured a large number of merchant vessels loaded with grain and arms on their way from Egypt, Syria, and Asia, to assist Pompey. Agrippa also worked his way into the Peloponnesian Gulf and took by storm the city of Mothona, which was defended by a very strong garrison of Antony's. Next he captured Corcyra; he then pursued and routed the fugitives in a naval battle, and finally, after accomplishing many acts of the utmost cruelty, came back to Caesar.

Alarmed by the fact that his soldiers were deserting and were hungry, Antony decided to hasten the beginning of the battle. After quickly drawing up his troops, he advanced toward Caesar's camp but suffered defeat. On the third day after the battle, Antony transferred his camp to Actium and prepared to decide the issue by a naval engagement. There were two hundred and thirty beaked ships in Caesar's fleet and thirty without beaks, triremes equal in swiftness to Liburnian vessels; eight legions, not counting five praetorian cohorts, were stationed on board the fleet. Antony's fleet had one hundred and seventy ships, but this smaller number was offset by their exceptional size, for in height they stood ten feet above the level of the sea.

This battle at Actium  was both famous and great. From the fifth to the seventh hour, it raged with terrific losses on both sides and with the issue still undecided; the later hours of the day and the following night turned the scales of victory in Caesar's favor. Queen Cleopatra was the first to flee with sixty of her swift vessels. Antony then pulled down the standard of the commander's ship and followed his wife in flight. At daybreak Caesar completed his victory. On the side of the conquered, twelve thousand, according to report, lost their lives; six thousand were wounded, and of these a thousand died later despite [medical] care.

Antony and Cleopatra decided to send part of the royal treasure and the children born of their marriage on ahead to the Red Sea. After stationing garrisons around the two extremities of Egypt, Pelusium  and Paraetonium, they themselves prepared a fleet and troops for the renewal of the struggle.

Caesar, who had been named imperator for the sixth time and consul for the fourth time (in this instance with M. Licinius Crassus) went to Brundisium where he assigned different legions to posts throughout the world. From there he set out for Syria and soon drew near Pelusium where Antony's garrison of their own free will welcomed him. In the meantime Cornelius Gallus, whom Caesar had sent in advance, received the allegiance of the four legions that Antony had placed as a garrison about Cyrene. After first defeating Antony, he then captured Paraetonium, the first city of Egypt from the side of Libya, and then without delay again defeated him at Pharos.

Antony contended with Caesar in a cavalry battle but was miserably defeated and took flight. At dawn of the Kalends of August, when Antony was going down to the harbor to draw up his fleet, all his ships suddenly went over to Caesar's side. When he had thus been deprived of his only source of protection, he became alarmed and with a few men hastened to the royal palace. When Caesar was menacing him and the city was in a state of turmoil, Antony stabbed himself with a sword and was carried half dead to the tomb, where Cleopatra, resolved on death, had concealed herself. Cleopatra, realizing that she would be spared to grace the triumphal procession, sought a voluntary death. She was found dead, having been bitten on her left arm, it is believed, by the fangs of a serpent. Caesar at once summoned Psylli, snake charmers who are accustomed to draw off the poison of serpents from the wounds of men by sucking and drinking, but they could not save her.

Caesar, now a conqueror, obtained control over Alexandria, a city by far the richest and greatest of all cities. Its riches so enhanced Rome's wealth that the abundance of money raised the value of property and other salable goods to double what they had been up to this time. Caesar ordered Antony's elder son to be put to death and also P. Canidius, who had always been one of Caesar's bitterest enemies and who was disloyal to Antony as well. Cassius Palmensis, the last victim to atone for the murder of his father, Caesar, was put to death as was also Q. Ovinius. It was especially charged that he, a senator of the Roman people, had not been ashamed to superintend, most improperly, Cleopatra's spinning and weaving. From Alexandria, Caesar and his infantry went into Syria and thence departed into Asia for winter quarters. Later he came to Brundisium by way of Greece.

20. In the seven hundred and twenty-fifth year after the founding of the City and during the consulship of the emperor Caesar Augustus who was then consul for the fifth time (in this instance with Sex. Appuleius), Caesar returned from the East as a conqueror. On the sixth of January, he entered the City in triple triumph. It was at this time, when all the civil wars had been lulled to sleep and brought to an end, that he first gave orders for the gates of Janus to be closed. On this day Caesar was first saluted as Augustus. This title, which everyone up to that time had held inviolate and one to which other rulers hitherto had not presumed, signifies that the assumption of the supreme power to rule the world was legitimate. From that time on the highest power of the state reposed in one man and so it remained thereafter. This type of government the Greeks call monarchy.

Furthermore, every believer, or even disbeliever, knows that this is also the same day (namely, the sixth of January) on which we observe the Epiphany, that is, the Feast of the Apparition and Manifestation of the Sacrament of the Lord. There is no reason nor does the occasion now call for a fuller discussion of this sacred rite which we most faithfully keep. Let it appear that we have left it for interested inquirers to look into and that we have not forced it upon those who are indifferent. Yet it was fair to have recorded this event faithfully, so that the empire of Caesar might be proven in every respect to have been prepared for the future advent of Christ.

In the first place, when Augustus was entering the city on his return from Apollonia after the murder of his uncle C. Caesar, though the sky was clear and cloudless at the time, about the third hour a circle resembling a rainbow suddenly formed around the sun's disk. This phenomenon apparently indicated that Augustus alone was the most powerful man in this world and alone was the most renowned in the universe; it was in his time that Christ would come, He who alone had made and ruled the sun itself and the whole world.

In the second place, when Augustus, after receiving in Sicily the legions from Pompey and Lepidus, had restored thirty thousand slaves to their masters and by his own authority had distributed forty-four legions for the protection of the world, he entered the City with an ovation. He decreed that all the former debts of the Roman people should be remitted and the records of account books should also be destroyed. In those same days an abundant spring of oil, to use my former expression, flowed through the course of a whole day from an inn. What is more evident than that by this sign the coming nativity of Christ was declared in the days when Caesar was ruling the whole world? For Christ is interpreted as meaning anointed, to speak in the language of the people among whom and from whom He was born. Therefore at that time when the tribunician power was decreed to Caesar to be held forever, a spring of oil at Rome flowed throughout the whole day. Under the principate of Caesar and under the Roman Empire throughout a whole day, that is, throughout the entire duration of the Roman Empire, signs in the heavens and prodigies on the earth were very clear to those who did not heed the voices of the prophets. These signs and prodigies revealed that Christ and from Him, Christians, that is, the Anointed One and from Him, the anointed ones, would copiously and incessantly come forth from an inn, that is, from an hospitable and bountiful Church; that all slaves who still acknowledged their master must be restored by Caesar, and the others who were found without a master must be delivered to death and to punishment; and that the penalties due from offenders must be remitted under Caesar's rule in that City in which the oil had spontaneously flowed.

In the third place, after his triumphal entry into the City, no doubt on that very day mentioned above, he, consul for the fifth time, had the gates of Janus closed for the first time after a lapse of two hundred years and assumed the very distinguished name of Augustus. What is there that we can more faithfully and truthfully believe and recognize—when peace, name, and day united together for the purpose of such a manifestation—than that he had been predestined by some hidden order of events for the service of His preparation? Caesar on that day, the same on which the Lord a few years later was to make His appearance, chose the banner of peace and assumed the title of power.

But what happened after Caesar's fourth return to the City, when he had brought the Cantabrian War to an end and had pacified all nations, will be better set forth in its proper place in order to bear witness to the faith we practise.

21. In the seven hundred and twenty-sixth year of the City, when the emperor Augustus Caesar was consul for the sixth time and M. Agrippa for the second time, Caesar, realizing how little had been accomplished in Spain in the course of two hundred years, since he permitted the Cantabri and Astures, the two bravest peoples of Spain, to enjoy their own laws, opened the gates of Janus and in person set out with an army for the Spanish provinces. The land of the Cantabri and Astures is part of the province of Gallaecia, where the extended range of the Pyrenees terminates in the north not far from the second ocean. These tribes, who not only were ready to defend their own freedom but also dared to take away the liberty of their neighbors, were ravaging the Vaccaei, Turmogidi, and Autrigones by incessant raids.

Caesar then pitched his camp near Segisama  and invested almost all of Cantabria with three armies. After his army had long wearied itself without accomplishing anything and had often exposed itself to danger, Caesar finally ordered a fleet to be brought from the Gulf of Aquitania through the Ocean, and the troops to be disembarked while the enemy were off their guard. The Cantabri finally fought a mighty battle under the walls of Attica; when defeated they took refuge on Mount Vinnius, which was a natural fortress. They were there reduced to desperate straits by the hunger brought on by the siege. Next, the town of Racilium  was captured and destroyed, though for a long time it offered strong resistance. The legates Antistius and Firmius fought many severe battles and subdued the further parts of Gallaecia, which are wooded and mountainous and which border on the Ocean. By means of a ditch fifteen miles long they also surrounded and besieged Mount Medullius, which towered above the Minius River;on this mountain a large number of the enemy had taken refuge. When this group of men, by nature wild and fierce, realized that they were neither able to withstand a siege nor strong enough to fight it out, they agreed to take their own lives because of their fear of slavery. Almost all unhesitatingly killed themselves by fire, sword, or poison.

The Astures, who had pitched camp near the Astura River, would have overpowered the Romans by the soundness of their strategy and the strength of their forces had they not been betrayed and forestalled. Their sudden attempt to overwhelm the three legates, whose legions were divided into equal columns, became known in time when their own men disclosed the plan. Later when they had withdrawn from the war, they were overcome in battle by Carisius, but not without causing the Romans to suffer heavy losses. Some of the Astures escaped from the battle and fled to Lancia. As the soldiers were preparing to attack the invested city with fire, the general Carisius not only persuaded his own men to desist from using fire but also prevailed upon the barbarians voluntarily to surrender. As a testimonial of his victory, he strove hard to leave the city intact and uninjured. Caesar carried away this reward from his Cantabrian victory: he could now order the gates of war to be barred fast. Thus for a second time in these days, through Caesar's efforts, Janus was closed; this was the fourth time that this had happened since the founding of the City.

Later Claudius Drusus, the stepson of Caesar, after having been allotted Gaul and Raetia, subdued the largest and bravest tribes of Germany with his armies. For at that time, just as if they were hastening toward the day set for peace, all the tribes were moved like waves toward a trial of war or an agreement of peace, with the intention of accepting the terms of peace if they were defeated, or if they should conquer, of enjoying tranquillity and peace. The Norici, Illyrii, Pannonii, Dalmatae, Moesi, Thraces, and the Daci Sarmatae, the largest and strongest peoples of Germany, were either overcome or subdued by different generals and shut in by the mightiest of rivers, the Rhine and the Danube. Drusus in Germany conquered first the Usipetes and then the Tencteri and Chatti, and slaughtered the Marcomanni almost to the last man. Later, in a single battle, which was severe upon his own men as well, he overcame the bravest tribes (the Cherusci, Suebi, and Sugambri) to whom nature gave strength, and practice experience in the use of their strength. We can judge their courage and fierceness from the fact that if ever their women were shut in amid their own carts by an advance of the Romans and if their arms and everything that in their rage might serve them as a weapon failed them, they were wont to dash their small children on the ground and then throw them in the faces of the enemy, committing murder twice by the separate slaughters of their children.

At that time also, in Africa, Caesar's general Cossus confined within a limited area the Musolani and Gaetuli, who were accustomed to range far and wide, and thus forced them through fear to keep away from the Roman boundaries.

In the meantime, embassies of the Indians and Scythians, after traversing the whole world, at length came upon Caesar at Tarraco, a city of Hither Spain, beyond which they could not have sought him. They poured into his ears an account of the glory of Alexander the Great. Just as the embassy of the Spaniards and Gauls came to Alexander at Babylon in the center of the East to consider peace, so in Spain in the furthest West, eastern India and northern Scythia besought Caesar as suppliants and brought tribute from their countries. After conducting the Cantabrian War for five years, Caesar turned back and restored all Spain to a state of lasting peace. Then, after he had taken some rest to relieve his weariness, he returned to Rome.

In those days Caesar often fought in person, and many wars also were fought by his generals and lieutenant generals. Among others Piso was dispatched against the Vindelici. When he had subdued them, he returned as a victor to greet Caesar at Lugdunum. Tiberius, the stepson of Caesar, who had most cruelly slaughtered and destroyed the Pannonians when they had risen in a new revolt, immediately engaged the Germans in war. As a conqueror he carried off forty thousand of them as captives. This truly was a great and most formidable war waged by fifteen legions over a period of fifteen years; nor had there been, according to the testimony of Suetonius, another conflict equally great since the Punic wars.

In these same days, Quintilius Varus treated the conquered peoples in an exceedingly haughty and avaricious manner; he and the three legions accompanying him were totally destroyed by the Germans who revolted. Caesar Augustus took this disaster suffered by the state so hard that his intense sorrow made him dash his head against a wall, crying out, "O, Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions."

Agrippa, however, overcame the Bosporani and, after recovering in battle the Roman standards formerly carried off under Mithridates, forced the defeated enemy to surrender.

The Parthians acted as if the eyes of the entire world, both conquered and pacified, were focused upon them, and as if the entire strength of the Roman Empire were to be directed against them alone. They had long been conscious of the fact that the slaughter suffered by Crassus would have to be avenged. Therefore they voluntarily returned to Caesar the standards that they had taken away on the death of Crassus and after giving hostages obtained a lasting treaty by humbly promising to observe good faith.

22. In the year of the City seven hundred and fifty-two, when all nations, from the East to the West, from the North to the South, and throughout the entire circuit of the Ocean, were united in the bonds of peace, Caesar Augustus had the gates of Janus closed for the third time. From that time onward they remained bolted in complete stillness for almost twelve years. Rust even gathered upon them and it was not until Augustus was a very old man that they were forced to be opened because of a revolt of the Athenians and the commotion raised by the Dacians. During this period when the gates of Janus were closed, the emperor strove by the maintenance of peace to nourish and to enlarge the state which he had acquired by war, establishing many laws to inculcate in men the habit of discipline through a reverence that was willingly given. The title "lord" he avoided on the ground that he was only a man. Once, indeed, when he was attending a play, this line was spoken in the farce: "Oh, what a just and gracious lord"; whereupon the entire audience sprang to its feet and applauded violently, as if these words had been spoken of him. He immediately checked their unseemly flattery with a look and a gesture, and on the following day rebuked them in a severely worded edict. Thereafter he would not permit even his own children or grandchildren to call him lord either in jest or in earnest.

At that time, that is, in the year when Caesar, by God's ordination, established the firmest and truest peace, Christ was born, Whose coming that peace waited upon and at Whose birth the angels joyfully sang in the hearing of men, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will." It was at this time that he who had secured universal supremacy refused to be called Lord of men, or rather dared not, when the true Lord of all mankind was born among men. It was also in this year when God had deigned to assume the appearance and nature of man, that this same Caesar, whom God had predestined for this great mystery, for the first time ordered a census to be taken of each and every province and that all men should be enrolled. In these days, then, Christ was born and His name was entered in the Roman census list immediately after His birth. This is that earliest and most famous acknowledgment which designated Caesar first of all men and the Romans lords of the world; for in the census list all. men were entered individually, and in it the very Maker of all men wished to be found and enrolled as a man among men. From the very foundation of the world and the beginning of the human race an honour of this kind had never been granted, not even to Babylon or to Macedonia, not to mention any kingdom of lesser rank. Neither is there any doubt that it is clear to everyone from his own knowledge, faith, and investigation, that it was by the will of our Lord Jesus Christ that this City prospered, was protected, and brought to such heights of power, since to her, in preference to all others, He chose to belong when He came, thereby making it certain that He was entitled to be called a Roman citizen according to the declaration made in the Roman census list.

Now that I have reached the epoch when the Lord Christ first enlightened this world by His coming and granted a very peaceful reign to Caesar, let me conclude this sixth book of mine. The seventh, provided God gives me the requisite strength, will embrace the budding years of Christianity, its growth amid efforts made to suppress it, and its present state of advancement which is so sharply criticized by those whose statements force us to reply in kind. Since I have from the beginning declared both that men are sinners and that they are punished for their sins, so now, apart from the proposition that all men in general are inclined to sin and individually are chastised for their sins, I shall set forth first the various persecutions of the Christians and the retributions that followed.