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But this prospect was what the selfish party of his opponents above all things feared and dreaded. The Italy of their predilections meant a country wasted, rather than cultivated, by chain-gangs of slaves; municipals cowering at the feet of a Roman senator and liable to be scourged even to death at his mere pleasure (see below, note 7); farmers kept prostrate by indebtedness to great capitalists (the “usura vorax' of Lucan), and courts of justice absolutely at their command for the basest political purposes. Therefore they determined to leave no stone unturned to hinder Caesar's consulship in A.u.c. 706. If he could only be forced to lay down his command early in A.U.c. 705, there would be an interval during which he might be made the object of a prosecution, and got rid of by exile, as Milo had been. An attempt to induce his veterans to demand their discharge from the Senate failed miserably, through their personal attachment to their general. They were therefore to try and induce the Senate to recal him and to send his successor in time, actually and not only nominally, to supersede him in February, A.U.c. 705.
The letter mentioned in the first line of chap. I was Caesar's ultimatum, sent from Ravenna, and received by the Senate on the first of January, A.U.C. 705. In it he stated that he was prepared to make vast concessions. He would give up Transalpine Gaul at once, retaining only the Cisalpine province. Even this he was content to hold only till the time of his election, as consul; which would be some time in July. During the months that intervened between his election and the beginning of the actual consulship on the first of the following January, he was content to remain in a private station. His object in writing it was to put Pompeius plainly in the wrong, in case he persisted in retaining his own Spanish province, while he still was calling on Caesar to resign Gaul.
redditis ; letters were said to be “ restored’ (delivered) to the person to whom they were addressed. The implication is that they were answers to a former letter of his. In much the same way rejoindre is generally used in French for "to overtake' (the two were presumably together before); and a gladiator was said 'recipere ferrum,' when he received his death-wound.
2. summa contentione, by the vehement efforts of the tribunes.' The too-celebrated Curio had resigned his tribuneship--and his aristocratic republicanism-in December, A.U.c. 704, and had gone over to Caesar at Ravenna, on an agreement that Caesar should pay his debts, amounting to about £600,000. But he was represented by his colleagues, M. Antonius and Q. Cassius, who are here referred to.
3. ex litteris ... referretur, 'they could not carry a motion that the letter be now taken into consideration.'
4. infinite. A probable emendation for “in civitate.' The consuls might refer to the Senate either.infinite de republica' or ' de singulis rebus finite' (Gell. 14. 7). The general, or infinite,' reference might be (Liv. 26. 1) 'de republica, de administratione belli, de provinciis exercitibusque.'
5. se non defuturum, 'that he would do his part for the republic.'
7. ut.. fecerint. The subjunctive induces Caesar to use ' ut’instead of 'quod,' as in Bell. Gall. 4. 23, 'monuitque, ut rei militaris ratio, maxime ut maritimae res postularent, . . ad nutum et ad tempus omnes res ab iis administrarentur.
9. habere se ... receptum, that he had a chance of falling back on Caesar's friendship.' (On the original meaning of receptus,' see Bell. Gall. 7. 49, note.) The consuls of the year were L. Corn. Lentulus and C. Claud. Marcellus. The latter was a vehement opponent of Caesar's plans for Italian regeneration, and had recently caused a citizen of Como to be scourged for the express purpose of throwing contempt upon them, and defying Caesar. Lentulus had been the prosecutor of Clodius, for whose connection with Caesar's party, see Bell. Gall. 7. 1, note 2, and Merivale, Roman Rep. c. viii.
1. Scipio; this was Q. Caecil. Metellus Pius Scipio, the father of Cornelia, whom Pompeius had married after the death of Julia, Caesar's daughter, on purpose to detach his cause from that of his fatherin-law. 2. 2. c. 2. aderat, 'was close at hand, like Horace's
'Heu heu quantus equis, quantus adest viris
Sudor.' 3. M. Marcellus, 'a relation of the consul; and strongly in favour of Pompeius, for whom he wished to gain time. The other two speakers were friends to Caesar.
4. ingressus in eam orationem, 'who took the line of argument.' de ea re, 'concerning war with Caesar,' Bell. Gall. 1. 4, note 1.
7. censebat, 'who recommended that Pompeius should go into his province.' Spain was then, as now, a plural (' todos las Espanas '-50, 'all the Russias ').
ut M. Rufus ; the anaphora of "ut' gives the idea of enumerating the speakers one by one (Bell. Gall. 1. 14. 6, quod Aeduos, quod Ambarros, quod Allobrogas vexassent,' is a similar instance).
13. convicio, for "convicitio,' by contraction. “Pervịcax' shows the quantity of the root where there is no contraction.
14. pronuntiaturum .. negavit, 'refused to put Calidius' motion at all.'
18. ante certam diem; probably, as note i shows, by the last day of February, A.U.c. 705, which was the time when Caesar's command was technically at an end.
19. adversus rempublicam facturum, an euphemism for 'he should be declared a public enemy.' On the spirit of these formularies, see chap. 5, notes: Plutarch, Caes. 30, gives this sense, ámodelχθήναι πολέμιον αυτόν.
20. intercedit, vetoed the resolution.'
21. refertur confestim; whether the tribunes could constitutionally do this or not admitted of doubt. By the · Lex Sempronia de Provinciis Consularibus ' (passed by C. Gracchus in A.u.c. 631) the tribune could not veto the Senate's arrangements about provinces. But, as Kraner remarks, this law did not apply to the case of provinces given, like Caesar's, by an extraordinary vote of the people. The proposal by the aristocratic party was to punish the tribunes for exercising their power (Trepi Tipoplas aŭtwv épovlevovro is Dion Cassius' expression). Their constitutional interference was treated as an attempt at revolution: they were threatened by the swords of Pompeian soldiers and fled, two days later, from Rome in the dress of slaves, as we see in chap. 5.
24. c. 3. ad vesperum. A deliberation of the Senate could not legally be continued after sunset ; as the xii Tables ordained, Sol occasus suprema tempestas esto.'
25. evocantur. The Senate generally met at the Temple of Bellona outside the walls, when audience was to be given to a general who had not laid down his military command, and therefore could not pass the pomoerium.
27. ordinum, .of appointments as centurions:' a great promotion for privates. The centurions (Dict. Antiq. p. 505) were divided into primi,''inferioris,' and `infimi ordinis,' whence the expression above.
28. duabus legionibus, see 1, note 1.
30. evocatis, men who, after having served their time, might be asked to do duty as veterans, and as such were exempted from carrying wood and water and from labour at works. The reading of MSS., * urbs et ius comitium,' is of course corrupt: some editors read 'eius comitium,' which might stand, as in Hor. Sat. 2. 6. 76,
'Et quae sit natura boni summumque quid eius.' See also Orelli's Excursus to Od. 3. 11. But ipsum comitium,' which is adopted in the text, seems a very probable reading.
31. necessarii, .close connections,' åvaykaîor. It was remarked as a
peculiarity in Caesar's style that he used necessitas' in the sense of 'necessitudo' (Meyer, Orat. Rom. Fragm. p. 412).
33. vocibus, like the 'militum voces'in Bell. Gall. 1. 39, 'the random talk.'
3. 2. L. Piso, the father of Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, and the person whose family wrongs Caesar boasts, in Bell. Gall. 1. 12, of having avenged on the Helvetii. L. Roscius, a former legate of Caesar's ; not the most distinguished, as we may judge from the humble task assigned to him in Bell. Gall. 5. 24 (see also Bell. Gall. 1. 39, note 4, and note 3 on 5. 24).
8. c. 4. veteres inimicitiae. See the rhetorical contrast between Cato and Caesar in Sall. Catil. 54; and the contest in the Catiline case which immediately follows, and which was the first cause of this enmity: also Cato's proposal to give up Caesar to the Usipetes (Bell. Gall. 4. 14, note 6).
9. dolor repulsae. Cato had tried for the consulship in order to be in a position to cashier both the great rivals : but he had failed and Marcellus had been elected.
10. provinciarum; a proconsul might reasonably expect to make enough in his province, first, to repay all his earlier expenditure as aedile, praetor, &c.; secondly, enough to bribe the judges, if he was prosecuted for extortion; and, thirdly, enough to leave him, after acquittal, a colossal fortune.
regum appellandorum largitionibus; the bribes that he would get for conferring the title of king. This title had been given to Ariovistus; and to Tasgetius, and others by Caesar in Gaul; with what effect upon the mind of the people may be seen in Bell. Gall. 1. 2, note 1, and 5. 54, note 3. The same was afterwards done on the most magnificent scale by M. Antonius at Alexandria, in A.U.c. 720, when in one day he declared Cleopatra queen of Cyprus, Libya, and Coele-Syria, Alexander king of Armenia, Parthia, and Media, and Ptolemaeus king of Cilicia, Syria, and Phoenice.
11. alterum.. Sullam. Why should he not follow the example of his illustrious forerunner in the gens Cornelia ; repress these turbulent tribunes, restore all • iudicia' to the Senate, and have another proscription of the liberal party?
12. redeat; the use of this word implies will naturally come.'
iudiciorum metus, “fears as to the constitution of the courts of justice.' Sometimes the Senate held the chief posts in these, till their corruption led to their being transferred to the equites:' then, after awhile, the 'corruption of the equites' would make a return to the
Senate appear a measure of desirable reform. (Merivale, Hist. Rom. i. p. 72.)
20. affinitatis tempore ; at the time when Julia, Caesar's daughter, was his wife.
21. infamia .. permotus, conscience-stricken as to his own dishonourable act.'
26. c. 5. docendi Caesaris. The gerundives in the two first cases are unusual with names or appellatives of men. In the same exceptional way we have •Caesar misit Caecinam distrahendo hosti' (Tac. Ann. 1. 60), and “me auctorem fuisse Caesaris interficiendi criminatur' (Cic. ad Div. 12. 2). The reason for the gerundive being the frequent occurrence of two words in connection with one another, it is obvious that the name of a man can seldom be connected in this degree with any other word.
27. extremi iuris; the power of interceding and so retaining the most elementary of their rights; much as extrema alimenta' means 'the most indispensable food.'
28. L. Sulla reliquerat-true; but he had made abuse of the tribunician veto punishable by a heavy fine, which, as a rule, destroyed a man's civil status. (Mommsen, iii. p. 363).
31. octavo denique mense. The latter part of this comparison is easy to understand. The tribunes of the people always came into office on the tenth of December (Momms. iii. pp. 89, 126). But Tib. Gracchus was murdered soon after the failure of his attempt at re-election, which would have been in July (Cic. Att. i. 1, 'comitiis tribuniciis A.D. vi Kal. Sextiles '). Reckoning inclusively, this would give eight months for the time during which Gracchus held his office unmolested. There is therefore no reason for altering the reading into 'toto denique emenso spatio,' as some editors propose. The difficulty is only in the words ' septimo die,' which cannot, of course, mean the seventh day of the tribunes' political existence. The truth seems to be that in writing the words 'de sua salute septimo die cogitare coguntur,' Caesar simply meant to assign to the flight of the tribunes its place in his narrative ; but that, after they were written, the rhetorical contrast of the long impunity of Tib. Gracchus suggested itself, and was written down without its being considered worth while to spoil the antithesis by stating the exact number of days during which the tribunes had been in office.
suarum actionum. 'of their official existence.'
32. decurritur, like .descendere,' immediately afterwards, means ' to have recourse to;' partly like the Greek katéBaive els ditás (Herod. 1. 901). This was the proclamation of martial law, which had been a