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Marius, Caesar not only took occasion to praise Marius, but carried his bust in the funeral procession. Moreover not long before he had obtained the recall from exile of Cinna, his wife's brother, and of those members of the conspiracy of Lepidus who after their leader's death had joined Sertorius in Spain. The next year (B.C. 67) Pompey, who in his consulate (B.C. 70) had deserted the senatorial party, had vast powers conferred on him by the Gabinian law; and Caesar, who regarded the step as necessary, and at the same time wished Pompey to be out of the way, warmly supported his claims. Soon after the next step was attained,
and Caesar was elected Aedile, with Aedile, B.C. Bibulus for colleague. The division of
labour was excellent; for while Bibulus supplied the money, Caesar showed how it could be most advantageously spent. The pair won great favour by their magnificent works, for they decorated the Forum, built the Julian basilica, and, when in the games they were restricted to 320 pairs of gladiators, they accoutred these with silver. Two
years later Caesar became head of the Roman religion, by being elected pontifex
maximus. His popularity was unbounded, but his head was still cool, and it is impossible to believe that he took any part whatever in the
conspiracy headed by the dissolute traitor Catilina, B.C.
Catilina. Indeed the only grounds on
which such conduct has been attributed to him lay in the wise speech in which he advised the Senate to spare the conspirators' lives. The
next year he was Praetor, and in the Praetor, B.C. year following that Pro-praetor in Spain, tor , E.c. 11.C busy in subduing the unruly tribes in the
North and West. Here first he gave evidence of that brilliant generalship with which his name is now connected. He was proclaimed as Imperator by his soldiers, and the Senate, grudgingly but of necessity, gave him the honour of a triumph. On his return to Rome he formed that coalition with Pompey and Crassus which is usually known as the First Triumvirate. The three First Trium
virate, B.C. were in truth incongruous enough, but 60. were held together for the time, partly by community of interests, partly by the personal in. fluence of Caesar himself. The coalition presented a double front, opposing on the one hand the Senate, on the other hand the extreme radicals. Crassus, the capitalist, wished the coming changes which were seen to be inevitable to be as slight as possible. The next year saw Caesar consul; and as in his aedileship, and again in the consul
, B.C. praetorship, so now Bibulus was again his colleague. But the agreement between the colleagues was now less happy. Bibulus was a devoted adherent of the aristocratic party, but was quite unable to resist the measures of Caesar, and soon shut himself up in his house, thereby virtually abdicating office and leaving the field clear for energetic action. The measures which were thus passed with comparative ease were both many in number and important in character. All the Senate's transactions were to be published ; an agrarian law (like that of Rullus five years before, but less crude) was passed ; just relief was given to the wealthy and influential knights; Ptolemy of Egypt and Ariovistus the German were proclaimed “ friends of the Roman people;” the worst grievances of the provinces were remedied; and bribery was checked. In the meanwhile Bibulus was watching the heavens and de
claring all these doings invalid, but his voice was disregarded : and the joke was current that the two consuls were Julius and Caesar. Vatinius, tribune
of the people and a creature of Caesar,
proposed and passed a bill which gave Caesar command in Cisalpine Gaul for three years with five legions; the Senate, not to be outdone in generosity, added another legion, and extended his proconsular powers over Further Gaul and the Alps. He stayed near Rome long enough to ensure the election of his friends and to prevent the repeal of the laws which had been so lately passed. He did
not arrive in Gaul before his presence there was necessary.
The Helvetii, a powerful and numerous Gallic tribe occupying the greater part of what is now called Switzerland, had
shown signs of restlessness. This people The Helvetil
, had some fifty years before come in contact
with the Romans, for in B.C. 107 the Tigurini (one of their four cantons) had inflicted a crushing defeat on the Consul Lucius Cassius Longinus, and this the Romans had never forgiven.
Now (B.C. 61) the chief man among them, Orgetorix.
Orgetorix by name, tried to persuade them to go forth and seek for wider and more fertile territories in Gaul. The most energetic measures were taken in hand, and Orgetorix was chosen to superintend the preparations, the setting out being formally fixed for the third year (B.c. 58). Though Orgetorix himself was convicted of treason and put an end to his own life, the Helvetii did not abandon their plan, allies being gained
where possible. There were two, and only two, routes by which to get into Gaul.
One of these, that namely through the Sequani, was so beset by natural difficulties that
Choice of route.
they at once abandoned it. The other, which passed through the territory of the Allobroges and so across the Province, was alone possible, and the Helvetii determined to attempt this. On the 28th of March the vast procession began its exodus, and consisted of 368,000 persons, of whom 92,000 were men capable of bearing arms. Caesar hurried to Geneva and utterly destroyed the bridge there existing. The Helvetii were confounded by this prompt action, and sent ambassadors to Caesar's Caesar to request a passage through “the defence. Province." Caesar did not entertain the proposal for a moment, but his plans of defence were not yet complete, and he bade them come back on the 13th of April for his final answer. In the meanwhile he fortified the left (south) bank of the Rhone, and when the ambassadors returned he flatly refused any concessions. The Helvetii tried to force their way across, but found it impossible, owing to the strength of the current and the fortifications which had recently been erected. Baffled as they were, they were obliged to turn to the Sequani, who allowed them to pass through their territory. They then passed on into the Change of country of the Aedui, who at once applied to Caesar for aid. He meanwhile had raised fresh levies in North Italy, for he saw that energetic action was necessary Pursuing the Helvetii, he came upon them when three parts of their forces had crossed the Saône; the fourth, which happened to be the Tigurini, he cut to pieces. The Helvetii sued for peace, but not in a tone likely to win
negotiations. Caesar's favour; and when he demanded hostages and satisfaction for the injuries done, the negotiations were abruptly broken off. Caesar de
Caesar follows the Helvetii :
was bro came t' Germai to do pursue Labier altho into C
Thr In th succe civili
time prae sena
termined to follow the Helvetii at a short distance,
of attacking them simultaneously in front
ligence brought by one of his officers. At last Caesar was tired of this waiting game, and made with all speed for Bibracte. The Gauls thought that Caesar was running away, and in their
turn were the pursuers. This was Caesar's defeats them object: he was enabled to take them at a
disadvantage and to inflict on them a
crushing defeat. The slaughter was immense, and the survivors were sent back home to form a barrier against the tide of Germans who were pressing on into ever more dangerous proximity to Roman territory.
The Gallic tribes poured congratulations on Caesar, at the same time drawing his attention to
the tyrannical conduct of Ariovistus, king Ariovistus
of the Germans. The arrogance of this barbarian raised Caesar's anger, while he saw that the allies of Rome must be protected and the onrush of Germans into Gaul stayed. Accordingly he invited Ariovistus to a conference, and on his refusal forbade him to bring any more Germans into Gaul or to hurt the Aedui. The answer was defiant, and Caesar, alarmed at hearing that fresh tribes of Germans were on their way to join Ariovistus, determined to attack him before the junction could be effected. By one of his night and day marches he managed to anticipate the Germans and throw himself into Vesontio (Besançon), which was by nature impregnable. Ariovistus marched on, now closely pursued by Caesar (whose army a panic had almost driven to mutiny), and after a conference which
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