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Appian - The civil wars - Razboaiele civile II

Appian - The civil wars - Razboaiele civile II

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AppianThe Civil Wars
Book II
p2311 1 After the sole rule of Sulla, and the operations, later on, of Sertorius and Perpenna in Spain,other internal commotions of a similar nature took place among the Romans until Gaius Caesarand Pompey the Great waged war against each other, and Caesar made an end of Pompey andwas himself killed in the senate-chamber because he was accused of behaving after the fashionof royalty. How these things came about and how both Pompey and Caesar lost their lives, thissecond book of the Civil Wars will show.Pompey had lately cleared the sea of pirates, who were then more numerous than ever before,and afterwards had overthrown Mithridates, king of Pontus, and regulated his kingdom and theother nations that he had subdued in the East. Caesar was still a young man, but powerful inspeech and action, audacious in every way, sanguine in everything, and profuse beyond hismeans in the pursuit of honours. While yet aedile and praetor he had incurred great debts and hadmade himself wonderfully agreeable to the multitude, who always sing the praises of those whoare lavish in expenditure.2 1 Gaius1 Catiline was a person of note, by reason p233of his great celebrity, and high birth, but a madman, for it was believed that he had killed his own son because of his own love for AureliaOrestilla, who was not willing to marry a man who had a son. He had been a friend and zealouspartisan of Sulla. He had reduced himself to poverty in order to gratify his ambition, but still hewas courted by the powerful, both men and women, and he became a candidate for theconsulship as a step leading to absolute power. He confidently expected to be elected; but thesuspicion of his ulterior designs defeated him, and Cicero, the most eloquent orator andrhetorician of the period, was chosen instead. Catiline, by way of raillery and contempt for thosewho voted for him, called him a "New Man," on account of his obscure birth (for so they callthose who achieve distinction by their own merits and not by those of their ancestors); andbecause he was not born in the city he called him "The Lodger,"2 by which term they designate those who occupy houses belonging to others. From this time Catiline abstained wholly frompolitics as not leading quickly and surely to absolute power, but as full of the spirit of contentionand malice. He procured much money from many women who hoped that they would get theirhusbands killed in the rising, and he formed a conspiracy with a number of senators and knights,and collected together a body of plebeians, foreign residents, and slaves. His leading fellow-conspirators were Cornelius Lentulus and Cethegus, who were then the city praetors. He sentemissaries throughout Italy to those of Sulla's soldiers who had squandered the gains of theirformer life of p235plunder and who longed for similar doings. For this purpose he sent GaiusMallius to Faesulae in Etruria and others to Picenum and Apulia, who enlisted soldiers for himsecretly.
 
3 1 All these facts, while they were still secret, were communicated to Cicero by Fulvia, awoman of quality. Her lover, Quintus Curius, who had been expelled from the Senate for manydeeds of shame and was thought fit to share in this plot of Catiline's, told his mistress in a vainand boastful way that he would soon be in a position of great power. By now, too, a rumour of what was transpiring in Italy was getting about. Accordingly Cicero stationed guards at intervalsthroughout the city, and sent many of the nobility to the suspected places to watch what wasgoing on. Catiline, although nobody had ventured to lay hands on him, because the facts werenot yet accurately known, was nevertheless timid lest, with delay, suspicion also should increase.Trusting to rapidity of movement he forwarded money to Faesulae and directed his fellow-conspirators to kill Cicero and set the city on fire at a number of different places during the samenight. Then he departed to join Gaius Mallius, intending to collect additional forces and invadethe city while burning. So extremely vain was he that he had the rods and axes borne before himas though he were a proconsul, and he proceeded on his journey to Mallius, enlisting soldiers ashe went. Lentulus and his fellow-conspirators decided that when they should learn that Catilinehad arrived at Faesulae, Lentulus and Cethegus should present themselves at Cicero's door earlyin the morning with concealed daggers, and when their rank gained them admission, enter intop237conversation with him in the vestibule on some subject, no matter what; draw him awayfrom his own people, and kill him; that Lucius Bestia, the tribune, should at once call anassembly of the people by heralds and accuse Cicero as always timorous, a stirrer up of war andready to disturb the city without cause; and that on the night following Bestia's speech the cityshould be set on fire by others in twelve places and looted, and the leading citizens killed.4 1 Such were the designs of Lentulus, Cethegus, Statilius, and Cassius, the chiefs of theconspiracy, and they waited for their time. Meanwhile ambassadors of the Allobroges, who weremaking complaint against their magistrates,3 were solicited to join the conspiracy of Lentulus in order to cause an uprising against the Romans in Gaul. Lentulus sent in company with them, toCatiline, a man of Croton named Vulturcius, who carried letters without signatures. TheAllobroges being in doubt communicated the matter to Fabius Sanga, the patron of their state; forit was the custom of all the subject states to have patrons at Rome. Sanga communicated the factsto Cicero, who arrested the Allobroges and Vulturcius on their journey and brought themstraightway before the Senate. They confessed to their understanding with Lentulus' agents, andwhen confronted with them testified that Cornelius Lentulus had often said that it was written inthe book of fate that three Cornelii should be monarchs of Rome, two of whom, Cinna and Sulla,had already been such.p239 5 1 When they had so testified the Senate deprived Lentulus of his office. Cicero put eachof the conspirators under arrest at the houses of the praetors, and returned directly to take thevote of the Senate concerning them. In the meantime there was a great tumult around the senate-house, the affair being as yet little understood, and a good deal of alarm among the conspirators.The slaves and freedmen of Lentulus and Cethegus, reinforced by numerous artisans, made acircuit by back streets and assaulted the houses of the praetors in order to rescue their masters.When Cicero heard of this he hurried out of the senate-house and stationed the necessary guardsand then came back and hastened the taking of the vote. Silanus, the consul-elect, spoke first, asit was the custom among the Romans for the man who was about to assume that office to deliverhis opinion first, because, as I think, he would have most to do with the execution of the decrees,and hence would give more careful consideration and use more circumspection in each case. It
 
was the opinion of Silanus that the culprits should suffer the extreme penalty, and many senatorsagreed with him until it came to Nero's turn to deliver his opinion. Nero judged that it would bebest to keep them under guard until Catiline should be beaten in the field and they could obtainthe most accurate knowledge of the facts.6 1 Gaius Caesar was not free from the suspicion of complicity with these men, but Cicero didnot venture to bring into the controversy one so popular with the masses. Caesar proposed thatCicero should distribute the culprits among the towns of Italy, according to his own discretion, tobe kept until p241Catiline should be beaten in fight, and that then they should be regularly tried,instead of inflicting an irremediable punishment upon members of the nobility without argumentand trial. As this opinion appeared to be just and acceptable, most of the senators changedcompletely, until Cato openly manifested his suspicion of Caesar; and Cicero, who hadapprehensions concerning the coming night (lest the crowd who were concerned with theconspiracy and were still in the forum in a state of suspense, fearful for themselves and theconspirators, might do something desperate), persuaded the Senate to give judgment againstthem without trial as persons caught in the act. Cicero immediately, while the Senate was still insession, conducted each of the conspirators from the houses where they were in custody to theprison, without the knowledge of the crowd, and saw them put to death. Then he went back tothe forum and signified that they were dead. The crowd dispersed in alarm, congratulatingthemselves that they had not been found out.Thus the city breathed freely once more after the great fear that had weighed upon it that day, 71 but Catiline had assembled about 20,000 troops, of whom one-fourth part were already armed,and was moving toward Gaul in order to complete his preparations, when Antonius, the otherconsul, overtook him at the foot of the Alps4 and easily defeated the madly-conceived adventure of the man, which was still more madly put to the test without p243preparation. Neither Catilinenor any of the nobility who were associated with him deigned to fly, but all flung themselvesupon their enemies and perished.Such was the end of the rising of Catiline, which almost brought the city to the extreme of peril.Cicero, who had been hitherto distinguished only for eloquence, was now in everybody's mouthas a man of action, and was considered unquestionably the saviour of his country on the eve of its destruction, for which reason the thanks of the assembly were bestowed upon him, amidgeneral acclamations. At the instance of Cato the people saluted him as the Father of his country.Some think that this honourable appellation, which is now bestowed upon those emperors whoare deemed worthy of it, had its beginning with Cicero, for although they are in fact kings, it isnot given even to them with their other titles immediately upon their accession, but is decreed tothem in the progress of time, not as a matter of course, but as a final testimonial of the greatestservices.8 1 Caesar, who had been chosen praetor for Spain, was detained in the city by his creditors, ashe owed much more than he could pay, by reason of his political expenses. He was reported assaying that he needed 25,000,000 sesterces5 in order to have nothing at all. However, he arranged with those who were detaining him as best he could and proceeded to Spain. Here heneglected the transaction p245of public business, the administration of justice, and all matters of that kind because he considered them of no use to his purposes, but he raised an army and

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