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About this text

  • Title: Life of Caesar
  • Editor: John D. Cox

  • Copyright John D. Cox. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Plutarch
    Editor: John D. Cox
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Life of Caesar

    33

    XXXIII.The city of Ariminum being taken, and the rumor thereof dispersed through all Italy even as if it had been open war both by sea and land, and as if all the laws of Rome, together with the extreme bounds and confines of the same, had been broken up: a man would have said, that not only the men and women for fear, as experience proved at other times, but whole cities themselves, leaving their habitations, fled from one place to another through all Italy.

    Rome in uproar with Caesar's coming.

    And Rome itself also was immediately filled with the flowing repair of all the people their neighbors thereabouts, which came thither from all parts like droves of cattle, that there was neither officer nor magistrate that could any more command them by authority, neither by any persuasion of reason bridle such a confused and disorderly multitude: so that Rome had in manner destroyed itself for lack of rule end order. For in all places men were of contrary opinions, and there were dangerous stirs and tumults everywhere, because they that were glad of this trouble could keep in no certain place; but, running up and down the city, when they met with others in divers places that seemed either to be afraid or angry with this tumult (as otherwise it is impossible in so great a city) they flatly fell out with them, and boldly threatened them with that that was to come. Pompey himself, who at that time was not a little amazed, was yet much more troubled with the ill words some gave him on the one side, and some on the other. For some of them reproved him, and said, that he had done wisely, and had paid for his folly, because he had made Caesar so great and strong against him and the commonwealth. And other again did blame him, because he had refused the honest offers and reasonable conditions of peace which Caesar had offered him, suffering Lentulus the Consul to abuse him toe much. On the other side, Phaonius spake unto him, and bade him stamp on the ground with his foot: for Pompey being one day in a bravery in the Senate, said openly: " Let no man take thought for preparation of war; for when he listed, with one stamp of his foot on the ground, he would fill all Italy with soldiers." This notwithstanding, Pompey at that time had a greater number of soldiers then Caesar: but they would never let him follow his own determination. For they brought him so many lies, and put so many examples of fear before him, as if Caesar had been already at their heels, and had won all: so that in the end he yielded unto them, and gave place to their fury and madness, determining (seeing all things in such tumult and garboil that there was no way but to forsake the city; and thereupon commanded the Senate to follow him, and not a man to tarry there, unless he loved tyranny more than his own liberty and the commonwealth.