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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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


    35XXXV.In the meantime Caesar did put all Domitius' men in pay, and he did the like through all the cities, where he had taken any captains that levied men for Pompey. Now Caesar, having assembled a great and dreadful power together, went straight where he thought to find Pompey himself.

    Pompey flieth into Epirus.

    But Pompey tarried not his coming, but fled into the city of Brundusium; from whence he had sent the two Consuls before, with that army he had, unto Dyrrachium: and he himself also went thither afterwards, when he understood that Caesar was come, as you shall hear more amply hereafter in his life. Caesar lacked no good will to follow him, but, wanting ships to take the seas, he returned forthwith to Rome: so that in less than threescore days he was lord of all Italy, without any bloodshed. Who when he was come to Rome, and found it much quieter then he looked for, and many senators there also, he courteously intreated them, and prayed them to send unto Pompey to pacify all matters between them, upon reasonable conditions. But no man did attempt it, either because they feared Pompey, for that they had forsaken him, or else for that they thought Caesar meant not as he spake, but that they were words of course to color his purpose withal. And when Metellus also, one of the tribunes, would not suffer him to take any of the common treasure out of the temple of Saturn, but told him that it was against the law: "Tush," said he, " time of war, and law, are two things. If this that I do,"

    'Silent leges interarma.'

    quoth he, "do offend thee, then get thee hence for this time: for war cannot abide this frank and bold speech. But when wars are done, and that we are all quiet again, then thou shalt speak in the pulpit what thou wilt: and yet I do tell thee this of favor, impairing so much my right; for thou art mine, both thou, and all them that have risen against me, and whom I have in my hands." When he had spoken thus unto Metellus,

    Caesar taketh money out of the temple of Saturn.

    he went to the temple-door where the treasure lay, and, finding no keys there, he caused smiths to be sent for, and made them break open the locks. Metellus thereupon began again to withstand him, and certain men that stood by praised him in his doing: but Caesar at length, speaking bigly to him, threatened him he would kill him presently, if he troubled him any more: and told him furthermore, "Young man," quoth he, " thou knowest it is harder for me to tell it thee, than to do it." That word made Metellus quake for fear, that he got him away roundly ; and ever after that Caesar had all at his commandment for the wars.

    Caesar's journey into Spain, against Pompey's lieutenants.