Internet Shakespeare Editions

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    Not Peer Reviewed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


    XXXVII.When Caesar returned again to Rome, Piso his father-in-law gave him counsel to send ambassadors unto Pompey, to treat for peace. But Isauricus, to flatter Caesar, was against it.

    Caesar Dictator.

    Caesar being then created Dictator by the Senate, called home again all the banished men, and restored their children to honor, whose fathers before had been slain in Sylla's time: and did somewhat cut off the usuries that did oppress them; and besides, did make some such other ordinances as those, but very few. For he was Dictator but eleven days only, and then did yield it up of himself, and

    Caesar and Isauricus Consuls.

    made himself Consul with Servilius Isauricus, and after that determined to follow the wars. All the rest of his army he left, coming on the way, behind him, and went himself before with six hundred horse, and five legions only of footmen, in the winter quarter, about the month of January, which after the Athenians is called Posideon. Then having passed over the sea Ionium, and landed his men, he wan the cities of Oricum and Apollonia. Then he sent his ships

    Caesar goeth into the kingdoms of Epirus

    back again unto Brundusium, to transport the rest of his soldiers that could not come with that speed he did. They, as they came by the way, (like men whose strength of body and lusty youth was decayed) being wearied with so many sundry battles as they had fought with their enemies, complained of Caesar in this sort:--

    Complaints of the old soldiers against Caesar.

    "To what end and purpose cloth this man hale us after him, up and down the world, using us like slaves and drudges? It is not our armor, but our bodies that bear the blows away: and what, shall we never be without our harness on our backs, and our shields on our arms? Should not Caesar think, at the least when he seeth our blood and wounds, that we are all mortal men, and that we feel the misery and pains that other men do feel? And now, even in the dead of winter, he putteth us unto the mercy of the sea and tempest, yea, which the gods themselves cannot withstand, as if he fled before his enemies and pursued them not." Thus spending time with this talk, the soldiers, still marching on, by small journeys came at length unto the city of Brundusium. But when they were come, and found that Caesar had already passed over the sea, then they straight changed their complaints and minds. For they blamed themselves, and took on also with their captains, because they had not made them make more haste in marching: and sitting upon the rocks and cliffs of the sea, they looked over the main sea, towards the realm of Epirus, to see if they could discern the ships returning back to transport them over.