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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    Not Peer Reviewed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


    XLIII.Wherefore Caesar called his soldiers together, and told them how Cornificius was at hand who brought two whole legions, and that he had fifteen ensigns led by Calenus, the which he made to stay about Megara and Athens. Then he asked them, if they would tarry for that aid or not, or whether they would rather themselves alone venture battle. The soldiers cried out to him, and prayed him not to defer battle, but rather to devise some fetch to make the enemy fight as soon as he could. Then as he sacrificed unto the gods, for the purifying of his army, the first beast was no sooner sacrificed but his soothsayer assured him that he should fight within three days. Caesar asked him again, if he saw in the sacrifices any lucky sign or token of good luck. The soothsayer answered: " For that, thou shalt answer thyself better than I can do: for the gods do promise us a marvelous great change and alteration of things that are now, unto another clean contrary. For if thou beest well now, cost thou think to have worse fortune hereafter ? and if thou be ill, assure thyself thou shalt have better."

    A wonder seen in the element, before the battle in Pharsalia.

    The night before the battle, as he went about midnight to visit the watch, men saw a great firebrand in the element, ail of a light fire, that came over Caesar's camp, and fell down in Pompey's. In the morning also, when they relieved the watch, they heard a false alarm in the enemies' camp, without any apparent cause: which they commonly call a sudden fear, that makes men besides themselves. This notwithstanding, Caesar thought not to fight that day, but was determined to have raised his camp from thence, and to have gone towards the city of Scotusa: