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The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic

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It was agreed at the conference of Lucca that Pompey should rule Spain, but it did not suit his plans to go to that distant country. He preferred to remain at Rome, where he thought that he might do something that would establish his influence with the people, and give him the advantage over his colleagues that they were each seeking to get over him. In order to court popularity, he built the first stone theatre that Rome had ever seen, capable of accommodating the enormous number of forty thousand spectators, and opened it with a splendid exhibition (B.C. 55). [Footnote: This theatre was built after the model of one that Pompey had seen at Mitylene, and stood between the Campus Martius and Circus Flaminius. Adjoining it was a hall affording shelter for the spectators in bad weather, in which Julius Cæsar was assassinated. The Roman theatres had no roofs, and, in early times, no seats. At this period there were seats of stone divided by broad passages for the convenience of the audience in going in and out. A curtain, which was drawn down instead of up, served to screen the actors from the spectators. Awnings were sometimes used to protect the audience from rain and sun. A century before this time the Senate had stopped the construction of a theatre, and prohibited dramatic exhibitions as subversive of good morals. The actors usually wore masks. See page 159.] Day after day the populace were admitted, and on each occasion new games and plays were prepared for their gratification. For the first time a rhinoceros was shown; eighteen elephants were killed by fierce Libyan hunters, and five hundred African lions lost their lives in the combats to which they were forced; the vehement, tragic actor Æsopus, then quite aged, came out of his retirement for the occasion, and uttered his last words on the stage, the juncture being all the more remarkable from the fact that his strength failed him in the midst of a very emphatic part; gymnasts contended, gladiators fought to the death, and the crowd cheered, but, alas for Pompey! the cheers expressed merely temporary enjoyment at the scenes before them, and did not at all indicate that he had been received to their hearts.

Crassus, in the meantime, was thinking that he too must accomplish something great or he would be left behind by both of his associates. He reflected that Cæsar had won distinction in Gaul, and Pompey by overcoming the pirates and conquering the East, and determined to show his skill as a warrior in his new province, Parthia. There was no cause for war against the people of that distant land, but a cause might easily be found, or a war begun without one, the great object aimed at being the extension of the sovereignty of Rome, and marking the name of Crassus high on the pillar of fame. This would surely, he thought, give him the utmost popularity. Thus, in the year 54, he set out for Syria, and the world saw each of the triumvirs busily engaged in pushing his own cause in his own way. Ten years later not one of them was alive to enjoy that which they had all so earnestly sought.

[Illustration: AN ELEPHANT IN ARMOR]

It is not necessary to follow Crassus minutely in his campaign. He spent a winter in Syria, and in the spring of 53 set out for the still distant East, crossing the Euphrates, and plunging into the desert wastes of old Mesopotamia, where he was betrayed into the hands of the enemy, and lost, not far from Carrhæ (Charran or Haran), the City of Nahor, to which the patriarch Abraham migrated with his family from Ur of the Chaldees. Thus there remained but two of the three ambitious seekers of popular applause.

Pompey had been in some degree attached to Cæsar through his daughter Julia, whom he had married; but she died in the same year that Crassus went to the East, and from that time he gravitated toward the aristocrats, with whom his former affiliations had been. The ten years of Cæsar's government were to expire on the 1st of January, 48, and it became important for him to obtain the office of consul for the following year; but the senate and Pompey were equally interested to have him deprived of the command of the army before receiving any new appointment. The reason for this was that Cato [Footnote: This Cato was great-grandson of Cato the Censor (see page 152), was a man who endeavored to remind the world constantly of his illustrious descent by imitating the severe independence of his great ancestor, and by assuming marked peculiarity of dress and behavior. His life, blighted by an early disappointment in love, was unfortunate to the last. He was a consistent, but often ridiculous, leader of the minority opposed to the triumvirs.] had declared that as soon as Cæsar should become a private citizen he would bring him to trial for illegal acts of which his enemies accused him; and it was plain to him, no less than to all the world, that if Pompey were in authority at the time, conviction would certainly follow such a trial. One of Cicero's correspondents said on this subject: "Pompey has absolutely determined not to allow Cæsar to be elected consul on any terms except a previous resignation of his army and his government, while Cæsar is convinced that he must inevitably fall if he has once let go his army."

In the year 50, Cæsar went into Cisalpine Gaul, that is, into the region which is now known as Northern Italy, and was received as a great conqueror. He then went over the mountains to Farther Gaul and reviewed his army--the army that he had so often led to victory. He did not lose sight of the fact that it was now, more than ever before, necessary for him to have some one in Rome who would look out for his interests in his absences, and he bethought himself of a man whom he had known from his youth, Caius Scribonius Curio by name, a spendthrift whom he had vainly tried to inspire with higher ambition than the mere gratification of his appetites. He was married to Fulvia, a scheming woman of light character, widow of Clodius (who afterwards become wife of Marc Antony), and he was harassed by enormous debts. Though Curio was allied to the party of Pompey, Cæsar won him over by paying his debts, [Footnote: The debts of this young man have been estimated as high as $2,500,000, and their vastness shows by contrast how wealthy private citizens sometimes became at this epoch.] and he then began cautiously to turn his back upon his former associates. At first, he pretended to act against Cæsar as usual; then he cautiously assumed the appearance of neutrality; and, when the proper opportunity arrived, he threw all the weight of his influence in favor of the master to whom he had sold himself. Curio was not the only person whom Cæsar bought, for he distributed immense sums among other citizens of influence, as he had not hesitated to do before, and they quietly interposed objections to any movement against him, though outwardly holding to Pompey's party.

The senate, assisted by the solemn jugglery of the pontiffs, who had charge of the calendar and were accustomed to shorten or lengthen the year according as their political inclinations impelled them, proposed to weaken Cæsar's position by obliging him to resign his authority November 13th, though his term did not expire, as we know, until the following January.

Under these circumstances, Curio, then one of the tribunes of the people, began his tactics by plausibly urging that it would be only fair that Pompey, who was not far from the city at the head of an army, should also give up his authority at the same time before entering the city. Pompey had no intention of doing this, though everybody saw that it was reasonable, and Curio took courage and went a step farther, denouncing him as evidently designing to make himself tyrant. [Footnote: A tyrant was simply a ruler with dictatorial powers, and it was not until he abused his authority that he became the odious character indicated by the modern meaning of the title; but any thing that looked like a return to the government of a king was hateful to the Romans.] However, in order to keep up his appearance of impartiality, he approved a declaration that unless both generals should lay down their authority, they ought to be denounced as public enemies, and that war should be immediately declared against them. Pompey became indignant at this. Finally it was decided that each commander should be ordered to give up one legion, to be used against the Parthians, in a war which it was pretended would soon open. Pompey readily assented, but craftily managed to perform his part without any loss; for he called upon Cæsar to return to him a legion that he had borrowed three years before. The senate then sent both legions to Capua instead of to Asia, intending, in due time, to use them against Cæsar. Cæsar gave up the two legions willingly, because he thought that with the help of the army that remained, and with the assistance of the citizens whom he had bribed, he would be able to take care of himself in any emergency, but nevertheless he endeavored to bind the soldiers of these legions more firmly to him by giving a valuable present to each one as he went away. [Footnote: One of Cicero's correspondents writing in January, 50, says in a postscript: "I told you above that Curio was freezing, but he finds it warm enough just at present, everybody being hotly engaged in pulling him to pieces. Just because he failed to get an intercalary month, without the slightest ado he has stepped over to the popular side, and begun to harangue in favor of Cæsar." In replying to this, Cicero wrote: "The paragraph you added was indeed a stab from the point of your pen. What! Curio now become a supporter of Cæsar. Who could ever have expected this but myself? for, upon my life, I really did expect it. Good heavens! how I miss our laughing together over it." ] Not long after this Curio went to Ravenna to consult Cæsar.

We see on our maps a little stream laid down as the boundary between Italy and Gaul. It is called the Rubicon; but when we go to Italy and look for the stream itself we do not find it so easily, because there are at least two rivers that may be taken for it. However, it is not of much importance for the purposes of history which was actually the boundary. North of the Rubicon we see the ancient city of Ravenna, which stood in old times like Venice, on islands, and like it was intersected in all directions by canals through which the tide poured volumes of purifying salt water twice every day. Now the canals are all filled up, and the city is four miles from the sea, so large have been the deposits from the muddy waters that flow down the rivers into the Adriatic at that place. Thirty-three miles south of Ravenna and nine miles from the Rubicon, the map shows us another ancient town called Ariminum. connected directly with Rome by the Flaminian road, which was built some two hundred years before the time of which we are writing. Ravenna was the last town in the territory of Cæsar on the way to Rome, and there he took his position to watch proceedings, for it was not allowed him to leave his province.


On the first of January, 49, Curio arrived at Rome with a letter from Cæsar offering to give up his command provided Pompey would do the same. The consuls at that time were partisans of Pompey, and they at first refused to allow the letter to be read; but the tribunes of the people were in favor of Cæsar, and they forced the senators to listen to it. A violent debate followed, and it was finally voted that unless Cæsar should disband his army within a certain time he should be considered an enemy of the state, and be treated accordingly. On the sixth of the same month the power of dictators was given to the consuls, and the two tribunes who favored Cæsar--one of whom was Marc Antony--fled to him in disguise, for there was no safety for them in Rome.

Now there was war. On the one side we have Pompey, proud and confident, but unprepared because he was so confident; and on the other, Cæsar, cool and unperturbed, relying not only on his army, but also upon the friends that his money and tact had made among the soldiers with him, no less than among those at Capua and elsewhere, upon which his opponent also depended.

The moment is one that has been fixed in the memory of men for all time by a proverbial expression based upon an apochryphal event that might well have happened upon the banks of the little Rubicon. As soon as Cæsar heard of the action of the senate he assembled his soldiers and asked them if they would support him. They replied that they would follow him wherever he commanded. The story runs that he then ordered the army to advance upon Ariminum, but that when he arrived at the little dividing river he ordered a halt, and meditated upon his course. He knew that when he crossed that line blood would surely flow from thousands of Romans, and he asked himself whether he was right in bringing such woes upon his countrymen, and how his act would be represented in history.

It is not improbable that the great conqueror entertained thoughts like these, for he was a writer of history as well as one of the mightiest makers of it; but he mentions nothing of the sort in his own story of the advance, and we may well doubt whether it was not invented by Suetonius, or some other historian, who wished to make his account as picturesque as possible. It is said that after these thoughts Cæsar exclaimed: "The die is cast; let us go where the gods and the injustice of our enemies direct us!" He then urged his charger through the stream.

There had been confusion in the capital many a time before, but probably never was there such a commotion as arose when it was known that the conqueror of Gaul, the man who had for years marched through that great region as a mighty monarch, was on the way towards it. That the consuls were endowed with dictatorial power for the emergency, availed little. A few days before, some one had asked Pompey what he should do for an army if Cæsar should leave his province with his soldiers, and he replied haughtily that he should need but to stamp on the ground and soldiers would spring up. Now he stamped, and stamped in vain; no volunteers came at his call. The venerable senators, successors of those who had remained in their seats when the barbarians were coming, hastened away for dear life; they did not make the usual sacrifices; they did not take their goods and chattels; they even forgot the public treasure, which would have been of the utmost use to them and to the cause of Pompey.

Cæsar's army supported him as a whole, but there was one self-important man among the leaders of it who proved an exception. Titus Labienus, who had been with Cæsar in Spain, who had performed some brilliant feats when Vercingetorix revolted, and who was in all his master's confidence, had allowed his little mind to become filled with pride and ambition until he began to believe that he was at the bottom of Cæsar's success, and probably as great a general as he! He was ready to allow the Pompeians to beguile him from his allegiance, and at last went over to them. Cæsar, to show how little he cared for the defection of Labienus, hastened to send his baggage after him; but in Rome he was welcomed with acclamations. Cicero, the trimmer, exclaimed: "Labienus has behaved quite like a hero!" and believed that Cæsar had received a tremendous blow by his defection. This deserter's act had, however, no effect whatever on the progress of Cæsar, who, though it was the middle of winter, marched onwards, receiving the surrender of city after city, giving to all the conquered citizens the most liberal terms, and thus binding them firmly to his cause. [Footnote: As Cæsar approached Rome, Cato took flight, and, determined to mourn until death the unhappy lot of his country, allowed his hair to grow, and resigned himself to unavailing grief. Too weak and perplexed to stand against opposing troubles, he fondly thought that resolutions and laws and a temporizing policy might avail to bring happiness and order to a distraught commonwealth.]

Pompey did not even attempt to interrupt the triumphant career of his enemy, but determined to find safety out of Italy, and hastened to Brundusium as fast as possible. After mastering the whole country, Cæsar reached the same port before Pompey was able to get away, and began a siege, in the progress of which Pompey escaped. Cæsar was not able to follow, on account of a want of vessels. He therefore turned back to Rome, where he encountered no opposition, except from Metellus, a tribune of the people, who attempted to keep him from taking possession of the gold in the temple of Saturn, traditionally supposed to have been that which Camillus had recovered from Brennus. It was intended for use in case the Gauls should make another invasion, but Cæsar said that he had conquered the Gauls, and they need be feared no more. "Stand aside, young man!" he exclaimed; "it is easier for me to do than to say!" Metellus saw that it was not worth while to discuss the question with such a man, and prudently stepped aside.

Cæsar did not remain at Rome at this time, but hastened to Spain, where partisans of Pompey were in arms, leaving Marc Antony in charge of Italy in general, and Marcus Lepidus responsible for order in the city. Both of these men were destined to become more prominent in the future. At the same time, legions were sent to Sicily and Sardinia, and their success, which was easily gained, preserved the city from a scarcity of grain. Cæsar himself overcame the Pompeians in Spain, and, in accordance with his policy in Italy, dismissed them unharmed. Most of their soldiers were taken into his own army. He then felt free to continue his movements against Pompey himself, and returned to the capital.

For eleven days Cæsar was dictator of Rome, receiving the office from Lepidus, who had been authorized to give it by those senators who had not fled with Pompey. In that short period he passed laws calling home the exiles; giving back their rights as citizens to the children of those who had suffered in the Sullan proscription; and affording relief to debtors. Then, causing the senate to declare him consul, he started for Brundusium to pursue his rival. It was the fourth of January, 48, when he sailed for the coast of Epirus, and the following day he landed on the soil of Greece. He met Pompey at Dyrrachium, but his force was so small that he was defeated. He then retreated to the southeast, and another battle was fought on the plain of Pharsalia, in Thessaly, June 6, 48. The forces were still very unequal, Pompey having more than two soldiers to one of Cæsar's; but Cæsar's were the better warriors, and Pompey was totally defeated. Feeling that every thing was now lost, Pompey sought an asylum in Egypt; and there he was assassinated by order of the reigning monarch, who hoped to win the favor of Cæsar in his contest with his sister, Cleopatra, who claimed the throne.

Cæsar followed his adversary with his usual promptness, and when he had reached Egypt was shown his rival's severed head, from which he turned with real or feigned sadness and tears. This alarmed the king and his partisans, and they still further lost heart when Cleopatra won Cæsar to her support by the charms of her personal beauty.

After a brief struggle known as the Alexandrine War, which closed in March, 47, Cæsar placed the queen and her brother on the throne. It was at this time that the great Library and Museum at Alexandria were destroyed by fire. Four hundred thousand volumes were said to have been burned. The next month Cæsar was called from Egypt to Pontus, where a son of Mithridates was in arms, and, after a campaign of five days, he gained a decisive victory at a place called Zela, boastfully announcing his success to the senate in three short words: "_Veni, vidi, vici_" (I came, I saw, I overcame). In September, Cæsar was again in Rome, where he remained only three months, arranging affairs. There were fears lest he should make a proscription, but he proceeded to no such extremity, exercising his characteristic clemency towards those who had been opposed to him. A revolt occurred at this time among the soldiers at Capua, and they marched to Rome, but Cæsar cowed them by a display of haughty coolness.

The remnant of the adherents of Pompey gathered together and went to Africa, whither Cæsar followed, and after a short campaign defeated them on the field of Thapsus, April 6, 46. They were commanded by Scipio, father-in-law of Pompey, and by Cato, who had accepted the position after it had been declined by Cicero, his superior in rank. After the defeat of Thapsus Cato retreated to Utica, where he deliberately put an end to his life after occupying several hours in reading Plato's Phædo, a dialogue on the immortality of the soul. From the place of his death he is known in history as Cato of Utica.

When the news of this final victory reached Rome Cæsar was appointed dictator for ten years, and a thanksgiving lasting forty days was decreed. He was also endowed with a newly created office-that of Overseer of Public Morals (Præfectus Morum). Temples and statues were dedicated to his honor; a golden chair was assigned for his use when he sat in the senate; the month Quintilis was renamed after him Julius (July); and other unheard of honors were thrust upon him by a servile senate. He was also called the Father of his Country (a title that had been before borne by Camillus and Cicero), and four triumphs were celebrated for him. On his own part, Cæsar feasted the people at twenty-two thousand tables, and caused combats of wild animals and gladiators to be celebrated in the arenas beneath awnings of the richest silks.

The great conqueror now prepared to carry out schemes of a beneficent nature which would have been of great value to the world; but their achievement was interfered with, first by war and then by his own death. He intended to unify the regions controlled by the republic by abolishing offensive political distinctions, and to develop them by means of a geographical survey which would have occupied years to complete under the most competent management; and he wished to codify the Roman law, which had been growing up into a universal jurisprudence, a work which Cicero looked upon as a hopeless though brilliant vision, and one that Justinian actually accomplished, though not until six hundred years later. He contemplated also the erection of vast public works. His knowledge of astronomy led him to accomplish one important change, for which we have reason to remember him to-day. He reformed the calendar, substituting the one used until 1582 (known from him as the Julian calendar) for that which was then current. [Footnote: The Gregorian calendar was introduced in the Catholic states of Europe in 1582, but owing to popular prejudice England did not begin to use it until 1752, in which year September 3d became, by act of Parliament, September 14th. Usage in America followed that of the mother country.] Three hundred and fifty-five days had been called a year from the time of Numa Pompilius, but as that number did not correspond with the actual time of the revolution of the earth around the sun, it had been customary to intercalate a month, every second year, of twenty-two and twenty-three days alternately, and one day had also been added to make a fortunate number. This made the adaptation of the nominal year to the actual a matter of great intricacy, the duty being intrusted to the chief pontiffs. These officers were often corrupted, and managed to effect political ends from time to time by the addition or omission of the intercalary days and months. At this time the civil calendar was some weeks in advance of the actual time, so that the consuls, for example, who should have entered office January 1, 46, really assumed their power October 13, 47. The Julian calendar made the year to consist of 365 days and six hours, which was correct within a few minutes; but, by the time of Pope Gregory XIII, this had amounted to ten days, and a new reform was instituted. Cæsar now added ninety days to the year in order to make the year 45 begin at the proper time, inserting a new month between the 23d and 24th of February, and adding two new months after the end of November, so that the long year thus manufactured (445 days) was very justly called the "year of confusion", or "the last year of confusion."

Cæsar had also in mind plans of conquest. He had not forgotten that the Roman arms had been unsuccessful at Carrhæ, and he wished to subdue the Parthians, but the ghost of Pompey would not down. His sons raised the banner of revolt in Spain, and the officers sent against them did not succeed in their efforts to assert the supremacy of Rome. It was necessary that Cæsar himself should go there, and accordingly he set out in September. Twenty-seven days later he was on the ground, and though he found himself in the face of greater difficulties than he had anticipated, a few months sufficed to completely overthrow the enemy, who were defeated finally at the battle of Munda, not far from Gibraltar (March, 17, 45). Thirty thousand of them perished. Cæsar did not return to Rome until September, because affairs of the province required attention. Again he celebrated a triumph, marked by games and shows, and new honors from the senate.

Cæsar's ambition now made him wish to continue the supreme power in his family, and he fixed upon a great-nephew named Octavius as his successor. In the fifth year of his consulate (B.C. 44), on the feast of Lupercalia (Feb. 15th), he attempted to take a more important step. He prevailed upon Marc Antony to make him an offer of the kingly diadem, but as he immediately saw that it was not pleasing to the people that he should accept it, he pushed the glittering coronet from him, amid their plaudits, as though he would not think of assuming any sign of authority that the people did not freely offer him themselves. [Footnote: "I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; yet 't was not a crown neither, 't was one of these coronets; and, as I told you, he put it by once; but for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again; but to my thinking, he was very loth to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by, and still as he refused it, the rabblement shouted and clapped their chapped hands, and threw up their sweaty night-caps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Cæsar refused the crown, that it had almost choked Cæsar; for he swooned and fell down at it." Casca's account, in Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar, act i., sc. 2.] Cæsar still longed for the name of king, however, and became irritated because it was not given him. This was shown in his intercourse with the nobles, and they were now excited against him by one Caius Cassius Longinus (commonly called simply Cassius), who had wandered and fought with Crassus in Parthia, but had escaped from that disastrous campaign. He had been a follower of Pompey, and had fallen into Cæsar's hands shortly after the battle of Pharsalia. Though he owed his life to Cæsar, he was personally hostile to him, and his feelings were so strong that he formed a plot for his destruction, in which sixty or eighty persons were involved. Among these was Marcus Junius Brutus, then about forty years of age, who had also been with Pompey at Pharsalia. He was of illustrious pedigree, and claimed to be descended from the shadowy hero of his name, who is said to have pursued the Tarquins with such patriotic zeal. His life also had been spared by Cæsar at Pharsalia, and he had made no opposition to his acts as dictator. Cato was his political model, and at about this time, he divorced his wife to marry Portia, Cato's daughter. Cassius had married Junia Tertulla, half- sister of Brutus, and now offered him the place of chief adviser of the conspirators, who determined upon a sudden and bold effort to assassinate the dictator. They intended to make it appear that patriotism gave them the reason for their act, but in this they failed.

The senate was to convene on the Ides of March, and Cæsar was warned that danger awaited him; but he was not to be deterred, and entered the chamber amid the applause of the people. The conspirators crowded about him, keeping his friends at a distance, and at a concerted signal he was grasped by the hands and embraced by some, while others stabbed him with their fatal daggers. He fell at the base of the statue of Pompey, pierced with more than a score of wounds. It is said that when he noticed Brutus in the angry crowd, he exclaimed in surprise and sorrow: "_Et tu Brute!_" (And thou, too, Brutus!).

Brutus had prepared a speech to deliver to the senate, but when he looked around, he found that senators, centurions, lictors, and attendants, all had fled, and the place was empty. He then marched with his accomplices to the forum. It was crowded with an excited multitude, but it was not a multitude of friends. The assassins saw that there was no safety for them in the city. Lepidus was at the gates with an army, and Antony had taken possession of the papers and treasures of Cæsar, which gave him additional power; but all parties were in doubt as to the next steps, and a reconciliation was determined upon as giving time for reflection. Cassius went to sup with Antony, and Brutus with Lepidus. This shows plainly that the good of the republic was not the cause nearest the hearts of the principal actors; but that each, like a wary player at chess, was only anxious lest some adversary should get an advantage over him.

The senate was immediately convened, and under the direction of Cicero, who became its temporary leader, it was voted that the acts of Cæsar, intended as well as performed, should be ratified, and that the conspirators should be pardoned, and assigned to the provinces that Cæsar had designated them for.

Antony now showed himself a consummate actor, and a master of the art of moving the multitude. He prepared for the obsequies of the dictator, at which he was to deliver the oration, and, while pretending to endeavor to hold back the people from violence against the murderers, managed to excite them to such an extent that nothing could restrain them. He brought the body into the Campus Martius for the occasion, and there in its presence displayed the bloody garment through which the daggers of the conspirators had been thrust; identified the rents made by the leader, Cassius, the "envious Casca," the "well-beloved Brutus," and the others; and displayed a waxen effigy that he had prepared for the occasion, bearing all the wounds. He called upon the crowd the while, as it swayed to and fro in its threatening violence, to listen to reason, but at the same time told them that if he possessed the eloquence of a Brutus he would ruffle up their spirits and put a tongue in every wound of Cæsar that would move the very stones of Rome to rise in mutiny. He said that if the people could but hear the last will of the dictator, they would dip their kerchiefs in his blood--yea, beg a hair of him for memory, and, dying, mention it in their wills as a rich legacy to their children.

The oration had its natural effect. The people, stirred from one degree of frenzy to another, piled up chairs, benches, tables, brushwood, even ornaments and costly garments for a funeral pile, and burned the whole in the forum. Unable to restrain themselves, they rushed with brands from the fire towards the homes of the conspirators to wreak vengeance upon them. Brutus and Cassius had fled from the city, and the others could not be found, so that the fury of their hate died out for want of new fuel upon which to feed.


Antony was now the chief man of Rome, and it was expected that he would demand the dictatorship. To the astonishment of all, he proposed that the office itself should be forever abolished, thus keeping up his pretence of moderation; but, on the other hand, he asked for a body- guard, which the senate granted, and he surrounded himself with a force of six thousand men. He appointed magistrates as he wished, recalled exiles, and freed any from prison whom he desired, under pretence of following the will of Cæsar.

It soon became apparent that, in the words of Cicero addressed to Cassius, the state seemed to have been "emancipated from the king, but not from the kingly power," for no one could tell where Antony would stop his pretence of carrying out the plans of Cæsar. The republic was doubtless soon to end, and it was not plain what new misery was in store for the distracted people.

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