Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. — Pericles

Story of the Romans - Helene Guerber




Caesar's Conquests

In the mean while, Cæsar had gone to govern Gaul, and was forcing all the different tribes to recognize the authority of Rome. He fought very bravely, and wrote an account of these Gallic wars, which is so simple and interesting that it is given to boys and girls to read as soon as they have studied a little Latin.

Cæsar not only subdued all the country of Gaul, which we now know as France, but also conquered the barbarians living in Switzerland and in Belgium.

Although he was one of the greatest generals who ever lived, he soon saw that he could not complete these conquests before his time as governor would expire. He therefore arranged with his friends Crassus and Pompey, that he should remain master of Gaul for another term, while they had charge of Spain and Syria.

The senate, which was a mere tool in the hands of these three men, confirmed this division, and Cæsar remained in Gaul to finish the work he had begun. But Pompey sent out an officer to take his place in Spain, for he wished to remain in Rome to keep his hold on the people's affections.

As Crassus liked gold more than anything else, he joyfully hastened off to Syria, where he stole money wherever he could, and even went to Jerusalem to rob the Temple. Shortly after this, he began an unjust war against the Parthians. They defeated him, killed his son before his eyes, and then slew him too.

We are told that a Parthian soldier cut off the Roman general's head and carried it to his king. The latter, who knew how anxious Crassus had always been for gold, stuffed some into his dead mouth, saying:

"There, sate thyself now with that metal of which in life thou wert so greedy."

You see that even a barbarian has no respect whatever for a man who is so base as to love gold more than honor.

caeseran civil war
Cæsar's Soldiers.


While Crassus was thus disgracing himself in Asia, Cæsar was daily winning new laurels in Gaul. He had also invaded Britain, whose shores could be seen from Gaul on very clear days.

Although this island was inhabited by a rude and war-like people, it had already been visited by the Phœnicians, who went there to get tin from the mines in Cornwall.

Cæsar crossed the Channel, in small ships, at its narrowest part, between the cities of Calais and Deal. When the Britons saw the Romans approaching in battle array, they rushed down to the shore, clad in the skins of the beasts they had slain. Their own skins were painted blue, and they made threatening motions with their weapons as they uttered their fierce war cry.

But in spite of a brave resistance, Cæsar managed to land, and won a few victories; however, the season was already so far advanced that he soon returned to Gaul. The next year he again visited Britain, and defeated Cassivelaunus, a noted Briton chief.

This victory ended the war. The Britons pretended to submit to the Roman general, and agreed to pay a yearly tribute. So Cæsar departed to finish the conquest of Gaul; but he carried off with him a number of hostages, to make sure the people would keep the promises they had made.

As the news of one victory after another came to Rome, Cæsar's influence with the people grew greater every day. Pompey heard all about this, and he soon became very jealous of his friend's fame. As his wife, Julia, had died, he no longer felt bound to Cæsar by any tie, so he began to do all he could to harm his absent colleague.

As to the soldiers, they were all devoted to their general, because he spoke kindly to them, knew them by name, and always encouraged them by word and example, in camp and on the march.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The First Settlers
Escape from the Burning City
The Clever Trick
The Boards Are Eaten
The Wolf and the Twins
Romulus Builds Rome
The Maidens Carried Off
Union of Sabines and Romans
Death of Romulus
Strange Signs of the Romans
The Quarrel with Alba
The Horatii and Curiatii
Tarquin and the Eagle
The Roman Youths
The King Outwitted
The Murder of Tarquin
The Ungrateful Children
The Mysterious Books
Tarquin's Poppies
The Oracle of Delphi
The Death of Lucretia
The Stern Father
A Roman Triumph
A Roman Triumph (Cont.)
Defense of the Bridge
The Burnt Hand
The Twin Gods
The Wrongs of the Poor
Fable of the Stomach
The Story of Coriolanus
The Farmer Hero
The New Laws
Death of Virginia
Plans of a Traitor
A School-Teacher Punished
Invasion of the Gauls
The Sacred Geese
Two Heroes of Rome
Disaster at Caudine Forks
Pyrrhus and His Elephants
The Elephants Routed
Ancient Ships
Regulus and the Snake
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
The Romans Defeated
The Inventor Archimedes
The Roman Conquests
Destruction of Carthage
Roman Amusements
The Jewels of Cornelia
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Caius Gracchus
Jugurtha, King of Numidia
The Barbarians
The Social War
The Flight of Marius
The Proscription Lists
Sertorius and His Doe
Revolt of the Slaves
Pompey's Conquests
Conspiracy of Catiline
Caesar's Conquests
Crossing of the Rubicon
Battle of Pharsalia
The Death of Caesar
The Second Triumvirate
The Vision of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
The Poisonous Snake
The Augustan Age
Death of Augustus
Varus Avenged
Death of Germanicus
Tiberius Smothered
The Wild Caligula
Wicked Wives of Claudius
Nero's First Crimes
Christians Persecuted
Nero's Cruelty
Two Short Reigns
The Siege of Jerusalem
The Buried Cities
The Terrible Banquet
The Emperor's Tablets
The Good Trajan
Trajan's Column
The Great Wall
Hadrian's Death
Antoninus Pius
The Model Pagan
Another Cruel Emperor
An Unnatural Son
The Senate of Women
The Gigantic Emperor
Invasion of the Goths
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
A Prophecy Fulfulled
First Christian Emperor
Roman Empire Divided
An Emperor's Penance
Sieges of Rome
End of the Western Empire