F Heritage History | Story of the Romans by Helene Guerber
Contents 
Front Matter 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

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.