Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Caesar Is Loaded With Honours

When Caesar reached Rome in July 46 B.C., he found that he had already been appointed Dictator for ten years.

In the Senate there was now not a member who was not eager to agree to his slightest wish. Yet it was but a year or two since many of them had been ready to brand him as a traitor. But Cæsar had crossed the Rubicon now, and was king in all but name.

The conqueror had, however, no wish to remind those who had been his enemies of their unkindnesses. His return to Rome was made a joyous season, and was not spoiled by the punishment of those who had been opposed to him, much less by their murder.

Indeed, Cæsar not only pardoned those who had been the friends of Pompey, but he gave them positions of trust in the State.

If they were still half afraid of his true feelings, suspicion vanished when the Dictator ordered the statues of Pompey, which after his defeat had been thrown down, to be again erected.

His faithful soldiers Cæsar rewarded with gold, and to the citizens he gave feasts and gifts of corn as well. Games and shows also celebrated his return.

From this time his birthday was kept each year as a holiday, and to the month in which it fell was given his name, Julius, or as we say now, July.

His triumphs were the wonder of the citizens for many long days to come, for he celebrated his victories over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus, and Numidia. Many were the strange and marvellous treasures that adorned the processions.

Of his war with Pompey, as it was against a Roman, nothing was said, nor was it celebrated in a triumph.

For six or seven months Cæsar now stayed in Rome, making many good laws. As of old he was loved by the people, for he proved himself still their friend, taking from the Optimates the power they often used harshly or carelessly and giving it to them.

His friends often begged him to have a bodyguard, for although he was so beloved, he still had enemies. But Cæsar would take no precautions, saying in answer to the fears of his friends, 'It is better to suffer death once, than always to live in fear of it.'

About this time the Dictator ordered Carthage and Corinth, which had been destroyed at the same time, to be rebuilt. When the cities were ready, he sent many of his soldiers to settle in them, as well as many Italian citizens.

Thus many of those who had lived in poverty had a new chance given to them, while the overcrowded towns in Italy became healthier and less full of poverty. Wise men, too, came from Egypt at Cæsar's command, and among other reforms they altered and improved the Roman Calendar.

In December 45 B.C., Cæsar was again forced to leave Rome to put down a rebellion in the south of Spain, raised by Pompey's two sons, Gnæus and Sextus.

Now it chanced that popular as Cæsar was in most countries, he was not so in the south of Spain. This was because he had sent to the province a governor who, unfortunately, had treated the people badly, and for this Cæsar was held responsible.

So Pompey's sons had found it easy to stir up rebellion, and they had soon gathered together a large army, while the Pompeian leaders who had escaped from Africa had joined the lads.

When Cæsar reached Spain, he found Gnæus encamped in a plain near to the town of Munda.

Here a great battle was fought, Roman fighting against Roman, for the soldier in Gnæus's army were nearly all veterans who had been trained in the legions of Rome.

At one time it seemed as though Cæsar's troops were giving way. Then he himself ran from rank to rank of his men, asking if they were not ashamed to let their general be beaten by boys.

Urged by Cæsar's words to fresh efforts, his brave veterans fought desperately until the day was theirs.

Gnæus fled, but a few weeks later was captured and put to death. Sextus, however, escaped, and for many years was at the head of a fleet that caused great trouble along the coast of Italy.

When the hard-fought battle of Munda was won, Cæsar said to his friends, 'I have often fought for victory, but this is the first time I have ever fought for life.'

At Rome the tidings of the victory was received with an outburst of enthusiasm. No honour was too great for the victor. He had already been made Dictator for ten years; he was now appointed Dictator for life.

The Romans could not do enough to show their affection and pride. Honour after honour was heaped upon the victorious general. He was made Consul for ten years, was given entire control of the treasury. And to crown all, the title of Imperator, which carried with it the entire control of the army, was also bestowed upon him.

Rome had no honour left to give now, unless she gave to her Imperator the title of King.

There were already some among his friends who said that it would be well that he should wear the supreme title in the provinces, if not in Rome.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus