F Heritage History | Story of Rome by Mary Macgregor
Contents 
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

Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor




The Battle of Philippi

The Triumvirs began to rule on the 1st January 42 B.C. But neither Antony nor Octavius was able to stay long in Rome, for Brutus and Cassius had still to be pursued and punished. So Antony with a large army set out for Greece to fight against the conspirators, while Octavius, also with an army, went to Sicily to attack Sextus.

Lepidus was left in Rome to watch over the welfare of the city.

Octavius did not conquer Sextus, but in August he left Sicily to join Antony in Greece. They found Brutus and Cassius, each with his army, encamped in a strong position at Philippi in the north of the country.

The rebels, for such Rome now called the two conspirators, were in no haste to fight, for they had a plentiful supply of food for their armies, which was constantly renewed by the fleet which they commanded.

Antony and Octavius had no fleet, and their supply of provisions was uncertain; for it was brought to them by the country folk, who were not able to give them easily all that was necessary.

Before the armies met, Brutus was one night sitting alone in his tent, after his soldiers had gone to their quarters.

It was late and the light was dim, for he was not working, but brooding, as he had begun to do since the death of Cæsar.

Suddenly he felt that he was no longer alone in the tent, and looking up, he saw that a strange figure was standing close beside him. In silence Brutus and his unknown guest gazed the one at the other, until at length Brutus spoke.

'What are you,' he demanded, 'of men or gods, and upon what business come to me?'

'I am your evil genius, Brutus,' a sombre voice replied, 'you shall see me at Philippi.'

The words sounded almost as a threat, but Brutus answered steadily, 'Then I shall see you.'

As he spoke the figure vanished. Brutus at once called his servants and asked them if they had heard any one enter the camp, but none of them had either heard or seen the mysterious stranger.

Soon after this Brutus and Cassius resolved to put their fortune to the test. They hung out a scarlet coat in their camp as a signal of battle.

The soldiers of Antony were at the time busy digging trenches, which they hoped would stop provisions from the sea reaching the enemy.

Cæsar, as Octavius was now called, was not with Antony, but being ill, was in his camp, a short distance away. His soldiers seem not to have seen the scarlet coat in the camp of the enemy, for they made no preparations for battle. Even when they heard shouts and the clash of arms coming from the direction of the trenches, they paid no attention to the confused noises. If they had bestirred themselves, the result of the battle might have been different.

Cassius had fallen upon Antony's men as they worked in their trenches, but he had been repulsed. Then, following up their advantage, the soldiers of Antony had captured his camp.

Meanwhile Cassius had drawn up his soldiers behind the camp, but when the enemy attacked his cavalry, it suddenly gave way and fled toward the sea.

When his infantry also began to waver, Cassius snatched an eagle from a standard-bearer who had turned to flee, and himself thrust it in the ground and tried to rally his men.

But his troops refused to be rallied, and in a short time Cassius found himself deserted, and was forced to ride off the field with only a few followers. He halted on a hill from which he could see the battlefield.

Brutus meanwhile had attacked Cæsar's army, and all but captured Cæsar himself. For he had been carried out of the camp only a few moments before the soldiers of Brutus dashed into it.

The first thing their eyes fell upon was the litter in which Cæsar had been resting. Supposing that he was still lying there, the soldiers hurled their darts at it, and a rumour at once arose that Cæsar was killed. But it was soon discovered that the general had fled, that his litter was empty.

And now a sad mistake took place. Brutus, eager to tell Cassius of his victory, sent off a body of cavalry to find him and tell him the good tidings.

Cassius saw the horsemen riding across the plain, and thinking that it might be the enemy in search of him, he sent one of his followers to reconnoitre.

When the messenger reached the horsemen he was greeted heartily. Some hastily dismounted to gather around him and tell the story of their triumph, others shouted or clashed their arms.

Cassius was watching anxiously from the distance, and he imagined that his follower had been captured by the enemy. Then he thought that Brutus must have been defeated, perhaps even had been slain, and he determined that he himself would live no longer. Without waiting to learn the truth, Cassius stole into an empty tent and stabbed himself.

When the sad news was told to Brutus, he was greatly grieved. 'The last of the Romans has fallen,' he cried in his sorrow, 'for it is not possible that the city should ever produce another man of so great a spirit.'