CAESAR'S OPERATIONS IN EGYPT, ASIA, AFRICA, AND SPAIN.
Pompey, in his flight from Pharsalia, hastened by the shortest way to the sea, and, seeing a vessel weighing anchor, embarked with a few companions who had accompanied him in his flight. He went to Mityléne, and from there to Egypt, hoping to obtain an asylum with the young PTOLEMY; but he was seized upon his arrival, and beheaded, 28 September, 48. Just before his death Pompey had completed his fifty-eighth year. "Though he had some great and good qualities, he hardly deserved the surname of GREAT. He was certainly a good soldier, and is said to have excelled in all athletic sports, but he fell short of being a first- class general. He won great successes in Spain, and more especially in the East; but for these he was, no doubt, partly indebted to what others had already done. Of the gifts which make a good statesman, he had really none. He was too weak and irresolute to choose a side and stand by it. Pitted against such a man as Caesar, he could not but fail. But to his credit be it said, that in a corrupt time he never used his opportunities for plunder and extortion." Meanwhile Caesar, pursuing his victory with indefatigable activity, set sail for Egypt. Upon his arrival the head of his enemy was brought to him. He turned from the sight with tears in his eyes. The murderers now saw what would be their fate. Ptolemy was at variance with his sister, the famous CLEOP?TRA, Caesar sided with her. The inhabitants of Alexandr?a revolted, and besieged Caesar in the palace; but with a handful of soldiers he bravely baffled their attacks. Setting fire to the neighboring buildings, he escaped to his ships. Afterwards he returned and wreaked vengeance upon the Alexandrians, establishing CLEOP?TRA upon the throne (47). Satisfied with this vengeance, Caesar left Egypt, and went to Pontus, where PHARNACES, son of Mithrad?tes, was inciting a revolt against Rome. Caesar attacked and defeated him at ZELA (47), with a rapidity rendered proverbial by his words, _Veni, vidi, vici_, I CAME, I SAW, I CONQUERED. He now passed quickly down the Hellespont, and had landed in Italy before it was known that he had left Pontus. During his absence from the capital there had been some minor disturbances; but the mass of the citizens were firmly attached to him. Few could distrust the genius and fortune of the irresistible conqueror. In October of 48 he had been made Dictator a second time, and appointed Tribune for life. Caesar's return in September, 47, was marked by no proscription. He insisted that all debts should be paid, and the rights of property respected. He restored quiet, and after a brief stay of three months prepared to transport his army to Africa. The army was in Campania, but discontented and mutinous because of not receiving the expected privilege of pillage and plunder. They refused to move until certain promised rewards were received. The Tenth Legion broke out into open revolt, and marched from Campania to Rome to obtain their rights. Caesar collected them in the Campus Martins, and asked them to state their grievances. They demanded their discharge. "I grant it, citizens" (_Quirites_), said the Imperator. Heretofore he had always addressed them as "fellow soldiers," and the implied rebuke was so keen, that a reaction at once began, and they all begged to be received again into his service. He accepted them, telling them that lands had been allotted to each soldier out of the _ager publicus_, or out of his own estates. Africa must now be subdued. Since the defeat and death of Curio, King JUBA had found no one to dispute his authority. Around him now rallied all the followers of Pompey, Metellus Scipio, Cato, Labiénus, Afranius, Petreius, and the slain general's two sons, Sextus and Gnaeus Pompeius. Utica was made their head-quarters. Here Cato collected thirteen legions of troops of miscellaneous character. Raids were made upon Sicily, Sardinia, and the coasts of Italy. Caesar's officers, if captured, were put to death without mercy. Cicero alone of the old Pompeian party protested against such cruelties. He remained in Italy, was denounced by them as a traitor, and charged with currying favor of the Dictator. Caesar sailed from Lilybaeum (December 19), effected a landing near Leptis, and maintained himself in a fortified position until he formed useful alliances among the Mauretanians. Many Roman residents in the province came to him, indignant at Metellus Scipio's promise to Juba to give the province to him in case of success. Many deserters also came in, enraged that precedence was given to Juba over Scipio in councils of war. But the enemy's army was kept full of new recruits sent from Utica by Cato. For three months Caesar failed to bring on the desired engagement; Scipio had learned caution from Pompey's experience at Pharsalia. Finally, at THAPSUS, one hundred miles southeast of Carthage, April 4, 46, the armies met. Caesar's men were so enthusiastic that they rushed to the charge with one impulse. There was no real battle, but rather a slaughter. Officers and men fled for their lives. Scipio was intercepted in his flight and slain. Juba and Petreius fled together, but, finding their retreat cut off, engaged, it is said, in mortal combat; when the first, Petreius, fell, the other threw himself on his own sword. Labiénus and the two sons of Pompey managed to escape to Spain. Afranius was captured and executed. Cato, when he heard of the defeat, retired to his chamber in Utica, and committed suicide. Thus ended the African campaign. On his return from Africa, Caesar celebrated four triumphs, on four successive days; one over the Gauls, one over Ptolemy of Egypt, one over Pharnaces, and one over Juba. He gratified his armed followers with liberal gifts, and pleased the people by his great munificence. They were feasted at a splendid banquet, at which were twenty-two thousand tables, each table having three couches, and each couch three persons. Then followed shows in the circus and theatre, combats of wild beasts and gladiators, in which the public especially delighted. Honors were now heaped upon Caesar without stint. A thanksgiving of forty days was decreed. His statue was placed in the Capitol. Another was inscribed to Caesar the Demigod. A golden chair was allotted to him in the Senate-House. The name of the fifth month (_Quintilis_) of the Roman calendar was changed to JULIUS (July). He was appointed Dictator for two years, and later for life. He received for three years the office of Censor, which enabled him to appoint Senators, and to be guardian of manners and morals. He had already been made Tribune (48) for life, and Pontifex Maximus (63). In a word, he was king in everything excepting name. Caesar's most remarkable and durable reform at this period was the REVISION OF THE CALENDAR. The Roman method of reckoning time had been so inaccurate, that now their seasons were more than two months behind. Caesar established a calendar, which, with slight changes, is still in use. It went into operation January 1st, 45. He employed Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, to superintend the reform. While Sosigenes was at work on the calendar, Caesar purified the Senate. Many who were guilty of extortion and corruption were expelled, and the vacancies filled with persons of merit. Meanwhile matters in Spain were not satisfactory. After the battle of Pharsalia, Cassius Longinus, Trebonius, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus had been sent to govern the province. They could not agree. The soldiers became mutinous. To Spain flocked all who were dissatisfied with Roman affairs. The remnant of Scipio's African army rested there in its wanderings. Thus Labiénus and Pompey's two sons managed to collect an army as numerous as that which had been defeated at Thapsus. There were thirteen legions in all. Caesar saw that he must make one more struggle. He set out for the province accompanied by his nephew OCTAVIUS (afterwards the Emperor AUGUSTUS), and by his trusted friend and officer, DECIMUS BRUTUS. The struggle in Spain was protracted for several months, but the decisive battle was fought at MUNDA, 17 March, 45, on the Guadalquivir, near Cordova. The forces were well matched. The advantage in position was on the side of the enemy. The battle was stubbornly fought, most of it hand to hand, with short swords. So equal was the struggle, so doubtful at one time the issue, that Caesar himself sprang from his horse, seized a standard, and rallied a wavering legion. Finally, Labiénus was seen to gallop across the field. It was thought he was fleeing. Panic seized his troops, they broke and ran. Thirty thousand were slain, including three thousand Roman Knights, and Labiénus himself. Gnaeus Pompey shortly after lost his life, but Sextus lived for a number of years. Caesar tarried in Spain, regulating affairs, until late in the autumn, when he returned to Rome and enjoyed another triumph over the Iberians (Spaniards). The triumph was followed, as usual, by games and festivals, which kept the populace in a fever of delight and admiration.
CATO.-METELLUS SCIPIO. MARCUS PORTIUS CATO UTICENSIS [Footnote: Cato the Younger, called UTICENSIS on account of his death at Utica.] (95-46) was the great- grandson of Cato the Censor. He was the last of the Romans of the old school. Like his more famous ancestor, he was frugal and austere in his habits, upright, unselfish, and incorruptible. But he was a fanatic, who could not be persuaded to relinquish his views on any subject. As a general, he was a failure, having neither taste nor genius for military exploits. He held various offices at Rome, as Quaestor and Praetor; but when candidate for the consulship he was defeated, because he declined to win votes by bribery and other questionable methods then in vogue. QUINTUS CAECILIUS METELLUS PIUS belonged to the illustrious family of the Scipios by birth, and to that of the Metelli by adoption. He was one of the most unjust and dishonest of the Senators that opposed Caesar. He was the father-in-law of Pompey, by whom he was made a pliant tool against the great conqueror.