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THE text of the present edition of Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War is substantially that of Oudendorp. The variations introduced were drawn from a careful comparison of Oudendorp's text with those of Achaintre and Lemaire, Oberlin, Schneider, Giani, &c.; and the Editor felt the less hesitation in adopting this course because of the acknowledged corrupt state of the text.* Hence, wherever a reading appeared to him more in accordance with Caesar's usual style or manner, he has ventured to adopt it in preference to the lection of Oudendorp.
The sources from which the notes have been mainly drawn are the following: Oudendorp's large edition of the works of Caesar, with the Notes of D. Vossius, J. Davies, and Sam. Clarke, Stutgard, 1822, 2 vols., 8vo.; Graevius's edition of Caesar's works, with the Notes of Vossius, Davies, and others, Leyden, 1713, 8vo.; Barker's Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic
"The text of Caesar's Commentaries is also so corrupt, and has in the later editions been sometimes so unhappily corrected, that I dread the period when I shall have to follow it as the main authority of my narrative, and can no longer look to Niebuhr's sagacity for guidance."-Arnold's History of Rome, vol. I., p. 15.
War, with select notes, London, 1831; Commentaries on the Gallic War, edited by Dr. L. Schmitz, with Notes, Edinburgh, 1847; Clarke's Caesar from the Delphin edition; Andrews', Leverett's, and Paterson's editions. of the Commentaries on the Gallic War, &c. From these sources principally, added to the frequent perusals of the author with the classes under his charge, it has been the Editor's aim to prepare such notes as would be of service to the young student in entering upon the consecutive perusal of a Latin author. In how far the Editor may have succeeded in carrying out his design, it becomes him not to say; he can only trust that his efforts to illustrate and render attractive a favorite classic may meet with similar indulgence to that which has been bestowed upon his former contributions to the great cause of classical learning.
NEW YORK, May 1st, 1848.
CAIUS JULIUS CAESAR.*
CAIUS JULIUS CAESAR was the son of Caius Caesar and Aurelia, the daughter of Cotta. He was born in the sixth consulship of Marius, ninety-nine years B. C. When only in his seventeenth year, he obtained the office of High Priest of Jupiter. His marriage with Cornelia, the daughter of Cinna, excited against him the hatred of Sylla, to whose suspicion he had, from his early years, been exposed, in consequence of his aunt Julia being the wife of Marius. To escape assassination, he was obliged to conceal himself, until, by the intercession of the vestal virgins and entreaties of his relations, the tyrant was reluctantly induced to spare his life. That Sylla formed, at an early period, a correct opinion of his talents and ambition, is proved by the answer which he returned to his friends, who reproached him for the meanness of wishing to put a boy to death; In that boy," said he, "I see many Mariuses."
The first military honor which Caesar obtained, was a civic crown, at the siege of Mitylene, when the Roman army was commanded by Thermus, the Praetor. On Sylla's death he returned to Rome, and before he had completed his twenty-third year, accused Dolabella of extortion. Although the prosecution terminated in the acquittal of the defendant, Caesar in that trial gave such proofs of his abilities, as ranked him in the public opinion high among the most distinguished orators. Not having obtained any public office, and wishing to avoid the odium necessarily attendant on an unsuccessful impeachment, he retired to Rhodes to study eloquence under Apollonius Molo, who was a very eminent teacher of rhetoric. Near the island Pharmacusa, on his way to Rhodes, he was taken by pirates, among whom he remained forty days. At the end of that time he purchased his liberty for fifty talents. Soon after obtaining his freedom from the pirates, he procured a ship, pursued them, and, to verify the threat which he expressed when their captive, put them all to death by crucifixion. After his return to Rome, he was, by the vote of the people, appointed a military tribune. He afterwards obtained the offices of Quaestor, Edile, High Priest, Praetor, and Consul. During his Quaestorship, his wife Cornelia, and aunt Julia, the widow of Marius, died; and he delivered a funeral oration from the Rostra in honor of both. then married Pompeïa, the daughter of Q. Pompeïus, and grand-daughter of Sylla. To gain the favor of the people, when an Edile, he surpassed all his predecessors in the extravagance and magnificence of his shows. To dazzle and captivate the multitude, and to weaken the power of the nobles, was his
*The accompanying Life of Caesar is taken principally from Dymock's edition of the works of Julius Caesar.
constant aim. In the pursuit of his favorite plans, he had recourse to means the most wicked and flagitious. But, in spite of his vices,* the agreeableness of his manners and splendor of his talents, added to his martial valor and intrepidity, gained him many admirers. The success of his military enterprises rendered him a favorite with the army, and his profuse bribery secured in his interest the populace of Rome. That his object, from his early years, had been his own aggrandizement on the ruin of his country, is manifest from his having been concerned, first, in the conspiracy of Crassus and Sylla, and, afterwards, in that of Catiline. The judgment which he gave in the senate, with respect to the punishment of Lentulus, Cethegus, &c., accomplices of Catiline, the conduct of the Roman Equites who guarded the temple where the senate was met, and his being arraigned as an associate of that rebel, before the Quaestor and the senate, sufficiently prove both the public opinion and his guilt. He leagued with these traitors, not to promote their schemes, but by their means to destroy the liberties of his country, and become the unlimited sovereign of Rome.
Caesar divorced Pompeïa, because Clodius had been detected in his house, while she and other matrons were celebrating the rites of Bona Dea, from which every male creature was most carefully excluded. Clodius was tried for this crime, and, through bribery, obtained a sentence of acquittal. As Clodius was a man of great influence and popularity, Caesar, although certain of the fact, declined bearing evidence against him, lest it should have, at any future period, been in the smallest degree injurious to his plans of ambition.‡
The senate seem to have been apprehensive of the power and influence of Caesar. By this time he was elected consul, which induced them to decree provinces of little or no importance, woods and roads, to the consuls for that year. This provoked his resentment, and he labored to effect a reconciliation between Pompey and Crassus, which he at last, after great exertion, accomplished. The interest of the former he had keenly supported in the passing of the Manilian law, which conferred extraordinary powers on that commander, and likewise on other occasions, though not without an ultimate view to his own advantage. Whatever power, beyond what was usual, had been assigned to others, served as a precedent for his soliciting the like for himself. With Crassus, a man of prodigious wealth, but of no great personal merit, he had long been in habits of friendship. Of all the Roman citizens, Pompey possessed the greatest power, Crassus the greatest riches, and Caesar the greatest abilities. In this coalition, which was in fact a conspiracy against the liberties of Rome, they solemnly swore that nothing was to be done in the state but by their
* Whilst Caesar was giving tokens of the danger which the aristocracy had to apprehend from his political career, he almost lulled their fears by the unbounded infamy of his personal character. We will not, and annot repeat the picture which ancient writers, little scrupulous on such points, have drawn of his debaucheries; it will be sufficient to say, that he was stained with numerous adulteries, committed with women of the noblest families; that his profligacies in other points drew upon him general disgrace, even amidst the lax morality of his own contemporaries, and are such that their very flagitiousness has in part saved them from the abhorrence of posterity, because modern writers cannot pollute their pages with the mention of them.-Arnold's Later Roman Commonwealth, p. 149.
+ Caesar's connection with the conspiracy of Catiline is doubted and even denied by some of the best modern writers. There does not appear to be sufficient evi dence to convict him of any direct participation in that sanguinary scheme.
+ See Arnold's Later Roman Commonwealth, pp. 190-192.