|preferate.ro - The civil war|
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Referat :: The civil war
The Civil War
Prelude to Civil War
During his conquest of Gaul, Caesar had seen to it that his part of the Gallic loot was wisely spent in preserving and fortifying his position in Rome. His Populist acts as Praetor and Consul had severely alienated the middle group of senators and he needed to use Pompeius's connections with this group to legitimate his actions. However, the events of 52 BC make it clear that Cicero's efforts to estrange the two men had begun to bear fruit. Pompeius's legislation during his consulship in 52 BC was effectively targeted at Caesar -- A severe law against bribery at elections made retrospective to 70 BC; a law enforcing a five-year interval between tenure of magistracies in Rome and assumption of provincial commands, and one prohibiting candidature in absentia.
The crucial issue was whether or not there should be an interval between the date of Caesar's resignation of command in Gaul and the date on which he could enter a proposed second Consulship. If such an interval existed, Caesar would be a private citizen open to prosecution by his enemies and conviction would ruin him politically and might even cost him his life. This had been an issue at Lucca, in 56. Pompeius's reneging on the agreements of this meeting was either the acts of a weak and inept politician or calculated treachery to remove Caesar from power.
However, by 51 the question of having Caesar replaced was once again an issue in the Senatebut he survived by having the dangerous proposals vetoed by tribunes of the plebs who were firmly in his camp -- particularly Gaius Scribonius Curio in 50 and Mark Antony in 49. Despite being consul, Pompeius did little to prevent these attacks on Caesar and possibly even encouraged them. Retiring to his villa in Tarentum, Pompeius allowed the Optimates free reins in Rome.
It is highly unlikely that Caesar wished a civil war. In this respect, it is interesting to note the strong warning he makes in his report to the Senate for 52.
Indeed, for several days the soldiers had no grain at all and only managed to keep themselves from starving by driving in the cattle from distant villages. Yet one would not have heard a word from any of them that was unworthy of the greatness of Rome and of the victories they had won already. I used to go and speak to the men of each legion while they were working. I would tell them that, if they found their privations unbearable, I was quite ready to raise the siege; but one and all they would beg me not to do so. They had now, they said, served under me for many years without ever disgracing themselves or even failing to finish any task to which they had set their hands; they would count it as a disgrace if they were to abandon this siege they had begun; and they would rather undergo any hardship than fail to avenge the roman citizens who had been treacherously massacred by the Gauls at Cenabum. Messages to the same effect were given by the troops to their centurions and officers with the request that they should be passed on to me. (Caesar)
The message ought to be clear: Caesar had a loyal and battle-ready army behind him. Throughout 51-50, he attempted to negotiate with his enemies in Rome but without much success. The situation was brought to a head by the election of consuls in 50, Gaius Claudius Marcellus and Lucius Cornelius Lentulus, both firm anti-Caesarians. The Optimates succeeded in obtaining a senatorial resolution forcing Caesar to lay down his command at its terminal date. Curio then pushed through a resolution (by 370 votes to 22) that both Caesar and Pompeius should lay down their commands simultaneously on December 1, 50. The next day Marcellus (acting without authorization from the Senate or the People) offered the command over all troops in Italy to Pompeius, together with the power to raise more, and Pompeius accepted.
Caesar attempted a last compromise: On January 1, 49, the Senate received a letter from him proposing that he and Pompeius should lay down their commands simultaneously. Almost bitterly, Caesar recounts in the introduction to his account of the Civil War how his proposal is turned down. Soon after the decision is ratified, Pompeius is made Dictator and Caesar would be declared hostis, public enemy if he refused to lay down his command. It happened against the veto of the tribune of the plebs, but the time was no longer ripe for constitutional methods. If Caesar backed down he signed his death warrant, if he did not it remained to be seen who would die: Caesar, Pompeius or the Republic?
On January 10-11, Caesar, accompanied by half a Legion, stood beside the river Rubicon, the border between his province of Cisalpine Gaul and Italia. With the words:
" Iacta est alea" -- " Let the dice fly!"
he crossed into Italia. The civil war had begun.
Caesar in Italy
Neither Caesar, Pompeius nor even the greater part of the nob...
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