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Julius Caesar, Chapter 75: Mercy to enemies
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|He certainly showed admirable self-restraint and mercy, both in his conduct of the civil war and in the hour of victory. While Pompeius announced that he would treat as enemies those who did not take up arms for the government, Caesar gave out that those who were neutral and of neither party should be numbered with his friends. He freely allowed all those whom he had made centurions on Pompeius' recommendation to go over to his rival. When conditions of surrender were under discussion at Ilerda, and friendly intercourse between the two parties was constant, Afranius and Petreius, with a sudden change of purpose, put to death all of Caesar's soldiers whom they found in their camp; but Caesar could not bring himself to retaliate in kind. At the Battle of Pharsalus [Note 1] he cried out, Spare your fellow citizens, and afterwards allowed each of his men to save any one man he pleased of the opposite party. And it will be found that no Pompeian lost his life except in battle, save only Afranius and Faustus, and the young Lucius Caesar; and it is believed that not even these men were slain by his wish, even though the two former had taken up arms again after being pardoned, while Caesar had not only cruelly put to death the dictator's slaves and freedmen with fire and sword, but had even butchered the wild beasts which he had procured for the entertainment of the people. At last, in his later years, he went so far as to allow all those whom he had not yet pardoned to return to Italy, and to hold magistracies and the command of armies: and he actually set up the statue of Lucius Sulla and the statue of Pompey, which had been broken to pieces by the populace. After this, if any dangerous plots were formed against him, or slanders uttered, he preferred to quash rather than to punish them. Accordingly, he took no further notice of the conspiracies which were detected, and of meetings by night, than to make known by proclamation that he was aware of them; and he thought it enough to give public warning to those who spoke ill of him, not to persist in their conduct, bearing with good nature the attacks on his reputation made by the scurrilous volume of Aulus Caecina and the abusive lampoons of Pitholaus.
|Moderationem uero clementiamque cum in administratione tum in uictoria belli ciuilis admirabilem exhibuit. denuntiante Pompeio pro hostibus se habiturum qui rei publicae defuissent, ipse medios et neutrius partis suorum sibi numero futuros pronuntiauit. quibus autem ex commendatione Pompei ordines dederat, potestatem transeundi ad eum omnibus fecit. motis apud Ilerdam deditionis condicionibus, cum, assiduo inter utrasque partes usu atque commercio, Afranius et Petreius deprehensos intra castra Iulianos subita paenitentia interfecissent, admissam in se perfidiam non sustinuit imitari. acie Pharsalica proclamauit, ut ciuibus parceretur, deincepsque nemini non suorum quem uellet unum partis aduersae seruare concessit. nec ulli perisse nisi in proelio reperientur, exceptis dum taxat Afranio et Fausto et Lucio Caesare iuuene; ac ne hos quidem uoluntate ipsius interemptos putant, quorum tamen et priores post impetratam ueniam rebellauerant et Caesar libertis seruisque eius ferro et igni crudelem in modum enectis bestias quoque ad munus populi comparatas contrucidauerat. denique tempore extremo etiam quibus nondum ignouerat, cunctis in Italiam redire permisit magistratusque et imperia capere; sed et statuas Luci Sullae atque Pompei a plebe disiectas reposuit; ac si qua posthac aut cogitarentur grauius aduersus se aut dicerentur, inhibere maluit quam uindicare. itaque et detectas coniurationes conuentusque nocturnos non ultra arguit, quam ut edicto ostenderet esse sibi notas, et acerbe loquentibus satis habuit pro contione denuntiare ne perseuerarent, Aulique Caecinae criminosissimo libro et Pitholai carminibus maledicentissimis laceratam existimationem suam ciuili animo tulit.