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Lecture

Feb. 3 - Caesar's Civil War [antisigma slide notes incl.]


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA233H1
Professor
Erik Gunderson

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Julius Caesar
The Early Years
102/100 BCE: born into a noble but not very rich or influential family
his family hadnt been powerful for a while
c. 85 BCE: proscribed by Sulla; hides; eventually pardoned
slipped through the civil war
79BCE: military service; an embassy to Nicomedes, king of Bithynia
Caesar said to have had an affair with King Nicomedes
78BCE: death of Sulla and return of Caesar to Rome
The Political Rise à making a number of connections
72BCE: military tribune
67BCE: guaestor; gets a seat in the house
marries a granddaughter of Sulla
supports Pompeys command against the pirates
65BCE: aedile and lavish games
doesnt necessary have a lot of money, but a lot of political capital (loans etc.)
63BCE: elected chief priest (pontifex maximus)
62BCE: praetor
The Leading Citizen
60BCE: joins with Pompey and Crassus to form The First Triumvirate
they pool their vast resources and influence for mutual support
extra-constitutional
59BCE: elected consul
his daughter given to Pompey in marriage
further cements the Triumvirate
58BCE: the beginning of 9 years of generalship in Gaul
results in a lot of money and power (especially many power)
Caesar Abroad
58BCE: the Triumvirate renewed
54BCE: expedition to Britain
death of daughter Julia (who was married to Pompey)
death of Crassus killed fighting the Parthians
52BCE: civil unrest in Rome; Pompey is sole consul
51BCE: Gaul is subdued Caesar plans his return
Caesar Wants to Return
Problems
wants to run for consul
he has to lay down his command to run for office
if he lays down his command, his enemies promise to prosecute him (sue him
for a number of things)
Caesar proposes that he be allowed to run for office thought not in Rome, this
is not allowed (only in certain exceptional cases), and he cannot secure an
exception in his case
49BCE: Caesar enters Italy without laying down his command: Civil War breaks out
(where the text begins)
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The Civil Warrior
49BCE: Pompey and his faction flee Italy; Caesar taks Rome; has himself named
dictator
48BCE: Pompey and his army lose a decisive battle in Pharsalus
in some ways, end of civil war but a lot of mopping up to do
48BCE: Pompey flees to Egypt and is killed there
47BCE: fighting in Africa against the senatorial resistance led by Cato
In Charge
46BCE: Caesar returns to Rome for a fourfold triumph (over his various foreign foes)
45BCE: dictator for the 3rd time; consul for 4th
rules without consulting the senate
defeats two sons of Pompey and celebrates a triumph (over his Roman foes à
disturbing)
44BCE: named dictator for life; assassinated
Caesar - Civil War
Caesar - Writing Style
considered one of the most eloquent men of his age, on top of being a supreme military leader
key: not that he is lying to you, but shaping the story in such a way that you are lead to a
conclusion at the end
done in third person but in first person à lends air of objectivity to it
simple words, pure and clean, not a wide range of words
*however the text, quite obviously, is not objective
Presentation of the Civil War
portrait of how maybe things can work (from a certain perspective)
not a lot of blood and gore
and when there are battles, he does not draw attention to the gore
relatively bloodless à Caesar reluctant to do battle
people go over to him instead of fighting
Issue of Foreignness
doesnt seem as much of a civil war as it could
fight in Spanish fashion or use foreign weaponry
give impression that the other side isnt really Roman in the same way
insistence upon social connections and networks
bringing people together, maybe helping to avoid war
instead of brother-killing-brother, reward for slave killing his master, etc
Passages from the Text
opening: whats happening at Rome, and Caesars reaction to it
mutiny in 27(?)
Caesars address to the senate
44-45: ---s foreign troops vs. -----s manly men
71-76: clemency vs ---
C trying to avoid spilling blood vs. other guys who will have nothing of it
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end of book: question of how far Caesars patience will go
Caesars Speech to his Troops
Book 1, Lucan: Caesar says we have 10 years of victory, they’re attacking me, Pompey is a
tyrant with a lust for blood who learned under Sulla
440: a Caesar mad for war, who proceeds only by shedding blood (this is Lucans
Caesar not Caesars Caesar)
500: troops surrender their general à considered a disgusting crime
510: talks about Caesar pardoning Demitious (sp?) à
knowing that he sought punishment... see the sun by my generosity
few lines later how much better if he had been slain outright
in Caesar, 1-7:
when troops are coming over to him, he portrays them differently
makes one thing that when he forgive you, its because he wants to à not because he
had to
Caesar
Section 1 (read entire section)
letter being distributed...reading in the senate à all he wants is a hearing, all he did was
send a letter
it gets read, but not acted on
be free, be courageous, stand against Caesar
determined to disclaim his authority à every man for himself
comes of seeming like a spoiled, unconstitutional freak (not said outright, but an
impression)
Scipio: stand by the republic, we will stand by the state
Section 2 (read entire section)
what Pompey really thinks
these guys have spoken, now time for others
Marcellus: get an army ready and once the senate is protected, they might proceed
with freedom and safety
Callidius: P has an army near Rome à lets send P off so Caesar knows that P isnt
coming for him
cooler head will prevail if we arent sitting on armaments that look like they
are aimed at Caesar
Lentulus = refuses to put it even before the Senate
impression: he is itching for a fight
Marcellus = retracted when he said
forced to change their votes
there was a vote that was effectively anti-Caesarean
but it doesnt mean anything à they were afraid and bullied (rewriting
history)
C needs to disarm or else
tribunes veto this
senate questions the tribunes right to vote
tribunes are allowed to veto
sever speeches made against tribunes
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