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Siege of Cicero's Camp, late 54 B.C.

Siege of Cicero's Camp, late 54 B.C.

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Siege of Cicero's Camp, late 54 B.C.

The Siege
The Relief

The Siege

The siege of Q. Cicero's camp, early in the winter of 54-53 B.C. was the highpoint of the second Gallic revolt during Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul, and its failure handed the initiative back to the Romans.

After returning from his second expedition to Britain Caesar placed his legions into winter quarters in the north east of Gaul. A shortage of corn forced him to spread his legions out rather more than normal. One legion, under Q. Cicero, the brother of the famous orator, was sent into the lands of the Nervii, while the newest of his legions, under Sabinus and Cotta, was posted further east, at Atuatuca in the lands of the Eburones.

The revolt was apparently inspired by the Treveri, who lands bordered the Rhine and the Moselle, but it was the Eburones who rose first. An attack on the fort at Atuatuca failed, but they then convinced Sabinus to abandon his fortifications and attempt to rejoin either Cicero or L, who was a little to the south. Two miles outside their camp the Romans were attacked and the Legion virtually destroyed.

The revolt rapidly spread westwards. Ambiorix, one of the two kings of the Eburones, led his cavalry into the lands of the Atuatuci and then the Nervii, rousing both tribes. The Nervii summoned their dependant tribes – the Centrones, Grudii, Levaci, Pleumoxii and Geiduni – and moved to attack Cicero's camp.

The disaster at Atuatuca had been so total that no news of it had reached Cicero, and so when the Gauls attacked his winter camp was only partially complete and some of his men were out in the woods gather timber. These men were cut off by the Gallic cavalry, and the main force then made a determined attack on the Roman camp. This first attack was probably the Gaul's best chance of victory, but even the partially completed defences were enough to deny them success.

On the night after the attack Cicero sent out a number of messengers with orders to reach Caesar, but none got through. More effectively the Romans completed their fortifications, according to Caesar constructing 120 towers using the timber already inside the camp.

On the next day the Gauls advanced to attack the walls, filling the ditches and attacking the ramparts, but without success. On the following night the Romans continued to strengthen their fortifications. This pattern was repeated for several days, until eventually the Nervii leaders decided to try to convince Cicero to leave his camp in the same way that Ambiorix had convinced Sabinus to leave the camp at Atuatuca.

As at Atuatuca the Gauls attempted to convince Cicero that his position was hopeless and that their demands were reasonable – all they wanted was for the Romans to go into winter quarters somewhere else. Cicero's response was rather more robust that Sabinus's. He refused to negotiate with armed enemies, but suggested that if the Gauls laid down their arms, then he might be able to argue their case with Caesar.

The Gauls now demonstrated that they were learning from their opponents. In earlier years Caesar had described Gallic siege warfare as a simple procedure. The Gauls would use missile weapons to force the defenders off the walls, and then attempt to break down the walls and attack through the gap. A number of sieges had ended when the Roman's completed their unfamiliar siege towers.

Now, in the fifth year of the war, they had learnt more sophisticated methods. In the course of three hours Cicero's camp was surrounded by a rampart eleven feet high and a ditch thirteen feet deep, ten miles in circumference. Behind their fortifications the Gauls began to prepare their own siege towers and mantlets.

The next Gallic attack came on the seventh day of the siege. The Gauls took advantage of a high wind to throw heated javelins and hot sling balls into the camp, setting fire to the thatched roofs of the Roman buildings. They then mounted the most determined attack on the ramparts yet, but despite the fires at their backs the Roman legionaries remained on the walls. One Gallic siege tower did actually reach the walls, but this attack was beaten off.

During this time Cicero made a series of efforts to get messages to Caesar, but all of the messengers were captured and killed. Eventually the message was entrusted to the Gallic slave of Vertico, a Nervian who had remained loyal to Caesar. With the message bound around his javelin this slave was able to reach Caesar in safety, and the relief effort finally began.

The Relief Effort

Caesar was faced with something of a dilemma. If he waited for all of his scattered legions to come together Cicero's camp would probably fall, but if he advanced without enough men then the relief army itself might have been vulnerable. Caesar didn’t hesitate. Letters were sent to M. Crassus, C. Fabius and Labienus. Crassus was to bring his legion directly to Caesar, Fabius was to meet him on the march and Labienus was to join the army if possible.

A fourth legion was available, but Caesar decided to leave it at Samarobriva, under the command of C. Fabius, to guard the army's baggage. The eventual relief force was limited to two legions, for Labienus was being threatened by the Treviri, who had camped three miles from his winter quarters. Labienus believed that his force was too small to safely march through hostile territory, and so he decided to remain in his camp.

This left Caesar with 7,000 men in two legions, but he believed that the only chance to save the situation was to attack the Nervii as quickly as possible. A series of long marches brought him close to Cicero's camp.

When he was about three days march away Caesar captured some Gallic prisoners and learnt that Cicero's men were in a desperate condition. In an attempt to raise their morale Caesar dispatched a Gallic horseman to the camp, with another message attached to a javelin. This time, as the horseman approached the camp, he was to throw the javelin over the walls to make sure the message got through. The only flaw in this plan was that nobody noticed the message on the javelin for two days. By the time it was finally discovered the smoke from Caesar's latest camp was visible on the horizon.

When the Gauls discovered that Caesar was approaching they abandoned the siege and advanced towards the Roman army. Caesar states that the Gallic army was 60,000 strong, nearly ten times bigger than his own force. Cicero was able to get this news to Caesar. On the day after receiving this letter the two armies came within sight of each other.

The two armies were separated by a sizable valley with a small river at its base. Caesar decided that it was too dangerous to attack across the river, and instead decided to attempt to trick the Gauls. He selected the strongest possible site for his camp, but then constructed the smallest possible camp for his men, in an attempt to convince the Gauls that his army was even smaller than it really was. At the same time scouts were sent out to find a way across the valley.

On the follow day the Gallic cavalry advanced across the valley. Caesar ordered his own cavalry to fall back into the camp, and encouraged by this apparent sign of weakness the main Gallic force crossed the river and prepared to attack the Roman camp. This was what Caesar had been hoping for. Once the Gauls were engaged in an attempt to fill the ditches and break down the ramparts of the camp the Romans attacked from every gate, catching the Gauls by surprise.

Caesar's plan worked perfectly. After a short fight the Gauls scattered, with the Roman cavalry in pursuit. This pursuit was quickly called off, partly because Caesar didn't want his men to get isolated in the nearby woods and morasses, partly because the Gallic army had been dispersed, not destroyed, and partly because he wanted to reach Cicero as quickly as possible. Later on the same day Caesar's men reached the besieged camp.

The sophistication of the Gallic siege works clearly came as an unpleasant surprise to Caesar, as did the state of Cicero's legion, where nine out of ten men had been wounded. The failure of the attack on Cicero's camp effectively ended the offensive phase of the second Gallic revolt. Indutiomarus, the Treviri leader who had probably inspired the revolt, abandoned his plans to attack Labienus's camp, and was hunted down and killed early in the winter. Caesar decided to go back into winter quarters, although this time three legions were kept together around Samarobriva and Caesar himself wintered in Gaul for the first time. The Romans spent a nervous winter, always on the alert for a fresh uprising, but in the spring and summer of 53 B.C. were able to at least temporarily restore their control over Gaul without any great difficulty.

Battle of Alesia

The Battle of Alesia or Siege of Alesia was a military engagement in the Gallic Wars that took place in September, 52 BC, around the Gallic oppidum (fortified settlement) of Alesia, a major centre of the Mandubii tribe. It was fought by the army of Julius Caesar against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix of the Arverni. It was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, and is considered one of Caesar's greatest military achievements and a classic example of siege warfare and investment the Roman army built dual lines of fortifications—an inner wall to keep the besieged Gauls in, and an outer wall to keep the Gallic relief force out. The Battle of Alesia marked the end of Gallic independence in modern day territory of France and Belgium.

10–11 legions [1] [2] (30–50,000 legionaries)
10,000 auxiliaries [1]

The battle site was probably atop Mont Auxois, above modern Alise-Sainte-Reine in France, but this location, some have argued, does not fit Caesar's description of the battle. A number of alternatives have been proposed over time, among which only Chaux-des-Crotenay (in Jura in modern France) remains a challenger today. [10]

The event is described by several contemporary authors, including Caesar himself in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico. After the Roman victory, Gaul (very roughly modern France) was subdued, although Gaul would not become a Roman province until 27 BC. The Roman Senate granted Caesar a thanksgiving of 20 days for his victory in the Gallic War. [11]


Hill, known to his family as Powell (and to his soldiers as Little Powell), was born in Culpeper, Virginia, the seventh and final child of Thomas and Fannie Russell Baptist Hill. Powell was named for his uncle, Ambrose Powell Hill (1785–1858), who served in both houses of the Virginia legislature, and Capt. Ambrose Powell, an Indian fighter, explorer, sheriff, legislator, and close friend of President James Madison. [1]

Hill was nominated to enter the United States Military Academy in 1842, in a class that started with 85 cadets. He made friends easily, including such prominent future generals as Darius N. Couch, George Pickett, Jesse L. Reno, George Stoneman, Truman Seymour, Cadmus M. Wilcox, and George B. McClellan. His future commander, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, was in the same class but the two did not get along. Hill had a higher social status in Virginia and valued having a good time in his off-hours, whereas Jackson scorned levity and practiced his religion more fervently than Hill could tolerate. In 1844, Hill returned from a furlough with a case of gonorrhea, medical complications from which caused him to miss so many classes that he was required to repeat his third year. Reassigned to the class of 1847, he made new friendships in particular with Henry Heth and Ambrose Burnside. Hill continued to suffer from the effects of VD for the rest of his life, being plagued with recurrent prostatitis, which was not treatable before the advent of antibiotics. He may have also suffered urinary incontinence due to inflammation of the prostate pressing on his urethra, which could also lead to uremic poisoning and kidney damage. [2] He graduated in 1847, ranking 15th of 38. He was appointed to the 1st U.S. Artillery as a brevet second lieutenant. [3] He served in a cavalry company during the final months of the Mexican–American War, but fought in no major battles. After some garrison assignments along the Atlantic seaboard, he served in the Seminole Wars, again arriving near the end of the war and fighting various minor skirmishes. He was promoted to first lieutenant in September 1851. [4]

Hill (or his namesake uncle who died in 1858) farmed in Culpeper County, Virginia using enslaved labor. In the 1840 census Ambrose P. Hill owned 32 slaves, [5] and 30 slaves in the 1850 census. [6] (Note: In 1840, A.P. Hill, the subject of this article, was only 15 years old and still living with his father's family. Hill served on an army post in Florida in 1850, and was not a resident of Virginia in that census year. [7] The author of the above section on the census has confused him with his uncle of the same name). Robertson's biography of Hill quotes his wife Kitty as saying her husband, "never owned slaves and never approved of the institution of slavery." [8] In the 1850 census, Thomas Hill (Hill's father) owned 20 slaves in Culpeper County. [9] Ten years later, Thomas Hill Jr. owned at least 38 slaves in Culpeper County. [10] [11] From 1855 to 1860, A.P. Hill worked on the United States' coastal survey. [12] He was once engaged to Ellen B. Marcy, the future wife of Hill's West Point roommate George B. McClellan, before her parents pressured her to break off the engagement. Although Hill denied he felt ill will about the affair afterward, during the war a rumor spread that Hill always fought harder if he knew McClellan was present with the opposing army, because of Ellen's rejection. [13] On July 18, 1859, Hill married Kitty ("Dolly") Morgan McClung, a young widow, thus becoming the brother-in-law of future Confederate cavalry generals John Hunt Morgan (Hill's best man at the wedding) and Basil W. Duke. [14]

American Civil War Edit

Early months Edit

On March 1, 1861, after some Southern states had seceded (and as the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861 met, Hill resigned his U.S. Army commission. After Virginia seceded, he accepted a commission as colonel of the 13th Virginia Infantry Regiment, which included units from his native Culpeper County, and nearby Orange, Louisa and Frederick Counties, as well as the Lanier Guards of Maryland and the Frontier Rifles of Hampshire County in what would soon become West Virginia. [15] [16] The 13th Virginia was one of the regiments in Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army that were transported by railroad as reinforcements to the First Battle of Bull Run, but Hill and his men were sent to guard the Confederate right flank near Manassas and saw no action during the battle. Hill was promoted to brigadier general on February 26, 1862, and command of a brigade in the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac. [17]

Light Division Edit

In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, Hill performed well as a brigade commander at the Battle of Williamsburg, where his brigade blunted a Union attack, and was promoted to major general and division command on May 26. [18] Hill's new division was composed mainly of brigades pulled from the Carolinas and Georgia.

His division did not participate in the Battle of Seven Pines (May 31 – June 1), the battle in which Joseph E. Johnston was wounded and replaced in command of the Army of Northern Virginia by Robert E. Lee. June 1 was the first day that Hill began using a nickname for his division: the Light Division. This contradictory name for the largest division in all of the Confederate armies may have been selected because Hill wished his men to have a reputation for speed and agility. One of Hill's soldiers wrote after the war, "The name was applicable, for we often marched without coats, blankets, knapsacks, or any other burdens except our arms and haversacks, which were never heavy and sometimes empty." [19]

Hill's rookie division was in the thick of the fighting during the Seven Days Battles, being heavily engaged at Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, and Glendale. Following the campaign, Hill became involved in a dispute with James Longstreet over a series of newspaper articles that appeared in the Richmond Examiner relations between them deteriorated to the point that Hill was placed under arrest and Hill challenged Longstreet to a duel. [20] Following the Seven Days Battles, Lee reorganized the army into two corps and assigned Hill's division to Stonewall Jackson. Their relationship was less than amicable and the two quarreled many times. Hill frequently found himself under arrest by Jackson. [21]

At the Battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9, Hill launched a counterattack that stabilized the Confederate left flank, preventing it from being routed. Three weeks later at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas), Hill was placed on the Confederate left along the unfinished railroad cut and held it against repeated Union attacks. During the campaign, Hill became involved in several minor disputes with Jackson concerning Jackson's marching orders to Hill. [22]

Hill's performance at the Battle of Antietam was particularly noteworthy. While Lee's army was enduring strong attacks by the Army of the Potomac outside Sharpsburg, Maryland, Hill's Light Division had been left behind to process Union prisoners at Harpers Ferry. Responding to an urgent call for assistance from Lee, Hill marched his men at a grueling pace and reached the battlefield just in time to counterattack a strong forward movement by the corps of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, which threatened to destroy Lee's right flank. Hill's arrival neutralized the threat, bringing an end to the battle with Lee's army battered but undefeated. [23] Hours after the battle, Hill told an inquisitive major that Burnside owed him $8,000. [24] During the retreat back to Virginia, he had his division push back a few regiments from the Union V Corps. [25]

At the Battle of Fredericksburg in December 1862, Hill was positioned near the Confederate right along a ridge because of some swampy ground along his front, there was a 600-yard gap in Hill's front line, and the nearest brigade behind it was nearly a quarter mile away the dense vegetation prevented the brigade commander from seeing any Union troops advancing on his position. During the battle, Maj. Gen. George Meade's division routed two of Hill's brigades and part of a third. Hill required the assistance from Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early's division to repulse the Union attack. Hill's division suffered over 2,000 casualties during the battle, which was nearly two-thirds of the casualties in Jackson's corps two of his brigade commanders were wounded, one (Maxcy Gregg) mortally. [26] After the battle one of his brigade commanders, Brig. Gen. James J. Archer, criticized him about the gap left in the division's front line, saying that Hill had been warned about it before the battle but had done nothing to correct it. Hill was also absent from his division, and there is no record of where he was during the battle this led to a rumor spread through the lines that he had been captured during the initial Union assault. [27]

Hill and Jackson argued several times during the Northern Virginia Campaign and the 1862 Maryland Campaign. During the invasion of Maryland, Jackson had Hill arrested and after the campaign charged him with eight counts of dereliction of duty. [28] During the lull in campaigning following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Hill repeatedly requested that Lee set up a court of inquiry, but the commanding general did not wish to lose the effective teamwork of his two experienced lieutenants and so refused to approve Hill's request. [29] Their feud was put aside whenever a battle was being fought and then resumed afterward, a practice that lasted until the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863. [30] There, Jackson was accidentally wounded by the 18th North Carolina Infantry of Hill's division. Hill briefly took command of the Second Corps and was wounded himself in the calves of his legs. While in the infirmary, he requested that the cavalry commander, J. E. B. Stuart, take his place in command. [31]

Third Corps commander Edit

After Jackson's death from pneumonia, Hill was promoted on May 24, 1863, to lieutenant general (becoming the Army of Northern Virginia's fourth highest-ranking general) and placed in command of the newly created Third Corps of Lee's army, which he led in the Gettysburg Campaign of 1863. [12] One of Hill's divisions, led by his West Point classmate Maj. Gen. Henry Heth, was the first to engage Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. Although the first day of the battle was a resounding Confederate success, Hill received much postbellum criticism from proponents of the Lost Cause movement, suggesting that he had unwisely brought on a general engagement against orders before Lee's army was fully concentrated. [32] His division under Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson fought in the unsuccessful second day assaults against Cemetery Ridge, while his favorite division commander, Maj. Gen. William Dorsey Pender, commanding the Light Division, was severely wounded, which prevented that division from cooperating with the assault. On the third day, two thirds of the men in Pickett's Charge were from Hill's corps, but Robert E. Lee chose James Longstreet to be overall commander of the assault. [33] Of all three infantry corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, Hill's suffered the most casualties at Gettysburg, which prompted Lee to order them to lead the retreat back into Virginia. [34]

During the autumn campaign of the same year, Hill launched his Corps "too hastily" in the Battle of Bristoe Station and was bloodily repulsed by Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren's II Corps. Lee did not criticize him for this afterward, but ordered him to detail himself to the dead and wounded after hearing his account. Hill's corps also took part in the Battle of Mine Run. Other than a brief visit to Richmond in January 1864, Hill remained with his corps in its winter encampments near Orange Court House. [35]

In the Overland Campaign of 1864, Hill's corps held back multiple Union attacks during the first day of the Battle of the Wilderness, but became severely disorganized as a result. Despite several requests from his division commanders, Hill refused to straighten and strengthen his line during the night, possibly due to Lee's plan to relieve them at daylight. At dawn on the second day of the battle, the Union army launched an attack that briefly drove Hill's corps back, with several units routed, but the First Corps under Longstreet arrived just in time to reinforce him. [36] Hill was medically incapacitated with an unspecified illness at Spotsylvania Court House, so Maj. Gen. Jubal Early temporarily took command of the Third Corps, but Hill was able to hear that his men were doing well and to observe the battle at Lee's side. [37] After recovering and regaining his corps, he was later rebuked by Lee for his piecemeal attacks at the Battle of North Anna. By then, Lee himself was too ill to coordinate his subordinates in springing a planned trap of the Union Army. [38] Hill held the Confederate left flank at Cold Harbor, but two divisions of his corps were used to defend against the main Union attack on the right flank on June 3 when part of the troops to his right gave way, Hill used one brigade to launch a successful counterattack. [39]

During the Siege of Petersburg of 1864–65, Hill and his men participated in several battles during the various Union offensives, particularly Jerusalem Plank Road, the Crater, Globe Tavern, Second Reams Station, and Peebles Farm. During the Battle of the Crater, he fought against his West Point classmate Ambrose Burnside, whom the former repulsed at Antietam and Fredericksburg. Hill was ill several times that winter in March 1865, his health had deteriorated to the point where he had to recuperate in Richmond until April 1, 1865. [40]

Death Edit

Hill had said he had no desire to live to see the collapse of the Confederacy, [41] and on April 2, 1865 (during the Union breakthrough in the Third Battle of Petersburg, just seven days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House), he was shot dead by a Union soldier, Corporal John W. Mauck of the 138th Pennsylvania, as he rode to the front of the Petersburg lines, accompanied by one staff officer. They had called upon the Union soldiers to surrender. [42] Instead, the federals refused the demand and shot Hill through the chest. The rifle bullet traveled through his heart, exited his chest, and sliced off his left thumb. [43] Hill fell to the ground and died within moments.

In the late nineteenth century, interest developed in trying to locate and memorialize the site where Hill was killed, with apparent attempts made to locate the site in 1888, 1890, and 1903. [44] It was not until 1911, however, that the Sons of Confederate Veterans finally undertook a precise study and were able to locate and commemorate where Hill fell.

In April 1912, the SCV unveiled two monuments denoting the death of A.P. Hill in Dinwiddie County. The larger of these two monuments is located at the intersection of the Boydton Plank Road and Duncan Road.

To the memory of A.P. Hill, Lt-Gen. C.S.A.

He was killed about 600 yards northwardly from this marker, being shot by a small band of stragglers from the Federal lines on the morning of April 2, 1865.

Erected by A.P. Hill Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans-Petersburg, Va.

It is thought that this location was chosen because it was easily accessible from the road. A small parking area is located behind the monument on Duncan Road making it easy and safe to visit and access. The marker is located at GPS coordinates: 37° 11.365′ N, 77° 28.52′ W. [45]

The SCV also marked what is thought to be the exact site where Hill fell in April 1912. The small granite marker at the site reads:

Spot where A.P. Hill Was Killed

The GPS coordinates for this marker are: 37° 11.553′ N, 77° 28.847′ W. It is approximately a half mile from the larger stone. The marker is located near Sentry Hill Court and is on land that was preserved by the American Battlefield Trust. [46] It is publicly accessible via a short trail.

The unveiling ceremony for the two markers was attended by Hill's widow and his surviving children. [44]

Across the Boydton Plank Road (US 1) from the "Memory" marker is a third marker to A.P. Hill. This marker was erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1929. It reads:

In the field a short distance north of this road, the Confederate General A.P. Hill was killed, April 2, 1865. Hill, not knowing that Lee's lines had been broken, rode into a party of Union soldiers advancing on Petersburg.

The marker was replaced as recently as 2015. [44] It is Virginia Historical Marker S-49. It is located just south of the turn off for the marker in the Sentry Hill area. There is no designated pull off area for this marker. It is located at GPS coordinates: 37° 11.348′ N, 77° 28.601′ W. [47]

Confederates recovered Hill's corpse shortly afterward. When Lee heard of Hill's death, he tearfully uttered, "He is now at rest, and we who are left are the ones to suffer." [48] Hill's family had hoped to bury Hill in Richmond, but the city's evacuation by the Confederate government during the next days and capture by Union forces led to Hill's burial in Chesterfield County. Per his last will and testament, Hill was interred standing up. [49] [50]

Hill did not escape controversy during the war. He had a frail physique and suffered from frequent illnesses that reduced his effectiveness at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. (Some historians believe these illnesses were related to the venereal disease he contracted as a West Point cadet.) [51]

Some analysts consider Hill an example of the Peter principle. Although he was extremely successful commanding his famed "Light Division," he was less effective as a corps commander. [52] Historian Larry Tagg described Hill as "always emotional . so high strung before battle that he had an increasing tendency to become unwell when the fighting was about to commence." This tendency was to some extent balanced by the implied combative attitude that he displayed. He often donned a red calico hunting shirt when a battle was about to start and the men under his command would pass the word, "Little Powell's got on his battle shirt!" and begin to check their weapons. [53]

Hill was affectionate with the rank-and-file soldiers and one officer called him "the most lovable of all Lee's generals." Although it was said that "his manner [was] so courteous as almost to lack decision," his actions were often impetuous, and did not lack decision, but judgment. [55]

Nevertheless, Hill was one of the war's most highly regarded generals on either side. [56] When Hill was a major general, Robert E. Lee wrote that he was the best at that grade in the Army. He had a reputation for arriving on battlefields (such as Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, and Antietam) just in time to prove decisive. Stonewall Jackson on his deathbed deliriously called for A. P. Hill to "prepare for action" some histories have recorded that Lee also called for Hill in his final moments ("Tell Hill he must come up."), although current medical opinion is that Lee was unable to speak during his last illness. [57]

Hannibal’s Invasion of Italy

Leaving his brother, also named Hasdrubal, to protect Carthage’s interests in Spain and North Africa, Hannibal assembled a massive army, including (according to Polybius’ probably exaggerated figures) as many as 90,000 infantry, 12,000 cavalry and nearly 40 elephants. The march that followed–which covered some 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) through the Pyrenees, across the Rhone River and the snowcapped Alps, and finally into central Italy–would be remembered as one of the most famous campaigns in history. With his forces depleted by the harsh Alpine crossing, Hannibal met the powerful army of the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio on the plains west of the Ticino River. Hannibal’s cavalry prevailed, and Scipio was seriously wounded in the battle.

Late in 218 B.C., the Carthaginians again defeated the Romans on the left bank of the Trebia River, a victory that earned Hannibal the support of allies including the Gauls and Ligurians. By the spring of 217 B.C., he had advanced to the Arno River, where despite a victory at Lake Trasimene he declined to lead his exhausted forces against Rome itself. In the summer of the following year, 16 Roman legions𠄼lose to 80,000 soldiers, an army said to be twice the size of Hannibal’s𠄼onfronted the Carthaginians near the town of Cannae. While the Roman general Varro massed his infantry in the center with his cavalry on each wing𠄺 classic military formation–Hannibal maintained a relatively weak center but strong infantry and cavalry forces at the flanks. When the Romans advanced, the Carthaginians were able to hold their center and win the struggle at the sides, enveloping the enemy and cutting off the possibility of retreat by sending a cavalry charge across the rear.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Who Gave Natural Law to the Modern World

Marcus Tullius Cicero expressed principles that became the bedrock of liberty in the modern world.

He insisted on the primacy of moral standards over government laws. These standards became known as natural law. Above all, Cicero declared, government is morally obliged to protect human life and private property. When government runs amok, people have a right to rebel&mdashCicero honored daring individuals who helped overthrow tyrants.

Intellectual historian Murray N. Rothbard praised Cicero as the great transmitter of Stoic ideas from Greece to Rome. Stoic natural law doctrines heavily influenced the Roman jurists of the second and third centuries A.D., and thus helped shape the great structures of Roman law which became pervasive in Western civilization.

For centuries, people read Cicero because of his beautiful Latin prose. He transformed Latin from a utilitarian language, which served generals, merchants, and lawyers, into a poetic language. The first century A.D. Roman author Quintilian remarked that Cicero was the name not of a man, but of eloquence itself. As a writer, Thomas Jefferson called Cicero the first master of the world. Historian Edward Gibbon, who elegantly chronicled Rome&rsquos decline, recalled that when reading Cicero I tasted the beauties of language, I breathed the spirit of freedom, and I imbibed from his precepts and examples the public and private sense of a man.

As Rome&rsquos most famous orator, Cicero prosecuted crooked politicians and defended citizens against rapacious officials. On one occasion when Cicero spoke, mighty Julius Caesar reportedly trembled so much that he dropped papers he was holding. Scholar H. Grose Hodge observed that Cicero at his best offered a sustained interest, a constant variety, a consummate blend of humour and pathos, of narrative and argument, of description and declamation while every part is subordinated to the purpose of the whole, and combines, despite its intricacy of detail, to form a dramatic and coherent unit.

Amidst a violent age, Cicero was a man of peace. He refused to build a personal army like other leading Roman politicians, and he spoke out against violence. A war which is launched without provocation, he wrote, cannot possibly be just. He warned: violence is more ruinous than anything else.

Cicero never challenged Roman slavery, which was among the most brutal in history, but he was more humane than his contemporaries. He preferred to have his farms worked by tenants rather than by slaves.

Cicero lived during an era of great sculpture, but only one bust is marked as his. It has been the basis for identifying others. These sculptures tend to portray Cicero as having a high forehead, large nose, small mouth, and worried expression, as if he were agonizing over the fate of the Roman Republic.

More is known about Cicero than any other ancient personality because hundreds of his candid letters, dispatched by courier throughout the Mediterranean, have survived. Cicero often comes across as intellectually curious, affectionate, charming, and generous. One critic, the pro-Caesar University of Michigan classicist D.R. Shackleton Bailey, belittled Cicero as a windbag, a wiseacre, a humbug, a spiteful, vain-glorious egotist. But classicist J.A.K. Thomson provided more perspective when he observed: It is probable that Cicero is the greatest of all letter-writers. The importance of his matter, the range of his public and private interests, the variety of his moods, his facility in expressing every shade of sense and feeling, the aptness of his quotations, above all his spontaneity, have never in combination been excelled or equalled.

When the chips were down, Cicero displayed the courage of his convictions. He opposed Julius Caesar&rsquos schemes for one-man rule. After Caesar&rsquos assassination, he denounced Mark Antony&rsquos bid to become dictator. For that, Cicero was beheaded.

Cicero&rsquos Early Years

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born January 6, 106 B.C., on his grandfather&rsquos country estate in Arpinum, about 70 miles southeast of Rome. His father, who shared all three names, was a frail aristocrat with literary interests, property in Arpinum, and a house in Rome. His mother, Helvia, was from a socially connected family in Rome. The Cicero family name doesn&rsquot suggest much dignity&mdashin Latin, cicer means chickpea.

His family moved to Rome so he could get a better education. He was about eight. He had some Greek teachers who exposed him to Homer, Euripides, and Greek orators. He attended lectures on law, philosophy, and rhetoric. For a while, he studied dialectics under Diodotus, the Stoic.

He emerged as a great author and speaker because he worked at it. The time which others spend in advancing their own personal affairs, he recalled, taking holidays and attending Games, indulging in pleasures of various kinds or even enjoying mental relaxation and bodily recreation, the time they spend on protracted parties and gambling and playing ball, proves in my case to have been taken up with returning over and over again to these literary pursuits.

Cicero aimed to be a defense attorney as the best bet for success in politics. While defense attorneys didn&rsquot get a formal fee, they often could borrow money, receive legacies, and gain political support from their clients.

There was plenty to keep a defense attorney busy. Murder had been a way of life in Roman politics since at least 133 B.C., when a reformer named Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus was clubbed to death by senators he had criticized. Cicero also witnessed the years of bloody struggle between pro-Senate Lucius Cornelius Sulla and allegedly popular leader Gaius Marius.

Amidst the tyranny, Cicero became famous as a brilliant, hard-working attorney who won difficult cases. His methods don&rsquot meet today&rsquos standards for due process. He focused on the motive for a crime, often ignoring the specifics about how the act was committed. He made claims, such as that his client wasn&rsquot near the crime scene, without offering specific proof. He didn&rsquot seem to call witnesses. He sometimes resorted to blatant logical fallacies.

Yet Cicero prospered. He acquired villas in Asturae, Puteoli, and Pompeii, an estate near Formiae, and a mansion in Rome&rsquos fashionable Palatine district, plus lodges where he could stay while traveling to these properties.

By 79 B.C., he was worn out. As he explained in the Brutus (46 B.C.), which includes perhaps the earliest piece of intellectual autobiography: I was at that time very slender and not strong in body, with a long, thin neck and such a constitution and appearance were thought almost to promise danger to life, if combined with hard work and strain on the lungs. Those who loved me were . . . alarmed, that I always spoke without remission or variation, using all the strength of my voice and the effort of my whole body. When my friends and doctors begged me to give up speaking in the courts, I felt I would run any risk rather than abandon my hope of fame as a speaker. I thought that by a more restrained and moderate use of the voice and a different way of speaking I could both avoid the danger and acquire more variety in my style and the reason for going to Asia was to change my method of speaking. And so, when I had two years&rsquo experience of taking cases and my name was already well known in the Forum, I left Rome.

He spent time in Athens and then toured the Peloponnesian islands and Greek cities of Asia Minor. He studied philosophy with the Athenian Antiochus, who reflected Stoic influence, and at Rhodes with the learned Stoic Posidonius. He also studied oratory with Posidonius&rsquo teacher, Molon. I came home after two years, Cicero reported, not only more experienced, but almost another man the excessive strain of voice had gone, my style had . . . simmered down, my lungs were stronger and I was not so thin.

Cicero Enters Politics

Cicero first sought political office when he was 30&mdashas quaestor, the lowest major office, which involved administrative responsibility for a province. Elections took place every July, after the harvest. They were held in the Field of Mars. Voters scratched the name or initials of their chosen candidate on waxed wooden ballots, then dropped these in baskets for counting. Elected, Cicero was assigned Western Sicily, where he made sure corn supplies were remitted to Rome. His proudest personal achievement during the one-year term seems to have been discovering the grave of Archimedes, the third-century B.C. Greek mathematician. I noticed a small column projecting a little way from the bushes, on which there was the shape of a sphere and a cylinder, he recalled. I at once told the Syracusans I thought that was just what I was looking for.

As quaestor, Cicero joined the Senate. This had about 600 members, nearly all of whom were from families who owed their position to military conquest. They were members for life. Although the Senate had a prestigious advisory role in the government, and candidates for higher political office came from the Senate, it lacked its own power base. There weren&rsquot any Senate elections or political parties. The Senate didn&rsquot command an army. By law, senators were banned from business. Senators looked forward to winning an appointment as governor of a province where they could enrich themselves.

In 70 B.C., Cicero moved his way up the political ladder when he got elected adile (responsible for the Roman food supply and games). That year, people from Sicily filed suit against their former governor Gaius Verres, who had done considerable looting during his three years there. Cicero was asked to handle the case. The odds were with Verres because he was defended by Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, the most famous orator of the day, and senators who sat on the jury were, as always, reluctant to return a guilty verdict against an influential politician.

The trial began August 5, and there were crowds of spectators since people had come to Rome for elections and games. This one man&rsquos brutality and cupidity, Cicero thundered, were depriving [Sicilians] of the advantages and privileges bestowed on them by the Senate and the Roman people. What we know about the case comes primarily from Cicero&rsquos orations, and while they cannot be treated as factual documents&mdashthey were partisan briefs&mdashVerres subsequently fled Rome for Marseilles. Cicero&rsquos reputation was enhanced.

In 66 B.C., Cicero was elected First Praetor, which meant that he administered the highest civil court in Rome. As soon as Cicero&rsquos one-year praetorship was up, he began lobbying to be elected as a consul, the highest office in Rome. Two consuls served at a time, each with the power to veto decisions by the other. Cicero became a consul in 64 B.C.&mdashremarkably, without resorting to bribery or violence.

One of the unsuccessful contenders, Lucius Sergius Catiline, a wild man who gained support from Julius Caesar, schemed for revenge. He tried to recruit foreign armed forces, assassinate Cicero, and take over the government. During Senate debates, Cicero unleashed powerful orations attacking Catiline. Caesar cited an old law that a death sentence required prior approval by a popular assembly. He advocated seizing the property of conspirators and banishing them. Cicero favored capital punishment. Catiline&rsquos top five associates were executed, and Catiline was subsequently killed in battle. For years, Cicero irritated people by boasting how he saved the Republic from Catiline.

Cicero attacked Rome&rsquos policy of endless wars. It is a hard thing to say, he declared, but we Romans are loathed abroad because of the damage our generals and officials have done in their licentiousness. No temple has been protected by its sanctity, no state by its sworn agreements, no house and home by its locks and bars&mdashin fact there is now a shortage of prosperous cities for us to declare war on so that we can loot them afterwards. Do you think that when we send out an army against an enemy it is to protect our allies, or is it rather to use the war as an excuse for plundering them? Do you know of a single state that we have subdued that is still rich, or a single rich state that our generals have not subdued?

Choosing Among Evils

If Rome had stopped its conquests, the Republic might have developed. Corrupt and limited though it was, it offered the best chance of averting one-man rule. But the aggression continued, and successful generals eclipsed the power of the Senate and other republican institutions. Cicero found himself in the uncomfortable position of choosing among evils.

The least dangerous, he believed, was Cnaeus Pompeius (Pompey), a highly capable military commander, remarkable administrator, and political opportunist. During his early days, he was known as the boy executioner. Pompey lacked political principles and reportedly changed wives to improve his political prospects. While he skirted constitutional restraints to advance his career, he never tried to overthrow the traditional (unwritten) Roman constitution. He wanted fame rather than political power.

Pompey crushed Rome&rsquos adversaries in the Middle East. He wiped out the piracy in the eastern Mediterranean that had disrupted Rome&rsquos vital food supplies. He conquered some 1,500 towns and fortresses. He organized four new Roman provinces&mdashAsia, Bithynia, Cilicia, and Syria&mdashwhich extended Roman frontiers to the Caucasus mountains and the Red Sea. He started or rebuilt 39 cities. He established a network of client rulers who helped Rome guard the eastern frontiers. He boosted Rome&rsquos revenue from the region by 70 percent and became the wealthiest Roman.

In December 62 B.C., Pompey returned to Rome and dismissed his army. All he asked for was that the Senate pass a bill rewarding his soldiers with land in the provinces&mdashthe traditional way of compensating combatants after a successful military campaign. But the Senate blocked such a bill, and Pompey became convinced he should consider collaborating with his rivals.

The best-financed rival was Marcus Crassus. Crassus had inherited a small fortune&mdash300 talents&mdashand parlayed this into some 7,000 talents largely in the proscriptions, which meant buying cheaply and then reselling the properties of people condemned to death. Until Pompey&rsquos lucrative triumph in the Middle East, Crassus had been the wealthiest Roman. He built his own army and crushed the slave revolt led by Spartacus, crucifying some 6,000 slaves on the Appian Way.

To strengthen his position against Pompey, Crassus bought the political support of Gaius Julius Caesar, who was an ambitious, spendthrift demagogue. He had been elected a quaestor in 68 B.C. and assigned to administer Further Spain, where he discovered his genius as a military commander. Equally important, he acquired loot for expanding his power. He gained a popular following by sponsoring lavish free games and banquets whose astonishing cost&mdash19 million sesterces, almost a tenth of government revenues&mdashwere underwritten by Crassus.

Cicero led successful opposition to a Senate bill promoted by Caesar and Crassus, which would have empowered them to sell overseas Roman territory, and use the proceeds to acquire land in Italy for redistribution to their political supporters. Cicero spoke against the bill three times, and he displayed considerable skill defeating it without alienating ordinary people who hoped for free land.

The First Triumvirate

In 60 B.C., Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar were frustrated by Senate efforts to thwart their ambitions, so they formed a dictatorship known as the First Triumvirate. During the next decade, they controlled candidates for office, and they parceled out provincial loot among themselves. Crassus got the East. Pompey, Spain. Caesar, Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy) and Illyricum (eastern Adriatic coast). Cicero declined an invitation to join them.

Despite their friendly overtures, Crassus, Pompey, and Caesar didn&rsquot defend Cicero when, in 58 B.C., the gangster-senator Publius Clodius Pulcher (an ally of Caesar&rsquos known as Clodius) proposed a law banishing Cicero from Rome. Clodius also plundered three of Cicero&rsquos homes. Cicero was exiled for 16 miserable months, which he spent at a friend&rsquos home in Salonika (northeastern Greece). Your pleas have prevented me from committing suicide, he wrote Titus Pomponius Atticus, his banker, publisher, and friend, who helped cover his expenses in exile. Cicero returned to Rome when Pompey decided he needed an ally against Clodius.

But the triumvirs wouldn&rsquot tolerate the free expression of Cicero&rsquos views. I who if I speak as I ought on public matters am thought mad, he wrote Atticus, if I say what expediency demands, appear a slave, and if I am silent, seem oppressed and crushed. . . . What if I choose to give up and take refuge in a life of leisure? Impossible. I have to take part in the fight. He added: I am sustained and strengthened by literature, and prefer to sit in your little chair under the bust of Aristotle, than in our consuls&rsquo chairs of office.

Meanwhile, Crassus pursued more wealth and military glory, and he led his army against the Parthians, a nomadic people based in western Persia. Their territory sat astride the great Silk Road that connected China with the Mediterranean. Crassus&rsquo forces were routed by Parthian bowmen, and he was slain in May 53 B.C.

The Rise of Caesar

Caesar had been busy building his personal empire in Gaul, which included territory now in France, Belgium, part of Holland, and Switzerland, plus Germany west of the Rhine. Caesar reportedly sold 53,000 members of the Nervii tribe as slaves. He boasted that he slaughtered 258,000 Helvetii men, women, and children. He went on to slaughter some 430,000 Germans.

Caesar combined his tactical genius&mdashespecially surprise attacks&mdashwith effective propaganda, something the aloof Pompey neglected. Caesar appealed for popular support by promising peace. Caesar repeatedly sought Cicero&rsquos backing because he needed legitimacy. Caesar had always been cordial to Cicero and even lent him money, but Cicero reluctantly sided with Pompey. After a tense meeting with Caesar, Cicero wrote Atticus: I think Caesar is not pleased with me. But I was pleased with myself, which is more than I have been for a long time.

In January 49 B.C., the Senate ordered Caesar to return from Gaul without his army. But he refused to cooperate in his political destruction. On the evening of January 10, 49 B.C., Caesar led one legion of soldiers across the Rubicon, a small river on the northwestern Italian peninsula, separating Gaul from Rome. This violated Roman law requiring that armies be kept in the provinces, and another civil war was on. Unable to defend himself in Italy, Pompey fled to the East on March 17. Caesar entered Rome on the first of April, 49 B.C.

Whether Caesar or Pompey won, Rome would clearly be ruled by a strongman. In one of his letters, Cicero lamented the general destruction so vast are the forces which I see will take part in the conflict on both sides. . . . Nothing can exceed the misery, ruin and disgrace. . . . The sun seems to me to have disappeared from the universe.

Caesar seized the Roman treasury to finance his military campaigns. He went to Spain, preventing Pompey from rebuilding an army there. Caesar&rsquos deputy, Mark Antony, took charge of Italy. Caesar destroyed Marseilles, which had supported Pompey. Then Caesar returned to Italy and defeated Pompey&rsquos larger forces at Pharsalus, north of Athens, on August 9, 48 B.C. Cicero was offered command of Pompey&rsquos surviving forces, but he wanted no part of the violence. Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was murdered upon landing by local people who had enough of Rome&rsquos wars. When Caesar arrived in Egypt, he was presented with Pompey&rsquos severed head. He subsequently became a lover of young Queen Cleopatra, who joined him back in Rome. Caesar crushed remnant opposition&mdashsome 10,000 people were slaughtered, and their leader Marcus Porcius Cato pulled a sword into his abdomen.

During the bloodbaths, Cicero sought refuge in Brindisi. Victorious Caesar pardoned him, as he pardoned many of his adversaries, and Cicero returned to Rome in 47 B.C. Almost 60, Cicero learned that many of his compatriots and rivals were dead. I was reconciled with my old friends, I mean my books, he wrote, though I had not abandoned their companionship because I was angry with them, but because I felt a sense of shame. I thought that I had not obeyed their precepts by plunging into turbulent events with such untrustworthy allies.

Cicero did his best to influence Caesar. He urged that Caesar restore this city of ours to stability by measures of reorganization and lawgiving. But it was a hopeless task, since Caesar had already planned another campaign of overseas conquest.

Cicero&rsquos Personal Woes

While the Roman Republic was collapsing, Cicero&rsquos personal life was, too. In 46 B.C., he and his wife, Terentia, were divorced apparently because of financial disputes. He soon remarried a rich young woman named Publilia, but she couldn&rsquot get along with his daughter, Tullia, so they divorced about a year later. Then Tullia died in childbirth. Next to yourself, he wrote Atticus, I have no better friend than solitude. In it all my converse is with books. It is interrupted by weeping, against which I struggle as much as I can. . . .

Cicero turned more to writing about philosophy and secured his immortality. While he didn&rsquot construct any new philosophical system, he interpreted his favorite Greek thinkers and made the ideas soar. He drew from his own library, since there weren&rsquot any public libraries in Rome. He wrote with a reed pen and ink on papyrus scrolls. The ink was made from lampblack and gum. He worked to expand Latin which, among other things, lacked an equivalent of the and had few metaphors or compound words. He adapted words from Greek, which had been a philosophical language for centuries. Cicero introduced such words as essentia, qualitas, and moralis to Latin, which makes him the source of the English words essence, quality, and moral.

Atticus had slaves make copies of Cicero&rsquos works, the standard practice. One thousand copies were produced initially. For their trouble, authors like Cicero received prestige and gifts&mdashroyalties were unknown.

The Law of Nature . . .

Cicero transmitted the Greek Stoic idea of a moral higher law to the modern world. In his dialogue De Legibus (On the Laws, 52 B.C.), he talked about the supreme law which existed through the ages, before the mention of any written law or established state. He also referred to it as the law of nature for the source of right. In De Republica (The Republic, 51 B.C.) he says True law is right reason in agreement with nature it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting . . . there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties . . .

Cicero further distinguished the higher law from the laws of governments. He declared it was quite absurd to call just every article in the decrees and laws of nations. What if those laws were enacted by tyrants? . . . The essential justice that binds human society together and is maintained by one law is right reason, expressed in commands and prohibitions. Whoever disregards this law, whether written or unwritten, is unjust.

While Cicero derived many ideas from the Greeks, he also contributed some key ideas of his own. Greek philosophers had conceived of society and government as virtually the same, coming together in the polis (city-state). Cicero declared that government is like a trustee, morally obliged to serve society&mdashwhich means society is something larger and separate. Appreciation for the myriad wonders of civil society, where private individuals develop languages, markets, legal customs, and other institutions, didn&rsquot come until the eighteenth century, but it was Cicero who began to see the light.

Cicero was the first to say that government was justified primarily as a means of protecting private property. Both Plato and Aristotle had imagined that government could improve morals. Neither had conceived of private property&mdashan absolute claim to something over everyone else.

Cicero&rsquos De Officiis (On Duties, 44 B.C.): the chief purpose in the establishment of states and constitutional orders was that individual property rights might be secured . . . it is the peculiar function of state and city to guarantee to every man the free and undisturbed control of his own property. Again: The men who administer public affairs must first of all see that everyone holds onto what is his, and that private men are never deprived of their goods by public men.

Caesar continued to seek Cicero&rsquos goodwill by praising his work. Caesar dedicated his book De analogia (On Analogy, 54 B.C.) to Cicero, saying You have gained a triumph to be preferred to that of the greatest generals. For it is a nobler thing to enlarge the boundaries of human intelligence than those of the Roman Empire. The two men had dinner at one of Cicero&rsquos villas&mdashCaesar came with his retinue of about 2,000 soldiers. Later Cicero told Atticus: my guest was not the sort to whom one says, &lsquoDo pray come again when you are back.&rsquo Once is enough. We did not talk about serious matters, but a great deal about literature.

Caesar proceeded to twist the Roman constitution beyond recognition. He packed the Senate with some 400 of his partisans. He rigged the election of a new consul. He became the first living Roman to have his portrait appear on coins. He had himself named dictator perpetuus&mdashdictator for life.

As historian John Dickinson observed, Caesar indulged in a lifetime of double talk, professing slogans of democracy, while debasing and destroying the powers of the electorate, and insisting on constitutional technicalities, while persistently undermining the constitution. In the end, his prescription for government turned out to be a surprisingly simple one: to reduce its mechanism to the simplest and most primitive of all institutional forms, personal absolutism, and to employ it for one of the simplest and most primitive of all purposes, foreign conquest.

Some influential Romans, however, still cherished republican principles.

Gaius Cassius, who hated Julius Caesar, seems to have hatched the plot against him. He was joined by his intense brother-in-law, Marcus Brutus. Both men had fought with Pompey. Caesar pardoned both and named both praetors. But Brutus felt betrayed after Caesar had promised a new order and pursued one-man rule. Brutus decided he had a historic role to play, because an ancestor had dispatched a tyrant, and he was the nephew of Cato, stalwart foe of Caesar and defender of the Roman Republic. Cassius and Brutus recruited about 60 co-conspirators.

The Ides of March

Caesar planned to leave Rome for another war, against the Parthians, on March 18, 44 B.C. Brutus and Cassius decided that the assassination must take place on March 15&mdashthe Ides of March&mdashduring a Senate meeting. It was held in a hall next to the Theatre of Pompey. Apparently Cicero was there, although the conspirators hadn&rsquot confided in him because of his age and his tendency to talk.

After Caesar, 63, sat on a gilded chair, a man named Tillius Cimber approached Caesar and requested a pardon for his brother. When Caesar refused, Cimber grabbed Caesar&rsquos purple toga, the signal for attack. The Liberators, as the conspirators called themselves, fell on him with their daggers. Cassius struck Caesar in the face. Brutus cut Caesar in the thigh. Altogether, he was cut 23 times and fell dead before a statue of Pompey. Reportedly, Brutus held high his dagger, shouted Cicero&rsquos name and congratulated him on the recovery of freedom.

Brutus and Cassius apparently expected the Republic to revive on its own&mdashthey didn&rsquot make any plans to exercise power themselves. Cicero, however, recognized that the problems of the republic went beyond one man. We have only cut down the tree not rooted it up, he told Atticus.

Soon hard-drinking and brawling Mark Antony bid to succeed Caesar as dictator. He got possession of Caesar&rsquos papers and personal fortune&mdashsome 100 million sesterces, about one-seventh as much as was in the entire Roman treasury, which Caesar had intended for his 18-year-old adopted son, Octavian. Antony recruited his own armed forces. He pushed through a law giving him control of north and central Cisalpine Gaul.

On September 2, 44 B.C., Cicero delivered a speech asserting that Antony&rsquos actions were unconstitutional, unpopular and contrary to Caesar&rsquos intentions. On September 19, Antony countered with a scathing speech that blamed Cicero for the murder of Catiline, the assassination of Clodius, and the split between Caesar and Pompey. Antony made clear that Cicero was a mortal enemy.

Cicero wrote a second blistering speech which, while never delivered, became one of the most famous political pamphlets in history. He blasted Antony for inciting violence and provoking the Civil War. He portrayed Antony as an unscrupulous opportunist.

I fought for the Republic when I was young, Cicero declared, I shall not abandon her in my old age. I scorned the daggers of Catiline I shall not tremble before yours. Rather I would willingly expose my body to them, if by my death the liberty of the nation could be recovered and the agony of the Roman people could at last bring to birth that with which it has been so long in labour. He expressed the wish that at my death I may leave the Roman people free.

Cicero delivered another dozen attacks on Antony by April 21, 43 B.C. He urged that the Senate brand Antony as a public enemy and recognize the legitimacy of Octavian as the lesser of evils. These speeches became known as the Philippics, inspired by Demosthenes&rsquo speeches three centuries before, intended to stir Athenians against the invader Philip of Macedon who was the father of Alexander the Great.

Cicero withdrew to his Arpinum estate, away from the turmoil of Rome. He finished his final book, De Amicitia (On Friendship)&mdash dedicated to his friend Atticus who, ironically, carried on a cordial correspondence with Antony and Octavian.

The rivals Antony, Octavian, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus concluded that they weren&rsquot in a position to crush each other or get cooperation from the Senate. Consequently, they established themselves as Triumvirs for the Restoration of the Republic, and they divided spoils in the western provinces. They also announced rewards for anyone who could produce the heads of their enemies. Antony saw that Cicero&rsquos name appeared on the proscription list, and Octavian did nothing about it.

The Murder of Cicero

Cicero fled. He started sailing for Greece, where he had heard that Brutus had some armed forces, but rough winter weather soon forced him ashore. He sought shelter at his house near Formiae, along Italy&rsquos west coast. There, on December 7, 43 B.C., assassins caught up with him. A soldier named Herennius cut off his head and hands. Herennius brought these to Antony. Fulvia, Antony&rsquos wife, pushed a hairpin through Cicero&rsquos tongue, and Cicero&rsquos head and hands were nailed to the Forum Rostra where orators spoke.

This was just the beginning of renewed violence. Antony ordered the murder of some 300 senators and a couple of thousand influential citizens. Antony and Octavian crushed the republican forces of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi (northeastern Greece), October 43 B.C., and both republicans committed suicide. A decade later, Antony and Octavian were at each other&rsquos throats. Antony lost three-quarters of his fleet at Actium (western Greece), then fled with Cleopatra to Egypt where they committed suicide in 30 B.C. Octavian, who became known as Augustus, launched the Roman Empire.

According to the first-century A.D. Roman biographer Plutarch, Augustus came upon one of his grandsons reading a book by Cicero. The boy tried to hide it, but Augustus picked it up and remarked: My child, this was a learned man, and a lover of his country.

Cicero&rsquos works generally fell out of favor during the Empire. The fifth-century Catholic philosopher Saint Augustine confessed: I came in the usual course of study to a work of one Cicero, whose style is admired by almost all, not so his message. By the early Middle Ages, many of Cicero&rsquos works were lost.

The Renaissance scholar Petrarch found some of Cicero&rsquos speeches (58 were eventually recovered). Then in 1345 at the Verona cathedral library, he discovered a collection of Cicero&rsquos letters&mdash864 altogether, 90 to Cicero and the rest by him&mdashwhich had been published in the first century A.D. Half were written to his friend Atticus, mostly based in Greece. All the letters date from the last 20 years of Cicero&rsquos life. Petrarch exulted: you are the leader whose advice we follow, whose applause is our joy, whose name is our ornament. Cicero was cherished by Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance man who deplored religious intolerance among both Catholics and Protestants.

In seventeenth-century England, according to one observer, it was the common fashion at schooles to use Cicero&rsquos De Officiis [On Duties] as an ethics text. Philosopher John Locke recommended Cicero&rsquos works. Cicero&rsquos vision of natural law influenced such thinkers as Locke, Samuel Pufendorf, and Cato&rsquos Letters&lsquo authors John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon who had the most direct intellectual impact on the American Revolution.

Cicero&rsquos defense of the Roman Republic made him a hero to many others. In Germany, he was admired by the libertarian poet and dramatist Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. French Baron de Montesquieu, who urged the importance of dividing government powers, considered Cicero one of the greatest spirits. Voltaire wrote that Cicero taught us how to think. Inspired by Cicero, during the French Revolution, journalist Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvray boldly attacked Maximilien de Robespierre for promoting the Reign of Terror.

Cicero&rsquos oratory continued to stir friends of freedom. It helped inspire the libertarian ideals of the great historian Thomas Babington Macaulay. It influenced the dramatic speaking styles of young (libertarian) Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox, William Ewart Gladstone, and Winston Churchill. Cicero&rsquos oratory helped convince Frederick Douglass that if he mastered public speaking, he could fight American slavery&mdashand he did.

Cicero&rsquos views became unfashionable when imperial Germany emerged as a major power during the late nineteenth century. Nobel Prize-winning historian Theodor Mommsen, for instance, was an ardent admirer of Caesar and sneered at Cicero&rsquos republicanism. While Hitler did much to make Caesarism unpopular, far more people today are interested in the conqueror Caesar than in an author and orator like Cicero.

Yet Cicero remains an absorbingly significant builder of western civilization, as historian Michael Grant put it. Cicero urged people to reason together. He championed decency and peace. He gave the modern world some of the most fundamental ideas of liberty. Back when speaking freely meant risking death, he denounced tyranny. He has helped keep the torch of liberty burning bright for more than 2,000 years.

Bagacum (Bavay)

Bagacum: capital of the Nervii, a tribe in northern France/western Belgium. The city is now called Bavay.

Early History: The Nervians

In the Roman period, Bagacum (modern Bavay in northern France) was inhabited by the Nervians, a Belgian tribe. These people are unmentioned in our sources prior to Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul the first and most important source of information about the Nervians is Caesar’s own account in the Gallic War. In those days, they inhabited the region between the rivers Scheldt, Sambre, and Meuse. Caesar mentions them as dangerous opponents, who came close to defeating the Roman legions in 57 BCE in the battle of the Sabis River (57 BCE) and in 54 BCE during the siege of the camp of Quintus Tullius Cicero (brother of the famous orator).

The Nervians did not live in what we would call cities, but in oppida or fortified settlements surrounded by walls of earth and wood (the murus Gallicus). Probably, Bagacum was not one of these oppida. although the name is Celtic and, therefore, antedates the Roman occupation. However, although Bavay has offered several Late Iron finds, they are not enough to assume that there was a Belgian settlement.

The solution may be that Bavay is a continuation of an earlier settlement: about twenty kilometers to the south lies Avesnelles-Flaumont, which may have been an earlier capital of the Nervians. It is certainly possible that the Romans, after exterminating the Nervians (who suffered heavily in the battle at the Sabis), repopulated the area. That would not be unique: Tongeren, Cologne, and Nijmegen are other examples of towns with no continuity from the Iron Age to the Early Roman Period.

All Roads Lead to Bagacum

The position of Bagacum as a node in the network of Roman roads suggests that it was, on its present location, founded by the emperor Augustus's right-hand man Agrippa, who created this network in 39/38 or 20-18 BCE. It was part of the establishment of the province of Gallia Belgica, with Durocortorum (modern Reims) as capital and Bagacum as northwestern center. The Nervian territory was enclosed by that of the Menapians in the north, by the Atrebates in the west, by the Ambiani and Viromandui in the south and by the Tungri in the east.

/> Modern monument for Brunhilda

From Bagacum, there were straight roads to

  • the east-northeast to Tongeren and Cologne (the so-called "Chaussée Brunehaut"),
  • to the east to Dinant,
  • to the east-southeast to Augusta (Trier),
  • to the southeast to Durocortorum,
  • to Cambrai and Vermand in the southwest,
  • to Arras in the west,
  • to Blicquy in the northnorthwest,
  • and to Tournai in the north.

Many modern roads still follow the tracks of those old roads. They are often named "Chaussée Brunehaut", after the Frankish queen Brunhilda who - according to a fourteenth-century legend - repaired the roads.

Early Roman City

Initially, Roman Bagacum was a modest town. On the site of the present museum there were houses built from perishable material, wells, and storage places for manure. Some workshops were to be found in the neighborhood. However, a now lost inscription that was destroyed during the Second World War note [EDCS-10600338.] proves that Bagacum was not an ordinary place. Between 4 and 7 CE, it was worthy of a visit of the intended successor of the emperor Augustus, Tiberius.

Ti(berio) Caesari Augusti f(ilio)
divi nepoti adventu(i)
eius sacrum
Cn(aeus) Licinius C(ai) f(ilius) Vol(tinia) Navos

To Tiberius Caesar, son of Caesar Augustus, grandson of the divine Caesar, on the occasion of his visit, has Gnaeus Licinius Navos, son of Caius, of the Voltinian district, dedicated this.

As administrative center of a civitas, Bagacum had its own magistrates. Some magistrates are known: Tiberius Julius Tiberinus, was duumvir (a kind of mayor), and we read about a Lucius Osidius, who acted as priest of Roma and Augustus in Lyon, while we also know a Marcus Pompeius Victor, quaestor of the Roman citizens.

Bavay, the basilica on the forum

Bavay, shops along the forum

Roman City

Bagacum expanded quite rapidly. Its function as political center necessitated the construction of a monumental city center, the famous forum, surrounded by cryptoporticoes. The basilica, for example, was one of the largest in the Roman world, larger than its counterpart in Carthage.

It would seem that the inhabitants were loyal to the government: Tacitus mentions Nervian soldiers as supporting the pro-Roman leader Claudius Labeo during the Batavian Revolt (69/70 CE). note [Tacitus, Histories 4.56.]

The city continued to flourish. In the second century, the city had expanded to some 45 hectares. Although the town was quite modest compared to Amiens (150 hectares) or Trier (more than 200 hectares), Bagacum attracted enemies. In 172 CE, the Chauki launched a devastating campaign against western Belgica, where the capital cities of the Morini and the Nervians, Tervanna and Bagacum, were so extensively damaged that they had to be rebuilt completely.

Bagacum, Bronze statuette of female deity

Late Antiquity

In the late second century, the Roman Empire still had the means to rebuild cities. Bagacum was less lucky after the defeat of the Gallic Empire. The new ruler, Aurelian (r.270-275), massacred many troops and transferred the remainder, allowing the Franks to sack the northern cities. Cologne was plundered, Maastricht put to the torch, Tongeren gutted, Bagacum leveled to the ground. It never recovered.

The emperors Diocletian (r.284-305) and Maximian (r.285-305) restored order, but Bagacum was replaced by Camaracum (modern Cambrai) as main town of the Nervians. Whether Bagacum was affected by the invasions of northern Gaul at the end of the fourth century or the raids in the fifth century is not entirely clear. The frontier between Germanic and Romance languages has always been north of Bavay, suggesting that (unlike French and Belgian Flanders the area was not heavily settled by Germanic invaders.

In any case, the ancient forum area, measuring some four hectares, became a fort, surrounded by an impressive wall. Archaeologists found traces of fire on several places, which could indicate that the city was burnt. However, the town appears not to have been abandoned because private houses were discovered on the site of the forum. The cryptoporticoes remained in use at least until the fifth century.


Archaeological research in Bavay got off to a good start thanks to the efforts of Maurice Hénault, archivist of the Valenciennes Library. This man was active on the site for about thirty years. From 1923 until 1934, he published a journal Pro Nervia in which he published the results of his investigations. In 1936, he was succeeded by Henri Biévelet, who started the major excavations on the site in 1942 and continued until 1976. He uncovered most of the cryptoporticoes and the esplanade in front of the basilica. After 1976, the work was continued by Jean-Claude Carmelez, curator of the Bavay Archaeological Museum. In 1988/1989, the site was then recognized as one of the thirty French national sites entitled to further research, which is done now by the Centre for Archaeological Studies of the University of Lille.

The best preserved remains are the impressive porticoes, the south-facing terrace with the remains of several shops, the cryptoporticoes, the central square of the forum, the remains of the basilica, the habitat area to the south of the forum and the rampart from the Late Imperial period.

Espionage in Ancient Rome

The Romans prided themselves on being a people who won their battles the hard way. Roman writers claimed that their army did not defeat its enemies by trickery or deceit but by superior force of arms, and for the most part they were right. The Roman legions could outstrip almost any opponent in maneuverability and discipline. By relying on sound tactics, strategic methods, and superior logistics, the Roman army made itself the most reliable killing machine in the history of pre-mechanized warfare. It has been estimated that the Romans’ standard weapon, the gladius, or Spanish short sword, accounted for more deaths than any other weapon before the invention of firearms.

What need would such a people have for spying or covert action? Were the Romans exactly as they portrayed themselves–too noble and upright to resort to subterfuge? Was it only their enemies who relied on dirty tricks and clandestine operations? Although they wanted others to believe this, the historical record shows that, on the contrary, the Romans used a full range of covert intelligence techniques, as we would expect from any power that aspired to world empire.

Discovering traces of intelligence operations that occurred two thousand years ago–which even then were meant to be secret–is no small task. But it is not an impossible one. The intelligence business is as old as civilization itself, and once the steps in the process have been identified, they can be traced in almost any civilization that left historical records.

In the days preceding modern ‘technical’ collection–whereby sound recording devices, hidden cameras, and satellites gather data–people were the only means commanders and political leaders had to collect the vital information they needed to survive the plots of their enemies. Before bugging devices, there were eavesdroppers behind curtains, and the toga and dagger might indeed have been symbols for the way the Romans carried out their domestic and foreign policy objectives.

The modern process of intelligence gathering has four elements: direction or targeting, collection of data, analysis of data, and dissemination to the users of the information. Good intelligence analysts know that not all information is ‘intelligence.’ Intelligence is restricted to crucial information about the target or enemy–his strength, location, likely intentions, and capabilities. Also, good intelligence has a time factor it must be quickly collected, analyzed, and delivered in time for the user to act upon it. The last step is dissemination. Even if intelligence is collected and analyzed correctly, it will be of no value if the product is not conveyed to the end user in sufficient time for him to act upon it. A famous example in the Roman context was the episode in which a list of conspirators was thrust into Julius Caesar’s hand shortly before he was assassinated. Caesar’s intelligence network had done its job. Had the dictator read the message and acted upon it, he might have survived. Taking advantage of the intelligence product–the decision to act–is not a function of the intelligence apparatus. If the commander or statesman has all the information yet makes a bad decision, it is not an intelligence failure but incompetence or poor judgment on the part of the intelligence consumer.

Rome certainly did not lack enemies to target. Neighboring clans like the Aequi and Volsci, and later the Etruscans, Samnites, and Gauls, kept the Romans constantly at war during the early and middle republics. Collecting intelligence about these surrounding tribes and discerning whether they would be friendly or hostile in a given situation was probably a full-time job, and instances of such intelligence gathering appear in Livy’s stories. Around 300 b.c., for example, during the Etruscan wars, the consul Q. Fabius Maximus sent his brother disguised as an Etruscan peasant into the Ciminian forest to win over the local Umbrians to the Roman cause. The brother was both fluent in Etruscan and a master of disguise. He was sent to reconnoiter areas into which Roman agents were said never to have penetrated. The mission was a resounding success, and Rome was able to bring Umbrian tribes into an alliance.

The Romans continued to use intelligence as they conquered the peoples of the Italian Peninsula. We see them using scouts on regular assignments against the Samnites and Gauls, and because of advance intelligence they could often catch their enemies by launching surprise attacks and rout their camps.

When Rome leaped into the international arena against the Carthaginians, however, it learned a lesson about how effective advance intelligence could be in the hands of a skilled opponent such as the Carthaginian leader Hannibal. During the Second Punic War (218­201 b.c.), Hannibal placed spies in Roman camps and in Rome itself. We know this because one of those spies whom the Romans caught had his hands cut off, then was released as a warning to other spies. The Carthaginian general’s ability to disguise himself, to forge documents, to send secret communications, and to surprise the Romans became legendary. And his agents are said to have had secret hand gestures that they used as a means of recognizing one another. Hannibal used such ingenuity to lure the Romans into traps, as at Lake Trasimene, where he caught the Roman army between the lake and the surrounding mountains. This ruse cost the Romans fifteen thousand killed and an equal number taken prisoner. His famous victory at the Battle of Cannae was another trap–a victory for Hannibal that cost the Romans dearly in lost manpower. Although historians have argued over exact figures, when Livy tells us that the rings taken from dead Roman aristocrats filled three bushels, we get some idea of the loss to the Roman upper classes.

Not only did Hannibal emphasize good intelligence, he exacted a high price from agents who did not perform well. A scout who had mistakenly taken him to Casilinum and into a trap, when he had been directed to take him to Casinum, was crucified as punishment for his error.

Hannibal had the advantage of being sole commander of his forces. As leader of the Carthaginian army and its allies, he was his own chief of intelligence for fourteen years. It was not until the Romans put a single commander, Scipio Africanus, in charge of their armies that they were able to emulate Hannibal’s efficient tactics and win the Second Punic War.

Among other ploys, Scipio directed spies to reconnoiter enemy camps. When his siege of Utica stalled, he sent a legation to the camp of the Numidian king, Syphax. Centurians disguised as slaves accompanied Scipio’s emissaries. The legate Gaius Laelius was fearful the plan would be exposed–that one of the disguised centurians, Lucius Statorius, might be recognized since he had previously visited the camp. To protect his agent’s cover, Laelius had him publicly caned. The persuasiveness of the deceptive action hinged upon the known fact that the Romans subjected only persons low on the social scale to corporal punishment. To the historian, the episode is of particular interest because it specifically identifies centurions and tribunes as active participants in espionage missions. While the legates were in conference, the’slaves’ were to wander about the camp and reconnoiter the premises, making note of entrances, exits, and the location of each division. They were to look for the outposts and sentries and determine whether the camp was more vulnerable to attack by day or by night. On each visit, a different group of’slaves’ made the trip, so that every centurion would have an opportunity to familiarize himself with the encampments.

When all the information was at hand, Scipio concluded that a night attack would be the most effective way to take the camp, and in addition, he ordered the Carthaginian and Numidian camps burned. The Carthaginians, thinking these were accidental fires, ran out unarmed only to be slaughtered by the Roman column that was ready and waiting. In this case, intelligence collection had made possible a successful clandestine operation. Scipio had delivered a crippling blow to a superior force.

By the time Rome conquered the Hellenistic kingdoms in the East and fought the Third Punic War (149-146 b.c.), the republic on the Tiber had become the center of a Mediterranean empire. Historians still marvel at how much territory Rome ruled during the middle republic with the sparse infrastructure that it had. For example, there was no postal-communications system, no government intelligence service, no permanent foreign service, and no decision-making body other than the cumbersome three-hundred-man Senate. The Romans had nothing resembling a diplomatic corps. They did not send permanent representatives abroad, nor did they establish offices for foreign-area specialists at home. In fact, they did not even install occupying forces in the East prior to the late second century b.c. There was no diplomatic presence abroad to implement foreign policy, to provide cover for covert operators, or to act as intelligence gatherers for the government back in Rome.

The primary means of assessing problems overseas became the embassy. The Senate dispatched small missions of inquiry or advice, composed usually of three to five senators of varying qualifications and experience. They traveled in naval vessels but without military escort. These men acted as Roman agents but were by no means permanently stationed abroad. Embassies were usually sent to visit kings who had previously sent deputations to Rome to ask for assistance. Only in times of crisis would the Senate initiate a mission of inquiry on its own.

Roman envoys were briefed with instructions and told to deliver warnings, to give advice, to arbitrate settlements, to check reports, or simply to look around. Most of this was done in the open, but there was always the possibility of information being clandestinely slipped to the envoys by interested parties. We do not know how many retainers they brought with them who, unnoticed, could eavesdrop.

While it is reasonable to assume the Romans sent the emissaries to collect intelligence, there is no question that the emissaries were considered spies by their targets. On his grand tour of the East in 166 b.c., Tiberius Gracchus and his entourage were referred to as kataskopoi (spies) by the Greek historian Polybius. Appian, another Greek historian, bluntly stated that envoys sent to Antiochus IV, ostensibly to bring about reconciliation between him and Ptolemy, really intended to find out his plans. Antiochus gave these spies such a warm reception that they sent back glowing reports. Yet we know from other records that Antiochus in fact harbored a great deal of antipathy toward Rome and pursued a policy quite different from the one he confided to the envoys.

Because rulers in the East had a long history of using formal intelligence services, they often assumed the Romans were playing the same game. Genthius, an Illyrian king, sometimes chained ambassadors sent by Rome and charged them with espionage. Other examples of Roman ambassadors or traders being suspected, arrested, or executed on espionage charges are not hard to find. Even Romans traveling in a non-official capacity were mistrusted by provincials. Roman grain buyers making purchases from Cumae and Sicily were accused of spying, and consequently were treated with extreme hostility by the local authorities, even to the point of finding their lives in danger. When Mithridates VI, king of Pontus, went to war against the Romans, the first thing he did was kill all the Romans and Italians in the main cities of Asia Minor as members of a possible fifth column. An estimated eighty thousand Roman and Italian casualties show how seriously Mithridates took his security problems.

Part of Rome’s reluctance to develop a formal intelligence service stemmed from the unique way its republican government had developed. The Senate, composed of scions of wealthy, upper-class families, acted with a certain amount of class loyalty that allowed the state to push its interests and expand overseas. But the senate was not of one mind. There was always tremendous personal competition among individuals and families for the wealth and glory that such conquest created. In order to further their parochial ends, these men needed to know what others were doing and planning, and so they used their private intelligence networks to advance their own careers. Much of the behind the scenes cloak-and-dagger work of senatorial politics is forever lost to us, but it is not hard to imagine what forms it took. Certainly political scandal played its part in launching as well as sinking the careers of numerous senators.

The Romans had no qualms about using espionage on a personal level. Every Roman aristocrat had his private network of business associates, informers, clansmen, slaves, or agents (male or female) who could keep him informed on the latest happenings in the Senate or his own home. Even Roman architects built private homes with counterintelligence in mind. Livius Drusus’ architect asked him whether he would like his house built ‘in such a way that he would be free from public gaze, safe from all espionage and that no one could look down on it.’

Espionage on a small scale became espionage on a national scale when the nobility took its family interests into the foreign-policy arena. But because each senatorial family had its own private intelligence network, no one group would have sanctioned the creation of a single central intelligence organization that might fall into the hands of a rival faction. Such a collection of individual interests was simply not fertile ground for spawning a single institution that would monitor Rome’s overseas interests plus segments of Roman society itself. Even if such a centralized intelligence body were assigned only foreign targets, there might have remained a residual fear that sooner or later such an apparatus would be used to advance the interests of one group over another.

The fact that the intelligence networks were privately owned and operated can be seen clearly in the late republic. Sallust, who wrote an account of the Catiline conspiracy, one of the most notorious threats to the late republic, said it was put down by Cicero using bodyguards, who learned of it through the consul’s wide-ranging espionage network that included bodyguards. Pompey and Caesar each had intelligence networks that they used against each other in the civil war that ultimately brought down the republic.

Caesar’s agents in Rome kept a close watch on his enemies. Cicero, for example, mentions in a letter that his epigrams were reported to Caesar, who could distinguish between the authentic ones and those falsely attributed to him. As long as Caesar held control of Rome during the civil war, the city’s population rejoiced with his victories and mourned his losses, at least publicly. They knew full well there were spies and eavesdroppers prowling about, observing all that was said and done. Caesar’s military couriers, the speculatores, were kept busy delivering intelligence but were also given espionage assignments.

Caesar coordinated his intelligence assets well. In this he stands out as an individual who could make the best of the republican system. He established a rapid message and information transport system via couriers, and he also had scouts and spies who used counterintelligence techniques, such as codes and ciphers, to prevent his military plans from falling into the hands of the enemy. His successor Augustus had a better opportunity to develop the system Caesar had started. Augustus may have been heir to Caesar’s ideas, or perhaps he just instinctively knew what the new empire needed. But in any case, he was shrewd enough to realize that such intelligence reforms were long overdue. Augustus’ first intelligence-gathering and dissemination-related innovation was the establishment of a state postal and messenger service called the cursus publicus, which replaced the inadequate republican system of private messengers.

By furnishing a means of transport and communications, Augustus built the rudiments of what was to become the imperial security service. Now there would be an official, permanent, and reliable way to communicate political and military intelligence. Like the Babylonians and Persians before them, the Romans combined their road network with a centrally administered communications system to help ensure the security of the emperor and the stability of the empire.

Although the cursus publicus provided a reliable means of transmitting important intelligence, sending dispatches by this method did not ensure sufficient security if there was a traitor within the system. Secret and not-so-secret communications often played a critical role in political events.

The emperor Caracalla (a.d. 211-217) was warned of a plot against his life as the scheme was being hatched by his successor Macrinus (217-218). The warning came from Materianus, the officer in charge of the urban cohorts during Caracalla’s frequent absences from Rome on campaign. The message was sealed and given with other letters to the courier of the imperial post. The courier completed his journey at normal speed, not realizing what he was carrying. Caracalla received the mail, but instead of reading it himself, turned the daily dispatches, including the warning from Materianus, over to Macrinus, who promptly disposed of the incriminating letter. Because he was afraid Materianus might try a second communication, Macrinus also decided to dispose of Caracalla.

Quite frequently intelligence couriers doubled as political assassins. The emperor Gordian sent a secret letter that is described by the historian Herodian as having been folded in a manner that was ‘the normal method used by the emperor to send private, secret messages.’ No further details are given, but evidently such messages were sealed in a certain way and carried by special messengers. In Gordian’s case, the message was sent to the governor of Mauretania Caesariensis as part of a covert operation. The agents were disguised as messengers from Maximinus, the emperor’s enemy. The governor, Vitalianus, usually went to a small room, off the public court, where he could scrutinize the dispatches carefully. The agents then were instructed to inform him that they were bringing secret instructions from Maximinus and to request a private audience in order to pass these secret instructions on personally. While Vitalianus was examining the seals, they killed him with swords hidden under their cloaks.

As the system of the cursus publicus developed, the couriers were drawn increasingly from the army, especially from the speculatores. The duties of the speculatores were not limited simply to carrying messages. They could also be used for undercover activities such as spying, arresting political figures, guarding suspects and detainees, or executing condemned men. The Gospel of St. Mark 6:27 indicates that it was a speculator who was sent to the prison with an execution order for John the Baptist.

With the reign of Domitian (a.d. 81-96), or possibly Hadrian (117-138), came another innovation that added more manpower to this intelligence network. The supply section of the imperial general staff provided personnel who could work as intelligence agents. Supply sergeants, called frumentarii, whose original functions had included the purchase and distribution of grain, were now turned into intelligence officers. Because these men were constantly traveling on logistical assignments, they were in a position to watch over the army, the imperial bureaucracy, and the local population. They could report back on any situation that was of interest to the emperors. That emperors came to rely on this system is shown by the fact that the frumentarii began to replace the speculatores as intelligence couriers and eventually as secret police. Although their three main duties were as couriers, tax collectors, and policemen, like the speculatores before them these officers were used in many capacities involving state security. By the third century there is extensive evidence of their use as spies. No one seemed to be immune–prominent generals, lowly Christians, senators, and subversives all came under their scrutiny.

In the city of Rome the frumentarii worked closely with the urban police force. Their secret service duties, besides investigating and arresting, eventually came to include political assassination. Not only did the emperor avail himself of their services, but pretenders to the throne, such as Macrinus, used the frumentarii to further their careers. How the service was used or abused depended on the emperor. Alexander Severus is praised for choosing only honest men, but at other times complaints arrived about their corruption.

Secret police agents, the frumentarii participated in the persecution of Christians. They were among the chief agents who spied on Christians and had them arrested. The soldier who supervised Saint Paul in Rome while he was awaiting trial was a frumentarius. Early Church historian Eusebius reports the tale of a Christian named Dionysius who was being hunted by the secret police. He hid in his house for four days. Meanwhile the frumentarius was searching high and low but never thought to search the man’s house. Dionysius made his escape with the help of the Christian underground.

In another incident, a frumentarius was sent to arrest Cyprian, later sainted, but the Christians, who had their own intelligence network during the persecutions, found out about the arrest order and warned him to go into hiding.

Many ancient sources mention’soldiers without uniforms’ arresting Christians or performing other secret service duties, but it is not always possible to know if these were frumentarii. Since any soldier could be seconded for police duties, the imperial government had a large range of personnel from which to choose for these kinds of duties.

Their activities did not endear the frumentarii to the general public. Roman administrators could be arbitrary, authoritarian, and corrupt. When they became involved in tax collecting and detecting subversion, the temptations to corruption were even greater. A third-century writer described the provinces as ‘enslaved by fear,’ since spies were everywhere. Many Romans and people in the provinces found it impossible to think or speak freely for fear of being spied upon. The snooping of the frumentarii became rampant by the late third century, and their behavior was compared to that of a plundering army. They would enter villages ostensibly in pursuit of political criminals, search homes, and then demand bribes from the locals.

The emperor Diocletian disbanded the frumentarii because of the massive number of complaints he received from his subjects, but he actually had no intention of giving up such an essential intelligence source. He simply replaced them with members of another organization, who would perform the same counterintelligence and security tasks but under a different name. These new men were called agentes in rebus–general agents. The blandness of the title belies their actual secret functions. They performed a wide range of intelligence activities almost identical to those of the frumentarii. The two major differences were that the agentes were civilians, not soldiers, and they were not under the jurisdiction of the praetorian prefect, the commander of the Praetorian Guard rather they were directed by an official called the ‘master of offices.’ Since the master of offices controlled other groups that had intelligence functions–such as the notarii, the imperial secretaries–by the mid-fourth century the master of offices became, in effect, the minister of information. The new corps of agents was also more numerous than it had been under the previous system, reaching as many as twelve hundred men.

The growth of bureaucracy in the late empire created another use for spies: surveillance of other ministries of state. The central government would send intelligence officers from the imperial court to other departments of the bureaucracy to spy on both their superiors and subordinates alike. Instead of remaining loyal to the emperor, they cooperated with, rather than spied on, the superiors they thought could help their careers. Often charges of treason were hurled at political rivals rather than real traitors, with the consequence that the security of the empire was compromised.

During the late empire, the Roman government institutionalized its information services and espionage activities to an extent unknown during Augustus’ time. And yet can we say intelligence activities kept the emperor any safer? Probably not. Only a minority of emperors died a natural death. Seventy-five percent of them fell to assassins or pretenders to the throne. In order to be safe, the emperor relied on many groups to provide him with intelligence. The distinguishing characteristic of espionage in the late empire is that no one department carried it out alone. Many groups, civilian and military, were assigned tasks that involved some surveillance.

Did all this spying make Rome more secure on its borders or make its leaders well informed about its enemies? Again the answer is no. Foreign intelligence continued to be collected by the traditional means, that is, by the military scouts–the exploratores and speculatores. Large mobile units of exploratores were stationed in border areas, where they were used to monitor enemy activity beyond the empire’s limits. This was straightforward military reconnaissance. There is little evidence to suggest that the Romans placed their own agents among foreign powers. The one exception is a passage from the fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus in which he talks about a group called the Arcani who evidently were paid by the Romans to’snoop among the savages’ and report what they saw. Even they eventually became corrupt and had to be removed. Unfortunately for us, the detailed description of these activities was lost with Ammianus’ history of Constans, which has not survived.

Despite their protestations to the contrary, the Romans were heavily involved in espionage, but it cannot be said that they ever established a formal intelligence service. The closest they came was in using groups like the frumentarii and the agentes in rebus for various internal security tasks. Protecting the emperor and keeping him on the throne became so crucial after the third century that most of Rome’s intelligence activities were focused inward. Ironically, for all their reputation as empire builders, the Romans were never as good at watching their enemies as they were at watching each other.

Changes in provincial administration

The first immediate effect was on the administration of the empire. The military basis of provincial administration remained: the governor (as he is called) was in Roman eyes a commander with absolute and unappealable powers over all except Roman citizens, within the limits of the territory (his provincia) assigned to him (normally) by the Senate. He was always prepared—and in some provinces expected—to fight and win. But it had been found that those unlimited powers were often abused and that Senate control could not easily be asserted at increasing distances from Rome. For political and perhaps for moral reasons, excessive abuse without hope of a remedy could not be permitted. Hence, when the decision to annex Carthage and Macedonia had been made in principle (149 bc ), a permanent court (the quaestio repetundarum) was established at Rome to hear complaints against former commanders and, where necessary, to assure repayment of illegal exactions. No penalty for offenders was provided, and there was no derogation from the commander’s powers during his tenure nevertheless, the step was a landmark in the recognition of imperial responsibility, and it was also to have important effects on Roman politics.

Another result of the new conquests was a major administrative departure. When Africa and Macedonia became provinciae to be regularly assigned to commanders, it was decided to break with precedent by not increasing the number of senior magistrates (praetors). Instead, prorogation—the device of leaving a magistrate in office pro magistratu (“in place of a magistrate”) after his term had expired, which had hitherto been freely used when emergencies had led to shortages of regular commanders—was established as part of the administrative system: thenceforth, every year at least two praetors would have to be retained as promagistrates. This was the beginning of the dissociation between urban magistracy and foreign command that was to become a cardinal principle of the system of Sulla and of the developed Roman Empire.

54th Infantry Regiment

Mustered in: September 5 to October 16, 1861
Mustered out: April 14, 1866

The following is taken from New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912.
Colonel Eugene A. Kozlay received authority from the War Department, August 30, 1861, to recruit a regiment of infantry. This regiment received its numerical designation October 15, 1861 was recruited principally in Brooklyn and New York city of Germans received one company of the McClellan Infantry, Col. S. Levy was organized in camp near Hudson City, N. J., and there mustered in the service of the United States for three years, between September 5 and October 16, 1861. At the expiration of its term the men entitled thereto were discharged and the regiment retained in service. June 22, 1865, the men of the I27th and 157th Infantry, not mustered out with their regiments, were transferred to it.
The regiment left the State October 29, 1861 served in Provisional Brigade, Casey's Division, Army of the Potomac, from October, 1861 in Steinwehr's Brigade, Blenker's Division, Army of the Potomac, from December, 1861 in 1st Brigade, same division, Mountain Department, from April, 1862 in 2d Brigade, 3d Division, 1st Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862 in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 11th Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 12, 1862 in the Department of the South, 1st Brigade, Gordon's Division, 10th Corps, on Folly Island, S. C., from August, 1863 in Schimmelpfenning's Division, 10th Corps, from January, 1864 on Morris Island in February, 1865 at Charleston, S. C., from March, 1865 and it was honorably discharged and mustered out, under Colonel Kozlay, April 14, 1866, at Charleston, S. C.
During its service the regiment lost by death, killed in action, 2 officers, 29 enlisted men of wounds received in action, 14 enlisted men of disease and other causes, I officer, 101 enlisted men total, 3 officers, 144 enlisted men aggregate, 147 of whom 26 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
Fifty-fourth Infantry.&mdashCol., Eugene A. Kozlay Lieut.-Cols., Alexander Hock, William P. Wainwright, Stephen Kovacs, Charles Ashby, Bankson Taylor Morgan Maj., Louis Von Litrow, Charles Ashby, Stephen Kovacs. The 54th, the "Barney Black Rifles," was composed of men of German origin, recruited in New York city and Brooklyn, and one company of the McClellan infantry. It was mustered into the U. S. service at Hudson City, N. J., Sept. 5 to Oct. 16, 1861, for a three years' term, and left for Washington Oct. 29. It was assigned to the provisional brigade of Casey's division, with which it served until December, when it became a part of Steinwehr's brigade, Blenker's division. It served in the vicinity of Washington until April, 1862, when Blenker's division was ordered to Virginia and assigned to Gen. Fremont's command. The 54th belonged to the 1st brigade and was employed in the region near Strasburg until June 8, when it took an active part in the battle of Cross Keys. On June 26, 1862, the regiment became a part of the 2nd brigade, 3d division, 1st corps, Army of Virginia, and on the 29th of the same month Gen. Sigel took command of the forces formerly commanded by Fremont. During Gen. Pope's campaign the regiment rendered effective service at Fox's ford, Sulphur Springs, at Waterloo Bridge, Groveton and Manassas. The 1st corps became the 11th on Sept. 12, 1862, and the 54th was assigned to the 1st brigade, 1st division, with which it went into winter quarters at Stafford, Va. Camp was broken late in April, 1863, for the Chancellorsville campaign, in which the regiment lost 42 in killed, wounded and missing. After a short rest near Falmouth the march to Gettysburg was commenced. It was in action on July I, and on the 2nd was posted on Cemetery hill. The loss of the 54th was 102 killed, wounded or missing. Camp was occupied near Ha-gerstown, Md., until Aug. 7, when the division was ordered to Charleston harbor and there assigned to the 10th corps, in which the 54th served in the 1st brigade of Gordon's division. It was stationed on Folly island participated in the siege of Fort Wagner the bombardment of Fort Sumter and remained in that vicinity during the winter of 1863-64. At this time a sufficient number of the command reenlisted to secure its continuance in the field as a veteran organization and in the summer of 1864 was posted on James island, where it was actively engaged in July with a loss of 20. In March, 1865, it left this post to enter Charleston, where it received on June 22 the veterans and recruits of the 127th and 157th N. Y., and remained until April, 1866. It was mustered out at Charleston April 14, 1866, having served nearly five years and lost during this period 40 by death from wounds and 102 by death from accident, disease or imprisonment.

54th Regiment NY Volunteer Infantry | Guidon | Civil War

This silk swallowtail guidon, used as a marker to assist in battlefield maneuvers, conforms to the “stars and stripes” pattern described in General…


Titus Annius Milo [Papianus], Publius Plautius Hypsaeus, and Quintus Metellus Scipio sought the consulship [in 53, for 52] not only by spreading largesse openly but also accompanied by crews of armed men. There was the greatest possible personal hostility between Milo and Clodius, both because Milo was very close to Cicero and he had used his weight as tribune of the plebs in bringing Cicero back from exile and because Publius Clodius was exceedingly hostile to Cicero once he had been brought back and was on that account very zealously supporting the candidacies of Hypsaeus and Scipio. Milo and Clodius also often engaged in violence with each other with their gangs in Rome. The chutzpah was equally outrageous on both sides, but Milo generally took the side of the `better interests'. Besides that, in the same year Milo decided to stand for the consulship, and Clodius for the Praetorship (which he knew perfectly well would be less influential, if Milo were consul). In addition, when the electoral assemblies for consul went on for a long time, and were not able to produce a winner due to the very same riotous activities of the candidates, [p. 31 C 27 KS] and for that reason in the month of January there were no consuls and no praetors at all, while the assemblies were being drug out just exactly as before--though Milo wanted the election to be completed as quickly as possible and was expecting that they would be thanks to the efforts of the aristocracy because he was standing in the way of Clodius, and also in the way of the populus on account of the `gifts' which had been showered on them and the staggeringly huge costs of the theatrical spectacles and gladiatorial fight (on which Cicero remarks he had poured out three patrimonies).

His competitors wanted to drag things out, and so for that reason Pompeius, the son-in-law of [Metellus] Scipio, and Titus Munatius [Plancus] tribune of the people had not allowed the question to be brought before the Senate as to the summoning of the Patricians to choose an Interrex, although a decree had been passed to name an interrex--on January 18 (the Decree and the oration itself, which agrees with the decree, ought to be followed as to the date, I think, rather than Fenestella, who gives January 17) on that day Milo made his official departure for Lanuvium, of which town he was at the time Dictator [chief magistrate ], for the purpose of choosing a flamen on the next day.

Clodius, who was returning from Aricia (he had been addressing the Town Council of Aricia), ran into him around 3 p.m. a little beyond Bovillae, near the place where the shrine of the Bona Dea is located. Clodius was riding a horse. Approximately 30 mounted slaves carrying swords were following him, as was the custom at the time with people making a trip. Clodius also had three travelling companions with him: a Roman knight Caius Causinius Schola and two well-known plebeians Publius Pomponius and Caius Clodius. Milo was being carried in a carriage with his wife Fausta, the daughter of Lucius Cornelius Sulla the Dictator, and with his close friend Marcus Fufius. [p. 32 C = 28 KL] A large contingent of slaves accompanied them, including gladiators two of them were the famous Eudamus and Birria. These were riding at the end of the column and made a charge on the slaves of Clodius. When Clodius looked back at this disturbance with a threatening aspect, Birria wounded his shoulder with a thrust. Thereupon, when the battle had been begun, several of Milo's men rushed up. The wounded Clodiuswas carried to the nearest wineshop, in Bovillae. When Milo heard that Clodius had been wounded, while he realized that things would be even more dangerous for himself if Clodius were to survive, but, with him dead, he would have considerable peace of mind, even if he had to undergo some sort of punishment, he ordered him to be hustled out of the inn. Marcus Saufeius identified [Clodius] in advance to [Milo's] slaves. And so Clodius, though in hiding, was drug out and done away with, with many wounds. His dead body was left at the side of the road, because Clodius' slaves either had already been killed or were themselves in hiding with serious wounds. Sextus Teidius, a Senator, who by chance was making his return to the city from the countryside, picked it up and ordered it to be carried to Rome in his own sedan. He himself went back to where he had started from.

Clodius' corpse was brought back before 6:00 p.m., and a very large crowd of the lowest class of plebs and of slaves, with great lamentation, took up their positions around the corpse, when it was placed in the atrium of his house. Fulvia, the wife of Clodius, added to the appalling nature of the deed, however, when she kept pointing out his wounds, while pouring out her grief. Next day, at dawn, an even greater crowd of the same composition assembled, and several gentlemen of note were seen. The house of Clodius, on the Palatine, had been bought a few months earlier from Marcus Scaurus: there came to this place Titus Munatius Plancus (the brother of the speechifier Lucius Plancus) and Quintus Pompeius Rufus (the grandson of Sulla the Dictator through his daughter), the tribunes [p. 33 C] of the plebs. At the urging of these men, the common people carried down into the Forum and placed on the Rostra Clodius' nude and barefoot body, unprepared for burial, just as it had been put into the sedan, so that the wounds could be seen.

[29 KS] There, in front of a public meeting, Plancus and Pompeius, who were partisans of Milo's electoral opponents, roused hatred against Milo. Under the direction of Sextus Clodius the scriba, the Populus carried the corpse of Publius Clodius into the Senate House and cremated it, using the benches and risers and tables and books of the stenographers thanks to this fire the Curia itself also burned down, and also the Basilica Porcia, which was attached to it, was fired. Also that same Clodian multitude attacked the residence of Marcus [Aemilius] Lepidus, the interrex, for he had been named the curule magistrate, and the absent Milo's too, but they were driven off from there by arrows. Then the crowd brought the fasces which had been snatched from the grove of Libitina to the residence of Scipio and of Hypsaeus, and then to the gardens of Cnaeus Pompeius, shouting repeatedly that he should be (if he wished) consul, or (if he preferred) dictator.

The burning down of the Senate House raised a greater indignation by far in the city than the slaughter of Clodius. And so Milo, whom general opinion believed to have gone into exile, encouraged by the hatred toward his adversaries returned to Rome the night that the Senate House had burned down. And not in the least deterred, he began to campaign for the consulship. Quite openly he gave to individuals tribe by tribe thousands of asses. After some days Marcus Caelius, tribune of the plebs, turned over a public meeting to him, and Cicero himself also supported his cause to the populus. Both of them kept saying that an assassination plot had been laid for Milo by Clodius.

Meanwhile one interrex succeeded another, because the electoral assemblies for consuls [p. 34 C] were not able to be held thanks to the same disorders on the part of the candidates and the same armed bands. And so, first of all, a Decree of the Senate was passed, ordering the interrex and the tribunes of the plebs and Cnaeus Pompeius (who was right outside the City as proconsul) `to see to it that the Republic should suffer no harm', and that Pompeius should hold a military recruitment drive throughout the whole of Italy. When he put together a guard with extreme urgency, the two young aristocrats, [p. 30 KS] the Appius Claudius brothers, demanded in his presence that the slaves belonging to Milo and likewise those belonging to his wife Fausta be produced. These Appii were the sons of Caius Claudius, who had been the brother of Clodius, and on this account they were beginning the prosecution for the murder of their paternal uncle, in the name of their father, as it were. The two Valerii, Valerius Nepos and Valerius Leo, demanded the same slaves of Fausta and Milo. Lucius Herennius Balbus demanded the slaves of Publius Clodius too, and those of his travelling companions. At the same time Caelius demanded the slaves of Hypsaeus and of Quintus Pompeius. Quintus Hortensius, Marcus [Tullius] Cicero, Marcus [Claudius] Marcellus, Marcus Calidius, Marcus Cato, and Faustus [Cornelius] Sulla supported Milo. Quintus Hortensius spoke a few words to the effect that those persons were free men who were being demanded as though they were slaves. For immediately after the slaughter Milo had liberated them, using as his reason that they had saved his life. These affairs took up the intercalary month.

On approximately the 30th day after Clodius had been killed, Quintus Metellus Scipio complained in a meeting of the Senate against Quintus Caepio concerning this slaughter of Publius Clodius. He stated that it was a lie that Milo was defending himself, but that Clodius was accompanied by 26 slaves when he had set off to give a speech to the Town Council of Aricia. But suddenly, after 10:00 a.m., [p. 35 C] when the Senate meeting ended, Milo rushed off after him with more than 300 armed slaves, and attacked him unawares during his journey, beyond Bovillae. At that point, Publius Clodius, having suffered three wounds, was carried to Bovillae. The tavern in which he had taken refuge was attacked by Milo. Clodius was drug out semiconscious and killed on the Appian Way. His ring was pried off his finger as he lay dying. Then when Milo heard that Clodius' little son was in the Alban villa, he came to the villa, and after the boy had previously dragged off, he was asked permission by the slave Halicor to hack [Clodius] limb from limb he strangled the steward and two servants besides. Of the slaves of Clodius who were defending their master 11 had been killed, [p. 31 KS] of Milo's only two had been wounded. On account of this, next day Milo gave freedom to 12 slaves who had taken the greatest part, and he distributed to the populus, tribe by tribe, 1000 sesterces each in order to kill the rumors about himself. Milo was said to have sent people to Pompeius who were particularly friendly to Hypsaeus because Hypsaeus had been Pompeius's quaestor to say that Milo would quit his campaign for the consulship if Pompeius thought it a good idea. Pompeius replied that he did not authorize anybody either to seek the office or to quit seeking it, and that he had no intention of interfering with the power of the Roman Populus either with his advice (consilium) or his official opinion (sententia). Then, through Caius Lucilius, who was Milo's friend because of his familiarity with Marcus Cicero, he is said to have ordered them as well not to burden him down with hostility by asking his advice about this affair.

In the midst of all this, as the rumor flew fast and thick that Cnaeus Pompeius ought to be created dictator and that the ills of the state could not otherwise be put to rest, [p. 36 C] it seemed to the optimates that it was safer for him to be named consul without colleague. When the matter had been introduced in the Senate, by an act proposed by Marcus Bibulus, Pompeius was named consul by the Interrex Servius Sulpicius on the fifth day before the 1st of March in the intercalary month. He immediately entered upon his consulship. Next, two days later, he introduced the topic of making new laws: he promulgated two laws in accordance with senatorial decree, one de vi (`on Violence') in which it remarked using names that a slaughter had taken place on the Via Appia, and the Senate House had been burned, and the house of the Interrex Marcus Lepidus had been attacked, and the other de ambitu (`On Electoral Corruption'): the penalty was to be heavier and the forms of trial briefer. For, in both cases, the law first ordered that witnesses be heard and then, on one and the same day, the summation be made both by the prosecution and the defense in such a way that two hours be allotted to the prosecution and three hours to the defense. Marcus Caelius, tribune of the plebs, who was very energetic on Milo's behalf, made an attempt to obstruct these laws because (he said) a `personal bill' was being brought against Milo and because court judgments were being anticipated. And when Caelius assailed the laws more persistently, Pompeius' annoyance reached the point that [p. 32 KS] he said that if he were to be forced into it he would defend the Republic with military force. Pompeius, as a matter of fact, either stood in fear of Milo, or was pretending that he was afraid. For the most part he did not stay at his town residence but in his Gardens, and he himself slept out of doors, in the most elevated part of the gardens, around which he also had a large guard of soldiers. Pompeius also once suddenly adjourned the Senate, because he said he was afraid of the appearance (adventum) of Milo. Then at the next meeting Publius Cornificius announced that Milo had a weapon inside his tunic strapped to his leg. He demanded that the thigh be bared, and Milo lifted his tunic without delay. At that point Marcus Cicero cried out that all the other charges which were being made against Milo were just like that one.

[p. 37C] Then Titus Munatius Plancus, tribune of the plebs, brought Marcus Aemilius Philemon, the freedman of M[arcus Aemilius] Lepidus and a well-known person, forward into the meeting. He began to say that he himself and four free persons who were making a trip with him turned up while Clodius was being killed, and on account of this, when they had made the facts known, they had been arrested and led off and held for two months in a villa belonging to Milo. That revelation, whether true or false, brought great animosity against Milo. The same Munatius and Pompeius, tribunes of the plebs, brought up to the Rostra a triumvir capitalis, and questioned him as to whether they had arrested Galata, the slave of Milo, in the process of committing murder. He replied that Galata, who was sleeping in a tavern, was arrested and brought before him. They demanded of the triumvir not to let the slave go but on the next day Caelius, tribune of the plebs, and Manilius Cumanus his colleague, reported to Milo that the slave had been kidnapped from the residence of the triumvir. Even though Cicero makes no mention of these crimes, I thought that these matters ought to be laid out nonetheless, because I have run across them. Quintus Pompeius, Caius Sallustius and Titus Munatius, tribunes of the plebs, were in the forefront of holding meetings which were quite hostile toward Milo, and even unfriendly toward Cicero, because he was defending Milo with such vigor. The greatest part of the multitude was hostile non only toward Milo but also toward Cicero because of his defense [of Milo] which they detested. Later Pompeius and Sallustius were under suspicion of having got back into favor with Milo and Cicero Plancus however persisted in a most hostile state and [p. 38 C] roused the multitude against Cicero too. He made Milo an object of suspicion to Pompeius, however, alleging that violence was being planned with a view toward [Pompeius'] assassination: and Pompeius on account of this rather often complained that assassination plots were being laid against himself, and openly at that, and he kept fortifying himself with a bigger guard. Plancus also repeatedly pointed out later that the day would be told to Cicero, even before Quintus Pompeius had got the same idea. Cicero's loyalty and reliability was such, however, that he was able to be frightened off from defending Milo neither by his own estrangement from the people, nor the suspicions held by Cnaeus Pompeius, nor the danger that would come upon him when a trial date was named, nor by the weapons which had been openly taken up against Milo. (He thought that) although he would be able to turn aside every danger to himself and offense to the hostile multitude, nonetheless he would be able to win back the mind of Cnaeus Pompeius, if he had held back a little in his efforts for the defense.

Once the law proposed by Pompeius had been passed--in which it had also been enacted that a Quaesitor should be appointed by vote of the people from among those who had held the office of consul--immediately the electoral assembly was held and Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was named Quaesitor. Pompeius also proposed a list of jurors who would judge the case of such quality as was obvious had never been suggested before, either in terms of fame (clariores) or rectitude (sanctiores). Immediately after this, under the new law, Milo was indicted by the two young Appii Claudii, the same ones by whom his familia had previously been demanded and likewise he was indicted de ambitu by these same Appii, and besides by Caius Ateius and Lucius Cornificius he was also indicted de sodaliciis [p. 39C] by Publius Fulvius Neratus. He was indicted, however, de sodaliciis and de ambitu with the confident expectation that, because it was apparent that the first trial de vi would take place and since they believed that he was going to be convicted, he would not offer a defense later.

A selection was made between the would-be accusers in the court de ambitu, under the presidency of Aulus [Manlius] Torquatus, and both of the quaesitors, Torquatus and Domitius, ordered the defendant to be present on the 4th of April. On that day Milo appeared before the bench of Domitius, and sent friends to Torquatus'. There, with Marcus [Claudius] Marcellus speaking in his behalf he got a ruling that he would not have to take part in a proceeding de ambitu until his case de vi had been decided. At the bench of Domitius, however, Appius the Elder demanded that 54 slaves be produced by Milo, and when Milo replied that those who had been named were not under his potestas, Domitius ordered, with the advice of his jurors, that the prosecutor should bring forth as many of Milo's slaves as he wished. Witnesses were then issued summonses, according to the law which (as we noted above) orders that, before the trial is held, witness are to be heard for a three day period, the jurors are to hand in their statements under seal, on the fourth day all are ordered to appear, and in the presence of prosecutor and defendant lists (pilae) on which the names of the jurors have been inscribed are to be evened out (aequararentur) then again on the next day the selection of 81 jurors is to take place. When this number has been selected by lot, they are to take their seats (as jurors) immediately. Then the prosecutor is to have two hours to speak, and the defendant three. The case is to be decided on that same day. Before the votes are cast, however, the prosecutor may exclude five jurors from each of the ranks, and the defendant an equal number [ 15 + 15 ], so that the number of remaining jurors [p. 35 KS] who are to give their verdict is fifty-one [ 81 - 30 = 51 ].

[p. 40C] On the first day, a witness was brought against Milo, Caius Causinius Schola, who testified that he had been with Clodius when he had been killed, and he magnified the horror of the deed as greatly as he could. When Marcus Marcellus began to cross- examine him, he was so terrified by the huge outcry from the Clodian faction which was standing around that (in fear of ultimate violence) he was permitted to step up onto the magistrate's tribunal by Domitius. For that reason Marcellus and Milo himself begged for a guard from Domitius. Pompeius was in position at the Aerarium at that moment, and he had become quite disturbed by the same outcry. And so he promised Domitius that he would appear himself next day with his guard. Frightened by that prospect the Clodians allowed the testimony of the witnesses to be heard in silence for two days. Marcus Cicero and Marcus Marcellus and Milo himself asked them questions. Many of those who lived at Bovillae offered testimony concerning the events that had taken place there: that the inkeeper had been killed, the tavern besieged, the body of Clodius drug out into the public highway. The Albanae virgines of also said that an unknown woman had come to them to fulfill a vow at the instruction of Milo because Clodius had been killed. The last persons to give testimony were Sempronia, the daughter of [Sempronius] Tuditanus, the socrus of Clodius, and Fulvia, his wife by their tears they greatly moved those who were in attendance. When the court session was recessed around 4:00 p.m., Titus Munatius exhorted the people in a public meeting to be present en masse on the next day and not allow Milo to get away, and he recalled the court session and their own gloom as they were going to present their tabellae.

On the next day, which was the last day of the trial [April 7], [p. 41C] the pubs were closed throughout the entire city Pompeius stationed guards in the Forum and at every entrance point to the Forum he himself took his seat in front of the Aerarium, as on the day before, surrounded by a chosen band of soldiers. The selection of the jurors from the first day was then made after that there was such a silence in the entire Forum as had never been possible in any forum. Then just after 8 a.m. the prosecutors, Appius the Elder, Marcus Antonius, and Publius Valerius Nepos, began to speak they spent two hours, in accordance with the law.

Marcus Cicero was the only one to reply to them, and it pleased him to defend against the charge with certain arguments, in particular that Clodius had been killed for the good of the State--Marcus Brutus followed this line of argument in the oration which he composed for Milo and published as though he had actually given it--though it was not Cicero's argument that, if somebody should be condemned for the public good he could also be killed without formalities of a judicial condemnation. And so, while the prosecutors showed that Milo had made an ambush on Clodius, Cicero proved that it was a lie--for that attack had come about by chance--and argued to the contrary, that an ambush had been set by Clodius against Milo indeed his entire presentation focused on that point.

But it so happened, as we have stated, that the fight took place on that day without previous plan of either of them as a matter of fact it both occurred by chance and it ultimately went as far as slaughter because of the engagement of the slaves. It was noted, however, that each had threatened death against the other, and just as (on the one hand) Milo was more suspicious than Clodius' entourage generally made out, so (on the other hand) Clodius' men had been more stripped and ready for fighting than Milo's. When Cicero began to speak, he was interrupted by the catcalls of the Clodian faction who were unable to be silenced, not even by fear of the soldiers standing around. And so he spoke without the firmness (constantia) which was his habit. That aside, there is extant his oration. As a matter of fact he wrote what we read as perfectly as it might properly have been delivered in the first place.


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