Home Categories world history Civil War
Civil War

Civil War


  • world history

  • 1970-01-01Published
  • 181937

© www.3gbook.com

Chapter 1 Translator's Preface

Civil War 凯撒 5327Words 2018-03-21
This book includes another work written by Caesar following the "Gaul War" and three small wars with unknown authors, "Alexandria War", "Africa War", and "Spanish War".These five war records are often combined together and are called "Caesar's War Records". After seven years of hard work, Caesar conquered all of Gaul, but tensions between him and Pompey, another giant of the Roman world, grew increasingly tense.Crassus, originally acting as a third force, played a balancing role between them, and had died in rest at this time (53 BC).Caesar's only daughter Yulina married Pompey, who was originally a bridge between them, but died of dystocia (52 BC).Since then, their relationship has taken a turn for the worse.Of these two men, the one had the wealth, prestige, and a battle-tested army gained from the Gaul wars; the other had the Senate, the entire Roman state apparatus, and all the provinces except Gaul as backing , can issue orders in the name of legitimate government.The confidence on both sides finally made the outbreak of civil war inevitable.

The Civil War had its deep socioeconomic roots, largely because Rome's economic foundations of slavery had fundamentally changed over the course of a century or two while its state institutions failed to keep up.The so-called democrats and aristocratic republicans in the slave-owning class represented two forces demanding reform and opposing reform respectively, and launched a fierce struggle that lasted for a hundred years. The civil war between Caesar and Pompey broke out in 49 BC. The final battle and total liquidation of these forces.Its direct fuse is the succession of Caesar's position.

Caesar's position as governor of the Gaul province, according to the Vatinius Act, originally served for a five-year term from March 1, 59 BC to the end of February 54 BC.In 55 BC, another five-year extension was stipulated by the Trebonius Law, that is, from March 1, 54 BC to the end of February 49 BC.What to do after the term of office expires, this matter is not only worried about Caesar himself, but also his colleagues in Rome are also worried.If he puts down his military power at that time and returns to Rome alone, his political enemies headed by Marcus Cato and Claudius Marclus will definitely use this opportunity to frame him. Pick up some of his illegal activities in the province and sue him in court, ranging from exile to serious disasters.Since the law of Rome exempted sitting officials from prosecution, Caesar considered that he could avoid this danger only by returning to Rome as serving officials.Therefore, the most ideal thing is that he was elected as the consul in 48 BC immediately after his term in Gaul expired.According to the old custom of many years, when he expired at the end of February, 49 B.C., he must be replaced by one of the two consuls of 49 B.C.; but they cannot leave Rome until the expiration of their term. To perform.In this way, even if Caesar expires in early March of this year, he can still stay in Gaul. It is better to hand over at the end of the year, and then go to Rome at the beginning of the year to take over as the consul in 48 BC.But there was still an obstacle for him to be elected consul. The law of Rome stipulated that those who participated in the consul election must go to the officials presiding over the election to register in person before the election.Caesar was in Gaul, so naturally he could not go to Rome to register, so there was no possibility of being elected.Caesar had already prepared for this point.When he met with Pompey and Crassus in Luga in 56 BC, the three parties had agreed that Caesar would return to Rome in 48 BC to serve as the ruling palace.This is tantamount to allowing him to avoid the procedure of going to Rome to register in person, but it was not formally clarified by a decree of the Citizens’ Assembly or the Senate at that time. It should be proposed by ten tribunes jointly in 52 BC. Draft law allowing Caesar to be exempt from in-person elections.Although at this time Pompey was already close to the aristocratic republicans in the Senate, he had not yet made up his mind to oppose Caesar, so this law was passed.But later in the year, Pompey, supported by Cato's first class, became consul without peers, and proposed a series of laws to be passed, one of which stipulated that the term of consul and magistrate would be completed in one year. After that, he is not allowed to go out to serve as the governor of the province immediately, but has to be separated by five years.There is also a law that reiterates past electoral laws, requiring self-elects to be physically present to register for election.The former law meant that Caesar would be replaced not by one of the two consuls he originally envisioned in 49 BC, but by one of the consuls who had left office five years earlier.This was a man already at Rome who could come in as soon as he was appointed to replace him in early March, 49 B.C.E.This deprived Caesar of an available transition period.The latter law amounted to an annulment of the law proposed by the ten tribunes.After the protests of the tribunes, Pompey promised to make an exception for Caesar without having to personally campaign for the insertion of this latter law, but it is clear that it will still be possible in the future to deny its legality on the grounds that it was inserted after the fact.That is to say, after Caesar's term in the Prefect's Palace expired, there must be a period when he was neither Prefect nor Consul, either staying abroad as an exile, or returning to Rome as a private person, letting the enemy At the mercy of.Caesar was certainly not a person who would bow his head and obey the enemy's orders. After quelling the Gaul uprising, he was single-mindedly preparing to deal with this new challenge.

During this period, he did many things to please the Roman people and the army, such as holding a large-scale entertainment performance in Rome in the name of mourning his dead daughter Julia; he used a large amount of money looted in Gaul Public buildings were built everywhere in Rome and Italy, the most magnificent being the "Ulymus Hall" in the Great Market of Rome.As for famous princes and elders who accepted his gifts and loans, there were countless.It was probably at this time that he doubled the pay of the soldiers.He also promised to give Roman citizenship to the Gauls in Hebei, and he used both soft and hard tactics in the newly conquered Trans-Gaul area. When the civil war broke out later, it became his most reliable rear.

On the one hand, Caesar bought people's hearts with major events inside and outside Italy, and on the other hand, he tried his best to win things in the Senate to develop in a direction that was beneficial to him.He believes that his goal is very clear, if it can be obtained by peaceful and legal means, he will never risk the use of force.He was confident that as long as he became consul and returned to Rome to face Pompey, he would naturally be able to subdue him, let alone those arrogant and incompetent aristocratic republicans.Therefore, first of all, he was determined not to break with the Senate, and would rather make some concessions in order to achieve his goals through negotiations.Secondly, he also installed some powerful tribunes in the Senate as his agents, so that they could use the veto to prevent the aristocratic republicans from taking measures against him.Curio the tribune of 50 BC, Marcus Antony and Cassius Longinus the tribunes of 49 BC were all such tools of his.

Sure enough, it can be seen from the beginning that Caesar's repeated concessions and repeated proposals for reconciliation caused chaos among the aristocratic republicans in the Senate.Their leaders were at a loss for reason, lost ground, and fell into a very embarrassing situation.The obstructive activities of Caesar's agents Curio, Anthony and others in the Senate also made it difficult for these people to move forward.These people who keep claiming to defend the law and defend their ancestors as the law are forced to walk step by step on the road of trampling on all laws and the law of their ancestors. In the end, they invoked the emergency martial law and forced the tribunes away. Although Caesar lost the chance of a legal settlement, he got an excuse to lead his troops across the Rubicon.

From the very beginning, it followed the "Gallic Wars", starting from the negotiations between Caesar and the Senate, how to win successive victories with the enthusiastic support of the Italian people after crossing the Rubicon River, and finally forced Pompey Abandon Italy and flee to the East; then describe the battles in Spain, Massilia and Africa respectively; finally describe the official decisive battle in the Eastern battlefield. Caesar defeated Pompey in the Battle of Pharsalus, and Pompey died in Alexandria, where Caesar followed and got involved in royal disputes in Egypt.

No one has ever doubted that it was written by Caesar, because its writing techniques, style, idiomatic vocabulary, etc. are all consistent with "Gallic Wars".From the several references to post-war events, we can roughly surmise that it was written after the battle of Munda (45 B.C.), when the whole civil war had come to an end.But since the title of the book is so called, why did it only write about the first two years of the Civil War, and not all the way to the end? This may be related to the tragedy of Caesar's assassination on March 15, 44 BC. Immediately following; are the three small "Records of War" that have always been collected in "Records of Caesar's War".The first is "The War of Alexandria", which is not divided into volumes, and the author cannot be determined.Many people believe that it was also written by Iltius based on a preface to Volume 8 of "Gallic Wars".But Suetonius doubted this as early as the beginning of the second century AD.

This "War Records" begins with Caesar's entry into Alexandria and his involvement in the civil strife of the Egyptian royal family. It describes how Caesar defeated the young king Ptolemy and the court dignitaries who supported him, and re-arranged the throne of Egypt. ; and the military operations in Asia Minor, Epirus, and Spain at the same time or at a later date are described, until Caesar conquered Farnacus, king of Pontus. Some people think that this war record may not have been called the current name.Since the original author's intention was not to write it as an independent work, but to use it as the fourth volume.Because it not only describes the battles that took place in Egypt, but also comprehensively describes the major events in the Roman world from the beginning of 48 BC to September next year.Of the 78 verses in the whole book, the war in Egypt only accounts for 33 verses, less than half, which shows that the author did not write specifically for the war in Egypt.From the narrative style, we can see other traces that the author wants to use it directly as a sequel. For example, in Section 4, when it is mentioned that the former king’s children fought for the throne, he said: "As mentioned before..." The "front" mentioned here refers to verse 112 of Juan III.It may therefore be correct to say that the author originally intended it to be the fourth volume.

Although the original book is not as vivid and succinct as the "Gaul War Records", the predecessors all think that its descriptions are clear and concise, and the writing is fluent, at least it is the best of the three small "War Records" The only shortcoming is that the writing is too monotonous, and as a member of the Caesar faction, he defends too much for his own faction. .After ending the Battle of Alexandria, Caesar spent three or four months in Egypt, a gentle village, despite the flood of urgent documents from the East.The author does not say a word about this, as if he rushed to Asia Minor as soon as the war was over.Similarly, in verse 65, although he described the turmoil that occurred in Rome, he only said a few words in the abstract, and did not point out who the leader was. Labella performs a cover-up.

Continuing with the "Alexandria Wars" is the "Africa Wars", which records that Caesar landed in Africa with an extremely weak army after ending his campaign in the East and staying in Italy for a while, and defeated the assembled army. Over there, the remaining Pompeian party Scipio, Cato, Labinus, Afranius, and the Numidian king Lomba who supported them recovered the province of Africa and transformed Numidia into a For the passage of the province. The author of this article, I do not know who, some people have tried to prove that it is the work of Asinius Polio, and others have tried to prove that it and the "Spanish War" are the works of Gaius Opius.Although these two men were in Caesar's army during the African War, there is no evidence to prove that this was written by them, and both of them are well-known writers, and what they wrote may be better than the current two articles Some. From the description of this war record, we can see the author's loyalty and love for Caesar.For example, verses 2-3 describe his boldness and prudence, daring to cross the sea with a very small force; verse 10 describes his heroism as the only comfort for the panicked soldiers; Sitting in the commander's tent to make decisions, there is no need to visit the scene in person; verses 44-46 describe how his old subordinates are willing to sacrifice for him.Such an expression of love and admiration for Caesar is rarely seen in other war records.It can also be seen that the author's pride in being a Roman, Scipio's deliberate flattery of Lomba, and Aquinus' fear of Lomba (see section 57), are all ruthlessly whipped by the author. Judging from the many detailed descriptions in "Zhan Ji", from its detailed records of the action schedule and the psychological state of the soldiers, it is enough to show that the author is a participant present, but from his description of the battle process so specific, The fact that Caesar’s decision-making process and strategic intentions are so little described shows that he was a person who had no contact with the core figures who commanded the battle, at most he was just a centurion or a legion commander.Therefore, his description of the entire battle situation is often inappropriate, and the priority is reversed. For example, in Sections 59-60, he described the formation of the two sides in detail. In fact, there was no war this time. The Battle of Tapsus, which determined the overall situation, has no such detailed description. The author often mixes some Greek words and slang in the narration, and the text is too monotonous and repetitive. For example, in more than 90 sections of the article, more than 30 sections start with "at the same time", which is disgusting.There are also many things to discuss in terms of grammar.But these still do not prevent it from becoming an informative, clear and readable letter history. The account of the last battle of the Civil War, and of Caesar's life, is the Chronicle of the Spanish War.It narrates that the remnants of Pompey's party fled to Spain after their defeat in Africa, united with the local rebels, led by Pompey's two sons, and resisted again.Caesar once again led his army into Spain and routed them after several bloody battles. The author of the "Spanish War" cannot be traced, but it seems that it was written by an uneducated veteran of Caesar's subordinates or a centurion or something.It has always been considered the worst not only of the War Chronicles, but of all the Latin classics.Only because the author was a person who experienced this war personally, and the record is more credible, and there is no other work describing this war other than this, it is retained together with other "War Records". The author truly describes everything that can be seen and heard in his position, sometimes lined up almost day by day: "the next day", "the next day", "in tomorrow", "in this day's day". Later"... It's like keeping a running account.Moreover, his accounts are often completely irrelevant: a spy was caught, a woman was escaped, a slave was escaped, etc. Sometimes he suddenly thought of something that he had forgotten to remember, so he immediately inserted it: "I It was not mentioned where it should have been mentioned earlier...". The author's writing skills are poor, the vocabulary used is very poor, there are many grammatical barriers, and there are many Greek words and dialects mixed in, but he is the person who likes to lose words the most in all these "War Records" , he quoted Ennius’s poems twice with relish (Sections 23 and 31)—it’s a pity that they were only the basic reading materials such as Qianjia Poems and Prodigy Poems commonly used in the school at that time—he also ostentatiously quoted Greek mythology The story of the duel between Achilles and Memnon.These are not in the previous articles. In addition to the poor writing level, several ancient manuscripts of "Spanish War" have the most omissions and mistakes, so there are many places that are almost impossible to read.Those who have always annotated and translated it can only annotate and translate according to their own understanding, and often change the sentences at will in order to make it understandable, but these changes do not make it much easier to understand, but only attract more Much controversy.The same is true of Loeb’s classic series. Sometimes in order to change or add or delete a few words to the original text, he attached a few thousand-word explanations at the end of the book. translate. This book is translated based on the original Latin text of Loeb's classic series; however, the original book and the three small war records including "Alexandria War" are divided into two volumes, compiled by AG Paskett and AG Way respectively, with different styles. one.For example, there is no summary and chronology of major events like the three chapters of Xiaozhanji. In order to unify the style when translating, the original summary of content of the three chapters of Xiaozhanji is not used. The included period is then supplemented by the translator. Readers are welcome to correct me.
Press "Left Key ←" to return to the previous chapter; Press "Right Key →" to enter the next chapter; Press "Space Bar" to scroll down.