Attacking the World with Five Cohorts

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI:
Attacking the World with Five Cohorts

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On the eve of civil war, in December 50 bc and the first week of January 49 bc, illegality became official where one would least expect it: in the Senate. It was the new consuls who, immediately on taking office, personally sanctioned the break with legality. In their start-of-year report on the state of the republic they spoke as if Caesar had already been proscribed. Lentulus Crus declared that: he will not fail the republic if the senators are willing to express their opinions with boldness and resolution; but if they pay regard to Caesar and try to win favour with him as they have on previous occasions, he says he will consider his own interests and will not obey their authority. The same threat was made by his colleague Scipio, who said that Pompey was not inclined to desert the republic if the Senate followed him; but if it did not back him, it would in vain solicit his aid should it wish to do so in the future. When Caesar recounts these details he selects his material carefully, to make clear that his enemies have violated the law.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; senate; civil war; illegality; consuls; Pompey; Lentulis Crus; Scipio

Chapter.  3857 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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