|The Story of the Romans|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Rome, presenting short stories of the great heroes, mythical and historical, from Aeneas and the founding of Rome to the fall of the western empire. Around the famous characters of Rome are graphically grouped the great events with which their names will forever stand connected. Vivid descriptions bring to life the events narrated, making history attractive to the young, and awakening their enthusiasm for further reading and study. Ages 10-14 |
 IN the mean while, Cæsar had gone to govern Gaul,
and was forcing all the different tribes to recognize
the authority of Rome. He fought very bravely, and
wrote an account of these Gallic wars, which is so
simple and interesting that it is given to boys and
girls to read as soon as they have studied a little
Cæsar not only subdued all the country of Gaul,
which we now know as France, but also conquered the
barbarians living in Switzerland and in Belgium.
Although he was one of the greatest generals who ever
lived, he soon saw that he could not complete these
conquests before his time as governor would expire. He
therefore arranged with his friends Crassus and Pompey,
that he should remain master of Gaul for another term,
while they had charge of Spain and Syria.
The senate, which was a mere tool in the hands of these
three men, confirmed this division, and Cæsar
remained in Gaul to finish the work he had begun. But
Pompey sent out an officer to take his place in Spain,
for he wished to remain in Rome to keep his hold on the
As Crassus liked gold more than anything else, he
joyfully hastened off to Syria, where he stole money
wherever he could, and even went to Jerusalem to rob
the Temple. Shortly after this, he began an unjust war
against the Parthians. They defeated him, killed his
son before his eyes, and then slew him too.
We are told that a Parthian soldier cut off the Roman
 general's head and carried it to his king. The latter,
who knew how anxious Crassus had always been for gold,
stuffed some into his dead mouth, saying:
"There, sate thyself now with that metal of which in
life thou wert so greedy."
You see that even a barbarian has no respect whatever
for a man who is so base as to love gold more than
While Crassus was thus disgracing himself in Asia,
Cæsar was daily winning new laurels in Gaul. He
had also invaded Britain, whose shores could be seen
from Gaul on very clear days.
Although this island was inhabited by a rude and
war-  like people, it had already been visited by the
Phœnicians, who went there to get tin from the
mines in Cornwall.
Cæsar crossed the Channel, in small ships, at its
narrowest part, between the cities of Calais and Deal.
When the Britons saw the Romans approaching in battle
array, they rushed down to the shore, clad in the skins
of the beasts they had slain. Their own skins were
painted blue, and they made threatening motions with
their weapons as they uttered their fierce war cry.
But in spite of a brave resistance, Cæsar managed
to land, and won a few victories; however, the season
was already so far advanced that he soon returned to
Gaul. The next year he again visited Britain, and
defeated Cassivelaunus, a noted Briton chief.
This victory ended the war. The Britons pretended to
submit to the Roman general, and agreed to pay a yearly
tribute. So Cæsar departed to finish the
conquest of Gaul; but he carried off with him a number
of hostages, to make sure the people would keep the
promises they had made.
As the news of one victory after another came to Rome,
Cæsar's influence with the people grew greater
every day. Pompey heard all about this, and he soon
became very jealous of his friend's fame. As his wife,
Julia, had died, he no longer felt bound to Cæsar
by any tie, so he began to do all he could to harm his
As to the soldiers, they were all devoted to their
general, because he spoke kindly to them, knew them by
name, and always encouraged them by word and example,
in camp and on the march.
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