|The Story of Rome|
|by Mary Macgregor|
|A vivid account of the story of Rome from the earliest times to the death of Augustus, retold for children, chronicling the birth of a city and its growth through storm and struggle to become a great world empire. Gives short accounts of battles and campaigns, and of the men who expanded the borders of the Roman empire to include all lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Ages 10-14 |
CÆSAR IS LOADED WITH HONOURS
 WHEN Caesar reached Rome in July 46 B.C., he found that he
had already been appointed Dictator for ten years.
In the Senate there was now not a member who was not
eager to agree to his slightest wish. Yet it was but a
year or two since many of them had been ready to brand
him as a traitor. But Cæsar had crossed the Rubicon
now, and was king in all but name.
The conqueror had, however, no wish to remind those who
had been his enemies of their unkindnesses. His return
to Rome was made a joyous season, and was not spoiled
by the punishment of those who had been opposed to him,
much less by their murder.
Indeed, Cæsar not only pardoned those who had been the
friends of Pompey, but he gave them positions of trust
in the State.
If they were still half afraid of his true feelings,
suspicion vanished when the Dictator ordered the
statues of Pompey, which after his defeat had been
thrown down, to be again erected.
His faithful soldiers Cæsar rewarded with gold, and to
the citizens he gave feasts and gifts of corn as well.
Games and shows also celebrated his return.
From this time his birthday was kept each year as a
holiday, and to the month in which it fell was given
his name, Julius, or as we say now, July.
His triumphs were the wonder of the citizens for many
long days to come, for he celebrated his victories over
 Egypt, Pontus, and Numidia. Many were the strange and
marvellous treasures that adorned the processions.
Of his war with Pompey, as it was against a Roman,
nothing was said, nor was it celebrated in a triumph.
For six or seven months Cæsar now stayed in Rome,
making many good laws. As of old he was loved by the
people, for he proved himself still their friend,
taking from the Optimates the power they often used
harshly or carelessly and giving it to them.
His friends often begged him to have a bodyguard, for
although he was so beloved, he still had enemies. But
Cæsar would take no precautions, saying in answer to
the fears of his friends, "It is better to suffer
death once, than always to live in fear of it."
About this time the Dictator ordered Carthage and
Corinth, which had been destroyed at the same time, to
be rebuilt. When the cities were ready, he sent many
of his soldiers to settle in them, as well as many
Thus many of those who had lived in poverty had a new
chance given to them, while the overcrowded towns in
Italy became healthier and less full of poverty. Wise
men, too, came from Egypt at Cæsar's command, and
among other reforms they altered and improved the Roman
In December 45 B.C., Cæsar was again forced to leave
Rome to put down a rebellion in the south of Spain,
raised by Pompey's two sons, Gnæus and Sextus.
Now it chanced that popular as Cæsar was in most
countries, he was not so in the south of Spain. This
was because he had sent to the province a governor who,
unfortunately, had treated the people badly, and for
this Cæsar was held responsible.
So Pompey's sons had found it easy to stir up
rebellion, and they had soon gathered together a large
army, while the Pompeian leaders who had escaped from
Africa had joined the lads.
 When Cæsar reached Spain, he found Gnæus encamped in
a plain near to the town of Munda.
Here a great battle was fought, Roman fighting against
Roman, for the soldier in Gnæus's army were nearly all
veterans who had been trained in the legions of Rome.
At one time it seemed as though Cæsar's troops were
giving way. Then he himself ran from rank to rank of
his men, asking if they were not ashamed to let their
general be beaten by boys.
Urged by Cæsar's words to fresh efforts, his brave
veterans fought desperately until the day was theirs.
Gnæus fled, but a few weeks later was captured and put
to death. Sextus, however, escaped, and for many years
was at the head of a fleet that caused great trouble
along the coast of Italy.
When the hard-fought battle of Munda was won, Cæsar
said to his friends, "I have often fought for victory,
but this is the first time I have ever fought for
At Rome the tidings of the victory was received with an
outburst of enthusiasm. No honour was too great for
the victor. He had already been made Dictator for ten
years; he was now appointed Dictator for life.
The Romans could not do enough to show their affection
and pride. Honour after honour was heaped upon the
victorious general. He was made Consul for ten years,
was given entire control of the treasury. And to crown
all, the title of Imperator, which carried with it the
entire control of the army, was also bestowed upon him.
Rome had no honour left to give now, unless she gave to
her Imperator the title of King.
There were already some among his friends who said that
it would be well that he should wear the supreme title
in the provinces, if not in Rome.
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