Page images

therefore, not surprised to notice that, in addition to the frequent employment of bellum in common idioms, he uses the word to designate a single campaign or definite and decisive movement against a particular enemy; when more than one campaign is thought of, he has the plural. Thus we find bellum Helvetiorum (B.G. i, 30, 1) of the campaign against the Helvetians; Ariovisti bellum (v, 55, 2) of the campaign against Ariovistus; duo maxima bella (i, 54, 2) of the campaigns against the Helvetians and against Ariovistus viewed as a single season's work; bellum Venetorum (iii, 16, 1), and Veneticum bellum (iii, 18, 6; iv, 21, 4) of the conquest of the maritime states; Germanicum bellum (iv, 16, 1) of the annihilation of the Usipetes and Tencteri; Britannicum bellum (v, 4, 1) of the second expedition to Britain; bellum Treverorum et Ambiorigis (vi, 5, 1) and bellum Ambiorigis (vi, 29, 4) of the operations against the Treveri and Ambiorix ; Gallica bella (iv, 20, i quod omnibus fere Gallicis bellis hostibus nostris inde subministrata auxilia intellegebat) of all the campaigns of the first three years and the early part of the fourth; also, and especially to be noted, Gallica bella admitted by the editors in two passages of the Civil War where the reference is to all the campaigns in Gaul reckoned together : (iii, 2, 3) Atque eae ipsae copiae hoc infrequentiores imponuntur, quod multi Gallicis tot bellis defecerant; and (iii, 59, I) Erant apud Caesarem equitum numero Allobroges II fratres ... quorum opera Caesar omnibus Gallicis bellis optima fortissimaque erat usus. The singular Gallicum bellum occurs in one passage (B. G. v, 54, 4): ... ùt praeter Haeduos et Remos, quos praecipuo semper honore Caesar habuit, alteros pro vetere ac perpetua erga populum Romanum fide, alteros pro recentibus Gallici belli officiis, nulla fere civitas fuerit non suspecta nobis. The services referred to were rendered in the campaign of 57; their character may be inferred from the details given in Book ii, 3-6. There is no evidence that any help was received from the Remi in any other campaign prior to the latter part of the year 54, the period treated toward the end of Book v; "the Gallic campaign' is then the campaign of the year 57, which is so designated to distinguish it from the campaigns against the Helvetians and Ariovistus in 58 and the various operations of the years 56, 55, and 54.

The operations recorded in the Civil War, though widely extended, were in reality directed against a single enemy, and here, if anywhere, one might expect to meet with the singular bellum covering the entire series. But the campaign in 49 against Afranius and Petreius in Spain is called maximum bellum (iii, 47, 5); in Curio's address to his soldiers before Utica we find Africum bellum (ii, 32, 13), and at the end of the work, bellum Alexandrinum (iii, 112, 12). In the light of these passages it seems necessary to conclude that when in the third book Caesar writes confecto bello (as 57, 5) and bello perfecto (18, 5), he has in mind not the civil war as a whole, but the operations against Pompey in 48, on the east coast of the Adriatic and in Thessaly, which culminated in the battle of Pharsalus. Nor does he use civile bellum in such a way as to reflect the comprehensive signification required for a title. In one of the two passages in which the phrase is found, though the text is in an unsatisfactory condition, the reference is clearly to a state of civil war (ii, 29, 3); in the other (iii, 1, 4 qui se illi initio civilis belli obtulerant), the thought is of the breaking out of hostilities between citizens, ' at the commencement of civil strife,' rather than of the civil war as a historical unity; in ante bellum (iii, 1, 2) the sense more nearly approaches that of bellum in titles. Caesar seems to avoid the use of civile bellum, as he sought to avoid the war itself; so in the letter in which he tried to persuade Cicero, after hostilities had commenced, to remain neutral, mild phrases are used instead (Cic. ad Att. x, 8, B. 2): Postremo, quid viro bono et quieto et bono civi magis convenit quam abesse a civilibus controversiis ? .. . neque tutius neque honestius reperies quicquam quam ab omni contentione abesse. In the Civil War civilis dissensio also occurs (i, 67, 3; cf. iii, 1, 3).

When Caesar wrote the Gallic War the events of the civil war were yet in the future. Still, apart from the evidence furnished by an examination of his usage, we may well question whether he would have thought it expedient to use bellum in the title of this work, even in the plural. His appointment in Gaul, as in the case of other proconsuls, included civil as well as military functions; and, though in his administration deeds of war overshadowed and obscured the deeds of peace, it must be remembered that his career of conquest had been sharply criticised and even viewed with alarm at Rome. He was not so lacking in tact as to characterize the work in which he gave to the Roman people an account of his stewardship by a term exclusively, to some offensively, military. A chief distinction of the Gallic War as a narrative of events at the same time truthful and favorable to the author, lies in the skill with which Caesar the writer unobtrusively leads the reader, step by step, to see how Caesar the proconsul, in order to protect the interests which Rome already had in Gaul, was obliged to carry the work of conquering on from one stage to another until the whole country was subdued. The case is still stronger against the use of civile bellum as a part of the original title of the Civil War; even Hirtius in his preface avoids a phrase of so unpleasant associations, and instead has civilis dissensio, though he does not hesitate to speak of the Alexandrine and African “wars ” both separately and together (Mihi ne illud quidem accidit, ut Alexandrino atque Africano bello interessem; quae bella .

But with rerum gestarum in the title of the Gallic War, there was no need of Gallici belli or another phrase to define the scope of the work more closely. Caesar uses res gestae, as also res gesta, with almost a complete blending of noun and verb concepts to express a single idea, as B.C. ii, 31, 3 Quasi non et felicitas rerum gestarum exercitus benevolentiam imperatoribus et res adversae odia concilient! Ibid. iii, 106, 3 Sed Caesar confisus fama rerum gestarum infirmis auxiliis proficisci non dubitaverat aeque omnem sibi locum tutum fore existimans; B. G. v, 47, 4 Labienus interitu Sabini et caede cohortium cognita rem gestam in Eburonibus perscribit An indication of the content of res gestae in Caesar's mind is given in the same speech of Curio, previously quoted (B.C. ii, 32, 5): An vero in Hispania res gestas Caesaris non audistis ? duos pulsos exercitus ? duos superatos


duces ? duas receptas provincias? haec acta diebus XL, quibus in conspectum adversariorum venerit Caesar? The associations of the phrase in these passages are military, except in so far as the allusion to the recovery of the two provinces may imply civil reorganization. More clear is the extension of res gestae to civil administration in various passages of Cicero, as in Pis. 72 res gestas consulatus mci; in the Marcellus, res tuae gestae, spoken in the laudation of Caesar, and including not only his military successes (4, 5) but also his plans for the rehabilitation of the state (25 omnium salutem civium cunctamque rem publicam res tuae gestae complexae sunt; tantum abes a perfectione maximorum operum, ut fundamenta nondum quae cogitas ieceris), seems almost like an echo from the title of his work, a play upon words by no means unpleasing to him to whom the speech was addressed; still Cicero uses the phrase frequently elsewhere, and none was more fitting. How Gallici belli came to be added to the title after Caesar's time involves the consideration of the formation and history of the Corpus Caesarianum, a subject that will be touched upon later.

In the quotation from Curio's address in the last paragraph the field of Caesar's operations is designated by in Hispania. Does Galliae in Hirtius's Caesaris commentarios rerum gestarum Galliae reflect a geographical designation in the original title? I think not; for if Caesar had added in Gallia to his title it would have been more natural for Hirtius to use this than the difficult Galliae, the authenticity of which has been questioned, though on insufficient grounds (cf. viii, 48, 10 res Galliae gestas). When the Gallic War was published no word was needed to indicate the field of operations, known to all and besides defined in the opening sentences of the first book; and Caesar was not the man to waste words, least of all in a title. Hirtius, having completed a supplement to the Gallic War and bridged the gap between it and the Civil War, was obliged in some way to distinguish the books of the former from those of the latter.

In the fragments of the work of Sempronius Asellio preserved by Aulus Gellius (v, 18) the difference is pointed out between annales and res gestae as species of historical composition; and it is probable that res gestae appeared in the title of his work, at least in the copy from which Gellius made excerpts (cf. Gell. ii, 13, 2; iv, 9, 12; xiii, 22, 8), though he is cited a few times by the grammarians with the title historiae. In Caesar's youth then the distinction was already made that in the composition of res gestae it was not enough to tell what was done, sed etiam quo consilio quaque ratione gesta essent. It is a fair inference from the words of Gellius (ii, 13, 3 Is Asellio sub P. Scipione Africano tribunus militum ad Numantiam fuit resque eas, quibus gerendis ipse interfuit, conscripsit), that the res gestae of Asellio, dealing with events of which he had personal knowledge, contained an autobiographical element. The forerunner of Caesar in this species of composition, however, was not Asellio but Sulla. The title of Sulla's memoirs has been restored by Peter with good reason as commentarii rerum gestarum (Hist. Rom. Rel. p. cclxxviii); and Plutarch at least believed that Sulla intended the work to be a source book rather than a history, as is indicated by the surprising statement in his Lucullus (i): “Ο δε Λούκουλλος ήσκητο και λέγειν ικανώς εκατέρας γλώτταν, ώστε και Σύλλας τας αυτού πράξεις αναγράφων εκείνω προσεφώνησαν ως συνταξoμένο και διαθήσoντι την ιστορίαν άμεινον. .

The designation of Caesar's books relating to the Gallic War as commentarii rerum gestarum was not only appropriate but had the support of literary precedent. From the brevity and directness with which he was wont to express himself, it might be inferred that in the title of the exemplar prepared for the copyists he would have given his own name as Caesaris rather than in full. Outside the circle of personal friends however, such a use of the name might have seemed to smack of presumption; it is safer to conclude that the original title was:


There yet remain the questions of the designation of the individual books; of the loss of the original title and the origin of those found in the manuscripts, as well as of

« PreviousContinue »