Authors: Allan Massie
Tags: #Historical Novel
Julius Caesar's career, recounted by a Roman general awaiting death for treason. The narrator, one of the conspirators who killed Caesar, attempts to justify the murder on grounds that Caesar was a megalomaniac, with ambitions of being a god. By the author of Augustus.
Hodder & Stoughton
LONDON SYDNEY AUCKLAND
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Massie, Allan Caesar I. Title 823.914
Copyright © Allan Massie 1993
First published in Great Britain 1993
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without either prior permission in writing from the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying. In the United Kingdom such licences are issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London
right of Allan Massie to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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First, for Alison, as ever, then, for Giles Gordon.
Birth of Caesar.
Dictatorship of Sulla.
80 Military service in Asia. Alleged affair with King
Nicomedes IV of Bithynia.
67—66 Forms alliance with Pompey and Crassus.
Pontifex Maximus. Consulship of Cicero. Conspiracy
60 First Triumvirate of Pompey, Crassus and Caesar.
Caesar's first consulship. Marriage to Calpurnia,
daughter of L. Calpurnius Piso.
58 Proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul, Illyricum and, finally,
Transalpine Gaul. Campaigns against the Helvetii and
57 Campaign against the Belgae (Nervii).
Further campaigns in Brittany and Normandy. Renewal
of First Triumvirate. Campaign against Veneti.
Proconsulship renewed for five years. Crossing of
Rhine. First invasion of Britain.
Second invasion of Britain.
Second crossing of Rhine. Crassus defeated and killed by Parthians at Carrhae.
Revolt of Vercingetorix defeated at Alesia. Disturbances in Rome. Clodius murdered and Pompey elected sole consul.
Siege of Uxellodunum.
End of Gallic War, and public
cation of Caesar's
His Optimate opponents attempt to get him recalled to Rome.
Continued efforts by Caesar's enemies to bring him to
Caesar ordered to dismi
ss his army. Pompey granted the
authority of a dictator. Civil war begins in January with
crossing of Rubicon. Pompeian forces surrender in
Spain. Caesar elected dictator.
48 Second consulship. Pompey defeats Caesar at
Dyrrhachium but is defeated at Pharsalus and murderedin Egypt. Caesar occupies Alexandria.
47 Alexandrian War ends. Caesar defeats Pharnaces at
Zela in Asia Minor.
46 Third consulship. Appointed dictator for ten years.
Defeats Pompeians in Africa. Publication of Cicero's
45 Pompeian army defeated at Battle of Munda. End of
civil war. Fourth consulship.
44 Becomes Perpetual Dictator and is elected to fifth consulship. Attempts to crown Caesar as King in February.
Preparations for Parthian campaign. Caesar murdered
LIST OF PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS
(gaius) julius caesar
Roman general, statesman and historian; Perpetual Dictator after his defeat of Pompey
His family and their relation to him:
fourth wife, daughter of Lucius Cal
purnius Piso, ally of Pompey
gaius octavius thurinus
daughter, fourth wife of Pompey sister, mother of Octavius
nephew and adoptive son, the future Augustus
decimus junius brutus albinus
gaius longinus cassius
marcus junius brutus
Roman general and admiral; Caesar's closest friend and adviser, but also one of his assassins
Decimus Brutus' wife, daughter of
Roman general and praetor; a Pompeian who joined Caesar after the Battle of Pharsalus, but led the plot to assassinate him; brother-in-law of
cousin of Decimus Brutus and nephew of Caesar's enemy, Marcus Porcius Cato, whose daughter he marries; a supporter of Pompey who changed sides after Pharsalus, he was made Governor of Cisalp
ine Gaul and reluctantly drawn into the
Marcus Brutus' mother, half-sister of Cato, most favoured of Caesar's mistresses
Marcus Brutus' second wife, daughter of Marcus Cato and an accomplice in the assassination conspiracy
Porcia's brother and one of Caesar's assassins
publius servilius casca
cousin of Decimus Brutus, a tribune and loyal Caesarean although among Caesar's assassins
married to Pompey's daughter and one of Caesar's assassins
civil war hero, the banishment of whose brother,
Lucius Tillius Cimber, plays a significant part in
the assassination of Caesar
politician and tribune, who distinguishes himself in the Battle of Alesia; one of Caesar's assassins
marcus antonius (mark antony)
Roman general and consul, member of the Second Triumvirate
marcus tullius cicero
consul, orator and writer
gnaeus calpurnius piso
son of L. Calpurnius Piso (brother-in-law of Caesar), a consul and later Governor of Syria
sextus pompeianus (pompey)
Roman general and statesman, known as 'the Great One'; fellow Triumvir and later enemy during the civil war; murdered in Egypt
gnaeus and sextus
Pompey's sons, and successors as leaders of his party
Roman general, millionaire, fellow Triumvir and later rival, defeated and killed in Parthia
titus atius labienus
formerly Caesar's most trusted Roman general, later his enemy during the civil war, killed in the Battle of Munda
marcus porcius cato
Roman statesman, general and Stoic
philosopher; half-brother of Servilia, whom he idolised, and arch-enemy of Caesar
daughter of King Ptolemy XII, who became Queen of Egypt on the death of her young husband-brother, Ptolemy XIII
Greek scholar and adviser to King Ptolemy XIV, formerly his tutor
publius clodius pulcher
aristocratic gang-leader and tribune, friend of Decimus Brutus, murdered by Pompey
clodia caelius rufus
Clodius' notorious sister and lover rejected lover of Clodia, against whom she brings a lawsuit, in the defence of which Cicero destroys her reputation
gaius valerius catullus
Roman lyric poet, also a friend of Decimus Brutus, whose heart is broken by Clodia
ssfully defended by Cicero when
ecuted for bearing arms against
Caesar, and one of his assassins
r's principal deputy, Master of the Horse, and member of Second
irate; married to a daughter of
Caesar's mistress, Servilia
gaius cilnius maecenas
Roman statesman and patron of
e and Virgil; Octavius' closest
friend and, later, adviser
nd confidant of Octavius, later
his greatest general
tribune and consul, married
Cicero's daughter, Tullia
c. scribonius curio
e and Caesar's agent, friend of
mus Brutus, killed by King Juba
in N. Africa
Gallic chieftain and hero, captured by
Caesar after the Battle of Alesia and later murdered
guard and companion of Decimus Brutus; the son of his captor, a cousin of Vercingetorix
egate and Pompey's henchman who
became Governor of Syria
appius claudius pulcher
the son of Caesar's enemy
lover of Decimus Brutus' wife,
ser sulpicius galba lucius
conspirators in the plot to assassinate Caesar because of the grudges they bore against him
Greek catamites and lovers of Casca.
he river was no wider than a horse could leap. Beyond, on the farther bank, shepherds, angular figures wearing sheepskin cloaks, were gathering their flocks. Evening mist hid the sheep themselves from view; only the upper parts of the shepherds could be seen as the vapour rose from the marshy ground. It was cold. Rain began to fall. I turned away, and, my right knee throbbing - a legacy of our last campaign - hobbled the mile back to camp.
Casca was in his tent, drinking wine heated with nutmeg and cinnamon. He had removed his armour and stood by the table, slack-bellied in his tunic.
"Nothing to see. Nothing to report." "Of course there isn't. Everything is arranged," he said. "I wish I could be as confident. He's made mistakes before now, bad ones. Labienus used to say that 'impetuosity' was the General's greatest defect."
"Yes, and if he'd not been there to restrain him, we'd have been in the soup. Spare me the tune, old fruit. Well, old Lab isn't here now, and good riddance to him."
Labienus, the most experienced of the General's lieutenants, his companion since the first days of the Gallic War, disliked Casca, despised him even, deploring his predilection for boys and wine. Fair enough, if your chosen refrain was 'ancient Roman virtue'. But Casca was my cousin and my closest friend. I knew his weaknesses better than Labienus could, his strengths also. For all his self-indulgence and affectations, he had nerve. His soldiers adored him, finding amusement in the constant presence of Diosippus and Nicander, Greek catamites, scented curly headed effeminates, whom Casca professed to adore. This was nonsense. Casca cared for nobody but himself, with the possible exception of his fat old mother. We were friends, but he would have slit my throat if policy or his own interest required him to do so.