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872 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

during the absence of Pompey in the East. The stormy consulship of Cicero

occupied the year B. C. 63, and in the following year Pompeius reached

Italy. He and Crassus were rivals, and were mutually suspicious of each

other's movements. The former desired the privilege of entering the city

without forfeiting his rights to a triumph, but he was obliged by Cato to

conform to the law and custom. He therefore tarried beyond the walls till

January 1st, B. C. 61, and entered with a grander triumph than had ever

been previously witnessed in Rome. The representatives of fifteen nations,

including more than three hundred princes, walked before his car. The

conqueror required the Senate to ratify the acts of his administration and

to reward his soldiers with a distribution of lands. But the party of the

Optimates, jealous of his ascendancy, refused to comply with his wishes,

and he was obliged to go over to the party of the people.

At this juncture Caesar appeared on the scene as a peacemaker. His own

successes in Spain had given him a military reputation second only to that

of Pompeius. His civil abilities were equal to any emergency of the state,

and his ambition all absorbing. In the power to penetrate a situation and

to adapt means to an end he far surpassed all the other great men of his

day. In his relations with Pompeius and Crassus it soon became sufficiently

apparent that while they had talents of the highest order he had genius.

Caius Julius Caesar was born July 12th, B. C. 102. He was of the patrician

order but his sympathies, even from boyhood, were with the party of the

people. Before reaching his majority he was known as a partisan of Marius.

When the Sullan persecutions were on Caesar was ordered to divorce his wife

because she was the daughter of Cinna; but he refused to comply, and his

name was added to the proscription list. He thereupon sought refuge among

the Sabine hills until the storm was past and his pardon secured. (1) His

first military reputation was achieved in Asia Minor, where he won the

civic crown. On his return to Rome, after the death of Sulla, he became

more than ever identified with the popular party. He conducted the

impeachment of Dolabella and Antonius, and though unsuccessful he won the

notice and applause of the public. He soon afterwards went to Rhodes to

study rhetoric; for that island was then the greatest seat of learning in

the world.

At the age of thirty-three Caesar was elected quaestor. At the expiration

of his term he was made aedile, and as such had charge of the public

amusements and decorations of the city. He distinguished his administration

by a reckless profusion of display never before witnessed in the city. And

to this he added a certain political audacity well calculated to draw to

himself the attention of both friends and foes. He even ventured upon the

hazardous measure of restoring to their places the

___________________________ 1 It is related that when a petition for

Caesar's pardon was made by the moderate nobility and the vestal virgins,

Sulla replied: "Well, I grant your request, but this boy has many Marii in

him."