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Year of again, and forbad the army to come within feven Rome hundred and fifty stadia of the city... But Caesar 711.
proceeded; and as soon as he came near the city, the courage of those, who had spoken most highly against him, began to fail : and some of the Senators first, and afterwards many of the people went over to him. Nay the very Praetors surrendered themselves, and their soldiers to him ; fo that Caefar got poffefsion of Rome, without striking a single blow. Caesar was now chosen Consul by the people, and Quintus Pedius was assigned him for his collegue. He gave rewards to all his soldiers ; and was adopted into the family of Julius Caefar, according to the forms of law, taking upon him the name of Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus : for, according to the Roman custom, the person adopted assumed the entire name of him who adopted him, and added one of the names which he had before, with forne little alteration. Caefar, having now bound the soldiers to him, and depressed the Senate, openly declared his intention of avenging his father's murder. But in the first place, he distributed, the great legacies, which he had bequeathed to the people: which softened their minds, and prevented any tumults, which might otherwise have arisen. This he took care to have done according to due form: and a law was made, whereby not only the murderers of Julius Caesar, but several others alfo, were condemned to banishment, and confifcation of their goods. Anthony, after his defeat, was purfued neither by Decimus Brutus, nor by Caesar. The latter did not follow him, because the Senate had ordered Decimus to continue the war and the former had no inclination to ruin an enemy of Caesar.' This gave him an opportunity to gather his
scattered forces, and to join with Lepidus, who in- Year of tended to have marched into Italy; but was ordered Rome
7II. by the Senate to stay where he was. Decimus, understanding that he was declared a publick enemy at Rome, attempted to get into Macedonia, to Marcus Brutus: but falling into the hands of his enemies, he chose to kill himself. This common enemy being thus removed, Anthony and Lepidus determined to march into Italy, leaving Gaul to be governed by their lieutenants : Caefar met them at Bononia ; where they all conferred together, and formed the scheme of the famous Triumvirate ;, that these three men should take the administration of affairs into their hands; and destroy all their enemies. They agreed, that Caefar should have the government of all Africa, Sardinia, and Sicily; that Lepidus should have all Spain, and Gallia Narbonenfis; and that Anthony should have all the rest of Gaul, on both sides the Alps : whence we may obferve, that Virgil's country fell under the government of Anthony. After this, Caefar marched to Rome, and was followed by Anthony and Lepidus, each with their respective armies ; when that horrid Profcription was begun, by which the lives of many Romans of the best families and character were cruelly taken away.
At the beginning of these troubles, the famous Caius Asinius Pollio (s) was at the head of two legions in Spain ; whilst Lepidus had the command of three others, in the same country, and Plancus had three more in the farther Gaul (t) These three were all thought to favour the cause of Anthony : but all the several factions were in hopes of gaining (s) See the note on yer. 84.
(t) Appian, de Bell. Civ. of the third Eclogue,
Year of them. · As soon as the fiege of Mutina was raised, Rome and the Senate began to Night Caesar, having no 711,
farther occasion to depend upon him ; they sent or-
Thus we may reasonably conclude, that it was, when Mantua was under the government of this favourer of the Muses, that Virgil wrote the Palaemòn, in which Pollio, and he alone of all the great
men then in being is celebrated, as a patron of the Year of author, and a poet himself (w).
Rome The Palaemon is a difpute between two shep
711. herds, who challenge each other to sing alternately: and is an imitation of the fourth and fifth Idyllia of Theocritus. But it is written with infinitely more delicacy than the originals : and though there is the only coarse raillery between the two shepherds, that is to be met with in any of the works of Virgil; yet their conversation may be thought polite, in comparison with those of Theocritus. He has also introduced the description of two cups, like that famous one in the oúpous: but the Greek poet's defcription is long, even to tediousness; whereas those of Virgil are far more concise, and elegant.
The next year, when Plancus and Lepidus were 712. created Consuls, is remarkable for the birth of the famous poet, Publius Ovidius Naso, when Virgil was in his twenty-ninth year (x).
On the very first day of this year, the Triumvirs being resolved to begin with performing great honours to the memory of Julius Caesar, bound themselves by an oath to hold all his actions facred; ordered a temple to be built in the very place where his body had been burned; and commanded, that a statue of him should be carried about together with one of Venus at the races (y). They decreed also, that his birth-day should be celebrated with crowns of bay, and universal joy: and that those (w) Pollio amat noftram, quamvis est rustica, Mufam :
Pierides vitulam lectori pafçite veftro.
Eclog. III. 84.
(y) Dio, lib. 47
of the murderxlvi The L'IFE of VIRGIL. Year of who omitted this celebration should be obnoxious to Rome the curses of Jupiter and Julius Caesar : and if they 712.
were Senators, or the sons of Senators, a large fine