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Year of have been killed by him; if he had not made his Rome :
escape, by swimming over the Menzo. The Poet, 713.
upon this disappointment, returned to Rome, where: he seems to have composed his Moeris, wherein he artfully introduces several copies of verses, as fragments of his poems. In these fragments
, he shews himself capable of excelling the finest compositions of Theocritus : a method very likely to obtain the favour of Caesar, who had a good taste for poetry himself; and was surrounded by persons as eminent for their learning as their valour. One
One of the fragments, in this Eclogue, is a direct address to Varus, wherein he promises to exalt his name to the skies, if he will but preserve Mantua, which suffered by it's neighbourhood to unhappy Cremona (8). Another fragment is in honour of the star, which
appeared after the death of Julius Caesar, and was looked upon as a sign, that his soul was received into heaven. Here he plainly names him, which he was afraid to do before the decisive battle at Philippi: and he could not easily have written any thing, that was more likely to please young Caesar.
(3) This part of Virgil's hi- oừv iEperwatová Te TW dedoftory receives a confiderable μένων σφίσι περισπώμενοι, και light from a passage in the fifth
το άμεινον εκλεγόμενοι, ουδέ έπιBook of Appian de Bell. Civilibus. The Historian inforing año coulos, avtors uzi dupovpuíus, that the foldiers frequently νου πολλά άλλα του Καίσαρος, transgressed the bounds assigned étatoto. It therefore seems them, and invaded the neigh- probable, by what Virgil has bouring lands, and that it was
faid himself, in his Moeris, not in the
Mantua vae miferae, &c. that restrain them: od Kaīdag the lands about Cremona were rais wóreciv igenopsito the given to the soldiers, who tranfváyuni, xai idénoue oude üs áp- gressed their bounds
, and seized
upon those about Mantua, réceiv, ounprou, án ó olpa- which had not been given τος και τους γείτοσιν επέβαινε them. .
Bat whether Virgil did immediately obtain a quiet Year of possession of his eftate or not, may be questioned; Rome because Fulvia and Lucius began about this time to
713 grow strong in that part of the country. Perhaps he staid at Rome, till things were better settled; and from this time was under the protection of Caefar and his friends. He would hardly care to run the hazard of his life again : for we find, that at this time there were skirmishes between the fol
Ву management of Fulvia and Lucius Anthony, Caefar incurred the hatred both of soldiers and people : the soldiers were dissatisfied with the portion that was given them; and the people were enraged at their lands being taken from them. To add to these misfortunes of Caesar, his legions, which were in Spain, were hindered from paffing the Alps, by Calenus and Ventidius, who governed the Transalpine Gaul, as Anthony's lieutenants. Caesar therefore proposed terms of accommodation : but his offers were rejected with contempt by Fulvia, who girded on a sword, and prepared for war. Caesar then procured some of the veteran soldiers to interpose; who, according to his expectation, being refused by Fulvia and Lucius, were highly offended. He then sent some senators to them, who argued upon the agreement made between Caesar and Anthony; but with no better success. He applied to the veterans again, who flocked to Rome in great numbers, and going into the Capitol, refolved to take the cognizance of the affair into their own hands. They ordered the agreement to be read before them; and then appointed a day for all
(5) Εν πάσαις γαρ δη ταϊς τύχοιεν αλλήλους εμάχοντο. πόλεσιν ομοίως, όπη σοτέ συν Dio, lib. 48. d 3
Year of the parties to meet at Gabir; that they might deRome termine the dispute; Caesar came at the time ap713
pointed : but Fulvia, and Lucius neglected to appear; wherefore the veterans decided in favour of
Caefar, and resolved to affift him. 714 Thus a new civil war brake out in Italy; which
was put an end to by the ruin of Fulvia and Lucius, in the next year, when Cneius Domitius and Caius Afinius Pollio, the great patron of Virgil
, were created Confuls. The war was carried on after the following manner :
Caefar left Lepidus, with two legions, to defend Rome; whilft he himfelf marched against the etemy, who was strengthened by great numbers of those who hated the Triumvirate, and by the old poffeffors of the lands, who abhorred the intruding Toldiers (i). . Lucius had two legions at Alba, that matinied against their tribunes, and seemed ready to revolt. Both Caefar and Lucius haftened toward them: but Lucius reached them first; and by many gifts and promises regained them, Furnius was marching with a good body, to the aid of Lucios ; when Caefar fell upon his rear, and obliged him to retreat to Sentia; whither he did not care to folJow him that night, for fear of an ambush. But the next morning Caefar besieged him and his army in the towv. In the mean time. Lucius marched directly to Rome, fending three parties before him, which entered the city with wonderful celerity : and he himself followed, with the main body of his army, his cavalry, and gladiators; and being received by Nonius, who guarded the gate, he added his foidiers to his own forces : whilft Lepidus made his efcape to Caefar. Lucius called an affembly of (i) Appian. de Bell. civil, lib, 5,
the people ; and gave them hopes, that Caesar and Year of
Rome Lepidus would foon be punished for the violences
1714.. which they had committed when they were magikrates ; and that his brother would gladly lay down his unlawful
power, and accept of the legitimate office of Conful, instead of the lawless rule of a tyrant. This discourse gave a general fatisfaction; and being faluted Imperator, he marched against Caesar. In the mean time Barbatius, who was Quaeftor to Mark Anthony, being dismissed by him for fome offence, told the soldiers, that Mark An, thony was angry with those, who warred against Caesar, and their common power : fo that many being deceived by him, went over to Caesar. Lucius marched to '
meet Salvidienus, who was returning with a considerable force to Caesar: Pollio and Ventidius followed him at the same time, to interrupt his march. But Agrippa, who was a great friend to Caesar, being afraid that Salvidienus might be furrounded, seized upon Insubres, a country very commodious for Lucius; whereby he accomplithed his design of making him withdraw from Salvidienus, Lucius turned his arms against Agrippa ; and was now followed in the rear by Salvidienus : and . being thus disappointed, he endeavoured to join with Pollio and Ventidius. But now both Salvidienus and Agrippa attended upon
him in such a manner, that he was glad to secure himself in Perufia, a eity well fortiñed, buť not very well furnished with provisions. Here the two Generals besieged him; and soon after Caesar came up; so that the place was blocked up by no less than three armies, which were also continually receiving reinforcements ; whilst others were sent to hinder Pollio and Ventidius from coming to his relief. Fulvia bestirred
Year of herself violently, and commanded all the Generals; Rome
to raise the fiege. She also raised a new army, 71.4. which she sent to Lucius, under the command of
Plancus, who routed one of Caefar's légions by the. way.
But neither Ventidius nor Polio were in much haftę to march; because they were not sure. of the real inclination of Mark Anthony: and when Caesar and Agrippa went about to hinder their conjunction: they both retreated ; one to Ravenna, and the other to Ariminum. Caefar returned to the siege, and compleated his works; and kept so strict a guard, that no provisions could by any means be brought into the town. Lucius made several vigorous fallies; but withovt fuccess, being always beaten back with loss. At length; being reduced to great extremities by famine, he yielded himself and his army to the mercy of Caesar, who pardoned them, and took the soldiers into his own pay. He intended to give the plunder of the town to bis ariny; but he was prevented by one Cestius, who set his own house on fire, and threw himself into the flames, which spread on all sides, and soon te duced that ancient city to alhes ; leaving only the temple of Vulcan standing. The other Generals, who were friends of Anthony, either retired before Caefar, or came over to him; fo that he became poffefied of all Gaul.
This seems to be the time, when Caefar restored Virgil to his lands: for it does not seem to have been in his power before. We may well believe, that now Virgil took the opportunity of fulfilling the promise, which he had made to Varus, in his Moeris, of exalting his name to the skies, if he would preserve Mantua. This he performed, by composing one of his finest Eclogues called Silenus :