By Luciano Canfora
Copub: Edinburgh collage Press
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Extra resources for Julius Cæsar: The Life and Times of the People’s Dictator
23 This razor-sharp and accurate formulation combines two central points in the one verse: a catastrophic level of debt at the stage when Caesar became a magistrate, and the large-scale economic ‘revenge’ during the subsequent period of his provincial administration. For Caesar this period was one of a great war of conquest, the most challenging and bloody that Rome had ever fought, followed by a devastating civil war. This war began for Caesar with an act of violence of indisputable significance: the plunder of the state treasury.
Org/terms 24 Julius Caesar: The People’s Dictator but as every multitude is fickle, full of lawless desires, unreasoned passion, and violent anger, the multitude must be held in by invisible terrors and suchlike pageantry. Polybius writes in Greek, but all of his work is aimed at an essentially Roman audience. With words like this he praises and at the same time instructs the Roman ruling class, using a language which only the ruling class and educated slaves (those brought up indoors but deprived of political rights) could understand.
5 If this is not the purest invention, it implies a certain friction, even rivalry, between Caesar, still an apprentice in politics, and Crassus, a wealthy and authoritative claimant to the consulate, despite a great disparity in power and resources. ‘But later they became friends’, Plutarch goes on. 6 It is therefore probable that it was precisely the election campaign of 71 bc, when Crassus sought the consulate (and secured it by means of an agreement with Pompey) and Caesar was the soldiers’ tribune, that provided the occasion for an alliance of convenience between the two.