[Sidenote: Caesar a candidate for the consulship.]
Having, however, completed this arrangement, he was now prepared to push vigorously his claims to be elected consul. He associated with his own name that of Lucceius, who was a man of great wealth, and who agreed to defray the expenses of the election for the sake of the honor of being consul with Caesar. Caesar’s enemies, however, knowing that they probably could not prevent his election, determined to concentrate their strength in the effort to prevent his having the colleague he desired. They made choice, therefore, of a certain Bibulus as their candidate. Bibulus had always been a political opponent of Caesar’s, and they thought that, by associating him with Caesar in the supreme magistracy, the pride and ambition of their great adversary might be held somewhat in check. They accordingly made a contribution among themselves to enable Bibulus to expend as much money in bribery as Lucceius, and the canvass went on.
[Sidenote: Caesar assumes the whole power.] [Sidenote: He imprisons Cato.]
It resulted in the election of Caesar and Bibulus. They entered upon the duties of their office; but Caesar, almost entirely disregarding his colleague, began to assume the whole power, and proposed and carried measure after measure of the most extraordinary character, all aiming at the gratification of the populace. He was at first opposed violently both by Bibulus and by many leading members of the Senate, especially by Cato, a stern and inflexible patriot, whom neither fear of danger nor hope of reward could move from what he regarded his duty. But Caesar was now getting strong enough to put down the opposition which he encountered with out much scruple as to the means. He ordered Cato on one occasion to be arrested in the Senate and sent to prison. Another influential member of the Senate rose and was going out with him. Caesar asked him where he was going. He said he was going with Cato. He would rather, he said, be with Cato in prison, than in the Senate with Caesar.
[Sidenote: Bibulus retires to his house.] [Sidenote: The year of “Julius and Caesar.”]
Caesar treated Bibulus also with so much neglect, and assumed so entirely the whole control of the consular power, to the utter exclusion of his colleague, that Bibulus at last, completely discouraged and chagrined, abandoned all pretension to official authority, retired to his house, and shut himself up in perfect seclusion, leaving Caesar to his own way. It was customary among the Romans, in their historical and narrative writings, to designate the successive years, not by a numerical date as with us, but by the names of the consuls who held office in them. Thus, in the time of Caesar’s consulship, the phrase would have been, “In the year of Caesar and Bibulus, consuls,” according to the ordinary usage; but the wags of the city, in order to make sport of the assumptions of Caesar and the insignificance of Bibulus, used to say, “In the year of Julius and Caesar, consuls,” rejecting the name of Bibulus altogether, and taking the two names of Caesar to make out the necessary duality.