History of Julius Caesar eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 187 pages of information about History of Julius Caesar.

[Sidenote:  Caesar arrives at Brundusium.]

When, at length, Caesar arrived at Brundusium, he found that Pompey had sent a part of his army across the Adriatic into Greece, and was waiting for the transports to return that he might go over himself with the remainder.  In the mean time, he had fortified himself strongly in the city.  Caesar immediately laid siege to the place, and he commenced some works to block up the mouth of the harbor.  He built piers on each side, extending out as far into the sea as the depth of the water would allow them to be built.  He then constructed a series of rafts, which he anchored on the deep water, in a line extending from one pier to the other.  He built towers upon these rafts, and garrisoned them with soldiers, in hopes by this means to prevent all egress from the fort.  He thought that, when this work was completed, Pompey would be entirely shut in, beyond all possibility of escape.

[Sidenote:  He besieges Pompey.] [Sidenote:  Pompey’s plan of escape.]

The transports, however, returned before the work was completed.  Its progress was, of course, slow, as the constructions were the scene of a continued conflict; for Pompey sent out rafts and galleys against them every day, and the workmen had thus to build in the midst of continual interruptions, sometimes from showers of darts, arrows, and javelins, sometimes from the conflagrations of fireships, and sometimes from the terrible concussions of great vessels of war, impelled with prodigious force against them.  The transports returned, therefore, before the defenses were complete, and contrived to get into the harbor.  Pompey immediately formed his plan for embarking the remainder of his army.

[Sidenote:  It is made known to Caesar.] [Sidenote:  Success of Pompey’s plan.]

He filled the streets of the city with barricades and pitfalls, excepting two streets which led to the place of embarkation.  The object of these obstructions was to embarrass Caesar’s progress through the city in case he should force an entrance while his men were getting on board the ships.  He then, in order to divert Caesar’s attention from his design, doubled the guards stationed upon the walls on the evening of his intended embarkation, and ordered them to make vigorous attacks upon all Caesar’s forces outside.  He then, when the darkness came on, marched his troops through the two streets which had been left open, to the landing place, and got them as fast as possible on board the transports.  Some of the people of the town contrived to make known to Caesar’s army what was going on, by means of signals from the walls; the army immediately brought scaling ladders in great numbers, and, mounting the walls with great ardor and impetuosity, they drove all before them, and soon broke open the gates and got possession of the city.  But the barricades and pitfalls, together with the darkness, so embarrassed their movements, that Pompey succeeded in completing his embarkation and sailing away.

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History of Julius Caesar from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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