[Sidenote: Caesar made dictator.]
In the mean time, Caesar’s prosperity and success had greatly strengthened his cause at Rome. Rome was supported in a great measure by the contributions brought home from the provinces by the various military heroes who were sent out to govern them; and, of course, the greater and more successful was the conqueror, the better was he qualified for stations of highest authority in the estimation of the inhabitants of the city. They made Caesar dictator even while he was away, and appointed Mark Antony his master of horse. This was the same Antony whom we have already mentioned as having been connected with Cleopatra after Caesar’s death. Rome, in fact, was filled with the fame of Caesar’s exploits, and, as he crossed the Adriatic and advanced toward the city, he found himself the object of universal admiration and applause.
[Sidenote: Opposition of Cato.] [Sidenote: Pompey’s sons.]
But he could not yet be contented to establish himself quietly at Rome. There was a large force organized against him in Africa under Cato, a stern and indomitable man, who had long been an enemy to Caesar, and who now considered him as a usurper and an enemy of the republic, and was determined to resist him to the last extremity. There was also a large force assembled in Spain under the command of two sons of Pompey, in whose case the ordinary political hostility of contending partisans was rendered doubly intense and bitter by their desire to avenge their father’s cruel fate. Caesar determined first to go to Africa, and then, after disposing of Cato’s resistance, to cross the Mediterranean into Spain.
[Sidenote: Complaints of the soldiers.]
Before he could set out, however, on these expeditions, he was involved in very serious difficulties for a time, on account of a great discontent which prevailed in his army, and which ended at last in open mutiny. The soldiers complained that they had not received the rewards and honors which Caesar had promised them. Some claimed offices, others money others lands, which, as they maintained, they had been led to expect would be conferred upon them at the end of the campaign. The fact undoubtedly was, that, elated with their success, and intoxicated with the spectacle of the boundless influence and power which their general so obviously wielded at Rome, they formed expectations and hopes for themselves altogether too wild and unreasonable to be realized by soldiers; for soldiers, however much they may be flattered by their generals in going into battle, or praised in the mass in official dispatches, are after all but slaves, and slaves, too, of the very humblest caste and character.
[Sidenote: The mutiny.] [Sidenote: The army marches to Rome.]