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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Caesar by Plutarch


his keepers, but his guards. He wrote verses and speeches, and
made them his auditors, and those who did not admire them, he
called to their faces illiterate and barbarous, and would often, in
raillery, threaten to hang them.

They were greatly taken with this, and attributed his free talking to
a kind of simplicity and boyish playfulness. As soon as his ransom
was come from Miletus, he paid it, and was discharged, and
proceeded at once to man some ships at the port of Miletus, and
went in pursuit of the pirates, whom he surprised with their ships
still stationed at the island, and took most of them. Their money he
made his prize, and the men he secured in prison at Pergamus, and
he made application to Junius, who was then governor of Asia, to
whose office it belonged, as praetor, to determine their
punishment. Junius, having his eye upon the money, for the sum
was considerable, said he would think at his leisure what to do
with the prisoners, upon which Caesar took his leave of him, and
went off to Pergamus, where he ordered the pirates to be brought
forth and crucified; the punishment he had often threatened them
with whilst he was in their hands, and they little dreamt he was in
earnest.

In the meantime Syllaís power being now on the decline, Caesarís
friends advised him to return to Rome, but he went to Rhodes, and
entered himself in the school of Apollonius, Molonís son, a famous
rhetorician, one who had the reputation of a worthy man, and had
Cicero for one of his scholars. Caesar is said to have been
admirably fitted by nature to make a great statesman and orator,
and to have taken such pains to improve his genius this way that
without dispute he might challenge the second place. More he did
not aim at, as choosing to be first rather amongst men of arms and
power, and, therefore, never rose to that height of eloquence to
which nature would have carried him, his attention being diverted
to those expeditions and designs which at length gained him the
empire. And he himself, in his answer to Ciceroís panegyric on
Cato, desires his reader not to compare the plain discourse of a
soldier with the harangues of an orator who had not only fine
parts, but had employed his life in this study.

When he was returned to Rome, he accused Dolabella of mal-
administration, and many cities of Greece came in to attest it.
Dolabella was acquitted, and Caesar, in return for the support he
had received from the Greeks, assisted them in their prosecution of
Publius Antonius for corrupt practices, before Marcus Lucullus,
praetor of Macedonia. In this course he so far succeeded, that
Antonius was forced to appeal to the tribunes at Rome, alleging
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Caesar by Plutarch



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