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Caesar's life. He had brought her there, it will be recollected, on his 

return from Egypt, as a prisoner, and as a trophy of his victory. His 

design was, in fact, to reserve her as a captive to grace his _triumph_. 


A triumph, according to the usages of the ancient Romans, was a grand 

celebration decreed by the Senate to great military commanders of the 

highest rank, when they returned from distant campaigns in which they 

had made great conquests or gained extraordinary victories. Caesar 

concentrated all his triumphs into one. They were celebrated on his 

return to Rome for the last time, after having completed the conquest of 

the world. The processions of this triumph occupied four days. In fact, 

there were four triumphs, one on each day for the four days. The wars 

and conquests which these ovations were intended to celebrate were those 

of Gaul, of Egypt, of Asia, and of Africa; and the processions on the 

several days consisted of endless trains of prisoners, trophies, arms, 

banners, pictures, images, convoys of wagons loaded with plunder, 

captive princes and princesses, animals wild and tame, and every thing 

else which the conqueror had been able to bring home with him from his 

campaigns, to excite the curiosity or the admiration of the people of 

the city and illustrate the magnitude of his exploits. Of course, the 

Roman generals, when engaged in distant foreign wars, were ambitious of 

bringing back as many distinguished captives and as much public plunder 

as they were able to obtain, in order to add to the variety and splendor 

of the triumphal procession by which their victories were to be honored 

on their return. It was with this view that Caesar brought ArsinoŽ from 

Egypt; and he had retained her as his captive at Rome until his 

conquests were completed and the time for his triumph arrived. She, of 

course, formed a part of the triumphal train on the _Egyptian_ day. She 

walked immediately before the chariot in which Caesar rode. She was in 

chains, like any other captive, though her chains in honor of her lofty 

rank, were made of gold. 


The effect, however, upon the Roman population of seeing the unhappy 

princess, overwhelmed as she was with sorrow and chagrin, as she moved 

slowly along in the train, among the other emblems and trophies of 

violence and plunder, proved to be by no means favorable to Caesar. The 

population were inclined to pity her, and to sympathize with her in her 

sufferings. The sight of her distress recalled too, to their minds, the 

dereliction from duty which Caesar had been guilty of in his yielding to 

the enticements of Cleopatra, and remaining so long in Egypt to the 

neglect of his proper duties as a Roman minister of state. In a word, 

the tide of admiration for Caesar's military exploits which had been 

setting so strongly in his favor, seemed inclined to turn, and the city 

was filled with murmurs against him even in the midst of his triumphs. 


In fact, the pride and vainglory which led Caesar to make his triumphs 

more splendid and imposing than any former conqueror had ever enjoyed, 

caused him to overact his part so as to produce effects the reverse of 

his intentions. The case of ArsinoŽ was one example of this. Instead of 

impressing the people with a sense of the greatness of his exploits in 

Egypt, in deposing one queen and bringing her captive to Rome, in order 

that he might place another upon the throne in her stead, it only 

reproduced anew the censures and criminations which he had deserved by 

his actions there, but which, had it not been for the pitiable spectacle 

of ArsinoŽ in the train, might have been forgotten. 


There were other examples of a similar character. There were the feasts, 

for instance. From the plunder which Caesar had obtained in his various 

campaigns, he expended the most enormous sums in making feasts and 

spectacles for the populace at the time of his triumph. A large portion 

of the populace was pleased, it is true, with the boundless indulgences 

thus offered to them; but the better part of the Roman people were 

indignant at the waste and extravagance which were every where 

displayed. For many days the whole city of Rome presented to the view 

nothing but one wide-spread scene of riot and debauchery. The people, 

instead of being pleased with this abundance, said that Caesar must have 

practiced the most extreme and lawless extortion to have obtained the 

vast amount of money necessary to enable him to supply such unbounded 

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