Text #1936

Plutarch. Lives. Vol. 7
[Plut. Caes. 47. Translated by Bernadotte Perrin. Harvard University Press. 1967. (11 Vols.) p. 555]


There were many portents of the victory, but the most remarkable one on record is that which was seen at Tralles. 2 In that city’s temple of Victory there stood a statue of Caesar, and the ground around it was naturally firm, and was paved with hard stone; yet from this it is said that a palm-tree shot up at the base of the statue. 3 Moreover, at Patavium, Caius Cornelius, a man in repute as a seer, a fellow citizen and acquaintance of Livy the historian, chanced that day to be sitting in the place of augury. 4 And to begin with, according to Livy, he discerned the time of the battle, and said to those present that even then the event was in progress and the men were going into action. 5 And when he looked again and observed the signs, he sprang up in a rapture crying: “Thou art victorious, O Caesar!” 6 The bystanders being amazed, he took the chaplet from his head and declared with an oath that he would not put it on again until the event had borne witness to his art. At any rate, Livy insists that this was so.

Text #1937

Dio Cassius. Roman History. Series: Dio's Roman History. Vol. 4
[DioCass. 41. Translated by Earnest Cary. William Heinemann. 1916. (9 Vols.) p. 105]


At last, after they had carried on an evenly-balanced struggle for a very long time and many on both sides alike had fallen or been wounded, Pompey, since the larger part of his army was Asiatic and untrained, was defeated, even as had been made clear to him before the action. For thunderbolts had fallen upon his camp, a fire had appeared in the air over Caesar’s camp and had then fallen upon his own, bees had swarmed about his military standards, and many of the victims after being led up close to the very altar had run away. And so far did the effects of that contest extend to the rest of mankind that on the very day of the battle collisions of armies and the clash of arms occurred in many places. In Pergamum a noise of drums and cymbals rose from the temple of Dionysus and spread throughout the city; in Tralles a palm tree grew up in the temple of Victory and the goddess herself turned about toward an image of Caesar that stood beside her; in Syria two young men announced the result of the battle and vanished; and in Patavium, which now belongs to Italy but was then still a part of Gaul, some birds not only brought news of it but even acted it out to some extent, for one Gaius Cornelius drew from their actions accurate information of all that had taken place, and narrated it to the bystanders. These several things happened on that very same day and though they were, not unnaturally, distrusted at the time, yet when news of the actual facts was brought, they were marvelled at.

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