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Caesar CXXXVII

Caesar "illegal" march - T.D. Barnes view

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Cicero was the first (or one of the firsts) to claim Caesar's March on Rome as "Illegal" . Since , it became the prime accusation against Caesar .

 

I say , it is all in our point of view .

This is , in short T.D. Barnes and D.R. Shackleton Bailey (two Giants) view - "Shackleton-Bailey showed in 1960 that the great mass of the nobility did not stand with Pompey against Caesar

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Regardless of perspective, marching an army from your province against Rome was illegal. It doesn't matter that the people may have supported him, or even if people felt that it was the preferred method of action. It was still quite against the law.

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Regardless of perspective, marching an army from your province against Rome was illegal. It doesn't matter that the people may have supported him, or even if people felt that it was the preferred method of action. It was still quite against the law.

 

 

Yes . But the two above are not talking about the people but about the nobility . In Cicero and the republicans view nobility = legality . Now if most of the nobility stood by Caesar (such is the claim) , what was legal and what was not ? Did Ceaser assasination was Legal ? It was without a "legal" trial...

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Regardless of perspective, marching an army from your province against Rome was illegal. It doesn't matter that the people may have supported him, or even if people felt that it was the preferred method of action. It was still quite against the law.

 

 

Yes . But the two above are not talking about the people but about the nobility . In Cicero and the republicans view nobility = legality . Now if most of the nobility stood by Caesar (such is the claim) , what was legal and what was not ? Did Ceaser assasination was Legal ? It was without a "legal" trial...

 

Nobility didn't equal legality. Law equaled legality. If the bulk of the nobility supported Caesar than they should have found a way to change the law. His supporters certainly tried legal methods, but they failed and Caesar broke the law as a result. I'm not arguing right or wrong on this account, but simply the law at that moment in time.

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And there is no evidence that "the people" supported Caesar in the civil war (or "civil dispute", as Caesar would have it), nor even that Caesar wanted the support of the people. In Caesar's own words, "What more befits a decent man, a decent, peaceful citizen, than that he should remain aloof from civil disputes?"

 

If anything, the ones who sought the participation of the people in the civil war were the ones who constituted the legitimate government of Rome. They believed that the republic itself was in peril, and Cicero recalled Solon's wise law that punished those who failed to take sides in a civil war.

 

Thus, the contest was not Caesar at the head of the people (that's patent rubbish), but Caesar and his Gallic adventurers against the legitimate government of Rome and Roman patriots everywhere.

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1. Legality , legitimacy , Republic etc' , O.K. let say that the Senate was all that , now what happened in 12.01.50 ? - "...Curio...he demanded one of two things: either that Pompey also should be required to give up his soldiery...To this Marcellus the consul replied by calling Caesar a robber, and urging that he be voted a public enemy unless he should lay down his arms; nevertheless, Curio...prevailed so far as to have the opinion of the senate taken. He therefore moved that those should withdraw to one side who wished that Caesar only should lay down his arms and that Pompey should remain in command; and the majority withdrew. But when he moved again that all those should withdraw who wished both to lay down their arms and neither to remain in command, only twenty-two favoured Pompey, while all the rest sided with Curio. Curio, therefore, felt that he had won the day, and with a joyful countenance rushed before the people, who clapped their hands in welcome and pelted him with garlands and flowers...Marcellus, however, rose and declared that he would not sit there listening to speeches..."

 

There you have a legal procedure and a popular support .

 

What the Legal government did ??? - "Marcellus...marched through the forum to meet Pompey, and standing before him said: "I bid thee, Pompey, to defend thy country, to employ the forces now in readiness, and to levy others." Lentulus also said the same, being one of the consuls elected for the coming year..."

 

There you have Ilegal step by the "legal government" .

 

2. To take it ab absurdum - The American revolution was also Ilegal !

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2. To take it ab absurdum - The American revolution was also Ilegal !

 

Yes it was according to British law.

 

Again, moral right or wrong is irrelevant, you questioned the legality of Caesar's march. It was against Roman law.

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2. To take it ab absurdum - The American revolution was also Ilegal !

 

Yes it was according to British law.

 

 

 

Thank you .

 

For what? Are you attempting to debate right and wrong or legality? Calling the American Revolution illegal, just as Caesar's march was illegal, does not mean that both are on equal terms. In my opinion, and especially considering the ideology of several founding members of the American revolution, the conditions, results, etc. are quite the opposite and not entirely related.

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the conditions, results, etc. are quite the opposite and not entirely related.

 

Not for the British , they saw them as outlaws exactly as the "Roman nobility"/cato's faction saw Caesar .

That is the whole point .

I am returning to my first post (above) - It is all in ones point of view . Surely Washington (sp) did not saw himself as an outlaw . Now if Law had nothing to do with moral (as you said ?) so what is the point to call Caesar an outlaw ? If Law and moral are the same , surely the "legal government" of Rome had had no moral ! and to call Ceasar an outlaw on that basis does not mean anything .

Edited by Caesar CXXXVII

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the conditions, results, etc. are quite the opposite and not entirely related.

 

Not for the British , they saw them as outlaws exactly as the "Roman nobility"/cato's faction saw Caesar .

That is the whole point .

I am returning to my first post (above) - It is all in ones point of view . Surely Washington (sp) did not saw himself as an outlaw . Now if Law had nothing to do with moral (as you said ?) so what is the point to call Caesar an outlaw ? If Law and moral are the same , surely the "legal government" of Rome had had no moral ! and to call Ceasar an outlaw on that basis does not mean anything .

 

 

The leaders of the American Revolution were quite aware that they might end up at the end of a rope. They considered themselves patriots but also understood they would face the harshest of British law in the case of defeat.

 

Caesar had plenty of valid personal reasons for his march (I completely understand his desire to protect his personal well being, dignitas and authority), but I obviously disagree vehemently that there was anything legal about it.

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"Marcellus...marched through the forum to meet Pompey, and standing before him said: "I bid thee, Pompey, to defend thy country, to employ the forces now in readiness, and to levy others." Lentulus also said the same, being one of the consuls elected for the coming year..."

 

There you have Ilegal step by the "legal government" .

 

And how exactly was this illegal? An enemy of Rome was assembling on her doorsteps, and the consuls had the right and obligation to levy troops to repulse the threat. Had the opponent been Brennus, it would have been obvious that the consuls did as required.

 

Moreover, Curio's contradictory proposals could not be legally enforced and were thus self-negating: How could the Senate require Caesar to demobilize the 13th Legion if he was unwilling? Only by superior force of arms, which could be attained only by Pompey taking the field. Thus, Curio's proposal had exactly the same legal force as a Senate resolution that the Romans be allowed to have their peace and eat it too.

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Now if Law had nothing to do with moral (as you said ?) so what is the point to call Caesar an outlaw ? If Law and moral are the same , surely the "legal government" of Rome had had no moral ! and to call Ceasar an outlaw on that basis does not mean anything .

 

I'm not entirely sure what point you're attempting to get across. If laws have nothing to do with morality, then why bother making laws at all? More pertinently - if no one in your society has qualms about commiting murder, then surely there is no need to outlaw it.

 

But as laws are generally based on the moral consensus of the general populace, anything outlawed ought to be harmful to the commonwealth of the people. For Caesar's assault to be morally justified, he would have had to liberate the people from conditions that were harmful to the commonwealth as a whole.

 

But as it is, all Caesar "liberated" the people from was their liberty.

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Now if Law had nothing to do with moral (as you said ?) so what is the point to call Caesar an outlaw ? If Law and moral are the same , surely the "legal government" of Rome had had no moral ! and to call Ceasar an outlaw on that basis does not mean anything .

 

I'm not entirely sure what point you're attempting to get across. If laws have nothing to do with morality, then why bother making laws at all? More pertinently - if no one in your society has qualms about commiting murder, then surely there is no need to outlaw it.

 

But as laws are generally based on the moral consensus of the general populace, anything outlawed ought to be harmful to the commonwealth of the people. For Caesar's assault to be morally justified, he would have had to liberate the people from conditions that were harmful to the commonwealth as a whole.

 

But as it is, all Caesar "liberated" the people from was their liberty.

 

 

Are you talking about the Roman Republic of 49 BCE ? I am realy amazed to see that you think that the Roman people had "Liberty" . As I have said to you before - less than 1 % of Roman citizens had the majority in the Comitia Centuriata !!! , a Consul/Praetor could kill his soldiers without a trial ! Rome was based on slavery , 99 % of the Fasti were composed from less than c. 30 families ! The provincials had no say in government , Sulla , the pride of the nobility and in the name of Liberty and restoration acted as a terrorist against Roman citizens , Marcellus ignored the Senate decision of 12/50 in the name of whose Liberty ? What Liberty are you talking about ? Rome was not a Democracy , it was ruled by an Oligarchy since its foundation .

 

For Caesar's assault to be morally justified, he would have had to liberate the people from conditions that were harmful to the commonwealth as a whole. - Yes ! And because of that he won the war . Who were his soldiers ? mercenaries ? No . They were ten of thousands of Roman citizens , the people .

 

Why The Gracchi started the revolution ? Why the italians started their war ? Who gave them Rights ? A Caesar , A Popularis ! Why Sertorius Fought in Spain ? Why Marius , the savior of rome was outlaw ? Why Sulla's march was a Legal ? I can give you tons of Examples for "liberty" in Rome . To say that Caesar ,march was Illegal is to say nothing with regard to the situation in 49 . To say that Pompey or Marcellus or Cato or Shmato had more moral than Caesar is to give a subjective opinion , no more and no less . To say that Caesar was bad and Pompey was good is childish .

 

Hypocrisy - If you attack Ceaser on Legal grounds than you should attack Brutus and Cassius for murdering Caesar without a trial , Sulla for his attack on Rome , the Senate of 133 for killing Gracchus in a linch , the Senate of 120 for killing his brother in another linch and on - Such Liberty ! Killing the People's Tribune !

 

As I have said before - It is all in one's point of view . We are not talking about black and white situation .

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Hypocrisy - If you attack Ceaser on Legal grounds than you should attack Brutus and Cassius for murdering Caesar without a trial , Sulla for his attack on Rome , the Senate of 133 for killing Gracchus in a linch , the Senate of 120 for killing his brother in another linch and on - Such Liberty ! Killing the People's Tribune !

 

The thread pertains to Caesar, and the legality of his march on Rome. As has been stated, marching an army from your province against Rome was illegal. No one is saying that illegal actions had not happened before in the Republic.

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